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Game 101: Braves at Nats

Jul 28, 2010, 7:32 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After last night's craziness, Livan Hernandez looks to be a calming presence tonight.

So, there's another ballgame to be played tonight. Livan Hernandez is the scheduled starter for the Nationals. Though I suppose these days you can't assume anything until 7:05 p.m.

Hernandez's task is simple: Keep doing what he's been doing all season and give the Nats a chance to beat a really tough opponent in Tim Hudson, who in his career against the Expos/Nationals franchise is merely 9-1 with a 1.51 ERA. He also outdueled Stephen Strasburg last month in Atlanta, tossing seven scoreless innings.

As I mentioned earlier today, Josh Willingham is not in the starting lineup. Why? Probably because he's a career 1-for-20 with seven strikeouts against Hudson. (He also appeared to jam his leg sliding into second base on his sixth-inning stolen base last night.) Who on the Nats' roster does have a record of success against him? Ivan Rodriguez (13-for-29).

Check back throughout the afternoon and evening for updates…

BRAVES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly sunny, 91 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (43-57)
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Mr. Donkey - Jul 28, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    The grass looks terrible from the wear/tear caused by the friday night concert. Besides trying to figure out why stras wasn't pitching last night i was trying to figure out what was up with the grass. I thought it was a shadow for a while. Has it had any impact on play?

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 28, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Only the sideward bounces on fly balls that drop in for hits.

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 28, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Mark, What's Willie Harris career wise against Hudson?

  4. Feel Wood - Jul 28, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    "Besides trying to figure out why stras wasn't pitching last night i was trying to figure out what was up with the grass. I thought it was a shadow for a while. Has it had any impact on play?"Seems to have caused a radical improvement in the Nats defense. Perhaps they should have been inviting Dave Mathews Band in to rough up the field before every home stand this year.

  5. Grandstander - Jul 28, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Willie Harris is 2-9 lifetime against Hudson with 2 walks, a double, and 2 Ks.

  6. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    In the article about SS many commentators are suggesting that he must come back this year so he can pitch 40 or so more innings so that he can be extended to about 180 innings next year. Talk about ass backwards thinking; what you should be saying is that he should be protected beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt. Can you imagine if he comes back, suffers a rotator cuff injury or god forbid a torn labrun in a season where the team is headed to 70 wins? Since when did Dusty Baker start posting on this site? Any one who feels that SS should come back unless he is 1000% is nuts.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Harris and Riggleman == butt buddies.

  8. mike - Jul 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Mr. Kennedy batting second? Willie Harris in left? I like our chances!

  9. court - Jul 28, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    First, what's the difference between a reasonable doubt, a shadow of doubt and a reasonable shadow of doubt? Second, there's no damage in the shoulder as the MRI and hands-on testing all revealed. He's had this before and he's pitched thru it. Third, nobody is saying he should pitch if he's hurt. What I believe is that there comes a point where being overly cautious begins to retard his development. It's important to stretch him out to 140 innings, if possible. Thus, there's plenty of time for him to do a little stint on the DL to make sure nothing's wrong, miss two starts, and then pick it up where he left off. What I am against is simply shutting him down out of fear and panic. They did everything right with Jordan Zimmermann and his arm still blew out. So if Geezus is predisposed to an arm injury then shutting him down early will only delay the injury not prevent it. The guy is here to pitch, so if he feels fine after a few more days of rest, then the team should turn him loose. But of course, if he's not 100% then he shouldn't be out there.Time will tell with this, so everybody just needs to relax and wait and see what happens.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    Poor Morse. 2 home runs? A 2-3 follow up performance? Good job kid, now grab some pine! If you stay quiet I might give you a pinch hit late in the game. What a joke!

  11. N. Cognito - Jul 28, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    101! A silly millimeter longer.My God I'm old!

  12. Jim Webster - Jul 28, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Mark, ask Batista if he's up to the challenge: http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/category/sports/seankeeler/

  13. Dryw - Jul 29, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    Another base hit from Michael Morse. Just sayin'….

  14. Dryw - Jul 29, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    Not sure whether the idea of a double switch of Morse for Nieves should make me laugh or cry. Or perhaps run screaming from the room.

  15. Grandstander - Jul 29, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    Is it possible they pulled him early because they might start him on Sunday?

  16. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 29, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    Grandstander: That's a great point. I'll try to ask Riggleman about that after the game.

  17. Dave - Jul 29, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    Based on Pudge's reaction after his groundout, he is officially frustrated. .207 the past 2 months and .159 for July.&Hudson officially destroys the nationals. 7-0 with a 1.52 ERA in the past three years.

  18. Dave - Jul 29, 2010 at 1:34 AM

    Ha thats what i get for skimming Mark's game article (ie.Hudson's stats).

  19. Richard - Jul 29, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    The weak hitting on this team is very frustrating, especially when combined with the lack of starting pitching. Seems like very little progress over three years. Strasburg and Livo "and the rest the heave ho" wears very thin. The highly touted 3-4-5 hitters look very mediocre to me, on average, though the streaks are great. And Rodriquez is showing his age, I guess, although I don't know his history. Maybe he's another streaker to add to the list. Yet I don't like the solutions we hear from the blogosphere or media, either. Trading Dunn or others for A ballers and waiting 3 years for maybe a productive player hasn't worked. Paying a guy $5, $7.5 or other millions hasn't work. I hope Rizzo has some anwsers some day.

  20. Doc - Jul 29, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    Casey Stengle use to say some strange s$#@@, but it was all about him having some fun, and doing some major leg pulls with reporters. But this dude Riggleman says really strange s%$#, like his quotes on Willingham's playing status for the rest of the season. Unlike Casey, Riggleman really believes his nonsense–and really likes sharing his delusions with us. He also wants us to believe high quality baloney, like not batting Morse because Willie Nillie is a lefty.I can't believe that Willingham is happy to hear this s*&%$. I mean this is a guy that has been among the league leaders in OBP all year. Maybe they are getting ready to offer Willlingham a 4 month contract—take August and September off! Riggleman reminds me of an interim manager that the Expos once had (Jim Fanning) who even Bill Lee referred to as being from outer space—I mean Lee really knew his fellow space travelers!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 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.

*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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