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Game 19: Nats at Pirates (Take 2)

Apr 23, 2011, 7:40 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After last night's rainout, the Nats and Pirates hope to play tonight at PNC Park.

Sick of delays and rainouts already? The Nationals sure are after last night experiencing their third postponement in a week. Be warned, though: There's more rain in the forecast tonight in Pittsburgh, and there's the possibility of rain tomorrow as well.

Whenever the next game is actually played, Livan Hernandez will be on the mound for the Nats, making his 450th career start. Right-hander Jeff Karstens (you may remember him as the opposing pitcher last summer for Stephen Strasburg's debut) starts for the Pirates.

Roster news: Brian Bixler is now officially eligible to play after having his contract purchased from Class AAA Syracuse. To make room on the 40-man roster for Bixler, the Nats have designated left-hander Lee Hyde (a reliever they plucked off waivers from the Braves last month) for assignment.

I'm covering the Capitals' game today for CSNwashington.com, but good news: Thanks to last night's rainout, I'm going to head up to Pittsburgh tomorrow and cover the final two games of this series in person. Until then, enjoy tonight's game…

NATIONALS at PIRATES
Where: PNC Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 183
Weather: Showers, 68 degrees, Wind 13 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (9-9)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

  1. NatinBeantown - Apr 23, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Hyde dfa'd. Mock's charmed existance continues.Looking forward to the coverage in Pittsburgh, Mark. In the meantime, go Caps!

  2. Mark'd - Apr 23, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    I see Zim out here at Verizon with his girlfriend.

  3. FS - Apr 23, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    I hope we finally have a game tonight and we win it, because too many days without Nats wins is not good for my health.On another note, how can we get Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates? I don't think you can get better than that at leading off. Or you know Ichiro will be becoming a free agent next year. That way I don't have to stay up late to check Mariners' games.Also we hope Mark that CSN is sending you to PIT on their money.

  4. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Isn't this game 19?

  5. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Er, yeah. Sorry about that. Thread now titled Game 19: Take 2!

  6. JD - Apr 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    4 hit shutout for Craig Stammen today.

  7. Grant - Apr 23, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    FS, I couldn't agree more. I have a huge man crush on McCutchen, and I would love to see him playing with a Curly W on his hat.

  8. Joe Seamhead - Apr 23, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Young Mr. Harper now leads the Suns in several categories, but he's not in the starting line up tonight after his big game yesterday.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Expect another rain out! The tarp is on, it's raining with a lot more on the way.

  10. Drew8 - Apr 23, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Why is Harper sitting out?Is it a precaution, or is he on his way to Potomac?

  11. dj in Fl. - Apr 24, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    All right, we are going to play ball.Sorry gang but none of us will be getting the McCutchen action figure they passed out tonight. I guess we will just have to take a win!

  12. dj in Fl. - Apr 24, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Pirates tv crew said Ankiel was safe.Love the hustle!

  13. JayB - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    back from a few weeks in Europe….MAKE FP AND CARP STOP MAKING EXCUSES>>>>>>JUST PLAY THE GAME AND CALL IT LIKE IT IS>>>>>ugly baseball and the team is not ready to play….that is on Riggs.

  14. JaneB - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Glad to see Werth hit a dinger!

  15. FS - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Please tell me those errors by Desmond had something to do with bad weather or bad field, something other than his own faults.

  16. dj in Fl. - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Sorry you missed some great baseball JayB. Livo not having a good night and Desmond back to last years fielding skills is hardly on Riggs. We have been treated to some outstanding ball recently and look forward to more in the future. But it is dependent on strong starting pitching. Just like in the past, if the starter can not get 5 or 6 solid innings in, then we are not going to do well.

  17. stopraining - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    This game is truly ugly. If I want to watch plagues and pestilence I will turn to the Ten Commandments on abc. I guess we'll end up blaming the "radar"delay. Making a real hack look like cy young.

  18. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    A comment and question: E-6; How long, O Lord? Riggleman is not responsible for physical errors, especially those coming from a serial offender.

  19. FS - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Yeah JayB, I gotta agree with others that Nationals played some beautiful baseball. Nice squeeze bunts, double steals, stealing home (for the first time ever!), and last but not least our starting pitching. You missed JZ's gem, where Cliff (opposing pitcher) said that he had the best fastball.I know we struggled to score last two games against Cards and now we are in a 2-6 hole thanks to some errors, but recent games have given us confidence that we can make a comeback in this game.

  20. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    I'm so tired hearing the lame excuses for bad baseball coming from Bobby Carpenter and FP concerning tonight's Nats flop. It's the weather; er, no, it's the timing; er, no, it's too much rest; er, no, it's the stale air. I think it's a lot of HOT AIR from Bobby C. and FP. This game, and the game before, better not be a sign of things to come. I think I'll get ready for bed.

  21. dj in Fl. - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Pirates tv crew called McCutchen out on the replay. We just can not get a break, or good call from these umps again.

  22. Anonymous8 - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    So Bob Carpenter is talking about Matt Stairs placing a PH hit HR in the river. 1st ball swinging and can't get it out of the infield.Such a shame.

  23. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    And that makes Matt Stairs 0-10! "Expect it!" I've been expecting it all along.

  24. CBinDC - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    When you are or perceived to be a crappy team you do not get calls and you get a TV crew that another teams owner makes you take because he wants to make sure you fail and the your teams owner just cares about money and that is all and the team can not hit but you say it's great pitching that all 29 teams in the league have but you etc etc etc

  25. CBinDC - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    They are again lifeless …….oh well CAPS WIN !!!!

  26. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    I'm so bored, and I'm a season ticket holder!!! "Whoa is me" if this is how the rest of the 143 game season is going to go. I think I read somewhere above that the Z-man was seen at the Caps game! If so, "Mr. Franchise" had a better time today than the rest of his lethargic teammates and the Nats fans that pay to see this!

  27. dj in Fl. - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Who could be or more perceived to be crappy than the Pirates. I get the TV crew of the home team, which is the way MLB Extra Inningsworks. Our starting pitching has been among the best, and hopefully tonight is only a blip on the radar. I have been surprised at how well we have done during Zims injury. Maybe if we continue this way, some of the super free agents types that have turned down Ted Lerners offers before, will decide to sign on. He has offered more than others only to be rejected. You can only do so much. Sooner or later this to will change.

  28. CBinDC - Apr 24, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    I just look for improvement …the type that you feel or see and still this is not there …so are we there yet ??? I wonder if the same old cliched answers is a sign of change ??? Having players who had careers else where and do nothing here … who else would have a PH specialist with NO HITS ……really WHO

  29. masnstinks - Apr 24, 2011 at 3:16 AM

    This would be my almost-daily " Stairs Must Go" post.

  30. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 24, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    When will Eckstein either change the approach to hitting. How about some bunts against the shifts?Do something to get them batting this pathetically. RISP is still more pathetic. Nothing is being done about it.O know when things don't go well at work, we change things up and try something completely different. Maybe thee Nats batters should too. Not ever pitcher we face is Cy Young though we make look like him.

  31. JayB - Apr 24, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    I could read and see highlights with my Droid 2 Global but games were during the overnight and were data killers……but NONE OF THIS IS NEW….Ian D has been making these type of errors for six years…..it is not going to change….as I posted for over a year….CF in AA is where he needs to go right now. Speaking of things that do not change…Riggs has no fire and just contiueds to play the same tired Vets over and over….It is Willie Harris all over again….Put Morse at 3B and Nix in LF. Put Danny E at SS and Bixler at 2nd and lets see what that can do…..but that is not what Riggs will do…..not until he has lost the season and then gets fired…..Still this team is so much better than past year…..as pointed out at the end of March….Ian D and Riggs are the weak links holding this team back.

  32. JayB - Apr 24, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Filed under Not Baseball Related…..Does anyone think it is a bad sign for your personal life when your girlfriend users her public twitter feed to post about your dates in real time……My daughter ran across so very poor taste (my view) posts from Zimm's girl friend during her dates that past few days during Nats ugly loses……….Would have thought that type of girl would not appeal to Zimm…..oh well just play baseball and I do not care….

  33. JayB - Apr 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    looking at the 25 man roster, 40 man roster and minor league performances…..Rizzo has no real roster options right now…..only hope is that Vets like Coffey and Harriston play well enough to get traded and that Flores and Roger B types play start to play well enough to push the Vets currently in the Bigs. All in All the whole organization is significantly under performing. That is not good for anyone.

  34. Rowan - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    According to AP, the opening day roster payroll is $63 million, one of lowest in MLB and about where it was last year. The team seems about the same too. The Werth upgrade was nullified when Rizzo put together perhaps the weakest bench in baseball: Hairston; Cora. Stairs?? old, and unable to hit .180.

  35. Anonymous - Apr 24, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    I know everybody wants to make Ian Desmond one of the scapegoats. I'm not defending Ian at all. His two fielding errors were on tagging out the runner at second base, or to be more specific catching the ball and tagging out the runner. It's a goof yes, but none of his previous four errors in previous games to my collection even cause the Nationals a run, so none of your points have anything to do with the outcome of the games except this one. You can put this lost on Ian. But what of all the others? Riggs didn't assemble this team. They have one number 2 or 3 pitcher (in Zimmermann), and four number 5 pitchers who have pitched well. But no one, not even Zimmeran has hit the ball with runners on base, which will be their downfall for the season. Riggs doesn't have anybody to send out there to do anything. This team will at the end of the year have the worse batting avg and run production in MLB. No matter how well you pitch you have to get on base to have a chance. Games where they don't get on base, they have no chance. You can't live on seven base runners a game and hope to win many of those games. The lousy players they have on their team goes to Rizzo and Rizzo only. You can't paint with oil when all you have is water colors…UNTERP

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 85 63 -- 4
ATLANTA 75 74 10.5
MIAMI 72 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 78 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 80 16.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
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.
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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