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Game 8: Nats at Phillies

Apr 14, 2010, 7:27 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Kyle Kendrick delivers tonight's first pitch to Nyjer Morgan.

PHILADELPHIA — We're back at Citizens Bank Park for game two of this interrupted, three-game series, and this one may be more notable for who's not in the lineup than who's in.

For the Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman is out for the third straight game, apparently still hampered by a tight hamstring. The Nats had hoped Zim would be well enough to play after resting Sunday, Monday and Tuesday's off day, but this hasn't healed as quickly as everyone believed.

So Alberto Gonzalez gets his first start at third base. Cristian Guzman, meanwhile, is at shortstop, with Ian Desmond getting the night off. Strangely enough, both of Desmond's days off so far have come against the Phillies and Kyle Kendrick.

Meanwhile, both Jimmy Rollins (calf) and Jayson Werth (hip) are out for Philadelphia, and there's speculation Rollins will end up on the DL. [UPDATE: Rollins was indeed placed on the 15-day DL and replaced by Wilson Valdez. Werth, though, hopes to be back in the lineup tomorrow.] The Phillies' lineup is still imposing, but doesn't look nearly as scary with Greg Dobbs batting fifth.

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

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Clear, 63 degrees, Wind 6 mph LF to RF

CF Nyjer Morgan
RF Willie Harris
SS Cristian Guzman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Daniel - Apr 14, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Should we be worried about Zim?

  2. aneedell - Apr 14, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    So maybe Riggelman's comment about getting Guzzman ready to play third base was a dot to be connected, and I wasn't just paranoid when I thought of it.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    These interrupted series–one game, day off, then two games–are just plain dumb scheduling. Who thought that gem up?

  4. phil dunn - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    I thought Desmond won the SS job? Why does he need a day off when yesterday was an off day? This is a rather bizarre way to find out if he can do the job. Either play him or send him to Syracuse, but don't jerk him around.

  5. Souldrummer - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    I don't have a problem with Desmond sitting. I thought he was overaggressive at times and Guzman has earned some playing time by hitting well in the reserve role so far.My bigger issue is that out machine at 3B. Eric Bartlett please hit your way onto this lineup. The General sounds like a great nickname for a Chief.Time for Dunn to awaken, hopefully following some extra BP due to the off day. He just needs to hit the mistakes a long way. The eye is certainly there.

  6. Tcostant - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    To 3:59pm post.They do that schuduling, only when opening day is the first day. It just much easier to slide opening day tickets to that off day the next day in case of rain. This way their is no conflict and don't want to loss that gate which is the largest of the year for most teams.Monday was Philly's opening day, last Monday was the Nationals (but some would say that it was also the Phils opening day based on the crowd). The off days were both the the Tuesday after Opening day.

  7. natscan reduxit - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    … why do I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that Zim isn't as healthy as we might have wanted or expected? And I'm married, so I know nagging.Go Nats!!

  8. BowdenBall - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    "I don't have a problem with Desmond sitting. I thought he was overaggressive at times and Guzman has earned some playing time by hitting well in the reserve role so far."With Zimm sitting, all three could play, with Kennedy at third, Desmond at SS, and Guz at 2B. So this amounts to trading Desmond for Alberto Gonzales in the lineup. Nobody likes that. Sure, this way Kennedy and Guzman stay at their natural positions, so maybe there's a minor defensive uptick. But Desmond, for his faults thus far, was at least a regular thread to knock the ball out of the park or at least off the wall. We're basically down to two such hitters now. That's ugly. If you're playing in a bandbox, put in some guys who have a chance to take advantage of that fact.

  9. Jack T. In Florida - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    If the next thing I hear about Zim is "15 day disabled list" I'm going to demand a new training staff!

  10. PDowdy83 - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    Tell me about it Jack T. This just follows right along with all the other players who start off day to day then end up missing 3 or 4 games then the next step, just like Morse, is the 15 day DL.

  11. Anonymous - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Further to the post-opening day off-day discussion, note that these off-days are not scheduled for opening days played in domes/retractable roofs or in warm climates with little chance of rain (e.g., San Diego). With Minnesota's new open-air stadium, I'm surprised they did not schedule an off-week just to be safe.

  12. Sam - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    I agree that English could use some work in the minor leagues. However, when it comes to choosing between him, Bergmann, Walker, and Batista, I vote to let all of them go (well, English to the minor leagues). If they had such a tight leash on Mock, why not on these guys? None of them has been good in the major leagues for a long time. Walker didn't pitch much last year, and he has only had good years in which he pitched few innings. Batista has been useless for 3 years now, and Bergmann flat-out stinks (although, he's a nice guy).

  13. natsfan1a - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Crud. I meant to post this in the latest thread. The 1500 signal is awful in my area, so this is intriguing news.Interesting item on nats320 re. FM radio possibilities for Nats games starting in May:

  14. PDowdy83 - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    And who would you replace all 4 of them with Sam? Walker has looked great twice and not so good the other times. Bergmann and Batista could disappear and I'd be happy.

  15. kyle - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Drew Storen perhaps?Seriously, a few more adequate bodies in the bullpen would be nice.

  16. Gus - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    Mark, do you know how many innings this season where the Nats have scored, only for the opposition to score in the bottom on the innings, or at the top of the next?

  17. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Oh man. Those two outs too forever. Now, please please please get a third here.

  18. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:39 PM


  19. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    Gus: That's now NINE times in seven-plus games where the Nats have scored in their half of the inning and then immediately given up a run in the next half-inning. Staggering.

  20. Gus - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    Staggering is a great adjective.

  21. Anonymous - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Guzmann is hitting, Desmond isn't. Bottom line–Desmond is toast for now. End of story.

  22. Doc - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    So far this season, the Nats have 2 pitchers who can come close to pitching in the Bigs. Stammen's performance to-night seems suggest that spring training performances are not the predictors that they should be.

  23. Gus - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    That's TEN times. Can we use F&%KED UP instead of staggering?

  24. phil dunn - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    Stammen just bought a one way ticket to Syracuse tonight.

  25. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    Phil – I worry that having such a short leash on the young pitchers (e.g., Mock) makes all the pitchers worse. They seem so worried about being perfect that they stink. Or maybe they just aren't very good to begin with. Either way, I don't think it's a good policy.

  26. bobn - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:39 AM

    Mark–why do some of the Nat's jerseys have a gold mark on the back numbers and some don't?

  27. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    BobN: You mean the gold trim around the numbers? Don't they all have those?

  28. Janner33 - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    @ Mark Z, nah, i think bobn means the gold fleck on the right number on the back of the jersey… noticed that a few games this season

  29. natscan reduxit - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    … so Jason Marquis is trying out for another role on the team, in case the one he has now doesn't work out.

  30. Janner33 - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    I think Bergmann is packing his bags for Syracuse after this game. Man, this guy is frustrating!

  31. LoveDaNats - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    So send Bergmann and keep English.

  32. natscan reduxit - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    … I agree with Janner33 about Bergmann. I have heard and read a lot of stuff this spring about the tenuous statuses of many bullpen pitchers, but it always seems that Jason B. gets a pass in those considerations. I often wonder if it's because he's got pictures stashed somewhere. If he does, maybe they should go with him the the farm.

  33. Janner33 - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    LOL at the "stashed pictures". Seems like for Bergmann every batter faced works a full count, then either a walk, or home run. English pitched a pretty decent game tonight.

  34. Suicide Squeeze - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    Ran into the J-Berg riding the metro after a game with his wife — they were with a couple of friends going somewhere with them, not riding the train for kicks. If you've seen his wife, you know why he is being kept around. At least one of 'em is hot right now…

  35. natscan reduxit - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    … hey Suicide: yeah, but can she toss a decent slider?

  36. natscan reduxit - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    … seriously though folks, I've been thinking (a dangerous habit at the best of times), and it seems to me that these games against the hottest team in the east will serve the Nats well in the future. They have proven to me, and to themselves, that if they can stand in there with the Phils, they will most surely be able to bring it against the rest of the division. They don't play Philly for the entire season.Go Nats!!

  37. K.D. - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:58 AM

    Hey, Does anybody else think Bruney might be hurt? I mean other than his feelings.

  38. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    Keep Mrs. Bergie. Send down Mr. Bergie.

  39. Suicide Squeeze - Apr 15, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    I wonder if Riggles has the balls to go for two and the win if the Nats score the last minute TD….

  40. Spike94wl - Apr 15, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    What changes could we possibly make (other than getting rid of Bergman)? I sure hope Rizzo doesn't panic and call Stras and Storen up too soon.

  41. Sunderland - Apr 15, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    Here's something to chew on. Opposing pitchers are batting .412 against the Nats this season.





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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