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Game 38: Marlins at Nats

May 13, 2011, 7:31 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After a mostly successful road trip, the Nats are back home tonight.

It's been 11 days since the Nationals last played a home game, and plenty has transpired since then. There was a sweep at the hands of the Phillies in Philadelphia, then an impressive series win in Florida, then a near-sweep of the Braves in Atlanta before a collapse last night.

We've seen Laynce Nix essentially take over as the starting left fielder in place of Michael Morse. We've seen Roger Bernadina take over as the starting center fielder while Rick Ankiel is on the DL. We've seen Drew Storen essentially take over as closer and be incredibly effective at, too. (Did you know he hasn't allowed an earned run since his first outing of the season?)

And, of course, we saw Nats Insider go down for about 21 hours. Thankfully, the issue has been resolved. There are still several postings (and hundreds of comments) missing from late Wednesday and all day yesterday). If you happened to miss my article on Bryce Harper's vision correction and the local optometrist who has worked with him, here's a link to that.

Thanks to everyone for your patience through this. I'm back at the ballpark tonight, and I'll have updates throughout, so please check back often…

MARLINS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Chance of showers, 65 degrees, Wind 8 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (18-19)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche

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  1. Unkyd - May 13, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Sing it PROUD, Gene! GO NATS!!!!!

  2. Anonymous - May 13, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    It feels like forever since the last home game. Can't wait to sit in what might be a light drizzle, have a dog fish head and watch a game. Then do it all again tomorrow.

  3. Ernie - May 13, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    I'm heading out tonight too. Ready to cheer loudly for the national anthem. (Gene – your alter ego isn't DC Washington is it? Did you get to pick a cool pseudonym when you become an anthem singer?)

  4. Les in NC - May 13, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    I really wanted to "vent" after last nights meltdown, but when I tried to log onto the NI website, as everyone knows by now, I couldn't. Probably a good thing…. But I also did not get to see other fans whining about exactly what I had on my mind so there was no one to commiserate with me. No therapy, per se. I've since slept, so I'm relatively calm now. I still don't like it, but I'm getting over it. ….still think we (read Riggs) could have or should have done something other than what he did though….There I said it, whew. Ok, moving on.

  5. Manassas Nats Fan - May 13, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    2 out of three again this weekend.A little more hitting please.

  6. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    I'm very happy the Nats went 4-5 on this past tough road trip. Of course, 9-0 would have been nice as well :)Go Nats!

  7. natsfan1a - May 13, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Welcome back, Mark, Nats, and fellow Insiders. There, that should cover it. I likely won't make it to the ballpark this week due to life and workload getting in the way. I hate when that happens. :-) Will be there in spirit, though, and watch on tv, whether in real time or after the fact.Oh, and go NATS!!

  8. JD - May 13, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Les, What should he have done?? and if you didn't think of it before it happened then it's second guessing and it doesn't count. My thoughts at the time were to keep Zimm in because he came out after a soft single to Gonzalez but I always want my starter to stay in until he shows signs of fatigue such as leaving pitches up and losing the bite on the breaking stuff. But since Clippard was unavailable I had absolutely no problem with using Burnett; as far Slaten; he was effective for 2 innings and the Nats were in BP preservation mode last night so I have no problem with leaving him in for 3. In conclusion; the results stung but there was nothing wrong with the moves.

  9. Knoxville Nat - May 13, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Agree with JD, the moves Riggleman made last night were okay, unfortunately those involved in the moves, especially Brunett just didn't come through as we would have liked.

  10. Gene - May 13, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Sound check. Instead of bombs bursting in air i heard livo crack some to deep center Watching bp in front row. If you're in the stands, don't listen. SING!

  11. natsfan1a - May 13, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Go get 'em, Gene. You, too, Livo!

  12. sm13 - May 13, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    "Bulpen preservation mode" is a fine excuse, but Broderick and Henry Rodriguez were still available. Why was Riggleman unwilling to give Zimmermann a chance to get out of the 7th while he was pitching one of the best games of his career, but left Slaten in for the longest outing of his career? How will our young pitchers ever learn to get out of late-game jams if Riggleman gives then the hook every time? I hope Gorzo makes Riggs give him a chance to go deep in the game tonigt. Go Nats!!

  13. Anonymous - May 13, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Nats paid a big price last night for carrying two mop-up relievers (Rodriguez and Broderick) on their roster. This forced them to stay with Slaten, who didn't have it.

  14. Anonymous - May 13, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Easy sm13, because if Riggs would have left Zim in and they scored a couple of runs everyone would be screaming that he left them in too long and asking why isn't Burnett pitching.The reason Broderick and HRod weren't in, no confidence in Broderick and HRod throws the ball in the dirt or a ball as many times as he throws a strike.Riggleman made good decisions with Zimm and Burnett last night, they didn't work out, it happens sometimes. With a team that will be lucky to go .500 this year it will happen more often than not.I think the sooner everyone realizes that this is not the Phillies or Yankess and the team isn't going to win 100 games, the lower the blood pressure will be.-Don

  15. Grandstander - May 13, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    There were no "bad" moves last night. You can kinda hindsight critique them but I never jumped outta my seat and screamed at the tv. He probably should have left JZimm in to try and get out of the 7th, but with a high pitch count and a 4 run lead, he probably figured, "what's the worst that could happen? Burnett walks the pinch hitter and then gives up a grand slam to Prado? Haha, no chance that'll happen."What is going on with Burnett? He seemed like he was unhittable in the beginning of the season and he's just collapsed. Is there a possible injury situation? Are we going to DL him like we did to Gaudin and bring BallyStar back up?

  16. Gene - May 13, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Just met the Z man! (mark z, of course).

  17. JD - May 13, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Grandstander, Like I said there was not much with Burnett last night; on the walk to Conrad he had him struck out but didn't get the call and Prado spoiled 3 or 4 nasty pitches before the homer. It happens; he's a very good hitter.

  18. Unkyd - May 13, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    I hope our guys were watching Prado! I'd like to see them start spoilin' some nasty pitches, themselves…..

  19. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Yeah, Burnett will probably be fine. I'm not terribly concerned about him.

  20. Unkyd - May 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Alright, Gene….Iced Tea, with lemon… Just sips, then after they say PlayBall!!! Hit up the Dogfish Head!!!!!

  21. dj in Fl. - May 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    I think Riggleman stuck to the plan with Zimmerman last night. They are not going to let him get to an exhausted state, and start over throwing this early in his return. Rizzo needs to pull a couple of trades so a couple of guys can go back down to finish school.This working without a full roster is old to me, while Riggleman must have nightmares about running out of options.

  22. sm13 - May 13, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    I understand that sometimes deciisons don't work out as planned, but I still think Jordan needs to learn to pitch out of jams in later innings. He only gave up a walk & a bloop and his manager lost confidence in him in a hurry. To mis-quote Yogi, half of becoming a #1 starter is 90% mental.

  23. Big Cat - May 13, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Checking the stats, Clip, Burnett and Storen had all thrown 2 days in a row going into last nights game. So I partially agree with Sad Man that he had to "save" his pen for tomorrow. Here is the question. If you can't pitch HRod or Broderick in close games, then you might as well get rid of them. Why are they on the team. Everyone says we aren't the Phillies or the Yankees….blah blah blah. Trust me, we are narrowing the gap everyday. Sadman….get HRod and Brod in the game.

  24. Manassas Nats Fan - May 13, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Eck working hard I see. How hard is it to take a third strike? Werth doing what Eck says swing at pitches when you feel like it.

  25. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Attaboy Desi!

  26. CBinDC - May 14, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Ok did I hear the sound correctly was Werth booed in that last at bat?

  27. Buyer's Remorse - May 14, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    Is it too late to return Werth?

  28. Oldguy - May 14, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Plenty of players have gone sour after a trade, so Werth is not alone. But he got booed for his second strikeout, once looking and once swinging at two bad pitches. The talk about Eck makes no sense to me. As Werth said recently, he's been hitting baseballs since he was 6 years old. How is any coach going to change what he does? It's in his head. Besides, if you really want to work on a swing, you do it in ST, not during the season. If someone like Werth needs coaching at this stage of his career, he's not worth his pay. He'll figure it out. Or not.

  29. CBinDC - May 14, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    This is a feeling like a replay of last year only they were over 500 before falling into the abyss that is a Nationals season ….last year they had a game on the road where all looked great and then BAM they lose in extras and never recover ….and at that time it was all "things are just a little off" and "they will come around"…and another season lost

  30. CBinDC - May 14, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    People do not boo easily around here …..Dunn strikes out 4 times in his last game here and he gets cheered …..Werth has reached a level now that is going to make the situation harder …..people are running out of goodwill

  31. WilliamTells - May 14, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    I know this is crazy, but if this thing gets close in the late innings…I think you have to pinch hit for Werth or LaRoche at this point. I trust Cora to at least swing at a close pitch with two strikes.

  32. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Is this the same Laynce Nix who was 'sposed to help out, from the bench…."just in case"?

  33. Oldguy - May 14, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Bernadina is not going back to Syracuse!

  34. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Falling into the abyss, CB? Really? How does that stuff even creep into the mind, after after taking two series, from division rivals, on the road?Baffling pessimism. Really.

  35. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Hey!!! Look at Bernadina…. Tumbling into the abyss!!!

  36. TimDz - May 14, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    This just in…Bernie wants to stay in DC…

  37. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    Ima open up a watering hole at the Park, called "The Abyss"….. CBinDC drinks for free!

  38. masnstinks - May 14, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Bernie is killing it! How is he the backup to Ankiel?

  39. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Boy….. Wish I coulda seen that catch……

  40. Mr Old Style - May 14, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    WOW!! Saw that live from 106. Amazing. Shock. Great moment! Double standing ovation.

  41. TimDz - May 14, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    I say again…Bernie wants to stay in DC…

  42. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    masnstinks…….. He's not. Not anymore.

  43. MicheleS - May 14, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Bernie!Bernie! I think we have found our CF AND OUR lead off hitter! BERNIE BERNIE!!!!

  44. CBinDC - May 14, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    The abyss was a past tense reference and if you did not think the seasons in years 08 09 10 did not feel like and endless abyss well I guess I am pessimistic…..I think they are trap in a cycle and if they have any chance to break out you have to recognize the cycle …but I really do not mind if they prove me wrong since I want a positive outcome ….you know whistling in the graveyard ….that is why I bought a Willie Mo Pena ball….I figure the negative energy it contains would act as a magnet to attract positive energy

  45. MicheleS - May 14, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Can someone post a link to Gene's National Anthem???Would love to have seen it! It takes a brave person to sing the anthem!

  46. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    I'm jes' pokin' at ya CB…. MLB.com hasn't posted Bernie's catch yet…. They will, though….won't they?

  47. MicheleS - May 14, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    Responding to an earlier post about Storen. I am sure whoever suggested the trade was on some serious mind altering drugs… My personal opinion…. Storen is the next Trevor Hoffman…. I know.. I have had to much of the KoolAid, but I honestly believe that. The Kid has the same makeup!

  48. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Ok…. They loaded The Catch.Say Hey! That fella's got a glove on hIm, no?

  49. MicheleS - May 14, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    Marquis as a pinch runner???? Really? isn't there anyone else on the bench???

  50. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    JM is useful, like that… Saves a position player for the inevitable Double switch, later…

  51. dj in Fl. - May 14, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    On Buck's fly to center to end the 7th, the Marlin announcer immediately said "that is no place to hit a ball with that kid out there.

  52. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Tough week, for Clip n Burn….

  53. masnstinks - May 14, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Some exciting baseball this past week – sometimes a little too exciting. It's kind of odd that the action is coming from the most unlikely people, too. On opening day, we would not have predicted that Laynce Nix and Bernie were providing the action.

  54. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    "Clutch Desmond"…. Gotta nice ring to it….

  55. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Attaboy, Desi!!!

  56. MicheleS - May 14, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    Fatherhood agrees with Desi!!!!

  57. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Make contact, El Roacho…..walk off time…

  58. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Rats.

  59. Anonymous - May 14, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    no amount of good defense is worth watching la roche choke time after time after time. we may have won a game or two with his scoops at first, but could we not have equally won a few games if we had a first baseman that could hit the baseball??

  60. masnstinks - May 14, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Odd how LaRoche and Werth just cannot be relied on when it counts. I know that Werth hit two home runs this week but most of his at bats he just really looks bad. Maybe the bottom of the line-up can come through again. These extra inning games are messing with my sleep!

  61. Anonymous - May 14, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Too bad Pudge wasn't catching.

  62. Manassas Nats Fan - May 14, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    On the Dobbs hit Werth did a great job, Hairston did a good job, Ramos did a swipe tag, when the ball was so much ahead of the runner all you had to do is lay the glove down. So I give him an F for the play. That was definitely and easy out given away.

  63. Unkyd - May 14, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Right. We'll get 'em tomorrow!!!

  64. CBinDC - May 14, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    man again losing and losing and losing again and again

  65. Ribuld - May 14, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    The Roach and Nix need to trade spots in the batting order.

  66. LoveDaNats - May 14, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    I had a sinking feeling as soon as I saw Broderick warming up.

  67. Manassas Nats Fan - May 14, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Batters 3,4 and 5 killed us tonight. Went 0 for 12. For comparison Marlins 3-4-5 wernt 5 for 14 3 runs 3 RBIs and 2 homers. When will Werth and LaRoche start earning their money. As for Ramos I remember early in Little League our coach taught us, you do a swipe tag when the ball is late, and just simply place the glove between the runner and the base if it is early. Do swipe when early. I must had a better Little League coach. But alas I couldn't hit a curve ball, but I knew how to tag.

  68. The Perfectionist - May 14, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    Love Da Nats the game should still be going on despite Broderick. Ramos forgot what we all learned as kids don't swipe tag when the ball is early. Someone above mentioned they were coached that. I was too.

  69. Bobby Knight - May 14, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Just as I suspected would happen. The pitchers qre fading as soon as we start scoring runs. The last 4 games we have 7,7,5,5 runs. If the pitchers did what they had done til then all 4 are wins, but no they start pitching worse as soon as runs are scored. Come on MCCatty don't let up on them kick some tail.

  70. Manassas Nats Fan - May 14, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Bobby K. not sure why the pitchers have become lax. I am still not thrilled with the hitting as they waste a lot of down the middle pitches. I am disappointed that the pitchers have slacked off, but tomorrow is another game. Losing close games usually comes down to executing little things, like place a tag instead of slapping one.

  71. Andrew - May 14, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    We could have used Mr. Walkoff (Zim) tonight as there were so many chances as Michael Morse was ohhhh so close.Play of the night was Bernadina commiting ROGGERY.

  72. Ernie - May 14, 2011 at 4:19 AM

    A few thoughts after attending an exciting game, even with the loss:1. I was ready to give the old "good job" to Gene anyway but that was awesome! People in my section were commenting on it. Sing at more games!2. Why on earth did they play Cee-Lo Green's "F You" during the middle of the third to greet the troops? I cannot think of a more inappropriate song. No one around me could figure it out either.3. There was no noticeable Marlins cheering section at the game tonight. Every boo you heard (and there were enough) was from a Nats fan or a generic attendee.4. Broderick is not only wasting a spot another pitcher could use, but you could just feel the energy level disappear when he entered the game. LIke we were conceding. Even if we hold him all year, isn't this the kind of thing–putting him into games he's not prepared to succeed in–that's supposed to hurt a guys confidence and wreck him as a pitcher? How is this helpful? Is there a threshold where he performs so badly that we get rid of him, or are we stuck with him no matter what?Even with the loss, it was fun to see hits and Bernadina's play was one to remember. Losses like this would have been highlights last year…

  73. sjm308 - May 14, 2011 at 4:39 AM

    Might be the best catch I have ever seen live.Real tough loss. Probably goes untalked about but the double play by Ramirez and their secondbaseman when we had two one and no one out was also a major league play, I thought Bernadina would beat it out but they were perfect. How long do you keep Werth and LaRoche at 3/4 and to be honest, Ramos has done nothing in his last 6 games, batting ave. is now under .280 which is a huge fall from .390. We do scratch and claw and if Ramos makes that tag the game might still be going on. Important, at least for me, that we come back tomorrow and win big. I still remember last years slide from 20-15 and seriously don't want to go through something like that again.Go Natsps: Great National Anthem Gene and when I pointed out to my son who you were he recognized you. That also means I have to be careful what I write since he reads Mark and the comments. Had both sons with me at the park and the only thing better would have been a curly W (also caught a T shirt up in 308!!)

  74. Grandstander - May 14, 2011 at 4:56 AM

    Grats to Gene on the anthem, very good!I'm so glad someone else mentioned the song choice for the military appreciation deal. What was that? Especially given the actual lyrics (that may not be written on this blog), seems like a totally weird song to play for that moment. It's still better than God Bless the USA though. Man I hate that song. There's got to be a happy medium. The sound guy also messed up Werth's walk up song twice. Tonight was a heartbreaker, but oddly enough, I'm not really upset. We played good baseball. Werth and LaRoche stunk up the joint, but that's nothing new. Good crowd, good atmosphere, first game back after a better than expected road trip. Tomorrow, I'm hoping for some revenge against Sanchez. I want to walk out of the park with more than my eco-friendly tote bag.

  75. Drew8 - May 14, 2011 at 4:58 AM

    Remarkable play by Bernie. Great play be Infante. Entertaining ballgame, despite the result.The Nats got two fine pitching performances down on the farm tonight. In Hagerstown A.J. Cole was much improved in his second turn, giving up one earned run over four innings to lower his ERA to 3.52. He must be on a tight, precautionary pitch count as he stretches out.(Some kid named Harper extended his hitting streak to 17 games.)At AA, Brad Peacock moved 'em down in Richmond, striking out 14 and giving up just one walk. He's now 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA.

  76. natsfan1a - May 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Wasn't at the game so missed the anthem. Sounds like a poor choice on the troops salute music. Wonder whether someone pushed the wrong button or something?Loved The Catch and look forward to seeing it on year-end highlight shows.

  77. Manassas Nats Fan - May 14, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Mark can you find out about the song choice for honoring the troops. We here do not approve.

  78. Gene - May 14, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Awww. Thanks all. But bernie stole the show. Back to the assumed name and snotty comments.

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