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Game 62: Nats at Indians

Jun 11, 2010, 8:30 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.

CLEVELAND — Despite what the merchandise stand here suggests — if you haven't seen it, check out the previous post — this isn't only a weekend Strasburg-fest. The Nationals and Indians do play a pair of games the next two nights before the phenom takes center stage for his second career start.

Jim Riggleman counters former boss Manny Acta with a new-look lineup for this interleague series. Josh Willingham will serve as DH, with Willie Harris is left. Look for the DH slot to be a revolving door all week, with regular position players getting a chance to take a breather and only hit for a day. Ivan Rodriguez, though, bats second tonight behind Nyjer Morgan for the first time all year. Also, Adam Dunn hits third and Ryan Zimmerman fourth, even though Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook is a right-hander.

The Indians counter with their own top prospect, catcher Carlos Santana, making his big-league debut behind the plate.

Check back for updates throughout…

Where: Progressive Field
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to LF

CF Nyjer Morgan
C Ivan Rodriguez
1B Adam Dunn
3B Ryan Zimmerman

Read more »

  1. Natsochist - Jun 11, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Personally, I'd rather see Desi and Pudge flipped, but I like the ingenuity regardless!

  2. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Riggleman is really starting to tick me off. How do you not have Morse in the lineup tonight !?!?!?!?!?!

  3. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    WOW. Im rooting for Cleveland tonight. Riggleman has got to be one of the dumbest managers in the league. Its going to be so fun watching Morgan and Harris go a combined 0 for 9 tonight !!!!!!!!!

  4. Doc - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    I'm with all the Morse fans. Wad's a guy have to do to get in the line up—marry Riggleman's daughter??? Harris and Morgan vs. Morse–B.S. big time!!! Riggleman needs to get a grip–or a brain transplant! I'll bet he never looks at the sabermetrics, just thinks that any left-handed batter does better than a guy like Morse.Bobby Valentine wouldn't do it that way!

  5. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    I understand the frustration from Morse fans..I'd love to see him in there..but let's give Riggs the benefit of the doubt..he knows the team (I think) and didn't use Capps yesterday..some managers would have just thrown him in there (maybe Capps was hurt, idk)…would Bobby V be better? Yes, but Bobby V might be the best manager in baseball..not an easy comparison..Morse needs to be in there Sat and Sun..he tore it up for the baserunning mistake..compared to what I've seen on the paths this year, that was a speeding ticket compared to some felonies that have gone on this year

  6. dj in Fl. - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    I am very glad we have Riggleman instead of Bobby Valentine. I like Morse but remember the only year he batted a half seasons worth of games he hit .278. The more you play, the bigger the book on you gets, and pitchers find your weakness. His hits this year are againist Baltimore, Houston, and Pittsburgh. Hardly an indication of potential. It is just Harris turn to start tonight, so he is in that spot. If our current outfielders do not improve their skill level soon, they will be gone. To make a move now would cost a young pitcher and we have not sorted out odd man out yet. Chill and enjoy the improved play over the previous years, or go root for Baltimore or Cleveland.

  7. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    dj..i was with you until "or go root for Baltimore or Cleveland." To say a 'true' fan cannot be critical are the words of a small minded person…a critical fan is the best kind of fan..theyre not just cheering for whatever happens but are involved in the action and strategy…and Bobby V can manage circles around Riggs..and Riggs (and V) would be the first (and second) to tell you that…those check swings might (cant be sure, of coyrse) if a manager with the juice of a Bobby V was on the pine

  8. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    might have gone a different way (what I meant to write…duh)Go Nats!

  9. A DC Wonk - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    I'm with dj in Fl. . . . ya gotta have patience. Anyone can go through a hot streak or a cold slump, which is not indicative of how the rest of the season might go (see, e.g., Zimmerman in prior seasons).As for his "go root for…" comment, I'm guessing that was directed at the Anon person above who wrote that he was going to root for Cleveland tonight.

  10. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    I didn't notice that 'root for Cleveland tonight' that's absurd..thanks

  11. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    Wonk…as for the hot streak comment you're right..but you have to agree if a guy is on a hot streak ride hm until he cools..and if Morse's night last night wasn't indicative of the beginning of a hot streak I dont know what is

  12. Doc - Jun 11, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    Yeah, I'm critical, but tha's what an involved fan does. I'm a die-hard Nats fan, and always will be—Goooooooooooo Nats!!!!P.S. Don't forget, Bobby V. was interviewed for the job that Riggs got. Goooooo Nats!

  13. Grandstander - Jun 11, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    I'll give Riggs batting Harris over Morse, but putting Harris in the 6 hole?!?! Is he smoking crack?Also, Tim Tolman? I guess he's better as a bench coach than a third base coach because DAMN was he bad! There's a guy I'm so happy to be absolved of, maybe even more than Manny.

  14. JayB - Jun 11, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    Mark,Why is Kennedy in the line up, better question is who is he on the team? He has lost the only thing he had which was steady defense. When is it time to stop Morgan from running into outs? How many outs is too much? What is the point of Morgan running any more? He gets no jump at all.

  15. Anonymous - Jun 11, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    Austin Kearns—three run homer! ha-ha-ha-ha–and Morse is riding the bench. Riggleman has brain damage.

  16. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessismistic_For_Me - Jun 12, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Who has the heroin?

  17. Anonymous - Jun 12, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Make that 2 home runs for Kearns. I wonder if he is pushing the Nats to trade for him? Yep, Riggleman's idiosyncratic issues are the true problem when it comes to right field and the lineup card. Harris down to .172 now Riggs, I believe that IS lower than Kearns average last year. And hey Kearns had that thumb issue.

  18. Janner33 - Jun 12, 2010 at 12:18 AM


  19. lesatcsc - Jun 12, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    Atilano self-selects for Syracuse when Olsen is ready. Nice! Always good when the hired help make the boss' job easy.There must be a very big, very complete book on Willie Harris. Does anyone remember his last hit? What is it he does anyways. He must have married Rigg's daughter because he keeps getting the nod over Morse. This is a guy who dreams of the Mendoza line. When he starts hitting below the Twiggy line can we finally give up?Gotta love it when Dunn is hot though.

  20. lesatcsc - Jun 12, 2010 at 1:35 AM

    Ryan, remember this if you're ever tempted to move to the AL. You suck against medoicre AL pitching.

  21. K.D. - Jun 12, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    Westbrook has been pitching a long time, the last nine with Cleveland, he knows what he is doing. As far as Atilano goes, his demeanor seems to be more subdued lately. Easy to turn the page on this one. Thanks for the coverage Mark.

  22. Anonymous - Jun 12, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    Well….that was expected. I hope they let Rizzo do the lineup for the rest of the season.

  23. JayB - Jun 12, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    I would take Orr over Harris at this point. Harris has worked this spot on the 25 roster down to number 25 a guy who can play anywhere and should never start a game and get about 50-75 ABs the rest of the year. Orr will produce much more than Harris in that role and is a much better defender at more positions. Bye Bye Willie, you just got too old right in front of our eyes.

  24. PDowdy83 - Jun 12, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    For once JayB I think I actually agree with you. Harris has been downright awful this year at the plate, yet he still keeps getting the chances. I'd rather see Morse and Gonzalez getting playing time. Let Kennedy be your main left handed pinch hitter and put Harris into the position on the bench that Gonzalez is in.





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