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Game 106: Nats at Diamondbacks

Aug 2, 2010, 10:10 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chase Field, the sometimes-indoor, sometimes-outdoor home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

PHOENIX — Good afternoon from Chase Field in downtown Phoenix, where it's a dry and balmy 95 degrees right now, gorgeous weather for this time of year in the Valley of the Sun. Don't worry, the mercury is expected to climb well past the century mark the rest of the week.

As you can tell from the above photo, the roof is currently closed. Sometimes, they open the thing right before gametime, but according to the Chase Field Roof Hotline — yes, they actually have a hotline — it's going to stay closed tonight.

Livan Hernandez takes the mound for the Nationals, facing a Diamondbacks lineup that produces a ton of home runs but strikes out even more. Five players have already struck out more than 90 times this season, led by Mark Reynolds, who is on pace to shatter his own MLB record of 223 whiffs in a season.

Rodrigo Lopez starts for Arizona, which can only hope to get a quality start out of the journeyman right-hander and avoid having to ask too much of a bullpen that owns an atrocious 6.51 ERA. Yes, the Nats have to like their chances at the plate tonight and throughout the series.

Check back throughout the evening for updates…

Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 9:40 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 95 degrees, Wind 4 mph in from LF

CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Amazement … blinking in the bright sunlight … ???No JMax immediately inserted into the lineup? Wow!

  2. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    i'm thinking sweep.-longterm

  3. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    JMax in with the first double-switch … my guess? For Willingham.

  4. cadeck13 - Aug 2, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    JMax will be the first double switch. I think Riggleman needs an intervention, he's seriously addicted to double switches. Is there any other manager who uses this tactic daily?

  5. Doc - Aug 2, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    I'll bet that Riggleman double switches his wife, kids, and dogs.

  6. kgwcoach - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    If you have starting pitchers that consistently go seven innings you don't have the need to do a lot of double switches. But when you have a starting pitching staff that is lucky to make it past 4 innings it forces more double switches to keep pitchers available for more than a inning. Give Riggs eight every day players, then you would see a lot less substitutions in the field also. Folks there is a cause and effect at play with the way Riggs manages.

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    I'm with kgwcoach. Lannan killed us yesterday by barely making it through five with 96 pitches. Riggs had to double-switch to avoid running out of pinch-hitters (He only had four bench players, ahead of the return of the much-adored J-Max). So every time Riggs wanted a lefty-righty switch on the mound, he had to do a double-switch to avoid pinch-hitter for the pitcher in the next inning or so. Riggs probably overmanages, but sometimes there is no alternative.

  8. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    Staying up late to watch this whole series, because I'll miss it so bad in December, even if they stink it up.Who's with me?!

  9. Anonymous8 - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    I don't follow the DBacks. Crazy to see Mark Reynolds in the 6 hole.

  10. souldrummer - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    I'm with you Nattaboy! I must say, it is a bit frustrating that Strasburg won't get to face the D'Backs this year. These guys are a K factory and he could rack up some scary K numbers against this team.

  11. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    Souldrummer for comment of the night :)Mark – where does Arizona rank as far as places/ballparks to visit? Do beat writers get access to the pool in center field?Prediction: nats win 8-6. Livo goes 6 scoreless but has to fight off rallies. Nats with early rout but bullpen struggles make it close. Big nights for willingham and Desmond

  12. Sec3MySofa - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    Mark, you *know* you've just jinxed the [expletive] out of them, right?

  13. Richard - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Does anybody else think "Sunshine_Bobby …" was mis-named? Lannan killed us? He went 5 innings allowing 2 runs, none after the first inning. He's just back from AA, maybe we allow for a little human emotion. And a lot of regular Major League starters don't go 6 innings. Okay, its not a "quality start", which I'd call 7 innings, but Strasburg only goes 6 innings for now and he's not "killing us". Anyway, I'm staying up with Nattaboy to watch the game to find out who'll kill us this time.

  14. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    The guy has one of the best user names you'll ever see and mostly lives up to it. I agree with you but I'll give him a pass. Lannan's start did hurt us but it wasn't john's fault, as the bullpen had already been taxed.

  15. Sec3MySofa - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    Nattaboy, speaking strictly for me, not one of my favorite places, although I will say this for them: the ushers do seem to enforce the Wait for a Stop in Play rule. When the team isn't in the playoffs, it's the world's largest elevator, except it doesn't go up or down–but nobody talks or looks at the people next to them, apparently. At least in DC, they talk to the people they came in with. The park had one of the best names as The BOB–then they sold the rights elsewhere. Bummer.

  16. Anonymous8 - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    That pickoff of Nyjer was as bad as some I have seen in our local kids league when the player isn't paying attention. EMBARASSING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Anonymous - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Sometimes I wonder why pitchers bother pitching to Nyjer. Why not intentionally walk him and then pick him off?

  18. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    Thanks for the report. Go Zim!Speaking strictly for me:Nats ParkRFKWrigleyFenwayOPACYComericaJacob's (progressive or whatev)GASPOld Yankee StadiumMiller ParkTurnerFulton CountySheaYeah hammer! So far so good

  19. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    Anybody see what that banner said? It'd be very cool if it was supporting AZ's new law and Livo had it torn down.p.s. Pudge is awesome

  20. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    Ruh roh.

  21. URban@DC - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    Dunn Dunn Dunn

  22. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    According to AKilgore on Twitter, the banner said "Don't Fund Hate." AZ fans cheered when it was taken down.I'm part of the "staying up because I'll miss baseball in December" club. And if we keep hitting dingers that will make dragging around the office tomorrow very worthwhile.

  23. Doc - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    Mark, about catchers hitting more than 300 HR, you might add Gary Carter and his 324 HRs, unless he was playing other positions at some point.

  24. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:38 AM

    Doc: Gary Carter came up just short. Only hit 298 of his 324 homers as a catcher. The rest came as PH, 1B and RF(?!).

  25. Michael J. Hayde - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:44 AM

    "It landed 10 rows behind the infamous swimming pool."Is this swimming pool noted for being especially vile or evil? Because that's what "infamous" means… it does not mean "extra-famous" or "extremely well-known."Sorry for the snark but, as a writer, this has long been a pet peeve.

  26. Anonymous - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:51 AM

    i believe it is known as ubiquitous or silly, and famous for such. so while it may not be evil, i think the spirit of infamous extends itself towards things that are famous for reasons other than greatness

  27. Bzl. - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Fielding, base running, now run-downs. Is this the stupidest team ever?

  28. Michael J. Hayde - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Anon 10:51. Sorry, but according to Merriam-Webster:1 : having a reputation of the worst kind : notoriously evil 2 : causing or bringing infamy : disgraceful 3 : convicted of an offense bringing infamyPopular usage of 'infamous' as "things that are famous for reasons other than greatness" has not yet extended to the dictionary. Maybe it will one day, if people keep using it incorrectly. But gadflies like me will continue to harp on it.Back to the game. We're still winning!

  29. Slidell - Aug 3, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    Lots of long outs tonight. Ball must carry the way it does in Denver.Livo seems dialed in; maybe another CG?

  30. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 3, 2010 at 3:16 AM

    Michael J. Hayde: I understand what you're saying, though I'd make the case I was using it as your No. 2 definition. The swimming pool here has long been thought of as a joke and a very minor-league thing to have in a major-league ballpark.

  31. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 3:17 AM

    That's ridiculous. Marks usage definitely fits with your Webster bit. Traditional baseball folks would say having a swimming pool at a ballpark would give you a reputation of the worst kind.Anyway, great info on the banner. 2 bits says t plush swipes this one

  32. Anonymous - Aug 3, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    You mean that when FDR said “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy” referencing Pearl Harbor, he did not mean that Pearl Harbor was famous for other reasons besides a surprise attack by the Japanese? Wow you learn something new everyday. Desmond's defense or lack there of does meet the second definition.

  33. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Racing ex-players? Weak. I get the feeling that of these 2 teams that are out of contention, the nats just care more. At this rate I'll get to bed at a fairly regular hour…Go nats!

  34. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 3:39 AM

    Ooh. Those of you who had Maxwell in the double switch pool can bring your $5 to Cheryl in accounting

  35. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2010 at 3:51 AM

    Ok, I'm sorry. Why do a double switch there? Is he really going to use Burnett in the 9th? If not, there's no reason for it. But now he's taken Dunn and Willingham out of the lineup. And we're only up by two runs against one of highest scoring teams in the league. This doubleswitchitis is simply out of control. Ok Sunshine, off to you to defend him.

  36. Nattaboy - Aug 3, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    Bang zoom! Nice work Sean!5 of the last 7. Break em' up!Goodnight and go nats!

  37. Cwj - Aug 3, 2010 at 4:04 AM

    Burnett had some nice stuff tonight. Had Riggs pulled him after the second out in the 9th, I would have been pissed.Since acquired last summer, Burnett has been quietly effective.

  38. Michael J. Hayde - Aug 3, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    Okay, so now I have to clarify 'infamous' definintion #2 by defining 'infamy?' Sheesh!Again, from Merriam-Webster:1 : evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking, or brutal;2 : an extreme and publicly known criminal or evil act.Attack on Pearl Harbor (or World Trade Center and Pentagon), yes. Cheesy swimming pool, no.And, continuing my notorious – but not infamous – post from an earlier thread, with tonight's win, the Nats have begun the 12-game winning streak that will, combined with .666 ball through the end of September, will bring them at or near contention. That is, if they want it enough.

  39. Anonymous - Aug 3, 2010 at 4:23 AM

    Less of this infamous discussion of infamous. More bashing Desmond for being dumber than dirt.

  40. Anonymous - Aug 3, 2010 at 4:26 AM

    Maybe the swimming pool is infamous because Dunn bombed it.

  41. OlneyTerp - Aug 3, 2010 at 5:25 AM

    Mark: I know Desmond is supposed to be an up-and-coming star, but is he coachable? Does he respond to coaching? Is he not real smart when it comes to baseball intelligence? I mean in one week he has botched a first-and-third play and just ambushed a run down play tonight. And it goes without saying that many of his fielding errors are because he sits back and waits for the ball to come to him instead of working his body toward the ball. I know he has to have been instructed on these things from the high school level up. I mean, most high school coaches would have a fit with the mistakes he makes. Any idea as to what is up with him? And don't tell me he is just a rookie. He has been playing pro ball for several years, and again, his mistakes aren't even acceptable at the high school leve.

  42. Buzz Killjoy - Aug 3, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    "RF(?!)"Mark, you are likely too young to have followed the Expos, especially in their early years, but Gary Carter came up with the team as a right fielder. He had a penchant for all out play from day one and the team decided that they'd save him from himself, after he crashed the wall one too many times, by making him a catcher and thus put less strain on his body!BTW, Jarry Park had a swimming pool just past the right field fence. Although it was outside the stadium, it was a favourite spot for Rusty Staub to park many of his home runs.

  43. Anonymous - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Mike Hayde: perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of "connotation," an associated or secondary meaning of a word, outsid of its strict dictionary definition, or "denotation." Additionally, one of your Mirriam-Webster definitions (number 2, I think) states that infamous means "disgraceful." The pool in the outfield at Chase Field is disgraceful and can therefore correctly be called infamous, denotatively.If you want to correct Mark's vocabulary, that's your call, but you should at least wait until he actually misuses a word to do it.

  44. TheNotoriousS.O.F.A. - Aug 3, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Mike, clearly "infamous" has been covered, but how you could whiff on Anon 10:51's "ubiquitious or silly" is beyond me.





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