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Game 5: Nats at Marlins

Apr 6, 2011, 7:14 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Chris Volstad tonight at Sun Life Stadium.

MIAMI — Well, so much for that new leadoff hitter. Jim Riggleman said yesterday Danny Espinosa would be in the top spot of tonight's lineup, with Ian Desmond batting seventh. It appears the manager changed his mind at some point, because Desmond (0-for-13) is back leading off again, with Espinosa (4-for-10) back in the 7-hole. We'll see what Riggleman has to say about that.

Livan Hernandez, meanwhile, makes his second start of the season, hoping to pick up where he left off on Opening Day (two runs, four hits in 6 1/3 innings). He'll have one of his biggest supporters in attendance: Half-brother Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, who was in the stands last night and actually caught two foul balls! (Of course, your odds of doing that increase by a huge factor when you're one of only 2,000 or fans in attendance.)

One final note: Several of you have been asking about the Nats' radio situation, noting last night's game couldn't be found on either 106.7 FM or 1500 AM. Here's the deal: The Nats get bumped off 106.7 when the Wizards are playing, and they get bumped off 1500 when the Caps are playing. (106.7 also announced it's picking up select Caps playoff games, but not those that conflict with the Nats.) Any games not on the flagship station, though, can be found on 1580 AM, as is the case tonight. The team's official website doesn't reflect this (it shows every game being on 106.7, which is wrong). I've got a hard copy of the actual schedule, though, and I'll be sure to include the correct station here before every game…

NATIONALS at MARLINS
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 13 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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  1. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Mark, is there any way to listen to WHFS online?

  2. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    The only way you can listen to the game online is through At Bat 2011 on an ipad, ipod, android or on gameday at mlb.com. All options will cost you something.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    You can listen online when it's on 106.7 but I guess not WHFS

  4. Jaxpo Nat - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    MLB rules do not allow stations to broadcast the game online. There is no way to listen online without subscribing to an MLB product. If you pull up the 106.7 or WHFS stream during a game you get other programming.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I am being nudged closer and closer to the JayB position on Riggleman (sorry Knoxville Nat). The vascillating on something like the lead off man tells me either someone else (Johnson) is pressing the issue or Riggs is actually afraid of damaging a young players pysche. Either way, he's not showing any leadership.

  6. Feel Wood - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Although 106.7 does stream, they wont be able to stream the Nats broadcasts, just as 1500 AM couldn't stream them in previous years. The only way you can listen to audio streams of MLB games is via MLB.com or one of its smartphone apps. The good news on that is there are no blackout restrictions on audio like there are on video, and the cost is only $15/season, which covers all audio broadscasts of every feed of every MLB game including the playoffs and World Series. If you have a smartphone, it's a great deal.

  7. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Nats coverage on 1580AM only = no Nats coverage on radio. Don't even bother listing that in your schedule, Mark.

  8. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    I for one am now rooting for the Caps to be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    People…. it's 2011. Spring for the $15.00 and listen online. I'm still miffed that my latest vehicle came with Sirius instead of XM and now I can't get the radio feeds on my satellite radio.

  10. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    WHFS: 500 watts in the flower pot coming to you out of downtown Rockville Maryland … well, not anymore …

  11. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Addendum to Natsjack: MiLB games are available. Might see some real managing and some real baseball played by promising playoff contenders like the Syracuse Chiefs and Potomac Nationals. And there's Randy Knorr who ought to replace Riggleman.

  12. P. Cole - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Thanks for keeping us radio listeners in the loop Mark.And to everyone else, I don't care if it's $5. You shouldn't have to pay for radio in 2011!

  13. joemktg - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Ultimately he's making the right move by allowing Desmond to hit his way out of the 0 for whatever. Putting Espinosa at leadoff is too risky at this point of the season as there is no fallback if Espinosa fails as well.

  14. Theophilus - Apr 6, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Desmond leading off probably has something to do w/ the fact he is 6-for-12 against Volstad. Espinosa hasn't seen him.

  15. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Putting Espinosa at leadoff is too risky at this point of the season as there is no fallback if Espinosa fails as well.Let's get it straight @joemktg. Riggleman has already tried his preferred fallback and that would be Jerry Hairston Jr. and ostensibly why he, and not Harris, is the Nats UTIL. Why Morgan is now with the Brewers. In fact I would imagine Riggleman would prefer starting Hairston everyday … he's finding any excuse to get him into every game.No, they are not out of options with Espinosa. Roger Bernadina, Boomer Whiting, and even Steve Lombardozzi should be considered viable options. And let's not start with the Riggleman line? No, they don't have experience … but ARE THE NATS going to win anywhere near 70 this year? Without a miracle? NO. So, what's the harm in developing future prospects … isn't that the idea?

  16. N. Cognito - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Anonymous said… "I for one am now rooting for the Caps to be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs."A pox on your house. May your children grow to loathe you. May you relatives visit and NEVER leave. May the unwashed masses camp in your front yard. May your car throw a rod. May your wife leave you for Toughhockey.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    It's the vascillating that miffs me. Saying something one day then reversing it the next. Doesn't lend itself to solid leadership.

  18. Harper_ROY_2012 - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Regarding the lineup redo, Riggleman must have eaten at the Waffle house today, can you confirm Mark Z.!? ;)

  19. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Desmond leading off probably has something to do w/ the fact he is 6-for-12 against Volstad. Espinosa hasn't seen him.AND all this talk about Desmond developing into a clubhouse leader of the future? How does it look when you replace him with Hairston and Cora only 4 games into the season? A joke that's what. Does it really matter what Desmond does or does not do? Its more about whether he is a "Riggleman" veteran.

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Mark… I watched the interview in the stands last night with El Duque and he has to be approaching 50 yo. He looks good (for a 50yo) but his ability to speak english has regressed since he left baseball. He did tell the Marlins interviewer that he would be Livan's biggest fan tonight.

  21. Dave - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    1580 AM is inaudible in central Fairfax County (Vienna, Annandale). I have MLB At Bat 11 on my iPhone, but that's not much good driving around. The only way I could hear the game in the car last night was the Marlins broadcast on XM. Booo!

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Watching the Pirates/Cards game. Why would Andy Pettite be in St. Louis watching this game from the stands???… Interesting.

  23. JohninMPLS - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Gameday Audio is also free with a Twins Territory Team membership, which includes 15% of one purchase at the MLB online store, a free tour of Target Field, and other crap.I think the Nats did something similar last year, but I can't find it on the official site.Anyway, even if you're not a Twins fan (you jerk), it's not a bad deal. It's the same price as Gameday Audio, plus you get the 15% discount. (You'd still have to buy the $15 At-Bat mobile app to listen to games on your mobile device.)

  24. Orange Head - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Davey Lopes, if I remember correctly, started like gangbusters as a rookie leadoff hitter. Espinosa will do fine.And yes, Riggs ate at Waffle House and had a triple order of the has browns scattered and smothered, three eggs sunnyside up, bacon and coffee.

  25. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    "I have MLB At Bat 11 on my iPhone, but that's not much good driving around."Get a car radio with a USB port. Only a couple hundred bucks. Or get an external speaker that plugs into the headphone jack on your iPhone for $10-$15. Visit your local Radio Shack, you'd be amazed at what's available.

  26. masnstinks - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Could not pick up the am station on my way home from work last night in the car. I thought things were going to better this year with radio coverage, and here we are right back to practically nothing. Hockey play-offs last a long time.

  27. A DC Wonk - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    "Hockey play-offs last a long time."Oy! No kidding!Last year it went to the second week in June!!

  28. carolync - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    1580 AM leaves with the sun at my house. Bummer.I was looking forward to seeing Espinosa bat lead-off. Desmond is never held accountable for anything. He got away with murder last year for his poor fielding and streaky hitting and here we go again this year. I've been disappointed with Desmond as a starting shortstop and also am disappointed with the bad start to the season.Perhaps he will start one of his hot streaks today.

  29. Dave - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Somebody with no name who posted at 4:27 PM said:"Get a car radio with a USB port…" etc.Nope. That's dependent on having a strong data network signal everywhere I drive, and also on having an unlimited data plan with your smart phone. Data is expensive, and no cell phone network is perfect. Ergo, At Bat is not a substitute for a car radio. We deserve a real local radio signal that we in the DC region can hear.

  30. JD - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Even if Desmond at leadoff is a bad move (it is); you made that decision coming out of spring training so just stay with it for 20 – 25 games; quit reacting to results based on insignificant samples.

  31. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Cuold you add the XM channel to the list of radio stations?

  32. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    It is clear to me that Riggleman is not calling the shots with at least this decision and probably many more. Perhaps a power struggle for the Lerner's (and maybe Rizzo's) confidence? The administrative side of things is probably in bigger shambles than the on-the-field product.

  33. bgib - Apr 6, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Fortunately for Nats fans, but unfortunately for the Caps, the playoffs usually end for them well before May or June.

  34. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 6, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Clarifying the radio situation: I was told that 106.7 will NOT bump Nats games for Caps playoff games. The only Caps games that will be picked up by them will be those that don't conflict with Nats games.

  35. Doc - Apr 6, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    RE: Lineup Rizzo would do well to have Davey Johnson in charge of the lineup for every game. Obviously, not good GM/managerial protocol, but a wise move nonetheless!

  36. The Retired Journalist - Apr 6, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    My XM has proven well worth the cost. Not only do I not have to try to guess where to find the game, or hope I'm able to receive whichever station, but after the east coast games end I'm able to tune in games to our west, including the poetry of Vin Scully.

  37. phil dunn - Apr 6, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    More dumb base running. I blame the coaches and manager. They are tasked with teaching fundamentals and they are not doing it again this year.

  38. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    Mickey Morse: .143

  39. dj in Fl. - Apr 6, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    We are stuck with the Marlin announcers in Fl. and they can not believe the strike zone. They keep showing the pitch tracker with all these strikes being called a ball. They guessed that the ump has a high strike zone that neither pitcher can survive with.

  40. Sam - Apr 6, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Hey, look at Desi make Riggs look good.

  41. dj in Fl. - Apr 6, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Now this is the team we expected to see out of spring training. Get them on, move them over, and bring them home.

  42. Mark'd - Apr 7, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    Why was Desi tagging with Pudge in front of him? That was way too close to losing a run.

  43. A DC Wonk - Apr 7, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Are we 2-for-2 on squeezes this year?And, don't you just love hearing the phrase "heads up play by Ankiel"? (As a reminder/comparison to who he replaced)

  44. NatsNut - Apr 7, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Mark,I'm loving the Nats' new MO of take, take, take until the starter is out by the 5th. Not since Nick Johnson was on the team have they done that much. Anyway, what do you think starts happening when the league catches on? Is their response simply to throw more strikes?

  45. Anonymous8 - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Such a shame. Livan just all over the plate.

  46. Wally - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Yeah, not a great game for Livo. Seemed like he was fighting the umpire over the zone all night. Kind of surprising to see someone like Livo let it get to him.

  47. dryw - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    When do I get to wake up from this nightmare??

  48. CBinDC - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    The changes to the organization have been multifold

  49. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Same old Nats.

  50. Grandstander - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Can someone better than me access the numbers for opponent's bullpens against our lineup? I feel like these middle relief guys we've facing have been shutting us down more effectively than the best closers in the game.

  51. Aussie Gus - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    Bad news Mark, you've got to watch this movie for the next 6 months, and now that you are getting paid, you can't just walk out.

  52. JaneB - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Uuugh! Hard as I is to watch, imagine BEING them.

  53. josh f - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    I just think I'm gonna barf…

  54. CBinDC - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    How can you change half of the team and really get the same result …….what is it now about third base coaches…everyone has been suspect …..nothing but the same mistakes……and really is this again the Lerners are cheap team …..is that why we have this team of youth and age ….so hear we are again looking at despair and depression

  55. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Not that this would ever happen but the Nationals could have a 15-run lead against the Marlins, and I wouldn't feel the least bit confident.Chad Gaudin, please answer the white courtesy phone. Your ride to Syracuse is waiting.

  56. Aussie Gus - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    and Chad, save a seat for your mate Todd.

  57. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    I hope someone tells us how upset the team is about this loss tonight and how they just aren't going to take it anymore and that the feeling in the locker room is that this quality of baseball is unacceptable. That's what this team needs to really change things. Some veterans to tell us that they have to play better.I didn't see much of spring training, but I have to ask what everyone was talking about. How did all of these schlubs in the bullpen make the team? I thought people said Michael Morse finally learned how to hit consistently. What was all the talk about better defense?I was confused by the whole "expect it" ad campaign. Now I think I finally know what they meant. No need to be more specific than "it." You know it when you smell it. Looks like we stepped in it. Looking forward to a lot more it this year!

  58. dj in Fl. - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    FSN just showed the Coffey argument and agreed that the ump has called those strikes, as balls all night.

  59. JohninMPLS - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    Grandstander, I just went through the actual plate appearances and tried to figure that out myself. Here's what I came up with:PA BB AB H K R BA67 9 57 10 14 3 .175That's through the eighth tonight. Compare that to our offensive stats against starters so far, through tonight's game:PA BB AB H K R BA108 12 92 21 17 11 .228Since I did it by hand, it may be off by a little. But I don't think it's off by much. And it's pretty ugly all around.If you're looking for something positive, the K/BB ratio is good, and the Nats are seeing a lot of pitches (with better than average pitches per plate appearance numbers). Good patience, poor results.

  60. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    Franchise records through 5 games:2005 3-22006 2-32007 1-42008 3-22009 0-52010 2-32011 1-4So before we all get too critical, we all know how those weak beginnings turned out. No need to panic. This year is clearly different.Washington Nationals. Expect it.

  61. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    Pathetic unwatchable. Stand by for bromides saluting our players for how they hung in till the end. Expect the phrase, "We can build on that."

  62. NatsNut - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    Anonymous, Spring Training was ALL ABOUT "they just aren't going to take it anymore and that the feeling in the locker room is that this quality of baseball is unacceptable. That this team has the professional and veteran attitude to really change things." And some veterans DID tell us they were going to play better."

  63. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Hey Riggie. The club ain't hittin' like it's capable of, not pitchin' like it's capable of, but still losing like old times. It's deja vu, 2005-2010, all over again.

  64. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    NatsNut: My apologies. I thought the sarcasm in my 10:06 post was obvious. They've been saying this garbage all winter. Same old Nats.

  65. FS - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    I just finished the match at MLB live look-ins. I know I should not be praising opposing pitchers but I am impressed with Nunez's stuff. That velocity and the movement on his fastball is pretty good.Anyways, very disappointing result. When offense comes through, pitching lets down. Zimm did have a chance to tie the game so you can say offense was also partly responsible.I take back my comment from yesterday that Nats will get swept. Nats will beat Josh tomorrow after losing to couple of ordinary starters.

  66. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    Looks like we have a real good shot at the overall number 1 pick.

  67. Cwj - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Hmmm, I don't know what to make of the Nats through 5 games.Perhaps something to be done would be to phase out Gaudin, Broderick and Coffey. Balester definitely needs to be called up. Why wait? I don't understand it.

  68. CBinDC - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Explain ….when it is said by Riggleman there are to many good bats to keep hitting like this….That they are hitting like this …well NOT HITTING like this ….is it a way to say that …ahhh they been pitched real good ….or we tip our hats again and again ….I really thought after ST that we would see a change ….BUT NO ..it is the same team …tv broadcast …..excuses excuses

  69. Anonymous8 - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    The Veterans played poorly at the plate as in Werth, Zim, LaRoche and Pudge. No hits between them although they all got on base.Too many ducks left on the pond.BTW, congrats to Ian Desmond on a really good night.

  70. CBinDC - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    I understand Bobby Valentine is still available…hmmmm

  71. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Unless Bobby Valentine can hit with RISP, he's not going to win games like tonight's.

  72. Feel Wood - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    I got one question I want Debbi Taylor to ask Todd Coffey."Bro or manssiere?"

  73. dryw - Apr 7, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Feel Wood…I must concur. I actually spent a moment wondering whether Coffey's cup size is larger than mine. Then I went back to weeping quietly in the corner. Sigh.

  74. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 7, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    I am trying to remember the reliever's name we got from the Yankees last year who was awful, and we finally got run our of town by May (or did that happen 2009 and all the seasons seem the same).Now we get Gaudin who was awful for the Yankees last year. Why would we think he would be any better here. I was at the game Saturday and gladly booed him off the field. RISP no better than last year (and that was my complaint last year and have done nothing to change it. Changed players same result. Get rid of the Eckstein obviously he has nothing to add to them in this department.

  75. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 7, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Well, for sure, Coffey's cup size is bigger than Debbie's.

  76. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Noted without comment:No NL team has scored fewer runs than the Nats to date (14). Only the Rays are behind us in the AL (7).

  77. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    >>>I am trying to remember the reliever's name we got from the Yankees last year who was awful, and we finally got run our of town by May (or did that happen 2009 and all the seasons seem the same).<<<Brian Bruney

  78. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    I'm not from the DC area but I am a huge Washington National fan. I used to be able to pick up their night games on 1500 AM, but I do not get 106.7 FM (at least not the DC version). I thought they were going to still be on 1500 AM, but sadly the last 2 nights, I went to turn on the game & they had a hockey game. Does anyone know if 1500 AM will still carry them & if so when the next game covered will be?

  79. Drew8 - Apr 7, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    Washington NationalsExpectorate.

  80. dryw - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Drew8, that's perfect! (I'm a crazy die-hard who hopes it won't be perfect for long, but this morning, it's perfect….)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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