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Game 57 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Reds

Tonight marks the sixth game since Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman switched Cristian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan at the top of the lineup. During that span -- with Guzman leading off and Morgan batting second in four of those five games -- the top two spots in Washington's batting order have hit a combined .333 (16 for 48) with 11 runs, three RBI and two walks.

The Nationals hope for more of the same from Guzman and Morgan as they try to take the second game of this series against Cincinnati. Feel free to post your thoughts throughout the night ...

By Steve Yanda  |  June 5, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Riggleman says Zimmerman not getting credit he deserves just yet
Next: A wild pitch, Brandon Phillips and two ejections


And Zimmerman gets out to an early lead on tonight's hat-trick...

Posted by: Ted_Striker | June 5, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Just don't understnd why Zim makes these looping throws on routine plays. Other top 3B like Chipper, Rolen & A-Rod just gun the ball on a line to 1B. Zim's throws seem to lack confidence and suggest a mental block. Of course Dunn isn't much help but Zim should be throwing strikes on routine plays.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 5, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

And Dunn extends his oh-fer streak with 2 outs and RISP to 23...
As Charlie would say, unbelievable!

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 5, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Dunn has become worthless as a cleanup hitter, 0-23 with RISP and 2 out on plenty of called 3rd strikes. Is he that picky or just badly fooled? Last night he swung at the first pitche from a new pitcher with the bases loaded and hit a weak grounder to first. His approach stinks. It's time to move Willingham up and give him a shot

Posted by: Natmeister | June 5, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Getting close to an official game and some rain headed this way from WV. Need to hold the Reds down and cash in on one of our chances.

Posted by: marathoner | June 5, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

OK, just watched Leake get his second hit of the game (around .400 for the season!), and then score from first on a double.
This kid is impressive, for sure.
You just get the sense if he goes all Rick Ankiel on the Reds, they could turn him into an outfielder or a 2B pretty easily.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 5, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The Red's are going to be in the central division race all year this kid Leake is very good and Atilano has been decent but he needs help(run support).Ray Knight is an excellent analyst i like Dibs but Knight knows this game inside/out and i for one enjoy listening to him.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 5, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Great sequence by Atilano to get Bruce. Looks like Stammen goes to the pen or Syracuse when SS decends from heavan. What happens when Olsen is ready to return?

Posted by: Natmeister | June 5, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, JD Martin leaves. Having a series of brain cramps.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 5, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Atilano is likely done for the day. 6 innings, 6 hits, 1 BB, 1 ER, 5 K's.
I really like Atilano and hope and expect he'll still get starts for a while, ahead of JD Martin and Stammen.
Atilano seems to have the mentality, the makeup to deal with pitching. Coming into this game, all his situational stats improved as the situation becomes more intense.
Season BAA / WHIP .269 / 1.52
Bases Empty .307 / 1.90
Runners On .229 / 1.21
RISP .174 / 1.12
RISP 2 out .143 / 0.71
Bases Loaded .167 / 0.60

If he can handle situations well in these pressure situations (and he's shown he can), then he should be able to improve on his bases empty numbers, and really be a useful MLB starter.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 5, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse


So Adam Dunn is Bizarro-Luis Atilano, and vice versa?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 5, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Tyler "The Torch" Walker works his majic. Haven't we seen enough of this? It's time for him to follow Bruney out the door. Somebody else pleae: Stammen, Bergmann, MacDougal, whatever!

Posted by: Natmeister | June 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Precisely Cap-Pete.

Also, I have really enjoyed Knight in the booth. Part of it I'm sure is just that he's a change of pace from Dib's. It's hard for an analyst like Dib's to be interesting 150+ days a year.
I'm sure they wouldn't consider it, but having 2 guys split this job during the course of a season might make for the best overall television experience for Nats fans.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Improper call of interference on Desmond, Phillips rounding second on his way to third. He should be out.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | June 5, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Yet again screwed over by the umps. Not that it will matter as I don't see the bats coming alive.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 5, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, once again I don't understand Riggleman's thinking. With 4 strong relievers in the bullpen, only two innnings left, and a one-run game, he brings in Walker. Though this message is after the fact, my thinking was not. I think Riggleman has quite a way to go to be a first-class manager.

Posted by: gnatman | June 5, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

What the F*&& with all the errors?

Posted by: mastroj | June 5, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Reds are lucky there hasn't been a fight yet. What's with Brandon Phillips showing up the team with a chest pump at home? This is turning into a real rivalry, exacerbated by the umpiring.

Well, enough of that. Our bullpen is just not holding the Reds.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | June 5, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

**Yet again screwed over by the umps. **

I didn't see it that way.
It was a reasonable call.
Was it right or was it wrong? Impossible to say. But no way we got "screwed".

Desmond should have gotten out of the way sooner, but he didn't. So it was Desmond's fault that there was contact. And it was a reasonable judgment by the ump to award the base.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 5, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Nobody got screwed. If the pitcher doesn't throw the ball on the far side of the ear hole, there is no play to begin with. It is getting tiresome to hear the constant WHINING about the umpires. Let's face it, 57 errors... These guys are playing to their ability -- they just aren't that good.

Posted by: medic2010 | June 5, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I hope Riggleman sits Dunn tomorrow. For a .280 average he is producing nothing. Now they are pitching around Zim to get to him. This team has come a long ways but still has big holes. Some old -- defense, right field & clutch hitting. Some new -- cleanup and leadoff. Until they solve some of these problems SS will make no discernable differnce unless he pitches CG shutouts.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 5, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Well done Batista, Phillips is a punk. Good to see some good old fashion baseball.

Posted by: curz | June 5, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I will be glad to see the last of the Reds AND of this ump crew. All to the good that JeeZus didn't debut against this creepy bunch.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | June 5, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Batista should have plugged Joe West. He is a stupid fat f###. However, the Nats lost this one on their own. Dumb errors, etc... Poor umping had nothing to do with this loss. Hopefully this is just a temporary slump in a long season.

Posted by: CountDemoney | June 5, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Batista's mistake was that he should have put it in Philip's earhole not go for the ribs. That would have wiped that smile off of Philip's face.

As for his umpiring crew, like some others here, I'm glad Starburg doesn't have to debut with this crew on the field and the sooner Joe West is out of the game, the better off the game will be.

Posted by: CapsNut | June 5, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Fat joe west has got to go!

Posted by: Phillip258 | June 5, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I like Sunderland's idea of splitting Knight & Dibs on color commentary and post-game analysis. Phil Wood is too bland and adds nothing. Phil & Johnny "stay positive," meaning no discussion of how wretched the "B-team" bullpen is (excepting Batista), how much Dunn's failure to hit with RISP is hurting us (to keep sabermetricians happy, I will not use the word "clutch"), how abject our catching is with Pudge on the shelf, etc.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 5, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I am a big fan of Dibble, but have to admit I learn something every game with the Silver Fox Ray Knight doing commentary. The two complement each other very well, actually, and I would support a split of the season in the booth.

Granted, we can usually get Ray in the post-game, but while Dibble is entertaining, Ray is informative.

BTW, Leake definitely looked like the real deal tonight and I can't believe MLB puts both Joe West and Angel Hernandez on the same umpire crew -- talk about MatchLight, just add a spark because these two are already soaked with lighter fluid -- chips on their shoulders that don't belong in the game!

Posted by: mo_dc | June 5, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

...I can't believe MLB puts both Joe West and Angel Hernandez on the same umpire crew -- talk about MatchLight, just add a spark because these two are already soaked with lighter fluid -- chips on their shoulders that don't belong in the game!

Plus you have the rookie on the crew, Dan Bellino, who called the (not a) balk on Livo last night. He'll fit in just fine. Add Bill Hohn to the crew, and that's the umpiring crew from you-know-where.

I think if tomorrow's game is close in the late innings, Riggleman (assuming he hasn't already been ejected by lard*** Joe West) should lift Dunn for OFFENSIVE subsitution purposes. His average is decent this year, but I just don't see how it's as high as it is given his lack of hitting with anyone on base (like the strikeouts and GIDP tonight). Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a day off tomorrow (which will probably hurt us anyway when he comes in to pinch hit in a key at-bat and fans).

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 5, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Yea, it's fairly obvious that Joe West is a schmuck of an umpire, however you can't use bad umpiring as an excuse for the slump the Nats are in right now. Baseball is a game of streaks, and we're in a bad one right now. Maybe Strasburg will change things around.

Posted by: bromisky | June 6, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Hello...didn't we beat the Reds on friday? If we win today, we win the series and back on track.

The team needs Pudge back. Nieves just doesn't cut it to be a full time catcher. The phillips incident wouldn't have happened if Nieves had held onto the ball. phillips would have been out.

I'm hoping that this is the last of this so-called umpiring crew we will see this year! Lard bottom has to go!

And I like the idea of trying Willingham in the clean up position. Dunn just isn't getting it dunn!

Posted by: M20832 | June 6, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I for one am hoping for a curly W today, particularly since I'll be in the house. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 6, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

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