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Today's lineups

Justin Maxwell remains on the bench with a sore right thumb, and Ian Desmond will join him as Adam Kennedy receives a rare start. Danny Espinosa will move to short for tonight.

Nationals
1. Danny Espinosa, SS
2. Adam Kennedy, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Roger Bernadina, CF
6. Michael Morse, RF
7. Willie Harris, LF
8. Wilson Ramos, C
9. Livan Hernandez, SP

Astros
1. Jason Bourgeois, CF
2. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Carlos Lee, 1B
5. Geoff Blum, SS
6. Chris Johnson, 3B
7. Brian Bogusevic, LF
8. Humberto Quintero, C
9. Bud Norris, SP

By Adam Kilgore  | September 20, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
 
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Next: Justin Maxwell heals thumb, Willie Harris back in lineup

Comments

The opening game of the last homestand of the year. Sigh. I can remember when I looked forward to the posting of the lineups each day in hopeful anticipation of that evening's game. Now I just wonder if I'll be motivated enough to use my tickets.

Posted by: ramgut | September 20, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Clearly though some on here don't realize just how much this team had stripped from it and think that simply writing a check will cure the ills. It won't, and if you don't believe me ask any Mets fan. Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 20, 2010 2:45 PM

No, simply writing a check won't do. And no, the Mets example of paying tens of millions to old guys is not the answer either. The O's also tried for years to pay as much as they could to any old timer who could still stand. It did not work.

Obviously it is not night or day, feast or famine. You can focus on youth and the future, and be successful. You can trade for guys who make decent salaries. You can sign a young free agent once in awhile who makes decent money. You can dip into the international market more than the Nats do.

You don't have to have one of the lowest payrolls in MLB. The best ballplayers are not always the same ones who have the lowest value. There is no reward for suffering and doing without--this is not a test of character.

Posted by: EdDC | September 20, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

2-8 in the last ten. Lost 3 in a row.

But, Livan pitching at home tonight on a beautiful evening. The beer will be flowing, and if you squint just right they look a little like major leaguers.

But seriously folks. I'm thinking the most valuable player is again Zimmerman by a large margin, but if you asked me who was the most valuable starting pitcher this year, it would be Livo. And he'd probably be in the top three for overall team MVP.

Zimmerman, Dunn, Livo. (Maybe if Capps was still here I would have put him in there) Desmond, Burnett, and Willingham get honorable mention. Willingham mainly because once he was gone you knew why you needed him.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 20, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll second that re. Livo, natbiscuits (and he was a bargain what with the minor league contract - hope he had some good incentive clauses in there).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 20, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

You've captured the moment, natsbiscuits. And your MVP is right on. Livo has been tons of fun to watch. So glad he came back.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 20, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

To show you the interest level on this game, I have had my front row, $45 dollar club house level seats on stubhub most of the day for the ridiculous price of $19.95 and they have yet to sell. Since 7:00 o'clock this morning, only about 20 tickets have sold all day.
Nobody gives a hoot about the Nats.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 20, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

>To show you the interest level on this game, I have had my front row, $45 dollar club house level seats on stubhub most of the day for the ridiculous price of $19.95 and they have yet to sell. Since 7:00 o'clock this morning, only about 20 tickets have sold all day.
Nobody gives a hoot about the Nats.

Posted by: Golfersal

Don't feel too bad - my buddy used to have four seats a couple of rows behind the Nats dugout at RFK. Those were the days. Used to be able to actually talk to players and coaches. I even picked a fight with Damian Jackson the night he tried to come into the stands after me when he couldn't lay a bunt down on three BP fastballs after which I gave him the finger. Even told him I'd be waiting for him outside the players lot entrance if he'd like to meet up. I waited an hour, and he comes riding out in the back seat of a car with his coat draped over him. Lol man. That was the year the apathy started, and we've got a whole bunch of guys who play just like that now. If it's me, I cut half the roster this year. Or get a new manager. Or both. I'd take your seats, but I've only got a couple of weeks left to fulfill my promise of not giving them a red cent this year. No pun intended.

Posted by: Brue | September 20, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, you're right, Golf - and it's a really long bus ride from Houston (sorry, Stan).

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

My fellow plan holders actually forgot we had tickets tonight. Nationals baseball in September - catch the excitement!

Posted by: Kev29 | September 20, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Livo gave me one of my fave in-person memories of the year, his complete game shutout. We picked up tix that day on a whim and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Love ya, Livo (blows a virtual kiss)!

---

You've captured the moment, natsbiscuits. And your MVP is right on. Livo has been tons of fun to watch. So glad he came back.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 20, 2010 3:57 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 20, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I gotta give the Nats MVP (almost hard to type that when a team is looking at last place for seemingly the 27th year running) to Dunn. Adam led the club in HR, RBI, total bases, Doubles, XBH, OBP, SLG, only a few Runs back from Zim and he played a new position better than most people thought he ever could (though I am not saying he played it well) and never complained. Had there been someone behind him in the lineup over the last 40% of the season and if the club had the leadoff man that they thought Morgan would be he may have really taken off in 2010.

Livo gets it for the SP -- gave them a chance to win almost every time out -- and Tyler C for the Pen. Morse in a run away for the bench.

(Guz gets it for recently departed Nats for accepting a trade to a club where he knew he would not play very much.)

Posted by: dfh21 | September 20, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Just spent $50 per seat to sit in the President's club and watch Livan. I don't watch them on tv, but still, nothing beats fun at the old ballpark. Especially with dinner, Livo, and right behind home plate.

Posted by: markfromark | September 20, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's a fun game for a fine September evening: Try to find the major leaguers hiding in these lineups! Yay.

Posted by: BobLHead | September 20, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

>Just spent $50 per seat to sit in the President's club and watch Livan. I don't watch them on tv, but still, nothing beats fun at the old ballpark. Especially with dinner, Livo, and right behind home plate.

Posted by: markfromark

There's nothing like being able to call strikes from your seat. One of the great pleasures. Beautiful night too. Ah yes, I remember the time at RFK, and I think this is when Livan's knee problems first surfaced and he was throwing everything >83 mph, and I said 'I know you can throw harder than that'. He looked up, like he was embarrassed, and threw harder. And won. Ah, the daze.

Posted by: Brue | September 20, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Boy it just shows how easy it is getting tickets. All day long by $45 dollar seats were for sale for $19.95. Just got the word that they didn't sell. See that Markfromark will enjoy himself in Lexus club seats, for only $50. Christ the buffett is about $30 in most places, hope you enjoy yourself
Frankly I wonder at times if it's not best just to not get season tickets and just buy tickets on Stub Hub.
Of course I wouldn't be saying that in June when tickets were selling for over face value.
It's a big gamble on getting season tickets because of things like this. I can see the Nats having problems selling season tickets for 2011. We have had them for 6 years now and I have been frustrated all this time. Only saving grace, we do have the greatest seats in the club level, first row inbetween home and third base. It will be nice to go to a World Series in these seats in probably 2030

Posted by: Golfersal | September 20, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Geez gents...get off your knees or get some knee pads for goodness sake. It's a fat guy throwing junk for a crappy team. You guys need to get a clue.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 20, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Livo struck out a guy on a 63 mile an hour curveball. It looked like the ball sort of froze at the top of the arc. It looked like his bat was in its recoil before the ball arrived. Thrilling. Defense, not so much.

Posted by: markfromark | September 20, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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