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Game 94 discussion thread: Nationals at Reds

This has come up often, but it bears repeating: The Nationals have been awful on the road this season. After three straight losses, they are now 15-32 away from Nationals Park, better than only three teams. The Nationals are 14.5 games out of first place, but they're actually four games above .500 at home. The road is really a significant problem.

They'll try to change things tonight with Luis Atilano on the mound facing fellow rookie Mike Leake. Leake, who spent zero seconds in the minors, is a rookie of the year candidate, having gone 6-1 with a 3.53 ERA. Atilano is not, having gone 6-6 with a 4.85 ERA. The Nats 1-5 in his previous six starts, and he was shelled during a maintenance start Thursday in Class AAA Syracuse.

Atilano and Leake have faced each other once already this year, and it turned into a decent pitchers matchup. Atilano allowed two runs, one earned, in seven innings on six hits and a walk. Leake was better, yielding one unearned run in what eventually became a 5-1 Reds victory.

We'll see how the rematch turns out. Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 20, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Cuban pitcher Yunesky Maya agrees to terms with Nationals

Comments

The usually pitiful top of the 1st...

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 20, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

2 walks to start the game. Great.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 20, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...looks like the pen might just get some work tonight...

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 20, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

GAME OVER MAN GAME OVER

Posted by: CBinDC1 | July 20, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, this game is just about done. Be amazed if Leake gives up two runs...

Posted by: CJArlington | July 20, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Soooooooo....

Probably a good time to start the pool: who takes Atilano's spot the next time through the rotation? Olsen? Detwiler? Lannan? Chico? Martis? John Patterson? Shawn Hill? Mike Bacsik?

Discuss.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm done watching this minor league team that is sprinkled with a few major leaguers.

Our first 2 K, their first two walk. Thankfully Atilano serves up the beachball to Votto.

Why do we continue to play guys who aren't major leaguers?

Posted by: SCNatsFan | July 20, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

We just GOTTA have somebody better than Atilano in the system SOMEWHERE. Jeez.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 20, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Can they get Yuneski Maya up to Cincinnati tonight?

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 20, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

An 0-16 dude just racked a double.

At this point, it might be better to televise the rehab starts...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

baltova, my money's on Olsen. Absolutely can't be any worse than this guy.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 20, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

NATurallyYours, thanks for that Maya reference. You may have broken some news there...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@baltova1 - it's up on MLB rumors...

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 20, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

NATurallyYours, I think in the interest of international relations, we should be fair to Cuba, since we've signed one of their defectors. We can give them one of our pitchers (obviously, not Livan).

Of course, once they see them pitch, it might start a war...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes, NATurallyYours, but it's not up on washingtonpost.com.....

(hint, hint, Adam)

This actually looks like pretty big news, doesn't it?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

And I think it should be YuneskY

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 20, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

NATurallyYours, I think in the interest of international relations, we should be fair to Cuba, since we've signed one of their defectors. We can give them one of our pitchers (obviously, not Livan).

Of course, once they see them pitch, it might start a war...
-----

With El Duque in the fold, it looks like all we're missing is Fidel for an all-Cuban rotation. He did have MLB aspirations back in the day, didn't he?

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 20, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

On this day in 1971 Richard Nixon would be last President, until 2005, to attend a baseball game in Washington DC. The Senators won 5-1 over the Milwaukee Brewers before 3877 at RFK.

Posted by: CBinDC1 | July 20, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Why is Riggleman not out arguing the call at second? It sure would be nice if someone - anyone - acted like they were upset with the way this team is playing instead of looking like this is what they expect.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | July 20, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Not surprised by any of this, Atilano has learned nothing the league has caught up with this kid, and Riggleman and his bunch are not smart enough to help this kid make adjustment's and for the umpteenth time what's wrong with giving Martis a shot?that is my problem with the hierarchy on this team they keep running the same guy's through the revolving door and keep getting the same results( definition of insanity)with Rizzo being the head of the assylum.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 20, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

NATurallyYours, you forgot Camilo Pascual!!!

But seriously, this is pretty big news (hint, hint, Adam, anybody else at the Post). The guy's 28, a star on the Cuban team, 1.23 ERA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. It appears he was targeted by the big guys so for the Nats to get him is a big deal (hint, hint...oh forget it). With his level of experience, he shouldn't need much minor league time to be ready for the bigs.

Of course, tonight wouldn't be too early to get him out there...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Corky cannot be contained.

But life goes on.

Posted by: CJArlington | July 20, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Atilano - sorry, but hope this is your last start. I agree, somebody/anybody would be better than his batting practice pitches. But at least, Riggleman will say "he's being aggressive out there"

Posted by: JT2009 | July 20, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

It's so sad when a game very likely is over in the 1st. When I heard before the all-star break that Atilano was sent down, I thought, "Good!'' Too bad it was just a paper shuffling move.
Altho there may be hope for Stammen, the Nats has three starters that are likely to lose every time out. It's got to be the worst rotation in the Majors,

Why even have JZimm and Olsen rehab? If they can walk to the mound, they might as well up here.

Posted by: nats24 | July 20, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

With 69 games left and 40 wins the Nats need to play almost .500 ball to finish with 70 wins. Anybody think that will happen? This looks like another 7-8 game losing streak. Other than pitching this will be another wasted season with more questions at the end than the beginning. Just more unproductive offense, shoddy defense and low baseball IQ. Where are the answers?

Posted by: Natmeister | July 20, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

In another big signing today, from MLBRumors.com:

The Padres will sign Wily Mo Pena to a minor league deal and assign the former big leaguer to Triple A Portland....

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

SC, I'm with you. No emotion whatsoever. Reminds me more and more of the Manny Acta regime. Impotence and indifference. Christ, somebody slam a bat down, throw a chair, something. Show us that you CARE. The hell with this "I take responsibility" crap from Riggleman. These are grown men, supposed Major Leaguers. They don't need to be "protected".

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 20, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Um, actually, Natmeister, with 69 games left, the Nats just have to win at the same rate they have so far to win 70 games...

40-53: .430
30-39: .435

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Except we are playing at a .300 rate. . . .

Posted by: paulkp | July 20, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Logged into MLB.com late, only to see Atilano went BB-BB-3runHR to open the game; Yikes! Hope the bus ride back to SYR doesn't give him additional problems; I think either Olsen or Chico might have next.

Posted by: BinM | July 20, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm far more interested in Yuniesky Maya than I am in this game. I see no reason this guy shouldn't be pitching in the bigs in a month. Sign him, send him to AA or A ball to get back in form and bring him up. He's 28 and pitched in Cuba. He doesn't need minor league experience.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

baltonova1:

How could I have forgotten Pascual? I wasn't around for his first stint, but I remember when he came back to DC for the final years of 'Nats II

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 20, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Besides, we need to make use of Adam Kennedy before it's too late. They should do a poster of Kennedy, Livan and Maya.

Kennedy and the Cubans

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - baltova1 not baltNova1

Posted by: NATurallyYours | July 20, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

NATurallyYours, assuming these reports (from other sources besides the Post, for one last hint), are true, is that not good news? This guy does appear to be a top-notch Cuban player, right?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

This team needs Ozzie Guillen for one month, just for a reality check!

Posted by: Kolchak | July 20, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

This team needs Ozzie Guillen for one month, just for a reality check!

Posted by: Kolchak | July 20, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

30-39 vs. 35-34 is close to .500 especially when the team has two 7 game losing streaks and no winning streak more than 3. So far there has been no momentum or consistency whatsoever.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 20, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

another missed cut off man. Ho Hum. Does anything surprise any more ?

Posted by: JT2009 | July 20, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

>another missed cut off man. Ho Hum. Does anything surprise any more ?

Posted by: JT2009

Watch the way they play grounders - infield and outfield. It's passive, and they're not in a position to throw.

Posted by: Brue | July 20, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

baltova1,

Agree with you on importance of Maya (and kudos finally to FO for significant action on the international free agent front). But 70-win projection is based on overall play so far. Projection based on play after miracle 20-15 run would give us 67-68 wins. Looks like over/under of 70 wins would make a sporting bet: we do have pitching reinforcements on the way, but Stras will miss Sept., big parts of offense might be traded away, and entropy seems to have set in.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | July 20, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Every no out walk - $500. Next one same inning $1,000. Same for errors. If Riggs wants to continue to defend these no loads, he needs to go.

Posted by: navboss | July 20, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Pat Listach even pay attention?

Posted by: CJArlington | July 20, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I really have no interest in belaboring the point about the 70-win projection, but the original post claimed they'd have to play almost .500 ball to win 70 games. They have to play .435. In baseball terms, .435 is not nearly .500. Even as sorry as they are right now, they can (and will) play .435 the rest of the way. Even the worst teams have the kind of winning stretch the Nats haven't had since the beginning of the season. Throw that in and they'll win something like 73-75.

I predict Maya wins game number 75 with a shutout against the Mets to knock them out of the wild card race...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Listach ever send ANYONE. How do you not send Willie Harris AKA FAST WILLIE HARRIS with this terrible hitting-with-two-out team? I don't understand...

Posted by: amorris525 | July 20, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

This team does not travel well at all, and hasn't for a couple of years.
--- Thought intterupted by this ---
Wait a minute - this just in...

Willie Harris actually had a hit! With two out, in a 5-1 game... and Morgan doubles, putting two RISP for Desmond, who...grounds out to SS, ending the inning. S I G H .

Posted by: BinM | July 20, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Leake and Cueto three RBIs total this series so far, to tie them with the entire Nats' squad...

Posted by: CJArlington | July 20, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

OK: Who wants to say they'd rather have had Guz up in that two-out situation? I'd raise my hand. But then the Nats wouldn't have that slick glove at SS, would they?

Heck, I know it wouldn't make much a difference anyway. And Desmond has a future, I hope.

Posted by: nats24 | July 20, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Shades of the legendary Ted Tolman. Shouldn't the 3rd base coach give the sign AFTER the outfielder throws the ball somewhere? Listach is still reliving the Kennedy 3rd base fiasco in Florida, so will not take any chances.

They give you a run and you won't take it. Perfect.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 20, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Not to get into a back and forth or anything, but this team is not close to playing .435 ball right now. They don't look like a .435 club, they don't feel like a .435 club, and they are not a .435 club. Perhaps with a few new starting pitchers that will change.

Can we ask Rizzo why the club only gives managers 1-year contracts? (Except we know the answer.)

Posted by: paulkp | July 20, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

That was TIM Tolman, don't disparage his brother Ted. Big storm cells to the west and south of Cincinnati, should be enough of a delay to get Leake out of the game, but does it really matter? Hope the Arroyo - Strasburg matchup doesn't get killed by a rain delay.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 20, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo on the radio is making me nauseus. Rah rah rah, every one is great, every guy is progressing, every guy is special, healing, learning, growing and everything is going according to plan. What team does this guy think he's running?

Posted by: dfh21 | July 20, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice question, Jim! Although I was reminded by Sam Ervin to John Ehrlichman.

Posted by: paulkp | July 20, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo: "There are no short cuts, we have to build it the right way" -- translation, aint ever gonna happen folks.

Blather on and on with excuses all you want Rizzo, the Lerners are spending in the bottom 5 every sinlge year, charging ticket prices in the top 10 and working in essentially a rent free facility as they finish last every single year with a club that has a lack luster minor league system 4+ years into their stewardship -- they are not building it the right way. They are the worst owners in the game.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 20, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Quick question for the folks in-the-know:

Going to see Stras in Cincy tomorrow night and wanted to maybe catch warm-up in the pen. 7:10pm start, anybody know when he's likely to be throwing?

Posted by: McBride33 | July 20, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-thanks, paulkp-I'm revealed at last!
Too bad I couldn't "follow it up".Did my interjection make it through? I asked Riz why, if the Slows are so committed, they didn't hire him earlier? And oh, yea-the D'Backs won a series before they had to rebuild, didn't they?
Call me a fool, but I was at least partially mollified that the Slows DO want to build a perennial contender. But for all the economic similarities, this is NOT the Great Depression (that Rizzo alluded formed Teds' bizzness sensibilities) and there are some new tools in the kit these days to build a winner. Along with the perennial "plan".
By the way, the oft-cited Rays only became good when they got new owners...oh, 4 years back? And last time I checked, we had a few more people living in the DC area than Tampa, with a bit more disposable income (as well as the intelligence to recognize when we're being/been played! Witness the Gang here.)
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | July 20, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

just curious...what does a .435 club feel like?

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 20, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Like other posters have said, Riggleman's demeanor is almost like Acta's and has to change immediately...Many players respond positively when a manager goes off but if he shows no emotion during the game no fire is lit...

We thought we had a better manager after Acta but it seems like we have a clone...

Posted by: pentagon40 | July 20, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

NO FIRE!NO EMOTION! They are numb they can say what they want but these guy's are not responding to Riggleman and if they are then they don't know how to play this game. The Lerner's don't know squat and like i said when Jimbo was gm Stan has got them fooled see this never would have happened if F.Robby had remained with this franchise the same thing happened to Robby in Balt. and look at them.Stan K got rid of Robby because he knew he would have been exposed as a joke and a know-nothing so he convinced the Lerner's to rid themselves of the over emotional old school hall of famer and brought in Manny Acta the laid back everything's gonna be all right fraud of a manager and well you know the rest of the story so in my mind thay all get what they deserve i just feel sorry for a lot of you who like me want to see this team win, i just don't see that happening anytime soon.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 20, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

really? so the nats downfall was getting rid of frank robinson to hide kasten as a know nothing fraud?

huh. i just thought it was because the team has never had consistent pitching or defense.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 20, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

.435 feels just high enough to fool you into thinking you're almost respectable, just one or two players away from wearing your Nats hat proudly

Or as Joe Schultz said to Jim Bouton as he grabbed his crotch, "Feel this."

Posted by: paulkp | July 20, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-any ideas how this guy Maya comps to Chapman? Any word on the dollar amount?
And dfh21-stop mentioning those inconvenient facts! Maybe the Slows are basing their spending on the population of, oh, Rockville!
And hey....look at the mess over-spending's got this country in! Better to save for a rainy day, you'll see! (besides, not too many shoppers at the malls, lately..or new tenants in the buildings.As Rizzo said, SLOWly is the way to go. Right?
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | July 20, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

No, zendo, we want a stimulus package, if it's for the Nats! But look at how we're doing it, buying foreign imports. And from Cuba no less!

Posted by: baltova1 | July 20, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

LosDoceOcho: I think we both know it's pitching and defense my point is having a real "baseball person" in the front office yes StanK is a fraud as far as organizing a team(picking a gm,manager,scout's, etc.) This orginazation lack's fire,the player's imho are lackadasical and too laid back they have become comfortable with the culture of losing all you have to do is look at the last 20-25 games. Frank Robinson would not have tolerated that he didn't tolerate it when he was this team's field manager even though he didn't have the talent Riggleman has, Robinson is a basball man, plain and simple i'm not sure we can say that for the majority people in the front office.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 20, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Lollygaggers.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 20, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Just can't throw that overhand one time Zim.

Posted by: amorris525 | July 20, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I dont think he's a fraud in that regard. Not real sure what kind of credentials you are looking for in a real baseball man, but his time in atlanta went like this: Cox became GM right about the same time Turner brought in Kasten - Then Scheurholz came in during the beginning of the 90's and Cox shifted to manager. That sounds like a pretty solid pick for gm, manager, etc.

So FRob comes in and fires up Dunn or Willingham or Zimmerman? How? Dunn has always been labelled as lacking desire. Zimmerman isnt fire and brimstone. Same with Willingham. None of the free agent signings addressed the issue either, whether the player is low key (Kennedy, Capps) or injured (Marquis) or may not communicate as well (Pudge, L). Lou Pinella or Joe Maddon could lead this team and they would still be laid back. Its the players nature and its not a new issue.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 20, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Besides continuing to lose, what else do they have to do to get the first overall in the draft?

Posted by: esch | July 20, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that most of the people still at the park are unemployed. Riggles, take note.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | July 20, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Love the fact we can hear the sounds on the field. And of course Willie Harris is in the middle of another rally. . . .

Posted by: paulkp | July 20, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it: Mike Morse is The Man.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | July 20, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Remind me again why Morse is so rarely started?

Posted by: amorris525 | July 20, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Aw, I wanted to go to bed. This is getting fun, though.

Posted by: paulkp | July 20, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I posted at the other update about Michael Morse, but a bases-clearing shot that actually showed some power from a (nearly) totally punchless lineup over the past 5 games demonstrates a possible changing of the guard!

Let's show Bernie and Morse leading a rally back to take this game! C'mon Nats -- I'm awake at midnight, and it's only the bottom of the 6th. Our bullpen can beat up theirs -- let's steal this one!

Posted by: mo_dc | July 20, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

3-up, 3-down... nice half.

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 20, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

strasburg starts + a mic'ed nyger morgan = a must tune in game tomorrow.

Posted by: burnsrb | July 21, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

How big is that hold-up by Listach now in the...5th? Keeping Willie from going to the plate was a big play at the time, but considering this come back, it's huge now!

Posted by: mo_dc | July 21, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Never in my life would I have expected to see A. Rhodes pitching in 2010, sitting on a (now-decreasing) 1.46 era...

I have to give him some major props

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 21, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

What a heart-breaker! Can't believe I'm still up to watch, but the last 3 innings were certainly worth it after a 2:40 rain delay!

The Nats bats came alive with some help from Owings and the Reds relievers. AND, a PH appearance by Michael Morse, coming through in the clutch = 6 innings in the 6th. Hopefully knock us out of our funk!

Posted by: mo_dc | July 21, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Another curly L....sigh...

Posted by: M20832 | July 21, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

My impression of Arthur Rhodes was that I had never seen him hold a lead or get out of an inning, so I was obviously wrong about that. His continued success is one of the most surprising things I've seen in baseball.

Posted by: markfromark | July 21, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

We have the worst third base coach in MLB. Holding a runner at third with 2 outs when right fielder throws into 2nd conceding a run. Oh, and we lose by that run.

Posted by: richyr | July 21, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Well, on the plus side, Dunn was aggressively seeking a walk.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | July 21, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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