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Game 71: Royals at Nats

Jun 21, 2010, 7:30 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After getting swept by the Tigers and White Sox, the Nats try to rebound against the Royals.

No one expected Livan Hernandez to carry a sub-2.00 ERA through the entire season, so the fact the veteran right-hander has come back to earth over the last few weeks is hardly a surprise.

That said, Hernandez's last outing for the Nationals — he was tagged by the Tigers for eight runs while issuing six walks — was way out of character. He hadn't allowed more than four runs in any of his previous 12 starts this season, and he hadn't walked that many batters in three years.

Livo has always been known for the occasional meltdown on the mound, and he's also always been known for bouncing back from those rough outings and getting back on track. Thus, the expectation tonight is that he will put together a strong performance against the Royals.

The Nats had better hope Hernandez does come through. They need a well-pitched game in the worst way. They also need an offensive outburst in the worst way. Put the two of those together, and they just might manage to snap a season-wost, six-game losing streak.

Check back for updates throughout…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 88 degrees, Wind 6 mph LF to RF

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

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  1. Grandstander - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    ..-. .. -. .- .-.. .-.. -.–!

  2. Anonymous - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    There Riggleman goes again? Will he ever learn to play his hot hitters and sit those who are slumping? Bernardina should be playing tonight, not Morgan.

  3. Anonymous - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    I think Morgan has turned the corner in the field and to a smaller extent at the plate. While Bernadina is hotter, he has value off the bench. Morgan not so much.

  4. Nervous Nats Fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    They optioned Lannan to AAA?!?! So much for his spot in the rotation being safe.

  5. logan - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    What? Lannan optioned to AAA? Didn't Riggs just endorse him? Wha happened?

  6. cadeck13 - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Ughhh Morgan…I'm kinda done there. Agree w/ Annon 3:40

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    How many bluff bunts and soft flyballs to the outfield? Count me as done with Morgan, as well….

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    And where's this info on Lannan coming from?

  9. JayB - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Thank you Rizzo….finally he stepped in a pulled the foot out of Riggs mouth. Just like last year, Rizzo should replace anyone who is not pulling his weight on the roster. His moves made the team play hard last year. This year it will sharpen the focus and give them a sense of urgency. Really needed by Dunn and Zimm at this point.Next I expect to see Willie Harris DFA and Roger B in CF more often. Morris is in RF because Rizzo told Riggs what to do. Rizzo is going to regret the Riggs pick for this year if he is not already.

  10. JayB - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Ben on twitter

  11. Les in NC - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    We better hope our OFer's can overcome the treacherous footing the grass may provide for tonights game. Is that overlapping squares I see rolled into the outfield? If we can overcome this pattern, maybe we can expect a curly W pattern in the near future?I sure do miss that W, in the grass and on the scoreboard.

  12. Souldrummer - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Lannan to AA. Peralta up from Syracuse. Hoping our intrepid bloggers and reporters will help give us some rationale.

  13. Anonymous - Jun 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    And where's this info on Lannan coming from?Ben Goessling reported it first including the rationale for picking Harrisburg over Syracuse.Hopefully Ben will do a Rizzo segment on MR's MASN National Matter's blog and plumb Mike's reasoning at this juncture of the season.

  14. HabsProf - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    Why does Morgan continue to get the green light?For that matter, why is he such a bad base stealer? He certainly has the speed! Where is Tim Raines when you need him? There was a man who knew how to steal.

  15. Dryw - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    Yeah, I can see why Morse gets such limited playing time. Who needs home runs like that one? Oh wait, that would be the Nats….

  16. JayB - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    Mark,Honestly, How hard is it to press Riggs on why he refuses to play Morse in RF everyday and Roger B. in CF. If you are still offering questions for my level of participation….THAT IS THE QUESTION…

  17. Les in NC - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    And at this point, it is a valid question.

  18. HabsProf - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Morgan walks – do you think he'll get the green light to attempt another steal? Let's hope not.

  19. An Briosca Mor - Jun 22, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Hey, I remember Jose Guillen. I have his bobblehead. I'm pretty sure that he never played another game for the Nats after the day they handed it out.But now? He's been gone so long, so boo him or cheer him? Meh. Who does he think he is, Manny Ramirez?

  20. swang - Jun 22, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    Bruce Chen, your new Cy Young award winner!

  21. HabsProf - Jun 22, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    And Guzman makes up for the double play!Now if only these dingers were hit with someone else on base (I know, I know, stop my whinin').

  22. swang - Jun 22, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    Woah, Guz walks in 7 (seven!) pitches…

  23. Dryw - Jun 22, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    Now let's make it two in a row!

  24. Anonymous - Jun 22, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    Dunn, 0-for-4 leaving 5 men on base, Willingham 0-for-3 . . . Zimmerman another hitless game . . .Hey — I gotta idea — let's pick on Guzman. Again!

  25. Anonymous - Jun 22, 2010 at 3:05 AM

    If Guz could continue to WALK and hit a home run or double once in a while? He would be Josh Willingham before the recent slump with a .400+ OBP? Perfect #2 hitter? But will he do it tomorrow night? Will his left-handed hitting improve to match his right-handed hitting? How about his rather poor fielding?

  26. A DC Wonk - Jun 22, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    Hey all . . . I couldn't get to a tv, listened to the game on the radio — looking at MLB clips there were some really nice defensive plays (Livo was a bit lucky perhaps).If you haven't seen them, check 'em out:a) Pudge throwing out three guysb) on one of them, Ian doing a great job of blocking the bagc) Zimm great play at 3rd, stopping a potential double with two on; andd) Nyjer speeding back to the warning track on just the same plays that he missed 2 weeks back

  27. Anonymous - Jun 22, 2010 at 3:17 AM

    Zimmerman another hitless game . . .Three walks, 1 K. If you guys are going to rag on Guzman for having an empty OBP because he never takes a walk, you can't rag on Zim for getting no hits on a night when his OBP was .750. One or the other. You can't have it both ways.

  28. A DC Wonk - Jun 22, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    @Anon 11:05 — I agree with Anon 11:00 — nobody said Guz is a great fielder, but he doesn't deserve half the grief he gets here. He's tied for 6th on the team in Slugging (with Desmond — while Guz's OBP is 37 points better(!), and striking out fewer times — and while we're at it, Desmond has more GIDP's than Guz, despite fewer at bats). So, yeah, Desmond is a better fielder, but Guzzy's done better than most on the Nats are far as helping to produce runs. (Counting those over 100AB, Pudge is the only one with a higher BA)Some guys can do no wrong (like Zimm striking out five straight times recently — did anyone complain?). But if Guz gets a game winner, it's dumb luck, and who care, let's see if he can do it tomorrow.

  29. Doc - Jun 22, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Time to step up to the Mike, Rizzo. Now that you have summoned the courage to tell Riggleman that you're gonna send Lannan down, you may be on a roll! Tell Uncle Jimmy to play Morse in RF, with Bernie in CF. C'mon Frankie, be a big boy and tell him. Remember Frankie, you're the boss. NatsNation is totally right on this; Riggleman is dead wrooooooooooooong!





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