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Game 62: Nats at Giants

Jun 8, 2011, 5:54 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It's the rubber game of the three-game series at AT&T Park.

If nothing else, the Nationals have firmly established they can play low-scoring, close ballgames with the defending World Series champions. The six head-to-head meetings with the Giants so far have included three one-run games, one two-run game and two three-run games. The Nats have gone 4-2, not bad when you consider the competition.

Today, they'll shoot for a series victory at AT&T Park, hoping beyond hope that Yunesky Maya can reverse course and duplicate what his fellow rotation mates have been doing for a while. Over the last seven games, Nationals starters not named Yunesky Maya have gone 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA. Not one has allowed more than two earned runs.

Facing a tough right-hander in Matt Cain, the Nats' lineup will be depleted once again. Jayson Werth has been scratched for the second straight day with a sore ankle. Jerry Hairston also is both banged-up and ineligible. After tweaking his back last night, Hairston decided to drop the appeal of his one-game suspension and just serve today while he's not 100 percent healthy anyway.

Enjoy the afternoon game from San Francisco, and enjoy the conversation amongst yourselves…

NATIONALS at GIANTS
Where: AT&T Park
Gametime: 3:45 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 61 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (27-34)
LF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Laynce Nix
1B Michael Morse

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146 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Let's go boys and win the series.

  2. Navy Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Yunesky Maya will produce a quality start and Matt Stairs will hit a pinch-hit home run into McCovey's Cove. Hope never dies – Go Nats!

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    I have absolutely no faith in Yunesky Maya today. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

  4. DCJohn - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    This line up looks like the one from a "B" game in Spring Training, being played on the other side of the state and they had to take a three hour bus ride one way.

  5. HHover - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    In the spirit of being the change you want to see, I am going to go ahead and congratulate Yunesky Maya on his 7 innings of shut out baseball.

  6. NatStat - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    In the VWL, Maya had an ERA under 2.00, and Ramos hit about .340 with 8 HRs and RBIs close to the number of games that he was in(40??).I'm thinking that that league should be rated somewhere between high A & AA, and not more.Let's hope that to-day Maya mixes in his FB a little more, and his soft stuff a little less. Hard to be optimistic for to-day's results, like most of us were yesterday with JZim. Oh well, Goooooooooooo Nats!

  7. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Let's be clear here. Tonight's starting pitcher will be Craig Stammen wearing an ill-fitting Yunesky Maya suit.

  8. Grandstander - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    MAMMEN!!!Expect it.

  9. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Well, there it is for the person who said with certainty that Stammen was starting today. Now then, Stammen has to be the long-man in waiting today.All lefty outfield again and luckily this time to face a righty pitcher.

  10. JaneB - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Why did you need to be optimistic about Jordan's pitching, NatStat? He does well for us, and he is better and better all the time.I was soooo hoping that this Maya start would be pre-empted by Stammen. Or a sudden Peacock call up (I know — living in a dream world). Instead I am now following HHover's lead and being the change I want to see. So I congratulate him now on winning a game today, and a 4th chance to be a starting pitcher for the Nats. GO NATS!I wish Mark Z was out there. Just sayin'.

  11. JaneB - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Grandstander, you just cracked me up!

  12. P. Cole - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    We may not have a star-studded lineup today, but the Giants' lineup is pretty crappy.

  13. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I have absolutely no faith in Yunesky Maya today. Hopefully, I'm wrong. June 8, 2011 2:06 PM ___________________________________AAA is full of guys this year including Maya and Stammen that are once through the order guys. Just because a AAA pitcher goes to 6 innings 1 time doesn't make him a Major League pitcher either.Maya is that case and point and throw in Stammen, Detwiler, and guys they have converted to the bullpen like Balester.As Ray Knight said, the difference between an Ace and a good #3 pitcher is the ability to go deep into a game with your best stuff. Then you can say a #4 and #5 is a pitcher that lacks consistency and a fringe pitcher is one that can't make it through the lineup twice.Clark and Boone, Rizzo and the rest of the braintrust can keep spinning it to make these guys look better but none of those names mentioned are anything more than fringe starters. Luckily there are some good arms being developed properly in A and AA ball. This old crop of Bowden pickups need to be regifted, relieved, returned or turned in relievers.Look at Balester, the guy still can't consistently even do it in relief.

  14. jd - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Mark,Do you know why Zim did not play last night? I was hoping he was on a plane to the west coast.

  15. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Here's the deal with Maya. Treat him like a Spring Training game or Bullpen by committee. Get him a strong 3 to 4 innings. He can do that. Then maybe Stammen can replicate the same and get the Nats into the 7th and turn it over to the real bullpen.

  16. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    jd said… Mark,Do you know why Zim did not play last night? I was hoping he was on a plane to the west coast. June 8, 2011 2:59 PM___________________________MASN called it a scheduled day off. With Hairston hurt, I am really surprised he wasn't on a plane to San Diego.

  17. NatStat - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    @ JaneB 2:50'Opitmisic' is defined by 'high expectations' in my dictionary; what does yours' say??Ergo, I have high expectations for one of my favorite pitchers—JZim! I love watching him pitch!!

  18. JD - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Kimball, HRod, Coffee and Burnett should also be available today.

  19. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Zim ( the third baseman, not the pitcher) is playing tonight at pnats — apparently they didn't want him playing 3 consecutive days – 2 on, one off, then play again. He will probably join the team at home next week if he is doing ok. Seems to be hitting well, but apparently the throwing and fielding are a little tough still. If I had major abdominal surgery I would probably be still creeping around the house taking pain meds! I still can't believe that a couple of guys came back so fast after appendectomies.

  20. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    JD, all relievers are good to go today which was a good reason that Clip and Stor-en were only used for 1 inning each last night.

  21. JaneB - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    NatsStat– got it. In that regard, I was also optimistic. I guess I was confusing that with (speaking for myself) all the times I force myself to be "optimistic"… Glad I was wrong and that you see JZimm the same way I do!

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    I'm still dreading watching Maya labor through 5 innings.

  23. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    I totally agree with Anon8's comment about using Maya and Stammen to go through Giants lineup once and then turning it over to our bullpen.I think between Maya and Stammen, we can at least go through 5 or 6 innings. Our bullpen should be able to handle it from there. Just need to make sure that our offense puts up enough runs so that bullpen has some breathing room.

  24. Mark'd - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Good pre-game with Riggleman and Dave Jaegler discussing the bullpen.He said Coffey and HRod had last night off which explains why he wasn't up in the 7th with Burnett.

  25. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Neganon communicating to you from the great beyond … where Cartman is a Geisha dancer …'Course… He's no Boz…(as Neganon will tell you)…;-) Well Unkyd Boz did something most of the best writers find very difficult: he admitted he was dead wrong about Michael Morse's fielding skills. And opined that Morse should start at first for the next 2-3 years. Oh wait neganon's are supposed to be negative?Just like "the Boz" neganon's have their own opinions some what might be considered "negative", others can be very "positive".For example Rick Ankiel: Every single sports writer and pundit starting with Buster Olney, Starke had all sorts of fun demeaning the Nats decision to sign the guy. And where appalled to find he was starting … but then its same old Nats … maybe they'll convert him to a left-handed reliever?Picking guys because Riggleman wants to rescue their non-existent careers makes no sense if the goal is to try to win ball games. Riggleman is real problem where that is concerned and likely a pretty consistent pattern throughout his career. His need to pick and play "veterans" who are good clubhouse guys, his version of "good character" guys … instead of players who can help the team win. Its why he has the worst winning percentage in the history of modern baseball. THAT IS A FACT. If facts are negative then perhaps you might consider going to back to believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?

  26. baseballswami - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Coffey is quickly becoming one of my favorite new guys. We have sooo many of them this year.Sometimes I look at the line up and wonder what team it is for. I am voting Stairs and Ankiel off my baseball island. Nix can definitely stay. Werth, Laroche, Hairston, Cora — still getting used to them. Love the rookies – Danny and Ramos. Desi, Morse and Bernie – how weird is it that they are the familiar faces!

  27. masnstinks - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Merry Strasmas everyone!Hard to believe it's been a year. And he is pitching again – 2012, here we come! Who will be the ace – a returning Strassie or JZim?

  28. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    NatsJack, if Riggles has a quick hook on Maya, it should all be OK.Here is the exact perscription for pitching success: Anonymous8 said… Here's the deal with Maya. Treat him like a Spring Training game or Bullpen by committee. Get him a strong 3 to 4 innings. He can do that. Then maybe Stammen can replicate the same and get the Nats into the 7th and turn it over to the real bullpen. June 8, 2011 3:04 PM

  29. natsfan1a - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Hey, Insiders, what you do say? The Nats are going to win today (and I get to watch in real time – yay!).

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Wow! That was fast…. and somewhat encouraging.And I take it by the length of the Anonymous post above, Peric is back with his typical "hate Riggleman" rant.

  31. Andrew - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Ramos just hit a ball that would have been a HR in Nats Park

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Man is Ankiel bad…

  33. Gonats - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Someone wrote a week or so about Desi and Espy using a bunt to help them get out of their slumps like Ryan Zimmerman used to do in 2006.That is 2 bunt hits for Espy in 2 consecutive at-bats. Unfortunately Ankiel lowers his BA further. He is getting into LaRoche'ian territory….

  34. Gonats - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Is there a search function on here to find old quotes?

  35. Rabbit - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    WHAT A BUNCH OF BUMS! The strike-out machines are at it again, and we're ONLY in the second inning. There was no doubt before it happened that Ankiel was going to strike out with the runner on second. What a stink.

  36. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Uh oh, Riggles is going to be mad. Espy playing small ball with a bunt hit and Cora trying to bunt.Isn't that SMALL BALL or is that just smart ball?

  37. sjm308 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Anon8 is right on the money but we don't think outside the box all that much at the major league level. That being said, how many pitches has Maya thrown in 2 innings? Can't be more than 15. natsjack – now I understand, its Periculum from NJ, how dumb am I not to see that. Still like Riggs but am ready to have Ankiel as a 4th outfielder at best. How many times do you swing at balls in the dirt for strike 3? Can you imagine the screaming from here if one of our players pulled what Huff just did. It of course would all be Riggs fault and we would need to replace him immediately.

  38. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    The Twins beat the Indians in Extras today. If Detroit wins tonight, they are 1/2 game out.

  39. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    How is that relevant to us? We are not even in the same league. Or are you thinking of possible WS matchup against our Nats?

  40. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Just as MASN shows the clip of Riggles gushing over his defense, a mental blunder!

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Yes… Acta and the Tribe are starting to gag big time.

  42. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    FS said… How is that relevant to us? We are not even in the same league. Or are you thinking of possible WS matchup against our Nats? June 8, 2011 4:18 PM ______________________________When the Indians were looking like the 2nd coming of the NY Yankees 1927, there were a few talking about how the Nats gave up on Acta. Thats why they play 162 games and just my way of letting those Anons know.

  43. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Yeah yes, I forgot about Acta connection. Sorry. That makes sense. They could still be in contention all season because their offense is not so bad. Asdrubal can maintain his line, Santana fills his potential, Hafner manages to be healthy, and Choo comes out of his slump. LOL too many ifs, but seriously I like their lineup or at least these few players. I am a huge fan of the Korean dude.Ramos with another CS. Did anyone see it? Any comments on it?

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Cain's heading to 19 K's with this lineup.Has FP or Carp every heard of fighting off a good pitch by fouling it off?

  45. Unkyd - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Oh Hi, Neggy! I'm actually beginning to take comfort in you Rig Must Go Rants, in the same way I'm reassured that the sun rises each morning… Props to Boz, but I didn't read that, was it some kind of chat?

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Who is this guy? What did they do to Maya?

  47. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    FS, Espinosa is just amazing in the field and that Ramos release and velocity on that throw is great.Natsjack, here we go. Maya untouched through 4 innings. If it were me, first sign of trouble in the 5th, get Stammen up. Same goes for the 6th but at that point you can use a more traditional bullpen configuration.

  48. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Ramos CS? Expect it!

  49. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    12 outs 7 Ks some things stay the same.

  50. Unkyd - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    …. And, my faith in Santa, and E-Buns remains unshakeable!!!

  51. Mark'd - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Cain is able today. The Nats have had men on 2nd twice, just no clutch.

  52. Drew8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Tick, tick, tick, tick….If you listen closely they're chanting for Stammen:Stammen chanted evening….

  53. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    What did Espinosa do? I wish I could watch games, but don't want to pay 100 bucks for mlb.tv.And Maya's performance is I am sure a function of Giants lineup.

  54. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Stat of the day, Matt Stairs has 1 career HR in this park in San Fran and he hit it last year. This is Stairs day, EXPECT IT! LOLMaya through 5, Natsjack, what say you?

  55. sjm308 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    @FS – the caught stealing was possible because DESMOND, not Espinosa made a great pick on a one hop throw and as he picked it, he made a sweep tag up on the runners shoulder. Play was definitely big league. Probably would have been Riggs fault if he had bobbled the throw though.

  56. Les in NC - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    I am confused as to why Maya has not been a better pitcher as of yet at the MLB level. With a high 80's fastball a low 80 change up and a 70 mph curve, how is not a much better pitcher than he has been?It's nice to see him putting it together today though!

  57. sjm308 - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    I realize Maya has not won a game as a National and had an 8.0 era coming in but has he ever had a lead in a game this year and how many runs have we scored in games he has pitched this year? Has to affect how he is throwing since he has to think, the first mistake I make will cost us the game. Will we ever start to hit???

  58. Steady Eddie - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    FS @ 4:43– Doesn't matter whose lineup it is. Getting through 5 innings with no runs, 2 hits, ON 46 PITCHES is unreal for any non-ace against any MLB team, let alone one that's first in their division — and let alone by Maya.

  59. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    @ sjm308 – The radio team just said that in Maya's eight MLB starts (which includes last year, of course) prior to this game, the Nats had score four runs for him. So, including half of this game, that means he's getting less than half-a-run per game. As you say, he's given up a lot of runs, but he's not getting any support either.

  60. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    There is the meltdown. A flat slider for a RBI double by the pitcher. Kimball already up. GOOD

  61. Steady Eddie - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Oh geez. Back-to-back doubles, now I've jinxed him.

  62. Grandstander - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    SUMMON MAMMEN!!!Expect it.

  63. TimDz - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Get him out now…

  64. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Here's my frustration, the Nats have had men at 2nd and couldn't get a clutch hit. There pitcher comes thru where our position players can't.

  65. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Thanks sjm308. I think Anon8 might be talking abou Ross' popup to Danny. Espy showed good range on that play.

  66. Mark'd - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    How's about giving Maya credit. He got the doubleplay ball that Espi made a lousy throw on.

  67. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    OK…. there's Yunesky Maya. Now I see him. But he's out of the inning. Fastball tops @ 89 mph with no movement, totally dependent on location, decent change and an OK curve. AAAA pitcher having a good day.

  68. Knoxville Nat - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Giving up 1 run in six innings….I'll take it. Now can we please get a couple of runs?

  69. TimDz - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    I think we know what the next scene of this movie will be if Maya takes the mound in the bottom of the 7th.Pat him on the back, and get the relief crew in for the 7th, 8th and 9th.

  70. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    I have a feeling Pudge or Flores is going to be in SF pretty soon.

  71. Andrew - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    This game isn't about perfection. It is about being good enough and Maya did good today. If the Nats scored 4 or 5 for him it would be a nice looking boxscore. Just not much margin of 'miss' for these Nats pitchers.

  72. masnstinks - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Just typical Giants/Nats baseball. Maya, as usual, looks good for a bit but can't go deep into the game. The Nats, as usual can't seem to score. The Giants make mistakes and don't score much, either, but then manage to bloop something or their pitcher hits the ball and it will be JUUUUUst enough. Makes for very fast ballgames, though. Oh , I dream of a nice slug-fest – one where we slug the most, of course.

  73. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    That stinks. Runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs and again, failure (Espinosa).Then the villified Ankiel comes through like he did last night.

  74. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    ANKIEL!!???

  75. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Thank good. Ankiel saved Danny's behind. That was an ugly swing by Espy on 1-2 count and the ball was in the dirt. Anyways Rick's double ties the ballgame and now let's work for the lead.

  76. sjm308 - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    FS – you are probably right, the catch of the pop up in right and actually even though they didn't get the runner the stop of the ground ball in the hole. We just kind of expect it now but we really do have an excellent middle infield combination.Oh my God, Ankiel just drove in a run with a solid double. Have to wonder why Cain didn't just throw stuff in the dirt because Mr. Free Swinger would go after it. Will they send Maya out for the 7th? We have fresh arms in the bullpen. Heard Riggs say no Storen today since he has gone 3 straight games.

  77. TimDz - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    I'll be right back….Going to look outside for flying pigs…

  78. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    And the Giants had to go to "A" ball to get a shortstop?

  79. Navy Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    OK – I'm one out of two so far (see 2:03pm post) – log the Maya quality start in the books – and now that we've tied it, the Stairs pinch-hit homerun will win the game! Go Nats!

  80. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… OK…. there's Yunesky Maya. Now I see him. But he's out of the inning. Fastball tops @ 89 mph with no movement, totally dependent on location, decent change and an OK curve. AAAA pitcher having a good day. June 8, 2011 5:12 PM__________________________________Yes, but as you say in the dugout, We Will Take It!At the end of the day, Maya came through in a big way with his best MLB outing, and somehow almost got 4 outs in the 6th.

  81. Knoxville Nat - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    Alert to Anon8….that was Rick Ankiel coming through with a big hit in the clutch!!NatsJack……..any umbrellas in your "soft drink" today?

  82. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    This ump again isn't giving the Nats the edges. Cain has received a few generous calls.

  83. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Knoxville Nat… Nope non-alcohol day today.

  84. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Good job Sean, good job.

  85. Anonymous8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Knoxville Nat said… Alert to Anon8….that was Rick Ankiel coming through with a big hit in the clutch!!June 8, 2011 5:25 PM Are you saying that because I say good things about Ankiel? I am head of the Morse Fan Club but you have to like what Ankiel has done in the clutch.

  86. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Fastball tops @ 89 mph with no movement, totally dependent on location, decent change and an OK curve. AAAA pitcher having a good day.What do you call Burnett? Looks like you can't blame Maya for this one Burnett is really having a bad year after a lights out year in 2010.Maya is capable of throwing in the low 90's and did in the first game. He gets up to 93-94. I'm not sure why he isn't using that fastball anymore? Maybe he got burned in AAA when he did? Its an interesting question to ask him perhaps?

  87. Mark'd - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    And why wasn't Burnett pulled for Coffee to keep it 2-1

  88. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    The world is fine. Stairs looked his usual. Pathetic.

  89. baseballswami - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Things we can't afford right now — a struggling Sean Burnett and Matt Stairs , who just cannot catch up to the ball anymore but still keeps thinking he will hit a home run. I have seen this movie before and it does not end well.

  90. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Now for the Nix Fan Club, tying run on base and he swings first pitch for a lazy fly. This guy is regressing to his mean.

  91. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    well, everyone – it's not a tied or ONE- run game anymore. This game was brought to you by the letters R-I-S- and P. oh- and the letter K, of course.

  92. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    Bullpen imploding. Coffey walks his first batter.

  93. Dave - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    At what point will the nationals/Riggleman actually admit that Burnett's "Stuff" isn't really as good as their claiming it is. That charade of an interview after every Burnett blowup and subsequent Nationals loss has been tiresome!!

  94. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    When's the Upton trade … Zim should be back soon … plenty of good pitching in AAA and Peacock continues to pitch well in AA. If Maya and Stammen don't work out they have plenty of others to try.Forgot Mattheus is no longer on the 40-man. Wish he still was looks like they could sure use him.

  95. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    At what point will the nationals/Riggleman actually admit that Burnett's "Stuff" isn't really as good as their claiming it is. What are you going to do? Bring in Slaten? Plus Coffey is reverting back to his "mean" at the beginning of the year where he looked as bad as Gaudin.

  96. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Hats of to Maya today. Keep in mind, it's the hitting challenged Giants, but a good outing none the less.And somebody needs to have a serious talk with Burnett abd the bull pen in general. For something that's supposed to be a strength, they sure have been spotty lately.

  97. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Nats bullpen falling apart like a cheap suit. Burnett is a disaster.

  98. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    Hats off to Maya today. Keep in mind, it's the hitting challenged Giants, but a good outing none the less.I would like to know what happened to the 92-93 two seam Maya used to throw? He's throwing a 4-seam at 89? Someone conjectured that he is older than Livo and so no longer up to it?

  99. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Can we please score more than one run???Please, Please – anybody, please? Batboy, coach, usher,Debbie Taylor?

  100. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    WOW embarrassing to close the ballgame. Why would you swing at crap like that, Danny? I hope you are okay. He did not immediately come off the field.

  101. masnstinks - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    I know we have won some extra innings gmaes that were tied games – but have we ever come from behind in the 9th, and rallied and hung on to win? I know this sounds negative, shame on me, but once we get to this point, I am pretty sure it's over and done.

  102. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    Uh oh … looks like Espinosa may be headed for the DL … if they'd drop Stairs they could bring Antonelli up for a look-see?

  103. Candide - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Great, Espi gets his hand broken just when Zim is on his way back.

  104. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    If break the team into 4 groups 2 are doing the job 2 are not. Hitters and relievers are not. Starters and fielders are. Three of the last 4 games the relievers have laid an egg. Time for McCatty start chewing on some ass.Riggs to me is laying an egg to. Espinosa was hit as he starting to swing, but hadn't cross the plate with the bat before he swung, thus it should be a hit by pitch. He just goes and calmly complains,. Not me I would go ballistic.

  105. JaneB - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    I'm so glad that Maya had a good day. Way better than I expected. Danny's hand better not be broken. I love love love Wilson Ramos. Cain beat us today. He just did. Maya kept us in it, and in my book, that's a whole lot better than he's done before. A loss is a loss, but this loss could have been sooooo much worse

  106. JaneB - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    PS… baseball gods…please please pretty please get rid of Stairs when Zimm comes home. Thank you.

  107. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    There does appear as if help is available down in AAA?26 year old Matt Antonelli, former 2006 1st round 2B of the Padres:67PA/60AB .367/.424/.974 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, and 1 HR.Compare to 28 year old Brian Bixler before they brought him up from Syracuse:60PA/46AB .326/.483/.853 with 2 doubles.The problem is Riggleman would actually have to try playing the guy to see if he was any good at the plate and he is bound and determined to play Hairston and Cora no matter what.

  108. JD - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Firstly; That was absolutely a swing. Secondly; I hope he's ok. Thirdly; Atilano, Martin et. al all had nice games here and there. I see nothing in Maya that suggests he's anything but a AAAA pitcher. I would rather have a look at Milone. Nats Jack, Yesterday you asked (perhaps rhetorically) why the Marlins can bring up a 21 year old and we can,t? The answers is we don't have any. The Milone's, Meyers and Peacocks are all 23 to 25 and are fringe prospects. The better class (Ray,Cole) is 18 – 19 and are not yet cooked. Having said that I would rather take a look at a fringe prospect than someone I already know is mediocre.

  109. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    @ Mark Z I know you are not on site, but get us the news on Danny Espinosa's hand ASAP.A Steve McCatty I hope you are riding Burnett's ass as much as my boss does mine when I screw up. @ Rick Eckstien I know you do not ride their ass. Start doing it.@ Mike Rizzo Get on Riggs ass for not getting on Eckstein's ass. I feel better now. I just know if I screwed up as royally as some of these players do that I would be fussed at. I just hope they are too or are they too sensitive for that? The Nats are second in the league in K's very few of them are swinging strikes at a strike. Most are either taken, or swings in the dirt. That has to be correctable.

  110. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    @ JD That used to be a swing in my book too.My book changed last year when the Bats played in Houston. Lance Bergmann's non swing is not benchmark. If you swing as much as Lance did then or less no swing. Thus no swing.

  111. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Yesterday you asked (perhaps rhetorically) why the Marlins can bring up a 21 year old and we can,t? Think he said the Giants? And shortstop. And yes they actually do have one. Antonelli who is 26 and looks "cooked" and past his hand injury problems. There's Lombardozzi as well.As good as Ray and Cole are I suspect they would sit behind Alex Meyers and Matt Purke. Peacock looks quite a bit better than fringe at this point. He will likely get ranked in the top 5 of all Nats prospects. Another thing: Nats Player Development under Rizzo and Bob Boone is very conservative. They aren't going to rush anyone to the majors no matter how good they are. They seem intent on making sure that every player masters each level first. So, the "spigot" has been turned way down from the JimBo days. Other teams like the Giants and Marlins may have a different philosophy when it comes to Player Development.

  112. FS - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    That's the manASSas effect.But seriously, I wanna know about Danny too. He looked in pain. I don't think this team can afford not having his bat and glove on a daily basis.

  113. jd - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Anon at 6:28. He said the Marlins and pitcher. The bit about the shortstop was today not yesterday.

  114. fpcsteve - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    Proven Cora and Hairston or unproven Antonelli? Change with a purpose or change for the sake of change? That sounds like the options we are being offered. I prefer Cora and Hairston. They have a proven track record in the big leagues. If Antonelli were all that wouldn't he still be with the Padres? Yup. Just a thought or two…

  115. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    The Nats had 5 of 8 position players were lefty hitters today and couldn't get to Cain except 1 hit with RISP.Nix had runners on base twice and choked so for the people that think he is the answer, he is just another question. His batting average is dropping quickly so unless he gets back to line drives he will keep looking bad.

  116. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    What Gonat said add in Morse.

  117. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Steve M. said… This bullpen has to be better defined. Outside of Storen closing, it seems to be piecing these guys together. Is Coffey a stopper or a 1 inning guy or both and same for Clippard?When you are in so many close games, this bullpen is going to make you or break you and you can't derivate (much) from the plan. Have Coffey, HenRod and Burnett as your situational stoppers. Have Clippard as your 8th inning guy and Kimball as your 7th inning guy and give Storen the closers title. That leaves one guy as your long man and that becomes Stammen or Maya or someone else once Gorzo gets back.June 8, 2011 10:32 AM _____________________________Well, you were right and I saw this in the morning and by the afternoon your words came to life.Burnett was used as the 7th inning guy instead of your suggestion of a situational stopper.I thought Riggleman was going to bring in Kimball and follow your plan for the 7th.These guys still have to execute. It isn't like Burnett hasn't done well before as a set-up reliever so I think you are right, get him in some situational work and gain some confidence so he doesn't blow up innings.I still think at 2-1 Burnett should have been pulled instead of letting it get worse. Just my thoughts.

  118. jd - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Anon at 6:52. And all these ropes Morse hit against Haliday, Lee and Lincicum were flukes; right?

  119. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. Cheers!

  120. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Actually I thought Burnett was only going to pitch the one lefty, who he got out. But he wasn't used situationally and the team paid for it.

  121. Drew8 - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Maybe we can get a LOOGY at Number 10 next year.Or Carol Burnett….

  122. LoveDaNats - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by these Nats. Yeah, the bullpen imploded yet again for another loss (who would have guessed Maya would have a quality start?)but the defense has been stellar, the hitting beginning to come around and please, please don't let Danny's hand be broken. It looked bad…..

  123. natsfan1a - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Well, dang. I was hoping for a curly w, but it was nice to see a game live anyway. Hope they can get a split in San Diego.If memory serves, Buster Posey was pretty high on the young shortstop that the Giants brought up a few weeks ago. If I recall correctly, Buster texted him that he was his new fave player after watching him in some of the games.Hope Espi's hand is okay (haven't read all of the comments or posts).

  124. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    jd said… Anon at 6:52.And all these ropes Morse hit against Haliday, Lee and Lincicum were flukes; right? June 8, 2011 6:58 PM ____________________________Don't listen to him. Morse is just fine.

  125. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Someone please explain — what happened to Danny's hand???? Panic is ensuing – need to breathe into a paper bag…

  126. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    LoveDaNats said… I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by these Nats. Yeah, the bullpen imploded yet again for another loss (who would have guessed Maya would have a quality start?)but the defense has been stellar, the hitting beginning to come around and please, please don't let Danny's hand be broken. It looked bad….. June 8, 2011 7:07 PM __________________________-It wasn't a full implosion but it seems like Riggleman is in a hurry some times when it comes to the bullpen and making changes when the reliever does his job. I still agree with SteveM that Kimball should have pitched the 7th and keep Burnett and Coffey loose as your situational guys.When Burnett gets back to early season form, then maybe you put him back as a set-up guy.

  127. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Mark Grace during much of the Nats series was talking about brawls and intentional plunking and Ramos HR trot and talking like a shock jock.Now he is in big TROUBLE….http://www.tmz.com/2011/06/08/mark-grace-chicago-cubs-dui-drunk-driving-arrest-scottsdale-arizona-diamondbacks/

  128. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Oh, my! Gonats has made me a "him" without my permission. Objection! Facts not entered into evidence.

  129. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Anon @ 7:11Espinosa was hit on the hand in his (and the team's) last AB. Umps ruled it a strike, so game — and thus coverage — ended.Last image was of Espinosa in significant pain. Lots of speculation here that injury might be serious, but nothing firm (so far as I can tell). Worth noting that there was similar speculation yesterday about Texeira's kneecap and he's apparently in the line-up today.We'll just have to wait and see what various scribes have to report.

  130. Anonymous - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    Honestly, in Burnett's case and Maya's I am seeing something a bit different.Many people want to see Zim back for his offense. What I've been seeing the past few games tells me they need him more for his defense! And unfortunately, that's the part that is going to take longer to get back.Both Cora and Hairston are really not even close to as good as Alberto Gonzalez was in the infield. That kid provided gold-glove caliber fielding from the bench at 3rd, short, and second and even managed to play first base. I am seeing balls get by both Cora and Hairston that I know he and Zim would reach and would likely be outs. But just as last year Riggleman probably wouldn't play him preferring his clubhouse pecking order and his washed up veterans … instead of Guzman, Harris, Maxwell, etc. when he had both Kennedy and Gonzalez available, Riggleman now force feeds us Cora, Hairston, Stairs, and Ankiel.Don't all those damned major league scouts who were complaining about Dunn and Morse see that? How really crappy Hairson and Cora are in the infield? Comparing them to AGonz is really depressing and frustrating.

  131. natsfan1a - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Anon@whatever-time-it-was-don't-feel-like-scrolling-back, as Eugene noted, I'm reacting to (as opposed to speculating on) Espi's reaction after being hit on the hand. Will be interested to hear how his hand is doing. Riggleman mentioned it in the postgame – said something like I know he was hit in the hand and his hand doesn't look good right now (I believe there was some question as to whether the ball hit him and whether he was offering at it when it did). The umps thought he did, and as it was the third strike and he was the last out, the game was then over. Didn't see all of the postgame show.

  132. fpcsteve - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    I hate to interfere in someone else's conversation, but my ongoing objection to Morse is his PED use/suspension. Manny Ramirez is our cautionary note that people don't frequently change what helped make them successful. Just a thought… But I like the Nats, so if Morse helps them succeed, great! I guess.

  133. Gonat - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Anon @7:27, Both Cora and Hairston are really not even close to as good as Alberto Gonzalez was in the infield._____________________________Agreed, that double Hairston let go by on Monday night should have been made. Neither get to the ball quickly.And then the fact that Rizzo basically gave AGonz to the Padres for next to nothing was sad.

  134. LoveDaNats - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    @ GonatI agree with you. I used to be very confident when Burnett took to the mound. Now, not so much. He does need to be used situationally. Kimball has impressed me as a young man with a lot of passion. I like him coming out of the bullpen. I'd like to see more of him.

  135. baseballswami - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    fpcsteve – do you have the same objections to pudge? What's in the past is in the past.If Morse or Pudge or any other member of the nats is using, they will be caught with drug testing. Manny Ramirez's ped use was during this season. OH – and last season, too – apparently he never actually stopped using. Do you think the silence on Danny will last until tomorrow? Recently I have been afraid to wake up and check online because I was afraid we lost a game – now I am afraid of losing a player – and , well, it's Danny.

  136. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    As Big Cat and I have been saying off line, Riggs doesn't seem to know who to bring in when.Maya pitched 71 pitches going into the 8th. He was going to be the lead off batter in the 8th. Why was he pulled. Once a guy gets on base pull him, but today he was pitching well. Over managing again.

  137. Gonat - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    LoveDaNats said… @ GonatI agree with you. I used to be very confident when Burnett took to the mound. Now, not so much. He does need to be used situationally. Kimball has impressed me as a young man with a lot of passion. I like him coming out of the bullpen. I'd like to see more of him. June 8, 2011 8:02 PM _________________________________I can't take credit for that as I was agreeing with SteveM's observations from this morning.I didn't comment then and sure enough what he wrote came true this afternoon so just giving him props.My pet peeve is Riggleman doesn't seem to be aggressive enough with pulling his relievers quicker. Why leave Burnett in there against Whiteside? Better to leave the score 2-1 was my point.

  138. HHover - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    fpcsteve I agree that Morse's PED use is a black mark against him. I'm not going to write him off forever for that–because he wasn't alone, and because he got caught and did his time (in fact, he seems to have been punished several times for the same offense). But if it's your choice to write him off, ok.But to suggest that the example of Manny Ramirez proves anything about Morse–or about anyone not named Manny Ramirez–is pretty silly.

  139. fpcsteve - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    HHover, I'm not writing Morse off by any means. I understand forgiveness, trust me. It is the heartbeat of my calling as a pastor. But my experience as a former coach tells me athletes are creatures of habit to a greater degree than most folks. The question of PED use will linger for better or worse. My point regarding Ramirez was this:some people can't break destructive habits when they know they should. That isn't silly; it is life for some folks. It's called addiction (in this case, to success, popularity, etc.). Baseballswammi, same thing for IRod. I can be a fan without giving players a complete pass on the past. Love the sinner; hate the sin. Thus ends the sermon. Just a few thoughts…

  140. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 9, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    I just got a twitter report that Espinosa wants to play tomorrow. Lets see how the hand feels in the morning. That is for what is worth (a fairly reliable source though).

  141. Cwj - Jun 9, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    So can anyone tell me what is wrong with Burnett?(I didn't watch the game today).Command? Velocity? Pitch selection? Anything that you all have noticed?

  142. Dave - Jun 9, 2011 at 4:25 AM

    The non tender of Joel Peralta is looking dumber by the day.Nats were willing to pay Gaudin $900K, but would not pay Peralta (who pitched very well last year)an estimated $800K.Bull pen Rant over.

  143. Drew8 - Jun 9, 2011 at 4:36 AM

    Now that we're through the draft, it is very instructive to review the Nats Draft Tracker at NationalsProspects.com.It gives the status of every Nats draft pick since 2005. It brings home just how many of these guys wash out. It also underscores that a heckuva lot more guys are about to lose their jobs.Think about it. The Nats just drafted 50 more guys. Figure at least 30 will sign. All of those pitchers have to pitch somewhere.Talk about a crapshoot. Rizzo gave Drew Storen a bonus of $1.6 million. Good call.Bowden gave $1.8 million to Jack McGeary — oopsie.McGeary has had elbow reconstruction surgery to go with his 8-16 minor league record. Wonder if McGeary gets bounced to make room for the new guys.

  144. Rabbit - Jun 9, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Watched the Yankee and Red Sox game. Wow, what a difference in those teams compared to the Nats! You really expect them to hit the ball with RISP. Those are real baseball teams.

  145. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Drew8…. Add Josh Smoker to that Jimbo ooopsie list. I think they threw darn near $2 Million at him and then he blew out his shoulder. He's worked hard to get back and has a chance at being a LOOGY down the road.fpcsteve…. Morse is in that group of players that used while recovering from injury. Yes, he used but has more than paid his dues and deserves judgement on his recent performance.And for anyone commenting on my Marlins AA guy pitching and the Giants promoting an "A" guy as their shortstop, it definitely is my poke at Nats management for NOT promoting the best performing player in the organization for a spot start or short time fill in. I also ranted on the "dead wood" littering the 40 man roster especially the types that are being held due to the lack of options….. LET THEM LOOSE ALREADY!

  146. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    I might add that the bull pen, especially Burnett and Coffey have forgotten the basic baseball mantra that "strike 1 is the pitchers best friend"!

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