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Game 110: Nats at Dodgers

Aug 6, 2010, 7:00 PM EDT


Photo courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger Stadium, a Southern California institution since 1962.

We've been talking all week about the changes that are about to come to the Nationals' starting rotation and about the difficult decisions Mike Rizzo, Jim Riggleman and Steve McCatty are going to have to make in the next few days with Jason Marquis and then Stephen Strasburg returning from the DL.

That leaves a bunch of other guys trying to prove they deserve to maintain their current rotation spot. Scott Olsen, Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler each got their shots in Arizona this week. Now it's John Lannan's turn.

The lefty enjoyed a fairly effective start Sunday against the Phillies in his return from Class AA Harrisburg. Tonight, he faces another tough challenge in the Dodgers, who were quite active at the trade deadline in acquiring Scott Podsednik, Ryan Theriot, Ted Lilly and Octavio Dotel. Los Angeles manager Joe Torre sends one of his best to the mound tonight in Clayton Kershaw, the young left-hander who over his last 16 starts is 9-4 with a 2.36 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 107 innings.

I'm not going to be in Los Angeles for this series; I'm sticking around Phoenix for a couple of days to spend time with family. Will head back to Washington on Sunday and be back at Nationals Park Tuesday for Strasburg's anticipated return. I'll post the lineups once they're announced later this afternoon…

NATIONALS at DODGERS
Where: Dodger Stadium
Gametime: 10:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (48-61)
CF Justin Maxwell
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 6, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Enjoy the family visit in Arizona, and travel safely back, Mark. Terrific work this week on all fronts, including the Dunn/Morgan/Jesus sim game/pitching musical chairs. You've been on top of it all, plus a pleasure to read your dream writing. You're the best.

  2. natsfan1a - Aug 6, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    I second my commenting colleague, Mr. Sunshine etc. etc.

  3. alm100 - Aug 6, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Jamey Carroll, ss for La – origional Nat, great guy.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    Lannan and Maxwell … not the best combination to have in your lineup if you are trying to give your team a chance to win.

  5. Anonymous8 - Aug 7, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    Maxwell, smart. Rizzo, not smart. OK, lets try this again!

  6. JaneB - Aug 7, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    Carroll is one of the ex-Nats I root for even when their new team plays us. Perverse I know. What a great guy he is. I so want Maxwell to figure it out — he seems like a great guy. And finally . thanks for these great, smart and well-written posts, Mark. I'm grateful for them, and for the chance to hear the funny and insightful comments of people like SunshineBobbyC and natsfan1a and so many others. Makes my day.

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    Thanks, JaneB, for the kind words. We're all glad you're here too. Enjoy the ballgame, and you're so right about Jamey Carroll. Pure class guy, and I root for him too. One of Frank Robinson's favorite players, too.

  8. Drew8 - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    Hey Mark: Now that Danny Espinosa has been promoted to Syracuse, will he move to second base?2b or not 2b, that is the question….

  9. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:58 AM

    Post of the day goes to Drew8 for posing that age-old query of "2b or not 2B, that is the question" on Espinosa.We might have to call in that old third base coach Willie Shakespeare to answer that…

  10. Section 222 - Aug 7, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    If anyone is still up and has Gameday Audio, listening to Vin Scully call this game is pure gold. Learning stuff about the Nats that I never knew, and I listen to/watch alot of games and read way too many blogs

  11. Ernie - Aug 7, 2010 at 2:49 AM

    J-Max with 2 strikeouts in the first two innings already. Glad we're giving this guy a shot to prove he is still as terrible as he is every other time. Call him Mr. Consistency, I guess. He may "look good" or seem like a "good guy," but if that's all I wanted, I'd read about him in People magazine. What a waste.

  12. Mark - Aug 7, 2010 at 2:52 AM

    I love the Maxwell Smart/Not Smart.He is swinging out of his shoes with his head off the ball. His swing is so long.Yep, it is tough to watch. 2 K's already. Rizzo, please put him out of our misery and bring up Lambin or Whiting.

  13. Slidell - Aug 7, 2010 at 2:58 AM

    Dunn 6 Dodgers 0

  14. Ernie - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:01 AM

    I think with that second Dunn home run I'm going to go to bed and dream happy dreams. Don't wake me up if this all crumbles. It's nice to see a few grown-ups playing on the team still. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow to learn that Rizzo signed him to an extension between innings…

  15. David - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:01 AM

    Pay the man, Shirley

  16. waddu eye no - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:11 AM

    scully might be the best thing about my MLB iphone app – one of the things i like to show off about it. i was a baby in brooklyn when he announced "the brooklyn dodgers are the world champions" or however he put it. i know it made my parents happy. i sometimes think they moved to NJ mainly because the dodgers left.

  17. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    Hat trick for J-Max.

  18. Doc - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:22 AM

    It's too bad really for J-Max. I mean he deserves to be a better hitter than he is, but it'll probably never happen.He's so far below the Mendoza Line, that we'll have to establish the 'Sub-Mendoza Line' just in his honor.

  19. Brian - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:59 AM

    How long until Morgan comes back? Like him or not, he is a true leadoff hitter. Look how often he distracts the opposing pitchers when he gets on base. Meanwhile, JMax will be going for the Golden Sombrero on his next at-bat. He'll be in the Mendoza sub-basement in no time. His defense is good, as evidenced by his diving catch tonight, but the offense just isn't there.

  20. Section 222 - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    Pretty soon Maxie will be at 1/2 the Mendoza line. Very said to find out that Scully only does the first three innings on the radio. Over to Charlie and Dave now, not going to ruin the night by listenting to Dibble.

  21. OlneyNat - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:22 AM

    Bunting twice up 6-3? Let them swing the bat. The first bunt gives us one chance with Gonzalez since the pitcher was following, the second took the bat out of Dunn's hands. Also, Clippard scares me.

  22. Anonymous - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:23 AM

    I believe Scully comes back for a couple of innings at the end of the game.

  23. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:51 AM

    A four-pack for J-Max. Mr. Mendoza, rest easy whereever you are.

  24. Sunshgine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 7, 2010 at 5:19 AM

    Lannan might make that September rotation call interesting, after all. nice win, thanks to the Big Dunn-key. Way to go, big guy.

  25. natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    So, did he miss it by "that much"? :-)Didn't see the game, it being a late one, but it's always nice to wake up to a curly w in my in-box!Jamey Carroll is one of my faves, too, and I've followed his career since he left the Nats.(And back at you, JaneB. That's one of the good things about the Internet, that we can commune with like-minded fans, whether they're local or in far-flung locales.)—I love the Maxwell Smart/Not Smart.He is swinging out of his shoes with his head off the ball. His swing is so long.

  26. Richard - Aug 7, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    A couple of weeks ago I was driving up the east coast to Boston late on a Friday night listening to west coast games on satellite radio to keep awake. I've got a Dodgers game on and am listening to Vince Scully. He's talking non stop, no breaks, without any help from a "color" guy, and everything he's saying is interesting! Inning after inning! He's unique.

  27. LoveDaNats - Aug 7, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Although it's great waking up to a Nats win (I'm waaaaay to old to watch till the end), I do miss Mark's analysis. I could always get a feel for what happened in a game I couldn't watch. But Mark deserves his days off as well so I guess it's "condensed game" on MLB at bat 2010. Come on, Nats, you're on a roll. See you at the park on Thursday.

  28. natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Yeah, I miss the analysis, too, LoveDaNats. Though, as you note, Mark has certainly earned his off days.

  29. JaneB - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Ok. I give. Nice guy, big heart or not — Maxwell is great in the outfield, and not good at bat. Though I still remember the dinger he hit at the last game last year. I can't trash him. But I see what's distressing about him, especially as a lead off guy. And glad to see Brian gives Nyjer his due as a good lead off man. Now I want to hear Vin Scully call our game. Will he tonight? Maybe I'll watch with the radio on.

  30. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    @JaneB: If it's a home game, Vin will be doing it on the radio. Enjoy. He's a living legend, and national treasure. The best, and has been for, oh, a half century or so. Goes all the way back to Brooklyn with this team. Class act all the way.

  31. Brian - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Scully is a legend – since I got home after the game started last night, and I can't pick up 1500AM on my car radio in western Fairfax County, I listened to Scully on XM. He does a TV/Radio simulcast for the first three innings, then goes to exclusively TV.

  32. natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Earlier this year I turned on MLB Network and they were showing the Dodger's first home game of the season. Scully had the call for the entire game.

  33. natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Eh, make that Dodgers'…

  34. Anonymous - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Maxwell now hitting .095.

  35. Doc - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Maxwell has a softball slow pitch swing. Strange that nobody has attempted to help him with it. Or, maybe they have, and he isn't able to adjust.

  36. BinM - Aug 7, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    I'm with all you guys regarding Vin Scully – He's truly one of the great baseball voices of all time. I grew up listening to him call Dodger games (early 60's, listening to a radio in SLC when the signal got a good bounce); He's absolute magic behind the microphone. —————I know Riggleman loves his L-R matchups, but Maxwell just isn't a ML hitter; He's great on defense, but he's got too many holes in his swing to ever be more than a #5OF, imo.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 56 44 --
ATLANTA 55 48 2.5
MIAMI 49 53 8.0
NEW YORK 49 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 45 58 12.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies 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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