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Series preview: Phillies at Nats

Aug 19, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Roy Oswalt (5-7, 3.84) vs. RHP Livan Hernandez (7-11, 4.21)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.25) vs. LHP John Lannan (8-8, 3.55)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.53) vs. RHP Chien-Ming Wang (2-2, 4.22)
TV: MASN, Ch 50 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

PHILLIES UPDATE
Things continue to hum along nicely in Philadelphia, even when key players are lost due to injury or other calamities. The Phillies just took two of three from the NL West-leading Diamondbacks, winning last night's game despite missing Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz from the lineup.

Howard (hand) and Ruiz (groin) could return to play tonight. Victorino, though, will be serving the second game of his now-reduced suspension for his actions against the Giants on Aug. 5. The center fielder is slated to return tomorrow.

Others have stepped up their absence, especially outfielder John Mayberry Jr., whose two-run blast last night was his fourth homer in his last 10 games. Backup catcher (and former Nat) Brian SchneiderRead more »

  1. josh f - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Are we sure Lannan is totally healthy?Also, any news on when Rendon is coming to town for a presser?

  2. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Lannan threw in the bullpen the other day, so he's good to go.Sounds like Rendon, Meyer and Goodwin will be at Nats Park (along with Scott Boras) early next week.

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    I'll take one order of good Livo, please, with a side of off-his-game Oswalt. (Hey, it could happen.)

  4. Nats Outsider - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    natsfan1a said… "I'll take one order of good Livo, please, with a side of off-his-game Oswalt. (Hey, it could happen.)"I'll have what he's having.Actually, as much as I love Livo, I think the best hope for avoiding a sweep lies with LannEn on Saturday, if — a BIG "if" — he brings his A game. Halladay vs. Wang on Sunday is not an encouraging matchup.

  5. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Mark, that will be fun. I was at the park last night when Purke came out to tip his hat. Great to see into the future.

  6. SCNatsFan - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    One good thing about playing the Phillies is you know we'll get on sportcenter; either way its a story, David beating Goliath or the other way around

  7. SonnyG10 - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Hey, waiter, I'd like the same order as 1a.GYFNG!!!

  8. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Well, either the oddsmakers don't like Oswalt or they like Livo at home. We got a 26% chance on this one, ha ha. Here are the detailed stats:http://www.thespread.com/index.php?option=com_statfeeds_reloaded&view=show&page=mlb/expanded&date=08/19/2011&rotnum=903&sit=1&back=1&Itemid=655

  9. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    When I was in Philly on business last week the fans up there were all really down on Mayberry – they seem to think that because it took him a while to reach the majors that he is somehow fatally flawed. People think they are such good fans up there but they turn on their players in a heartbeat and I find them to be very negative. ( more than Nats Insiders after a nasty loss, in fact). If we can get the game off to a good start it will quiet them down considerably. They lose steam pretty quickly when faced with the least bit of adversity. It would be nice to beat on them while some of their players are dinged up ( or suspended). They always take us pretty lightly and that should really tick off our players. I kind of wish our guys were listening to Phil. talk radio today – it might get them fired up as I am sure that in Phila. are already counting on the 3 game sweep. I just hate it when they are in our park. GYFNG!

  10. natsfan1a - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Luckily, Livo servings are always large, Outsider and Sonny, so there's plenty for everyone (oh, and I'm a "she" fwiw). ;-)I'm also taking the games one at a time so I'll get to my LannEn hopes in a couple of days…

  11. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    I like the Phillies. They are well run and have class. But I've seen enough of their winning.Most people from Philly are perfectly fine, but Philly has a very, very high number of AHs per capita. Almost all Philly team fans are doom and gloom about their teams the first moment something bad happens.I've seen the Mint, Independance Hall and the Liberty Bell – all wonderful symbols of our country. My wife has been to the flower show. Their cheesesteaks are vastly overrated. There is nothing else about Philly I like. I see no reason to ever go back.

  12. NatStat - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I'd like to see Flores in the lineup tonight. He's currently hitting better than Ramos, and his throwing seems to be up to par. Besides, he and Davey have a history in the Mets-Nats' scouting department.Gooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!

  13. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    I have a question. Does DJ work for Rizzo, or does Rizzo work for DJ? DJ seems to gripe a lot about what he has, what he doesn't like about the team ("I don't like x number if pitchers–need more bench," etc.) I think there's a clash brewing here. Rizzo has an eye for talent that DJ seems to have lost. (Using you-know-who as cleanup, and yeah, that was Rizzo's pickup, so he blew one. But he didn't play him!)I think Rizzo has truly built the makings of a fine ballclub–we'll find out soon enough. But DJ seems to think it's his job to dictate what he wants instead of managing what he has. I root for Porter or McLaren as mgr for next year. I don't know of anyone out there who'd be better, and those guys both know the team. So does DJ, but it's obvious he doesn't like it and doesn't manage it very well.–Fan & STH from day 1

  14. Not Werth It - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    I live in philly, and on the whole it is a nice town with a lot of good people and fun things to do. However over the years I have witnessed the most amazing phenomenon. These good people, even close friends and loved ones, put on their Phillies or Eagles gear and immediately turn into massive whiney pricks.Eff philly fans. Lets go Nats, send 'em home miserable.I got a laugh out of seeing Raul Ibanez in the 'Cold' column, why is it always our job to jump start him out of a slump? That lousy roid head always murders us.

  15. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Anon @12:31 – Have wondered some of the same things – often and publicly. DJ seems to think the team is "his" to do with what he wants. Wonder how Rizzo feels about that since it appears that he has had a carefully laid out plan for a while and it would take a major course reversal to change it and it would take some time. I have thought since Riggs left that McClaren should have had the team for the rest of the year. Oh, well – stuck in hindsight again.argggh. Rizzo and DJ will be headed for a collision course when ( not if) DJ tries to push for more innings for Jordan. He often says things that make me wonder if that is his own "out there" statement or if it came from the FO. It is my understanding that the GM builds the team and has the long term vision and the Manager manages what he is given to work with. Not that they don't ever discuss it – but am pretty sure Riggleman wasn't consulted very much.After all – they did have " communication issues".

  16. m20832 - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    YES!!! Plenty of Livo to go around! Sounds like a Great dish. But I believe it is best served HOT!!!GYFNG!!

  17. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Listening to Stephania Bell, she mentioned that Cole Hamils had an arthrogram (where they put dye in your shoulder, etc.). Isn't that the test Purke had? She mentioned that it is very painful and you can't throw for a few days after it. Just some insight into what guys go through to get (and stay) in the majors. (Hamils, btw, "nothing major).

  18. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    swami: I thought Davey said last night he was getting two more starts out of Zimmermann (yes, I hate the first person singular also), and if the pitch count was not exactly 160, so be it. So that sounds pretty much in sync with the preset limit.On your general point, yes, there could be a collision. You have two strong, smart guys with probably different ideas (but I sincerely hope not different GOALS). The off-season could be interesting if Davey hangs around.In discussion last night (couldn't post, was at the game, and tried one post which took about 1/2 hour and still didn't get through), Cole Porter was mentioned. I've also noticed that he seems to be quieter. Maybe Davey's persona (which is pretty large) overpowers some of the staff.

  19. Feel Wood - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    I like the Phillies. They are well run and have class. You seem to have forgotten about Chase Utley.

  20. natsfan1a - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    N. Cog. is en fuego and wins the interwebz again.

  21. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    "You seem to have forgotten about Chase Utley."I must have. How many people did he kill?

  22. Feel Wood - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    I don't think Utley has killed anyone (yet) but he did severely maim Jesus Flores in a collision at the plate in September 2008. They had to drive this little ambulance out onto the field to haul Flores off, and he was out for the rest of the season, leaving us with who? Wil Nieves.

  23. natsfan1a - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Random musing: it occurs to me that a guy named Mayberry should always play RF(D). That is all.

  24. Steve M. - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    N. Cognito said… "JD, I don't think its that simple because Milone and Peacock aren't on the 40 man roster. With adding Purke and Rendon, the Nats have to ration the spots."The Nats have 3 guys – LaRoche, Slaten and Kimball who could go to the 60-day DL, freeing up spots for players currently not on the 40-man roster. August 19, 2011 11:27 AM There are certainly spots to be had on the 40 man roster right now by moving players to the 60 day DL but once you put a player on the 40 man you can't take them off easily. I think your alternatives to take a player off the 40 man 'that you want to retain' is to pass through waivers and in some cases accept a Minor League contract if they have met years of service per the collective bargaining agreement. Unless Rizzo has to, I think he will only add 1 of the pitchers. I would like to see him add both to see what the Nats have in Milone and Peacock but then you know they want to see Detwiler and Wang too plus they have Strasburg so unless they go to a 6 man rotation, who knows.The other side of it is like I discussed on Wednesday is that Rizzo still needs to Win games. He has a lot riding on getting to 82-80 if this team can make another winning streak.

  25. Tim the Enchanter - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    The Nats ought to keep Lannan out until Tuesday and let Gorzelanny or Stammen pitch Saturday.

  26. Steve M. - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    OF Laynce Nix (.129/.229/.161 last 12 G)Yep, that is an ice cold blast. Is it a slump or is this achilles/leg/foot pain the issue.I saw him against some RH pitchers swing and miss while missing the ball by several inches as if he was swinging with his eyes closed which tells me slump. With a short bench, his slump really hurts.Espinosa took some better swings the past 2 days. Ramos has been streaky.4 games of Jesus Flores isn't hot, its just too small of a sample to tell if he can sustain it. Even John Lannan has hit a HR so I'm not ready to say Jesus Flores is baaack as a hitter. The good news for the Nats is if Flores can sustain this they have an excellent trade chip. I still see Ramos as the catcher of the future and Pudge is still available for the Nats as a backup for next year.

  27. jd - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Steve M. I hear you about needing to win but I think we need to evaluate the young guys more. We really need to see what we have in Lombardozzi and Marrero and Milone and Peacock. That + the SS recovery and the Flores and Wang comebacks should be the main focus. I don't think it's important to see that much of Balester, Coffee, Cora, Bixler etc.

  28. Feel Wood - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    The other side of it is like I discussed on Wednesday is that Rizzo still needs to Win games. He has a lot riding on getting to 82-80 if this team can make another winning streak.What does Rizzo have riding on getting to 82-80? He's got at least four more years left on his GM contract. He's better served by using the rest of this season to sort out the long term pieces from what he has on hand now (majors and minors) than by making a push for 82-80 by relying on guys who will be gone at the end of this season or shortly thereafter. In a few years, all ownership and the fan base will care about is how the team is doing then. They won't give a damn that they finished 82-80 or 75-87 or even 70-92 in 2011.

  29. Steve M. - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    baseballswami said… Rizzo and DJ will be headed for a collision course when ( not if) DJ tries to push for more innings for Jordan. He often says things that make me wonder if that is his own "out there" statement or if it came from the FO. It is my understanding that the GM builds the team and has the long term vision and the Manager manages what he is given to work with. Not that they don't ever discuss it – but am pretty sure Riggleman wasn't consulted very much.After all – they did have " communication issues". August 19, 2011 12:47 PM Jordan Zimmermann is at 150.2 innings right now. He should get to 156.2 with the next start but you never know if he has a gem going and Davey lets him go complete game then that may be it.From what I heard they want to limit him to 6 in the next start and then will let him go up to 7 innings in the last start which will exceed this limit of 160 that Davey doesn't like (clearly) but you are right, Rizzo is calling the shots and 160 means about 160 so JZim has at most 2 more starts left.JZim is supposed to start Aug 23rd vs. DBacks and Sunday Aug 28th vs. Reds which is the fine handoff to Milone or Strasburg on either Sept 3rd or 4th.

  30. NatStat - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    I'm not surprised about the Philly pitchers W-L record with Brian Schneider behind the plate. He was never much of an offensive stat but he can flat-out handle pitchers. He did well when he was with the Nats.

  31. Wally - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Man, did you see the game Davey managed last night? Like a magician with his bullpen management. And having Flores and Gomes hitting up there in those spots? Just sheer brilliance. The guy really is on fire.(smiles)

  32. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    @Wally: Ha. He got the "move of the game" award on the radio for inserting Mattheus in the 6th… You going to argue with the radio????

  33. Wally - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    I don't think they are panicked to get to 80 wins. The benefit of more wins this year is to keep a positive media story going and get a little more buzz. I think 75 wins does that, especially if Stras throws up a few good starts and Espy gets to 20 HRs.I do see them having some real 40 man issues this year (that is a sign of progress) which will affect the call ups. I am not sure of the rules but I think Steve M is right that you can't just put them on and take them off without risk of loss. I also see this as a reason we might see some prospect trades this offseason, a three for one kind of deal.I think Mark was a little influenced by emotion to put Jesus up there as 'Hot' based on 4 games! But I am good with it.My weekend prediction: we beat Doc on Sunday. Not sure what else happens other than we get no hit for 6 innings on Sat.

  34. Wally - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    @NatsLady – I never argue with the radio. I tried arguing with the GPS once but it didn't work out so well (and those automatic email responses that someone is out of the office, but I digress)

  35. Steve M. - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Feelwood, here's what Tom Boswell wrote yesterday in the paper: "…Like any perennial loser, the Nats feel pressure to show their own players and fans, as well as free agents and stars with no-trade clauses, that they are making true progress. Going from 59 wins in 2009 to 69 last year to 78 this season (their current pace) would make a convincing case that the franchise is squared away…"

  36. jd - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    I don't get the worry about the 40 man roster. Do we really care if Severino is DFA'd and picked up by someone else? Maya? Cora? Bixler? Stammen?

  37. jd - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    As a matter of fact IMHO you can add :Gomes, Nix, Coffee to the list above.

  38. Wally - Aug 19, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    JD – that is only half the equation (although I would keep Stammen, but can't quibble on the rest). Doing what you suggest requires them to make a decision on who to add at the expense of the others BEFORE seeing them in the pros or even in the AFL. Usually teams want to take as much tme as possible before committing. And watching Rizzo play the options game the last few years with marginal guys like Slaten, Gaudin, etc, I am pretty sure he will play it traditionally. And while I am not sure of the entire list this year, my understanding is it is large.My guess is the only call ups not already on the 40 man are the no brainers like Lombo and Peacock (pretty sure he isn't already on the 40 man).

  39. Steve M. - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    jd said… Steve M.I hear you about needing to win but I think we need to evaluate the young guys more. We really need to see what we have in Lombardozzi and Marrero and Milone and Peacock. That + the SS recovery and the Flores and Wang comebacks should be the main focus.I don't think it's important to see that much of Balester, Coffee, Cora, Bixler etc. August 19, 2011 2:00 PM By giving up 2 spots on the 40 man to Rendon and Purke is more the problem JD. I think 30 days ago I would have thought both Milone and Peacock would come up as they are closer to the Majors at this point in time then Purke, but the business of baseball over-rides conventional thinking which you are correct the evaluation of the youngsters is important.The winning part like I said "is the other side of it". Still need to manage it wisely and it is a tradeoff. Both pitchers of course will be part of Spring Training and possibly see Peacock in the Arizona Fall League.

  40. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    FYI: here are the pitchers on the 40-man who are not on the active roster.Adam CarrCole Kimball (15-day DL)Yunesky MayaGarrett MockMatthew PurkeElvin Ramirez (60-day DL)Atahualpo SeverinoDoug Slaten (15-day DL)Craig StammenStephen Strasburg (60-day DL)

  41. Scooter - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Disirregardless of what you may want to see, jd, the team ain't cutting Jonny Gomes lo these three weeks after trading for him.I know you know this; I just think you could save some typing effort next time. Message: I care.

  42. Steve M. - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    jd said… I don't get the worry about the 40 man roster. Do we really care if Severino is DFA'd and picked up by someone else? Maya? Cora? Bixler? Stammen? August 19, 2011 2:50 PM Remember, 25 of your 40 players are on your active roster which only leaves 15 spots left of which Bryce Harper, Rendon, and Purke now have 3 of the 15 so you only have 12 players left to juggle. Not an easy task. They also now have to clear a spot for Strasburg which they can do by moving LaRoche, Slaten or Kimball to the 60 day which then leaves them 2 more spots from 15dayDL players for Lombo and 1 pitcher before they have to waive a player.Can it be done, sure.http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=was

  43. jd - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Scooter, If a team calls up Rizzo and asks for any one of these guys in a waiver trade and gives up even a marginal prospect (that's all we gave up for Gomes anyhow) you don't think he'll do it?

  44. jd - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Remember; these guys are free agents at the end of the year anyway. (Nix, Gomes, Coffee).

  45. Steve M. - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Tcostant said… Interesting draft tidbit:http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2011/08/bonus-expenditures-2007-11/ August 19, 2011 3:21 PM That is a 5 year chart. The Nats are #1 for the last 3 years and the Pirates spent $18,000,000 less this year than the Nats on their on-the-field product with a total payroll of $45,047,000.While the Pirates are trying their best at the Tampa "plan", the Nats are putting together top drafts with a few key agents.Still hoping the Nats end up with a better record than the Pirates. Bragging rights to the Pirates as they got Hanrahan and the Nats have Burnett—what a difference 1 year later!

  46. Unkyd - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Disirregardless?! That's the best one in weeks!!! Thanks, Scooter… :-)

  47. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    jd said… Remember; these guys are free agents at the end of the year anyway. (Nix, Gomes, Coffee). August 19, 2011 3:24 PM jd, are you going to throw away a Type B comp pick for Gomes? I think not. For the others, ain't gonna happen.

  48. Mick - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Gomes is a good veteran presence in the clubhouse for this team

  49. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Steve M. As if anyone listens to Tom Boswell…

  50. Mick - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    I agree with Steve M on the 40 man roster, Stammen and Slaten can't leave fast enough. Maya is the only one I would like to see given a shot

  51. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Gomes has seemed to mesh well with the team. I think that he is filling in some of the holes created by veterans that are gone (Hairston, Marquis and Stairs) but he also has an intensity often seen in younger players. He seems to fire up the dugout and that is something that is needed. So many of our guys are very calm as they go about their business – that was a Riggs style – " don't get too high or too low". It's nice not to have crazy people, but it's also nice to have someone in there that is a little more intense and excited. Question about Bixler – does he have a natural defensive position? Seems like after 2 game-saving plays the last two days maybe he deserves a start.

  52. Scooter - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Ah. I see your point now, jd. I concur with you: if another team offers to remove one of those gentlemen for us, then yes, the team might well accept. I had understood you to be discussing guys who could be unilaterally removed.

  53. David - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Mark, just a suggestion. How about including the overall record of the teams? I know it's simple information, but I think it's good to be able to know the teams record when we read your preview.

  54. A DC Wonk - Aug 19, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Rizzo and DJ will be headed for a collision course when ( not if) DJ tries to push for more innings for Jordan. when, not if? I think this is an example of extreme anti-DJ bias. No way this turns into a conflict. DJ is looking forward to next year as much as any of us.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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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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