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Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Nationals spring training live blog, John Lannan Works On Things Edition

By Adam Kilgore

space coast pic.jpg

End 9, 3:50: The Nats won, 8-4. Sean Burnett closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth. In the bottom of the eighth, Bryce Harper came to bat and smoked a fly ball to the warning track in left-center, only to have the center fielder track it down.

The Nats are 3-0 this spring.

Mid 8, 3:34 Back from the clubhouse, where Stephen Strasburg gave up an extensive update on his rehab. It's 7-4. No idea how any of that scoring happened.

Also, a Nationals official who saw the radar gun readings said Yunesky Maya threw 87-90 mph with his fastballs. His array of curves and sliders, catcher Jesus Flores said, made it look much faster.

Mid 6, 2:58 J.D. Martin allowed three straight two-out singles to allow a run. Nats, 5-3.

I'm heading down to talk to John Lannan. More updates later.

Top 6, 2:51: The Nats wetn quietly in the fifth. J.D. Martin is on to replace Maya.

Maya's line: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 23 pitches, 16 strikes

Mid 5, 2:40: Maya had another nice inning, allowing no runs despite two hits. He erased Bryan Petersen's leadoff single with a 1-6-3 double play. Omar Infante smacked a double to the right-center gap. Maya got out of the inning by striking out Dwayne Wise, swinging.

Maya, like fellow Cuban Livan Herandez, is an excellent fielder. He showed it right there.

Bot 4, 2:32: Roger Bernadina, one at-bat after a three-run homer, reached with a one-out bunt. Manager Jim Riggleman told Bernadina to commit one at-bat per game to his bunting, and he's been following. Rick Ankiel popped up, and Laynce Nix grounded to second.

Mid 4, 2:28 Yunesky Maya was impressive in his first inning. He induced four swing-and-misses in 10 pitches, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning. He made a nice play on a line drive back at him by John Buck for the first out. He K'd Wes Helms and Scott Cousins.

End 3, 2:20: After Jesus Flores, Jerry Hairston and Alex Cora went down in order, Yunesky Maya is on to make his spring debut. Interested to see how he does.

Lannan's line: 3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 46 pitches, 28 strikes

Mid 3, 2:13: John Lannan gave another run before he got out of the inning. He helped himself with a 1-6-3 double play, which Alex Cora executed despite a lousy throw from Lannan. He hit Dwayne Wise on the hand, then yielded a single to Hanley Ramirez, a shot through the left side. Gaby Sanchez grounded to second to end it. Nats, 5-2.

Top 3, 2:05: John Lannan ran into his first trouble, which started with a leadoff infield single. After a walk and an RBI single by John Raynor, the Nats lead 5-1. Two on, no outs.

End 2, 1:57: Adam LaRoche struck out looking to end the inning. John Lannan stays in the game despite the long layoff. I wondered if maybe he'd be taken out.

Bot 2, 1:54: The Nationals chased Johnson in the middle of an at-bat, obviously because Johnson reached a pitch limit. With the count 2-2 on Ryan Zimmerman, Brian Sanches came on. Zimmerman smoked a single to left, scoring Laynce Nix. It's 5-0.

Bot 2, 1:45: Roger Bernadina crushed a three-run homer to right in his second at-bat, driving in Jerry Hairston (double) and Michael Aubrey (single). The Nats are up 4-0.

Mid 2, 1:36: Six up, six down for John Lannan. Gaby Sanchez popped up to Ryan Zimmerman and Roger Bernadina caught a pair of easy flies to center.

End 1, 1:31 The Nationals benefited from two errors to take a 1-0 lead. Rick Ankiel reached when Hanley Ramirez booted a grounder to short. Laynce Nix walked. Both runners moved up when Josh Johnson winged a pickoff throw into center, and Ryan Zimmerman scored Ankiel with a grounder to deep short. Jesus Flores ended the inning with a grounder to second.

Mid 1, 1:12: Lannan with a 1-2-3 inning. Hanley Ramirez swung through a high, outside fastball on 2-2 to end the inning.

1:08: We're underway. There's a strong wind blowing out to right. Omar Infante, the first batter of the game, flied out that way off Lannan to start.

12:49: The first pitch of the Nationals' third spring training is about 15 minutes away. John Lannan makes his debut and, apparently, Yunesky Maya is actually going to be pitching after him. It'll be interesting to see how he looks, for sure. Josh Johnson goes for the Marlins. Keep it here for updates every half inning or so.

By Adam Kilgore  | March 2, 2011; 12:49 PM ET
 
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Next: Stephen Strasburg watches the Nationals 'like a fan'

Comments

Thanks. Will Do.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Really interested to see how Maya and Ankiel do.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

With three games in three days, my week has been made that much better. So great to have baseball back, let's go Nats!

Posted by: VTmikey11 | March 2, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Different vibe with this team, this spring

Posted by: JDB1 | March 2, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Should be interesting to see how the Natinals AAAA-players look flailing around in the batters box like a bunch of tee-ballers against Josh Johnson.

Of course, it's a site that Natinal fans (all 2 dozen of them) will get used to over the course of the Natinals 162 game, 100+ loss, season.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 2, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Poopy, eat it. 4-0

Posted by: JDB1 | March 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know why these first few games haven't been on XM Radio?

Posted by: combedge | March 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm really liking how the Nats have scored early in all three games so far.

Really hoping this caries over to the regular season.

Posted by: aclupp | March 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Ryan Zimmerman and Roger Bernadina caught a pair of easy flies to center."

Zim's range factor is getting amazing...

Posted by: natinbeantown | March 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

So far so good on the flailing: 4 runs on 5 hits in 1 and 2/3 innings against Johnson. Not bad for tee-ballers.

Posted by: faNATic | March 2, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Home run for Bernie. Is he starting to make a run at Nyjer's position and the lead-off spot?

Posted by: Kev29 | March 2, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I know we are just starting to kick the tires with the 2011 Nats, but I like what I see so far. The one word that comes to mind when discribing this team is "Scrappy".

Posted by: hansenjo | March 2, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow... yeah, thinking Nyjer's grip is slipping away... but, really, he was always a 4th OF type... so, wouldn't mind seeing him fill that role on the Nats with Morse/Bernie/Werth getting the bulk of ABs in the OF...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know why these first few games haven't been on XM Radio?

Posted by: combedge | March 2, 2011 1:45 PM

Only on if one of the teams or MLB.com has a radio partner covering. So far the Nats, Mets and Marlins radio crews have not covered them. Kind of a shame.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 2, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Combedge, it means neither Team is broadcasting the game. Nats first broadcast is Sumday

Posted by: JDB1 | March 2, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow... yeah, thinking Nyjer's grip is slipping away... but, really, he was always a 4th OF type... so, wouldn't mind seeing him fill that role on the Nats with Morse/Bernie/Werth getting the bulk of ABs in the OF...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 1:49 PM

For me it will all be about Bernie's OBP this spring. If he can show that he'll get on base consistently (hit, bunt, draw walks) then he can take the job. Let's not forget, Nyjer's career OBP is .344 - Bernadina's .306

Posted by: Kev29 | March 2, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Make that 5 runs charged to Johnson, 4 earned.

Posted by: faNATic | March 2, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

ALL TOGETHER NOW--- BERNIE CF/MORSE/LF/WERTH RF. AND BERNIE OR ESPI CAN LEAD OFF!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Also save a little for when you come up north.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW Zach Britton the Os future phenom just entered their game.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It's still a little early, but yes I agree skins_fan. I really hope Riggleman sees this by the end of March. It makes too much sense though, so I could definitely see Nyjer in center leading off until Mid June with Morse and playing once every three days.

Posted by: amorris525 | March 2, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see that Lannan's obvious weight gain (not in a bad way but muscle mass)looks like it is translating into more consistent pitching against the Marlins A team!!! hope we save some for the rgular season!

Posted by: markfd | March 2, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

AND BERNIE OR ESPI CAN LEAD OFF!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 1:54 PM

Danny Espinosa (2010)
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=espinda01&year=Career&t=b

Batting 1st - PA 81 OBP .235
Batting 8th - PA 9 OBP .667

7th or 8th please

Posted by: Kev29 | March 2, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Man, this really shows how starved Natinal fans are for positive news about their team. Talk about getting over-excited about Spring Training games.

But don't want to rain on Natinals fans parade. The Natinals will do plenty of that themselves once the regular season starts, I'd say at least 100 times.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 2, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

*meant to say and Morse playing LF once every three days.

Posted by: amorris525 | March 2, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

>>Batting 1st - PA 81 OBP .235 Batting 8th - PA 9 OBP .667 7th or 8th please Posted by: Kev29

Holy smokes Kev. That's a pretty small sample size. If you went by that size no one would ever advance. Cmon now.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

For a team that is so used to losing I think the start to the spring is great - changing the culture of constant losing is a difficult thing to do, any little bost can only help.

So far I'm encouraged about the pitching... obviously we'll go as far as our arms take us, would be great if more then just a couple of guys perform better then we expect.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 2, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Britton just struck out Ryan Howard. Some1 please save that ball.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Crushed" is good. Roger's muscle paying off....

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I hear ya on the lead off/OBP thing... it has been said before, but they biggest issue with Morgan not performing up to his pre-2010 levels is not who else could play CF, but rather that the Nats will lack a true leadoff hitter...

Espinosa likely isn't ready yet, and although he has a chance to be a dynamic offensive player right away with his power/speed combo, he may struggle with plate discipline for a while... but, his career .352 OBP in the minors leaves some hope he'll get there...

But, man, first week of March, it is hard not to dream of a better future then the .319 OBP with absolutely no power that Morgan provided last year... but, hey, hopefully Morgan comes on strong, too... the more quality depth the better...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Holy smokes Kev. That's a pretty small sample size. If you went by that size no one would ever advance. Cmon now.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:07 PM

Of course - everything is a small MLB sample size for Espy. But he was given 18 games in the lead-off spot and struggled to get on base - even worse than Nyjer. I think you have to take the pressure off his full rookie season - let him bat 7th/8th. If Bernie can take the lead-off spot then let's roll with him.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 2, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, HGH Bernadina is doing good. Dunno if his "juice" will last through a whole season though.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 2, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

>>I think you have to take the pressure off his full rookie season - let him bat 7th/8th

Yea agreed.

>>Yeah, HGH Bernadina is doing good. Dunno if his "juice" will last through a whole season though.

Ok now that's funny.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Bring in Maya, JL is starting to sink.

Posted by: hansenjo | March 2, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

How bout thinking outside the box and letting Werth lead off?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

oh POOPY...

Wrong again.

Open mouth. Insert POOP. Close mouth.

Posted by: stantonpark | March 2, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Not much of a line for Lannan. Looks like same old same old.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Desi (r), Bernie (l), Werth (r), Zimm (r), LaRoche (l), Morse (r) works for me. That would give a good mix of right & left handed bats.

Posted by: hansenjo | March 2, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

skins_fan_22

Werth lead off, not a bad idea, but RIGGS doesn't have a clue...

UNTERP

Posted by: asdfghj1 | March 2, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Would love for Maya to unseat him. Would they allow it?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

BTW Zach B is cruisin vs the Phils. What a wuss--Victorino laid down a bunt against the Rook. Gimmie a break.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Given that Bernadina is now hitting .800 with quality at bats and good fielding, I think the writing for Morgan is on the wall...the other side of the center field wall.

Posted by: luv2bikva | March 2, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It will happen if Maya pitches decisively better...

UNTERP

Posted by: asdfghj1 | March 2, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

2nd Altogether Now:

MAYA MAYA MAYA!!!!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

NICE, Maya 1 inning 2 K's. Does anyone know how hard they were?

Posted by: hansenjo | March 2, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

BTW Zach B is cruisin vs the Phils. What a wuss--Victorino laid down a bunt against the Rook. Gimmie a break.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 2:27 PM
-----------

Yeah, Natinal fans wish they had a prospect like Briton ready to break through to the teams MLB roster.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 2, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What's with everyone clamoring for Bernadina over Morgan? What has Bernadina ever done to prove himself a more worthy CF/Leadoff than Nyjer? Bernadina in over 400 ABs last year was good for a .307 OBP, whereas Morgan had a .319 OBP. Both are putrid numbers, especially for a leadoff guy, but Morgan was still better than Bernadina. Not only that, but, Morgan is just ONE YEAR removed from a .370 OBP, a season in which he also ranked as the premiere defensive CF in the game.

If you ask me, you all are a bunch of "what have you done for me lately folks". At least give Morgan a chance to return to his 09 form before you run him out of town. It's not as if the rest of the team was exactly tearing it up last year, either.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | March 2, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the Nationals already have the #1 prospect in the game knocking down the door to the major league roster. Thanks for playing, though.

Posted by: faNATic | March 2, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

To respond to the morgan/Bernie debate. Personally, I want Morgans poisoness attitude off the team. Remember Bernie was a rook last year.

Posted by: JDB1 | March 2, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it is too early to take Morgan out of the picture. I'm certainly glad we've got a guy there who's hopefully lighting a fire underneath him, though.

Posted by: VTmikey11 | March 2, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Bryce "I got a stupid faux hawk and struck out against a guy who will be working a Whole Foods next week" Harper is "knocking down the door" to the Natinals MLB roster.

Of course, if he is it speaks volumes about just how bad the Natinals MLB roster is.

Ooops.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 2, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

JDB1

To respond to the morgan/Bernie debate. Personally, I want Morgans poisoness attitude off the team. Remember Bernie was a rook last year.

Funny, I feel just the opposite. I think people misdiagnose poor attitude for brashness. I'd say let the best man win...

UNTERP

Posted by: asdfghj1 | March 2, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

oh POOPY,

fat, drunk, and full of POOP is no way to go through life, son.

Posted by: stantonpark | March 2, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I think its a stretch to call Morgans attitude poisonous. Everyone on the team seems to like the guy. Before last season, everyone on this blog was in love with "Tony Plush", the fun, harmless, black character on the team. He was the Wayne Brady of the Nats. As soon as he gets into a fight, though, the guy is Suge Knight. If he were white, he would be lauded as a fiery competitor.

Not trying to start another race debate, its just an opinion.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | March 2, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

>>Not trying to start another race debate, its just an opinion. Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq

Nwxt to you Poopy is a genius. What a
dumb A.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Then I suppose Zach Briton's presence speaks volumes about just how weak the O's MLB roster is. Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by: faNATic | March 2, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

If a guy has a .319 OBP with 0 homers, and gets on national TV for throwing his glove to the ground and putting his hands on his hips while the ball sits a few feet away from him and the other team is circling the bases... I don't think it matters what color that guy's skin is, the fans are going to criticize that performance...

Same deal on the flip side, if the guy has a .370 OBP, steals a bunch of bases and plays smart defense, he will be loved no matter the color of his skin by the vast majority of fans...

And, yes, I think it is clearly established... professional sports is definitely an arena where the "what have you done for me lately" attitude rules... teams only look to the past to help determine the best course of action for the present and future... you can't hold on to guys forever hoping they return to some previous form... NOT a direct indictment of Morgan, I sincerely hope he returns to his 2009 form because that will only help my team... but, you can't run a guy out day after day after day keep watching them make the same mistakes over and over when they are already on the wrong side of 30 when you have younger guys pushing for playing time...

Sorry to touch on the race thing that someone else brought up... but, take note, the same folks who are clamoring for Nyjer Morgan to take a hike want Roger Bernadina to take his job... so not clear why anyone would be suggesting folks hold that opinion because of racial discrimination... I think it has everything to do with the fact that Bernie is younger, has more power, more upside, and appears to have better baseball instincts... anyway...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

It wasnt just the fight. What led up to it was bush league. Irregardless, he's a 4th outfielder, imo.

Posted by: JDB1 | March 2, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

>>Then I suppose Zach Briton's presence speaks volumes about just how weak the O's MLB roster is. Pot, meet kettle.Posted by: faNATic

Doesn't even make sense so nevermind.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Riggleman told Bernie to commit one at bat per game to bunting.

Posted by: joemktg1 | March 2, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang- Oh BABY! I'm tellin' ya...this team plans on WINNING! Now.... my well known spring fever aside (88 plus wins, babeee)-whether the Nats finish with a winning record or not-they're finally PLANNING on winning. And whether they do or not, that in itself is a big change. I speculated plenty last year about....well, a lack of grit? An intense dislike of LOSING? that semed ....well, missing on our past squads. NOT that they didn't want to win, but they were just too blase (it seemed to me) with the alternative. I also said "The Rizz" seemed to have that fire and it was too bad there wasn't someone like HIM on the roster.
Well.....enter Werth. And to finally get to the gist of what I wanted to comment on....I gotta say (along with Imjustlikemusiq)....hey- lets' give Nyj a CHANCE! We all know his shortcomings and gaffes from last year, but the guy DID light things up in '09. Further, as one of the Gang pointed out on an earlier post-if he don't get it done...well, see Elijah vis a vis "Spring Suprise".The Rizz WILL pull the plug....
Also, regarding Nyjers' style or approach-I don't think his apparent mania is all bad, either. ESPECIALLY when you have some guys on the team to "set him straight", so to speak, that aggressiveness can be directed in a way that can be beneficial to a team rather than detrimental (as it was last year). See Shane Victorino....
SO....give him a chance. If he can't cut it, I have no doubt that he won't be in a position long to hurt the team.
Yep...we are DUE for the "baseball Karma" scales to start evening things out! And it's starting before our eyes! You hear me, Albert? And Slowly Lernings?
YEA!!!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | March 2, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Please ignore the idiotic O's fan. If nobody engages it, eventually it'll tire of showing its miniscule IQ around here and go wank somewhere else.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 2, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that people don't think Nyjer Morgan is a bad player because he's black, I'm saying that they think he is a cancer because he is black. Just last Spring Training everybody was all-in on the guy. Am I alone in remembering that?

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | March 2, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

And that is why JD Martin was DFA'd.

Posted by: markfd | March 2, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Not trying to start another race debate, its just an opinion.

------

Then don't bring race into it. The chatters here have proven themselves to be equal opportunity bashers: think Adam Dunn, Paul LoDuca (ahhh, the memories), Cristian Guzman, Felipe Lopez, and about a dozen pitchers.

Plus, if you put together a poll on who would you most want to see manage the Nats from the three current or former managers, Frank Robinson would probably win.

You have no case, musiq. And, BTW, I think Morgan deserves another chance, at least through their time in Florida.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm not insinuating that anybody is a racist on this blog, or that people don't bash white players or latino players or black players or whatever. My point is that people are quicker to point out minority players as cancers to the team than white players.

Nyjer Morgan is not a cancer to the locker room. Find one report where he does not have the full support of the locker room and I'll admit that I'm wrong.

Anybody listen to the Sports Junkies? They had Lannan on this week and he backed Morgan when Cakes tried to throw him under the bus.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | March 2, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think the difference between folks calling him a cancer vs folks being all-in on him is the fact that his on-field performance went way down hill from 2009 to 2010... the color of his skin didn't change!... his OBP with the Nats in 2009 was .396, in 2010 it was .319... his SB percentage in 2009 was 77.4%, dropped to 67.7% in 2009... his defense seemed to suffer as well... and he had multiple on-field incidents (the glove throwing, taking out the catcher, getting into a fight) that drew negative attention to him and the team (deservedly or not)...

I think the main problem was that his out-of-this-world performance in his 200 at-bat audition with the Nats lead to expectations that he could not live up to... he truly was insanely good for two months in 2009... but, 2010 was the first time that Morgan was ever a full time player in the majors for a full season, and unfortunately his limitations were exposed more fully over the course of 600 at-bats then they were, again, in his 200 at-bat audution with the team in 2009...

And, again, I'm rooting for him to get his groove back... but, my gut (and my eyes) tells me he essentially is a quality 4th OF type in the majors, not a legit everyday CF/leadoff man... not that Bernie has proven anything, either, I think he may very well be a 4th OF type, too... but, relatively speaking, he has youth, power, and potential on his side... anyway...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Back to the game: Anyone else notice that the new guys DID NOT give up any runs today, but ALL the old dogs DID.

Posted by: hansenjo | March 2, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"It's 7-4. No idea how any of that scoring happened."

Reminds me of a story I heard about the days when Phil Rizzuto and Bill White broadcast Yankees games. White left the booth for an inning and wandered around the press box, kibitzing. He came back in to go back on the air, and looked over Rizzuto's scorecard to get up to speed. Instead of seeing, "4-3," "K," etc., in one box he saw "WW."

He asked Rizzuto what that stood for and Rizzuto said, "Wasn't Watching."

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

BTW, just to drag out the Nyjer debate for a while, what bothers me about him is this: (as Ghost7 pointed out) last year, Nyjer got his first chance to be a fulltime player and a key one at that. And, as they say in horse racing, he spit the bit. His performance dropped off badly and so did his on-field attitude. To me, that's why I would have him on a short leash.

And just to balance it out, I think guys like Balester and Detwiler are in similar positions, especially Balester. Time to show you can handle being a big leaguer.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

>> No idea how any of that scoring happened.

The funniest and most honest thing you'll write all season.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 2, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Back to the game: Anyone else notice that the new guys DID NOT give up any runs today, but ALL the old dogs DID.

Posted by: hansenjo | March 2, 2011 3:36 PM

Sean Burnett bucked that trend - perfect ninth.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 2, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Also save a little for when you come up north.

Posted by: skins_fan_22

-----------------------

Because every silver lining needs a cloud.

Posted by: js_edit | March 2, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Adam, thanks for doing this. Very helpful for those who can't track broadcasts or, in this case, for when there are no broadcasts. We appreciate it.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

And, uh oh, don't look now... but according to MLB.com, some of those extra runs scored on a Rick Ankiel homer...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that people don't think Nyjer Morgan is a bad player because he's black, I'm saying that they think he is a cancer because he is black. Just last Spring Training everybody was all-in on the guy. Am I alone in remembering that?

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | March 2, 2011 3:18 PM

I am in agreement with you. I was wondering why everyone wanted to run him out of town, and its just the 3rd game of Spring training. He had one great year and one bad year. I wonder if Zim had a bad year, would he get the same venom from so called fans.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if Zim had a bad year, would he get the same venom from so called fans."

No. Any other dumb questions?

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Nyger can't hit. Bernadina can. Not just based on Nyger's one bad year, but his career. The only spot for him is n the #1 hole and he can't even get on base. Bernadina can get on base and hit for power. Trade nyger.

Posted by: DCSec112 | March 2, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Zim had a bad year, would he get the same venom from so called fans.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 4:12 PM

------------------------------

If Zimmerman threw his glove down a few feet from the baseball and pouted while the other team was running around the bases, you're damn right he'd catch it from the fans.

It's not a matter of having a bad year. That happens. The fans turned on Morgan because of his absolutely unprofessional antics on the field.

Posted by: js_edit | March 2, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if Zim had a bad year, would he get the same venom from so called fans."

No. Any other dumb questions?
__________________________________

Good answer Beavis, point made.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Good answer Beavis, point made.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 4:29 PM

Actually, I think the point went right over your head. And if you call me Beavis, that makes you...

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Nyger can't hit. Bernadina can. Not just based on Nyger's one bad year, but his career. The only spot for him is n the #1 hole and he can't even get on base. Bernadina can get on base and hit for power. Trade nyger.

Posted by: DCSec112 | March 2, 2011 4:21 PM
____________________________________________

I like both players, I just think its too early to run him out of town. If he doesnt hit this year, I am in agreement, but give the man his opportunity, like everyone else gets. give him half the chance we gave Kearns.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think the point went right over your head. And if you call me Beavis, that makes you...

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011
____________________________________________-
I didnt expect you to come up with anything intelligent, carry on.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I didnt expect you to come up with anything intelligent, carry on.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 4:37 PM

Is this brue, under a new name? Anyway, let's take this slow:

--Nyjer Morgan: nice guy, entertaining, he's given the Nats two great months and six bad ones, generally regarded as a borderline everyday player.

--Ryan Zimmerman: equally nice guy, not that entertaining, he's given the Nats five excellent seasons, generally regarded as one of the two best players at his position.

Now, do you see why the comparison makes no sense?

Hope that was intelligent enough for ya...

Posted by: baltova1 | March 2, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think the key there is... Zimmermann is well established as one of the premier players in the NL at this point... he is 4 years younger then Morgan but has about 1800 more plate appearances (about 3 seasons worth!) at the major league level... I would wager Morgan doesn't get 1800 more plate appearences in the bigs for the rest of career... so, the comparison is not apt at all... more comparable to Laynce Nix or Rick Ankiel, maybe...

If you combine Morgan's stats from his "great" 2009 and his "lousy" 2010... he hit .279 with an OPS of .693... the average in the NL over those 2 years was somewhere around an OPS of .730, and that includes pitchers! So, the dude is posting an OPS almost 40 points below league average over the last 2 years...

Zimm in that same timeframe has hit .299 with an OPS of .893, or about 160 points OVER league average... and is generally considered an absolute top tier defensive player (he is the best I have ever seen at 3b... but, I'm too young to remember Brooks Robinson, so...)

But, like someone else said... I promise you this... if Zimm bats 577 times in 2011 and hits 0 home runs... and sits with his hands on his hips with the ball a few feet away from him as a player circles the bases for a home run... then I will be one of many fans lining up to bash him...

But, again, I think the Nyjer bashing mostly revolves around the unrealistic expectations folks set for him based off of his 2 month tear in 2009... he probably isn't as bad as he was in 2010, but he ain't anywhere near as good as he was those 2 months in 2009, either... .279 with an OPS of .693 is probably pretty much on the mark for him...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

But where is the evidence that Bernadina will do any better than Morgan? At least Morgan has put together a season of All-Star caliber play on both ends, at the plate and in the field. If you remember, not only were his numbers at the plate good (probably unrealistic for him to match his production w/ the Nats), but he also ranked as the premiere defensive CF that year by a number of metrics (not so unrealistic to re-achieve). Bernadina has done none of that.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | March 2, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

-Nyjer Morgan: nice guy, entertaining, he's given the Nats two great months and six bad ones, generally regarded as a borderline everyday player.

--Ryan Zimmerman: equally nice guy, not that entertaining, he's given the Nats five excellent seasons, generally regarded as one of the two best players at his position.

Now, do you see why the comparison makes no sense?

Hope that was intelligent enough for ya...

Posted by: baltova1 |
____________________________________-
Zim is a bad example, maybe I should have used Kearns, then maybe you wouldnt miss my point. Zim is the face of the franchise, so he can have a few bad seasons. Nyjer desrves the same chance we gave Kearns. Nyjer had one good year, Kearns didnt give us that.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 2, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I completely disagree that Morgan should get the same chances that Kearns got with the franchise... not because Morgan is somehow personally less of a player or person then Kearns... but because Kearns got WAY too many chances himself... mostly because at that point in franchise history there just wasn't a lot of other good options... but, my sentiment is, given other options, I would rather have seen Kearns get benched or let go a lot faster then it took the Nats to get around to doing it!

That is why it is nice that we have other potential options (Bernie, Corey Brown, Ankiel, Laynce Nix) so we don't have to sit and wait another 3 years hoping Morgan becomes a star... Kearns got chances for 4 years, the first 2 were ok, the last two were miserable...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

And, agreed, there is no firm evidence that Bernie will be better then Morgan... but, my thoughts are he has better baseball instincts then Morgan, he is younger, and has more power... all that doesn't necessarily equal better statistical performance... but, at the very least, the job for CF should be an open competition in Spring Training and the early part of the season... neither are established enough to be entitled to a major league job...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 2, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

They're talking about steroids on the Riggins show right now, and the feds are going after Barry Bonds for perjury, and they're going to bring his ex-wife in there to testify that his testicles and his sex life shrunk as a result of him juicing. Wow. I'm not saying that Roger's doing anything wrong, but let's see if he can maintain that bulk and not get worn down. Long season. I hope he doesn't get too mechanical with all that muscle mass, he had a two-compartment swing last year anyway. Stab, and follow through. He's got to figure that he's so strong he can just keep his weight back and flick it. He doesn't lift his front leg off the ground anyway, at least last year that's the way he hit.

Posted by: Brue | March 2, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

It's open competition between Roger and Nyger. The bottom line is let them battle it out on the field and may the best man get the job. I'm not going to defend anyone on a last place team. Whoever is out there I'm going to root like hell for them to help the team. Go Nats.

Posted by: RedskinsFan1 | March 2, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

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