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Game 49: Nats at Padres

May 28, 2010, 10:22 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Petco Park, the beautiful home of baseball in beautiful San Diego.

SAN DIEGO — Hello from heaven on earth, otherwise known as San Diego. It just doesn't get any better than this place.

And for the first time in several years, this fantastic town has a good baseball team to call its own. The surprising Padres own the National League's best record at 28-19, thanks to a deep and talented pitching staff that takes full advantage of the spacious outfield here at Petco Park.

Left-hander Clayton Richard, one of the key acquisitions from the White Sox in last year's Jake Peavy trade, takes the mound tonight looking to improve to 5-2. Jim Riggleman counters with a lineup somewhat similar to yesterday's (Adam Dunn hits third, with Ryan Zimmerman fourth) though Nyjer Morgan is back at the top with Justin Maxwell in right and Cristian Guzman at second. Better defensive alignment for this park. John Lannan looks to build off back-to-back strong starts.

Check back for updates throughout…

Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 10:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RF

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

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  1. JayB - May 28, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    Mark,What is the combined numbers for the Catching position since Pudge went down….fielding and batting please?

  2. Aussie Gus - May 28, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    Jayb, it's called the Internet mate, and it's got great features, like baseball stats on it. You should try it one day.

  3. Steve M. - May 28, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    So the lefty pitcher gives Justin Maxwell another go at it?Opportunity #19?

  4. Souldrummer - May 28, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    @Steve M.Yep, I have no problem with that. Justin Maxwell has much better splits against lefties. .854 OPS career against lefties. .699 OPS against righties career. Maxwell platooning with Nyjer and Bernadina is a good plan and probably a better option for us than Willie Harris. I thought he contributed well yesterday, and you might as well give him a shot at some big league experience because he will likely be sent back down tomorrow.

  5. Anonymous - May 28, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Mark, you're visiting the 2 of the best places in the country (I'm jealous), followed by the worst one (I'm not). Quite a trip! If only they could relocate the US Capitol to the Gas Lamp District, then we'd be in business! Make sure you go to the Fish Market while in SD.

  6. Steve M. - May 29, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    MM said… Jordan Zimmermann update – don't see this posted here yet but apparently Jordan Zimmermann pitched a 1-2-3 inning with 1K yesterday in an extended spring training game against the Astros. Rehab start set for 6/22.MLB return? can you say late-July???!!! Mark – I searched the internet and couldn't find anything on this. This is potentially huge!Can you confirm? Thanks.

  7. Steve M. - May 29, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    Souldrummer – Why not Mike Morse in RF? I thought Mike Morse was going to platoon with Roger Bernadina.Who gets sent down or DFA'd tomorrow when JD Martin gets called up?

  8. Grandstander - May 29, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    I believe Maxwell already has his bags packed.

  9. Anonymous - May 29, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    Tonight's start is a lovely parting gift for JMax.

  10. Steve M. - May 29, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    Grandstander – Sure, Maxwell is the logical choice but I could also see with their love affair with JMax that Morse could be DFA'd or someone else.I hope not but nothing would surprise me with this group.Since Morse came back on in Mid-May, he has only had 8 at-bats with 3 hits.

  11. Sam - May 29, 2010 at 12:55 AM

    Someone on the tube last week against the Orioles posed the question of who is the biggest surprise on the the club this year. For me, the biggest surprise is a close call between Livo and Nyger.

  12. Steve M. - May 29, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    "@Mark Z. 8:56 p.m. — Jordan Zimmermann update: The right-hander, coming back from Tommy John surgery, pitched one inning in an intrasquad game in Viera earlier this week, a key step in his rehab. The Nats, though, still plan to be very cautious with Zimmermann. They won't let him return to the majors until he is a full 12 months removed from the surgery (which took place last August)."That is still some great news. I for one thought Jordan Zimmermann was the Nats best pitcher through the All Star break in 2009.I could forsee Strasburg and JZim as a great tandem 1-2 punch and the key to a legit rotation to lead the Nats starting in August and beyond!Mark, thanks for the update!!!

  13. Souldrummer - May 29, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    @Steve M. Morse is not that good a defender in RF. His main role on the team should be to be a right handed 1B who can sub for Dunn and a right handed pinch hit bat. Bernadina is deserving of an extended look in RF. Morse's problem is that he really hasn't hit with enough power to justify his bad defense anywhere in the field. Hopefully he'll get a chance to show that he can be a solid pinch hitter. But Riggles doesn't really use straight pinch hitters but so often. He seems more inclined to use double switches and he's going to use his better defenders for those double switches.

  14. N. Cognito - May 29, 2010 at 2:02 AM

    Mark,What is the Nats record this year on days that end in "y?"

  15. Les in Nc - May 29, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    Mark, could you elaborate on the ramifications an accepted protest has on the game?

  16. Les in NC - May 29, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    Thanks for the quick explanation! It did get me thinking though, how many times do these lineup issues come up over the course of the season?

  17. Anonymous - May 29, 2010 at 2:59 AM

    It is me or do Nats starters ALWAYS give back runs/leads when the offense give it them. It seems every time the Nats score the opposition scores immediately in the next half inning.

  18. Suicide Squeeze - May 29, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    If the Padres line-up card gaffe has no chance to affect the outcome of the game, I think the Nats should follow their lead and list Strasburg as their SP for every single game going forward,,,,

  19. Les in NC - May 29, 2010 at 3:43 AM

    Lannan was meant to play in spacious Petco Park. Where he can pitch to contact without a care in the world… Oh and also against the 27th ranked slugging % Padres….On a side note- Can we call Desmond the Wizard of ID?

  20. Cwj - May 29, 2010 at 4:52 AM

    Capps escaped that 9th inning bases loaded 0 out jam by throwing STRIKES. The stat freaks are right: A high K:BB ratio = success. Nevermind that the umpires were clearly against the Nats tonight :)

  21. Andrew - May 29, 2010 at 5:03 AM

    Who is ready for some Maalox

  22. Andrew - May 29, 2010 at 5:06 AM

    Ok Maxwell sent down





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)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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