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Game 60: Nats at Giants

Jun 7, 2011, 1:00 AM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Sparkling AT&T Park hosts the Nationals for a three-game series beginning tonight.

As team executives huddled up in their draft war room in Washington tonight, the Nationals themselves are 3,000 miles away, ready to open a three-game series with the Giants in San Francisco.

The challenge in the series opener (Tim Lincecum) is daunting, but the Nats have actually enjoyed success against the ace. Washington has won its last three head-to-head match-ups with Lincecum, with the right-hander actually taking the loss the last two times (including April 29 in the District).

John Lannan starts for the Nationals, and though he's pitched well against the Giants in two previous encounters (1.98 ERA over 13 2/3 innings) he's yet to earn a win. The lefty has been the victim of poor run support — he took a 2-1 loss to Jonathan Sanchez on April 30.

I won't be making the rest of this West Coast trip, but I'll have full draft coverage here tonight, so check back for that and then enjoy the late-night game in San Francisco…

NATIONALS at GIANTS
Where: AT&T Park
Gametime: 10:15 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 51 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (26-33)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix

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  1. Anonymous8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Ryan Zimmerman having another good night in the Minors (Potomac) and Harper back in Hagerstown hit another HR.

  2. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Harper and Rendon could end up in Harrisburg together. That might be interesting.

  3. phil dunn - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    Show casing Pudge tonight? The Giants need a catcher with Posey out for the season.

  4. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Anthony Rendon a good pick at 6.Go nats beat Giants.

  5. Anonymous8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    On the Nats pregame Ray Knight is watching yesterday's Hagerstown hilights and saying Harper should be back in a few days. Who does the research for these guys?

  6. Anonymous8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Thank you Adam Dunn for Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin

  7. NATSONE - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    My earlier prediction of 4 K's in one in the first inning for Lincecum almost came true!!! Here we go with the K-Fest.

  8. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Why does this team swing at balls in the dirt, in the dirt? If you're swinging your bat through the dirt, it CAN'T be a strike!

  9. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Lannan imploding … time to call in either Maya or Stammen … be interesting to see who Rig calls.

  10. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Rendon, Meyers and Brian Goodwin. Two bats and 1 potential projectable top-of-the-rotation starter.

  11. Anonymous8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Michael Morse Fan Club! BOOOOOOM

  12. Joe Seamhead - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    You go, Michael Morse!

  13. natsfan1a - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    Daggone it, I was just checking the thread before turning in and you guys made me go and look at Game Day. I gotta go to sleep now, so you folks have the con. Nats, you keep up that hitterish stuff. I'd like another happy game results email in the morning, please. 'kay, thanks.

  14. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    If Morse is gonna hit the inside pitch out of the park, then pitchers are in deep trouble. That has been his weak spot, and if he can adjust to turn on a fastball from *Lincecum*, then the rest of the league had better watch out . . .

  15. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Great play by Desi. He must of thought Adam LaRoche was playing at 1st!!!

  16. baseballswami - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    On a non-baseballish note – did you see that everyone is bundled up in hoodies – it's like 50 degrees out there. I thought MM could only hit when it was hot outside. Quite a switch from Arizona. Nice to see that Lannan survived the first and the nats got a hit, and on the scoreboard early. And the giants thought THEIR offense was torture last year. Although, I like it when I hear commentators talking about how highly ranked our defense is. Can we have it all please, please?

  17. Joe Seamhead - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Did you just see that pick by Morse of Desmond's bounce? Can we all agree that Rizzo made the right move in letting Adam Dunn go? I don't think anyone saw MM playing first, much less playing this caliber. And spring training isn't looking like quite the aberration that some folks were thinking a month ago,eh?

  18. Anonymous8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    Now I see why Zim isn't going to play in San Fran as it is back to Winter there!

  19. RickH - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Great AB by Desmond!

  20. NatinBeantown - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    So, Lincecum has faced 11 hitters and had ONE putout. Everything else is a K, a BB or a hit. Crash Davis would call the Freak a fascist.

  21. Joe Seamhead - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Michael Morse again! The Giants already got someone up in the pen.

  22. NatinBeantown - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    …or maybe Crash Davis Morse would call the Freak "meat"!

  23. AW in Manassas - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    MORSE!!!!! 4 runs off Lincecum so far! Unrelated – F.P. referred to a hit and then a pitch as a "cookie". I think he's going back to the press buffet to look for a snack between innings.

  24. dj in Fl. - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Walks even come back to bite strikeout kings on the backside. He must feel about facing the Nats, like Lannan feels about facing Philly.69 pitches through 3, amazing.

  25. Joe Seamhead - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    Also, prince Oppo Boppo hit his 14th dinger tonight.BTW- I believe Morse has taken over as team leader in RBI's.

  26. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    Werth looked so bad in that at-bat. No outs, bases loaded, sheesh. No comment on Nix for fear of the wrath of his fan club.

  27. Drew8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    Rendon-Meyer-Goodwin and a 4-0 lead on Lincecum.Bundle up, San Fran. It's baseball Christmas!I

  28. dj in Fl. - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    I just read this in SI on the 17th pick by the Angels.17 C.J. Cron 1B Utah 6-4 225 Son of former big leaguer Chris Cron, C.J. Cron is a massive, powerfully built 1B along the lines of an Adam Dunn. Cron is a slow runner and his throwing and fielding tools all indicate a future as a DH or 1B. Perhaps the premier power hitter in the 2011 draft, the right-handed hitting Cron has enjoyed a spectacular 2011 season despite the mandated usage of the dreaded BBCOR bats. One dimensional players with tremendous power can hang on in the majors for a long time (i.e. Matt Stairs), so look for Cron to be a big league power hitter for many years.Rizzo passed on him.

  29. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    dj in FL, perfect for the Angels in the American League.

  30. Anonymous8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    dj, are you suggesting that with the #6 pick Rizzo should have chosen Cron? Not sure your point as Cron was gone by pick #23.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    dj in Fl, Cron sounds like another Steve"Bye-Bye" Balboni.

  32. dj in Fl. - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    No Annon8, Just having fun with the references to Nats players, current and former.Rizzo made three great picks tonight, and looking toward more tomorrow.

  33. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    Wow, Lincecum out of the game! Who saw that coming in the 5th!Cruises through the 1st and then goes on to get strikeout 1,000 after the Morse solo. That walk to Lannan put him in a tail spin.

  34. sjm308 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    Love how the anons start in immediately on LannEn even though he worked out of a tough inning. Look at his last 3 games folks, he is never going to be a #1-2-3 starter but he can be an excellent #4-5. It was weeks ago that natsjack pointed out how most negative comments were by the various anons but I don't see much here in the middle of the 5th. We can still lose the game (that is the beauty of baseball) but I really like how we have been playing lately. I saw a stat that shows since April 29 we have the best defensive stats in the majors. What an amazing turnaround. Now if we can just start to hit. On the draft, I am wondering how a 6 9" kid with heat can only have a 7-5 record? I realize this is a strength with Rizzo and our staff so I can't wait to see who else falls into our laps. We got a starting pitcher, a 5 tool centerfielder, and perhaps the best hitter in the draft. Nice start.Go Nats!!

  35. dj in Fl. - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:17 AM

    hey sjm308,Levo can explain about good efforts going for naught.It is nice when the nagative annons go to bed early. Sorry Mark isn't with us for an excellently played game so far.

  36. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:25 AM

    Assuming this 3 run lead holds, what of Storen? He's been horrific lately and that save opportunity in Arizona might have taken him out for today. They can pass it off as giving him rest, but who comes in for the save? Coffey in the 8th Clipp in the 9th? Very interested to see how Riggs works the pen here.

  37. Les in NC - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    I like LannEn as much as the next Nat fan, but please take hi mout before he ruins this good game so far….

  38. dj in Fl. - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:31 AM

    Glad to see just a quick pep talk from Riggs, and let Lannan finish his night off properly.

  39. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    Cardiac Nats strike again! Clippard and Storen are unavailable. It's going to be up to HRod and Kimbell at this point.

  40. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    Trying to showcase Pudge and Coffey has not turned out well. I mean really…is there ANY other reason Clippard isn't in there?

  41. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    This isn't on Coffey its on Hairston. Riggleman again managing with sentiment instead of his "amazing" baseball acumen. That first double probably doesn't happen if he puts Cora in at third instead of Hairston. It definitely doesn't happen with Zimmerman. So, what's he do again? Its all about sentiment not "smart ball". Ankiel, he of zero bat, in center. Nix out of the game and the score is tied. And you ask why Riggleman has the worst winning percentage in the modern history of baseball? There ya go. Leave Nix in and take Hairston out is the right double-switch move. Hairston is a terribly inconsistent third baseman.

  42. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    This team's total inability to hit against relief pitching will cost them another game. Pathetic.

  43. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:02 AM

    Now Ankiel is the cleanup hitter. Brilliant move Riggleman.

  44. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Nationals Against Starters – .234/.301/.374Nationals Against Relievers – .189/.312/.245

  45. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Rizzo passed on him.@dj in fla,The Nats are a National League team. There IS NO DH. As we can see tonight fielding is important? Hairston lost this game because he is a terrible third baseman. Cron sounds to me like another Michael Burgess. Another Chris Marerro. Not for an NL team.

  46. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:11 AM

    Wondering what Hairston's UZR is at third base?Again, Riggleman should have just started the 8th with H-Rod? I thought he said H-Rod was his 8th inning guy now? Sheesh the guy can never do anything without some bizarre sentimental move that ends up with the Nats losing.

  47. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:15 AM

    Crap. H-Rod is wild. The pressure is too much.

  48. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    Here's the unwritten story of this game. If Marquis doesn't get thrown out so early yesterday, Clippard's arm is saved and HRod doesn't come in there. That stupid ejection likely cost us this game.

  49. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    Cora should be playing third base not Hairston. Hairston should be DFA'ed because I think Bixer would be better over there.

  50. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:21 AM

    How many outs can JH2 cost us before we get rid of him? Seriously. Let's make a pool.

  51. RickH - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    Wow. I really thought the Giants were going to win it in the 9th.

  52. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:28 AM

    We can only hope they can Upton and it doesn't cost Rizzo literally the farm … then the bench should also significantly change. Ankiel won't be coming in to replace Upton. Zim will be back so no Hairston at third. And Hairston won't be needed in the outfield … so …

  53. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    Perhaps we should start a "Buy Jayson Werth Contact Lens" Facebook page. If Bryce can afford them, surely Jayson can.

  54. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Werth and Ankiel "the wonderful veterans" looking really pretty bad right now … one is starting to look really pathetic at the plate but at least has a high OBP and hopefully will be effective batting 2nd … and the other is completely and totally lost at the plate per the back of his baseball card. Its futile to put a bat in his hand.

  55. Gonats - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    Another crazy night in extras….

  56. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    Better hope Pudge doesn't get hurt, because we just wasted Ramos. If Stairs were a real player — able to field, run and hit — we'd still have Ramos available.

  57. Gonats - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    More bloopers and bleeders against the Nats tonight.

  58. RickH - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:46 AM

    I can't take much more of this.

  59. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:52 AM

    Espi as a rightie comes through again! A shame Morse couldn't get that walk.

  60. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    Cheddar Onion McChicken

  61. Joe Seamhead - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:04 AM

    Wow, I need to go to bed, but I gotta see the end of the play.

  62. Gonats - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:04 AM

    The 3 new Draft picks are all watching their new team in this crazy game.

  63. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:05 AM

    So, we gonna see Stammen tonight? I'm so drunk. Why have you let this go on so long… MAMMEN!!!

  64. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    Wow, Matt Stairs is still on this team. Comes in to pinch hit and Bochy doesn't even go to the bullpen to get a lefty. Looks at 2 straight strikes and a ball and slaps a single. How do you like that!

  65. Grandstander - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:12 AM

    We saw history folks. Matt Stairs got a hit. We HAVE to win now, right?Who else loves the fact we have to run for him with a pitcher?

  66. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    Jason Marquis runs the bases like Bryce Harper. He runs until you throw him out and luckily got to 3rd as he surprised Torres.

  67. Joe Seamhead - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:17 AM

    Boy, right now I sure wish Nix was still in!

  68. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    gee, ya think

  69. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:21 AM

    That could have been a replay of the 11th in Arizona with Ankiel up with the bases loaded and Morse behind him.

  70. Drew8 - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:30 AM

    And we head for the 13th.I sure hope Rendon can hit — this morning.

  71. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:46 AM

    Welcome back Craig Stammen. Walk the backup catcher….

  72. natsfan1a - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Dang. Unhappy game results email. Did Stammen warm up sufficiently? He's been starting in Syracuse rather than coming out of the 'pen, right? On the plus side, sounds like LannEn may be getting it together.

  73. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 7, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    I went to bed 4-0, Lannen in total control. Wake up to see the bullpen for the second consecutive day imploded. Once in a while things happen, but 2 straight days, it is now a concern. Giants bullpen gives up almost nothing. Our starting pitching for the most part is good enough to win, the rest of team needs to up their game to the same level.

  74. Gonat - Jun 7, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    Back out the door with 3 hours sleep. Stammen walked the backup catcher on 4 pitches. Then he got lucky that the pitcher sacrificed to get an out. The gave up the winning hit. Oh well.Was hoping that this Craig Stammen opportunity would be different. Werth, Nix, Pudge, and Ankiel all came up with opportunities all game long and did nothing. Werth looked lost at the plate.

  75. Frediemac - Jun 7, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    No brainer here Henry Rodriguez is not a major league pitcher. He just can't throw strikes. That's why the Nats lost tonight.

  76. Ernie - Jun 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Didn't someone point out the other day that we shouldn't get too excited that Stammen got the call to replace Slaten because he is, after all, still Craig Stammen? I really thought we got rid of this joker last year, but I guess I had him mixed up with Scott Olsen. There is a pool of pitchers that I lump together and get mixed up due to general mediocrity: Stammen, Olsen, Mock, Chico, Detwiler. Seeing those names year after year makes me feel like we're making little progress. We can beat the Giants. That's what makes the loss so frustrating.

  77. Nattydread - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Bright side?1. We ALMOST beat Lincecum!2. Nicely pitched game by LannEn. If he keeps this up, we can make him a no 4/5.3. Stairs got a hit (heh heh). (If Rizzo doesn't get rid of him, we can at least make the most of the situational comedy).4. GREAT DRAFT!!!!!!!5. Zimmerman's almost back. If its me at GM, I let Zimmerman recuperate at 1st base and put Morse at 3rd/OF. It was just painful to watch them intentionally walk Werth with runners on 2nd/3rd to get to easy out Ankiel. Painful.

  78. MikeD - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    HRod's walk was bad enough, but how the heck do you walk a guy on 4 pitches in the 13th? Stammen just sucks.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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