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Game 53: Phillies at Nats

May 30, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Roy Halladay on Memorial Day at Nationals Park.

It's Memorial Day in the nation's capital, and it's a scorcher. Easily the hottest day of the year so far, so if you're coming to the park, be sure to dress appropriately and drink lots of water. I'd tell you to also be sure you avoid Phillies fans, but we all know that's going to be impossible. There will be another sizable invasion here today.

Those fans from up north will be cheering on Roy Halladay, who as you surely know by now owns the Nationals like no other pitcher. His current career totals against the franchise: 10-1, 2.01 ERA. Since joining the Phillies last season: 5-0, 1.15 ERA.

Jim Riggleman sends out a lineup today that does not include Roger Bernadina or Ian Desmond. Desmond, according to Riggleman, is dealing with some "aches and pains," but could play if needed. Bernadina is simply the odd man out today as Riggleman tries to rotate three players into two outfield positions: Bernadina, Rick Ankiel and Laynce Nix.

Plenty of updates to come, including whatever happens in the Presidents' Race, so please check back often…

PHILLIES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 90 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (22-30)
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix

Read more »

  1. Doc - May 30, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Apparently the NIH is working on developing a bug spray to ward off Phillies fans. Alternate strategies for to-day's game might include psych interns posted at specific infestations of Phillies fans around Nationals Park,available to provide anti-psychotic meds, as needed.Gooooooooooooo Nats!!

  2. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Lets shut the Phillie fans up quick with another 6 run first.

  3. A Good Sales Job? - May 30, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Looking at that anemic lineup, I wonder if Werth thinks the Lerners sold him a bill of goods when he agreed to sign here. Ankiel, Hairston, Cora. 33% of our starters should be on the bench.

  4. Grandstander - May 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Not sure I really understand the thinking in starting Ankiel over Bernadina. Didn't Rig just say Bernadina was "our leadoff man". So, let's sit the young kid on the bench and trot out this tired vet who's hitting .214.Bernadina hasn't exactly set the world on fire, but he has been finding ways to get on base and make things happen. Makes no sense to me, at all.For anyone actually heading to the game today, you have my condolences. You are stronger people than me. I'll watch the action at CBP South from my air conditioned apartment.

  5. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Double talk is Tiffs expertise lately. In the Big win against the Orioles, he wouldn't let Marquis go out for the 5th inning. leading either 6-5 or 12-6.But yesterday he keeps Maya in because he wants him to get 5 innings in. Which way is it?

  6. George Brett - May 30, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    @Mark Z.Can you ask yesterday's official scorer why Bernadina reached on an error and Hairston a single, on hits that were pretty similar with over spin that spun away from the infielder. Seems like both were either errors or hits.

  7. baseballswami - May 30, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    So – Halladay has a 2.01 era? Does that mean we are going to score 2 runs?

  8. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale a tale of a fateful trip That started from tropic FLA inside a tiny dugout …The manager was sage baseball man,the skipper of "smart ball" lore25 AAAA's (especially Ankiel) set sail that dayfor a 162 game tour, a 162 game tour …The weather started getting rough the tiny dugout was tossedIf not for the high jinx of the racing presidents the season would be lostthe season would be lost.The dugout is mired in the standings, deep in the loss column's aisleWith GigglemanHe's the Skipper too.The Billionaire and his son.The professor GM and Eckstein,Here on Giggleman's Isle.So this is the tale of the AAAA's,We've had to suffer with them for a long, long time,We'll have to make the best of things,Its an uphill climb.The racing presidents and the Skipper too,Will do their very best,To make the AAAA's poshly comfortable,In their topic island mess.No hits, no runs, terrible baseball cards,Not a single decent OBP,Like Mario Mendoza as pathetic as can be.So join us here each night my friends,You'll have an upside down smile,From 25 stranded AAAA'sHere on "Giggleman's Isle"!

  9. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Anon 12:30 – Clearly you spent a lot of time on that. I don't think anyone here will read it though. Personally all it takes is seeing the word "Giggleman" in a posting and I start scrolling to the next one. Does ANYONE out there enjoy these things?I say this out of love and with the suggestion that you spend your time more usefully…

  10. Just Sayin' - May 30, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    If Teddy wins the race and Halladay pitches a perfect game, we need to trade for some new Presidents.

  11. Doc - May 30, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Thanks Anon. @ 12:30. Best to have some fun wiht the Nats at this stage of 22Ws and 30Ls–they are what they are!

  12. Eugene in Oregon - May 30, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    @ baseballswamiI would treat the 2.01 less as a predicted outcome and more as the over/under. I'll take the under if you don't mind…

  13. masnstinks - May 30, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    It's Memorial Day – where sacrifice does not have anything to do with a bunt or a fly ball. Baseball is a game- let's try to enjoy it. Doc is right – the Nats are what the are. They are my team – Go Nats!

  14. Richard - May 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Is it Giggleman or Sad Man? The Blogosphere is confusing … But confusion kinda goes with our team. They're confused too. Leading off with Ankiel? Really? Or maybe it's just that they've got the anti-Midas touch. Anyway, loser Teddy nicely symbolizes the whole orgainzation. Whoa, am I in a dark mood this morning! Sorry about that. Gooo Nats!

  15. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    DOES anyone out there enjoy these things?I've gotten up to 6 likes for it on the WaPo NJ blog. One guy said I should post it before every game. Personally, I think it should be sung and lyrics hung in the club house in huge, bold, black letters. I mean c'mon … first Bernadina is my lead off guy period … and now he's alternating with NO BAT terrible back of the baseball card Ankiel who is a bench player on any other team? Riggs can't "abandon" Ankiel now? Why? CRONYISM rampant cronyism. He is not a major league baseball manager Rig would make a good golf pro at a country club perhaps?

  16. baseballswami - May 30, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    How about if you turn off the incessant whining and carrying on for just a bit and cheer on your team? The constant nastiness is more annoying that leaving runners stranded, hitting into double plays and striking out all combined.

  17. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Ankiel has never, ever been used as a lead off hitter. NEVER. Until Rig got him. Doesn't that tell you people anything or are your heads still stuck in the sand? The guy has to go … if the Phillies sweep they should cut their losses, fire Riggelman and bring Knorr up to manage this team.

  18. Grandstander - May 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    On another note, these have to be the ugliest uniforms since the Astros throughout the 80s. Ugh.

  19. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Way to go ,Livo!Have you noticed that the filthies fans think every fly ball is a homerun? Very funny. Maybe in their park.

  20. dryw - May 30, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Yeah, I for one just want to enjoy the fact that Livo pitched a nice half inning, and so far, no damage from the Phils' bats. I'll take my fun in tiny doses if I have to!GO NATS!!

  21. dryw - May 30, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    And, see, we're not gonna get no-hit by Halladay! This day is officially a success.I say again, GO NATS!!

  22. masnstinks - May 30, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Way to break up the no-hitter early AND make Halladay work for it. Small steps. Go Nats!

  23. dryw - May 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Michael feeling hitterish today!

  24. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Wow, just wow – can the game be over now?

  25. Doc - May 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    All Nats' Insiders that had Mickey Morse counted out, should be suspended from posting for 1 hour!

  26. Sec3MySofa - May 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    "masnstinks said it very well… It's Memorial Day – where sacrifice does not have anything to do with a bunt or a fly ball. Baseball is a game- let's try to enjoy it."

  27. Go back to Philly - May 30, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Does Jayson Werth feel jealous of others doing well? Does he have to listen to the manager? Does he think he's in charge around here? Why steal? Because he wanted to. 6 1/2 more years of this guy? Sheesh.

  28. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    All Nats' Insiders that had Mickey Morse counted out, should be suspended from posting for 1 hour!Certainly NOT me. However, I am still wondering why Ladson kept tweeting that Michael Morse was in the doghouse and in deep trouble, when we had so many really pathetic hitters in the lineup. Only ~crickets~ in response.Morse is a good hitter and potentially a great #5 bat maximum upside I guess. Too many (including Ladson and Riggleman, etc?) thought him a Pujols. He's not. Just like Werth is not.

  29. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Livo melting in the 4th … just like Maya. Similar pitchers.

  30. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Livo can't stand a lead. Back to back homers. Ibonez hits no other team, why can't the scouts tell the pitchers what the other teams do?

  31. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Manassas Nat,Livo is Livo. He is going to do what he wants as Werth did at the top of the inning. Veterans aren't always an advantage especially with a manager who likes to cater to them.

  32. masnstinks - May 30, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Mikey Morse also doing a more than adequate job at first. It's not noticed – there would be lots of on-line screaming for his head if he was doing a bad job.The guy came up in the infield and he is handling it well.We're still in this game, folks.

  33. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    And of course Teddy is going to lose … sillies?"Teddy" is also a symbolic avatar for Ted Lerner who would rather keep the payroll at the same level for five years running than win … and laugh as he finishes last … while you pay him your hard earned $$$ to see it.

  34. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Mikey Morse also doing a more than adequate job at first.Morse is a shortstop and so more comfortable in the infield. Of course he is feeling comfortable and doing well? Its pretty clear he was a lot more uncomfortable in the outfield. He's an infielder pure and simple.They ought to be playing him at third while Zim is gone and bring up Marerro for a look … they aren't going anywhere but down with all of Riggleman's veterans. They and "smart ball" is not fun to watch when they look pathetic in almost every single loss!!! Replace Riggleman with Knorr who might actually try that … to get some hitterish hitting.I don't know where Boswell got the idea that he was equivalent to Marerro and Dunn? The guy didn't play shortstop in high school he managed to get to the majors playing the position. That isn't easy.

  35. Golfersal - May 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Yes I am a really, really big Nats fan, have season tickets follow them every moment I can.But frankly I am completely worn out. After seven years of rooting and looking forward to the Nats getting better I am now realizing that again it's not going to happen this year.My son, who loved to go to Nats games since he was 8 years old has completely given up and now won't go to any games and doesn't even follow them anymore.It's sad yesterday when we were driving back from parents to have a 15-year-old yell at you and say,"Dad, you have lied to me for years. "Each year you say they are going to be better, but they seem to get worst."Guess I can't blame him, the quality of baseball with the Nats is a lesson of what not to do. Now before I have all of you hotshots saying that I am not being a true Nats fan and should have some patience, I am patience out.Today I sold my club level seats for double what I paid, I can only only hope that some Phillie fan will enjoy section 209, row A in the stifling heat.I have no answers on any of this other to say it's time to take some time off from Nat watching. It's a perfect time, I don't need anymore abuse and you know the next three games with the Phillies are going to be ugly. As I turn off the TV in the fifth inning with another Nat mistake, Cora dropping a perfect Ramos throw to allow Utley 2nd base I can say with the Nats playing the Phillies and then going west for a 11 game series it will probably be the best to try and get a little more patience.But let me give fair warning to the Lerners and the Rizzo's and the Jim Riggleman's. A lot of use after seven years, with the last five being downright terrible maybe we should go back to the fun days of Frank Robinson and Chad Cordero and a team that could at least play 500 ball.A ticked off season ticket holder

  36. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Go back to Philly said… "Does Jayson Werth feel jealous of others doing well? Does he have to listen to the manager? Does he think he's in charge around here? Why steal? Because he wanted to. 6 1/2 more years of this guy? Sheesh."2 outs, a runner on first and a 2-2 pitch. A good pitch to go on. The pitcher doesn't want the count to go to 3-2. With Halladay, much more often than not, the pitch is going to be a strike.But then you'd have to understand baseball to realize that. That leaves you out.

  37. Golfersal - May 30, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    One last thing to the marketing department of the Nats.I am getting sick of not only seeing the Nats lose almost every game, but this idea that it's great that Teddy loses every fourth inning is another way that the idea of the Nats winning is impossible.By having Teddy lose every race has now been as downright frustrating as the Nats losing every game. Let Teddy win and get the crowd in a better frame of mind and maybe by having Teddy win it will rub off on the Nats and inspire them to win. They have a great team of players that seem to be getting into a mental downspire.Marketing department should do there job, let Teddy win and be a inspiration for the team, not something that people write nothing but negative things because some stupid marketing guy thinks it's great to make fun of a Nats mascot.Let Teddy win

  38. rogieshan - May 30, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Not sure why Riggleman would still consider Nix part of an outfield "rotation." Is he not our de facto cleanup hitter, regardless of matchup? By trying to keep his role players happy, he's making everybody else miserable.

  39. Go back to Philly - May 30, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Hottest hitter at the plate? Halladay on the mound, able to throw just about anything for a strike? And the pitch WAS a ball, so there goes that theory. Might be a good time in some cases, but down 1 run against a pitcher who tends to get better later in a game? I'm no manager candidate, but I know it was not a good decision.

  40. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    the marketing department think that losing is lovely that is why Teddy loses. I remember Dibble threaten to go and beat up Teddy, and take the costume and win. Wish he would have. Maybe FP can do it.Now we have the lead again will Livo pitch like he means it now?

  41. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Another blown lead for Livo. Burnett = regression to the mean.

  42. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Burnett has been as bad Slaten this last month. What is going on with him. Is McCatty working on his mechanics or what?

  43. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    By trying to keep his role players happy, he's making everybody else miserable.Riggleman has a different idea of who the starters are and who the role players are. On any other team Ankiel would be a bench player and in fact when he arrived he was on the depth chart behind Morgan and Bernadina. How did he get moved forward? Could it be the fact that both he and Riggleman spent time in the St. Louis organization? You are miserable because Riggleman practices his odd form of cronyism, year in and year out. Its likely why he has the worst winning percentage in the history of modern baseball … not the "bad" teams he was given to manage. Its Riggleman himself that is the problem. No, ands, ifs or buts about it. Any team managed by Riggleman is a country club which enjoys losing while hanging out in posh digs.

  44. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    "Teddy" is also a symbolic avatar for Ted Lerner who would rather keep the payroll at the same level for five years running than win … and laugh as he finishes last … while you pay him your hard earned $$$ to see it.Ted Lerner is laughing at you, Riggleman is throwing it your face, and the Phillies fans are gleefully taking over your park and paying Ted his $$$ all at your expense … that's what being a Nats fan is all about.

  45. The Perfectionist - May 30, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    The lead run on base with a walk. Burnett ahead 1-2, and then he starts trying to get cute. Just throw a frickin' strike. WHy are these relievers allowed to continue to make the same mistakes. Why? No accountability. Batters have no accountablility the pitchers don't. At my job I do have it.

  46. baseballswami - May 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Win or lose today -this has been a good game. the Nats are playing some good baseball against a really good team.

  47. bgib - May 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    1st and 3rd, no outs. It's almost impossible not to score, but as always the Nats find a way.

  48. josh f - May 30, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Is this team cursed or what? Unbelievable…

  49. Knoxville Nat - May 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    With Slaten and Brunett being the only lefties in the BP I think the Nats should foget the whole concept of "lefty/lefty" matchup and just go with the hot reliever, if in fact we had one right now.

  50. Get Some Players - May 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Like I said yesterday–No discipline, no accountability. The Cora blunder on 3rd. He pulls a bonehead play and gets a pat on the back from Riggleman. Just one mistake after another.

  51. The Perfectionist - May 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    I am not going to cheer against them, but I have come to the conclusion they are just not smart enough to win. I also believe since nothing is changing (Werth's words), that they are acceptable of losing. Most of the mistakes are as much mental as physical. Thus it is fixible, and they refuse to fid it.First and thrid no out, a grounder back to pitcher, what on earth Cora doing running home the ball is 5 feet from Halliday;s feet. He then doesn't get hung up dso Desmond can get to third. Terrible Baseball IQ. Next guy glies out . Had Cora been at thrid he scores on a similar hit.Mr. Something has to Change Werth comes up and misses ona perfect ball to hit by fouling it straight back. Then strikes out on a pitch way to high. Thanks for not changing.Do they enjoy losing? They are doing things that are creating the loses when they have a chance to create a win.

  52. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Coffey has pitched well lately.

  53. FS - May 30, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Ankiel should not have been trying to get a hit in first place. We should realize by now that our team is incapable of scoring by hitting with runners in scoring position. Just lay down another squeeze bunt. Or double switch Ankiel with someone who can. They should have at least tied the game with that one at bat.

  54. masnstinks - May 30, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Did I hear that Stairs in on deck? Why? Why?Why?

  55. dryw - May 30, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    masnstinks, clearly Stairs is coming in to pinch hit so that he can tap a weak little grounder straight at the second baseman and end the inning. That's the only why I can think of!

  56. Eugene in Oregon - May 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    "Why Stairs?," you ask. So he can ground out weakly and kill yet another potential run.

  57. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Marquis hits better than Stairs, why is Stairs hitting there? When will he retire?

  58. Steve - May 30, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Matt Stairs pinch hitter = the opposing team's pitcher saying "pinch me, I must be dreaming."

  59. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    "I can't abandon Ankiel?" – Interim Jim GigglemanPathetic pinch run for Morse. Do the Phillies pinch run for Howard. Cora is now their power hitter. Bixler at third.Welcome to Giggleman's Isle (otherwise known as the Washington Nationals) country club for bon-vivant washed up veterans like Matt Stairs?Uh Mike Rizzo what was that you were saying about the majors being a production league? Was that a joke? No one is laughing.

  60. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    And why would you remove the player most likely to change a game if we tie it up? For someone who might be marginally faster? Matt Stairs isn't going to hit the frickin ball anyway??? Now if some miracle occurs and the Phillies all start playing with one hand tied behind their back and their pitcher lobs in lollipops and we happen to tie it up – Morse can't play! Supposed we went multiple innings?

  61. Bzl - May 30, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Formula: get the lead. Have bullpen blow the lead. Have a runner in scoring position in a late inning with no one out. Don't score.Sound familiar?

  62. masnstinks - May 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    This is very sad because in a lot of ways the team has played much better ball today. Once again, Livo is cursed and the filthies come out smelling like roses. The dreaded collapse with risp strikes again. And, of course, the dreaded Matt Stairs.

  63. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    H Rod knows how to drag out an inning and kill any type good juju we might be able to create.

  64. rogieshan - May 30, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    It bears repeating: Stairs should do the honorable thing and hang up his cleats. I really don't know what message Rizzo is sending by keeping him on the roster.

  65. Eugene in Oregon - May 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    @ rogieshanRizzo is sending a very simple three-part message by keeping Stairs: I don't care about winning, I don't care about the fans, I don't care about this season.

  66. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Perfect. Ankiel strikes out swinging … the perfect image representing Riggleman and his "smart ball" cronyism. Perfect.

  67. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Let's face it Rizzo may be just like many of us … finds more joy watching the minor leagues than suffering through Riggleman's "smart ball".

  68. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    If Morse were hitting like Ankiel he'd be in the doghouse … so why isn't Ankiel Rig? Sheesh what a nepotistic piece of work you are …

  69. MikeD - May 30, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    If I see Stairs come up in one more crucial spot my head is going to explode…The guy is a complete hump and cannot hit.

  70. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    10 games under .500 here they come.

  71. Manassas Nats Fan - May 30, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Dod I miss a double switch. When Stairs came in was Bernadina still on the bench. Wouldn't a single from his .250 be more likely than anything from Stairs. If he was available, fans should sue RIggleman for posturing as a manager. I have concluded I do care more than them, as I have a hard time sleeping at night as I think about all the things that went wrong. The players and managers don't look like they have lost any sleep.

  72. dryw - May 30, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Stairs' average now .088. Just in case anyone wondered.

  73. waddu eye no - May 30, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    "maybe we should go back to the fun days of Frank Robinson and Chad Cordero and a team that could at least play 500 ball."while you're back there, can yo pick me up some apple stock?

  74. rogieshan - May 30, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    @ EugeneBut why make it so blatantly and painfully obvious? I've seen Hall of Famers get released unceremoniously late in their careers for lack of production. Stairs is not a Hall of Famer. Dignity shouldn't even figure in the equation. He has had 30+ at-bats, it's more than enough of a sample size to say it ain't working. Jose Lopez, Dan Johnson…there are plenty of guys recently released who would serve a more useful role than Stairs can.

  75. josh f - May 30, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Mark could have taken a nice vacation this weekend and written the same game post-mortem for each of the last three games.

  76. Get Some Players - May 30, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Does Stairs have to be paid if he is cut? If so, that is why he will remain with the team.

  77. MikeD - May 30, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    I have been watching MLB for 40 years. I have never seen a more automatic out than Stairs…It's mind boggling at this point that he is still on the roster and getting such key AB's.

  78. Grandstander - May 30, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Did anyone ask why:A) Bernadina, "our leadoff man", did not get the start today?B) You PH Matt Stairs over Bernadina in that spot?The only reasonable explanation is that he's hurt. If it's any other reason, it's unacceptable and inexcusable.

  79. rogieshan - May 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    @ Get Some Players said…All major league contracts are guaranteed as per collective bargaining agreement. Stairs is making $850 000, a paltry sum in the overall budget scheme. No, he remains on the team for reasons beyond comprehension.

  80. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    A) Bernadina, "our leadoff man", did not get the start today?They did. Giggleman's answer: "I can't abandon Ankiel?" Nix, Bernadina, and Ankiel are now platooning between LF and CF. MIght as well platoon Werth? Why the hell not?B) You PH Matt Stairs over Bernadina in that spot?They didn't even have to ask … same answer every time. Its why he's on the roster. Its his job. But in Riggleman's country club of posh living for favored veterans … no one ever loses their job … unless their name is MIchael Morse.

  81. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    StubHub!I'm glad I sold this game. Don't care if it went to a Phillies fan.

  82. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    I think that this organization does not have a "plan" anymore. If your plan is to develop a team, then you play your younger guys no matter what and let them get experience to see who your team is going to be. And it's not going to be the veterans, Ankiel, Cora and Hairston. We do some of that — Kimball and Rodriguez, when it comes to pitching but we don't do it with Bernie over Ankiel. If you're going to play to win – then you ride the hot hand and play whoever is most likely to get the w — that would be NOT Stairs or Ankiel.That would also mean NOT removing Morse from the game – a game that could end up tied.MikeD – I agree – I feel like my head will explode also when I even see Stairs on deck. This "respect" of the veterans shows "disrespect" to the rest of the players and the fans.

  83. The Baseball Guy - May 30, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Riggleman should make it mandatory that each player drinks a 5 Hour Energy during the 7th inning stretch every game.

  84. Eugene in Oregon - May 30, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    @ rogieshanI wish I knew. I can only assume it has something to do with 'team chemistry' or some such notion. It certainly can't be loyalty — it's not as if Stairs has been with the club since he was a rookie or was a star on some earlier division-winning iteration of the team. And I don't buy the cheapness argument; you can quibble about some of the contracts the Nats have signed and not signed, but I can't believe Rizzo and Company are worried about the money. Yet he's taking up a roster spot that could be used by someone with more than one skill-set (and I'm being generous in attributing any sort of skill level to Mr. Stairs at this point in his career). That's what I find most insulting to the fans. By reserving that roster spot for a one-dimensional (if that) player, you're foreclosing other options — even if those options might not be top-quality players, you could at least find someone who could hit .200, run the bases himself when he does get aboard, and field a position (or two) at an average MLB level.

  85. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    >>> I've seen Hall of Famers get released unceremoniously late in their careers for lack of production.<<<When Ken Griffey Jr. "retired" from the Mariners he was batting .184. Ken Griffey Jr. and the Mariners!!!

  86. FS - May 30, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Babe Ruth, who is considered the greatest player by many, was traded or cut by his beloved Yankees.Who is Matt Stairs?

  87. Frediemac - May 30, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Riggleman MUST GO! This team is a running joke and everybody knows it. It pisses me off that the Lerner's run this team on such a tight budget.

  88. Anonymous - May 30, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Can we just start with Stairs? What is the message to the younger players , who are supposedly being "mentored"? What is the message to those who are producing, but get taken out or have "routine" days off? The message is – it doesn't matter if you actually do anything or not – you get played if you are the teacher's pet. You cannot tell me that the other players love Matt Stairs so much that they don't die a little inside when they are on base and see him on deck. They are not blind and stupid. They know in that moment that they will never see home plate.

  89. Tired of it all - May 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Strasburg timed his injury well.. How much worse would this season have been to see him lose a bunch of close games with no offense? If his recover takes another 2-3 years he might be able to return in time to see 1 or 2 games where we hit with runners on. Then we can send him off to a real time, following Zim and leading the way for Bryce. I sure hope we can sign some 40+ year old veterans this off-season to improve the club. That should be the key. Can we sign Riggleman to a 7 year deal while we're at it? He and Werth can talk about how hard they're trying until the last season ticket holder cancels his plan.

  90. Manassas Nats Fan - May 31, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Stairs average is 1/3 of Bernadina to say it is his jjob is stupid at best. If Riggleman is actually that looyal to someone who is costing him games he is even less intelligent than I thought he was.I thought the object was to win? Do what gives you the best chance to win.

  91. Manassas Nats Fan - May 31, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    Anyone ask why we can't abandon Ankiel? I prefer and have all along playing Bernadina as the regular and Aniel an occasional start. he could take Stairs place when Zim comes back.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 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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