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Game 24: Nats at Marlins

May 1, 2010, 8:06 PM EDT


Photo courtesy Florida Marlins
The Nats go for their fourth straight win tonight at Sun Life Stadium.

The Nationals left town on Sunday, staring at a somewhat-daunting, six-game road trip to Chicago and Florida. Well, four games into that trip, they're 3-1. And the only loss was a 4-3, 10-inning setback at Wrigley Field Monday night that easily could have been a curly W instead.

There's a different expectation level with this club now. The Nats could drop the next two to the Marlins and still come home 3-3 on the trip, a perfectly acceptable record on the road. But that won't suffice, not for this team.

Thus, the Nationals shoot for their fourth straight win tonight, not to mention a potential tie for first place in the NL East. Yep, if the Phillies beat the Mets and the Nats beat the Marlins, New York and Washington will share the top spot in the division.

I, of course, am not at Sun Life Stadium to cover this one person. So I'll leave it to all of you to discuss among yourselves as you enjoy tonight's proceedings…

NATIONALS AT MARLINS
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2-HD
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Clear, 82 degrees, Wind 11 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (13-10)
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Jim Webster - May 1, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    With Phillies up 10-0 in 9th, first-place tie is no longer a fantasy. Shades of Frank Robinson `05.

  2. Sec3,Mon Setee - May 1, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    Seems like there'd be enough laid-off sportswriters to start a news service by now. Which is a sad opportunity, ain't it?Anybody know of a Marlins in-game, in-park chat we could crash (respectfully, of course), or at least lurk in?

  3. Doc - May 1, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    MarkMeister it's time that you returned to your 'team' of bloggers. Hard to play this game without the manager!

  4. Anonymous - May 1, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    I'm going to mention this a lot — what has to happen for the Post to plug this team? And what will it take for the ownership to promote the club at all? A vistor from out of town would likely not know that there's a major league club in town.

  5. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    Give it some time anonymous. Sounds like they are revamping their web presence … creating all sorts of havoc for misschatter and her poor scooter. They now have their own iPhone app. My guess: they pulled all their best into Redskins coverage. Even Tracee Hamilton. Adam Kilgore is a good one as is Shenin. I think its about management deciding who their audience is most interested in? The Washington SoapOperas or the Nationals.

  6. Jim Webster - May 1, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    ec3,Mon Setee said…"Seems like there'd be enough laid-off sportswriters …" Add to those the wannabe baseball writers (like me) who last covered College World Series in 1961 before switching to politics and you'd have a critical mass.

  7. Jim Webster - May 1, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Anon: "…what has to happen for the Post to plug this team? And what will it take for the ownership to promote the club at all?" WaPo will cover baseball when the fan base (i.e., readership) justifies it. They take careful readings of what their subscribers follow, and so far the hopeless Deadskins fans continue to dominate. As for team marketing, it sucks. I had a place on the Eastern Shore near Ocean City the last six years — no radio stations carried Nats, no sports bars had pennants or showed on TV — all negatives that good marketing could correct.

  8. Sec3MyPatioFurniture - May 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Well, the critical part has never been lacking, has it?@Anonymous 6:05 — it is expressly not the Post, or any other media outlet's, job to plug the team. That's the responsibility of the for-profit business the Lerners are running.

  9. Sec3SofaSogood - May 1, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    … the marketing of which, as Jim points out, is in its own 100-loss territory again this year.Despite all the free ideas we give them here and elsewhere.

  10. Sec3MyOMy - May 1, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    but on a cheerier note, Pudge's expression walking off the field after the first will make my whole night. Threw out by about 10 feet only the second guy to even try stealing on the Nationals. "Man, I Effen LOVE this job!"

  11. Aeoliano - May 1, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    Jim Webster … now there's something the Redskins could definitely help the Nationals rectify. Marketing and sales. If ownership (yes you Stan) were smart they would hire some of those folks away to provide the Nats with a good marketing presence. The Skins appear to be world class when it comes to that.

  12. Jim Webster - May 2, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    Sec3SofaSogood and Aeoliano:Hire one each from 'Skins and Caps marketing department and then us at $1 a day and they would have some marketing. Snyder may be a jerk but he "owns" all the broadcasting outlets.

  13. meixler - May 2, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    Someone was talking about making t-shirt a few threads ago… After hearing Dibble go on and on about it, I think we should get shirts that say "Cristian Guzman likes the 2 hole" and maybe have a picture of him giving a big thumbs up.

  14. rmoore446 - May 2, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Just when I am ready to cheer unreservedly for Nyjer Morgan he pulls a completely bonehead play. He makes a fantastic catch and then cancels it out with an idiotic throw.

  15. Aussie Gus - May 2, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    Paging Mr Walker, your flight to Syracuse is ready to depart, please report to Gate 1 immediately. Paging Mr Storen, your flight to Washington is ready to depart, please report to Gate 2 immediately.

  16. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - May 2, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    @rmoore446:Nyjer's throw wasn't good. But it wasn't as bad as the half-assed backup of Stammen, who was totally out of position for the wild throw.Stammen and Brunley out…Jesus and Storen in.I cannot wait for June 8.

  17. Aeoliano - May 2, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    Aussie Gus said…Paging Mr Walker, your flight to Syracuse is ready to depart, please report to Gate 1 immediately. Paging [Mr Storen] change to Mr. Vilone, your flight to Washington is ready to depart, please report to Gate 2 immediately.______________________________________________________________________

  18. Aussie Gus - May 2, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Aeoliano – surely you aren't serious? Are you watching the bottom of the 8th against Colombus?

  19. Aeoliano - May 2, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    They need to just play Desmond. They need to bring up Morse or Chase Lambin to get some more offense.Looks like the bad night's synergy reaches down to the minors. English, Zenicola and Vilone got rocked. SYR is losing 12-2. Josh Wilkie pitched okay. JD Martin did reasonably well for his first time out post back spasms. Vilone's ERA now at 13.50. But I still bet Riggleman will want him and no one else.

  20. Aeoliano - May 2, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    Aussie Gus,This is Riggleman remember? The guy who wanted to make Desmond the utility guy until Rizzo said no? Then made Guzman that 'starting' utilityman? Riggleman and McLaren had Vilone in Seattle when they were there. Do you really believe they are going to go with an "unknown" like Storen or any of the other relievers in SYR or H'BURG. The man himself said that he stubborn and finds it difficult to change. BUT, if you get him in a room with a bunch of smart people with strong persuasive arguments. I don't think you will easily convince Riggleman to take Storen over Vilone. Remember, English et al beat Vilone out for the job in ST. Yet there he is in Syracuse … newly activated? Why is that?

  21. Aussie Gus - May 2, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Doesn't Rizzo make these calls? Didn't Rizzo cut Vilone in ST? Riggleman doesn't choose who is in his team, he just chooses how he uses them. No doubt he has a say, but it's just not his call at the end of the day. This is the club that Rizzo built.

  22. Aeoliano - May 2, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    Aussie Gus said…Doesn't Rizzo make these calls? Didn't Rizzo cut Vilone in ST? Riggleman doesn't choose who is in his team, he just chooses how he uses them. No doubt he has a say, but it's just not his call at the end of the day. This is the club that Rizzo built.Indeed Rizzo has the final say. And so you find Desmond starting at shortstop. But wait! Guzman continues to start there too and other places as the "starting utilityman". In spite of limited range, and a very suspect arm? English did indeed win the spot out of ST. Yet, Riggleman barely used him? Guys like Batista, Walker et al are all on this club because Riggleman prefers his veterans over guys he doesn't know well yet. Maxwell is on the club because of Riggleman, as is Tavares. I suspect not because of Rizzo. Rizzo signed Batista to a minor league contract to pitch in Syracuse. Yet he made the roster in spite of having a less than adequate ST when compared to others. IN the end I think this will spell the demise of Riggleman as manager as it likely did in Seattle and Chicago. Just a hunch.But yes, you will likely be seeing Ron Vilone brought up … his performance tonight will likely postpone that a bit … just as optioning English was postponed due to Bergmann's poor performance. In the end it is Riggleman who decided not to use English. Not Rizzo. It is Riggleman who will ask for Vilone, and get him. But if Vilone screws up …

  23. LoveDaNats - May 2, 2010 at 2:54 AM

    Not Vilone.

  24. Cwj - May 2, 2010 at 3:16 AM

    Yep the sky is falling because the Nats lost a game, plunging them into the dregs of a 13-11 record haha :)Seriously though, Villone does not belong on this club. English does, and in June Storen as well.

  25. Cwj - May 2, 2010 at 3:20 AM

    "twas good to see Burnett again. He's a good pitcher and shouldn't be limited to facing lefties.

  26. Aeoliano - May 2, 2010 at 4:47 AM

    "Seriously though, Villone does not belong on this club. English does, and in June Storen as well."Apparently Riggleman disagrees. "Yep the sky is falling because the Nats lost a game …"So that Riggleman can say to Rizzo: "you see Mike, I need Ron Vilone. English and Storen just would never do."

  27. natsfan1a - May 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    cwj, true that. Who'd have thought the Nats would be there at this point in the season, particularly given the teams that they were facing in the first month?In other news: my goodness, if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then sec3 must have *lots* of admirers around here. ;-)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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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