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Game 45: Orioles at Nats

May 23, 2010, 3:20 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats look to take two in a row from the Orioles this afternoon.

Four things you need to know heading into today's series finale at Nationals Park…

1. Nyjer Morgan is in Jim Riggleman's starting lineup, leading off and playing center field. Looks like they're ready to move on from yesterday's events.

2. Justin Maxwell has been recalled from Class AAA Syracuse, filling the roster spot made available when Scott Olsen went on the DL. Maxwell's time here figures to be brief, because the Nats will need a starting pitcher Saturday in San Diego. Until then, they'll go with an extra player off the bench.

3. Presumptive No. 1 draft pick Bryce Harper had a performance for the ages yesterday. The 17-year-old went 6-for-6 with four home runs, a triple, a double and 10 RBI in leading the College of Southern Nevada to a 25-11 victory over Central Arizona, ensuring a spot in next weekend's Junior College World Series. This all came one day after Harper hit for the cycle in another victory Friday night. Now, I'm no baseball expert, but the only player in the history of the game I can think of who ever did anything like that was Roy Hobbs.

4. I'm taking today off, enjoying a couple of days at home before heading out on the west coast trip Tuesday. So no updates throughout the game. But please continue to discuss with each other…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM, WTEM-980 AM
Weather: Scattered storms, 70 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from CF

CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn


  1. natsone_va - May 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Keep your head up, Nyjer. I'm wearing your shirt to the game today (hopefully they'll play).

  2. natsfan1a - May 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Second that (though I don't have a Morgan t-shirt). Oh, and perfect game today, seeing as how Mark is taking off? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Doc - May 23, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Ah, say it ain't so Mark. Leaving us leaderless, againnnnn! Anyway, have a well-deserved day off, MarkMeister. But you gotta remember, Mark, that Roy Hobbs wasn't a top draft choice, like Harper. In fact, Hobbs' major claim to fame was that he looked a lot like Robert Redford. Goooooooooo Naaaaaaaaats!!!!

  4. Doc - May 23, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    According to a Rizzo comment of a few months ago, "…Harper hasn't separated himself from the pack like Strasburg…". What pack he be talking 'bout—the future Hall of Famers' pack??

  5. Bowdenball - May 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Doc- as you said the comment was from a couple months ago, when Harper was struggling a bit. Pretty sure Rizzo would agree he's seperated himself now. Also, take a look at the article. 6-6 with 4 hrs would be awesome even if they were playing on the moon, but it should be noted that the wind was blowing out at 45mph. Harper wasn't the only one taking advantage- final score was 25-11.

  6. Anonymous - May 23, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Was that picture from another day since there was no bp?

  7. Mark Zuckerman - May 23, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Anon: Yes, that photo is from a previous day. I don't take a new one of Nationals Park every day, maybe one or two per homestand.

  8. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    But still . . . he led the league with 23 homers, the next closest guy had only 11. At age 16 he hit a ball 502 feet in a HS Home Run derby, the longest ball ever hit in Tampa Bay Tropicana Park.He's no guarantee for Hall of Fame of course, or even of success at MLB. But he is clearly the best hitting prospect coming into the draft in a long time.Our sufferings of two consecutive worst-record in baseball is showing a decent upside! It's quite amazing that the best pitching prospect in easily a generation, and the best hitting prospect in perhaps a decade, happen to come up during the two years the Nats had the worst record.

  9. JayB - May 23, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    I would have though they would bring up an extra catcher for a few days. Mark, I know you are off but it would be great to get some kind of read on Flores. It has been a long time….what is his daily routine like now that we are nearing June. Can he play throw or not, can he hit or not. It has been enough time to get a honest view of this status I would think.

  10. Nicole - May 23, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Harper for the season:94-211 (.446). 29 HR 87 RBI, .981 slugging in 64 games. I've seen him live. There is NO other pick besides Harper. CSN plays in a very good league (wooden bats!) and he is insanely better than anybody else. His stats are – dare I say it – Ruthian. He broke the team record for HRs. Not the individual record, THE TEAM RECORD.

  11. Nicole - May 23, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    A follow-up on Harper. CSN is a gooooooooooood team, playing in a good league. Harper leads the team in:Batting averageSlugging percentageOn base percentageOPSRunsHitsRBIHomersDoublesStealsSecond in walks.

  12. Grandstander - May 23, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    The only other catcher on the 40-man is Chris Coste, and he's injured too. At this point we have to hope Nieves stays healthy and we don't have another Matt LeCroy moment.

  13. Anonymous - May 23, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    I'm over yesterday. I hope NM goes 5-5.

  14. Betty-VA - May 23, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    just before the Nats take the field to start the game, a long instrument is played. Does anyone know what it is. Someone on Nats320 said it was Thunderstruck but that is not it.

  15. Anon and on - May 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    English horn? Didgereedoo?

  16. NatinBeantown - May 23, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    Nicole,It's actually sort of amazing he's only second in walks. Why on earth would you be pitching to him??

  17. Grandstander - May 23, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    If you're talking about song they play after the "It all starts….RIGHT NOW" when they wave the flags and the Nats take the field, that is indeed Thunderstruck by AC/DC.

  18. JayB - May 23, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Chris Coste hurt his elbow at the end of March and was put on 15 Day DL……What is he doing now it is near June. My Guess he is sitting in Vera as a Bull Pen Catcher for Wong and Ross D….Why keep him on the 40 man if that is all he is doing?

  19. Anonymous - May 23, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    Anyone still here?

  20. Scorekeeper - May 23, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Did anyone see Lugo kick dirt on Willingham as he went by him on the base paths after the walk off? I think he deserves an ear buzz the next time we pitch to him.

  21. The Great Unwashed - May 23, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    I turned to the MLB Network right after Willingham's walkoff and the crawl across the bottom of the screen read, "Nats express interest in Oswalt." I'm just sayin'

  22. Anonymous - May 23, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Lugo deserves one in the earhole just on principle.

  23. janner33 - May 23, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    @scorekeeper, yeah i saw that too… waited for a replay but they only showed Hammer after he had rounded 3rd…

  24. sec3 - May 23, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    @unwashed–that's based on Ladson tweet that the Nats explicitly don't confirm beyond saying they're interested in lots of people, but they have a plan and they're sticking to it. See Kilgore's post on the subject for the quote.

  25. Cwj - May 23, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    Lugo insulted the Nats tonight. Not good for a hitter on the worse team in baseball. Good thing the Nats are a classy club

  26. natsone_va - May 23, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    Lugo is an A-hole.

  27. Wally - May 23, 2010 at 11:16 PM

    DC Wonk @ 12:44: I agree that it is pretty remarkable that the two years that the Nats finish last, they are in position to draft such extraordinary prospects. As many have said, extraordinary prospects do not always turn into extraordinary pros, but both of these guys are more than just the best prospect in their particular draft. They each have some very compelling stories. And making it even better, neither draft was considered very strong, making the importance of being #1 (v. Anywhere else in the top 10) a huge advantage.

  28. Doc - May 23, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    One bar of chin music wouldn't be enough for Lugo Pogo. I'd say we need a whole symphony of rock n' roll, including a riff in the @#&s, a couple of high notes behind the head, and a major drum roll at second base! NOBODY disses the Hammer!!!!

  29. natsfan1a - May 24, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    Oh, geez. Here I was basking in the glow of witnessing the wins in person yesterday and today, and you had to go and bring up that moment. :-)—At this point we have to hope Nieves stays healthy and we don't have another Matt LeCroy moment.

  30. natsfan1a - May 24, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    scorekeeper and janner, I missed that (maybe because I was jumping up and down and cheering and all), but kinda bush league if so. Yeah, maybe there could be some payback for him when we play the O's in June. Assuming Lugo's still with the team, that is… :-)

  31. NatsNut - May 24, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    1a, you need to go to more games. I'm just sayin…

  32. Cwj - May 24, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    Good win though for the Nats. Congrats to Matt Capps for headlining the bullpen this season. He's been great and deserves some kudos on his 16 straight saves to begin the year heading into today's game. 16/17 ain't bad at all

  33. natsfan1a - May 24, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Well, if we leave out the exhibition game vs. the Sox, I *am* undefeated this year. ;-)—1a, you need to go to more games. I'm just sayin…

  34. Anonymous - May 24, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    Also saw the lugo kick of dirt. What the heck was that?

  35. Anonymous - May 24, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    Wow, I just watched the replay on the Nationals' official site. It's VERY obvious Mr. Coughedupa Lugo kicked the dirt on Josh on purpose.It's also nice to hear the commentary of the MASN crew, Rob and Jim, being objective, being bland and inoffensive, representing the only co-broadcast of a rivals game in the history of American sports. More than sickening, this collusive sports broadcasting is un-American.

  36. natsfan1a - May 24, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Seeing as how it's an off day, methinks that people need to get on over to Goessling's blog on the MASN site and vote for their fave moment from the Beltway series. Currently running away with the poll? The inside-the-parker. That's just wrong. :-)

  37. Anonymous - May 24, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    MarkAny truth to the rumor that we offered Matt Chico, Colin Balester, Sharoin Martis, J.D. Martin and Brian Peacock (A) to Houston for Roy Oswalt.

  38. Mrs. Z. - May 24, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    @Anon at 9:05: No, but we did offer all those guys to the New York Knights for Roy Hobbs :-)

  39. Dave - May 24, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    @natsfan1a, I tried to find a poll at the Goessling Game site, but I couldn't. Could you post the URL?

  40. Anonymous - May 24, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Re Harper, is anyone worried about the league Harper's playing in? A juco league? and giving $15M for a 17-year-old from a 3rd rate league who's employed the agent from hell, makes arrogant comments, and is a potential head case?

  41. N. Cognito - May 24, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Lugo's move was completely disrespectful and without class but deserves no on-field response.However, I would not object to an order of ribs.

  42. Dave - May 24, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    @Anon 9:26 AM: No.Not a third-rate league. Best hitting prospect in recent memory.Cf. discussion above. He plays with a wooden bat in a well-respected league. I don't see how Rizz can avoid drafting him.

  43. NatsJack in Florida - May 24, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    The "agent from hell" that you refer to has an excellent working relationship with Mike Rizzo and your comments on a 3rd rate league are way off base. The juco league he plays in is every bit as good as any of the mid major forums that 4 year schools play. He's playing with a wood bat and he's playing with guys who, on average, are 3 to 4 years older.His arrogant comments came after being hounded unmercifully for for the first game of a double header in which he did not hit a home run. He blasted 2 in the nite cap and got thrown out of the game after gunning down a guy from right field and and making a bow and blowing a kiss to the opposition. Those were his "arrogant comments".I'll take him in a heart beat.

  44. natsfan1a - May 24, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Dave, if you follow the link below, it should appear in the top right area of the page under "Nats XTRA Question of the Day":

  45. FOTB - May 24, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Mrs. Z — priceless comment!"[T]here goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game."

  46. Dave - May 24, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    @natsfan1a, thanks for the link. I voted. Of course, the fact that there's only one Orioles-related choice will cause the votes for Nats moments to split, which is what seems to be happening.

  47. natsfan1a - May 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    You're welcome, Dave. Good point about the one O's choice splitting the vote (which hadn't occurred to me). BTW, the poll is still active at the Goessling blog, but it may take a few seconds to load. I think it stays active until the next live game broadcast.



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