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Game 108: Nats at Diamondbacks

Aug 4, 2010, 10:12 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals reach the two-thirds mark of the season tonight at Chase Field.

Lineup change below

PHOENIX — Game 3 of this four-game series in the desert features a couple of starting pitchers who have virtually no experience against their opposing lineups.

Ian Kennedy — a former Yankees prospect who came to Arizona in last winter's three-team trade with Detroit that involved Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer and others — starts for the Diamondbacks. Nobody on the current Nationals roster has ever faced the right-hander. (We saw last night how all the guys who had never seen Joe Saunders before fared.)

Craig Stammen, though, is equally a mystery to the Diamondbacks. Their only batters who have faced him before are Adam LaRoche (3-for-5 with two homers) and our old friend Ryan Church (1-for-5 with a double). Church, who since last playing for the Nats in 2007 has been traded three times and played for four teams (the Mets, Braves, Pirates and now Diamondbacks), makes his Arizona debut tonight batting eighth and starting in left field.

Nice to see Mark Reynolds back in the Diamondbacks' lineup after getting drilled in the head last night by Collin Balester. Only change for the Nationals is at shortstop, where Alberto Gonzalez gets the nod over Ian Desmond tonight.

This being Game 108, the Nats reach the two-thirds mark of the season. A win tonight would put them on pace to finish 72-90.

Check back throughout the evening for updates…

Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 9:40 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Sunny, 105 degrees outdoors (78 degrees indoors)

CF Roger Bernadina
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Bonnie Jo - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    I thought the D-backs showed exemplary sportsmanship last night in NOT beaning any of the Nats in retaliation for MArk Reynolds. They saw that Ballestar screwed up and didn't start a beanball war, unlike the Pirates (sorry, Mark) who took McCutchin's ball to the head personally. I disagree with the umpires' guidelines that instruct them to take every pitch at the head as intentional. As we have seen, not all pitchers at the major league level have such accuracy.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Balester has no idea where he is throwing the ball. He belongs in the grave yard for pitchers where Logan Kensing is buried.

  3. Anonymous - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    I know this may sound crazy but what if the nats batted Dunn 2nd. First when nyjer gets on base pitchers needs to throw over to first a ton (one easy way to get him out), when this happens a pitcher is more likely to throw a mistake pitch the next pitch he throws. Dunn takes advantage of this. also with Dunn being a leftly it ubstructs the catchers view of morgan and it would be easier for him to steal. You have zim batting behind him so he has protection. and zim has protection from willingham. also with dunn batting earilier in the line up the nats will have more of a chance where a def sub can come in for him without having to give up his bat in the top or bottom of the ninth. I know riggs seems to like to bat dunn ahead of zim. maybe one day hell try this.

  4. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Anon: I love the idea. Plus, Dunn has a great OBP and doesn't swing & miss often, and having his bat higher up in the lineup is A Good Thing.

  5. Section 222 - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    Dunn doesn't swing and miss often??I wonder if Nyjer's quad strain was aggravated by that running catch in left center last night. He didn't look too happy afterward.

  6. Anonymous - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    dunn needs to bat behind Zim to protect him.

  7. Anonymous8 - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Glad to see Bernadina getting the work in the leadoff.

  8. Ernie - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    Is it wrong that I'm actually happy to see Ryan Church again? I always felt the same way about Schneider, Johnson and Vidro too. In the past week I've been following the AL a little bit with Capps and Guzman. The only way for a Nats fan to have a rooting interest in the postseason: follow our "alumni." Kind of like following college football players once they go to the NFL. (No, wait, that would mean that the Nats are like an amateur team… I shouldn't say that…should I?)

  9. ckstevenson - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    Ian Desmond + Adam Kennedy = Ian Kennedy? (or his evil cousin Adam Desmond…)

  10. Sam - Aug 5, 2010 at 12:02 AM

    Dunn had made contact 71.3% of the time he swings in his career. League average is right around 80% every year. So, he does swing and miss a lot, but it's not a terribly high amount.Also, protection does not exist. It has been studied over and over and over…doesn't exist.

  11. Anonymous - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:36 AM

    so if your batting and a player hitting 330 and a good # of jacks is behind you your saying you wouldnt be given more strikes. I find that hard to believe.

  12. Dryw - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:58 AM

    Got to love lead-off walks.

  13. DKSW - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    I am afraid that tonight it's going to be Bad Stammen. Better drop a few more bombs, Mr. Dunn.

  14. Anonymous8 - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:04 AM

    Stammen got the DP. That could have been super ugly as Stammen was throwing BP before the DP….

  15. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    Can I vote Stammen off the island once Jesus, Marquis, Maya, et al, return to form?It takes him 15 pitches to get an out, he walks pitchers on five pitchers, can't even waste an 0-2 pitch on those rare occasions when he gets ahead of the batter, and is absolutely the worst on the staff in trying to protect a lead.I know everybody raves about his stuff: what I see is a so-so 90-91 mph fastball, a so-so slider he often leaves up in the zone, terrible location and very little mental toughness.Stammen = Bally Star of 2009

  16. Anonymous8 - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:53 AM

    DKSW – Ask and you shall receive. DUNN x 2

  17. Anonymous8 - Aug 5, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    Whoa, Matt Capps with a blown save for the Twins.Looks like Danny Espinosa hit 3 HRs tonight so maybe Dunn wants to meet or exceed that total!

  18. Chris - Aug 5, 2010 at 3:59 AM

    Love the big middle finger Adam Kennedy is giving JayB tonight. Makes me happy.

  19. Nervous Nats Fan - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:09 AM

    Mark, please don't write about the double plays tonight, or they might ground into 9 tomorrow.

  20. Anonymous8 - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:10 AM

    Chris – Let's be fair to all on Adam Kennedy. The guy wouldn't get his jersey dirty until recently and for the last 3 weeks is playing inspired baseball.Now if you can get Willie Harris and Justin Maxwell playing that way, then this team may go on some nice winning streaks!

  21. Doc - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:24 AM

    That homer Morse hit for his 7th, only Zim hits balls like that for the Nats. Hopefully, Morgan will get the rest for his hip that he deserves!

  22. Aussie Gus - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    Not that I don't like our catcher named Wil, but the other catcher named Wil has made a VERY nice start in AAA. 4 games, 15 AB, 4 R, 6 H, including a HR and a 3B.

  23. HabsProf - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    No doubt J-Max was inserted as a defensive replacement. The is little chance he will bat in this game.

  24. Slidell - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:58 AM

    A curly W in the books!

  25. HabsProf - Aug 5, 2010 at 5:01 AM

    And it is nice to see Stammen get that curly W. (I've always had a soft-spot for those who have to fight and claw for a roster spot).

  26. Anonymous8 - Aug 5, 2010 at 5:02 AM

    Nice offense and good defense and a little bit of luck!

  27. Doc - Aug 5, 2010 at 5:04 AM

    MarkMeister, there's no reason for that swimming pool not to be 'infamous'. As Yogi would say, "….you could look it up….".

  28. Michael J. Hayde - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Doc, kindly resume your role as armchair GM and leave the evolution of the English language to the professionals.Mark, thank you for the inspiration.

  29. Anonymous - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Doc, I have to agree with you. Maybe Mr. Hayde should try his hand writing about real people.

  30. Michael J. Hayde - Aug 5, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Michael J. Hayde - Aug 5, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    "Maybe Mr. Hayde should try his hand writing about real people."Actually Anon, I've written about several real people; creative people who use their real names. Pity that won't be you in this or any other lifetime.





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