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Game 130: Cardinals at Nats

Aug 28, 2010, 8:15 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Kyle Lohse tonight at Nationals Park.

Ever since Josh Willingham's lingering knee injury brought a premature end to his season, Jim Riggleman has struggled to get consistent production from the middle of his lineup. He's tried several different replacements for Willingham in the 5-hole (Roger Bernadina, Michael Morse, Ivan Rodriguez, Ian Desmond) but the Nationals still have been held to zero or one run in four of their last eight games. In their last 10 losses, they've scored a total of 13 runs. Last night, they stranded 14 men on base.

So Riggleman will try another new look tonight against the Cardinals. For the first time this season, both Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn are in the lineup … without either batting third. That spot will be held by Roger Bernadina, with Zimmerman batting fourth and Dunn batting fifth for the first time. Nyjer Morgan, meanwhile, gets bumped all the way down to the eighth spot for the first time.

Livan Hernandez starts, looking to get his record back to .500 after falling to 8-9 with a labored, 121-pitch performance Monday against the Cubs. Kyle Lohse starts for the Cardinals.

I won't be covering the rest of this weekend's series; taking a couple days off before embarking on next week's road trip to Florida and Pittsburgh. Please continue the conversation with each other…

CARDINALS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 6 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (54-75)
2B Adam Kennedy
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. Anonymous - Aug 28, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Thats certainly a different line up, interesting. JTinSC

  2. Anonymous - Aug 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    Does anyone here want [or expect] to see Riggleman next year? Sure he's had a tough roe to hoe, but hey, I've seen enough double swithces. I'm beginning to appreciate Manny, who clearly know what level of club he was managing. You never saw him using excessive double switches. Now I'm going to double switch my beer and chips while I watch this little leage game on the tube.I'm eager for spring.

  3. markfd - Aug 28, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I like this lineup, I am glad to Riggleman experimenting with folks in different roles down the stretch so he and the front office can see what they have going into 2011. I look forward to seeing who is coming up September 1st.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 28, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    I have been on vacation got back Thursday, and ray Knight is in the booth, Dibble is on his radio show. Did something happen that he is not in the booth. I like his candor up there, but I guess that makes management uneasy at times.

  5. Steve - Aug 28, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Definitely do NOT want Riggleman back. His lineups, his lefty-righty obsessions, his aura from being the man at the helm for TJ surgery for Kerry Wood, Jordan Zimmermann and now SS (even if he's not running them into the ground himself) — all these are things I think this organization is better off without.

  6. pbl - Aug 28, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    I can't tell whether Anonymous 7:28 is trolling, or is in fact Dibble's mother.

  7. JaneB - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    WTF??? I'm in 131. He was not out.

  8. dj in Fl. - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Steve, that is such a stupid comment. You can say you do not want Riggs back, but do not tie these tj injuries to his management style.

  9. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    I have been on vacation and missed something obviously with Dibble. Certainly not a troller and not his mother, but I like his announcing. Though Knight did a good job complaining with the ump.

  10. natscan reduxit - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    … unlike Anonymous 5:38, I like double switches, and welcome them every time they occur. Over in the Junior Circuit, managers enjoy the luxury of posting a lineup, then sitting back to watch the game. Here in the real baseball league, managers have to play their position, just like any other player. Double switches provide another aspect to the game which Bud Selig and his munchkins deleted from the AL; they prove the game has more back stuff going on all the time, not just the boom and blast stuff that the other league depends on for show. And they provide proof to the fans that the manager is in the game. Go Nats!!

  11. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    I'm with you, natscan reduxit, regarding NL baseball. With an NL club in town, I don't even like to listen to AL games much anymore. But I think Riggleman is mechanical with his moves, never playing hunches, and so on. And oh so predictable.Regarding Dibble — I posted in another thread that I like the depth in the booth. Phil Wood steeping in with Johnny, and Ray Knight moving to Dibble's chair. I didn't realize that I like Knight so much more than I liked Dibble.Is Dibble coming back? Has anyone heard anything.Also — maybe Livon can win this one with the bats waking up?

  12. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    @Anonymous 8:07: Dibs shot his mouth off on his Sirius show about how SS should suck it up and pitch through a little pain (this was before the final MRI came in). The MASN higher-ups panicked and "suggested" Dibs take a couple of days off. That was about four days ago. Since then, Knight has been doing color, and the rest of us have been Dibble-free now for going on 96 hours.Free Rob Dibble!It may take an intervention from Jimmy Carter to get Dibs released.

  13. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    Thanks Sunshine , I didn't hear him say that so I was sleeping in that morning. MASN higher ups do they really care that much about what he says. Actually watching the game the other night, I thought the same thing. So we were wrong, so what opinions are just that opinions, when we get new facts we change the opinion.

  14. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 29, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    You can't spell stupid without the N-Y-J-E-R.

  15. vanlion - Aug 29, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    Mark,What is Storen's innings limit? Will he be shut down before the end of the season?

  16. HAL jr - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    I just returned home from P-Nats vs. Frederick Keys which the P-Nats won 6 to 4. Detwi1ler pitched the first 3 innings, faced 11 batters and allowed 2 hits, one a single and the other a homer. He had 4 k's and the other outs were all infield balls.

  17. CapPeterson - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    How 'bout that Michael Morse? And where are those non-anomymous posters now who were telling us a few days ago that he didn't belong on a major league field?

  18. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    Yeah where is that JMaximus doltus dufus Stew Manuson now? How does Morse look now jacka?? ? And Dunn with his two extra base hits including a homer? What an idiot.

  19. Peanuts and Cracker Jack - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    I was starting to get used to Dibble, and the Ray Knight accent really rubbed me the wrong way at first, but I have gotten accustomed to that too, now, and would be happy to see Dibble gone forever. He's kind of a moron, eh?

  20. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    I enjoy Dibs, but realize others don't but it sounds like MASN must really think the public is stupid if they think what he says about SS will change if we like him or not. MASN thinks we are the morons.

  21. JaneB - Aug 29, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    The best thing about being at tonight's game was feeling the team come together. When they got dissed repeatedly by those umps — AND Tony, coming out to challenge a clear homer — you could just feel them going, "Take THAT, Blue!" "Take THAT, Cards!" I don't think I've been to a game like it before. So many odd events in the game too — I think Mark must be kicking himself that THIS is the game he took off, because imagine those live blog posts! It made me realize even more how I value this blog because when MLB wouldn't load to tell us what the heck happened with Ian, I came here. Glad for this community, too. Glad Riggleman switched up that line up and hope he sticks with it. GO NATS!

  22. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    The biggest reason to get rid of Dibble is that he is an idiot and rarely provides insightful baseball commentary, not whatever he said about Strasburg–though that is sort of indicative of his general inanity.

  23. Steve M. - Aug 29, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    Good win tonight!

  24. N. Cognito - Aug 29, 2010 at 3:55 AM

    I thought the out call on Desmond was a bad call. He was on the fair side of the foul line, but he didn't interfere with Pujols attempt to catch the ball. I was in 116, in line with the 2nd-3rd basepath and had a good view of it. Of course I haven't seen the replay – I could be wrong.Morgan got bumped by Molina (or he Morgan bumped Molina) and that knocked Morgan off kilter and is why he missed home plate. He should have known and gone back to touch it without the help of his teammates (which is why he was called out). I do wonder though, since Molina wasn't fielding the ball (it was cut-off, wasn't it?), that possibly should have been called obstruction on Molina.

  25. N. Cognito - Aug 29, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    Doh!!Anderson, not Molina.

  26. Michael J. Hayde - Aug 29, 2010 at 4:19 AM

    "The biggest reason to get rid of Dibble is that he is an idiot and rarely provides insightful baseball commentary…"The biggest reason to get Dibble back in the booth is that Ray Knight is a chowderhead. Someone more clever than I wrote that he's a hillbilly Joe Morgan: he brings no insight to the discussion other than the most obvious and banal. Dibble, homer that he is, at least adds some actual analysis to his commentary.

  27. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 5:17 AM

    Honestly they should hire Frank Robby to do the color for games. He knows more about baseball and what it takes to be a good player than both Knight and Dibble combined. He was an MVP in both leagues and saw his share of world series and playoff games as a player. Like Knight he also managed, but he managed THE NATS as well. B-more is closer than friggin' Cincinnati. And he surely would not make the bone head statements that Dibble spouts.

  28. dale - Aug 29, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    The sum of Dibble's baseball "knowledge":1. Throw inside unless the hitter just smoked an inside pitch.2. Throw strikes, unless you are SS who threw too many strikes in the one game where he had too many strikes,then you should throw off the plate.3. Throw your best pitch over the plate, unless you throw your best pitch over the plate and the batter gets a hit, then you should have gone thrown just outside the plate.No wonder he has to go on rants, just to cover his inane chatter. Knight has three times the actual knowledge of the game than Dibble.

  29. natsone_va - Aug 29, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    Mark, we may need an article titled:The Curious (Head) Case of Nyjer MorganAs much as I like him, how do you miss home plate????

  30. Anonymous - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Nyjer missed home plate because he intentionally veered off course so he could run into the catcher. Disagree? Look at the replay. If he felt the play was going to be that close, he would have come in sliding.

  31. Richard - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Re N. Cognito's comment, I was at the game but it was hard to tell in "real time" what happened at home plate. The scoreboard operators, of course, don't show such replays. When I reviewed the DVR recording at home I saw that Molina wasn't near the plate. Nyjer apparently deliberately ran into Molina instead of stepping on home plate, which Molina left open. As Ray Knight said, Nyjer makes too many bad decisions. I like Nyjer. He's exciting and puts pressure on the other guys, when he makes good decisions. And he made a couple of great catches last night. If he ever stops making bad decisions, he's going to be a big problem for the another guys.

  32. JayB - Aug 29, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    N. Cognito said… Doh!! Anderson, not Molina. That is not all you got wrong..(and I am a moron? right….)Morgan intentionally dropped his shoulder and veered up the 1B line and tried to hit the Catcher who had moved out of the the way and was not making the a play at all…..AGAIN…….Something is wrong with Morgan's head…he needs help and it is not going to end pretty….This event will be the last straw for Rizzo. Morgan will not be back with the Nats next year…not even to Spring Training…I know enough about how Rizzo views baseball to know he tired of being embarrassed nightly by Morgan in uniform of the his team.

  33. N. Cognito - Aug 29, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    JayB said… "N. Cognito said…Doh!!Anderson, not Molina. That is not all you got wrong..(and I am a moron? right….)"Umm. Why yes. Yes you are. We finally agree on something.I hadn't seen replay, which is why I said, "which possibly should have been called obstruction."You need to stop letting your emotions affect your attempts at logic. Perhaps then, most people here would appreciate your contributions.

  34. CapPeterson - Aug 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    JaneB,I just read Ian's quotes on the Nationals Journal on the team feeding off the emotions of the crowd and was thinking of you, even before reading your post here. Wasn't at the game last night (alas, had the Friday game on my package) but of course wish I were. Must have been one of the best of the year!Richard,Yes, if Nyjer ever stops making bad decisions…but the man is 30 years old!

  35. Richard - Aug 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Doh, I meant Anderson not Molina, too.And, yes, CapPeterson, I too have high hopes for the maturing Nyjer.

  36. JayB - Aug 29, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    You did not need to see a replay to know Nyjer was in the wrong on that play….all you needed to do is pay attention to the whole season of bone head plays and not let you emotions get in the way of logical thinking……your post speaks for itself.

  37. Richard - Aug 29, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    Well, JayB, I find the baseball world more complicated than just seeing Nyjer's negatives. I see his positives, too. It's hard to write Nyjer off because he does great stuff and has potential. That's Rizzo's and Riggs' frustration, no doubt. His track record isn't that extensive, though, just 135 ML games before the Nats acquired him. This year is OBP is down to .316 from a career .350 or so. He's trying to be a Force for the Nats, really for the first time in this ML baseball life. Obviously he has some growing to do. Maybe as you say, Rizzo has seen enough. I hope not. We'll see.

  38. JayB - Aug 29, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    He is 30 years old, clueless about baseball fundamentals, an ego maniac, and a head case who pouts….where is the good in that?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 66 9.5
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 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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