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Game 48: Nats at Giants

May 27, 2010, 5:02 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats and Giants play the rubber game at AT&T Park this afternoon.

SAN FRANCISCO — OK, the above photo is totally misleading. I took it yesterday, when the sun was shining and the backdrop was beautiful. Today, it's gray, overcast and currently pouring. The forecast is not promising at all. But since this is the final game of the series (and the Nationals don't make another trip here this season) they're going to have to do whatever they can to try to get this game in.

If and when it does get underway, Jim Riggleman will have a totally new-look lineup out there against Giants left-hander Barry Zito. Justin Maxwell is in center field, Cristian Guzman is in right field, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn have been flip-flopped and Carlos Maldonado is behind the plate.

Check back for updates throughout…

Where: AT&T Park
Gametime: 3:45 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Showers, 50 degrees, Wind 12 mph RF to LF

CF Justin Maxwell
RF Cristian Guzman
1B Adam Dunn
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. Mac - May 27, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Are we just not trying today?

  2. cass - May 27, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    "Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn have been flip-flopped"This scared me at first… I was picturing Dunn playing 3B and Zimmerman playing 1B.

  3. DKSW - May 27, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    I am rooting for Maxwell to have a breakout performance today…

  4. Capitol Baseball - May 27, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    I know it's a day game after a night game on the west coast, so I understand putting in some backups. But after lighting up one of the best pitchers in baseball for 6 runs in 4 2/3rds last night (even though he may not have had his best stuff), I tend to agree with Mac on this one. Especially with Stammen on the mound. We're going to need run support.

  5. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Oooh, newness. Its so crazy it just might work. Bernie and Nyjer are slumping a little, giving them a day off isn't a terrible idea. Zimm's slumping too, so again, I like it.At first I thought that you meant Zimm and Dunn would be switching fielding positions. Then we could have agreed that Riggles was phoning this one in.

  6. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    I hope they get this game in….because after the Padres, the Nats are definitely going to be at the bottom of the standings.

  7. Doc - May 27, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    How about one more righty in the lineup–Morse in for Dunn? Nothing lost with Maxwell in for Morgan, and maybe something positive will happen. I was hoping Riggs would put Guzman in right.

  8. Mac - May 27, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    I don't understand why we are trying Guzie in RF. Wasn't the reason we were worried about him this year is because he could no longer make the throw from the hole form short to first? If that's the case (which it is) then why is he in the one spot where you need a cannon for an arm? Not saying it isn't nice to have his bat in the lineup, cause he is on fire. I'm just saying if I'm the Giants 3rd base coach I am sending everyone.

  9. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Okay, play Maxwell against Zito but why have him leadoff? This is some poor soul's brainstorm because he was leading off in Syracuse, too, despite all evidence to the contrary. Another "try out" in Natsville, something we're all too accustom to.

  10. A DC Wonk - May 27, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    I'd rather have seen Willingham flip-flopped with Dunn.And I'm glad to see Desmond move up to the 6-spot

  11. Chris - May 27, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Anonymous said… I hope they get this game in….because after the Padres, the Nats are definitely going to be at the bottom of the standings. ……………………………The Pads are a fraud. They'll finish no better than .500. Unless, of course, you really believe that Jon Garland will stay on pace for 20 wins and a sub 2.20 ERA.

  12. Sec$39.99 - May 27, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    May I refer you to the thorough spanking "are we just not trying" was administered on the NJ? That is all.

  13. Janner33 - May 27, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Re: Anon @ 1.33pmDid Mark's blog just get his first trash talker from another team? Exciting news! Means the blog is becoming more mainstream :)

  14. erocks33 - May 27, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    "Okay, play Maxwell against Zito but why have him leadoff?"—————————-who else ya got? Guz? then who bats second? Desmond batting second? then you've got Maxwell, Gonzalez, Maldando and the pitcher rounding out the bottom of the order. Willingham would get intentionally walked every time he came up!sometimes it's best to change just one batting position than changing multiple ones …

  15. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    Ordinarily, I might question what the heck is going on with the line-up, but instead, I've come to the conclusion that Jim Riggleman knows more than I do…imagine that. GO NATS….JTinSC

  16. Sec$39.99 - May 27, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Anyway, no, Guzman was not moved because of his arm. It's his range that's much diminished. True, he's not going to make anyone forget Roberto Clemente, but he's in there to hit, mainly, and make the normal plays, which he'll do.

  17. sec3 - May 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Janner, good catch. I thought that was just another of our own Eeyores.

  18. Janner33 - May 27, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    @sec3 LOL – Yeah, we have enough to fill Nats Park. Speaking of which i haven't seen JayB or Aeliano around for awhile?

  19. Section 222 - May 27, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    I'm waiting for the first time that Guzman really misplays a flyball or makes a truly awful throw from RF. I imagine the experiment will continue until that happens because using him in RF gives Riggleman another option for putting him in the lineup.

  20. David - May 27, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    how come Clippard didn't get a save last night? he faced 6 batters over two innings, and was given a 4 run lead to protect, and ended the game? i don't get it. i thought that was a textbook two inning save.

  21. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    The save rule, from Wikipedia:A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in Rule 10.19 of the Rules of Baseball. That rule states the official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions[2]:He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team; He is not the winning pitcher; He is credited with at least ⅓ of an inning pitched; and He satisfies one of the following conditions: He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck He pitches for at least three innings If the pitcher surrenders the lead at any point, he cannot get a save, but he may be credited as the winning pitcher if his team comes back to win. No more than one save may be credited in each game.For Clippard to get a save when coming in with a 4 run lead, he would have had to pitch at least 3 innings. He didn't, ergo no save.

  22. Natsochist - May 27, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Hey Mark – I remember you mentioning earlier this year how often the Nats allowed at least one run in the half-inning after they scored.Granted this one wasn't his fault, but it seems to me that a large number of those situations seem to come with Stammen on the mound. Anyone able to confirm this, or do you get the same feeling?

  23. David - May 27, 2010 at 8:09 PM


  24. Mark Zuckerman - May 27, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    Natsochist: You're right that earlier in the year the pitching staff had a knack for allowing runs right after scoring. Though I feel like that hasn't been the case as much lately. Stammen certainly had that problem in his game at Philly in early April (that hideous game where the scoreboard was filled with non-zeroes).

  25. NATurallyYours - May 27, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    Through 2, the "not trying", "flip-flopping", no-Morse line-up seems to be OK. I'm thinking JTinSC is on to something. Maybe, just maybe, baseball lifer Jim Riggleman knows more about his team than we do. Nah, that can't be it…

  26. Sec$39.99 - May 27, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Yes, and that bum Gonzalez, what's he doing there? Just a double and starting a circus doubleplay…

  27. Sec3 - May 27, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    Mark, is that the game they call "Nieves a fuera"?I hope I'd still be laughing if it was "[me] a fuera"…

  28. Mark Zuckerman - May 27, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Sec3: Yes, that's the game. For those who can't translate, that means "Nieves is out."

  29. sec$39.99 - May 27, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Don't know the ground rules, but it looks like it hit the cement cap, off the iron railing, and back in, which I'm guessing is in play.

  30. meixler - May 27, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    If you look at the side angle replay of that Dunn double (*cough* homer *cough*), it really does look like a double ricochet, off the top of the wall then off of either that little fence thing or the back of a seat. I don't think the umps looked at that one well enough.

  31. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    An interesting question is "why didn't the runner on first score?" Dunn's hit was in the air so long and had such a high bounce that the runner should have scored.

  32. meixler - May 27, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    True dat, but luckily Maxwell eventually made it home anyway.

  33. Sec$39.99 - May 27, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    5:38 Anon, with the way the wind works in that park, he probably thought there was a fair chance it would stay in and be caught.

  34. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    Dunn is a disgrace at first base.

  35. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Dunn has just blown the game.

  36. phil dunn - May 27, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    Dunn just batted, why didn't Riggleman remove him for defensive purposes with a 4-2 lead??????

  37. JayB - May 27, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    Mark,Honestly, do you see any value in Maxwell? Any at all?

  38. Anonymous - May 27, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    Maxwell can't even hit at the triple A level and he'll never hit in the majors. The Nats need to show him the door. He looked scared when he faced Brian Wilson in the 9th and didn't even take the bat off his shoulder.

  39. NatsNut - May 27, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Mark,when you see Ladson, tell him the Nationals reliever is TYLER Walker, not Todd.Thanks

  40. An Briosca Mor - May 28, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    "An interesting question is "why didn't the runner on first score?" Dunn's hit was in the air so long and had such a high bounce that the runner should have scored."The ball left the park and came back in, the only question was where it left. If it wasn't a home run, then it would have to have been scored a ground rule double. Runner on first automatically gets two bases.

  41. sec3 - May 28, 2010 at 1:36 AM

    no, not a GRD. It never left the field of play, and there was no fan interference. Same as if it were (unambiguouisly) off the wall.





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