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Today's lineups

Adam Kennedy keeps a firm grip on second base and the second spot in the lineup. The Nationals will go with their standard lineup with Livan Hernandez against Rodrigo Lopez, a pitching matchup straight out of 2002.

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

Diamondbacks
1. Chris Young, CF
2. Kelly Johnson, 2B
3. Justin Upton, RF
4. Adam LaRoche, 1B
5. Miguel Montero, C
6. Mark Reynolds, 3B
7. Stephen Drew, SS
8. Gerardo Parra, LF
9. Rodrigo Lopez, SP

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 2, 2010; 6:08 PM ET
 
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Next: Jordan Zimmermann likely to return in late August

Comments

Free Michael Morse!

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 2, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

-.-. --- ..- .-. .- --. .
-- --- --

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 2, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The one good thing about having prudent owners is not having a guy on this list:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_heyman/08/02/waivers.trades/index.html?eref=sihp

The flexibility of not having an albatross around the neck is definitely an advantage we don't talk about much.

Posted by: rnkorby | August 2, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@rnkorby: It actually has been discussed lately with respect to the Dunn situation. As much as some may hate to hear it, a guy with Adam Dunn's body type, four years down the road, could very well present an 'albatross' if his deal isn't structured properly.

Posted by: AlexL925 | August 2, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, is there a corrolation between a manager who keeps his hottest hitter with the highest BA consistently on the bench and the team he manages with the worst record in the National League? Just wondering.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | August 2, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

They need to have Desmond bat second. I don't understand why they have him bat 8th while Kennedy is batting 2nd. It made sense to have Guz bat 2nd, but now they need to move Desmond to that spot.

Posted by: brothbart | August 2, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Skins_fan: who is the hot-hitting, high batting average player that John Russell is keeping on the Pirates' bench?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 2, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

skins fan - we might have the worst record in the NL east but we are far from the worst team in the national league. Maybe you should stick with football where the redskins have been last for at least the last two years.. I would love to see the four outfielders start to platoon a little bit more and hopefully that will happen but Morse is not the answer to us getting to the playoffs. We need to sign Dunn and bolster our starting pitching and I think we will do both in the next few weeks.

go nats

Posted by: sjm3091 | August 2, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

stevie: much wittier than I could ever hope to be

Posted by: sjm3091 | August 2, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

rnkorby: prudent? Wow, that is generous. I guess some people are less prudent with their use of that word than others. They have little record of exercising good judgment with this club.

IF they were prudent, they would have traded Dunn at the deadline OR they would have signed him to an extension without having to compete against the market. They would have moved the ever fragile and performing above career norms and no spring chicken Willingham, had they been prudent. If prudent, they would have moved away from Bowden on day 1. If they were prudent, they would have hired a MLB quality scouting departmet some time earlier than fall 2009. If prudent, they would have signed Crowe. They would have been players for international talent some time prior to the last 2 weeks, had they been prudent. They would have started 2010 with a MLB RF. They would have started last year with a bull pen or the prior year with a rotation. Etc.

They are not prudent, they are cheap. They want reward without taking much risk. And as long as we keep going to the Park, they get the reward, win or lose, so losing is not ideal for the Lerners, but it is working out OK with them so far.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 2, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, just indulging my natural smart-a** tendencies, sjm. In truth, I'd love to see a bit more of Morse, too, and, like you, suspect it will happen. But if people come, they need to come correct, plus I just don't think hyperbole has any place in blog comments.

/sarcasm

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 2, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

>>Skins_fan: who is the hot-hitting, high batting average player that John Russell is keeping on the Pirates' bench? Posted by: stevie_in_gp

Well played.


Posted by: skins_fan_22 | August 2, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

You have to reserve opinion on Dunn until we sign or lose him.... there simply isn't enough info to say if we made a mistake not trading him.

I still think if Willingham or Rodriguez gets just a little hot that we are a .500 team; if any of the arms that are on the mend pan out of Maya turns out to be a difference maker then the rest of the season might actually be fun to waych, just like the last two series were.

Put Zimmerman on the Yanks or Sox and he'd be doing wheaties boxes right now; I just hope the team shows improvement while he is here, he's such a talent.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 2, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

As I say above, skins_fan, I am basically in agreement with you. I've read the arguments for keeping Morse as a back-up: 1) he's really good in that role, and you need such players, and c) he does best as a match-up guy.

I just think managers - and perhaps Riggleman, in particular - overplay the whole righty/lefty match-up hand. It seems to be a bit of an old-school baseball canard. Man, how about just getting the guy who's hitting well the most at-bats, against all types of arms? At least let's see if his average plummets against the wrong side, other outfielders' (Bernadina) production be lightly-damned.

(Throwing in a few numbers: the difference in Morse's case is great - .386 against righties, .306 against lefties - but those are both excellent numbers, obviously, and run counter to the normal match-up argument for a RHed batter.)

But I'm no pro manager. Would love to have it explained why I'm wrong.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 2, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

(And to clarify, I recognize I am ignoring the fact that Bernadina is a ++ defender, while Morse serviceable/slightly-above-svc. But that is then the cost/benefit comparison: does Morse's bat gain you more than you lose with his D, vs. Bernadina. Of course there are sabremetrics for just this question, but numbers + in-depth internet research = pain.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 2, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@stevie:
Good point regarding Morse, that more than a few observers have been pushing forward in the Natosphere. I'd personally like to see him against all comers for a 7-10 day period, just as a test. If not, than at least in a regular R/L platoon with Bernadina in RF for the remainder of the season. Harris & Maxwell can serve as defensive replacements in the OF / PR's as needed for the rest of the season, imo.

Posted by: BinM | August 2, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

@rnkorby: It actually has been discussed lately with respect to the Dunn situation. As much as some may hate to hear it, a guy with Adam Dunn's body type, four years down the road, could very well present an 'albatross' if his deal isn't structured properly.

Posted by: AlexL925 | August 2, 2010 7:19 PM

Let's say Dunn does break down in 2014(!) after 3 solid years for us, maybe some playoff success, 120 or so dingers. Then he spends some time on the DL that season - oh well, maybe the Lerners only make $25 million that year instead of $40 million. Though, if they pay to succeed now, they'll probably make up Dunnkey's salary in revenue. Nats Park is only half full on average at the moment - imagine if we won?

Posted by: Kev29 | August 2, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I'll be interested in watching Adam Kennedy and Kelly Johnson manning their respective positions during this series. Some posters have continually raised the question during the season of why the Nats didn't sign Orlando Hudson. I wonder (I know, hindsight is 20/20) why we didn't go after Kelly Johnson. Both Kennedy and Johnson were free agents during the offseason. Johnson signed with the D-backs for $2,350,000 on Dec. 30. Kennedy signed with the Nats on Feb. 12 for $1,250,000. Johnson is 28; Adam is 34. This year, Johnson has 17 HRs, 51 RBI, and .280/.369/.499 stats. Kennedy, seeing limited action (but mainly because Guz outhit him early in the year), has 2 HRS, 18 RBI, and a .263/.335/.336 line. I know Rizzo has made many nice moves, but did he miss the boat on this one? Am I missing something?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 2, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't have strong feelings about morse, and am super tired of reading his name in the comments. That being said, great 1st post there joemktg1. Perfect

Nats win 8-6. No 4 game winning streaks yet this season? 4 game series at Arizona?! Coincidence!?!?

Go nats. Also go skins. But mostly go nats.

Posted by: nattaboy | August 2, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-SC, I'm in complete agreement. Ya know, we want perfection....and we can bellyache about Ryans' sometimes errant throws....his occasional slumps....but this is a guy that one of MY all-time favorites (a former Nats mgr.:hmmmm, who could that be?), a legendarily hard nosed hall of famer...well, he felt that Ryann had it all,leadership included (which I sense may be starting to blossom). I read somewhere recently on a national (not Nationals)site that he's perhaps the least appreciated truly great young player in the game
Amen to that.
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | August 2, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't have strong feelings about morse, and am super tired of reading his name in the comments. That being said, great 1st post there joemktg1. Perfect

Nats win 8-6. No 4 game winning streaks yet this season? 4 game series at Arizona?! Coincidence!?!?

Go nats. Also go skins. But mostly go nats.

Posted by: nattaboy | August 2, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-while I'm throwing out agreements, I'm also with Kev29 (was it you who coined the "Stockholm Lerner Syndrome?). I keep saying we can both afford Dunn AND afford for the deal to be a bad one! And Cap-I think Kelly was considered a poor defender;while we all know he'd probably be a defensive whiz here (relatively speaking)...well, the STATED goal in the off season was to shore up our weak "d". Having him next year would suit me fine (for one of our pitchers?).
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | August 2, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Kev29: I like your analysis, and it addresses something I've been thinking about for a while WRT Dunn's "breaking down" in year 4 of his contract - as if such a thing is predictable.

Dunn's proven himself to be a remarkably consistent 40 HR a year guy. If he "breaks down" in year 4 at the age of 34, he might hit "only" 25 HRs. That's not acceptable for a cleanup hitter, but aren't we looking at Mannero by then, and maybe even Harper? Today's 3-4-5 of Zimm, Dunn, and Hammer might well be a 3-4-5-6 by then, with Willingham gone (he's 2 years older than Dunn), and Dunn in the 6-hole. That could be a very formidable middle of the order.

And as someone else pointed out, Dunn puts people in the seats. Nobody gets up to go get a beer when he's in the on-deck. How many tickets go unsold over the next 4 years if Dunn doesn't get signed?

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 2, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Crap - The team catches Joe West's crew for the AZ series. That's a bad break.

Posted by: BinM | August 2, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

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