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Game 78 discussion thread: Nationals at Braves

Nyjer Morgan has been caught stealing 11 times this year and on three other occasions has been picked off at first base. The Nationals are concerned not about Morgan's focus, but more so about his jumps when attempting to steal.

"We're missing something there," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "Never mind getting picked off. When he's going to second, he is so fast. When he's safe, it's been close. When he's out, it's been close. He's too fast for these plays to be close. We're looking at it. We're trying to figure out why is he getting out of there at first base not as quickly as he could. When you're an elite base stealer, you flat out take that base. It's not going to be that close."

Morgan will remain in his leadoff spot tonight, but Ian Desmond will receive his second day off in three days. Riggleman said he wanted to give seldom-used Alberto Gonzalez some extended playing time.

"It's not for more defense," Riggleman said. "It's just, I've got to get Gonzalez a few games. Desi, give him the night off. Desi is going to be a special here for the next 10 or 12 years. But Gonzalez is a part of this ball club that I can't ignore. Today seems like a good day to do it."

Gonzalez will make his third straight start behind Craig Stammen, who makes his first start being demoted to Class AAA Syracuse on June 8. Stammen opposes Derek Lowe, who is 9-5 with a 4.42 ERA. The Nationals are trying to break a five-game losing streak. Talk about it right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 29, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Alberto Gonzalez makes the most of his chance

Comments

Uh oh - morgan's on

Posted by: swanni | June 29, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the changes in the lineup, Riggleman's right in saying "It's not about more defense", since Guzman is the 'odd-man-in' at 2B, and Morgan is manning CF.

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-well...to second dargreg-what's up with Marquis Grissom? All agree that "something's missing" in Nyjers game...Couldn't find Marquis working for any other MLB team (I'm not a great 'net researcher) but it appears he has a youth baseball league he supports in Georgia, where he lives....so mebbe he's in the neighborhood? Chat him up, Nyjer! Looks like he is not with any team at the moment (I did find a blurb by Ladson from November '09 saying the Nats had released him-no explanation for why-also saying he'd been offered another job in the organization. And everything I read on him noted his general excellence as a human being-y'know..a "good chemistry" kinda guy...)
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

zendo (& dargramps, in a way) - Grissom was one of Manny's coaches; Riggleman replaced him with a guy he had history with (Radison). I think the Nationals offered Grissom a roving minor-league job, but he turned it down to work closer to home w/youth baseball.

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Boy when Zim (and I hate the nickname 'Gentleman Zim') is off he just beats double play ball after double play ball.

I still think the right thing to do is to extend Dunn. If he leaves we go with Willie Harris/ Adam Kennedy at first.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 29, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-thanks, BinM. Hadn't considered that angle. SO...even if it was a tough hop...sigh...Nyjers' play there...I mean, I have the MLB package....and only 2 nights a week to watch a game...and there are several good tilts tonight. Do I REALLY wanna watch the Natinals? Must-watch-home-team...grind teeth...must-watch-home....
I love this game (even when the Nats play it)! And nice to see Craig pitching well, So
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 29, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

SCNatsFan: If Rizzo decides to be a seller on Dunn, Morse would go to 1B, and the Nationals had better get serious prospects (MI or SP) in return.

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. Nyjer Morgan has zero baseball smarts. Why not sit Morgan alongside Desmond? It couldn't hurt anymore than having him on the field.

Posted by: samantha7 | June 29, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Good AB, but tough out from Bernadina.

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, 1st hit with RISP in what seems like weeks from the Z-man. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut; Let's see if Stammen can deal with the sudden prosperity.

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-arriiight!!! "Course, I STILL got a nit to pick-Roger....arguing the call? The rooks on this team are WAAAY to "empowered". I mean, maybe-MAYBE-you're gonna be a decent or better everyday player....but c'mon! If he was on the opposing team I'd be livid. Sheesh!
Okay...back to enjoying the game (forgot what it's like!)
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 29, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Stammen's pitching like Lannan's supposed to pitch.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 29, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Zendo, what are you drinking tonight...?


:-)

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 29, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-call me crazy...but I feel a streak coming (and, having picked 'em to win 85+ this year, I AM a bit,,,,crazy!)
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 29, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-and strangely enough, gil-I don't drink!(As a part owner of a bar...like any good drug dealer, I don't use the product I sell!)
YIKES!!! Come ON Craig...
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 29, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

@gilbertbp: Stammen's pitching like he's capable of pitching; Reasonably low pitch count, 50/50 on K-BB, high GO-FO ratio. Hmmm; You're right, a lot like what Lannan was supposed to do so far.

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Guzzie force the issue and go to 3rd the previous inning to set up the rally. What's the last time one of our boys was guilty of intelligent, aggressive, and successful baserunning?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 29, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

And as bad as AGonz looked last night (0-3, 3K), he's been that good (3-3, 1RBI) tonight.

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

AGonz is rusty from not playing. It's a pleasure to watch him play short.

Go Gonzo!

Posted by: longhorn64 | June 29, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Hammer time!

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 29, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Carp - "Willingham jacks one..."

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 29, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Very nice play by Dunn. It's games like this that give you hope, and increase the frustration when they play badly.

Posted by: marathoner | June 29, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

What's this? I flip on the switch to see Stammen at the plate, in the EIGHTH inning?

Score is 6-1, now 7-1 after Stammen's SF...
I didn't even bother to TiVo this one! Maybe the curse is off?

I'm with you Marathoner!

---------
t's games like this that give you hope, and increase the frustration when they play badly.

Posted by: marathoner | June 29, 2010 9:21 PM

Posted by: mo_dc | June 29, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Who is this Craig Stammen? Welcome back! Hopefully you learned a thing or two down on the farm.

You know, I remember him having his best days in the dog days of hot and humid DC and south. This is amazing -- and his sinker's really dropping now in the 8th.

Maybe he'd be better off in Atlanta or Florida with this kind of weather more of the year?

Posted by: mo_dc | June 29, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I have seen enough in my eyes that Morgan has lost the starting CF spot. Riggleman. Please are you a minor league or major league manager ? We dont need to sugar coat morgan's continued mental lapses as him just being aggressive

Posted by: jtunney1 | June 29, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

A very good outing from Stammen. Let's see if Forrest Gump, I mean Sean Burnett can finish the inning.

"Life is just like a box o'chocolates - You never know what you're gonna get".

Posted by: BinM | June 29, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@jtunney1 -- Just tuning in ... What'd I miss? Morgan's stat line looks OK ... something in-between-the-lines?

Posted by: reddog278 | June 29, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Whew,,,what a relief! Now, my only question is-who're they gonna interview post-game since "E"an didn't play? Ahhhh-probably Bernie, of course!
BUT......AAAHHhhhhhh
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 29, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, it feels good to be right, and for the Nats to win (as far the former, I know even a blind squirrel....) But I think Gozno has earned another start.

Posted by: nats24 | June 29, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

geez,I meant gonzo, of course

Posted by: nats24 | June 29, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Gonzo, or Gozno, has definitely earned another start. (And if Riggs put in Morse in place of Morgan in the outfield, I'd be thrilled.) But as it is, it was a big sigh of relief to hear them play a clean, well-executed game, with a Curly W in the books.

Posted by: samantha7 | June 29, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

There were two more misplayed balls by Morgan. One was called a triple (the one he misplayed that went by him) and then late in the game, listening to Charlie and Dave and they commented "a ball he could have caught". I am ready for the Bernadina CF and Morse in RF experiment if we want to call it that

Posted by: jtunney1 | June 29, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Where the hell has that been... that was the best game we've played all year, save for the weird game @ Houston. Better than when we were winning regularly, even. That's the kind of win you build on. Hopefully, that happens and this isn't just some flash in the pan.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 29, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Too tired, and held breath too long to add much more than

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!

Posted by: KenNat | June 29, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Stammen clearly benefited from a stint in the minors. They need to see if the same is true of Desmond if they still think he's a keeper. The team was better without him.

Posted by: longhorn64 | June 29, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I know the feeling, KenNat. I think I started holding my breath around the 6th, and I didn't let up until the final out.

Atta boy, Craig. Atta boy, 'berto. Atta team, Nats.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 29, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-well, as a final thought-Go Gozno! And Goz looked downright shy post game in the interview...(still wonder where "E"an was)
Gozno!-I like it!
Gzno Nats!!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 29, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I do thank the lord for small favors every now and then. Thank you baseball gods!

BTW anyone catch Charlie and Dave wondering if Gonzo will be in the line-up tomorrow night. Well knowing Gentlemen Jim like we all do, the hot bat takes the seat so that the hot rod with rock hands doesn't lose his confidence. Remember Jim said he wishes he has 9 Desmonds, maybe he meant Desmond Howard..., oh sorry Redskins Fans that Desmond didn't work out any better.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 29, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I do thank the lord for small favors every now and then. Thank you baseball gods!

BTW anyone catch Charlie and Dave wondering if Gonzo will be in the line-up tomorrow night. Well knowing Gentlemen Jim like we all do, the hot bat takes the seat so that the hot rod with rock hands doesn't lose his confidence. Remember Jim said he wishes he has 9 Desmonds, maybe he meant Desmond Howard..., oh sorry Redskins Fans that Desmond didn't work out any better.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 29, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

OK, if I've made him Gozno, so be it. As long as he makes the plays -- and hits.

Posted by: nats24 | June 29, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or did Zimmerman stand and watch an automatic double bounce over the wall?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 29, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

What's up everyone? on the road last few day's, didn't see sunday's debacle and only last three frames of the monday's game. Craig Stammen seemed to have the right level of intensity tonight,he got some support offensively speaking, glad to see Clippard get some confidence after some rough outings, we need to try to string some win's together, a little worried about Pudge and the number of innings he has caught so far this year.

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

It looked to me like Zim thought the ball was going to be foul so watched until he realized it was going to be fair and got a late break from the plate.

Posted by: marathoner | June 29, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who posts on here saying that Alberto Gonzalez should be playing over Adam Kennedy, or anybody in the league for that matter, is exactly the reason sports outlets dont take DC seriously as a baseball town. His plate approach is non-existent.

Posted by: TheycallmeThriiiiiiilledge | June 29, 2010 2:33 PM"

Good call on that one, thrilledge....any thoughts on J.D. Martin's mound presence?

Posted by: joebleux | June 30, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Gonzo has not gotten much time, but despite his 3 Ks on Monday night (many a batter to share company against Hudson), he is still one of the better contact guys in the lineup. I'd like to see Riggs give him the benefit of a doubt that he gave Willie for so long, recognizing how limited at-bats affect your average, your swing, and your confidence.

Still -- I wonder why that logic doesn't apply to Morse, who hits in starts and in pinch-hit stints! Instead of making excuses for your part-timers who aren't hitting, give more time to your part-timers who ARE hitting! Especially when you have "core elements" of the team struggling so much in the field AND the plate (yes, that means you Desi and Nyjer - no more TPlush for me til Nyjer's head gets on straight)

Posted by: mo_dc | June 30, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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