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Game 47: Nats at Brewers

May 23, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
The always festive Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Nationals open a three-game series in Milwaukee tonight, and for the second straight day they won't have Adam LaRoche in the lineup or in the field. You should probably get used to that idea, because there's every reason to believe LaRoche is going to wind up on the DL after heading to New York to have his ailing left shoulder re-examined.

Whether LaRoche is sidelined for a brief or long-term period, the Nationals are left without an established first baseman. Michael Morse will get a crack at the position, and he acquitted himself well there yesterday in Baltimore. It remains to be seen if he can produce as an everyday player, something he hasn't established when given the opportunity in the past.

Tom Gorzelanny gets the start for the Nats, hoping to cut down on his recent high walk totals (10 in his last 17 1/3 innings) while maintaining his high strikeout numbers (19 over those same 17 1/3 innings). Right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who got beat around by the Nationals last month in D.C., starts for the Brewers.

I'm not in Milwaukee for this series, so please keep up the banter yourselves…

NATIONALS at BREWERS
Where: Miller Park
Gametime: 8:10 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Partly cloudy, 67 degrees, Wind 13 mph out to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (21-25)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix

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  1. Doc - May 23, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Hmmmm…..I think that Michael Morse, will do something closer to ST. As far as not performing as a regular, not sure that has ever been established—since he has never been a regular over an extended period of time.At the beginning of the season, before the injury, he was in the same hitting funk as most of the other guys. Since then, he has one of the better batting averages.I'd rather count him in, as opposed to counting him out—-time will tell, still lots of the season to go.As a guy that came to The Bigs as a SS, I don't think that he will do any damage at 1B. Give Morse time to adjust, and we might see a better than average glove at 1B.Gooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!

  2. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    first… go nats!

  3. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    oops

  4. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Morse will heat up and Nix will almost certainly cool off. He doesn't draw many walks. It may all just end up being a wash unless Morse becomes the terror to pitchers he was in ST. Brue or a "Brue-like" poster went after Rizzo in his chat today. Boz did bring up some interesting points. If you consider Werth the right field and Willingham the left-fielder … and not as one replacing the other it lends some fodder to the notion that Mike Rizzo is great at building organizations that accent excellence in player development, scouting and the minor league farm system. Whereas at the major league level his abilities and experience might seem less than capable at this point?CELLAR DWELLERSo you're saying that Rizzo's setting up Riggleman to fail so he can use him as a scapegoat in order to buy himself another season of 100 losses, because Rizzo's certainly gotten a free pass from the media in this town. The guy can't put a roster together to save his life and it's the manager's drama? Rizzo talks about rebuilding and he tears his offense down out of principle. Trades 85 RBIs for a reliever who can't throw straight, then spends $126 million to replace that exact number. He's doing 'divide and conquer', pitting the players against the manager so nobody looks at how anemic the farm system is, and how timid he is in making trades. He falls in love with his prospects. He's a loser.– May 23, 2011 10:40 AMA.THOMAS BOSWELL :I think Rizzo does a good job and is a strength of the organization. But you put the negative (maybe even nasty) case out there. Fine. It's interesting.I did some "unsettling" stats on Jayson Werth the other day. Werth is going to be the defining Rizzo moment from this period. He said This is the The Guy we need."Okay, I looked at Werth's ROAD stats from his 3 years in Philly, to get rid of the bias of that bandbox park the Phils play in. Then, on a whim, I lo0oked at Josh Willingham's stats in his two years in DC, just to see how much better Werth would be. I was stunned: The numbers are as close to identical as I've ever seen.Werth on the road as a Phil: 781 abs-109 runs, 211 hits, 48 doubles, three triples, 37 homers, 122 RBI, 122 walks, 234 Ks.Willingham as a Nat: 797-124-210-48-2-40-117-(128 walks-189 Ks).As a slash line, it's Werth: .270/.376/.481. Willingham: .263/.377/.856.Willingham gets hurt more and Werth is a much better outfielder. Still!! ___________________________________________________________________

  5. Rabbit - May 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Doc, good point. Not putting any trust in what sports people say, I guessed at the beginning of the year that LaRoche would miss half the season at best.

  6. Cwj - May 23, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Anon- interesting. But who is "Brue"??

  7. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    A pretentious AH over on BPG.

  8. phil dunn - May 23, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Not a bad lineup if we had Zim at 3B instead of Hairston and a good hitting coach in the dugout.

  9. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Whoa, Strasburg just tweeted that his first bullpen is in the books. Awesome.Would have been nice if LaRoche's bat came around but here's hoping Morse gets hot. At any rate he can't hit a lot worse than LaRoche was.Go Nats!

  10. Cwj - May 23, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Anon- I see, thanks. Interesting that Werth is still hitting his normal share (on pace for about 26-30) of homers even playing at Nats Park half the time this season.

  11. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Thank you CWJ and to the other "anon" who explained about Brue who also likes to post on NJ. I've always been a fan of Morse, but I do believe LaRoche is clearly the better first baseman and the left-handed bat … but the injury was clearly a serious problem from ST on. I never expected him to do as well as he did! It speaks volumes for the player … cortisone shots inclusive.I want the guy to be 100% when he plays. Natstown has already had too many experiences with guys who were bereft of the talent they once owned. I believe we (and he) deserve to see Adam LaRoche hitting on all cylinders.

  12. Wally - May 23, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Re: the Boz chat about Rizzo, I think that Brue or whomever posted it is wrong. I think his idea to transform the team was the right one, and I also think that we have encountered something of a perfect storm on offense. (a) their best player and hitter (Zim) has missed almost the entire season so far; (b) Werth and LaRoche, two big cogs on offense, have performed well below their career averages, and are young enough that it isn't reasonable to expect to see them decline yet; (c) the 'young' guys like Morse and Desmond have not only failed to maintained their levels from last year, they have taken a step back, and (d) Espy has struggled to adapt so far. Any one of these things would be reasonable to expect and plan for, but all of them happening at once? A little better luck, say (a) and (b) not happening, and we are probably 5 games or so better in the standings and generating some real excitement. So I don't think Rizzo was wrong in his approach to the lineup.I do think his bullpen and bench construction could have been better, even a lot better, but I don't think that would have meant more than a game or two in the standings. And we'll get Zim back, Werth, Desi, Morse could all start hitting, and it could get exciting.

  13. Manassas Nats Fan - May 23, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Another sweep here and we are back to 2 under .500

  14. Cwj - May 23, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Manassas Nats Fan- actually a sweep would put them 1 game under .500 ;)A sweep would be great!

  15. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Manassas Nats Fan- actually a sweep would put them 1 game under .500 ;)A sweep would be great!The point the Nats are at right now (as Ben Goessling pointed to, and Boz recently opined on ), is where the rubber hits the road. Typical, past AAAA Nats teams would begin to fold, the manager would (yes Riggleman too Rig lovers) begin to lose the clubhouse and well we know how the rest goes. If it goes the other way, if they can't manage to get things untracked during what Goessling refers to as a pretty grueling set of road trips, a month in which they are mostly on the road and less at home? Series losses and sweeps against the Nats begin to happen with regular frequency. As Boz put it we'll have to wait and see. Riggleman's future with the organization is now on the line.

  16. dj in Fl. - May 24, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    I am not to worried about the upcoming road trips. Plenty of folks predicted lots of gloom and doom about our trip through the division, and that went ok. I think we have more players on this team used to winning, rather than those accustomed to losing.

  17. CBinDC - May 24, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    The Q and A with Boz today did get me to thinking that the question on spending has not gone away (The Lerners are Cheap theory) since he pointed out that the payroll is still 25 million below what market our size should have. Also he defended Stairs and surprised at the level of hatred he has developed.

  18. Les in NC - May 24, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    Gorzo gives up a 2-run homer and a solo shot in the bottom of the first, if anyone is "watching".Looks like another long night…Then Morse answers with his own solo shot!! Nats down 3-1 through 1 and half.

  19. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    When a team has as many young players under team control that the Nats do, only an idiot (Boswell) would make such a shallow look at payroll.His support for Stairs is confirmation.BPG and NJ – the same AH (Brue).

  20. BinM - May 24, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    OK, so I had an option tonight; Risk some rain & go to a P-Nats game, or stay home & listen/watch the WSH-MIL game. I chose the latter, only to hear/see Gorzelanny give up another pair of HR's in the first. I'm clearly brain-damaged; That is all.

  21. Les in NC - May 24, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    And Werth struck out looking, again. Either Gallardo brought his A game or the Nats brought their D- bats. So far, there is no difference.Nats still down 3-1 through 2 1/2.

  22. Les in NC - May 24, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Gorzelanny is warming up now! He just struck out the side! (and walked Corey Hart but he was left stranded after stealing second)Still, a 2 run lead is a daunting obstacle for the Nationals…

  23. Exposremains - May 24, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    Is is just me but this year Nats are a very boring team to watch. The record is not so bad but these games are so predictible and without any spark. No amount of defense or baserunning can overcome the sleepiness these games are bringing. I feel its already september and they are 30 games out of 1st place.

  24. CBinDC - May 24, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Ok game over tilt tilt …..they again have so little energy and it seems they expect to get out ……something that has been a plague for this team year after year after year …….. the losing never ends when your whole world depends on the turn of a friendly card

  25. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    @BinM,Milwaukee has a 16 – 6 record at home. Only Cleveland is better. What did you expect? The Brewers saw that Nats coming and their eyes lit up. It won't matter who is pitching. And so it begins the long slide toward complete mediocrity and last place. Veteran (read: winning) influence or not. JaneB wants an "honor guard" for Matt Stairs? How about pall bearers for yet another Nats season, another lesson in futility for Nats fans.

  26. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Oh yezzzz, Milwaukee organ playing the Giggleman's Island theme! Perfect!

  27. Exposremains - May 24, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    I know he's getting paid and he's not the best out there but it must be hard to be upbeat and finding positive things to say after doing the play-by-play for the Nats these past few years

  28. SCNatsFan - May 24, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Exposremain, I agree. Almost painful to watch; you know you're going to see 5-8 hits, 1-2 runs but many Ks and weakly hit balls and a well pitched game by our side. Its just so hard to watch players having so many bad ABs game after game, seeing players fail with RISP over and over. As a Nats fan its like watching the same bad movie over and over, knowing once the opposition scores that second run that unfortunately the game is probably over.

  29. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Crap. Now the damned sausages come out to stick it in our eye. I thought Cincinnati was all about the sausages not Milwaukee? After another almost by Ramos to straight-away right. Brewers balls scream out of the park. Nats balls, except for Morse? Die at the track?

  30. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    @BinM,Well maybe we'll get to see H-Rod shut 'em down good. That slider is a really filthy thing!

  31. CBinDC - May 24, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    I am sorry but how can you not say that the hitting coach or coaches do not bear some responsibility for this teams hitting ………and how can you not make changes

  32. Exposremains - May 24, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    SCnatsFan,I agree until the other team scores I have a bit of hope but once they score I know its over. Today I knew it was over in the 1st inning. How can you stay interested watching these games?

  33. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Yes, the nasty slider is working tonight! And Riggs may consider using him in key situations? Sheesh, this guy is way better than Clippard was last night.

  34. CBinDC - May 24, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    Ok when does the bat phone to ………Bobby Valentine start to ring ……that is the question to ponder

  35. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    Ok when does the bat phone to ………Bobby Valentine start to ring ……that is the question to ponderHeck I'd be happy with Randy Knorr, the hitting coach, and even the pitching coach in Syracuse. Sure looks like they've right things there after suffering from exactly the same malady. Results speak.

  36. Anonymous8 - May 24, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    Ankiel so far 0-4 and back to form. He must be ready for the Nats again!http://harrisburg.senators.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=t547&t=g_box&gid=2011_05_23_haraax_akraax_1

  37. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    So, who will we choose with the first pick in the draft and is he a Boros client?

  38. CBinDC - May 24, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    So there goes one of the few good things going with this team is now over …..Storen scoreless streak over …..destruction complete

  39. Anonymous8 - May 24, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Doug Slaten on cue blows up Drew Storen's ERA with letting his 2 inherited runners score.

  40. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    And according to expert baseball man Riggs, H-Rod isn't ready for critical situations? Yeah right. Its way past time for Knorr … welcome to Giggleman's Isle.

  41. Exposremains - May 24, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Thats about all Slaten is good for this year

  42. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    "Expect it" : St. Louis Cardinal Riggleman guy Ankiel will start in CF in a week or so.

  43. Anonymous8 - May 24, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Tell me again why Slaten and Stairs are on this roster?

  44. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Riggleman has his work cut out for him … if they drop to 10 under or more after this road trip I'm not sure how he survives.

  45. Anonymous - May 24, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    Is somebody ever going to be fired in this organization? Ever???

  46. George Brett - May 24, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    Bring in George Brett to be the hitting coach.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 24, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Ankiel wasn't just 0 for 4. He was 0 for 4 with 4 whiffs.I'd say he's already in mid season form. Bring him up!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 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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