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Game 141: Marlins at Nats

Sep 10, 2010, 7:40 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals host the Marlins in the first of three games at Nationals Park.

Updated with Marlins lineup change due to Gaby Sanchez dropping appeal.

Nyjer Morgan may be in the Nationals' lineup tonight, but he's not in his customary leadoff spot. Perhaps anticipating that Morgan would begin serving his suspension tonight, manager Jim Riggleman penciled out a lineup that includes Danny Espinosa batting first.

With a ruling yet to be handed down by MLB vice president of on-field operations Bob Watson, Morgan is eligible to play, but he'll be batting eighth against his good friends from Florida.

Right-hander Alex Sanabia, who was suspended five games for his actions during last week's brawl, starts for the Marlins. He's expected to drop his appeal and begin serving tomorrow.

John Lannan is on the mound for the Nationals, looking to continue his winning ways. Since returning from Class AA Harrisburg, Lannan is 5-1 with a 2.93 ERA.

Check back for updates throughout…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RF

2B Danny Espinosa
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

Read more »

  1. Doc - Sep 10, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Be fun to see how Espinosa and Desmond operate at the top of the lineup. Gooooooo Nats

  2. JaneB - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    I so hope Nyjer is the model of good sportsmanship tonight. And I like the idea of Danny and Desi in the one-two slots.

  3. MikeHarris - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Hasn't Sanchez been pulled? Is that suspension related?

  4. Anonymous - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    JaneB, I am sure that Nyjer fully intends to act professionally tonight especially after his meeting with Bob Watson; the bigger question is how will he react to being provoked? If he's smart he should let someone else take up his fight; if he doesn't act stupid his teammates will have his back.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    JaneB…. why would you have "hope Nyjer is the model of good sportsmanship tonite"? Shouldn't that alone tell you something about the guy?

  6. N. Cognito - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… "JaneB…. why would you have "hope Nyjer is the model of good sportsmanship tonite"? Shouldn't that alone tell you something about the guy?"Why wouldn't she hope that?Has Nyjer had these issues before this season? I've never heard of any. Makes me wonder if something's going on in his personal life that might be affecting his play and his attitude. Or perhaps it's just his lousy play this year that affecting his attitude.

  7. JaneB - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    N. Cognito — exactly my thinking. It's too odd to be him. Something's up. And I hope its fixable.

  8. Anonymous - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    NatsJack, I was of the opinion that Morgan is a mediocre player with a bad attitude and as such serves no purpose for the team. I decided to look a bit deeper and I discovered that statistically this year is the exception. In parts of 2 years + 1 full year Nyjer consistently hit .300 (give or take) with a .350 OBP and some very good defensive metrics. I'm keenly aware of all the brain farts we have seen from Nyjer this year but it may be worth trying to resurrect his value; you know the adage: buy low and sell high. I would put him on a very short leash and explain to him that if he ever wants a good contract he has to become focused and coachable and I would remove him from the leadoff spot (to no. 8 ) at least until he show that he can get on base consistently. If we choose to keep him I would have him spend the off season working with someone like Tim Raines on: Reading pitchers; getting proper jumps and sliding as well as basic baseball etiquette.

  9. NatinBeantown - Sep 10, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Not Nyjer related (or even directly Nats-related), but it was good to see our old friend Shawn Hill back on the mound in Toronto last night. Yes he took the loss, but he had 5 pretty good innings with two runs and no really hard hit balls. His line looks a lot worse because the guy who relieved him let two inherited runners score. Here's hoping Hill resurrects his career up there in his native land… I doubt there are many in NatsTown who wish him ill.And Let's Go Nats! Finish 10-10 and we get to 70 wins. Finish 13-7 and avoid 90 losses… a huge jump from 08-09.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 10, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    So he becomes a … soon to be 31 yo Instructional League guy…I saw way too much of him up close and personal during Spring Training to think what we are seeing is an anomaly.He was a jerk at all times to anyone who wasn't a coach, player or management and I mean everybody.

  11. Doc - Sep 10, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    I had seen Nyjer's previous years' stats too. Strange, real strange this year. Having a Tim Rains type coach work with him, yeah that's fine. But a lot of this he should be figuring out himself. Riggleman & Co. deserve some blame for excusing the unexcusable all season. Not sure Riggleman knows how to keep a player on a short leash??

  12. natscan reduxit - Sep 10, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    JaneB, who asked, "I so hope Nyjer is the model of good sportsmanship tonight", my question is: why wouldn't he be?Go Nats!

  13. Anonymous - Sep 10, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    He should be figuring it out himself but he's not. He gets picked off and everyone gets mad at him but I think that he simply always relied on his speed and never learned how to read pitchers and slide; these are teachable skills if he is receptive and the benefits to the team are tremendous because he is inexpensive and under team control. I think that the attitude NatsJack is describing from spring training is a product of the success he had last year and his overvaluing his own skills; he wouldn't be the first athlete to exhibit such behavior. This is the first time he is experiencing failure and in his frustration he is lashing out at everyone; he can either continue down that road and fade into obscurity or he can be humbled and accept that he can improve his game. The question is whether or not the Nats feel he is worth the trouble; we'll see.

  14. Sec3MySofa - Sep 10, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    @NatsJack–I can't speak to your experience, of course, but he's never been rude to me.Just a thought–you don't suppose Sanchez dropped his appeal when he saw Morgan was in the lineup, on the off chance Nyjer gets on base? He doesn't hate him *that* much, does he? Naaah.Still…

  15. Sunderland - Sep 10, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Nyjer stats?Carrer vs left handed pitching..209 AVG.298 OBP.281 SLGSo, even if you believe this year is the exception, he's proven to be unable to hit LHP.It would be so much easier to stand behind Nyjer if he was 25 years old. But he's 30. He's not going to be getting better. (And he does not have an arm that works in center field. That's not going to improve either).I'd love for him to have a strong series against the Marlins. But I think we need and deserve better out of CF and leadoff.What's really frustrating also is how JMax has been unable to take advantage of his opportunities and hit show he can hit left handed pitching. If he could, you'd have a fairly natural (and very inexpensive) platoon.

  16. BinM - Sep 10, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Sunderland: IMO, the problem with JMax is that when he thinks about cutting down on that long swing, he freezes up at the plate. He can still crush mistakes, but sees far fewer of them at the ML level. I still think he's smooth defensively, with a plus arm, and good base-running sense as well, but he'll just never hit consistently in the bigs.

  17. JayB - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    I really like what I see from Danny E. Did you see him run out that pop up. Peter Rose with speed!

  18. Anonymous - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Nyjer can't be allowed to steal with Lannan hitting and 2 outs making Lannan the leadoff next inning. Can't happen; that should have been a stop sign from Riggleman.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    How about that brilliant baseball man Nyjer Morgan!How do you not know that if you get thrown out stealing with 2 outs, your pitcher gets to lead off next inning.The Marlins announcers are having a blast ripping the iduiot.

  20. Anonymous - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    NatsJack; that one is on Riggleman 100%.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    Riggleman didn't send him… Morgan runs on his own.

  22. Slidell - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    I believe Nyjer does pretty much what he wants. If I'm Riggs, N. gets double-switched out (instead of Morse) as soon as the inevitable opportunity arises.

  23. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Ya gotta assume Morgan is out of control or Riggleman is out of his mind or both. Morgan is not a team player; he's dumb as dirt and has a giant "me first" attitude and the Nats can't or won't adjust. What's left of the fan base is in for it. The ownership, president, GM, and manager are losers. Three years of 100 or almost 100 losses. They kill any possible enthusiasm. This Nyjer's-our-boy and maybe-we-will-sign-Dunn-maybe-we-won't-let's-screw-around-with-it-for-the-entire-year fiasco is a prime illustration. We won't even mention the sorry excuse for a rotation they've put together the last two years. Thanks Selig for selecting your buddies the Lerners and Stan K. Selig knows that family. Right. That an a** that guy is.

  24. lesatcsc - Sep 11, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Maybe we should stop fretting about Nyjer so much and start wondering why this is one of the worst hitting teams in baseball. Since all the gloating about the Nats turning into the big red machine, this powder puff offence has managed a big 12 hits in 24 innings against less than dominant pitching. When 2,3,4 go silent, so do the Nats. And lets be honest, Bernadina has no business batting 5th. He is not and may never be an RBI guy.To answer Mark's question from the other day, what don't the Nats need? They're set at 3B, and nowhere else.

  25. CBinDC - Sep 11, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    Well it would not be Sept. in Natstown if one did not need a large size beer to cry in ……if one still has any tears left

  26. CBinDC - Sep 11, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    The boys of the MASN seem to think we are doing just great but if only the score would just reflect that fact all would be well and happy. So fear not we have everything to win but scoring and that will come in time,you can look it up

  27. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    I can't believe that moron Phil Wood keeps saying what a great Sept. the Nats had last year. Winning the last seven last year saved their butts after a pretty terrible stretch in Sept. including a game when Riggleman infamously played Desmond in RF.

  28. Cwj - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    I like Phil Wood. He's definitely no moron.

  29. CBinDC - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    It would not be as bad if someone with the production of this team would be straight forward and at times show some gratitude to a fan base that has been abused for 6 years straight. Stop selling a positive future with noting in the present. They blew every good vibe all season…..there were so many all season but right from opening day GONE …..much because they have no idea how to talk to people that is not in the form of a PR training model

  30. lesatcsc - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    Yeah, our 3rd hit knocked out their starting pitcher. Now we get to be dominated by a bunch of unknown relievers.Didn't Pudge wax on about hitting to the opposite field the other day. Can someone read his own interview back to him so he stops trying to pull EVERYTHING.

  31. Sunderland - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    Sanabia's right handed, so Riggleman puts 4 lefty bats in the lineup (Espinosa hitting from the left, Dunn, Bernie and Nyjer).Look at Sanabia's splits:Vs RH Hitters WHIP – 1.79, BAA – .364Vs LH Hitters WHIP – 1.06, BAA – .208Why did we not load up on right handed hitters?Why is Alberto Gonzalez, JMax, Mench, etc on the bench? What are they here for if not to play when they give us the best chance to win?Because Riggleman believes in righty v lefty more than anything else.So we have 4 lefties, 4 righties and a pitcher facing Sanabia when we could easily have put out a lineup with only 1 or 2 lefties.I really think Riggleman is a very nice, respectful, honorable guy. But I really want a new manager. One not afraid to, umm, manage.

  32. Cwj - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    Man this Joe Bisenius has a good arm.

  33. Sec3MySofa - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:29 AM

    Well, if great minds think alike, I'm not sure how much it recommends Sunderland that I agree with him here, as usual.

  34. Sunderland - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    I think simple minds can also think alike

  35. lesatcsc - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    I'm with Sunderland too. I think the Nats are ready for a real manager.

  36. sjm105 - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    not only was this a really difficult game to watch, with very little offense and poor baserunning but they were doing the wave at National Park!! How many real fans would do the wave? no matter how bad their team is. Just like there is no crying in baseball, there should be NO WAVE!! I have a week in the Outer Banks, is MASN carried down there?

  37. Sec3rdBase, you're pitching, Sunday - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    Seriously (and you know I'm serious if I spell it out), I think most of us in here would be better off playing rec ball and watching each other. No, you don't get to see anything like Zimm or Danny S. Pinoza, but still.

  38. BQ - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    Lannan deserves more love from the front office and Nationals fans. He is not an ace (might never be), not a power pitcher, doesn't have 100 mph fastball, etc but the guy can get the job done. He goes out there every game and gives his best it seems but FO never mentions him in future plans and Nats fans have even lesser faith in him. I want to look into why this treatment towards John.

  39. Golfersal - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:52 AM

    Do we need to go over how stupid Nyjer Morgan is. No baseball sense.Sorry, I am now blaming Riggleman because he is the manager, the general that dictates what a player should do.He should be the guy telling Nyjer to either steal or not to steal. So maybe we should also at this point call Riggleman a "Bonehead" for allowing Nyjer to do what he thinks is best. Riggleman can't let a crazy person like Nyjer who is doing this to prove how great he is decide when to steal and when not. Sorry but I am losing a lot of respect for Riggleman not taking control of Nyjer.Sorry but every game that Nyjer plays in I grow to dislike Nyjer more for what he does and what he tries to do. He was 1 for 3 today but by getting caught stealing it might as well be 0 for 3.Also lets look at what a bonehead time that was stealing, 2 outs and the pitcher up. There is nothing to gain by stealing second with 2 outs because the odds are very good that Lannan will make an out. (Lannan batting 100). So now by getting caught stealing he now screws up the next inning because the pitcher is up first.Sorry that isn't good baseball and we should all be screaming for the Nats and Riggelman to put a mussel on him. Hopefully with only 20 games left Nyjer will get the full 15 game suspension and we won't have to deal with him anymore

  40. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    So, there you have it, Golfersal is "sorry" four times in his last post, so we've established that he's really very quite sorry about all of it! Nats fans, consider yourselves all the recipients of Golfersal's extravagant apology. :)

  41. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    The most pathetic things is that Riggs defended Nyjer in the post-game interview. He can't control him, and he won't even call him on bad baseball. Nyjer and his ego rule this team. What a joke.

  42. Golfersal - Sep 11, 2010 at 3:39 AM

    Guess your right, have nothing to be sorry for.Riggelman could be a lot like father George Bush was in 1991. He was the big hero after desert Storm but did one dumb thing on higher taxes and was beaten less that a year later by Clinton.At the All-Star break the reports were on how great of a job Riggleman has done with this team. All I can say to that is Bulls**t.My doing what Riggleman is doing on this Nyjer mistakes, it's just making us evaluate what Riggelman has really done this year and you know what, last year we lost 103 games and at the pace that the Nats are going we are going to lose around 90 to 95 games. This doesn't bode over very well for Riggs and frankly if I were Rizzo and Kasten I would be looking for a change of mangement.If Riggleman can't handle Morgan then there is no chance for use to ever have a winning record.Everyone should be thinking about this in the next couple of weeks, we need a new manager

  43. Sec3MyBivalve - Sep 11, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    "Sorry that isn't good baseball and we should all be screaming for the Nats and Riggleman to put a mussel on him."Well, he was with the Pirates for a long time, maybe they're just barnacles. OK, I'll clam up.

  44. Sec3MySofa - Sep 11, 2010 at 3:44 AM

    and everyone can think what they like, but new manager is only up to Rizzo, and probably Kasten, but that's about it.They don't even listen to Mark; they sure as hell ain't listening to "everybody."

  45. DCGuy7 - Sep 11, 2010 at 4:10 AM

    @sjm105 – masn and masn2 are carried in the obx, watched the game tonight here in fact.

  46. Steve - Sep 11, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    From a competitor's game story today:"They're a very good ballclub," Manager Jim Riggleman, discussing the Marlins, who are 60-64 against any team not called the Nationals.





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