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Game 136 discussion thread: Nationals at Pirates

John Lannan was excellent in his last start, holding the Cardinals to one run over 7 2/3 innings in only 93 pitches. The Nationals are 4-2 in the games started by Lannan since he returned from Class AA Harrisburg, and Lannan is 4-1 with a 3.25 ERA.

Against Paul Maholm tonight, the Nationals will try avoid losing the series to the Pirates and snap a three-game losing streak. Their 1-3 start to the road trip has made the Nationals 23-47 away from home, the second-worst mark in the league, better only than these very Pirates.

It's a gorgeous night in Pittsburgh, 68 degrees at first pitch. Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 4, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
 
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Comments

Has Desmond ever had a three-error inning?

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Not today, anyway.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Desmond will get better, probably sooner than later. Lannan's a pro and get's the third out to the new star, Espo.

Posted by: greggiebaba | September 4, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

You know, lately it seems the Nats pitching and hitting has either been really good or horrifically bad. If they have a good night hitting, the pitching has a 50 percent chance of being completely attrocious. If they're pitching well, the odds are high they could score zero runs (how many times has that happened in the past few weeks?).

Those odds just don't add up for good results. Sure, they'll have the occasional 14-5 win, but way more often they're going to lose 1-0 or 16-10.

Posted by: greggiebaba | September 4, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

You know, lately it seems the Nats pitching and hitting has either been really good or horrifically bad. If they have a good night hitting, the pitching has a 50 percent chance of being completely attrocious. If they're pitching well, the odds are high they could score zero runs (how many times has that happened in the past few weeks?).

Those odds just don't add up for good results. Sure, they'll have the occasional 14-5 win, but way more often they're going to lose 1-0 or 16-10.

Posted by: greggiebaba | September 4, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Espinosa AGAIN to the opposite field. This kid knows how to hit.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I thought Max had one that would have been nice, good to see Nyjer get an rbi and this kid Espinosa well the jury is still out but i like what i've seen so far, we need a win tonite and sunday.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 4, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

You know I was supposed to be busy. No worries - the cookout is tomorrow. Pudge goes out of the park the opposite way. This is significant. This shows that he's woken up to the fact that Ramos wants to take his ABs away.

Posted by: Brue | September 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Brue, are you suggesting Pudge has been loafing?

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if that's true, but that was my first thought.

Posted by: marathoner | September 4, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to bring this up but Nyjer 0-6 since the problems.
He would of been better served to start his time off instead of frustrating us all

Posted by: Golfersal | September 4, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

>Brue, are you suggesting Pudge has been loafing?

Posted by: gilbertbp

How else can you play every night at 38 with the most innings caught in history? His hitting suffers because he just can't keep up. Although he can catch just fine. It's not on purpose, it's a self-preservation mechanism when you're past your prime.

Posted by: Brue | September 4, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer tried to score from third on an infield GB with no outs? And the next two batters hit fly balls? I just don't get it. How deep does this hole get??

Posted by: Natmeister | September 4, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer tried to score from third on an infield GB with no outs? And the next two batters hit fly balls? I just don't get it. How deep does this hole get??

Posted by: Natmeister | September 4, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this was Nyjer's call. The play would be put on by the manager -- either go on any hit up the middle OR wait to see if it goes through. If the play is go, he runs on contact. So I don't blame him. Plus, if you want to know the truth, I think he might have been safe. It wasn't a force play and the tag seemed high on his chest after his leg crossed the plate. But when you're in a tough place, you don't get the breaks, eh?

Posted by: cdstej | September 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

OK, didn't see the play. Did he slide or come in standing?

Posted by: Natmeister | September 4, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Another good job by Lannan. Not sure what he figured out in the minors but I like it.

Posted by: marathoner | September 4, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer slid.

Slaten pitching. He's appealing his suspension. Does he seriously think he's going to win after doing a revenge plunking? Or is he just trying to get the suspension reduced?

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, Morse scored a run earlier, came in standing up, knocked the ball loose. So it CAN be done...

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, Michael Morse is a little bigger.
And cdstej, I didn't see it, but Charlie did ask Dave, in his own snarky way, if Dave thought the manager had the contact play on, up by 8 runs. Dave averred as how he doubted it.
They did note that Nyjer tapped his chest in the dugout after, as if to say, "My fault."

So, no, that was just a bad play, there.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 4, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, Morse scored a run earlier, came in standing up, knocked the ball loose. So it CAN be done...

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 9:40 PM |

Yes! I saw that too.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | September 4, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Section 3, I'm not sure. Ray on TV seemed to think it might have been on. And I actually thought the chest tapping in the dugout was him saying that the tag was too high. But it may also have been an attempt at humility, which everyone agrees has been in too short supply with Nyjer lately.

By the way, it seems that Rizzo pretty clearly said in today's paper that he's not giving up on Nyjer anytime soon. So maybe we all should get on board too. Remember how many were ready to toss John Lannan aside in June?

Posted by: cdstej | September 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I am really glad that Justin Maxwell is a smart, handsome, articulate man with a college degree, because it really is starting to look like his career as a professional baseball player is coming to an end.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 4, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

cdstej, all I know is what C&D said, so I can't really offer an opinion, beyond that. But I've never been off-board (huh?) on Plush. Unless Rizzo was giving him the dreaded "vote of confidence" that managers get just before they're fired, I don't think they are comfortable going into the winter with just Bernadina, Morse, and Willingham out there. Maxwell doesn't seem to be making it, and Nyjer isn't exactly in a good position to negotiate a raise, so he'll stay cheap enough to keep around just in case. It's not as if he's a clubhouse disruption, so there's no reason not to re-sign him.
I like the guy.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 4, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Agree on the Maxwell comment. He had 29 strikeouts in 79 AB before tonight's game. Needs to go back to Potomac and have some of what Tyler Moore's been drinking, 'cuz he's completely overmatched here.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Another great outing by stopper Lannan. Glad to see he got through the 7th and the 7 K's were impressive, helped offset the three errors behind him.

Posted by: Natmeister | September 4, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

By the way, for anyone not watching, Thrilledge ran into an out at home plate tonight too. And forgot (refused?) to slide. Bernadina threw him out rather easily. Weird baseball karma, that.

Of course, he didn't try to ram Pudge back into the Allegheny River, either...

Posted by: cdstej | September 4, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Correction - 29 strikeouts in 70 AB.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't look now, but Lannan has a winning record. That's pretty rare on this team.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 4, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

My 2c on Max. Still has potential. Needs to shorten his swing.

Go down and play a full season of Winter Ball in the Caribbean. I wonder what would happen if the had the time and consecutive games to work on his batting skills.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | September 4, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

mikecatcher50,

Don't know how much longer we control Maxwell, but I agree. I would go further and say he needs a complete, uninterrupted season in AAA--he was hitting fairly well there until they started yoyoing him. He's still considerably younger than our "young" CFer.

Speaking of whom, cdstej is correct to say that Rizzo is totally in support of Nyjer.
Quite clear if you saw AK's quotes the other day. Nyjer will definitely be here post-Oct. 3. cdstej further suggests we loyally rally 'round Rizzo on this issue. I agree: heaven forbid we sink to the level of second-guessing the GM. What would come next--criticizing the manager, maybe even the ownership?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | September 4, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't get some of you i really don't, you would think Morgan had assaulted a women and in the process robbed a bank at gunpoint all he did was run over a catcher in trying to win a game and defend himself when a pitcher threw at him not once but twice and before that hit two of his teammates. Mike Rizzo is trying to show some loyalty to a player who in his passion tried to unify a team that is sorely in need of any sign that can keep them united and playing well enough to avoid another 100 loss season.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

There's still hope for Maxwell. Another guy named Max had a good night last night:

http://www.blessyouboys.com/2010/9/4/1670424/max-st-pierre-ignites-game-winning

"Long-time Tigers farm hand St. Pierre spent the better part of 14 years in the minors before he got his shot at playing in the major leagues. The 30 year old catcher finally got the call to report to the big club when rosters were expanded on September 1st. But he had to wait till tonight to actually get on the field, getting the start due to Gerald Laird's back issues.

St. Pierre made the most of it.

With the game tied 4-4, St. Pierre's one out, 8th inning single, the first hit of his big league career, was the trigger of a two run rally. After reaching 2nd base, he was pulled for a pinch runner, Brennan Boesch. Ultimately, Boesch scored the game winning run on Jackson's single. The Tigers added an insurance run thanks to a passed ball, allowing Will Rhymes, another long-time farm hand getting his feet wet in the bigs, to score.

St. Pierre was greeted in the dugout as if he had hit a game winning home run, and had a smile from ear to ear. The scene had to warm the heart of even the most jaded of Tigers fans."

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 5, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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