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Game 17: Dodgers at Nats

Apr 23, 2010, 8:00 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Dodgers (minus Manny Ramirez) come to Nationals Park this weekend.

It's always a treat when the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town. One of baseball's best-run and most-stable franchises — well, at least until Frank and Jamie McCourt decided to get divorced and ruin everything — makes only one trip per season to the District. Sadly, Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Vin Scully (now in his 60th season with the club) no longer makes road trips east of the Rockies, so you won't be able to hear those familiar and soothing tones.

Another key member of the Dodgers organization won't be playing in this series: Manny Ramirez. One year ago, the slugger was suspended 50 games for performance enhancing drugs in the middle of a series against the Nats. This time, Ramirez is injured. He strained a calf muscle running the bases yesterday in Cincinnati, and word is that he will miss this entire series.

Ryan Zimmerman also isn't in the lineup for the Nationals for the second straight game and the seventh time in 12 games. We'll get an update on Zim's hamstring in a little while.

Check back for updates throughout the game…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 68 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from CF

CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
SS Cristian Guzman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Tcostant - Apr 23, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    I think is time to move Pudge up in the line-up. A guy on a roll like this shouldn't hit 6th. You can always move him back later, if he comes back to his mean.

  2. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    I agree….Pudge has gotta move up.

  3. Souldrummer - Apr 23, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    I thought Guz could only bat 2nd? I'd like to see a swap between Guzman and Rodriguez.

  4. Doc - Apr 23, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Mark, do the Nats do any special batting prep for hitting a knuckle ball–apart from getting a good night's sleep?

  5. Souldrummer - Apr 23, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Seems to me Wakefield was nasty for them in that spring training start as well.

  6. K.D. - Apr 23, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Hopefully Wakefield was good practice for tonight's starter. I say don't mess with success with Pudge. He has hit everywhere in the line-up during his career, he just wants to be in it (the line-up).

  7. K.D. - Apr 23, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    By the way, I have already decided to vote for Pudge for this year's Allstar game. It would be his 15th appearance, first one in the National League. Little bit early, but hey!

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 23, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Doc: No special prep for Haeger. In fact, there's really nothing guys can do to prepare for a knuckleballer, because there's no real set pattern for how they throw. Haeger's knuckleball is different from Wakefield's, and each guy's might be different from start to start.

  9. Dave - Apr 23, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    Where is MASN2 HD on Verizon? Why does plain old MASN2 have such a hideous picture? Thought this was the year we were supposed to get all games in HD?

  10. Doc - Apr 23, 2010 at 11:14 PM

    Already, in one inning, Atilano is better that Marquis!

  11. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    I say move Dunn down in the order. All the way down.

  12. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Doc — I saw on that 20 inning game that Filepe Lopez is better than Marquis. LOL

  13. Doc - Apr 23, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Anonymous–That's a hard thing to admit too! I mean who wants to admit that FLOP is motivated to do anything—except make money!

  14. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    That was my evil twin who wanted to move Dunn down in the order.

  15. Doc - Apr 24, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    Good job by Atilano! How do we get our money back from Marquis???

  16. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    Looks like Dunn is finally getting hot again

  17. Gus - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    People like to bag THE PLAN, and I know it's hardly like we are a contender, but to see Ramon Ortiz, Ronnie Belliard and Jamey Carroll play against us, while a young first gamer throws a quality start is pretty cool.

  18. cadeck13 - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    Mark, re: 8:02 post "I'm honestly not sure what just happened there. Ronnie Belliard hit a fly ball to center field. Nyjer Morgan took three or four steps back, thinking it was a deep drive. Then he suddenly realized the ball wasn't hit that well and came racing in. The ball still landed a good 10 feet in front of him. Then, Morgan inexplicably fired the ball toward home plate but off-line, basically to no one. Belliard advanced to second on a bizarre play that left Atilano in a major hole."Did you leave the press box? :)

  19. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Cadeck13: No, I was in my regular perch high above home plate for that strange Nyjer play. Still doesn't make sense to me. And for the record, I was down in the stands shooting photos when Dunn blasted his first homer. Take that, all you jinx believers!

  20. Dave - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    Sorry about Nyjer's misplay in center, but his RBI sort of makes up for it. I do think I'll wear my #1 T-shirt to the park tomorrow.

  21. cadeck13 - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:23 AM

    ok, so we'll let you leave the press box perched ever so high only when Dunn is at bat :)

  22. Dave - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    WTF was that? Harris leaves 1b after the force at home? In fact, as my wife just pointed out, why was Willie swinging away on 3-0 with bases loaded? Bizarre.

  23. Dave - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    Luis Atilano! TWO pies in the face! Almost chokes up in the Debbi interview talking about pitching to Pudge. Great first win for the rookie.

  24. K.D. - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    Great pitching by Luis & Tyler. Some sloppy defense by a few. Think Dibble jinxed it by bragging about the error-less streak. Hope Pudge's back is just a little stiff from over swinging at those absurd knuckleballs.

  25. Gus - Apr 24, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    Mark, any reports around the park on Chuck James in Triple A today? All the website tells you is 5 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 5 k. 59 pitches, 41 strikes. Not sure if that's his first start back??

  26. Positively Half St. - Apr 24, 2010 at 2:33 AM

    Nats are in 3rd place, and a 1/2 game out of second. It does not matter yet if it is sustainable. Dig it, friends!!!!

  27. natsfan1a - Apr 24, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    I liked Atilano's poise and how he got ahead of hitters. I also liked Dunn's dingers. Needless to say, the man was made to wear the Elvis wig. :-)

  28. natsfan1a - Apr 24, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    K.D., it was Bob, not Rob, who bragged on the streak.

  29. Natsochist - Apr 24, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    Mark, if you can figure out what happened with that Willie Harris play to end the 8th, I'd love a post on that. As would Carpenter & Dibble — they're still trying to figure it out.

  30. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 24, 2010 at 3:07 AM

    Natsochist: Just posted the explanation at the bottom of the running game thread.





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