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Nats vs. Tigers (ss) — 3/25/10

Mar 25, 2010, 9:30 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nyjer Morgan had two hits and two stolen bases in his return from a hamstring injury.

VIERA, Fla. — Greetings from Space Coast Stadium, where the wind is kicking up and the clouds are rolling in. Only appears to be a slight chance of rain tonight, though, 10 percent until 10 p.m., then up to 30 percent after that. And though the wind is howling in from left field at the moment, that's supposed to die down as well by gametime.

The Nationals host a split-squad Tigers bunch tonight. J.D. Martin gets his first start in a big-league game this spring, and while the Nats say they want to see the right-hander in action, this feels more like a token appearance than anything. Jim Riggleman said this afternoon it's "a good bet" that Craig Stammen will make the Opening Day rotation. So assuming Livan Hernandez is also in after last night's dominant performance against the Yankees, there are no more available spots for Martin or Scott Olsen. Martin could squeeze his way into the bullpen as a long man, though, and could certainly help his cause with a nice performance tonight.

Meanwhile, Nyjer Morgan is back in the lineup after missing more than a week with a tight hamstring. We'll want to watch closely how he moves around in center field and on the bases.

Check back throughout the late afternoon and evening for updates…

Space Coast Stadium, Viera, Fla.
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: None
Weather: Cloudy, 72 degrees, Wind 11 mph in from LF

CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    Mark– Why is Guzman not in the game tonight? Why did they pull him from the game yesterday? If we need to see him make "the throw" then don't you think we need to play him until he does?

  2. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Anon: Guzman is slated to play both tomorrow and Saturday, the first time he'll go back-to-back this spring. He was "pulled" from last night's game just like any other starter would be after 5-6 innings.

  3. JayB - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Rizzo is really exposed with his stubborn off season insistence that Guzman will be SS and Dukes in RF and Olson in the rotation….looks like he is going to be 0-3…..I like Rizzo and Love that he is not Jimbo but he still has to produce wins this season on the fan base that was such an asset in 2005 will be dead.

  4. Doc - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:16 PM

    Its all about candle power, Mark. Rizzo's hoping that everybody will get the message, about having to save money to pay for Guzman's salary, and bring candles to the next game! Guzman would have made a good second baseman–sorta!!

  5. JayB - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    yup Rizzo and Riggs messed up not forcing Guzman to 2nd last September…we are still paying that price

  6. K.D. - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    Jeez! Mr. Z Was he just pumping in fastballs?

  7. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    K.D.: No radar gun here tonight, but it looks like Martin's throwing all his stuff. Just not throwing it well.

  8. K.D. - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    Thanks, I'm also following Ben@masn but they have been sidetracked gabbing about the Expos history, division set-up:)

  9. DF - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Sorry, but off topic, asking for help.Anyone know if we can still tailgate pre-game at RFK?Are the shuttle buses still in play, or have the Nat's killed them off?

  10. BrownSheep - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    If Adam Dunn does not prove himself at first base, does Mike Morse automatically have the job or is it possible someone else is in the wings? I will be honest . . . parts of the Nats roster shuffle is like watching a shell game on the streets of NYC.

  11. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reporting the Nats had a a scout at Brandon McCarthy's last start. (Link is on MLB Trade Rumors). Another Ground ball pitcher for the Nats? Also MLB Trade Rumors says "several" teams are interested in Dukes. I can't believe we couldn't get a Glen Gibson type for him.

  12. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    "Anyone know if we can still tailgate pre-game at RFK? Are the shuttle buses still in play, or have the Nat's killed them off?"In the face of declining season ticket sales Lerner had a choice of adding payroll in an attempt to increase demand or to cut the shuttle buses and lay off ticket reps.

  13. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    No more Nats Express. You could probably still tailgate at RFK if you want, but you'll have to walk or drive over to the game.

  14. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    The Two Anons beat me to the punch, but you guys are correct: The Nats Express bus/RFK parking lot is no more.

  15. sec314 - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    As a Martin fan. I'm disappointed over the first inning. But his ability to shake off problems is what impresses me. When Mock gets in trouble, it only gets worse.

  16. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Mark,Two quick questions:1. I heard a lot last season about the Nats (and visitors) having trouble with the lights at Nats Park. Do you know if something was done to fix the problem?2. There's been a lot of discussion about teams that have moved to Arizona for spring training (Dodgers), and also teams that have moved within Florida (Baltimore.) How many more years are on the Nats' lease in Viera?Thanks/PD

  17. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    Anon: Haven't heard anything about the lights at Nationals Park, but I'll ask around. The Nats are locked into their lease in Viera for a loooong time. I believe it was about 30 years from the time the Expos moved here in 2003. The Lerner family, I think, would prefer to have camp somewhere else in Florida. But once they realized they were tied into the lease here, they pumped in a decent amount of money to renovate Space Coast Stadium in 2007, changing the seats to navy blue (they used to be Marlins teal), adding a new scoreboard and making some other modifications. In other words, they're here to stay.

  18. greg - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    brownsheep, i don't think adam dunn is going to be replaced at 1B this season unless he's traded away. not a chance.

  19. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    Geez Mark! Tell it like it was. The Expos didn't move to Space Coast Stadium. Loria the carpetbagger stole the Expos spring training facility along with the video equipment and computers and then stuck MLB, and the Lerner's with an ageing facility.

  20. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 26, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    Anon: Yes, you're right. I figured most people know the history there. But for those who don't … the Expos used to share the Jupiter facility with the Cardinals. When Jeffrey Loria bought the Marlins and MLB took over control of the Expos, he demanded the move from Viera to Jupiter, leaving the contraction-bound Expos in Viera. Obviously, contraction didn't happen, so the Nats now are stuck with an arrangement they had nothing to do with in the first place.

  21. Andrew - Mar 26, 2010 at 1:13 AM

    Mark – I like the caption under that Nyjer Morgan photo!!!!!

  22. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    Mark,Did Nyjer slide in feet-first?

  23. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 26, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Anon: Feet-first.

  24. peric - Mar 26, 2010 at 2:51 AM

    For all those folks saying that my opinions about Guzman's 'attitude' where unsubstantiated, arrogant, etc, etc. :masnBen: From everything Riggleman said and everything I heard, Guzman in fact wasn't happy with being bumped down in the order. He also bristles about the second-base question every time he's asked about it.That opinion appears to be shared dudes and dudettes.

  25. peric - Mar 26, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Ben's report: — nothing terribly earth-shattering. Riggleman said he was happy with the way Martin responded, and thought he could have gotten out of the first inning if Ordonez hadn't stuck his bat out at a 2-2 curveball in the first and punched it for a hit. Martin walked a couple guys from there, but settled down after that, and that was the main positive Riggleman drew from the night. He thought Nyjer Morgan looked as good as he has all spring — "It was a typical Nyjer game," he said.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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