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Game 5: Nats at Mets

Apr 10, 2010, 4:10 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The sun is out today, but it's still cold and windy.

NEW YORK — It's another chilly, windy day in Queens, but at least the sun's out for this afternoon's matinee between the Nationals and Mets.

The Nats can only hope the abundant sunshine brings out the best in John Lannan, who today attempts to become the first member of the rotation to reach the sixth inning. It's been a woeful stretch for Washington starters so far, with Craig Stammen's five-inning performance Thursday the gold standard to date, as it were.

As manager Jim Riggleman said last night: "That can't continue. That's not going to work."

Lannan will be facing a Mets lineup bolstered by the return of leadoff man and shortstop Jose Reyes, who has been activated off the DL after missing several weeks with a mysterious thyroid issue. Reyes hasn't been himself for more than a year, but if he returns to the form he displayed in 2006-08, he's one of the most dynamic players in baseball.

Willy Taveras gets the nod in right field, in part because Mike Morse is not ready to return to the field from his calf injury, and in partRead more »

  1. natsfan1a - Apr 10, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Go NATS!! (and a repost, because, hey, it's TWIB :-))We pause now for this brief PSA. This Week in Baseball is starting up again. Today's episode is supposed to air locally at 12:30 on Fox. I've not checked the MLB Network schedule, but last year the weekly episode would also air there on Sunday. How about that?

  2. JayB - Apr 10, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Mark,At what point does this team look hard at their pitching philosophy…They have changed out so many parts but for year after year they still can not throw strikes. This issue has crossed players of all ages and all levels of MLB and minor leagues. Is it time to dump Spin Williams?

  3. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Is there any chance that Guz can pitch?????

  4. JayB - Apr 10, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    Mark,Posted the Mock option earlier…it makes the most sense…if they do not do it then I think you need to get some time with Rizzo to understand why he has just a most favored status on this team….Mike has said production is what matters…Mock has NEVER produced anything anywhere.

  5. Jeff Wang - Apr 10, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Neither has Bergmann or Walker… (well, this year, at least.)

  6. TBC - Apr 10, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    The Nats need to make two roster moves (25 man and 40 man) to make room for Livo tomorrow. My prediction, in order of likelihood: Mock DFA. Bergmann DFA. Walker DFA. Remember, DFA clears a roster spot immediately and gives them 10 days to trade the guy or release him. If there's a bag of balls out there for whoever they DFA, they'll get it. Otherwise, they release the guy and sign him back to a minor league deal.Then when they bring Olsen up to take Mock's rotation spot, they will option someone down to make room, like one of the extra relievers.

  7. Sam - Apr 10, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    If the Nats send Mock down, who would they call up to start next Sunday? I'm pretty sure that Mock would have to stay down for 10 days (barring injury – quick digression, if Riggleman beats up one or all of the relievers, does that count as an injury?). So, someone else would have to be called up to start next Sunday, someone like Olsen or Martin (shudder).JayB and all other Mock haters: please exercise patience. Lannan had a terrible Opening Day start in 2009, and he went on to have a decent season. No one is expecting Mock to be good, just serviceable (you know, until Strasburg, Detwiler, and possibly Wang are pitching). And previous performance and stats suggest that Mock can be that. That being said, I think Mock is much better suited for the bullpen. He's kind of like our Joba Chamberlain, without as much talent. He strikes out batters like crazy. If he pitches one or two innings at a time (and I mean intentionally, not by starting poorly), he could be so productive. I really think they should consider putting him in the bullpen and seeing what happens. He doesn't have a future in the rotation with this team, but I think he has enough talent to be a decent reliever.

  8. Sam - Apr 10, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    If you want to complain about anything right now, do so about how Lannan just gave up a two-out, game-tying hit to a pitcher with a career .164 wOBA.

  9. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 10, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Thanks for the explanation of the double play. Wasn't quite sure how that happened – it's hard to tell from gameday.

  10. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 10, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    2 errors already? This can't make their pitchers particularly confident that if they attack hitters, the defense will take care of them.

  11. DJ - Apr 10, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    This is where Rizzo needs to show once again he doesn't a run a front office anything like our previous one (Bowden). Bowden would continue to give a certain player opportunity after opportunity based on potential and not performance. Mock deserves to be out of the Majors and needs to prove to the front office/coaches otherwise while doing so IN the minors.

  12. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Anybody watching the game on MASN and hear what Dibble just said about Reyes?

  13. Jim Webster - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Mark asks: Anybody watching the game on MASN and hear what Dibble just said about Reyes?I did a doubletake but think Bobby asked how a young athlete developed a thyroid problem and Dibble answered something like this — when you go to Canada and get your blood flushed. Caught me by surprise.

  14. JayB - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    I did not hear anything much just an "oh yea, Yes!" with the error.

  15. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Thanks, Jim Webster. I heard he said something odd along those lines.

  16. JayB - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Dibbs has been all over the Home Plate Ump….who does look bad…Zim almost got thrown out looking back at him during the first ab and running to first on his pop fly…stare down as he left the box

  17. Sam - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    Does anyone else love Tyler Clippard right now?

  18. DJ - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    Yes, Sam. Yes.

  19. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Sam, I'm fully on the bandwagon. Plus, I have a soft spot for the glasses.

  20. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Clippard is great, would love to see him and Storen in the 8th/9th for the next 5 years. Need to get some insurance here

  21. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    Is it really that much better to have people who are "good" at defense playing out of position than to just leave in the regulars? Don't think I like this decision very much. Hopefully it won't matter.

  22. Souldrummer - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    7 Ks for Clippard in 3 innings! Wow! What a lift!

  23. Sam - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Nervous Nats Fan: Guzman started the game at 2B, and he has done well enough to continue playing there late in the game. Kennedy is better than Adam Dunn at any position. Kennedy would be better than Dunn with no legs and one arm.Everyone else is in position.

  24. LoveDaNats - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Now that's how you pitch!

  25. Knoxville Nat - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    A win! Okay now 2-4 for the season, how long did it take us to win two games last year?

  26. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    The Mets must hate Willie Harris!

  27. Wally - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    2-3 Knoxville. let's make Johan earn it first.

  28. Knoxville Nat - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    My bad, 2-3 for the season. Sorry, I wasn't a math major!!

  29. Steve - Apr 10, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Taveras' trade value will never be higher than on a 4 RBI day. Pull the trigger now.

  30. rmoore446 - Apr 10, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    I was listening to the Mets radio broadcast and as soon as Willie came into the game, they said "he always manages a great defensive play against the Mets. He did it in Atlanta and he does it with the Nationals. As soon as the catch happened, "He did it again!"They even interviewed Willie on their aftergame and he said "Don't hit it to me. If you do, I will catch it. That's what I tell myself."He was asked about Clippard's great performance and Willie said "He was throwing the 'invisiball.' They must not have been able to see it."Great game!!

  31. natsfan1a - Apr 10, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    The Mets must hate Willie Harris. :-)Too bad they didn't take the Elvis 'do along.

  32. Eric - Apr 10, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Nyger looked lost today. Riggs needs to sit him down tomorrow against Santana.

  33. Positively Half St. - Apr 10, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Let's all sleep soundly with a smile on our faces tonight. If the Nats beat Santana tomorrow, perhaps we can have a weekend of unrealistic expectations.

  34. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 10, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Mark, has there ever been any talk of moving Clippard to the rotation?

  35. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 10, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Nervous Nats Fan: Clippard came up as a starter, remember, but the Nats really like what he can do out of the bullpen. At this point, I think he's far more valuable as a 7th-8th inning guy than a No. 5 starter.

  36. Dave - Apr 10, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    @Eric: It's "Nyjer."I think I heard on the radio that Riggleman might indeed give him a day off tomorrow.

  37. natsfan1a - Apr 10, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    I think I heard that on the tv, too, Dave. BTW, someone (on another blog, I think) suggested a mnemonic of "New York/Jersey" for the spelling of Nyjer.

  38. Suicide Squeeze - Apr 11, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    I don't know how much I'll be able to handle Cardiac Capps. Would rather go through a rookie closer knowing that at least he is learning something when he blows a save. Cardiac Capps doesn't seem to learn and just tries to get by. Willie Harris saved his ass today. The Mets must HATE Willie Harris!

  39. rmoore446 - Apr 11, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    This is fantastic writing. Agree with all the compliments. So glad to be a subscriber.Willie is my favorite player because he always goes all out. Doesn't hurt that he's a fellow Georgian. The Mets radio broadcasters actually came close to predicting the end because they moaned when he came into the game because of his past exploits.As others have said, I worry about Capps. We went through last year with another cardiac closer Macdougall. I don't want to do it again this year.





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