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Last night's Michael Morse double-switch

One decision in last night's Nationals loss to the Brewers generated more discussion than any other. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Sean Burnett replaced the ineffective Tyler Clippard, and Roger Bernadina replaced Michael Morse in right field as the second half of a double-switch that would delay the pitcher's batting spot for seven slots.

Morse had already hit two home runs by that point, which made it a pretty unpopular move. Today, Manager Jim Riggleman explained his thinking.

"I know they're going to have a right-handed pitcher in the next time Mike comes up," Riggleman said. "I've been playing Mike mostly against lefties. Hopefully that will change a little bit for him and he'll get some more at-bats against righties. But, you know, it's based on pitching. I need the pitcher to face more than a couple batters. I need him to pitch that inning and then some of the next. So I had to make a double-switch like that. I waited as long as I could to avoid it, but I just couldn't do it."

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 24, 2010; 5:59 PM ET
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Next: Playing first is a first for Alberto Gonzalez


Complete idiot.

Posted by: swanni | July 24, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Morse hits better against righties than lefties ...Where is he coming from?

Posted by: chiro1623 | July 24, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

This is so moronic.

Morse is crushing right handed pitching this year.
He has almost as many AB's against righties than lefties too.
v Left, 42 AB, .310 / .356 / .643 OPS .998
v Right 36 AB, .371 / .421 / .629 OPS 1.050

Adam - Any chance anyone brought that up to Mr. Riggleman?

Posted by: Sunderland | July 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Did I just walk into a Monty Python movie or something? My head is spinning. If this wasn't so absurd it would be funny. Too bad Mr. Kilgore didn't follow up with some basic questions such as why not double switch Guzman or Desmond. Or why can't you make a simple pitching change without always double switching or wouldn't you like your hitter, who has already hit 2 home runs in this one game, to get up to bat again? Mike Morse is not allergic to right handed pitchers. That's the most inane comment yet. Is Mike Rizzo even listening? Does the dude even care? If Rizzo is watching the same games we are, how on earth could he give this guy any more years?
This is the saddest day of the season for the Nats!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | July 24, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Riggles was the one who was supposed to be in control of the situation but he is talking like he was just along for the ride last night. So happy to hear that we'll see more of the same next year.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | July 24, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman clearly attempts to out think himself and by doing so has cost this team any sense of consistency. Look at the defense, look at the lack of run production over series of games and mostly the fact this team can not win 3 in a row. Rizzo, to late to change your mind on Riggs ?

Posted by: JT2009 | July 24, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Where's Boz when you really need him. Please Boz write an article about the absurd managing of Riggleman. And how on earth this guy could be given any more time. What in the freak is Rizzo thinking? Seriously. Is he even paying attention. Does anyone out there with authority even care. This is beyond moronic. This is suicidal for the team.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | July 24, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Uhmmm okay Adam so what's the logic behind double-switching Willie Harris in for Morgan? Harris is not that good in right field, he is certainly far worst than Bernadina and Morgan in center or right?

Sounds like double talk to me. Did Riggleman ever run for office?

Posted by: periculum | July 24, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

This kid needs to be in the lineup every day until he proves not to be able to handle it. Bottom line: he's deserved it. Bernadina in CF, Morse in RF. What the hell does the team have to lose?

Posted by: joemktg1 | July 24, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

And why not double switch Harris in for Guzman at second base? Or Kennedy for that matter? Guzman is a lot worst against right handed pitching than left-handed? Guzman is a terrible second baseman?

There is not rhyme or reason to that response.

Posted by: periculum | July 24, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Riggs was perfect. He took out the wrong man, and brought in the wrong pitcher. In 60 years of watching baseball, that is the worst move I have seen.
Rizzo, give it some more thought.

Posted by: bamabug | July 24, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"Mike Morse was pretty much our offense" - Riggleman on pre-game show with Dave on last night's game. Might as well take him out - thats the logic we are working with.

Posted by: JT2009 | July 24, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Riggleman bat Morse 3rd in place of Dunn and leave 4 and 5 to Zimmerman and Willingham?

Posted by: bobilly2 | July 24, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Leaving this guy in charge of on-field personnel is a guarantee that we will neither compete nor develop. This is not rocket science: you put your best players out there every day in an effort to win every game. Riggleman does not do that. He is in love with these ridiculous double-switches, and they've cost us game after game.

Posted by: FanOfTheNats | July 24, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Late to the party, but this is really rich: "I know they're going to have a right-handed pitcher in the next time Mike comes up," Riggleman said. "I've been playing Mike mostly against lefties. Hopefully that will change a little bit for him and he'll get some more at-bats against righties."

He acts like someone else is managing the team. "Hopefull that will change a little bit for him and he'll get some more at-bats against righties"???? Who's going to make that change for him? Mike Rizzo? Ted Lerner? No Riggs, that's you! You're the one who can give him some at bats against righties so next time he hits two homers in the game you might have the confidence to leave him in when he's going to face a rightie in the next inning. Of course, he already has shown he can hit righties this year, but apparently you haven't figured that out yet. So give him some more at bats! Please!

As for needing to keep Burnett in the game, for a few batters in the next inning, ok fine. Then let him bat. Can't be much worse than sending up Willie Harris to stand there with the bat on his shoulder.

Posted by: Section222 | July 25, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Don't blame Kilgore for not asking the follow up. We got the original question answered. But if the follow up is, "Jim, that makes no sense at all. It's asinine, in fact." you cannot expect the beat reporter to ask that follow up.

Besides, he was probably busy picking up his jaw off the floor or trying to follow the colvoluted logic.

Posted by: comish4lif | July 25, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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