Skip to content

Game 51: Padres at Nats

May 28, 2011, 2:44 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann faces Tim Stauffer today at Nationals Park.

After an eventful Friday night at the ballpark, capped by Michael Morse's walk-off homer, the Nationals and Padres are back at it this afternoon. And the biggest question on everyone's mind, of course, is: Will Teddy actually win the Presidents' Race per Jayson Werth's suggestion?

OK, so maybe there are more significant things going on than that. Like Rick Ankiel (on-base percentage: .294) leading off for the first time in his career. Or Jordan Zimmermann trying to duplicate John Lannan's pitching exploits from last night. Or wondering if Blake Tekotte and Logan Forsythe are actual players in the Padres' starting lineup today or if they're just totally made-up names.

One bit of news to share: Collin Balester has been recalled from Class AAA Syracuse, taking Tom Gorzelanny's roster spot for now. It would appear Balester is here only for one day and will be sent back after the game, with the Nationals promoting someone else (most likely Yunesky Maya) to start tomorrow's series finale.

Plenty of updates to come…

PADRES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Chance of storms, 78 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (22-28)
CF Rick Ankiel
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix

Read more ยป

  1. Feel Wood - May 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Werth was clearly joking with the Teddy remark. But in all seriousness, they really do need to rid this organization of all vestiges of loser mentality, and the "Teddy as lovable loser" schtick is part of that. Once interesting and fun, the Presidents Race has pretty much jumped the shark with all the schtick they've piled on top of it. They don't need to make a big scenario out of Teddy finally winning, all they need to do is start running it as a real race. Sometimes Teddy will win, sometimes he won't. That would be fine.

  2. Doc - May 28, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    BallyStar is good for the BP! But Meyers would be even better as a SP option in the next few weeks…better than Maya!Time for some new blood!

  3. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Maya is new blood. And younger players aren't better players by virtue of their age alone. Halladay, Lee, and Oswalt still seem to be performing pretty well. Let our developing players go to school in the minors and come up when they're ready.

  4. HHover - May 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Mark, a question:Why bring up Balester for one game? Is the thinking that Storen won't be available after 1-1/3 IP yesterday? I know the BP is down a man since Broderick was released, but it's otherwise well rested.

  5. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Let's get some new blood at manager from AAA while we're at it? Ankiel leading off? LEADING OFF? On a major league club? Playing in the same lineup with Pudge, Hairston, and Desmond. Throw in Espy's ~.200 batting average as he struggles with the switch-hitting?

  6. dj in Fl. - May 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    @Anon:We all know your feelings on Riggleman.Now shut up! We are tired of listening to your broken record.I am ready for them to pick up his option.

  7. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Rampant cronyism is the real broken record dj in FL. and who died and made you king? Get your own blog and then you add superimpose Cheetah's face over Mussolini's as your avatar to give people the ol' fascist alert.

  8. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    I am ready for them to pick up his option.Precisely what Werth was talking about: A fool who wants to see Teddy lose forever … and ever …

  9. Manassas Nats Fan - May 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    OK Jordan pitch like you did last SUnday.Run Teddy Run.

  10. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    They would have to put either LaRoche or Gaudin (both excellent moves IHMO) to give Meyers a slot on the 40-man. Doubtless, with Riggleman who likes and wants Gaudin and LaRoche, that will never happen.

  11. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Ankiel : leading off :: Riggleman incompetent.

  12. Mark Zuckerman - May 28, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    HHover said…Why bring up Balester for one game? Is the thinking that Storen won't be available after 1-1/3 IP yesterday? I know the BP is down a man since Broderick was released, but it's otherwise well rested.Since they don't need the starter until tomorrow, might as well call somebody up today so you're playing with the full 25. What if the game goes 18 innings, or somebody gets hurt and you need the extra reliever. There's no real downside in doing it.

  13. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    My question is what happened to "Bernadina is my lead off hitter." quote attributed to Jim Riggleman? I wonder what FP (who keeps bringing that to the fore) will have to say about this?

  14. TimDz - May 28, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Off topic, but I'll ask anyway…Has anyone watched Nats Talk on MASN?I found it quite painful to watch. The viewer phone calls are especially bad…there needs to be a screener…

  15. Nataholic - May 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Man, the anonymous troll is killing me. Since clearly this troll has more knowledge than anyone, who anon troll would you bat lead-off when Bernadina has a day off? Because when I look at OBP on baseball reference.com, Ankiel is as good as any other of these offensive (in both meanings) players…. Of course my expectation is that you don't look at baseball stats since you already know the answer, which is Riggleman is a moron. And that is the reason you are a troll.

  16. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Why was today chosen as a day off day for Bernie? Why not wait until the Phillies series? Seems to me like this is the same old problem, put your best 9 out there. They have to beat up on the Padres because the Phillies are the toughest team in the Majors.

  17. waddu eye no - May 28, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    hey! i just saw drew8! he was wearing a nats cap!

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Nataholic, if you are going there, may I suggest G above high C?If you just ignore the pointless negatives the same way you gloss over the other silliness, it's not nearly as annoying, I've found.

  19. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Is Riggleman's firing imminent? Who is the top candidate to replace him as the interim?

  20. JaneB - May 28, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Doesn't calling up Collin mean he will be out of options sooner? I am not sure I understand how that works. FeelWood, I'm with you and Jayson about Teddy winning. It's time to get rid of the loser vibe…even cute losing. Really.

  21. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Nataholic, I find the timing of giving Bernadina a rest kind of odd. The team just had an off day on Thursday and Bernadina would probably like to face a RH pitcher after last night.Just seems to be a way to get Ankiel back into the lineup.

  22. Mark Zuckerman - May 28, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    JaneB said…Doesn't calling up Collin mean he will be out of options sooner? I am not sure I understand how that works. FeelWood, I'm with you and Jayson about Teddy winning. It's time to get rid of the loser vibe…even cute losing. Really.No, a player can be sent up and down as many times as the club wants during a season. That counts as one option year. So, no harm if Balester gets sent back after one game.

  23. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Cronyism 'R US : "Instead of moving a lot of people around. I think the closest thing we have to a classic leadoff hitter, the closest thing to that would be Bernadina. The other guys would gladly fill in there, but I think they're all better in some other spots. So rather than move a bunch of people around and figure out where Ank's gonna hit, we're just going to hit him leadoff and just make it a clean exchange there for Bernie for a day."

  24. Mark'd - May 28, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    I also don't get why Cora doesn't get a start at 3rd. Another head scratcher on Bernadina sitting against a Rightie. Why not have Bernie in Left field.

  25. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Ank's gonna hit No, he's not. He can catch … but not as good as Bernadina … Bernadina set the standard for web gems in 2011. He can throw but maybe he should be pitching?In yesterday's game we find the Nats were down to 1 catcher. Considered a huge no-no? Pudge was in FLA attending his son's HS graduation? Can anyone explain what would have happened has Ramos been injured?

  26. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Ankiel has taken 2 strange routes to balls between last night and in the 1st inning.Exciting catches though!

  27. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Anon @ 1:14. Well, that explains why Pudge didn't pinch hit for Lannan in the 7th against the Lefty. LOL

  28. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    which is Riggleman is a moron. And that is the reason you are a troll.No, he's not a moron … but he practices a detrimental form of cronyism that goes totally against trying to win baseball games? He's a loser not a moron. And nataholic if you look at baseball reference you might find that Riggleman's winning percentage is the worst in modern major league baseball history. The pure and simple definition of a LOSER.

  29. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    And Nataholic, Cora with his bunting skills would surely make the superior lead-off hitter to Ankiel now wouldn't he? If we must play Riggleman's veteran's at least pick the right one for the job.

  30. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Michael Morse just saw walks to Werth and Nix. Stay patient my man. Yes, you hit the Walkoff Friday night on the first pitch but use your head and wait for your pitch! Big inning lost to a first pitch inning ending double play.

  31. HHover - May 28, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Mark – Thanks for the answer to the question about Balester.As for why Ankiel is starting – he hasn't started since coming back from the DL, and Bernie hasn't been setting the world on fire. So frankly–why not? As for batting him lead off – in the absence of a proven lead off hitter, I find it hard to get that upset about Riggs' rationale.

  32. Anonymous8 - May 28, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Werth can look at himself. Make a tough play in RF once in a while. You are supposed to be a 'plus' defender and that triple turns into a run instead of a 3rd out. Geez…..

  33. Nataholic - May 28, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Yeah, Bernadina sitting is odd but not really that odd. Bernadina is not as good as some people around here think. His line is .250/.313/.329, his OPS is .642 which translates to an OPS+ is an 80. Laynce Nix on the other hand is .306/.333/.506 with an OPS .880 which results in an OPS+ of 142. Clearly Laynce Nix has to play. Granted Bernadina is better offensively than Ankiel. But defensively, fangraphs seem to state that Ankiel's defensive prowess is way better than Bernadina's (UZR/150 6.3 vice -31.1). Mostly I think it is due to range…. And no, highlight packages do not constitute a good fielder. Looking at the 9 guys on the field in a total type of way I can understand why Ankiel is playing over Bernadina. With Nix in left, they need a fielder with better range in center. So in that respect, it makes sense. And also, since the Padres can't score either, substituting defense for a small bump in offense is theoretically not as severe.

  34. Nataholic - May 28, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    If you don't like the players anon, yell at Rizzo. The team was constructed by him, not Riggleman. And Cora's line is .240/.296/.267 with an OPS of .563 which translates to an OPS+ of 59. Ankiel is .215/.294/.280 with an OPS of .574 and an OPS+ of 62. I think you actually picked the worse player to lead off there anon…. I hear you though, damn facts always get in the way of good ranting on this board.

  35. Harper is Awesome - May 28, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    How do we expect to score any runs when we put put this pathetic lineup? We have 3 hitters who can actual get a hit. Hairston, Pudge and Ankiel are not major league hitters anymore

  36. SCNatsFan - May 28, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    This continues to be a tough team to watch.And at some point JZimm has to put up a lights out game and finish batters.

  37. Will - May 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Get rid of him.Matt Stairs is absolutely useless. You could promote anyone in Syracuse right now, and they would be more valuable than Stairs. He brings nothing to the team- physically cannot play in the field, time and time again proves he cannot hit, so why the hell is he still on this team?

  38. masnstinks - May 28, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Runner in scoring position, late innings and we trust Matt Stairs and Rick Ankiel? This is just oblivion. They both might be good guys but they also both do not have it!

  39. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Has Stairs had even ONE good at bat this year? Beyond belief…

  40. JaneB - May 28, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Thanks for the clarification, Mark.I know that Riggs sees and knows things we don't. WHAT is he seeing in Matt Stairs that we don't? Instant Out is what I see, and we should have moved Jerry along instead of giving away an out.

  41. Will - May 28, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Rick Ankiel, now 3 for 25 with RISP.And Ian Desmond flails at three pitches to end the inning.This team is a disgrace.

  42. SCNatsFan - May 28, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    At what point does our hitting coach tell our players that looking at strike 3 over and over won't get us out of a slump.Nice job in the 8th by the Nats, teasing us to think we might see some excitement.

  43. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Will:Desmond didn't flail at anything. Looked at 2 fastballs down the middle and a curve on the black.

  44. HHover - May 28, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Wow – what a pathetic bottom of the 8th. Hairston gets on and the team promptly squanders it. Riggs mismanages by PH'ing Stairs, Ankiel strikes out swinging, and Desmond decides to change his free-swinging ways at just the wrong moment, and is rung up on three called strikes.Ouch.

  45. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Why do the Lerners insult the fans every year by putting a AAA team on the field? Stairs is a joke. Sorry, nothing personal but he does not belong on the field. You can actually say that about many of the Nats. This year is the worst ever as far as inept play and poor managing. Time for the media to start calling the owners out. I think the fans have had enough.

  46. masnstinks - May 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    We are already struggling and a couple of these guys- we all know who they are – are just an anchor pulling everything down further. This is the padres, not the phillies. Way to go, Pudge and Nix on the out at home. They both battle all the time!!!

  47. Ernie - May 28, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Is there an easy way to break down Werth's batting average in games we win vs. games we lose? I wonder how much his performance at the plate has affected the outcomes this season.

  48. masnstinks - May 28, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    And the offense folds like origami.

  49. Manassas Nats Fan - May 28, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    THis looked like many of the games this year. The 8th inning was the formula the Nats have decided they like best as they do it the most. Lead off dOublem then worthless at bats after that.

  50. Mark'd - May 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Werth did nothing today and both runs scored as a result of his drop of the ball in rightfield. Easy to talk the talk IF you make the tough plays.My 2 cents today. Probably feel differently tomorrow. Personally I play Werth in LF.

  51. Ernie - May 28, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Plays like the out at the plate today make me wonder when we'll see Pudge for the last time. The thing about trades that kills me the most is that you don't get to say thanks or goodbye.

  52. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    I hear you though, damn facts always get in the way of good ranting on this board.As usual @Natalcoholic, you let a blinding drunk get in the way of plain, hard truth. Ankiel is NOT a lead-off hitter. In fact, today was an experiment he had never done it before? Another "experiment" JaneB? I'll take the H-Rod "experiment" any day. Now, onto Cora. Gee Nat-alcoholic if you take your mind off of your bottle you might notice that Cora's number of appearances and at-bats do not match Ankiel's. Also Mr. Cora happens to be an expert bunter a very important tool for any lead-off hitter. Something "Ank" is incapable of as a free swinger?

  53. Manassas Nats Fan - May 28, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Yes Werth slowed down before the triple and he run the whole time he would have made a good catch, and no runs would scored that inning. The way we hit we cannot make a mistake at the plate or the field.

  54. BallstonNat - May 28, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Riggs says he let Stairs hit b/c he thought he could get a ground ball to the right side or a gap shot from him. I don't recall either of those from him all year. I can't wait for the day i check this blog and see Stairs DFA'D. I hope it comes soon. It will give Riggs one less broken toy to play with.

  55. Ernie - May 28, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Matt Stairs makes me miss the 2010 version of Willie Harris. I cannot believe I just typed that. I thought nothing could make me miss Willie Harris.

  56. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    If you don't like the players anon, yell at Rizzo. The team was constructed by him, not Riggleman. 0 FOR 2 today Nataholic … what kind of gin is it that you been drinkin'?Thomas Boswell said: "My impression is that Rig and his staff were high on Broderick and Gaudin. To me, Broderick was a waste of time. A nice story but never going to be more than a fifth starter and the Nats have 17 of them. Gaudin? Look at the back of his baseball card. No chance he gets better. Others (me among them) prefered Kimball and thought the staff was poorly built, which would be on Rig and his coaches.But we're past that now. This is the pitching roster I'd prefer."You can bet your bottom dollar that "Rig" had more to do with Cora and Ankiel than Rizzo did. In fact if you'll recall from spring training … (Were you even here then dude?) when everyone was praising the great job Alberto Gonzalez was doing hitting as well as the glove work Riggleman said (and I paraphrase) "Yeah but we brought Cora in here for a reason"WHO? Riggleman NOT Rizzo.

  57. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Matt Stairs makes me miss the 2010 version of Willie Harris.As Boz would say: "blame Rig and his coaches".

  58. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Just ignore it, nataholic, it isn't worth rising to the bait. It's lonesome and unsocialized, and you can't teach it to sing.

  59. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Just ignore it, nataholic, it isn't worth rising to the bait. It's lonesome and unsocialized, and you can't teach it to sing.Lets play truth or dare Or just dare because Nobody tells the truth anymore.And therein lies the problem. This team is bad, and it isn't entirely on Rizzo's "roster construction" a lot of the blame lies with the very below average manager and his choices, his decisions.Sec3 you know very well I can go back into the WaPo archives and find some really horrendous rants made by sec3, my sofa. So, what you describe might be a true self-portrait. Pathetic like this team?For whom does the bell toll, it tolls for thee.

  60. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    I have no idea what the origin of all of the cattiness is in this forum but please, stop quoting Thomas Boswell as if he were gospel!I have no doubt that Riggleman had some input on the roster but the larger and more final impact was Rizzo's but this post is about Boswell. He's not always right nor does he know about all of the inner working of the Washington Nationals or any other professional sports team. No member of the media is.

  61. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Dude, I fear for your sanity.Because of Boswell's "impression" you feel you have the right to make baseless allegations day after day, blog after blog against the National's manager?For our sanity and yours, give it a rest already. You HATE Jim Riggleman. We know. Now move on with your life.

  62. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Because of Boswell's "impression" you feel you have the right to make baseless allegations day after day, blog after blog against the National's manager?Many of you should be more worried about what the truly baseless, and false things a certain pundit named Charles Krauthammer makes almost daily … and about the president? You people are the one's who need to get their priorities straight … that guy actually does adversely affect the United States' position in the world … and he truly is insane.

  63. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Let me put it in perspective for you, then. You are doing the same thing to Jim Riggleman that you feel Krauthammer is doing to the President.

  64. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Let me put it in perspective for you, then. You are doing the same thing to Jim Riggleman that you feel Krauthammer is doing to the President.Am I not just reflecting what many are saying about Riggleman … including Boswell, Zuckerman … etc, ( less so the MASN folks for obvious reasons). It was Boz who pointed to Riggleman's worst winning percentage in the history of baseball. Not I. The facts are what they are. Riggleman is a nice man who is too much of a player's coach. He isn't interested in winning games as much as having a good clubhouse (when I hear him say that I think country club, celebrity golf tournament) and seeing "clean" baseball. He does not have any idea about winning games at the major league level. He is not like his opponent today, Bud Black in that regard. He should not be a major league manager, he would be better in the minors perhaps but I think he would serve best happily retired to some "clubhouse" at some country club.

  65. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Speaking of bad omens … @stras37 heading to hospital to get my arm checked out, felt a twinge on a throw last night… could I get a Retweet 4 luck good luck?

  66. Mark Zuckerman - May 28, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Anon: You misread that. Some other pitcher sent that message to Stephen Strasburg, asking him to retweet it for good luck. Strasburg himself didn't get hurt and isn't heading to the hospital.

  67. Get Some Players - May 28, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    I notice the Padres had some just recalled players in the game today. I wonder if the Nats could go that route? Oh wait, no they can't, the Lerners would not allow it due to monetary considerations.

  68. Nationals Rapture Shark - May 28, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Matt Stairs looked the tempting morsel up at the plate today … pudgy, slow, sluggish and near-sighted … the rapture shark is circling … ahhhhhh….

  69. rmoore446 - May 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Ernie, I am with you on missing Willie Harris circa 2010 when I watch Stairs pinch hit. Heck, I even miss Ryan Langerhans. At their worst, their average was more than double Stairs' record this year.When Riggleman didn't have someone bunt the runner over to third and sent up Stairs instead, my blood pressure zoomed up. And when Stairs watched the first two pitches go by for called strikes, I worried about a stroke. Almost a relief to see him pop up the third pitch.I heard Riggleman's rationale and it has no basis in reality. I've held off criticizing the manager but this was impossibly stupid.

  70. Unkyd - May 28, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Krauthammer?! Aren't things contentious enough, around here? Please… Go to Townhall or HuffPuff to vent your political spleen.Please.Seriously.

  71. Anonymous - May 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Anon 4:42. Okay, we all know your opinion now if we didn't already. I'm glad to see that you think Jim Riggleman is a nice man. Frankly, I was beginning to get a little worried about his personal safety. Just joking! LOL

  72. Nataholic - May 28, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Hey Riggleman hating anon, anyone arguing that Alex Cora could be a good lead off hitter is in fact blindly drunk. His OPS+ is certainly in line with his ability for the last 6 years. To spell it out, 2005: 62, 2006: 56, 2007: 75, 2008: 87, 2009: 70, 2010: 50, 2011: 59. Whether you average it or weight the average you get an OPS+ of 66 for the past six years. His OBP, for the record for that same time period whether weighted or just plain average is a sterling .305. I don't know one sober person who would advocate that Alex Cora as a lead-off hitter, unless your name is Alex Cora I guess.

  73. Nataholic - May 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    By the way anon troll, I know you said Cora is better because he can bunt but Ankiel can bunt just fine too. He used to be a pitcher and I seem to remember a suicide squeeze play Riggleman put on with Ankiel bunting. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Ankiel is a great lead off guy, but I am saying, compared to all the other offensive (both meanings of the term) players, he's as good as anybody. So slamming Riggleman on being a moron makes no sense. But I apologize, I'm letting facts once again get in the way of your statements.

  74. Just The Facts Man - May 28, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Last time I checked Bud Black's team has a worse record than the Nationals. Not to mention his team was in first place all year only to choke at the end of the season in 2010. You want Riggleman to be like him?

  75. Nationals Rapture Shark - May 28, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    All I know is I would love to find out what Interim Jim Riggleman tastes like … hmmm wonder if Charles Krauthammer is slow, sluggish and pudgy?

  76. THE REAL FACTS ON THE FUNNY CIGS SMOKED HERE: - May 28, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Last time I checked Bud Black's team has a worse record than the Nationals.Uh look at last year's records and compare … in fact compare their winning percentages? Last year's team was picked to finish below the Nats by-the-way. Its actually why Riggleman and Rizzo wanted Hairston and Stairs. As far as this year as Nats fans we know the worst may be yet to come. And it looks like that dark cloud full of rain about to hit DC. So, don't be a fool.By the way anon troll, I know you said Cora is better because he can bunt but Ankiel can bunt just fine too.And he did great at it today didn't he? Ankiel likes to swing away try for the fences and generally: strike out!!! Cora is supposed to know how to move runners to find a way to make contact, to get on base. Ankiel, historically does not. Cora isn't the best hitter but he could teach Ankiel how to bunt as he was taught by the great Maury Wills. IN point of fact that is why Riggleman wanted him on this roster: he was signed to a minor league contract. Yes, if one had to choose Cora is by far the better lead-off hitter then strike out artist Ankiel.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 80 17.0
Through Monday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: 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.

Follow us on Twitter