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Game 81: Nats at Angels

Jun 29, 2011, 8:17 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to avoid a series sweep this evening at Angel Stadium.

Davey Johnson mentioned the other night the need to perhaps give a couple of ailing guys some rest, especially with a scheduled day off tomorrow in advance of the homestand. So it's perhaps not surprising he's letting several regulars sit for this evening's series finale in Anaheim.

Jayson Werth is on the bench. So is Laynce Nix. So is Ian Desmond. That does lead to an unconventional lineup, featuring Brian Bixler in right field batting second, Matt Stairs (who recorded his first RBI last night) hitting cleanup and Alex Cora at shortstop.

That lineup will be facing a tough right-hander in Dan Haren, but the Nationals send their own tough righty to the mound in Jordan Zimmermann, seeking his 11th consecutive quality start.

As you know, I'm not in Anaheim for the end of this series, so enjoy the game (which thankfully is being played in prime time here on the East Coast). I'll be back at the ballpark Friday night for the start of the homestand…

NATIONALS at ANGELS
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 182
Weather: Sunny, 74 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (40-40)
CF Roger Bernadina
RF Brian Bixler
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Matt Stairs

Read more »

109 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anomynous - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Here's the thing about this lineup. I recall a couple of games this season when Riggleman put out what looked to be a train wreck of a lineup. Funny thing is the Nats won those games. It may also work for Davey. So, I'm reserving judgment.

  2. Frediemac - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Stairs in the cleanup spot…Do they call this the mail it in game?

  3. SonnyG10 - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Alright guys, lets get some run support for Jordan, tonight and avoid a sweep. GYFNG!!!

  4. Nats Outsider - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Frediemac said… Stairs in the cleanup spot…Do they call this the mail it in game?It does look like Johnson has decided, after last night's debacle, that the best thing to do is start fresh again at home.

  5. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Interesting strategy here. I hope JZimm doesn't get discouraged by the lineup. I also would hit Morse 4. I think managers put to much thought into the RLR staggering.What the hell do I know though?

  6. Wally - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Hey, there is good news here. After Danny bats, I can catch up on old Swamp People episodes until we swing back to Bernie.

  7. TheRube - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    I'm fine sitting Nix (injury) and Werth (get his head right?). Not sure about sitting Desi. Is his leg still hurting?The Bernadina/Bixler experiment could be interesting. Two speedsters on base for Zim to bring home. Assuming they get on base.Honestly, let Matt Stairs swing away. This is his last chance to get 3 or 4 at bats in a single game. I want to see if he can put something together (last night was pleasant enough).And, finally, if Davey's lineups aren't working in a couple games and we need a negative nickname for him, it's gotta have something to do with the fact every time the camera shows him in the dugout he is expelling a stream of brown spit. Chewy perhaps?

  8. P. Cole - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    I'll admit that I've never been a fan of Werth as a ball player, but did you all see his ridiculous quote in Kilgore's piece?I like to think that just my presence, just me being here, has helped the team.Indeed, his presence has helped guys like Desmond, Ankiel, and Stairs look not-so-bad. Well, maybe not Stairs.

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Purely symbolic, of course (unless you had money on it), but a win tonite means they finish the first half in the black; a loss and they are in the red.

  10. Stranded_in_Philly - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Hey look! I fixed it!CF Roger Bernadina2B Danny Espinosa3B Ryan Zimmerman1B Michael MorseDH Matt StairsLF Jerry HairstonC Ivan RodriguezRF Brian BixlerSS Alex Cora……or…..kinda fixed it. Yeah. Thats a pretty awful lineup no matter how you put it together. I think about half of our lineup is where dreams, rainbows and puppies go to die.

  11. Fake Johnny Holliday - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    And, finally, if Davey's lineups aren't working in a couple games and we need a negative nickname for himWhat are you guys, twelve?

  12. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    This is game 81 time for the half time awardsAmerican LeagueMVP: Adrean GonzalezCy Young: CC Sabathia (though Beckett is close)Rokie of year : Michael PninadaManager of the Year: Manny Acta edges out Eric WedgeNational LeagueMVP: Matt Kemp (though if you have to be from a winning team Prince Fielder)Cy Young: Roy HalladayROokie of the Year: Danny EspinosaManager of the Year: Kirk Gibson edges out Clint Hurdle.I know we all have different opinions. Lets hear others.

  13. A DC Wonk - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Look, guys need a break once in a while. Only the Nats players themselves, and hopefully Davey, know what's been going on over the past week.In another thread, someone was complaining that Davey was smiling a lot during yesterday's game. I have the same response: we don't know what's going on in the dugout.I remember, quite clearly, that after the Mets had lost the first two games (at home!) of their 1986 World Series against the Red Sox, Davey gave the whole team a day off. No batting practice, no nothing. Some in the media were livid, others were calling him arrogant. Davey explained later that the Mets had just finished a very stressful playoffs against the Astros (including winning the finale in a 16-inning thriller where they blew at least two saves), and he felt the players were burnt out and just needed a break.The results speak for themselves.

  14. Another_Sam - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Sofa — Regarding tonight determining red or black for first half: I'll take it. In April I'd never have guessed this.

  15. NatStat - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Must be some hidden sabermetrics in Davey's lineup. Obviously it's important that Stairs be 'protected' by Morse; vice-versa would be goofy.

  16. Bowdenball - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    I guess Davey Johnson has Haren on his fantasy baseball team?DC Wonk- Desmond had a day off recently. All the guys have a day off tomorrow. And most of them have a mini-vacation less than two weeks away. This game is the difference between returning home for a long home stand over .500 vs. under .500. That affects buzz going into the home stand and maybe even ticket sales. I'll give Davey the benefit of the doubt, but to me it looks like he's protecting his regular players who are slumping a bit from having to hit against a great pitcher in difficult hitting conditions. If that's the case, I don't like it. The team comes first, and if they're egos can't handle struggling against the likes of Dan Haren they've got bigger problems than a day off can fix.

  17. FS - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Not even Connie Mack can convince me that hitting Stairs ahead of Morse and Espinosa is good.Then again this might be Stairs' send-off game.Either way, we better win tonight.

  18. Bowdenball - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    "their egos." Sorry.

  19. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    NatStat, I think it has more to do with R-L-R alternation. Sabermatricians tend to scoff at the idea of "protection" and don't really buy into it. On the other hand, if there are "hidden sabermetrics" into batting Stairs cleanup and Bixler in the 2-hole, it would go against everything I've ever read about sabermetrics, ever. 1, 2 and 4 are considered the top 3 lineup spots in sabermetrics. I actually don't mind this lineup, even though it appears he just picked names out of a hat and randomly wrote them in. Get a couple guys in there who haven't been seeing a lot of ABs and let them go get some. We'll see how it works out, I guess.

  20. DFL - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Wouldn't it be something if Stairs broke out, homered twice, and knocked in five runs?As for the Mets-Red Sox series mentioned by DC Wonk, that series was lost by the Sox manager McNamara. He should have had Stapleton in at first and not the gimpy Buckner. Ironically, Stapleton would have gone out a champ as he never played major league baseball again. The '86 World Series was Stapleton's swan song. Still, Buckner choked on the ball.

  21. waddu eye no - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    wouldn't it be nice if Babe Ruth rose from the dead from the middle of the mound, scared the angels away, and we win be default? if you're gonna dream, dream big.though the stairs dream is pretty huge ;-)

  22. NatsLady - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Well, so much for a "stable lineup". That lasted two games.IMO, Davey is sitting out certain players and pretty much threw the rest of them in the mix as best he could, with the idea that when we get back to DC the folks are rested and ready. I'm not saying he's conceding the game and sweep to LA, I'm saying that he's considering the state of both the players' minds and their bodies. It's a long season and you have to pace yourself. Bear in mind we have a double-header on Saturday, and bear in mind it is predicted to be HOT and HUMID for the holiday weekend. And the Pirates, amazingly, are not a hopeless team.

  23. carolync - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    As one who stayed up and watched last night's debacle, I applaud Johnson for this line-up and I won't be surprised if these guys do well. Stairs had two hits and an RBI last night which is more than you can say for Werth and Desmond. They have both looked awful at the plate of late and Desmond had two errors at short. Whatever happened to sitting out guys who weren't performing?I'm looking forward to seeing how this works. Go Nats!

  24. Bzl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    @waddu eye no… long time since I laughed this hard!@DFL, people seem to forget that the game was *tied* when Buckner booted the ball. Mets could've easily won that game in extras.I think we have a good shot at winning this game, what with JZimm on the mound.

  25. natsfan1a - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    AnotherSam, I'd not have guessed it either. Who among us would have? (If so, as Mark has been known to say – liars. ;-))Thanks to the baseball deities for a game that starts several hours before 10 p.m. Woohoo!Good point by NatsLady re. the upcoming doubleheader. Kinda cool to see the Pirates rising in the standings as well, imo (but not this weekend, Bucco).Last but not least, how many times have the Nats faithful bemoaned a lineup only to have the players involved break out with a great win? It's been known to happen. I'm just saying.

  26. phil dunn - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    FYI, I believe tomorrow is the last day for All Star voting. Don't forget to do a write-in for Matty Stairs. I voted for Espinosa at 2B and Morse in the outfield. No one else on the team is deserving, except for Matty.

  27. sjm308 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Did someone really post "we better win" or else what?Wow, what are you going to do if they lose, quite rooting? Not go to games? Tell Rizzo to fire Davey?How many of you would love to see us at .500 after 82 games? We can still do that. I am not happy with the last two games and I imagine most of you are feeling the same, but I will still be rooting them to a 3-3 record on this away trip. Also thankful for no more dh the rest of the season. Back to real baseball for the last 81 games and also we will play more games at home then on the road the second half. I honestly figured 75-78 wins this year and we are certainly on track for that but now, I would love to see us hover around .500 through the All-Star break and then hopefully make one more rush with another nice winning streak. It could happen.go Nats!!!

  28. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    At least we are spared of having to watch Jason Werthless tonight.

  29. Wally - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Hey, here is the best thing that will happen in Natsville today. A tweet by #37stras37 Felt strong today and curve ball was working much better today for the 2nd time throwing some. Pretty excited for Saturday one step closer!18 minutes ago

  30. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Okay – some of you need to take the night off as well! Geesh.. Give these guys a break! We have no idea what is going on in the clubhouse. It could have been a NIGHTMARE. The team seemed more broken up about losing Mac than they did Riggs? And if anyone had told any of us that we would be One up or One down at the halfway point during that horrible stretch in May, don't you think we would be jumping for joy!!!

  31. Wally - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Haren has the highest sock length in the majors.

  32. Dave - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    Hey, 1a, thanks for mentioning the starting time. I didn't even pay attention. I've turned on Bob and FP. If I hadn't heeded your hint, I would've missed the whole game.

  33. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    On another note.. I just bought my Danny Espinosa jersey.. They were having a sale on the website for $20 off…

  34. Wally - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Speaking of Danny, I think the major league record for homers by a rookie 2B is 27. Danny has a chance (and a sound bite like that can really help things like Rookie of the Year).I wonder what % of Pudge's ABs resulted in a groundball between 1st and 2d base (hit or groundout). I am going to guess something ridiculously high, like 20%. Anyone know of a way to check that?

  35. CBinDC - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    So what are we to make of this so far ……they look like the energy that got them through the Chicago series is gone and with it the winning they had come to expect or is it an expected blip soon to right it self after they get home.

  36. CBinDC - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    And have they won one game with Matt Stairs starting ?

  37. Wally - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Not Morse's best defensive play, but it didn't hurt us.I am a big fan of Bourjos, and would love to see us make a run at him, once they are ready to bring up Trout. Sick, sick defense in CF, which we could use with a corner group of Werth, Harper, Nix, Morse, etc. Very fast, too. Hits enough to stay in the lineup.

  38. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Bad throw by Zimm, but not Danny's best effort either. Short armed it, worried about the runner. We called that 'alligator arms' in football.On the other hand, I don't ever think I have seen Cora make a bad throw. One run could be a lot today.By the way, I am trending. 5 out of last 10 posts. Feels like singing in the shower.

  39. Drew8 - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    The Nats hit a lot better on the commercials.Let's go, boys!

  40. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    OUCH.. that looks terrible…

  41. CBinDC - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Ok they are now reverting to the no hit, error all the time team of last year ……..what happened to the crisp defense ….and the hitting well it's trouble any time

  42. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    The only good thing right now is that Haren is near 100 pitches.

  43. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    That was a silly play all around (except fo JZimm). Strikeout, wild pitch, error on throw to first, out at second

  44. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    That, on the other hand, was an excellent play by Bernie.Trending again

  45. Andrew - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Wally, I think no error unless he was safe at 2nd.Bernadina and Bixler with outfield assists in this inning! JZim with no earned runs. The Nats have to get some offense going!

  46. dj in Fl. - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Great throws Bix and Bernie!If all else fails get at the pass boys.

  47. CBinDC - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    WHY OH WHY Is Matt Stairs on this team …when he went missing they won ….here he is back and bam nothing

  48. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Andrew – you must be right, because the box score still shows only 1 error. Odd rule, though. If he stays at 1st, there would have been an error. So bad baserunning nullifies Pudge's error?

  49. Stranded_in_Philly - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Is it sad that when I heard Bob say, "Strikeout number 5 for Haren," in my head I heard "Strikeout number 5 for Stairs" and didn't find it odd at all that he had that many K's by the 7th inning?

  50. Exposremains - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    I seem to recall some pretty bad looking Nats against Haren in past years games.

  51. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Stranded – what is even sadder is that JZ probably only has 8 or 9 starts left (160 inning cap – 100 innings pitched so far). 60 innings left, and he has been going at least 7. Think early August shutdown.Bummer.

  52. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    Wally, don't remind me of the innings cap…It will be a sad day in Nats down when they shut JZimm down.. Only way it gets better is if Stras is on the September Call ups..

  53. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    Town.. not down…

  54. CBinDC - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    oHH well I sure hope this not how they play Sat. when I go to the park

  55. CBinDC - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    So is this how the Johnson era starts a 3 game losing streak ???

  56. nationals7 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    I'm not going to know how to go to bed at a decent hour. Pudge on base… let the games begin!

  57. Stranded_in_Philly - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    WallyThat is sad. He's been great for my fantasy team.Oh well, its a dynasty league, thats why I went after him.

  58. JaneB - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    My day started early and I just sat down to look at NIer for the first time twenty minutes ago. Sec3, I loved the way you "called" some of those plays from last night, the dying quail in particular, Grandstander and some others cracked me up. So, these guys are just tired. Letting down after a crisis. It happens in real life — you charge through the tough part and then sort of implode some — and it happens in baseball. It ain't pretty tonight but I'm not worried. Except I am worried about JHJr. More than a contusion would not be good. He makes stuff happen.U2 has been ruining baseball games all over America this month, haven't they? I hope Baltimore is as close as they get to DC. And I hope they play in Philly. Three times. All a week apart. But not when we are scheduled to be up there.

  59. CBinDC - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    I have seen U2 on three tours and really best was the ZooTV tour at RFK …..in the next two tours they got so over large it felt like a caricature of themselves…..so I have had my life time fill.

  60. nationals7 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Wally, tnx for carrying us tonight.

  61. Drew8 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    On Sunday Dora the Explorer is coming to Nats Park. Maybe she can hit with runners in exploring position.

  62. Exposremains - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    I can't stand 1-0 game. Too many.

  63. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    I think we are all exhausted from the last two nights.. Way to go Wally for keeping up the chatter…

  64. MIcheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    umm.. did anyone see Davey's comments about roster changes he would like to see.. Any guesses on what that means?

  65. Gonat - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    JZim's ERA down to 2.63 and of course deserves a Win. No earned runs today. After the way the Angels have pounded the Nats pitchers in this series, I can really appreciate this performance and his 11th straight quality start.Not sure what it is on Mark's pitching index but it should be good.

  66. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Ok, if Stairs go yard here, is all forgiven?

  67. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Wally.. you jinxed him!

  68. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Michele – I was going for the reverse jinx there. Figured it couldn't hurt

  69. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Come home boys.. get some home cooking and get a good night sleep!

  70. FS aka neganon - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    WOW we got swept by the Angels, thanks to Zimmerman. That's just pathetic. When he came off the DL, he was not helping. But now he is just hurting the team. Demote him to AAA.

  71. CBinDC - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Well right back to the bottom we go …… I am not sure why coming into this situation Johnson did not make Stairs the bench coach instead of playing him every day ….HE ADDS NOTHING WHY IS HE PLAYING !!!!!!!!!! He keeps this up and he will surpass Wilie Mo Pena as the greatest nothing in Nationals history

  72. Exposremains - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    MicheleWhat comment about roster?

  73. FS - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Seriously though, glad the road trip is over. We just did not have it against the Angels. We played well against the White Sox so not sure what the Angels were doing right against us. Now we have like 11 games in 10 days I believe at home. Hope we can do some damage against Pirates, Cubs, and Rockies, and get back over .500.

  74. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    It was on one of Kilgore's Journal entries. He was making comments about changes that he would like to see, not specifics just a general comment.

  75. Drew8 - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    On a happier note — and at this point a plague of locusts would qualify — there's another impressive reclamation project in the Nats' minor league system. While we wait for the blue-chippers like Cole, Ray, Solis and Meyer, the organization seems to thrive on turning late-round pitchers into bonafide prospects.At Hagerstown a starter named Taylor Jordan is now 8-3 with a 2.63 ERA, 56 k's and 21 walks.He's a 9th round 2009 pick out of Brevard CC in Florida. Until this year he didn't seem like much of a prospect, but now he's third in ERA in the Sally. Mind you, that's a hitters league. Harper's 45 RBIs in 67 games rank 11th!Like Brad Peacock in AA (41st round in 2006) something has turned Jordan around.Meantime, how's this for an incredible stat. At Syracuse Tom Milone (10th rounder, 2008) has 95 strikeouts and FIVE walks.Maybe it's as simple as McCatty's mantra: "Throw strikes, meat." But it seems Spin Williams and his troops are doing a bang-up job.

  76. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Wally said… Andrew – you must be right, because the box score still shows only 1 error. Odd rule, though. If he stays at 1st, there would have been an error. So bad baserunning nullifies Pudge's error?I have been ab official scorer for many years. There was no error on that play. Not sure what you are talking about. The man gets to first on the Wild pitch (that is an error, but never called one). Had he advanced to second then an E2. had he stayed at first no error. That is one of the rules I don;t like, but has been that way for years.

  77. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    If you would have asked me before the season if I would be happy with 40-41 half time record I would say yes. we are where we should be. Pitchers have been good enough to easily have won 60 games. Hitters good enough to easily win 10 games. Fielders good enough to win 50 games. those add up to 120 divided by three equal 40. Right where we are at.Are the hitters as a whole any better than opening game 2-0 lost. NO. Has front office approached the problem? No. Have they tried tweaking the pitching yes. Has the pitching been the problem? No, Sees their focus has been on the wrong part. Only thing I hate more than the Nats hitting is the word verification for this. some of the fonts are too funky to read.

  78. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    At least Willy Moe used to hit long foul balls…..seeing ZERO anything from Stairs

  79. NATSONE - Jun 30, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    Michele, I have a feeling you might have bought your Espinosa jersey too soon. With Johny Mac gone, I think Espi will change to his college and minors #8 (see link http://www.flickr.com/photos/amandarykoff/4114243326/ ) I'm thinking this happens right after the ASG. We'll see…Another link: http://www.longbeachstate.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/espinosa_danny01.html

  80. Scooter - Jun 30, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    Dude, that just makes the #18 jersey a collector's item.

  81. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    Are the hitters as a whole any better than opening game 2-0 lost. NO. Has front office approached the problem? No. Have they tried tweaking the pitching yes. Has the pitching been the problem? No, Sees their focus has been on the wrong part. Has the front office addressed the problem? YES.1, They drafted an elite hitter who may be the best college hitter drafted in over a decade. He is capable of gold glove level play at third base.2. They've brought in Matt Antonelli, Jesus Valdez into Syracuse. Christ Marerro continues to develop and improve. Steve Lombardozzi has been promoted to Syracuse and continues in the same vein.3. They drafted Brian Goodwin in the sandwich round.4.. They are developing Bernadina and Espinosa who continue to improvebefore our eyes.What you're asking is whole sale replacement of players like Matt Stairs, Rick Ankiel, in other words the under performers. You can add Pudge Rodriguez, Jayson Werth, and Ian Desmond to that list.Point here is Rizzo is right in what he says when says he will only execute deals that improve the ballclub both now in 2011 and into the foreseeable future. Does it help the club to sell of a just barely jump started farm system for someone like Reyes? For a prospect like Peter Bourjous? If you were against selling it for Zach Grienke who is clearly more valuable why would you think it was for a hitter! Dumbkoff! These are the German Secret Papers: bowel movement. Yep, its that ridiculous. That stupid. NO he isn't going to make a trade just because you don't like the way they are hitting now. Its going to be done carefully and methodically. The surprise acquisition of Rendon pretty much changes everything. He is capable of achieving the majors as fast as Zimmerman did. There is your other bat. Young, controlled by the club, good or excellent well into the future. But, yes it requires some patience to develop a Harper and a Rendon to go with a Bernadina, a Lombardozzi, an Espinosa. And in the end it will be more important to re-up the contract of Ryan Zimmerman than to bring in some hitter that could just as easily end up like Dunn, or Wells, or Crawford in Boston. To say the front office is doing nothing is ridiculous. They are building a franchise, an organization not just for this year for many years hence.

  82. NATSONE - Jun 30, 2011 at 6:16 AM

    You know all this talk about the Nats going after BJ Upton, I think they're going after the wrong guy. I think a trade for Michael Bourn is in order. Even if we overpay a little. That kind of PROVEN tablesetter is what this team needs badly. I hope Rizzo would work on that one. It's not like the Astros are going anywhere.

  83. natsfan1a - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Excellllent, Smithers.JaneB said…… U2 has been ruining baseball games all over America this month, haven't they? I hope Baltimore is as close as they get to DC. And I hope they play in Philly. Three times. All a week apart. But not when we are scheduled to be up there. June 29, 2011 9:04 PM

  84. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    davey still looking for a W. Where's Riggleman. Zimmerman is just awful. He and Werth need to both go down.

  85. Dave - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    I proudly wear my Storen #58 jersey every chance I get. If you get an Espinosa #18, treasure it as the jersey number he wore in his breakout rookie season. Shows you're not a bandwagoner.

  86. Wally - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Hopefully, these guys get some rest and heal up. This is a banged up club. This series against the Pirates is important. Got to start playing better against the lesser clubs, especially at home. I would really like to see them win three out of four.Hoping Bryce Harper doesn't get promoted for at least another week. Heading up to Jersey shore to visit family, and planning to check out Lakewood-Hagerstown game on Tuesday.

  87. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Out of the six road games, two were bad (the Saturday slump in Chicago, from which the team recovered nicely on Sunday), and the mess on Tuesday. We could have won 4 out of 6. Wednesday's game was a fluke, your SP going the distance with in essence a shutout. So the road trip should have been .500. OK, so the boys are playing .500 ball. That's what we hoped for at the mid-point.

  88. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    P.S., watched the Rays game on MLB TV. BJ Upton? Not impressed. We already have guys who can strike out.

  89. LoveDaNats - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Anyone know anything more about JHJ's wrist? The Post article this morning said the word "broke"

  90. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Do you think Riggs can be coaxed back? Even if we grovel?

  91. natsfan1a - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Not saying that anybody here is a bandwagoner, but technically speaking I believe that would be, say, a Wilkerson jersey. ;-)Re. the w-l record, I wasn't expecting to be this close to .500 midway through this season, and I'm optimistic about the remainder of the season (now at 40-41; last year at 35-46). 46 to go at home (current home record 22-13) and 35 on the road (current road record 18-28, but I believe they've been on a better pace the last few road trips). Out of the division cellar even though they've slid back a notch. And still in the wild card hunt, in theory. Heck, I'll take it.Dave said… I proudly wear my Storen #58 jersey every chance I get. If you get an Espinosa #18, treasure it as the jersey number he wore in his breakout rookie season. Shows you're not a bandwagoner. June 30, 2011 6:46 AM

  92. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    1a, if you're not one of these front-runner arrivistes, there will only ever be one true #18 for real Nats fans: Terrmel "Two-Rs-One-L" Sledge.

  93. Anomynous - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Coax Riggleman back? The heck with that. Let's have a seance and coax back Bucky Harris. The only Washington manager ever to win a WS. Let's thing big people.

  94. Anomynous - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Or "think big" works too.

  95. Dave - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    @natsfan1a, I HAVE a Wilkerson #7 t-shirt ib my closet! Haven't worn it in years, but I can't get rid of it.

  96. Jimmy R - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    So long, suckers. Want me back?

  97. Dave - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    "In my closet…"Damn iPhone.

  98. natsfan1a - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Attaboy, Dave! I always enjoy seeing the "old" jerseys and tees. I believe I have an old Johnson somewhere around here (alright, you guys, knock it off ;-)). I seem to recall seeing one of the "Got Wilk?" tees at some point this year.I wasn't going by jersey numbers but good call re. Sledge, sec3.

  99. N. Cognito - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    A HEADS UP FOR TUESDAYNats Press ReleaseFirst Lady Michelle Obama will join the Washington Nationals to honor military families before the Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs for the second of a three-game series on Tuesday, July 5 at 7:05 p.m.The Nationals have dedicated the day as “Joining Forces with the Washington Nationals – Honoring Our Military Families,” in support of the Joining Forces initiative, which is spearheaded by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. Joining Forces is a national initiative that focuses on mobilizing all sectors of society to support military families.In the spirit of the Nationals’ military outreach, the First Lady will be escorted to home plate by children from military families, one of whom will throw out the first pitch. Mrs. Obama will also join military families when they are recognized by fans during the third inning military tribute, a game day tradition at Nationals Park. In addition, all pregame assets and in-game programming elements – including a special public service announcement featuring the First Lady and Nationals players – will highlight the courage and sacrifice of military families.Fans are encouraged to arrive an hour to two hours earlier than normal due to enhanced security and to reduce the risk of having to stand in line at each gate. Center Field Gates will open at 4:30 p.m., while all gates open at 5:30 p.m.

  100. JaneB - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I have a Wilkerson jersey too! I wore it once last year and someone asked me how you order "one of those jerseys with your own last name on it." When I replied that I had no idea, he asked, "Well, where did you get THAT one?" I have a Storen 25. Which he never wore in a game, as it happens. Oh well. Just finally ordered one made with Livo's number on it. He is my all-time favorite Nat. Took me long enough to do it.

  101. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    My only regret about the Opening Day Jose Vidro jersey is that it doesn't have room for "Past a diving …"Although Jane's guy would probably want to know what "pasta-diving" is…

  102. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Thanks, NCog!

  103. LoveDaNats - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Good one Sec 3!!

  104. Natslifer - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Anon @ 1:30 a.m. – super clear thinking for that time in the morning. Very, very nice job.

  105. Big Cat - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Nats need to come home and regroup. Overall….a great first half, even if we can't hit our way out of a paper sack. I think Davey is gonna make changes. Mold this team after him. I think he wants another lefty in the pen and I think he wanted one last look at Stairs before wielding the ax on him.I wish they would just tell Zim to throw his old way. anytime he throws over the top he looks like a sissy.

  106. Binx Bolling - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    LINE-UP THAT SHOULD BEBernadina CF the only logical choice right nowDesmond SS need to get him goingWerth RF ditto; needs to earn his big moneyZimmerman 3B he's got to lead the clubMorse 1B he's earned itEspinosa 2b he's earned itNix LF only against righties; he's earned itRamos C the future(Hairston plays against lefties in left and Ramos and he switch batting slots)PITCHER

  107. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 30, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Except Bernadina is hitting from every spot in the lineup he's been in, except leadoff. Morse is getting on base. And another thing: they won 1.39 [stuff]loads of games with the pitcher hitting 8th, and immediately lost three in a row when they stopped. Coincidence? Probably. But you respect the streak. You just do.

  108. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    OK, it wasn't immediate, but still.

  109. A DC Wonk - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Uhh, Sec 3, it's hard to bat the pitcher 8th when you're in an AL stadium and they have that detestable DH rule . .

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 17.5
Through Wednesday's games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 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.

*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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