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Game 127 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Cubs

The one thing the Nationals have done pretty well this year is play at home. The Nationals are 31-29 at Nationals Park, but of course their solid play at home hasn't meant much these past two games. The Nationals will try to avoid a sweep tonight with Jason Marquis on the hill.

Marquis's has mostly portended bad things, but he'll try to build on a start in which he allowed one run over five innings. He still struggled with control, but it was the first time all year he took the mound and did not produce an abject disaster. So that's something.

Marquis tonight will face Ryan Dempster, who's putting together another nice season -- he's 11-8 with a 3.56 ERA. Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 25, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Marquis has turned into a head case. What is with this team?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Surgeries; suspensions; unexplained 2-day hiatuses; Double MRIs...Are the wheels coming off this wreck of a team?

Posted by: swanni | August 25, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

well, if I were having the kind of year at my job that he's having at his, I'd be a little tweaked, myself. But it ain't helping, you're right.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Better keep an eye on Nyjer tonight, too. He doesn't handle criticism well, much less a 7 day suspension and fine.

Posted by: swanni | August 25, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what an eventful night, regardless of the game (which is a good thing, with this team).

Clearly, Dibble on his way out of here (possible for bigger things). I'm not a fan, but he has a shtick and he sticks with it. You can disagree with his opinions (feel free, I do it all the time) but you can't argue with his style. He's been that way from Day One. I think it's working for him and he's going to end up somewhere with a better deal.

How can Morgan get a seven-day suspension for something that nobody knew about? Was there any coverage of this at all? If so, I missed it. Fortunately, we have Justin Maxwell to fill that void (yes, I have been drinking, why do you ask?).

Marquis still looks like he's trying to figure it out, but there have been some small signs of progress. But then, I'm a Nationals fan, I survive on small signs of progress...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Aaaand now he's getting movement on his sinker, working smoothly, and not thinking. Will he keep it up? But please, Ray, put down the telestrator.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

That was a quality at bat there by Dunn. He made sure not to expend any energy at such an early part of the game...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

stevie, that's how I approach life: working smoothly and not thinking. Works for me...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

You HAVE been drinking, balt. ("I'm picking up on your sarcasm . . .")

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Me, too, balt. People should know, it's not just a life-lesson for golfers and pitchers.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Old baseball saying: "Quit thinking, you're hurting the club."

And I've come to the conclusion that rum and tonic is an essential while watching this team.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to the bourbon and Pepto Bismol guy?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Clearly I've been drinking more than I thought, because I thought I just saw Wil Nieves get an infield hit. I'm starting to hallucinate.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of this turning into the Stevie-and-baltova show (chime in any time, you hordes), I'll go ahead and clarify for you.

You are hallucinating: that wasn't at all what happened.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, I sort of feel better now.

BTW, can you imagine what it must be like for all of those chatters follow a winning team? They're all nervous wrecks wondering if their team is blowing a shot at the pennant, agonizing over every pitch, cursing up a storm, struggling to sleep at night.

Look at how blessed we are...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS: Jason Marquis no longer has an ERA in double figures. Current ERA: 9.59.

How about that!!!

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Blessed. Absolutely. I really have the constitution to be a DC sports fan only. Even Cleveland and Atlanta would cause me to develop a nervous, twitching of my wrist in the windup, er, typing up of my TPS reports.

Fastest. Game. Ever.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Again, smart conservation of energy there by Dunn. Save it for the end of the game.

One last tidbit and then I think I'm going to give up along with everybody else.

According to my calculations, Marquis only needs to throw another 28 2/3 innings of scoreless ball to get his ERA to 4.50.

I'm pretty sure he's well on his way.

And what that, I'm outta here.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I realize that this is not an either-or choice, but given the choice between Dibble and Ray Knight, I'd take Dibble 10 out of 10 times. I find Dibble to make a long season watchable, both because of his enthusiasm and the life he brings to Carpenter. Granted, he'll say some stupid things from time to time. Knight on the other hand, is just non-stop baloney disguised as high brow commentary from someone far more impressed with his baseball pedigree than the average person.

Bottom line: sometime Dibble says something that makes me cringe, but I've never yelled at the tv, "Dibble, would you shut up already!"

Posted by: flotsam3 | August 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Quitter. I hope you don't drink like you watch the Nats, baltova.

I'm with you 100% on Dibs vs Ray, flotsam. And with baltova gone - supposedly - you are my new best friend.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

As poor as Dunn's been the past few weeks, I am blown away by his first two at bats. 7 pitches, took one for a ball, swung and missed at one, and watched 5 go by for strikes.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 25, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Mark me down for liking Dibble. He's a color guy, and he's nothing if not colorful. People complain about his being too much of a homer, but is there anyone in any team's broadcast booth who comes down harder on the home team when they play badly?

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 25, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Classic Nats: great starting pitching, no bats. Starter blows up: no bats.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Marquis.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 25, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I leave for a few hours, and all hell is breaking loose:
-Nyjer suspended
-Dibs49 is suspended
-Marquis has a shutout going

I can't leave you guys alone, can I?

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 25, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

OK...Marquis has given 7 decent innings...what say the offense throws him a bone and get a run or 3 here?

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Cats and dogs, Joe. Mass hysteria.

Now we just need Harris to hit a PH homerun and I'll be running for the bomb shelter.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Marquis--- Only real hit so far by the Nats.

Posted by: Slidell | August 25, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so at this point a homer from Dunn would be a surer sign of the apocalypse than one from Harris.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: shoestrade23 | August 25, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Marquis has a shutout into the 8th????? WTF???? (Oh damn....now I jinxed it...)

Posted by: NatsLubber | August 25, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Runner on first - Marquis still has a chance to lose this game.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 25, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: joemktg1 | August 25, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Well played, sir.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

...and there it is.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 25, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Marquis should be pissed by this turn of events. Hoping that this is not the winning run.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 25, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Change up?
REALLY?

crap.......

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

@NatsLubber Jinx!! :)

Let's hope for another ninth (or eighth) inning couple of runs.

Posted by: marathoner | August 25, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

BTW, stevie, tonight's MVP.

Clippard's had trouble all year with inherited runners. Don't know why. But I'd be bringing in someone else in a tie game with a runner on base.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 25, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Marquis is thinking: worst year of my life.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 25, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Strasburg (read: JESUS)!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland, just hope I can go out and help the team. God willing . . . one game at a time . . . do my part . . .

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Wait Baltova? Here comes Willie Harris!

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Clippard: NOT a closer. NOT a setup man. Middle to long relief.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Stevie: you can rest easy...

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

What is it with Clippard and inherited runners? Jeez!!!!! Maybe HE ought to go to Harrisburg. Marquis finally has a good start, and THIS happens to him. He deserves better.

(Silver lining: Jordan Zimmermann is pitching tomorrow night. I can't wait to see him!)

Posted by: wocoliz | August 25, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

The stores of canned goods are safe, joe.

(And in truth, a two-runner to make it 3-2 may not have counted. Have to consult my Book of Revelation.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 25, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz: A better silver lining is that the Caps season starts in about 6 weeks.

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Another big fly. Good night, and good luck.

Posted by: marathoner | August 25, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Excellent (and welcome) point, TimDz!

Posted by: wocoliz | August 25, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

This is awful... Start firing people

Posted by: weo333 | August 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

OK...now they are resorting to talking about the POSITIVE STEPS Marquis made...

Fantastic...

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I love my Nats, but this has turned into a LONG month. (Of course, we'll probably play better against the Cards. The Nats, like the Caps, seem to play to the level of their competition.)

Posted by: wocoliz | August 25, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"This is awful... Start firing people"

Bench some, release others and start bringing guys up from the minors to play in September. Might as well get something useful out of pathetic play ... d'oh forgot must respect the game and veterans must let Willie Harris come to bat many times at .171.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope so liz...taking my son to the Sunday game for his birthday...He's a HUGE seamhead...still working on getting him into hockey...I think this year will get my son more into hockey...

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Tim...baseball's my first love. But that's probably because I grew up in a baseball house (my dad played high school and college ball). I didn't know anything about hockey until I moved here 15 years ago and got exposed to it. (But I'm trying to make up for lost time.) I'm sure your son will end up loving both.

Posted by: wocoliz | August 25, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Baltova, I'm trying to remember your position re the Nats. Can't remember. I love Desmond, not a fan of Dunns, like Berdina, not a fan of Riggleman and etc. But tonight my wife made a delicious French onion soup and a terrific pasta which we shared with a friend who brought a great BC wine. So the point to this blog is we, this particular evening have a lot in common. Oh, I also had a good game of golf on one of Prince Edward Islands top golf courses. That, by the way, is in Canada.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | August 25, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

POD nomination for joemktg1, walk-off win if he'd worked the conference champion Mystics in there, for contrast, IMO.

And since the baseball wasn't worth re-hashing, I'll chime in for Ray Knight. I think Dibble's one-note is getting old and grating. Ray's twice-told aphorisms are comfortable, and occasionally enlightening. I mean, I like a jalapeno turkey sub as much as the next guy, but not every night.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The only thing good to say about hockey is that a shutout resembles a Nats gane. I understand that DC sports fans need to cling to it because it's the only winning game in town, but please... Let the Canadians have it.

Watching the Cubs destroy the Nats, ouch. I'm sure the folks in Chicago (and their DC transplants) are beating their chest: "We're better than those pitiful Nationals.''

Sadly, now they're right.

Posted by: nats24 | August 25, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

wocoliz; Play better against the Cards? you are smoking those left handed cigarettes aren't you? The St.Louies are in a pennant and wild card race they will sweep the Nats and make it impossible for Rizzo to keep Riggleman around and btw Mr.Rizzo you had better start convincing the Lerners to open up their wallets for Adrian Gonzalez when the offseason rolls around i've said it once and i'll say it again Dunn take way too many pitch's and his situational hitting is terrible.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 25, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

and while I'm not a fan of Riggleman, I'm reminded of this:
The owner of a horse once gave jockey Eddie Arcaro detailed instructions on running a race. Arcaro followed the instructions exactly, but the horse finished last. The owner berated Arcaro: "I told you exactly what to do! You were supposed to stay in fourth position until the last turn, and then take the lead as you came into the stretch!"
Arcaro replied, "What, and leave the horse?"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

dargre, I resent that slur against lefties, altho I wish I had some. Anything to relieve my anguish about this week's Nats' performance.

Posted by: nats24 | August 25, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Cheer up, dargramps. If I can get an extra Pudge bobblehead Saturday, maybe I can send you one.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

After 35 games, they were 20-15 with talk of a wild card ... and that was without Strasburg. Now, with 35 games remaining, they're only 10 games ahead of the Pirates for MLB's worst record ... and another No. 1 pick. This team is stuck, again, and it's damn discouraging. I wish the team would heed Dibble's words: Suck it up!

Posted by: mutigers84 | August 25, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

After 35 games, they were 20-15 with talk of a wild card ... and that was without Strasburg. Now, with 35 games remaining, they're only 10 games ahead of the Pirates for MLB's worst record ... and another No. 1 pick. This team is stuck, again, and it's damn discouraging. I wish the team would heed Dibble's words: Suck it up!

Posted by: mutigers84 | August 25, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-I got nothin'. Just like the Nats.
Actually....I got PLENTY but....hey, I'm REALLY trying but...ahh, jeez, the keyboard is just REALLY tough tonight, ya know? I WANT to say more-it's KILLIN' me that I can't but....if my character is getting tested (yet again), well ...I guess I FAIL. Again. Just like the Nats.
Go Nats.

Posted by: zendo | August 25, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm back, if only briefly, just to commiserate over wasting that pitching performance by Marquis. Yes, Clippard screwed up that one but AK makes an outstanding point in his game story: no one has ever won a game without scoring a run. Let's hope that Nats absorb that key bit of baseball strategy soon.

As for those many questions from jcampbell1:

My position re the Nats: I think they're a great concept. I'm looking forward to them finally leaving the Island of Misfit Toys.

I don't "love" Desmond, but think there's reason for hope. I like Dunn, warts and all, but I've come to the conclusion he's not a cleanup hitter. Resign him, yes, but figure out a way to move him to fifth and put Zim in at cleanup. That requires the addition of a #3 hitter, of course, which they ain't got. I also like Bernadina, but I wonder if he might be this year's Nyjer Morgan (the more we see, the less we get). Hopefully not, but we'll find out.

Riggleman, to me, is irrelevant. With this talent, even the best manager in the world would probably only produce 75 wins. He's a placeholder until they become a good team.

Now, the important stuff. NOT a fan of French onion soup, no matter how good your wife's recipe. I'm sure the pasta was terrific, but since you didn't share it with us, we don't care. Same goes for the BC wine. But you're right, any day that features golf, wine, food and friends cannot be ruined by a Nats loss. God knows they try, though.

In the end, it's good to know, that despite the many miles between us and differing tastes in dinner choices, two citizens of the world can come together and find common ground, sharing an addiction to crappy baseball. God help us.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 25, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Baltova, this is what we have, and we're going to stick wit it. DC should be a championship town in baseball. I just hope I live to see it. Come on, Lerners!

Posted by: nats24 | August 25, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

FREE NYJER

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Despite everything, still a die-hard Nats fan, but at this point lurking here is what's making it worthwhile... Thanks all!

Posted by: skidge | August 26, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you skidge.
We can be die-hards and still complain.

FWIW, my complaint is the lack of suspense. If the Nats are behind early, it's pretty much over. The suspense comes with the rare big lead, as the bullpen just might hang on for the W.

Yes, the bullpen is better, but the overall level of play looks too much like early 2009.

Posted by: KenNat | August 26, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I was so happy for Marquis last night. At least, until Clippard came in (and with runners on? eeekkk!!). Good on Jason, and good on the fans who gave him the ovation. I didn't see his start on Friday, as I was at the P-Nats game, but after hearing about it, I'd hoped he could build on it. Seems like he has. Also, the w-l record as a lone indicator of pitching effectiveness is bogus.

Speaking of hockey, I'm always reminded of a scene from the "Love Guru" movie when Ray starts using the telestrator on the catcher...

Speaking of Ray, put me down for "I like Dibble" and "I don't like censorship."

p.s. The bourbon guy (sunshine?) is over on the Zuckerman blog a fair amount. Maybe he'll check in here as well if we ask nicely.

Oh, and "hello, fall."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

To say that those last two innings last night were brutal is an understatement.

Posted by: RCBJr | August 26, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

waitaminute - extra Pudge bobble? I will gladly pay you on Tuesady, for an extra Pudge bobble on Saturday. Or something like that.

---

Cheer up, dargramps. If I can get an extra Pudge bobblehead Saturday, maybe I can send you one.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2010 10:18 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"Tuesday," rather. And as pertains to the earlier discussion, I might be left-handed, but I'm in my right mind. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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