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Game 99: Pirates at Nats

Jul 22, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

With Rick Eckstein out as hitting coach, the Nationals will move forward under the tutelage of Rick Schu, though the former minor-league coordinator won't arrive in Washington until tomorrow. Whether the move makes any sort of difference at all will be hard to judge tonight, but perhaps the players respond from the wakeup call. They host the Pirates in the first of a four-game series, with right-hander Charlie Morton (1-2, 3.19 ERA) on the mound for Pittsburgh.

Morton is making just his seventh start this season, his sixth year in the major leagues. He has faced the Nats three times in his career, going 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA across 15 1/3 innings pitched. However the Nats respond to the hitting coach change, they will likely need a good deal of runs anyway. Dan Haren (4-10, 5.61) is making the start as he continues to try and turn his season around.

To be fair, Haren is coming off two consecutive solid outings. He allowed two earned runs in five innings at Philly on July 8 and pitched six scoreless frames in Miami on July 13, but both games were losses for the Nats as the offense scored a combined three runs in the two games. The Pirates have scored the least runs of any team in the month of July (47), so perhaps tonight presents an opportunity for Haren.

Updates to come…

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 89 degrees, Wind 5 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (48-50)
LF Bryce Harper
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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220 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Boy we hit into a lot of DP's. nats lady, you got any stats on where we rank in the league on this? Bet top 5

  2. Nats106 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Ms B, I said I wasn't going to post anymore tonight, but now you know I'm a liar. I don't think Storen was shirking from contact. He caught the ball in the heel of his glove and really didn't have control of it. Another comment about Storen and recovery from game 5. I still believe Johnson absolutely threw him under the bus when he made the comments a couple of months after the season was over. Maybe Johnson should have said "Well maybe pitching to Molina with 1st open wasn't such a good idea." He didn't. Maybe he's a players coach, but he sure didn't show it on that exchange.Now….back to my bourbon and ginger. Are we winning yet?

  3. David Proctor - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    We're 2nd to last into double plays grounded into. We've only grounded into 62. Boston leads the group with 82. Source: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/type/expanded-2Note: this isn't exactly a good stat. If you notice, many good teams ground into a lot of double plays because they have a lot of men on base.

  4. Secret wasian man - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Braves come back to beat Mets. 8 games now. Rendon followed by Zimm not working. Those guys are dbl play machines.

  5. Unknown - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    NatsFanSinceStart – You are an embarrassment to this team. Please stop posting.

  6. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    I think the addition of soriano basically told storen all he needed to know…..regardless of how much smoke rizzo n davey blew. The kid had a fast track to the bigs, was everyone's darling and then had the rug pulled out from under him.

  7. David Proctor - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    How big is the run Drew gave up now?

  8. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    Man if that run by Storen doesn't hurt now…

  9. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Yep

  10. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Great at bat by Span….

  11. Secret wasian man - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    WERTh trying to,carry this team all by himself. C'mon guys help him out.

  12. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    B…… Storens play at home is a very touch one. Normally the pitcher is running full speed. He has the runner barreling down on him. So he's gotta catch the ball , find the runner, find the plate and worry about the possibility of getting his head taken off by the runner also

  13. David Proctor - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Ramos got a couple of pitches to hit and JUST missed them.

  14. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Thanks 106 and Cat…. I couldn't tell from my seat… I recorded the game so I can watch it but I was thinking what the heck… He looked like he got scared and wanted to avoid contact…But that 1 run or 2 WP really hurt… Difference between extra innings…

  15. Nats106 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Man really tough break for Grilli. Career year-hopefully it isn't serious, but that can't be good.

  16. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Come on Lombo !!

  17. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Ouch…. I hope their closer is okay… Don't wish injuries on anyone…

  18. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Lombo swings at 2balls outside of the SZ… Unbelievable…He didnt throw 1 K and Lombo bailed him out…

  19. Secret wasian man - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Admirable comeback. But in the end just another loss. Our bench guys stink stink stink.

  20. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    MrsB. You are right on the money. Lombo swings at crap. Just horribleOh well. Another L

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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)...

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