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Game 108 discussion thread: Nationals at Diamondbacks

Alberto Gonzalez will make his second straight start tonight, just his 18th of the season. "It's a change in the lineup," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "But for me it seems pretty routine."

Riggleman's point: For a seldom-used player, Gonzalez creates little drop-off on the rare days he starts. He's hitting .301 with a .728 OPS this year. Ian Desmond, the everyday shortstop, is hitting .257 with a .785 OPS. Adam Kennedy, now the everyday second baseman, is hitting .258 with a .662 OPS.

With Cristian Guzman traded to the Texas Rangers, Gonzalez became the lone backup infielder behind Desmond and Adam Kennedy and will continue to see his playing time rise for the final months of the season. Desmond will be back at short tomorrow, Riggleman said, but Gonzalez will like start two or three games per week.

Tonight, he'll face right-hander Ian Kennedy, whom none of the Nationals have ever faced. Craig Stammen starts for the Nationals, trying to build on three solid outings and make the argument that Stephen Strasburg should replace someone else.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 4, 2010; 9:20 PM ET
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Next: Stephen Strasburg to throw simulated game Thursday


I think Craig Stammen needs to read that blog post about "Tough decisions coming for Nats rotation," because if he keeps pitching like this, one of those decisions won't be that tough...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 4, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Stammen auditioning for middle reliever or starting pitcher next year? Not sure I can tell...

Posted by: DavidandDonald1 | August 4, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Is Stammen auditioning for middle reliever or starting pitcher next year? Not sure I can tell...

Posted by: DavidandDonald1 | August 4, 2010 10:27 PM

In Syracuse?

Posted by: Kev29 | August 4, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

He Dunn it again!!!!

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 4, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Jeebus, that's far. That's, like, 920 feet in combined HRs.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 4, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@kev29 -- good one. "In Syracuse" is one of those phrases that can be tacked onto almost anyone's comment, like "in bed" to fortune cookies...

Posted by: DavidandDonald | August 4, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

AND now 360 feet in dumb walks for Stammen.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 4, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Not sure how to interpret this start from Stammen. He hasn't pitched nearly good enough to be at 1ER through 5IP, but not quite as bad as his WHIP indicates. Some great pitches in tough situations. I still think Stammen has a future as a 3 or 4 starter in the league.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 4, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

@ DavidandDonald

Lol that's perfect...I plan on stealing that line early and often...

Posted by: HenryStin | August 4, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Atta boy, mini-Adam! Let's keep this going!

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 4, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Stepped away from the game for awhile...see Stammen is gone...dont know why....If we never let starters finish the 7th then we really don't have any starters...maybe I missed something tonite about Stammen but leading and giving up only one run I thought he would finish 7....

I think the manager gets too antsy and over reacts at times pulling starters when they have a lead...they will never get mentally tough and better if they are pulled when the going gets tough....

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 5, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is Thank You Riggs. I've been begging for you to try Morse in RF and Bernadina in CF since May. Doesn't look so bad so far. Ironic that it finally comes just as Morgan seems to be getting it together.

Gonzales doesn't look bad at SS either. Nice to have options.

Oh and thanks, Rizzo, for not trading Dunnkey.

Posted by: Jackmathias | August 5, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh and Morse starting against a RHP too. That must have taken a bit of a painful stretch. Thanks again.

Posted by: Jackmathias | August 5, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

So, didn't realize Morgan was a late scratch until Nats Extra. Well, no matter how it came about, it worked didn't it?

Why not try it again?

Posted by: Jackmathias | August 5, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Ironically, the best thing that could happen worth respect to the teams future is foe Morgan to go on the DL, so Riggleman is finally forced to try out the things the team needs to know about for next year...

Posted by: amo36 | August 5, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

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