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Series preview: Nats at Orioles

May 20, 2011, 1:09 PM EDT

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Jason Marquis (5-1, 3.54) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (5-1, 4.03)
TV: MASN2* Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Saturday, 4:05 p.m. — LHP John Lannan (2-4, 4.53) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (1-6, 3.91)
TV: MASN2* Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-4, 4.12) vs. RHP Chris Tillman (2-3, 5.35)
TV: MASN2* Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

* The Nats Xtra pre- and post-game shows will be on MASN2, with Orioles Xtra on MASN. The game can be seen on both stations, with announcers from both clubs on a joint broadcast.

ORIOLES UPDATE
It's been a wild ride in Baltimore already this season. After opening the year 6-1 and stirring up more excitement than this franchise had experienced in a decade, the Orioles proceeded to lose eight straight and 22 of 35. They're back in last place in the AL East, and now they're dealing with a rash of injuries.

Second baseman Brian Roberts and first baseman Derrek Lee were each placed on the disabled list this week, Lee with a strained oblique and Roberts with a recurrence of the concussion syndromes that hampered him last season. Roberts has been dealing with recurring headaches since sliding headfirst into first base on Monday, so the clubRead more ยป

  1. The Joker - May 20, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    The Nats couldn't hit a pinata with the bat even if it was the pinata that wore the blindfold instead of the Nats batters.

  2. natsfan1a - May 20, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Was it Simon who came into a game at Nats Park last year and then pulled a muscle going after a ball or some such? (If memory serves, the next reliever to enter did not fare well with the hitters and the Nats won.)

  3. UNTERP.NAT - May 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    I say the Nats break out of their slump and score 7 runs for the weekend…

  4. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    It's interesting to note that Jason Giambi hadn't had A HIT(!) since April 10 and was hitting .115 going into yesterdays game in Philly. It can happen!

  5. SCNatsFan - May 20, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    I bet O's pitchers are asking to jump up in the rotation to face us… and flying their families in to watch them pitch as this will be the best chance they have of seeing their son pitch a no hitter.At some point we have to break out, right? At some point Enron had go back up, didn't it?

  6. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    UNTERP.NAT said… "I say the Nats break out of their slump and score 7 runs for the weekend…"…and lose 8-7, 3-0 and 2-0.

  7. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    "SCNatsFan said… I bet O's pitchers are asking to jump up in the rotation to face us… and flying their families in to watch them pitch as this will be the best chance they have of seeing their son pitch a no hitter."Well, they're going to be really, really disappointed. The O's will be calling up three struggling, starting pitchers from A ball and start them in the series as a confidence booster.

  8. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… "It's interesting to note that Jason Giambi hadn't had A HIT(!) since April 10 and was hitting .115 going into yesterdays game in Philly.It can happen!"It could, but I don't think Rizzo can orchestrate a trade in time to get Giambi here for the series in Baltimore.

  9. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    The Joker said… "The Nats couldn't hit a pinata with the bat even if it was the pinata that wore the blindfold instead of the Nats batters."Pinatas are inanimate objects…actually, so are the Nats hitters.

  10. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    After this weekend, even Poopy McPoop will feel bad for us Nats fans.

  11. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    I think I'm done. I'm feeling better now.

  12. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Maybe I'm not. I just remembered. MASN and their mixed broadcast crews. I don't think I can take any more.Someone please shoot me now!

  13. The Joker - May 20, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Dave McNally could probably no-hit the Nats and he's dead.

  14. erocks33 - May 20, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Maybe Riggleman should do what Joe Maddon of the Rays did earlier this season when they were struggling. He had the fans pick out the batting order for one game:http://tinyurl.com/6z7j8lnAt that time, the Rays were 4-8 and weren't hitting that well. The fans picked this order:Sam Fuld – LFJohnny Damon – DHMatt Joyce – RFFelipe Lopez – 3B (that's right, cleanup!)BJ Upton – CFSean Rodriguez – 2BDan Johnson – 1BKelly Shppach – CReid Brignac – SSThe Rays pounded out 13 hits and won 5-2.

  15. Manassas Nats Fan - May 20, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    All I can say is I would have Morese DH tonight for LaRoche. Tomorrow and Sunday I would have Marquis DH.

  16. Steve M. - May 20, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Tough calls on the offense but you look at last night on the blown call which cost Jayson Werth a hit how the game could have turned.I think the Nats stack up well against the O's and they got embarrassed last night and in extras against the Yankees.

  17. cevans - May 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    fair chance of t-storms, should be plenty of good seats available all weekend …

  18. Les in NC - May 20, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    @ Anon 9:43,I had to wipe the laughter tears from my eyes after I read the response regarding a Giambi trade!! That was great, thanks for that.But please Rizzo, don't trade for him!

  19. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 20, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    And this year's Rob Mackowiak Award goes to:(PLEASE HOLD ALL APPLAUSE)173-year-old Matt Stairs.(CONTINUE TO HOLD ALL APPLAUSE)In an emergency, please do NOT use Stairs.

  20. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    During Zombie awareness month it is always wise never to use Stares … Zombie Stares can kill. On Rapture Day the curly-W will flip upside down and become the curly-M for mayhem!

  21. David - May 20, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Can we please put LaRoche on the 60 day DL. And put Morse at first. At least he can hit the ball into the outfield!

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    They bought at 271… it's down 100 points, and looks like it is heading to 150.They can't sell now. You have to trust the long-term fundamentals to come back.

  23. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Laroche is killing this team and he needs to sit for awhile. I agree, put Morse on 1B because it looks like he's starting to heat up after a terrible slump.

  24. Feel Wood - May 20, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Either LaRoche is pressing or his hitting really is being affected by his shoulder problem. Whichever it is, a couple days off right now would not hurt him and might actually help. This weekend provides a good opportunity for Riggleman to load up the lineup with bats. Stairs DH, Morse 1B, Nix LF. Save LaRoche for late-inning defensive replacement, if needed. Would Riggleman be smart enough to do this? Based on past experience, probably not.

  25. Rabbit - May 20, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Jason, get out if you can!! If you can win 5 games with this team, you'll win the Cy Young with another!

  26. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… "They bought at 271… it's down 100 points, and looks like it is heading to 150.They can't sell now. You have to trust the long-term fundamentals to come back."I don't believe the Nats' investment in kerosene lanterns is going to provide a return.

  27. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    From New Anonymous to this ThreadThe thought of watching the communized MASN broadcast makes me sick to my stomach. It is so clubby, so smug, and so glib. All pretense of competition between real teams goes out the window, as the two Pretendmen Crews pull punches and offer hollow praise for each other.I'm waiting for the co-broadcast of the next Redskins-Ravens game. Or maybe Phillies-Mets. I think I may be waiting a long time.The MASN co-broadcasts tell us all, very clearly, that the joke here is on us. The enterprise is not about winning, or honest rivalry, or direct competition. It is about creating a safe, no-edges, happy place for MASN, that minimizes the sentiments of the fans and maximizes the money in Angelos's pocket.I will not watch this orgy.

  28. phil dunn - May 20, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    As far as I can tell, Mark Z pretty much refuses to critize or even comment on the hitting coach, Rick Eckstein. I also have read that the Nats management protects him from the press. I find this very strange since usually hitting coaches are the fall guys when a team has pathetic offense for an extended period of time. (Remember when the pitching was a mess and Randy St. Claire was fired?) I have often wondered what qualifications Eckstein has to be a major league hitting coach. I can find no evidence that he ever played professional baseball. I also find it strange that the Nats FO keeps telling the curious that the Nats hitters love Eckstein. On what basis do they like him? He certainly isn't producing any results for them. Maybe Eckstein is getting a pass because of his kidney donation or because he is David Eckstein's brother. The only thing I know for sure is that almost every Nats batter looks pathetic and lost at the plate and someone has some explaining to do.

  29. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    As if the combined MASN broadcasts are not bad enough already, it seems the Orioles are sending their B team, Jim Hunter and Mike Flanagan. Too bad, because Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer are at least listenable. But I guess even they realize how much of a travesty this combined broadcast crew is and they decided to just skip the whole thing altogether. I suppose we should be glad that the Nats did not decide to counter with their B team of Phil Wood and Debbi Taylor. Count our blessings.

  30. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    I kind of like Flanagan … more than Palmer. He at least was a pitching coach. What they really need is a bonafide hitting coach as an announcer for this series … hmmmm maybe a guest slot for Frank Robby?

  31. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Anoymii anonymii riding through the glen.Anoymii anonymii what a motley band of men.Feared by NatsJack loved by the WryAnonymii, anonymii, anonymii!!!

  32. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    LaRoche isn't killing the team although he is the worst of the bunch. The only guy really hitting right now is Nix. Ramos looks next best. Bernadina looks the same at the plate as last year but good enough to be about third.After that its not pretty.

  33. Dan! - May 20, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I will just listen to Charlie and Dave. MASN is a joke when they do this.

  34. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    I think I'll go watch the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Penelope Cruz looks a hell of a lot better than the Nats. Heck, Keith Richards looks better than the Nats.

  35. masnstinks - May 20, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    I also despise the mixed broadcasts. Half the time the guys in the booth are just sharing stories- they should just go out to a bar together and let Charlie and Dave have the game. I hate the Balti-morons and this is just a reminder of how Angelos blackmailed MLB. No matter who is pitching for the o's , he will suddenly have the best game of his entire life and our batters will look deaf, dumb and blind. AND – we will have to hear that horrible OOOO during the national anthem. Too, too cruel.

  36. Section 222 - May 20, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Last year, the Nats played 9 games in AL ballparks — 3 each in Cleveland, Detroit, and Baltimore. Remember how Riggleman used the DH in those games? Whillie Harris, batting well under the Mendoza line, got 3 starts, Christian Guzman 2, and Alberto Gonzales 1. Michael Morse, the obvious choice at the time, got just 3. Riggleman seemed to like using the DH as a way to keep Zimmerman, Dunn, and Willingham in the lineup while giving them a rest in the field, rather than to add a productive bat to the lineup. It will be interesting to see how he uses the DH this year. I wouldn't mind him giving Stairs or even Bixler a game's worth of at bats, but otherwise Morse and Nix should both be in the game. If only LaRoche could play the field but not hit on nights that Livo or Marquis are pitching. But I guess that's against the rules.

  37. DL in VA - May 20, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    I will watch, but I will watch on mute and listen to the radio broadcast.Actually, I might do this:If you want to watch Duke bball games without the announcers, but just the floor and crowd noise, if you have surround sound, unplug the front speakers. They don't pipe the announcers into the rear ones. I wonder if that works for MASN too.

  38. DL in VA - May 20, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Actually, is it against the rules for the pitcher to DH?

  39. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    "Actually, is it against the rules for the pitcher to DH?"Not sure what you mean, but a team does not have to use a DH in a DH game. Any player on the 25-man roster can be the DH.

  40. Dennis Moore - May 20, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    …lol…

  41. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    My biggest concern for this series is whether or not they'll be able to get Saturday's game in before the rapture.

  42. erocks33 - May 20, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    When Marquis pitches, let him hit. But, keep LaRoche at 1B and DH for him. Is this possible?

  43. Les in NC - May 20, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    @ erock,Of course it's possible, but will it happen? NO.No Riggs will stick with the "book" and play Stares for the entire series, if I we're a betting man. (I am, btw)

  44. Tim - May 20, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Hey, the suggestion came up… Why don't WE pick the starting lineup/batting order? Here's mine: 1) Bernie 2) Desi 3) Nix 4) LaRoche 5) Werth 6) Morse (DH) 7) Ramos 8) Espi 9) Cora/Hairston (flip a coin)I see a bat warming for Morse. Sharp hits; even his outs are hit hard.Riggs will go into DTs without a double switch in this series.

  45. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    "When Marquis pitches, let him hit. But, keep LaRoche at 1B and DH for him. Is this possible?"No.

  46. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    Maybe Espinosa should bat 3rd in front of Werth. He looks like the only guy who is going to drive in 100 and he has mostly either been at the end or the beginning of the lineup? Behind LaRoche and Ramos tonight? He's a rookie and still learning I suppose that would be too much pressure.- peric

  47. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Henry Rodriguez looking just like he did in Syracuse. I guess they settled him down.

  48. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    good call, joker. how ya like them 17 runs? BWAAAHAHAHA!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 92 64 --
ATLANTA 76 81 16.5
NEW YORK 76 81 16.5
MIAMI 75 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 86 21.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Tuesday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (2) 92 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.5
-------------------------
y-PITTSBURGH 86 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 77 6.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
TUE: OFF
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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