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Game 23: Nats at Marlins

Apr 30, 2010, 7:45 PM EST

Photo courtesy Florida Marlins
The Marlins host the Nats in a weekend series.

Ryan Zimmerman is in the Nationals' starting lineup tonight. Craig Stammen is not. Stammen, however, is at Joe Robbie … er, Pro Player … er, Dolphin … er, LandShark … er, Sun Life Stadium.

Whatever the Marlins' ballpark is being called this week, I'm not there. I'm back in D.C. this weekend to attend a family member's bar mitzvah, so you won't be getting any firsthand accounts of this series. I will, however, attempt to watch Sunday's game on TV and share some insights along the way.

Two things you should pay close attention to in tonight's series opener: Zimmerman and Scott Olsen. Zimmerman is at last back in the starting lineup after sitting out seven games with a strained hamstring. It would appear the combination of time off and warm South Florida weather has allowed Zim to return to his regular duties.

Olsen, meanwhile, returns to the mound looking to build off his seven shutout innings from last weekend against the Dodgers. (For those who weren't aware, Olsen and Stammen have swapped spots in the rotation in an attempt to break up Olsen and fellow lefty John Lannan. Because of yesterday's day off, Olsen is still going on normal rest. Stammen will now go tomorrow on six days' rest.)

Enjoy the game. I'll put together another game thread tomorrow so everyone can discuss among themselves…

Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 12 mph RF to LF

CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Tcostant - Apr 30, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Welcome back Zimm!I like breaking up the lefties, Riggleman is always thinking.Did anyone see Sports Weekly this week, where Manny Acta said the Nationals were "wrong" to make Ryan Zimmerman the "Face of the Face of the Franchise" while being so young. I am so over Manny!

  2. Section 222 - Apr 30, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Maybe it's self evident, but can someone explain the theory of "breaking up lefties?"

  3. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    If you break them up into small chunks, and then rub the baseballs with them,it helps your screwball.

  4. Tcostant - Apr 30, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    Olsen and Lannan are both left handed. When you start them back to back, you loss some of the advantage. Since their are far more right hander pitchers, starting left handers on consecutive days might not be the best idea.

  5. Kamir Aminute - Apr 30, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    If you "break up the lefties" you don't have to tell Stammen he's getting demoted.

  6. Harrison - Apr 30, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    Make sure you don't drop your relative in the chair.

  7. natsfan1a - Apr 30, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    tconstant, I did see it. If memory serves, Manny also said that he thought Zimm handled it well. It *was* a lot of pressure for a relatively new player, IMO.

  8. Souldrummer - Apr 30, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Uh, the flip side is that he's wishing that they might have made that Adam Dunn style move a little bit earlier on in the Manny Acta, like Year One so that the team he had might have won enough games to get him a bit more success.He probably, with justificaiton, wishes that they had spent more on some additional players to take some pressure off Zim his second year rather than just letting Sori walk and not really spending to fill in the gap. Lerners kind of just pocketed the money got from not having Soriano instead of making the Dunn and Marquis moves of the last two years to help make us a little more competitive.

  9. 1stBaseCoach - Apr 30, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    off the subject….but have I missed any news about Elijah Dukes? Is he still at home waiting for the phone to ring, or did he hook up with a team?

  10. Souldrummer - Apr 30, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    Yep. Guys like Mark would post it if he caught on some where. People are not willing to take on the baggage for a AAA player it seems. I'd be thinking about some independent ball if I were Dukes to further work on rehabilitating himself but he probably has some serious economic needs given his lifestyle and child support issues. Posted that I thought the Mariners should sign Dukes to a AAA contract. Got tremendous blowback from that fan at Japers' Rink. There's a lot of ill will towards him given his past.

  11. Sunderland - Apr 30, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Dukes told the baseball world a lot about himself by not playing winter ball and by showing up to camp still unable to deal with breaking pitches.He had a lot he needed to work on the be successful in the bigs, and he also had personal issues to deal with. He set his priorities (as he should) and decided what was the right thing for him to do.I really think that had a lot to do with why he was let go so abruptly. He knew what he needed to work on, he did not work on it, he came to camp, it was obvious he was not improved, cut him loose.There have been no reports of anyone offering him anything. Two years ago, only the Nats were willing to offer him a job. He did OK, the pitchers adjusted, his hitting regressed, his fielding never really improved.I would have thought by now someone would have offered him a minor league deal (he's younger than Taveras, Maxwell and Bernadina). But no one apparently has.

  12. Dryw - Apr 30, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    And the Z man is BACK!!

  13. Doc - Apr 30, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    As far as 'breaking up lefties', I thought it was a way of making them into righties.

  14. Les in NC - May 1, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    Z man is back in STYLE! Nice Homer there! And that will go a long way to help cover Olsen who doesnt have his best stuff tonight.

  15. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Breaking up lefties? Isn't that kind of like sending down Jesse English telling him its a strategic move and that they need him work. Then activating Ron Vilone another lefty, a guy English beat out for the opening day roster but someone Riggleman decided not to use? Vilone has pitched in two games in Syracuse. English has yet to pitch in a game. I expect Riggleman will call for Vilone in a week to 10 days requiring a roster move to put him on the 40-man. Even though he was clearly outmatched in ST but many others?Yep that's breaking up lefties in Riggleman's mind.

  16. NatinBeantown - May 1, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    It's nice that Zim doesn't want to worry Riggs by running on the basebaths. Just a nice, steady jog every at bat…

  17. Andrew - May 1, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Oh yes, Zim is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack baaaaaaaaaaaaack baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

  18. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Great opposite field HR by Zim!!!"a guy English beat out for the opening day roster but someone Riggleman decided not to use?"a guy English beat out for the opening day roster however English was a guy Riggleman decided not to use?"Even though he was clearly outmatched in ST but many others?"Even though he was clearly outmatched in ST by many others?

  19. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    4 walks 1 K.

  20. NatinBeantown - May 1, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    2 h, 0 ER

  21. Jeff Wang - May 1, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Nolasco done after 4? Will he pitch the 5th? (94 pitches already…)PS Olsen only has 3 BBs? not 4?

  22. Anonymous - May 1, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    What was that on Pudge's wrist on that closeup in the dugout an inning or so ago?

  23. Spike94wl - May 1, 2010 at 1:38 AM

    I don't like saying this but Rizzo kinda messed up with Bruney. Dude just destroyed our shutout…

  24. Sec3MyMyMy - May 1, 2010 at 1:38 AM

    Oh, I think Dunn just learned not to get too far from the bag so quickly … Desmond's throw was inside, but not necessarily too far for a stretch if Dunn is still on the bag.Although, to be fair, that would have been an insane play go pull off.

  25. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    Clip 'n save struggling tonight.

  26. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    MORGAN – ELVIS WIG!!! Now that its on the road.

  27. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    Morgan again looking like the best centerfield in baseball!!!

  28. Andrew - May 1, 2010 at 2:04 AM

    Clip is looking great. Just sucks coming in with a couple on the bases!What a play by Nyjer! Nyjer works well with Bernadina in RF.

  29. Andrew - May 1, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Bob Carpenter on Clip–Good Good, Bad Bad, Good.

  30. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 2:43 AM

    Tonight it was 'Clipper 'n the Rye'

  31. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 2:44 AM

    Can't argue with 13-10 even with Vilone on the way.

  32. Carl in 309 - May 1, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    That puts the Nats in 2nd in the NL East at the end of the first month of the season. Break up the Nats!

  33. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 1, 2010 at 5:30 AM

    Acta would have much, much preferred that Austin Kearns would have been the face of the franchise. Manny and Austin, together again in pursuit of a third straight 100-loss season. You go, guys.

  34. Anonymous8 - May 1, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    SBCITPFM – That is hilarious only Kearns is the new Indians All Star as he is their new cleanup hitter and batting .370 Now will they lose 90+ games and will Kearns be batting .250 in 2 months?

  35. Andrew - May 1, 2010 at 1:30 PM sure if anyone posted Byron Kerr's 7 minute interview with Bryce Harper.

  36. Nervous Nats Fan - May 1, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    I missed the game last night, but found the highlight of Nyjer's catch this morning. My favorite part is Clippard's reaction, which is "WOW!"Video of Nyjer's 7th inning catch

  37. Cwj - May 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    I was surprised Riggs used Clippard last night. Burnett (who can get righties out) desperately needs work. I hope Clippard's arm holds up…





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)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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