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Series preview: Pirates at Nats

Jul 1, 2011, 2:15 PM EDT

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.77) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 4.18)
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Saturday, 3:35 p.m. — RHP James McDonald (5-4, 4.12) vs. LHP John Lannan (5-5, 3.48)
Game 2, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Brad Lincoln (6-7, 4.14 at AAA) vs. RHP Livan Hernandez (5-8, 3.81)
TV: MASN2 (Game 2 only)
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — RHP Kevin Correia (10-6, 3.79)
vs. RHP Jason Marquis (7-3, 3.62)
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

PIRATES UPDATE
For the first time in a long time, Pittsburgh enters July playing meaningful baseball. Having won six of nine interleague games from the Orioles, Red Sox and Blue Jays, the Pirates find themselves two games over .500, only two games out of first place in the NL Central. That's a remarkable position to be in for a franchise that hasn't sniffed a pennant race since 1997 and hasn't finished with a winning record since 1992.

Like the Nationals, the Pirates have stayed competitive thanks to stellar pitching. And the most important member of the staff might well be old friend Joel Hanrahan, who is enjoying a breakthroughRead more ยป

  1. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Not 2012, not 2013, right now!

  2. Scooter - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Okay, so Fox's contract screws up our TV for Saturday. Does anyone know how this will work? I think MASN can start showing stuff at 7, and I'm hoping that they'll just start broadcasting at that time, no matter where they are in Game 1 or 2.But that's just my guess. If someone has better information, I'd love to hear it. Tanks.

  3. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Win 3 of 4 boys.MASN said that Nats extra will be at 630. I will be in section 3309 for the games Saturday.GYFGN

  4. Exposremains - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    how's that morgan,burnett-milledge-hanrahan trade looking now? Rizzo was praised for that back in 2009 and it was suggested it helped him secured the GM job.

  5. sjm308 - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Can't figure out why I am so nervous about this series. We have been so bad for so long and now we are poised to really do something special and I am not feeling it. Help me out here guys!I imagine people are going to rip nationals FO for the Hanrahan trade but that really is not fair. He was just not getting it done here even though he showed glimpses of what we are seeing now. His era was way over 6 and he needed most of that season and the next to get himself straightened out. Burnett is struggling now but came in and did well for us and Morgan in that first half year was outstanding. I would say its an even trade although there is no doubt Hanrahan is the Pirates All-Star along with McCutcheon.Go Nats!!

  6. JaneB - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Hanrahan is doing great now, and I'm happy for him. But recall what a jump start Nyjer gave us that summer, till he got injured. When he was the Good Nyjer, he was something else. A spark of hope and joy where we had none. I think, i that light, it was a great trade. It was what we needed right then. The good news is that we aren't in an emergency melt down situation anymore, and we can trade for the future, not this very minute.Gonna really miss having Hairston around.sjm, I feel a little nervous too. When a team is a tear, and the Pirates kinda are, they have momentum that helps them. Let's just see our momentum come back as we play at home.GYFNG!

  7. Dave - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Might look like a bad trade right now but it is hard to find relievers that don't crap the bed every year or so. Uhh. . . Ryan Franklin, Brian Fuentes, Brad Lidge, J. Broxton. That is just what happens.

  8. FS - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    We should hope for at least 6-5 home stand before ASG to get back to .500. Anything better is a bonus. I don't want to get into whether this team is capable of better than 6-5 or not.Good to know Pirates are above .500. Now let's hope they are not when they leave town.Any reason why we are not calling up someone for Saturday's DH? Also shouldn't Marquis be pitching game 4?Neil Walker vs Danny Espinosa? Excited to see what happens. Wish I could go to DH. Never been to a DH.

  9. sjm308 - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I would take 6-5 right now!Any word on who will come up with JH going on the dl. I was interested that Detwiller only pitched 2 innings yesterday. Maybe they are thinking of bringing him up? I would love to see him out of the pen as our 2nd lefty.

  10. FS - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Oh I see that you have Marquis listed as game 4 starter, but Nationals site has JZ as the starter? Your post makes sense.

  11. Scooter - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    FS, the double-header might make them need a new guy, but I think that need would show up in the next start. Remember, they just had a day off.If I'm counting right — confidence on that is at about 50% — Wed, 5/6, would be the day for some kind of shenanigans — either a new guy, or someone going on three days' rest.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    sjm308 said…The Nationals have a manager who hasn't managed since 2000, a previous manager who threw the team under the bus, a three game losing streak, and an anemic strike out .232 hitting avg team, nervous isn't the word. How does dread fit? The cliff is close and the Nationals could go either way.

  13. jd - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    We are hosting Pittsburgh, Chicago and Colorado before the break. With all due respect to these teams I am certainly hoping for much better than 6 – 5 on the home stand.

  14. Steve M. - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Exposremains said… how's that morgan,burnett-milledge-hanrahan trade looking now? Rizzo was praised for that back in 2009 and it was suggested it helped him secured the GM job. July 1, 2011 10:48 AM That trade still doesn't look too bad. Joel Hanrahan just needed a change of scenery and Burnett was the same case in Pittsburgh.This trade with Josh Willingham for essentially Henry Rodriguez since Corey Brown is stinking up Syracuse looks like a bad trade considering what Willingham -should- have yielded.Let's just say trades have to be judged years down the road. Nyjer did yield Cutter Dykstra LOL. What a joke that is.The best trade is the one that DIDN'T happen in Zach Greinke for JZim, Espy and Stor-n.Even Jayson Werth's signing can't be judged right now. Way too early although it is good for comic relief.Rizzo is a scout and I fear if the Nats do get BJ Upton it will be a bad trade for the Nats.

  15. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    The problem of course with the hitting is the approach has bot worked most of the season, They swing at too many balls, and let go to many strikes. A good rule of thumb don't swing at breaking pitches or sliders that start at the waste as they will be low, and don't swing at fast balls above the waste as they will be high byy the time they go by.

  16. Internet Hitting Coach - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    And don't swing at balls but swing at strikes. And hit the ball hard. Over the fence if you can.

  17. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Internet Hitting Coach said… And don't swing at balls but swing at strikes. And hit the ball hard. Over the fence if you can.I concur with this…

  18. Internet Pitching Coach - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Also, throw strikes, but not too good of ones.

  19. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Internet Pitching Coach said… Also, throw strikes, but not too good of ones.I concur with this too…

  20. Armchair Manager - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    That's the worse lineup I've ever seen! How are we supposed to win with that lineup? Davey Jones must really want to lose, or maybe the Learner's told him to do it. Probably Rizzo, too.(Oops, posted that a little bit too early. Back later…)

  21. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Armchair Manager said… That's the worse lineup I've ever seen! How are we supposed to win with that lineup? Davey Jones must really want to lose, or maybe the Learner's told him to do it. Probably Rizzo, too. (Oops, posted that a little bit too early. Back later…)I'm not sure what to make of this, but I concur with this as well…

  22. Jim Riggleman - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    The commenters on this blog should all be fired. Or they should resign.Possibly after issuing an ultimatum.

  23. m20832 - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    "Winning" was fun. Can the Nats get back to it please?GYFNG!

  24. gonatsgo - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    I, too , am a little nervous about this homestand. I am hoping that now that the dust has settled, Davey can swallow his quite substantial pride and admit that Riggs wasn't the worst manager ever and some of the things he was doing were being done for a reason and actually worked. I liked the way McClaren just slid right in and kept things humming along without riling things up too much. This team is in a very precarious position right now and the chemical mix was just exactly right for a brief period of time. Now it's been shaken up and needs to find it's way right again. Note: Nix can't play every day right now even if you wanted to keep the line -up the same. Matt Stairs does not have it anymore, and Jayson Werth is really messed up right now. Somehow, the "before" Nats were compensating and pulling it out and the "after" Nats need to get back to that if they can. Each and every game they play has the potential for going either way and every little thing counts in those kind of games. That's a scary way to play, but it's where we are right now. GYFNG Maybe being home will give them a little spark!

  25. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Jim Riggleman said… You killed the buzz. Stop harassing us.I concur…

  26. Exposremains - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    to Steve M.Its possible Hanrahan needed a of change scenery and its hard to predict the future but I can't say it was a good trade for the Nats. For now, the players they got(Morgan and Burnett) haven't done anything for the long term which is what they were presented as back then.As an expos fan, I can tell you that getting Colon at the time it was exciting because it meant that we were going for it that year but its only years later that we found out how bad that trade was.

  27. Dave - Jul 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    This should be a good weekend. If you look at what Milledge and Hanrahan were doing here, I don't see how you can call that a bad trade. Before he went rather eccentric, Morgan gave the Nats some excitement that year. And Hanrahan was doing nothing except giving up games. I'm glad he's gotten it together in the Steel City, but he wasn't doing it in DC. I'm the other Dave, the one who posts here regularly. I wouldn't use a phrase like "craps the bed." Just FYI. GYFNG.

  28. A DC Wonk - Jul 1, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    FWIW, I came pretty close to the over/under on the calls to fire Davey. I said it would happen the first time the Nats lost twice in a row. But, it happened (in the prior thread) after they dropped three. I was close!Oh, and those guys were the same ones complaining last year that we should have hired Buck Showalter as manager, after all, look how he was improving the O's, right?Not.

  29. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    I only wish Werth would stop pressing and have some fun…

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Good trades don't always have good outcomes, unless that's your only definition of good (which is not indefensible, but it's not mine).

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Vinny Castilla for Brian Lawrence, for instance–that was just bad luck.

  32. David - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    who else is ready to see Desmond and Marquis shipped for a true starting CF (like Upton) and some prospect?

  33. JaneB - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    David: NOT ME! not for Upton. I recognize that Marquis is going for someone. But I do not want to break up the kings of the double play.

  34. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    The best trade is the one that DIDN'T happen in Zach Greinke for JZim, Espy and Stor-n.Even Jayson Werth's signing can't be judged right now. Way too early although it is good for comic relief.Rizzo is a scout and I fear if the Nats do get BJ Upton it will be a bad trade for the Nats.Remember, the owner had a lot to do with this. Not Mark. Ted. I believe Grienke mentioned how impressed he was with Ted Lerner's unwavering desire to win now. But Grienke himself saw how the trade would hurt more than help the Nationals, and so he demurred. Ted wasn't any more patient with Mike Rizzo than many fans after realizing how badly and shamefully bamboozled he was by Jim Bowden. But, I believe he is learning to trust Rizzo more and more. Its an ongoing progression. Its why I will disagree with Boswell's contention that its good Davey Johnson only met Ted Lerner once. I believe it would help both Rizzo and Lerner to succeed if Johnson, Rizzo and Ted Lerner spend a good deal of time together. It might just make what Boz calls average into something uniquely unprecedented … very, very quickly.

  35. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    As for BJ Upton. Rizzo believes (see Joel Hanrahan discussion above) a change of scenery would be what the doctor ordered for Upton.And let us not fail to remember that he is a childhood friend and former teammate of Ryan Zimmerman. There are too many good reasons to take a flyer on Upton if he can be acquired reasonably cheaply from the Rays.

  36. The Nationals "Secret" Rapture Shark - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Ahhh what a delightful meal … old, thin and tough Riggleman was delightfully skewered by so many pundits … well tenderized and melt in your mouth … I warned you I was circling … circling … I always get my prey …But, wait I am still hungry for a delectably chubby, slow Matty Stairs …

  37. Grandstander - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    BJ Upton talk aside, Mike Cameron was just DFA'd by Boston. He's almost guaranteed to clear waiver with over $3 million left on his contract. Could be a good stopgap get for us with Hairston out for a month and likely not playing to well after that.Are we just operating under the assumption right now that Ankiel and Hairston are swapping places on the DL? That's leaving us mighty thin on right-handed bats…

  38. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Are we just operating under the assumption right now that Ankiel and Hairston are swapping places on the DL? That's leaving us mighty thin on right-handed bats…They'd probably be better off bringing up Antonelli along with Ankiel. But Ankiel's injury is a lingering one that would affect his bat. And it was already pretty much ZERO. Lombardozzi then becomes interesting because he is a switch hitter. Doubtless, player development would like to see him play every day in AAA for awhile.

  39. Unkyd - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Guys who "just need a change of scenery", too often seem to need another one, sooner, rather than later. I've yet to hear any one make a convincing case for Upton, over Bernie, who seems to already appreciate the scenery, just fine.

  40. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Speaking of which, Bill Ladson tweets: was just informed that Rick Ankiel is back with the big-league team

  41. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    I've yet to hear any one make a convincing case for Upton, over Bernie, who seems to already appreciate the scenery, just fine.Rizzo believes in competition. Real competition not the kind represented by Rick Ankiel one would hope. BJ Upton provides that. Bernadina provides that. As should Corey Brown eventually. Its not a case of one over the other its a case of finding the one who takes over the position and makes it theirs.

  42. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Ladson also tweets:The #Nats are looking for a long-term solution in center field. #MLBMike Cameron, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox, is not considered the answer in center field for the #Nats

  43. Unkyd - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Wonder if Davey will feel compelled to play Ankiel regularly in CF…. Shouldn't Bernie be out there, every day? Not just because we want an extended sample to grade him on, but because he's played MUCH BETTER than Ankiel?!

  44. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Wonder if Davey will feel compelled to play Ankiel regularly in CF…. Shouldn't Bernie be out there, every day?Bernadina's made the grade. Johnson said he was his lead off hitter at least for now. Johnson doesn't strike me as the Riggleman type who changes his mind 2 lineups later. Riggleman needed to go. As I too often said so very many times … its a huge relief both for the educated fan and for his clubhouse which clearly preferred his bench coach John McLaren.That doesn't mean Johnson won't throw Ankiel into the fire. Remember he intimated that he was evaluating his roster. Let's assume he is going to spend the remaining games before the all-star break doing that. And then? Well, we'll see but I suspect changes will be made.

  45. Oldguy - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Unkyd …Well, he had MS batting cleanup. What does that tell you? And on that subject, why was MS the first (and as far as I know only) player to badmouth our former manager after he left? Which leads me to wonder if he started one of those "fires" Rizzo allegedly had to put out.As for Upton, go back and review the dustup he had with Longoria last year. Pretty ugly. Is he a "character" guy?

  46. sjm308 - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    So Matt Stairs dodges another bullet. Hope to see Bernadina in the lineup but would understand DJ wanting to see just what he has in this homestand. On a totally unrelated note, I just used my last Red Carpet Reward points for tickets and I can only hope they continue that program. I ordered the games yesterday and they were ready to be printed this afternoon. I asked for section 308-310 and got 310 for all 4 tickets. I realize the Lerners will get my money on beer but its still basically free baseball and I love it.Go Nats!!

  47. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Kilgore tweets: Nats make it official; Hairston to DL, Ankiel reinstated.Backup utility infielders look now to be righty Brian Bixler and lefty Alex Cora. Bixler, like Hairston, can manage in all three positions in the outfield. The Nats now have 3 left-handed starting outfielders and 1 right handed again.

  48. DFL - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    With Hairston out a while and Clippard and Storen showing wear, I'd replace Hairston with another pitcher, maybe Stammen. Stammen's going to start some games in September anyway, why not have him help relieve the stress in the bullpen. Even if he's not as fine a player as Hairston, Bixler has shown to be a utilityman in the same mold. Perhaps he can learn catching.

  49. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    As for Upton, go back and review the dustup he had with Longoria last year. Pretty ugly. Is he a "character" guy?He's a Zimmerman guy. And if the FO is smart they will want to do everything in their power to cajole Ryan Zimmerman into re-upping his contract for 5 or more years (remember he is STILL ONLY 26!).

  50. Unkyd - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    @2:43… Point taken. But you make a good argument for picking Upton up cheap…. as in for one prospect. We're deep at MI… And when is Upton scheduled to be paid? If a financial trigger needs to be pulled this winter… We won't be educated, will we?

  51. Jose Cuervo - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Oldguy…… just what did Stairs have to say about Riggleman? Apparently I must have missed those comments.

  52. Unkyd - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Do we even know that Zim is an Upton fan? Just because they are friends and share history doesn't mean Zim would lobby for his presence… I have lots of friends, old, dear friends, who play music, but I wouldn't want some of them in my band, for reasons of chemistry, as well as skill level. Does anyone have a quote suggesting Ryan wants his homey aboard? It's often thrown out there as a positive… Show me.

  53. masnstinks - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    I really hope that Davey Johnson puts everything aside – his past, this team's past and the recent manager debacle — and seriously looks at each and every player on the roster. He needs to ignore reputations, past stats and contract numbers and choose up sides as if he were on the playground – who can help me win this game tonight?Who looked good in the cages today? Who plays full-out 100% all the time? There are too many non-baseball reasons interfering with the line-up. I kind of thought that he might go all old-school and start moving people down in the line-up or benching people who field balls in a lazy, bare-handed kind of way ( not mentioning any names here). I think he's got the juice with Rizzo to pretty much do what he wants. Will he just tinker until after the all-star break? Come on, Nats, go out there and play your hearts out!Pittsburgh has a nice little buzz going – be kind of nice to pop their bubble a little bit.

  54. Anonymous - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Has anybody seen any line-ups yet? Please, please, please don't start Ankiel!!!! The Shark needs to play! Ankiel was terrible even in AAA. He and Stairs must have some dirt on someone to still be on this team. And now I need to go breathe into a bag – hyperventilating at the thought of Ankiel and Stairs playing…….

  55. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    I just saw the post that Ankiel is back with the team. Hairston out, Ankiel back – this team just took a step backwards.

  56. Grandstander - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    If Ankiel and Stairs are starting tonight, I'm not even going to go. What position would he play? Left? Has he had more than like 5 starts at first?

  57. A DC Wonk - Jul 1, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    masnstinks wrote: "I kind of thought that he might go all old-school and start moving people down in the line-up"Davey doesn't bench players for poor performance if it thinks the player has upside and if he thinks it will hurt their self confidence. He's always been a "short term pain for long term gain" kind of manager. He'll let young pitcher try to work out of early game jams, even if it backfires, to pick just one example.He probably _would_ bench a player for poor effort, however. But we haven't seen any lazy, barehanded efforts since he came aboard.

  58. Tim - Jul 1, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    sjm308… Pirates are a hot team comin' in and they're feeling it, overcoming a lot of injuries. The Nats are not the juggernats of a week ago but they're ready for some home cookin'.Hanrahan? Time for two a blown save. Sorry Joel.Home Sweet Home.GYFNG!

  59. Tim - Jul 1, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    CF – I've been lobbying for about a week for Michael Bourn. He's signed through the end of this year and would be a free agent after the season. He's making $4.4M this year. He's about a .280/.360/.400 player who has 34 steals and plays a gold Glove centerfield (in '09 & '10). Denard Span's stats don't compare and people have mentioned Borjos (sp?) who we just saw in Anaheim. No track record. That would be a huge mistake.This is one of the missing pieces for a championship run for the next few years. Let's make it count!The 'stros need catching and we have some answers there, to be sure.

  60. SilverSpring8 - Jul 1, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    When you think back to Milledge's poor defense, nonexistent offense and lack of professionalism, plus Hanrahan's utter inability to pitch (blown save after blown save), you can't call it a bad trade. Even though Burnett is struggling now, he was lights out last year, and as others have noted, Good Nyjer jump-started us before he turned into Crazy Nyjer.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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