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Game 50 discussion thread: Nationals at Padres

J.D. Martin didn't look different than any other Nationals starter when he walked into the clubhouse this afternoon. He ambled in wearing a black shirt and jeans, stuck his wallet in a cubby in his locker and changed into shorts and a T-shirt. He was different, though, because this is his first start of the year.

Martin came into spring training as a candidate to start, but, really, never had much of a chance.

"We got a good look at him," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "I think we probably, without making any assumptions, we kind of put him in there as about the sixth guy in our mind. Once we signed Livan Hernandez, we took for granted [Garrett] Mock was going to be in there as our 3 starter if not our 4 starter. The odds of him being on our club were diminishing. He actually pitched well enough to make the club. But we had to make a call.

"He went down and worked hard. He didn't pout. He didn't complain. He just did his work and has earned his way back."

Martin, barring something unforseen, will get at least one more start after night as Scott Olsen stays on the disabled list. Olsen played catch today and felt fine, but the Nationals will still need Martin to pitch once more on his turn.

Talk about Martin and the rest of the Nationals-Padres game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 29, 2010; 8:30 PM ET
 
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Next: J.D. Martin returns to the majors

Comments

That inning should have been over with the third batter.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 29, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Halladay has retired 21 of 21 batters tonight vs FLA. 6 outs to go for a perfect game.

Free look-in on MLB.com

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 29, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

And also broadcasting it on the MLB network, switched over from the Rox/Dods game...

Posted by: HotNats | May 29, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I guess that Halladay guy's pretty good. Wow.

Posted by: HotNats | May 29, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 29, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

What the heck was that by Nyjer? What an unnecessary jump. Should have been caught.

Posted by: amorris525 | May 29, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

That is about the fifth time in a row that Morgan has jumped for a ball that lands waist high. Get him the hell out of this game he is not a major league outfielder.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 29, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

He is not playing balls at the wall very good lately.

Posted by: marathoner | May 29, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Another misplayed ball by Nyjer. Charlie and Dave see it; Dibble and Bob don't. But the TV guys were all over Nyjer earlier for not hitting. The ball was catchable.

And then another bad fielding play: Nyjer crosses in front of Josh just before Josh catches the third out.

I feel sorry for Nyjer because I know he is trying. But he is playing so poorly, so erratically, you have to wonder if something is going on with him that we don't know about.

I think we need a new CF and a new lead off hitter.

Posted by: JLNash819 | May 29, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Beginning to wonder if Nyger needs his vision checked. He doesn't seem to see the ball and get to it in time for the catch. And what is the deal with cutting in front of willingham and screening him? The dude is doing some strange suff.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 29, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I think so too, amorris. Thought he kinda looked for the wall and lost sight of the ball at the very end. Not a real graceful jump.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 29, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

A pretty nice job by JD. Hung a couple of curveballs but the defense really did him in.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 29, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Why did Bernadina put himself in a hole by trying to bunt again, with one strike? OK to try it once, but twice??

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 29, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

MKadyman: You are extreme as usual in your analysis of Morgan he's a major league outfielder, right now he's harder on himself then a lot of us are on Nyjer, the question we should be asking is what is Rick Eckstien doing to correct Nyjer,Willie,Will, and even Roger, Dunn has been slumping all season and is showing sign's of comming to life but it's Rick's job to turn these guy's who play on a regular basis into better hitters as i pointed out in a earlier post we ran Lenny Harris out of town for lack of team prodution and Eckstien's has a more talented group to work with, same goes for the Randy St.Claire situation who in my mind is a better pitching coach than McCatty but was the sacrificial lamb for Acta's ineptitude. I'm still a believer in Nyjer Morgan and i'll say it again if Marquis Grissom isn't working then i'd find him and get him with Nyjer pronto.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 29, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, I suggest you consider using a period every now and then - it will make your posts easier to read. We aren't trying to be Marcel Prousts here.

I think you missed the points being made about Nyjer. The problem with Nyjer is not only his hitting. It's his fielding and his base running. At a certain point you have to wonder if he's in over head, poor guy. I like his attitude, but his play this year is bad and getting worse.

Posted by: JLNash819 | May 29, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, I suggest you consider using a period every now and then - it will make your posts easier to read. We aren't trying to be Marcel Prousts here.

I think you missed the points being made about Nyjer. The problem with Nyjer is not only his hitting. It's his fielding and his base running. At a certain point you have to wonder if he's in over head, poor guy. I like his attitude, but his play this year is bad and getting worse.

Posted by: JLNash819 | May 29, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time Morgan bunted for a base hit? Does he have any? He's in a compete, across the board funk. At some point he needs to sit to get himself straight or just stop hurting the team.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 29, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Never far behind but it didn't feel like they were really in it. Hope to get a series win tomorrow.

Posted by: marathoner | May 29, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

JLNash819: You must be new to the journal or using an assumed name most people don't have a problem reading my post, and yes i am aware of Nyjer's fielding and no i'm not missing the point, Nyjer get's to a lot of balls most centerfielder's don't even get close to,i can't believe everyone is ready to cut this kid from the team, as i stated earlier on this blog what is Rick Eckstein doing? This team is not hitting, other than Guzman and JWill who else is really hitting? Rizzo and Riggleman decided to cut Elijah Dukes this spring without giving him a fair shot at making the team and to be truthfull the whole team has stuggled to score runs other than the occasional outburst, as i stated earlier it's a miracle that the Nat's are at .500 given the lack of run production, hell they hit better as a team last season,but sooner or later that before mentioned aspect of poor run production will catch up with this team.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 29, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Morgan is going to start catching these balls to deep CF some day. The play tonight was a very tough one (the Pagan and Tejada plays he should have made), but he got there and seemingly mis-timed his jump. If this club is going to win more than it loses, they will need a CF who makes more than his share of those plays. Morgan is not getting it done at the plate very well, getting caught on the bases half the time and not playing a sterling CF right now -- that guy has to step it up in a big way.

Posted by: dfh21 | May 30, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Curious what the possibility would be of moving Morgan down (obviously post-6th) in the lineup, maybe putting Desmond at leadoff? Nyjer looks completely lost at the plate right now, full of uncertainty. Moving him down into more clear-cut situational batting scenarios might help give him focus as to what he should do at the plate. Because right now, it really appears it's "bunt... no swing... wait... maybe I should bunt?"

As for his outfield abilities, I still have faith, I'm not giving up on him yet on that front, and I do believe success at the plate yields success on the field, in terms of straight-up game confidence.

Posted by: HotNats | May 30, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

jlnash, that's how dargramps rolls, but we like him. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 30, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

So is Boz going to tell us the Nats now only need to lose 40 in a row to match last years record?

The problems with Nyjer are significant, and he's not going to play himself out of it. Not sure what's the right thing for the Nats to do, the lack of outfield depth in the organization is glaring. It's hard to imagine that Marquis Grissom could turn Nyjer back into TPlush, circa 2009.
But it's even harder to imagine that there's any downside to trying it.

Posted by: Sunderland | May 30, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else watch the postgame interviews?
Rigs tells us in effect we've got no alternatives either at CF or in the leadoff spot. Nyjer is going to have to battle his way out of whatever he's going through. In other words, he's got no Plan B.
Later, to his credit, Nyjer answers questions from reporters (including our very own Debbie). The reporters, to their credit, respectfully ask Nyjer about his problems fielding balls hit to the wall. From here on out things get weird. I would allude to the Humphrey Bogart court martial scene in the Caine Mutiny if I thought that would register with you. Basically, Nyjer is denying that there's any problem, but occasionally he's betrayed by this very inapproprate, desperate laughter that escapes at odd intervals from his mouth. The reporters ask follow-up questions, the interview seems to go on forever...awkward.
Cut to the studio. Genial Johnny Holiday tries to act like everything's OK, and a stony-faced Ray Knight says, "He's just got to catch the dad-gummed ball!"

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 30, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

"Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic..."

(Didn't see the postgame. In fact, I may have watched the last 20 minutes or so of the game through my eyelids. Daggone last West Coast starts... But the reference did register here, for the record. :-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 30, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, natsfan1a1!

I maty have been exagerrating a little...

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"It's hard to imagine that Marquis Grissom could turn Nyjer back into TPlush, circa 2009.
But it's even harder to imagine that there's any downside to trying it."

Yeah, why not? Marquis Grissom is generally regarded as one of the biggest influences on Lastings Milledge in ST 2009. Sure, turn him loose on Tony Plush now. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Posted by: nunof1 | May 30, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

CapPeterson1: Can't get the postgame presser even though i have the MLB package but great analogy(Caine Mutiny),great acting in that movie on the part of Van Johnson & Jose Ferrer. Best scene: Bogart questioning one of galley's officers about the missing strawberries. Anyway, back to the subject at hand; I'm still of the mind that Rick Eckstein can get Morgan back on track. Right now the worst thing Nyjer can do is listen to everybody offering help as well intended as it might be. A win today and we're at.500 on this road trip as we head to Texas.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 30, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see some support for bringing Marquis Grissom back,right now if i'm Rizzo&Riggleman i'm going to listen to any suggestion's in order to help get Nyjer back on track,on another front, been wondering about E.Dukes, you know what he's been up to and if any of his former teamates still have contact with him.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 30, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Nyjer vs. Milledge: There's no question that Morgan has much more of a positive effect in the clubhouse than Milledge did. The question is, can he be "coached up" from his current level of performance at bat and in the field? Nyjer's performance last year suggests that it could happen. His problems in the field are more troubling to me than his batting. Do baseball teams have "hardball mortars" to provide outfield practice? Something like this could help with Nyjer's issues at the wall.

Posted by: bertbkatz | May 30, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

bertbkatz: Nyjer's fielding micues have all come at the wall,while Miledge had issues when he put on a glove, remember last year how giddy we all were when Nyjer made everything look easy even those cannon shots that usually give even good outfielders trouble, now we expect him to scale the fence and bring back home runs.I'll still take Nyjer right now over every centerfielder we've had since the franchise moved to DC from Canada.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 30, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

No one expects him to bring back home runs. He's been in position to catch a lot of balls at the wall-not balls going over the wall- and hasn't done it numerous times this year.

Posted by: amorris525 | May 30, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@dargregmag:
Sorry, but most of Nyjer's misses at the wall have not been on balls going over the wall. They have bounced off the wall between waist and shoulder high, or he has been two-three feet away from where they hit the wall. For the most part they have not been home-run reclamation projects. As I said, I have hopes this is something that can be addressed by coaching/practice.

Posted by: bertbkatz | May 30, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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