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Game 144 discussion thread: Nationals at Braves

The Nationals will begin their week playing spoiler -- six games in seven days against the NL East leading Braves and Phillies -- with a unique lineup. The Nationals have five rookies starting, including four up the middle: the pitcher (Yunesky Maya), the catcher (Wilson Ramos), the second baseman (Danny Espinosa) and the shortstop (Ian Desmond). The Nationals are also putting Adam Dunn back in the fifth spot, which helped spark the offense once recently.

While playing a pair of contenders, Manager Jim Riggleman will be conscientious of how he manages. Not that he would be playing Dunn in center field or anything crazy, but he's going to play it straight and not try different things out in fairness to the pennant chase.

"We feel like we need to win a go so bad. We're trying to win every game," Riggleman said. "But certainly, we would not experiment with anything. I wouldn't do that against those clubs, out of respect for those clubs that are competing with the playoff contenders."

The Phillies will be happy to know the Nationals have basically owned Derek Lowe this season. In three starts, Lowe is 0-3 with a 6.11 ERA against the Nats, having thrown 17 2/3 innings and allowed 19 hits and three walks.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 13, 2010; 6:50 PM ET
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"out of respect for those clubs that are competing with the playoff contenders."

R E S P E C T, please won't you hire me

Posted by: sjt1455 | September 13, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Repost from prior thread...

As much as I'd love to see Dunn sign with the Nationals, it probably won't happen for one reason - money. Until we see it happen, I don't believe that the Lerners' are really willing to part with $14-16M to sign (or re-sign, in this case) any Free Agent player.

Oh sure, the offers for Chapman & Teixiera exceeded that, but those were just that - offers; Nobody put ink on a contract. Dunn might have asked for a 4-year deal, and would settle for three years, but the asking price is probably between $14-16M+/yr. The Lerners' are currently unwilling to allot more than $10M/yr average to any employee, regardless of credentials.

Posted by: BinM | September 13, 2010 6:55 PM

Posted by: BinM | September 13, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping the Braves tomahawk-chop the Natinals to at least 3 more losses in a row!!!!!!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 13, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

BinM: I think that the Lerners should pony-up the $45M over 3 years or whatever that it would take for Dunn, but my real problem with them is that if they did not want the guy at what they pretty easily could have forecast at the market price then they should have traded the guy at the deadline. The idea that there was no offer out there better than pick compensation is hard for me to swallow. Now when he walks we'll look at maybe getting 2 picks (though that is not certain, might only be one) and hoping that those picks (if the Nats can sign them) will turn into something MLB worthy down the road. It is 4 plus years into the Lerner reign and we can't hold out hope that 2014 might be our year. Playing it that way with Soriano a couple of years ago was tolerable, but it is not acceptable now for them to keep playing this game for some never arriving future. They need to build the MLB club and build it now.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 13, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Boy, this board has gotten very rough.
Amazing what some really dumb baseball by some dumb people can do to get people ticked off.

I have a new way of watching the game tonight. Have recorded it, will skim through the good parts which means that I can watch the whole game in about ten minutes and not waste much time on the Nats.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 13, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Comparing Soriano to Dunn is 'apples to oranges', imo. Different economy, different players. Soriano had power & speed, and was looking for the HUGE contract. Dunn is what he is - A power-hitting LH bat, with good OBP #'s as well, who wants a 'market-level' deal, with a slight discount to stay in DC.

I'll stand by my assumption that the Lerners' just won't spend more than Soriano's $10M arbitration salary, on average.

Posted by: BinM | September 13, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm not so sure about this Maya guy. What a mess!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | September 13, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Maya is getting slapped senseless - can we all just agree that Maya, JZimm, & Detwiler are all on 'preview' mode? The only proven starters that the Nationals have in the rotation are Livo, Lannan & Marquis.
Rizzo is right when he says "It's all about pitching", and this starting staff can't seem to get the critical out, more often than not. Fourteen starters this year, and only four (one injured) who have proven 'competent' to date; That's just unacceptable.

Posted by: BinM | September 13, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's see...Balester likes to fall on his backside attempting pick offs...Maya doesn't seem to know how to pitch from the stretch which is interesting since runners are always on the bases when he is on the bump, what's next...Livo dislocating his pinkie adjusting his cup?

Posted by: jwing14 | September 13, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Good to see that the team talking-to last night has paid off so handsomely.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 13, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Good pt. gilbertbp -- although you can have all the team meetings you want...when you have no talent, you have no chance...

Posted by: jwing14 | September 13, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Poopy? One of your kids is calling from the bathroom ... looks like they didn't make it in time. Lots of brown stuff everywhere for you to clean up!

Posted by: periculum | September 13, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Atilano: 5.15
J. Zimm: 5.29
Stammen: 5.39
Olsen: 5.58
Marquis: 6.60
Maya: 8.00

The horror. The horror.

Posted by: Drew8 | September 13, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I haven't seen any of this game (and with the Ravens playing, I'm not going to watch much of it now) but I was listening to the Braves broadcast and they said their "scouting report" on Maya's first start claimed he did a lot of complaining on the mound about ball and strike calls. I don't remember any mention of that from our media after that game. They then wondered if that had something to do with the balk calls in the second. I didn't see 'em so I don't know if there was any controversy there. But it's some food for thought, which this game obviously needs.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 13, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Boy when the Nats put their minds to it they can make anyone look like Cy Young. If I were a pitcher right now I'd be upset if my turn was missed when they were the opponent.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 13, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

BinM--I don't think we will sign him either, for exactly the reason you note.

Drew8--Horror indeed.

This game is unwatchable, so I've given up watching it.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 13, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Agreed NatsFly.

It's Apocalypse Nats.

Posted by: Drew8 | September 13, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Braves announcers pretty much acknowledged that Lowe is getting generous calls. But does it really matter?

One positive -- the pitcher they are making look like a HOF tonight is at least someone I've heard of.

Posted by: KenNat | September 13, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

This is kind of an open letter to the Post sports department. I think the coverage of the Nats is adequate at best and I say this meaning no real criticism of Adam. His work is fine, although somewhat limited. We've gotten minimal coverage of the minor leagues, which is a mistake in my opinion given that most of the key players for this team are either from the minor league system or in the system now. For coverage of trade rumors and possible signings, I go elsewhere and so do others here. In tonight's game, I heard something about Maya and his supposed questioning of calls in his debut performance that I never read here.

Bottom line: the coverage of this team is thin. If your budget doesn't allow for assign someone to do more enterprise reporting in house, work out a deal with a blog that covers the minor leagues and find someone to gather the information from outside sources that's popping up online and on the airwaves.

You're the media outlet of record for DC sports and even this wayward bunch warrants a little more than we're getting.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 13, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Hi ED...your said "Their payroll numbers have been remarkably consistent, year-to-year, ever since the Lerners took over."

Lerners bought the team in May of 2006. First full season as owners in 2007 the payroll was $37M+. Its now over $66M+. Almost a $30M dollar difference. Thats not remarkably consistent and reinforced by the payroll increasing at least $6M every year.

Your theme is constant and consistent. No need to massage statistics to prove your point.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | September 13, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Why fly a team down to Atlanta, why doesn't Rizzo just get a high school team from Atlanta together and have them play in Nats uniforms, bet you the game would be better to watch.

Honestly it's time to figure out which managers the Nationals could get for 2011.

Many have said Tim Foley, I hear that he is out of favor with the Nationals.

Now many have mention Bobby Valentine but he hasn't managed in the MLB's since 2002. He is also 60 may be too old.

Now Joe Torre is about the retire, is it possible for the Nats to offer the job to Don Mattingly before he is offered the job. Frankly he would probably be too expensive for the Nats blood, but honestly unless they open their wallets we are going to get another Riggleman.

Now in sniffing around the Dodgers site and team I am hearing that the manager of the future, who could be the next Mike Scioscia is Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach. He has been great with them and very high on the Dodger pecking order. He would be a steal and knows a bunch about baseball.

Now how about Phil Garner, who use to manage the Astros. He took them into there only World series five years ago and could be good.

Also like to know what happen to Clint Hurdle, he was the manager for another eight year for the Rookies until last year. He even took them to the World Series in 2007.

One last candidate, what ever happen to Mike Hargrove? He was with the Indians for a decade before moving over to Baltimore and Seattle. Maybe there is a reason he has been out of touch since getting fired in 2007 by Seattle .

Guys I am tired, can you guys think of anybody else???

Posted by: Golfersal | September 13, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm holding out for Earl Weaver or Ted Williams...

Posted by: baltova1 | September 13, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"Your theme is constant and consistent."

Yeah, LDO, but that doesn't narrow it down much around here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 13, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"Good players usually do not fall of a cliff at 34. Several of us have provided examples."

Looking forward four years, falling off a cliff is not the big concern. The gradual decline is, though. 40 HR in 2008. 38 in 2009. 35-36 in 2010. 33-34 in 2011. 31-32 in 2012. 29-30 in 2013. 27-28 in 2014. When all you're bringing to the table is the long ball threat, that's hardly enough.

Dunn right now is in the same position as Soriano was in 2006. Playing for the long term contract, if not here then somewhere else. Soriano responded by having a career year, getting a good offer from the Nats (5 yr/$75M IIRC) but spurning it in a gamble to get more elsewhere. It ended up paying off for him.

Dunn OTOH is beginning to show signs of decline. If he's smart, he'll take the good offer the Nats will make him at arbitration - two years for sure, probably three - because he's not going to get four years anywhere else. He couldn't even get four years two years ago when he was younger and had better numbers. Why would he get it now?

Posted by: nunof1 | September 13, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse


Excellent idea on how to watch the game. This one should take you about three minutes.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | September 13, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Oy. Apparently Yunesky Maya is Spanish for Scott Olsen.

Posted by: gonats3 | September 13, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"One last candidate, what ever happen to Mike Hargrove? He was with the Indians for a decade before moving over to Baltimore and Seattle. Maybe there is a reason he has been out of touch since getting fired in 2007 by Seattle ."

Hargrove didn't get fired in Seattle. He quit, midseason.

Posted by: nunof1 | September 13, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching Yanks -Rays no score top of the tenth both CC Sabathia and David Price were excellent, Kerry Wood yes that Kerry Wood pitched the bottom of the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced including Carl Crawford who was ejected for protesting a called third strike not very smart Carl, anyway great game.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 13, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Yea, dargreg-REAL baseball! And since I couldn't listen for you on Nats Talk (no talk-football instead. And after yesterdays' game they cut the TV post game show short,, too.)-I"ll shout at you here! Any other Gang members , too, who need a BASEBALL fix. I'm too exhausted by their play to comment on the Nots. Sigh....haven't used that moniker since Manny left.

Posted by: zendo | September 13, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

good one gonats

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 13, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

It was 4 months ago today we stood at 20 - 15, in 2nd place in the NL East.

Since May 15:
Pitt, 34 - 74, .315
Wash, 40 - 69, .367
Sea, 42 - 67, .385
Ariz, 43 - 66, .394
Balt, 44 - 64, .407
KC, 46 - 62, .426

Posted by: Sunderland | September 13, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse


I think Rizzo would sign Dunn to 2 years at 15 million. In fact I bet they make that sort of offer for arbitration purposes. They did offer Texiera and Chapman decent money.

Meanwhile, starting pitching is the main concern going into next season. Would mind seeing them trade for Garza and or Greinke if that were possible. The scuttlebutt says both could be available to the right trading partner.

Posted by: periculum | September 13, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

"Oy. Apparently Yunesky Maya is Spanish for Scott Olsen"

This team has cashed it in for the season. I think I am about done. It has been a tough year and do not think I can take anymore. Three years of this will test even the most seasoned fans.

Posted by: Tom8 | September 13, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen what the Astros have done they are seven games under .500 SEVEN GAMES!!!! they were the worst team in baseball right around the all star break, they traded away two of their best players Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman and now they have passed the Nats i'm sorry but this can't look good to Rizzo. I told Phil Wood weeks ago on Nat's talk live that i thought the O's would catch the Nats in victories and Phil Wood told me if i believed that then i should go to Vegas and lay down a bet, man i'm sorry i didn't.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 13, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

June 22, Astros were 26 - 45, playing .366 ball.
Since then, they've gone 42 - 30, a .583 clip. Wow.

They traded Oswalt and Berkman at the trade deadline.

They played at 15 under .500 before trading those guys, and they've played at 8 over .500 since trading them.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 14, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

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