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Game 23: Mets at Nats

Apr 27, 2011, 7:43 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Losers in five of their last six games, the Nats try to get back on track tonight.

The Nationals' upcoming schedule isn't very kind. They've got four games this weekend against the World Series champion Giants (with Tim Lincecum slated to pitch Friday's opener). Then a nine-game road trip to Philadelphia, Florida and Atlanta, three locales that haven't been so kind to these guys over the years.

The next two evenings against the Mets, then, start looking really important. After dropping last night's game 6-4, the Nats can ill afford another loss that would drop them to three games under .500.

Tom Gorzelanny, still in search of his first win with the Nationals, gets the ball against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Jim Riggleman is sticking with his same lineup from last night, including rookie catcher Wilson Ramos (who is starting his third straight game for the first time).

Updates to come…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Chance of storms, 76 degrees, Wind 16 mph out to LF

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


  1. masnstinks - Apr 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Glad to see Ramos playing – we need the offense! The rest of our offense is truly offensive…..

  2. Anonymous8 - Apr 27, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Ramos 3 games in a row! I guess Riggleman is thinking about generating offense!

  3. carolync - Apr 27, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Should be interesting. How well I remember when JZimm faced RA Dickey in the Mets home opener and the Nats won 6-2. JZimm and Pudge both had 2-run singles and the other two RBI's went to Desmond on a FC groundout and to Morse on a bases loaded walk. I think Ankiel and Espinosa both had multiple hit games but I'm not sure. I remember thinking we needed a hitting coach to teach our guys to hit knuckleballs.So perhaps JZimm and Pudge are good candidates to pinch hit tonight.Off to the game. Go Ramos! Go Nats!

  4. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Also, I seem to recall Werth saying that he liked to face Whiffle, er, knuckleball pitchers.

  5. JaneB - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Danny hasn't been hitting well lately. Is if the dreaded lead-off slot?

  6. Greg - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    I just started listening to the game on radio. Anything wrong with Dave? Charlie is in the booth with Rizzo and Phil Wood. Thanks!

  7. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Greg: Dave had to attend a funeral in New York today, so Charlie is flying solo.

  8. Greg - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Thanks Mark. It's just not the same without him. My condolences to Dave.

  9. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Dave is back!

  10. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Mark – Charlie had Phil Wood with him to start the game. I couldn't stand listening to Phil so on goes the sound of FP and Carps.

  11. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Bad bunt by Espinosa and worse than that is he didn't hustle to 1st on the bunt popup. Should have been a disaster if Dickey lets the ball drop!

  12. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    Bixler is staying in as SS? I hope this doesn't come back to bite the Nats…

  13. dryw - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Danny Espinosa can play some baseball. In case anyone wondered. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. FS - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    @ JaneB, no it is the curse of Fantasy League. As soon as I added a Nats player to my fantasy team, they start to suck.Very few people around tonight.Anyways, two on and no outs for Mets in top of the ninth.

  15. Doc - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    More likely having Cora play 1B will come back to bite them. Hmmmm, must check out his height???

  16. ballstonNat - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Wow. This is a Riggleman classic. Tons of switches leaving no hitters out there. Cora the large and in charge first baseman. And glad we're saving Storen for the 10th? Wow. This is killing me.

  17. Stranded_in_Philly - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    I am so sick of watching Riggleman manage the Nats out of games. This is atrocious.

  18. JaneB - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    FS, as soon as I buy or have a Nats shirt made, the player leaves. Or has his number changed. So I've sworn off shirts for Nats, even though I really want a Livo shirt. Maybe you should swear of fantasy Nats. :-)Oh Sean, not your night.

  19. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    What was the deal with Werth going back on that sac fly in the 9th. He looked like he was stumbling and confused.

  20. OUCH - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    This is a sad 9th inning.

  21. CBinDC - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Wow can so this is stupid ball ….who is to blame WHO ???????? RIGGLEMANOH another night of the away team feeling better in Nationals Park….. That is the CHEAP LERNERS

  22. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    That Willie Harris bunt should have been fielded by Hairston at 3rd for an out. At least you get 1 out there. 2 outs with the Sac Fly and you get out with a tie game.These Veterans don't play like they have been there before.

  23. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    I wish we could ask the questions during the post game.1. Riggs, why Burnett over Storen?Probable answer…well, Burnie has been good for us all year and did a good job, he just had a few bad bounces. 2. Riggs, after the first 2 hits, why not make the move to Storen?3. Riggs, how did it feel to have all of your offensive weapons used up when you needed them?

  24. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    Welcome to last place in the NL East. This is where the Nationals will reside for the rest of the season. What else is new?

  25. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    The Phils are 16-8. We are 10-13 after tonight's disaster. This entire season will be an exhibition show, where no one really cares if the Nats win or lose on a given night. It is April 27th, 2011, and the Nationals' season is COMPLETELY over.

  26. Andrew - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    CBinDC, it is bad enough that the Nats blew a 9th inning lead but your stupidity makes it worse. You are an idiot with your statement in paragraph 2.

  27. FS - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Yep JaneB, dropping Danny as soon as the week is over. The problem is there is a dearth of 2B around league.I am not watching the game but shouldn't this loss be Burnett's 'fault'? I don't see anything wrong with Riggleman's any decisions tonight. His team is performing like crap, that's about it. What we need right now is a walk-off grand slam by Justin Maxwell.

  28. Fed Up. - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    The Washington Nationals: Making me give up and actually look forward to Redskins draft day since 2005. It's hard enough living in NYC, but these guys make me actually get mocked by Mets fans. METS FANS! Fire everyone involved with this loser organization except Zimmerman, Strasburg, Harper and Ramos. Except Zim is getting the F out of this place in 2013. Good luck in Boston, big guy.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    I just don't get it. For the first time,I'm really pissed off. The mananger lost this game,

  30. Mark'd - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    OMG, the world is ending! This thread is pathetic as the game. Then you have loser CBinDC who wants to blame the owner for the 9th inning meltdown.

  31. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    And does anyone wonder why there are "only" 13,000 at the game? The Nats should be blessed that ANYONE wants to see these losers!

  32. Cwj - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Burnett should be pitching the eight, Storen the 9th.I think Storen's ready now for the full time closer job.I'm not really worried about Burnett. Just a very bad time to implode. They really needed a win tonight

  33. Andrew - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Anonymous8 said… That Willie Harris bunt should have been fielded by Hairston at 3rd for an out. At least you get 1 out there. 2 outs with the Sac Fly and you get out with a tie game.These Veterans don't play like they have been there before. April 27, 2011 10:29 PM __________________________________That sums it up well. Plenty of mental mistakes in this one and hindsight being 20/20 obviously Burnett starting the inning vs. Bay is a head scratcher.

  34. Ribuld - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    This shaping up to be a pretty miserable home stand. /sigh

  35. CBinDC - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    The Nats blow another season ….and we are not out of April ……what is Stairs now 0 for 15 ……errors all over the place … hits when it counts ……. it all feels just like the last 5 years BTW is not the payroll on this team less this year then last and the lowest since 2005 …..

  36. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    Nats will be lucky to draw 1,000,000 fans this year. The dopes who run this franchise have destroyed the fan base, just like Angelos did in Baltimore.

  37. brandon - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    I want Jim Riggleman FIRED…his decisions are PUZZLING!!!

  38. FS - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    You can argue that if our team is going by closer-by-committee approach, they should have gone with Storen in the ninth against Bay. But once Burnett was in, you do not take out your closer after two hits.Anyways, what is more annoying than the loss are the stupid comments written by anonymous users.

  39. CBinDC - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    The Lerners I blame for not creating an atmosphere that supports a fan base ….NOT the 9th inning meltdown

  40. Unkyd - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Well, I'm glad the season is over. Maybe these crybaby losers will go the beach, and stay there. Listening to this team grow will be SO much more enjoyable, without the childish whining….. Do your mothers know you carry on like this?

  41. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    One week ago all was well. Now the team is 3 games under .500 and the world is ending. This is a 75 win team. No Ryan Zimmerman. Very poor bench. Horrible situational hitting.This is on Rizzo. He got the open checkbook and goes and gets Stairs, Hairston and Cora and Todd Coffey and Gaudin out of all the players available. Trades Nyjer for nothing and Alberto Gonzalez for nothing and Willingham for prospects.Then Rizzo sticks with the guys he signs instead of giving them a quick Bruney treatment. Oh yah, that's right, put them on the DL. HahBixler and Bernadina at least hustle. Nice to see. Since March 29th so many thought you shouldn't keep both Nix and Stairs and should have kept Bernadina. Its a shame when the commentors are right most of the time.Can't wait to read the morning comments.

  42. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Hey Unkyd. I suggest you start attending Nats games and blow kisses to the team 'cause you will be the only sucker in the stands in a couple of weeks!

  43. Andrew - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    CBinDC, you have nothing to say. It has been so nice that we have gone months with no mention of the owners. This has nothing to do with the owners. I agree with Unkyd, stop whining. You don't like the Lerners because of some hatred towards them. It is clear. I mean they guaranteed a player $126 million and probably will be extending Zimmerman soon. They have signed Strasburg and Harper and on top of that dropped ticket prices and given more benefits. Heck, I am thrilled with what the owners have done. The correct comments are on the personnel decisions.Espinosa is now lost at the plate and LaRoche is slumping. The problems are on the field, not in the owners box.

  44. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    Burnett stood up to the firing squad aka the Press in the postgame. Classy.Start winning tomorrow.

  45. Doc - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Once the bases were loaded, I knew that Riggleman had blown the game.Thanks Jim. Storen should have been in there in the 9th! Burnett hasn't been doing his thing lately, and that should be obvious to you and the pitching coach.If Rizzo isn't really pissed off about this game, then he needs to be DFA'd with Rigglecan!!!!

  46. Grandstander - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    This is just another case of this team finding a way to lose. The first couple of weeks, we were finding ways to win, but these past 2 series, it's the opposite, which is just what it was like the past few seasons. We were given every chance to win this ballgame. The passed ball, Reyes out at third even though he was clearly not, and we still couldn't pull it out. There's a lot of blame to go around, as there always is after a tough loss, but you could pretty much spread it around wherever you want to (except Gorzo who threw a terrific game). What's more concerting is that the attitude on this team has notably changed from an aggressive, find a way to win type club, to the same old error-prone, mistake-ridden nats. I just hope our "veteran leadership", which has done zilch on the field steps up in the clubhouse tonight and makes some noise.

  47. JaneB - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Wow. We are the fans guys. Why is there so much venom at our own team? They lost. It was ugly. They play again tomorrow. And the next day. They will win and lose again. What does it accomplish to spew $@&! Like this? We do more to help them with positive vibes. Don't take it so personally, and you won't feel as angry. Angry doesn't help you OR them.

  48. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    Grandstander – It isn't lack of aggressiveness, it is the lack of skilled personnel and clubhouse energy. This is the same problem of early May last year. Guys start slumping and bring the energy level down. That is why you need to make some changes. It took way to long to get Bernadina back and even though Bixler has done nothing, he is fighting for a job which is a positive thing. Cora and Hairston and Stairs etc are here on entitlement.Werth is aggressive. Ankiel has been super aggressive. Cora and Hairston are just over-the-hill guys and don't have the athleticism left to be aggressive. Did you see some of the throws from the left side of the diamond to LaRoche that he had to scoop? Just bad.I think what you think is not being aggressive is the lack of energy in the dugout. Well you got Stairs telling Zuckerman that "he can't hit" and Rizzo should have DFA'd him immediately. That guy is the bad apple in the bunch. Espinosa has changed his tune now also since he is slumping and clearly his mind is slumping too. There are a few bright spots but overall it has been the pitching that is outstanding. I liked the idea when it was suggested in Spring Training and I like it more now to get Detwiler here now for the Bullpen and DFA Slaten. Send Stairs packing PLEASE! Keep Bixler for nothing more than he hustles and plays hard and send Cora packing.Personally, I don't think Rizzo has the guts to do anything and it was his job to DFA Stairs after that interview. I am wondering if Stairs can get to 0-20.

  49. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    In general the bullpen has been fine. Tonight of course two blown saves in 1 game.However what was much worse was the press with RIggleman. Good grief they threw him nothing but softballs. Burnett faced tough questions,. I wanted questions on the decision making, and they kept asking softballs. I saw Gorzalanny pitched well, I don't need a question on that. I wanted to know after each person making base on Burnett why Storen wasn't brought in. After hit, 1,2,3 Still no Storen. What was the thought process. That is what I wanted to know, and the press didn't ask. We want to know why questions, not what questions,. We see what. We cannot see why.I am glad no one blamed Desi. I saw Bixler couldn't throw the ball home. I bet had Desi did the same play everyone would be complaining that he threw to first.

  50. Anonymous8 - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Manassas, sadly, you are correct. Desmond is the new Nyjer and hasn't done nearly what Nyjer did to deserve the most despised label.Good think Desmond wasn't in this game.

  51. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    Manassas Nats Fan: I don't know what they showed from Riggleman's press conference on MASN, but I asked the very first question, asking him why Burnett was used in the ninth instead of Storen. In his answer, Riggleman explained he wanted Burnett to face all the lefties the Mets were sending up there after Bay. There really was no reason to ask a follow-up about why he didn't switch to Storen sooner because he had already answered that off my first question.

  52. Golfersal - Apr 28, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    Sorry but tonight was down right awful.What a great evening for Baseball once the early storms moved away, yes a little rain in the 5th but on the whole a perfect night. This was my 5th game of the year and the previous 4 I froze my butt off so it was great to have a nice evening at the ballpark.But not very nice that Burnett couldn't hold the game. The way the Nats played perfect baseball to get the run in the 8th only to have the Burnett implosion is beyond words.Question for either Mark or some other bright stat guy.How many times has the Nats had a terrible offensive night in which the starting pitcher gets relieved in the 6th or 7th and the bullpen puts up zeros in allowing runs.But then how many times does the bullpen get into a position to hold on and don't. I bet tonight has been repeated before and the point I want to bring up, the Nats are never going to be good until they first do on a regular basis what they did tonight in the 8th inning and punch out that all-important run.Then the bullpen has to do there job and preserve that 1 run lead for a victory and not imploded like tonight.I long for the Chad Cordero days back from 2005 & '06 which we knew that if the Nats had the lead going into the ninth it was an automatic win. Someone at the Nats has to make that happen to be a good team which we aren't right now.

  53. Anonymous - Apr 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    I've been saying this and saying this, it's all Desmond fault. Everyone has been thinking about him and don't have their minds on the game. They think about him when he's playing 'cause they know he'll screw up, and they think about him when he's away 'cause they know he'll be back. He's the reason they can't hit. He's the reason no one can field. He's the reason for them in their usual last place position. Go Nats!UNTERP

  54. NatsPac - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    After thinking about this disappointing finish to a pretty good game; Gorzo pitched well, Ramos hit well, defense was "okay", managing was kinda "okay", overall vibe was suspect. Call me crazy but, even after Ramos has played well I want Pudge behind the plate tonight catching Livo to settle things down.



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