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Game 91 discussion thread: Nationals at Marlins

The Nationals were an abysmal 14-29 on the road in the first half of the season, and they have lost their past nine series on the road. But tonight they could clinch their first winning road series since May 12, when they closed a series at the Mets by winning the rubber game.

It won't be easy. They'll have to win against Josh Johnson, which they managed to do back on May 8. Johnson has probably been the best pitcher in the majors this season, better than even Ubaldo Jimenez. His ERA since May 13, the span of 10 starts that followed the Marlins' loss with him on the mound against the Nats, is an ungodly 0.80.

It'll be up to Livan Hernandez to try to match him. Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 17, 2010; 6:52 PM ET
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Next: Today's lineups


You know Riggleman and his love for matchups will find sometime for Harris to hit against Johnson

Posted by: SCNatsFan | July 17, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

First two get on to start the game, big three fail.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | July 17, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

2 zippy already in the bottom of the 2nd. Again, another error up the middle to start things off.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Two big K's for Adam Dunn.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Frustrating how many stupid mistakes this team makes game after game.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | July 17, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Jeez. Maybe we now know why Kennedy isn't getting on the field. Dumb, just plain dumb. And by a veteran. Get Gonzalez on the field, Rigs. The H with the platooning.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 17, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

He(Riggleman) is determined to do it his way even if it cost this team a loss,Kennedy continues to sabotage Riggleman with his klutzy miscues and in the end this will likely cost Riggleman his job along with this goofball coaching staff and by the way is Ray Knight insightfull or what?

Posted by: dargregmag | July 17, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

When you get a stud like Johnson on the ropes, you'd better make it count.

To paraphrase Denny Green: He is who we thought he was. And we let him off the hook.

Posted by: Drew8 | July 17, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Adam just said a couple of choice words after that punch out.

Posted by: marathoner | July 17, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

They are getting on the bag, but the mystical, magical 3,4.5 isn't driving anyone in.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy is just gawd awful, don't understand how a veteran can lose his feel for the game like he has. What is the point in sending him out there except as a late inning replacement for Dunn? Doesn't he have a one year contract? Get Gonzo in the IF rotation, he proved himself last night and on other occasions. Kennedy is a bust, get him off the field and stop the bleeding.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 17, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Mystifying to me how he can pledge to play Desmonf, Guzman and Kennedy after all the errors those guys had in June.

He's begging for 100 losses.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | July 17, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Another critical 'K" for the 3,4,5. Zim goes down with men on 1st and 3rd.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Zim frozen by the big curve, guess he was looking for the heater. Looks like its not our night.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 17, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Zim - how can you guess on 3-2? Awful clutch hitting by the meat of the order tonight.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 17, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman is not getting it done.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | July 17, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Bleah: 3-4-5 is 2 for 12 with 6 K's. The ducks were on the pond but the guns are silent. A tidy 10 hit shutout is in the works.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 17, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

The Face of Franchise exactly the face caught looking again how in the hell can you take a pitch in that situation and will anybody on this coaching staff say anything to him? nooooooo cause we certaintly woudn't want to upset the Face of the Franchise, BULLSH#T!! he has missed a ton of oppoutunities this season and tonite is no different and Dunn too, 11 hit's tonite and not a single run absolutely inexcusable!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 17, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Make that an 11 hit shutout -- thanks to shoddy defense, bonehead baserunning and no clutch hits. Good night Irene.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 17, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

When you completely waste another sterling start from a guy no one expected to be the first half ace not just an "innings eater" ...

you're on your way to 100 losses.

Nothing left now but to wait for the trade guillotine to fall.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo, when are you going to wake up and fire Riggelman? This team will never improve with this coach and his little league mentality.

Posted by: hersheykid | July 17, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, saw the replay of Kennedy's baserunning blunder -- that was bad, bad baseball. Looks like Listach gave him the stop sign. What was he thinking? Uggla dropped the grounder but picked it up immediately. Seemed stunned to see the baserunner heading home.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 17, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

No!! Natmeister Listach actually waved AK home and when he realized Kennedy was a dead duck then he threw up the stop sign,but that only goes to show how screwed up this whole coaching staff is from the three blind mice first base coach(Dan Radisson)to the clueless hitting coach and the rest of this crew,wonder if Ray Knight would be interested in the job next year?

Posted by: dargregmag | July 17, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

This looks more and more like a 100+ loss team.

Posted by: periculum | July 18, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

This team is NOT going to lose 100 games.

Zim was turned loose on a 3-0 pitch and just missed a 3-run jack. That's the way it goes. You HATE not to get a clutch hit. You HATE when a rook make yet another error costing at least a run. But sometimes, the big guys aren't going to get it done.

hey, sometimes CAPS work as well as lower case. Ya think?

Let's beat those FISH today!

Posted by: nats24 | July 18, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Enjoyed Adam's ending to the bird cage liner article. That was a heck of a clump of bees making a huge nest on the side of the first seat in one of the aisles. The bee removers just stood there in the swarm like it was nothing ... like a horror movie prop.

Posted by: periculum | July 18, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Sigh, you pinch hit Willie Harris and Cristian Guzman instead of MIke Morse who is hitting .364 with a .417 OBP against right handed pitching? When he gets hot Riggleman cools him right off with a cold shower and a seat on the bench?

Yes, nats24 100 losses with Riggleman in charge. Book it.

Posted by: periculum | July 18, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I appreciate all your research, perc, and I agree with you a lot, but surely you've done the math about how bad the Nats would have to play to lose 100, especially with a very good chance of having better starting pitching in the second half.

Now, if Dunn and Hammer are traded, I might not argue.

Posted by: nats24 | July 18, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

"But sometimes, the big guys aren't going to get it done."

51 losses ... with heroic efforts from Livan Hernandez. In spite of the amazing maturity and talent of Stephen Strasburg? Drew Storen? Tyler Clippard? Matt Capps? The persistent bulldog JD Martin?

76 errors ... and probably should be more.

Today without Guzman batting second the top of the order went 5 for 9 for once. Yeah the 3,4,5 didn't come through. But when Guzman returns to bat second when do you think you will see 5 for 9 again? Instead more errors at second base ... more frustration.

Jim Riggleman is more like the devil in "Damned Yankees" , he tempts you with his "local" upbringing .. his upbeat attitude ... then he dashes you on the rocks with his lineups that favor preferred veterans in direct opposition to his stated goal of improving and winning ball games. Most stats are entirely against his decisions. His coaches make base runners look bad. His stating lineups make Adam Dunn's fielding stand out like a sore thumb. Instead of trying to protect his biggest bat he makes him look worst, embarrasses him with "veterans" who throw multiple hop grounders to him at first base ... rookie Desmond is one thing ... but vets with world series rings? C'mon Riggs!

Posted by: periculum | July 18, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

"Now, if Dunn and Hammer are traded, I might not argue."

They won't be traded ... unless its a huzzah a miracle happened trade where we get B+ -> A prospects. That's Mike Rizzo. From his perspective he can get prospects in the draft if he can't re-up these guys. And he now has the brain trust to get top notch sleepers in those sandwich rounds.

No, we'll just have to suffer another 100+ loss season because of the manager ... not the talent.

In the end the real struggle will be Mike Rizzo convincing Ted and Mark Lerner that its a good business decision to raise the payroll another 20 million or so ... so that he can keep your 3,4,5 and get that top of the rotation power pitcher (hopefully Cliff Lee). That's where the action is really at. Not the silly International signings ... (who cares they haven't been panning out of late anyway?) ... and the farm system will be another 2 years before he can replenish it with the right prospects ...

No, its about raising that "salary cap". And one can understand the Lerners' perspective looking at the 3,4,5 and the guys on this team with the world series rings. Looking at Jason Marquis, Guzman, Harris, etc. They want to do as much as they can to ensure they get the right return on their investment. And that means winning games. NOT just hitting home runs. NOT doing a half baked job fielding while hitting .294 mostly against left-handed pitching. NO, solid, consistent performance ... just as Coghlan described when speaking about his performance in the first half.

No rip-offs like "Smiley" and Marquis.

Posted by: periculum | July 18, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Not judging your overall analysis, I still say this team is not going to lose 100 games.

And who is it you're saying the devil will send to the Yankees? Strasburg? We don't any other Joe Hardy.

Posted by: nats24 | July 18, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

"And who is it you're saying the devil will send to the Yankees?"

With the Lerners? Not going to happen ... not on their watch. Strasburg has done everything and beyond what they could possibly have ever expected or imagined. They are watching a guy who could be better than Walter Johnson. He hasn't even begun! No, they will treasure him like their best and most lucrative asset. That I am sure of. And Mike Rizzo knows this. Now his job is to find another and another ... will he succeed? Only time will tell.

Posted by: periculum | July 18, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

If everybody here had your intensive dedication to the team, we'd all be better off. I'm glad we're both Nats fans. Keep it up.

Posted by: nats24 | July 18, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game, but don't really understand the fatalism here. 100 losses? Are you joking? The Nats would have to play worse the rest of the way than they did in the first half of last year under Manny to lose 100 games. Not going to happen.

Repeat after me: Cliff Lee is not coming to Washington, unless he shows up to visit the Smithsonian. He's going to sign with a team that will give a chance to play in the World Series next year. That's not the Nationals and it won't be a failure of the Lerners if he doesn't sign here.

Jason Marquis pitched three horrible games with a bad elbow. Before that, he won 70 games in six years. He's not a ripoff. Give the guy a chance to come after surgery and see what happens.

In a few weeks, we'll be backing up Strasburg with J. Zimm and Livan and some combination of Marquis, Detwiler, Olsen, Lannan and the current cast of characters. That will arguably represent the best rotation since team got here. Throw that in with a decent bullpen, a decent offensive lineup and a terrible defense and this team is likely to win more games in the second half of the year than in the first, not get worse.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 18, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect- why do we have Adam Kennedy on the ball club? What good is 10 for 10 base stealing when you get thrown out at the plate? He certainly hasn't steadied error-machine Desmond and has booted far too many himself. Let Gonzalez int the line up and boot the old guy

Posted by: TMICRO | July 18, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Let's see what the approach will be this afternoon with a rookie hurler going for the Marlins,let's see if Zim and Dunn can get it......................... done! This team is fustrating, Livo should be 9-3/10-4 but with this bunch i guess he's lucky to be a six game winner. Craig Stammen is pitching today will it be the same old Stammen or has he learned anything?

Posted by: dargregmag | July 18, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Losing 100 is very unlikely. 22 - 49 the rest of the way? Not gonna happen.

Although, you can't say that Riggleman isn't trying!

Let's rotate our 3 1/2 middle infielders. That pretty much never worked before, and it pretty much didn't work for he first 90 games of this season, but what the heck, it keeps everyone's Mom's from asking me why her boy is not playing.

Let's take what seems like one of our better bats and stick him at the end of the bench.

Let's take what seems like out best defensive middle infielder, and relegate him to the far end of the bench also.

Let's keep favoring the veteran players and keep the young ones bottled up. After all, we've been playing .440 ball for a year now, these guys have earned it!

Let's wag a stern finger when our centerfielder throws to the wrong base or gets picked off with the heart of the order due up.

Whenever there's men on base, let's bring in Clip. He's due. You know he's due. He can't let inherited runners score in bunches ALL season long.

If it's Livo turn to bat, and we really need a base hit, let's pinch hit for him with someone who has a worse batting average than Livo does!

And of course, let's double switch our way into having nothing on the bench and a shortstop, or two, in right field.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 18, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Kennedy produces yet another bonehead play to kill a potential rally. Time to stop protecting a veteran who simply is not producing. In fact he has hurt the club much more than helped it. Any middle infielders down in Syracuse anywhere near worthy of promotion? Or for that matter, anybody out on the waiver wire? Time for the braintrust to give Gonzo a chance to fit into the infield "rotation".

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 18, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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