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Game 120: Reds at Nats

Aug 16, 2011, 7:34 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chien-Ming Wang faces Mike Leake tonight at Nationals Park.

After an unexpected two-day layoff thanks to Sunday's rainout in Philadelphia and yesterday's off-day in D.C., the Nationals are back in action tonight, opening a 10-game homestand. First up: The Reds, the only NL opponent the Nats have yet to face this season.

Chien-Ming gets the start, hoping to build off his fantastic outing at Wrigley Field last week, in which he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. It's probably too much to expect the right-hander to pull that off again, but the Nationals would love to see another solid outing from him.

Tonight, the Nationals will be honoring members of the military (especially those Navy SEALs who died in the recent helicopter attack) by wearing special caps during batting practice and their stars and stripes jerseys during the game. Should make for a nice scene.

Updates to come….

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from CF

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


  1. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Go, Wang! Go, Nats!

  2. NatinBeantown - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Reposting this from someone else's comment in the previous thread. Vote for NatsInsider as Washington's best sports blog ("Latest and thoughtful info on the Nats, accompanied by (sometimes) intelligent comments")Well, sorry for the days I comment and drag down the site IQ! But seriously, go and vote!

  3. WillieHarrisUnderpants - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    "Chien-Ming wants gets the start"Whatever Chein-Ming wants, Chein-Ming gets.

  4. NatStat - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Chien-Ming Wants? We'll see how much he's lacking after to-nights' game.Must be a hard name to get right. Cubs' broadcaster Rick Monday kept getting Wang's name wong and calling him 'Wong'.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    NatStat said… Not sure about your comment, but it is pronounced 'WOng' with an 'O'.

  6. Unkyd - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Um, it is "Wong", out loud….

  7. Bryan Scrafford - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Any word on what the Nats are planning on doing with Chien-Ming Wang's contract? Seems like they wouldn't have invested all that money in his rehab if they weren't going to sign him once he's pitching again, but I also don't think you can sign him to more than a season (MAYBE two) without seeing how he does throughout the course of a full season.

  8. NatStat - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Wang is wong, and Wong is right. I guess it needs an English spelling to give it the correct pronunkiation

  9. Mark'd - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Let's see Yonder Alonso in the field. A Minor Leaguer 1st baseman converted to outfielder.

  10. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Seeing "Game 120" in print is kind of making me sad. Where did the season go? Before you know it, we'll be doing our "best and worst" moments. There has already been lots of talk about 2012. Promise I will stop the pity party and move on — plenty of baseball left to go! GYFNG!!I would love to see the Nats put together a nice run in the next 6-7 weeks — starting right here with the Reds.

  11. Davey Johnson - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    1. Rick Ankiel CF2. Danny Espinosa 2B3. Ryan Zimmerman 3B4. Laynce Nix 1B5. Jayson Werth RF6. Jonny Gomes LF7. Ian Desmond SS8. Wilson Ramos C9. Chien-Ming Wang P

  12. Anonymous - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    "Any word on what the Nats are planning on doing with Chien-Ming Wang's contract?"Wang is a free agent after this season.

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    I'll see yonder Alonso, and raise ye this here Wonts.

  14. D Johnson - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    I've had a few drinks over at Camelot's and have changed my mind. Three gin martinis, stirred not shaken, will do that to you.1. Rick Ankiel CF2. Danny Espinosa SS3. Ryan Zimmerman 1B4. Laynce Nix LF5. Jayson Werth RF6. Wilson Ramos C7. Alex Cora 3B8. Ian Desmond 2B9. Chen Ho-Wang P

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Thanks, beantown, but here it is, in Interwebz:vyfniv.

  16. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    LOL, Beantown! I voted earlier but missed the parenthetical "sometimes" when I did. fwiw, I would think that you tend to fall in the intelligent comments category.("Latest and thoughtful info on the Nats, accompanied by (sometimes) intelligent comments")

  17. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Swami, it occurred to me earlier today that we're nearly 3/4 of the way through the season. But it ain't over 'til it's over so I'll savor it while I can. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Also, re. the voting, the site says that one vote per category is allowed per day. So vote early and vote often.

  19. Nats Outsider - Aug 16, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    natsfan1a said… "the site says that one vote per category is allowed per day."That's what it says, but it appears that there is one vote per *Web Browser* per category per day. Some people have Firefox plus Safari, or Chrome plus Internet Explorer, and I'm just sayin' . . .

  20. Dave - Aug 16, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    @NatsOusider, you are CORRECT! With Firefox, Safari, and Opera, I was just able to vote three times.Wait, I also have Safari on my iPhone! That's four!

  21. Dawn - Aug 16, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Love Pudge, hope he is in the dugout tonight! Glad to see the Nationals are at least enticing strong draft picks to sign. The "proof will be in the pudding" or on the field, exciting times. Nice to have baseball tonight. Go Nats!

  22. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Thanks for the tips, Outsider and Dave. I'm just saying…hehe

  23. LoveDaNats - Aug 16, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    If two days without baseball feels like forever, I'm in a world of hurt this winter.

  24. Depot Master - Aug 16, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    Do two Wongs make a Wright?

  25. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    LoveDaNats – I hear ya – this past two days has felt really long.

  26. JaneB - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Love that we can vote for Mark! Thanks for that heads up. Swami, I had the same sinking feeling in my stomach at the "Game 120."GYFNGGGGGGGG!

  27. Joe Seamhead - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Tough play, but Werth has to catch that ball with two outs.

  28. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Uh, oh – let's hope that Wang can recover after the first like he did in his first two starts. Now – we absolutely , positively , need offense!!! Should Werth have had that one? Looked like it was not a sure thing.

  29. gonatsgo - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Ankiel goes up swinging — a familiar phrase. This time it fell in, thank goodness.

  30. NatinBeantown - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Loving the Zuckerman snark tonight. Hey man, whatever gets you through the night, after a long night, smack in the middle iof the dog days…(my preferred method is derived from distilled 51% corn mash)

  31. Anonymous - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Way to go Desi!!!

  32. Joe Seamhead - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Nice hit from Desmond, but Laynce Nix' s AB was just ugly. Come on CMW, get the ball down!

  33. Anonymous - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Halladay gave up a run on 3 singles and is actually behind in the game to the d'backs. That just warms my heart.

  34. Matt - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Just a quick heads up for those (like me) out of area: today's game is free on mlb TV.

  35. NatinBeantown - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Wang's results are ok so far, but all these flyballs are trouble. Sink, ball, sink!

  36. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    Lovin the Beast Mode!

  37. JaneB - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Sign that guy to an extension RIGHT NOW! Oh, how sweet is it gonna be when we get the Prince of OppoBoppo hiting with Morse and Zimm. And imagine when Werth comes back around. Meanwhile, Wang keep the darn ball sunk. Nats, win this game!

  38. LoveDaNats - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Beast just keeps getting better and better!

  39. Bigfish - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    I know some of us have been complaining that Ramos was standing too far from the plate. Just heard Rizzo say they moved him a couple of inches closer to the plate about a week ago. Does Nats management read this blog? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. Joe Seamhead - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:24 AM


  41. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Yes, bigfish – because they know we all have too much time on our hands and we are total experts on all aspects of the game. Noooooo – just kidding. But, then again, maybe they do listen – Matt Stairs is retired, isn't he?

  42. gonatsgo - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Well – that was just a freaking bomb, wasn't it? Go Zim! Competing with Michael Morse, hey? Go for it!!!

  43. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Wang (Wong) got his quality start. Now let's get him outta there.It may be the cynic in me, but I always worry when this guy pitches. Time for the Coffey-Clip-and-Store show.

  44. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Why did Wang bat for himself? Do we really have to prove he can go more than six right now and risk it? Please, Burnett, Coffey – fresh bullpen, anyone?

  45. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    And why Clip in the 7th?

  46. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Totally agree, Mark. This was bonehead – could have had a pinch hitter, could have had a reliever start a clean inning.

  47. FS - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    Seriously there is nothing better than reading the game updates here after missing the first few innings. Love it Mr. Z. Thank you.

  48. Joe S. - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Having Wang pitch into the seventh is a bonehead move if you want to win games. It makes a bit more sense if you want to see what Wang can do. Is the guy a #2 pitcher, like he used to be? A #3? A #4-5? Not worth the money? You have to answer the question now, because you have to decide how much money (if any) you want to offer him at the end of the season.More data on this question is worth the risk, especially if you are three runs ahead, as the Nats were at the beginning of the seventh.

  49. JaneB - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    We even get REDS Insider dope! See? This IS the Best Sports Blog in DC!Was Wang always shakey in his first inning, or is the new Wang?

  50. Mick - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Good start, now darn it, the Nats need to run off 5 in a row at a clip. There is no reason they can't be at 500 or above by 9/1

  51. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Drew Storen was totally filthy tonight! And Tyler did his Houdini thing. A thing of beauty and Wang with 2 wins. Really – confess – did you see this coming a couple of weeks ago? I know I did not.

  52. Grandstander - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    I initially suggested it as a joke, but I'm really starting to wonder if a simulated 1st inning might do Wang some good.

  53. Drew8 - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Nice win, boys!P.S. In Hagerstown tonight, Robbie Ray was pulled after three innings, with a 7-0 lead.The box says the weather was clear, so I don't think it was a rain delay. Hope he's OK.Mark: Might it be that the kid has an innings limit?

  54. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Fast game – time to watch "The Franchise".

  55. ehay2k - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    Listening to the post-game report, and D J said Zimmerman called his homer in the dugout before he went out to hit.Zimmerman is amazing.

  56. Mick - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    This is fun and it brings back childhood memories of the 1969 Nats who finished 86-76. Only now, we have a team here for the long haul that is very young and will be very good very soon.

  57. FS - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    Just saw Ryan's home run. That was the most violent swing I seen from him. He disgustingly put that one away for good. Nice win for Wang.

  58. Dryw - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    Just got in from the game, and I'm not sure whether the homers or Drew's 9th were the highlight of the game. Filthy, filthy stuff from Drew indeed and our 3-4 hitters are the real deal. I love winning! GYFNG!!!

  59. gonatsgo - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    It was great to see Pudge in the dugout – I think his presence means something in there even when he is not playing.If you watch him – he never sits back, he is always involved.What a class act.

  60. Dryw - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Oh, and is it just me, or do a lot of our boys just seem to play with particular joy in the game? Zim, Danny,the Beast….they just seem to love the game of baseball.

  61. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Cardinals and Giants both lose – again. Is the play off picture starting to emerge?

  62. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Dryw – I know exactly what you are talking about. Zim seems happy just to have his body back, Morse is just happy to be playing every day, Danny would play all day every day if you let him. It really is great to watch – I love the passion.

  63. natsfan1a - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Nice win, and I also enjoyed seeing Pudge back in the dugout. I believe this team misses him when he's away.

  64. natsfan1a - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Just read Mark's commentary. Dang, I missed the Miller High Life guy? I love him! Seriously, that is one funny dude.

  65. Andrew - Aug 17, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    I have video with the Miller High Life guy as he was sitting behind me. I will load it later.

  66. Drew8 - Aug 17, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    At Bryan Horowitz has a really nice feature on Harrisburg's Erik Arnesen, the Eastern League pitcher of the week. This section plays into what Rizzo's been saying. The Nats don't just sign talented players. They develop players. Huzzahs to Randy Tomlin and Spin Williams."Arnesen is 8-3 for Harrisburg, ranks third in the Eastern League with a 2.36 ERA and is second with a 1.07 WHIP. After adding a split-finger fastball to a repertoire that includes a low-90s fastball, Arnesen has compiled a 115-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 124 1/3 innings between Harrisburg and Syracuse. In the Eastern League All-Star Game, he struck out all three batters he faced."Arnesen and Shairon Martis (3.03 ERA, 126 Ks, 36 walks at AA) might rank 15th and 16th among the Nats' quality pitching prospects.That is some impressive depth!

  67. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Boy, I don't know what you do about this one. Bottom of the 10th, guy drags a bunt, gets tagged but the ump doesn't see it because his view is blocked, and calls him safe. Indians got robbed. Hope they don't lose on that play.

  68. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    I hope Shairon Martis makes it. Another guy like HRod, full of talent.

  69. Another MASN Ranter - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    I see it's been a while since anyone has added a comment to this post, which no doubt means the blogosphere had moved on, so maybe it's a good place to vent. Here goes: Is it possible that somewhere in MLB there's a pre- and post-game show worse than what MASN offers? The guys doing the show (names withheld because they seem to be good guys and gals and this is not a personal attack) ramble on many times incoherently and, re the anchor guy, cluelessly. The latest very typical example: Last the anchor guy, while trying in his usual amazingly uninformed way to toe the company line and praise the Nats draft picks, says Rendon is a great hitter (true) and that his 2011 year was even better than his spectacular 2010 (NOT!). (Rendon had a shoulder problem — and had injured his ankle during the previous summer — and he had to DH in 2011 and his BA and homers were down (colleges changed bats, too), altough still good. (2) And the color rarely analyzes anything, he just offers "atta boy" stuff. His stumbling review of the game's highlights is painful to experience. (3) The gal who does the player interviews almost always merely asks how the players "feel" about something, for example, a good play or winning a game, or what a win makes a player feel. (4) And I don't understand why MASB didn't pick up Bob Carpenter's option for 2012. I've listened to a lot of baseball commentary and Bob's is one of the best, IMO. Okay, F.P. Santanglo was a great hire and he and Bob work well together. So now, along with skipping the pre-game show and fast-forewarding through the post-game show (except the manager's press conference), I now have to worry about Bob for 2012. Oy.

  70. Scooter - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Nice rant. Though I have to warn you, you might need to sound a little more crazed to really qualify as a "Ranter."I don't care for the pre- or post-game shows either … but then, I usually don't care for ANY pre- or post-game show, so I wasn't gonna watch anyway.I also skip the manager's press conference, but that's a personal choice.



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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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