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Game 73 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Royals

It's afternoon edition of Strasmas today. Will there be any edge for Stephen Strasburg pitching in the late afternoon? The Nationals have played four home games this year that started at roughly 4:30 p.m. The Nationals are 2-2, those two losses coming in shutouts against Ubaldo Jimenez and Jake Peavy.

Overall, pitchers throwing in the late afternoon twilight at Nationals Park this year have a 3.21 ERA while allowing 69 hits in 70 innings. The league ERA at Nats Park this year overall is 3.75, half a run higher than late-afternoon ERA. So, do with that what you will.

Strasburg will be facing a Royals team that losing a lot but, surprisingly, has actually been a decenthitting club. They have 324 runs, eighth in the Amercian League. Their OPS is .743, also eighth. And their .280 batting average leads the AL. They have struck out fewer times than only the White Sox. Of course, Strasburg struck out 10 strikeouts in his last start.

Brian Bannister will oppose Strasburg and try to keep him from his third win. Dave Sheinin will be chatting all game long. You can also talk about it right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 23, 2010; 4:20 PM ET
 
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Next: Hard to find any faults with Stephen Strasburg

Comments

uhhhh is that 7ks already? I'm just getting over US soccer celebrations

Posted by: SKsDCtoNC | June 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

r u kidding me! riggleman should have pinch hit for SS with 2 outs and men on 2nd and 3rd. single scores 2. where r the brains?

Posted by: deputylefty | June 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

bullpen is mostly off today, so you don't necessarily have another four innings out there; it's still only the fifth, and only one run down; they're home; Strasburg was one for one at that point; what, like Willie Harris is such a big improvement?
Wherever the brains went, they didn't wind up in here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I am really getting tired of Umps screwing up calls - particularly when the call is so important such as a run scoring. Yes the Nats haven't hit well or scored when they should have (Willingham on 3rd), but that call on Bernadina was just terrible. MLB needs to look at having instant replay available on such pivotal plays.

Posted by: CountDemoney | June 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

what has Michael Morse done to infuriate Riggs so much that Willie Harris is pinch hitting in clutch situations and not him. Willie Harris .170 ba this season needs to stay on the bench.

Posted by: mossisoldbutstillgood | June 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Well not much discussion today - The Nats really aren't very good, but the pitching is certainly not to blame. I always thought their everyday lineup was just not strong, and I believe this is being borne out lately. SS pitched well when he had to, but I think he's due for a rough outing - batters are going to make contact.

Posted by: bendersx6 | June 23, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Was Mike Morse sick or something? How can Riggleman go to Willie Harris in that situation? Willie needs to go to Syracuse or Harrisburg to learn how to hit. I wouldn't bring him back up until he can hit at least .275 in the minors. Also, I think it might be time for another mid season trade for a center fielder.

Posted by: bobilly2 | June 23, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Was Mike Morse sick or something? How can Riggleman go to Willie Harris in that situation? Willie needs to go to Syracuse or Harrisburg to learn how to hit. I wouldn't bring him back up until he can hit at least .275 in the minors. Also, I think it might be time for another mid season trade for a center fielder.

Posted by: bobilly2 | June 23, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

They didn't deserve to win this one two very good oppourtunities to score with the ump blowing the obvious safe call on Bernadina, SS was very good again today yes the Royals hit him but that's what they do, but the "Kid" was good when he had to be, when this franchise sign's some clutch hitters then this team will win the close ones.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 23, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman needs to go!

Posted by: rich263 | June 23, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Rich263 -- I agree! And sooner than later

Posted by: swanni | June 23, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, how many one-run games can the Nats play in and lose? The possibilities seem endless. When every Nats batter whiffs the first time around, you sense it's going to be a long evening, like this afternoon.

The weak lineup makes every opposing pitcher look like a Cy Young contender. They can't all be that good.

Riggleman's lineups are strange, to say the least, and choosing Willie Harris to pinch hit? Inexplicable.

Posted by: JohnRDC | June 23, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree Riggs should go and fast, however; that would mean Rizzo was wrong about him. This early in his young GM career he is not going to do that. I would love to see them give Ryan Sandburg a shot.

Posted by: hansenjo | June 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

As big a fan as i am of Willie Harris,Morse not seeing an at bat is more than strange i can't imagine what Riggs could be thinking, look the Marlins fired Freddy Gonzalez today and the Fish were only two games under.500 Riggleman had better wake up and if i'm Riggs i'm having a talk with my hitting coach.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 23, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Well not much discussion today - The Nats really aren't very good, but the pitching is certainly not to blame. I always thought their everyday lineup was just not strong, and I believe this is being borne out lately. SS pitched well when he had to, but I think he's due for a rough outing - batters are going to make contact.

Posted by: bendersx6 | June 23, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse
--------------------------------------

This has been obvious all season. But now that it's causing losses for SS, everyone notices.

Thay are going to have to work on putting together a more consistent lineup.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 23, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

We were sitting along the 1st base line and Kendall was facing us when Bernadina slid. No way was he out. That said, the Nats didn't deserve to win. Most of the team, especially Desmond and Morgan, looked lost at the plate. So did Willingham, but after his performance yesterday I can give him a pass. Since a winning season is a pipe dream at this point, maybe it's time to move Bernadina to center and see what Morse can do in right. Maybe he isn't an everyday player, but they won't know until he gets a chance. Maybe Morgan can fill the 4th outfielder role. If he gets an attitude about it, the team doesn't need him. If he can win the job back, more power to him. Hmm, this team has a lot of maybes. Maybe they can play respectable, if under .500, ball the rest of the season.

Posted by: p-man | June 23, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree Riggs should go and fast, however; that would mean Rizzo was wrong about him. This early in his young GM career he is not going to do that. I would love to see them give Ryan Sandburg a shot.
--------------------------------

I think Riggs got the job because he was already familiar with the situation and had managerial experience.

I don't think the Nats ever considered him to be a longterm solution.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 23, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Sandberg is waiting for the Cubs job, which is looking like next year at the latest, I think.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Which, come to think of it, would mean Uncle Lou is available...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, this is the big leagues. If he's going to give up a run, he shouldn't expect to win.

Was that call at home as insane as it appeared live?

Posted by: markfromark | June 23, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Today's final score: Jose Guillen (game-winning RBI, game-saving assist) 1, Stephen Strasburg 0. The rest of the Nationals seem not to have participated in the contest. However, Riggleman will assign all blame to Michael Morse and bench him for the upcoming Orioles series in retribution.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 23, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

There was not much discussion because the Post chose to do their Strasburg chat thing. Lets not do that again ok?

The keys to the game were Bernadina's awkward slid into home and whoever was on deck not signaling him to slide to the third base side instead of directly over the plate. Well-coached teams do that.

Letting the pitcher hit with men on second and third. Dumb move.

What does it take to get Morse into the game? I am thinking that Riggleman is under pressure to play Morgan as much as possible to make Rizzo look good after the trade of last summer.

Posted by: MKadyman | June 23, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

section 313 here,

bottom of the 5th...

voice of comic book guy: "that was without doubt the worst. call. ever."

Hunter Wendelstedt, your an idiot.

Posted by: chillsonic | June 23, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha,

chillsonic, dude -- you don't even get how stupid you look right now, do you?

----------
Hunter Wendelstedt, your an idiot.

Posted by: chillsonic | June 23, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | June 24, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with the Nats' bats? Maybe the fact that they're swinging them.

In the last three series, here's the number of walks the Nats have gotten:

Detroit - 3. That's not for one game, that's the total for all three freakin' games.

Chicago - 5.

KC - 8.

So, a lousy 16 BBs in the last nine games. I suspect the scouting report for their upcoming series against Baltimore amounts to, "Pitch them anywhere except in the strike zone - they'll swing at it."

I swear, next time I see someone swing at the first pitch after the previous hitter walked on 4 pitches, I'm going to throw something soft, warm, and steamy at the TV.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 24, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

So firing Riggleman is the solution to make cold bats hot? Eckstein how about him? Who says Rizzo isn't the hand penning the line up and forcing Riggleman's hand? Great to have a fall guy when you can. Bottom line no one is holding up with any reliability. Where's the face of the franchise golden glow now? Strasburg had a chance to save his own game with two men on base and blew it. Shouldn't have to play a pinch hitter he's a player, play the game be it hit or pitch, we are in the big leagues, make it work. I bet Harper would have pulled out that hit and at least got one of them home.

Posted by: natspk | June 24, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The Yankees got 13 walks yesterday against the Diamondbacks. Think they know something about scoring runs that the Nats don't?

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 24, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm a long term optimist, but yesterday really hurt. My two cents:

Nice job Strasburg.

I don't buy that the Nats have run into a streak of great pitching. This offense, these days, would have trouble scoring runs off John Lannan.

I get the complaints about Morse sitting, but the existing lineup should produce more than this.

Going by memory, but did they not hold the opposition to 2 or fewer runs in 4 of the 6 games this homestand? And they lost 3 of those 4 games, and barely won the fourth?

Yes, a blown call at home, but let's say Bernadina scores. The game ends up 1-1, we go to extra innings, and this year we know how that ends.

Believe me, I am with this team, but sometimes you gotta vent.

Posted by: KenNat | June 24, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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