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Game 152: Astros at Nats

Sep 22, 2010, 7:40 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis faces Wandy Rodriguez tonight at Nationals Park.

Last night, the Nationals produced one of their best rallies of the season, scoring seven times with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Astros, 8-4. So Jim Riggleman is sticking with his same lineup for tonight's game. Why tinker with something that actually worked?

That does, however, mean Ivan Rodriguez will make back-to-back starts behind the plate for the first time in two weeks. Pudge has actually been pretty hot lately, with 11 hits in his last 31 at-bats, two homers and 12 RBI. Wilson Ramos, meanwhile, has done pretty well himself, with 8 hits in 27 at-bats (including two doubles and a homer) since his recall from Class AAA Syracuse at the beginning of the month.

Jason Marquis is on the mound tonight, hoping Friday night's implosion in Philadelphia in which he retired only one of nine batters was a bump in an otherwise smooth road back from elbow surgery. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez starts for Houston.

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 8 mph out to CF

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

Read more »

  1. NatsJAck in Florida - Sep 22, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    A line up without Willie Harris, Adam Kennedy and Nyjer Morgan…. Finally..I'll even accept Justin Maxwell at this stage of the season.Can't wait till Friday and Saturday when I get to see the FL Instructional League guys at work!

  2. Section 222 - Sep 22, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    For everyone who jumped all over Michael Morse when he cooled down a bit in his first few weeks of playing regularlly, I give you this from Adam Kilgore's piece in NJ:"Since Josh Willingham played his last game before season-ending knee surgery on Aug. 15, Morse has started 28 of 33 Nationals games and appeared in three others…. In 100 at-bats over that span, while serving as the Nationals' primary right fielder, Morse has hit .320 with a .389 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage. That .899 OPS ranks best on the team over that span by 129 points; Ian Desmond is second." Quietly making a statement. Good for him.

  3. NatsNut - Sep 22, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Speaking of the Morse article, Mark, can you answer a question for me? It might sound facetious, but I'm honestly confused.Say a player says something like, "One of the biggest parts is just keeping with my approach day in and day out and not changing anything, no matter what the result is. It's something that I think everybody that's an everyday player works on constantly. It's pretty much just believing in your ability, not changing anything because of who's pitching or what the game says. Keep your approach no matter what the game dictates," What's the difference between that and when players say they constantly have to make adjustments when pitchers figure them out? They sound like two completely conflicting explanations of a hitter's job.

  4. Anonymous - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    They are different things.The first is basically don't over adjust or tinker too much when you get into a slump. You might still look at video to see if your swing has changed, but slumps are combinations physical (i.e. not seeing the ball well, sore thumb) and emotional (i.e. Dad's ill) conditions and just plain bad luck. The second is to change how you approach your at bats because pitchers have learned how to get you out. Elijah Dukes was a potential monster, but pitchers quickly learned that they could get him out by throwing off-speed pitches away. Dukes never adjusted.

  5. Anonymous - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    section 222,I think Morse has definitely proved that he can be counted on as an everyday player in the middle of the lineup. The big thing is that they let him play through his slump where he was able to get 100 at bats over 28 games. If they would play Maxwell for 28 games and he is still unable to put up decent numbers I would agree with the hords that he will likely never hit but having 100 at bats over 150 games where you never play 3 or 4 games in a row does not prove anything.

  6. Richard - Sep 22, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Continuing to have Espinoza leadoff is interesting. The young guy is struggling to get on base right now. Big hole at the top. The team ain't scorin'. It would seem better to have some other, more veteran guy leadoff and take some of the pressure off Danny. Maybe they gots nobody else to lead off, you say, but that seems a questionable rationale for putting the young rookie there. Or maybe they see him in that position next year and have confidence in his pysche to handle it and want him to get reps, something like Leo Durocher and Willie Mays. Do they know what they're doin'? …Anyway, NatsJAck, a full FL IL report ASAP pls.

  7. Les in NC - Sep 22, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    So what's the over/under on earned runs allowed by Marquis in the first 2 innings of tonights game?

  8. Les in Ottawa - Sep 22, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    I don't know, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed we see good Marquis tonight and not his evil twin.

  9. Doc - Sep 23, 2010 at 12:53 AM

    Does anybody in the Nats FO ever give Morse any credit for putting together a pretty good season?Jus' wondering!

  10. swang - Sep 23, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    That was a freakin' swing!

  11. sec3 - Sep 23, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    and another brilliant night of insight by the gallery. Espinoza can't hit, and Marquis is a bum.Keep your day jobs, fellas.

  12. Richard - Sep 23, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    Apparently sec3 can't understand english. Re-read the Espinoza comment. It doesn't say he can't hit, jacka**.

  13. Doc - Sep 23, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    Ok sportsfans, why not J. Peralta as The Closer next year???

  14. DCGuy7 - Sep 23, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    go look up Peralta's career stats. i love what he's doing this year, but it's not his norm. nats win! nice.

  15. JaneB - Sep 23, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    We win! But second most delightful moment was Livo and Maya dancing to Pudges music in the dugout. I love my Nats!

  16. Anonymous - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    Maxwell has problems hitting major league fast balls. Power hitters (to which Maxwell aspires apparently) feast on these. Maxwell cannot hit major league hitting. He will always be in a "slump". He needs to find a way to learn to do something he should have learned in 'A' ball. Instead he was promoted far too quickly.

  17. Bill B - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    Morse has earned first dibs on starting in RF or at 1B next year (depending on Dunn or a FA signing). Solid defender, good hitter, strong attitude.

  18. JaneB - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:39 AM

    On facebook, the Nats announced that they will officially announce that they have signed Riggleman for next year. Good bye to hopes of Torre, Johnson or Valentine.

  19. Steve - Sep 23, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    You know who's starting to sound managerial — or at least hitting-coachy-y? Ray Knight.

  20. natsfan1a - Sep 23, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Crud, I missed the dancing in the dugout. Another nice, if not uneventful, win.My fave Knightism from last night, "the world is your cherry." (And I suppose that life is just a bowl of oysters, too. :-)) Seems like a nice guy and all, but…dang.





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