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Game 116: Nats at Cubs

Aug 10, 2011, 8:36 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler faces Rodrigo Lopez tonight at Wrigley Field.

CHICAGO — It's another gorgeous day on the North Side, clear and cool with a nice breeze blowing in off Lake Michigan. There are few better places to spend a summer than Chicago, and I speak from experience having spent the summer of 1997 right here covering Jim Riggleman's Cubs as an intern at the now-defunct Daily Southtown.

Fresh off an impressive 3-1 victory last night, the Nationals look to make it three in a row when Ross Detwiler takes the mound for his third start of the season. The lefty has pitched pretty well when called upon this year, but he's yet to show he can pitch deep into a game. Perhaps tonight is the night we see him sustain it and reach the sixth or seventh inning.

It's the usual lineup for the Nats, aside from Jesus Flores behind the plate instead of Wilson Ramos (who is celebrating his 24th birthday). That means Jonny Gomes (who has homered the last two games) gets his fourth straight start in left field.

Check back for updates throughout…

Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Mostly clear, 73 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from LF

CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse


  1. MIcheleS - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Does anyone know if MASN blacks out WGN? I have that they are broadcasting as well.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Morse is on MLB Network at 5

  3. CN - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    I think it depends what cable network (Comcast, DTV, etc) you have. I have DTV and WGN is blacked out, so I would assume it's the same for most, if not all the DC cable providers…

  4. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    I like the new way mark shows JaysoN Werth! If it works, that is the new way to go!

  5. CN - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Unless it's a nationally televised game (ESPN, TBS, Fox), aren't all games blacked out for out-of-town teams?

  6. A DC Wonk - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Since it's Ramos' birthday, and it's Drew Storen's birthday tomorrow, and I haven't talked about "ages" in a coupla weeks . . . I just wanted to crow about our young team:D Storen, 24 tomorrowClippard, 26HRod, 24Lannan, 26JZim, 25Strassburg, 23Ramos, 24Desmond, 25Espy, 24R Zim, 26(and Bryce, 18)That's a great core of a team that's all age 26 or less. (And, frankly, I forgot how young Lannan is)(I wonder how that compares to other teams)

  7. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Nats In Beantown: Matteus, Detwiler and Gorzo in the Beast Mode shirts. Jordan Zimmermann throwing. Clippard without his glasses and HenRod on the ground.

  8. MicheleS - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Mark Z.. Can you post pictures of the new Ron Santo statue? God I miss him.. the HOMER of all Homers. A really great guy and a favorite of my Dad's.Wonk… its LannEn….we must keep up the spelling until we get passed the team up 95… and i am not talking the O's or the Mets

  9. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    So Wonk, Ramos has the day off for his birthday.

  10. CN - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    Ramos was going to get a day off today or tomorrow, with the matinee, so why not a day off to celebrate number 2-4. Though a day after after a b-day is always nice, especially in a city like Chicago…

  11. A DC Wonk - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Wonk… its LannEn….we must keep up the spelling until we get passed the team up 95… and i am not talking the O's or the Mets You know, I was here for the extra "H" (Gomes), and the "GYFNG" — but I apparently missed the origin of LannEn . . . can somebody fill me in?Thanks!

  12. Mark'd - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    On May 31 Riggleman decided to change Lannan's luck with the Phillies so he spelled his name LannEn on the lineup card and he won his first game against them.

  13. JaneB - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Wonk, a few months ago, when Lannan was in a stretch of NEVER winning against the Phillies, Riggleman posted the line up and spelled John's name will an E instea of an A.He won.We spell it with an E from now on.I am hoping that the N will help JaysoN break out firmly, noticeably and for the rest of his career.

  14. JaneB - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    PS…my husband now refers to you all as my "imaginary friends," too. Just like swami's colleague did.

  15. Sec3MySofa - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    @WonkaMark Zuckerman said…The Nats' OFFICIAL lineup card in the clubhouse misspelled it. That was the same day he beat the Phillies for the first time. July 8, 2011 8:35 PM

  16. Exedor from Ork - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    "They're NOT invisible, you're just being rude!"

  17. SonnyG10 - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    It's rather nice to have imaginary friends :)

  18. A DC Wonk - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    We spell it with an E from now on.Yep — I noticed that. I apparently missed the reason however.But, thanks to a number of my "imaginary friends" ๐Ÿ˜‰, I now know!Thanks, all!

  19. SonnyG10 - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    The captcha was "pshiesh"

  20. Mark'd - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    Steve M. said… LANNEN on the Lineup card today, not Lannan….I hope we like this new player!!!! June 1, 2011 11:41 AMIt was actually June 1st. SteveM got the scoop on the LannEn.

  21. waddu eye no - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    morse on MLB – on using a humidor for his bats:"apparently, it get's you hits"looks like a neat kid having funbut he should leave the singing to the experts. take on the cubs!gyfng

  22. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Navy Nats Fan said… While reading the story on Matt Kemp in the current issue of Sports Illustrated I was VERY disappointed to see a picture of Kemp in a Beast Mode t-shirt. There can be only one!(to bring in another Scottish reference to go along with the gorse) August 10, 2011 4:43 PM__________________________You have the manners of a goat and you smell like a dung-heap.

  23. SonnyG10 - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    If we mis-spell all the names, do we get a new team?

  24. MicheleS - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Waddu.. Did you see Morse Singing "Take On Me" – CLASSIC! Someone has to get that on You Tube!!!

  25. DannyEllinosa - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Looking forward to catching the Nats on TV today in Vegas… WGN happens to be one of the few channels my casino hotel offers! If I could just escape a tedious ballroom general session by 5pm to see the first pitch…. Hi JaneB… GYFNG!

  26. Andrew - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    MicheleS – I will have the video uploaded after I stop laughing.

  27. MicheleS - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    Andrew… Still wiping the tears from my eyes! I love it!

  28. Andrew - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    MicheleS – That's what is so great about Mike. You got to see the real Michael Morse. Fun, funny, goofy, and enjoying life.

  29. Andrew - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:30 PM again and again! Michael Morse, Hammer Time, Beast Mode.

  30. Anonomous - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    On the season, right handed batters are hitting .333 against Rodrigo Lopez. Cubs are one of the best hitting teams vs LHP. So of course this will be a low scoring affair.

  31. MicheleS - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Andrew.. If anyone else was in the house with me, the would definitely be wondering about "my imaginary friends". I am laughing so loud right now, my dogs are even wondering what is wrong with me… Love the dancing!

  32. JaneB - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Have fun jn Vegas, Danny, watching the Nats take the second game in Chicago.When the do September call ups, does it start the first or the fifth, when minor league season ends?

  33. annonomous - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    Sept 1

  34. Natty Bo - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    OMG, that was hysterical.

  35. FS - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    I found that video a little annoying, maybe because he did not fit my personal image of him. I had a film character for him in my mind, which I can not remember right now.

  36. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    @FS said… I found that video a little annoying, maybe because he did not fit my personal image of him. I had a film character for him in my mind, which I can not remember right now. August 10, 2011 7:24 PM ____________________________He isn't that guy that pretends to be politically correct. He shows you what he really is. I would rather have that then a fake. Clearly there are some that will think he is just a big goof. To me, he is just a normal guy not pretending to be more than that. Kind of refreshing in this day and age of fake.

  37. FS - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Anon 7:34, I am yet to see a National who tries to be politically correct in the media or anything. They all pretty much say what is on their mind. I was just saying that I had an image of him in my mind, but he was different and possibly the reason for me not loving the video like everyone else.

  38. Wally - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    He seemed a little nervous to me, which increased the goofiness factor. Kind of like when an actor or actress goes on Letterman and feels like they have to be zany. My reaction is closer to FS, in that it felt awkward at times.But what I find refreshing about Morse is that he doesn't mind showing that all of this is new to him, and he is enjoying it. So many pro athletes come off looking bothered and bored by all the attention (whether they are or not), that to see a guy letting his excitement show is fun.

  39. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    They just showed the Santo statue on WGN's pre-game show – third baseman in action having charged and fielded a ball bare-handed, and about to fire to first (according to his son Jeff).

  40. Candide - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    So, is blogspot working again…?

  41. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of postings (and inability to post comments for the last hour. Google's Blogger platform was down for maintenance, and I didn't know in advance that was going to happen. Everything should be fine now.

  42. Wally - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Ross has settled down. But does it seem like he slows down his delivery when he makes an offspeed pitch?

  43. flynnie - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    Werth is wall-shy.

  44. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    4th inning meltdown for Detwiler. I thought the 2nd and 3rd innings was sharp and didn't get some strike calls.

  45. flynnie - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Soriano nearly made Ankiel's day.

  46. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Thank you Andrew for posting the MLB interview with Morse. I loved watching it. I wish he had told the real teasin he smacks his head…but it's so clear he is having a good time. And I found another reason why Livan is my hero, on top of it. I'm glad things are fixed again. I was starting to wonder if I was a complete computer incompetent.How fun Mark , to learn about your beginnings as a baseball writer. It must have been really cool for you when Riggleman arrived in town. Just like we forget, sometimes, that the players atr people, it's cool to get a glimpse of the person behind our favorite Insider.

  47. Anonymous8 - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Never seen anything like that spin on a ball. Way to go Flores.

  48. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    Davey didn't pinch-hit for him and gave him the top of 5th. Light hitting Reed Johnson smacks him out.

  49. Stranded_in_Philly - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Morse has amazing T-Shirts.

  50. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Cal Ripken was in the booth on WGN – he's in town for the High School All-America game to be played at Wrigley Field on Saturday. His son Ryan, a rising senior at Gilman in Baltimore, will be playing in the game – and coached by Uncle Billy.

  51. alexva - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Still 5 solid innings for RD, mostly hitting his spots and keeping his pitch count down. You have to give the Cubs some credit, they have been hot lately.

  52. Anonymous8 - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Stranded_in_Philly said… Morse has amazing T-Shirts. August 10, 2011 9:42 PM

  53. flynnie - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Easy home run swing by Werth, and the Nats can win this thing!

  54. Drew8 - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Glad they got to Lopez.Samardzija's here and the time is rightfor dancing in the streets.(Preferably Waveland Avenue.)

  55. Grandstander - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Couldn't see him up close, but is it possible that was Henry Rowengartner out there? (Let's see how many of you get the reference.)Did he just say funky butt-lovin?Loved that movie!

  56. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Colon Balester, throwing BP again.

  57. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    I realized, when Werth got his dinger, that there wasn't a shred of a hint of an iota of "bout time" in my reaction. I guess that means I am now firmly in his camp. We will need a few more of those, of course.

  58. Nats Outsider - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Okay, Mark, I'll bite: Henry Rowengartner was a movie character about a Little League player who threw back a home run ball to home plate. The Cubs then sign him to be the youngest Major League player in history. The movies was called "Rookie of the Year," I think. Or something close to that anyway.

  59. Nats Outsider - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    Not sure what the Meaning of this factoid is, but the bot-spotter's word just now was "mizeri".

  60. Drew8 - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    Uh oh.Davey's bringing out the Death Eaters.My scar is already burning.

  61. flynnie - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    H-Rod warming up! Fun for all! Davey's salute to Ron Santo.

  62. Anonymous8 - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Danny Espinosa better get his bat going. He is becoming un-clutch especially with Ankiel hitting before him and Zim and Morse raking behind him.

  63. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    Henry just isn't fooling anyone except his Manager.

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    It's a marathon, not a sprint. I think Abraham Lincoln said that.Patience, people. Patience. What else have you got to do?

  65. K.D. - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    There is still time but this game doesn't feel like a victory waiting to happen for the Nats. Could be because I am watching the Cubs WGNA feed (live in West Michigan). Ron Santos reflections all night long.

  66. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    Glad to see Danny used the bunt to get on. Where has that been?

  67. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    I've always wondered why nobody sells steel-toed baseball cleats.

  68. Gonat - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:31 AM Span is 1 for 24 since he came off the DL.

  69. waddu eye no - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    Anonymous said…Colon Balester, throwing BP's colin.OH WAIT A MINUTE! THAT'S A JOKE!! SOMEONE MAKING FUN OF SOMEONE ELSE'S NAME, THEN BEING ANONYMOUS!!! OH, THE IRONY!humor from uranus

  70. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    I think I liked the crickets better.

  71. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Mark Zuckerman: In 22 career starts, Ross Detwiler has lasted an average of 5.1 innings. That's got to improve, or else he's gonna be a reliever. _____________________Is that a new observation because this is nothing new. He paces himself as he can't ramp up his pitches because of arm stamina to try to pitch 5+ and you barely get 5. When you compare it to his relief appearances he is throwing an easy mid-90's with movement.Rizzo and staff seem to want him to be starter and the fanbase wants him to be a starter. Same results different month.

  72. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Go get 'em tomorrow. Day game at Wrigley–how bad can it be?

  73. flynnie - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    It really is laborious to post here compared to the Nationals Journal, having been driven there by the site being down. Mark couldn't even post a "gone fishin'" sign, either. I didn't know what was going on, but would love for this site to not require secret handshakes and manual refreshing.

  74. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    anon 10:52, is that a quote from Mark? Where is that from?

  75. SonnyG10 - Aug 11, 2011 at 2:59 AM


  76. Anonymous8 - Aug 11, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    Ray Knight just basically said the same thing as Mark and the Anon. In 22 starts, has gone 7 innings once, 6 innings twice. Ray says he lacks arm endurance.Wasn't this the same problem that Clippard had as a starter?Why do they keep jerking this kid around? He didn't do well this year in AAA as a starter. This is the Majors.He excelled in Spring Training when it was 3 inning assignments. For his 5 innings, it was alright. Nothing great. If Detwiler continues as a starter, he better learn how to bunt. He really hurt the team in the top of the 5th.

  77. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    >>>Ross Detwiler falls to 3-11 with a 5.03 ERA in 22 career big-league starts.<<<Ugh. That's ugly.Ultimately, this game was lost with the performance the offense put up against Lopez. That was inexcusable.

  78. flynnie - Aug 11, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    HRod was good now that he's back at sea level. We need to give Ross as much time as CMW. Flores is looking like his old self. Jason's home run was free and easy. He made a couple of nice catches in the outfield, even though he decided to slide on the game winner that Aaron Rowand would've caught. That wall wasn't ivy covered – it was concrete and at some point the pitcher is responsible for not putting his outfielders into career-threatening situations. I'm glad Jayson didn't go into the wall. I'd be wall-shy too.

  79. bups - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Has there been even one game this season when the Nats have gotten Zimmerman some runs? These guys are the hitless wonders but when Zimmerman pitches, the offense is totally disappears.

  80. Claudia - Aug 12, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    My son-in-law wants the Hammer Time t-shirt Morse was wearing…I've been looking, but can't find it. Anyone know where to get one?



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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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