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Game 26: Giants at Nats

Apr 30, 2011, 4:47 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan faces Jonathan Sanchez in a rare 4:05 p.m. game at Nationals Park.

After Jason Marquis' shutout gem last night, what does John Lannan have in store for the Giants today? The left-hander hasn't been spectacular so far this season, but he hasn't been poor, either. Kind of typical John Lannan, to be honest, though I'm sure he expects more out of himself (especially since he's yet to reach the seventh inning in five starts).

Lannan will be facing another lefty in Jonathan Sanchez, who has yet to surrender more than three earned runs in any start this year. Jim Riggleman's lineup includes Wilson Ramos, Michael Morse and Jerry Hairston.

I'm back at the ballpark today for this rare late-afternoon start (Fox has the 1-4 p.m. TV window, which explains the 4:05 p.m. first pitch), so check back for updates throughout…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Sunny, 67 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from LF

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

Read more »

  1. SonnyG10 - Apr 30, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Let's take another one from the Giants!!! Go Nats!

  2. Knoxville Nat - Apr 30, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Does the 4:05 start have more to do with Fox televison or maybe the time zone difference to the west coast?

  3. Doc - Apr 30, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Even though the Nats are up against lefty Sanchez, I thought that Riggleman would put Nix in LF and Morse at 1B. Nix doesn't traditionally do well against LHPs but maybe he has a hot bat! LaRoche struck out, what 3X last night, against a righty!

  4. Grandstander - Apr 30, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    There's no reason to take LaRoche's defense out of the game, especially if you're substituting him with another lefty. I suspect Nix will be in there if there's double-switch opportunity late in the game.Also, Knoxville, the start time is only about Fox, which normally takes the 4-7 time slot but has the 1-4 time slot today, pushing our afternoon game back.

  5. Bill B - Apr 30, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Bill B - Apr 30, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    This is just curiosity, but why does Fox having a 1-4 slot push us back? Is it that there can't be any competing TV broadcasts or something?

  7. Knoxville Nat - Apr 30, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Grandstander…thanks for making that clear and Bill B, yes, when Fox has the window no other game can be televised. That much I knew but wasn't sure what the Fox game was this week.

  8. Doc - Apr 30, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Whatever the Fox box has on isn't as important as what we're gonna see with the Nats v. Giants!Gooooooooooooooooooo Nats!

  9. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Word is coming from several sources that Ryan Zimmerman needs surgery and if so will be out until the all star break. Looks like that second opinion found something after all. Sports hernia is what I think they saidFarid

  10. Knoxville Nat - Apr 30, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    If Zimmerman is out until the all star break it is even more imperative that the Nats continue to play good defense, get good starting pitching and timely hitting. Here's hoping that LaRoche, Morse, Werth, et al start to heat up with the lumber.

  11. Cwj - Apr 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Remember that LaRoche is a notorious slow starter.He'll heat up. And I can't say enough about his defense. It really does seem like he makes great scoops/backhands/catches every single game.Go Nats!

  12. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Surprised Desmond isn't batting in the 2 hole. LH Sanchez against LH Ankiel?

  13. Richard - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I guess the Nats don't have much choice re a leadoff man. The BA and more importantly the OBP of the leadoff position has got to be well south of Mendoza. Frustrating to watch. Odd how this year it's the starting pitching that's keeping the leaky boat afloat. One hole fixed, another one opens. I still question the move to go with Ankiel in CF and dump Morgan, without, say, a two month trial to see if he could regain most of the 2009 form.

  14. Wally - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Some random thoughts: Ankiel should not be playing everyday. We knew that in ST and it is more apparent now. The Nats seem to get absolutely no calls from the umpires. Despond's play in the first was perfect Desi. He ranged hard to his right, made a great backhanded stop, and flung a mostly hard throw in the dirt. LaRoche made a fantastic scoop, so it was an out. But he could have easily missed it, which would have been an error for Desi. But I repeat something that I have said before : I would not want Desi holding that ball to avoid an error and concede the base. I hope he never gets so gun-shy about errors that he stops trying that play. And before anyone bashes me, I know that is not his only problem.I wonder if Zimm's injury gives Rizzo license to give up on the season and trade any vet of value.

  15. Knoxville Nat - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Richard,Strictly speaking about the leadoff position in the batting order I can follow what you say. However batting first is only one component of Morgan's game and unfortunately for him the rest of his skills are simply lacking. Ankiel brings a professional attitude and work ethic to the park every day, excellent defense and a gun for an arm in CF. Is he the ideal CF that the Nats would like? No, not even close but given the alternatives on the roster I don't think they had any other choice at this time.

  16. Candide - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Sanchez walks four batters – three straight – and Morse swings at the first pitch. Argh!

  17. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Come on Morse, you don't swing at that 1st pitch!

  18. FS - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    You can not be serious. The pitcher walks four batters in the inning, shouldn't you at least see first couple of pitches to know whether he continues to struggle or not. First pitch and you ground out with bases loaded? Isn't there something like common sense in baseball?

  19. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    John Lannan not even close to a ball in a primo bunting situation. Baaaaad John

  20. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Mickey Morse! Deep sigh.

  21. Candide - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Seven walks and two HBP; should be leading by a lot more than 1-0. I don't have a good feeling about how this game is going to end up.

  22. FS - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    It is going to be painful to watch this offense in Ryan's continuing absence. They might be planning to set a record for scoring least runs with most runners on or something.

  23. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    This is what we were talking about after Thursday's win, the lack of clutch hitting. Werth had balls to drive and then strikes out looking with bases loaded. Sure the ump didn't help but this is a sidebar to the Nats season.Nats should have in 3 to 4 runs for sure, just sayin'.

  24. Andrew - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    No more Pablo Sandoval. Broken Hamate bone!!!!

  25. NG - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Just FYI, It's Mike Fontenot playing short for SF today that dropped the throw and Ankiel's single. Tejada is playing third with Sandoval apparently injured.

  26. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    My complaint about Rich Eckstein will continue until he gets his people hitting with RISP at a descent rate. He is the number problem on the team presidential, as the team doctor's have taken over number 1.. Three weeks wasted not diagnosing Zim right. That is inexcusable. What is being operated on is not the oblique which they claimed was the problem. Come one read the MRIs correctly. That is your job.

  27. FS - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    There you go, one swing by a Giant and we have a tied game. It does seem like those first two innings will haunt us later.

  28. Gonats - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Carolync, cwj, and a few others were fine after the 4-3 win on Tuhrsday against the Mets with missed opportunities so long as you win.I say that is garbage. You take the runs and make your life easier and win by several runs.

  29. fpcsteve - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Here is what I like about Ankiel: He's professional in his effort and deportment. What you see is what you get. Is he the long-term answer in CF? No. But for the time being I don't miss Nyjer Morgan.

  30. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Another strike out called. The Nats must lead the league in that stat. No excuses ever for that.Starting to look like they are going to let Sanchez off the hook. Maybe next inning someone will step up and start hitting. This non hitting is getting old.

  31. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Yes, by all means, let's win all of our games by several runs.

  32. Andrew - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    John Lannan DOUBLE PLAY! Nice!

  33. Candide - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Smart D by Lannan. Looks like he's been talking with Livo.

  34. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Anonymous said… Yes, by all means, let's win all of our games by several runs. April 30, 2011 5:03 PM_____________________________That is ridiculous. The point is taking advantage when opportunities are there or as FP said, CASHING IN

  35. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Great play by Lannan in the top of the 4th for a double play 1-6.Another called 3rd strike. When are we going to learn to swing at third strikes. At least Lannan did that.

  36. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    BTW: Burrell did the right thing Posey didn't. he stopped and let Lannan tag him. He should have been going to third and Burrell would have made it to second to wonder what was wrong with Burrell is crazy. I wondered what was wrong with Posey.

  37. fpcsteve - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    I would suggest that the point is that no one can script or guarantee success. The very best big leaguers fail 7 out of every 10 at bats. Ted Williams said hitting was the single hardest feat in sport. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. That's life, and that's why baseball is so compelling. It imitates life. Just a thought…

  38. Gonats - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Maybe Werth should bunt with Ankiel on…..

  39. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Another horrible at-bat by Werth with a 2-1 count. What is wrong with this guy. Maybe he should have bunted!!!!!!!!

  40. fpcsteve - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    ESPN Gamecast made Ankiel's hit look like a bit of good hitting? Any opinions?

  41. Mark'd - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Nice hit by Ankiel. Real bad approach by Werth all game and LaRoche just looks lost.

  42. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    RISP (I could be off one though I think I am right is now 1 for 7. Lead off double and there isn't even a hint of someone moving him along.

  43. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    FP he took the the pitch and put it down the left line because it was on the outer half. It was good hitting.I would gladly take .300 RISP. Ours is barely .100

  44. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    FP Santangelo does a lot of self-deprecating humor so he must go by the Bob Uecker schtick of broadcasting.He actually is funny at times.

  45. Wally - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    @fcpsteve – yes, I thought Ankiel had a nice AB. Stayed within himself.Ramos has been having some very high quality at bats. Great one against Sanchez to draw a walk. I have been very impressed with the pitches he takes. Looking like a high OBP guy. That hasn't been his rep, so I am not sure if he learned something or it is small sample size. That can be quite a package for a catcher if it holds up.

  46. fpcsteve - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Lannan is at 67 pitches after 6 innings–nice. Looks like he is on track for 8 innings. Another good job of pitching (after last night).

  47. Gonats - Apr 30, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    What a throw by Wilson Ramos!!!!!!!

  48. JaneB - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    I already voted 25 times for Wilson Ramos as write-in All Star. Join me, why doncha. Nice pick off!

  49. Anonymous8 - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    John Lannan gets beat in a foot race by 45 year old Miguel Tejada.

  50. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    I hate intentional walks. Then follow that walking a guy who is 3 for his last 31. What a stupid way to end a good day of pitching by Lannan. With hitting as pathetic as the Nats have been this year, you cannot afford to pitch anything less than near perfect.

  51. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Why did Riggleman just intentionally walk a weak hitting catcher WHILE Aubrey Huff was on deck? That one is a head scratcher…

  52. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Another dumb move by Riggleman, loading the bases to pitch to Huff. There goes the ball game.

  53. JoeGish - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Concur What a dumb move.

  54. phil dunn - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Riggleman has got to go. He's dumber than dirt.

  55. Cwj - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    @Gonats – Ever heard of the hit-less wonders? Obviously it would be great to score 10 runs a game, but pitching and defense almost guarantees a .500 record.And with Zim gone, and the fact the Nats are not expected to contend this year, I'll take all the 3-2, 4-3, 2-1 wins any day.That was my point the other day.

  56. Cwj - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    It's actually pretty funny that the World Champion Giants are having a similar season to the Nats so far. All pitch, no hit

  57. Cwj - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    I really don't know what to think of Riggleman anymore. On some days he seems like a genius with the "small ball". Yet he (often) just makes really stupid decisions.

  58. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Not hitting is bad enough but the hitting approach is the real problem. This has been a problem for at least 3 year and is not being addressed. Why is Eckstein still there? The old he works hard excuse is getting old. I would rather have someone who works less hard, but productively than someone who works hard and not productively. Everyone around the Nats seems to buy the work hard excise as acceptable.I can't wait to get someone else there.Pitching in general has been very good, and fielding has had good and bad moments. Hitting pretty much only bad moments.

  59. fpcsteve - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Lannan and Ankiel should go out for a beer after the game. Everyone else should go home.

  60. Cwj - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    I really want to see HRod pitch the 9th. I know its a close game and we don't know how he'll do, but come on, how can he be sharp sitting in the bullpen day after day?

  61. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Lannan and Ankiel can go home, the others make them work out. They need the practice. Actually all pitchers can go home. Alll batters but Ankiel stay and practice.

  62. JaneB - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Cwj is right… A one- run win is a Curlie w same as a three- run win. No offense is no offense…and any kind of win with no offense is good for us.

  63. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    What credentials does Rick Eckstein have to be a MLB hitting coach other than he's David Eckstein's brother? I can find no evidence that he ever played professional baseball.

  64. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Pinch hitters are 1 for 26. now.

  65. dj in Fl. - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    I remember JaneB relating to us the comment she got from a scout at ST. We have no offense. That was when we even had Zim. So winning by multiple runs should be the least of our concerns. Pitching, playing defense, and scratching out runs better than the other team is how we will win.

  66. Jim Webster - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    Cut Riggleman a little slack, all ye who helped drive Manny Acta out of here. And while we're at it, check Manny's record at Cleveland so far this year.

  67. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    I will not cut him slack. His job is to win. here. His hitting coach is awful, and he defends him all the time. Acta's team in Cleveland are hitting. Had the Nats hit he would have won more.RisP 1 for 8. That is the sign if a hitting coach is coaching, how batters do then.At least LaROche swhung, I would have been totally ticked had he took it.On the bright side the pitching and fielding were fine.

  68. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    At least FOX got a chance to showcase Wilson against the hapless Nats.We left 12 men left on base! Amazing

  69. JaneB - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Riggleman says OUT LOUD, "you guys have more respect for Zimmermann than I do." (in a post game interview about the loss of Zimm for a good long time, in case you didnt see it). ummm. Nice to know. I think he was trying to say "no big deal," but IT IS, and telling an untruth (which I hope that was) isn't the way to go. At least he owned that he should have put in Clippard earlier. But still…way to go, dissing the face of the franchise. Good thing I'm not a Lerner, because if dibble Dibble for his Strasburg comment, you dibble Riggs for that one.

  70. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    Its time for a Manager change… Is Ray Knight free to take over?

  71. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    Well one of the two questions I wanted to know the answer to Rggleman was asked. What the heck was with the intentional walk. He says he guessed he should have brought in Clippard. Two games this week he brings a reliever in too late.The other question, what on earth was Morse doing swinging on the first pitch after two straight walks. ANy of us who played Little League learned not to do that. What is the repercussions for not following a cardinal rule of baseball? You just forget it? I guess we will see. Do they have Kangaroo courts like Frank Robinson led when he played for the Orioles anymore?

  72. Anonymous - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    "The very best big leaguers fail 7 out of every 10 at bats" man do i hate when people spew this line…it's just wrong…not every at bat is an official at bat…walks..sacrifices..moving runners over…THE VERY BEST BIG LEAGUERS!? when bonds hit god knows how many hr's did he fail 7 out of 10 times? with all his walks? PLEASE..oh yeah, werth and laroche are pissing me off

  73. The Perfectionist - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Who is Riggleman fooling. I know none of the players agonize about a loss as much as most fans do. They sit happy with their pay checks, and we are disgusted to the next game. I know I care more than they do, and I think most of you do too.

  74. Cwj - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    On a positive note, how about that HRod?Now I know what the scouts meant when they say he throws 100mph effortlessly. Looked great!

  75. Anonymous - May 1, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    >>>I know none of the players agonize about a loss as much as most fans do.<<<I'm firmly convinced that these losses don't eat them up the way they do us.They are, to a certain degree, just hired guns. They could be off the team at any point and on another team soon after. If you're a fan of a team, you're stuck. "Leaving them" is much more difficult. This loss hurts. This loss is infuriating!

  76. Cwj - May 1, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Yeah but it's like that with all teams and all players.Fans are (or should be) the heart and soul of a team.

  77. FS - May 1, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    I am glad this loss does not hurt the players as much as it hurts us. Playing baseball requires a certain level of mental toughness. Players are dealing with win and loss at every pitch they face, every pitch they throw, or every pitch they field. So yeah, they would not last a game, if players agonize as much as us fans. I am sure they all hate losing but they have to pick themselves up and perform to their potential every day.

  78. natsfan1a - May 1, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    That was a tough loss. I was making a similar statement at the game about the Kangaroo Court after the Morse at-bat (actually, I was commenting before the at-bat that I'd seen him swing at the first pitch with a struggling pitcher and hoped he wouldn't do so – oops). Also commented at the time about the squandered opportunities in the first two innings coming back to bite us, which they did. On another note, was cool to see Rodriguez, I agree.On a Giants note, I wonder whether Ford, who pinch ran for the Giants and later singled, had his first MLB hit at that time? It looked like Hairston was going to throw the ball into the stands but then he threw it into the Giants dugout instead.Also on a Giants note, I tried to tell our batters not to fear the beard when Wilson came in for the save, but they ignored me. :-)

  79. phil dunn - May 1, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    Scoring just one run when the Giants gave the Nats 13 gifts (9 walks. 3 hit batters and an error) is beyond pathetic. This sorry bunch of players should hang their heads in shame. If it wasn't for the error, the Nats would have been shut out. The Nats finally draw a decent crowd and they crap all over themselves. Righting the ship is a monumental task but I would certainly start by firing Riggleman and Eckstein.

  80. Gonats - May 1, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    JaneB said…Cwj is right… A one- run win is a Curlie w same as a three- run win. No offense is no offense…and any kind of win with no offense is good for us. April 30, 2011 6:32 PM_____________________________You live in la la land. 9 walks and 3 HBP and you score just 1 run is pathetic. If the Nats won 1-0 I would still make the same comment.You have to take what the opposition is giving you and this is 2008 all over again except the good news is you got pitching.

  81. natsfan1a - May 1, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Interesting (in a depressing sort of way) note in this AP story regarding the last time a team walked or hit so many batsman and gave up only one run:

  82. natsfan1a - May 1, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    Oh, wait. Mark's got that in a new post. Never mind.

  83. JaneB - May 1, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Natsfan1a…. Yes, Ford's first major league hit.Going to look at your link now.





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