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Game 91: Nats at Marlins

Jul 17, 2010, 7:20 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals look to make it two in a row tonight at Sun Life Stadium.

MIAMI — How long had it been since the Nationals last shut out the Marlins in their home ballpark? Before last night's 4-0 victory, it previously occurred on Sept. 26, 2005, also a 4-0 win. The starting pitcher that night? Hector Carrasco. The big hit? A two-run double by Cristian Guzman, who went 3-for-4 to RAISE his batting average to .215.

So this was a rare occurrence indeed. And it may take another rare occurrence for the Nats to make it two in row tonight. That's because the Marlins send ace Josh Johnson to the mound, and arguably, there isn't a better pitcher on the planet right now. Overall, the right-hander is 9-3 with a 1.70 ERA. Over his last 14 starts, his ERA is 1.17.

The Nats did beat Johnson earlier this season, sort of. On May 8 at Nationals Park, the Nationals scored three runs in six innings against him and put him in line for the loss. A Gaby Sanchez homer off Tyler Clippard in the seventh took Johnson off the hook, but the Nationals (who sent Matt Chico to the mound that afternoon) ultimately came back to win, 5-4.

Livan Hernandez starts tonight for the Nats, looking to prove his outstanding first half was no fluke.

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

Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees, Wind 12 mph RF to LF

CF Nyjer Morgan
RF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Anonymous - Jul 17, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    No commenters? After the rip-roaring comment on last night's game? I'll start. Notice that when the beleagured [sp?] Guzman isn't in there, the middle infield hits at the bottom. I still that that Guzman should be in every lineup. He's got one of the few solid major league bats on the roster.

  2. Anonymous - Jul 17, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Hmm…SNAFU in the middle infield…Guzman's not available for scapegoating…deafening silence from Periculum's corner

  3. phil dunn - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    Defensively, the entire infield (except for Zimmerman and Gonzalez) is a defensive disaster.

  4. Les in NC - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Having to rely on "watching" the game via 'Gameday', and for some reason I am getting no coverage. My screen is stuck on the bottom half of the 2nd just after Paulino knocked 2 in.I guess I'll watch the Braves play on Fox…

  5. Aussie Gus - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    I've got the same problem as Les… Mark, are you able to give inning by inning updates, even if only a really brief summary?

  6. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    @ManassasIs Jennedy's mind in the game. Runs into Desmond to cause and error, Runs home through a stop sign and out by 15 feet.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Nats need to DFA Adam Kennedy. He is a disaster in every respect.

  8. Les in NC - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Still no 'Gameday'.Ah well, I need to do laundry anyway…..

  9. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    For those of you who can't get the Gameday updates to work, I'll try to provide some more detail here. Keep checking back.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:29 AM

    Great base running by Kennedy.Hey anon7:12 if Guzman is so great why do they never have guys on when the amazing 3,4,5 (on a last place team again) never have anyone one when they hit home runs? You have two really terrible fielders on the right side. The defense: worst in baseball!! Which would you rather have in the game? Adam Dunn and 22 homers, .292 avg, 41 walks, 26 doubles and 2 triples at first base? Or Guzman? Because Dunn's neophyte first base skills require flawless fielders around him to ensure they don't make him look worst. Something Guzman is supremely good at. What has this wonderful major league bat done against right handed hitters batting left-handed (he should always bat right by the way)? He is hitting .266/.322/.656 with just 13 walks batting second? Guzman's fielding at second base is atrocious as we saw in last night's game. And this team isn't going to be in any playoff hunt is it? So why are they playing Guzman who will most certainly be gone next year? Even Kennedy is questionable? Its not just **my** opinion but one shared by Greg Di Palma, Dave Nichols, and Brian Oliver. Every rep he takes away from a young player like Gonzalez hurts this team.

  11. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    Hmm…SNAFU in the middle infield…Guzman's not available for scapegoating…deafening silence from Periculum's cornerSo, Di Palma, Brian Oliver and Mike Nichols are wrong too? I'm not the only one who thinks they should be playing Gonzalez. I never said Kennedy should play … he's had chances … Riggleman claims he doesn't want him to get rusty? Why? They aren't going anywhere? They need to look at the younger players who can actually field the position? Don't you think?

  12. Nervous Nats Fan - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    Think that was missed communication or bad coaching on Kennedy running home. It looked like Listach said go, go, go. Then as Kennedy was on his way home, he threw up the stop sign, and Kennedy either didn't see it or was too far to give up.

  13. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    @Manassas.Upon further review, I am blaming Listache as he waving him to go. Why? I am clueless the ball dropped to Uglla's feet. No way Kennedy was going to score.TO my usualy rant RISP average.Tonight Zim so far 0 for 2, Dunn 0 for 2 (3 total K's), Willingham 0 for 1. Desmond 0 for 1, Total 0 for 6. People have complained about them not having enough runners on base when they come up, well they had plenty tonight.

  14. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    Anonymous@8:29 pm,Hit a nerve there, did we, with our implied criticism of the World's Oldest Young Shortstop?And Alberto Gonzalez, young talent? The man's 27 years old!!Your irrational, hysterical hatred of Guzman blinds you to the fact that none of our 4 MIs is very good. Guz and Kennedy are on the downward arcs of pretty good careers. Gonzo, at age 27, is what he is. I agree that Desi needs to play every day at SS, but mainly because we have no other options and he may (no guarantees) get better. He's getting a golden opportunity to improve, but he'd better take advantage of this window of opportunity while it's still open. For someone who's keenly aware of Guzzie's OBP deficiencies, aren't you just a little bit concerned about Desi's record in that area? Not to mention his K/W ratio?

  15. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 2:03 AM

    Your irrational, hysterical hatred of Guzman blindsSticks and stones … hey where's Sister Natsfan1a and MK?For someone who's keenly aware of Guzzie's OBP deficiencies, aren't you just a little bit concerned about Desi's record in that area? Not to mention his K/W ratio?I'm also aware of Willingham's OBP strengths and believe he should bat second. I feel the same way Di Palma, Brian Oliver and MIke Nichols have and expressed as much … Riggleman had his chance to prove "his veterans" could win. Now they are sliding ever more deeply in the cellar playing them. Why?Desmond is still a prospect, an older one at that. He is getting his opportunity. If they were in the hunt I would indeed be worried about playing him. I would hope they would send him back to AAA to work on his hitting and fielding. But then we would have a guy playing shortstop who now has limited range and a very weak arm! One who has become an atrocious fielder on that left side. Yes, Guzman and that's who Riggleman would start. Why not get another look at Gonzalez? Why not get a look at Morse? They don't have anyone even close to ready in the minors … like everything else the Loria rifled farm system is still a work in progress. Heck why not bring up AAA all star Chase Lambin and see what he can do at second base? He has to be better than Guzman and might actually hit better. Guzman should not be batting left handed … at all. He should just hit right handed all the time. He has started to walk more but its not enough to warrant batting second. He is a veteran, he is supposed to know better. Know that he is hurting his team. He's not a power hitter he's a guy who needs to get on base and get driven in. Guzman's fielding leaves a lot be desired at second base and at short stop. He is worst than Dunn in right field. Why is he in the game? Why is it that Gonzalez can play this position better? Guzman is the veteran? Isn't he supposed to be a better fielder coming from shortstop? Instead he is atrocious. But, Kennedy is almost as bad.What I say to you is stop coddling guys who are supposed to be veterans with world series rings … who aren't that old yet. If they don't do the job they should sit.

  16. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 2:06 AM

    the 3,4,5 plus failed miserably tonight … that's for sure.

  17. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Willie Harris now batting .179. Against right handed pitchers: .187 with a .294 OBP.Michael Morse now batting: .310. Against right handed pitchers .364 with a .417 OBP.Jim Riggleman is bound and determined to lose 100 games.

  18. greg - Jul 18, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    is it really irrational hatred of guzman to realize he's not "one of the few solid major league bats on the roster??"(a) if that's true, this roster is significantly worse than even the most pessimistic fan thought(b) it's blatantly not true.

  19. natsfan1a - Jul 18, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    hmmm…looks like it was sock puppet night for commenters last night





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