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Series preview: Nats at Giants

Jun 6, 2011, 5:00 PM EST

Monday, 10:15 p.m. — LHP John Lannan (3-5, 4.05) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (5-4, 2.59)
TV: MASN2 Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Tuesday, 10:15 p.m. — RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-6, 3.61) vs. LHP Jonathan Sanchez (4-3, 3.50)
TV: MASN2 Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Wednesday, 3:45 p.m. — RHP Yunesky Maya (0-1, 8.00) vs. RHP Matt Cain (4-4 3.64)
TV: MASN2 Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WHFS-1580 AM

It's been quite an eventful month since the Nationals last saw the Giants in D.C., highlighted of course by Buster Posey's season-ending injury. Posey's collision at home plate with the Marlins' Scott Cousins (resulting in a leg fracture and torn ligaments) has been baseball's biggest story for the last two weeks, and the Giants haven't exactly handled it well.

GM Brian Sabean went on the radio last week and tore Cousins to shreds. "If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big-leagues, I think we'll all be happy," Sabean stunningly said. He's since apologized, as has Cousins, who has repeatedly said he's sorry for injuring Posey.

Through this all, the Giants have managed to keep playing well. They enter this series 33-26, up 1/2-game on the Diamondbacks in the NLRead more ยป

  1. masnstinks - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    No running into catchers tonight, boys. No plunking in Arizona, no collisions in San Fran. Play nice and you won't get excused early.

  2. Get Some Players - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I cannot believe they aare letting Maya start another game. Say it ain't so!

  3. James - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    When will this team take better swings? On the strikeouts that Morse had on Saturday – he shouwed very little patience and I am wondering is ANYONE talking to the batting coach to handle this? Too many times we are laving runners in scoring postion with les than 2 outs – and this is NOT what winning baseball is all about.

  4. masnstinks - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Agreed ( get some players) – I think it should be Stammen – however, there may be a short hook, with Stammen waiting in the wings. How many appearances constitute a fair chance? I don't see improvement from start to start either. Which Nats team shows up tonight? The, strike-out, no offense, no spark team? Or the highly competitive, aggressive base-running, sparkly defense team? Or does the team just have a multiple personality disorder?

  5. Pitch Out - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Maya loves his curve balls—so do hitters!Where's Rosco Det when we need him??

  6. erocks33 - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Mark — shouldn't that read "Lannen"? ("a player on a streak has to respect the streak" — although can winning one-game technically be considered a streak?)

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Just read Boswells Q & A from this mornings WaPo. Can't believe he mixed up B.J. Upton, drafted, signed and playing for Tampa with Justin Upton, drafted, signed (by Rizzo) and playing for the D-backs.But if Boswell says it, it has to be true!

  8. josh f - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Mark – % chance that Zim joins the team in San Diego on Thursday?

  9. masnstinks - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Josh f – Zim's interview sounded like he is not wanting to rush back. He sure looked good yesterday, but of course, single A pitching, and with basically 2 months off. Don't let the P-Nats hear you say San Diego on Thursday! Perhaps one game each at Hagerstown, P-Nats and Harrisburg? — Syracuse is a little farther out geographically. Sell some minor league tickets , Zim!

  10. Knoxville Nat - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Anyone see the pictures of Plaxico Burress being released from prison this morning? I chuckled when I saw him wearing a Phillies cap and thought, "how appropriate".

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Another thing about the Boswell Q & A…. I was suprised to hear (as was Ladson and several posters on this site, I'm sure) that Riggleman has been a PROMOTER of Michael Morse and upper management has been his detractors.Knoxville Nat…. I saw the picture and laughed as well. The Eagles are being touted as a landing place for yet another convicted felon but I'd be suprised if Eagles management would want to go down the Drew Rosenhaus road again.

  12. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Boswell and reality are often not residents of the same zip code. Take anything you read from him with a fair dose of skepticism.

  13. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Bos also disagreed with Reid's grade of Rizzo (as being too low), though he also said that Reid had made some good points (whatever ;-)).Hope that Zimm doesn't rush back. Sounded as though he was having some discomfort on throws as well as getting winded. I would think that they'd prefer to keep him closer rather than running him around to all the MiLB affiliates. The P-Nats are home from 6/6-19, and our players often seem to rehab there.Re. Sabean, I understand the team's upset at losing Posey (heck, I have a soft spot for the kid, too), but imo he did cross a line in his comments re. Cousins. It sounds as though the two FOs have been making nice since then, though, and SFO papers were reporting that Sabean has since spoken to Cousins personally.The Giants were my late big brother's fave team but for the next three days I have to say go NATS!

  14. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Well, then. Just looked at the P-Nats site and it says that Zimm is on rehab assignment there tonight (7:05 start time).

  15. Grandstander - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    I wonder if the Nats would consider using a Stammen-Maya combo. After the 3rd, pull Maya. After the 6th, pull Stammen. Neither can give you 6 innings on their own, but together, they are the ungodly beast of a starting pitcher known as MAMMEN.Plus it gives Riggs another double-switch opportunity, so you know he'll be on board. He won't have to abandon Maya either.As for the Giants offense, I think those numbers are a bit deceiving. They were positively anemic against Colorado this weekend against some not good pitching. Miguel Tejada is batting second! Without Posey and Belt, there's no one there who is particularly worrisome.

  16. Nattydread - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Nats – Giants match-ups play to Washington's strengths. Two of three in SF would not surprise me.

  17. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    I wonder if you went through all of these preview posts what percentage of "Nats Worst Vs." contain the name Rick Ankiel. My guess is like 92%. After he was walked to bring Morse up with the bases loaded, I said "Morse is going to hit an effing dinger here." Go Nats!

  18. raymitten - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    I like Ankiel a lot. His defense is great and I thought prior to the injury he got some timely hits, even if the average didn't show it. His excellent at bat (as opposed to say, Desmond's) show that this guy is a ballplayer. Phil Wood seems on a crusade to run him out of town by putting him in the Matt Stairs category. Phil would probably react to Ankiel differently if he was an ex-Oriole.

  19. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    that Riggleman has been a PROMOTER of Michael Morse and upper management has been his detractors.Was it upper management that was double-switching him out of games? Me thinks Riggleman could also be characterized as one piece of "upper management". Morse is not an ego-maniac like Ankiel. He's not a guy whose head won't fit through the doorway when he comes into the clubhouse like Ankiel. He has a confidence problem probably stemming from his first experience in the majors in Seattle … as a 6'10" shortstop. Who was upper management there? Oh wait … that's right Riggleman and McLaren were both there weren't they?

  20. baseballswami - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Raymitten – Ankiel has a reputation for being a good defender , but if you watch his routes to balls – they are absolutely Lastings Milledge-like. His plays often look like circus catches because he makes them look harder than they need to be. On the contrary – Nix has a reputation for not being a good defender, but he has been very solid and sometimes spectacular. I think Ankiel has been a major disappointment.His defense is adequate at best. Bernie is better — all-around.

  21. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Maya pitching again when Stammen has been called up–that makes no sense to me. Of all the things that irritate me about Riggleman, and there are many, the thing that bothers me the most is Riggleman's stubborness. In all his starts, Maya has never pitched well. He hardly ever gets beyond the third inning without getting bombed, yet Riggleman is giving him yet another chance. This is just like his love affairs with Stairs, Bixler and Ankiel. There is no hope for Riggleman.

  22. Doc - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    I just 'dug out' the Boswell quote on Morse. If true then we have to question the FO's (and their affiliated Hangers-On)judgement. These are the same clowns that didn't know that Marquis had bone chips in his arm when they signed him for $15 mill, and didn't know that LaRoche had a torn labrum and rotator cuff problems when they signed him for $16 mill.Not too many 1B guys can play defense like Mickey Morse, period, and that's something they should have known!I still say that MM is capable of 30-35 HRs if he stays healthy—let's see Nats Fans, let's really see!!!

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Boswell this morning……"I'll try to give a Morse answer because I think he's got a 2-3 year window here as a very good player at a very sensible price. Okay, here it is. In the last two seasons, plus spring training '11 __I know using ST is cheating, so sue me)__ Morse has 35 HR, 99 RBI, .298 in 537 ABs.""Give Riggleman credit on this. He's been a big internal backer of Morse while the front office and scouts have been tepidly cheerful, but not waving their arms like Rig."Only quoting that baseball genius Tom Boswell.

  24. fpcsteve - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Who in the world has (in print or on the air) accused Ankiel of being a headcase? I haven't read that article or seen that interview.

  25. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Oh no trouble in paradise for Riggleman-hating Anon and the love of his life Mr. Boswell.And for the record- no one considers Field Managers "upper" management. Read it and weep dear Riggleman-hater. Read it and weep.

  26. joemktg - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    natsfan1a: thanks for the heads up.

  27. masnstinks - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    So – Lincecum is trying to break some kind of strike-out record tonight ( not sure what #) – think he's got a chance? Go Nats! Go Lannan — oh, sorry , LannEn! You have got to have goals – try to prevent the record. You see how that worked with Barry Bonds and Randy Johnson, don't you? Why is it the Nats they have to use as whipping boys? We just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  28. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    baseballswami sez: Ankiel has a reputation for being a good defender , but if you watch his routes to balls – they are absolutely Lastings Milledge-like.Absolutely. I totally agree. Ankiel is the original corner flag fly pattern to the ball. The guy is getting a total pass on this. But you're right, swami. Don't let his PR get in the way. He almost dropped a routine ball to center yesterday. Ball snowconed out, I think it was in the meltdown eighth. Total luck he didn't drop it.My solution: Anky, Bixler, Stares DFA

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    fpcsteve….I've never seen an article on Ankiel being a "head case" nor have I ever thought him as such, however, there are those that attribute his pitching problems years ago to some sort of mental block.

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    masnstinks…. Lincecum is only like 4 K's away from reaching 1,000 K's in his first 5 seasons.

  31. NATSONE - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Natsjack: The Freak might reach that milestone in the first inning tonight.

  32. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Lets win 2 out of 3 (and not be embarrassed in the non win.

  33. Gonats - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    If Maya starts, the first sign of trouble you pull him and go to Stammen.If you have both, use them until Gorzo is ready to come back.To the Nix fan club, he should be starting tonight and Wednesday night and pinch hit on Tuesday.

  34. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    I still say that MM is capable of 30-35 HRs if he stays healthy—let's see Nats Fans, let's really see!!!Well one this is certain Reddington, the Expo's fan guy, isn't a fan of Morse … I think he came up with the "Mickey Morse" deal. I wonder how he looks to him now?Boz is right. Morse fits best at fifth, sixth in the lineup and you should slide Nix in front of him, every single game. This is due in large part to Morse's confidence and his ability to handle the pressure of being "the man".When Zim gets back to full strength at the plate I suspect we'll see more power production from Morse. He's going to see better pitches to hit. Either way he is going to hit around .300 no matter what. T'would be nice to get that OBP a lot higher though.

  35. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    If Maya starts, the first sign of trouble you pull him and go to Stammen.Stammen has been one of the Chief's top starters from April on. I can't see them suddenly putting him back into the bullpen in the majors? That doesn't sound like Nats player development. Don't be surprised to see Stammen's name instead of Maya's during this series. Perhaps Maya will come down with the Cuban flu?

  36. masnstinks - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Sunshine Bobby – Do you really think Bixler is that bad? He's got ridiculous speed and some versatility. So – Lincecum needs 4 or 5 K's to break a record against us. Barry Bonds vs. Mike Bascik – huge celebration. Randy Johnson – broke a record at Nats Park in a rain-delayed game. Do they save this stuff up for us? And the giants have been so bitter about Posey that they really want to celebrate something.I say – make him wait!! I don't think Lincecum hits people very often, though. Jayson Werth should not need to show up wearing a suit of armor.

  37. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Interesting point by @Sunshine + @Boz. Have to wonder if two blown signings of Marquis followed by LaRoche might cause the replacement of some of the senior scouts who follow the major league teams. The guys following the new potential prospects seem to be doing pretty well … so what's up with the major league scouts?

  38. DL in VA - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    NATSONE, I know you're being funny (and I did laugh), but it is interesting just how many strikeouts we've had where we swung at a pitch that the catcher couldn't hold on to, and had to run down to first base. So, I guess it is possible for Lincecum to end up with 4 K's in the first inning. Hopefully only after 3+ runs score too.

  39. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Bixler might end up on the DL ๐Ÿ˜‰ … and perhaps so too will Matt Stairs, the 60-day DL for the 43 year old.

  40. baseballswami - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    He's 43 – I am sure that he's got something that hurts!



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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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