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Game 93: Nats at Braves

Jul 15, 2011, 7:38 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats open the second half of the season at Turner Field.

ATLANTA — Hello from Turner Field in not-so-Hotlanta. It's been overcast all day, and that's kept the temperature reasonable. It's also created the distinct possibility of rain throughout the afternoon and evening, which could impact the Nationals' second-half opener against the Braves.

Assuming the game starts on time — NOTE: First pitch on Friday nights here is 7:35 p.m. — Livan Hernandez will take the mound against longtime Nats nemesis Tim Hudson. Hudson, you'll recall, is 11-3 with a 2.00 ERA in 20 career starts against this franchise. That said, the Nats have beaten him in two of their last three encounters (last September and this May).

Davey Johnson is going with what has become his "A" lineup for the second-half opener, with one twist: Michael Morse and Laynce Nix have swapped spots. Before the break, when both guys played, Nix hit cleanup and Morse hit fifth. Tonight, Morse is in the 4-hole ahead of Nix.

Plenty of updates to come here, and be sure to tune into Comcast SportsNet at 6 p.m. for my live report from Turner Field…

NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:35 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Chance of rain, 76 degrees, Wind 11 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (46-46)
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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  1. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Yanno, I find I'm kind of missing the whole pitcher-hits-8th thing. Go figure.

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Davey Johnson is going with what has become his "A" lineup for the second-half opener, with one twist: Michael Morse and Laynce Nix have swapped spots.… in the batting order. Whew. You had me going there for a minute.

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    The Braves franchise (which dates all the way back to 1876 in Boston) is one victory shy of 10,000 in its history.That's a long time ago. When they won their first game, Gen. Custer was alive.

  4. Grandstander - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    The Braves are also 8 shy of 10,000 losses. .500 ball over 135 years, that's consistency!

  5. DFL - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    And US Grant was president. America celebrated it's centennial. And the Republicans stole the presidential election from Samuel Tilden and the Democrats which resulted in the end of Reconstruction. And Winston Churchill was two and presumably being potty trained.

  6. SonnyG10 - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    I am just looking forward for the Nats to continue to play well. I want to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

  7. The Joker - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    How much money would you have won on a bet if you bet that Laynce Nix, who barely earned a spot on the team, would bat ahead of the Hundred Million Dollar Man in the Nats line-up in mid-July?

  8. Sam - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    The Braves have a really underwhelming lineup, especially against lefties.On a completely unrelated now: maybe tonight is the night Werth breaks out of his year-long slump.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    So, I went for lunch with a girlfriend, and made two observations:WHY are they selling Boston Red Sox peanuts at Wegemans in Northern Virginia??WHY is MASN on a higher tier of satellite TV? My friend can only watch Nats games on Sunday, on Ch. 50, since she just has the basic service.People in the Front Office, this is not the way to promote the team!GO NATS! We can beat Atlanta.

  10. Not Werth It - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Crazy second half prediction time:-Wang actually pitches a game for the Nationals-Brad Peacock takes a no hitter into the 7th in his first appearance in the big leagues-Desmond's bat heats up, and he swipes 50 bases this year-Strasburg throws a 103 mph pitch-At one point, the Nationals will be tied for the wildcard. For about 45 minutes until the Braves win later that night.

  11. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    GYFNGLet's win 2 of 3 to start the post all star session of our schedule.

  12. Sam - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    @NatsLady: Doesn't Peter Angelos effectively control the Nationals' broadcasting rights? I think he owns MASN.

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    @Sam and NatsLady: The O's own MASN, which owns the rights to Nats games on TV locally; the Nats own ~1/3 of MASN (or will eventually, by the terms of the contract), but where they appear on the cable channel is up to the cable company, I think, not the team, except insofar as they can persuade someone to run them for free, and pay MASN for the privilege.

  14. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    *and by "free" I mean $65/month or whatever they charge for basic cable.

  15. NatsLady - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    I don't have cable, so I don't know how it works, I'm just saying someone needs to get negotiating with the local cable/satellite companies. They changed the radio line-up (not without hitches), so let's work on TV next.And, boycott the peanuts!

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    You want crazy second half predictions? I bring you some crazy (yet oddly plausible, if you tilt your head and squint just right, and the light is bad):Jordan Zimmermann will pitch a no-hitter. And be shut down immediately, having reached his innings limit. Davey Johnson will quit on the spot, in protest.Both Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez will hit pinch-hit home runs in the same game, Livo's after fouling off two bunt attempts.MLB will appoint a commission to investigate alleged maple bat use by MLB players.

  17. Big Cat - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Hudson and Hanson I know about. Who is this Jair Jurrjens? 12-3 with a 1.87? Where did he come from? Eck will have to come up with something for the second half. He is a wizard you know

  18. Tcostant - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    NatsLady – I have Directv and the Nationals are part of the Choice plan. I don't which "satellite TV" TV your freind has, but if it is Directv and she lives in Metro DC area try channels 640 or 641 to see if you have them.

  19. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    @Bigcat–Jurrjens is from Curaçao. He's been with them since 2008; came from Detroit in the Edgar Renteria trade.

  20. phil dunn - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    When MASN was formed back in 2005, The Orioles franchise owned 90% of MASN and Major League Baseball owned 10%. The 10% MLB ownership transferred to the Nationals owners when MLB sold the team in 2006 The Nationals ownership gradually increases to 33% over a period of time. Hence, the Orioles will always have ownership control of MASN. That was the carrot that MLB gave Peter Angelos for not objecting to the franchise being moved from Montreal to DC.

  21. NatsLady - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Thanks, Tcostant. I'll tell her. Maybe she never checked that high. I know it's a high number like that at my gym and I have to ask them to put it on.She says she mostly watches ESPN but she did look for MASN awhile back and it wasn't on her plan, she would have to pay extra. Maybe that's changed.

  22. JaneB - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    I am hopeful that we will not be in town when the Braves get their 10,000th win. It would be nice to leave when they are 5 games shy of the 10, 000th loss. I agree with Grandstander, that kind of consistency is remarkable. We can just make them a liiiiiitle more consistent,GYFNG!

  23. natsfan1a - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Oooh, nice use of diacritical marks, sec3.NatsLady, my NoVa Giant sells O's-labelled peanuts and hotdogs. What the? I don't purchase either. They do once in a blue moon have Nats-themed merchandise, however.Glad to hear that Mark is in Atlanta. Play ball and go NATS!!I don't usually do predictions but I'll take a shot. During the (so-called, although the season is actually more than half over, but I digress) second half: Some fans will be bitterly disappointed. Some fans will be pleasantly surprised. Some players will leave the team. Some players will join the team. A lot of beers and hot dogs will be consumed. TMOTTB will be sung. A lot. Remote controls will be flung at tv sets. Fans will leap from their couches or ballpark seats in joy, and high fives will be exchanged. One team or another other will win every game. Unless it rains. Think about that for a while. :-)

  24. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    Reposting an earlier query for Mark Z (or anyone who may know):I would welcome any additional thoughts you have on why the Nats released J.C. Romero. His numbers at Syracuse seemed solid (and the Yankees were willing to grab him pretty quickly). Was it simply that the Nats couldn't find room on the 25-man roster for him? Did they not like what they were seeing (even with the good numbers)? Is there more to the story than that?

  25. natsfan1a - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Waitaminnit – Cody Ross? Did I miss something?

  26. natsfan1a - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Looks like the Braves player is David Ross. Thought for a sec that the Giants may have traded Cody (AKA "The Babe" last postseason). :-)

  27. Gonat - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    phil dunn said… When MASN was formed back in 2005, The Orioles franchise owned 90% of MASN and Major League Baseball owned 10%. The 10% MLB ownership transferred to the Nationals owners when MLB sold the team in 2006 The Nationals ownership gradually increases to 33% over a period of time. Hence, the Orioles will always have ownership control of MASN. That was the carrot that MLB gave Peter Angelos for not objecting to the franchise being moved from Montreal to DC. July 15, 2011 5:06 PM ____________________________________http://wnst.net/wordpress/news/2010/08/08/it-was-peter-angelos-vs-steve-bisciotti-in-latest-skirmish-over-masn-ravens-rights/http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2010/05/orioles-owner-peter-angelos-likes-the-success-of-nearby-nationals/1Phil – The worst part of the deal is it takes 23 years to get to the 33% ownership in 2028. Every time you think of the raw deal the Nats got for $450 million when the Oakland A's could have been brought to DC at approx $175 million and had free market bargaining for their own TV deal.The other CARROT that Angelos got was a minimum guaranteed value for his team. If he runs them into the ground, he still has a minimum buy out and there were some other perks he got also.

  28. Gonat - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said… Reposting an earlier query for Mark Z (or anyone who may know):I would welcome any additional thoughts you have on why the Nats released J.C. Romero. His numbers at Syracuse seemed solid (and the Yankees were willing to grab him pretty quickly). Was it simply that the Nats couldn't find room on the 25-man roster for him? Did they not like what they were seeing (even with the good numbers)? Is there more to the story than that? July 15, 2011 5:19 PM _______________________________Romero had a clause in his contract with the Nats of being brought up to the Nats by a specified date or he could get a release and they weren't ready to do it. At this stage in Romero's career, he is a LOOGY and the only guy to replace would have been Burnett IMHO and obviously Rizzo wasn't ready to make the move.Oh well. It was worth the chance with the hope he hung out until September 1st for expanded rosters.

  29. sjm308 - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    I could be wrong about the MASN deal but I also remember that Angelos has to send the Nationals a check each year for around 25 million bucks!! And he can't be happy about that.Eugene – the Romero deal has probably already been discussed but in his contract, if he was not in the Majors by July 15 he could ask for his release. The Nationals were not about to make that move so they released him a day early.Worst local marketing I have seen lately. In Baby's are Us near Burtonsville, they have all kinds of kids clothes for Orioles but NOTHING for the Nationals. I told them my grandson and I would never shop there and I think they thought I was joking. I can order stuff on-line thank you.Go Nats!

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    @Eugene, so yeah, no place for him on the 25, in Rizzo's opinion anyway.

  31. Gonat - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    sjm308 said… Worst local marketing I have seen lately. In Baby's are Us near Burtonsville, they have all kinds of kids clothes for Orioles but NOTHING for the Nationals. I told them my grandson and I would never shop there and I think they thought I was joking. I can order stuff on-line thank you.Go Nats! July 15, 2011 5:47 PM ______________________________Way to go! Sure, Burtonsville is far north in Montgomery County and very short-sighted on their parts. When Strasburg and Harper are full-time in Washington, the reach of fandemonium will spread real far north, west, and south!If Chien-Ming Wang gets called up, the Nats will spread real far east.So, Babies r Them better get ready for the Nats marketing machine!

  32. Gonat - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    sjm308 said… I could be wrong about the MASN deal but I also remember that Angelos has to send the Nationals a check each year for around 25 million bucks!! And he can't be happy about that.__________________________There is a guaranteed minimum however if MASN shows a loss, the Nats have to contribute to the loss the same percentage they share in the gain.The whole deal is ridiculous given the size differential between the Baltimore and the Washington to Richmond market.Like I said in my previous post, the addition of Strasburg and Harper full-time will make the Nats a National phenomenom. Think of how many people from San Diego and Las Vegas will be watching.

  33. Grandstander - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Bad Livo. At least I can still enjoy my Friday night.

  34. Tim - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Mark… Bob Carpenter gave you credit for that obscure stat about pitchers who've pitched 1/3 of an inning in the AS Game (3 being from DC teams) and getting credit for the win!You da man!

  35. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Whaf is this? Morse never makes errors.

  36. dj in Fl. - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Hey Mark,When was the last time these guys took infield drills. They have reverted to this earlier nightmare I used to have regularly.

  37. carolync - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Holy cow! 4 errors and 3 unearned runs in the second inning. Not all Livo. At least Werth got a hit.Like Grandstander, I can still enjoy my Friday night.

  38. Exposremains - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Laynce Nix not so hot anymoreHItting in July 0 HR 3 RBI .192Just saying

  39. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Good evening all, guess I didn't have to rush home.. the boys are a little flat, eh? It's okay… Detwiler looks good.

  40. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    …..well… til that pitch.

  41. CBinDC - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    It looks like the Davy Johnson era promise is still only a promise ……they have looked more like the old Nats then the new in the last 3 weeks and tonight it is just a culture of losing game ….welcome back?

  42. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    1a- succinct!

  43. Exposremains - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    anybody still watching the game?

  44. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Unfortunately, I am.

  45. Gonat - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Livan with another uninspiring outing leads to a disastrous game.

  46. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Me, too Mark… in my defense, I missed the first five innings.

  47. CBinDC - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Mark —- LOL I can not find anything else to watch yet looking for a DVD now ….so what do the Nats do now hope for a rain delay weekend

  48. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    So, where's the best place for fish tacos in DC?

  49. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Oh ferchrissakes… Matt stairs? We haven't suffered enuff?

  50. Arlington BigFish - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    In his last 5 innings, Livo has given up, I think 12 runs. Not all his fault, of course, but opposing batters (both the Cubs & Braves) seem to have suddenly discovered Livo's secret, & are cutting down on their swings accordingly.

  51. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Oooops. Rally?Is this mike on?Gnite folks.

  52. Anonymous8 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    How come Matt Stairs comes through when it means nothing? Davey's new boy!

  53. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Snakebit?Release lefty Romero.Lefty Detwiler injured.

  54. dj in Fl. - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    "Sec 3, My Sofa said… Yanno, I find I'm kind of missing the whole pitcher-hits-8th thing. Go figure."Yanno I think I agree

  55. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    COME BACK EVERYBODY!! RALLY!!!!

  56. Anonymous8 - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Looks like Werth will maintain his .333 batting average against the Braves :-0)

  57. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    I miss "Mack Daddy" Riggs

  58. JaneB - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    Detwiler injured? I have family in from out of town and they vetoed the game in the third inning. Thanks Exposremains and Mark Z for the best laugh of the week. Do we think Livo has reached his "I'm tired at the end of the season" a few months early? Anyone have an idea what is going wrong for him? Congrats to the Braves for their 10,000 win. May it be at least three days before they make it to 10,001. I would sign off with GYFNG, but I think more appropriate is my new favorite Daveyism, "ooof." Night all.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Oh, well. The Tune Inn thing seemed to go well. GYFNG, Tomorrow

  60. sjm308 - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    Well that was ugly. Guess the talk about WC will taper down a bit. Honestly, if we can win one in Atlanta, Two in Houston and come home 5 – 4 that would be a super road trip. Not sure where we are getting that one in Atlanta with the three studs they are throwing at us. Five errors? ouch.Could not wait for "real" baseball and am still waiting.Go Nats

  61. Scooter - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Man, slogging through this recap just totally ruined my evening sitting in a rented cottage at the beach. O, the vicissitudes of Natsfannery! At least I know not to watch the tape when I get home.Thanks to all for some fun commentary over the past few days.

  62. CBinDC - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    So (by my quick calculation) now the team under Davy Johnson has a worse then last year error rate ….go figure

  63. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    Scooter said… Man, slogging through this recap just totally ruined my evening sitting in a rented cottage at the beach.Oh, shut it.

  64. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    Lets win 2 out of 3.I believe the All Star Break must have created rust. The fielding and pitching were poor. The hitters with RISP 0 for 5. Still my biggest problem with the team.Braves for the record were 9 for 19. 9 of their thirteen hits came with men in scoring position. Going into the game their average was barely better the Nats.

  65. CBinDC - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    Let see it has been 15 games since Davy took over and the Nationals have committed 17 errors …..last year they had 127 errors over 162 games …….I think that is a worse rate by a huge amount from last years rate …I am just saying

  66. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Just for the record I made it through the whole game without throwing up.

  67. Dave - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    An ugly game that I missed, except for the last couple innings. Just as well.It's one game out of 162. Let's go for it again tomorrow.I have no earthly idea what you are "just saying," CBinDC. Well, actually, I think you are suggesting that Davey Johnson somehow instructed the Nats to make errors tonight. Absurd, really.

  68. Grandstander - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    I hardly ever give up on ballgames, especially the first game after the ASB. But I'm mighty glad I turned this off in the 1st inning. Just reading Mark's updates make me sick.I sure hope the boys are out there taking early grounders tomorrow morning. I'm less concerned about the WC than I am a sudden string of bad play collapsing what should be a decent season.

  69. CBinDC - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    I am just saying that they are playing badly in the field and since all the manager changes they are committing errors at a record rate ……including in that two huge blown out games and one monumental collapse game. I am not finding this as progress but the danger of returning to the bad old days of the culture of losing

  70. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    Makes it hard for me to go on the MASN Politiburo Blogs and laugh like Poopy McPoop at the Orioles fans and the Orioles plight before getting my comments deleted. Still one game under is better than 17 below and falling at this point.

  71. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    Michael Morse was not ready for this game … must have quite the AS break party … but he sobered up quickly after the 3, unusual for him, errors.One would think Livo and Marquis are about to be replaced anyway. Wang will be ready soon. Milone IS READY. Stammen and Meyers, if not there, are pretty close behind. Athualapo Severino is starting to look like an effective left-handed reliever. Livo I think belongs in the bullpen as the sixth starter long man mop up guy. Its a role he would be perfect for.

  72. Drew8 - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    Gotta Yack; Five Nats Goofs

  73. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    Plus have to figure Coffey and Gaudin are on the trading block for whatever Rizzo can get for them. That will likely include Marquis as he won't be back next year anyway and won't bring any xtra special draft picks in 2012.

  74. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    The team not ready to go after the break is the fault of the manager. Not real impressed with Davey to this point. Levan just does not give us a very good chance to win. He needs to go away now.

  75. Drew8 - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    Speaking of hurling….Daniel Rosenbaum had another fine turn tonight for those soggy Potomac Nats. He struck out 8 and walked one in beating Kinston. Rosenbaum lowered his ERA to 2.64.(So much for the Kinston brio….)

  76. N. Cognito - Jul 16, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Despite the ups and downs that happen in a major league season, this is still about a 75 win team.

  77. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Nice Segue, Drew.Also speaking of hurling, while I did not do so with the remote, I will confess to using the channel button liberally last night, until I finally went to bed around 10. (Ugh. Maybe I'll just turn away until the bottom of the inning. Click. hmmm…Bohemian folk dancing. Well, now, let's turn back and see how the team is doing. *Whack* – a Hudson single. Click. All right! Curling. hmmm…Wonder how the Nats are doing? Click. *Thud* – another booted ball. Oof. ummm, where's that remote? This Shirley Temple flick is very compelling…maybe I'll just check in on the boys in gray real quick. Click. *Whack* -a Hudson double. Yawn. Hey, what time is it, anyway? Oh, it's way past my bed time. Click. Eh, we'll get 'em tomorrow. Heh.)

  78. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Not that there is a correlation either way but, if we're going to get into who left when in regard to the E's piling up, didn't McLaren do a lot of work with the infielders?

  79. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    I wish to associate myself with the comments of my esteemed colleague from, uh, the Couchdom. ;-)—Sec 3, My Sofa said… Scooter said… Man, slogging through this recap just totally ruined my evening sitting in a rented cottage at the beach. Oh, shut it. July 15, 2011 10:59 PM

  80. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    I liked "Kinston brio" from Drew8.

  81. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Thinking of going to tomorrow night's P-Nats game with a friend. Maybe the field will be dry by then?

  82. Scooter - Jul 16, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    "Kinston brio" was awesome.(Not quite as good as my rented cottage by the beach, mind you, but awesome nonetheless.)

  83. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Dear Scooter, :eyeroll:Sincerely,1a

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