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After a rough outing, Luis Atilano still on for Tuesday

Luis Atilano's effort to remain fresh sort of backfired last night. The Nationals shipped Atilano, their fifth starter, to Class AAA Syracuse to get his work in over the all-star break. Thing is, he allowed five earned runs on seven hits and three walks and lasted only 2 1/3 innings.

After Pawtucket roughed up Atilano, the Nationals did not alter their plans. He'll still take his regular spot in the rotation, Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds.

"He didn't have a good night," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "He just didn't get his ball sinking, get the groundballs on hittable pitches. Hopefully it's just an aberration that he didn't have a good day there. But it's challenging. Double A, Triple A hitters, they're trying to get you. They got him. But we're confident the games he gave us here are more of indication of what he can do for us."

What he's done lately, though, hasn't been so hot. Atilano has lasted more than 5 1/3 innings once in his last six starts. The Nationals are 1-5 in those outings, and Atilano has a 5.87 ERA during the span. Atilano survived in the Nationals rotation when Stephen Strasburg came aboard. With another influx of arms potentially coming, he may have to show improvement to remain in the Nats' rotation much longer.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 16, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
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Next: Game 90 discussion thread: Nationals at Marlins


I am wondering why Riggleman does not try the following 3-4-5 batting order. Any ideas?

3 Willingham (highest on base percentage)
4 Zimmerman (higher average than Dunn's)
5 Dunn (Most home runs AND most strikeouts)

Posted by: gnatman | July 16, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

???? I don't understand this move at all. Why put this guy out there when he couldn't even get AAA players out? AND he'll be pitching against good hitting Reds. This has disaster written all over it. Detwiler has been ready pitching well, so why not bring him in? We all know Atilano is no where in the long term plan of the Nats.

Posted by: gonats1 | July 16, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Detwiler is neither ready nor pitching well. Why would you think he was?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 16, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Sec3... are you kidding me? I know Detwiler may need to build up his stamina a bit but have you seen his stats with Senators? He is 1-1 with 3.16 ERA 25 IP 24 SO. Those sure look like good numbers to me.

Posted by: gonats1 | July 16, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Detwiler definitely needs more time in the minors. Bringing him up now would not be good for him, let alone good for the team.
He hasnot gone more than 5 innings yet. And the AA Eastern League is hitting .316 against him.
Yeah, he looks OK, but he's definitely not ready now. It would impeded his progress.

As for batting Willingham 3rd, in part because of his high OBP. Willingham has a high OBP precisely because he bats 5th, with very little to fear behind him. You stick Dunn back there, with no strength behind him, his OBP will soar. And Willingham will stop getting walked as much as he is.

Willingham's high OBP, and his consequently high OPS are a bit of a mirage. I love the guy, but in a decent lineup his OBP drops a fair bit, and he looks like less of an All Star.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 17, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

With Atilano pitching tuesday, I see a curly L coming. Especially with the reds hitting. I'm hoping he lasts more than two innings. Bautista...make sure you are warmed up.

Posted by: M20832 | July 17, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

When did they get Denny Bautista?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 17, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

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