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Today's lineups

Nyjer Morgan gets the day off today against Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse, somewhat surprising since Lohse is a right-hander. Roger Bernadina will take center. The Cardinals made a seemingly minor shakeup that has pretty much rocked the local populace: Albert Pujols will bat cleanup today for the first time since May 30, 2003.

Nationals
1. Willie Harris, RF
2. Cristian Guzman, SS
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ivan Rodriguez, C
7. Adam Kennedy, 2B
8. Roger Bernadina, CF
9. Craig Stammen, SP

St. Louis Cardinals
1. Felipe Lopez, SS
2. Ryan Ludwick, RF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Albert Pujols, 1B
5. Colby Rasmus, CF
6. David Freese, 3B
7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Skip Schumaker, 2B
9. Kyle Lohse, SP

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 17, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
 
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Comments

Riggs is starting to do some pretty weird things. He pinch hits Willie a sure out Harris yesterday for his hottest hitter of the day MIke Morse and then benches Morse today, again for Harris. And then he's got Harris leading off. Way to start off the game with a sure out. This is absurd.
Harris is such a poor hitter, he's used as an example in a great ESPN article on the DH.
"According to Baseball-Reference.com, DHs entered Sunday hitting .240, with a .399 slugging percentage and .723 OPS (those numbers get even worse if you factor in that those pinch-hitting for DHs are 3-for-23 this season). Take those numbers over a full season and that's basically the 2009 equivalent of Willie Harris or Andy Marte. But DHs are supposed to be better than that, right? "
Seriously, put Morse in the game and see what you've got. This is ridiculous.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 17, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Of course, compared to the Cardinals' lead off man, I'll take ours any day, for a whole host of reasons.

Posted by: thelonghaul | May 17, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I've posted this elsewhere but it would be nice if Rizzo could find a way to trade Willie Harris so that Riggs wouldn't be but so tempted to use him. I agree with Dave of Nats News Network that JMax might be acceptable as the right handed half of a platoon in Right. If Bernadina shows he can stay hot, he would earn more spot starts for Nyjer Morgan.

Morgan's been awful against lefties so I wish that Riggles had chosen to bench him yesterday instead.

I'm more bummed that Desmond's not in the lineup. I'd always prefer to see him with the groundballers on the mound. He had a big double early in the game yesterday, too.

Posted by: souldrummer | May 17, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

To respond to dovelevine about why no Morse in today's lineup:

Morse is a 28, 29 year old who doesn't hit for power (6 HR in 361 AB lifetime), who strikes out a lot (84 Ks lifetime) and doesn't walk much (26 lifetime), and who was signed (and now brought up from an rehab assignment) as a pinch hitter and someone who'll get some starts against lefties (like Francis yesterday).

I suspect they know what they've got in Morse, and it's not the answer in right field.

Posted by: BPupp | May 17, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

>>I suspect they know what they've got in Morse, and it's not the answer in right field

Then he shouldn't be on the team. Period. All I know is he had 2 hits yesterday. That was 2 hits more than just about the entire lineup yet they chose to sit him down when Riggs decided to over-manage his righty-lefty matchups (didn't he learn anything last week against the Mets with that fiasco), and not only sit the hottest hitter of the day but sit him so they could bat the always dangerous Willie Harris. And what is Harris batting? I'll let you figure that out. You brought Morse up, play him while he's hot. If not, get rid of him for someone who can play. Willie Harris leading off is a joke. This is Manny Acta baseball.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

BPupp,
Totally agree with you on that and I'm glad to see you back it up with some better numbers.

@thelonghaul
The sad thing is that FLop is that FLop may be better than today's starting shortstop.

Glad FLop's gone, but it's tragic how the great Bowden trade pieces of Kearns and FLop are doing better now that they've left Natstown.

Posted by: souldrummer | May 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman probably thought about how to compose the lineup and then said to himself, "What does it matter, Stammen will knock in 3 or 4 runs today".
Seriously, if Craig keep this up, they have to consider him as a pinch hitter on occasion.

Posted by: Sunderland | May 17, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The sadder thing about Flop is that he could be hitting .450 right now with 15 HRs and we'd still be glad he's gone!

Posted by: thelonghaul | May 17, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The good thing about today's lineup is that TPlush will have to sit and watch Roger Bernadina patrol centerfield. Nyjer seems to need to know his job is less than 100% secure. His base running, his decision making on where to throw the ball, his occasional indecisiveness in the field, it all needs tuning.

It seems like last year was an aberration, and Nyjer just really might be the guy who hits .270, slugs a meek .385 and is successful in 60% of his steal attempts.

He was the key to our offensive resurgence last year, and we need him to be again this yer.

Posted by: Sunderland | May 17, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer looked completely lost yesterday at bat. Like he couldn't even see the pitches. It was really strange. Hopefully a night off will settle him down. That was downright ugly.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 17, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

You know, I am biased, I love Morgan, but I have a suspciion he's not a future hall of famer. But, holy crap am I glad we don't have Lastings Milledge in center field.

Posted by: FriendofalltheWorld | May 17, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@Sunderland
"It seems like last year was an aberration, and Nyjer just really might be the guy who hits .270, slugs a meek .385 and is successful in 60% of his steal attempts.

He was the key to our offensive resurgence last year, and we need him to be again this yer."

That .270, .385 Slugging is acceptable for me as long as he keeps drawing walks. The problem is that his good OBP is getting wiped out with his errors on the base paths. His defensive regression is an issue, and I hope that the T.Plush stuff and guaranteed everyday job doesn't have him struggling with his defense. That's kind of a question that I'd like to ask one of the people in the know. How does a big leaguer work on keeping his defense sharp during the season?

Posted by: souldrummer | May 17, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that Morgan has peaked and it will be a long slow slide downhill. He throws to the wrong base, fails to hit cutoff man, and is being thrown out a lot more on the bases. Not to mention his problems at bat.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 17, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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