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Game 162: Nats at Mets

Oct 3, 2010, 2:21 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Mike Pelfrey in today's season finale at Citi Field.

NEW YORK — So it has come to this, Game 162. That number always seems like a far-away, distant mirage, something unattainable. Then the next thing you know, it sneaks up on you.

The Nationals limp into their season finale on a three-game losing streak, having scored a total of six runs in their last five games. Not much good has happened since Adam Dunn clubbed that walk-off homer against the Phillies Tuesday night. If they can't pull out a victory today against the Mets, they'll finish the year at 68-94. (I should probably point out here that way back on Opening Day, I predicted 68 wins for this team. Dumb luck, I know.)

Livan Hernandez makes his team-leading 33rd start of the season for the Nationals today, attempting to earn his 11th win and keep his ERA under 3.75. He'll be pitching in front of a depleted lineup that is without Ryan Zimmerman (who will have missed the season's final 10 games with a ribcage strain) and Michael Morse (who had to come out of yesterday's game with a hamstring strain).

Adam Dunn, however, is back in the lineup after missing yesterday's game with a minor hamstring issue. In what could be his final game as a National, Dunn needs to club two homers to reach 40 for the sixth time in his career. Three RBI would give him 106 and match his career high. Two more strikeouts would give him 200 for the first time in his career.

Plenty of updates to come throughout the afternoon…

NATIONALS at METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees, Wind 15 mph in from CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (68-93)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. JaneB - Oct 3, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Well, the last day of the regular season is here, and I'm always sorry to see it. This year, though, it does feel like enough is enough. Thank you, Mark, for the great reporting. I wish I knew about you in April, but I'm glad to know about you now. And thank you Mrs. Z. for lending him to us. Thank you to the great commenters here, who have taught me more about baseball, and made me a better informed fan. I've laughed my head off more than once reading what you all have written (which is only fair, since mark has made me cry, especially with his piece on Livo, his piece on Dunn at the end, and went I went back and read some of the Strasmus stuff). I've got a few leads on baseball books to tide me over the long winter. Looking forward to "seeing" you all in the spring, when we have our for real pitching ace signed, whomever he may be, and Adam is back, and Maya and JZimm have had stunningly great winter ball experiences and are getting down to becoming the pitchers we all hope they will be. Go Nats!

  2. Anonymous - Oct 3, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    I like your style, JaneB (and yours as well, Mark) … amen to being finished with this season but still optimistic about the next. Fortunately, Game 162 has a lot going for it elsewhere in the league … great day to be a baseball fan!

  3. BQ - Oct 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    It is finally here. The last day of the season for us, Nats fans. I am going to miss this team seeing in action. As far as Dunn is concerned, have a blast dude in your last game as a Nationals. (I am expecting Rizzo to let go of him because he likes to draft. I am guessing Dunn is a type A free agent and will bring us two high compensation picks).Oh and I thought Livan was done for the season. Anyways, best of luck. Oh and I am going to O's game today. Let's hope it doesn't rain.

  4. BQ - Oct 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Oh and thank you very much for the great coverage you have provided, Mark. I joined after mid season and became regular in August I think. Really looking forward to this team coming back stronger than ever next season and you continue providing best coverage ever. We all really appreciate your efforts. Thank you.

  5. JayB - Oct 3, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    I hate this day each year. It is going to be a long frustrating winter with no baseball and no bold moves by the team. At this point given the likelihood that they will make no moves that will improve the team in the ways they need to…that is RF bat, two top notch starting pitchers…..the most move that will cost the less and make the biggest impact is FIRE RIGGS and get a winning manager who will not accept the type of losing attitude we have seen for the past 3 months. This team is dead and it is Riggs job to not let that happen.Mark, would you keep Riggs if you were Rizzo?

  6. Anonymous - Oct 3, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Picked 68 wins on opening day, eh? Prove it! Let's see the link.

  7. yankish2 - Oct 3, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    So Manny Acta's Tribe playing in the more competitive American League has one more victory than the Nats. Who would have 'thunk' it? Fire Riggleman…

  8. dj in Fl. - Oct 3, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    So what what that tells me yankish2, is that maybe it is the lack of talent and not the manager. Maybe we need to presure the FO for more talent, so the manager has a chance to win. Ours have not had that chance yet. I want Riggs to have a year with enough talent to compete, then decide how good he is.

  9. Doc - Oct 3, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Hey Gonzo just did it–an RBI!! It wasn't a wasted season afterall!!!!!!!!!

  10. Souldrummer - Oct 3, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    @yankish2Cleveland may be in the tougher AL but isn't the NL East a tougher division?

  11. CBinDC - Oct 3, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Bold move vote in 2011I say go for Yu Darvish

  12. Anonymous - Oct 3, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Does anyone know the status of Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler for next year? They are by far some of the best in the game (IMHO). I would HATE to see either of them go (especially to the Yankees, which has been rumored before).

  13. dryw - Oct 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    Mark, it's never too late for Riggleman to make a double switch. In fact, I'm expecting him to find a way to make a couple tomorrow.

  14. Smatt1001 - Oct 3, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Are we going to get to 15 innings?

  15. Souldrummer - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Ollie Perez!!!!! Wow!

  16. dryw - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    Would six RBIs on the year really have been such a horrible thing, Gonzo?

  17. dj in Fl. - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    We win as ugly as it can get offensively.Thanks for keeping us sane throughout this year Mark.

  18. Another_Sam - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Couldn't post earlier because I was driving; listening on XM. Very nice introductory remarks, Mark. Thank you. Yes it does sneak up on you. I've to MASN on now for the 14th. For me, one of the highlights of this very enjoyable season was meeting you, Mark, and a number of insider subscribers at the ballpark. Thank you for this.I'll see you all in Viera. You'll spot me. I'll be the guy in the NatsInsider.com shirt.

  19. Mayhemnsuz - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Yes, thanks Mark for a season of stellar reporting in the face of not always stellar ball…

  20. Section 109 - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Well Mark, your win-loss prediction wasn't entirely accurate. ;-) Glad that the final game was a win, though recent games have not been inspirational. Mark, I loved this site this year, and I also am grateful for the folks who comment here. Mark, I'll be eager to hear about your off-season plans. Count me in as an on-going supporter.

  21. Sec3MySofa - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    69-NINETY-three, but who's counting?Thanks again, Mark, for the season.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsTAUs_h_uY

  22. JaneB - Oct 3, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Here's the thing: WE don't owe Oliver Perez $12,000,000 for another year of THAT. That has to make even JayB happy. :-)Go, Nats!

  23. DCGuy7 - Oct 3, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    as a cartoon character once said – that's all folks. 10 win improvement, like a lot of experts predicted. sigh. here's my wish list:-sign dunn, there's no better options out there-ditch nyjer-hire an ace for a year, and maybe another starter-hire a real CF-let bernie and morse platoon RF, they've earned it-ditch willie and AKennedy-find a veteran arm for the bullpen

  24. natsfan1a - Oct 4, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Nice pick, sec3. Here's another one for sunshine and the rest of you:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpkkAsSd_Ns

  25. Sec3MySofa - Oct 4, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    1a, that's one record I've always kept around since … well, a very long time ago. I remember that according to the liner notes, the original title was "For Losers Only." Coincidence?

  26. natsfan1a - Oct 4, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    I love that album. Yeah, I'm sure it's just a coincidence about the title. ;-)

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