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Game 97: Nats at Brewers

Jul 23, 2010, 3:21 PM EDT


Photo courtesy Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers host the Nationals this weekend at Miller Park.

Updates on Sunday's starter and minor leaguers suspended below

Fresh off their first back-to-back road wins since May 12-13 (at New York and Colorado), the Nationals made their way last night from Cincinnati to Milwaukee. They'll open a three-game, weekend series against the Brewers this evening, hoping to sustain some positive momentum for the first time in a long time.

Speaking of maintaining positive momentum, Craig Stammen takes the mound tonight for the opener, hoping to pick up where he left off Sunday at Florida (he allowed one run over six strong innings). J.D. Martin starts tomorrow. Sunday's starter remains unannounced. John Lannan pitched last night for Harrisburg, so it won't be him. Ross Detwiler threw seven innings Wednesday, so he's unlikely to be called up to pitch on short rest. That leaves Matt Chico, who is listed as tonight's starter for Syracuse. If he gets scratched, we'll know why.

After covering the first two legs of this road trip, I've returned home for the weekend. So no reports from Milwaukee. I'll put up the gameday threads each day, though, and will provide lineups once they're announced. If there's any other significant news, I'll be sure to pass that along as well…

NATIONALS at BREWERS
Where: Miller Park
Gametime: 8:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of storms, 83 degrees, Wind 7 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (42-54)
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Its Batista, who can also be ready on Sunday, followed by Detwiler.

  2. natsfan1a - Jul 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Have a nice break, Mark, and try to stay cool.(Now, let's see, shall we try to guess what exciting baseball event might take place in Milwaukee given that Mark's taking off? ;-))

  3. Section 222 - Jul 23, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    I seriously doubt it will be Batista. He needs to be available as a long reliever if someone blows up over the next few nights. And if he starts and pitches 5 innings on Sunday, he can't serve that role for the next several days either. I'd guess it's probably Chico, and if he pitches well, he'll stay up until he falters, at which time Detwiler (or Olsen) moves into that spot. And with Chico scheduled tonight in Syracuse, they'll need to make that call today. Mark, enjoy the hot weekend weather in DC. You've done yeoman duty in Miami and Cincy and deserve a break.

  4. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    I seriously doubt it will be Batista. He needs to be available as a long reliever if someone blows up over the next few nights. And if he starts and pitches 5 innings on Sunday, he can't serve that role for the next several days either.I've noticed Riggleman toward using Clippard sooner and Storen/Burnett/Peralta later. I think Clippard is better in the middle relief/long relief emergency setup role. Batista has only pitched once since July 10th on the 19th for 0.1 inning and 17 pitches. He would have come in as an innings eater in those high scoring games in the bandbox don't you think? ;)

  5. Steve M. - Jul 23, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Short term issues like replacing Atilano are interesting but look at all coming within the next 40 days.Hard to believe we are 39 days to September callup time, less than a month from the time we are on Bryce Harper signing deadline, and a little more than a week before the trade deadline.Rizzo has a lot of work in front of him!

  6. swang - Jul 23, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    I think they can use Batista as a Spot Starter, and call up Detwiler. Det's role would be long relief, until the next start, at which point Detwiler will start and Batista will revert to long relief.

  7. Section 222 - Jul 23, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Would you guys really rather see Batista start than Chico? That idea kind of scares me. Chico did decently in a spot start early in the year and has been pitching well in the minors recently.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 23, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Have to agree with Section 222. Matt has pitched great for the past month and deserves another shot.

  9. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Would you guys really rather see Batista start than Chico? That idea kind of scares me. Chico did decently in a spot start early in the year and has been pitching well in the minors recently.Have to agree with Section 222. Matt has pitched great for the past month and deserves another shot.And they talk about Morse lovers? Chico lovers I see? First Chico has yet to equal or surpass JD Martin's stats in Syracuse. Rizzo likes guys who master the level they are at. Chico really has yet to do that in AAA? He is now 27 years old. Section 222 weren't you one of the guys who claimed Martin was AAAA? Well look at your guy. His WHIP is 1.338 his ERA is 3.55 just recently dropped from above 4. He has 24 walks agains 41 strike outs and 4 wild pitches. Decent. But do you see an upside for this guy. Oh, JD Martin's stats in SYR? 8 walks against 25 strikeouts with a 1.17 WHIP. Last year his stats led the team starters and he was the Chief's ace. I just don't see that with Chico. Do you? But Detwiler looks a lot better right now. Unlike Chico he does have a significant upside. He has 31 strikeouts against 7 walks. He also has a 3.55 ERA and a 1.378 WHIP while rehabbing.But, isn't Detwiler someone they need to look long and hard at before next season? They already know all there is about AAAA Matt Chico don't they? Detwiler is still young, still a potential #1, #2, #3 as their #1 2007 draft pick now at the advanced age of 24. Riggleman himself said whoever they bring up the plan on keeping for awhile to evaluate. So, Batista starts so that Detwiler gets enough rest in between starts. This team isn't going anywhere and they need top of the rotation starting pitchers next year. Chico is another #4, #5 who cannot even beat out a JD Martin.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Oooops well Ladson said Detwiler gets the start on Sunday … that of course means Batista comes in if he tires early. So, its a swap.Matt Chico is like Lannan, lhis saving grace is his left handedness as a starter. However,iIf I were these guys I would start thinking about wrangling a relief role.

  11. Souldrummer - Jul 23, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    It's very hard to think about Lannan and Chico as relievers to me. To me, relievers are guys who have a plus pitch and are short a secondary pitch or two that won't get them through the lineup a second or third time. Those are guys who have to get buy on guile and command and ground balls. Looks to me that Chico needs to go elsewhere to get a real shot and Lannan has to get it together for a real chance to make the club out of camp. He's gonna be at a disadvantage because tie often goes to the bigger contract or bigger name like Marquis and Wang.

  12. rmoore446 - Jul 23, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I wish the various anonymi posters would take a few seconds to pick out a handle so the rest of us could tell them apart. Gets to be a pain agreeing or arguing in a lone string and there are five folks posting as "Anonymous"

  13. rmoore446 - Jul 23, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    opps…make that "in a long string" and not "lone"

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 23, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    The only problem I have with Detwiler is the short rest. But hopefully, he's here to stay. Rmoore446,,, alot of the anonymous posters are guys who had handles but got tired of the ridicule they got for their constant "sky is falling and you're all idiots" posts.

  15. natsfan1a - Jul 23, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Rmoore, agreed, but as NatsJack hints, some of the anonymi (loved that, btw) may not particularly care about facilitating discussion with blog denizens. At least we can sometimes still tell who's who due to frequent displays of the same bias or to syntactic and formatting tendencies. Well, that, and the fact that some are given to making nearly identical posts on other blogs while using their old moniker(s). ;-)

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 23, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Well said Natsfan1a. I've seen Peric post on other sites that don't get much traffic.

  17. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    So Detwiler will be starting Sunday. At least we'll get a good look at him to see what he's got…

  18. Josh - Jul 23, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Fair enough, I will try to deanonymize myself in the future. I am the guy who keeps referencing WAR.

  19. Cwj - Jul 23, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    I was an Anon at first, but I always use Cwj now.

  20. rmoore446 - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    Thank you Cwj!! And I don't if anonymi figure at some point they have "worn out" a name and change to another. Ideally, I'd like continuity from day to day but what really gets annoying is to have a single game string with a bunch a folks all posting as "anonymous." I used to post on various Nats blogs as Moorich but months ago I found it easier to tap into an existing profile and go this route.

  21. rmoore446 - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    And thank you Josh!

  22. Big Oil - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Evening fellow fans. A draft question for the others here:Do you expect the Nats to sign AJ Cole?Would you be upset if we didn't?I expect that we will, but KLaw put it at 50-60% the other afternoon. He also said he'd take Cole over Purke, an ace at TCU. Our system could use Cole so badly — upside of an ace, floor of a #3-4…pony up the million Ted. We've got Guzman coming off the books at the end of the year.Also, I've had dreams of us snagging Montero for Dunn.

  23. swang - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Just saw from MLB.com that the Nats picked up Riggleman's option for next year…

  24. Dryw - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    Really? Is there really NO place for Michael Morse in the lineup? And we can worry about what happens when he stops hitting when he actually stops hitting.

  25. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    A Michael Morse home run–that ought to earn him at least two weeks on the bench.

  26. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:39 AM

    Peric — I know you like to pick fights with people, but (1) I'm not a Chico lover, I just said that he was a better choice for this start than Batista. I'm happy they think Detwiler is ready and can pitch on short rest. And (2) I've never said that Martin is AAAA. I like JD, I don't think he's a long term solution for the rotation but he's pitched well this year, and did last year as well. And finally, Morse just hit another bomb. I will not apologize for believing and continuing to argue that he should get a shot to play more regularly. The only argument that people have come up with to justify Rigg's underuse of him is that somehow if he was good enough to play more it would have happened by now. That's a pretty lame excuse for not recognizing the possiblity that the guy could really help the team if he got more at bats.

  27. phil dunn - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    Riggleman to manage Nats next year—boy, is that depressing news!

  28. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    section 222, I think I'm also the very first, to say that Morse wasn't AAAA, looked a lot better than a too tall, lousy shortstop who belonged in Syracuse. So, of course I have been thinking he should have been starring from last year! But that's just me …Sorry for seeming like I was "picking a fight" … you are right … but you can well imagine I am really tired of people here denigrating JD Martin and Mike Morse. Including the blog owners and mainstream media types. They have been doing it since last year and continue. Yet somehow, some way JD Martin finds his way into the rotation often on sheer will and guts instead of talent. Its hard not to like someone like that … its probably why Livo likes him- peric

  29. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Looks like we're seeing Good Stammen tonight. Two starts in a row, that is progress. Keep it up Craig!

  30. Les in NC - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    @ phil dunn…there aren't alot of options out there for MLB managers are there? We could get Torre, but he is too expensive. Cox and Pinella are retiring. Showwalter is an AL manager and Bobby V (my fav of the bunch) is probably going to the Marlins. So we are stuck with a Riggleman who knows the team, and makes the minimum salary (if there is one).I don't like it, but he is probably the best we can get at this point.

  31. natscan reduxit - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:13 AM

    … okay. I'll jump on the bandwagon. Mr. Riggleman, I'd like you to meet my friend, Mike Morse. I think you two should hit it off.Go Nats!!

  32. Jim Webster - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    OK, somebody tell me where I can go to do penance for all the snarky comments I've made about the posters who've dumped on Riggs for not starting the Morse more often. Mea culpa, 3x.

  33. Les in NC - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    "A Michael Morse home run–that ought to earn him at least two weeks on the bench. "And two should earn him another 2…..

  34. Doc - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:23 AM

    For all of us who have been touting Michael Morse since he came up last year, treat yourself to another beer—one for each homerun tonight. Shame on you Rigglecan. Now if he hits another….

  35. twDC - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    bench Morgan and play Morse and Bernadina. Riggleman, it's an easy and the only choice for you.

  36. sec314 - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    I would have left Stammen in for at least another inning. Clippard is proving that he's over used.

  37. BallstonNat - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    Super work Clippard. Better work Riggs. Waiting a touch too long to pull Clippard when it was apparent he didn't have it again, and then double-switching our offense aka Morse.

  38. wcoastpete - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    Way to go Riggs, Taking the hottest bat (morse)out of the lineup. why am I surprised.

  39. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    Oh Riggs. Really? The game is now tied, and you take out our hottest hitter. Is it really all that important to keep Burnett in the game? Come on!

  40. Anonymous8 - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    Did you see Mike Morse's face on the bench after he was pulled.It's like, gee thanks, what do I have to do? Hit 3 HRs in 3 ABs?Come on Riggs!

  41. Sec3MyAnonymous - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    I have a friend who's a beat writer for the Cubs, and he says "Riggleman is good. Get him some talent." I respect a professional opinion, but honestly, I just don't see it. The guy seems like a bad gin rummy player to me.

  42. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    Brilliant move to switch out Morse so that Burnett could stay in the game and throw away the lead. Just brilliant.

  43. Wcoastpete - Jul 24, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    Maybe we can pinch hit Morse in the 9th since we took him out in the 6th, oh wait thats little league ball. Not sure if Riggs knows the difference, hey at least we signed him for next season.

  44. Anonymous8 - Jul 24, 2010 at 3:16 AM

    Did you see Willie Harris on that 3-1 pitch in the 9th? He literally stood straight with his bat over his shoulder as if he was being intentionally walked. He should have crouched closer to maybe earn a walk if that was his intention.Here I thought that maybe Willie Harris had turned the corner and would see .200 again!

  45. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    Riggleman redux in 2011?Isn't my T-Ball coach available?

  46. Steve - Jul 24, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Finding this way late, so probably no one is gonna see it and add to it, but the Nats reupping with Riggleman is pretty disappointing. There are too many signs of zero creativity, and continued troubling signs of running pitchers into the ground. (Even with Clippard, while he said he didn't want to do it then doing it anyway in the first half.)I cannot believe that there are not better options out there.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Remember, it's the Lerners. Has nothing to do with better and everything to do with cheaper.

  48. natscan reduxit - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    … okay, it's time – time to trade Mike Morse. No, not for the team's sake, hell no. It's for his sake! How much more rejection and disregard can he be expected to endure, for God's sake?Go Nats … I dare ya'!

  49. Joe Seamhead - Jul 24, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    I am, like most of here, baffled by Riggleman's crappy handling of Mike Morse. Mike has been pretty darn good in most situations and the continual yanking him in games is just BS. Morse's stats just don't justify Rigg's moves:6 HR's,26Hits,16 RBI's in 77 AB's1,022OPSAgainst LH pitchers: .310BA/643SLGAgainst RH's: .371BA/ .629 SLG I know the guy isn't the most graceful looking fielder, but since he stopped playing as a starting SS with Seattle in 2005 the guy has not had one error while playing 3B, 1B, LF, and RF. Not one error since 2005 even makes it hard to make the defensive replacement argument. He also has a decent arm.Riggleman's "situational" handling of Mike Morse is just absurd. You want to platoon him with Bernadina, fine. But for goodness sakes, man, don't pull him in every game that you start him.

  50. Deja Vu - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Section 222 said… Looks like we're seeing Good Stammen tonight. Two starts in a row, that is progress. Keep it up Craig! July 23, 2010 9:10 PM ============================================What game were you watching? This guy is a relief pitcher at best. He has had 2 decent starts this year and can't make it through the 5th and you call that progress!

  51. Jimmy - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Oh Boy, we are so lucky we get DOUBLE SWITCH Riggleman back in 2011. I don't know if I can stand him another season. Also, can't we improve on front door, back door and swing back Bob Carpenter. Whatever happened to the good announcers who didn't have to be part of the game. They just reported the game!Also, when are we going to get out of those ugly RED uniforms. The only time George WASHINGTON wore red was in the French and Indian War. He was a British soldier. We should be in BLUE with red trim. BE TRUE AND WEAR BLUE!!!Do you like being the JR. CINCINNATI REDS? Mr. Wsh Nat

  52. Sunderland - Jul 24, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Mark – Do you have any sense as to whether the players in the clubhouse are confused / frustrated with the lack of playing time for Michael Morse?One would think that guys that want to win want to see Morse in the lineup more often, and maybe, just maybe, for 9 innings every now and then.Whether they verbalize it or not, there's got to be some guys shaking their heads at the double switches, and at the lineup cards.

  53. Richard - Jul 24, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Since we're beating up on Bob Carpenter along with our usual stuff about various Nats, I'd like to put in a good word for Bob Carpenter's commentary. IMHO it's perceptive and knowledgeable about baseball and often light-hearted and fun. Who are some "good announcers who didn't have to be part of the game." Back in the day I enjoyed Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons and now John Miller who, like Carpenter, favored/favor the home team but still were/are "pros", as Riggleman likes to say. I think maybe one could make a case for Dibble being a little over the top, although, hey, I enjoy his commentary, too. On the other hand, I don't like Joe Buck's commentary on the Fox game of the week, who is (or should be) non-partisan but often seems distracted and not focused on the game at hand. Maybe the ancient one, Vince Scully? But his blood is blue, right? BTW, have you listened to him lately? Still going strong.

  54. Joe Seamhead - Jul 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Sunderland, I think that you're correct in thinking that the guys have to be shaking their heads. It really screws with team chemistry, which is where I think Riggleman just doesn't get it. Hey, look, I'm pulling for Riggs to succeed, being a local guy and all, but a lot of us are losing confidence in him.

  55. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    @Dejavu — Clearly I spoke too early (note the time of my post– 9:10 pm). I was being hopeful, and I deeply apologize to you and to anyone else I offended. With the benefit of hindsight, which you had at 9:27 am this morning, I see the error of my ways, and will endeavor to never post anything again that might turn out to be wrong in retrospect… yeah right!On the topic of the day, Riggs' overmanaging, it seems to me that all the doubleswitches he pulled last night, including the infamous switching out of Morse and his hot bat, were the result of trying to avoid pinch hitting for the pitcher in the next inning, rather than trying to improve the defense. So if only Morse had gotten a hit in the 6th inning, he might have avoided getting pulled. That seems nuts to me, but I'd be interested in the analysis (with generous doses of hindsight) of the rabble in here.

  56. N. Cognito - Jul 24, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Crapenter and Dribble just don't know when to STFU! They believe they have to fill every second of airtime with their voices, as such, much of what they say is nonsensical and idiotic gibberish.I have no problems with announcers being homers, as long as they are objective. These two clowns are far from objective.

  57. Michael J. Hayde - Jul 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    N. Cognito: Which broadcast are you talking about? I watched last night's game, and there were several moments of silence when pitches were fouled off… and both Carpy and Dibble were quick to compliment the other team's players when they made some great catches/pitches/etc. (They consistently pointed out Stammen's mistakes as well.)

  58. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Section 222 said…Well done, sec222. Laughing out loud here. :-)@Dejavu — Clearly I spoke too early (note the time of my post– 9:10 pm). I was being hopeful, and I deeply apologize to you and to anyone else I offended. With the benefit of hindsight, which you had at 9:27 am this morning, I see the error of my ways, and will endeavor to never post anything again that might turn out to be wrong in retrospect… yeah right!

  59. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    Crap. Actually, I saidWell done, sec222. Laughing out loud here. :-)and sec222 said the rest of it.

  60. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    Thanks 1a. Just trying to keep things light in here. I get worked up like everyone else, but in the end it's just a game and we're trying to have fun.

  61. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    Agreed, 222.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 +0.5
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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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.
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