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Game 25: Giants at Nats

Apr 29, 2011, 7:31 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals will have their hands full tonight with Tim Lincecum and the Giants.

A struggling lineup without its best hitter facing the defending World Series champions and their ace right-hander? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?

Well, maybe not. Yes, the Nationals are going up against Tim Lincecum and the Giants tonight in the first of a four-game series on South Capitol Street. But Lincecum is coming off a shaky start last week against the Braves, and San Francisco's lineup has been shaky throughout the season's first three weeks. And to top it off, the Nats actually beat Lincecum last year at AT&T Park, knocking him out after 4 2/3 innings.

We'll see if tonight's lineup — featuring Wilson Ramos and Laynce Nix — can do it to Lincecum again. And we'll see if Jason Marquis can keep up his early-season string of quality starts.

I'm covering the Capitals' game tonight at Verizon Center, but Rich Dubroff (who has been covering baseball in this area for years) will be filling in and filing articles to CSNwashington.com. I'll be sure to link to them here…

GIANTS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 13 mph LF to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (11-13)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

  1. Anonymous - Apr 29, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    If the Nationals lose, put it on Ian Desmond…UNTERP

  2. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Who are the Capitals? ;-)

  3. carolync - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    I think the Nats will win this one, mainly because I can't go and we gave our tickets away.This is our best hitting line-up with Ramos and Nix although perhaps Ramos should bat 4th. Desmond's hot streaks usually last more than a day.1a, The Capitals are a local team who play a strange sport in which the main attraction seems to be fighting. Their arena is very noisy and usually kept uncomfortably cold so the ice doesn't melt. Their best player is a Russian missing a front tooth. They are famous for choking in the play-offs.

  4. Jeeves - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    carollync, I sorta agree with you, but don't tell anybody because I'm Canadian.On the other hand, doesn't your last comment include the Nats. Oh wait, you did say playoffs.

  5. Anonymous8 - Apr 29, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    natsfan1a and carolync, funny stuff!

  6. Rabbit - Apr 29, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    I have been away and hadn't been able to follow the news. Is Zimmerman a thing of the past or is he expected back any time soon??

  7. Sec314 - Apr 29, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Hockey is a foul temptress. Stay away. If you don't believe me, check out the Mottram's Bloghttp://misterirrelevant.com/index.php/2011/04/27/amazing-caps-oil-painting-is-amazing/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=amazing-caps-oil-painting-is-amazing

  8. JaneB - Apr 29, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Rabbit, no time soon….but no ETA either. Oh well.natsfan1a and carolync, I snorted diet coke. Twice. I love this blog.

  9. Jim Webster - Apr 29, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    As a baseball fan who is the brother of a hockey fanatic, I raise a toast to natsfan1a and carolync.

  10. Anonymous - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Another great thing about the sport of hockey is that it's impossible to follow the puck because it is so small and moves so fast. The only way you know a goal is scored is by the crowd reaction. If that isn't bad enough, there is hardly any scoring. Frankly, I would rather watch paint dry or grass grow.

  11. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Carolync, ohhhh…I think I *have* heard of that. They slide some little round thingy around on the floor and they chase it back and forth? We had a dog that used to do that with one of his chew toys.Cheers, JaneB and JimW.

  12. Grandstander - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Fun baseball stat. Nationals team BABIP is now sitting at .265, 3rd lowest in the NL. The Padres are obviously last, and the Braves are right there with them. After the Nats, the next lowest BABIPs are the Giants and Rockies, all the way up at .284.We're due!

  13. A DC Wonk - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    … and another thing . . . when well over half the teams make the playoffs, it's hard to take any of the regular season games seriously.(And, actually, for me, play-off hockey isn't bad. But it must be at least a decade since I've seen a regular season game. Maybe two).

  14. A DC Wonk - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Grandstander . . . naive question here: is an absurdly low BABIP indicative of bad luck that will tend toward the mean at some point? (I've heard some folks postulate that).

  15. BinM - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Laynce Nix is making his statement for consideration as a LF platoon player tonight – 2 for 2 so far, with a HR & a single (the CS might hurt a little). I'd be ok with that, given that Morse is having a hard time getting going to date.

  16. Wally - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    BinM – why LF? He has played more games in his career at CF than either LF or RF. Why isn't he getting time over Ankiel?

  17. BinM - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    @DC Wonk: Yes, you would expect a low BABIP to regress toward the mean over the season (around .298-.300), particularly with starting pitchers; the more hitters faced, the greater opportunity to surrender hits.

  18. Grandstander - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    @WallyAnkiel and Nix are both LF. A platoon works best with hitters on opposite sides of the plate.

  19. Grandstander - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    LH I mean to say.

  20. Wally - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    @Grandstander. I wasn't responding to the platoon comment, just making a playing time comment. Someone has to play CF on this team, so why not Nix instead of Ankiel? If you can find a RH to platoon with, even better.

  21. Jim Webster - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    I need to recall the dozen or so all-star ballots on which I voted for Desmond for SS. Obviously he needs to be with his lovely wife in a romantic setting during the all-star break, not playing baseball. BTW I also wrote in Ramos on all of 'em – we need to get that campaign in high gear.

  22. BinM - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Sweet – A complete game shutout from Marquis! The veteran starters are earning their keep this week.

  23. edward - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    god CSN sucks… why take me back to the "live" blog of Marks when hes forced to cover the caps. they basically gave up on the nats tonight

  24. Andrew - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    If you heard the game ended 3-0 in a Lincecum matchup with any Nats pitcher in a complete game, 99 out of 100 people that follow baseball would say, Lincecum won the game.A gem by Marquis! Congrats!!!!

  25. BinM - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    @Wally: Ankiel has better wheels & a better arm in CF than Nix could ever hope to have. The bulk of Nix's CF innings were accrued at the Great American smallpark, which plays like a softball field & doesn't require much range. He's a good LF in Nationals Park, but would be overmatched in CF here or in most NL parks.

  26. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Capitals' game tonight at Verizon Center, but Rich Dubroff (who has been covering baseball in this area for years) will be filling in and filing articles to CSNwashington.com. I'll be sure to link to them here…Caps lose 4-2. I think Mark picked the wrong game to cover tonight.

  27. FS - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    I was about half an hour off to watch this game. Helping my uncle took so much time that I decided to head home, instead of the stadium. The weather was also getting a little cold for me, so I don't regret the decision so much. Anyways, glad to see the first CG SO by us this season. Maybe I should add marquis to my fantasy team.

  28. Big Cat - Apr 30, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Superb effort from marquis and the Nats. Pitching and defense will take you a LONG way. Now…..lets blank them again tomorrow!

  29. Gonats - Apr 30, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=150302#statType=1&sectionType=career&season=2011&gameType='R'Jason Marquis plays once every 5 days. He hits once every 5 days. He is batting effectively while only playing 6 games a month and is 5 for 13 batting .385.Every time I hear this BS about players playing every day is true for some players, not every one as Bryce Harper proved in the Arizona Fall League.Rizzo sends Bernadina back to Syracuse because he says he needs to play every day. I'm not buying it.

  30. Nattydread - Apr 30, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Great game by Marquis. He is quietly re-building his name and Rizzo will now have to think seriously about whether wants to trade him at deadline. The way he's pitching now, he looks like a number two or three behind SS.

  31. natsfan1a - Apr 30, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Agree re. Marquis and the game. Was great to see and I'm very happy for him, to be healthy again and pitching a gem like that (not to mention getting a knock).I do sometimes have to remind myself to talk smack about the Giants during this series. I can't really bring myself to do it for Posey, though, as he was my brother's favorite. Go Nats! Will be there tomorrow and Sunday to root them on in person.

  32. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    This is vintage Marquis at his best and if Nats fans remember, he did the same to the Nats a few years ago when he was with the Cardinals. The only issue is that the more innings you put on him now is the faster you lose him towards the end of the year as he gets a tired arm.He has helped get many of his teams to the post-season by his pre-All Star game performances and then you see the huge dropoff which is why he has been kept off of some of the post-season rosters.

  33. Drew8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    Harper had a double and a single, upping his average to .333.Potomac RF Destin Hood played LF tonight."I hear the train a comin…."

  34. JaneB - Apr 30, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    So happy for Marquis! And US! Hurrah for a complete game shut out. I bet Mark didn't have a choice in who he covered tonight. The Other Guy is fine AND he ain't Mark.Sqo glad to see Marquis tonight…a far cry from this ti e las year. Go Nats!

  35. Grandstander - Apr 30, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    It's weird, the harder I look at his name, the more I see "trade bait". Marquis will revert, I just hope it's after the deadline. In the meantime, I'm enjoying our #2 starter.

  36. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    We had a great time at the game tonight! What an effort by Marquis,eh? I saw Clippard get up in the 8th and was really hoping that Jason would get the chance to finish. When was the last complete game shutout from a National's starter? Great game by Nix also, and , yes, good call by Riggleman to start him. Ankiel and LaRoche both looked sadly over-matched at the plate, but how many times did I think, or hear around me in the stands, "Adam Dunn doesn't make that play"? LaRoche has seemingly made at least one play a game that makes me tip my hat to Rizzo on letting Dunn walk.Side note regarding the Stadium. Though it's not my poison of choice, Budweiser was not sold in the beginning of the season at the park. It, and Bud Lite are back.

  37. natsfan1a - Apr 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Joe Seamhead, I believe it was Livo at Nats Park last April (I was there for that one). Also, you may need to adopt my idea of setting up a recording for use at the ballpark: -click- "Adam Dunn doesn't make that play. This is a recording." -click-

  38. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    natsfan1a, I wish there was a "like" button, for the recording idea. As to the CG SO, anybody know when the last one was by a Nat not named Hernandez?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 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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