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Game 133: Nats at Marlins

Aug 31, 2010, 7:20 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann faces Anibal Sanchez tonight at Sun Life Stadium.

MIAMI โ€” Jordan Zimmermann's return from Tommy John surgery last week was a major accomplishment for the 24-year-old right-hander. The mere fact he pitched in a big-league game without losing any velocity 12 months after undergoing the surgery is worth applauding.

But Zimmermann was only partly satisfied with his performance that night. Yes, he was happy to have returned to the mound and pitched four innings against the Cardinals. But he wasn't happy to have allowed five runs and seven hits during those four innings, not to mention putting six straight St. Louis batters on base during the fourth.

So tonight, Zimmermann begins the next quest in his return. He's back in the majors. Now he wants to get these major-league hitters out. He'll be facing a Marlins lineup that has plenty of power but also has been known to strike out a bunch. Could be a good matchup from Jordan's perspective.

If Zimmermann is up to the task, and if his teammates can string some runs together against Florida's Anibal Sanchez, the Nats could be looking at their first four-game winning streak of the season. Pretty amazing it hasn't happened yet.

Check back for updates throughout the evening…

NATIONALS at MARLINS
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees, Wind 17 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (57-75)
2B Adam Kennedy
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. Doc - Aug 31, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    Speaking about the Marlins strinking out, how 'bout Peralta, Clippard, & Stammen gettn' 9 Ks in 3 innings last night! Go Pen!

  2. P. Cole - Aug 31, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Only 30 games left! I'd love to see the Nats win every series from here on out.

  3. FOTB - Aug 31, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    I thought they changed the name of the field to Sun Life Stadiu last night.

  4. Knoxville Nat - Aug 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    I'm beginning to like this lineup more and more. Now if we could move Roger into CF, slide Willingham in the six hole at LF and drop Morse and Pudge down one spot each I'd like it even more so.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    This may be an obvious/dumb question, but do we find out who the Sept. call ups are tomorrow? Will they all be on a plane to miami tomorrow? Or does the expanded roster happen in dribs and drabs?

  6. swang - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Rizzo said that no Sept callups until the minor league season is over Syracuse has a game on Tuesday, I think.

  7. MikeHarris - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Wow. You take the injured Uggla and the traded Cantu out and the Marlins' lineup doesn't look quite so tough.

  8. Doc - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Morse is now hittin' .301 as a regular. He's makin' good contact with balls up in the zone and, more importantly down in the zone, like Zim and Dunn. He's also continuing to hit Righties and Lefties with similar frequency.Maybe the Nats got lucky and found their RF!!

  9. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Morse may be at 1b next year.

  10. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    Mark, Wish I was there, The last 2 years during the series,I spent the days on the beach, The evenings in the ball park behind home plate, and the nights at the Hard Rock Casino…love florida

  11. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Mark,How's the weather down there? Any chance of a repeat of yesterday?

  12. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    Re the September callups, hasn't Rizzo said that they won't take place until the Syracuse season is over? Which means not til after the weekend.Meanwhile, I saw a guy at the game the other day wearing a Strasburg 37 jersey. That's not unusual of course. But this was a Syracuse Chiefs Strasburg 37 jersey.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    Man, I'd feel so much better about this lineup with Willie Harris playing left and batting 8th and Roger in Center Field.I just don't have any use for Morgan at all.

  14. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    NatsJack,I'm with you. I've seen enough too. Get him off the team will be addition by subtraction.

  15. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    Having asked this question on his MASN blog the response I got was that all call-ups would come from Syracuse. That Marerro and Burgess would not be part of the call-ups. However, he side-stepped on Espinosa. Most seem to think Bally gets called up (Why? I'm not sure maybe they want to get somebody killed?) , probably Severino again … Martis and Chico? Not definitive. Made it sound like it would not be a "large" contingent of players probably 4-5 at most.

  16. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Aug 31, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    So what does everyone think of Willie Harris? I know he's not The Answer, but a .350 SLG for a defensive replacement and 4th OF isn't all that awful. Let's assume Morgan's gone next year; your starters are either Willingham, Bernadina, Morse, with Harris and (?) on the bench, or Willingham, Crawford and Bernadina, with Morse and Harris on the bench. Does that work for anyone, or is Harris' poor OBP just too awful?

  17. JaneB - Aug 31, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Anon at 5:38, bite your tongue. Or your fingers,

  18. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Harris is not very good in the outfield … he allowed a dinger that Bernadina would have caught easily the other night. Harris is not even a AAAA in any outfield position at this point. On the other hand even if he is not a major league hitter Maxwell is can certainly field at an advanced major league level in the outfield. If the choice is between Maxwell or Harris before the pitcher? I'd pick Maxwell's defense.

  19. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    Attributed to Ben Goessling from his MASN blog:"Yunesky Maya is expected to be among the Nationals' Sept. 1 call-ups. The other names I've heard, according to a club source and for what it's worth: Collin Balester, Wilson Ramos, Ross Detwiler, and possibly Daniel Espinosa and Atahualpa Severino. It's not likely to be a big callup, and will only include players from Syracuse."

  20. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Espinosa could likely be your new lead off hitter … (replacing Morgan). That is of course if Riggleman demurs on respecting the game, veterans, whatever and respects the fans who would like to see this team win someday soon.

  21. Steve - Aug 31, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    How many boneheaded baserunning errors can this team make?

  22. Sec3MyAnonymous - Aug 31, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    I asked the captain on my last flight, how often do these things crash? "Only once," he said.

  23. Doc - Aug 31, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    Jim Riggleman's best position is somewhere in the minors!

  24. CapPeterson - Aug 31, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    Clubs continue to try to run on the Flying Dutchman…love it.

  25. Sec3MySofa - Aug 31, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    Well, to be fair, Zimmerman still hasn't tagged him yet.And Maybin beat the throw from Dunn, too.

  26. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    Since we're talking about him: how's Espinosa's been doing lately?

  27. Sec3MySofa - Sep 1, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Yanno, Debbie, if you're going to be reading a person's name on the air, and you're not sure how it's pronounced, ASK. Don't embarrass yourself like that.Way-EE-me Doo-OH-gee (hard g)

  28. Dryw - Sep 1, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    So Z'mnn was not happy with his last start. Anyone think he'll like this one better?

  29. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    What happened to 5 IP for Zimmermann? Overworking someone who is recovering from Tommy John surgery–nice.

  30. swang - Sep 1, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    86 Pitches isn't overworking…

  31. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Swang, the plan was for 5 innings as Riggleman said was his limit, but maybe that came with an attached pitch count that wasn't published.AWESOME PERFORMANCE by JZim and the offense gave him….nada

  32. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 1:58 AM

    86 Pitches isn't overworking… Thanks, Doc.

  33. Dryw - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    Ok, that play just did it for me. Nyjer needs to go. Playing stupid AND hurting a guy because of it. Stupid. Stupid and harmful to both teams. Enough.

  34. meixler - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:08 AM

    Could someone explain to me what Nyjer was doing there?

  35. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Meixler, not sure why he didn't go headfirst slide and get the corner of the plate.Another Nyjer head scratcher………..

  36. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    "hockey mentality" or as the rest of the world knows it in need of anger management counseling..

  37. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    I've defended Nyger all year long here, but I'm giving up on him after that utterly inexplicable play. A slide under the high through would have worked. Instead, Nyger assures that he'll be thrown at for the rest of the season. I've had it with the guy. A bonehead.

  38. meixler - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    I think he just gets an idea in his head and then gets stuck on it rather than adjusting to the situation. And for some reason little Nyjer Morgan is intent on running people over.

  39. HabsProf - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    I've heard of pitching coaches and hitting coaches – but is there any such thing as a base-running coach? The Nats definitely need one. As in now. Desperately.

  40. Michael J. Hayde - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    Anonymous8: Ray Knight was just saying the same thing.To think a year ago, most of us were bemoaning Nyjer's absence from CF. Now it looks like the injury only postponed what we eventually discovered: Nyjer is Elijah Dukes Lite.

  41. dj in Fl. - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    Those of us in Fl. are stuck with the Marlins crew. They showed the replay of Nyjer and said if he had of slid, he would have been safe. They kept mentioning his hockey background and mentality. Maybe he needs to go back to hockey. There was no reason to hit that catcher except he knew he could.Get rid of him now.

  42. Michael J. Hayde - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    Hanley Ramirez just demonstrated why you SHOULDN'T defend Nyjer in this case.

  43. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    And Ramirez shows us all what would have happened had Nyjer slid.Sheesh!

  44. Golfersal - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    Nyjer needs to switch sports. Seems like he wants to be a tackle, maybe he can make it for the RedSkins because I can tell you his time with the Nats is running out. Boy what an interesting ninth and tenth, if Morgan would of slid like Hanley did, the Nats would of won instead of lose.It seems that in the last week just about every game now Morgan is making really big time bone-headed decisions.I can only hope that Rizzo decides not to let Nyjer argue his seven game suspension and give us Nats fans a seven day break from this bone-head

  45. dj in Fl. - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Marlins just said they turned it up a notch after they saw one of their own get hurt.Hanley showed the benifit of sliding, but I am sure Nyjer could care less. Yes he was waved home, but it does not mean leave your head back at third.

  46. Les in NC - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Mark, I can see defending the thought process of sending Morgan on that play, but is there any defending another bone-headed play by him?

  47. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:25 AM

    @ManassasNyjer not how Ramirez just scored. The same way you could have had you been thinking.

  48. Golfersal - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    Boy, I just love how MASN is skating around this Nyjer play. Guess now of them had the guts to ask Reggelman what he thought of the Nyjer play and we aren't getting any more replays of it.I just love how they try not to pile on the criticisms of this.Boy I would of loved to hear what Dibble would of said, he would of gone crazy.Now Ray Knight was good in saying that it was a wrong play by Morgan, but still MASN sugarcoats way to much and it drives me crazy.Oh, talking about Dibble, any ideas if he is ever coming back?????

  49. jeanne b - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:38 AM

    OK, I've defended him in the past, but maybe the "I'm a jerk" act really isn't an act by Nyjer. There appeared to be no need whatsoever to try to run down the catcher, when the slide was almost certainly there. And wouldn't you think he'd be going out of his way to be smarter on those plays now? Is it just his hockey mentality? Is he watching or listening to Ovi too much?

  50. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    no one said anything but pudge really butchered the tag on the last play.

  51. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:42 AM

    I'm sorry but I can't defend Nyjers decision to play hockey on a diamond. The catcher going high to catch the ball dictated a slide, not a body check. JTinSC

  52. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:53 AM

    Nyjer's play was indefensible. He was not DOA as Mark says. He slides and he's safe. He never even considered it. You only run the catcher if he has the ball and he is blocking your way to the plate; this was not the case here at all. Time to move off the Nyjer experiment; Willinham, Bernadina and Morse looks pretty good to me; in the inerim play Harris, Maxwell, anyone but Nyjer.

  53. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:56 AM

    I'd play Nyjer tomorrow; let the Marlins institute some frontier justice. Maybe he needs to get knocked on his ass or plunked.

  54. Samantha - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    Yes, I agree with (everyone and) Anonymous@10:53 about playing the bonehead tomorrow so he either gets plunked or run over.

  55. CapPeterson - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Got home a while ago; heard the end of the game on the radio. Mark, Charlie and Dave were most definitely not spouting the company line: they said like most of you that it was a bonehead play. Conspiracy theory might be appropriate here: MASN should have run that replay over and over. And they wonder why they get lousy ratings.Should be a doozy of a game tomorrow. Sounds like the Marlins are fired up, and Scotty is a bit of a competitive sort himself.

  56. CapPeterson - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:40 AM

    Of course, C & D didn't actually use the word "bonehead." But that was definitely the subtext of their discourse.

  57. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    One of our many Anon's said: no one said anything but pudge really butchered the tag on the last play.I don't think so. The throw was a bit to his right, and he had to grab the ball and swing to his left to get him. He just couldn't swing around fast enough.As for Nyjer and MASN, I think Ray Knight made it pretty clear, after waiting to see the replay (which is appropriate) — and explained exactly how Nyjer could have scored. And he brought it up again after Ramirez scored. Maybe Knight wasn't screaming like Dibble would have, but he didn't avoid the issue at all.

  58. Mark - Sep 1, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    @Anonymous8 – you don't go headfirst into home plate. On a close play like this one, the runner gets a face full of the catcher's shinguard. And to repeat what others have said, running over the catcher isn't necessarily a dirty play, it's done when the catcher has the ball, is blocking the plate, and the runner has no other choice. In the 2 recent Nyjer instances, those were dirty plays.

  59. Joseph Greene - Sep 1, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Nyjer needs to be cut. He's shown to be immature, sometimes dirty, and fairly stupid. He seems to have the baseball IQ of first base.His speed is useless since he's too stupid to be a good base runner. His defense has been fairly poor this year as both UZR and Dewan show. He's now throwing things at fans, throwing his glove, going out of his way to act like he's playing hockey at home plate etc. He's no longer an upgrade over Lastings Milledge. That alone should seal his fate.I hope Selig not only upholds his suspension but adds another week for the dirty plays since the appeal.

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