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Game 141 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Marlins

Today marks an important anniversary for the Nationals. On Sept. 10, 2009, Ian Desmond, almost six years after Jim Bowden compared him to Derek Jeter, played his first major league game.

He used the final month to lay a foundation for this year, when he won the starting shortstop job out of spring training and, after a rocky first half, cemented himself as a the Nationals' future at shortstop. Desmond enters tonight's game no longer a just a rookime but as one of the team's leaders.

"He's played like a veteran," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's really handled the ups and downs of the season really well. I've never seen [Ian] hang his head, not run a ball out hard. He hits a fly ball, he runs hard. He's a great example for other players.

"His numbers that he puts up, they're good. He's shown he can play at this level. But the bigger impact you get with Ian is his whole energy and athleticism. He throws it hard. He runs hard. He's focused. He's speaking up. What we've got here in the last year is just a gamer. He plays hard. He plays the right way. And he happens to be putting up pretty good numbers."

The Nationals will try to snap a two-game losing streak and finish the season on a strong against the Marlins. The Nationals are 5-10 against them this year. Tonight, they'll rely on John Lannan, who might be on the best roll of his career. He's won three straight starts for the first time, and he's got a 2.93 ERA in his last seven starts.

Lannan will oppose Alex Sanabia. The Nationals have faced the rookie twice, losing in a shutout once and roughing him up once - Ryan Zimmerman broke that piece of scoreboard in Florida on a pitch by Sanabia.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 10, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Joe Bisenius makes it back to the majors

Comments

Sanabia, a right handed pitcher, versus right handed hitters, .364 BAA. Zimmerman's gotta be drooling.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 10, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

again, we can't get out of the first inning without giving up runs

Posted by: bromisky | September 10, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The Genius of Riggleman!!

Take the guy with the highest slugging average, with three homers and three doubles in his first 19 AT Bats, and put him in the leadoff position so he can hit solo homers.

That guy really knows how to manage!

Posted by: gnatman | September 10, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Surely someone thinks something about Morgan running there.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 10, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Stupid, just stupid. Morgan continues to do dumb things on a regular basis. And the braintrust seems to think "he's hustling". Well, there's hustle and then there's stupid.

Even Bob and Ray are giving him the business on MASN. Now if only Rizzo and Riggleman would come to their senses.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | September 10, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

There it is. Thank you, Lee.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 10, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

You are quite welcome, sir. But a blind man could see it.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | September 10, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

(To be honest, I'm not saying I agree with you. I suspect the manager and GM are just playing out the season with the cards they've been dealt/dealt themselves.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 10, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Stevie, I sure hope you are right. But they've been staunch defenders so far - at least publicly. I think Kilgore seems to think they might try to get through this year and start anew with him. I'm hoping they are trying to keep his value (?) up for the offseason. Should be interesting.

What's your take on this week's Boswell column on retaining Adam Dunn? Boz is a credible observer in my mind. Hope I'm wrong and he's reading the tea leaves wrong.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | September 10, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

When the final decision comes down from Watson & MLB, Morgan will become a 'dead man walking' on the Nationals roster, imo. The final 22 games become a tryout period for Espinosa as a leadoff hitter at this level.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

And I hope BinM is right, too. But one wonders...

Posted by: LeeM9308 | September 10, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@Lee: I agree with you and certainly trust Boswell concerning his sources.

If he says he's pretty sure the pro-defense philosophers have won the in-house debate, then that's probably the case. (I think they're willing to risk free-agency. If, by freak chance, Dunn can't get better than the yrs/number combo the Nats are offering, they think they can get him back at their numbers.)

I'm not a die-hard for this team, however. When I watch them, I value exciting and interesting play over wins. From a viewing standpoint, I like Dunn's bat and accept his streakiness and limited mobility/pick ability.

Maybe one reason why I tend to be fine watching Morgan: dumb or bad plays rarely lack for excitement for the less-invested fan.

Now, if Angelos were refusing to re-sign Dunn to a hometown discount . . .

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 10, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

And once again I broach one of my 'pet' observations - Why not move Desmond to CF (ala Yount in MIL), shift Espinosa back to SS & bring back Kennedy at 2B for 2011?

Desmond has the range, arm & bat to become an above-average CF; Espinosa has better numbers defensively (in the minors) than Desmond ever did at shortstop, and Kennedy is aging, but still reasonably steady at 2B.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Espinosa has flat out speed in the field. When he goes back on a ball like that at SS next year, the left fielder will benefit. Which will probably be Willingham. No matter what anyone says. Even if they wanted to stick him in RF, his arm wouldn't let you.

Whoa just short of the wall~~~~

Posted by: Brue | September 10, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@Brue:
Agreed about Willingham - If he's with the Nationals in 2011, he's in LF. He'd be a train-wreck waiting to happen in RF, with limited range & a 'soft' arm. Even as uncomfortable as Morse seems in RF, he's better there than Willingham would be, imo.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Riggleamn is once again violating the 'Clippard rules'; Do not bring Clippard in with runners on base. Only pain can follow.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

This team doesn't score enough runs.

I think they need a new hitting coach.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | September 10, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Just got to the TV. Has Espinosa been batting left handed agasint Sanabia?

Posted by: Sunderland | September 10, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Willie takes a heckuva lot of called 3rd strikes.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | September 10, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@Sund: Uhh, sorry, man, it didn't even register. From the banks, long fly ball to the wall in right . . . I think so, yes.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 10, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

This team doesn't score enough runs.

I think they need a new hitting coach.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | September 10, 2010 9:08 PM

Here's one things they need.
A manager with more than one approach.

Sanabia's right handed, so Riggleman puts 4 lefty bats in the lineup (Espinosa hitting from the left, Dunn, Bernie and Nyjer).

Look at Sanabia's splits:
Vs RH Hitters WHIP - 1.79, BAA - .364
Vs LH Hitters WHIP - 1.06, BAA - .208

Why did we not load up on right handed hitters?
Why is Alberto Gonzalez, JMax, Mench, etc on the bench? What are they here for if not to play when they give us the best chance to win?

Because Riggleman believes in righty v lefty more than anything else.

So we have 4 lefties, 4 righties and a pitcher facing Sanabia when we could easily have put out a lineup with only 1 or 2 lefties.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 10, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I would be very surprised if Riggleman didn't look at Sanabia's specific numbers vs RH and LH hitters - he must have it available. If so, why it doesn't sink in I have no idea, but I think the result is a very mediocre manager with little creative instinct.

Posted by: gnatman | September 10, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

And once we get rid of Dunn, we will score even fewer runs. At least the Nats will be saving money for the "Plan."

Posted by: CountDemoney | September 10, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Bottom of the 9th for the Nationals - Pudge, Morgan, JMax = toast. G'night Gracie; I'm out.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey, whatdoyaknow, the Natinals are losing, yet again.

O's reeling the Natinals in. At this point the O's are a much better team than the Natinals are.

Showalter is a real manager, unlike that monkey who the Natinals have.

Poor Natinals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, dude, what are you like in real life?

Are you an Os fan living in Cali because you're in Federal prison or something?

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

Be careful Poopy_McPoop -- there are a lot of fellas that post on here that don't like it when you talk negatively about their Natinals. As you can read, they don't like it when you tell the truth about their beloved hometown nine. For some reason, they support the thug in CF and defend his play as "hustle", not the stupidity that it really is, not to mention that he sucks anyways. The caught stealing tonight was great! It's amazing that someone so dumb is allowed to keep showing his arse every night. I really thought they could get to 100 losses again too. They defnitely had the talent, but it appears they'll end up just short. Sorry Natinals.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 10, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

jwing14 WHAT!! you comming to NJ a little late ain't you chump,funny i haven't seen your post on these blog's don't be coat tailing Poopy we know he's a jackass better you keep that part of your personality to yourself less we be jumpin in yo sh#t right away.

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

jwing14: and another thing don't be callin my man Nyjer a thug, you know nuthin about this team or it's players sound's to me like your a fustrated O's wannabe just wander on over to the Baltimore Slum er i mean Sun and post your sorry azz rant's over there.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 10, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow - all the c0cks*ckers are coming out of the woodwork tonight. Poopy and his crackhead hon friend too!

Posted by: Kev29 | September 10, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Do we need to go over how stupid Nyjer Morgan is.
No baseball sense.

Sorry, I am now blaming Riggleman because he is the manager, the general that dictates what a player should do.

He should be the guy telling Nyjer to either steal or not to steal. So maybe we should also at this point call Riggleman a "Bonehead" for allowing Nyjer to do what he thinks is best.

Sorry but every game that Nyjer plays in I grow to dislike Nyjer more for what he does and what he tries to do. He was 1 for 3 today but by getting caught stealing it might as well be 0 for 3.

Also lets look at what a bonehead time that was stealing, 2 outs and the pitcher up. There is nothing to gain by stealing second with 2 outs because the odds are very good that Lannan will make an out. (Lannan batting 100). So now by getting caught stealing he now screws up the next inning because the pitcher is up first.

Sorry that isn't good baseball and we should all be screaming for the Nats to put a mussel on him. Hopefully with only 20 games left Nyjer will get the full 15 game suspension and we won't have to deal with him anymore

Posted by: Golfersal | September 10, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

You go, dargregmag!
And can't the Post find some reason to block "Poopy McPoop." Seriously.

Posted by: jdsp2000 | September 10, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

After attempting to read your posts dargregmag...I do understand why you defend the CF. You are wrong about not knowing the team though...I've seen 'em and they suck. Also, don't take it all too personally dude! You don't play for them and don't get paid either, so keep it in perspective yo.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 10, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Golfersal: Please!! you act as if Nyjer lost the game himself there's plenty of blame to go around tonight again the approach by this lineup was as my daughter would say "wack" swinging at the first pitch as Morse did with runners at the corners after Bernadina singled to score their only run, Morse could have at least taken the first pitch. Nyjer is getting some serious grief from you, you would think that he has wrecked the Nats season all by himself, don't worry he'll be gone soon enough and when his replacement makes you wish he had never left then you'll be happy.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 10, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I figured it out. The CF is actually posting here. Classic.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 10, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

You have a 37-yr old daughter, dargramps?

(sorry - a little generational slang humor there to lighten the mood.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 10, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Riggelman could be a lot like father George Bush was in 1991. He was the big hero after desert Storm but did one dumb thing on higher taxes and was beaten less that a year later by Clinton.

At the All-Star break the reports were on how great of a job Riggleman has done with this team. All I can say to that is Bulls**t.
By doing what Riggleman is doing on this Nyjer mistakes, it's just making us evaluate what Riggelman has really done this year and you know what, last year we lost 103 games and at the pace that the Nats are going we are going to lose around 90 to 95 games. This doesn't bode over very well for Riggs and frankly if I were Rizzo and Kasten I would be looking for a change of mangement.
If Riggleman can't handle Morgan then there is no chance for use to ever have a winning record.

Everyone should be thinking about this in the next couple of weeks, we need a new manager. I would bet that many on this board are starting to think the same way.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 10, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Golfersal -- you are right on the money. Anyone, here or otherwise, who defends Riggleman is a fool. He has the worst winning percentage of all time of managers who have been in the dugout a certain amount of games. He fits in well with Natinals though.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 10, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

On the bright side, isn't sweet to have a slick fielding second baseman, finally. The relay to Pudge was a thing of beauty.

Posted by: paulkp | September 10, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

>Even as uncomfortable as Morse seems in RF, he's better there than Willingham would be, imo.

Posted by: BinM

The ideal for me would be a three-player rotation for playing time in RF and LF. They could hire a slugger to rotate with M. Morse and Willy. 1200 ABs split 3 ways. Makes the most sense, because you don't want to give up on what you already have. Morse and Willingham can both slug, but I'm convinced that it's with less than a full season of ABs.

Posted by: Brue | September 10, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Boy the Natinals final 2 remaining fans are in a real foul mood tonight after the loss brings the O's withing 6 games of the mightily struggling Nationals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 11, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

@jwing re: Riggleman winning % -

Yeah, no he doesn't.

Close, though. 3rd worst of all managers w/ over 1300 games managed.

And Tony LaRussa has the 3rd worst winning percentage of all managers with over 4000 games managed, so, that's stats for ya.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 11, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

@McPOOP....Guess he will be happy if the O's win more games than the Nats...but both will finish in last place...shows it doesn't take much to please him...

As for Nyjer...as one poster noted, Riggleman should be calling the shots as for him stealing bases...but Riggleman is seeming more like Acta every day...a very passive guy as far as we can see...management made a bad mistake in resigning him...He will be lucky to make it thru next season without being fired...

Posted by: pentagon40 | September 11, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Puh'lese, no 3 player rotations in RF! The Nats need a real, honest to goodness RF that hits consistently and plays decent defence. Crap teams have 3 guys, none of whom can get a fulltime job in MLB. RFs that drive in less than 50 runs should be working at Walmart.

The Nats also need a real number 5 hitter. Not Hammer who is better suited to # 2 or 6. He just doesn't drive them in like he needs to. One thing is absolutely for sure, it isn't Bernadina, tonight's RBI notwithstanding.

And while they're at it, it is time for a real manager. Not some guy who has managed an incredible number of games and always, and I mean always, NOT won.

Posted by: lesatcsc | September 11, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Kinda funny. Bet any of you guys would do a 1000000000000-times worse job of managing than your current guy.

ahahhahahah

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 11, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Sunderland, on the off chance that you check back here, minorleaguesplits.com is a terrific site. Especially with rookies, I've found it to be a great way to check someone's historical tendencies.

Here, I think this will take you straight to Sanabia: http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl=502253

If you click on "Car" (for "career") in the upper right, you'll find splits for all 382 of his innings in the minors, as opposed to just the 48 major-league innings this year.

Posted by: Scooter_ | September 11, 2010 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Said Riggleman: "He's hitting eighth there, but that's his game. I can't ask him to hits eighth but don't run, you know? I really thought that he would get the base. That's Nyjer's game. I can't take that away from him."

Assuming he actually said that, he should be removed from the dugout. He is no longer running the team.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 11, 2010 4:31 AM | Report abuse

From the gamer: "When Sanabia grazed Ian Desmond with a 91-mph fastball in the first inning, Desmond calmly dropped his bat and jogged to second."

Wow, he must have really been hit hard if the umpire awarded him two bases. (Adam, we kid because we love.)

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 11, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, listening to Riggleman on the drive home I almost choked on that "...not taking his game away line..." about Nyjer.

WHY NOT?! You're the freakin' manager. Morgan makes the 3rd out and leaves Lannan leading off in the next inning.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | September 11, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

thanks to Adam K for providing this page for the season of baseball as it is played in D.C.
As a young 80 year old, I have attended a dozen games this year (we are 8 and 4) but I have finally given up reading the comments on this page. With a few exceptions the comments are juvenile and not worth reading.
Go Nats.

Posted by: wtait1212 | September 11, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

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