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Game 48 discussion thread: Nationals at Giants

The Nationals are going with a somewhat funky lineup today, but Jim Riggleman didn't much odd about it. Step by step, keeping in mind the Nationals are facing a lefty in Barry Zito, here's why he did what he did differently:

1. He wanted Justin Maxwell in the ballgame because he's the only right-handed batter who can play centerfield. Maxwell is batting leadoff because he had a .395 on-base percentage in his brief stint with the Nats, having drawn 11 walks in 38 plate appearances.

2. Alberto Gonzalez is in at second to get another right-handed bat in the lineup.

3. With Gonzalez at second, he needed Cristian Guzman to find a spot because he's been one of the best in the league against lefties. Ian Desmond wasn't coming, so, right field it was.

4. Carlos Maldonado will make his first start since September 2007 because it's a day game after a night game. (Wil Nieves usually loves day games, he said once, because that means he can play.)

5. Riggleman switched Dunn and Zimmerman in order to have Willingham protect Zimmerman - he didn't want Zito to be able to pitch around Zimmerman and then face a lefty.

6. He thought about starting Michael Morse, but he didn't want to take Dunn out of the lineup and also wanted to keep a right-handed pinch-hitter available on his bench other Nieves, who he would need to keep available to catch in case of an injury to Maldonado.

Will it all work? Will Craig Stammen straighten himself out with an unfamiliar-but-experienced catcher? Talk about it right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 27, 2010; 3:35 PM ET
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Next: A good start and early end for Craig Stammen


Hi everyone.

Settling in for following today's matchup on Gameday, while at work.

Love the lineup, Riggs. Let's see what happens.

Let's go Nats!!


Posted by: summerandwinter | May 27, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn with some Smackem Yackem!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | May 27, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Will it all work?
By Adam Kilgore | May 27, 2010; 3:35 PM ET

Well, Maxwell is first pitch swinging (so much for walks) and Adam hits a home-run (so much for worrying about a lefty hitting against Zito)

I'd say it's working so far, but not necessarily for the reasons Riggleman thought it would.

Posted by: kjhealey | May 27, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Stammen through 1st: 15 pitches, 10 for strikes, gives up one run.

Whole new ballgame.

Posted by: summerandwinter | May 27, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, so we got through the 1st inning with only one run given up... We can do this!

Looks like a pretty miserable day for baseball, but sure is a pretty view.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am getting distinctly tired of Craig "A Run an Inning" Stammen. This guy is dogbreath. His stuff is exceedingly average, and his mental toughness less than average. Anybody who gets on base with this guy tends to score. And these 85 mph sliders can be hit, after he's thrown his 65th one of the game. Never pitches inside. In this particular case, Dribble is right. All he does is nibble at the outside corner. This is the guy who loses his spot in the rotation when Jesus gets called up.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | May 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't Jesus get sent down rather than called up?

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 27, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

+1 Mr. Kierkegaard

Posted by: amorris525 | May 27, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

That's a lot of mud on Maxwell's uniform.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Way to recover after giving up the dinger and a single

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 27, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Stammen just doesn't seem to have easy innings, but he's hanging in there (so far).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

What did Ozzzie Guillen say? He is "awaiting his fine for remarks...about one Joe West". I assume this was about the balk calls?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Good thing Riggie got Guzman and his hot bat in the lineup today. 0-3 so far. Haven't been able to watch the game, hopefully Guzman took a couple of pitches, so he wasn't a complete waste. Also, hoping that Sanchez's single in the second wasn't something that Bernadina could've gotten to.

Posted by: rnkorby | May 27, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

*Sanchez single in the first. Please absolve me for my sin of factual error.

Posted by: rnkorby | May 27, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Batted ball in flight strikes center field wall right of yellow line and caroms left into stands: Home Run.

Posted by: dhfrancoise | May 27, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Why are we bashing Guzman? I don't understand. He's leading the league in batting average for goodness sake! He's allowed to have a bad game.

Posted by: amorris525 | May 27, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

That has GOT to be the longest double I've ever seen!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Guess that was right field

Posted by: dhfrancoise | May 27, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Batted ball landing on green metal on top of right field wall: Home Run.

Posted by: dhfrancoise | May 27, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Looked like it landed on the cement to me. And that seemed likean appropriate bounce for the ball to take off of it. Good call by the umps IMO.

Posted by: amorris525 | May 27, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Me not bashing Guz. Still meditating on whether to bash Stammen. ;)

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm bashing Burnett. Put your hat on straight and get somebody out.

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | May 27, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on Burnett, though normally a fan. But some bad luck this inning, Dunn missing a play, passed ball on what might have been a missed signal by a minor league catcher in his first game. Still, this IS the majors. Get with the program, guys.

OK, got him stealing.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Walker in that situation? Really? Are we that comfortable with him yet? Guess Storen is not available?

And before that, Burnett goes lefty vs lefty after we have seen him struggle with them? Easy to second guess, but still...

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 27, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

It's up to Rigs to adjust. If Burnett is much more effective against righties than lefties, Rigs has got to stop using him as a LOOGY.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 27, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

boy, really missing Pudge now.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

You know, I really wish this game had been rained out. Would have gone better that way.

Posted by: zaph | May 27, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

That was a heartbreaker.

I'm usually not a second guesser either but....

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 27, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Ugh - Tough listening to this one slip away from the bullpen. Oh well, as the line goes "Some days you win, some days you lose, and some days it rains"; And I might add, and Some days all three happen.

Posted by: BinM | May 27, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

This was a game we should have won. Questionable bullpen selections when the game was on the line. And we waste what may be Stammen's best outing of the year.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 27, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

tough loss. Better luck tomorrow, I hope.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 27, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Note to Justin Maxwell - SWING THE BAT. You can NOT look at strike three in that situation.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 27, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Burnett and Walker need reassignment! They just cannot throw a strike.
This was frustrating to watch. A two run lead in the seventh just blown all to h*!! by two POS's so called pitchers.

And then to top it off...Maxwell just looked strikes in, kind of like Dunn does.
Just UFB!!!

Posted by: M20832 | May 27, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

So tired of watching Walker throw ball... balll... meatball. Give him the Bruney treatment and let him tell us how good he can be as he's packing his bags instead of showing us how bad he is outing after outing.

I really thought Bruney and Walker were great moves. I was fooled too.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | May 27, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

AK great stuff on the lineup choice thinking of Riggleman.

Tough loss indeed. The Nats could have swept that series with a little luck.

Posted by: dfh21 | May 27, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

So, when are they going to start letting these pitchers go 7 innings?

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | May 27, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman may have chosen poorly out of the bullpen today, but that's going to happen from time to time. A frustrating loss to be sure, but the team goes to San Diego still at .500 after 44 games; Good times.

Posted by: BinM | May 27, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you BinM. But from what Carpenter (or was it Dribble?) said, the Padres have the same type of pitching as the Giants. I'll have to take their word for it since I haven't seen them play.
Yea, at least they are .500. Guess I was just hoping for more. Sigh....

Go Nats!!!

Posted by: M20832 | May 28, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

By the way, it still looks like RZimm is favoring his leg. When he hit that single, it looked like he was grimacing while running to first base. Why doesn't Riggleman just rest him and put Gonzales at third?

Posted by: M20832 | May 28, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

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