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Tonight's lineup

Josh Willingham is not in tonight's Nationals lineup:

1. Gonzalez - 2B
2. Desmond - SS
3. Zimmerman - 3B
4. Dunn - 1B
5. Pudge - C
6. Morse - RF
7. Mench - LF
8. Maxwell - CF
9. Olsen - P

By Alexa Steele  |  August 17, 2010; 3:46 PM ET
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Next: Josh Willingham likely done for the season


I wanted to be the first. Not the first to comment on this article, but to toss off this bon mot: Why aren't they starting Harper?!?!

Posted by: mvm2 | August 17, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

All this hype about Harper. He'll be a has been by the time he's 20

Posted by: chiro1623 | August 17, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

What is tonight, Syracuse Chiefs throwback night?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 17, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Throw 'em back to Syracuse?

baltova1, we have no choice now but to go with our current group of OFers, but looking at this starting OF to me underscores that this area has to be upgraded for next year. (Of course, Rigs could start Bernadina in place of Maxwell for some improvement.) Willingham is the closest we have to a positive known quantity among them, and he has yet to put together a solid season from April to September.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 17, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Cap, guess you're responding to an earlier post from me, but I think you're right. But do you take away playing time from both Bernadina and Morse or do you dump Morgan and look to upgrade CF?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Just because, although this is frivolous, it is FUN.
Replace Bernidina and Burgess with Ramirez and Oduber in the outfield, joining Harper in 2013.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 17, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I swear some of you have the loyalty of a K street hooker, look to upgrade CF with whom may i ask? as i have stated ad nauseum Nyjer was the only reason some of you watched that sorry excuse for a team last year and because he doesn't meet some your "lofty expectations" for a CF'er now it's get rid of Morgan asap in case you haven't noticed his replacement ain't exactly burnin it up can we wait until he comes back from the DL before we send him packing.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

this has to be the worst lineup of the season

Posted by: theredskin | August 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

For now, I would share PT among Morgan, Bernie, Morse, and Josh, with maybe less PT for the Hammer if his knee is really hurting him. Let's see Bernie batting against lefties and Morse batting against righties.
In the offseason, I would look to upgrade either CF or RF. With a proven MLB RF, e.g., then let Bernie and Nyjer fight it out for the CF job (only one weak link in the OF then). If we land a proven MLB CF, Bernie, Morse, Mench or whoever can fight it out for RF. We'd at least be fairly stable in two of the OF spots (counting Willingham in LF), a big improvement over this year. You know I'm not high on Morgan but Rizzo seems to like him, based on his public comments, and maybe (best case) Nyer can stabilize himself well enough to hold down CF for a couple of years. And today of all days who am I to argue with Rizzo?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 17, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

When facing a Minor league lefty, trot out your minor league righty lineup! The difference, of course, being that Mike Minor was drafted #7 overall last year and is a highly touted prospect, whereas 3M (Morse, Maxwell, Mench) are just a bunch of guys. Right handed guys, true - Riggles does love his lefty/righty matchups.

I hope Olsen pitches a shutout ...

Posted by: JCCfromDC | August 17, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I hope Olsen pitches a shutout ...

With our lineup tonight, even that might not be enough to get him a W. 7-9 are pretty much automatic outs. I hope I'm proven wrong, but it could be ugly tonight.

Posted by: thepostischeap | August 17, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"this has to be the worst lineup of the season"

Well, Zimmerman was injured for a few games, and we've started the likes of Wil Nieves and Willie Harris. So it could be worse.

Posted by: 202character | August 17, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Whats the over/under for k's tonight? Minor had 5 in his debut I bet he gets 7 to 10 tonight with the Washington Generals lineup in there.

Posted by: hansenjo | August 17, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

his has to be the worst lineup of the season

Posted by: theredskin | August 17, 2010 4:44 PM |

No way...Harris and Nieves aren't in it....

Posted by: M20832 | August 17, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, I'll skip the part of the loyalty of hookers, of which I have no knowledge (I swear!), but we're not looking at him with "lofty expectations" and we're not dumping him now. But he's got one of the worst on-base percentages of any leadoff man in the NL (probably about 4th or 5th worst) and he leads the league in caught stealing. Not very good numbers for a leadoff man. His fielding has also been all over the place. He's a fun guy but he could be replaceable. In fact, it might be necessary if the team is going to get better.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 17, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Why would the "regulars" be riding pine on the first game after a day off? I don't get this at all - if Willingham can't play, DL him and get the recovery started!

Posted by: jcville | August 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

With tonight's projected outfield, is there any way Harper can suit up? Come on guys...make me eat my words...please?

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | August 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Is 3M sponsoring our outfielders tonight?

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 17, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Put Harper in! He's probably as good as about 4 of those starters. ALREADY!! HAR-PER HAR-PER HAR-PER. C'mon Riggs -- put him in! It's easy, just write 'Harper' in the 7th slot and you'll look like a friggin genius!!!


Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Maxwell better be ready to cover some territory in the OF tonight being flanked by Mench and Morse... better keep the ball down, Olsen!

Posted by: Ghost7 | August 17, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

>Wow, Maxwell better be ready to cover some territory in the OF tonight being flanked by Mench and Morse... better keep the ball down, Olsen!

Posted by: Ghost7

Good one. They certainly don't have him up here because he can hit.

Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

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