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Game 2: Nats vs. Phillies

Apr 7, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
What will the split between Nats and Phillies fan be tonight?

And we're back.

Hopefully everyone has had ample opportunity to vent, complain, seeth, vilify and pontificate about Monday's events. If you'd still like to continue discussing that subject, my posting from yesterday about the invasion of Philadelphia fans on Opening Day remains up and running, so feel free to head back there.

Over here, we'll turn our focus to tonight's game between the Nationals and Phillies. It's Jason Marquis vs. Cole Hamels, and already the Nats are fielding a new-look lineup.

Mike Morse gets the start in right field and will bat seventh. Ian Desmond gets bumped up to the No. 2 hole. No real shocker here. Jim Riggleman said all along right field will be a revolving door between Willie Harris, Willy Taveras and Morse, based primarily on favorable matchups. It's a small sample size, but Morse is 1-for-3 in his career against Hamels. More importantly, Morse owns a career .324 average and .824 OPS against left-handed pitchers.

Check back for updates and analysis throughout the game, and check the homepage for other news and notes…

PHILLIES AT NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN HD
Radio: WFED-1500 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to CF

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

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  1. PDowdy83 - Apr 7, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Didn't take them long to abandon the Willy Taveras in RF idea. Why did they even announce him as a member of the platoon if the first time a lefty pitches Morse is in the game? Not that I'm upset about Morse playing, I'm quite happy he is. Give the guy a chance and I think he could be a guy to hit double digit homers and be pretty productive.

  2. Section 222 - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    I agree with PDowdy completely. I'd rather see Morse in right field than Taveras, any day. But why make a decision on the platoon and announce it to the players and the world, and then go with someone else the first time we face a left handed starter? Was it because Morse got a groundball hit on Monday, while Taveras made a groundball out? If Morse goes 0 for 4 tonight, will we see Taveras the next time there's a lefty on the mound? I thought that was what spring training was for…

  3. Aeoliano - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    It may mean that Tavares and Morse will be manning right field? It did look like Willy could have gotten to a couple of balls … balls that perhaps Tavares would have reached? If Morse starts hitting (seems likely given his record last year and ST) and the fact he dramatically improved his walks to strikeouts ration in Syracuse…? If his fielding holds up (better than Dunn/Willingham?) then can they afford to hold him out of the lineup? Whereas Guzman represents drastically diminishing returns with the absence of walks always batting second.

  4. David - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Dunn's overdue for a HR

  5. Dave - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Let us hope that Hamels is still in his end-of-year slump from 2009. And that Dunn comes out of his.I remember the first time I watched BP after Morse came to the team. I saw this guy wearing #28, just absolutely hammering balls to every corner of the seats. He was very impressive.So, since hope springs eternal, let me also hope Morse brings some of that bat against Hamels tonight as well.

  6. Dave - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Say, seeing Mark's photo at the top of this post reminds me: what happened to the Curly W in center field?

  7. LoveDaNats - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    I've wondered if the lack of a contract extension for Dunn is affecting his ability to hit. I'll bet as soon as management does something, Dunn will relax and start hitting again. He's been really cold….

  8. Jackt in Fl. - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    My thoughts exactly! Where is the curly "W"? Is the turf too fresh for the short cut that is required? The grass did look a little long everywhere.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    I wouldn't worry about the split between Nats fans and Phillies fans. I'd worry about the split between Nats fans and Nats management/owners.

  10. Dave - Apr 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    @LoveDaNats: Didn't Zimmie's great season get good and cranked up last year after his extension was done?

  11. Bobo - Apr 7, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    Bobo says there should be way more Phils fans then Nats fans at this game. The typical Nats fan only wants to go to Opening Day cause they think it is a event. Phils fans support their team.

  12. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    Perhaps management thought that carving a curly P into the centerfield grass was a bit much, so they decided to go with nothing.

  13. Philzfans would boo cure for cancer - Apr 7, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Wow, Bobo you can balance your fat a$$ on a bar stool and text at the same time? You're really talented. It's almost game time shouldn't you be half in the bag already?

  14. Dave - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Ah, but please don't feed the troll.

  15. Souldrummer says - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    Learning first base and focusing on his defense may be distracting him a bit. I'd put that over the contract stuff.

  16. Philzfans would boo cure for cancer - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    You're right, Dave. Best way to shut him up is for the Nats to win. Unfortunately we don't have much control over that. I hope Monday's debacle will have the team fired up.

  17. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    Regarding Morse: I'm not counting on him. The week I was at spring training I don't think I saw him get at hit. [Sure, this is hyperbole, but so what. Play ball.] Like the rest of you guys, I'm prepared for a long, long season.

  18. PDowdy83 - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    Anonymous, maybe the week you were there was the week he had the flu, which was documented on this website and led to his timing being off but he got it back towards the end of spring training. But then again, I'm an optimist.

  19. Dave - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    @Philzfans would boo, the other best way is simply never to respond at all.

  20. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    If we can get bobo and his phunkin fillie phans to use the bathrooms, rather than the corner on the 400 level, I'll consider it a success.

  21. Aeoliano - Apr 7, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Morse looks like he would outhit Dunn for average and power. Not homers or walks. Guess we'll see if they decide to give him a chance.

  22. Jeff Wang - Apr 7, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    Gahh.. Not a good start for Mr. Marquis. hopefully things can improve.

  23. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Throw a f&#kin' strike!

  24. NG - Apr 7, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    Three walks, one HBP, one WP in the same inning? Are you kidding me? Throw the damn ball over the plate.

  25. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    Has anyone actually seen Mike Morse get a hit?

  26. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    "The reason they got rid of the curly W in center field. Apparently, new head groundskeeper John Royse was concerned that the logo in the grass could actually be dangerous to players. Because it was pressed down, with the grain going in a different direction than the rest of the grass, center fielders could easily get their spikes caught and get hurt."You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding.Players could get hurt…BY THE GRASS??!!If the team is worried about their players getting hurt by the damn GRASS, then we have WAY bigger problems than the Phillies fans.This could quite possibly be the biggest load of horse crap the Nats have tried to feed us yet.

  27. Mike Morse's Mom - Apr 8, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    aw, come on anon. we all know that morse is obviously just as good as heyward. i mean, you've seen those numbers posted here.

  28. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    Someone needs to let Marquis know that this he's not in spring training anymore.

  29. Gus - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    I seem to remember last year that the Nat's get a lot of hits, just not at the right time. I am a little worried that the same thing appears to be happening again this year (I know it's early!). Can any stat heads help me out?

  30. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Gus: With runners in scoring position, the Nats went 2-for-15 on Monday. Through seven innings tonight, they're 3-for-10.

  31. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    I'm not liking all these flyouts and walks… that's how you lose ballgames while "pitching to contact." When are Strasburg and his 14-1 GO-FO ratio (or whatever ridiculous number it was) coming up again?

  32. Gus - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Thanks Mark, I didn't know you were a stat head. I am bored at work, so I'll keep digging. I swear they can't hit with RISP, and I'll find proof.

  33. Gus - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    Excuse my personal conversation on the blog, but I found the stats I was looking for! These are 2009 stats.Nats BA with none on base – .274 (7th in MLB)Nats BA with RISP – .255 (23rd in MLB)

  34. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:58 AM

    Gus: Thanks for the quick research! Pretty good statistical indication of one of the Nats' many areas of concern last season.

  35. David - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    after Monday, this 3 run deficit feels like a lead, especially with the encouraging performance from Desmond and Willingham

  36. meixler - Apr 8, 2010 at 2:09 AM

    The more at-bats he gets, the worse Desmond looks. He started strong but he's gotta stop swinging at the first pitch.

  37. meixler - Apr 8, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    then the error that leads to another run… maybe Desmond should start the games and then get pulled for Guzman.

  38. David - Apr 8, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    Desmond' got much better range the Guzman, but he's an unusally energetic and outgoing player for a SS, needs to settle down

  39. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    Fan wearing a Chase Utley jersey gets tackled by a security guard on the batter's eye. Bobo, is that you?

  40. Sofa - Apr 8, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    Too bad they don't put that stuff on TV–they could have used the footage of the ushers and security chasing him around the grass for about two minutes, sped up, with the Benny Hill Yakety Sax music.

  41. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2010 at 4:03 AM

    Great running commentary–love it!!

  42. Aeoliano - Apr 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Has anyone actually seen Mike Morse get a hit?On opening day. He had 1 more hit than Adam Dunn. I think he finally got his first hit. A single. And Dunn is such a great fielder perhaps the Nats should try him in right field again?

  43. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    The curly "W" is gone because John Royse is gone. John Turnour, the new head, does not know how to make the W…has nothing to do with safety. The Nationals trade in talent for subpar performers…is anyone surprised?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 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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