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Game 62 discussion thread: Nationals at Indians

The Nationals can back to .500 tonight with a victory and by continuing to pound teams with inferior records. They took care of business at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates with their first sweep of the season. They can continue that streak against the Indians, who own a feeble 23-36 record.

They'll have to start playing better on the road. The Nationals are 18-12 at Nationals Park but 12-19 on the road, sixth-worst in the majors. The struggling Indians represent a good opportunity to improve on that mark.

The first shot goes to Luis Atilano, trying for his fifth road win of the year, which would match John Lannan's Nationals rookie record. He'll face Jake Westbrook, who his 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA. Talk about it right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 11, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
 
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Comments

Should be 2-0, but great start nonetheless save for Nyjer.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 11, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Nyger's base stealing ability? There's the old adage "you can't steal first base" but Nyger doesn't seem to have found any base he can steal.

And does anybody know what number Willie Harris has to reach before he stops being the golden substitute? He's hitting .178. Is it .150? .100? Are we really going to keep running him out there when it begins with a zero? His BA has declined three years in a row. When is it no longer a slump and actually becomes a true indicator of his ability? Lots of talk about how to get Morse and Kennedy more ABs, how about giving the out machine Harris fewer?

Posted by: lesatcsc | June 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Ok I take back my great start comment.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 11, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Gee...with 2 outs, a bad call, an error and a 3-run homer and now we're losing. Surprise...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

But never fear, we've got Willie Harris leading off next inning in the 6-hole! What the heck is Riggs thinking???

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Adam Kennedy has really been a waste of space lately.

Posted by: CJArlington | June 11, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Why is Adam Kennedy even on the team? Does anyone seriously think AG could not do what he does?

Posted by: amo36 | June 11, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Hanging breaking ball to a power hitter,Luis is struggling and the Tribe hitters are line-driving us to death right now, need to hold em and come back.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 11, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris is still lousy.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Can somebody please tell the dugout that outs are actually one the most important and precious things in baseball...

Posted by: amo36 | June 11, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

So far it looks like Manny has done his scouting homework and is making Riggleman look like a minor leaguer,Nats running themselves out of potential big innings.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 11, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Kearns? Again? WTF???

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Darn you Kearns.

Can't wait til we get some real SP's back so Atilano can hit the bricks.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 11, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I am still glad Kearns/Acta is gone. And darned if I'm not convinced Kearns won't actually hit .300 and for power.

Posted by: CJArlington | June 11, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Can we have Kearns back? Mostly cause then I could take his jersey out of the goodwill pile!

Posted by: HenryStin | June 11, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

It's the Austin Kearns show! I feel good for the guy, liked him when he was here, but DANG! Would have been nice to see some of that last year.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | June 11, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Austin Kearns 4 and the Nationals 1! I would check his blood for PEDs right after the game. He basically increased his home run total by 1/3 tonight, how ridiculous is that!

Posted by: JohnWWW | June 11, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

...and of course he has to be jacked up playing against his old team.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 11, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Guess Kearns is making a bold statement. Hasn't benn hitting for power until tonight, of course. Could be comeback player of the year. Guess they could have resigned him after the release but after spending $8 mil for a horrific 2009 can't really blame the Nats for not wanting to give him any more money. My beef with Kearns is that he probably hid his injuries instead of getting fixed in time to help the Nats.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

When is Olsen coming back?

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Olsen should be back next week at worst.

I love how they put a graphic up of the "longest draughts w/out a world series win" and have the Orioles at #5 (1983). Then Carpenter mentions major league, Uecker, Milwaukee, etc. which wasn't on the list.

When did the Brewers win a world series? How about never?

Another nice erroneous graphic from MASN...from the crack stats guys

Posted by: CJArlington | June 11, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Gonzo/Harris debate last night, Dovelevine said:

"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."

I, too, was questioning the sanity of Riggleman's selecting of Harris to replace Gonzo when the RHP came in:

So here are more details on the matchups:

Gonzo: VS. LEFT: .421 VS. RIGHT: .214
Harris: VS. LEFT: .154 VS. RIGHT: .182

Small advantage to Gonzo here facing RHP.

BUT:

The Situational Batting Breakdown is also very interesting:

With RISP:
Gonzalez .200 (2/10, both singles, 1 RBI)
Harris .185 (3 HRs and 15 RBIs)

Harris: 1 RBI every 5 at bats
Gonzo: 1 RBI every 47 at bats (1 total)

Harris: 18 RBI, including 2/5 with 5 RBI's when bases loaded)
Gonzo: 1 RBI total

With bases loaded:
Harris 2/5 with 5 RBI's
Gonzo 0/2

And finally this surprising statistic I calculated:

# of at bats per RBI:

Willingham.....4.79 (187/39)
Harris..............5.06 (91/18)
Zimmerman....5.41 (184/34)
Dunn..............6.52 (215/33)
Desmond........6.29 (195/31)

[By the way, Desmond has an amazing B.A. with men on base - just the opposite of Gonzo.]

Posted by: gnatman | June 11, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Hope they walk Kearns the next AB, don't give him a chance to be compared to Reggie Jackson.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 11, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

A June 9 post on NJ said Olsen suffered a set-back and will play catch next Monday but is basically starting over again in rehabbing.

Posted by: marathoner | June 11, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Atilano can't keep the ball in the park tonight. I think he's the next one to exit the starting rotation.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Again we play a team on the road with a losing record(13 gms.under.500)just like the Stro's and we are treating them like the Yankees and the Tribe have the next to the lowest hr total and they are tagging Altilano like he's bp pitcher.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 11, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Atilano can't keep the ball in the park tonight. I think he's the next one to exit the starting rotation.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Atilano didn't pitch all that well, but he also has horrible luck - stupid errors, no support, etc...

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 11, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Hope this game shows Riggs what happens when you put out a AA lineup. Seriously, why is Harris always out there when you've got AG and Morse available? I really do think Willie must have pics that include a Nats higher-up and a barnyard animal.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

and that's all folks!

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

and that's all folks!

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I really do think Willie must have pics that include a Nats higher-up and a barnyard animal.
Posted by: thepostischeap
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yeah...wasn't funny the first time either. Read some of the posts on this thread (esp the post by gnatman)and you'll see why Willie is still in there.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | June 11, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Atilano sent down, but who would replace him? Olsen isn't coming back anytime soon. We probably just have to hope that most of the time he pitches well enough to keep the Nats in the game, which he obviously didn't tonight. He has such a small margin of error I can't see him ever being that successful. On the other hand, I would have said the same thing about Livo at the beginning of the season.

Posted by: p-man | June 11, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Forget about Harris, why is Tyler "The Torch" Walker still on the roster? Surely there is someone in Syracuse that can do better. He only comes in when we're behind anyway and puts the game out of reach. Bruney had fewer screwups before being DFA. He and Kennedy have been killing us.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 11, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain the couple seen over lefty batter's shoulder - the guy who keeps changing hats?

Posted by: mcljphillips | June 11, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll admit my remark was juvenile and uncalled for (I haven't read all of the previous posts, so I didn't realize someone else made a similar comment earlier). Still, as Willie is now 0-3 tonight, I don't feel that a sub-.180 hitter should be in major league starting lineup, much less batting sixth. Some of these other guys (Morse, Gonzalez) have really stepped up when they've been called upon and I'd like to see them get a chance to get a little bit of playing time, but it seems to always be Willie who's the first guy off the bench. What a way to suck the momentum out of coming off a series sweep. I'm sorry if I sound bitter, but I am really frustrated at some of these moves...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Frustration is understood. I've been a fan of this franchise since the early 80's...I understand. But Willie Harris is far from the reason that the Nats are losing this game. Based on past experience...I'd much rather have Willie Harris and his sub-200 ba that AG. Ag is having a good year as a bench guy, but aside from a decent he has done practically nothing.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | June 11, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

This is just one of those games where nothing has gone our way (until just now, as I write this, where their second baseman booted a potential double-play ball). I know Riggs has an opportunity to tinker with the lineup a little bit since he has the benefit of the DH. I actually prefer Pudge further down in the order, where he can give Hammer a little protection (it's no coincidence that he hasn't been on base tonight, with Willie hitting behind him). I also hope to see Morse in the lineup once or twice over the next five games. We'll see...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world, with a DH, is Morse not starting given how he has played? OF should be Hammer/Morse/Bernadina. Why is AK starting? If you want to get guys at bats, why Gonzo is sitting on the bench while AK, batting 50+ points lower gets too many ABs. Riggs has done a good job since Manny got canned, but he blew the lineup tonight. Here's hoping I'm proven to be dead wrong! Go Nats!

Posted by: Kolchak | June 11, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Zimm swung at the first pitch from a pitcher he's never faced and he grounds into a rally-killing DP. This definitely is not a night where things are going our way.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman's a great player, but I wonder what his average is with runners on base and the team behind. I'm going on my memory here rather than statistics, but I can remember several times this year he hasn't come through with bases loaded. If he could have gotten a hit the game would have gotten a lot more interesting. As it is, they seem completely flat. Hopefully they can get it together and take 2 out of 3. They can't keep losing to bad teams like the
Astros and Indians.

Posted by: p-man | June 11, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Just take one! what's the rush? Acta advance scout has done his homework on the Nats, got Zimm to go after the first pitch against someone Zimm has never seen before what's Riggleman thinking? this is where the manager tells his hitters just take one let see what he's got before we start hacking away.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 11, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Harris 0-4. If he's in the lineup tomorrow, I won't watch.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

"this is where the manager tells his hitters just take one let see what he's got before we start hacking away."

??? This isn't little league. Blaming Riggleman for Zimm swinging early is ridiculous.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | June 11, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Game over. The Fish overtake us for fourth place. The Phillies are getting creamed, so we missed a great opportunity to gain ground on them. Plus, we could've been back at .500, but now we're two under again.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 11, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Riggs: got to respect those vets ... but its possible Acta may want Harris in his clubhouse. Trade potential may exist ... hopefully this is why he was in the lineup

Posted by: periculum | June 11, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Although Riggleman seems justified by statistics for using Harris over Gonzalez as a pinch hitter facing RHPs, as I posted earlier, I do agree that Morse makes a lot more sense for designated hitter.

Riggleman surely is a puzzle on many of his moves, but I also admit that only with the Harris/Gonzo debate did I actually look for statistics.

As for Zimmerman's batting with runners on base, this information is easy to access on the web just googling Zimmerman RISP.

Posted by: gnatman | June 11, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

In response to p-man's observations with zimmer batting and bases loaded here are the stats:

RISP: .341 (15/44 with 2 doubles 2 HR)
RISP with 2 outs: 3.64 (8/22 2 doubles 2 HR)
Bases loaded: .250 (1/4 single)

Don't know about based loaded and team trailing.

Posted by: gnatman | June 11, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I know Zimmerman has a high BA with RISP, but I'm not sure he's done as well when the team's behind. Of course this could be one of these situations where you notice where he screws up, forgetting all the times he didn't. I did see he's 1 for 4 with bases loaded. Not good, but a small sample size. As far as Harris goes, his average is just too low. Still, this was one of those games where they looked bad most of the game. It may be the worst nine innings I've seen (or heard in this case) since the first game of the season. I wouldn't be surprised to see them come back and win the next two, though.

Posted by: p-man | June 11, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Um, attaboy Kearnsie?

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 11, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Heckuva job, Kearnsie. Can't wait to see you Sunday against Jesus.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | June 11, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Pudge hitting second, Dunn hitting third...sorry didn't get the lineup tonight at all....

Posted by: bromisky | June 11, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Once again NJ refers to an opponent as "feeble", just like "lowly" with the Astros. I need to remind you that the Indians lineup vs the Nats (just like the Astros) is not at all dissimilar to the Nats. The Indians are in rebuilding mode, but I dare you to find any huge difference between the 2. The Nats are nowhere near good enough to take any opponent lightly.

Posted by: bendersx6 | June 12, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

After last night's opener in Cleveland, two words come to mind.

Roy. Oswalt.

Marrero, Meyers and cash?

Bueller?... Bueller?....

Posted by: Drew8 | June 12, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Today's was a weid lineup, even if Pudge did get two hits in the two-hole. I, too, question Willie Harris starting over Morse.

But the negativity is alarming.

I just knew Kearns would burn the Nats. It alwsys happens. FLop did much the same in StL. Don't bad mouth Kearns here. It'll bring bad luck.

Let's take the next two from these guys. And please, not too many posts about how SS will blow them away. He's human.

Posted by: nats24 | June 12, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Love Desmond's success with RISP. He could be a guy, like Zimm, who thrives when the game is on the line. Very exciting times.

Posted by: markfromark | June 12, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree regarding SS. Seems some people think he's already Roy Halladay.

He's still a rookie and even great pitchers typically do not have a great first year.

I hope SS breaks the mold, but people may be setting themselves up for disappointment.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 12, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou116 | June 12, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

For whatever reason, Harris is just a wasted space on this roster right now, something the team cannot afford. Walker, well, long as he's pitching when we are behind then who cares. Willie is killing us... I love the guy but c'mon, he flat out stinks right now. Maxwell was basished for performing better then Willie... but, to be fair, Willie has some of the worst stats I've ever see.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 12, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Nats bats silent against lowly, feeble team! Wasn't this story line played out west already? Jake Westbrook is the next Roy Halliday! Austin Kearns the greatest batter since Babe Ruth!

Luis Atilano the next Craig Stammen! Willy Harris looks like the next 2009 Austin Kearns!

I have a faulty memory, but when Zimm was hurt and AG took over for him at third, didn't the Nats have a winning streak?

If SS doesn't get any run support on Sunday, will there be another 0-0 game going into the tenth inning?

Questions....questions. Guess they will be answered in good time. Sigh...

C'mon Nats! Get the Tribe today!! Oh wait, who's pitching? JD Martin?

Please baseball gods, throw some good fortune the Nats way!

GO NATS!!

Posted by: M20832 | June 12, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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