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Game 121: Reds at Nats

Aug 17, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler faces Johnny Cueto tonight at Nationals Park.

Way back when this season began, Ian Desmond was the Nationals' leadoff hitter. Wow, does that seem like a long time ago, or what? By April 15, the shortstop had been dropped in the order, and he's spent the majority two months batting either seventh or eighth. But he's started to get hot again, having hit .283 over his last 12 games, so tonight Desmond is back in the leadoff spot for the first time since April 14.

The residual effect: red-hot Rick Ankiel gets bumped down to No. 2, with slumping Danny Espinosa now in the 6-hole. What tangible effect this all has on the Nationals' lineup remains to be seen.

Ross Detwiler will be on the mound, looking once again to establish his ability to pitch deep into a game, something he's struggled with in the past. He and the Nats have a tough challenge ahead of them, facing Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, who leads the NL with a 1.94 ERA.

As you know, I'm in Hagerstown tonight for Stephen Strasburg's rehab start. So I won't have updates or a postgame article from Nationals Park. Please keep up the conversation as always here, and be sure to check for my full Strasburg recap later on the site…

REDS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (58-62)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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202 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Dave - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    @Anon 8:21: "Bottom line though is that as the team gets better and demand for tickets goes up, these kinds of incentives will be going away. Enjoy them while you can."Precisely. I think I agree with you about Nats Bucks vs. discount, but your last point is the key one. Since 2006, my season ticket cost per ticket has gone down, not up. (Infield Gallery, 313 at Nats Park; 417 at RFK.)I imagine 2012 might be the last year of giving away all these tickets and money. When the team is good, tickets will be in demand, and they'll no longer need to paper the house.

  2. Sec3MySofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Wait, you guys have to PAY for your seats??

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 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

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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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