May 15, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Luis Atilano meets Jason Hammel in the nightcap of the doubleheader
DENVER — The Nationals have been good all season about shaking off tough losses and rebounding the next time out. Well, they'll only have about three hours to forget this afternoon's 6-2 defeat to the Rockies before retaking the field for the nightcap of this doubleheader.
I wouldn't expect any hangover factor. If anything, the Nats felt like they put together some decent at-bats in Game 1. They just were done in once again by Ubaldo Jimenez, the majors' best pitcher of the season to date.
Even though his team lost the opener, Jim Riggleman has to feel good about his chances in Game 2. If rookie Luis Atilano struggles, he's still got all of his top relievers rested and ready to go. That's the reason Tyler Walker, Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps didn't appear in the opener. Had there only been one game on the slate today, Walker probably would have pitched the eighth inning of what was then a 3-2 game. But with the nightcap looming, Riggleman wanted to preserve his best arms in case his team holds a late lead.
One guy who I wouldn't expect to pitch in the second game is Brian Bruney. Actually, I wouldn't be stunned if the guy doesn't throw another pitch for the Nationals. Riggleman was not happy with the right-hander's performance today, in which he walked the first two batters he faced and then allowed an RBI double and two-run single later. Riggleman and Rizzo spent time behind closed doors immediately following the game, and Rizzo was on the field on his cell phone for a while after that. I don't want to assume anything here, but I wouldn't be shocked if there's a roster move after tonight's game and there's a bullpen change in time for tomorrow's series finale.
Check back for updates throughout…
NATIONALS AT ROCKIES
Where: Coors Field
Gametime: 8:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 58 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from CF
CF Nyjer Morgan
LF Willie Harris
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
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.
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