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Game 145 discussion thread: Nationals at Braves

The Nationals are trying to snap a six-game losing streak and reverse a skid that has planted them firmly among the worst teams in the league. To reach just 70 wins at this point, the Nationals would need to finish 10-8 while playing 11 of their last 18 against the Braves and Phillies. To avoid 90 losses, they'd have to finish 13-5. That goal, reasonable for almost the entire season, is slipping out of reach.

For tonight, the task of lifting the Nationals falls to Livan Hernandez. The Nationals rock for much of this season, Hernandez has stumbled lately. He has a 9.70 ERA in his past four starts, and he's allowed opposing hitters a 1.039 OPS -- basically, the entire league has been Albert Pujols against him for four starts.

The Nationals need to get their slacking offense on track. Last night, they were shut out for the 12th time time season. They'll face Jair Jurrjens, who shut them down for five innings in their last meeting. Taking a lead into the final innings will be key -- the Nationals are 1-70 when trailing after seven innings this year.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 14, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Nationals announce 2011 schedule, will open at home

Comments

Did Sutton just finish auditioning for Dibble's job next year?

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Doubt it. from everything I've heard, he didn't like it here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 14, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

That's what I thought, but he was talking like he loved it here.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

SIGN.DUNN.NOW!

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

We don't need Dunn. There are plenty of young first basemen just as good as him who'll sign for less. There's...

...wait a minute, I'll think of someone...

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Hell, maybe we can put Livo at first four days a week...

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Jurrjens struggles (38 pitches), while Livo helps himself with a 2B+RBI; Good times.

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I think Livo must practice acting nonchalant after making a big play, in much the same way other players take batting practice.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Hi, my name is Mike Rizzo and I'm a friend of Scot Boras. Thats why I'll be signing Carlos Pena to a contract for next year. Sure, he'll suck, but whatre ya gonna do when your ownership is secretly really only interested in the tax write-off they can get and wants to APPEAR like they are trying to improve but will only do so with young players. Forget about Dunn, hes too much money. Carlos Pena is why you should buy season tickets. Of course, you won't. And the Lerners being cheap is what "penny-wise, pound foolish" means.

Posted by: shred11 | September 14, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Hi, my name is Mike Rizzo and I'm a friend of Scot Boras. Thats why I'll be signing Carlos Pena to a contract for next year. Sure, he'll suck, but whatre ya gonna do when your ownership is secretly really only interested in the tax write-off they can get and wants to APPEAR like they are trying to improve but will only do so with young players. Forget about Dunn, hes too much money. Carlos Pena is why you should buy season tickets. Of course, you won't. And the Lerners being cheap is what "penny-wise, pound foolish" means.

Posted by: shred11 | September 14, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Hi, my name is Mike Rizzo and I'm a friend of Scot Boras. Thats why I'll be signing Carlos Pena to a contract for next year. Sure, he'll suck, but whatre ya gonna do when your ownership is secretly really only interested in the tax write-off they can get and wants to APPEAR like they are trying to improve but will only do so with young players. Forget about Dunn, hes too much money. Carlos Pena is why you should buy season tickets. Of course, you won't. And the Lerners being cheap is what "penny-wise, pound foolish" means.

Posted by: shred11 | September 14, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Livo! Snags a wicked liner to end the inning - He's far from perfect, but damn, it's nice to know he'll be back next year.

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Livo! Snags a wicked liner to end the inning - He's far from perfect, but damn, it's nice to know he'll be back next year.

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-How many pitches have Danny, Ian and Roger seen tonight? At the very least, howzabout lettin' at least a FEW go by before you make another out? Sheesh...I just have a hard time finding much to be positive about with this team lately. Posts on today's opening story about the Slows just have me feeling glum. Because they ring too true....at least based on the available evidence. As usual, I don't WANNA believe it's true, but....
Just like I wanna believe that we should keep Eckstein as our hitting coach next year.
Go Nats.

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Don't rise to the bait...

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I have a bad feeling that Rizzo believes Pena at $15 to $20 million over the next two years and the first round pick and sandwich round pick we get from Dunn signing elsewhere is more valuable than Dunn for $15 to $20 mil over the next two years.

The other thing to remember is the Nats went through this once before with Soriano. The Lerners let him walk, got two picks one that turned into Jordan Zimmermann, and the Cubs ended up with one of the worst contracts in baseball. Letting the player walk worked in their favor last time, they probably think it will again.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | September 14, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-as usual, though...I STILL think we'll be in the hunt for the playoffs next year (actually, I think we'll be IN 'em!).
Cause ya GOTTA believe!!! And if you can't enjoy watching Livo pitch.... always gladdens my heart.
Go Nats!

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Zendo - just enjoy the game. Zimm and Dunn are 4 for 4, Livo is pitching, hitting, and fielding like Livo.

Yeah, Despi and Desi need to lay off some pitches. I hate first-ball swinging. Ted Williams NEVER swung at the first pitch, and they say he could hit a little.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"I have a bad feeling that Rizzo believes Pena at $15 to $20 million over the next two years and the first round pick and sandwich round pick we get from Dunn signing elsewhere is more valuable than Dunn for $15 to $20 mil over the next two years."

You shouldn't have a bad feeling about that, because it's not the case. Rizzo would gladly take two more years of Dunn. It's the third and especially the fourth year that Dunn is holding out for that you should feel bad about.

Posted by: nunof1 | September 14, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

See my post above about playing Livo at first four days a week next year...

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Yup,gil.....I just want 'em to do well so bad...probably the same reason they're slumping!(If they are like most of us, they're probably harder on themselves than we are). Easy to criticize from here..
But GAWD, I love LIVO!!!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but still believe that after the knee, plus the back you'll see Josh Willingham everyday at first base well before Carlos Pena. Willingham had an ungodly OBP before he went on the DL. Nick Johnson like one might say ... hopefully he won't be made of glass though?

Rizzo prefers, no loves an athletic outfield. That will be the focus to help his pitchers next year. Looks like they may have a complete and perhaps outstanding MI after Danny Espinosa plays winter ball ... I wonder if they'll try to convince Desmond to join him? Lombardozzi might also do well in the AFL.

Pena to me smacks of going backward. He is 33 and declining rapidly. He is no Pudge, no Livo. I can't believe that Rizzo would make this team like the Cubs?

Posted by: periculum | September 14, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Glad I am to see Zendo ... and not Poopy.

Posted by: periculum | September 14, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-While I hope we keep Dunn, gil-I betcha Livo'd be a better fielder at first than Dunn!...And a few others in MLB at that!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

But I believe Dunn will accept arbitration .... and just before agree to a 3 year contract.

Posted by: periculum | September 14, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Funny how extremely satisfying I find it to see somebody else make a dumb baserunning mistake.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | September 14, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

A 2B (w/RBI), a HR, and a pickoff at 2B. Ladies & Gentleman, we are seeing 'vintage' Livan Hernandez tonight. Enjoy it!

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Thanks, Peri. I believe that could be "dangin'" with faint praise! Har!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-c'mon, Michael!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

peric: Nice to see you back from the MASN wasteland - I was wondering if you & 'Maddy' were just going to get a room.

H-m-m-m, I still think you're wrong about Willingham at 1B, (it's harder on your back than the OF), and believe Morse would end up there in front of him. He's a bigger target (6'5" vs. 6'1"), and he has more IF experience, as well. I also like Willingham's bat in LF more than Bernadina's.

In terms of Dunn, i'd love to see them re-sign him (for 3-4 years, with a front-loaded contract), but that's much less than a 50-50 prospect, at this point. The Lerners' are far more likely to let Dunn walk away, and allow Rizzo to sign a 2nd-tier LH bat at 1B to 'fill the gap'.

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"Far more likely to let Dunn walk away, and allow Rizzo to sign a 2nd-tier LH bat at 1B to 'fill the gap'."

I would think they would go for Cantu before Pena? And go for Crawford in the outfield as that left handed bat. But everyone thinks these guys will all go to the Yankees so who knows? Plus Nick Johnson might be available again ... ~laughing~ Honestly,
HE makes more sense than Pena. They can always put Morse there to back him up when he goes down.

Posted by: periculum | September 14, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Two reasons Poopy's not here:

1) Nats are winning;
2) They cleaned his cage and let him back in.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 14, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-past his bedtime,gil?
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Ted Williams! Please don't mention Ted Williams and the Nationals in the same breath unless you're talking about former Washington MLB Managers! Lol!

Of course he could lay off the first pitch. He must have had 20-15 vision and a batting average w-a-a-y above these guys. Please!

Posted by: Supporter51 | September 14, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

peric:
The following players have one thing in common...
Dunn (LH-WSH), Cantu (RH-TEX), Pena (LH-TB), Kotchmann (LH-SEA), Thome (LH-MIN), Konerko (RH-CWS), Overbay (LH-TOR), Berkman (BH-NYY), Lowell (RH-BOS), Wiggington (RH-BAL), Huff (LH-SF), Giambi (LH-COL), Jones (LH-PIT), Fielder (LH-MIL), & Lee (RH-ATL).

They are all possible FA's in 2011, with experience at 1B. Between the $$ that Dunn is looking for, and the possible replacements might be why Rizzo is waiting. I'm just sorry I hadn't looked at the list sooner, not that there is anyone better than Dunn available, imo.

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

For a moment, just a moment, lets enjoy a curly W victory

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 14, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The military measured Ted Williams vision at 20-10 to 20-15. They made him a fighter pilot because of that and his reflexes.

Posted by: periculum | September 14, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

As 1a1 would have said, Zang-Boom! A road win on a joint shutout from Livo & Burnett. Good times, folks, good times.

Posted by: BinM | September 14, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I find the nats depressing these days, but I keep watching. And glad I did tonight. Livo is amazing, the bats awoke and we didn't do anything stupid on either the base paths or defensively. Nice game, guys!

Posted by: NatsFly | September 14, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the Nationals finally waking up with the bats.

Also nice to see Adam Dunn waking up with the bat today.

Funny everyone talks about how the Nationals have to sign Adam Dunn. Guys lets be realistic, what happens if Dunn isn't on the team, can things get any lower than it is now?
Yes Dunn is great with the bat at times, but that is the problem. He is very inconsistent and he even admits to having an average of three slumps per season.

Let me give you some stats for those that say we have to sign Adam Dunn.

Right now for every at-bat he makes about $12,000. For every game he makes about $60,000. We all make that for a day don't we?
Just like with what happened with Aaron Crow and Soriano, I believe that you make an offer and if someone else gives you something better good luck to them.
Everyone was ticked when both Alfonso and Crow weren't signed but hey what has happened to them now??
Same with Teixeira, it's frightening to think that he makes a cool $41,000 at bat. When does the money train end???

I really feel that both Rizzo and Dunn will get together and figure something out. I agree, I wouldn't give Dunn a three or four year contract. I think that Rizzo is smart and knows that Dunn is a good old boy that loves his life style in Washington. Dunn also, I have heard, loves low pressure situations and some have told me that the Nats is right up his alley, low pressure, good clubhouse, easy manager to work for. Rizzo knows that and come October he will talk with Dunn and figure out some compromise and I feel that Dunn will get a two year contract for $20 million with incentives plus a one year extension at $15 million if the Nats want to do it.

Oh, one thing that I should of asked up front. Does any of you think that we are getting our money's worth out of Dunn at $10 million a year? I don't think so.
Do the math and ask me, how many games has the Nats won thanks to Dunn. Go back in the memory banks and tell me how many times that Dunn has given the Nats a walkoff hit to win a game? How many times has Dunn given us a winning hit in the last innings period. Bet you it's not that much.

So every time you folks write how we should sign Dunn, think about this. For 2010 Dunn has earned $2.1 million dollars for his 175 strikeouts. Good work if you can get it.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 14, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Golf: Your problem is with MLB salaries, not really with Dunn. Let's just agree that the lowest of MLB starters will make more than the likes of us ever will. Way way way more. So breaking it down to $ per at bat is not relevant. Yeah, I would love to be paid to play a game. The Lerners are raking in the third highest profits in the league, so I guess these overpaid players are worth it, yes? Nor can you break it down to number of times he has had a walk off homer. Things are a bit more complex than that. Won't go into it all, but among other things, teams pitched around Zim when he had no protection, but since Dunn came, they can't do that. So Dunn not only brings his 35 HR and however many RBIs, but he greatly increases Zim's production too.

But I don't think it will matter. Hope I am wrong but I think he will find a nice gig elsewhere and we will be the poorer for it.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 14, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Golfersal, I'm sure all of those contrived stats meant something to you, so you go ahead and enjoy them. BTW, I think Dunn also made $1.00 for every breath he took during the season, which I think is way out of line. I think we should sign Lance Armstrong to replace him. His standing heart rate is really low and that means he probably only breathes about half as often as Dunn.

Think of the savings!!!

Posted by: baltova1 | September 14, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I proudly wear several T-shirts (MLB finally knocked them off eBay) with "Senators'' on the front and "9'' on the back.

Great win tonight. Let's go Nats!

Posted by: nats24 | September 14, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Kind of miss Poopy...Some things just grow on you, even his abrasiveness and love of the O's...but he's gotta learn to stick around even when our team wins...like tonite.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | September 14, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Haven't been around much lately but just wanted to say ¡¡¡Livo!!!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled psychodrama... :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 14, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, just scrolled up and saw BinM's shout-out. My ears must have been burning. I'm still among the living, fwiw. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 14, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Hell of a game again tonight in Tampa(hotbed of MLB,LMAO!) Yanks lead 8-7 on Posada hr with Riviera trying to save it. Great game tonight by Livo and you should have heard the Braves broadcasters praising Livo especially Don Sutton saying and i quote "he's overmatching our hitters and he isn't even hitting 80 on the radar gun" i just chuckled and said to myself baffling them with bullsh#t that's my man Livo. This just in from Tampa; Crawford thrown out at third trying to advance on a fly ball double play game over.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 14, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy! Hey maybe they can sign Lance Berkman for 20M for 2 years,

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 14, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

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