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Game 117: Diamondbacks at Nats

Aug 14, 2010, 7:28 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to make it two in a row against the Diamondbacks.

Jason Marquis makes his fifth start tonight as a National, his second since returning from the DL. And he's still searching for his first victory of the season. Marquis was better in his last outing (two earned runs in four innings) but he still hasn't come close to producing anything resembling a quality start. In fact, he's yet to make it through the fifth inning. We'll see if he finally reaches that modest plateau tonight.

Marquis will be opposed tonight by Ian Kennedy. Not to be confused by Ian Desmond. Or Adam Kennedy. Though both of those guys are in the Nats' lineup. The Nats had success against the Arizona right-hander 10 days ago in Phoenix, knocking him out after four innings, with Adam Dunn taking him deep twice. Dunn, to no one's surprise, is in Jim Riggleman's lineup tonight.

Michael Morse, however, is not in the lineup after starting the Nationals' last 10 games. His numbers over that span: a .135 average (5-for-37), .158 on-base percentage, .297 slugging percentage. He does have two homers and three RBI, but he also has eight strikeouts and has grounded into three double plays.

Check back for updates before, during and after the game…

DIAMONDBACKS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (50-66)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam Dunn
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. Doc - Aug 14, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Our "Mike Morse Fan Club" is temporarily (only temporarily) silent. We're hoping that he comes off the bench tonight and smacks a big one!

  2. Feel Wood - Aug 14, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    With a stat line like that, isn't it about time for Riggleman to start finding some at bats for Morse to get him started?

  3. Slidell - Aug 14, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    I've seen Willie play right field, and it hasn't always been pretty. I know J-Max can't hit either, but he's reliable in the field and he's got a good arm. Must be a lefty-righty thing.

  4. Section 222 - Aug 14, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Of course it's a lefty-righty thing. This is Jim Riggleman we're talking about. I'm a charter member of the *Michael* Morse fan club. I'd keep starting him until Nyjer returns, but I'm beyond complaining about the lineups at this point, and maybe he needs a day off. 10 starts in a row is alot for a guy who has been on the bench all year. Plus, he's had a shot, and that's all we were asking for, right? No one in the club was guaranteeing results.

  5. dj in Fl. - Aug 14, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    We need Morse contributing, and if he is best of the bench, then use him off the bench regularly. There must be a real shortage of quality outfielders if you see the league leaders picking up Kearns and Guillen to bolster a streach run. Maybe we need a little contraction. How about we start with the Yankees, and spread their talent around the leagues. Just kidding, while savoring last nights win and that first cold beer on a hot August day. Lets get two in a row.

  6. Steve M. - Aug 14, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Michael Morse got into his first slump of the year and I blame Riggleman while Morse was on fire that he didn't have him in the lineup more often. Still a lot of time left to get Morse restarted and get him hot again. I still think Morse could be an everyday player.My bigger concern has been Willingham lasting a full season. He was an All Star calibre player to July 1st and it has been a shame his knee, back, whatever, that has been hampering him.

  7. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    For interesting — if not fundamentally perfect — baseball I'm eager to see Nyger back in there. Some sage in this venue predicted a stint on the DL for Nyger after the bobblehead night. Good work, whoever that was.

  8. Nervous Nats Fan - Aug 14, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    Eight double plays in ten games? Wow.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 14, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    First .. it's Nyjer…. and second, I can't wait till he's DFA'd in the off season.

  10. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Nervous Nats Fan: Sorry, that should be three double plays Morse has grounded into. Fixed it.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    God, Jason Marquis SUCKS!!!!

  12. HabsProf - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Mark: Just logged on to the game blog and I think your statement about the DP being a nice way to end the first is maybe a little bit of wishful thinking. The way I see it, Jason walked one batter and allowed the next to hit a sharp grounder that required a tough play to make a DP. Good defense by the Nats, but I didn't see much to like from Marquis.And as I type this, I see a lead-off double and a homer. I hope Jason will settle down, but this one is looking like it might be uglier than Nancy Pelosi in a thong.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    I'll say it again….. JASON MARQUIS SUCKS!!!

  14. Slidell - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Zimm gets one back.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    But Jason Marquis is still pitching!!! And no one is warming up!!!

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    Wille Harris looks at called strike 3 AGAIN!

  17. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    What was that Willie?

  18. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    @ManassasWhich is worse. Kennedy striking out swinging at a ball inches inside, or Harris taking two consecutive strikes over the plate. I vote Harris.

  19. HabsProf - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    Over/Under on how long Marquis will last? – About 4 innings.

  20. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    3-1 count with the pitcher up next and Willie takes strike two AND three. He's completely lost at the plate this year. He'll probably sign with the Marlins and crush the Nats next year. (Sorry I'm cranky after that inning)

  21. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    @ManassasApparently Bernadina is reading the blog he took the two over the plate a la WIllie, but strikes out swinging at one inside like Kennedy. For a non power hitting team we strike out a lot. Going into this game we had struck out 858 times, while only recording 737 by our staff, That is a big differential.

  22. Grandstander - Aug 15, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    How long do you think the leash is going to be with Marquis?Obviously we're paying him a ton of money, but considering the expanded roster, do you think he moves to the BP so we can maybe see more from some of other arms in the system?I know they're not much better, but they're not this bad, and it makes more sense from an organizational standpoint to let Marquis cool off in the pen, a la Ollie Perez.

  23. We Need a Bat - Aug 15, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    You've gotta love that 4 ER in 4 IP lowers Marquis's ERA. What a joke.

  24. HabsProf - Aug 15, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    Now that's relief pitching!!! Anyone who criticizes Stammen for letting one inherited runner score deserves 20 lashes. Way to go, Craig.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Write him a check and say goodbye.. We don't need that lying sack of crap taking up a roster spot… I am not usually this visceral in my approach to entertainer=s but this man clearly lied about his condition after being questioned about the elbow prior to signing.

  26. swang - Aug 15, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    I wouldn't say write off next year, but at least for this year, put him on the 60 day DL.

  27. HabsPrf - Aug 15, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    Mark: regarding your "ugly stats" for Marquis – I wonder what the likes of Pujols would do against Jason during his current travails? Do you think we would see the league's first 2.000 OPS?

  28. Knoxville Nat - Aug 15, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    "Nancy Pelosi in a thong"I'll have nightmares for a week!!! And yes, just go ahead and shut Marquis down and get J Zimm up here now.

  29. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    @Manassas I have have concluded that Riggleman, McCatty and Rizzo are paid a lot of money to see what is going on, and they have not earned their money in evaluating Marquis anymore than Marquis earned his money for pitching. Talk about robbing money, that is exactly what Marquis has done this year, I sure hope he is donating most to charity as he has earned none of it.

  30. JaneB - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    Marquis wants to pitch. He wants to be good. He's doing his best. He is not robbing anyone. He doesn't need us piling on … it doesn't help. Something is really wrong, and whatever the cause is, we can all help better by sending more generous thoughts and energy his way. Seriously.

  31. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:02 AM

    @Manassas. My favorite stat the RISP again bad. Nats 1 for 10 now 237 for 962 or .246 for the season. The opponents tonight 4 for 10 or for the season 273 for 1020 or .268. That is a point .022 differential. That is horrid. The hitting this year has been terrible compared to last year. The pitching a little better than last year, and the fielding awful again. Of course what makes worse, is I can't see that anyone cares. (they don't need to act like Carlos Zambrano in the dug out, but show me you care.) I believe the fans care a heck a lot more than I can tell management or the players care. Mark you see the players up close do they care as much we do? hard to believe they do or they would do something about the problems.

  32. Doc - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    I know someone on this blog has the real stats, but it seems that The Kid has picked it up at SS. The total number of errors is ugly, but the frequency seems to have slowed. His RF continues to be up there with the leaders.

  33. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    @ManassasJaneB you are a kind soul I can tell. However in my opinion when you are paid to perform and you do not come close to performing, you have not earned money. I can send all the kid wishes I want that won't change the fact he has not earned his money.We all have a off day now and again. If that was the case we would not be on his case. However he has been paid $15 million dollars for two years of productive service, and he has not had one productive game. If he is truly injured than bench him and bring someone else in.

  34. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:34 AM

    Anonymous said…@Manassas. My favorite stat the RISP again bad. Nats 1 for 10 now 237 for 962 or .246 for the season. The opponents tonight 4 for 10 or for the season 273 for 1020 or .268. That is a point .022 differential. That is horrid.The hitting this year has been terrible compared to last year. The pitching a little better than last year, and the fielding awful again.Of course what makes worse, is I can't see that anyone cares. (they don't need to act like Carlos Zambrano in the dug out, but show me you care.) I believe the fans care a heck a lot more than I can tell management or the players care.Mark you see the players up close do they care as much we do? hard to believe they do or they would do something about the problems.I don't think there's any issue whether they care or not. Trust me, they do. If anything, maybe they sometimes care too much in pressure situations and thus press to try to make something happen (at the plate and in the field). The best of them, like Zimmerman, are able to relax at the most stressful moments and treat them just like any other.

  35. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    @ManassasWhen I am at the game or when I watch on TV, I look at their eyes and they just don't have the expression that make me believe they care as much as fans do. I did ask do they care as much as we do, and still don't believe they do. its their livelihood they should care a heck a lot more than we do, but we study these numbers to death and they don't get better. I keep seeing them take fast balls right down the middle on strike one. That's the best pitch they usually see and they don't swing. Why not? Because the coach has different philosophy (but it is a loser philosophy, as has been proven the last two years.)Mark, Thanks for letting me know they care. Sure wish they would show some of that caring so the fans could believe it. (this is exactly same problem I have with the Skins and Wizards, they show no emotion when they play. the CAPS on the other hand play exactly the way I like when they screw up they are mad, and when they good they are joyous. It seems to be a good combination. )

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 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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