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Game 126: Cubs at Nats

Aug 24, 2010, 7:28 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan faces Carlos Zambrano tonight at Nationals Park.

After an unsightly showing last night resulting in a 9-1 beatdown by the Cubs, Jim Riggleman chided his players for what he perceived as a lack of effort and energy. We'll find out this evening whether the Nationals took their manager's message to heart and come out of the dugout with a bit more fire.

John Lannan takes the ball for the Nats, hoping to continue his strong run since returning from the minors. In four starts, the left-hander is 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA. If there is one bone to pick, it's that Lannan has struggled to keep his pitch count down and thus has been unable to make it past the sixth inning. He needs to increase his efficiency tonight in an attempt to last deeper into the game.

The enigmatic Carlos Zambrano, who has bounced between the Cubs' rotation and bullpen (when he's not throwing dugout tirades), starts for Chicago. Riggleman counters with a lineup that does not include Ian Desmond for the second straight night. We'll have to see what the reason for this is (yesterday, Riggleman said it was simply a day off for the rookie shortstop. Would be surprised if that's the case two days in a row).

Check back throughout the evening for updates…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of showers late, 73 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from CF

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

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  1. natsfan1a - Aug 24, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    I'd be inclined to replace "enigmatic" with "whacked out," but that's just me. :-)—"The enigmatic Carlos Zambrano"

  2. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    I think Riggleman is sitting Desmond because he's been a hot hitter. Riggleman has a way of sitting the hot hand so that ineffective portions of the roster get a chance to play … not contribute, but just play.JCCfromDC

  3. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    You know who gives a good effort? Desmond.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Yeah, today I was thinking of Desmond. One of the few guys on the team to show effort and intensity.

  5. LoveDaNats - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    I think Desmond has improved tremendously since opening day. Yeah, we should sit him.

  6. Anonymous - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    You gotta chill guys; maybe he's hurt?

  7. meixler - Aug 24, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    What sense does it make to group all your lefties together and then all your righties together? Oh, wait… Riggs must be setting it up for a DOUBLE SWITCH!

  8. BQ - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    I guess the pitchers have decided to take some days off, starting with Livan and now Lannan. And of course our offense keeps letting us down, especially Dunn who is giving more reasons not to be re-signed by Nats.

  9. Aussie Gus - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    I was going to say what BQ said! I wonder how many $$ this slump is shaving off the big fella's next contract, whether it's with us or someone else.And just to show how cool this blog is… my word verification for this post was GONAT!

  10. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    Ok so the other day I said Livo and Lannan were our only hopes the rest of the way and they blew up on consecutive nights…DFA Lannan…NOW

  11. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    What the hey? Riggles puts Desmond in against Marmol with the bases loaded when he has a bad thumb and is not used to pinch hitting that much while you have Morse wasting away on the bench, when his role is to get the big hit off the bench, as per Riggs two months ago. Granted they don't have anybody to hit off the bench, really, but still the manager makes a lot of head scratching decisions.

  12. dj in Fl. - Aug 25, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    Anon 9:19Morse was not wasting away on the bench.He started tonight!

  13. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    @ManassasAt one time 70 wins seemed a reasonable expectation, but this team in August has been pathetic 7-15, The only part that has been good is the relievers who have a 3.24 ERA for the month, the starters are on vacation with a 5.19 ERA for the month. Hitters as a group have taken the whole year off. Fielding hasn't been as bad though.The team needs to go at least 17-19 the rest of the way to get 70 wins.

  14. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    Ha. You are right. He went 1 for 3 with a BB. My bad, now the move makes a bit more sense. Sorry Riggs.





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