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Game 76: Nats at Orioles

Jun 27, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to avoid a sweep today at sweltering Camden Yards.

BALTIMORE — It's hot. No, I mean it's really hot. It was 91 degrees at 10 a.m. It's going to be 94 at gametime and 97 by the ninth inning. If this game was being played under the same conditions in Arizona or Houston, they'd have the roof closed. Of course, there's no roof at Camden Yards. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the place, wouldn't it?

Anyways, inside this cauldron of sweat the Nationals will attempt to avoid an indignity unlike any other they've experienced this season: A sweep at the hands of the Orioles. Losing three of four to the Astros was bad. Losing two of three to the Indians was really bad. Getting swept by the Orioles would be humiliating.

After blowing leads of 6-0 and 5-0 the last two days, perhaps the Nats will try a new strategy today: Get behind early and then really to win. Even better, perhaps they'll simply hold a large lead for a change. (I know, it's a novel concept.)

Today's lineup shuffle: Adam Dunn is DH'ing, so Michael Morse starts at first base. The big surprise: Alberto Gonzalez makes only his ninth start of the season, his first at shortstop. Seems like a good time for a day off for Ian Desmond, who has just three hits in his last 34 at-bats and has seen his batting average plummet from .276 to .249.

I'm back at the park today, so check back for updates before, during and after the game…

NATIONALS at ORIOLES
Where: Camden Yards
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
TV: Ch. 50-HD, MASN-HD (Nats pregame and postgame shows on MASN2)
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 94 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (33-42)
(UPDATED WITH KENNEDY REPLACING GUZMAN)
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Reality has set in. There's no mistaking it. 2010 is another episode in the ongoing struggles of Washington baseball. Is hope on the horizon with Strasburg and Jordan Zimermann? Right now it seems like we will find a way to lose no matter what.

  2. natsone_va - Jun 27, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    As I'm finding out I'm a masochist, because I'll be watching the game again today. However, at least I did not drive up 95 to watch it live. I'm much too embarrassed to do that. Anyway, here's to hoping my TV set doesn't end up broken from me throwing the remote at it. May God help the Nats!!!

  3. JayB - Jun 27, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    Mark,Is Rizzo and Kasten there? Are they talking at all? What about this "super smart" baseball brain trust we hired…..somebody must be saying something about this sad state of affairs that is Nationals 2010 baseball? We would like to hear the off the record, behind the curtain thought of these guys….just the general idea of what the problem is and what needs to happen next please……

  4. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Being a fan of the Nationals is like growing up in an alcoholic family.The Nats, like the drunken father, fail and fail and fail. They make overwrought promises they'll do better, and once in a great while they do something really special. Then the kids believe Bad Daddy is gone forever and no one talks about how the front door got broken.They have the drunk's special gift for being able to make grand promises about tomorrow, while slipping into a stupor today.This team needs an intervention. Daddy's sick, and the teams he's playing against are all sober. The game starts at 1:30, and he's still throwing up in the shower.

  5. JayB - Jun 27, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    You know that is not too far off…..Someone in the Nats leadership has to speak to this 4th year of Lerner ownership failure. What if MLB had picked the better ownership group…….what if….

  6. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    "Is Rizzo and Kasten there? Are they talking at all?"Haven't you learned that these two duds go into hiding when everything goes south? In the off chance you could corner them, they'd just tell you to be patient, that lots of good things are happening beneath the surface. They have been singing this tune for 5 years now, and finally nobody is buying it.

  7. JayB - Jun 27, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    I agree on Kasten…but it is funny to hear him spin….Rizzo on the other hand will tell the truth off the record….I am hoping Mark can share some general themes from the none Stan types….

  8. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    The Braves slumped early, the Mets got off to a slow start, the Phillies have had a bad streak, the Marlins are who they are and the Nats started fast and are now in there swoon. It aint even July yet, calm down. JTinSC

  9. N. Cognito - Jun 27, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    I have the option of watching the game today or driving nails into my head with a nail gun. I think I'll go with the nails.

  10. JayB - Jun 27, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Fish fired there manager…….it is not July yet….tells you why the Fish always overachieve year after year……they do not put up with bad baseball

  11. natsone_va - Jun 27, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Oh crap!!! And I have to put up with Oriole announcers on TV, too. Where's the radio? I need Charlie and Dave. I can't stand anything from these Baltimorons.

  12. 2nd Base is a Problem - Jun 27, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    Kennedy finds his way back in. Zero range. Not motivated. Doesn't want to get his jersey dirty.Riggleman had his chance to reinsert Desmond at SS and move Gonzalez to 2nd.

  13. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Good point Mark with Camden Yards not having a roof. Part of the charm of baseball is playing outside on natural grass. Delays/rainoutsare part of the game.

  14. greg - Jun 27, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    the fish succeed *DESPITE* firing managers constantly. they succeed because their front office is the best in baseball at finding and developing talent, before they trade it away to avoid paying it any money.the marlins are the pirates with smart baseball people who manage to keep the team afloat despite the loser who owns the team.

  15. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Nice throw by Bernadina. It was great seeing Tejada give him the spotlight after throwing him out.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 27, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    I finally have had enough of Dribble with his incessant non-stop critical analysis of everthing baseball that isn't exactly the way he see's it!The game is actually more enjoyable while the mute button is engaged!

  17. 2nd Base is a Problem - Jun 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    2nd Base is a Problem said… Kennedy finds his way back in. Zero range. Not motivated. Doesn't want to get his jersey dirty.Riggleman had his chance to reinsert Desmond at SS and move Gonzalez to 2nd. Can I add to this doesn't use his brain also?

  18. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Rather have Guzman out there — stiff neck and all.

  19. natsone_va - Jun 27, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Almost threw the remote that time. C'MON, IT'S THE PIECE OF CRAP ORIOLES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

  20. DFA Time - Jun 27, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    When is Rizzo going to bite the bullet and give Kennedy a chance to play every day……yes, every day in the Minor Leagues! Every season, they make a Free Agent or Trade mistake and to the team's detriment, don't bite the bullet.It is time for a DFA, maybe 2 if you do a 2-fer with Willie Harris.

  21. natsone_va - Jun 27, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    No broken TV (yet), but broken remote and two dents on the coffee table. Oh yeah, and cursing like a mad man. Lowpoint of the season by far. EMABARRASING!!!

  22. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Fire Riggleman now!Fire Riggleman now!Fire Riggleman now!

  23. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    You had to have known the bullpen couldn't keep up their torrid pace. Luis had an overall solid outing, Bernadina is solidifying his case to be the Nats right fielder. The team has to hold together and not buckle with this poor stretch.

  24. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    And now the Nats fan, like the child of the alcoholic father, comes to the worst realization of all:The "good times" with dad were an illusion. They were only good when compared with the long dark nights of alcoholic misery and brokenness. With or without alcohol, the father is a mediocre, middling, less-than-average individual.And the Nationals, despite all the lies and illusions, are lousy too.

  25. Jim Webster - Jun 27, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    AAA ball for big league prices. But Os were classy, giving out free cups of ice. Dang it was hot.

  26. LoveDaNats - Jun 27, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    First step in rehab is to hit rock bottom. I think we're there. I don't know what's worse… being the worst team in baseball or getting swept by the worst team in baseball. Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to the all star break.

  27. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 10:18 PM

    RB has won right field. That's one problem solved. Regardless of all the hot air we spill, Desmond and Guzman should play the middle. Nyger in CF, for better or worse. I still want to discuss in what order these guys hit. As for the intervention — there's no serious talk regarding replacing Riggleman, is there?

  28. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Kasten and Rizzo have an organizational philosophy that rewards yes-men and attracts very mild people.Acta. Riggleman.Players that make waves are avoided. If they are discovered to be on the team, they are gotten rid off. Intensity and conflict are avoided. Meekness and cooperation are rewarded.The highest reward for a member of the Nationals organization goes to players who are "good in the clubhouse." Unfortunately, other clubs make personnel decisions based on who is "good on the field."Our leadership model was just destroyed by Peter Angelos.

  29. Anonymous - Jun 27, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    Let's hire Valentine before he slips away to Florida! something has to be done, I say fire Riggleman 1st as a message and if that does not change thing, make a bunch of trades and get whatever we can!!

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.

*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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