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Today's lineup

In their first game without Nyjer Morgan, the Nationals will use both Justin Maxwell and Willie Harris as Michael Morse gets the day off. Jason Marquis will start and face Roy Oswalt, who is 6-1 with a 1.98 ERA since joining the Phillies.

Nationals
1. Danny Espinosa, 2B
2. Ian Desmond, SS
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Roger Bernadina, LF
6. Ivan Rodriguez, C
7. Willie Harris, RF
8. Justin Maxwell, CF
9. Jason Marquis, SP

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 17, 2010; 2:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Justin Maxwell gets his chance

Comments

Hmm Let's see. Michael Morse at the ripe old age of 28, who has been a part-time player for most of the season and who rested yesterday during an off-day needs a day off today according to the genius Double Switch. It never gets old.

But since the Nats are supposedly going to be 10 games better than their 100-loss season of last year, this guy is manager of the year. Man a blind squirrel coulda run into those 10 wins. Please don't even think about the other potential 15-20 wins that this guy cost us.
At least he's consistent.
Carry on.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Not a great lineup, with Bernadina "protecting" Dunn, although Dunn is still able to protect Zim for awhile. Willie Harris as your starting corner OF? This is the 38th game this .186 hitting guy has started.

Anyway, in the previous thread, many of you made excellent points in support of the Nats' low-budget approach to team-building. Your arguments are thoughtful, and strongly held. I really shouldn't argue with you too much, since you are the true fans. Some of us are just barely hanging on as STH or partial STH. I gave up my STH groups (I had three at going at one time) and am now just a TV fan. The vast majority of people in this region don't even think about the Nats, until something interesting starts to happen. Because that doesn't happen much, the stadium is usually half-empty or worse. The Nats are not reaching potential fans very well, in my judgment.

So I just ask you to consider that, even though you are happy campers, it takes more than your small core group to produce some excitement for the fans who are trying to hang in, and for the fans who long ago drifted away, after checking out the product. The empty seats have no voice, but if you listen closely you can hear their ghosts.

Posted by: EdDC | September 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Why, oh why, is Harris in the line-up? He is a light-hitting, old, defesive liabilty. He should not be on the team next year. So why play him at all any more? Maybe Rizzo has to DFA him to absolutely remove him from Riggs list of truely horrible options.

Booo, Boooo, Boooo!

Posted by: lesatcsc | September 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh BTW if there is no one on Syracuse or Potomac who is superior to Willie Harris and his .186 BA, then I don't want to hear one more word about our great minor league system. Otherwise, what the freak is this guy still doing in the majors?
What a team! What a GM! What a president! What owners!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Yep, its a bad lineup. The last time they put one of these duds forward....Nats won. Yea, bad lineups! No doubt we will see a towering HR to the red porch by that stud Willie Harris.

Go Nats!

Posted by: NatsFly | September 17, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are on pace to lose 93 this season. Better than 100!

Posted by: EdDC | September 17, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Yea, bad lineups!"

NatsFly, that made me think of those Red Stripe commercials:

"Hooray, beer!"

"Hooray, bad lineups!"

(Actually I think a Red Stripe or two would make this lineup look better)

Posted by: baltova1 | September 17, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Who did Oswalt lose to????

Posted by: CapsNut | September 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman's screwy lineups are the main reason this team has the poor record it has this year. There was rarely a reward for pitching a good game, becuase they couldn't get any run support.

How Willie Harris lasted an entie year on this team batting well below the Mendoza line for 4 months is beyond me. Maxwell has shown that he can't hit Major league pitching unless the pitcher HAS to throw stikes (see BA with bases loaded).

I agree with skins_fan_22:
"Oh BTW if there is no one on Syracuse or Potomac who is superior to Willie Harris and his .186 BA, then I don't want to hear one more word about our great minor league system."

Posted by: Kolchak | September 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

>>The Nats are on pace to lose 93 this season. Better than 100! Posted by: EdDC

Like I said, Manager of the Year. (And get ready for a big fat wasted one next season.)

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I predict a no-hitter by Oswalt tonight!

Posted by: Kolchak | September 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a running argument here that the more effective players should be playing all 162 games. If anyone thinks that's going to (or should) happen just because the bench is weak, there's nothing more to discuss. A job of the manager is to pick the right spots to give regulars days off. Morse has started 18 games in a row and in his only appearance against Oswalt was 0-3 with 2 K's (Harris's lifetime is 1-2 with 2 walks, not that either figure is dispositive of anything). Also, the only OF on the Nats 40-man roster who isn't currently on the team who can be called up is Bryce Harper, who is the subject of a debate whether he might be overmatched in the Arizona Fall League.

Posted by: chiefwj | September 17, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

It can't be good for Jason Marquis to pitch on Yom Kippur.

Posted by: ramgut | September 17, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Marquis pitching on Yom Kippur. Kind of makes me cringe, but who am I to judge...

Posted by: JEp1 | September 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow, they really don't give a toss, do they?

Posted by: SuzNats | September 17, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

It can't be good for Jason Marquis to pitch on Yom Kippur. Posted by: ramgut

Wow that is just WRONG! Not to mention really bad Karma.
Where's Sandy K when you need him?

And in case anyone missed it, the Nats are owend by the LERNER family. How the freak do they allow this guy to pitch on Yom Kippur??!!
Unreal.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Just another reason to really dislike this club.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Out of my area of expertise, but here's what Zuckerman wrote about Marquis and Yom Kippur:

"Jason Marquis starts tonight, pitching on Yom Kippur, which is something he's done in the past but takes into consideration each time the situation arises. Marquis, who is Jewish, told me last week he will probably be fasting as custom dictates and attending services with his family tomorrow near his home on Staten Island."

Posted by: baltova1 | September 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW Sandy Koufax gave up his start in the freakin World Series because it was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews. The only day out of the entire year Jews shouldn't work. And Jason Marquis can't give up one start up for a team in last place in a game that means nothing for the Nats? Way to set an example.
More of Rizzo's high character guys.
Poor Jason. Poor Nats.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

That would be some towering HR, seeing as how they'll be playing in Philly tonight, NatsFly. But I do take your point. Well done. :-)

---

No doubt we will see a towering HR to the red porch by that stud Willie Harris.

Go Nats!

Posted by: NatsFly | September 17, 2010 3:24 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

And just in case this wasn't rhetorical, the whom in question would be your 2010 Washington Nationals.

---

Who did Oswalt lose to????

Posted by: CapsNut | September 17, 2010 3:38 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Great the descent is complete.

It's HIS faith, he gets to choose.

Morons.

Posted by: OldDude | September 17, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Yom Kippur is out of my area of expertise as well and I am not inclined to judge what I would think is the man's personal decision.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not Jewish, but no one throws a fit when Christians play a sport on Christmas or Easter, or when Muslims play during Ramadan. Within any given religion, there are people that subscribe more or less seriously to one or all of the tenets of that given faith. That's why reasonable Christians can disagree with each other, reasonable Muslims can disagree with one another, and reasonable Jews can also do the same.

To cast judgment and say that Jason Marquis is a low character guy based on an individual decision that he makes with respect to his relationship with his own faith seems ludicrous to me.

Posted by: faNATic | September 17, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't like plenty of Riggs' lineups, but I blame the GM for giving him crud like Willie Harris and no legitimate MLB RFer. Nevertheless, I'm not sure Willie Harris needs 38 starts. And unless there was a game that I missed yesterday, Michael Morse didn't need tonight off.

Posted by: comish4lif | September 17, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

And the fact that Kilgore didn't even mention this shows his complete lack of understanding of religion vs a pretty important sports news story. Amazing.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Sandy Koufax-- Remembered.
Jason Marquis-- Who?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

OldDude, you meant Moron (not Morons). There's only one of them on this thread.

I guess that means we can't refer to SS as Jesus anymore, or use the phrase Strausmas.

Damn. . . I mean dang.

Posted by: thelonghaul | September 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm not casting judgment. Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax were high profile representatives of their religion at a time when being Jewish made you stand out. Not quite as true here. I'm Jewish and there are times that I've had to work on the High Holy Days. I just wonder about him performing without hydration during the game. And, of course, the possible adverse Karma, or whatever the proper Yiddish word would be, jinxing his performance tonight. Maybe he'll get knocked out before sunset.

Posted by: ramgut | September 17, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm not Jewish so I won't pass judgment on whether Marquis should pitch tonight. But I wouldn't mind seeing Sandy Koufax pitch instead...

Posted by: baltova1 | September 17, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

(From Wikapedia)
Ten Jewish players were on Major League Baseball rosters at the start of 2010 season. They were:

C Brad Ausmus (Los Angeles Dodgers)
LF Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers)
RP Craig Breslow (Oakland A's)
SP Scott Feldman (Texas Rangers)
RP John Grabow (Chicago Cubs)
RF Gabe Kapler (Tampa Bay Rays)
2B Ian Kinsler (Texas Rangers)
SP Jason Marquis (Washington Nationals)
RP Scott Schoeneweis (Boston Red Sox)
1B Kevin Youkilis (Boston Red Sox)
Since then, three more Jewish players have been called up from the minors during the 2010 season:

1B Ike Davis (New York Mets)
OF Adam Stern (Milwaukee Brewers
3B Danny Valencia (Minnesota Twins)

Some of these guys are no longer playing this season, either injuries or demoted. But it'll be interesting to see of the current crop, who plays tonight.

And who knew Kinsler was Jewish?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Natinal fans, at what point this season do you all expect The Fighting Showalter's to pass the Natinals in terms of having a better record?

1/2 a week?
Full week?
1 1/2 weeks?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

>>I wouldn't mind seeing Sandy Koufax pitch instead...Posted by: baltova1

At his current age he'd probably still strike out at least half the Nats.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

>>Posted by: Poopy_McPoop

Still the greatest name on this site.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Sandy Koufax, by the way, is 74 years old. And looks like he's 54. I think we could get a couple of innings out of him.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 17, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

<<Sandy Koufax, by the way, is 74 years old. And looks like he's 54. I think we could get a couple of innings out of him. Posted by: baltova1

Not tonight u couldnt. See how it all comes full circle.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Can't we get two innings out of him before sundown?

Posted by: baltova1 | September 17, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"That would be some towering HR, seeing as how they'll be playing in Philly tonight, NatsFly. But I do take your point. Well done. :-)"

Dude, I'm tellin ya, that HR is gonna fly!

Posted by: NatsFly | September 17, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I just looked it up - it appears that sunset in Philly is at 7:05PM today; unfortunately that's exactly the same as "gametime" tonight.

Posted by: jonb5 | September 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Re Harris in the OF, we do have one more option available: Kevin Mench (or maybe Mensch, per ongoing discussion). Granted, he's not very good, but then we're comparing him to Willie Harris. Mench can't play RF, but this is not Willie's best position either. Riggleman/Rizzo have painted themselves into a corner here with their insistence that "LF is Roger's best position." Roger is clearly best RF available, but by keeping him in LF Nats are forced to play Harris in RF and keep Mench on bench (Mench on bench...hmm). OK, I'll admit. At this point in the year, I'm tired of seeing the same old retreads. Let's at least see some new retreads!

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | September 17, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Mench?!?!?!?!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I thought that dude had retired a decade ago. Leave it to the Natinals to scrape him off the junk-heap.

Only in Natinal-ville.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Good point on hydration, ramgut.

In other news, hope that our Oswalt-owning ways continue. (Hey, a fan can dream, right?)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Here you go, Cap, courtesy of Major League's Lou Brown (R.I.P.):

http://www.michelintruck.com/img/tire-retread/tech-step3.jpg

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Natinal fans dreams = nightmares

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so it's not really courtesy of Lou Brown, but he did work at Tire World and all, so I thought it would be fitting...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Why did Riggs put Marquis in the position of having to start on an important religous holiday? The Nats have said they need a reason to "create" a start for one of the "starters" not currently in the rotation. Are they so completely insensitive that they couldn't see this was a win-win sitaution for all concerned. Pitch Marquis tomorrow when there is no question of balancing religous beliefs and profession, where nutrition and hydration are not an issue and get that extra start out of one of the guys you want to see pitch. Does Riggs EVER use the thing he balances his cap on?

Posted by: lesatcsc | September 17, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_yFeC-Omt3c8/SK6Z1ZDjz2I/AAAAAAAAAao/IjytkOstgxM/s400/258Troll_spray.jpg

pffftt

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

1a, remember to shake the dust off your shoes on the way out.
*sigh*

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 17, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Just because someone brings facts to a debate does not make them a troll.

And who links moronic jpg's of Lou Brown or troll spray anyway?

Lordy lordy.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

sec3mysofas wife wishes he would get up off the couch and become more active, if for nothing more than to become more sexually appealing to mr. sec3mysofa.

Oh, and the Nats will end the season with a worse record than the Orioles.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage ...
however, throw in armed guards, barbed wire, and a general lack of amenities, and you're pretty much there.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 17, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Will do, sec3. I'm off to watch the P-Nats in postseason play now. I think it's vs. the Keys? No, wait. The Potomac team eliminated them last week. That's right. It's vs. Winston-Salem. Anyhoo. See you later. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 17, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Natinal fans have nothing better to boast about than their Single-A baseball team. Man now that's jut downright sad.

And it must've been so hard to beat a team that has super-stud Billy Rowell on it. hahahaha

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

>>Oh, and the Nats will end the season with a worse record than the Orioles.Posted by: Poopy_McPoop

McP, 4 games at this juncture may be a bit much to ask. Os have already caught and passed the Pirates and Mariners and are about to pass Arizona. KC and Cleveland at 2 and 2.5 would be nice. But 4? We'll see. No doubt Os are playin inspired ball now. Unlike some other local unit.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Natinals have 16 games left, 9 of those against teams fighting for the NL East and Wildcard. Those won't be easy at all.

Fighting Showalters have 16 games left, only 6 of those against teams fighting for the AL East and Wildcard. They have a series against a team (Toronto) they just swept, a series against Boston who's packed it in, and a series against Detroit, a team they just took 2/3 from.

I think the O's can easily make up 4 games. Plus the Philles come down the Natinal Park for a 3 game series and you know that's gonna be very much like home games for the Phillies. I wouldn't be surprised to see Natinal Park sold out, filled with 2/3 Philly fans.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm just sayin 4 games is a lot of games to make up in just a two week period. Doesn't happen very often (unless you're Colorado). One loss vs a win immediately puts you up against it. But I hope I'm wrong and you're right. Would love to see it.

But more importantly, the Os will leave the Nats in their dust next season. Bank it.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 17, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The O's will not catch the nats. The yanks will sweep them because Camden yards is actully Yankee stadium south. Toronto has already won 12 of the 15 games so they should sweep them too. Boston will take the series as well and the don't have a chance against tampa in florida so of the 16 they may win 4 or 5

Posted by: forever211 | September 17, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

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