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Game 17: Nats at Cardinals

Apr 20, 2011, 11:00 PM EST

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann looks to extend the Nats' winning streak to five tonight.

Well, well, well. Look who is suddenly on a four-game winning streak, with a chance to sweep its second straight doubleheader this evening? Quite a turn of events in NatsTown.

If the Nationals are going to make it five in a row, they're probably going to need a quality performance from Jordan Zimmermann, who certainly did that last week in carrying a perfect game into the sixth against the Phillies. Tonight, though, they really need Zimmermann to churn out six or more innings and take some pressure off a bullpen that required the prolonged services of both Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen in Game 1.

Wilson Ramos, Michael Morse and Jerry Hairston are all playing tonight as Jim Riggleman stacks his lineup with right-handed bats against Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia.

I'm not in St. Louis for this series, but please keep up the conversation here…

Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 8:15 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 186
Weather: Cloudy, 55 degrees, Wind 8 mph LF to RF

2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche


  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Let's play two. Let's take two. Go, Riggs & Co.

  2. Big Cat - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Darn Phillies came back to win this afternoon. We are 1.5 games back going into tonight.

  3. Unkyd - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Lousy Phillies……….

  4. The DirtyHammer - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Go CAPS as well

  5. Tim - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Need Morse & Werth to break out. I really like the blend of vets and youth on this team.Burnett and Storen might be available for an out or two, and Riggleman has said that Clippard gets better the more work he gets. I thought all our relievers looked a little too amped up today with all the rest. We might be okay to pitch a couple of em back-to-back games.

  6. natsfan1a - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Yes, let's take two, like it says in the Game 16 post headline. What? Oh. Never mind…

  7. Cwj - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Agreed Tim. The big 3 looked a wee bit rusty, but nevertheless got the job done.All 3 have very durable rubber arms so I wouldn't be surprised to see one or two of them tonight.Even though Werth's stats don't exactly look impressive so far, he is still playing very well.He always seems to do something to help the team.Can't wait til he truly catches fire!Go Nats

  8. Carl in 309 - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Trouble in Dodger town–ESPN is reporting that Bud Selig is taking over control of the team, and that our own Stan Kasten is an option to head up the interim leadership. See we don't play them until July; MLB's track record on running teams would be a blessing to others!

  9. Unkyd - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    I wonder who's in charge of radio coverage, for this team…. I live up between Frederick and Harpers Ferry, and would love to not have to use so much data time on iPhone to listen. Times are very tight, and I have no pay TV, and no Sirius radio. I'm not mad, I'm just wondering if it's finally come to this: if you're not close in, you have to pay, even to just listen. It seems reasonable to me for the team to cover something like a 100 mile radius, but I guess there's not enough interest, at this point, to attract enough advertising $$. Maybe next year, in August, when we're contending, and Desi has come into his own, making me look clairvoyant (hehe)…. Maybe then there'll be a clamor….go nats go nats Go Nats Go Nats GO NATS GO NATS!!!!

  10. phil dunn - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    Bud "Sleaze" Selig and MLB have taken over the Dodgers from the feuding McCourts. I wonder if Bud will destroy what remains of a once model franchise like he destroyed the Expos.

  11. Cwj - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    @Unkyd- You live pretty close to me (I'm in Harpers Ferry). You don't get 106.7 FM?

  12. Anonymous8 - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    LaRoche with another nice stop!

  13. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    @Unkyd: 820AM out of Frederick carries most games (they simulcast 1500AM). The only exceptions would be when the Caps are playing at the same time, as they are tonight.

  14. Andrew - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    JZim freezes Phat Albert. Glad the ump didn't let Pujols get away with that one!Best 1st inning I have seen JZim pitch!

  15. Cwj - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    JZimm looks to be on his A game. What a great K of Pujols!One of the many things I like about JZimm is how fast he works. That seems to be what really great starting pitchers do. I often wonder why some pitchers work so s-l-o-w

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Unkyd, radio. $20/year, every team, every game, live or recorded, home and away team broadcasts, no blackouts.

  17. Grandstander - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Come on Desmond, get in front of the damn ball! Don't give me this "olรฉ" bullshit!

  18. JaneB - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Sec3, that's true. But some pho e plans require extra charges for data. I think that's what Unkyd is talking about. Or writing about.Go Nats!

  19. Anonymous - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    Desmond is pathetic beyond belief at SS. He's not even Little League caliber. How long can the Nats put up with this huge hole in the infield?

  20. Unkyd - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Focus, Desi…focus….Thanks for the tips! 105.9 works on the car radio, but none of the house boxes gets it. The 820 signal sounds good! So once the caps win out, I'll be good. MLB radio is what I am listening to now, on iPhone, but I'm scared of how many mb I'm using up, I'm getting plenty! Thanks again…

  21. Anonymous8 - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    2 great defensive plays by this kid Descalso. Definitely robbed Espinosa!

  22. Andrew - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    BTW, Detwiler finished his night with Syracuse pitching a tough 6 innings so we won't see him in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

  23. JaneB - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    Andrew…we won't see him because he didn't do well, or because he threw too many pitches to pitch on short rest?

  24. Andrew - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    JaneB, Threw too many pitches.

  25. Anonymous8 - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    That MASN commercial with Riggleman is kind of mind-boggling on "Small Ball" that Riggleman calls "Smart Ball". I think they picture in the commercial mostly departed players if I saw it right with Nyjer, Cristian Guzman and Willie Harris.Can't MASN come up with any other video that fits that basic theme with current players?

  26. Andrew - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    Bryce Harper went 2-5 with a double for Hagerstown tonight.

  27. Unkyd - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    Does Espi have any brothers we should be scouting…? This kid knows how to play some BALL!!!!

  28. Unkyd - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    Atta BOY, Desi!!!

  29. RickH - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Attaboy, Bryce!!!

  30. Mark'd - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    I thought Ankiel was supposed to be poor in left/left matchups? Having a nice night!

  31. JaneB - Apr 21, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    He is! And that Hairston got tha hit when he was in the middle of asking for a ti e out is mind boggling. I'm also in love with the fact that Ankiel took out an ad in the local paper thanking the fans for supporting him for so long. Nyjer didn't do one for US, I noticed.

  32. Jim Webster - Apr 21, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Unkyd makes an excellent point, "…I wonder who's in charge of radio coverage, for this team…."We had a place on the eastern shore near Ocean City for several years and you couldn't tell that DC had a baseball team … had to beg cable provider to add MASN and pleaded with sports bars to put on Nats (some didn't know what satellite channel it was on) and there was no AM or FM radio coverage. Someone in Nats marketing department needs to spread the gospel.

  33. Anonymous - Apr 21, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Even if you're close enough to get 106.7 you're not missing a whole lot. The "flagship" station hasn't carried half the games so far this year.

  34. FS - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Tough loss. our offense just could not pick up JZ again and again. I don't understand why he does not do well against Cards. Anyways, Kyle Lohse against Tom G. tomorrow. We could take the series tomorrow. Go nats!!!

  35. Anonymous - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    I'm so tired with all that "happy talk" from Bobby Carpenter and FP. The $126 million dollar man, Werth, better start hitting or he will be blamed for all the close losses! I'm tired of hearing that Werth is "worth his weight in gold" by being a mentor for the "young kids!" He's not getting $126 MIL to mentor kids! If that's what he was hired to do, send him to Little League Baseball to mentor the REAL kids!!!!

  36. Anonymous8 - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    Riggleman showed where his confidence level is on Stairs. He went with Nix who he was hoping to hit another long one.

  37. Mark'd - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    Anon8, maybe a better matchups or going with the hot hand but why use Cora as a PH when you have both Nix and Stairs sitting there

  38. JaneB - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:31 AM

    It's easier to lose one when you've already won one the same day. I hope Kyle has an off day tomorrow.

  39. FS - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:56 AM

    People need to understand one thing. Was Werth worth $126 million? No. Will he ever prove his contract? No. It is difficult to play to prove that huge contract. Defensively he is an improvement. Offensively he has not started doing his job yet. Give him some time. Even I hated that huge contract but come on, he is on our team now. Move on and support him, instead of just complaining about him all the time.Another thing I noticed, people praying for other teams' losses so we could catch up in the standings. We should do our job, without paying attention to where other teams are in the division. We win games based on how we play, we will be in good standings. Let's not worry too much.

  40. JaneB - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    FS, you are right. I shouldn't have wished Kyle an off day. Just a GREAT day for Werth and Morse, so they catch up with the better offense of the rest of our guys. Go Nats!

  41. Anonymous - Apr 21, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    The heck with Kumbaya. I hope the rest of the division loses and Kyle's arm falls off.

  42. Drew8 - Apr 21, 2011 at 6:26 AM

    In other news, there's a big development in the June baseball draft. MLBTR picks up a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that TCU's star lefty, Matt Purke, has been shut down with shoulder soreness and is going to see Dr. James Andrews. Uh oh.Purke was a possibility for the Nats, who have the No. 6 pick in a pitcher-heavy draft. All of the mock drafts have stud college pitchers flying off the board in the top 10 — Gerrit Cole of UCLA, Danny Hultzen of U.Va., Sonny Gray of Vandy, Purke of TCU.This could change the calculus for the Nats. Scouts apparently also like Taylor Jungmann, a big flamethrower for the Texas Longhorns.

  43. Will - Apr 21, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    I'd like to see the Nats give a long look at Hultzen. He's a local kid from Bethesda, who went to St. Alban's.Either way, it doesn't look like we'll have a shortage of good options, especially with some nearly-big-league-ready college arms that could have an impact in 2012.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 21, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Hultzen will be long gone by the time the Nats get their pick.

  45. natsfan1a - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Just catching up with posts after a late (for me) night. Upon seeing the Dodgers news, I said to my husband – watch Kasten's name get bandied about. Interesting to see the ESPN link posted above. Wonder whether Stan had an idea the takeover might happen all along. Re. Nyjer/Ankiel (not picking on Jane as I know she cheered for Morgan last week, but I've seen the same thought posted elsewhere): I would opine that it's apples and oranges. I believe that Ankiel was a top draft pick for STL (i.e., home grown) as a pitcher. After he lost effectiveness, he nearly quit baseball entirely. He then came back, through a long stretch the minors, reinvented as a position player. He also had some PED issues, if memory serves (although that part's on him). He was crediting fans for sticking with him through all that. Morgan came to us via trade, didn't experience the same level of adversity, and was a relative short-timer with the Nats compared to Ankiel's time in STL (at least 10 years, I believe). As for Nats fan support for Morgan, um, I don't think it approached the level of that for Ankiel in STL, particularly after the ardor for Nyjer had cooled. Don't get me wrong, I had my share of fits of pique at him (cough…glove throwing incident), but I don't harbor any ill will towards him, and he just may have a point about DC's status as a baseball town. Start winning, though, and all that could change (i.e., how about those Caps? Actually, I don't really care about them, as I'm an all baseball type of gal, but you get my point). Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll just don my asbestos suit and duck. :-)

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    natsfan1a…. Kasten was who immediately came to mind when I heard the Dodger/MLB news. Too bad Sandy Alderson got snagged into the Mets mess because he would have been perfect for the LA gig.And there is no comparison between Nyjer Morgan and Rick Ankiel… one is a ballplayer and the other is a hockey player playing baseball.

  47. natsfan1a - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    NatsJack, will be interesting to see what happens there.Re. Morgan/Ankiel, I was responding to the comparisons regarding (thanks for) fan support. Those comparisons didn't address play so much as fan/player interactions.

  48. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Yes, I understood…. but I couldn't pass up the opportunity because the defense in CF is so markedly improved. And while I'm at it, when press people acknowledge the new found air of professionalism in the locker room, that is another indictment of Adam (I'm such a lovable OAF) Dunn. Aside from his obvious defensive inability, he is always happy go lucky, win or lose. Great guy, no fire-in-the-belly.

  49. natsfan1a - Apr 21, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Agreed, NatsJack. I, too, appreciate what Ankiel is bringing.Re. Dunn, I must admit that I was one of those on the "Sign Adam Dunn" bandwagon. However, as noted in another venue, I'm thinking of making a tape recording to be used at my next in-person Nats game. I would hit the "play" button after a nice defensive move by LaRoche and thus save my voice for general rooting. Click. "Adam Dunn doesn't make that play. This is a recording. We now return you to your regularly scheduled rooting." :-)

  50. JaneB - Apr 21, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    natsfan1a, can I borrow that recording when you make it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. natsfan1a - Apr 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Sure, JaneB. We can delete the "past a diving Guzman" one to save space (sorry, Guzy). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  52. ronnied - Apr 21, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    defense wins in the nfldefense beats offense in the nbadefense wins the cup in the nhlwhy wouldn't defense be the key in major league baseball??no walks – no errors – hits will come eventuallyyesterday is the perfect example



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