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Game 79: Nats at Braves

Jun 30, 2010, 7:23 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
J.D. Martin has a chance to pitch the Nationals to a series victory tonight at Turner Field.

ATLANTA — Here's something to brighten your spirits: By the end of the evening, the Nationals could have taken a series from the NL East-leading Braves.

It would require a victory tonight, but the Nats have to like their chances with J.D. Martin (who has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his five starts) facing Jair Jurrjens (who just came off the DL and has dealt with injuries to his shoulder, thumb and hamstring already this season).

For everyone wondering about the Alberto Gonzalez/Ian Desmond lineup debate: Gonzo is starting for the fourth straight game. He'll be at shortstop again. Desmond is on the bench for the second straight game. Same lineup from Jim Riggleman that produced seven runs last night, as a matter of fact.

Check back for updates before, during and after the game…

NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of storms, 83 degrees, Wind 3 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (34-44)
CF Nyjer Morgan
RF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Nervous Nats Fan - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    I thought Riggleman didn't want to play Pudge more than three days in a row. Was that just while his back was hurting? My memory is short.

  2. Steve M. - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    The Red Sox are searching for a 2nd baseman until Pedroia is back. Why hasn't Rizzo traded Adam Kennedy for a bag of balls and a case of sunflower seeds?Seriously though, the Nats can get a prospect back for him while the Red Sox are in need.

  3. Knoxville Nat - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    Many people here and elsewhere have been clamoring for more playing time for Michael Morse. With a professional career dating back about 10 years and now with his third major league organization, what exactly is the knock on Morse as to why he isn't playing anymore than he is? He's been in the majors off and on since 2005 but it doesn't appear as if he has ever been a regular anywhere so what is it that seems to hold him back?

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Holy Cow Bat Man! You can teach an old dog (or manager in this case) new tricks!Imagine starting the same lineup (and a successful one I might add)2 days in a row!

  5. Doc - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Both Kennedy and The Kid have almost as many errors together as some teams. A bag of balls and a case of sunflower seeds seems a fair exchange.

  6. Steve M. - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    You know how the Red Sox love them Kennedy's. I am surprised this didn't happen over the weekend. Maybe Rizzo wants 2 bags and balls and pumpkin seeds?

  7. Section 222 - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Jair Jurgens — an easy target just like Bannister, Floyd, and a number of other recent opposing starters who somehow managed to turn into Cy Young for a night. Here's hoping the solid defense and clutch hitting continues for another night. A series win would be awfully nice.

  8. Bowdenball - Jun 30, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    Kennedy's under contract for $1.25 million and through 2011 for another $500K. Pretty sure we'd have to send the Red Sox Kennedy, some cash, sunflower seeds and a bag of baseballs just to unburden ourselves. If you think they're dumb enough to actually throw us a prospect in return, then you haven't been paying much attention to the Red Sox lately.

  9. JayB - Jun 30, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    OK Mark………. if you are correct about the goal for the organization and the purpose of this season….WHAT IS HARRIS AND KENNEDY DOING HERE? They are not part of any future are they? Does Rizzo really think Willie is going to "figure it out and Adam is going to get hot"? Kennedy's defense is beyond bad….they can not put him in the field so what is the point of keeping him or Willie on the roster this year?

  10. Steve M. - Jun 30, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Jayb – They trotted out Kennedy as a 1st base defensive replacement last night as they have before. How do they keep doing that especially with Morse on the bench.Maybe they want to show the Red Sox that he can back up Youk at 1st also. LOL

  11. Brian (not Schneider) - Jun 30, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    @Nervous Nats Fan: Pudge was off on Sunday, so tonight would be his third straight game. That means we (most likely) won't see him in the lineup tomorrow. Good for Riggs for sticking with this lineup. I'm glad AG is getting some playing time – his 4-4 last night is probably a fluke, but at least his defense is solid.

  12. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    I find JayB complaining about the Nats not trying for the future ironic. This is the same moron who seriously said the Nats should start Pete Orr. What does Pete Orr offer in the future? Nothing. He is a bum. At least Kennedy has had success before.

  13. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    in 2009 Adam Kennedy had an OPS of 758 on 529 at bats; this year he has 67 at bats; Guzman was 696 on 531 at bats. I think that the criticism of Kennedy on this board is way off base. He was signed to solidify the position which Gonzalez failed at but has not been given the chance to play regularly because someone thinks (wrongly) that Guzman is a good hitter.

  14. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Interesting tidbit, I am pretty sure Pudge caught Jurrjen's first MLB game back when he was with the Tigers.

  15. NatinBeantown - Jun 30, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    On Harris and Kennedy (and Nieves): it does the organization no good whatsoever to have young players who they think can develop sitting on the bench. If they've earned a big league shot, they start (Bernie & Desmond). If they haven't yet, they're playing everyday in SYR or HAR (Espinosa, Norris, etc). The major league bench is for established veterans who have the discipline and the professionalism to sit for two games but then be ready when called on, and to not foul up team chemistry by whining. You can argue that Kennedy and Harris haven't justified a lot of playing time, but they are a big reason why this team's effort/chemistry is still great while 11 games under and in the cellar.That said, if a contender has any use for them whatsoever, Rizzo should move them.

  16. JayB - Jun 30, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    Orr is a 10 day to 30 day solution at 2B because he does not choke like Kennedy and Harris and Guz. They need to stabilize the position just like they are doing with SS and Alberto.Rizzo need to make major changes to the 25 and 40 man rosters….Harris, Guzman, Kennedy have no future here and neither does Orr but he will turn a DB to win a game….What can you say about Harris and Kennedy when the game is on the line?

  17. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    What can you say about a Sicilian when death is on the line?

  18. Les in NC - Jun 30, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    here's to a long game of making an 'Ace' out of JJ and making ourselves look foolish in the field….c'mon boys, prove me wrong! Please?

  19. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    He doesn't need us to make him look good, he already is a very good pitcher.

  20. David - Jul 1, 2010 at 1:28 AM

    there's nothing wrong with desmond in right field, everyones played some right field… or well everyone SHOULD be able to play some right field

  21. K.D. - Jul 1, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    Must have heard you, Gonzo is out there now.

  22. Knoxville Nat - Jul 1, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    Anon, 5:57…darn good point and kudos also to NatinBeantown…..this one individual who constantly harps for Pete Orr at 2nd base and " major changes to the 25 and 40 man roster" is getting to be as tired an act as some of the nonsense coming down from Capital Hill ("We have to pass the bill to know what's in it"). Please,please, please…JayB…GO AWAY!!!!

  23. K.D. - Jul 1, 2010 at 2:25 AM

    Though a loss is a loss, J.D. did okay after a rough start, bullpen was pretty good except for Slaten (who appeared rusty). Pudge made it an interesting ninth inning. Best of all…. NO ERRORS.

  24. Mrs. Z. - Jul 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Anon@6:21–you're close. Pudge was the starting catchers with the Tigers in 2007, but he didn't catch Jurrjens in his debut. Jurrjens debuted on 8/15/07 and Mike Rabelo caught that game.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 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.

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