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Game 97 discussion thread: Nationals at Brewers

Craig Stammen began his second half with a strong start, and the trick now is validating it with another. The narrative of Stammen's season has, by now, become worn: He's proved he can be good enough to be a major league starter. He has yet to prove he is capable of doing it consistently enough.

Tonight, Stammen can slap together consecutive quality starts for the first time since April 24. He allowed one earned runs in six innings against the Marlins on Wednesday, and at times he was surprisingly dominant -- he made the Marlins swing and miss 17 times in the first five innings.

With Stammen on the mound, the Nationals have a chance to match their season-high winning streak of just three games. They'll face Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson, who is 8-6 with a 5.83 ERA. Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 23, 2010; 7:50 PM ET
 
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Next: Mike Rizzo backs Jim Riggleman to manage the Nationals in 2011

Comments

Not sure that run would have scored had Morse made a clean play in the corner. In any case, another first inning run given up.

Posted by: marathoner | July 23, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

As I touched on earlier today, Stammen has been very good, or very bad this year. At home, he has four Quality Starts of eight games total [1-1-6 W-L-ND]; On the road, he's three of eight [1-3-4 W-L-ND]. Risky, but still the 4th best result on staff:
Hernandez (14/20 [70%])
Strasburg (5/9 [56%])
Olsen (4/8 [50%])- DL, on rehab
Stammen (7/16 [44%])
Lannan (5/14 [36%])- at HAR (AA)
Atilano (5/16 [31%])- DL
JDMartin (2/8 [25%])
Chico, Marquis, Mock (0/5 [0%]).

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

3 run home run for Morse! And he didn't even know it!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | July 23, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Atonement.

Posted by: marathoner | July 23, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Michael Morse, doing all he can to embarrass his manager into playing him...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow Riggs is a genius. Playing Morse, what a great idea. Oh wait, need to get everyone playing time.

Posted by: JT2009 | July 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Nice HR by Michael Morse!
(of course, of course)

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 23, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Dibs: "It's a shame they can't find a way to get him into the game everyday, because all he does is hit, hit, hit."

Amen to that, brother.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | July 23, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Now THAT'S a Morse Coda!

Posted by: Drew8 | July 23, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Woo-Hoo, Michael! 3-1 Nationals.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

If we can pitch tonight, it looks like we have run support. Another rbi for Zimmerman.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | July 23, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Aggressive base running going 2nd to home ? Is this the Nats ?

Posted by: JT2009 | July 23, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

When interviewed it was Michael Morse who said he was fine with his role on the team (not playing everyday) and i know he was being a "team guy" by not saying i would love to play everyday, i'm thinking if Morse can play first then Rizzo can move Dunn for top line prospects and improve this franchise's future.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 23, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

dargramps:
Morse is hitting the snot out of the ball right now, but can't replace a 40HR/100+RBI LH-hitter like Dunn at 1B. He's a "meh" RF, but is good enough to get him some at-bats against LH starters, imo.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Another HR for Morse. Can he now play 2 games in row ? Sad, with Riggs, who knows.

Posted by: JT2009 | July 23, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Morse is hitting the snot out of the ball right now"

Couldn't have said it better, Bin!

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 23, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL...I can't see how Morse rides the pine much longer. DANG!!!!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 23, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I learned tonight.

When the center fielder decides to make an ill advised throw home, and compounds this by making a terrible throw, this annoys me greatly, no matter whether he's wearing the home or away uniform.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm a fan of TPlush but I think its time the Nats look into benching Morgan and moving Bernadina to center in order to get his and Morse's bats in the lineup.

Posted by: 2010johara | July 23, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I think the move would be trade willingham, put bernardina in left and morse in right. Try to get a solid 2nd baseman or catcher for the hammer.

Posted by: gtrain82 | July 23, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

@Sunderland:
I'm with you - "Stupid is as stupid does", regardless of the uniform worn.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Apologies if this has been covered earlier here, but just noticed a story in the MLB headlines about the Nats keeping Riggleman for 2011:

http://tinyurl.com/263vyx7

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 23, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Amen, 2010johara. For the life of me I can't figure out why we haven't seen Bernadina in CF and Morse in RF once this season. Did it happen and I missed it? It seems an obvious combo to try.

Posted by: Jackmathias | July 23, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Honestly though, if not playing Michael Morse is the worst thing Riggs does this year then I'm more than fine with him staying. I'm fine with him as a manager.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | July 23, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

NatAlbert - I had not seen that.
Part of me is very surprised by this.
Not sure which part.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed the next post here on the NJ covers it, posted at 8:45 (had blinders on for the game discussion thread), so I'm a wee bit late on the take.

Personally, I'm in favor, despite some pretty questionable judgment calls (mostly on the late-game defensive replacement front) made by Riggs earlier this season.

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 23, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

(and now I'm wondering if Riggs' agent, Burton Rocks, has a brother named Cleveland)

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 23, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

@Jackmathias:
Bernadina is a LH hitter, while Morse is a RH hitter. If you look at it from a straight 'platoon' mentality, Morse & Bernadina would share duty, but would never be in the same lineup for long.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Riggs,
Don't play Morse tomorrow. He makes Willie and Adam look bad. Hurt Willie's feelings.

Posted by: bamabug | July 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

@NatAlbert:
I'm also jumping the new post, but of mixed emotions on the announcement. I'm happy for Riggleman securing the job for 2011, but somehow left wanting for the immediate future.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

@BimM: Yes, but Morse's pinch hitting this year seems to indicate he can hit sucessfully against RHPs. I'm a Tony P fan after last year too, but I'm surprised with the way he has been struggling this year that we haven't seen Bernadina and Morse on the field at the same time.

Posted by: Jackmathias | July 23, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't know where to find the real numbers, but it seems like opposing pitchers are hitting .470 against us over the course of the season.
OK, that's an exageration, but we they hit us plenty.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with having Riggleman managing the Nats in '11. How would you justify firing him? The team has basically played as well as it should have. The real question is, do you extend him beyond '11 and I'd have to wait and see on that.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Stammen can't stand prosperity of course Dunn doesn't help, a real first baseman catch's Desmond's throw and Stammen is becomming unraveled(walk's the pitcher,and Weeks gives up a hit and rbi) now Braun is up this is why Stammen will never be a mainstay in this rotation.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 23, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Bernie hitting .286 against LH pitchers. Play both of them for a month.

Posted by: bamabug | July 23, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I swear, more often than not, watching Stammen pitch is like getting a root canal. Agonizing. And what is the opposing pitcher hitting against the Nats this year? Must be .250 or so. Unbelievable. Never seen so many hits by their pitcher as this year.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 23, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

At some point you gotta give the guy a chance, so surely we'll see a RF platoon now.

Posted by: markfromark | July 23, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Baltova, to answer hyour question, I'm really disappointed how long things go uncorrected with this team.

Mental errors, throwing to the wrong base, bad baserunning, getting picked off, nibbling to pitchers trying to sacrifice bunt, things like this should happen with much less frequency than they do, and this is stuff I would hold a manager and coaching staff accountable for.

I think Riggleman has does some things well, but I seriously think the job could be done better.


Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Morse batting .371 against RHP.

Posted by: Jackmathias | July 23, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. Clippard. Holding my breath...

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 23, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Going to need some more runs I fear.

Posted by: marathoner | July 23, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Morse only gets to play half the game????!!!!

Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

He has to hit 2 grand slams to stay in. 4 RBI isn't gonna cut it on this team.

Posted by: amorris525 | July 23, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Christ. We hold the middle of their order in check and let the weak sisters beat us. And of course a double switch - to take out a guy who's already hit 2 homers tonight. Is all that really necessary???

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 23, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Man.
Who does he take out, in a now-tied game? The one guy who's hitting tonight.

Dang. I'm stuck with these #39.99 two-for-one coupons I'm just never going to need...
You just want to slap him.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 23, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

$39.99
and metaphorically speaking, of course.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 23, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Baltova - that double switch, that's the latest reason why Riggleman should not be retained.

Overmanaging, at its worst.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

There was a telling stat from C&D - Stammen has had five blown saves against his 10 no-decisions so far this year; That's nearly criminal, in terms of bullpen support.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Really, how long is Burnett going to stay in the game anyway? Just pinch hit for him. The double switch is too clever by half.

Posted by: Jackmathias | July 23, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Riggleman, I go out of my way to defend you and you do that...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Is there a reason to take Morse out ? I just dont understand Riggleman's determination to get as many players in a game.

Posted by: JT2009 | July 23, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Seconded in full, Baltova

Posted by: NatAlbert | July 23, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Carpenter said earlier in the game that Edmonds is a highball hitter and what does he get???

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Well expect more of the same for the next couple of years since Rigg's will be retained,just wondering what criteria Rizzo is using to base his decesion on retaining Riggleman,of course the Lerner's don't have to worry about paying for a top line manager anymore just a unbelievable move by Rizzo.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 23, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

When is "Clip and Burn" T-shirt Tuesday?

Posted by: 08Cubs | July 23, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Jim Edmonds, 2 for 3, RBI single, 2 run HR.
Anyone out there think Ken Macha's gonna sit Edmonds on a double switch?

(I'll stop now, promise)

Posted by: Sunderland | July 23, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected. The double switch was too clever by both halves.

Posted by: Jackmathias | July 23, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Yippee, another double switch! Now, he just needs to figure out how to double switch Morse back into the game...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Stammen deserved a better outcome... Shortstop throws the ball away and is given a hit, a broken bat hit, a flair that a normal left fielder catches. Unfortunately that is a poor defense. Even the triple in the first inning was kicked around in the right field corner. I believe trades for defense is in order.

Posted by: LAL15 | July 23, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh for Christ sake, another double switch to remove the original double switch??? Wonder if he'd double switch to remove Zim? Absurd.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 23, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess added suspense is can Riggs get Kennedy in too

Posted by: JT2009 | July 23, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Shoulda used Peralta in the top of the sixth instead of Clippard. Will they never learn? How many times this year have they blown a game exactly like this one?

Posted by: LeeM9308 | July 23, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman=loser. Rizzo huge mistake. This guy doesn't know how to manage.

Posted by: hersheykid | July 23, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Double switching your hottest hitter out of the game is, indeed, genius... ugh...

Posted by: Ghost7 | July 23, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Riggs looks for an excuse to take Morse out? There are few possible reasons for this and all of them are ugly. WTF was he doing? I struggled to agree Riggs deserved this year because his record is he's only good as a second half replacement guy or a ruiner of a young P's arm (Kerry Wood) -- but even I didn't think he could make Manny look competent (he's not). He needs to go last week. Bring in Bozo the clown -- wait, we have him already.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | July 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Peralta's a keeper though.

Posted by: Jackmathias | July 23, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Not a good sign when Rigs celebrates his reappointment by double switching us out of the game.

Seriously, has anybody ever seen a manager double switch a guy out of the game in the middle innings when he's already homered twice? Unbelievable.

BinM,
Bernadina looks to have the tools to be our best CF. Can we not try him there? Let him prove he can't play CF, and let Morse prove he can't play RF or hit righthanders.

And Carpy and Dibs keep belaboring Burnett for not doing his job as a lefthanded specialist. But he's not a LOOGY! A manager has to recognize his player's strengths--even if the broadcasters can't-- and maximize their usefulness rather than keep trying to jam the square peg into the round hole.

Now we've got Pudge, Harris, and Desmond up for our last shot--way to go, Rigs!

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | July 23, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Getting that 197 average in the game. Brilliant !!!!

Posted by: JT2009 | July 23, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

More important to get Harris in the game than to let Morse stay in and get another chance to bat. Good ole Riggs. Great plan.

Posted by: bamabug | July 23, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

hmm. wonder why this team can not get a string of wins together. Perhaps has something to do with the complete lack of consistency from starting line ups to player changes within games ? Really Rizzo, why now make the statement about Riggs in 2011 ? As far as I can tell, this is the first move by Rizzo I completely don't understand.

Posted by: JT2009 | July 23, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

We will not see Morse for a few days now. Riggs let him play a little while tonight.

Posted by: bamabug | July 23, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I missed the 6th and 7th,then came back to see that they pulled the guy who had hit 2 home runs.Amazing.Now he doesn't play against right-handers?Last year I saw Morse hit one out off of Tommy Hanson,who is considered one of the best young pitchers in the game.That move was idiotic.

Posted by: seanmg | July 23, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Watching the postgame show. Can not one of these guys ask, Rigs, respectfully, what was your thinking in double switching Morse out of the game? Unprofessional of them not to at least raise the question.

On a totally different subject, Amber Theoharis totally outclasses our very own Debi Taylor in every category! This Baltimore gal really knows her baseball--caught her sparring with Tom Davis on 105.7 recently. Sorry, just wanted to take my mind off the Morse Mystery for a minute.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | July 23, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Milwaukee seems committed to competing with a 32 percent higher payroll than the Nats. It is great that the Nats are competitive with some of these other teams that make larger commitments. If the Nats tried harder in financial commitment, they could pass some of these teams by.

Posted by: EdDC | July 24, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

YAY!!! Let's keep Riggleman another year!!!

Just ufb....

Posted by: M20832 | July 24, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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