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Game 75: Nats at Orioles

Jun 26, 2010, 4:35 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
They'll be turning back the clocks at Camden Yards today.

Fresh off a devastating, 7-6 loss last night, the Nationals return to Camden Yards this afternoon hoping to rebound against the Orioles.

For anyone who was infuriated with Cristian Guzman's defense last night, rest assured: He's DH'ing today, with Adam Kennedy at second base. For anyone who believes Michael Morse should be in the lineup every day, sorry: He's back on the bench, with Roger Bernadina in right field. No other changes from Jim Riggleman.

Don't get confused when you turn on today's game and see an old-but-familiar uniform worn by the Nationals. The Orioles are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their 1970 World Series title, and a number of players from that team will be in attendance (including Frank Robinson). They'll be wearing 1970s-era uniforms, with the old cartoon bird logo on the hat. The Nats, meanwhile, will be wearing 1970 Senators jerseys (gray, with "Senators" in red script across the front). The hats will actually be their regular home reds, since that's what the Senators wore back in the day.

I won't be at today's game, so no updates or postgame reports, but I'll be back at Camden Yards tomorrow for the series finale. As always, please feel free to chat with each other about the game or any other issues that come up…

NATIONALS at ORIOLES
Where: Camden Yards
Gametime: 4:05 p.m.
TV: MASN-HD (Nats pregame and postgame shows on MASN2)
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 93 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (33-41)
CF Nyjer Morgan
DH Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 26, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Enjoy the day off, Mark. After last night's affair, I'm totally spent today myself. As Lee Elia would (and did) say: "It's a disheartening f—— situation right now."

  2. Anonymous8 - Jun 26, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    I still would have left Guzy at 2nd. He can't play worse than he did yesterday plus WHERE'S MIKE MORSE? Kennedy over Mike Morse?Is Riggleman showcasing Kennedy and Willie Harris?DFA the 2 and get Alberto Gonzalez some real playing time and bring up Kevin Mench.

  3. Anonymous8 - Jun 26, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    I'm sorry. WHERE'S MICHAEL MORSE?

  4. K.D. - Jun 26, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Michael is an excellent pinch-hitter off the bench. Probably would have been at DH today if he would have had a good offensive night yesterday, he didn't. Nice to see Kennedy at second, with the DH you can live with his bat. Viva Livan!

  5. Anonymous - Jun 26, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    DFA the 2 and get Alberto Gonzalez some real playing time and bring up Kevin Mench.Mench just isn't that good. Michael is an excellent pinch-hitter off the bench. Probably would have been at DH today if he would have had a good offensive night yesterday,Morse had just as good a day as Dunn and IRod who both had 1 hit, plus better than Guzman who went 0 for 3 reached on an error and took his once a month walk. Morse is a big gun who hits for power. Guzmans' double and triple production has definitely eroded. Who is Riggleman kidding with this crap?

  6. MENCH for a Promotion - Jun 26, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    Mench is better than either of those and he is motivated which is missing from these 2.Morse hit one up the middle that may have been an infield single if the force at 2nd wasn't there.

  7. BIT BY THE ACTA BUG - Jun 26, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Uh, Michael Morse was 1 for 4 last night and could have been 2 for 4 with that grounder up the middle.This should have been the weekend with no excuses that Morse should have played all 3 games. What is Riggleman becoming? Ever since that trip to Cleveland this team is playing with little motivation.Time to turn this offensive machine on. When Nyjer Morgan goes 4 for 5 with a steal and 2 great defensive plays, this team wins 90 out of 100 times.

  8. Hendo - Jun 26, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Sitting Morse is incomprehensible.

  9. David - Jun 26, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    I would like the Nationals to put a greater emphasis on defense at the expense of hitting. I know this will not be popular with the general fan but I think that it will bear the most fruit. The game is pitching and defense especially up the middle C, 2B, SS, CF, the Nationals team era is 4.11 slightly below league average however they give up 4.62 runs, that’s more than ½ a run difference a game! The good news is that the starting pitching might get better with Wang, Marquis and maybe Zimmermann coming up. The bad news is the defense will not get better this year. Desmond is a rookie and comes as advertised makes the spectacular play sometimes makes the bone head play. Dunn is actually better than I though he would be but he lacks the non-thinking instinctual play a good first baseman needs; a few times this year Dunn while not being responsible for the error at first needed to disregard trying to get the out and just prevent the ball from getting away. This may come from a large number of repetitions but probably not. Dunn and Desmond pretty much need to play every day because the team does not have a better all around SS and the team may never score unless Dunn is in the line up. Pudge, Zimmerman and Willingham are pretty much cemented at their positions so your only open choices are CF, RF, and 2B? Bernadina should have one of the outfield positions especially when a right-hander is on the mound and maybe full time to see if he is the answer to one of those positions for the future. Hopefully Morgan reemerges to last years form if not Bernadina to CF Morse in RF. That leaves 2B, I hate to say this and I was not that impressed with his play last year but this year he has filled in at 3B admirably your new starting 2B Alberto Gonzalez. Dunn should probably DH in inter-league games.

  10. Anonymous - Jun 26, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    The only positive thing about last night's devastating loss is that it helps me forget the previous devastating loss. And yes, Guzman suffers from being the proximate memory of last night, but I still say he should play every day.

  11. Anonymous - Jun 26, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    >>I would like the Nationals to put a greater emphasis on defense at the expense of hitting.<<<That's exactly the wrong thing to do. This team has so much trouble scoring, most of the time, they have to sacrifice some defense for offense or they'll still lose, just they'll be lucky to score two runs, in the process.Last night, however, was too much of a sacrifice of defense for offense, obviously. Though, after last night's game, maybe this team really does need a sacrifice. Where's the closest active volcano???

  12. bobn - Jun 26, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    I am so old I love stirrup socks…too bad today's players don't know how it makes their legs look better than bags. I am watching now as the Nats grab defeat from the jaws of victory…and sick.

  13. Anonymous - Jun 26, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    If they get swept by Baltimore, they will have officially hit a new low.

  14. Anonymous - Jun 26, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    Mark,How does the recent month long slump compare to the woeful first half of last year? Were we just kidding ourselves this year in April and the first half of May when we thought the Nats had improved?

  15. 2nd base is a problem - Jun 27, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    Is it me, or does Adam Kennedy have no range?

  16. rogieshan - Jun 27, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    Adam Kennedy has never had range (think David Eckstein). He is not an upgrade defensively over Guzman. No matter how many hours they put in, the current group in the infield will never be more than average. The team isn't showcasing anybody. Kennedy, Harris and Guzman (for the most part) have almost no value in the trade market. Riggleman is simply too stubborn to change from his avowed promise to use inter-league games as an opportunity to play his loyal veterans off the bench. What a letdown after such a promising start to the season.

  17. waddu eye no - Jun 27, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    ppppphhhhhhtttt. jeez.

  18. Cwj - Jun 27, 2010 at 3:40 AM

    Shameful loss today.

  19. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    The promising start was just a fluke. You are seeing the real Nats now. This is the sixth consecutive year of torture with no end in sight. Sadly, the Nats are the NL East's version of the Pirates.

  20. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    I'm slightly surprised by the pitching. Better than the zero that I expected. Two starters and one relief thread. I'm greatly surprised by the complete disapperance of the offense. I didn't expect the defense to vanish too.

  21. Vito - Jun 27, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    a season that was so promising a just few short weeks ago in now teetering on the edge. The Nats as noted have blown two straight to these clowns from up the parkway. Riggleman has to be moving to the hot seat for all the reasons stated and the only thing we have to look forward to is the once in every 5 days Strasmas.Mark- I heard or read the Nats were hitting about .247 this month of June before these two disasters in the Charm City- what did they hit in the last homestand vs the ChiSox & Royals. I was there for 29 innings and saw'em plate one run. ugh……….

  22. natscan reduxit - Jun 27, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    … one thing which separates baseball from all other sports, is the fact that baseball fans will keeping coming back, with hope in their hearts, loss after loss. That must be the answer. Otherwise I, and many others, would have gone over to the dark side (golf, tennis, you name it) long ago.Go Nats! – No, seriously, Go!.

  23. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    The dark side is led by stock car racing. Right behind that: NBA, NHL, and NFL. Made for TV sports. Ha! Natscan, this hot stove leage talk in the middle of the summer is the thing that separates baseball from all others.

  24. natsfan1a - Jun 27, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Funny you should mention that, natscan, as Hendo has an intriguing post on what keeps fans coming back over on Nationals Daily News (see link at right).

  25. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    The trite, corny spring-training-as-methaphor-for-life is amont the many things that keep me coming back day after day after day and spring after spring.. Unlike, say, the NFL, or Eurpoean football leagues — where every game is seen as a do or die matchup of the century — a baseball game is one more step in the rythmic dance of the season. Like in the comic strip peanuts — each spring, each game, each at bat, and so on gives rise to new hope.

  26. natscan reduxit - Jun 27, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    … anon @ 8:06: I agree with you about NASCAR but I didn't want to be an upstart outsider sticking my hand in that hornet's nest…. and hey there natsfan1a, thanx for the heads-up. I'll wander over Hendo's way in a jiffy.Go Na … oh hell, you know what I mean!!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 43 --
ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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