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Today's lineups

Taking Ian Desmond out of the eighth spot lasted one day. He's back at the bottom of the order with Cristian Guzman back in the lineup against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo. Also, Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman remain swapped from their customary spots.

Stephen Strasburg will face his most difficult challenge yet, pitching against a Reds lineup that includes left-handed sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce inside Great American Small Park. Should make for great entertainment.

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Cristian Guzman, 2B
3. Adam Dunn, 1B
4. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Roger Bernadina, RF
7. Ivan Rodriguez, C
8. Ian Desmond, SS
9. Stephen Strasburg, SP

1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Johnny Gomes, LF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. Miguel Cairo, 3B
7. Drew Stubbs, CF
8. Ryan Hanigan, C
9. Bronson Arroyo, SP

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 21, 2010; 3:23 PM ET
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Next: Luis Atilano will likely miss next start


I thought I heard that Ian Desmond would be hitting in the 2 spot for a while, that JR wanted him there??

Posted by: alex35332 | July 21, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The sample size is admittedly very small, but the Nats are 2-8 with Dunn hitting third (although the big guy certainly has done his part, posting a 1.039 OPS while hitting third). Hopefully tonight will be payback time for Dunn against Arroyo. It was ugly for Dunn the last time the two faced off on June 6th (0-4, 3 k's).

Posted by: VaNat | July 21, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on yet another great at bat last night, Michael Morse. Now, get back on the bench.

Posted by: thelonghaul | July 21, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I have a love/hate relationship with Bronson Arroyo.

I love Bronson Arroyo because of this (NSFW):

I hate him because of this:

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The Riggleman school of managing:
Save a really good hitter for 1 PH appearance late in the game rather than say put him in the starting lineup and give him, Oh I don't know, 4 or 5 good at bats.

Riggleman is managerial impaired.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | July 21, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday's piece on the Nationals web site said "Desmond's days batting eighth are over." It's still there.

Posted by: Cosmo06 | July 21, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Sure hope the offense shows up for Strasburg...

Posted by: M20832 | July 21, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-nah, I'm no Lerner, Peri! Wish I was a Turner, in the OTHER Ted StanK worked for. Or that he was our....oh, well. One day the Slows will get it Dunn.
Sorry! It's too freakin' hot!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | July 21, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday's piece on the Nationals web site said "Desmond's days batting eighth are over." It's still there.

Posted by: Cosmo06 | July 21, 2010 4:35 PM
Well, Cosmo, today's game is a "night" game so technically Desmond's "days" batting eighth could still be over ...

I dunno what to do about this team anymore. I just don't understand why Riggs refuses to go with the hotter bat. I don't care about left/right matchups. If you're a good player, you should be able to hit either pitcher just as well, regardless if you bat left or right. The only way to tell is to give one player a slew of starts to see if they can be an everyday player or not. But for some reason, Morse just isn't getting his fair shake this season. I doubt that he actually could be a viable everyday player, but at this rate no one would ever know ...

Posted by: erocks33 | July 21, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Dunn should bat leadoff he likes to hit one run home runs. Why can't we see this line up:

Guzie 2B
Bernie CF
Morse RF

Posted by: hansenjo | July 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I am still pissed about Rizzo telling the fans last night on the radio that the Lerners want to win more than anyone. He went on and on about how it takes time, a lot of time, no short cuts!, and explained by way of example how terrible it was in AZ in 98 when he was there, how it took 7 hard years to build the club and to get the farm up to an elite level. Wow, I don't know how the fan base out there could have weathered it out? Well maybe the fact that the club won the Division in 99, had quickly added Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez among other stud real MLB players and took the Series in 2001 in the mean time helped somewhat ease the pain of the farm system not yet being elite. WTF Mike!

The guy just squawked on and on with half truths, foggy information, excuses, bad analogies, and blather of all other sorts as to why things are just where they should be. We're all actually pretty lucky to have the Lerners and Stan and Mike and Riggleman. It was just awful.

Rizzo is still doing more work in his roll as a cog in the "we're building this the right way despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, trust us" machine.

Last place every year, even with the brand new publicly financed park the club's in the bottom 5 in pay roll every year, but it makes the top 10 in ticket costs in this top 5 market, but even after 4 years of building it the right way it cannot boast a top 50% farm system (even with Stras and Storen counted as farm hands). Took them 4 years to hire a real front office. Accusations of drafting for signability abound. Manny freaking Acta. Etc. Etc.

Can Selig come in and un-award the franchise? Can he just snap his all powerful baseball fingers and make Ted and Mark go back to counting their paperclips and gte some people in there who understand what it takes to be owners of a professional sprots franchise? If only.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 21, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I believe this year they are not in the bottom 5 of payroll.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | July 21, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

dfh21 - One of the more enjoyable and thoughtful recent rants.

BTW, I heard Bill Ladson on the radio today (with John Thompson). Ladson is a total moron. Most of the NJ regulars could have been a better interview.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 21, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

DFH21: I said as much yesterday concerning the fraud that is StanK and his firing of F.Robby and not even offering him as much as a minor league spot i.e.Dir.of Minor league development bringing in Dan Radison over Marquis Grissom,and possibly the worst third base coach in the league Pat(no!no! wait! wait!)Listach it will be interesting to see the approach the Lerners take if this team loses 100 games again, and the spin Rizzo put's on it.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 21, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Ok, what's the 2010 payroll? 24th? 23rd out of 30? Cannot be much out of the total bottom feeder class. And please give me a break as Cot's does not have the info up yet for 2010, so we're all kind of guessing I think. And they did finish less than last once maybe 3 years ago, 4th. Sorry.

Oh, did I mention the part about Forbes claiming that ownership is making money hand over fist on the club as they gouge us for $8 bags of peanuts?

Posted by: dfh21 | July 21, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Stonewall Listtach is terrible, on that I think we can all agree.

And the club kept things going in the less than classy department when they fired St. Claire last year -- no meeting with Rizzo not even a call from Mike, just an adios letter.

man the Ladson and Thompson combo -- Thompson knows nothing about anything, not even hoops anymore, he just talsk and tlaks and says nothing. Stuff like "So Bill, in baseball, in Major League Baseball, at this time of year, in the summer, when it is real hot, and when the clubs are traveling and playing games every night and the people in the stands are in their seats, maybe with some cotton candy, oh I love that stuff! Cotton candy is so goooood. My wife doesn't let me eat . . . ." -- must have been painful.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 21, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are 23rd in team payroll, bunched in with some other small towns, and over $10 million behind such much smaller markets as Cincy, KC and Tampa Bay.

This large powerful region deserves much more of a commitment, other than a commitment to just saving money. The Nats can do much better, especially when DC came through for them in such a big way.

Posted by: EdDC | July 21, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"And the club kept things going in the less than classy department when they fired St. Claire last year -- no meeting with Rizzo not even a call from Mike, just an adios letter. "

dfh21, you got a source for that? I find that very hard to believe. And in direct contradiction the WashTimes article reporting the firing:

"St. Claire said he was working out with Craig Stammen, Tuesday's starting pitcher, at the ballpark on Monday, and was headed home when he got a call telling him to come back to Nationals Park. Acting general manager Mike Rizzo was the only one in the meeting to let St. Claire know he'd been let go; manager Manny Acta talked to him by phone later."

Posted by: joebleux | July 21, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"Stephen Strasburg will face his most difficult challenge yet, pitching against a Reds lineup that includes left-handed sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce inside Great American Small Park."

Cream rises to the top, I predict "No Hitter" for Strasburg today! Remember, the Cincinnati Reds lead the league in being shut out the most. Just hope that the Nats defense is up to the task! But of course I predict winning the lottery every time I play it too, and so far "Zilch"!

Posted by: JohnWWW | July 21, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

@dlh, I heard part of that Rizzo interview last night and totally agree with you. He's a champion spinner and excuse maker. And poor Charlie and Dave had to lick his boots and act like they were so lucky and blessed to have his company during the rain delay. I came away depressed.

By the way, Morse now has a higher OPS than Zimmerman or Willingham. Sure glad we've got him ready on the bench for an occasional pinch hit appearance.

Posted by: Section222 | July 21, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, opening up the purse strings doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll win it all. (See a certain team, from a certain Midwestern town, with a certain skipper still at the helm - at least for this year. Yeah, that's right. Da Cubsss.) Not that I'd mind a larger payroll, mind you, but I'm just saying...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 21, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Like Dean Smith with Michael Jordan.......only keystone defense and a pitch count obsessed Manager can beat SS tonight.

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | July 21, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

JoeB; I stnad corrected, I shoulkd have checked my facts before spouting off like that. Thanks for setting me straight.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 21, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

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