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Game 130 discussion thread: Cardinals at Nationals

The Nationals (54-75) will try for just their second win in seven games today against St. Louis, which is in the thick of the playoff race. The Cardinals (69-57)are four games behind Cincinnati for the NL Central lead and trail Philadelphia by two games for the wild card.

Right-hander Livan Hernandez (8-9, 3.36 ERA) gets the start for the Nationals and is coming off his worst outing of the season, when he gave up seven runs--all earned--in 4 1/3 innings in a 9-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Hernandez will face the Cardinals for the first time this season and hasn't beaten them since Sept. 8, 2006, when he was with Arizona.

Kyle Lohse (2-5, 6.47) will start for the Cardinals. In Lohse's only previous outing against Washington this season, the right-hander allowed two runs--one earned--and six hits over six innings in a 6-2 victory on May 17.

Talk about the game right here and check back after the final out for updates.

By Gene Wang  |  August 28, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Livan Hernandez  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jim Riggleman talks September call-ups
Next: Adam Dunn goes to the videotape


No Dibble again tonight, has he become a non-person? I'm not holding my breath awaiting his return.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 28, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Third deck homer for Jay. We're going to need some timely hitting tonight!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 28, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Bad Livo returns for an encore.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 28, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

As frustrating as this team can be, I'd pay money just to watch Pudge and Zimm play D.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

LaRussa already showed some real "managing" in the first inning to send the runner on FLop's ground ball on the first pitch. If he doesn't send him, the opening DP with Pujols up.

Meanwhile, bottom of the first, Nats leadoff man (Kennedy) swings at first pitch. That doesn't give his mates a chance to see his stuff or for Lohse to work a bit. Different teams, that's for sure.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, not taking enough pitches is not usually Kennedy's problem, mo, but point taken.

There's some of that timely hitting, the Nats' specialty - in the 2nd inning no less.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Big Cardinal goof at first base! NO. They call Desmond out. Ray Knight is livid.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 28, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Have I mentioned I hate Joe West and his whole crew?

Riggleman with an F-bomb. Nice.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Jerked the lead right back! Nice hit, Dunn!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 28, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

First time listnening to Ray and I really like it. Baseball should be announced with a southern twang.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 28, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

What happened with the Desmond play? I'm at the stadium and got no explanation!

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | August 28, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Batter interference with the throw: Desmond was ruled to be too far into the field of play/out of the baseline. All runners must return to their original base. Garbage call.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Desmond was called out for interference because he was running inside the 45 foot line. Ray's point was that the rule is there to keep runners from blocking the catcher (or pitcher) on a bunt, NOT a throw from where this one was, way over at third base. Riggleman argued the call and got tossed.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 28, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

What a garbage call! Well, at least we still ended up getting something out of it. Thanks for the update!

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | August 28, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Way to come back guys. I have to agree with Ray that the team needs a little fire (especially the past 3 years) to play with some energy!

That Desmond call WAS garbage -- the league needs to either make the 45-foot line running outside required for all plays or ditch the whole thing.

As a former catcher, I disagree with Ray on the intent of the line because I think it IS a good rule. In softball (I know NOT the same thing) we actually MUST run to a 2nd bag, placed adjacent to the bag, but in foul territory, specifically to avoid those collisions at 1st. So, make it the rule, or get rid of it.

So, Dunn shows what he can do if he considers using the whole field instead of going into the shift-friendly, pull-happy, stats-building, 3-style batter (HR, BB, K).

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if we can get any clarity on this pretty obscure rule, but I thought the point of the 45-ft line in THIS case is to indicate the distance down the first base line by which a batter must be back in striking distance of the base line. I.e., you can be pretty inside the line as you start to run on a bunt, but by half way down, you must be off the infield and on the dirt.

The 45-ft line is to the dugout side of the baseline. Doesn't make sense that you'd have to be "outside" the 45-ft line. It's just a guide for umps/runners in making a call, even when the runner in no way interferes with the throw/catch, as in Desmond's case.

And nice game we got. More good D.

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

Can somebody please find out what the batting average is for opposing pitchers against the Nats this year? And what the league average is against the pitcher? It is absolutely absurd the number of hits their pitcher gets against us. I swear they GOTTA be hitting around .250. And I'll bet the league average is 100 points lower than that. Ridiculous.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | August 28, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Ray Knight having to explain why he just said to Carpenter: "I know your sister has [Tony LaRussa's phone] number."


Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Again, a smart move by LaRussa to pull out the umps, pushing for a replay.

Regardless of whether or not he gets the replay (not required), he kills the momentum in the atmosphere.

Yeah, Morse!

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

That replay only shows a poor attempt at a catch by that fan.

And Morse continues to get comfortable as an everyday player.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 28, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

OK Schumaker just caught a fly ball for the third out, started to run in, then turned and threw the ball into the RF stands. Tell me he knew where the ball was going -- shouldn't that be a 7 game suspension?

Posted by: Natmeister | August 28, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Livo. Eat some more innings with this lead and save the 'pen a bit for tomorrow with Lannan on the bump.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, Burnett. Definitely dodged a bullet there! Let's get this one without drama, PLEASE!

Anyone else going to the game tomorrow? Could be my last one of the season, due to scheduling...

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Lee, the closest I can get to what you're asking for (a question I've seen asked a lot):

BA of hitters in the #9 spot against the Nats as a team: .219 (OPS .550)

(skewed by interleague DH and PHs)

Combined BA of Nats
pitchers: .118 (OPS .268)

NL average BA for all
pitchers: .143 (OPS .351)

Your guesses were pretty close.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

So, Zimm-Dunn-Morse should be the new 3-4-5, right? I like Desi in the 2 hole and until Nyjer gets it together, Bernie at the top?

I REALLY wish we had more players of meaning coming up in September. The farm is getting better but the cupboard is still bare. At least the bullpen will get some relief from some more arms coming up.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Natmeister: Good point you can't get inside a players head Bob Watson has done a good job but to suspend Nyjer in this instance would be unfair unless they can prove it was intentional.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 28, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Morgan was lucky not to get tagged out after rounding 1st there. Jeez. Thanks for the throw to 3rd, Albert.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Alright. Just missed this one too. What happened?

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | August 28, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I'll say it again: I hate this umpiring crew. But they seem to have gotten that right.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

He made up for it at home. Why run into the catcher instead of the plate?? I've been loathe to dump on him but I think it's time for a rest.

Posted by: marathoner | August 28, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer costs us another run with another boneheaded baserunning mistake. Nyjer HAS TO GO.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 28, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Morgan plays like a ten year old. He is just stupid.

Posted by: MKadyman | August 28, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer was dumb. Shocker.

He hit the catcher rather than step on home plate (??), and then before returning to dive on the plate he was touched by another player/coach (Pudge) not in the field of play.

I 1% blame Pudge. Just 'cus I have a tiny soft spot for Morgan. And because it's 12-6 nonetheless.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Varly Instead of touching the plate Nyjer ran into the catcher even though there was no play. His teammates pushed him back to touch the plate and you can't touch a "live" runner.

Posted by: marathoner | August 28, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Morgan missed home plate, then Pudge caught him and told him to go back. The runner is automatically out because we can't touch a live runner.

But why didn't Nyjer slide home in the first place? He had no business making contact with the Cardinal catcher, knocking off his mitt. He'll get a plunk from a St. Louis pitcher if he plays tomorrow!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 28, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

He won't play tomorrow.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

@stevie - thanks for researching my question. Just seems like their pitcher gets at least one hit per game, which is crazy. And our pitchers can't even bunt a runner over. Go figure.

Memo to Nyjer: What the hell are you doing? You are making the inexplicable seem normal. And Riggleman continues to write your name in the lineup. Just a total head shaker. SOMEBODY needs to sit you down and find out just what the hell is going on with you. And maybe that same someone needs to sit you down for the rest of the year and let the call ups play.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | August 28, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer needs to be suspended. It's one thing if the catcher is blocking home plate. But the catcher was clearly in front of the plate. A d-bag cheap shot by Nyjer.

Posted by: jdwood84 | August 28, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

No worries, Lee. I was surprised the BA of pitchers against the Nats isn't higher, just based on watching. I think issue of sacrifices which you pointed out tends to skew our perception a bit: other teams have a lot more 0-0s than the Nats.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice boucne back for Livo after the rocky start. Kind of makes up for some of his well pitched games where he hasn't gotten the run support. Dunn really got the offense going, hope the sleeping giant is awake for the rest of the season.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 28, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

And in other good news, the Cowboys are getting shut out by Houston. I despise all of 'em, but especially the Dallas and Joe West kind.

(OK, I don't despise all cowboys. That's kinda communist.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Be interesting to see if Riggleman is asked about the Nyjer play, and what he has to say about it.

And I challenge the Nyjer defenders to explain away what happened. Those folks can't really complain why we continue to bash him, at least in this crazy instance.

As I said when Nyjer was giving away inside the park homers earlier this year, I can't help but wonder if something isn't going on "upstairs" with him.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | August 28, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Umpiring ain't that difficult, Skip.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman gives the politically correct answer when asked about the Joe West crew. Then he admits he didn't know the rule about touching a live runner. And nobody in the media gathering asks about Nyjer. Makes you wonder if they follow the team on a regular basis...maybe they don't want to know the answer. NJ folks sure do though.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | August 28, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Nyjer did that because he was pouting. He seems to pout a lot. That's why, apparently, he can't be benched, why he couldn't be dropped in the order, etc.

What a jerk.

Posted by: dstoverjunk | August 28, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Also, Rodriguez didn't "push" Morgan back toward the plate, he grabbed him and threw him back, and he did not look happy. (Of course, he's also a catcher, and I imagine he was thinking about how he'd feel if somebody did that to him.) I wouldn't be surprised if Rodriguez did know the rule, but chose to send Morgan back in case the catcher wanted to get some quick payback.

Posted by: dstoverjunk | August 28, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Can't argue that Nyjer doesn't play hard, but you've got to use your noggin. The glove-throwing and this home plate thing is Little League stuff, not Major League. Nyjer's pending suspension decision was probably affected by his reputation for doing strange things.

Posted by: Slidell | August 28, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Your conspiracy theories match your screen name, dstover.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 28, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer Morgan, meet Nook Logan.

Posted by: VivaLivan | August 28, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Morgan is a joke. There's no place in the Big Leagues for Bush League garbage like that.

Posted by: egoodman8 | August 28, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

What was he thinking? Where was he going? What was he doing? UNBELIEVALBLE!

Posted by: Natstoyou | August 28, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Nice one, Natstoyou!
Clearly Riggs has some loyalty (deserved) to Nyjer who basically saved Riggs job last season with his stellar play over one month.

The "dumbness" has gotta stop if we're going to rely on him as our lead-off guy.

So, what's the opinion on Bernadina as the CF and lead-off guy? LH, speed, tremendous defense, and a bit of pop. I was all about giving Nyjer the job for this year and I am a fan of his intensity, but methinks he took too many pucks to the head or hits into the wall during his hockey days.


What was he thinking? Where was he going? What was he doing? UNBELIEVALBLE!

Posted by: Natstoyou | August 28, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The Nyjer-haters are quick to point out his mistakes, but they fail to note how his speed created the play at the plate in the first place. Most players would have ben held at 3rd Base. And it was Nyjer's speed that allowed him to race in to catch a sinking fly ball when the Cardinals were about to mount a challenge in the 7th.

Granted, Nyjer's attempt to make a hockey-like hit on a catcher was just dumb and unnecessary. Could he not see where the plate was? That's the only logical explanation.

But I keep him because I love to see speed in baseball and the excitement it creates.

Posted by: MrRamsey | August 28, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

So when did Tony Plush turn into Nook Logan? I'm sorry, but his base running reminds me too much of Nook.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 28, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Sorry VivaLivan, I posted before reading the thread. I'm with you. :-)

Posted by: twinbrook | August 28, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

@ Mr Ramsey:

That's the best you can do--Nyjer couldn't see the plate?! Look at the replay. The catcher had actually stepped away from the plate to give Nyjer a clear view and path; Pudge was on his knees *pointing* at it. If Nyjer had any worries about being tagged out, the smart thing would have been to slide on the opposite side of the plate from the catcher. This is the 2d RBI in 2 nights that Nyjer cost Harris.

As to the more general question of his speed: yes, he's fast. But not knowing how and when to use his speed gets him into a lot of trouble on the base paths. As for the outfield--he needs his speed there as well, because he gets bad jumps on the ball and takes bad routes a lot more often than he should. He ends up making plays look tougher than they really were, because he has to use more speed at the end than he really needed.

Posted by: HHover | August 28, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess Big Adam shut up the Dunn haters for tonight. What a weird game. No excuse on Nyjer's play, but, come on, he's not Nook.

The rule may be bad, but the ump enforced it as written on the Desmond bunt. Hey, it's a moot point now, anyway. And do think Riggs wants to throw away the fine money he have to pay???

14 runs. I like it!

Posted by: nats24 | August 29, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Picking up on Riggs' silly comments about call-ups, I have to agree with peric and others. I'd have no problem seeing a game with Espinosa, Ramos and, heck, even Marrero (and it doesn't say anything against Adam Dunn if Marrero get a few ABs). We know what this year's team can do (ouch!)

Let's find out a little about what the future might hold. The rooks might put a hurtin' on those contenders.

Posted by: nats24 | August 29, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

great win tonight, and a fun game to be at, but sheesh, the umpiring had fans in the stands up in arms (including me). the desmond call was BS. the pujols double in the 1st looked to be BS. Nyjer's stupid play, well, not much to say there - it was dumb, especially since there was clearly no play at the plate. not clear to me why that was hernandez' call from third, instead of the home plate ump though. riggs was certainly right that it didnt feel like a blowout until very late, the homer by bernadina basically. fun game, but maddening at times. it also wasn't clear to me at the time why he was taking out livo, who was pitching well enough.

Posted by: DCguy7 | August 29, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

To quote the eloquent Bob Carpenter, ''It's the kind of play that has plagued Felipe Lopez throughout his career.''
Thanks, Livo. Thank you, ump.

FLop: .240, picked off.

Posted by: nats24 | August 29, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Nats 24, critics of Dunn are not Dunn haters. I knew someone like you, and there will be others, would immediately jump on the Fact that Dunn did well tonight. He often has good nights. Nobody denies that. But he often has long periods of very little production.and poor defense. There is something wrong with people who when others disagree with them resort to name calling. Stop being so obtuse.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | August 29, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

jcampbell1: Good point no need for name calling when we don't agree, those type of reactions are immature and way out of line.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

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