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Series preview: Nats at Phillies

Aug 12, 2011, 2:09 PM EDT

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Livan Hernandez (6-11, 4.41) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (13-6, 2.53)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. — LHP John Lannan (8-7, 3.56) vs. RHP Roy Oswalt (4-7, 3.84)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — RHP Chien-Ming Wang (1-2, 3.60) vs. Roy Halladay (15-4, 2.51)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

PHILLIES UPDATE
This just in: The Phillies are really good. I know, who could have seen this coming with the makeshift roster they had entering the season? Still, these guys have perhaps been even better than everyone expected. Consider…

– At 77-40, they've got the majors' best record by 4 1/2 games and are on pace to finish 107-55.

– They need only to go 23-22 the rest of the way to finish with 100 wins.

– They've lost back-to-back games once since June 5.

How have the Phillies been so dominant? Pitching, pitching, pitching. The fearsome foursome of Roy Halladay (15-4, 2.54), Cliff Lee (12-7, 2.83), Cole Hamels 13-6, 2.53) and Roy Oswalt (4-7, 3.84) hasRead more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I hate the Phillies.

  2. josh f - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    We are really going to regret losing those very winnable games in Chicago. I know J-Zimm is almost done for the year; how about Livo? If he fails again tonight, does he get pushed aside for Milone or Peacock?

  3. Mark'd - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Mark, I think tonight is 7:35. Luck of the draw, Hamels and Halladay in a 3 game series.

  4. m20832 - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    GYFNG!!! Do the Winning Thing!

  5. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Philthies suck

  6. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Come on, Livo, we love ya! Reach back there, you can still do it!!!

  7. natsfan1a - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    You can do it, Livo!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rAHnwWfsaY

  8. Traveler8 - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    @Anonymous 11:05 am Don't be ridiculous. You don't have to like them, but the Phillies are remarkably good, and I hope the Nats can play up to their level.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    It's not the team that I dislike. It's the rotten fans that Stan Kasten loved so much.

  10. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Livo, remember this??? You still got it.http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15932103

  11. LoveDaNats - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I actually like the Phillies. It's their fans that need work.

  12. SayNoToClint - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    A question that stems from some comments/2012 lineup predictions in the previous thread…Everyone seems to want to move Morse back to LF next year. Why aren't we willing to give the guy a shot as the regular 1st baseman? He's played nearly error-free ball since moving there (1 error I think?). Plus he's a better bat. I think he's earned some consideration.

  13. Big Cat - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    We get Hamel, Oswalt, and Halladay. i will be rooting, but its not very inviting is it?

  14. SonnyG10 - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Go get'em Livo!!! gyfng!!!

  15. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    We get one this weekend I'll be happy. I'll take the nats with 100 loses before I would ever root for PHILTHY. "The only thing good ever come out of Philly was an empty bus."

  16. jd - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    SayNotoClint, Because we have Adam Laroche signed for next year at about $8 million.

  17. Steve M. - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    SayNoToClint said… A question that stems from some comments/2012 lineup predictions in the previous thread…Everyone seems to want to move Morse back to LF next year. Why aren't we willing to give the guy a shot as the regular 1st baseman? He's played nearly error-free ball since moving there (1 error I think?). Plus he's a better bat. I think he's earned some consideration. August 12, 2011 11:39 AM LaRoche is under contract for 2012. If they don't trade LaRoche, Morse will have to move back to LF.Having a healthy LaRoche is a good thing for the Nats. I like the idea of having Marrero playing some 1st base against lefties in platoon.

  18. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    OK LUVDANATS. You can be excused. Anybody that have ever wore any kind of Philly uniform should be hated. Including Werth and Donovan

  19. Mark'd - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    I look forward to seeing the real Adam LaRoche in 2012.

  20. JD - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Steve M. Does it make sense to you to have a 23 year old who is having a killer year at AAA play once every 4 days in a platoon situation? Aren't you retarding his development?

  21. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    @SayNoToClint: Morse is good at 1B, no complaints. But LaRoche is phenomenal. Some of the plays he made (and remember, he was not playing full strength) WOW!So you want to keep Morse's bat, but you also want LaRoche. Someone made the suggestion that you deal LaRoche at the trade deadline next summer if Bryce comes up. That's a good thought, of course, depending on where we are in the standings. :))))

  22. The Great Unwashed - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Put me in the keep Morse at 1B camp. He's not the greatest defender in LF, but he's been surprisingly good defensively at first base and when he's comfortable, we've all seen his offensive production. Plus, he's under team control longer than LaRoche who is viewed as a stop gap.LaRoche is also known to be a slow starter with the bat, so everyone who is looking forward to his return next year should expect to see diminished offensive production from the 1B position, at least until around the all-star break.LaRoche can't play the outfield so there's no easy solution, but Maybe Rizzo can trade him in the offseason. I know, given his injury that's easier said than done.

  23. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Steve Lombardozzi, 2B, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3-for-5, R, 3 RBI. Subject of much trade chatter is a grinder with outstanding defensive fundamentals; .320/.359/.432 in 47 Triple-A games.— from Baseball Prospectus

  24. Steve M. - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    JD said… Steve M.Does it make sense to you to have a 23 year old who is having a killer year at AAA play once every 4 days in a platoon situation? Aren't you retarding his development? August 12, 2011 12:13 PM Great question. I am not 100% sold on it but I believe that Marrero needs to show what he can do at the MLB level and 2 to 3 days a week and pinch hitting at this level may be more beneficial than AAA. I don't think Rizzo will agree with me. It will also give them the ability to trade LaRoche sooner than later if Marrero can play well at the MLB level although they do have a 2013 option on LaRoche and we still don't know if they will extend Michael Morse who is a Free Agent after 2013.

  25. Steve M. - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    NatsLady said… Steve Lombardozzi, 2B, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3-for-5, R, 3 RBI. Subject of much trade chatter is a grinder with outstanding defensive fundamentals; .320/.359/.432 in 47 Triple-A games.— from Baseball Prospectus August 12, 2011 12:35 PM We will be seeing him in about 3 weeks and Danny can use some time off as can Desi as Lombo can play 2nd and Espi can play some short to give Desi some days off. The shame of the 2nd 1/2 of the season is how far Espi has fallen with the bat. No RBIs since July 17th and Davey has left him in the 2 hole in front of the super hot Zimmerman.Espi was looking like an All Star and a lock for Rookie of the Year in June. His swing and miss percentage has gotten worse. It took Davey until this week to suggest bunting. The batting average is bad and if he didn't have all those HBPs, his OBP wouldn't look as good but it is all the stranded runners on base which has really hurt. He was clutch the 1st half of the year and made his hits count.He has to shorten up that LH swing and trade HRs for batting average.

  26. A DC Wonk - Aug 12, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    SayNoToClint said… Everyone seems to want to move Morse back to LF next year. Why aren't we willing to give the guy a shot as the regular 1st baseman?Morse has been adequate at 1B (actually, a bit sub-par — read on), but LaRoche was truly outstanding. Adam had zero errors in 42 games, and his UZR/150 (taking the UZR and extrapolating it over 150 games) was 11.9 (fielding estimated to save the Nats 11.9 runs), while Morse's is -3.4In fact, for 1B with over 300 innings played, LaRoche's 11.9 is far and away the best in the NL. (Second best is Loney (Dodgers) at 7.6). (Morse is 14th out of 19).

  27. Steve M. - Aug 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    DC Wonk, good stats and this is actually a good problem to potentially have. Mike has made some exceptional plays scooping bouncing throws from the infielders and has done a good job. He has missed a few chances on grounders and doesn't quite have LaRoche's range. If you can move Morse back to LF with LaRoche at 1st that is an upgrade for offense and defense assuming we see LaRoche at 2010 stats.

  28. bups - Aug 12, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    Ibanez and Ruiz will torch the Nats like they always do. Meanwhile, Werth will go 0-12 with ten wiffs. Without Morse in the lineup, there is no hope.

  29. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    A lot hangs on which Livo goes out there tonight. Remember this one against Philly in April?http://www.thenatsblog.com/2011-articles/april/livan-rolls-the-dice-helps-bury-phillies.html

  30. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    With every passing gut wrenching loss, I see Davey wither a little. Almost like a flower wilting. I don't see him coming back. Its a little different without Strawberry, Gooden, Orosco, Nails, Carter, Hernandez, and of course Ray Knight

  31. Unkyd - Aug 12, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    How bout we bring Marerro up? Bullpen's a little heavy, no?

  32. SayNoToClint - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Good points and discussion about Morse guys. As usual I never think about the money angle.A DC Wonk – those stats are surprising. My eyes have been telling me something different watching at the games — I would have said that Morse wasn't quite as good as LaRoche as a fielder, but the dropoff wasn't that big.I guess it just disappoints me that the guy (Morse) was asked to step up at a position he's never played before and has done nothing but turn into a huge stud. He nearly makes the All-Star team and he's probably going to lose his position next year. I guess that's life in the big leagues though.

  33. baseballswami - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Just returned from a business trip to — wait for it—–Philadelphia. Their fans are miserable all the time and if you didn't know their record, you would think they were a losing team. They just whine and complain all the time. They have at least 2 radio stations that talk about the team and have call-ins ALLDAY LONG. The people that call in are just hilarious (synonym for "ignorant"). It's just too bad that they can't relax and enjoy it. They are also miserable because they can basically NEVER go to a game – all sold out every day. Glad to be home in NATS country – haven't seen a game in a couple of days ( maybe that is a good thing?). This weekend looks grim, I know, but maybe they will rise to the occasion. One of the things the Philly fans complain about is that their team knows they are going to the playoffs and they are getting complacent and lazy. Maybe they will rest a few guys tonight? Also – their first home game after a very long road trip – should be a really interesting atmosphere for the Nats. I have been waaaay out of the loop – is MM hurt seriously?

  34. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    La Roche is just another inept bat on this team. Yes he's fielding is good but this team needs bats. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little. Keep morse where he is. Eat the money and get La gross outta here.

  35. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    baseballswami You Rock!! Philly fans are just miserable people. They all deserve each other. I will never go to another Nats game against Philthy. Those people (yes I said THOSE people) ruin everything. Despicable that a couple years ago are upper mangement (forgot the name) invited them down to our stadium.

  36. Scooter - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    SayNoToClint, there's also the old "rule" — as pertains to LaRoche — that you don't lose your position because of an injury. That might figure into the thinking a little bit too.But the bottom line is, do you want Morse and LaRoche or Morse and Mystery Left Fielder? (I'll accept either answer; it's up to you.)

  37. SayNoToClint - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Baseballswami,The one thing Philly fans have over us is their talk shows actually talk about baseball during baseball season. Meanwhile the "flagship Nats station" can still find a way to endlessly ramble about the Redskins even during May in the middle of a lockout.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
THU: 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.

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