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Game 132: Nats at Marlins

Aug 30, 2010, 7:40 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Sun Life Stadium has been deluged with rain tonight.

MIAMI — That new-look lineup Jim Riggleman trotted out over the weekend seemed to work, so the Nationals manager is sticking with it tonight in the opener of a three-game series against the Marlins. So the 3-4-5 remains Roger Bernandina-Ryan Zimmerman-Adam Dunn.

Perhaps more notable is that Nyjer Morgan is back in the lineup after getting benched yesterday in the wake of his unusual play at the plate Saturday night. And just as was the case Saturday, Morgan is batting eighth.

Meanwhile, Ian Desmond gets a game off, with Alberto Gonzalez starting at shortstop and batting second behind Adam Kennedy. Jason Marquis, fresh off his best start of the season, returns to the mound against rookie Alex Sanabia, who beat the Nats 1-0 here last month.

Check back for updates throughout the evening…

Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Chance of storms, 82 degrees, Wind 16 mph in from RF

2B Adam Kennedy
SS Alberto Gonzalez
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Willie Harris… Nyjer Morgan…. I'd rather have the sane one.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Tough lineup for a bunch of bench guys to face a guy who shut them down last time out…I hope Marquis can throw 7 shutout innings and then the bullep ncan deliver!

  3. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Mark, why do they have the batting cage at home plate during the middle of a game in that photo of [Fill in the Blank] Stadium?

  4. Doc - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    The Nats have only 2 real OFs currently: Roger "The Flying Dutchman" Bernadina; and, Michael "The Horse" Morse. Any others are pretend ML ball players!

  5. CapPeterson - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Doc,Amen, brother.And why is Ian "getting a game off"? Is he tired? He's settling in at SS, still getting comfortable. He's getting better every day–why slow the improvement?

  6. CapPeterson - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Mark,Just for fun, could you ask Rigs (if the question hasn't come up already) who he thinks is the better defensive CF, Morgan or Bernie? I'm assuming the phrase "throwing arm" will not figure in his answer.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    CapPeterson… Man… I was wondering the same thing..

  8. Knoxville Nat - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Cap,Perhaps Desmond's thumb injury is bothering him again? I don't know, just saying.

  9. CapPeterson - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Knoxville,Crossed my mind too after I posted. Otherwise, you agree, somewhat inexplicable?

  10. BinM - Aug 30, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    CapP & Knoxville: Let's hope it's just a 'day off' for Desmond, and not a flare-up of the thumb injury. The team surrenders a little range and a lot of arm with AGonz at shortstop, and I wouldn't like seeing that over an extended period.

  11. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    CapPeterson: Do you really think that Ian Desmond is improving? I agree that his batting average has increased significantly since the all star break. But his defense just isn't consistent enough to be our everyday shortstop. 29 errors and only a 94.6% fielding %! I know that the argument is that he is learining the position. But I don't buy it. He is extremely athletic and has a strong arm. Unfortunatly, it is not an accurate arm. We need a SS who we can count on to make the routine play, ….well routine. Move Ian to the outfield where the strength of his arm would overshadow the lack of accuracy. He would excel there.I think modern baseball over emphasizes the need for a SS who can hit for average and power. Give me a SS who is strong defensively any day.Sample World Series Champs with a SS who had a Low Batting But Great Fielding:1969 Bud Harrelson (96.9%)1970 Mark Belanger (97.0%)1972 A's Bert Campaneris (96.7%)1975 Reds Dave Concepcion (97.7%)1980 Phillies Larry Bowa (97.5%)1988 Dodgers Alfredo Griffin (96.5%)

  12. BQ - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    Anon 5:48, we are not going to World series this season. And he is 25, will learn the position in a year or two. Errors should be decreasing. Anyways, I just checked the weather. We will have a game tonight it seems.

  13. Golfersal - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Mark,Come on what is the story on Rod Dibble, suppose to have just two days off, then three and now it looks permanent???What is the scoop is this just a Dibble problem of being to hard headed to admit he screwed up or is this a National decision???Sorry but Dibble was wrong but with each passing day it will seem too hard to patch up, so the losers will be the fans who have to listen to Phil Wood instead of Ray Knight. It's a bad deal because now we have a weak pre-post game show and Knight is nice but not in the same league as Dibble. Could be a very hard 31 games if this continues.

  14. BinM - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    @Golfersal: D(r)ibble is a storyline for you – Really? The knucklehead has made more than a few 'out-of-line' comments recently (the "chatty" women behind home plate, the ill-informed Strasburg comments), and probably needed to be parked for a few games. If he now feels more at home just doing his radio show from LA, then sobeit. TV color commentators are 'low-hanging fruit' imo, and he is easily replaced next year by someone who might know a little more about the franchise & their history.

  15. Jim Webster - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Golfersal: I tired of Dibble long ago. At least MASN could get a hair stylist for Phil Wood.

  16. CapPeterson - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    Anon 5:48, I was critical of Desi earlier in the year, and I do think that at his age it is misleading to compare him with 20-year-old Starlin Castro, as MASN did last week, but yes I think he has been improving at bat and in the field the last few weeks. Thanks Mark BTW for giving us Gentleman Jim's reason for sitting Ian tonight. On Dibbsy, I understand the criticisms but I'll miss the big guy (was about to type "oaf"). I like his homerism–IMO Carpy should be more the straight man and not join in the whining about all the bad calls against us. The weak link for me now is Phil Wood. He's great as a call-in host but too vanilla for the pre- and postgame. About to say more against Phil but suddenly remembered Lou Holder: things could be a whole lot worse.

  17. Golfersal - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    Again I don't care about the commentary on what people think of Dibble, what I am in search of is the news on what's up???I don't have XM and can't hear, is he just doing his radio show??Is he back in L.A. and has he said anything on his radio show that indicates that he has thrown in the towel on this or been fired.MASN came out with a story from there PR guys on Thursday saying that he asked for a couple of days off, suppose to be back on Saturday and we haven't heard anything since so I am just wondering what the story is???We need some journalistic work from some writer to find out what is the truth on this and what is a lie on this.Just read all of the blogs, I would say that 20% of the writing is opinion on Dibble, weather it's about him being a bone-head or not.Guys I am not trying to be cocky or anything, but in the world of Natstown it's a big story weather you hate the guy or love him.So that is all I am saying that I hope that either Mark or another writer can make the calls and find some answers on this

  18. Aussie Gus - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Counting the attendance by hand… I used to do that at The Big O back in 2001. Those were the days. $2 entry and you could go sit behind the plate!

  19. Richard - Aug 31, 2010 at 1:51 AM

    Heckuva game on MiLB TV tonight, Chiefs vs. Buffalo. Martis and Ballester in releif looked great. Chiefs scored 3 in top of the 10th, the third run on a stolen base at 3rd and a squeeze play. Trent Jewett's done a good managerial job in Syracuse this year. And tonight's win means the Chiefs win something called the "Thru-way Cup", between Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, I guess. Anyway, Jewett shows some emotion and aggression; nice to see. I wonder if he's looking for a MLB job next year and if he likes WDC.

  20. Sam - Aug 31, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    Wow. They just showed the field on MLB Network. I'm actually fearful that a player will get hurt. Honestly, will the 4 Marlins fans that showed up really be that upset with a rain out?

  21. Steve - Aug 31, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    Mark – If your reports of field conditions are true, Riggleman should pull his team off the field and take the forfeit. There's absolutely no reason to risk careers and the 2011 season for 1 game for a 56-75 team. Let the Marlins have their precious win and MLB it's precious schedule.

  22. meixler - Aug 31, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    Since neither one of these teams is involved in a pennant race I'm kinda glad that they're playing the game… as long as nobody gets hurt. It's fun to watch on TV and I expect to see some craziness happen with all the water that's out there.

  23. Matt - Aug 31, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    I largely agree with Steve. No reason to forfeit, but no reason to have Zimm out there either. With the right shuffling, Riggs could field a lineup that keeps Zimm, Dunn, Bernadina and Desmond away from a risk of injury.

  24. Andrew - Aug 31, 2010 at 2:41 AM

    Zimmerman is LIGHTS OUT in the 3rd inning!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. meixler - Aug 31, 2010 at 3:53 AM

    Morse is 2 for 3 in tonight's game and has been absolutely on fire recently… so why would you pull him from a 1 run ballgame when your team could use a little cushion?

  26. natsone_va - Aug 31, 2010 at 3:58 AM

    What the f kind of double switch is that? I'm telling you Riggs really pisses me off sometimes. That makes no sense. Take Nyj out before you take Morse out. C'MON!!!

  27. meixler - Aug 31, 2010 at 4:01 AM

    Okay, I guess I've got to amend my questioning of the double switch… Maxwell just reached on an error, then went from 1st to 3rd on a wild pitch, and then came home on another wild pitch. So I guess having a little speed out there paid off… but, still… that run was given to us by the Marlins.

  28. Section 222 - Aug 31, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    I'm against the doubleswitch even with Maxwell scoring the run, especially with Morgan available to be replaced instead of Morse. The 7th is too early to be making defensive changes in a 1 (or 2) run game. If you really want Peralta to stay in, let him bat. No shame in that. The Nats have a horrible record in extra inning games and I think it may be because our good hitters have been pulled too early.

  29. meixler - Aug 31, 2010 at 4:11 AM

    Of course, now that you've taken Morse out you've got Willie Harris on deck with Dunn at the plate, so yeah, he's really gonna get a pitch to hit…. umm… nevermind. 3 run homer by Dunn. Good job with the double switch, Riggs.

  30. HabsProf - Aug 31, 2010 at 4:16 AM

    Gotta love it when we score a run by getting on base with an error followed by two wild pitches.

  31. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 4:22 AM

    Nevertheless … he finally makes a lineup that seems to work and he has to wreck it with the early double switches again … uhmmm Riggs? You realize Maxwell is AAAA guy not some veteran you have to respect right? Yeesh double mancrush at work.

  32. rmoore446 - Aug 31, 2010 at 5:08 AM

    Ah, Peric, but Maxwell did score a run that Morse would never have scored and it was an important run at the time. And despite Riggs "wrecking" the lineup, our fellows won the game handily. Go figure. Sometimes the luck is with the mancrush.

  33. Sam - Aug 31, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Given that Riggleman intended to pitch Peralta in the 7th inning and the pitcher's spot due up first in the top of the 7th, the double switch that took out Morse made complete sense. It vastly improves the defense while allowing his pitcher to stay in the game and lets a position player bat without having to pinch hit. This was actually a very wise move by Riggleman.

  34. rmoore446 - Aug 31, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    All very good points Sam





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