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Game 59: Nats at Diamondbacks

Jun 5, 2011, 5:41 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The roof at Chase Field was open this morning but will be closed for the game.

PHOENIX — Shut out the last two nights, the Nationals return to Chase Field this afternoon trying to salvage a series split with the Diamondbacks. For their sake, at least they get to face a right-hander today in Ian Kennedy.

Not that the Nats have hit any kind of pitcher this season, but they've particularly struggled against lefties (.214 average, .295 OBP). They're even worse against lefty starters (.208 average, .286 OBP). So with Kennedy on the hill for Arizona, Jim Riggleman is able to use left-handed hitters Roger Bernadina, Laynce Nix and Alex Cora.

Jason Marquis starts for the Nats, seeking his team-leading seventh win. There's only one other pitcher on the staff with four wins, and that's Drew Storen.

Plenty of updates to come…

NATIONALS at DIAMONDBACKS
Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 4:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Sunny, 100 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF (Roof closed)

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (25-33)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix

Read more »

178 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SonnyG10 - Jun 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Go Nats! Let's salvage a split.

  2. natsfan1a - Jun 5, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Works for me. Marquis usually gets good run support, so let's score some and break out of that hitting drought!

  3. sjm308 - Jun 5, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Hard to wake up and not have a fresh croissant for breakfast, even harder after watching last night. Taking two from the top team in the West would be sweet. We have to start hitting at sometime.Go Nats!

  4. Mark'd - Jun 5, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Hope the Nix fan club is happy!

  5. FS - Jun 5, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Come on Nats. Score some runs. You are in one of the most hitters-friendly parks.

  6. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Hope the Nix fan club is happy! This team has been shut out NINE TIMES! NINE? Nix is one of the best hitters on the roster this year. His fielding is pretty damned good in the outfield? Do you have any better ideas? Oh what about Rick Ankiel? Sheesh.Meanwhile the Pirates about to hit .500.

  7. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    The Nationals continue to look for a center fielder, and B.J. Upton of the Rays is one of their targets, according to a baseball source.This was posted in Ladson's blog:Nats continue to have interest in UptonUpton, a Virginia native and Ryan Zimmerman’s childhood friend, is considered an excellent defensive center fielder, but is having a down year at the plate, hitting .230 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs.However, according to the source, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo believes a change of scenery would help Upton’s career.This would provide Riggleman with the ability to have a "platoon-able" outfield instead of three left-handed outfielders you would have Upton to go with Bernadina. Both are about the same age, similar talents. One bats left the other right. This would make Ankiel the odd man out unless the trade were to include Nix (I'm hoping its Ankiel).I don't think Riggleman would go for losing Ankiel.

  8. JaneB - Jun 5, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Sitting at the Suns, just taking in the dozens of Zimm jerseys worn by people of all ages. Modern dance show in left field. Now: Harper and Zimm playing catch. Wow. Go suns! Go NATS! rehab fast Ryan!!!!

  9. Will - Jun 5, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    I don't know in what world Bernadina even holds a candle to Upton.Bernadina's range in CF is quite poor, consistently putting up awful defensive numbers. Upton has consistently been very good in CF.Upton has a much better bat than Bernadina too. While he strikes out too much, keeping his average down, he sports a career .154 ISO. Bernadina has a career .118 ISO. Add in the fact that Upton walks much more frequently than Bernadina (11.3% to 7.9%, respectively), and it's pretty clear that they're similar players in age only.

  10. Will - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Also, neither Bernadina nor Upton have extreme platoon splits.The difference between righties and lefties is .029 OPS for Bernadina, and .065 for Upton.Also of note, Upton's OPS against RHPs is .736, while Bernadina's is .666, so it would be disadvantageous for the Nats to ever start Bernadina over Upton.

  11. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    It's all clear now — the Nats have been holding onto Stairs to trade straight-up for a slumping Upton!

  12. dryw - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    JaneB, Zim and Harper playing catch would've been worth the trip to Hagerstown! Now I'm wishing I'd joined you. Cheer them on for me, too, please….

  13. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    JaneB… Make sure you take lots of pictures and share! Also, updates of RZim progress would be appreciated!!!

  14. JaneB - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Bryce Harper HBP can't play rest of game. Nonkidding.

  15. JaneB - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Zimm looks fine by the way. AJ Cole fanned three. Took a while fir Hatper to stand… I couldn't tell if it wad foot or ankle…

  16. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Hopefully the kid is okay!

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Watching on line. It looked like the lower ankle.JayneB…. is the music as obnoxiousin person as it is on line?

  18. dryw - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Yeah, I hope Bryce is ok! JaneB, you're just going to have to enjoy the first Zim sighting in far too long….

  19. dryw - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Ok, I can breathe again! Jason, don't do that to us again, ok?

  20. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    JaneB…WaPo just posted that RZimm will only play 5 innints…NatsJack.. Any sign of Stras? Or are they keeping him under wraps in FL?

  21. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Riggleman wouldn't necessarily platoon Upton and Bernadina. The point is he would have 2 right handed outfielders in Werth and Upton.Two left handed outfielders in Bernadina and Nix.Let's assume you are right about Upton (I tend to agree) and Ankiel is the odd man out.BOTH Bernadina and Upton still have significant potential upside. That is due in large part to their ages 26) and athletic prowess. At this point in his career Bernadina isn't performing up to Upton but he has barely gotten a chance to start. Barely. Someday Bernadina could conceivably outperform Upton. That is still an unknown.

  22. JaneB - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Harper just walled to club house under his own steam. I'll shut up now. music is…kitchy. Watching those guys have a catch was priceless. NOW I'll shut up.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    MicheleS….. he's still throwing bull pen sessions and should start throwing BP in about a week.

  24. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Thanks NatsJack.. Have been watching the replay of the first StrasMas on the DVR since it has not been good to watch live games

  25. NattyNation - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    swing the bats. for the love of god take the bat off your shoulder and swing it.

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Zim just doubled to right center. I say he's ready…. bring him on.

  27. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    That ball clearly hit the bat. What does the ump need to call that?

  28. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Does anyone know the record for consective innings and games without a run scored?

  29. NattyNation - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    mark grace just said on tv that marquis' at bat was the worst AB he had ever witnessed in his life…

  30. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Looks like it hit him in the hand or thumb not the bat. Mark Grace: "worst at bat he's ever seen in his life".

  31. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Zim just doubled to right center. I say he's ready…. bring him on.Probably makes sense … seems like the chances of getting injured in the minors might be higher than the majors given what I've been seeing.

  32. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Woo Hoo! We got a run!!!!

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    JaneB…. how you liking that 19 year old A.J. Cole?

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    UH oh…. spoke too soon.

  35. JaneB - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    NatsJack, I LOVE him! This Kelso kid is fun too. But Cole is exciting. All the people disappointed in no Harper are missing the real show. 'Cept fir the dinger ge just served up…

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    At least he gives up solo shots. No walks in front of them. I can live with that.

  37. JaneB - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Zimm slid in feet first to third base. Triple. He is fine and we need him now.

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    And now a triple for Zimmerman, to right center again.

  39. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Put Zimm and Harper on a bus and bring them to Washington.

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    JayneB… was that him sliding into the plate on the out? I had to step away for a secondand only saw the slide.

  41. NattyNation - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    i hope someone has the cahones to plunk upton in the elbow his next time up. both benches got warned it looks like tho.

  42. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Hmmm, meanwhile in other parts of the minors, those closest to the majors: Jesus Flores hit his 10th home run, Matt Antonelli playing SS today raises his average to .383 (Ian better be looking over his shoulder) and Detwiler pitched well in a winning cause.

  43. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    For the record. Jesus Flores has 2 home runs.

  44. NattyNation - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    I respect Marquis a lot for that. He's sticking up for his team. I'm shocked the benches didn't clear…doesn't anyone have any fire on this team?Don't get me wrong, I'm not rooting for a fight, but the way things are going I'm shocked it hasnt happened

  45. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Please Clip.. keep this one close!

  46. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Upton is big fat baby… what an acting job. Love when Ray gets riled up!

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    After watching it again, Ramos set up low and away. Marquis doesn't miss his spot that much. Stupid situation to be retaliating but…. oh well.

  48. NattyNation - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    I really like how Marquis tried to motion to the scoreboard like he didn't do it intentionally…it was pretty obvious. I just hope Clip can keep this lead

  49. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    For the record. Jesus Flores has 2 home runs.The box score listed it as 10. Sorry.

  50. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    CLIP ROCKS!!!

  51. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Stupid situation to be retaliating but…. oh well. I'm not so sure … Marquis has to know Riggleman would likely double-switch him out fairly soon with a score of on 1 – 0. Its not like he is going to pitch a complete game.

  52. Andrew - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Zim went 2 for 2 in Hagerstown with a walk. Now gets to rest. BHarper HBP and out in the 1st inning.

  53. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Ray Knight so no way was that intentional from Marquis.

  54. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    The home plate ump sucks. Mark interview him after the game. I want to know who gave him mind reading powers. Morse got hit accidentally too, Please do it.

  55. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Great job Clip! Plus all the Riggleman haters won't have him to blame for late inning decisions.

  56. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    AZ color announcer Mark Grace agreed with Marquis's retaliation. However, he did say the consequences are what they are. Marquis is no long pitching a gem.

  57. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Try again. Ray Knights doesn't think that Marquis hit Upton intentionally. It doesn't make sense at that point in the game with a 1-0 lead.

  58. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Great job Clip! Plus all the Riggleman haters won't have him to blame for late inning decisions. June 5, 2011 6:08 PM ___________________________I was thinking the same thing. He has Nix in there today and where are all the Nix supporters?

  59. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Ray Knight so no way was that intentional from Marquis. Ray Knight needs to stop being such a homer. He's a Cincinnati Red not a Nat anyway? Can't wait for FP to come back. Grace has been better as a color analyst.

  60. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Nix is 0-3 against the Rightie today. All lefty position players have hits today except Nix but everyone thinks he is a .500 hitter. He is having a solid season but probably will play 4 to 5 times a week so every time he sits out will we have this discussion?

  61. Nattydread - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Clippard. Expect it.

  62. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    I can take Ray Knight as a homer but sheesh, all the talking he does about himself is ridiculous. He does it more than Dibble did and that is hard to do.

  63. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Glad I helped Nix there. LOL Nice double.

  64. Right idea, wrong player - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    What were you all saying about Nix? Want to talk some Mike Morse now?

  65. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Come on. Nix should have been in position to tag up there and get to 3rd.

  66. Steve - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Ray is "flippin' " out.

  67. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    You know that Ray is doing everything in his power not to curse

  68. Unkyd - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    As long as Nix bats .300, and he sits so some Mendoza cousin can flail…. Yes, Gonat… The perfectly valid point will be made.

  69. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    A shame Danny couldn't have stepped forward and cause a Wild Pitch and get Nix to 3rd.

  70. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Way to go WILSON!!!

  71. Nattydread - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Ramos.Yes!

  72. Unkyd - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Hey! There's that catcher guy we havnt heard much from, the last couple weeks!!!Woot!

  73. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    Unkyd, yes, he will sit vs. Lefties since he can't play CF and will split time in LF with Bernadina on some days.Personally I think Bernadina has to play every game vs. RHP in CF and Nix in LF but we all know that Ankiel will find some PT. The Nats are rumored to be trading for Upton and giving the Rays a LH outfielder and most likely Bernadina + prospects.

  74. josh f - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Keeping an eye on this with ESPN GameCast during a meeting – what a mess of a game. Vamos Ramos!

  75. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Grace thinks Matt Williams is about to go ballistic. Sheesh two big former power guys on the AZ coaching staff. If the benches empty watch for Matt Williams to lead the charge. He didn't care for the Ramos slow trot.

  76. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    I think that Dbacks series in August will be interesting…..

  77. Andrew - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Unkyd said… Hey! There's that catcher guy we havnt heard much from, the last couple weeks!!!Woot! June 5, 2011 6:34 PM _______________________________That's my guy. He needed that one and the Nats needed that one!

  78. fpcsteve - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    I just got in and ran through the Gsmecast plays after I saw Arizona's pitcher and Gibson get tossed. What is with Gibson? It is a wonder they didn't have a brawl before now. As a pastor I try to see the best in people but to use a phrase, he is such a punk. Set up the Ramos bomb. Nice! Sorry for being late to the conversation.

  79. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    I don't like overusing Clippard. Didn't the coaching staff learn anything from early April?You have a 4 run lead and plenty of fresh arms.

  80. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    The Nats are rumored to be trading for Upton and giving the Rays a LH outfielder and most likely Bernadina + prospects.Both Sam Fuld and Matt Joyce bat left so I don't see the Rays wanting Bernadina? Makes no sense. If Upton is traded they would likely replace him with top prospect Desmond Jennings.It would be pitching … and possibly catching.

  81. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    fpcsteve, it has been a plunk fest. Marquis and Riggles gone to.

  82. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Time to bring in Storen….

  83. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Anon @ 6:42. I don't disagree with you. That is what the rumor is in the package and of course Norris.I said the last time the rumors started that Rizzo should not take the trade based on Tampa wanting too much.

  84. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    What is with Gibson? It is a wonder they didn't have a brawl before now.The scary guy right now is former Giant's third bagger AZ coach Matt Williams … the guy is really steaming. If a brawl happens and that guy leads …

  85. JD - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Nats Jack, I disagree with you. Having Werth's back is more important than winning the game in this situation. Marquis just scored a lot of points with his teammates I,m sure.

  86. MicheleS - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    And let's face it.. this team needs a little fire in the belly, they have been playing dead the last few games…

  87. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    I said the last time the rumors started that Rizzo should not take the trade based on Tampa wanting too much.Norris' bat has woke up in AA. So, if Norris is included the Rays will have to give up more than Upton. Believe it. But, they have plenty and then some of prospects with 12 more top guys coming in this year's draft. If there's one team that can be generous prospect-wise its the Rays.In any case, point is, it will be more about the prospects Rizzo has been eying and less about Upton.

  88. Mark'd - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Anon8, good call on Clippard. They could use him in Sf. Why burn him?

  89. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    I really liked the slow showboat trot by Ramos. This top of the 9th could be interesting.

  90. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    NatsJack, isn't that Ramos top speed? He is a catcher! ;-)

  91. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    BTW, another possibility: the TB Rays need a shortstop. Brignac didn't work batting .167 but he may be more of a second bagger. Desmond might fit. It had better not be Espinosa! And Antonelli is looking pretty good up in Syracuse so …

  92. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Hagerstown holds on for 6-5 win and AJ Cole's 1st win.So, does Ryan Zimmerman need a few more games or does he head West now?

  93. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    NatsJack, isn't that Ramos top speed?Ramos did foul that pitch off of his knee earlier … still …

  94. Mark'd - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    I would have Zim on a plane now.

  95. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Bernadina would have caught that one. Haha

  96. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    I would have Zim on a plane now.Be nice if Upton joined him.

  97. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Time to bring in H-Rod. That'll make Matt Williams sit down and shut up.

  98. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Oh my Storen………

  99. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    H-Rod time. C'mon McLaren …

  100. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    2 PB on Ramos today.

  101. Unkyd - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Ummmmmm… Thad a lit of baserunners, Drew… Cut it out!!!

  102. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Time for Coffey

  103. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    H-Rod. H-Rod. H-Rod. H-Rod.

  104. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Its Coffey.

  105. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    Now, this is where you might consider putting Pudge in on the double-switch.

  106. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    Storen's pitches were terrible. I called for him to be pulled one batter earlier. Not sure what his problem is today. Couldn't find the strike zone the last two batters.

  107. FS - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    I can not watch this.

  108. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    Here's my thought. Clippard should not have come out for the 8th and agree with Anon8 said long before that inning with Clippard was over so he wasn't saying that in hindsight. Should have been Burnett or Coffey in the 8th. Drew Storen should have started a clean 9th. It seems this constant need to bring in a closer once it turned to a 3 run lead for a save seems to make that some sort of a cool thing to do. Stay with clean innings when you can IMO.

  109. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Nats need to get them quickly in extra innings.

  110. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    I wonder if they'll use H-Rod for the 10th or if they'll stick with Burnett? H-Rod is more capable of going 2-3 than the others based on how he was used in Syracuse.

  111. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Anonymous8 said… I don't like overusing Clippard. Didn't the coaching staff learn anything from early April?You have a 4 run lead and plenty of fresh arms. June 5, 2011 6:40 PM __________________–Amazing, you wrote that 40 minutes ago. I don't get these guys. Cruising with a 4 run lead.

  112. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    Thanks Storn. You face 4 guys and can't get one out.thanks Ankiel to slow to catch a ball. then we are told of your great arm, but it is not great enough to keep a man on second on a fly to medium deep center. I have no problem with Coffey or Burnett.McCalren left Storen in too long and we all know that.

  113. WilliamTells - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    New and horrible ways to lose? Expect it.

  114. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    Forgot they brought in Ankiel … just great … Pull the trigger Mike Rizzo and try to put Ankiel in the trade package somehow.

  115. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    Why the f is Ankiel in this game? Should have been Nix at the plate in the 10th.

  116. Steve - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    Wait. Did Ray just call this a "playoff atmosphere"?

  117. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    The question is why was it so necessary with the bases empty to bring in Storen for the 3rd out in the 8th.Why with a fresh bullpen did Clippard have to come out for an extra inning?

  118. baseballswami - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Ankiel for Nix – and extra innings? Oh, boy – You know , just when I think the nats have found every possible way to lose in the most painful ways possible, they find another one. Storen is young and has been wonderful, offense finally scored some insurance runs and BAM! brick wall time. Marquis must be crying in the locker room somewhere after the job he did. This is so distressing – I need to go breathe into a paper bag.

  119. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    You know if they lose this game it could have the opposite and equal effect of that 2-1 victory over the Phillies. Pull the trigger Rizzo.

  120. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Where is Craig Stammen?

  121. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    Could this be the game where Stairs hits his HR?

  122. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    They brought in the lefty reliever so they wouldn't see that HR hitter Matt Stairs!

  123. Msrk'd - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Small ball smart ball.

  124. Anonymous8 - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Small Ball, I love it!!!! Crank up that MASN commercial!!!!

  125. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    That's why Bernadina should have been here all year. The small (ball) things!

  126. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    They are going to put Werth on and pitch to the only hitter who has been worse than Desmond: Ankiel.

  127. WilliamTells - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    That at bat by Desmond was little league. From a bad little leaguer. And now they walk Werth to get to automatic out Ankiel.

  128. Gonat - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    ANKIEL!!!!!!!!! Come on Morse!!!!!!!!!

  129. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    So, what was that about Morse and Nix again?

  130. Gonat - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! That is HUGE!!!!!!!!! That was Morse coding!!!!!!!!Arizona doing stupidity like we are used to!!!!!

  131. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    AZ announcers still complaining about call on Bernadina. Just shows how speed gives the advantage to close calls as well!!!

  132. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Why, even now, am I still nervous?

  133. Will - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    Wow. I have to say, that was all very unexpected, and distinctly un-Nationals.

  134. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Its one game but this one they had to win or else fold the tent, this season was done. But somehow they did it. Ankiel took a walk instead of swinging away as per usual. Took the pressure off Morse and then a shot to dead center.

  135. JaneB - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    I LOVE THEM!!! I love them! Take THAT DBacks!!!

  136. Will - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    I'm only watching the gamecast, but why was Paterson not ejected for hitting Espinosa?

  137. Anonymous8 - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    How much did Morse need that after yesterday's game and that last at-bat.It is all about confidence with most players and Morse and the Nats needed that!!!!

  138. MicheleS - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    I turned it off when Ankiel was at bat… BUT I LOVE MORSE!!!!!And HROD is on!

  139. WilliamTells - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    MORSE CODE. Now just find a way to dump LaRoche in the offseason.

  140. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Thanks Morse. Now hold them

  141. HabsProf - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    Hmm. I am not watching or listening – just following the game online. All I know is Danny got plunked by Paterson. The pitcher then went on to pitch to Ramos. Was he not ejected? Was it that obvious that he did not mean to hit Espinosa? After all the HBP earlier, after the warnings, after subsequent HBP and ejections, this guy gets to plunk the next batter after he yields a grand slam? Seems fishy to me. Someone who actually saw the play – please explain. Was it an obvious accident?

  142. Gonat - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    WilliamTells said… New and horrible ways to lose? Expect it. June 5, 2011 7:26 PM _________________________________I hope William Tell and his merry men go to another site.

  143. BethesdaFan - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Morse hits a BIG grand slam — and they hit the next batter with a pitch — and no one get thrown out ????????????????

  144. Unkyd - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    CURLY!!!!!!

  145. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    Someone who actually saw the play – please explain. Was it an obvious accident? By the rules they should have thrown him out. This is probably a case of the umpire deciding its time to end this game as quickly as possible before anything else happens.

  146. josh f - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    EPIC WIN – I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW. Mike Morse with the KO blow to deep center. This is the kind of win that keeps you watching this team. Enjoy it, everybody!

  147. Rabbit - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Bums got lucky. We won't see much until next year. In just a little while Morse will lose the first base position.

  148. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    That was one crazy game, but we got the split! I concur with Anon@8:11 re. the second Espinosa HBP (if that was the one in question).

  149. HabsProf - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    @Anon 8:11Thanks – I was wondering the same thing. By the rules of MLB, is this suspendable? Does the umpire's decision to not eject Paterson mean that the league can't suspend him? If the latter, then the decision to "end the game" has consequences for later.

  150. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    I hope William Tell and his merry men go to another site. Realizing that we were lucky Ankiel didn't swing away as he normally does … like Desmond a true strike out machine without the benefit of the home runs to go with it. And that it wasn't Morse double-switched out for Ankiel because sure as the sun rises that's what would have happened had he been in the outfield and LaRoche at first. Just as Nix (unfortunately, and its still a horrible move that McLaren/Riggleman made) was.

  151. Gonat - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    baseballswami said… Ankiel for Nix – and extra innings? Oh, boy – You know , just when I think the nats have found every possible way to lose in the most painful ways possible, they find another one. June 5, 2011 7:32 PM _______________________________You are another one who counted this team out. Sure, we all felt like this could end up in the other column but how can you get that negative on this team. Other than a poor job of handling the bullpen, it really is a whacky win and congrats to Sean Burnett for a great job as he really needed that!

  152. Will - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    Did Espinosa by chance have words with Upton after the failed turn of a double play in the 10th? Maybe they were planning on hitting Danny regardless of the fact that they just blew the game the batter before?

  153. Gonat - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Anon @8:19 aka William Tell, I sure don't want to hear it. The handling of the bench and using JZim to bunt was well played.It was poor handling of the bullpen to bring in a closer (Storen) to get the last out in the 8th with nobody on and a 3 run lead and probably as Anon8 said while it was unfolding to question why Clippard was pitching the 8th.Also, where is Stammen?

  154. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Most satisfying win of the year. Between the flipping crummy umpiring, the D-Backs using the Nats as target practice and Morse salvaging Storen's meltdown, great win, great fight. Get the heck out of crazy Arizona and take two or three from the overrated, injured Giants.

  155. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Also, where is Stammen? Stammen was returned to his starting role in Syracuse and was performing really well.Its pretty clear that Riggleman was unhappy with Maya. You'll see Stammen starting in Maya (Gorzelanny's) slot.

  156. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Agreed, Sunshine, and they really needed to win this one after all that transpired (yeah, I'm looking at you, you flipping home plate ump! ;-)).Also, I think this was my fave part of the in-game report: "6:33 p.m. — You know, Aaron Heilman may have started this whole thing back on Thursday night when he plunked Werth. Well, payback's a you-know-what. Mr. Heilman: Meet Mr. Ramos. Three-run bomb to left. Nats take a 4-0 lead."Although, the extra-inning stuff is pretty much gold as well.

  157. sjm308 - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Nice win!!Can't understand the first warning when Werth got hit. Warning or ejection should come after a retaliation. I realize its a four hour game and the Nationals are up 5 but how can that same ump not throw out the Dback pitcher after giving up a grand slam and then hitting Espinosa? There has to be someone watching film on this kind of stuff and holding him accountable.On to San Francisco and its nice to have won 4 of our last 6 against two first place teams.Go Nats

  158. Drew8 - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Hey Unkyd and 1A,Morse hacked the gorse out of that one!LaRoche .172 – 3 homers – 15 RBIDunn .179 – 5 homers – 23 RBIMorse . 301 – 8 homers – 30 RBIJust say Mo.

  159. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Most satisfying win of the year.This was a must-win game. They had to win this game whatever it took. And they did. I'm not sure I agree with statements that the game was managed well. Given that a 4 run lead disappeared. Yes, using Zimmermann to bunt (he's also a better hitter than Marquis) was a solid move. Still, there was some real luck involved. That play on Bernadina in the 11th looked like an out. But Bernadina is so fast he made it look like he was safe. Was the Ankiel walk skill or luck considering his current batting stats? Probably a combination of the two. Morse is a great hitter but he appears to do far better when there is less pressure on him. He is batting around .300 with RISP but he doesn't do well with the game on the line. Whereas Nix does … but he was replaced by Ankiel.There was luck, athleticism, strength of will involved in winning this must-win game.

  160. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    "Hey Unkyd and 1A,Morse hacked the gorse out of that one!"That he did, Drew. ;-)

  161. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    A better way to look at it might be:Riggleman's official starters: (and that has not changed folks):La Roche : .172 – 3 homers – 15 RBIAnkiel : .198 – 2 homers – 8 RBIRiggleman's official backup and part-time starters:Morse : .301 – 8 homers – 30 RBINix : .305 – 9 homers – 23 RBI

  162. Mark'd - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Gonat, a bunch of slugs. Hope they go back to WaPo!

  163. Unkyd - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Aye, he's quite the gorrrse hacker, that Mickey… A dram o' Scotch with ye, laddie!

  164. WilliamTells - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Gonats, AKA Mike Rizzo…I forgot to bow down to your roster construction. Great job on the Ankiel signing. Even a blind squirrel…Geez. I'm as happy as the next guy for the win, but the amount of vitriol toward anyone who isn't slurping down koolaid is insane here.

  165. baseballswami - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Gonat – I will gladly eat crow for dinner and announce to the world that I was totally wrong for counting the nats out of this one, especially with Ankiel at the plate. But you have to admit, the odds were long. I was ecstatic to see Ankiel take some pitches – from a pitcher, who, by the way, was throwing NO strikes – and take a walk – for a change. How bad is it, really , that we are ecstatic that Ankiel actually drew a walk? How about JZIMM with the bunt? I love it when guys do the little things that add up. And our defense is silly right now. When MM breaks an o-fer streak, he really breaks it. Isn't that his second grand slam in a very short period of time? I am downright giddy right now — ahhhhh,

  166. Dave - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    My question is this:Which Diamodback staffer paid off the umpiring crew? How does Espinosa get plunked after all the ejection drama without the Arizona pitcher getting ejected?

  167. JaneB - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    I love reading Mark Z.'s blogging of the game. Can't wait to read the 5,000 words. And maybe I missed this in the comments, but surely we have to credit Riggleman with putting in JZimm and NOT Stairs? And SURELY that means they know what they have (not) got in Stairs. I think this is an excellent sign of a change behind the scenes.

  168. Ed Stroud - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    ankiel is horrible at the plate. He makes some diving plays in the outfield cause he takes bad angles to the ball. We should make him out lefthanded specialist in the pen. I am not joking

  169. JaneB - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    I should, in my last post, have been clear that I KNOW Riggleman was ejected. But I don't believe for a minute he wasn't being consulted on something as big as who should PH then…

  170. SonnyG10 - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Man I was so mad at the home plate umpire that I was envisioning the Nats bringing in MPHRod to throw triple digits and Ramos jumping out of the way. I really think MLB should discipline the HPU.

  171. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Well done, Unk.Funny, Sonny, I was envisioning MPH-Rod throwing one through the screen and plunking one of those fans who were jumping up and down and waving their arms around whenever we had a pitcher on the mound. Preferably, he'd have hit the fan who looked like he was about to moon him at one point, but I would have left the choice up to him. :-)

  172. FS - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    WOW we hit one batter and they hit us four times.I understand where the DBacks are coming from. They could not outhit us in the series, so they started hitting us instead.

  173. Gonat - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    baseballswami said… Gonat – I will gladly eat crow for dinner and announce to the world that I was totally wrong for counting the nats out of this one, especially with Ankiel at the plate. But you have to admit, the odds were long. I was ecstatic to see Ankiel take some pitches – from a pitcher, who, by the way, was throwing NO strikes – and take a walk – for a change. How bad is it, really , that we are ecstatic that Ankiel actually drew a walk? How about JZIMM with the bunt? I love it when guys do the little things that add up. And our defense is silly right now. When MM breaks an o-fer streak, he really breaks it. Isn't that his second grand slam in a very short period of time? I am downright giddy right now — ahhhhh, June 5, 2011 9:04 PM ______________________________I wasn't feeling to great either and with Desmond striking out quickly I didn't think the lefty on lefty with Ankiel was going to work but thank the lord Arizona has a Slaten too!!!!I just wouldn't throw the team under the carpet until the fat lady sung. The Nats have been surprisingly good in extra innings this year.Still plenty to scratch your head about. Why do you leave Clippard in for another inning (the 8th) and why with bases empty and a 3 run lead to you go to Storen to get 1 out in the 8th? Doesn't make sense to me. Torre would do that with Mariano Rivera only when the Yankees were in trouble in the 8th. I am not a fan of the roster since Stairs is still on it but you have to just do the best you can do with the other 24 you have. Great choice to bunt Jordan Zimmermann and smart to have saved the suddenly hot Hairston for a Pinch Hit.

  174. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Hmmm, well I think we can certainly say that Stammen's start coming up will dictate a lot about where this year's team can go from here.Because after the draft is over Rizzo now turns his attention to what can be accomplished by the trade deadline. His overtures to Tampa Bay might be successful. He is probably a great deal more persistent than other teams when it comes to BJ Upton. Plus, after the draft Tampa Bay will literally be swimming in prospects. If they select enough college players they might be interested in trades that would improve their chances against the Yankees and BoSox.The Nats do have some players and prospects who can help with that. Ian Desmond, Derek Norris, Chris Marerro, Tyler Moore plus some of their relievers like Coffey.I guess we'll see how it goes?

  175. masnstinks - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    Stammen is starting?I thought he was going to be in the bullpen?

  176. Gonat - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    Ed Stroud said… ankiel is horrible at the plate. He makes some diving plays in the outfield cause he takes bad angles to the ball. We should make him out lefthanded specialist in the pen. I am not joking June 5, 2011 9:34 PM _____________________________Ankiel shouldn't be a starter with his stats and the only reason he got the job out of Viera was because Bernadina slumped the 2nd half of Spring Training.Now Bernadina has won the job so against RH batters Nix has to be in LF and Bernadina in CF. I still think it is fine for Ankiel to start against LH pitchers and let Bernie come off the bench. With all the lefties on the bench, it seems more than ever Stairs is done. This is 2 days in a row we haven't seen him so is this the end of Stairs? Could Riggleman finally said to Rizzo he isn't using him?I guess we will see when Zimmerman is recalled if it is Stairs or Bixler.

  177. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Stammen is starting?I thought he was going to be in the bullpen?He was sent to Syracuse and specifically assigned to start according to Randy Knorr. He was a workhorse there who often made it deep into games. He is going to be added to the rotation likely in Maya's (Gorzelanny's slot). He had a fine year pitching for Syracuse.Trades are likely coming so if he does well he might just stick, at least for this season.

  178. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    I still think it is fine for Ankiel to start against LH pitchers and let Bernie come off the bench. Ankiel has a .256 OBP against lefties? That's by far one of the worst league-wide?Watching Werth in the field today what the dickens is wrong with the original plan that called for putting Werth in CF? Then you could give Nix a chance to see if he can hit left-handed pitching. Rick Ankiel has been given far more chances than he has. And he has been pretty horrible!And Nix is a pretty good fielder in right field? What's wrong with Bernadina, who was the "official" lead-off guy in left? Please tell me what's wrong with that lineup? You would at least have two .300 hitters in Nix and Morse in it? And Bernadina should be given a chance to see what he can do … just as Espinosa and Desmond have. Using Ankiel as anything more than a bench/back-up player appears to be unproductive for this team.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (3) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.0
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's games

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

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