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Game 95: Nats at Reds

Jul 21, 2010, 7:22 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg will battle the Reds (and possibly the weather) tonight.

CINCINNATI — In an absolute shocking development, it's hot and muggy again today in Cincinnati, with intermittent storms passing through. Same as Monday. Same as yesterday. Same as it's supposed to be tomorrow.

Which means Stephen Strasburg may have a new challenge to face tonight: the weather.

To date, Strasburg has pitched in heat, humidity and wind, but rain hasn't been an issue. It certainly could be tonight, whether it comes in the form of a delay before the game starts, a delay once things are already underway or a steady drizzle that can be played through but still proves to be an annoyance. We'll see how the rookie handles that, not to mention the potent Reds' lineup.

One note about the Nationals' lineup: Ian Desmond is back in the 8-hole, with Cristian Guzman batting second. Jim Riggleman did say yesterday he planned to start moving Desmond around more, though he never said the shortstop wouldn't hit eighth at all. Appears that when Guzman is playing, he'll stay in the 2-hole, forcing Desmond down.

Also, note that ESPN is televising tonight's game to a national audience … but you won't be able to watch that broadcast in the D.C. or Cincinnati areas. In D.C., it's on MASN as always. In Cincinnati, it's on FSN Ohio.

Check back for updates throughout the afternoon and evening…

Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN, ESPN (outside D.C. and Cincinnati)
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of storms, 84 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF

CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Cristian Guzman
1B Adam Dunn
3B Ryan Zimmerman

Read more »

  1. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    No Morse again. Yet he is the "hot hitter" is he not? That was the rationale behind playing Guzman as a "starter"?

  2. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Atta boy, Ross. But no chili news? :-)

  3. Brian - Jul 21, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Hilarious given Ladson's headline from yesterday that, "Desmond's Days of Batting Eighth are Over." Actually, hilarious or sad? Why cater to Guz unless you're hoping to trade him this week.

  4. Section 222 - Jul 21, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    The Reds starter is right handed so back to the bench for Morse. If we're lucky they'll bring on a leftie in relief at some point so Morse can get a pinch hit at bat. Otherwise, we get the joys of he who hopes to glimpse the Mendoza line (Willie Harris) off the bench yet again.

  5. Stew Magnuson - Jul 21, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    I witnessed John Lannan's start in Harrisburg on Saturday. Very mediocre. I wondered if I will ever see him pitch for the Nats again.This was the 4 and half hour 9 inning game that ended with Altoona winning 18-15. The Curve put 10 runs up at the top of the 9th. The only member of the bullpen capable of putting out the fire was Adam Carr. It was a night to remember. And one last note: Now that Harrisburg has finished remodeling its stadium, Potomac is now the uncontested worse place to watch a baseball game in the Mid-Atlantic region. The park is an embarrassment to the franchise.

  6. Souldrummer - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    @StewAmen to your comments on the Pfitz. It got to the point last year where I'd prefer to head up to Frederick (about an equal drive for me to Potomac and less stressful with the traffic) to watch the P-Nats play road games there. Plus that seems to be Burgess' favorite park to hit. Can you give any more specifics on what you saw with Lannan?

  7. Doc - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    I think Willie has already slipped below the Mendoza line–however low that it is?? Riggs lineup is like a kid randomly playing a baseball video game.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    Riggleman loves lineup juggling but that juggling never includes Michael Morse, perhaps the best hitter on the team. If Dunn gets traded, that would open up first base, probably for Adam Kennedy but certainly not for Morse.

  9. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Isn't it time to put Desmond in RF again, and maybe Wil Nieves at SS. With Riggleman, you never know what he is going to pull out of his hat. The only thing that's certain is whatever he does won't work.

  10. Matt - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    Doc: Since the Mendoza line is .200, he's been under pretty much the whole season!

  11. Bowdenball - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Anonymous 4:13-I like Morse too, but let's not get carried away. Best hitter on the team? You're working with kind of a small sample size, no? Why not declare Tyler Clippard the best hitter in baseball history? He's batting 1.000 this year with an OPS of 2.000.Morse has been great this year and I really want to see what he can do, but remember that we've got a whole lot more than just 75 at-bats to judge him on. He's been playing ball at every level for years and years, and his numbers over time don't suggest that he's a star. Better than Willie or Nyjer, yeah, sure. But not better than many of our other regulars. He's got a lifetime OPS under .800 in both the majors and the minors.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    CF Roger BernadinaSS Ian DesmondLF Josh Willingham3B Ryan Zimmerman1B Adam DunnRF Michael MorseC Ivan Rodriguez2B Alberto GonzalezP Stephen StrasburgThis is my lineup for the rest of the year. Play the young guys and find out what they can do. Willingham's OBP help set-up more opportunity for Z man and Dunn.

  13. Souldrummer - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Hope remains. Detwiler had a nice day pitching in Harrisburg's matinee. 7IP, 0R, 5H, 1BB, 7K. Espinosa 1-3, BB. Marrero 1-2, 2BB. Lowrance hits a 2R HR in a 2-0 Harrisburg victory.

  14. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    I like Morse too, but let's not get carried away. Best hitter on the team? You're working with kind of a small sample size, no? Why not declare Tyler Clippard the best hitter in baseball @Bowdenball,I believer you are putting words in my mouth? Not a good thing? I never said "best" hitter, I said "hot" hitter. He is most certainly hot especially given the small sample size and the fact he is usually cold when he comes to the plate. As I recall that was the rationale Riggleman used to continue to start Guzman over Kennedy, making the latter rust as Riggleman admitted in his mea culpa. Again why play Guzman when he is poor against right handed pitching while not playing Morse who has been good against right handed pitching? Riggleman scares me with his obsession with Harris, Guzman, and Maxwell.

  15. Bowdenball - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    Anonymous-You said "perhaps the best hitter on the team." It's right there in the post time-stamped 4:13, unless you're a different Anonymous then the person to whom I was replying.Whoever said that, whether it was you or someone else, was getting a little carried away.

  16. court - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    I like Anon's lineup. You could rotate Guzman/Kennedy/Gonzalez in that 8th spot. If you must play Nyjer, bat him 8th and have the 2B hit 6th if Morse sits or hit 2nd if Roger sits. I wonder how many times Zim has hit with no one on? Too many, is the short answer.

  17. dj in Fl. - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Does no one remember how horrible Gonzo was last year. Manny gave him second base and he played his way out of the lineup. If you do not like errors, you do not want Gonzo starting everyday.

  18. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    @Bowdenball,Ooops sorry different anonymous, my comment is at the top.

  19. HHover - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    If you do not like errors, you do not want Gonzo starting everyday.Reality check – Gonzo had 9 errors at SS (280 inn) but only 1 at 2B (363 inn) last year.What killed him was his bat – .265 on the season, but only .234 post All Start Game.

  20. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    You know, there *is* a way around that problem. Simply choose a moniker/name and use it consistently. I'm not saying, I'm just saying… ;-)—Anonymous said…@Bowdenball,Ooops sorry different anonymous, my comment is at the top.July 21, 2010 5:30 PM

  21. Anonymous8 - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Mark Zuckerman writes …5:45 p.m. — Adam Dunn is currently taking grounders at shortstop during BP. That kind of versatility has got to add at least an extra $1 million to his contract demands, right? Or at least convince opposing GMs to give up a big-league player in return for a trade, right? Hilarious! I wish he scooped that ball from Zim last night or got a clutch hit too!

  22. JayB - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Exactly….it is about winning games, not goofing off in batting practice.

  23. Richard - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Amen to the "Pfitz is the pits" comments. Gotta be the worst minor league park in the nation. Much of the field looks to be painted green rather than grass. And it's hard to watch a day game there in the summer — no cover. P-Nats deserve better. Nice new "million dollar" scoreboard though. IMHO, Hagerstown is much better place to watch a game. BTW, the Nats seemed posed to sign-up for more years in Syracuse per the article at, for those who haven't read it yet. Will the AA team move to Richmond? Harrisburg media mentioned the possibility. Stan K. seems to like Richmond.

  24. Sec3MySofa - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:34 AM

    To be fair, .200 for the Mendoza Line is from rounding it down from .215.

  25. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:30 AM


  26. Smatt1001 - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    And a homer from Willie Harris!?!

  27. Anonymous8 - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    My Silver Elvis to Guzy tonight.

  28. Richard - Jul 22, 2010 at 3:20 AM

    The Guzman bashers can take the night off! Nice break for the rest of us.

  29. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2010 at 3:28 AM

    Nice win tonight, though a tad nerve-wracking in the late innings. Do they even do the Silver Elvis anymore? I kinda liked it, but maybe it ran its course for the guys?

  30. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2010 at 3:39 AM

    In other news, who knew that flying open could be a jersey issue for a pitcher? :-)

  31. VCUAlum Kyle - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    When they announced the double switch last night and said Willie Harris I was like "OMG", Riggs got lucky having Harris hit that Home Run.Steve, I have never been to the Pfitz but if you ask me who has the worst minor league stadium on the East, I would say it is right here in Richmond called The Diamond. Awful facility.





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