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Game 68 discussion thread: Nationals vs. White Sox

The mania around Stephen Strasburg, for the first time, is showing signs of subsiding. There are only two national writers - Barry Bloom of MLB.com and Mel Antonen of USA Today - here tonight, exponentially fewer than 10 days ago when Strasburg made his debut. As of yesterday afternoon, Nationals Park had not sold out. The crowd hovering over the bullpen as Strasburg warms up is half as thick as 10 days ago. The dominant talk pregame was Jordan Zimmermann showing up. It will be televised nationally, but it feels basically like a normal game with more people in the stands.

That will probably change once the game starts. Several Nationals have acknowledged the effect Strasburg on the mound and a full stadium has on the team. Even Jason Marquis, who watched Strasburg's debut from New York, could sense the difference.

"It's definitely nice to see the stadium full, feel the energy," Marquis said. "I didn't come down for his opening game, but you could feel the energy through the TV. If you can feel it through the TV, it's got to be pretty impressive. It almost had that feel of like a playoff, World Series type game. The more that happens, I think the team feeds off it a lot better."

One other StrasNote to pass along: Ivan Rodriguez has been his catcher for his first two starts. Manager Jim Riggleman has mapped his catcher's rotation, and for either his next June 23 or his start 28 in Atlanta, Wil Nieves will catch Strasburg.

Otherwise, enjoy Strasburg Part III. Dave Sheinin will chat about the game all night. You can also talk about it right here as the Nats try to break an ugly 1-5 swoon.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 18, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Ladies & Gentlemen: Please turn off your electronic devices, and fasten your seatbelts, as we are preparing for takeoff.

Posted by: BinM | June 18, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand that it's the first inning and I already am hearing Carpenter and Dibble complaining about balls and strikes. Someone at MASN really needs to tell them to cut this out.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 18, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The change-up that rung Konerko up was just filthy.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 18, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I've become pretty patient with MASN, but please stop showing us f-ing Baltimore ads!

Posted by: Kev29 | June 18, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

So, um, they are going to score at least one run right? Stephen can't do everything.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 18, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

We make every opposing pitcher look like Cy Young the last couple weeks.

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | June 18, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

WHERE THEFLUCK IS THE OFFENSE!!!!!!!

Posted by: M20832 | June 18, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't mind seeing Jim get thrown out of the game there...maybe help energize this incredibly pathetic offense.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 18, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Alright drive him in hammer and put stephen in line for the W!!

Posted by: amorris525 | June 18, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Ok at least he won't take the loss.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 18, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Bottom of the ninth. Will they be able to do it?

Posted by: M20832 | June 18, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Allrighty, we've GOT to have the top of our order come through...

Posted by: HotNats | June 18, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Sigh.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 18, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Don’t know if anyone heard the 1 hour radio interview with Stan Kasten on WTOP this morning, but wow it was ANYTHING BUT A SOFTBALL INTERVIEW!!! I found it absolutely riveting! http://www.wtop.com/?sid=611202&nid=524

Posted by: PNatsFan | June 18, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

This is beyond a slump. The Nats have won about a third of their games the past month. Like last year, they found a way to lose a winnable game. I realize they aren't the same team they were last year, but right now they're playing like it. I'm baffled as to why they continue to make mediocre pitchers look good. I don't know if there's anyone other than the Pirates playing worse right now. It's like the team needs a shrink, because they don't seem to be right mentally. Hopefully they have another 20-15 streak in them this year, or we're looking at less than 70 wins.

Posted by: p-man | June 18, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

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