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Game 80: Nats at Angels

Jun 28, 2011, 10:15 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to give Davey Johnson his first win tonight at Angel Stadium.

Lost amid all the hullabaloo over the Nationals managerial overhaul is this cold, hard fact: They still aren't hitting as a team. In their last three games, the Nats have produced a total of five runs and 11 hits. They've struck out 26 times while drawing only five walks. All five runs during those three games were scored via home run (three solo, one two-run shot).

The challenge for Davey Johnson, then, is to figure out whether any tweaks need to be made to his lineup. During his introductory news conference yesterday, he said he prefers to keep a stable lineup and avoiding the everyday mixing and matching that Jim Riggleman often did. True to form, Davey's second lineup as manager is identical to his first one.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Nationals pitching staff remains in top form, and they'll hope Jason Marquis continues the trend tonight. Marquis, of course, pitched a gem Thursday against the Mariners … only to get completely overshadowed by Riggleman's surprise resignation.

I've actually departed Anaheim and am en route home to D.C. as we speak. I wasn't originally scheduled to make that trip, but Davey's debut was too big a story to miss, so CSN was able to find a way to send me out west for the first game of the series. Enjoy tonight's game and the conversation among yourselves, and I'll be back at the ballpark for this weekend's series against the Pirates…

NATIONALS at ANGELS
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Gametime: 10:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 182
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (40-39)
CF Roger Bernadina
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Laynce Nix

Read more »

260 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:30 AM

    And everybody gets into it. Zimmerman pulls Morse up the line into right field, practically, for the Nats' 3rd error. Now McCatty goes out to discuss candlesticks and live chickens, while the Coffey gets microwaved.

  2. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:30 AM

    Was Davey calling the bullpen there or his travel agent to rebook that fishing vacation to Alaska.

  3. Mark'd - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    Balester has no clue of where is ball is going except back to Syracuse.

  4. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    Maybe just erase the recording.Balester WP's Kendrick to second, and on what would be an ill-advised pickoff attempt, throws the ball into center field. Walk to Callaspo, and that's enough for Davey, finally. A single, a bomb, error, wild pitch, another error, and a walk. Bad night for Colin Balester.

  5. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:37 AM

    That throw to 1st by Zimmerman was so off target that I thought John Wall was out there at 3rd base!

  6. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    Coffey hasn't pitched much lately. Love to see him take the reins a bit here and get 6 or 7 outs.

  7. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:44 AM

    Coffey strikes out Trumbo and gets Conger on a can of corn to right. They've been playing for over two and a half hours, and we're still half an inning from TMOTTBG. THIS is why people hate the American League. This right here.

  8. Exposremains - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    It feels like they are nervous to play for Johnson, they're afraid to disappoint him.

  9. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    In other crazy news, Wily Mo Pena came in to pinch hit in the 9th inning against Cleveland after blowing the save and hits a 2 run WALK OFF.

  10. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:46 AM

    Coffey never looked so good!Someone needs to send JaneB a text to let her know they have started that wave stuff again.

  11. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    Zimm gets a leadoff four-pitch walk. Nix singles again (4 for 4, baby!), and MICHAEL MORSE — Beas… nevermind. Sac fly to the track in center. First and third, one out. I don't think they're done here.

  12. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    Come on Dannyboy!

  13. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    Bobby Cassevah on for Danny Espinosa. In a high leverage situation, I think. Hey, Daddy Espinosa in the stands!

  14. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

  15. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    The Curse of Jim Riggleman is in full effect.

  16. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:00 AM

    And Hairston, running for Nix, is WP'd to second, opening up first base. You think nobody has heard of Espinosa? They ain't pitching to him here. Intentional Walk. Bases loaded, one out, Ramos up.Not for long. 5-4-3, on the tag.Still 6-5, them, baja 7.

  17. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    This team needs to find a way to get the magic back. A week ago, it felt like we would somehow find a way to pull a game like this out. Tonight, it seemed like that double play was inevitable.

  18. Drew8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    My God, I hope this tape self-destructs.

  19. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    Coffey perks up the team, and calms down the Angels. 1-2-3 seventh. (Although Desmond did get eaten up by another ground ball to his left, he recovered nicely to get the out.)Stairs, Desmond, Bernadina due up–need at least one, boys.

  20. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    Anonymous @ 1:01 The mere fact that Werth & Stairs have hits tonite gives me hope we will pull this out somehow

  21. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    If one guy gets on, Morse comes to the plate with runners on with Espy behind him. That's our hope at this point.

  22. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:13 AM

    and Matt Stairs will now have a longer stay with the Nats.

  23. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:14 AM

    Coffey will face Abreu, Wells, and Kendrick.

  24. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:20 AM

    And MASN craps out in PG County!

  25. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:22 AM

    Ground ball to short, single, single, single — it's 7-5, one out, runners at first and second, for Ryan Mattheus.

  26. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    Oh MASN just switched from MASN2 to MASN1 on FIOS without notice

  27. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:28 AM

    Oh boy. Like I said, the magic seems to have faded. Let's get it back tomorrow!

  28. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    Man, I am glad Davey is having such a good time, joking around in the dugout while we play our worst game in a long time. Glad he's enjoying himself.

  29. Exposremains - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    good night

  30. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    and Trumbo makes it 9-5, Angels, with a double crushed into the gap.Under normal circumstances, I'd consider going to bed now …Conger deep into the right field seats. 11-5.FP is funny, tho. Describing Conger's swing as "Lift and Separate!" If you're old enough to get that, you are probably asleep now. Desmond gets another hot potato at short for the — what is that, their fifth? error. Mercy. We go to the ninth.

  31. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    The boys have been through a lot the last few days… so no surprise they struggle tonite. We got JZimm tomorrow and some good home cookin' when they get back.

  32. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    I'm old enough to remember "lift & separate" and still awake

  33. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    C'mon, boys–one quick touchdown and we're right back in this thing!Werth flies to left. One out.

  34. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    Those of us old enough to get it Sec3, had the luxury of a nap this afternoon, and get to sleep in this morning.

  35. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    And don't have to work tomorrow

  36. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    Zimmerman waves at a curve he couldn't hit with a broom. 2 outs, Jerry Hairston is it.

  37. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    I mean work today!

  38. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    ain't retirement grand!

  39. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:41 AM

    Approximately 275 minutes of baseball, and the less said about it the better.I wonder if the distractions are finally catching up with them, now that they can take a breath.Hairston walks, Morse singles … hey, play all 27.

  40. rmoore446 - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:43 AM

    This was one ugly game. Bummer.

  41. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:44 AM

    Ballgame.

  42. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    Good night Nats, let's salvage a win tomorrow for a split this trip! And kick ass at home! GYFNG!

  43. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    I agree the boys need to get home, have a day off and have a chance to clear their heads.

  44. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:49 AM

    glad you're enjoying it, danny and dj–me, I got about six hours to get eight hours sleep. Wish me luck.

  45. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:53 AM

    Good luck Sec 3 and thanks

  46. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    At the game tonight in SoCal. Just a couple of notes. Angels fans are intense. 41000 for a tuesday night game against the nats. They really show up and support the team. The infield looks horrible condition. Many of those errors were bad hops, you can see they are trying to save water or something by not watering the grass or something. DJ visiting pitchers in the middle of counts has got to be unnerving. I do not know what he thinks he can accomplish by this but it seems more of a distraction.watching todd coffey run from the bullpen is great.also enjoyed seeing the racing presidents at them game.

  47. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    I'm glad I went to bed…

  48. natsfan1a - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Ugh. Not a good game results email; the box score wasn't looking good, either; so I came here to read Mark's (strike that), sec3's commentary. (Good job on the PBP, btw. I LOL'd a bunch.) Maybe I'll go downstairs and see whether the DVR self-destructed, maybe I won't. As someone noted, hope our boys can pull off a W tonight, then get back for the off day and some home cooking.Also, just figured out that there are Newer and Newest links on these long game threads. hmmm…I may have missed something in the 277-plus thread. You late-night chatters are gamers, I will say that! :-)Also got the lift and separate but am trying to figure out just what the swing looked like. Is it about the follow-through?

  49. Tim - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Just like old times… sheeeesh, that was ugly…ugliest of the year.I didn't like Davey smiling so much either.GYFNG!

  50. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Here's the bottom line. We had the lead going into the bottom of the 6th. Then DJ makes two bad decisions. Leaving Marquis in and going with Balester aka "ol kerosene" Where's Riggs when you need him

  51. m20832 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    At least they scored more than two runs! The offense is looking better and they did have a 5-3 lead. With JZimm pitching today, they will get the split and be back home.GYFNG!!!!!

  52. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    glad we got a new manager. THE NATS ARE BACK. They suck!!

  53. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Out the door with 5 hours sleep. Thanks Balester!

  54. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Sec3 thanks for the commentary,still dragging this AM and not the good wake up I was hoping for…I think the field is in worse shape than we think. Curse you Bono!We only have 1 game left here.. let's get the boys home

  55. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Will said:Can someone remind me why Desmond is in Washington and not Harrisburg? I'm not trying to be overly negative…just, if you think Desmond is the answer at SS, why?–/————–_Oh, because he just went, like close to a couple of months, without an error? Not trying…? Another natural gift for negativity, apparently…. I wasn't watching, but it was mentioned that this infield is in lousy shape.I value everybody's opinion…. but prefacing an opportunistically negative comment with "Hey, not trying to be negative…", is, basically, pissing on my head, and telling me it's raining. At least be honest, in your negativity.

  56. FS - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    So glad I did not stay awake to see this. LOLWith Jordan on mound, we have a shot at avoiding the sweep. Come on guys, let's get them.

  57. N. Cognito - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Tim said… "Just like old times… sheeeesh, that was ugly…ugliest of the year.I didn't like Davey smiling so much either."Davey understands that the baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint. Many fans don't know that, don't understand that or forget it.

  58. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Roger that, N. Cog… Would any of us be happier, if Davey was cussing, benching folks, and pointing fingers?As I point out, Every Single Year, after losing my Fantasy Football opener:"MARATHON. NOT SPRINT."

  59. m20832 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    I believe we as fans would be happier if DJ benched Stares…

  60. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Negativity alert.I hate Bono. He screwed up the field in Anaheim. Made the Marlins play a weekend series in Seattle, because there was to be a concert tonight. 3 days after the series would be over. Come on Man.I made it to the bottom of the 8th once Trumbo hit the double I was out of there.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 49 --
ATLANTA 58 52 1.5
MIAMI 53 56 6.0
NEW YORK 52 57 7.0
PHILADELPHIA 49 61 10.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Braves 7:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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