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Game 102: Braves at Nats

Jul 29, 2010, 4:05 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Scott Olsen faces Derek Lowe in today's series finale.

Scott Olsen returns to the mound today for the first time since late-May, hoping to recapture the form he displayed earlier this season before landing on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. The Braves counter with sinkerball specialist Derek Lowe, who actually has struggled against the Nationals. Over the last two seasons, he's 1-4 with an ERA over 5.00 against the Nats.

Everyone's favorite benchwarmer, Michael Morse, gets the start in right field, even against a right-hander. Wil Nieves is behind the plate, giving Ivan Rodriguez the day off.

Check back throughout the afternoon for updates…

BRAVES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 12:35 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 90 degrees, Wind 8 mph LF to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (43-58)
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    how will we win if wee willie doesn't start?

  2. JayB - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Adam Fu&#ing Kennedy again!!! He and Harris contributed more than anyone to the loss yesterday and about 15 games so far this season…..and why is Riggleman coming back again?

  3. Knoxville Nat - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    JayB wrote:" He (Kennedy)and Harris contributed more than anyone to the loss yesterday…." How did AK contribute more than anyone to the loss yesterday? Hudson owned just about everyone in that lineup. If I recall correctly Kennedy had one base hit and might well have had another if the ball he hit up the middle had not hit Hudson. That ball was hit hard and might well have ended up as a base hit to CF setting up Zimmerman quite nicely for a RBI situation. Yes it turned into an out but your exaggerations are really starting to cross the line of credibility.

  4. Feel Wood - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Again, whatever happened to the plan to have Desmond bat second more often? He's only done it once since Riggleman announced the plan two weeks ago. At the time, Riggleman said he hadn't been batting Desmond second because he didn't have anyone else to bat eighth. But today he's found Nieves to bat eighth, yet Desmond's still not batting second.Did you know that in 1984 the band Talking Heads did a cover album of Jim Riggleman songs? Yeah, it was called Stop Making Sense.

  5. HHover - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Is that Bryce Harper out in RF? Or did Mike Morse hijack his tanker truck of eye black?

  6. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    It doesn't matter because Mighty Morse is here to save the day!

  7. JayB - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    I was sitting with my regular crowd of season ticket holders when Kennedy came up after two straight hits….1st and 3rd with one out…..we all looked at each other and said…..Double Play at the same time……sure enough….check Marks writing….he is the slowest guy on the team out of the box with a run on the line….that DB took for ever to develop and he was out by 5 steps….Harris 3 K's…….like that is a surprise.

  8. Doc - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Gooo Scott and Michael! Give this team something to cheer about!

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Holy Cow!!! Desmond actually goes deep the opposite way!!! And he's made routine plays!Maybe he will figure it out!

  10. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    i love "Mighty Morse".

  11. JayB - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Ian D looks like he is using Dunn's bat today……If we just could get a 2B or SS to go along with Ian we would be so much better….Rizzo really blew the Kennedy winter signing decisions….Really poor player evaluation there…Kennedy is so done in baseball.

  12. Pete - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Morse's intro music is "AHA". Hahaha!

  13. Smatt1001 - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Wow a single by Wil Nieves. He was finally due.

  14. Mighty_Morse - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Mark,What do you think about putting a claim on Wilkin Ramirez, the Tigers just DFA'd him making room for Jhonny Peralta. I think he is worth a shot!

  15. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Who?

  16. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    JayB,Just because you keep repeating the same dribble doesn't mean you know anything about baseball.These are Kennedy's numbers for last year:.289 .348 .410 .758 and this was on 525 at bats; if he played daily his numbers would likely be in the same neighborhood. Ian; who you use as a positive example has these numbers:.252 .291 .379 .670 quit using microscopic examples to make your ridiculous points; if you want to have an intelligent discussion then do some homework.

  17. David - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Kennedy also has 11 SB and has yet to be caught. Its not Kennedy's offense production, which is not to far off his norm that concerns me it is his defense. This also applies to Desmond! Pitching and defense up the middle is not just a saying.

  18. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    Nice game from Olsen. A couple of RBI's from Nieves. Nice team effort so far. Oh, and BTW, it's jsut a game. Enjoy!

  19. Knoxville Nat - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    JayB,Tell me exactly how did Rizzo blow the Kennedy signing last winter? Once they were out of the Hudson deal who else was on the FA market for him to chase? And don't give me the same old "cheap Lerners" line, Hudson was/is a better player than Kennedy but he priced himself out of the market by demanding a multiple year contract when the Nats were looking for a one year deal. After Hudson, AK was the best available second basemen on the market for considerably less money.

  20. Doc - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Olsen hasn't thrown a hard slier yet. Not sure he can get by on a 90 mile an hour fastball and a changeup—but he's doing a good job of trying!

  21. Michael J. Hayde - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    "If he can get through the top of the sixth unscathed and before the rain hits, that would have to go down as a fantastic performance from the lefty. Couldn't expect much more than six innings and two runs in his first start back from the DL."That was a very Bob Carpeterish thing for you to do, Mark, jinxing poor Olsen like that! ;-)

  22. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Michal J. Hayde: Well, technically, Olsen still did go six innings allowing only two EARNED runs, so I didn't totally blow it. But I know what you mean. :)

  23. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    Error by Desmond–shocking! The more things change…

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Hey.. C'mon… What do you expect? He's handled 4 or 5 prior to the error.Can't we cut a rookie a break?This is exactly who he has been through out his entire career. Maybe 2B is the answer once we find a real shortstop.

  25. DJ - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Anon @ 2:26…..Did you see the play? The ball was hit hard, it could've been ruled either way. He's had a very good day at the plate and at short.

  26. waddu eye no - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    good for miss iowa. i'm glad someone following the nats has a sense of humor.maybe batista will play in a bikini

  27. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    Do you know if Oswalt will make the trip and start tomorrow for the Phils?

  28. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    That's what the WP is saying.

  29. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Just heard from a writer friend in Philly who said everyone there is assuming Oswalt will start tomorrow, though that hasn't been made official yet. Roy Oswalt and Miss Iowa on the same night! What an event!

  30. Smatt1001 - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    Now if only he'll have another short outing against the Nationals, like he did when we face him in Houston in May

  31. Bowdenball - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    While it's painful to deal with the Phillies and their fans in the short term, everything that's happened with that team in the last year has been great news for the Nats. They are mortgaging their future to win now, picking up 30-something pitchers in exchange for their best prospects and handing Ryan Howard a crippling contract that is going to cost them Werth and Rollins and plenty more in coming years. The Nats were never gonna compete with them this year and maybe not even next year, so it's an absolute thrill to see the division power shoot themselves in the foot for 2012 and beyond, just when the Nat should be rounding into form.Chin up, Nats fans. When those intolerable jackasses invade our park this weekend, just remember that their time at the top is coming to an end.

  32. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Hope Olsen is the lead story in the moring. Nice job!

  33. Arlington Big Fish - Jul 29, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Re the intolerable jackasses: I got a call a couple of weeks ago from the Nats ticket office, warning me that a group had bought a large block of tickets around my 2 seats for the July 31 game. I said, "AHA!!, Phillies Fans." He wouldn't confirm or deny who they were, but after my experience with the jackasses on Opening Day, I took the hint & upgraded my seats to the Club Level — where (I hope) there's less of a chance I'll be surrounded.I learned 2 things from this little episode:1. The Nats really are trying to keep their season-ticket fan base happy.2. The screaming & moaning from us about the Opening Day debacle made an impression on someone in a position of authority.

  34. David - Jul 29, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Dunn goes yard!!! Pay the man Shirley.

  35. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    I like the Nats. I think they're improving. 2 out of 3 from the Braves. Are the Braves bad? No. Are we as bad as some people here say? No. And Olsen is a great story. Hoping for more of the same over the next few weeks.

  36. Mighty Morse - Jul 29, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    @ Anon 1:45PMWilkin Ramirez is one of the Tigers top prospects and played for the world team during the Futures Game All-Star weekend.So what do you think Mark, does Rizzo take a flier on this kid? He is a power hitting OF who needs a bit of plate discpline but has a big upside.

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