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Game 71 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Royals

The Nationals are at what feels like a crucial juncture in their season. In their first 35 games, they went an encouraging 20-15, reaching their high-water mark. In their second set of 35 games, they went 11-24, reaching their worst record of the year with six straight losses. The delineation is that clear.

The Nationals will start their third 35-game stretch of 2010 tonight, trying to snap that six-game losing streak. The Nationals will face the Royals for three games at home tonight and then the Orioles in Baltimore for three games. That's an opportunity to right their season. Then again, "they may be looking at us as an opportunity," Manager Jim Riggleman said with a chuckle.

On paper, the Nationals certainly have the pitching edge, with Livan Hernandez going against Bruce "He's Still In The League?" Chen. But that means nothing once the game starts. Talk about it right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 21, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
 
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Comments

How long is nyjer's leash?

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Morgan picked off again. He has no baseball instincts at all.
Oh, BTW, no catcher in MLB has given up as many stolen bases as KC's Jason Kendall. If Morgan can't just steal againt him, he's got no business being at / near the top of the batting order.

Nyjer's leash is apparently about 85' long, cause he never quite makes it to second base in time.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 21, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Nyjer is just terrible. Not sure who you can put in the leadoff spot, but you gotta sit him down. I'm afraid that little stretch last year was as good as it gets for him. He should be gone after this season thank God.

Posted by: bendersx6 | June 21, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

From Adam's Twitter:

AdamKilgoreWP Nyjer Morgan has been caught stealing 11 times, most in the majors. His substandard .310 OBP doesn't take into account those outs.

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Srsly, I wonder about his eyesight. Either that, or the office of the commissioner has to OK a Ritalin Rx.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 21, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-groan.....Nyjer...you spend the summer with Elijah picking up base running tips? So hard to reconcile the player we see now with the one we saw last year...
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman will stay with nyjer until rizzo sends him out

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

.274, if you're wondering
***************************

From Adam's Twitter:

AdamKilgoreWP Nyjer Morgan has been caught stealing 11 times, most in the majors. His substandard .310 OBP doesn't take into account those outs.

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 7:33 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 21, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Bernie in cf; morse in rf; morgan to pine

Managing the nats is so easy that even a caveman can do it -- except we have riggleman

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Expect we'll see Willie PHing for Morse next time up; we gotta get him hot! And in the meantime risk Morse going cold.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | June 21, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow Morse! Trying to get a ball to Johnny and ... Phil. OK, we gotta get him more ABs and Nyjer (I love ya bro, but you gotta clear your head) has to sit.

Morse has been everything you can ask this season, and Nyjer's playing like the player Pittsburgh gave up last year...

Posted by: mo_dc | June 21, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Well played, Swanni...I'm assuming the post is on the heels of the Zman commercial....and much as I wanna be in Nyjers corner, I dunno....harder and harder not to go with your OF, too> Of course, maybe both Rog and Michael are doing what Nyjer did here last year. Sure hope not...heck, I sure hope that the Nyjer who just made that catch comes back ....
Dang! I seem to be addicted to this site today (couldn't make the game...last minute "stuff")
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

from someone stuck on the west coast who can't watch the games -- is Nyjer still trying to steal feet-first like he was learning in spring training or has he gone back to head-first?

Posted by: mjl37 | June 21, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

He goes in head first almost all the time. Even saw him do it about a month ago when he was / should have been trying to break up a double play. He had no shot at being safe, but he dives in head first rather than go in hard feet first to disrupt the throw to first.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 21, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Head first but it hasn't mattered; by the way, it's the only time he uses his head

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

To Nyjer's credit, he did just go in feet first, hard and fast, to try and break up the double play.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 21, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Also Carpy got it wrong on guillen -- nats didn't resign him after 2006 season

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Great, now Livan...

Posted by: baltova1 | June 21, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

If we are going to salvage Morgan them someone has to come in and coach him, teach him how to steal bases when you lose a step

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 21, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Wow!Too bad the Nats aren't as hot as you are, Swanni!Generally I'm not here for the comedy (I know...the Nats) but you're rolling! Keep 'em coming!
Go Nats!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

>Riggleman will stay with nyjer until rizzo sends him out

Posted by: swanni

That's the problem, he's rizzo's boy. If they sat him down, he wouldn't look like a genius in making that trade. It's under 'all the things they've done to improve the team now go buy tickets' category. This front office is so full of it. I think it's a prerequisite.

Posted by: Brue | June 21, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I know its Monday and its hot and the Nats stink, but that's a pretty lousy crowd.

Also Livo has problems wouldnt be surprised if he's DL bound soon.

Posted by: bendersx6 | June 21, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-well, at least we're not striking out, right? Two hits off of...who ever. Maybe we shoulda had Lannan pitch a game against his teammates if he needs his confidence boosted!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Masn needs to put both the lannan and the nyjer spots on the shelf

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Winners never blame the umpires

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Winners never blame the umpires

Posted by: swanni

That's because they are winning

Posted by: CBinDC | June 21, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking 14-15k in the crowd tonight? Yeah, it's a Monday night and warm and the Royals... School's out and I'm thinking that before the recent skid this would've had a few more butts in the seats!

Zimm with another dandy play on the line...

Posted by: mo_dc | June 21, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is Riggleman talking about? He's starting to make excuses like Acta. 'Our guys don't think they're strikes'. That's just plain old dumb.

Posted by: Brue | June 21, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The man is 30 years old, and "beats to his own drummer" as Mike Ditka used to say. He ain't gonna learn a whole lot more baseball.
****************
If we are going to salvage Morgan them someone has to come in and coach him, teach him how to steal bases when you lose a step
Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 21, 2010 8:05 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 21, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Bruce Chen? Really?....And the Royals? We've all read Posnanskis' lamentations about them...the Royals? Really?
I mean. is the A.L. THAT much better?
C'mon, guys....been more passion on this blog, it seems...
Go Hammer!!
Go Nats...

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall riggleman making excuses last year; this year it's his response of choice to almost every issue

Posted by: swanni | June 21, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-you know...mebbe we could trade for Chen...or pick him up in the off season. At least Livo's holding up his end...
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Bruce Chen, yet another scrap heap pitcher we make look like Cy Young.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 21, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

As long as we're on a slow part here... I seem to recall


NEVERMIND.
GUZMAN!!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 21, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-yup, SC. And man...when Guzzie is not hitting...WTF! I gotta try that again...
Go Nats!!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Livo may be a junkballer but he at least keeps us close and in the game almost every time. And usually doesn't overstress the bullpen.

Posted by: marathoner | June 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Desmond has twice done a perfect job blocking the base. Very impressive.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | June 21, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Great bounce-back start by Livo. The value of a veteran mindset...

We really need to sign Cliff Lee in the offseason, he's going to the highest bidder, no reason we can't offer $1 more than the next team. Considering the absolute bargain we got with Strasburg (6 years - $15mil for a legit ace... can't beat that) and the revenue he's bringing to the team, he is paying for himself. We essentially have NO money tied up to our rotation.

I don't really care about Crawford or Werth, I just know we need to sign Lee.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 21, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

So, where was I? Oh, yeah. Where are all the posters who insisted Lannan would get six more starts?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 21, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, what does Morse have to do to get a job around here?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 21, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@sec3mysofa,
"Honestly, what does Morse have to do to get a job around here?"

I think I've been saying that about Morse and JD Martin for a long, long time now.

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Guzman batting left handed now ... He really sucks from this side while, as we saw, is like Rogers Hornsby from the righthand side.

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Yep that was me ... with the DeltNat monicker.

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Will Capps blow another save and continue the "streak"?

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Bruce Chen looking good against the Nats...

@DelNat:
The problem, my friend, is that you keep including JD Martin in that statement...
------
@sec3mysofa,
"Honestly, what does Morse have to do to get a job around here?"

I think I've been saying that about Morse and JD Martin for a long, long time now.

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | June 21, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Bruce Chen looking good against the Nats...

@DelNat:
The problem, my friend, is that you keep including JD Martin in that statement...
------
@sec3mysofa,
"Honestly, what does Morse have to do to get a job around here?"

I think I've been saying that about Morse and JD Martin for a long, long time now.

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | June 21, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

@mo_dc: "The problem, my friend, is that you keep including JD Martin in that statement..."

You aren't watching are you? He has walked 1 guy and struck out 19 batters. That is actually statistically better than Strasburg dude.

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

BTW, its periculum ... DeltNat is a cookie in my browser that won't die.

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Bring in Peralta or Storen .. please????

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Haha - I assumed it was Periculum...

Dude, when JD Martin makes the All-Star team, you better believe I will be the first to buy you many many beers.

In fact, if JD Martin ever makes 20 MLB starts in a a season, I'll buy you a beer.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 21, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you pitching. I can hear the fireworks from my condo in Rosslyn. Nice to hear them a few times tonight.

Posted by: marathoner | June 21, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Whew...looked like we got a few calls there in the 9th...I'll take it! Good to wash off the stink of a 6-game losing streak and look ahead to a brighter summer. Well done by the pitching staff tonight.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | June 21, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

"In fact, if JD Martin ever makes 20 MLB starts in a a season, I'll buy you a beer."

Sounds pretty silly to me dude? How MANY NATS pitchers HAVE actually MADE 20 starts in a season? Huh?

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Right now Martin is the #3 starter, based on his stats, on this team. He gets better after every game, and season. Improving from last year. Even Harlan Chico predicted that JD Martin would be a surprising factor for this team before he left.

Martin is proving all his doubters wrong ... just as Morse is.

Hah!!!

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

This should be an enjoyable series. Two well-matched [low-budget, small-market] teams. Good, crisp baseball.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 21, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Thank God the Mad Capper found himself ...

Clip 'n Save is still there ... phewwwww ....

Oh, meant to say Chico Harlan ...

Posted by: DeltNat | June 21, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Wheee-uwwww. FWIW-Martin just gets it done...pretty much has where ever he's pitched for us. I think the suspicion is that we have so many other guys who seem to be the same pitcher.....but J.D.'s got....somethin', ya know? I'd even venture that at times, Stammen seems to be a bit more than he seems. But those 1st innibg Garret Mock imitations....well, I'm withdrawing from the debates for the rest of the evening. We WON!!! I just might sleep tonight!.....I know....pitiful, huh?
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Madd Capps! 21st league-leading save. Ladies and gentlemen, the bourbon and Maalox are on me tonight. Barkeep, refill the glasses of my friends!

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | June 21, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-'cept I gotta give a shout to Cap-the power behind the throne! And nicely played last post! (Uh-oh-are those the moving trucks I hear?)
Keep it up, gang!!! Soon, the Nats'll be as much fun to watch as to read your posts about! Ha!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 21, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I may have been the only person watching in Kansas rooting for our Nats. Nothing better to break a 6-game slide than playing three agains the Royals. Lets get tomorrow's game and have Jezzus ready for the sweep. We can right this ship over the next five games if they play like they should.

NatsFaninKC

Posted by: mastroj | June 21, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

And Adam Dunn is still .000 with 2 outs and RISP. Capps was really great tonight - lots of movement on his fastball - but doesn't need to be leading the NL in saves. Dunn seems like a great guy and has done admirably at 1st but the #4 guy has to be the guy that can perform under pressure. We've got guys pitching around Zimmy to get to our guy.

Posted by: natslifer | June 21, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, this aspect of the game doesn't seem to have been covered here tonight, so if I may - PUDGE!! Yeah, you with the crazy throwing arm. Niiiice...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 21, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Nats make Bruce Chen look like Roy Halliday. They get 4 hits, if they didn;t get the two homeruns they lose 1-0 and Chen tosses a 2 hitter. Of course it didn't happen but then again this is the KC Royals we are talking about. So in the big scheme of things I'd say unless they pull off 5 more wins over the next week its gonna be a permenent stay in the basement for the final 90 games.

Sorry but Dibbs said it best tonight when he voiced his frustration with all of the whiners regarding Lannens departure. Rob speak, "your in the bigs to get outs, that what they pay you for, doesn't matter if you a nice guy, good with the fans etc., your job is to get outs and give your team the best opportunity to win games". Obviously John Lannen couldn't get the outs and now he is on his way out. Love Gentlemen Jims rational during his pre-game presser. No Jim, Lannen is no Cliff Lee and probably won't ever be. The object of the games is to win. If being a nice guy or a loyal team guy is your reason for being a John Lannen fan this organization is doomed.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 21, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Actually natslifer, Adam did get his first hit with 2 outs and RISP the other day which makes him have a .036 average.

Posted by: amorris525 | June 21, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@Periculum, from previous post
Dude you lost me when you said " promise, I didn't read Periculum's post before I posted mine."
Did you need a smiley face to realize that was meant partly in jest? I posted something that landed just after your post and basically made the same points you did. Sheesh, remind me never to agree with you ever again! Here, Peric, I have a warm plate of bile for you. Your third today, I believe?

Posted by: bertbkatz | June 21, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Late to the game on this, I know, but I'm glad to see Rizzo's not afraid to pull the trigger on a move that needed to be made, re: Lannen.

I hope I get to see him at Trenton July 1-4. If I talk to him, I'll let you know. And I wish him a speedy return to the Nats.

Posted by: nats24 | June 22, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"Sheesh, remind me never to agree with you ever again! Here, Peric, I have a warm plate of bile for you. Your third today, I believe?"

Sorry about that .... call it a wonderful plate of fresh VINDICATION! I am the one who said Morse tore up 2 AAA leagues, the PCL and the International (Syracuse) with stats that were as good as Jason Heyward's (the #1 prospect pre-Stras) last year and Heyward's were almost entirely in AA!

Even Dibble referred to Morse as "Hammer" in passing. And that is what he looks like; another "Hammer" as opposed to a "Heyward", except with a much better arm who can potentially play every infield position (except catcher) and the outfield.

And only Chico Harlan and I said that JD Martin would be a factor on this team this year. All the nay sayers on this stupid blog. And they say I am negative. Too old to be prospects. Lifetime AAAA. We'll see boyz.

And yeah you self-appointed baseball brainiacs, "too old" Trevor Holder, watch for him. He is coming your way. HAHHH!

Posted by: periculum | June 22, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

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