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Game 47 discussion thread: Nationals at Giants

On May 10, the Nationals stole four bases against the New York Mets and rose to a tie for fifth in the majors in steals with 29. In the 14 games since, the Nationals have been caught trying four times and have stolen precisely zero bases. What changed?

"It's really not the identity of our ballclub," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "We were running early, and we had some success doing it. We weren't winning those games. Sometimes, you can run because you're down in the game a little bit and the other team is not paying as much attention to you because the run doesn't appear to be as crucial at that point.

"We had some guys who weren't known for stealing bases who snuck a few out there. But as the league started paying attention to us better and the runs became more important, nobody is sneaking up on anybody."

Riggleman prefers the Nationals stealing fewer bases. Too often, he said, an attempt may come at the expense of one of the team's best hitters who best know the strike zone. What happened was, a hitter would swing at a borderline pitch to help the runner steal. Riggleman would rather the hitter take ball four and go on with his at-bat unbothered.

Tonight may actually be the best time for the Nationals to start trying to steal again. Opposing base runners have stolen 27 times in 30 attempts against Giants catcher Bengie Molina, best in the league. Tim Linceum has allowed eight stolen bases in eight attempts - only knuckleballer Tim Wakefield has surrendered more steals without anyone being thrown out.

So, for the first time in a while, stolen bases may be a factor for the Nationals. As Luis Atilano tries to match Lincecum, talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 26, 2010; 10:05 PM ET
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Next: Adam Kennedy can roll with the role


Morgan singles, steals a base and scores on Kennedy's single. 1-0 Nats.

Atilano is looking pretty good so far, retiring the first 6 batters in a row.

I guess everyone is on the "evil Nats management" thread.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 26, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. Good hitting thus far. Come on Roger drive these 2 in.

Posted by: amorris525 | May 26, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, 3-0 vs. Lincicum. Nice.

Posted by: HotNats | May 26, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what's going scoring from second on a hit but three runs is three runs.

Posted by: marathoner | May 26, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

True to form, runners get on, power guys do virtually nothing, Willingham gets a hit and Desmond gets a hit.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | May 26, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Lincecom is up around 60 pitches already (3rd inning). If we can keep the patience at the plate he'll be gone by the 6th.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 26, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

2-0 Nats on Dunn's single and Hammer's double.

Dunn scores on Desmond's single 3-0 Nats.

Nice to see them get to Lincecum early.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 26, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

What's up with the going into home standing up? A hard feet first slide by Willingham has a better chance of scoring than the little dodge he tried. Nyjer went in standing up too. Could it have something to do with the wet track?

Posted by: Section222 | May 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer ran thru a stop sign by the 3rd base coach and barely scored (lucky he scored or we would be cursing him now) we can add to another cutoff man over thrown as Nyjer gets over-aggressive again.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | May 26, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

What a play by Desmond!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | May 26, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

My man-crush on I. Desmond's growing exponentially... Nice Play!

Posted by: HotNats | May 26, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

This is the second night in a row Aubrey Huff has thrown a temper tantrum at home plate. What a baby.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 26, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

that whiny bi**h Huff should have been ejected for that little display

Posted by: DCguy7 | May 26, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, i am really surprised how well Desmond has transitioned to the big leagues

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 26, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind Nyjer's run through of that stop sign. Too risky to think we will get another hit off Lincecum there. We always leave men on third.

Posted by: amorris525 | May 26, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

ok NOW i'm NOT trading Jesus for Lincecum, i would have thought about it before the game

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 26, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Ian BABY!!!

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 26, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow, didn't expect this. Guess that's why you play the games huh? kind of impressive what happens when you can successfully steal in a game also eh?

Posted by: tgerbracht | May 26, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

This could not come at a better time.

Adam sure had the crystal ball tonight re: stolen bases.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 26, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Atilano is really pitching a nice game tonight.

He sure doesn't seem to get rattled very easily.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 26, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

OK, so Nyjer tosses his glove and a run scores. Pitcher argues a balk call and gets ejected from game (White Sox, the guy that threw the perfecto last year, Buerhle).

Which is more unprofessional??

(Love them stolen bases).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 26, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Depends, how legit was the balk call?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 26, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Atilano over Craig "BP" Stammen once Strasburg arrives and Olsen returns. Then let Atilano and Lannan duke it out over spots for Detwiler and Wang. Zimmermann likely replaces Strasburg once the team shuts him down.

Posted by: CapitolWill | May 26, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Ouch...that was ugly. This outfield can do some "interesting" things...

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 27, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

So, to recap: how many chickens will we have, overall?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 27, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

How about some love for Atilano?

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 27, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

visions of elijah dukes in the outfield.

Posted by: jtunney1 | May 27, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Sofa, very strange situation. I was listening on radio, so didn't actually see the balk, but Manager had already been ejected arguing another balk in a previous inning.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Nauga, you're talking about Bernadina...that was indeed as clumsy as you'll see an athletic guy look, seriously.

And Riggo is nothing if not the Over-Manager.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 27, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I know Atilano had his problems tonight (he was missing his target by a foot a lot of times) but it drives me nuts to watch our catchers call a game. Every pitch is low and two-thirds of them are low and away. We never jam hitters, ever. Very predictable location. I know we've got lots of junkballers but they've got to come up and in once in a while.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 27, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

going through pitchers pretty quick, aren't we?

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 27, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Okay, talk about a quality upgrade. Storen's got some serious sh-, um, stuff. Impressive. When you throw that hard and follow it up with a big bender like that, you can get away with the predictable location. I guess.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 27, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

CapitolWill, ummm, about Olsen ... not sure how to say this, but ... well ... don't buy tickets to his next start based on what you read.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 27, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

baltova, yes, and what I really like is the walk-off-the-field,I'm-done-thank-you 'tude.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 27, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Natstown. Here's to 2 wins on Thursday!

Lincecum looked like a baby tonight. Very rattled. I'm not sure who's right between sabermetricians and old school guys when it comes to stealing bases, but I love me some TrackNats.

I hope Nyjer has another big hit or even better a huge play in center - him earning (his first?) silver fox could really benefit his and the team's confidence

Posted by: nattaboy | May 27, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Boy, that was poor... not only no double play, but a run scoring.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Minimal damage.

Great situation to let Storen get a few innings. Love his attitude.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 27, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Guys in Vegas must be losing a lot of money tonight -- Lincecum vs. Atilano? Even I would take those odds?

Posted by: mo_dc | May 27, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Clipp lookin' good. Still pinching myself that we actually have a BULLPEN.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Vegas doesn't lose money, they just don't make as much tonight. That's why i dont bother gambling in Vegas, i save the cash for the cabs

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 27, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

although i swear blackjack is beatable, curse whoever programmed the game into calculators ha ha ha

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 27, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

and before i forget . . .GO NATS!!!

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 27, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

The NL East is crazy right now.

No team is more than 2 1/2 games out and it's almost June.

And the Nats are playing as well as anyone in the division.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 27, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

mo_dc, the Vegas sports books set the odds so there's roughly the same amount bet on each outcome. You're not really wagering against the casino but against the people betting the other side of the proposition. The casino makes its money on the "vigorish" -- the service charge you have to pay the sports book to make your bet.


Guys in Vegas must be losing a lot of money tonight -- Lincecum vs. Atilano? Even I would take those odds?

Posted by: mo_dc | May 27, 2010 12:46 AM

Posted by: greggwiggins | May 27, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Guess who has more rbis than Dunn? Desmond.

I like this "kid."

Posted by: JohnRDC | May 27, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Okay, who was that idiot who said last night that the over/under for Nats runs scored was 1.5?

Oh, wait, that would be me.

That's why I don't bet on baseball.

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 27, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Stayed up for the whole game with my grandson(9.5mo's) the little guy finally conked out about the 7th inning,don't know what to say about this team just when you're ready to say what the hell,they pull you back in,if i'm Rizzo i would tell the Lerners to get ready to spend some money(Carl Crawford) if we want to be a serious player in our division,i really like Storen this kid doen't mess around he brings the heat and if you're not up there swinging then you will be sitting, need to close this series out with a win.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 27, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Agree this team is so unpredictable--can be maddening, like against Wellemeyer Tuesday, or exhilarating, like against Lincecum last night. Guess he's not used to baserunners--fantastic jumps by Zim and Kennedy off him.

Rigs has got to find a way to get both Guzzie and Kennedy in the lineup more often (not at the expense of Desi of course: great stat on Desi's RBI vs. Dunn's). Option of putting Guzzie in RF was discussed by us yesterday (assume minutes have been sent to Rizzo and Rigs). Kennedy does seem to hang in pretty well against most lefthanders--can't always say that about our other lefty batters in those situations.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 27, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else not like that Riggs said we are not a running team. I might be wrong but Desi, Roger, and Nyjer are probably some of the fastest guys in the majors? If they can get on base consistantly they should be our 1,2,3 hitters. We need a mentor for them.

Posted by: hansenjo | May 27, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse


Nice picture painted there. The little guy hanging with Gramps watching the beloved Nats.

OK, I didn't want to jinx the guy and say it too early but, Desmond is a friggin' stud. Love watching that guy play.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 27, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Nice to wake up to a curly W, and against a Cy Young winner.

Way to raise the kid up right, dargramps! ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 27, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang- yea, staying up was worth it. And if not Carl, greg....Jason Werth? Now...while I do believe the Slow Lerners have been a, penurious?...mebbe they plan on having to spend a whole lot down the line KEEPING Stras....and Harper, etc.And while we can all hope Bernie turns into a real solid MLB'er.......Crawford sure would look good in our OF!! And, I might add, Cliff Lee would be nice in the rotation-things not lookin' so good in Seattle this year, huh? And yea-this team just keeps your attention. And who knows? After 2 squeaks already against my former favorites, the Cards-the Padres maybe ready to lose a few! Now lets go Craig!
Go Nats!

Posted by: zendo | May 27, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

btw, don't like to toot my own horn much, but it was totally the Brian Wilson song (or not). But, just in case:

And we're goin' to the City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to the City, gonna have some fun
You know we're goin' to the City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to the City, gonna have some fun, now
Two hits for every Nat


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 27, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"However, I think that it would be good public relations for the team to allow anyone who bought tickets for the 4th to exchange them for any future home date. That way, even if they can't all get tickets to Strasburg's debut, at least they can see him pitch at a later date."

That would be ridiculous. I hope they DON'T do that, and I have tickets for that date. Why should anyone who bought tickets on speculation be allowed to exchange them for a later date? I mean, there are probably plenty of people who bought 6/4 tickets hoping to turn a profit by scalping them. Why should the team let them exchange them? It's not like this is a rainout. People bought tickets for a baseball game, and as far as we know, there WILL BE baseball on 6/4. And fireworks, no less! People are getting exactly what they paid for. If they thought they were getting something else, that's their own fault.

Posted by: grimesman | May 26, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't be ridiculous at all. Nats management knew that a lot of people were buying tickets for the 4th in the erroneous belief that Strasburg would be pitching on that date, yet did nothing to discourage that belief. I'm not saying that they are obligated to do so, just that it would be good customer relations to allow such an exchange. There appears to be a substantial amount of anger out there over this, and it's never good business to allow your customer base to think that they've been jobbed.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 27, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Agree this team is so unpredictable..."

That's what a team looks like when it's in transition. Happily for us, the team is transitioning from "worst in baseball" to "getting pretty decent" . . .

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 27, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If (some of) the fan base has been jobbed, it was, um, of the self-inflicted variety. Just saying... :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 27, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Going back to earlier comments. I saw the balk that got Burleigh tossed. Also the previous one that got Ozzie tossed.

Both were bad calls. Now, I hated lefties, both as a runner and as an umpire, because I had problems reading their motion (as a runner, my normal lead against southpaws was about 1/2 step)but both calls were ridiculous. The Chisox announcer was wrong, when he began talking about the 45 degree angle, since it is not actually in the rulebook, but...Burleigh's knee never passed the front of the mound and he actually stepped toward first, when making the throw. Joe West has become a real joke, as an umpire. He is out of shape and, consequently, is now often out of position. Further, he does seem to have it in for the Sox.

As a disclaimer, I'm not a Chisox fan and avoid AL games as much as possible. I do go to games to, in part, see the umpires work (professional interest), but I don't ever want to see this clown do a Nats game.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | May 27, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Summertime obviously can't come fast enough for 1a!

Posted by: lowcountry | May 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Ak with the nice prediction o nthe SB's being a factor. Impressive.

I was so happy to see Morgan go thorugh Listach's stop sign. That guy needs to be more agressive. It would have taken a perfect play by Rowand and another by Lomina to get him.

Posted by: dfh21 | May 27, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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