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Game 60: Pirates at Nats

Jun 9, 2010, 10:15 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
With some rain and no Strasburg, tonight's game probably won't draw a full house.

Hello once again from Nationals Park, where there are only about one-tenth as many media members and will probably be half as many fans as there were here 24 hours ago.

Apparently, everyone isn't as interested in seeing the big-league debuts of both Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata as they were in seeing Stephen Strasburg.

Don't overlook those two Pirates rookies, though, because they deserve attention. Lincoln is the organization's top pitching prospect, a first-round pick in the 2006 draft who missed all of 2007 after Tommy John surgery but has bounced back since to dominate the minor leagues. The 25-year-old right-hander isn't overpowering, but he's got a good fastball, locates well and didn't allow a run in either of his last two starts at Class AAA. Tabata, meanwhile, is one of the top position players in Pittsburgh's system, a speedy outfielder who was picked up from the Yankees a couple of years ago in one of the Bucs' many deadline-day trades.

John Lannan takes the mound for the Nationals, looking to continue his recent resurgence since dealing with those elbow issues. Ivan Rodriguez is not behind the plate. Jim Riggleman said he will be more cautious about using the veteran catcher too much. He played Monday in Potomac and last night here, so he gets tonight off, then will probably come back and catch three in a row.

Check back for updates throughout…

PIRATES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2-HD, MLB Network (outside D.C./Pittsburgh)
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of storms, 74 degrees, Wind 8 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (28-31)
2B Cristian Guzman
CF Nyjer Morgan
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. K.D. - Jun 9, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Mark, does this mean my chances of seeing Pudge play on the 15th in Detroit are slim to none?

  2. meixler - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    What number is on that Harper jersey?

  3. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    Meixler: The Harper jersey has No. 34 on it.

  4. Mac - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Any chance we can get an update on Jesus Flores?

  5. Doc - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    Yeah Markmeister, wad's up with Flores??

  6. Anonymous - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    Mark: A little outdated question, but one that has been bugging me. At the Reds game on June 4th, Ian Desmound was called safe at third, but (correctly, in my opinion) reversed by the another umpire. Now clearly the 3rd base umpire had the best view, but missed the call. They huddled, and eventually got the call correct. Now my question is, could this have happened for Galaraga and his perfect game? I understand Joyce thought he was safe – but in reality – he was out by almost a full step. Couldn't another umpire of seen this? Why are the other umpires not being questioned in the media for missing it? Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Love your work!Steve

  7. Nervous Nats Fan - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    Intentionally walking someone with a 0.178 average? Seriously?

  8. HabsProf - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    Here are a couple of interesting links. The first is an article about "9 unlikely team leaders" with Tyler Clippard at #4.http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&page=starting9/100609The second brings up the issue of the DH in the National league (an old argument) but does so by referencing Strasburg's first AB yesterday.http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/3902/nl-pitchers-hit-but-reluctantly

  9. JayB - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    Morgan needs to sit down right now. Move Roger to CF for the next 10 days or so and put Morse into RF. We know that Morgan's head is not in the game. He just does not look like the same player. Look into his eyes….something is very wrong with his head.

  10. Smatt1001 - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Does Nieves have any options left? He looks like he could really use a break

  11. JayB - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    Wil N. is a joke. Rizzo has to get a better catching plan in place. Pudge is not going to be able to play enough games and Flores is not playing this year. RF, C both need outside the organization players right now. CF we can use Roger B for the rest of this year if indeed Morgan has a problem that is causing his mental breakdown.

  12. meixler - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    I had this thought yesterday but didn't want to bring it up for fear of jinxing Lannan… now that he's given up four runs I think it's safe to ask: since Strasburg's stuff is so good can it make the next days pitcher easier to hit? You know, fastballs don't seem so fast and breakers don't have as much movement.

  13. HabsProf - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    Is it my imagination, or is Nieves having an unusually hard time behind the plate today? I know the guy is not an all-star, but this seems a little sub-par, even for a backup.

  14. Smatt1001 - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    Meixler- Not sure but since it looks like they have Strasburg on a five day -not five game rotation we should get a chance to see.The other question that I'm wondering about now is what are the pitchers' win-loss splits with Pudge vs Nieves?And speaking catchers -glad Pudge was catching Strasburg last night.

  15. Nervous Nats Fan - Jun 10, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    @smattfrom baseball reference, it appears they are pretty much even in terms of team record in starts. Nieves:Team Record in Appearances: 13-17 / in Starts: 11-12 Pudge:Team Record in Appearances: 17-19 / in Starts: 16-17 Maldonado:Team Record in Appearances: 1-3 / in Starts: 1-2

  16. Anonymous - Jun 10, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    JayB, how do you avoid having security drag you off the field when you are out there looking into Nyjer Morgan's eyes?I guess we should be glad you're not doing it in Philly, or you'd be getting tasered. Although I do suppose that might be what it takes to finally knock some sense into you.

  17. Anonymous - Jun 10, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    @Anon 9:08 — c'mon, Anon, didn't you know that JayB is a psychologist? (And, not only that, but he can make diagnoses just by looking at them on TV).JayB — your negativity is getting real tiresome . . .

  18. Grandstander - Jun 10, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    I know JayB is overly negative, but he has a point WRT Wil Nieves.He can't hit, he can't throw to second, he can't call a good game. He has literally zero value to a major league ball club. I'd rather have ANYONE but him behind the plate. We don't necessarily need to make a big trade, but I think it's time to bring Burke up just as a change of pace. We can't have someone back there who teams steal on at will. Bottom line.

  19. K.D. - Jun 10, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    I might be mistaken but I think Jamie Burke was designated for assignment when Pudge came off the DL.

  20. Grandstander - Jun 10, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    He was. I don't know why and I think it was a mistake. That's why I said they should bring him back up. Or bring Marshmallow back up when he gets off the DL.

  21. Anonymous - Jun 10, 2010 at 3:20 AM

    Little fan support tonight and little pitching from Lannan, what a difference a day makes, looks like we will win at a .400 pace the rest of the way.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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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