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Game 35: Nats at Rockies

May 13, 2010, 9:30 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Coors Field, the mile-high home of the Colorado Rockies.

DENVER — Hello from beautiful Coors Field, where the entrance to the media parking lot is in Wyoming. OK, one small complaint about an otherwise fantastic ballpark. I always enjoy coming here, both to enjoy the scenic home of the Colorado Rockies and to enjoy the city of Denver, one of my favorite stops in the National League.

The Nationals open a four-game series tonight, with the unusual local starting time of 6:40 p.m. MDT (that's 8:40 p.m. for you folks back on the East Coast). Most notable thing about tonight's game is the return of John Lannan to the mound after missing his last start due to elbow inflammation. The lefty says he feels great after receiving a cortisone shot and throwing off a bullpen mound in New York. Then again, Jason Marquis also said he felt great after his own cortisone shot in the elbow and bullpen session. So there's obviously no guarantee here.

The Nats will field what's become their conventional lineup vs. right-handed starters, with Roger Bernadina in right field hoping to build off yesterday's breakout performance. Ivan Rodriguez back behind the plate, and Josh Willingham back in left field.

Plenty more to come later, so check back for updates throughout the evening…

Where: Coors Field
Gametime: 8:40 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of late showers, 49 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to LF

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

Read more »

  1. Wigi - May 13, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    I would love to see the statistics that show the percentage of the cases where one cortisone shot equals "all better".

  2. Ben - May 13, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    I just wanted to point out, even though I am a little late…. that I was at the Nats- Mets game on Tuesday night for the big bullpen meltdown (one of the hardest games to ever be at the ballpark for). I was sitting in the first row in center field at CiTi, and Nyjer came to make a catch right at the wall under me, and as soon as he caught the ball, I yelled out "I love you Tony Plush!" and he gave me the weirdest look. He probably thought that i was some obnoxious Mets fan, and wondered how I knew about his "gentlemans" name. The Mets fans around me gave me weird looks, because they had been yelling Nyjer for the entire game, and were so confused as to who Tony Plush was. Fun times.. I thought I should just share. G NATS!

  3. natscan reduxit - May 13, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    … very happy for you – and for us – that you were able to make this western trip, Mark. I'm looking forward to reading your stories and impressions of the Nats' first four-game sweep of the season.Go Nats!!

  4. Section 222 - May 13, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Yes, glad you're out there Mark. Look forward to your reports, and enjoy Denver!

  5. sec3mysofaButHiDef - May 13, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    Ben, to be fair, it may have been the "I LOVE YOU" he was reacting to, not the TPlush. Just sayin.NB: The forecast is for high 40s and thunderstorms around 9pm. Not good odds of getting this one in, or is that good odds of not getting it in?

  6. Carl in 309 - May 14, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Vinny Castilla–a most pleasant blast from the past. I'm glad, Mark, that you had a chance to catch up with him. Though in his playing twilight with the Nats in 2005, he always exemplified playing with a never say die attitude. Another endearing recollection this week!

  7. Wendell - May 14, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    Agree on Vinnie Castilla. What a classy guy. I followed him when he was with the Braves & was glad to see him sign with the Nats. He was one of my son's favorite players. Matthew's always asking, "Where's Vinnie?"

  8. Aeoliano - May 14, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    WOW its really empty there!!!! And they talk about the Nats attendance?

  9. LoveDaNats - May 14, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    Mark, You brought back memories of those wonderful bouncing stands at RFK (DC Stadium to those of us lucky enough to have seen the Senators play back in the day). I love Nats park but RFK will always mean baseball to me.

  10. Grandstander - May 14, 2010 at 1:28 AM

    Pitching, defense and the 3 run homer…Our HR streak continues!

  11. Wendell - May 14, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    We had seats on the third base side at RFK. Love the bouncing stands.

  12. Sec3MySofa - May 14, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    Yeah, tell Vinny we still love him here, too. The guy's a warrior.

  13. Positively Half St. - May 14, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    In a way, the number of people in visiting stadiums (stadia?) for Nats games is an indication of how they draw. That will improve.A few things:1. Vinnie Castilla- nothing but good wishes and thanks to him. If you ever talk to him again soon, please let him know that we original fans still have a special place in our heats for him.2. Lannan looks good.3. I found an unopened DVD of the Nats 2005 Return to Washington" DVD at Goodwill today. I feel like I should leave it unopened for the kids and grandkids someday.4. How do you pronounce Roger Bernadina's full first name (Rogearvin)?5. Can we perhaps get 5 full in with a lead and then a typhoon? I'm tired, but demand that we meet St. Louis's 20-15 record.+1/2St.

  14. Positively Half St. - May 14, 2010 at 2:34 AM

    One more thing:I was writing while the TV was muted. The closed-captioning rendered our team's name as The Nationalities. I guess that is a pretty good advertisement for baseball's diversity, but it still speaks to our team not being a household name.

  15. Spike94wl - May 14, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    Mark, how bad is the rain right now? Do you think that they're just playing to make it official and then they'll call it? I'm asking because I wouldn't mind if Lannan didn't have to push himself tonight.

  16. Positively Half St. - May 14, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    After Zim's 2nd HR, we need to get through the bottom of the inning for sure.

  17. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    Superstition.I am watching Zimm in his first AB, the phone rings, I go to answer it in the next room, and when I glimpse at the score on my XM radio, the Nats are up 2-0.A few minutes ago. Zimm hits one off his foot. I switch to the Cavs/Celtics game thinking it was good luck when I didn't watch Zimm's first HR. I turn the channel back a minute later–Zimm is entering the dugout after the three-run HR.I have discovered a cause and effect relationship betweeen my viewing behavior and Ryan Zimmerman hitting home runs.

  18. Les in NC - May 14, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    not much difference in Lannan's fastball and changeup now….he needs to come out after this inning (assuming they make it thru the inning ofcourse).

  19. Carl in 309 - May 14, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    Here we go again. Can't we just earn a big lead and hold it?

  20. David - May 14, 2010 at 3:23 AM

    does anyone else think Lannan won't be able to lift his arm, just like Marquis, tomorrow? or was it just fatigue that lead to his drop in velocity?

  21. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 4:01 AM

    jim tracy pissed they are still playing…should have said something when you were down 1 in the 7th and not 5 in the 8th…just weak tracy

  22. David - May 14, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    i thought the win always goes to the pitcher on record when the lead was taken, if it occurs after the 5th inning…

  23. Mark Zuckerman - May 14, 2010 at 4:09 AM

    David: That's correct, but the Nats were already winning when Lannan departed. He would normally be the pitcher of record, except he didn't last long enough. So in this case, it's the scorer's discretion.

  24. B.R. - May 14, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    The last time the Washington Nationals scored 10 or more runs was on August 25, 2009, against Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs. Josh Willingham had two home runs, two singles and a walk. Zambrano hit a solo home run in opposition, off winning pitcher Garrett Mock.

  25. Natsochist - May 14, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    Mark: Dibble just made a (gasp) decent point – why not take Zimm out of the game after that last hit? You've got a 6-run lead (again), there's six defensive outs left, and you still have Alberto Gonzalez available, who's played well at third earlier this year. It'd be nice not to have to worry about him getting hurt. Thoughts?

  26. Mark Zuckerman - May 14, 2010 at 4:15 AM

    Natsochist: That's not a bad thought. Though, considering the Nats' penchant for making every single game close, you'd hate for things to get tense again and not have Zim in the game. If they score another run or two and go up 7 or 8, I'd definitely pull him. Really, it's remarkable the umps are letting this game continue under these conditions.

  27. Les in NC - May 14, 2010 at 4:19 AM

    Is it too soon to go ahead and say the Nationals will come away from this game in sole possession of the NL wild Card spot?When was the last time THAT happened?

  28. David - May 14, 2010 at 4:20 AM

    Oh I see. I was under the impression that at some point after Lannan left, the Rockies tied it up. If that had happened, would the scoring for the win revert to the standard "pitcher of record" rule? Giving the official score judgement on who was the most effective is an interesting and rarely used scoring rule. I've played and followed baseball my whole life and don't really remember that happening very often.

  29. Mark Zuckerman - May 14, 2010 at 4:22 AM

    David: Yes, you've got it right. Had the Rockies tied or taken the lead, then whichever pitcher was in the game when the Nats retook the lead for good automatically gets the win. It is indeed rare for the scorer to have discretion, but it happens once in a while. Usually, though, it's pretty clear which pitcher deserves it, typically the first guy out of the pen. But I'm not sure Batista really deserves it in this case. With the game lopsided now, my guess is Slaten will get the win.

  30. David - May 14, 2010 at 4:23 AM

    Cool. Thanks for the explanation.

  31. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 4:25 AM

    Even in this dreary weather, Debbie Taylor looks phenomenal. She's my dream woman.

  32. Anonymous8 - May 14, 2010 at 4:27 AM

    Dibble actually had LOTS of good things to say tonight. The altitude must be getting to him.

  33. Keith - May 14, 2010 at 4:28 AM

    This has been a treat – waking up (in Slovakia) to check the score, discovering that the game was still going on, and then listening to that top of the 8th eruption. Looking forward to a return to Washington in August, if only to see some games.

  34. David - May 14, 2010 at 4:29 AM

    Debbie Taylor? really? lol sorry. She's a soccer mom on drugs. She cracks me up.

  35. Mark Zuckerman - May 14, 2010 at 4:29 AM

    Keith: Good morning! How's the weather in Slovakia? Can't be worse than it is here in Denver.

  36. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    Now these are the kinds of games that I like to see Brian Bruney pitching in. The kind that not even he could mess up.

  37. Natsochist - May 14, 2010 at 4:32 AM

    Okay, this altitude is doing something – Bruney just pitched a 1-2-3 inning with 2K's. Someone pinch me.

  38. K.D. - May 14, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    Now that nice crisp inning by Bruney was worth staying up for.

  39. Carl in 309 - May 14, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    Anon, bit your tongue! But seriously, having survived the bottom of the 8th with a football score and presumably continuing rain, can we call this puppy yet? I've got my big lead, and Letterman is nearly over!

  40. sec314 - May 14, 2010 at 4:34 AM

    Aren't you glad you decided to go on this road trip?

  41. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    "Now these are the kinds of games that I like to see Brian Bruney pitching in. The kind that not even he could mess up."There was a reason I posted as Anonymous. Cause I was not taking the fall for a possible Brian Bruney implosion, which I admit, was somewhat worried would happen.

  42. Mark Zuckerman - May 14, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    Fortunately, I only woke up at 5:30 a.m. East Coast time this morning.

  43. Traveler 8 - May 14, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    I'm trying to follow this on Gamecast – has the game been called for weather?

  44. Spike94wl - May 14, 2010 at 4:42 AM

    Mark, I don't think anyone would blame you for checking out a bit early today. I'm not sure how much more you can commentate on this one.

  45. Going To Bed - May 14, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    Mark,Great stuff again tonight, glad you could make the trip to Denver. I'll be checking in tomorrow to make sure the Rockies didn't pull a 9 spot on us in the bottom of the 9th. Sorry that you have to wait this out another hour plus walk back to Wyoming to get your car.~Going to Bed

  46. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 4:47 AM

    hey mark i appreciate what you are doing for us…but you cover major league baseball for a living, one of the more exciting teams looking to the future…im not going to shoot you for rain and lack of sleep

  47. Mark Zuckerman - May 14, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    Anon: All in good fun, my friend. The moment I legitimately complain about this job is the moment I walk away forever. Rest assured, I'm still living out my dream, rain delays, lack of sleep and all.

  48. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 4:55 AM

    haha its cool, rain delays are the most fun for me, but im weird…just dont get pneumonia

  49. Carl in 309 - May 14, 2010 at 4:59 AM

    Bright side to this game–beyond the prospective win, of course–we get a substantially reduced run differential. Cut in half, in fact, assuming the 14-6 score stands up.

  50. Aeoliano - May 14, 2010 at 5:00 AM

    Brian Bruney wanted to get back to the nice warm dugout. Didn't you know?

  51. Aeoliano - May 14, 2010 at 5:24 AM

    Ben Goessling reports that Batista got the win? So, its like the racing presidents .. here comes Teddy … no its Abe? Then its Slaten, no its Batista!

  52. [SK]peter - May 14, 2010 at 6:50 AM

    to Keith, what are you doing in Slovakia? I guess that I am only Nats fan from Slovakia :)

  53. natsfan1a - May 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    grrrr….Lance Cormier (Late with that because I don't watch the late West Coast games live). :-)Seriously, best wishes to Vinny. I was rooting for him in the CWS.Fun to wake up and see the game results email in my in-box. 14-6? Also great to be able to read your recap here. Glad you could make the trip!—I'll always remember his performance in the RFK Stadium opener, when he came within a single of hitting for the cycle.

  54. waddu eye no - May 14, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    my daughter still wears her castilla jersey from year one. she liked his hair.(she was 10)





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)...

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