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Game 156 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Braves

The Nationals honored Braves Manager Bobby Cox before today's game, a brief and well-done ceremony. It began with a video tribute which called Cox "a model of consistency" and "one of the greatest managers of all-time." General Manager Mike Rizzo, Manager Jim Riggleman, owner Mark Lerner and outgoing team president Stan Kasten -- whom Cox worked for years in Atlanta -- stood at home plate with Cox. They presented Cox with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol "in salute" of Cox this month.

They followed the flag presentation by having Cox and the others sit in chars along the third base line as the U.S. Navy band played a few songs.

As for the game, Livan Hernandez will reach 200 innings for the season once he throws one inning today. The Nationals can take the season series, which they currently lead 9-8, while dealing a blow to the Braves' playoff chances.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  | September 26, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
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Somebody please tell me AGonz went on his own on that short fly to Ankiel; Because if Listach sent him, he should be taken out to the Nationals bullpen & flogged.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Livan is doing great again. And there is even better news for the Nats as we head into the off-season. Carlos Pena's BA has dropped to .198. This is fabulous news because his contract demands will likely be lowered into affordability range for this impoverished franchise. What team (other than the Nats) would want to have a starting 1B who couldn't even hit .200? This could be the break the Nats need going forward! Now we just have to hope Pena stays under .200 these last few games, so that he stays affordable.

Posted by: EdDC | September 26, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Ed, you're a twisted individual.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the Nats hierarchy have an idea of who they want to keep for next year, and those they don't...some pitchers should be given up on as they have had all season to show something...potential can only go so far and we can't keep playing that recording over and over...

Any pitcher over 2yrs with arm trouble who did not perform this year would be gone..time to give someone else with a healthy arm a chance...Gonzalez at second is a given...Desmond's error total scare me and I would watch him closely next year...Willlingham, Bernadina and Morse in the outfield, with Zim and Dunn back should allow management to focus on starting pitchers...we will see.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | September 26, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Correction...Espinoza second base???

Posted by: pentagon40 | September 26, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse


I'm pretty sure Dunn will insist on getting market value, so he is gone.

Posted by: EdDC | September 26, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ed, if the Lerners' don't pony up 'market value' ($14-16M/year) for Dunn, they deserve to be dragged to the Nationals bullpen & flogged as well.

My theme for today is clearly stupid behaviour = public humiliation & punishment.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Tough break for Livan, but nice work by Burnett through eight.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Tough break for Livan, but nice work by Burnett through eight.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@BINM...Totally agree with you...Pay the man, you know what you're getting plus Dunn would be happy to return as he has expressed...a happy player will be a productive player...

Lose him and you have a huge hole to fill plus you will be praying from production from whomever fills 1st base...not worth the chance...

Posted by: pentagon40 | September 26, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Bang, Zoom go the fireworks! Storen with the save, Burnett with the win. Well played!

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Its not about the money, its about the extent of the contract and how old Dunn would be. If you are going to call anyone for being cheap its Bowden for signing Dunn to a 2 year, instead of 4 year contract when he could get him for less than his market value. But JimBo probably thought Maxwell and Marerro would lead the team to the series this year ...

Posted by: periculum | September 26, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

66 wins. The way the bullpen is playing 70 seems feasible ... even with the Phillies next ... were it not for the offense and still spotty fielding ... plus starting pitching.

Need some starters to go deep into the next three games and the offense to get a lead ... but I guess that might be dreaming ...

Posted by: periculum | September 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Gee! One more Nationals win or Orioles loss guarantees the Nats a better season record than that of the "Fighting Showalters."

Posted by: COL_DFox | September 26, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Peri: Good point concerning the Dunn situation it seems we're still suffering from JimBonitis, nice win today got some buddies over watching the NFL, and they were needling me about watching baseball had to shut em up with this line "baseball is a thinking man's game" they all just rolled their eyes.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 26, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Looking back, I don't recall Bowden giving anybody outside of 'Smiley' more than a two-year contract, and his draft record is spotty, at best. He played for today, not necessarily for the future [Contributions 2005-2008] - (Trade = Mock, Atilano, Chico, Martis, Olsen, Willingham, Gonzalez, Clippard; Dunn, Harris, JD Martin = FA; Flores = Rule-5; Zimmerman, Maxwell, Lannan, Detwiler, Espinosa, JZimmermann = draft). Total = 18 of 40, over 3+years.

Rizzo seems to have the organizations' best interests in mind, imo. (Trade = Morse, Morgan, Burnett, Thompson; Kennedy, Livan, Marquis, Maya, Batista, Peralta, Slaten, Bisenius = FA; Strasburg, Storen = draft). Total = 14 of 40, over 1+ years.

Rizzo is building with college-level players, and the occaisional HS-pitcher. We'll see how it plays out, but I personally like what i've seen to date.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Uhh, 67 wins, I think, peri. (I know: big diff.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 26, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Dargramps: Regarding Dunn - It has nothing to do with Bowden, but has everything to do with the Lerners' unwillingness to put ink to paper for more than $10M/year on a free agent.

IMHO, Rizzo wants the 'big guy' back as a pivotal part of the team for the next three years, but hasn't been to get the Lerners' to sign off on the deal. Maybe Dunn is holding out for 4 years, maybe his agent has been looking for too much $$; Who knows? The fact of the matter is, Dunn is a better fit for the Nationals than just about any of the FA 1B available in the off-season.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Oops, need a correction to the 5:50 post...

Rizzo seems to have the organizations' best interests in mind, imo. [Contributions 2009-2010] - (Trade = Morse, Morgan, Burnett, Thompson, Ramos; FA = Kennedy, Livan, Marquis, Maya, Batista, Peralta, Slaten, Mench, Bisenius; draft = Strasburg, Storen, Harper). Total = 17 of 40, over 1+ years.

Posted by: BinM | September 26, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

That was a fun win today, and I thought the team did a good job with the Cox tribute before. I believe that the songs in question were those of each branch of the U.S. military.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 26, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't know BinM,

They did sign Guzman to a pretty long and expensive contract. Didn't they? They were going to do that with Texiera and with Chapman ...

No, I believe Rizzo has his own plan. Its been said he has depth chart rosters going out as far as 2013-2014. He wants to leverage his draft picks and limit the number of FA's. In three short years you might see Harper, Bloxom (perhaps Tyler Moore but I think he gets traded as does Marerro.), Perez, Ramirez, Hood, Kobernus, Hague, etc. Next year Lombardozzi.

He probably doesn't want to end up "stuck" as they were with Guzman for so long ...

The rule I see is this: If a guy has the right potential in Rizzo's plus his staff's eyes and is well enough under 30 then a greater than 2 year contract is what they want to keep the player under team control.

If the player is close to or over 30 then its a 2 year contract at most. Look how long they waited to let Livo come to spring training and as pointed out with a minor league contract. Batista minor league contract. They didn't release Olsen in ST and save the 2 million or so because a.) he is only 26. b.) He is a left handed starting pitcher with a 200 inning season behind him.

Look at the age first then quibble about the number of years they sign them for.

Posted by: periculum | September 26, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Poopy?! Poopy!? are you there!? so sorry the O's lost, but the Nats won though, did you see it?

Posted by: bromisky | September 26, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Keep feeding it, and pretty soon you don't have a troll, you have a pet skidmark.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 26, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

2-for 3 for the weekend. I'm glad I was there for the wins! Was hoping that the stink'en Mets would let the Phillies win today so that I could go to this weeks games in peace. Hopefully the Braves will lose against the Marlins on Monday night, this way if the Nats do beat the Phillies the last two games will be tolerable with the filthy fans that do show up.

Well for us baseball fans its the worst week of the year as the long 162 comes to an end and the daily love/hate affair gets put on hold for another 5 months or so. Maybe next year will be something special...., maybe!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 26, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

In case you weren't aware ... Poopy_McPoop is an O's and Redskins fan. I suspect more of a Redskins fan than anything else.

Right now the Redskins defense looks as porous as can be. Might be close to the worst in the NFL. Poopy cannot be a happy camper.

Posted by: periculum | September 26, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Who McCares? ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 27, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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