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Game 101 discussion thread: Braves at Nationals

The Nationals (43-57) will try to secure a series win against Atlanta tonight after beating the Braves, 3-0, yesterday in the opener thanks to a sterling performance from emergency starter Miguel Batista. The workhorse right-hander allowed no runs on three hits with six strikeouts over five innings despite finding out minutes before the first pitch that he would be filling in for Stephen Strasburg, who experienced tightness in his right shoulder.

Livan Hernandez (7-6, 3.12 ERA) gets the starting nod for the Nationals, while Tim Hudson (10-5), 2.47) will start for the Braves (57-42).

Talk about the game right here, and check out Nationals Journal following the last out for updates.

By Gene Wang  |  July 28, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Livan Hernandez  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Stephen Strasburg shut down for two days, could start Sunday
Next: Jason Marquis 'back to where I need to be'

Comments

Kind of a weak start, Livo. And why does it sound like a home game for ATL? Oh yeah, Strasburg was scheduled for LAST night. And no, Bob, it's not unbelievable - it's called spotty pitching.

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 28, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

It hasn't been quite as bad lately, but another first run inning. Dibs said 21 of the last 25 games. Doesn't look quite like a sellout tonight. Hope we can put something together against Hudson.

Posted by: marathoner | July 28, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

How'd they blow that? Desi, Desi, Desi...

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 28, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

How many freakin pitches does he have already? 40?

Posted by: Brue | July 28, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Desmond has been playing pro ball for 1/4 of his life. How can he keep making mental errors like that?

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-well...Livo started with 2 strikes. Ian had another "poor decision" play. Hope it's not so, but eventually Livo'll have one of "those" starts. And in case you're interested and have the MLB package, E. Jackson is facing the Phils tonight. For those commercial breaks.
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | July 28, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Either that was a function of the where the camera is positioned, or Hudson's fastball to K Bernadina had about 8-12 inches of SHARP, late break. That was an amazing pitch.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

>Desmond has been playing pro ball for 1/4 of his life. How can he keep making mental errors like that?

Posted by: OldNumber3

Seems to sport a semi-clueless look most of the time. Doesn't seem that bright. Either that, or no one has gotten his attention yet. He certainly could be coached up. He makes poor decisions, and rushes himself because he hasn't practiced the situations in his head before hand. Coaches can help him with that. Runner on third, 0 out. Runner on third, 1 out. Runner on third, 2 outs. Then put 'up by a run' in front of that. These are all things that can be rehearsed.

Posted by: Brue | July 28, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@Brue:
Desmond's been making the same kind of errors for his entire professional career - Great range, makes the "Wow" factor play frequently at SS, but goes bone-headed on the seemingly simple stuff.

IMO, he's athletic as all getout, but just doesn't get it as a MI; I've said in the past that he's better suited as a CF (ala Robin Yount), but I don't get paid to make those kind of decisions.

Posted by: BinM | July 28, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Dominic Brown misses a HR by inches in his first AB, settles for RBI double. Looking forward to Stras dealing to him, Heyward, Stanton over the next several years.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

OldNumber3 - I've seen Hudson live only once, and on TV a lot, it's hard to tell for sure without being in the batter's box, but I have observed a sharp, late break that comes out of nowhere on some of his fastballs. It's nasty, especially because it looks just like his straight fastball early on. That probably accounts for his obscene ground ball numbers.

Posted by: 202character | July 28, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Clippard in w/men on base? NNNN-OOOOOO-ooooo-ooooooo!

Posted by: BinM | July 28, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

No complaints about the double-switch with Morse coming in? Just curious.

Posted by: marathoner | July 28, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else notice Batista, the WWE wrestler, sitting right behind home plate with the red Nats cap on?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 28, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I guess that's why.

Posted by: marathoner | July 28, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

As a rule, I'm not in favor a double switch that early, but Bernadina had a couple pathetic ABs so far, so I don't mind pulling him. Especially for Morse.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I've been listening on radio, but Batista is from DC so I guess it makes sense he could be there.

Posted by: marathoner | July 28, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman's a genius. He keeps Morse nice and fresh by not playing him very much...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 28, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Bottom of the 5th: Leadoff double by Pudge, K-swinging (by Harris), 6-3GO (by Desmond, Pudge to 3rd), single to RF (by Morse; RBI, Pudge scoring), single to CF (by Morgan, Morse to 2nd), 1-3GO (by Kennedy).
Got a run out of it, at least. OK, I'm convinced - Can Rizzo just go into the locker room after the game, put Riggleman in a headlock & scream "PLAY MORSE, DAMMIT"!

Posted by: BinM | July 28, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

@baltnova -- I was trying to figure out who that was... never would've gotten Batista. Thanks

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

@baltnova -- I was trying to figure out who that was... never would've gotten Batista. Thanks

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

>IMO, he's athletic as all getout, but just doesn't get it as a MI; I've said in the past that he's better suited as a CF (ala Robin Yount), but I don't get paid to make those kind of decisions.

Posted by: BinM

He definitely needs another position if this keeps up. SS can be too much for some people. Too much responsibility, too many hard hit balls - I'd put him at 2B myself, where his offensive numbers match up better. If you want to go over the top, you get somebody in CF who can go long 25-30 dingers. Guzman's gone in Oct., Kennedy's gone, Harris is gone, who's left? Put him at 2B and find another SS for the next couple of years. Even if it's a defensive SS only, you might have to make that sacrifice with the inexperienced pitching staff. They have to do something, but I think Desmond needs to stay in the lineup.

Posted by: Brue | July 28, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

See if he can play CF. He has a plus arm, which is kind of a waste at 2B, and I think once you get past the top few CFers most of them are as bad hitters as 2Bmen.

His range does make up for a lot of the errors at short. He's better than, for example, a young Jeter.

Posted by: 202character | July 28, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Better fielder than a young Jeter I mean. I wish he was that kind of hitter. Bad as Jeter's fielding has often been he's always hit enough to make up for it.

Posted by: 202character | July 28, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Riggs takes Willingham's production out of the lineup tonight for 0-3 3Ks. Harris is a competitor and I like him, but when will Riggs/Rizzo get the point and stop playing him. I really can't see a reason to play him at all anymore, he's definitely not a part of this team's future.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Terrible call on that last strike to Morse.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

On another note, some game Hudson is pitching against us. Hate to see it happen to the Nats, but really impressive veteran pitching. 11 groundouts (really 12 counting the DP) and 7 strikeouts to a mere 2 flyouts. And only 82 pitches. If Morse hadn't powered out that two-out hit when he got jammed we'd be getting blanked.

Posted by: 202character | July 28, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I fully understand Strasburg being scratched last night, but the Nats owe tonight's fans an apology for starting Willie Harris (0-3, 3 Ks).

Posted by: thepostischeap | July 28, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Oakland and know folks there were not happy when he was out of there. But with Oakland that's inevitable.

Posted by: marathoner | July 28, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Dunn is a 40 HR, 100 RBI producer but doesn't seem to come up with The Big Hit when the game is on the line.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 28, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Another good job by the bullpen. Let's get at least two.

Posted by: marathoner | July 28, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Nats are going quietly into the night...again. C'mon guys, prove me wrong in the bottom of the ninth!

Posted by: jdsp2000 | July 28, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@Natmeister -- Yes, about 7 of 10 times he won't come up with the Big Hit as you say. In fact, most good hitters fail to get Big Hit 7 of 10 times. Dunn's 2 out RISP and clutch numbers are fine, and it's not a reason to trade him (though I reasonable argument could be made to trade him).

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 28, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Pudge looks like he hurt his knee getting out of the way of that first pitch from Wagner. Not a good sign.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 28, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Great audition by Willie; instead of going for a bag of balls he now goes for a ball.

I don't care who we sign or trade, for God's sake please get someone who can light a fire under this team as we play flat night after night.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | July 28, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, who drove in the only run for the Nats????

Maybe that guy could light a fire in the lineup...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 28, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Where did you get that stat? Watched every game and been to a few. Dunn with risp stinks. 0 for 4 tonight. What was he last night? What was he the game before and the game before? Call BS on that.
What is the Nat's record? Oh, yeah, they are better than last year for sure at 53-48. the 3-4-5 hitters got it done in April. That's it. I'm tired of excuses from a losing ball club. Rizzo needs to make a trade for better infield, pitching and a catcher. And if Dunn and willingham along with Capps is trade bait, go for it!
Make this a better team Rizzo!!!!!!

Posted by: M20832 | July 28, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Marquis' night in Syracuse:

1st inning: walk, infield single plus error, HBP, grand slam, single. So he was down 4-0 without getting anybody out. He then pitched five innings of two-hit ball after that, gave up no more runs and struck out seven.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 28, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

@Natmeister -- Yes, about 7 of 10 times he won't come up with the Big Hit as you say. In fact, most good hitters fail to get Big Hit 7 of 10 times. Dunn's 2 out RISP and clutch numbers are fine, and it's not a reason to trade him (though I reasonable argument could be made to trade him).

Posted by: OldNumber3

This post is what I posted about. 7 out of ten times? Where did you get that stat?

His 2 out and risp is fine for a LOSER team! Kepp drinking the kool aid on the 3-4-5 guys.
Man I hate to start sounding like Howjensen or Ferusonfoot, but this team can't hit on most nights, can't field on most nights and pitching is mediocre. Why after six years I still root for them I don't know. But being a native DC'er, it's the only game in town. The heck with that northern al team!

Posted by: M20832 | July 28, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Meant 43 and 58. Last place. Luvable Losers?

Posted by: M20832 | July 28, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey OldNumber3, in 2010 Adam Dunn is hitting .095 with RISP and 2 outs, and he's hitting .211 with RISP in general. That is NOT fine.

Posted by: egoodman8 | July 28, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Don't look now, but Mike MacDougal is in line to win for the Cardinals in extra innings vs. the Mets.

Posted by: paulkp | July 28, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Got great work out of the pen tonight in what turned out to be a wasted effort. What are the Nats going to do tomorrow if Olsen doesn't go very deep? They just can't keep running Clipp our there every day.

Posted by: nats24 | July 28, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

High school teams learn how to defense the 1st-and-3rd double steal.

The fact that Hayward was the first Brave to steal home in 10 years tells you this should never happen.

For most of the season I have taken solace in the fact that a large percentage of Desmond's mistakes have been teachable things rather than the lack of athletic ability. But what other people have been saying is true: it's not like he just started playing baseball this year, and you do have to wonder whether, if he hasn't learned some of these basics yet, he ever will.

A more demanding manager/coaching staff might help.

Posted by: Meridian1 | July 29, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I would fire every coach in the Nats minor league system who came in contact with Desmond during his six years in the minors, his fundamentals are horrible.

The Nats force Soriano to the outfield, why is Desmond being treated with kid gloves.

Posted by: 4U2Know | July 29, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

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