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Game 125: Cubs at Nats

Aug 23, 2010, 7:35 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats host the Cubs (and their new manager) at Nationals Park.

Back home following a tough weekend in Philadelphia, the Nationals now host the Cubs, who had an eventful weekend of their own. Manager Lou Piniella, who previously had announced he would retire at season's end, walked away yesterday citing family reasons. Third base coach Mike Quade takes over as interim manager the rest of the way, auditioning for a job that is coveted by plenty of big names, including Ryne Sandberg and Bob Brenly.

The Cubs will be sending rookie right-hander Casey Coleman to the mound, squaring off against Livan Hernandez.

Ian Desmond gets a day off, so Alberto Gonzalez starts at shortstop. Willie Harris also starts in right field in place of the slumping Michael Morse.

Check back throughout the game for updates…

CUBS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of showers late, 79 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (53-71)
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    Livo will have to work some magic today I cannot see more than 4 or 5 hits coming from his teammates today!

  2. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    The news must be catostrophic on Strasburg that is it 3:45pm on Monday and no statement from the Nats! I was hoping for a statement that did not have the phrase, "Stephen will be traveling to Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews for further tests…"

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Ladson is reporting SS to 15-day DL:http://therocket.mlblogs.com/

  4. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    What's the news on Strasburg, Mark? Surely, you can dig for this one. Hopefully, the news will not be fatal for all us diehard Nats fans.Keep us posted! And, Mark, keep up the good work! Nats Insider is great!

  5. MM - Aug 23, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    could it be "Stephen has traveled to Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews for further tests…"

  6. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    The day Ladson scoops Zuckerman is the day I stop reading this blog, so hopefully Ladson is FOS

  7. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Kilgore on Nationals Journal is also saying DL for Strasburghttp://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/

  8. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    …and so is Mark ^btw, I won't stop reading this blog until they pry the keyboard from my cold hands, or something to that effect… :-)

  9. bgib - Aug 23, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    I still find it curious that, even though Riggleman has said Strasburg is likely going back on the 15 day DL, there is still no report or comment on what the MRI showed or didn't show.

  10. Stew Magnuson - Aug 23, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    BTW, what happened to all the Michael Morse fans who clamored daily here for him to start more often? I think there was one guy named "Anonymous." Good name for him in hindsight. Time to quit commenting nonstop on this site and actually go to the park and watch a game.adios

  11. CapPeterson - Aug 23, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Stew,Here's one non-anonymous Morse fan. All I was asking for, and I think others too, was a chance for Morse to show what he could do. Since the alternative seems to be Willie Harris, I'd still rather still a slumping Morse, who's hitting better in his slump than Harris has been for the whole season. It's still very possible, based on results so far, that Morse will have a role on this club next year. Based on results, and looking at the trajectory of Willie's career, his chances don't look too good.

  12. Dryw - Aug 24, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    Well, I'm glad Livo waited until almost September to have this game…..

  13. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    Oh, boy, another stinker when we needed a good game. The Nats are like anti-joy, and, okay, sometimes it's not their fault. Sometimes it's just sorry luck. Maybe the "curse of the bullet", as Kornheiser called it, is contagious. Anyway, the anti-joy thing — you bring joy to the Nats and you leave with negative joy. For example, the City gives you a big, beautiful Park to love and the team often plays, er, well, really unloveable baseball, even humiliating sometimes. They hire a big, very good-natured slugger from Texas who is susceptible to funks so deep and dark that no light is emitted from them. They bring a golden right-hander from California to town for the fans to get really excited over, and, well, you know the rest.

  14. Brian - Aug 24, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    I think this is the ugliest game of the season, and that's saying a lot. Reminds me of the movie Major League…Harry Doyle: "One hit? One g***amn hit?" Color Guy: "You can't say g***amn on the air!" Doyle: "Why not? It's not like anyone's listening."

  15. Brian - Aug 24, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    Well, we've got three hits now. The first Anonymous way up at the top was right on in his prediction.

  16. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    Time to quit commenting nonstop on this site and actually go to the park and watch a game.adiosMaybe you should follow your own advice … go watch your pathetic willie harris look lost in right field with his glossy stats …They are pathetic enough … and have been over the last .., after tonight's game 3 years? Any glimmer of hope in the darkness helps dude! Get off your damned high horse and stop being an a??clown.

  17. Doc - Aug 24, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    When Coleman is back in the minors next year, he'll have this game to remember. The night he got lucky with his non-stuff stuff! As Casey would say, "….I'd rather be lucky, than good…"

  18. lesatcsc - Aug 24, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    3 minor league pitchers combine to give up 3 hits! Everywhere baseball is played bad pitchers are prayng for an opportunity to pitch to the Nats. This is a bad minor league calibre team on its way to a third straight 100 loss season. Most days now there are two major league players in the lineup, one over the hill former star and an actual prospect or two, after that, it's strictly bush league. It's nothing a 70 million dollar increase in the annual payroll couldn't fix.

  19. Dan - Aug 24, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    Willie Harris is a terrible, terrible, terrible ballplayer. There's nothing more than can be said.

  20. Ernie - Aug 24, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Back from the game. At least the weather was nice.1. In the final innings we had the awe-inspiring combination of Maxwell, Harris and Mench all in the lineup. Is there any other team in all of baseball that can boast about featuring three hitter all at or below .100 in a lineup simultaneously?2. I know the game was already lost, but why pull Batista after only 2/3 of an inning? The guy wasn't doing anything wrong and you might as well save the bullpen. God knows we're going to need it with the BP combo of Lannan and Marquis over the next couple of days. My wife, who only 5 months ago was asking me what a manager does is now yelling in the stands that Riggs should be fired.3. I don't know how it looked on TV or if there is an explanation, but Harris badly misplayed that Soriano triple. The one saving grace for Willie Harris is his fielding. Before Morgan showed up I thought he was one of the highlights of the outfield (faint praise, I know). But after the bad break and just giving up on the ball…why do you hate us Willie Harris? 4. Intentionally walking the 8 hitter to load the bases with one out? WTF?

  21. Natsochist - Aug 24, 2010 at 4:14 AM

    You have much to learn about the Art of Natsochism, young padawans.1. @Lesatcsc, we're now 53-72. To lose 100 again, we'd have to go 9-28 or worse over the remaining games. That's a .243 win percentage — even the 119-loss, 2003 Detroit Tigers had a better percentage than that. Kindly relax and take a seat in the bleachers; we'll get you caught up to speed.2. @Ernie: Two reasons to have hope: Slick Willie's average is up (!) to .190, and Lannan hasn't allowed more than two ER in a start since returning from the DL. He's also got a 15:5 K:BB ratio over that time, which is about as un-Lannan like as it gets.3. You can all feel free to blame me when Lannan gets shelled in his next start for five runs in 3 2/3 innings.4. @Ernie again, didn't see the triple, but Harris certainly played that double off the scoreboard poorly. Jumped way too soon on it, and Dibble & Carpenter immediately called him on it.5. @Brian, thank you for the Major League quote – I needed that.Mark, I don't know how you sat through this one. Remind me to buy you a beer if I ever run into you at a game for putting up with stinkers like this.

  22. Richard - Aug 24, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    I wonder if, after that stinker, the Nats "brain trust" is getting together this morning to consider their major league creation. This year began with a very ugly opening day, had a beautiful first 35 games and the Strasmas, but has soured badly. It's been three years of some of the worst MLB baseball — ever. Failure, my friends, not just of the garden variety, the below .500 kind that many teams face. No, failure on a heroic scale. Unprecedented failure. "Aura" creating failure. So, if you're the Nats management, what are you talking about this morning, if they're talking at all? Is it "root and branch" talk? Will they take any action? Or can it be more talk about how the the plan is working; or more ideas for marketing, or about that high schooler in Toledo, or what's our tee time this afternoon? Maybe it's very quiet in the FO this morning.

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