Skip to content

Game 8: Nats at Mets

Apr 9, 2011, 7:33 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Tom Gorzelanny makes his season debut today at Citi Field.

NEW YORK — We figured the Nationals would have a tweaked lineup today since they're facing a left-handed starter for the first time this season. This, though, is a bit different than I expected.

Adam LaRoche has been given the day off, probably a product more of his 5-for-28 start to the season than his career .254 average against lefties. So Michael Morse gets moved in from left field to first base. Jerry Hairston starts, as expected, but he's in left field. Which means Rick Ankiel (career .234 average vs. lefties) stays in center field.

Tom Gorzelanny, makes his first start of the season and his first with the Nationals. He hasn't pitched in 15 days, throwing only a simulated game in D.C. earlier this week to stay sharp. We'll see how that translates once he faves live competition for the first time.

Updates to come…

Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM)
Weather: Mostly clear, 52 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to LF

SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

Read more »

  1. Sam - Apr 9, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    I don't quite get Hairston playing over LaRoche against lefties, unless it's just a scheduled day off for LaRoche. Hairston hasn't been any better in his career against lefties than LaRoche.

  2. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 9, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    O notice that the Flagship station is missing again. Yesterday the Nats were done before the Wizard's started. I never did hear why they couldn't have both games on. Is this the last time the Wizards interfere with the Nats (I am assuming the Wiz are playing tonight, I don't care about the NBA so I pay little attention).What is the word that have heard Mark?

  3. Tanja - Apr 9, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    @Manassas NatsWJFK will not play any games that interfere with their terrible weekday programming. So any games that play during the week will not be broadcast on WJFK.

  4. fpcsteve - Apr 9, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    I don't get Morse playing at this point. Batting cleanup is even more puzzling.

  5. Stranded_in_Philly - Apr 9, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    Morse got a day off just two games ago because he was scuffling… so now he hits cleanup and moves to first base?

  6. Nats Lifer - Apr 9, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    I like the move. Sometimes players need a change in perspective to get them untracked, kind of a reverse psychology akin to a basketball player lighting it up when he has the flu. Moving Morse to clean up tonight might just be what he needs, especially facing a lefty. Don't think, just swing. It says here he goes 3-5 tonight.

  7. Sam - Apr 9, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Ahh, so now we know why LaRoche is out: his shoulder is hurting. If this means a trip to the DL, I would assume they call up Bernadina and put Morse at 1B for a couple of weeks. Though, I think it would be really ballsy and more fun for the fans if Marrero got the call to play 1B. I would like to see if the kid is ready…Of course, this is all contingent on LaRoche requiring a trip to the DL.

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 9, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    To answer Manassas Nats Fan's earlier question about radio broadcasts, the Nats get bumped off 106.7 FM when the Wizards play and when there's a weekday afternoon game that conflicts with the station's regular programming. Since the Wizards' season is just about over and there are only a handful of weekday afternoon games over the course of the season, this won't be an issue very often.

  9. Alex - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    @manassas nats only one more regular season interruption for the wizards game after tonight that is Wednesday there is a wizards game monday but the nats are off so sunday and tuesday nats game wont be moved around it will be on 106.7

  10. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Here's the deal…the Nats are generally on 106.7 (except weekday DAY games) nd 1500 with the following exceptions: When the Caps are playing at the same time, the Caps are on 1500 and the Nats are on 106.7. When the Wizards are playing at the same time, the Wizards are on 106.7 and the Nats are on 1500 and 1580. When all three teams play at the same time (which should be a rare occurence, but it has happened three times this week), the Nats are bumped to 1580 only. So it's a few games that are not on FM, but once the Wiz Kids pack it up, it will be much, much better deal for baseball fans than the past years on just 1500.

  11. Feel Wood - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    "the Nats get bumped off 106.7 FM when there's a weekday afternoon game that conflicts with the station's regular programming."Silly me. I always thought that when a radio station was the flagship station for a team that the team's games WERE its regular programming.

  12. Nats Lifer - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Yeah, Woody, another thing to iron out in seasons to come. It's a lot of Washington eggs to put in one 106.7 basket, having all three teams which play more than 20 games per year on the same station. One would think that as the Nats improve and the fan base expands that they'll get more priority. At least there should be a better FM back up with 50-100 mile radious coverage. We'll get there.

  13. souldrummer - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    @Nats LiferCSN got the memo eventually once the Caps started getting higher ratings than the Wizards and would periodically boot the Wiz to CSN+.

  14. jd - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Does anyone know what's up with Bernadina? he hasnt been playing at Syracuse and he's not listed on their roster at all.

  15. Natsochist - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    @jd, think he had a family matter he was attending to…check Nats Prospects for details.

  16. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    To me as flagship station the Nats should take priority over a talk show any day of the week. They think people would rather listen to r Chad Dukes and LaVar Arrington? I don't get it.

  17. jd - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    i have a feeling Broderick will get some work tonight.

  18. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Apparently umpires have forgotten that a strike is a strike. That pitch to Beltran before the homer was definitely strike 3 and the inning should have been over and done with. The last few years the umpires have been a joke.

  19. dj in Fl. - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Mets tv crew were talking about the small strike zone the ump was had for Gorzelanny. Two pitches later, after not getting that call strike three, the homer. Good for Gorzelanny to give the ump grief about the call he did not get. At least let these umps we are no longer going to just take thistreatment.Way to go Desi

  20. Jim Webster - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Had to chuckle that Bobby and FP missed the chance to do a "Hu's on first?" routine. But maybe it's already overdone.

  21. Peyton Dowdy - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Jim, you spoke to soon, Carp just pulled out the Abbott and Costello reference…

  22. dryw - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Look what happens when you leave the bases full….game tied.

  23. RickH - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Mark … I like the red jerseys better than their regular road jerseys.

  24. Natsochist - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    Mark, couldn't agree more about Porter's decision to hold Zim. That seems like a couple questionable decisions by Bo this year…and after I heard nothing but positives about him during the spring

  25. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Can someone explain what, exactly, is Jerry Hairston doing on this club's roster?

  26. FS - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    It is good to see Espinosa and Desi perform, especially Tom who is coming off a long layoff. But it is the Mets' free swinging lineup. I am a little cautious on praising Gorzo. Oh and the rate at which Nationals are striking out against Capuano is scary too.

  27. Grandstander - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Can someone explain to me why they didn't walk Davis to set up the DP against Hu? I was shocked to see them pitch to Ike.

  28. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    Gorzelanny def deserved better than that tonight. He struck Beltran out before the 1st homer even though the ump missed it and the flyball that hairston just missed was awful…

  29. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Hairston was a great pickup by Rizzo. He can't play the outfield and he most certainly can't hit. What a waste!

  30. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Riggleman didn't walk Davis to face Hu because he is retarded.

  31. sjm308 - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    How does a major league player miss that fly ball to left field? This team just finds ways to get me upset and break my heart. I realize its a long season but this game is one we should be leading right now.

  32. Joe Seamhead - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Can we please just put our nine best guys out there? Riffle an manages like a Babe Ruth League coach trying to keep a bunch of parents happy.Jerry Hairston doesn't belong here. Porter is now scared of his own shadow. Mike Rizzo, you can't let this continue. There's too much talent on this team to watch them lose from poor management.

  33. rmoore446 - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    The dropped fly ball stunning. How does a professional outfielder miss that ball? Bringing in Broderick in a close game situation caused my jaw to drop open in amazement. These are the games that just wear me out.

  34. Cwj - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Agree with Joe Seamhead.Riggleman wants to make everyone happy. That's not how one should manage a MLB team (I don't think).Take a look at your roster and play the best 8 non-pitchers at their best positions. How hard is that? I seriously think Riggs needs to go. With an improving team (and they are indeed improving) the Nats need a new manager. Gorzelanny deserved better results tonight.Broderick should be parted with.

  35. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Can we please just put our nine best guys out there?THe baseball season is a marathon not a seven game series!!

  36. dj in Fl. - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Where are you guys coming from. We don't have our best available out there tonight. We should not give injured players a day off! Maybe we should cut Morse based on his start. Just think how the fans in Boston and Tampa must feel about their lousy managers.How about if the 9 on the field just play to their ability. There is a reason that there are 25 members on a team…it is a long season and all must step up when called on.

  37. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    The Pitch Count God bit us again tonight. Those of you with Tivo or MLB TV, watch Werth's first AB. He watched two of the biggest marshmallows in the history of baseball. Then, forced to fight for contact down 1-2, he whiffed on a high pitch, out of the strike zone.I keep wondering: is the objective to win the award for most pitches seen, or to get on base?

  38. Grandstander - Apr 10, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    It plagued the Mets yesterday and it gets us today. 1-9 with RiSP is pathetic. I can't shake the feeling we just gave this one away. Chris Young looked sharp against the Phillies and shut us out back in 08. But we really need to take this series if we want to stay relevant.

  39. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    Just watched Riggs on post game. This clearly is a man on the edge. He reminds me so much of Norv in his latter days here. This team has the pieces to be good…..not next year….now. We lose almost every close game we are in. We need a young, positive, aggressive manager. Riggs was hired as an interim manager. It is very clear he can't handle the pressure of his job. It just seems like every move he makes, whether it is the right one or not, backfires. He has a black cloud around him. It is time to take that next step…………….

  40. Joe Seamhead - Apr 10, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    Anon 9:42, I find it hard to believe that Espinosa and Desmond both needed a breather the fourth game of the season. Dj in Fl, my point was not benching/ cutting Morse, rather Jim has a bad tendency/history of playing guys out of position. Jerry Hairston is a very mediocre outfielder.Broderick is on the team due to a good spring, but mainly because of rule 5. That said, he should,at least for now, be the last guy out of the pen in a tight game..With Adam LaRoche we seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place, with our pants down, due to the final roster choices made. If he's hurt and we have to move Morse to 1B, there is no legit 4th OF.Speaking of Morse, last night he drew a bases loaded walk and then Nix was sent in to pinch run for him.I didn't get that move. Was it related to Adam's shoulder? No, because Nix went to left. If the Mets had come back, we burned Nix as a PH, and at that point in the game it was unlikely for him to get an AB in Morse's spot.Look, I still think that this team can be a near.500 team. I have bought into the "we're a better defensive, more athletic team" hook, line and sinker, but talk's cheap.I like Jim Riggleman, really want the local guy to succeed, but like a lot of us, I'm losing confidence that he's the guy to get us to be a winning team.I hope that I'm wrong.

  41. Cwj - Apr 10, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Obviously it is a long season and I believe this team will win close to 80 games. BUT, why was Broderick even pitching in a close game? I say: screw the whole "out of options" and "rule 5 draft" rules and actually use the best players on the team.The ultimate goal is to win each game, right? The Nats can't do that with 2-3 of their best pitchers in the minors. (Balester, Detwiler, HRod). I'm really looking forward to the early season Spring Cleaning that is absolutely necessary.





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.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 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 Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter