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Game 55: Phillies at Nats

Jun 1, 2011, 2:33 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan tries to pitch the Nats to a series victory over the Phillies today.

They put forth an impressive showing against Roy Halladay, albeit in a losing effort, on Monday. They really took it to Cliff Lee, and actually won, last night. Now, can the Nationals keep their offensive surge going against Roy Oswalt in today's series finale against the Phillies?

The Nats have had success against Oswalt in the past. They beat him twice last season (once with the Astros, then again in his Phillies debut) though the right-hander did bounce back to limit the Nationals to one earned run in three more starts against them later in the year.

John Lannan, meanwhile, has enjoyed no success whatsoever against the Phillies in his career. He enters today's game 0-10 with a 6.44 ERA in 13 head-to-head contests and got rocked at Citzens Bank Park last month. If ever there was a time to reverse that trend, today would be the day.

I'm not at the park today, but Rich Dubroff will have you covered on CSNwashington.com. I'll be sure to link to his articles here, and I'll be back tomorrow blogging at you from blazing hot (but dry) Arizona…

PHILLIES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WHFS (1580 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 90 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (23-31)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix

Read more »

134 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    NATS, Just Do IT, II!

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Mark! Wait a minute. Why don't you stay in Arizona since the team will be there tomorrow?

  3. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Guess my wording was a bit ambiguous. I'm going to Arizona to cover this weekend's series, and I'll be back at work live from Phoenix tomorrow.

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Thanks… That's much better.

  5. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    And Mark, thanks for adding the XM channel to the radio coverage. I didn't notice when you did it, but it has been very handy for me the last few days. Thanks – Chris

  6. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Speaking of XM. I see WJFK listed great they are going to start doing day games now or was that a mis-think?We can start the season anew with a series victory today. GO Nats.

  7. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Sorry, Manassas, I botched today's radio lineup. It's not on 106.7, only on 1500 and 1580, as is the case for all weekday afternoon games. Sorry for the confusion.

  8. MC 703 - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    I was pumped to see that the game was on 106.7 so I could listen on my mp3 player's FM tuner. Now I have to ask.. Why do I have to listen to Big LA and Dukes talk about the Redskins in June instead of hearing the hometown baseball team on the "flagship station"??

  9. Bowdenball - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    For all the talk of the Nats' "AAAA" lineup, take a look at what we're sending out there today. Substitute Zimmerman for Cora at 3B and put him back in his 3 spot, and as a result move Werth to 2nd and Desmond to the back end. That's a solid offensive lineup top to bottom.Now imagine it with Harper instead of Nix in left.As bad as the past two weeks have been for the club in the W-L column, now that Morse, Werth and Espinosa are hitting a VERY productive 2012 and 2013 lineup doesn't seem like a pipe dream any more.

  10. Knoxville Nat - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Lannen always seems to manage to hit at least one batter when pitching against the Phillies so I pose the question, who will it be today? How about Ibanez?

  11. MC 703 - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Domonic Brown perhaps?

  12. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Knoxville Nat, yep, LANNEN on the Lineup card today, not Lannan….I hope we like this new player!!!!

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I'll take another start like his last one against San Diego, who won another 1 run game in Atlanta, I might add. And if Lannan needs to hit anyone, I vote for Polanco with no one on base and at least 1 out.

  14. Knoxville Nat - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Of course I meant Lannan….darn I hate spelling errors!NatsJack….problem with hitting Polanco is the guys coming up after him. At least with Ibanez JL gets the bottom of the Phillies lineup.

  15. DCPowerGator - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Absolutely ridiculous that the game will not be carried on the Nats "flagship" station in lieu of two local sports talk shows that are broadcast 20 hours (wise) and 25 hours (arrington/dukes) per week! IMO the most likely explanation is that WJFK does not want their regular listeners who don't want to listen to the Nats game to turn to the superior local sports talk on 980 and never turn back.

  16. Tim - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I feel an exorcism coming…

  17. Knoxville Nat - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Three things to look forward to this month, Lannan beats the Phils, RZ gets back in the lineup and Teddy wins a race. Expect it!!

  18. AndesAngle - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Knoxville Nat. I think Lannan should hit a Phillies fan.

  19. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    “If we can take this [Wednesday] and play well like we did the last two days, that could be a major turning point in the season.” – Danny Espinosa -

  20. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I put in a vote about a month ago to hit Ibanez, twice…

  21. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Knoxville Nat said… Of course I meant Lannan….darn I hate spelling errors!June 1, 2011 11:56 AM Oh, thought you wrote it that way on purpose because Riggleman spelled his name incorrectly on today's lineup card! Crazy conicidence?!? I think not!!!

  22. RickH - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    They ARE broadcasting the game on 106.7. Charlie and Dave announced that yesterday.

  23. Unkyd - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    YAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!! Back on the Board!!!! blogger wouldn't let me post, since LAST Tuesday….. Can you say jonesin'?! I so wanted to help back everyone from the ledge, against the Pads, and make a Joyful Noise, as we showed up, against two arch nemisis Aces, the last two nights. Now…. To get the freaking monkey off Lannan's back….. GO NATS!!!

  24. JaneB - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Everyone keeps hinting at how Riggleman doesn't support Morse, and they just showed an interview with Jim where his comments were definitely in the damning with faint praise category. Anyone know what gives here? Morse is so done who looks to give his all, everyday. And he is producing. Is there some stigma attached to being able to play multiple positions? Welcome back natsgan1a and Unkyd. And NatsJack. Glad to see you all again, and what great news that we get Mark Z on a road trip. Woohoo! Go Nats! More BP pitching from the Phils to lift Lannan to a Curlie W!

  25. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Lannen, a small town in western Luxembourg. Not sure that help Lannan become an effective pitcher in the NL East not just against the Phils.

  26. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Anyone know what gives here?When Morse wasn't hitting as well as he is now (tops on the club right?) but not as badly as some others (Rick Ankiel NO BAT look at the back of his baseball card. NO BAT. The ESPN baseball pundits poked fun at his signing wondering if the Nats were going to use him as a reliever? NO BAT period.) Back to Morse … Ladson kept tweeting over-and-over that Morse was in the doghouse. And suddenly he wasn't starting he was on the bench except against left-handers? Ladson only talks to Riggleman.Yet when Ankiel (NO BAT) comes back Riggleman goes against everything he and Rizzo said about Bernadina in order to start Ankiel regularly.You tell me JaneB? Its one reason why I absolutely believe Riggleman must go and the Lerner's have to open that purse, let the moths out, and pay for a REAL manager not the worst in modern major league history.

  27. fpcsteve - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    JaneB, I wonder if it has to do with Morse's suspension for PED's a few years ago. I don't know; just wondering.

  28. Mark'd - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    I can post again too. I must be lost as I had no idea Garrett Mock was pitching in A ball and finally dominating and Lannan was now spelled Lannen on today's lineup card!

  29. MGG - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Mark what happened? I'm hearing the game on 106.7, are their ratings that bad? I like having the game instead of the talking head shtick but it has me worried that this stations going to tank completely. Either way I hope this means they will look to replace wise and holden which are just dreadful in the mid-day line up.

  30. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    fpcsteve said… JaneB, I wonder if it has to do with Morse's suspension for PED's a few years ago. I don't know; just wondering. June 1, 2011 1:08 PM Then Ankiel would be a doghouse guy too. Jim named him early on his LF so I don't think there is any issues but Jane seems very perceptive so it may be some subconcious thing with Riggles ;-)

  31. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    JaneB, I wonder if it has to do with Morse's suspension for PED's a few years ago. I don't know; just wondering.Interesting point @fpcsteve. You were on the beat writers' end of things for a bit? Wondering what Riggleman thought about all of that … he did have Sosa …In any case Pudge is also suspected in their use. He may have gotten away with it because, well, he is Pudge. I don't see that attitude toward Pudge?

  32. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Then Ankiel would be a doghouse guy too.How do you figure? Riggleman picked him to be starting CF even with his ZERO bat with NO upside? Over Morgan and Bernadina? Then he's injured.And when he comes back he is suddenly alternating with Bernadina (who player development wants to play every day because he is still a prospect), Nix (who is actually hitting very well!)? Yet he has no problem putting Morse and his power bat on the pine?

  33. JD - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Mark'd, dominating? after 1 game in a ball?

  34. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Believe it, when Werth said changes to be made and that "everyone can see what's going on" he absolutely meant Riggleman, but just like the beat writers and other pundits, I think his finger was pointing way high … as high as you can in the Nats organization. To, as Boz put it, "the invisible Lerners".

  35. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110601&content_id=19868756&notebook_id=19868758&vkey=notebook_was&c_id=was#comment_containerRight on subject from Steve Berry (I think he means Wednesday afternoon): WASHINGTON — Manager Jim Riggleman spent Tuesday afternoon praising Michael Morse's defense at first base. Morse backed up the talk that night by starting a 3-5-1 double play — third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. covered second with a shift on for Ryan Howard — that prevented any late Phillies rally.

  36. fpcsteve - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Like I said, I don't know; just wondering. It didn't cost me anything to suggest it. Got a nice little conversation going. On an unrelated note, the Nats are working Oswalt a little bit and Morse takes a 3-pitch AB for the final out. He does some great stuff but that seems to be a poor AB given the situation.

  37. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    JD said… Mark'd,dominating? after 1 game in a ball? June 1, 2011 1:20 PM JD, I think his comment may have been wrapped in sarcasm and humor as he says he didn't even know he was there!

  38. Not Werth It - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    PEDs has nothing to do with it. I bet the reason Morse always draws Rigs' short straw is because he is almost 30. So he isn't one of the teams developing young guys, but also doesn't get the benefit of being one of the veteran major league 'leaders' that Rigs is way way way WAY too in love with.Seriously, Rick Ankiel? RICK ANKIEL? give Bernadina the starting job already!!

  39. JD - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Whatever happened to throwing nasty pitches on 0 – 2 counts?

  40. Mark'd - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Thank you P2P, definitely some humor. Glad you got it.

  41. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Cora (a Veteran) gives up a run from a possible double play chance.

  42. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Will the run count for more or less because a vet did it as opposed to Espinosa? An error is an error.

  43. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Always like to point out when one of Rizzo's elite bench players does something great and something bad.

  44. Mark'd - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    SteveM, point being mote bad than good unfortunately.

  45. fpcsteve - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    On that note, Hairston's turn of the DP last night was the bomb-diggity. Made the Top 10 on ESPN. Morse was great on that, too. Nice D. Our defensive stats are really getting strong (per ESPN). Better than the MLB average.

  46. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Failed bunt by Lannan to help his own cause by moving over 2 baserunners. This seems to be something we see John have trouble with.

  47. MC 703 - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    @Knoxville – There ya go! He hit John Mayberry

  48. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    You want to laugh? Seems Riggleman doesn't like 'smallball' as his moniker and I guess what he did in the 1st inning with bunting Bernadina was 'smartball'. LOL The MASN commercial lives on!http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/jim-riggleman-says-hes-not-a-small-ball-manager/2011/06/01/AG1G3SGH_blog.html?wprss=nationals-journal

  49. Mark'd - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Oh my…why is Riggleman agitated over Small Ball. With light hitting Stairs, it makes sense to play Small Ball. LMAO

  50. Knoxville Nat - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Mayberry?

  51. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    WTG, Nix, supplying the power on a 81mph Oswalt changeup! Hit a long way!!!!6th HR so far in the series vs. the triumvirate of Halladay, Cliff Lee and Oswalt!Also, 10 runs scored yesterday was tops in run production by any team this year vs. the Phillies!!!!

  52. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    There are small-ball managers, and there are small-minded managers. Guess we know which one Riggleman is…

  53. JaneB - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Thanks for the ideas about why Riggleman isn't giving Morse his due. Isn't it nice to be in the game at this point, with John on the mound? I hope they pull it out.When I saw that throw Danny made to Wilson for the put out at home, I realized we really have to be playing the babies more than we do. They may be streaky (Wilson) but they are the future.

  54. JaneB - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Knoxville, you asked who Lannan would plunk today. Nobody had Mayberry and we were all wrong.

  55. fpcsteve - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Nix is a vet, and I like him! Who on earth let this guy get away from them? He is turning out to be such a steal. Here is your everyday outfield: Nix (LF), Bernadina (CF), and Werth (RF). Ankiel (lefthand bat) and Bixler (righthand bat) on the bench. That is all.

  56. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    fpcsteve, that would be a good re-tooled bench. You see the impact Bernadina has with his speed as Ankiel would not have scored on that 'small ball' 1st inning. Bernadina made it by 1/2 a step and the best outfield they can put out there given moving Morse to 1st.BTW, Hairston replaces Cora and he makes an error. Geez…

  57. Tim - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    What a minute! Stop the presses! Did Teddy win the Presidents' Race!?!Or was he disqualifiednbecause of the Segway?

  58. Knoxville Nat - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Anon 2:11 said " ….and there are small-minded managers. Guess we know which one Riggleman is…"You may not agree with Riggleman's decisions on strategy or who plays where in the field, etc but your comment about "small-minded" is uncalled for.

  59. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Knoxville, I just read that also. The venom spewed on Riggleman is uncalled for. He sticks up for his players. He is kind to the fans. He is a local guy. He has paid his dues in baseball. Does he make mistakes? Sure, every game and so did Torre, Stengel, and Connie Mack.

  60. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Jim Riggleman. Nice guy. Mediocre manager.

  61. Steve M. - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Michael Morse with a nice 10 game hitting pace. Danny just dropped his RISP batting average so he will be due next time up!This is the inning that Lannan has to get through unscathed and turn it over to the bullpen to secure this game for the Nats.

  62. Mark'd - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Darn. Lannan didn't make it through the 6th.

  63. Traveler8 - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    What was the Coffey Time?

  64. Grandstander - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Does everyone else has that sense of certain disaster too when you see Slaten walking in?Why would you make this move?

  65. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Slaten?!?! This games over.

  66. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Thank GOD Lance Nix cooled off in the shade!!!!

  67. Grandstander - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Slaten owes Nix a steak dinner for that one. If we happen to win, it will be because Nix firmly placed this team on his back and dragged them kicking and screaming to victory.

  68. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    And the BRILLAINT Jim Riggleman comes through again. (Thats for you JayB.)

  69. Unkyd - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Gotta love that Nix….

  70. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Marquis batting for Stairs!

  71. Grandstander - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Marquis doing his best Matt Stairs impression there. Why do we keep this guy on the team? /sarcasm

  72. DCPowerGator - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    unreal catch by nix.i must correct myself from earlier, 1067 DOES have charlie and dave on right now. however the broadcast schedule on the team website still shows a few weekday day games where it does not?i have the same sinking feeling about slaten. he basically lost the game on monday and was a laynce nix diving miracle away from potentially losing today's game. just b/c he throws with his left hand doesn't mean he HAS to be brought in to face a good LH hitter. in fact, i would prefer to see coffey in his place right now.

  73. DCPowerGator - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    marquis pinch hitting in a one run game? i just had a vision of frank robinson using luis ayala as a pinch hitter in 2005!regardless, do we really have to save matt stairs' pathetic AB for later in this game?hmmmm, now that i think about it, marquis is probably a better choice than stairs or ankiel!

  74. Nattydread - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Yesterday we won on the big inning. Today, so far, we are winning with small ball. Both games very enjoyable.I don't expect to see Riggleman managing the Nats to the World Series — this is not a World Series team. He is a tactician, though, and he makes good decisions regularly, lets the players he has play.

  75. JaneB - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    I'm GLAD they put put Jayson to bat. Absolutely he's a better choice than Ankiel. DEBBY TAYLOR is a better choice than Stairs.

  76. SCNatsFan - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    boy Slaten did his best to continue his stellar season. What a catch by Nix… an excellent find by Rizzo.C'mon, 6 more outs!

  77. JaneB - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    What happened to FP?

  78. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    What a catch by Nix… an excellent find by Rizzo.But remember? He is still alternating with Ankiel and you get to see Bixler and then Ankiel after 2AB's by Bixler EVEN if he gets a hit? You still see the hitless wonder ex-pitcher Ankiel instead of well how about Laynce Nix who is hitting over .300? And seems to field pretty decently? Riggleman its an antonym for winner.

  79. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    I meant to say against left-handers above.

  80. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    JaneB…. FP had an appointment and had to leave early.

  81. Mark'd - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Phillies dragging a bunt. Should Charlie Manual be offended by "small ball"

  82. RickH - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    WAY TO GO NATS!!!

  83. dj in Fl. - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Another well managed game by Riggleman.2 and 0 after his team meeting, and againstPhilly no less.

  84. josh f - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    LANN(E)N BEATS THE PHILLIES! HELL HAS FROZEN OVER!

  85. Unkyd - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Way to go, Boyz!!!!! Congrats, Jonny L…. I got yer monkey, right here….

  86. MC 703 - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Great to see them take 2/3!

  87. Knoxville Nat - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    LannEn (change of spelling for good luck?) gets his first win vs. Phils!! Up next, RZ back in the lineup and Teddy wins a race. Expect it!

  88. JaneB - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    So sweet! I've been flattened by bronchitis these last few days. Best medicine so far. And now I know the secret to taming those Phillies Phans: we win, not them!

  89. fpcsteve - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    An observation: There are people who post here who would prefer to see the Nats lose as a way of proving their point(s). They are essentially rooting against the Nats. Amazing. Just an observation.

  90. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    amd JayB Cummings has ammended his "End of Riggleman" prediction.

  91. Unkyd - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Don'cha love "winning game threads"?!

  92. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    "Riggleman. 2 and 0 after his team meeting"According to Kilgore, it was a previously-scheduled team meeting. A good manager previously schedules his team meetings for before his team drops 13 out of 17 games, not after.

  93. RickH - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Glad to be on the positive side of a 1-run game for a change.

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    fpcsteve…. Great observation. It's amazing how many anonymous posters disappear when things go well (as well as that shark phony).

  95. JD - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Very nice win !! Kudos to Lannan, Coffee, Clippard and Sroren. Slaten, not so much.

  96. DFL - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    The bullpen came through in a big way. Definitely a team strength. By the way, Willingham just hit a two-run homer against the yankees.

  97. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Taking 2 against the Phillies, great job by Storen, web gems, home runs, decent to great pitching … Riggleman's got them playing now …But he still has to stop the totally emotional and unprofessional lineup management on this long road trip. If Espinosa can continue and raisehis average and his co-rookie Ramos can get hot and if Desmond can finally get out of his offensive rut … maybe, just maybe they can get back to .500. Then we can all declare victory and ignore the president's race and maybe Sunshine_Bobby will give up the Maalox and bourbon.

  98. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    DFL…. Willingham is in one of his real hot streaks. You know, the ones he has just before he goes on the DL.

  99. Gonat - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    DFL said… The bullpen came through in a big way. Definitely a team strength. June 1, 2011 4:05 PM ______________________________Yes, overall true but if Nix doesn't make that miraculous catch, Slaten would have done his usual and game over as Nats lose 4-2.How long do we have to endure this pain with Slaten?

  100. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    They are essentially rooting against the Nats. Amazing. Just an observation.Or maybe some are tired of years of losing fpcsteve? You've been here long enough to know better. Why don't you, right now, go back and look at what Golfersal posted the other day? Many of this same crowd were the "Lerner's are Cheap", "Gascanrahan", wanting Acta fired? Tell me how do you get the Lerner's to loosen the purse string since you have all the answers? How do you get Riggleman to stop playing favorites to the detriment of the win-loss record? How do you get Rizzo back in town to put out the fire when he is enjoying himself scoping out the deep 2011 draft instead of watching this team lose? You do what Boz did now don't you? And he has been, is, and will be far more negative than any anoymii on this board … the difference? In his case it WORKS, sometimes the squeaky wheel wakes up the invisible Lerners dude.

  101. Gonat - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Steve M. said… Knoxville Nat said… Of course I meant Lannan….darn I hate spelling errors!June 1, 2011 11:56 AM Oh, thought you wrote it that way on purpose because Riggleman spelled his name incorrectly on today's lineup card! Crazy conicidence?!? I think not!!! June 1, 2011 12:30 PM __________________________________Riggleman did this on purpose with the mis-spell of Lannan to Lannan to stop Lannan's 0-10 losing streak against the Phillies.Somehow it worked if you believe in quirky stuff like that. I do!

  102. Gonat - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Mark'd said… Phillies dragging a bunt. Should Charlie Manual be offended by "small ball" June 1, 2011 3:52 PM_____________________________Too funny, they just asked Riggleman about SMALLBALL and he said Desmond bunted on his own in the first. Really??? And then he said Rollins played SMALLBALL in the 9th with the bunt hit.Jim seemed to have a good laugh about it. Not sure which reporter asked the question at the postgame.

  103. Gonat - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And the BRILLAINT Jim Riggleman comes through again. (Thats for you JayB.) June 1, 2011 3:05 PM _______________________________Uh oh, do tell NJack, was that Freudian with your spelling? Haha, JayB can get you going!BRILL-AINT

  104. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    DFL…. Willingham is in one of his real hot streaks. You know, the ones he has just before he goes on the DL.I'll take Nix over Willingham as he is the only true left-handed power bat they have right now … and yes they've need someone other than Morse for a good long while now … and he appears to hit for a better average than both Willingham and LaRoche. He also is faster and more athletic.The con? He doesn't walk enough. Both Willingham (high OBP) and LaRoche do that. It may be an artifact of being mostly a part-time player and pinch hitter. But I do hope someone is working with him on that? How about Stairs? He isn't doing anything right now.

  105. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Somehow it worked if you believe in quirky stuff like that. I do!And, good game management as, for once, Riggleman pulled Lannan before he really got into hot water. Rizzo has given him enough relievers. There are at least 2 more good ones in Syracuse if he needs more … and, again, Stairs isn't doing anything so?

  106. Unkyd - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Anon 4:11….. Are Boz's nephew…. or just the guy who brings the coffee?

  107. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    So, I guess naming Lannan after a little town (Lannen) in western Luxembourg does work?

  108. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Anon 4:11….. Are Boz's nephew…. or just the guy who brings the coffee?Nope, just the guy who still thinks Krauthammer is a crazy lunatic who wants to see the world go up in flames. Speaking of "negative" I can't think of anyone I have ever read who is worse when it comes right down to it.But I think you like what he says? Wonder what that says about … ooops.

  109. natsfan1a - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Ahhh, so nice to take a series from the Phillzz and their Phannzz. Now I need to go research that team meeting that evidently took place while I was away.p.s. to Jane B, Hope you feel better, and thanks for the welcome back!

  110. DFL - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    One wonders when Nix will come to earth. At Spring training the odds were that Nix would start at Syracuse. Now he makes sense as the logical choice as a left-handed part of a left-field platoon. He still has a terrible BB to K ratio.

  111. A DC Wonk - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Answering some unjutified slams:"Tell me how do you get the Lerner's to loosen the purse string since you have all the answers?"Lerners have spent plenty recently. Haven't you been paying attention? Werth? Record contracts for Strasberg and Harper? Hello?? Are you sad that they didn't spend multiple millions during those 100 loss seasons (which would have moved them, what, into 5th place instead of 6th?). You spend money when you think it will help get you a pennant, or build toward a pennant. Until then, it's a waste of money."How do you get Riggleman to stop playing favorites to the detriment of the win-loss record?"Gimme a break. The season is 162 games long. Just because _your_ favorites don't play enough according to your opinion doesn't mean it's not the best decision. You don't just discard a veteran when he's in a slump."How do you get Rizzo back in town to put out the fire when he is enjoying himself scoping out the deep 2011 draft instead of watching this team lose?"What are you talking about? You want him to _not_ focus on the draft? Dude — push your bed to the other wall. Because you're getting up on the wrong side of it every day.

  112. Bobby Knight - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    For the Record I am sure Debby Taylor could out run Stairs as well as out hit him.

  113. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    @ Big Cat. I told you the Nats could win the series against the Phuilles. Now lets get 3 out of 4 against the snakes.

  114. Anonymous8 - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    DFL, Everyone said that Jose Bautista in September 2009 was just feasting on September callups. He was working that season on his new stance. Then they said in 2010 that it was a 1 year fluke. He changed his approach at the plate much the same way Curtis Granderson has with his new approach.Bautista will be 31 this year and is on a 60 HR pace.Nix could be over-achieving or possibly it is something else but like Mike Morse of end of 2009 and 2010, maybe they are doing their own Bautista.

  115. natsfan1a - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Speaking of getting up on the wrong side of the bed, I just read the Boz chat from the other day. Struck me as a tad bit cranky, though he doesn't typically seem that way (to me, anyway). Maybe it was the heat.Also, my inner proofreader – sorry, I try to keep it contained but sometimes it gets out – wants to point out that it's "Debbi" Taylor.

  116. Grandstander - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Honestly, it feels great to take series against the Phils, and to have Lannen finally put it together against them was awesome to watch. But this is still the same team that went through that losing streak.2 errors at 3rd. An offense that strands runners in the early innings and then dies after the 5th. And a pitcher that seems to be on this roster solely because he's left handed. This victory felt really good, but it's playing with house money because we just got really lucky. If Nix doesn't make that play, it's 4-2 and everyone is calling for Slaten's head and questioning why Riggs put him in.It's nice to be on the other side of these 1 run wins, and it's nice to finally catch some breaks, get some calls and make some clutch plays. But make no mistake, it's the same team today that it was on Monday.Hopefully it gives us some momentum going into this brutal road trip, though. That should be a fun plane ride tonight.

  117. The Baseball Guy - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    D-Backs series will be a tough one. They are one of the hottest teams in baseball. We need J-Zim to get us off to a good start against Arizona. Zach Duke will be pitching..anyone else feeling another big game for Danny? I wish Nix would at least get a chance to start against a lefty. I think he would definitely be better than Bixler in LF.

  118. A DC Wonk - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Grandstander wrote: "But make no mistake, it's the same team today that it was on Monday."Yep. Boz's best words (from many years ago, and he probably repeats them — for good reason):A team is never as good as it looks during a winning streak, and a team is never as bad as they seem during a losing streak.

  119. Anonymous8 - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Here are some other top plays from today. Wilson Ramos blocks the plate on Howard's single in short rightfield and Espinosa throws a one hopper to Ramos that he catches and tags out Mayberry.Ramos has been working with Pudge on that play so an assist to Pudge too.It was mentioned by someone here in the past couple of days that Pudge should either be extended to back up Ramos for next season or else he has to be traded. I prefer extending Pudge to give Rizzo some real trade bait with a young stud like Flores to trade and get maybe a top prospect 1st baseman or CF in exchange. I just don't think Pudge will get top trade value.Other top performance was Clippard. I don't like him doing 2 innings and luckily he was flawless.This team has to solve their LH relief problem. Ignoring it is not going to make it go away. Slaten is just horrible. Plain and simple and it pains me to be this negative.

  120. Cwj - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Anon8- Yeah Slaten has a very deceptive ERA of 2.19. His WHIP is a whopping 2.03! That's an average of 2 base runners per inning. Very bad.

  121. Andrew - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Something else today on luck, Karma, whatever you want to call it. All plays went for the Nats essentially today.Drew Storen gets a called 3rd strike on the black against Polanco to end the game. He deserves that call like all [top] pitchers and he actually got it. The home plate ump hesitated a split second and gave it to him and Polanco gave it to the home plate ump.BTW, the only run scored by the Philthies was a unearned run. Riggleman pulls LannEn one batter too late but in this case Coffey doesn't do his best Coffee break and Slaten was rescued by an amazing catch by Nix.This was the Nats of mid-April. Glad you are back! Small ball, smart ball, whatever happened in the 1st inning was the little bit of offense that we saw in mid-April that was the difference maker plus that solo jack by Nix (on a changeup no less).This is soooo sweet!

  122. Andrew - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_06_01_phimlb_wasmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=was&partnerId=rss_wasIn case you want to see the Storen video, here it is. You be the judge.

  123. FS - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    Are there any lefty relief options in minors? Slaten almost blew it today. Grandstander pointed it out correctly that if Nix does not make that play, that is another blown save on Slaten.Anyways, glad to take a series win from Phillies.

  124. JD - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Andrew, Looked a bit outside but Polanco had no business taking that pitch with 2 strikes.

  125. Anonymous8 - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    Cwj said… Anon8- Yeah Slaten has a very deceptive ERA of 2.19. His WHIP is a whopping 2.03! That's an average of 2 base runners per inning. Very bad. June 1, 2011 5:32 PM ________________________________To make this clearer how bad it is, in games that Slaten allows an inherited runner to score, the Nats record is 1-6 and the only game they won was against the Cardinals as the Nats had a 7-2 lead when Slaten entered the game. Final score of that game was 8-6.In all other appearances for Slaten the Nats hold a 6-9 record so basically if Slaten lets an inherited runner to score, game over unless you hold a HUGE lead.

  126. Andrew - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    JD said… Andrew,Looked a bit outside but Polanco had no business taking that pitch with 2 strikes. June 1, 2011 5:57 PMThe point is, the Nationals never get that call. They got it today. It was on the black. He deserved that strike. Batters know against the Nats that the calls go in favor of the batter most of the time.Think back to most of Capps blown saves last year like the check swing against Berkman. The Nats had a botched check swing go against them this year for a loss.Just about everything went the Nats way today and its about time. It is nice to see. That play at the plate from Espinosa to Ramos could have gone against the Nats also.

  127. Mark'd - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    JD, you have gone from Mr. Sunshine to slightly argumentative. I totally agree with Andrew and his point was crystal clear. JD needs to move his bed to the other side of the room too.

  128. FS - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    Did anyone see the Franchise Player Draft today at ESPN? What a joke it was!Nationals had 3 players selected which is great but RZ was not selected. That is shocking. I mean arguably the best defensive and offensive 3B was left out. Then again, Miggy was not drafted either.

  129. Anonymous - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    At the game today – it was nice to see the Phillies fans get quieter with every inning – that is, the ones that actually stayed. They never believed for one minute that the score would stand. Well – did you?

  130. Andrew - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Last night was packed in the lower bowl and you could see most Phillie phans start to leave in the 7th inning. It was so nice to cheer the Nats in the 9th with only Nats fans left.

  131. Unkyd - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    hehe… Again, with the Krauthammer dig? Where does that come from, and what makes you think I agree with him? A new low, however: reach all the way from section D, to the back of Section A, to bad mouth the crippled guy. Nice…

  132. Ernie - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    I have consistently been anti-Lannan for the last few years, but the man on the mound today seemed different. Better – even than the post-AA Lannan of last year. Two amazing starts in a row. I'm just a fan, but it seems to me like he's more willing to challenge hitters early. More significant to me is that he seems to have a pitch that I don't remember before the last two games. A big, slow breaking ball that he is using in the early innings. It seems to be in the low 70s and has a lot of bite toward the end of the pitch. It reminds me almost of Livo's curveballs. Not quite as slow, but loping like those. Is this right? Maybe I'm imagining the change. Maybe it's just been working more. Maybe he's been using it earlier in the game than in the past. Maybe I'm just dumb and he's always had it. Whatever the case, I like this John Lannan. If he continues to show up, I want him on my roster. I never thought I would say that. i like to be wrong in this case.

  133. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    This:Anonymous said… 12:24PM “If we can take this [Wednesday] and play well like we did the last two days, that could be a major turning point in the season.” – Danny Espinosa -

  134. Anonymous8 - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    Ernie said… I have consistently been anti-Lannan but the man on the mound today seemed different. Better – even than the post-AA Lannan of last year. Two amazing starts in a row. _______________________Interesting you used the word consistently because you can describe his career as inconsistent, unlucky, lucky, fortunate, and unfortunate.He is a #5 starter based on his inconsistency. He isn't overpowering and has to rely on good defense and balls on the ground. He walked 3 batters today on 4 straight balls which could have cost him the win. He was helped by good defense and hurt by 1 costly error. All in all, today was one of his better starts even though he barely made it out of the 6th inning.He deserved the win much like Jordan Zimmermann and Livan who have been really good have been screwed out of many wins this season.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 18.5
x-Clinched NL East title

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
LOS ANGELES 87 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 85 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.0 +2.0
PITTSBURGH 82 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 74 9.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets 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.

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