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Today's lineup

Michael Morse, as expected, is out of the final Nationals lineup. Adam Dunn returns to face Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey; he needs two home runs to reach 40.

The Nationals, as of this morning, have the sixth-worst record in the major leagues. If they lose, they could tie the Royals for fifth-worst. If they win, they could tie Manny Acta's Cleveland Indians for seventh-worst.

Nationals
1. Danny Espinosa, 2B
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Ian Desmond, SS
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Roger Bernadina, LF
6. Ivan Rodriguez, C
7. Willie Harris, RF
8. Alberto Gonzalez, 3B
9. Livan Hernandez, SP

By Adam Kilgore  | October 3, 2010; 10:34 AM ET
 
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Next: Summing up another losing season for Adam Dunn

Comments

Dunn also needs two strikeouts to hit 200. That's where I'm putting my money.

Posted by: nunof1 | October 3, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Depending on what happens between the Phillies and Braves and between the Giants and Padres, it's possible Atlanta, San Diego and San Francisco will all finish the season with identical 91-71 records. If that happens, how does MLB choose which two of the three teams go to the postseason and whether San Diego or San Francisco will get to claim the NL West division crown?

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 3, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Should have done more research: here's the answer from mlb.com.

"If the Braves win and the Padres win, the Giants play a one-game tiebreaker on Monday in San Diego for the West title. The loser travels to Atlanta for an unprecedented Game 164 to determine the Wild Card winner on Tuesday."

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 3, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Dunn also needs two strikeouts to hit 200. That's where I'm putting my money. Posted by: nunof1 | October 3, 2010 11:16 AM

nun,

You are so right that Dunn leads the Nats by far in SO and could even reach 200 today.

BTW, Dunn also leads the team in OPS, HR, BB, OBP, RBI, doubles, total bases, and is tied in runs scored. Naturally, Rizzo can find someone who can do all that and strike out less. That's where I'm putting my money.

Posted by: EdDC | October 3, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone i am celebrating my B'day today and it's no wonder i'm a baseball fan having been born on one of the most memorable days in baseball history; A one game playoff between the Giants and their hated rivals the Dodgers which resulted in one of the greatest play by play call's in sport's radio history when Bobby Thompson of NY Giants hit the game winning 3run home run off Ralph Branca of the then Brooklyn Dodgers and Russ Hodge's famous call " there's a long drive....... "THE GIANT'S WIN THE PENNANT THE GIANT'S WIN THE PENNANT THE GIANT'S WIN THE PENNANT and i've been a fan ever since. The season end's for our Nats today and as disappointing as this season has been i still love my Nats and the great game of baseball. I have enjoyed each and every one of you and the opinions that you bring to the Journal every day. I sometimes think that some of you have a better grasp on what's going on with the Nats than Rizzo and Riggleman while that may be a stretch it's fun exchanging opinions and yes sometimes it gets heated at the end of the day we all want the same thing a winning franchise in Washington,DC and hopefully that day will come soon, again ladies and gent's it has been a blast, Let's go Livo lets end the season on a winning note.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 3, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

darg, happy birthday. I've had my disagreements with you here, but I appreciate your passion for the game and for the Nats.

Enjoy your day and I hope Livo and the fellas give you a worthy present.

Posted by: baltova1 | October 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone i am celebrating my B'day today and it's no wonder i'm a baseball fan having been born on one of the most memorable days in baseball history; A one game playoff between the Giants and their hated rivals the Dodgers which resulted in one of the greatest play by play call's in sport's radio history when Bobby Thompson of NY Giants hit the game winning 3run home run off Ralph Branca of the then Brooklyn Dodgers and Russ Hodge's famous call " there's a long drive....... "THE GIANT'S WIN THE PENNANT THE GIANT'S WIN THE PENNANT THE GIANT'S WIN THE PENNANT and i've been a fan ever since.

Posted by: dargregmag

Happy Birthday. Little known fact - Durocher calls time out at 3B, calls Thompson over and says, 'you need to hit a homer if you hit it'. Thompson goes back saying, 'you s.o.b., get a good pitch to hit'. Sure enough - I always wondered why it looked like Durocher had lost his mind after he hit it out, now I know why - probably the greatest moment in MLB history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrI7dVj90zs

Might have some more history today with the Giants/Padres/Braves - I don't ever think there's been a 3-way tie>

Posted by: Brue | October 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

You can't replace Dunn. But to win they need real starting pitching. If they get that perhaps they win a lot more ... perhaps get beyond .500. Whether Dunn stays or goes that is true. And is still the most important thing to address in the offseason.

Posted by: periculum | October 3, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Happy b-day, dargramps. I celebrated mine not long ago. Here's hoping that some day the Nats will have the equivalent of Rocktober in "our" month.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 3, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps they do, but many of their losses this season were of the final-out dropped pop fly and 3-error game variety.

They also have to have to have fewer 8-10 game streaks where they average 2 runs a game.

(Is it true the Nats lost 18 straight 1-run games on the road? Is that due to hitting, pitching or managing?)
--------------------------------------
You can't replace Dunn. But to win they need real starting pitching. If they get that perhaps they win a lot more ... perhaps get beyond .500. Whether Dunn stays or goes that is true. And is still the most important thing to address in the offseason.

Posted by: periculum | October 3, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | October 3, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hi, folks. Happy last day of baseball... (sniff).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | October 3, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

And, Happy Birthday, dargramps.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | October 3, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hi folks.

Agree dargregmag and Nats_Lady. With one exception. My Mom grew up in Brooklyn, so that Playoff is a negative memory that I hate seeing over and over and over again! My favorite NL team until the NATS came back was the Dodgers. Now with a Niece near SD, I'm torn between my sentiments for Cox going out a winner and being an Aunt and wanting the team near my 14 year old niece to win.

Whatever happens, I'm rooting for the Twins and Whoever plays the Phillies (unless its the Yankees and that's a tough choice).

Posted by: CALSGR8 | October 3, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Good point, peric. Since you can't afford both hitting and pitching, why not just go with pitching? Assuming you can get a pitcher to come in after much of the hitting disappears.

Posted by: EdDC | October 3, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

yeah, gotta root for the Twinkles. My sis lives in Fargo, ND. Tell you, they have a BIG fan area out there. Three hour drive from where she lives, and she went to SD where it is another 8 hours away, and the Twins games were on the local TV. We are so spoiled here on the East Coast.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | October 3, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Nats_Lady, thank you. As the great ballplayer Rogers Hornsby replied when asked how he spent the baseball offseason, "I look out the window and wait for spring."

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

As for me, as someone who grew up in the Bay Area, gotta root for the Giants. I'm also partial to the Rays and rooted for them back in 2008.

There are quite a few six degrees of Nats separation aspects to the playoffs (though who knows which might be on the rosters). The Yanks (yuck) have Kearns and Abaladejo. The Twins have Capps and the Wookie. The Rangers have Guz. The Giants have wacky Jose Guillen. The Reds have, um, Bill Bray. I think that about covers it. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 3, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Going back a bit, the Reds and the Giants both have F-Robby connections.

I like that quote, too, Gregg.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 3, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

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