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Game 147: Nats at Phillies

Sep 17, 2010, 7:45 PM EST

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After taking two of three in Atlanta, the Nats take their spoiler act to Philly.

Whether it's a motivating factor for them or not, the Nationals are in position to have a significant effect on the NL playoff race. They just deal the Braves a serious blow in taking two of three at Turner Field, and this weekend at Citizens Bank Park they'll have the opportunity to do likewise to the Phillies. Then, both NL East contenders come to D.C. for the Nationals' final homestand of the season, six more games that will have a direct impact on this race.

The Phillies and Braves, of course, also still have six games against each other before season's end, and with that in mind Charlie Manuel has reconfigured his starting rotation so that his three big guns (Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels) can all face Atlanta. Oswalt still starts tonight, but then the Nats get Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton.

Nyjer Morgan begins serving his eight-game suspension tonight. Justin Maxwell will be taking his place in center field tonight, flanked by Roger Bernadina and Willie Harris, but that alignment could change on a daily basis.

Jason Marquis starts tonight, pitching on Yom Kippur, which is something he's done in the past but takes into consideration each time the situation arises. Marquis, who is Jewish, told me last week he will probably be fasting as custom dictates and attending services with his family tomorrow near his home on Staten Island.

In observance of the holiday, which runs from sundown tonight to sundown tomorrow, I won't be in Philadelphia for this series. Enjoy the game and please continue the conversation with each other…

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from LF

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

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  1. Anonymous - Sep 17, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    If you add Maxwell's and Harris' batting averages together you get a decent number! Doesn't Marquis have a better one than either guy? Don't think about baseball during your holiday, Mark. Someone will let you know if we suddenly move ourselves into contention. But then again – Marquis might throw a no-hitter while you are not watching!

  2. Harper_ROY_2012 - Sep 17, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Well, the other day one of our crappiest lineups ever beat the Braves so maybe Riggleman is coming up with the worst possible lineups on napkins and seeing if they can lull the Phillies to sleep!

  3. BQ - Sep 17, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    awesome. no morgan. I have hard time believing we will take anything from Phillies. they have been brutal recently. I just hope we put up decent competition which we are capable of. Let's go Nats!!!

  4. PhilsfanwhowasturningtotheNatsbeforeDibblegotgone - Sep 17, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Torre!, Torre!, Torre!Please?

  5. Richard - Sep 17, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Speaking of Dibble, I don't get it and I don't like it, but I'm just a Nats fan so the Nats FO can and does regularly tells me to go to hell. Anyway, Mark, all the best to you and your family this weekend.

  6. natsfan1a - Sep 17, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    I miss Dibble, but he's probably better off (at least, I hope he is).I second Richard's good wishes for you and your family, Mark.

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Sep 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    Mark, sincere best wishes on the holiday to you and your entire family. Enjoy the fellowship, and don't think about baseball or writing. You deserve it.

  8. Jim Webster - Sep 17, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    Used to be companies that would give your money back, no questions asked, if their goods weren't satisfactory. Guess that never found its way into baseball. Nats not likely to get money back from Marquis, and us season ticket holders probably won't get our money back from the Nats. Yet we'll probably buy again next year, even understanding that, because it's baseball, after all.

  9. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Sep 17, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    DFA Marquis. Seriously.

  10. Jim Webster - Sep 17, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    (Oops. Should be we season ticket holders.)

  11. BQ - Sep 17, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    Wow, a huge step back for Marquis and Nationals. Was he fasting before the game and didn't have much strength? I would opt out and not pitch the game if I were fasting before the game.anyways, best wishes to MarkZ and family, and Marquis on this holy day.

  12. DCGuy7 - Sep 17, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    this is BS. The game ought to be 3-1 right now, but for a freaking ump who couldn't get out of the damn way. hey Blue – ITS YOUR JOB not to interfere with a ball in play. I'm pissed.

  13. joNAThan - Sep 17, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Nice play by Dunn…..hopefully that helps his UZR and the Nats re-sign him. The prospects of Derek Lee or whoever else depresses me. And as a Nats fans I border on depression everyday, can't take no more.

  14. Dryw - Sep 18, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Fasting doesn't start til after dinner on Friday. So I hope that's not it. On the other hand, maybe it would be less depressing if I could believe Marquis was weak from hunger instead of just AWFUL.

  15. theblitz - Sep 18, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Maybe this is god's revenge on Marquis for not taking a Koufax Pass. If Marquis has pitched before on Yom Kippur, I wonder how he has performed. If it's worse than his career average, is that evidence that God exists?

  16. Arlington Big Fish - Sep 18, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    Marquis' pitching line in his 2 starts against the Phils this year: 4.1 innings, 12 runs, 14 hits. That's a record that's literally breathtaking in its ineffectiveness.

  17. HabsProf - Sep 18, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    And now Olsen – and the hit parade goes on. Still, Scott can't be as bad as Marquis… can he?

  18. BQ - Sep 18, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    arlington, let's not forget this is the same pitcher that almost matched Halladay for zero to zero and lost 1-0 heartbreaker some time ago.exactly, dryw. I was just trying to find excuses for his inexcusably bad outing but that didn't work.Anyways, he does have bad numbers against Phillies and that one good outing could have been just an uncommon event.

  19. Anonymous - Sep 18, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    Jim Riggleman, just doing a bang up job of respecting the game. Making it easy for the Phillies: Harris, Maxwell, Mench all sub-Mendoza, but not rookies … Marquis followed by Batista …

  20. Richard - Sep 18, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    PNats won the Mills Cup, Carolina League champs.

  21. Anonymous - Sep 18, 2010 at 3:08 AM

    The PNats (along with starter Trevor Holder) wond the Mills Cup.

  22. natsfan1a - Sep 18, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    Congrats to the 2010 Carolina League champions. Sounds like I made the right decision to attend that game rather than watching the Big Boy Nats on tv. Heh.

  23. Anonymous - Sep 18, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Did they have that "belly buster" special rammed down your throat at the P-Nats. I went last Fri and was told that ALL seats were 15 dollars and you get all the burger and dogs you can eat. I had already eaten so I went home. You should have the option of buying this, not having it forced on you. Greedy management even in the low minors

  24. natsfan1a - Sep 18, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Um, yes, they did have it, and no, I don't think they're greedy.

  25. Sec3MySofa - Sep 18, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    good gracious, complaining about free hot dogs.

  26. N. Cognito - Sep 18, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Anonymous said… "Did they have that "belly buster" special rammed down your throat at the P-Nats. I went last Fri and was told that ALL seats were 15 dollars and you get all the burger and dogs you can eat. I had already eaten so I went home. You should have the option of buying this, not having it forced on you. Greedy management even in the low minors"Do you know why they do this? Because most of their employees are kids and are now back at college or high school.You could've walked up before the game and gotten a Field Box seat as I did. They weren't filled. Those seats are $14 during the regular season. I even got the first row.Moron.

  27. Dryw - Sep 18, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    BQ, you're right. Let's hope that it was the lack of his traditional after-dinner, pre-game snack that caused Marquis to look pitch like me last night! (I am not ashamed to admit that I throw like a girl, but I'd like to think that Marquis would throw more like a big-league pitcher….)

  28. John R. - Sep 18, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    I don't know how I could look Livan Hernandez in the eye if I were Jason Marquis. Livan supposedly signed a 2011 contract for $1 Million, while Jason will be paid $7.5 Million. I know Marquis has had some good games, as well as the awful ones, but taking that much more money than Hernandez is pure (legal) larceny!

  29. A DC Wonk - Sep 19, 2010 at 1:23 AM

    Maybe this is god's revenge on Marquis for not taking a Koufax Pass.To follow on that thought . . . Marquis got knocked out of the box so fast, that he was almost done before Yom Kippur even started!

  30. natsfan1a - Sep 19, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Not to pile on regarding Marquis but, to continue John's thought re. Livo's pay, I believe he made 900K this year with the minor league contract. Hope there were some incentive clauses in there that he could cash in as well…

  31. Anonymous - Sep 19, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    CognitoThe point here is money. I enjoy paying 6 dollars for a grandstand seat. Money is tight for me. If I wanted a box seat, I would buy a box seat. I just feel that one should have the option of the "belly buster" Don't tell me I can't get in unless I pay 15 dollars when I have been paying 6 dollars all year. Call me cheap or a moron, I don't care





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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