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Game 65: Nats at Tigers

Jun 15, 2010, 8:02 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, with downtown Detroit in the background.

DETROIT — Good afternoon from Motown, a city with a proud baseball tradition that has already been at the center of plenty of news this season. Armando Galarraga's should-have-been perfect game. Ernie Harwell's passing. Dontrelle Willis' trade.

In the middle of it all is a pretty good Tigers team that currently sits at 33-29 and sends an intriguing young right-hander to the mound tonight in Max Scherzer. Picked up from the Diamondbacks in the three-way Curtis Granderson trade that included the Yankees, Scherzer is only 2-6 with a 6.30 ERA but since returning from a minor-league stint has looked much better. He struck out 14 Oakland A's in only 5 2/3 innings in his first start back in the majors. (Hmm, sound like anyone we know?)

The Nationals counter with John Lannan, who is coming off a rough outing (five runs, 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Pirates) but has overall pitched well since overcoming his elbow/forearm issue.

No Stephen Strasburg in this series, but that doesn't mean he's out of the spotlight entirely. Sports Illustrated revealed today that he's on the cover of this week's issue. If he gets hammered by the White Sox Friday night, you'll know who to blame.

Check back for updates throughout…

Where: Comerica Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 13 mph in from CF

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


  1. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Now that's an (AL) lineup.

  2. JayB - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    Agreed….still can not believe Riggleman took 3 tries to get this right.

  3. JayB - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    From Kilgore….."the Nationals as constructed today are using their deepest possible lineup."….unlike Friday or Sat in Cleveland!

  4. Section 222 - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    This lineup makes alot of sense. And as long s Morse keeps hitting, when we're back in the NL, put him in RF, bump Bernadina over to CF, and you've got yourself our best hitting lineup without sacrificing all that much defense. Nyjer and Willie for late inning defense (but not too early, please). Try it for a few weeks Riggs and see what happens.

  5. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    hells yeah. what he said.

  6. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Doesnt look like we will get this one in. Raining hard in Detroit and there is no sign of letting up.

  7. K.D. - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    Okay, I am eating a little humble pie here. Nice to see Pudge in the lineup and catching Lannan for a change.

  8. Les in NC - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    A definite "A" line-up!! Now lets see what happens. I will be surprised if they dont score 5-6 runs tonight. But the Nats do have a knack for making opposing pitchers look good unfortunately.

  9. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    This lineup makes alot of sense. And as long s Morse keeps hitting, when we're back in the NL, put him in RF, bump Bernadina over to CF, and you've got yourself our best hitting lineup without sacrificing all that much defense. Nyjer and Willie for late inning defense (but not too early, please). Try it for a few weeks Riggs and see what happens.Trade Willie to Acta where he seems to want to go. Move onward and upward with the guys they have plus the Syracuse depth (Chris Duncan).

  10. markfd - Jun 15, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    Love the linup but probably would bat Bernadina 9th. It looks from the forecast that the rain will halt before game time and not start up again until after midnight.

  11. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    What are you talking about Anon @ 449. It isn't raining in Detroit.

  12. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Our BIG PROBLEM tonight is….. Lannan. Oh well.

  13. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 9:36 PM


  14. meixler - Jun 15, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    I'm actually curious to see how well Dunn hits tonight. Yes he's been tearing it up lately but he's also made comments about how the switch to first base has helped him keep his head in the game defensively as well as offensively. I just hope riding a bench between at bats doesn't have an adverse effect.

  15. Doc - Jun 15, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    See Uncle Jimmy has been readin' and listenin' to us. A goooooooooooooooood lineup! Suppose Fox bought up the Saturday game coming, in order to catch Wee Willie at DH? Maybe not.Good to see that they're working on a new contract for AD. Last time I checked he had the best defensive stats in the infield. Maybe Uncle Jimmy will keep him in the game late; Kennedy has more errors than he does!

  16. Mark L - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    Agreed, play the hot hand. Make Morse start getting out before he's pulled this time. Thanks, Mark.

  17. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Will a rainout tonight mean Jesus gets bumped to Saturday's Fox-athon game? Conspiracy theorists, start your engines…

  18. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Hey you rainy guys. Michigan is the state that looks like a mitten when you're looking at a map. It's not raining there. It's raining on LAKE Michigan, but last I checked, there is no baseball on the schedule there for tonight.Also, I would switch Bernie and Desmond, since Dez is pretty adept at knocking guys in so far.

  19. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    regarding Dunn and keeping his head in the game — i'm not sympathetic with a pro who can't keep his head in the game regardless of his situation. just my $0.02

  20. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    Dunn is so laid back I've got the feeling he will be better at DH than Zimmerman & Willingham.

  21. Anonymous8 - Jun 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    Is that Nyjer's 1st bunt hit this season? WOW, also Zim would have helped himself on that popup to the outfield to have turned 1st and caused problems for Magglio. Glad things worked out!

  22. Les in NC - Jun 15, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    Still, that was a decent AB from Morse. Sherzer just got Morse guessing wrong on the 8th pitch.

  23. K.D. - Jun 15, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    Go Nyjer, Go Nyjer!!

  24. Anonymous8 - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    Lannan. Yeeezsh. He keeps digging a hole for himself. Laird 2 for 2?When Detwiler comes back, I think Lannan needs to re-learn his craft in AAA. Sorry John.

  25. Anonymous8 - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    Morse. BAM!

  26. K.D. - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    Morse just made up for his poor decision to throw home. Nice. Good pick at first also. The Detroit announcers keep saying as long as Lannan won't pitch inside the Tigers will keep looking away.

  27. Les in NC - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    There may not be a place in the lineup for Morse when playing in NL ballparks, but for these AL games he must be in!

  28. JayB - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Morse should be playing RF and Roger in CF….trade Morgan fast before everyone else in baseball notices how many steps he has lost.

  29. Doc - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Uncle Jimmy thinks that there is no place for Morse on a regular NL lineup basis. Right, he provides better offense than anyone in the OF except The Hammer!!! Someone needs to sit Uncle Jimmy down for a long talk on run production.

  30. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    KD – Morse knew a slow runner was on 3rd. He made a poor throw. If the throw was on target he easily would have had the out.LANNAN, what is up with him???

  31. Les in NC - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    Is the 'Hammer' that much of a threat to run at 1st base? He has drawn alot of attention over there, and even 1 pitchout! Or maybe that's Sherzer's way of throwing off the timing of the batters? At any rate, Scherzer is doing his best Strasburg imitation by striking out 9 in 5 innings. I knew we could find a way to make an 'ace' out of him.

  32. Dryw - Jun 16, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Ugly and getting uglier. Let's go bullpen!

  33. Les in NC - Jun 16, 2010 at 1:13 AM

    "Well, you had to see that coming."I DID see that coming. I imagine everyone saw it coming. IT begs the question why Riggs left Lannan in the game at all for the 5th inning. Lannan is not 100%, he was already over 90 pitches, and Batista is rested…

  34. K.D. - Jun 16, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Oh this is just great, here comes Zumaya.

  35. K.D. - Jun 16, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    Nice job by Walker & Burnett, I can't figure Lannan out, his struggles seem more mental than physical.

  36. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    Really feels like old times. An impotent offensive team when under pressure. The Nats roll over.

  37. Richard - Jun 16, 2010 at 3:14 AM

    Looking on the brighter side, it's surprising the Nats have done as well as they have so far this year considering their starting pitching. Marquis and Detwiler = nada. Olsen is injured, after showing some great moments. Lannan is not the same pitcher we've enjoyed watching up to this point. Livo has been great — in many ways. (I hope he's never dissed again by the Nats.) Anyway, with all that, the Nats have battled and are near .500. Pretty amazing.



x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0


WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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.


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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