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Game 67 discussion thread: Nationals at Tigers

Going strictly on this year's stats, the Nationals are starting their most potent outfield combination today -- Josh Willingham in left, Roger Bernadina in center, Mike Morse in right. It's premature to assume this will become the regular, everyday outfield, but for today Manager Jim Riggleman feels it gives the Nationals the best chance to win.

"Morse and Bernadina have been swinging the bat so well," Riggleman said. "I'm just trying to keep them in there. They've really played well throughout the series. Just trying to win a ballgame. Just trying to put the best lineup I can out there with the last day of the DH."

With rookie Luis Atilano going for his sixth win, the Nationals will face Jeremy Bonderman. Figuring plenty of you are struck at work, I'll try to provide updates throughout the game. As always, talk about the game right here.

3:49: That's the ballgame. Nats lose, 8-3, ending a ruinous road trip at 1-5 (0-5 sans Strasburg) and dropping to a season-worst five games below .500. Adam Dunn homered and drove in a run with an RBI single. He's been hot, but it hasn't mattered much. In a few moments, an online, short game story will be up on the Post's main sports page, if you want to relive more of the grim details.

3:00: The Nationals trail 7-1 now. Ian Desmond doubled scored on an infield single from Guzman in the top of the sixth. The Tigers pretty much sealed it with a two-out rally in the bottom half of the inning. A double by Rayburn and three straight singles led to two runs against the Doug Slaten. The Nats, it seems, are about to drop five games below .500 for the first time this season.

2:29: Drew Storen allowed an inherited runner to score for the first time this season, snapping a 12-for-12 streak, when Guillen singled to center. The Nats trail 5-0.

2:25: The Tigers have knocked out Atilano and they have a 4-0 lead. After Santiago and Ordonez singled, Cabrera smoked a double off the center field fence, scoring two runs. Atilano intentionally walked Boesch. There are two on with one out as Drew Storen replaces Atilano.

2:13: Bonderman still cruisining, and the Nats aren't even making hard outs any more. Willingha, struck out, Morse flied reasonably deep to center and Kennedy grounded weakly to short. Nats have one baserunner through five.

2:07: A nice rocking-chair inning for Atilano. A pop and two groundouts. He's thrown 66 pitches through four. Nats down 2-0.

2:00: Ryan Zimmerman gave the Nats their first baserunner after Bonderman struck out Guzman and Bernadina. He had retired the first 11 and struck out the last four. Dunn drove another deep fly to the warning track, this time about 415 feet to center, before it fell into Kelly's glove. Nats down 2-0.

1:52: Luis Atilano survived a couple scares in the third. First Miguel Cabrera tanked a fly ball to the warning track, where Morse made the grab with his back at the fence. With two outs, he had two men on thanks to a pair of singles. But Guillen tapped back to him, and Atilano kept the Nats down 2-0.

1:42: Nine up, nine down for the Nats. Bonderman struck out Ian Desmond and Wil Nieves to end the inning after Adam Kennedy lined to right. Tigers up 2-0 after 2 1/2.

1:34: Atilano got out of the inning with a couple fly balls.

1:32: Atilano couldn't escape trouble in the second. Willingham slammed into the wall to rob a double by Boesch to start the inning. Carlos Guillen and Inge ripped consecutive singles, and Alex Avila smashed a double off the left-center wall. The Nats are down 2-0 with Avila on second, one out in the second.

1:22: The Nats kept hitting the ball hard to no avail. Adam Dunn crunched a deep fly to left, but Brennan Boesch made the catch, reaching up with his heels to the fence. Josh Willingham hit a ball hard at Kelly. Michael Morse grounded out to third. 0-0, mid 2.

1:18: Nice job by Luis Atilano getting out of a jam. Ryan Raburn singled and Ramon Santiago reached when Atilano made an awkward throwing error on his sac bunt. Facing the heart of the Tigers lineup, Atilano induced a 6-4-3 double play from Magglio Ordonez and struck out Miguel Cabrera swinging on a 92-mph fastball.

1:10: Cristian Guzman struck out, which is becoming a common occurence; he's 5 for his last 27 with eight Ks. Roger Bernadina smoked a liner to right-center, but Don Kelly made a great catch while smashing into the wall. Kelly also took away a possible from double from Ryan Zimmerman, making a catch in deep center while drifting back. The Nats hit Bonderman hard in the first. We'll see if that continues and starts to pay off. Here's come Luis Atilano.

Also, Kenny Loggins sang the anthem and Braylon Edwards threw out the first pitch. Surely they had a lot to talk about on the field pregame.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 17, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Stephen Strasburg ready for Chapter 3
Next: White Sox pitchers against the Nationals


"Metric system? BWAHAHAHAHAH. Speak English Padre. The Nats have committed more errors than any other team in the Majors. Period. If that makes them still better than last year....well enjoy that."

Someone needs to respond to this with the boilerplate discussion of the relative worthlessness of the "error" statistic, but I've tried and failed too many times.

Posted by: Section506 | June 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

No runs, one hit, two errors. Damn. Acta ball is BACK!

Posted by: trezmartin | June 17, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Following along on the Posts' play by play read...

Is it as painful to watch as it is to read?

Posted by: TimDz | June 17, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

506: It would likely fall on deaf ears. I did preface the comment with a doubt that I'd be able to convince him otherwise.

Posted by: BinM | June 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it will stay this bad all year, but right now we may just be looking at the worst team in baseball. I've got tickets for Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday; hopefully they'll play like a major league team again then.

Posted by: p-man | June 17, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Terrible road trip. What a difference a week makes.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we're the worst team in baseball by any stretch. What I do think is that a lot of people talked about the Tigers and Nationals being similar ball clubs, and this proves we are not there yet.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Following on gameday at work during a conference call.




Posted by: summerandwinter | June 17, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Just like Livo last night, they had Storen throw 6 straight pitches in the same area at the same velocity. The Gameday said that Guillen doesn't like 4 seam fast balls so they must be going with that. Not mixing anything else in. Who is calling these pitches?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I mean that they are probably playing worse than any other team the past two series (like the Phillies were earlier). We're looking at a team that has won about a third of its games since the 20-15 start. I'm hoping the "real" Nats are somewhere in between.

Posted by: p-man | June 17, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Down here in the A-T-L the Braves had a nine game losing streak early on and righted the ship but they have better pitching then we do and don't beat themselves i was hoping for a win today but unless Bonderman becomes unglued put another L in the loss column for the Nats.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 17, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm also pretty sure it won't stay this bad all year. Marquis, Olsen, and Wang should all be back in the rotation starting not too long after the break, right? Then, the rotation not only won't suck, but will actually be one of the better ones in the majors.

Posted by: zaph | June 17, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm not really expecting Marquis, Olsen, or Wang to be back anywere near the break. I've wondered if after roster expansion they could use a six-man rotation with Strasburg and Zimmermann limited to 50 pitches each and pitching the same games. Has anything like this ever been done over a period of time that long?

Posted by: p-man | June 17, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Marquis, Olsen, and Wang: You are lucky if one of them returns and succees. But you do have Detwiler coming.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, we got one back.

At least we didn't strand a runner on 3rd with no outs.

Glass half-full and all that ;)

Go Nats!!

Posted by: summerandwinter | June 17, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

What a joke, they make Bonderman look like Bob Gibson, Verlander look like Thom Seaver, Scherzer look like Steve Carlton.

Sort of get the picture folks...., while the LernerStank trot out Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp the Tigers have some resemblence to ML pitchers. Thats okay becuase the LernerStank knows that come Friday night the stands will be filled and they will continue to tell you to be patient we have "a plan". Yeah right!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I can't decide if the Tiger's lineup is relentless or the Nationals pitcher are gutless.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats don't get some new and Major League starting pitchers pronto, this team is gonna pack it up and disappear. If you don't believe it, just look at the Os.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse


Its probably a little of both with a greater emphasis on "clueless". BTW after today they have 9 games against the dregs of the AL, if they can't pull off at least 7 W's this season is O-V-E-R!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 17, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

At least the O's are on pace to lose 118 this year. Of course, that's subject to change after next weekend...

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | June 17, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Just checking score occasionally while at work.

What's most depressing is that this is exactly what I expected today.

C'mon guys. Surprise me.

Posted by: KenNat | June 17, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I'd be satisfied with 5-6 wins during the next 3 series. I don't see them winning more than 1 against the Sox, but 2 out of 3 against the Royals and O's is a possibility. If the starting pitching doesn't get better, though, it's going to stay ugly.

Posted by: p-man | June 17, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Things are never as good or bad as them seem.

Posted by: Tom8 | June 17, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

With each win they get closer to respectability, with each loss they get closer to a high draft pick

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Really, April and May was the worst thing that could happen to the fanbase. It made us think that we could do the impossible and improve by 50 games or something.

If the Nats improve even 20 games over the course of the season, we need to realize it is a huge milestone on the way to greatness.

Posted by: Section506 | June 17, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Good call Section 506. And remember, they have a strong home record. So the next week should be better. And with more home games in the rest of the season, some of the wins should return. I am just really frustrated that Marquis was a bust.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

First out of the 8th is Nieves out at home. Not a force.

What was he thinking?!?

Must be all that Tony Vega music.

Anyone see the play?


Posted by: summerandwinter | June 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Great at bat by Willingham. Oh well.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman said. "Just trying to win a ballgame. Just trying to put the best lineup I can out there with the last day of the DH."

Geez. Why couldn't he have figured this out on the FIRST day of the DH? Is it really that hard?

Posted by: nunof1 | June 17, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Willingham is a gem. Oh well, indeed.

Posted by: summerandwinter | June 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The Tigers are piling up the hits I think they are closing in on 40 for three games. They plastered the Nats pitching today for 19.

Mr. Rizzo please find some Major League arms!

Funny turn of events, FOX gets J>D> Martin on Saturday, they might as well televised a AAA game!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 17, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Alright, Willie Harris is up. Why am I still following this?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 17, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think the Nats should be able to protest this game on the grounds of having to listen to Kenny Loggins, but that's just me.

506 was correct in his analysis. We all got a little Potomac Fever with the hot start and Jesus on the way. Criticize Riggleman all you want (and the Lerners, if you must), but they're still short a couple of decent starting pitchers. Remember they expected Detwiler, Olsen and Marquis to be in the rotation.

I expect two of those guys to be back and pitching well in about three weeks to a month. The problems are, nobody knows which two and things could get ugly until they get here.

I still think this team will win 75 games or so and in the end I'll take it.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 17, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

We've got Jesus to help the rotation, but we could use a few Apostles too.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 17, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Just don't bring in John the Baptist, 'cause you know they're gonna call for his head if things go bad...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 17, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Just don't bring in John the Baptist, 'cause you know they're gonna call for his head if things go bad...

And we have a winner. LOL

Posted by: summerandwinter | June 17, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Okay, let's all take a collective breath i was off today so i got to see the entire hit and run. This team has a ways to go to be a contender i'm more than a little miffed at the number of errors almost on a daily basis i'm sure Riggleman drills these guy's still every game................... i was so sure we would sweep the tribe and come into motown on a high but Acta had his former team's number and beat our brain's in the first two games only the phenom saved us from being swept, well we're homeward bound and hopefully we can take out our fustration's on the pale hose. LET'S GO NAT'S!!!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | June 17, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Seconding POD ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 17, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Tough stretch of games, definitely need some sort of shake up in the line-up. Maybe they should think of moving Bernadina and Desmond to the one and two spot...

Posted by: bromisky | June 17, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

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