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Game 51 (Take 2): Braves at Nats

Jun 2, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces Brandon Beachy today at Nationals Park.

What a difference a day makes. Gone are the menacing clouds, the rain and the tornado threats. In are blue skies, cool temperatures and no threat whatsoever of delays.

So, let's try this again. Stephen Strasburg is on the mound. Michael Morse is in right field. Jesus Flores is behind the plate. There are a couple of changes to Davey Johnson's lineup: Because the Braves decided to skip left-hander Mike Minor's turn in the rotation and keep right-hander Brandon Beachy on schedule, Steve Lombardozzi returns to left field and the leadoff spot. Also, Morse and Adam LaRoche have been flip-flopped, so LaRoche is now hitting cleanup with Morse fifth.

The biggest change of the day, however, involves the postgame concert. Dierks Bentley had to cancel due to a family emergency, so Big and Rich will now be performing. Adjust accordingly.

I'm actually off today, but Rich Dubroff will have full coverage on CSNwashington.com, and I'll be sure to link to his articles here. I'll be back at the park for tomorrow's abbreviated series finale against the Braves…

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Mostly sunny, 76 degrees, Wind 12 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (29-21)
LF Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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  1. That old-school, prestigious way of Scooter - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Y'know, I feel for this Bentley guy, and I hope things are okay, but man, after seeing his name 18,000,000 times this season it cracks me up that he ain't coming. Jeez.

  2. peric - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Uh Mark have to agree with your Freudian faux pas … but I suspect you might wish to put Bryce Harper in CF.

  3. peric - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Yeah, FP was really pushing Dierks Bentley … now what's he going to say. Aqua or Agua in bocca FP.

  4. Bote Man - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    If Dierks Bentley is a no-show, why even bother going???

  5. TimDz - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    There was supposed to be a ruling in the MASN dispute…Anyone hear anything?

  6. Drew - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Does this mean the concert features Big and Rich Dubroff?

  7. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Some notes:According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets plan to push back Johan Santana ''a day or two'' for his next start.Santana threw a career-high 134 pitches in his no-hitter Friday, a huge number for someone coming off major shoulder surgery, so Mets manager Terry Collins wants to give him some extra rest. This would all seem to indicate that Miguel Batista (back) will be activated from the disabled list to start next week.MLB suspended RHP Josh Wilkie 50-games for violating the league's policy against banned substances.Wilkie told MASN.com's Byron Kerr that he was suspended for a spice in a type of flavored tobacco. The spice is legal, but apparently not permissible according to the banned substance guidelines. Wilkie, 27, is 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 18 games this season with Triple-A Syracuse. He'll begin serving the suspension immediately. Syracuse infielder Josh Johnson has been placed on the restricted list.

  8. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    TimDZ, the only ruling I heard about was a ruling that the local company in North Carolina does NOT have to carry MASN. Bad luck for Nats (and O's) fans, because MLB.tv considers NC to be part of the Nats area, so they have no way to watch games (except satellite).

  9. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    That should be …local CABLE company….

  10. djinFl. - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    TimDzJust keep your eye to the north. There should be a head exploding off a cable owner's body when the ruling is delivered today.

  11. Christopher Cohen - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I don't know anything about Dierks Bentley or whatever, but I'm excited about featuring THE BEST lineup we have featured this year. First time this season with 1-8 all players that are legit MLB starting caliber players (when they are right), and of course Stras (future silver slugger award winner) bringing up the bottom. If we ever had a chance to put up some runs on the NL ERA leader, this is the lineup to do it.

  12. JaneB - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    I agree with Christopher! GYFNG!

  13. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Barely made it in the stadium. Sold out except for standing room and Lexus. When did standing room go to $20????? Looking forward to a great game with Stras And Morse. Great weather, what's not to like? Go Nats!!!!!

  14. Section 222 - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Dierks did his job: He sold the place out. Hope they give him some piece of the action even though he's a no show. Great day for Mickey Morse's Opening Day. Go Nats!

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    NatsLady, thanks for the link on Santana. 130 pitches these days is to 100 pitches "call it a day" almost like pitching 33% beyond their norm. Roy Halladay had been the exception to the rule.

  16. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Scooter, my husband had a similar reaction when I told him about it this a.m. (we didn't have tix for today, anyway). :-)No disrespect to Mr. Bentley, but I wonder whether buzz about the Nats and their winning ways may be a factor in attendance as well. When I looked at tix for tomorrow on the team site, there weren't many sections showing up there, either.On MASN, I've been wondering, too, Tim. I believe the panel decision was supposed to come on June 1, but crickets so far.Last but not least: Go, Stephen! Go, NATS!!

  17. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Trying not to expect too much on MM's opening day!

  18. Tim - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Who needs Dirks Bentley? Last night we had 500 musical mobile lightning rods, or as the next poster said, Electric Light Orchestra!Welcome back Michael Morse. Show everyone that you were born to hit!GYFNG!

  19. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Oh, and happy Opening Day to Mikey Morse. :-)

  20. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    3 swinging strikeouts?

  21. sm13 - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    The Strasburg dead-arm era may officially be over! 3 KS, 99 MPH fastballs. PFB!

  22. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    PFB?

  23. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    is everyone at the game except me?

  24. UnkyD - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Pretty Frickin' Bueno!

  25. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Um, and me? Working….. (sigh)

  26. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    same here NatsLady.thanks Unkyd.

  27. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    btw do they have backups umpires in case one goes down on the field?

  28. sm13 - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    No backup umps. They just switch to a 3 man crew .

  29. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    well I have to give Danny credit it wasn't exactly down the middle, it was an inch or two off

  30. sm13 - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Wish I was at the game. Just tried to look for tix for Sunday and there are mostly just singles left. Glad to see us draw one folks.

  31. sm13 - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Some folks….

  32. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Great to see Morse out there. You know he is amped up today.

  33. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Just noticed that pitcher is hitting eighth for Braves.

  34. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    There is nothing worse then listening to the Braves announcers; I don't know if there is any team of announcers that are more homers then they are.

  35. UnkyD - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I'm on radio duty, today, whole the ribs smoke… Never done ribs, before…

  36. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    An 8 and a 12 pitch AB by harper. Impressive.

  37. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    That would have been another doubleplay on Zim if there weren't 2 outs.

  38. sm13 - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    I'll put the White Sox announcers and John Sterling of the Yankees at the bottom of the pile.

  39. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Bryce Harper puts up a great AB to see Zim go down on the 1st pitch.

  40. phil dunton - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Espinosa is hopeless and pathetic from the left side of the plate.

  41. rogieshan - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Re: Espinosa. He has his glove, memory of his first half rookie season, and an uncle named Davey to thank.

  42. djinFl. - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Well we can send the extra catcher back.Flores is getting the swing back he had in winter ball. I agree on the Braves announcers. I watched one game with out any sound last week they had shoved me so far over the edge.

  43. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Strasburg owns Uggla today!!!

  44. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Espinosa with a gift walk. We will take it!

  45. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    honestly I would let SS hit instead of Bernie even if SS is not pitching the next inning.

  46. rogieshan - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Team can't afford to use Nady as a right-handed DH option going into the inter-league games.

  47. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Huge mistake by Flores baserunning. What are you tagging for with one out?

  48. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    wait if nady doubled why didn't flores scored from 2nd?

  49. Steady Eddie - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    FS — maybe, if you're only looking at how we would perform at the plate. But you do NOT want to risk having anything happening to him running on the bases. So, no, it was wise to take him out if you're not going to run him out there for the next inning (and pulling him does conserve his innings).And then… Nady!

  50. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Steady Eddie, my point was that I think we have given enough chances to bernie.

  51. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Darn, Flores cost the Nats an easy run there. Lombo fails on the bunt–twice

  52. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Steady, he was trying to tag up and should have been halfway and would have walked home. It was a double

  53. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Just saw the highlight on MLB. C'mon Jesus get yer head in the game.

  54. Steady Eddie - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Burnett!

  55. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Getting Bourn was the biggest out of the game. That probably helps the Nats having that lefty out of the way for the 9th.

  56. Steady Eddie - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Gonat, I was responding to FS's earlier comment about not hitting for Stras.

  57. Steady Eddie - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    FS — re Shark, while I agree in general about enough chances, he actually hasn't done too badly pinch hitting lately. But that's no reason not to pinch hit for Stras — we have all kinds of pinch hitters rather than Shark — because you don't gratuitously risk injury to Stras on the basepaths.

  58. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    awesome pitch, Clip!

  59. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    WoW. Kardiac Kids do it again!

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    A signature Win!!!!

  61. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    That was an uncomfortable interview between KAkra and Stras.

  62. sm13 - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Stras just defined what a "stopper" is. Great game and a clutch performance.

  63. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Lots of credit to Nady. That was huge. I bust on the guy a lot but nice to see that.

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    How's about Klip reminding us how to close out a 9th!!!

  65. Drew - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    The Big Metro shuts down the Braves.(Is there an escalator clause in his contract?)Hey Atlanta: "Doors are closing!"

  66. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Gonat, I agree… I have trouble seeing Nady as being part of a winning team but he did the job today. Credit where credit is due. I'll go back to complaining about him tomorrow lol.

  67. MicheleS - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    WOOOOO HOOOOOOO! !!!!at the game and Stas eas AWESOME!!!!

  68. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Wooooo Hoooooo!! Nice win. btw, could there be a new Goon Squad Sheriff in town? :-) Hope McCann is okay. That did not look (or sound) good at all.sm13, maybe some of those national pundits should eat a little crow. Doubt that they will, though.sm13 said… The Strasburg dead-arm era may officially be over! 3 KS, 99 MPH fastballs. PFB! June 02, 2012 4:15 PM

  69. Cwj - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Awesome!As usual, Strasburg comes back strong after his little "slump".I absolutely love it when the Nats win by low scores :-)Interesting fact about Clippard: he has been absolutely dominant over his last 14 outings (in case no one noticed :-)13.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 4 walks and 19 Ks.Very impressive!!

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Stras was Verlander-esque today. When he needed the extra heat for a K he reached back from 96 to 98 a few times. I read someone said 99. If he did, impressive.

  71. Gonat - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Steve, good point. Smart use of going into 4th gear. Have to leave something in the tank.Perfect use of Ankiel, 9th inning defensive replacement!

  72. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Joe Seamhead is a happy man, sitting around the shanty with a good buzz on. Bluegrass musicians playing guitar and mandolin, with terrific harmonies in the dining room, all celebrating your Washington Nationals! Great win! GYFNG!!!

  73. Doc - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    So who were we going to trade JFlo for???

  74. rmoore446 - Jun 3, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Was pleased to be there for a very nice game. I was in Section 133 on the third base side, so the sun was on us all afternoon. But no matter, Stras was pitching well and it was nice to see Flores back in the lineup. His homer really charged the crow. They did not announce the attendance at the park but it turned out to be a good crowd. Because traffic was so awful in general and on the beltway especially, the crowd was thin at the opening pitch and people were arriving as late as the 5th inning.Nothing like an afternoon game at the ballpark!

  75. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 3, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Great game to watch. Like I've always said, strike 1 is the pitchers best friend. Couple that with pitch count and it's easy to understand what it takes to be a successful pitcher.However 98 at the knees on the black followed by 91 change followed by a knee bucklet slider at 82 doesn't hurt.

  76. Gonat - Jun 3, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    NatsJack, plus when you have your only 3-0 count of the day that the batter (Heyward) swung for an out.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 3, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    yep….I said that the second he swung.

  78. NatsLady - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Oh, and the Fish (who I hate) beat Colbert (who I hate even more). His only 2 losses are to them and he has like a 6.00 ERA…How could you doubt that people notice what Clip is doing? Had long dispute a couple of weeks ago with some guy named Dave Nichols who was–needlessly–worried.Burnett did OK too. Coupla wimpy singles, if I heard properly. Fox is really annoying. I want to watch the Giants in their retro uni's but am stuck with Yanks-Detroit.

  79. NatsLady - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Pitching staff ERA is back under 3 (2.95) and K's are tied with Detroit at 438 (but Detroit is still playing). Hitters averaging .222 and WHIP is 1.13.And we got Gio coming tomorrow. Life is good.

  80. Gonat - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    NatsLady said… How could you doubt that people notice what Clip is doing? Had long dispute a couple of weeks ago with some guy named Dave Nichols who was–needlessly–worried.June 02, 2012 9:08 PM ________________________________Nice to see some Saves that don't get your heart pumping super fast. I think it has helped that Clip is throwing more than just his fastball and changeup as he has added that cutter for a nice addition. Keep 'em guessing Clip!

  81. MicheleS - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    NatsLady .. no bourbon and Maalox with Clipp on the mound!

  82. Drew - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Here's a reminder of the importance of the MLB draft, which gets under way with the first round on Monday. Even in the worst years — and some of the later Montreal drafts were awful — this franchise finds major leaguers every single year. Here's a look at future major leaguers the franchise drafted in recent years. P.S. They drafted Tyler Moore three times.2002Mike O'ConnorJason Bergmann2003Chad Cordero2004Bill BrayIan DesmondColin Balestar2005Ryan ZimmermanJustin MaxwellJohn LannanCraig StammenTyler Moore (unsigned)2006Chris MarreroCole KimballTyler Moore (unsigned)Brad Peacock2007Ross DetwilerJordan Zimmermann2008Aaron Crow (unsigned)Danny EspinosaTom MiloneTyler MooreSteve Lombardozzi2009Stephen StrasburgDrew Storen2010Bryce HarperOf course, we're only beginning to see the fruits of the Nats' three most recent drafts. With Goodwin, Burns, Martinson, Skole, Karns, Meyer and Purke we might have a handful of future big-leaguers in Hagerstown alone.So, we might not know the players picked Monday through Wednesday, but you can bet that several will be future Nats. A deep talent pool is about to get deeper.

  83. btharner - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    41042. Great crowd. But will still got outdrawn by the Honduras-El Salvador soccer match at RFK (41,790)

  84. Cwj - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Drew- Cool thanks for posting that info.Drafts are very important, and this year I'm going to try and pay closer attention to the later rounds.

  85. peric - Jun 3, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Well we can send the extra catcher back.Flores is getting the swing back he had in winter ball. Silly fan central .. ah gee if I am Davey I am looking at defense not offense. That being the case … I'm carrying 3 catchers at lead through June. If you don't understand why .. you don't understand baseball .. change your handle to dunce cap central.

  86. peric - Jun 3, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    some guy named Dave Nichols who was–needlessly–worried.Also worked up into a lather about anonymous posters … he doesn't know much about baseball … ignore.

  87. peric - Jun 3, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Of course, we're only beginning to see the fruits of the Nats' three most recent drafts. With Goodwin, Burns, Martinson, Skole, Karns, Meyer and Purke we might have a handful of future big-leaguers in Hagerstown alone.Nice post and yup … its why I was so vehemently anti-Riggleman. You would not being seeing this if Riggleman were still managing. Yes, any managers (including bozo's like Riggleman) requirements and philosophies carry deep into the minors. No need to do a snoopy happy dance about the record … Riggleman's voluntary departure is enough to do a Snoopy happy dance for days at a time.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 85 63 -- 4
ATLANTA 75 74 10.5
MIAMI 72 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 78 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 80 16.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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