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Game 16: Rockies at Nats

Apr 22, 2010, 5:05 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals look to take three of four from the Rockies.

There may not be a better pitching matchup all season in the major leagues than the one we'll see this afternoon at Nationals Park.

OK, that may be a bit of a stretch, because few would consider Livan Hernandez vs. Ubaldo Jimenez the best matchup of the year. But let's give these two right-handers their due respect. Hernandez has an 0.00 ERA this season and is coming off a four-hit shutout of the Brewers. Jimenez, meanwhile, is coming off a no-hitter against the Braves.

You know how many times in the last 90 years a pitcher coming off a no-hitter faced an opponent coming off a shutout? How about once. That was May 17, 1996, when the Marlins' Al Leiter (coming off a no-hitter) faced the Cubs' Jim Bullinger (coming off a 2-hit shutout). And you know who was manager of the Cubs for that game? Why, none other than Jim Riggleman. (All info there courtesy Nats PR, via the Elias Sports Bureau.)

So Jimenez will be attempting to duplicate Johnny Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters from 1938, still the only pitcher in baseball history to do that. (And, in my opinion, the one record that absolutely will never be broken. Seriously, who's going to throw THREE no-hitters in a row?)

The Nats won't exactly be fielding their best lineup against Jimenez. Ryan Zimmerman is out with his right hamstring injury. Josh Willingham has the day off as well.

Check back for updates throughout the game…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:35 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to RF

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

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  1. K.D. - Apr 22, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Hopefully a pitchers duel that Livan wins.

  2. Tcostant - Apr 22, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    What a huge difference in the average fastball MPH in the two starting pitchers. Would be a fun game to watch – but got to work!

  3. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Viva Livo!

  4. David - Apr 22, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    go LIVO!

  5. P. Cole - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    Willie Harris batting 3rd? Why not Pudge?

  6. Rich - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Pudge probably requested his stop in the line up. Riggleman seems to do whatever he asks…

  7. Natsochist - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    @P. Cole – Why not Desmond? He's certainly got enough pop in his bat when he hits it.

  8. Stew Magnuson - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in the same inning. So there is one other record that may never be broken. And off the same pitcher, Chan Ho Park, if I recall correctly.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    I can't wait to get home to watch the game. Even without Zimm and the Hammer, the lineup looks quite good. Livan will give it a little pop too! I'm scoring this one a win!! GO NATS!! Come on SS!

  10. Jeff Wang - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Livo can belt his own HR, and win a 1-0 pitcher's duel.

  11. Tuna - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Whoa with the negative comments. Let's justenjoy while we can – Go Nats

  12. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Why not bat Livo third? :-)

  13. Spike94wl - Apr 22, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    Christian Guzman in RF scares me…

  14. Kyle - Apr 22, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    I know this is off topic.. but..Can someone inform me as to why Tyler Clippard isn't getting any consideration for a spot in the rotation? Are there concerns with durability? Because last night, and every other night for that matter, he seems to really excel the longer he is in the game. And he is throwing his pitches so much better than a majority of the starting staff.

  15. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Apr 22, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Well, Clippard probably doesn't have enough pitches in his skillset. The conventional wisdom is that to be a good middle reliever, you just need 1 excellent pitch and 1 decent other pitch. If you stay in the game long enough to go through the opposing lineup more than once, (again, this is conventional wisdom here) 1 1/2 pitches aren't enough.

  16. Kyle - Apr 22, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Kevin,Thanks for the answer! I know Clippard has a pretty good change up, but now that you mention it, I don't really remember him throwing anything with motion on it. Makes sense.

  17. phil dunn - Apr 22, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    Zimmerman, left hamsting pull last week, right hamstring pull this week. Maybe he needs to change his workout routine or maybe the Nats need a new trainer. He's 50% of the Nats' offense so losing him like this is ridiculous.

  18. Doc - Apr 22, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    If I were the Learners, I'd be questioning Rizzo about the results of which he was made aware of from Marquis' physical exam, before the $15 mill signing. My guess is that Rizzo blew off the medical findings. Marquis was an orthopedic DL waiting to happen. Baseball GMs need to get a better grip on medical findings/consults.

  19. PDowdy83 - Apr 22, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Phil, not sure Zimm is 50% of the offense. That is a little dramatic. Nyjer and Willingham are a good portion of it, so are Pudge and Guzman right now.

  20. NatinBeantown - Apr 22, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    When will the Nats diagnose the floating objects in Clint's head and put him on the 60 day DL. Or better yet, DFA.

  21. Anonymous - Apr 22, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    When did Clint start annoucing? I remember seeing him in RFK, but I don't think he was there in the first season. The one thing I notice is that he's got a cannon of an arm (No, Seriously). Watch him throw the t-shirts next time, he routinely throws them into the upper deck.

  22. Anonymous - Apr 22, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    I just remembered the worst attended Nats game of all time. Maybe not by tickets, but attendees. It was September 28, 2006 (Ryan Zimmerman's birthday) and it was pouring rain all night but the Phillies needed to play it because they were in the race with the Mets and every game counted. They didn't start the game until after midnight. They didn't charge for parking and let you sit anywhere for 5 bucks and there might have been 1,000 fans there. Clint gave all of the giveaways to the fans in one section where there were about 20 people and there were enough bodies to fill up the background. The Nats won by the way.

  23. Tcostant - Apr 22, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    I was at the game the first year at RFK vs. the Mets. It rain after the 5th inning and the grounds crew could not get the tarp down in the rain and wind before the field was unplayable. It was very funny and even the vendors came on the field trying to help. I just think they never thought that getting the tarp on would be hard, so no one was trained.Still funny and the Nats won when the game was called and the Mets file a grevance since the game could not be played when the rain stopped because the field took to much rain.

  24. Doc - Apr 22, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Mark, what about a nick-name for Hernandez–"Buggsy"?

  25. Jim Webster - Apr 22, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    OK, Livo just completed 6th. Must mean we win.

  26. meixler - Apr 22, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Was that the Bugs Bunny curve that struck out Tulowitzki?

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

    Meixler: Yes, that was it, in all of its 64 mph glory.

  28. Sasskuash - Apr 22, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    "And, in my opinion, the one record that absolutely will never be broken. Seriously, who's going to throw THREE no-hitters in a row?"—-Do you want the readers of this blog to answer that question? I think the initials would be SS…

  29. Aeoliano - Apr 22, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    The kid in Cincinnati Aroldis Chapman may also be that good someday.

  30. Cwj - Apr 23, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    -Well pitched game today on both sides. This is the type of loss I can deal with (as opposed to 10-4, 14-7, etc).-When is Dunn going to wake up? I know it's early, but he's so frustrating to watch sometimes.-Bruney is coming around (4 straight impressive appearances). I've grown to like the bullpen this year.

  31. Suicide Squeeze - Apr 23, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    @Doc– ALL pitchers are orthopedic DL's waiting to happen. And "guessing" aside, i would find it hard to believe that any GM would blow off something as important as a medical exam, especially when there's nothing to say that his medical exam wasn't sparkling at the time and this developed over the off season. Pitching is an un-natural act, and it doesn't take much to go from feeling great to the DL. Again, any GM in Rizzo's situation would have made the Marquis deal, and no one pretends or billed him as great pitcher — just a solid, average to slight above average pitcher that would stabilize a young rotation and be a short-term bridge to those in development. And yes, Marquis got a stellar deal for his talent level, but the Nats have to pay a premium for everything right now.Doc said…If I were the Learners, I'd be questioning Rizzo about the results of which he was made aware of from Marquis' physical exam, before the $15 mill signing. My guess is that Rizzo blew off the medical findings. Marquis was an orthopedic DL waiting to happen. Baseball GMs need to get a better grip on medical findings/consults.April 22, 2010 4:11 PM

  32. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    My thought for worst attended game – Randy Johnson's 300th win. Attended by me and 250 of RJ's closests friends. In the drizzle. Start was postponed from the previous night's rainout.





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