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Nats vs. Yankees — 3/24/10

Mar 24, 2010, 7:54 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
George M. Steinbrenner Field, spring home of the New York Yankees.

TAMPA — Hello from Yankee country, otherwise known as George M. Steinbrenner Field. The 27-time World Series champs host the zero-time World Series champs tonight, and even without that disparity it probably wouldn't be a fair fight.

New York manager Joe Girardi is starting all his regulars, including A-Rod, Tex, Jeter and old friend Nick Johnson. Washington manager Jim Riggleman is fielding a travel lineup that boasts cleanup hitter Josh Whitesell.

But for those of you baseball-starved fans back home, tonight's game is on MASN, so be sure to check it out for yourself. If nothing else, you can watch Livan Hernandez attempt to further his case for a spot in the rotation.

Check back here for game updates throughout the late afternoon/evening and check the homepage for any non-game news, such as the news that just came out a little while ago that J.D. Martin will start tomorrow night against the Tigers, not regularly scheduled starter Garrett Mock…

NATIONALS AT YANKEES
George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: MASN
Weather: Partly cloudy, 70 degrees, Wind 4 mph LF to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
LF Roger Bernadina
SS Cristian Guzman
3B Willie Harris
1B Josh Whitesell

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  1. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    How DARE you! We're taking credit for the 1924 World Series, thank you very much.

  2. cadeck13 - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Hi Mark!If you get to talk to Nick make sure you tell him we miss him!!!

  3. natsfan1a - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Second that, cadeck.

  4. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Sorry, Other Anon – But that WS title belongs to Minnesota. Insisting otherwise only proves how stupid you are.

  5. Traveler8 - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    2nd Anon – I agree that Washington certainly has the 1924 WS. Even if you disagree with how the counting is done, and that is your privilege, it is totally unnecessary to refer to anyone as stupid.

  6. Nate - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Mercy rule in effect for this one I hope?

  7. HabsProf - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Hmmm…. "Insisting otherwise only proves how stupid you are." Was that sentence really necessary? Name-slinging and insults are the sort of thing that has driven me (and many others) away from sites like this. Your first sentence would have made your point without have to throw around words like "stupid".

  8. Doc - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    MarkMeister: It's OK about the Yankess and their WS history. Without money they're nuttin!!!! Nats do their game without the big Steinbrenner bucks. Hell with the Yankees!

  9. Bonzai!!! - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    Look, we fly the 1924 WS flag at Nationals Stadium. The Twins do not. Say what you will about who "owns" the history, etc., etc. But that's a Washington Baseball Club record, not a franchise record. I hardly see a Twins fan reminiscing about the days of Walter Johnson.

  10. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    I'm not sure how "stupid" it is to claim the 1924 World Series as our own, since the Twins don't include it in their championship banners hanging in the stadium, unless they are really "stupid", too.

  11. Sec314 - Mar 24, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Who's got the multi-armed Walter Johnson statue outside their stadium?'Nuff said.

  12. Doc - Mar 24, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Hey that's neat about MacDougal! I'll bet he's still got some stuff in the tank!

  13. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    that lineup looks like the Little Sisters of the Poor against the Raiders.

  14. Jim Webster - Mar 24, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    . . . a plea for civility here, fellow Nats fans. Those of us who have had to endure the incivility of the health care debate (in all its ramifications) these last few months see baseball as an escape from the ugly . . . even when some of the play is that too.

  15. natsfan1a - Mar 24, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    This statement, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. :-)—Hell with the Yankees!

  16. Positively Half St. - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Livo threw a pitch at 86?!?!?! Olsen hardly does better. I can't watch the game, since I will be helping one of mine with math homework, so I will check in periodically.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    i don't think livo's hit 86 in at least 7 or 8 years…

  18. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    They've got the MASN feed on here in the press box and that pitch to Texeira registered 86. Can't vouch for its accuracy, but that's what the gun said.

  19. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Listening to the Rizzo interview is like listening to a replay of his NatsFest comments. Because our pitchers are doing so poorly, and their prospects for a winning season are so tiny, we're getting two innings of Rizzo talking about how he's got the Best and the Brightest in the front office. I am reminded of the Best and Brightest on JFK's staff that gave us Vietnam.It's also odd to hear Rizzo's comments about right field. You could take the combined-best aspects of all three contenders for the job and still have a mediocre player. But we are told to be excited because the competition between the three players is so intense. Why do I care if three mediocre players are competing?I think Rizzo and Stan would be wiser to say Folks, our team is a little bit better than last year. We may win a few more games. But the problems the fans have seen all spring are real, and these problems will continue during the season.

  20. Doc - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    It's hard to trust anything that front office/manager/coaching staff say—they're into PR(or worse—BS!). I have to think that Maxwell's chances of making the team are less than 4 out of 41!!

  21. Positively Half St. - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    It's pretty funny that MASN advertised the Red Sox game versus the Nats on April 3 by showing Boston players cranking big hits against the Nats. I guess they know how they are likely to get the biggest viewership.

  22. Positively Half St. - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    Oh, Teixeira- why couldn't you have signed with us?(Don't answer- your ring answers for you.)

  23. JayB - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    Mark,Not sure if he are able to hear Rizzo and Riggs on MASN but….those are some softball questions. I know I was not lucky enough to get my chance at those two but someone has to ask them some tough questions and follow up with them. Rizzo just told us that hey will be happy getting about what they got last year from RF position this year with a combination of 4 guys. COME ON…CALL RIZZO ON THIS…make him tell you what the Numbers from RF last year were and then TELL US WHY WE SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT GETTING THAT AGAIN THIS YEAR. BOB and RAY are buffoons!

  24. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Some say win-loss record in spring training doesn't impact a team's regular season record. But I believe some indicators give us a pretty decent idea of what to expect:Good News:- The MASN guys said we're a much faster team. It's true. We're 3rd in NL this spring in steals. I think we might be 1st if Nyjer hadn't been out for several games.Bad News:- 4th highest in NL in errors.- 2nd-to-last in fielding percentage.- 1st in number of hits given up by our pitchers.- Last in ERA.- Last (or near last) in strikeouts by our pitchers.That's a profile of a team that will struggle.

  25. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    I hope they pitch Strasburg and Livo back-to-back in the same series this summer. Going from 99 to 65 from one day to the next would be interesting.

  26. Jeff Wang - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    They should do that on a double header some time. That would be cruel.

  27. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    The Nats have a couple of serious internal contradictions as a team:1. We have a number of speedy defensive outfielders to help us hold leads late in games. The problem is our pitching staff shows no signs of being able to hold leads at any point in games.2. We have a pitching staff, by and large, that relies on pin-point control, not strikeouts from power pitching. The problem is our infield is plagued by lack of range (Guzman and Dunn) and being error-prone (Desmond and Dunn). Therefore our pitchers are going to have lots of innings where our defense gives the opposition four or five outs.3. Lots of players but little depth. I understand that the Nats left Zimm and Dunn out of this game. Still, it must be funny to be a member of the New York Yankees and see guys like Whitesell, Nieves, Bernadina, and Maxwell out there. I'm happy Livan did well, but the Yankee starter looked like he was throwing to a junior high team.

  28. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    Mark–question: How long is the Nats' lease in Viera? Thanks.

  29. Nervous Nats Fan - Mar 25, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Another somewhat random question – for ST games, do both catchers travel for away games, do they have someone designated as an "emergency" catcher, or would they just forfeit if the catcher were injured in game?

  30. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    Mark,Some fan feedback.I tried this site tonight for the opportunity to interact with a reporter on the ground, at the game, who could get answers to tough questions and ask the experts around you and get back to us fans.I saw your note about going to interview Livan. That's great, but from 734pm till 940pm there were lots of things fans wrote about and asked about, including me, and we got no feedback from you, making this site no different from 5 others where fans can write it whatever's on their mind.You're in a tough spot, what the Times did was wrong to the whole staff, and I think you're brave as heck to do what you're doing on your own initiative. But my advice is make your number one priority being WITH the fans DURING games.Don't mean to be harsh. Just honest feedback to a guy who I believe is a great, honest reporter.Thanks.

  31. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Fellow anonymi, you've gotta remember.The Nationals are not building a 2010 team–they're building for 2011. The 2010 team should win 70-75. The 2011 should, by the grace of a topline free agent signing, win in the mid to upper 80's. And then wait for 2012. Or so management wants us to believe.

  32. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:04 AM

    Anon 9:44 — Sorry you feel that way. I've been trying to respond to comments as often as I can, but it's obviously a juggling act watching the game, writing updates, taking photos, writing about other news going on (such as the MacDougal signing today), interviewing the starting pitcher while the game's still going on, etc. Perhaps once we get into the regular season routine it will be easier, but I'm kind of learning as I go with this, because covering the team for this site is different in many ways from covering it for a newspaper. All I can promise is that I'll continue to do my best.

  33. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    Oh, other in-game tasks I forgot to mention: transcribing interviews, transferring audio files to my computer to be emailed to subscribers and starting to write postgame analysis so I'm not here til midnight.

  34. natsfan1a - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    Anon doesn't speak for all of us. I personally have no expectation of immediate feedback. I like having a beat writer who watches the game, interviews the players – that type of thing – while the game is going on. ;-) You're doing a great job, IMO.In other news, it was fun having the opportunity to watch old Livo hurl the mango on tv. I can't help myself – I just love the guy.Was also nice to see Nick, who looks the same – big plug in his cheek, interesting facial hair configuration. I still like him, too. Even if he is a Yank. :-)

  35. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    Any chance Maxwell is dropped completely from the organization? I think this spring shows he is a year old and not wiser, we do not need a lighter hitting Langerhans in the organization. Keeping him in Syracuse does nothing for us but keeping Duncan, Mench, Daniel or Ownes from fixing their defects and getting to the majors.

  36. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    Man…the last thing I want to do here is sound like I'm kicking a good man who's doing something like you're doing–independently.I just mean, from a marketing perspective, that I believe if you provide great interaction during games your site will boom, if you don't, it will be a good site, but one among many.No offense intended.

  37. Nervous Nats Fan - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    For the record, I agree with 1a. I appreciate you responding to some of the comments whenever you have the time. I'm also curious about the response to Anon 10:15. I'm wondering if the Nats will just get to the point where Maxwell's strikeout numbers are too high (although he does walk a lot) and try to engineer a trade, even if it's not that favorable. I just looked up Maxwell's numbers in AAA last year, and he struck out 136 times in 448 PAs (54 BBs). Rizzo seems to like him, so any chance he'll send him elsewhere for a change of scenery?

  38. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    Maxwell's going to be a tough call for Rizzo and Co. He does have an option, so he can go to Syracuse and try to get his swing back together. But maybe the organization just decides it's not going to happen and figures it might as well cut ties. My gut says that's unlikely and that Justin will end up at Class AAA. But certainly stranger things have happened.

  39. Anonymous8 - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    I have to agree with you guys on Maxwell. Everyone knows Maxwell is a buttkisser with the brass which he learned watching JimBo to MarkL. That all would be fab if he could hit his weight against anyone but AAA's and September callups.I see Maxwell is a CAA client like Ryan Zimmerman and John Lannan so hoping there is no arm twisting from his agents that keep him there when he doesn't deserve it.This team may play in Washington so here is hoping no Politics are in play here. Let it be on merit.

  40. Michael Dempsey - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:51 AM

    Anon 9:44…I could not disagree with your comments more. Mark is doing an incredible job giving us the "inside scoop" and unprecedented coverage of spring training. I would much rather have him looking for a story in the clubhouse then sitting by his laptop answering questions. This blog is truly amazing.

  41. Richard Moore - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Mark should trust his gut on what to chase down and not be hung up on a blow-by-blow react during the game. I liked what he got from Livan and the details on MacDougal. He can and does circle back to answer questions and etc. I love what he's doing! Great stuff. On Maxwell, Rizzo wouldn't be doing the guy (or the team) any favors keeping him with the big club. He needs to go somewhere he can play and get his swing back.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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