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Game 108: Braves at Nats

Aug 1, 2011, 7:45 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Jair Jurrjens tonight at Nationals Park.

With yesterday's drama (both on the field and in the GM's office) behind them, the Nationals get back to simple baseball business tonight, hosting the Braves (who, by the way, lost the 10,000th game in their franchise's illustrious history yesterday, just two weeks after winning their 10,000th game).

The Nats played the wild-card leading Braves tough in that series at Turner Field and should have taken two of three if not for an unsightly collapse in the Sunday finale. Atlanta, though, has a new reinforcement atop its lineup: Center fielder Michael Bourn, who was acquired yesterday from Houston.

Livan Hernandez gets the ball for the Nationals, facing 12-game winner Jair Jurrjens. It's another ridiculously hot afternoon in the District, though there is a chance of a storm sweeping through town right around gametime. Check back here for updates…

BRAVES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Chance of storms, 95 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (51-56)
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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  1. gonatsgo - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Chance of storms, Jair Jurrjens, Michael Bourne – sounds ominous.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Let's Go Nars!!

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Let's go, Good Livo! Didn't the Nats hit Jurrjens pretty well last time around? Don't forgot your "congrats on 10,000 losses" sign if you're heading out to the park tonight.

  4. NatStat - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Time to scalp the Braves again (I guess their hair grew back, after we scalped them in that last series in 2009, when we won 4!).

  5. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Hey NatsLady – I have an extra JW Bobblehead with your name on it if you still need one.

  6. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    And the captcha was "bullyto" – which must mean Teddy wins tonight…

  7. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    I think she said she got one from a Mets fan, Navy, but nice of you to think of her. I'd be happy to take it off your hands but don't know that I have any remaining spares to barter.Teddy = loser. Just ask FP. ;-)

  8. SonnyG10 - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Let's go Nats! Show the Braves they were Bourn to lose!!!

  9. Richard - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Before moving on to the Braves, was there enough Morse love yesterday? Yeah, 2 doubles and a rope to deep RF field that was caught but how about his D? His great at 1st. For example, yesterday, using all of this 6'5" frame, he managed to leap and snag Werth's very off-line throw from RF in the 3rd inning, with the bases loaded, and wheel and throw to 1st to Espi to double off Murphy and end the inning. Wow. Had he not managed to grab the throw, the ball may have gone to the backstop or at least the inning is still going. (BTW, the pitcher on 3rd woulda scored had he attempted to, b/c Werth's throw wasn't going to be near the plate. But, anyway …) Instead, JZimm goes on to have one of his better games. Rizzo should be extending Morse now or at least announcing his intent to do so. He's done enough with his bat and that great glove for God's sake. Talking about maybe he's in the OF next year seems demented. The guy's a 1st baseman. Something is wrong with this picture.

  10. Nats Outsider - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Richard said, "Talking about maybe he's in the OF next year seems demented. The guy's a 1st baseman."Morse has been a wonderful surprise at 1st base, but I don't think he is as good defensively as Adam LaRoche. Assuming that LaRoche is back and healthy, he has to play 1st. The only way to keep Morse's bat in the lineup is to put him in the outfield. On the other hand, with two excellent 1st basemen, it does give the Nats some trade possibilities.

  11. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Nats Outsider, agreed. A healthy LaRoche gives you 2 options: 1) Morse to LF 2) Trade LaRocheThat is 2 good options to have!

  12. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Navy, thanks SO much for thinking of me. Yes, I bought one from a Mets fan after the game, and I don't have one to trade. So maybe someone else will trade with you.I only have Frank Howard and Pudge, and Frank is missing his bat. But the next two bobbleheads are also at 7:05 on Saturday, so my chances are slim on getting either of those. Keep me in mind.

  13. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Morse is good, but LaRoche is unbelievable at first base. It will be great to have them both.

  14. Depot Master - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Morse should be signed to Multi-year. Laroche should be traded to Tampa Bay as part of a package for Upton.

  15. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Tampa Bay probably can't affort LaRoche.

  16. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    NatsLady, I agree. Can't believe LaRoche doesn't have Gold Gloves lined up in his trophy case. To have both of these guys healthy on Opening Day 2012 would be a real treat.It is amazing when you consider all the things that went wrong with the 2011 team with Zim's and LaRoche's injuries, Werth's slump, Burnett/Slaten falling apart, and the saga of Stairs, you would think 100+ losses.Rizzo did a good job in defining the 2011 team with athleticism and defense and LaRoche/Morse have definitely contributed to that. I hope Rizzo improves the bullpen with "sure things" and gets that #3 starter to go with JZim and Stras to be followed by LannEn and a #5. A high OBP centerfielder would be great but not high on the priority list compared to the others.What Rizzo didn't do right was righting his wrongs quickly like good GMs do. It isn't personal, it happens. Stairs, Gaudin, Slaten, Burnett, Henry Rodriguez, and Brian Broderick were all duds and 2 of them are still on the team.

  17. ehay2k - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    Hey Navy Nats Fan – I have tix for the 24th against the D-backs. Happy to trade, as I have 2 copies of da Meathook. How best to coordinate?

  18. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    I think he got rid of Broderick pretty fast and I don't fault him when we have a not great team for taking a flyer on a Rule 5 guy, it's cheap. Gaudin and Slaten also were gone as soon as it was clear they were not working out. Stairs we've heard about ad nauseum, but he wasn't taking a bullpen slot, so not relevant to this discussion.The problem with Henry is he has no options left, and he would not clear waivers. So, unless you are ready to give up on him completely, you have to keep working with him and hoping.The problem with Burnett is twofold (a) everyone remembers how good he was last year and (b) he will do ok for a couple of appearances and then bam, he's back to giving up homers, luckily yesterday with no one on base. If Detwiler goes back to the rotation, again, there is no other lefty in the bullpen. Any way, Detwiler isn't being used as a left specialist, and neither is Gorzy.And Burnett hasn't proved he can get lefties out any more reliably than righties, has he? I'd like to see stats.Until you are ready to bring up other pitchers, I don't see what moves you have except to not used Coffey or Henry for more than one inning, and only use Burnett for mop-up and we don't seem to have many blowouts, either way.

  19. Richard - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Any guess which team has the worst team BA re the leadoff spot — by 50 points, at .192? You guessed it, our Nats. Wow. Their OBP is also the worst but only by 10 points.

  20. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Richard, didn't realize it was that bad, but can't say I'm totally surprised. The two-spot is probably not that great either, alternating Desi and Espi… So not much average til Zimm, Morse, and now Werth, and Ramos… Big holes.

  21. Anonymous - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Steve M.. I agree on Rizzo. he has a hard time admitting he's wrong and waits too long to cut his losses. Plus he saves too many valuable roster spots for the hopeless, when i would rather see some youngsters that are going hot in the minors get a few call ups. Other than the obvious duds, letting Laroche play with that bad wing just killed start of the season along with Morse's mystifying early slump. What's your take on Espi and Desi? Espi is scaring me. His strikeouts, he's not even close to hitting that ball. I've never seen a team swing and miss quite like the Nats. Desi is just not a hitter. He throws his whole body at the ball rather than swinging around his body.

  22. swang - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Didn't realize Rick Eckstein was an anon on this board. What're you doing surfing Nats Insider 10 minutes before the game starts? Get back to the game!

  23. sunderland - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Anyone out there? Livo is schooling Jair today. Livo with the bat. Livo with the glove.

  24. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Livan is lucky (I don't have the stats on that) but he really is a good fielding pitcher and he also hits pretty well. Going into the 5th and its a one run game. What a surprise.Flynnie – how about that intentional walk??

  25. Sean Kelly - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    BOOM goes the dynamite!

  26. dj in Fl. - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    Ok Mr. Ankiel, if you want the job just keep that up. By golly we will make you lead off and play center regularly.And my just announced he is cute to boot.

  27. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    I really like watching the dugout during games. 308 lets me do that. Just had a couple thoughts. What I see of Gomes is that he is active even when not playing. He was just over patting Ankiel on the back after his 2nd homerun. It's also kind of neat to see CM Wang giving high fives as well. I realize most people here are not thrilled with how the Nationals handled him but even if he never makes it back fully, at least he was able to enjoy big league ball once again. He has to feel good about that and actually so do I.

  28. gonatsgo - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    WTF is up with Ankiel tonight? While he was on the DL, someone switched him with an alternate universe Ankiel. I am usually the first one to make nasty comments about how he swings out of his shoes on every pitch. Well – he does – but tonight he is connecting. Livo with an rbi and Ankiel with 2 hr's – you just never know on any given night what the heck is going to happen with this team! By the way – this site is very quiet tonight… Just finished a big storm here….

  29. Knoxville Nat - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Watching the game on Braves television network (MASN gets blacked out here when the Nats play Atl and Cincy)and when Livo had his first AB the announcer noted that he was 2 for 2 against Jair in his career. With the first pitch being high and a bit tight the announcer made a comment, somewhat tongue in cheek about Jair "perhaps sending a message" to Livo. How sweet it was to see Livo come through with a base hit in that situation.

  30. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    sjm – intentional walks should ALWAYS be punished. Here's Posnanski: "I'm always on the lookout for terrible intentional walks because I think ALL intentional walks are terrible. I would love to be the Carrie Nation of the intentional walk. In any case, Rich found a beauty …On Tuesday, the Rockies were playing the Braves and they were leading the game 7-2 when Ian Stewart came up with a man on third and two outs. I'm going to repeat the situation: Man on third base … two outs … Braves trailing by FIVE RUNS. If there was an intentional walk chart, then this situation would be on the there with the phrase: "You're joking, right?"Here's the wonderful kicker: Ian Stewart is hitting .143 this year.Yes, the Braves intentionally walked him.Legendary. Absolutely legendary. I'm proud and happy to say that this completely blew up on the Braves — a walk followed, then a three-run triple, then another walk, then a hit-by-pitch. But to me that's not enough. I'm not saying that intentionally walking Ian Stewart in that situation — in ANY situation, but especially in that one — should lead to jail time. But at least community service. Remember the Braves walked a .132 hitter recently and lost the game!"Just got home and have been listening to LIVO the MAN via Charlie and Dave. WHAT A BALLPLAYER!!! How 'bout those DP's? Bunt another one, Jair!

  31. Sunderland - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    What pinch hit Gomes? He doesn't hit righties. Livo has only thrown 81 . Silly

  32. Joe Seamhead - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    I, for one, am not ready to give up on Henry. He's got an awful lot of of raw talent. I'd like to see him have an off season, followed with getting to spring training on time. I sure can't blame Davey for yanking Livo early, what with Livan blowing the 8 run lead against the Cubs. I just that Coffey doesn't give 'em the runs, (as somebody else said it last week).GYFNG!

  33. Joe Seamhead - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    I meant to say that I just hope that Coffey doesn't give 'em the runs.

  34. gonatsgo - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    What ever happened to pitchers staying in the game longer, though? Another Davey Johnson, change- course- so- fast- your -head- spins statement. Livo not struggling, Coffey iffy. I hope this does not backfire.

  35. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Big difference with Davey and Riggs on Livan. He has pulled him after 81 pitches.I also did not like Gomes vs a righty but he doesn't have much on the bench right now. We will now collectively hold our breath for the next few outs. Will he go with Clippard and Storen for the 3rd game in a row even though its not a save situation?

  36. Slidell - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Davey was TOO slow with Livo against the Cubs. Personally, I would have let Livo hit in this situation.

  37. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Laynce Nix! Where would we be without him? Morse comes home! Desi gets Werth home! Danny Uggs makes a throw that makes Zimm's worst look Olympically accurate! 5-1!! Hate that Davey's pinch hitting for Livo.

  38. gonatsgo - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    Livo vs the Cubs was weeks ago and was a freak situation. Livo was dialed in and not showing any signs of trouble. Plus, he can hit.Too late now, thanks, Todd Coffey, once again.

  39. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Uggs is making Zimm look like Greg Maddux.

  40. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Ultimate double-play trifecta:Zimm-to-Uggla-to-Adam Dunn.Think there's 100 errors in that trio?

  41. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    Yes, Sunshine, yes I do. Remember Uggs doing this in the All-Star game?

  42. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    It's time to sign Lannan to an extension.

  43. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    Drew – I defended you on this blog today! Send in Burnett. Why not?

  44. waddu eye no - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    oh, come on drew

  45. waddu eye no - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    yesssss!

  46. Drew8 - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Good win against a really good team.Well done, boys.

  47. Wally - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    I really enjoy Morse on these post game interviews. He is the only one who seems to actually talk, rather than the same boring platitudes. That, and I have never seen anyone who is so happy just to be there.Great win.

  48. gonatsgo - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    Wally – I agree that Morse always seems to appreciate where he is. Nice win for the team. But — listening to Davey Johnson – ugh.

  49. nationals7 - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    Luvin' Livo!

  50. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Anyone hear whether the team renewed Bob C's contract? Today's the day.

  51. A DC Wonk - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… I, for one, am not ready to give up on Henry. He's got an awful lot of of raw talent.Ditto on that. He's only 24. Nolan Ryan was a wild pitcher (and the Mets gave up on) at age 24, too.

  52. Scooter - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    Sorry, flynnie, I got nothin' for ya. I don't root for announcers!sjm, I'm in 310 Weds afternoon, which should make it easy for me to toddle over to you. What row & seat are you in?By the way, when Livo was yanked, I actually thought, Okay, Coffey gives up a homer in the 7th, Burnett one in the 8th … probably Storen in the 9th … we still win by one! So y'all can blame me for some of that. Sorry if I caused panic. But I got us the win, and that's what matters.

  53. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    Heard the end of the game on the radio. Guess Ankiel is ok with you folks now??? It's pretty close to a tie who is the best looking between him and Clipp.Charlie and Dave said Gomes pinch hit because Davey was looking for a big inning to save the bullpen–though leaving Livo in would have the same effect. You think Livo actually said something, like "I'm feeling the heat"? (That would be a first, a pitcher being honest…).I like a 5-1 lead, the bullpen doesn't have to be perfect. gonatsgo — what did Morse say? What did Davey say?

  54. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    One can see why the thought of trading Storen was no longer completely inconceivable: Ryan Mattheus.

  55. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    I said a dozen times on here Mattheus could close.

  56. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    Hey, NatsLady – the interviews with Morse and Davey are up on the MASN web site. Davey said that Ankiel needed to play every day, and, though he likes Roger very much, "Rick's making it hard to play anyone else in center." He said tonight's performance was "Vintage Livo," who did not want to come out, but Davey told him, "I can't leave you in. We've got to try to score another run" with the man on second. For a mathemetician, pinch hitting Gomes for Livo was a no-brainer. He said Livo wasn't trying to pitch around hitters, he was going at 'em. Although Jurrjens is a good pitcher, "Ankiel was seeing him pretty good." He said that he needed to play "the other side of the bullpen. If we're going to win, we need both sides of the 'pen to do their job." Morse was genuine and happy. When Ray Knight apologized to him about taking the attention off of him and asking him about Werth, Michael said, "Take it away! Take it away!" with a big smile.

  57. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Thanks, flynnie.

  58. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    More Davey: "Desmond and Espinosa are prime examples. They have a tremendous upsides for me. Espi's had some hard luck lately. He's hitting it hard at people. I ought to give him some days off, but I just like watching him play." Davey acknowledges using Storen a lot, but that's what Storen wants and Davey wants to see how far Storen can go "before he cries uncle."

  59. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    MASN is re-playing the game now. I recommend watching it. I have a good feeling about this one.

  60. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    Am watching Colorado and the Phils right now. Tie game. Wanna see what we are going to face later in the week.

  61. Scooter - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    NatsLady, you are the bee's knees. Boning up on the opposition.Make sure you get our fielders positioned right.

  62. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Not looking good for the Rockies. They were leading 3-1 and Street blew the save. Flyin' Hawaiian just hit a home run in the top of the 10th.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
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TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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