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Game 93 discussion thread: Nationals at Reds

This shapes up to be an offensively challenged night at the Great American Smallpark. If you found the Nationals' 1-0 loss Sunday to the Marlins unbearable, imagine being a Reds fan. The Reds are 2-3 in their past five games, and all three losses were 1-0.

Tonight, Johnny Cueto and J.D. Martin will attempt to continue strong runs by their respective starting rotations. The Nationals, surely, could not have asked for much more out of their starters coming out of the break. They allowed two earned runs during the three games Florida, and the bullpen backed it up by not even allowing a hit in seven innings.

For the Nationals to win tonight -- and to snap a streak of 10 consecutive losing series on the road -- they'll have to actually score, something they haven't done in 21 innings. Cueto won't make it easy. In his past five starts, he has a 0.83 ERA after allowing one or zero earned runs in each of them. The Reds will be at a disadvantage with the ailing Scott Rolen out of the lineup.

As always. talk about the game right there.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 19, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
 
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Next: Justin Maxwell sent to Syracuse for Luis Atilano

Comments

Martin hasn't thrown in nearly two weeks - I'd expect he'll struggle early. If he gives the team 5IP, I'll be suprised.

Posted by: BinM | July 19, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Martin hasn't thrown in nearly two weeks - I'd expect he'll struggle early. If he gives the team 5IP, I'll be suprised.
**********************************

You called it, BinM. He's not going to make it through the 2nd. Walking three, giving up a 2 RBI hit to the PITCHER(!), and still nobody out...

Posted by: thepostischeap | July 19, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Game over in the 2nd inning. Getting better all the time. Fire Riggs.

Posted by: vagator | July 19, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Not sure I can make it 5 innings the way things are going.

Posted by: marathoner | July 19, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

BinM, did you have to be so smart?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Bernadina and Gonzalez on the bench again!...I don't care about lefty-righty match-up! Put in some players who can field!

Posted by: NickfromGermantown | July 19, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I just got the TV on after dinner. Given the way Dibble's complaining about Harris being in RF, did he botch a play in the field?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I hate when I'm right when I'm playing 'bad cop' (being negative). The Nationals caught a break with the home-team no-error call on the Harris / Guzman miscue. Nontheless, 4-0 Reds through two IP.

Posted by: BinM | July 19, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

This would be easier to take if they just got hit hard. That happens to major league teams sometimes.

Posted by: KenNat | July 19, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. Martin bunts the man and puts two men in scoring position for...Nyjer! Nothing can go wrong here! Nothing, I say!

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey, wait a minute! One of our guys made it all the way around the bases. That's legal now?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Many may not like Dibble but what he is saying is right on target...Play those guys and see what they can do...the team can't stand pat rotating guys...Bernadina and a few others need to play every day...it's sink or swim time...

Posted by: pentagon40 | July 19, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe I'm writing this...but I'm loving what Dibble's putting out there tonight. Some honesty in the booth!

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 19, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

...and I can just picture Bobby C wringing his hands hoping the bosses aren't watching..."it's not me, it's the big tattooed guy that's saying all that stuff..."

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 19, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

You know, I don't say this very often, but Dibble is basically right. They should play Morse, Bernadina and Maxwell enough to get a better idea of what they can do. Maybe not every day but a lot.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Bernadina and Gonzalez on the bench again!...I don't care about lefty-righty match-up! Put in some players who can field!

Posted by: NickfromGermantown
*******************
So NJ'ers, are we in agreement that if Bernadina and Gonzalez had been playing we'd have only given up 1 run in the 2nd inning?
No errors, but we assisted with 3 runs.
(And Gonzalez at 2B, not RF, just to be clear.)

Posted by: Sunderland | July 19, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Got a pair back, but can Martin regain some sense of control over the Reds to make a game of it?

Posted by: BinM | July 19, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree - props to Dibs for telling it like it is. Wait a minute. Was that a two out hit with a RISP? Guess it CAN be done!

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 19, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland, it kinda looked like maybe Guzman did an "Ole" on that throw from Willie. Didn't see a real good angle, but might not have been that bad a throw.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 19, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Dibble is really cranky tonight. Hope Riggleman is listening, since I agree completely. But way so cranky all of a sudden.

By the way, I have no problem with Dibble. I like the pitcher's perspective that he brings to the broadcasts.

Posted by: rasjcs | July 19, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Rain delay - Was listening (rather than watching, as is my habit). What was the jist of Dribble's comments to this point, may I ask?

Posted by: BinM | July 19, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Play Maxwell? You have got to be kidding me the same guy that has more holes in his swing than Mario Mendoza you are absolutely giving an automatic out to the opposing team everytime he's up,like i said the other night Ray Knight is very insightfull Dibble not so much,long way to go tonight let's see if they can come back.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 19, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

OK BinM, lemme see if I can paraphrase Dibble:
1. He can't understand why Willie is starting. 2. The kids Bernadina and Maxwell should be playing every day until the end of the year to see what they can do. 3. Put our best defensive team on the field - regardless of the egos involved.

Might be a couple others that I can't pull back right away, but those are his major beefs.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 19, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

He also threw Morse into the mix of guys who should play every day, except you can't play all three fulltime, unless you play Morse at 1B or 2B. Wouldn't want to see that for obvious reasons.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey, did you see that report? Brett Favre might play again. I sure hope ESPN stays on top of this. These kind of stories shouldn't fall through the cracks...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Dibs also challenged Rigs' theory that the bench players should get starts fairly regularly. "Sit on the bench for a month if you have to, shut up and stop whining, just be ready to come in and contribute when your name is called," or words to that effect.

Hurrah for the tattoed one!

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | July 19, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Cap, that's where I jump off the Dibble love train. You need to use your bench, but do it wisely. You should be able to use stats to determine when to give them a start (good history against the starting pitcher, good lefty-righty matchup numbers). I grew up watching the O's and Earl Weaver was a master at this.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Other Dibs comments, we shoulld pick our best 8 by picking our best defensive team.
Play the kids consistently, we need to see what we have in Morse, Bernadina and Gonzalez.
No reason for them to have at bats taken away by Harris, Guzman and Kennedy.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 19, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Pudge needs to go to right this AB.

Posted by: marathoner | July 19, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

You know, bases loaded, two outs, nobody you want up here more than Willie Harris...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Neither guy knows the rules. If a batted ball hits an umpire before it passes an infielder it is a dead ball.

Posted by: MKadyman | July 19, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

That 175 average with bases loaded sure came in handy. Go Riggs !!

Posted by: JT2009 | July 19, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Dibble and Carpenter need to read the rule book:

MLB Rule 5.09(f) states that the ball becomes dead and runners advance one base, or return to their bases, without liability to be put out when

"A fair ball touches a runner or an umpire on fair territory before it touches an infielder including the pitcher, or touches an umpire before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher.

Rule 5.09(f) Comment: If a fair ball touches an umpire working in the infield after it has bounded past, or over, the pitcher, it is a dead ball. If a batted ball is deflected by a fielder in fair territory and hits a runner or an umpire while still in flight and then is caught by an infielder it shall not be a catch, but the ball shall remain in play."

If the ball hits the umpire first, the ball is dead. If a defensive player touches the ball and then the ball hits the umpire, the ball is live.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the play, wasn't watching, but 5.09f as you quote it sounds like the ball would be in play if it hits an umpire in fair territory AFTER it has passed an infielder, no?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 19, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Hit the 2nd base ump who was on the infield grass. Ball was past the pitcher but in front of the other fielders.

Posted by: marathoner | July 19, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

thanks, Marathoner

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 19, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

If Harris were a real man he'd retire; at least Kennedy was heartbroken over his play this weekend -- he was all but crying on the dugout steps. Maybe the Nats can get one of the contenders needing a 2B to pick him up for 2 box seat tix (Phils, Red Sox). As for Willie, DFA is too good for him. Bring up anyone -- they can't be worse. And if Riggs continues to think covering for Harris and Kennedy is more important than winning or developing talent -- fire him. Look, we're suffering through Desmond to see if he can play -- why not for Bernie, Morse and whatever bum they bring up -- since we have zero position player propects after 4 years of the current ownership.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | July 19, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Nice plays Desmond. You will probably sit tomorrow. You know, have to get Gonzo and Kennedy playing time.

Posted by: JT2009 | July 19, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

So when does the losing start to worry anybody ???

If this is better then last year when will the losing make that point moot ?

Posted by: CBinDC | July 19, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

So you have a RH player who is .250 against LHP and LH player who is .157 against anybody throwing the ball which do you play ??

Posted by: CBinDC | July 19, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I know a place that gives you all the playing time you need ...it's called the MINORS

Posted by: CBinDC | July 19, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Classic Nats rally. Two walks, and we wait for somebody to hit the ball. Preferably hard.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Desmond needs to go back to the minors. He is so very obviously not a MLB caliber SS. Give Guz a chance at defensive redemption. The flash of brilliance is nice here and there and all but the yards of crap in between which Ian provides as we wait for the next shining moment are killing the club. He is just awful out there. What is Rizzo thinking? Send the kid down for crying out loud.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 19, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Two good plays and one bad throw and he's awful? I don't think so.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Man, there's going to be SOME kind of deal in the next 11 days involving some guys on this team, cause I can't see Rizzo putting up with this slop.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 19, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

"I grew up watching the O's and Earl Weaver was a master at this." (Meaning mixing and matching the O's lineups according to the opposing pitcher.)

My comment: Trouble is, you cannot compare a genius (Weaver) to the guy managing the Nationals. Riggleman is no genius. In fact, he is below average intelligence for a ML manager. So do not expect sensible decisions from him—ever.

Dibble and Knight are probably wondering how they got stuck with such a gig—i.e., watching this floundering franchise. And they have a whole bunch of games to go and so do we. Ugh.

Posted by: JohnRDC | July 19, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

No, not two good plays, one ROUTINE play that he makes interesting, one good play that he then almost throws away and one turn an out into a hit with Gomes.

The kid is simply NOT the special player they want us to think he is. He cannot make the throw to 1B from any position on the field. Captain Sidearm! Maybe he'll get it together someday, he's young and all, but he is a train wreck out there right now and it is costing the club runs night in and night out.

He's on pace for something well north of 40 E's guys. He's awful.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 19, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

At least tonight we don't have Sunshine Debbie to make a lousy game worse

Posted by: CBinDC | July 19, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Ha. So true CBin. :-)

Posted by: dfh21 | July 19, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell is not a "kid". Maxwell has yet to hit more than .240 for an entire year in the minors above A ball. He is even "streaky" down there. He doesn't like honing his skills in the minors which is why when he comes up he doesn't hit. He thinks he's a star already. Say, isn't that what they said about Dukes.

Bernadina yes. Perhaps the younger Marerro? But Maxwell is AAAA and trade fodder to package with Capps or Dunn.

Posted by: periculum | July 19, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

JohnR, a lot of Weaver's success didn't come from "genius," in my opinion. He was a firm believer in performance trends and he managed by them. I'm sure he'd look at a guy like Morse and the number he was producing and he'd figure out a way to get him in there regularly.

Given the problems the Nats are having at the top of the order, he'd make a move to get a guy with a good OBP into the top spot, whether that guy looked like a leadoff man or not (I bet he'd try Zimmerman there; I would).

He had a great defensive team and set up the pitching to leverage that fielding. Not sure what he'd do with this bunch.

He'd do what he could to match up his starting pitchers against certain teams (hard to do with a five man rotation). Finally, if he thought these were the right moves, he'd stick with his moves and give them a chance to work. He believed in the percentages. I think that's why he didn't do as well in the World Series; a hot team could beat his strategy for a week, but it wasn't as easy to do over a season.

What Weaver had was confidence in doing things his way and sticking with it. Riggleman feels like he's doing the right thing and I admire his patience. I just think he should pay a little more attention to what the numbers are telling him.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Why after all that has happened is this team is STUCK ON STUPID !!!!!

Posted by: CBinDC | July 19, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't think the Nats will lose 100. But they sure will be close!

Is that the improvement we were all led to believe would happen this year?

Luis, the reds fodder for this evenings entertainment! Good Luck to the minor league pitcher! Anyone want to bet on how many innings he's going to last?

Posted by: M20832 | July 20, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Watched the last three games. No emotion, no energy. Just swingtin and striking out. Seems they don't care. I hear the team gradually reflects the personality of the manager. Oh boy!!

Posted by: boyn4884 | July 20, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

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