Jun 29, 2010, 7:10 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Craig Stammen rejoins the Nationals tonight to face Derek Lowe at Turner Field.
ATLANTA — Boy, is there a lot of angst out there today.
I suppose in one sense, it's comforting to know how much fans really do care about the Nationals. That's certainly better than the alternative. At the same time, some of the vitriol has been — quite honestly — ridiculous. (FYI: Ryan Zimmerman remains one of the best all-around third basemen in the game, Jim Riggleman's job is not in immediate jeopardy, Michael Morse has zero chance of becoming this team's starting shortstop and the answer to all of the Nats' woes is not Pete Orr or Justin Maxwell.)
You know what would calm everyone down, though? A Nationals win tonight. Doesn't matter how they do it, just that they do it. I have a hunch that would leave a lot of people (fans, media members and especially people inside the clubhouse) feeling a lot better about the situation.
There is actually some merit in that line of thinking. Jim Riggleman acknowledged last night he's concerned some players might be tightening up at crucial moments, especially in the field, perhaps worried more about messing something up than simply playing baseball the way they know how. One simple victory might just be the remedy to get everyone relaxed again.
Craig Stammen makes his return to the rotation tonight after posting good numbers in three starts at Class AAA Syracuse. He faces sinkerballer Derek Lowe, who struggled last year against the Nats (1-3, 5.06 ERA in six starts).
Your daily lineup changes: Ian Desmond is on the bench. Alberto Gonzalez starts at shortstop, his third straight start (he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts the last two days, by the way). Cristian Guzman is back, playing second base but batting seventh. Roger Bernadina bats second and plays right field.
Check back for updates before, during and after the game…
NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of showers, 85 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
RF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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