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Game 143 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Marlins

With just 20 games remaining in this 2010 season, it's probably worth checking on where the Nationals might draft next season. The short answer is, "high."

At the moment, the 60-82 Nationals have the seventh-worst record in the majors, ahead of only, in order from best to worst, the Royals, Indians, Royals, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Orioles and Pirates. (If it feels worse than that, it's because the Nationals have the second-worst record in the majors since May 15.)

The Nationals are up 1 1/2 games and two on the Royals. They're ahead of the other four teams by at least three games. They're two games behind the eighth-worst Cubs. So, chances are, they'll be picking somewhere between fifth and eighth next season.

Today, the Nats will be looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Marlins, against whom they are 5-12 this year. Jordan Zimmermann faces off against Chris Volstad. Zimmermann one-hit the Marlins the last time he faced them. Volstad touched off a bases-clearing fracas the last time he faced the Nationals.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 12, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
 
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Comments

Zimmermann seems less than sharp today; Burning through pitches early. Here we go again...

Posted by: BinM | September 12, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

nothing there but empty uniforms today....

Posted by: bromisky | September 12, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Nice real nice, WTF!! why are you trying to pickoff a runner why not concentrate on the batter? yeah, i know you're scared to death of Ramierez and with good reason but damn just pitch to him,see that wasn't so bad. The Nats look like they would rather be home watching the NFL.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Listless, lethargic, ambivalent ... even Knight is noting and reporting it. Again, this is why I was actually happy about Morgan and the Marlins and the benches clearing brawl ... at least briefly, it woke this team up ... but they are back into the lethargy ...

Time for Morgan to wake things up again before he gets suspended.

Posted by: periculum | September 12, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Nice effort by AKennedy! This is Natinals baseball!

Posted by: jwing14 | September 12, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Get a couple of relievers up - JZimm is just about spent for today.

Posted by: BinM | September 12, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Fail to see what promise this gan can has that everyone talks about.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 12, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

jwing14: What's wrong? your mom wouldn't lend you the money for the NFL sunday ticket ? man that's just flat out wrong even though you're right there in her house all be it in the basement mind you she must have trust issues with you, dude at your age that must be tough.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 12, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Natinals losing AGAIN!?!?!?!?!

Is this a new day or are the Natinals and Natinal fans experiencing groundhogs day?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 12, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Adam - there has to be some discussion in some corners of the S. Capitol St offices about a managerial change, doesn't there? The Orioles are about to move past us in the overall standings, on the strenght of a new manager who doesn't allow a culture of losing. Nobody on our team seems to care about another loss - they're just happy to keep talking about how bright the future is and about how great our effort is. Just don't see the effort on a daily basis. Rizzo is no fool.

Posted by: dlombardo1 | September 12, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Theoretically there is progress because they're going to win more games than last year, but that reflects a hot start and a complete collapse. Sign Dunn, act like you care that the team is not getting better.

Posted by: markfromark | September 12, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Showalter thing has been amazing. Not just an improvement, they look like a competitor in that Division. Never seen anything like it. Wonder if it can pick up again next year. His history is a fast start and a burn out when people get sick of him. Maybe this will be different.

Posted by: markfromark | September 12, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals are up 1 1/2 games and two on the Royals"

I'd like to see Adam Kilgore play and win that ballpark game where the prize is the Rosetta Stone language package. And then when Clint asks him what language he wants, I'd like for him to say "English."

Posted by: nunof1 | September 12, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Didn't have to $ from mine, since your momma bankrolls me for services.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't need the loan from my own, since your Momma bankrolls me for services.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 12, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@dlombardo1:
You're right - Rizzo is no fool, but he may be limited by what the Lerners' allow him to spend on that 'line-item'. Would you rather have McLaren, or Jewett as a replacement, because those are the level of Managers you'd get for what they pay Riggleman (reported $600k).

Remember, the bottom line seems to mean everything to the Lerners; Spending anything above what might cut into their $20M profit margin is unacceptable.

Posted by: BinM | September 12, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

great play, pudge!! What fun!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 12, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

stop feeding it ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 12, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Another nice inning-plus from Peralta. I had my doubts about him early, but he's been solid all year. He just might be pitching himself into the mix for 2011.

Posted by: BinM | September 12, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Riggleman is going to ensure that Willie Harris gets as many at bats as Morse batting around .180. They absolutely do need a new manager ... Jewett? How about Foli, or Knorr or Cathcart. Anyone but this field staff.

Posted by: periculum | September 12, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

AK is so right that "it feels worse" because the Nats' record is 2nd worst since May 15. And the 20-15 start was a mirage, as evidenced at the time by run differential.

The front office needs to chew hard on the reality that this year's on field product is only slightly improved over 2009.

Posted by: KenNat | September 12, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@peric:
H-mmm... Foli could be an interesting candidate; He's spent the year supposedly learing about the players in the system, as the QC cross-checker. If a change were to be made by Rizzo/Kasten in the off-season, that might not be a bad choice.

Posted by: BinM | September 12, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Peri/BinM: I was screaming for Tim Foli when Acta was walking the plank, but when he left the Cuse for the front office i figured hey he's playing it safe, i'm not a Trent Jewett fan not that i know a damn thing about the guy other than he's career baseball man. I know Rizzo offered Riggleman an extension or did he and if he want's to change managers then does Riggelman still get his money?

Posted by: dargregmag | September 12, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

To hit Pudge eighth to accommodate the self indulgent Morgan is shameful.

Posted by: swanni | September 12, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

You want a manager? Make Pudge a player/manager in 2011.

Posted by: swanni | September 12, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

When that time comes for Pudge, I think he will want to manage somewhere else.

Posted by: CountDemoney | September 12, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

As far as contract status, Riggleman is under "team control".
He's signed for next year, but we can buy him out for only $100,000.

Rizzo will keep quiet about the situation, and if pressed he'll only say positive things about Riggleman.

And if Rizzo wants to buy him out and get a new manager, he'll do that quickly and decisively.
Say what you want about Rizzo, but when he conducts business, he does it the right way.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 12, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Based on what the Marlins have done to the Nats the past couple of years, the Nats should be reminded of the words of Sheriff Brody in JAWS:

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

Posted by: angelos_peter | September 12, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Only caught some of this one on the radio but doesn't sound like I missed much. I'm neutral on Riggleman (fix the roster first, then we can worry about managers), but I didn't love that batting order and I really didn't like letting J. Zimm swing away after two failed bunts with runners on 1st and 2nd. Sure enough, a GIDP. Remember, Desmond then singled to lead off the next inning, which would have produced at least one run if J. Zimm bunts successfully with two strikes or if he strikes out bunting.

But it's all irrelevant the way they're playing now. The more interesting debate is do the Nats man up and beef up the roster or do we have to buy into The Plan?

Posted by: baltova1 | September 12, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"But it's all irrelevant the way they're playing now. The more interesting debate is do the Nats man up and beef up the roster or do we have to buy into The Plan?"

What I think people keep missing is that the Nats are not going to sink money into a way over 30 free agent who may or may not have some good years left? Why? They are rebuilding and Rizzo has stated time and again that if they get someone its going to be someone who can help them immediately and later on down the road.

The only way to get younger impact players is through trades. Most teams, except for those small market teams trimming payrolls, aren't going to let young impact players go easily. We all saw that with the long White Sox attempts at getting Adam Dunn. Rizzo wanted Beckham.

He isn't just looking at now he is also thinking about the future and how an FA or trade will fit in with his Plan which may different from Stan's plan. His plan is to build around a core of young players starting with Ryan Zimmerman. His biggest frustration is his inability to get top of the rotation starters ... as he says good ones that are young are rare. Many thought SF would let Cain go because of the salary implications for having he and Liincecum on the payroll. In the end SF re-signed Cain.

The Nats had a good start with Strasburg ... perhaps with Zimmermann maturing and with Maya they might have something in 2011 perhaps adding Detwiler, plus Marquis, Livo, etc. at the back of the rotation. Now, without Stras, I think you will see Mike Rizzo and the Nats make an effort to get a top free agent like Cliff Lee. He may not come because we know the Nats aren't a competitor ... but ... the effort will be made.

Rizzo has to get the starting pitching going ... more consistent quality starts. At least can-be dominant starters if not more. That I suspect will be his main focus going into the offseason.

Posted by: periculum | September 12, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Adam,
Is it about time to write about the Riggleman death watch.

Just at the All-Star break everyone including yourself were on the bandwagon that it was time to give Rigs an extension.

Today they are 60-83,23 games under 500 baseball but the sad thing is that at the all-star break they were only 11 games under 500 and have the worst record in baseball since the break.

With 20 games left in this sad season and a team in a death spiral, is this going to spell the death of Riggleman. Fans are really hating what is happening, can the Lerners, Kasten and Rizzo allow this to completely get out of hand? The reason I say that, in 2005 the first year of baseball the Nats had 24,000 season ticket holders. In 2008 the first year of Nats Staduim the figure was just over 18,000.
This year with the Nats giving up to 31 free tickets if you have season tickets they only have around 9,000 season ticket holders. Now they are doing 2 for the price of 1 tickets for next year, with no Strasburg they are going to loss more season ticket holders.
Something has to be done to stop the spiral, doesn't it????

Posted by: Golfersal | September 12, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

peri, I go along with much of what you're saying, but there is no chance they're going to get Cliff Lee. It's not even worth talking about.

And unless they want to make everyone wait 2-3 (4? 5?) years until they have a competitive team, they need to add some talent. I think they could finally be in a position to make a trade for a relatively young player or two, but they also need some veterans to flesh this thing out. I think they're a little better than they're showing now and I like the core group of young guys, but they're not good enough by any means.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 12, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Peri on this. BTW, We'll end up signing Dunn, because, among other things, it's a buyer's market, for hitters, like him.

Best guess is Marrero in a package deal to an AL team. So far, he hasn't found a position.

Also, you need to chalk this win up to Riggo. Bottom 2, 1 out, runners on 1st & 2nd. Z2N has already thrown 51 pitches. Big hit here and the game is brand new and it looks like the perfect opportunity. 643DP.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | September 12, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, chalk this one up to Riggo. Also missing in the last para is that Z isn't going more than 1 more inning.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | September 12, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

@mikecatcher50:
your views deserve considerable respect (SABR!), but I don't think that Nats will sign Dunn, and I certainly detest CPena as an alternative. I'd rather sign ol' NJ, who I presume will be available, but even Konerko would pale in comparison w/ Dunn.

Marrero hasn't reached the point where anybody will want him. He hasn't yet hit with that much pop.

Posted by: nats24 | September 13, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

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