Apr 17, 2010, 3:45 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ian Desmond's perfect sac bunt keyed the Nats' 3-run eighth.
Little did Jim Riggleman realize it when Adam Dunn was ejected in the first inning, but that surprise development was going to force the Nationals manager to reach deep into his bag of tricks in order to pull off tonight's 5-3 win over the Brewers.
By the time Matt Capps struck out Corey Hart to end this one, Riggleman had used three different third basemen, two different first basemen, two different right fielders and every member of his bench not named Ivan Rodriguez. He asked one his best young hitters to lay down a sacrifice bunt, his All-Star slugger to serve as a decoy in the on-deck circle and his closer to record the final two outs one day after throwing 33 pitches.
This is what it's going to take for the Nationals, as currently constructed, to win ballgames. Riggleman understands this, so he's finding a way to use all 25 players at his disposal in a manner that maximizes every ounce of talent they've got.
"There's a lot of players on this team able to play a lot of positions, and able to do it well," Dunn said. "It gives Riggs so much leeway to make moves that a lot of managers don't get to make. Our team'sRead more »
NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
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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