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Game 61 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Pirates

The Nationals try for their first series sweep of the season when they play Pittsburgh in the third of three games. Washington is the only team in the majors without a series sweep this season.

The series began on Tuesday with Stephen Strasburg's much heralded big league debut that produced a 5-2 victory. Then last night, Ryan Zimmerman hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the seventh in a 7-5 win.

A victory tonight would move the Nationals one game below .500 and give them a 4-2 record during this homestand. It also would give Washington its fourth straight winning homestand before the team departs for a two-city, six-game road trip.

Talk about the game right here.

By Gene Wang  |  June 10, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Gene -- any lineups?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | June 10, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I bet you trace Dunn's 5 for 10 with 3 homers to Boswell telling him to get back to him when he gets an RBI a few days ago.

Posted by: Brue | June 10, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Why is Dunn batting third and Zim cleaning?

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | June 10, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Why is Dunn batting third and Zim cleaning?

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake

This has been done many times in the past month when we face a left handed starter.

The lefty needs to pitch to Dunn, because Zimmerman is batting behind him. And then the lefty needs to pitch to Zimmerman because Willingham is batting behind him.

With Dunn behind Zimmerman, it's too often that a lefty decides to pitch around Zimmerman and deal with Dunn, who does not hit lefties nearly as well as Zimmerman and Willingham.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 10, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

TV guys said it was to avoid three righties in a row. I think Riggleman prefers to go lefty-righty as much as possible.

Posted by: marathoner | June 10, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I think Sunderland has it right - Dunn has power, and with Zimmerman & Willingham behind him, has to be pitched to.

With all three of those guys (RZim, Dunn, & Willingham) seeing & hitting the ball well, they're almost interchangable in the 3-5 slots.

Posted by: BinM | June 10, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman is so smart with his double switches and righty lefty matchups. W T F!!
Way to sacrifice Gonzo, who is only 100 times better a hitter than freakin Willie Harris so he could have Harris bat against a righty. Cause I'm sure Gonzo can't hit righties at all right? Willie Harris stinks and Gonzo can hit. SO lets have harris up in that spot. What an idiot.
If you wanna show off then bring Harris up have them bring in a lefty and switch to Gonzo so everyone can see what a genius you are.
If we lose this game its on the genius Riggleman. What a bonehead move.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 10, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn sucks. Move him down in the lineup.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 10, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Seriously is Riggleman brain dead. He had one decision to make in this game and what did he do, he decoyed his best hitting PH for his worst. How'd that work out?!!

Posted by: dovelevine | June 10, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman is to Harris what Acta was to Kearns. Man he can't let go. Sad. And it's killin us.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 10, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree dovelevine. Willie Harris doesn't have it this year, while Gonzo definitely does. Willie did at least hit a line drive this time instead of striking out, but that's not going to do it.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 10, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

@dovelevine:

Lighten up, Francis.

Posted by: BinM | June 10, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Gonzo is our must underutilized weapon by far. He has been money defensively and at the dish all year. He needs more PT, I don't know why Riggs won't get him in there more often. I understand we have a glut of MI but the guy is playing his butt off.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 10, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

the bonehead move there was getting caught off second by breaking the wrong way. the pinchhitter made good contact nearly up the middle, just right at somebody. Not Riggleman's fault there.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 10, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

“Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious.”

Chuang Tzu

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 10, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Clip for the save?

Posted by: marathoner | June 10, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Morse is poised to take Willie's place as uber utility man. I like Willie, but he isn't getting it done.

Posted by: p-man | June 10, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I love beatin' up the Pirates. Get out the brooms!

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

Sweep.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 10, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

How SWEEP it is!

Posted by: bertbkatz | June 10, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Now truth be told their was a ton of you killing Gonzo when he made this team out of spring training questioning the wisdom of Riggleman and Rizzo and last year same thing about Gonzalez and Anderson Hernandez so i don't want to here all this johnny-come-lately praise for Gonzo and another thing what's with the Harris bashing? like any other major leaguer Harris needs p.t.(plate time) to be effective one of the hardest thing's to do is to come into a game cold and face a pitcher throwing serious gas(90's) with the pressure to get a hit so ease up on Willie.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 10, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Dargregmag,

You make a good point about Harris and Gonzalez. Gonzo has a great BA, but has one RBI. Willie is batting well below the Mendoza line, but has driven in double digit runs. Gonzo is more valuable in the field, but is he used enough to justify being used over Willie? If a new RF is brought in, who will be the one to go?

Posted by: p-man | June 10, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Sweep, sweep, the memories you gave to me.

As Michael Elvis Moore put it tonight: Thank you. Thank you very much. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 10, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is Morse betta be the DH tomorrow and not Harris. BTW all Riggleman did was mention Morse gettin doubled off 2nd and nothing about his insurance bomb to ctr which saved their arses. Pretty lame by Riggs. Protect Harris at all costs please.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 10, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Cleveland's Kerry Wood(plus 7 era) trying to close out Red Sox in the ninth 6-5 lead, hits JD Drew with a pitch on an(0-2 count) and then BOOOM!!!! Adrian Beltre hits a two run bomb to put the Sox ahead 7-6. Tribe have runners on 2nd/3rd no outs w/Austin Kearns at the plate with a chance to win it in the bttm.of ninth,Kearns walks to load the bases next two hitters(k/fp/2) Russell Branyan singles(texas leaguer) to win it for the Tribe 8-7.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 10, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine, instead of frothing at the mouth about what a terrible manager Riggleman is, maybe you should look up the stat showing what team has made the biggest improvement in wins this year.

BTW, weren't you one of those guys yelling for the Nats to dump Dunn? You know, the guy with three homers and five ribbies in three games?

I bet you'll be ready to dump Strasburg if he only strikes out 12 next start...

Posted by: baltova1 | June 10, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

>>BTW, weren't you one of those guys yelling for the Nats to dump Dunn? You know, the guy with three homers and five ribbies in three games?

Wow some1 almost remembers one of my posts. I'm honored. But you got it wrong. What I said was, move him up in the lineup to get more at bats. Glad to see Mr Adam is coming out of his funk. He's definitely been zoned in these last few games.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 10, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

BTW I want to be real clear about the PH episode. For all you Willie Harris freaks out there, if you want Harris up there then (which I don't) then fine. Put him up there to PH. But don't burn a good player just so you can show you can substitute your righty lefty matchup. If Harris had come to the plate originally, the Bucs would've brought in the same pitcher. Stop this overmanaging. And stop with all these switches. All it does is burn players for no good reason. And then if the game goes extras, you're left with no extra players and Guzman in RF. And we know how that movie ends.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 10, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

You know Acta would like nothing better than to sweep the Nats this weekend.Riggleman needs to have em ready to play no need to go into "Cleland" over confident gonna need to score some runs and don't get caught up in the SS hype just another game with our pitcher in the rotation play smart fundamental baseball, prediction; Nyjer will have a big weekend.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 10, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game. Very interesting developments. Morse showed he can hit hard-throwing righthanders, Bernadina showed he can play CF at least as well as Nyjer, and Clip showed he can spell Capps as the closer when needed.

My impression was Nyjer misplayed the bloop in front of him in the 9th inning (first step or two back). Did Dibs or Carpenter pick up on that? Would be interested in hearing Rigs' comments on how OF playing time will be split. My fear is that he's still seeing Nyjer as he was last year and not the 2010 version of Nyjer, who I don't is really helping us much now.
And I'm a big Guzzie supporter, but he's clearly cooling off fast now; Kennedy should get some starts at 2B against righties.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 10, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Willie Harris is one of my least favorite Nats right now. He has made some great plays and gotten some big hits... but those were rather isolated events... overall, he is just not that good and getting worse... and if they had any other left handed pinch hitting option off the bench, I'd say let him go...

Not that Alberto is a terribly interesting option as a pinch hitter either... but, he has done well in his limited playing time and he can play some D in the infield...

What I would be more interested in seeing at this point is Michael "Mike" Morse getting some regular at bats here and see what he can do... he raked in AAA last year, he is a career .295 hitter in the majors in limited ABs (373 ABs)... why not let him play some more RF with Bernadina in center, let Nyger get (pleny of) more off days... we can definitely use another guy in the lineup that can pop the ball out of the park... seems like with the DH being available these next 6 games, it is time to see what Morse can do, and if he hits, they should stick with him in RF...

Agreed, please don't waste DH at bats on Willie Harris, we know what he can do... give him regular ABs and he'll hit .235 with 8 homers, yay... and we can't keep going with Guzman (0 HRs), Morgan (0 HRs), Pudge (1 HR) and Bernadina (2 HRs) in the same lineup... let's see if Morse can add some power to this lineup on a regular basis

Posted by: Ghost7 | June 11, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

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