Friday, May 20, 2011

Series preview: Nats at Orioles

Friday, 7:05 p.m. -- RHP Jason Marquis (5-1, 3.54) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (5-1, 4.03)
TV: MASN2* Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Saturday, 4:05 p.m. -- LHP John Lannan (2-4, 4.53) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (1-6, 3.91)
TV: MASN2* Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. -- RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-4, 4.12) vs. RHP Chris Tillman (2-3, 5.35)
TV: MASN2* Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

* The Nats Xtra pre- and post-game shows will be on MASN2, with Orioles Xtra on MASN. The game can be seen on both stations, with announcers from both clubs on a joint broadcast.

ORIOLES UPDATE
It's been a wild ride in Baltimore already this season. After opening the year 6-1 and stirring up more excitement than this franchise had experienced in a decade, the Orioles proceeded to lose eight straight and 22 of 35. They're back in last place in the AL East, and now they're dealing with a rash of injuries.

Second baseman Brian Roberts and first baseman Derrek Lee were each placed on the disabled list this week, Lee with a strained oblique and Roberts with a recurrence of the concussion syndromes that hampered him last season. Roberts has been dealing with recurring headaches since sliding headfirst into first base on Monday, so the club placed him on the newly created 7-day DL for players experiencing post-concussion distress.

The Orioles will miss both players' bats from a lineup that hasn't fully come together yet this season. What was supposed to be a potent attack loaded with power has cobbled together a .246 average, 40 homers and only 166 runs (11th in the AL). New third baseman Mark Reynolds is hitting .186 with 45 strikeouts. New DH Vladimir Guerrero, though he's hitting .303, has only 16 RBI.

Baltimore's rotation got screwed up earlier this week when Jeremy Guthrie was forced to pitch the 15th inning against the Yankees after Michael Gonzalez (the final reliever in Buck Showalter's bullpen) was ejected for plunking the Yankees' Chris Dickerson in the head. Guthrie was supposed to start the following day; instead, Brad Bergesen got bumped up and Guthrie got pushed back to the weekend.

Relief pitching has been a major area of concern for the Orioles, whose 5.05 bullpen ERA is second-worst in baseball ahead of only the Tigers. Closer Kevin Gregg has blown three of 10 save opportunities and has issued nearly as many walks (12) as he has strikeouts (14). They will get a fresh arm this weekend, though, when right-hander Alfredo Simon is activated off the restricted list. Simon was jailed for two months in his native Dominican Republic as the chief suspect in a fatal New Year's shooting. A trial may be pending, but he's yet to be formally charged with anything.

WASHINGTON BATTERS VS. BALTIMORE PITCHERS
Nats' best vs. Arrieta -- Ivan Rodriguez (1-for-2, RBI, BB), Ian Desmond (0-for-1, BB).
Nats' worst vs. Arrieta -- Michael Morse (0-for-3), Jerry Hairston (0-for-2).
Nats' best vs. Guthrie -- Roger Bernadina (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Ivan Rodriguez (3-for-9, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K).
Nats' worst vs. Guthrie -- Matt Stairs (4-for-21, HR, RBI, BB, 7 K), Alex Cora (3-for-15, 2 BB, 2 K), Jerry Hairston (0-for-3, K).
Nats' best vs. Tillman -- Ivan Rodriguez (1-for-3, RBI).
Nats' worst vs. Tillman -- None

BALTIMORE BATTERS VS. WASHINGTON PITCHERS
Orioles' best vs. Marquis -- Derrek Lee (17-for-35, 2 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 8 K), Vladimir Guerrero (7-for-20, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB), Mark Reynolds (4-for-13, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K).
Orioles' worst vs. Marquis -- Luke Scott (5-for-20, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, BB, 3 K), Adam Jones (0-for-2).
Orioles' best vs. Lannan -- Derrek Lee (4-for-11, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB), Luke Scott (3-for-9, 2 2B, HR, RBI, K), Adam Jones (4-for-10, BB, K).
Orioles' worst vs. Lannan -- Mark Reynolds (0-for-9, 2 BB), Brian Roberts (0-for-6, K), J.J. Hardy (0-for-5, 2 K), Nick Markakis (1-for-10, 2 BB).
Orioles' best vs. Zimmermann -- Brian Roberts (2-for-3, 2B), Derrek Lee (2-for-5, 2B, K), Adam Jones (1-for-3, 2B, K).
Orioles' worst vs. Zimmermann -- Nick Markakis (0-for-3).

48 comments:

The Joker said...

The Nats couldn't hit a pinata with the bat even if it was the pinata that wore the blindfold instead of the Nats batters.

natsfan1a said...

Was it Simon who came into a game at Nats Park last year and then pulled a muscle going after a ball or some such? (If memory serves, the next reliever to enter did not fare well with the hitters and the Nats won.)

UNTERP.NAT said...

I say the Nats break out of their slump and score 7 runs for the weekend...

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's interesting to note that Jason Giambi hadn't had A HIT(!) since April 10 and was hitting .115 going into yesterdays game in Philly.

It can happen!

SCNatsFan said...

I bet O's pitchers are asking to jump up in the rotation to face us... and flying their families in to watch them pitch as this will be the best chance they have of seeing their son pitch a no hitter.

At some point we have to break out, right? At some point Enron had go back up, didn't it?

Anonymous said...

UNTERP.NAT said...
"I say the Nats break out of their slump and score 7 runs for the weekend..."

...and lose 8-7, 3-0 and 2-0.

Anonymous said...

"SCNatsFan said...
I bet O's pitchers are asking to jump up in the rotation to face us... and flying their families in to watch them pitch as this will be the best chance they have of seeing their son pitch a no hitter."

Well, they're going to be really, really disappointed. The O's will be calling up three struggling, starting pitchers from A ball and start them in the series as a confidence booster.

Anonymous said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
"It's interesting to note that Jason Giambi hadn't had A HIT(!) since April 10 and was hitting .115 going into yesterdays game in Philly.

It can happen!"

It could, but I don't think Rizzo can orchestrate a trade in time to get Giambi here for the series in Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

The Joker said...
"The Nats couldn't hit a pinata with the bat even if it was the pinata that wore the blindfold instead of the Nats batters."

Pinatas are inanimate objects...actually, so are the Nats hitters.

Anonymous said...

After this weekend, even Poopy McPoop will feel bad for us Nats fans.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm done. I'm feeling better now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm not. I just remembered. MASN and their mixed broadcast crews. I don't think I can take any more.
Someone please shoot me now!

The Joker said...

Dave McNally could probably no-hit the Nats and he's dead.

erocks33 said...

Maybe Riggleman should do what Joe Maddon of the Rays did earlier this season when they were struggling. He had the fans pick out the batting order for one game:

http://tinyurl.com/6z7j8ln

At that time, the Rays were 4-8 and weren't hitting that well. The fans picked this order:

Sam Fuld - LF
Johnny Damon - DH
Matt Joyce - RF
Felipe Lopez - 3B (that's right, cleanup!)
BJ Upton - CF
Sean Rodriguez - 2B
Dan Johnson - 1B
Kelly Shppach - C
Reid Brignac - SS

The Rays pounded out 13 hits and won 5-2.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

All I can say is I would have Morese DH tonight for LaRoche. Tomorrow and Sunday I would have Marquis DH.

Steve M. said...

Tough calls on the offense but you look at last night on the blown call which cost Jayson Werth a hit how the game could have turned.

I think the Nats stack up well against the O's and they got embarrassed last night and in extras against the Yankees.

cevans said...

fair chance of t-storms, should be plenty of good seats available all weekend ...

Les in NC said...

@ Anon 9:43,

I had to wipe the laughter tears from my eyes after I read the response regarding a Giambi trade!! That was great, thanks for that.

But please Rizzo, don't trade for him!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

And this year's Rob Mackowiak Award goes to:

(PLEASE HOLD ALL APPLAUSE)

173-year-old Matt Stairs.

(CONTINUE TO HOLD ALL APPLAUSE)

In an emergency, please do NOT use Stairs.

Anonymous said...

During Zombie awareness month it is always wise never to use Stares ... Zombie Stares can kill. On Rapture Day the curly-W will flip upside down and become the curly-M for mayhem!

David said...

Can we please put LaRoche on the 60 day DL. And put Morse at first. At least he can hit the ball into the outfield!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

They bought at 271... it's down 100 points, and looks like it is heading to 150.
They can't sell now. You have to trust the long-term fundamentals to come back.

Anonymous said...

Laroche is killing this team and he needs to sit for awhile. I agree, put Morse on 1B because it looks like he's starting to heat up after a terrible slump.

Feel Wood said...

Either LaRoche is pressing or his hitting really is being affected by his shoulder problem. Whichever it is, a couple days off right now would not hurt him and might actually help. This weekend provides a good opportunity for Riggleman to load up the lineup with bats. Stairs DH, Morse 1B, Nix LF. Save LaRoche for late-inning defensive replacement, if needed. Would Riggleman be smart enough to do this? Based on past experience, probably not.

Rabbit said...

Jason, get out if you can!! If you can win 5 games with this team, you'll win the Cy Young with another!

Anonymous said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
"They bought at 271... it's down 100 points, and looks like it is heading to 150.
They can't sell now. You have to trust the long-term fundamentals to come back."

I don't believe the Nats' investment in kerosene lanterns is going to provide a return.

Anonymous said...

From New Anonymous to this Thread

The thought of watching the communized MASN broadcast makes me sick to my stomach. It is so clubby, so smug, and so glib. All pretense of competition between real teams goes out the window, as the two Pretendmen Crews pull punches and offer hollow praise for each other.

I'm waiting for the co-broadcast of the next Redskins-Ravens game. Or maybe Phillies-Mets. I think I may be waiting a long time.

The MASN co-broadcasts tell us all, very clearly, that the joke here is on us. The enterprise is not about winning, or honest rivalry, or direct competition. It is about creating a safe, no-edges, happy place for MASN, that minimizes the sentiments of the fans and maximizes the money in Angelos's pocket.

I will not watch this orgy.

phil dunn said...

As far as I can tell, Mark Z pretty much refuses to critize or even comment on the hitting coach, Rick Eckstein. I also have read that the Nats management protects him from the press. I find this very strange since usually hitting coaches are the fall guys when a team has pathetic offense for an extended period of time. (Remember when the pitching was a mess and Randy St. Claire was fired?) I have often wondered what qualifications Eckstein has to be a major league hitting coach. I can find no evidence that he ever played professional baseball. I also find it strange that the Nats FO keeps telling the curious that the Nats hitters love Eckstein. On what basis do they like him? He certainly isn't producing any results for them. Maybe Eckstein is getting a pass because of his kidney donation or because he is David Eckstein's brother. The only thing I know for sure is that almost every Nats batter looks pathetic and lost at the plate and someone has some explaining to do.

Anonymous said...

As if the combined MASN broadcasts are not bad enough already, it seems the Orioles are sending their B team, Jim Hunter and Mike Flanagan. Too bad, because Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer are at least listenable. But I guess even they realize how much of a travesty this combined broadcast crew is and they decided to just skip the whole thing altogether. I suppose we should be glad that the Nats did not decide to counter with their B team of Phil Wood and Debbi Taylor. Count our blessings.

Anonymous said...

I kind of like Flanagan ... more than Palmer. He at least was a pitching coach. What they really need is a bonafide hitting coach as an announcer for this series ... hmmmm maybe a guest slot for Frank Robby?

Anonymous said...

Anoymii anonymii riding through the glen.
Anoymii anonymii what a motley band of men.

Feared by NatsJack loved by the Wry
Anonymii, anonymii, anonymii!!!

Anonymous said...

LaRoche isn't killing the team although he is the worst of the bunch. The only guy really hitting right now is Nix. Ramos looks next best. Bernadina looks the same at the plate as last year but good enough to be about third.

After that its not pretty.

Dan! said...

I will just listen to Charlie and Dave. MASN is a joke when they do this.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll go watch the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Penelope Cruz looks a hell of a lot better than the Nats. Heck, Keith Richards looks better than the Nats.

masnstinks said...

I also despise the mixed broadcasts. Half the time the guys in the booth are just sharing stories- they should just go out to a bar together and let Charlie and Dave have the game. I hate the Balti-morons and this is just a reminder of how Angelos blackmailed MLB. No matter who is pitching for the o's , he will suddenly have the best game of his entire life and our batters will look deaf, dumb and blind. AND - we will have to hear that horrible OOOO during the national anthem. Too, too cruel.

Section 222 said...

Last year, the Nats played 9 games in AL ballparks -- 3 each in Cleveland, Detroit, and Baltimore. Remember how Riggleman used the DH in those games? Whillie Harris, batting well under the Mendoza line, got 3 starts, Christian Guzman 2, and Alberto Gonzales 1. Michael Morse, the obvious choice at the time, got just 3. Riggleman seemed to like using the DH as a way to keep Zimmerman, Dunn, and Willingham in the lineup while giving them a rest in the field, rather than to add a productive bat to the lineup.

It will be interesting to see how he uses the DH this year. I wouldn't mind him giving Stairs or even Bixler a game's worth of at bats, but otherwise Morse and Nix should both be in the game. If only LaRoche could play the field but not hit on nights that Livo or Marquis are pitching. But I guess that's against the rules.

DL in VA said...

I will watch, but I will watch on mute and listen to the radio broadcast.

Actually, I might do this:

If you want to watch Duke bball games without the announcers, but just the floor and crowd noise, if you have surround sound, unplug the front speakers. They don't pipe the announcers into the rear ones. I wonder if that works for MASN too.

DL in VA said...

Actually, is it against the rules for the pitcher to DH?

Anonymous said...

"Actually, is it against the rules for the pitcher to DH?"

Not sure what you mean, but a team does not have to use a DH in a DH game. Any player on the 25-man roster can be the DH.

Dennis Moore said...

...lol...

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern for this series is whether or not they'll be able to get Saturday's game in before the rapture.

erocks33 said...

When Marquis pitches, let him hit. But, keep LaRoche at 1B and DH for him. Is this possible?

Les in NC said...

@ erock,

Of course it's possible, but will it happen? NO.

No Riggs will stick with the "book" and play Stares for the entire series, if I we're a betting man. (I am, btw)

Tim said...

Hey, the suggestion came up... Why don't WE pick the starting lineup/batting order? Here's mine: 1) Bernie 2) Desi 3) Nix 4) LaRoche 5) Werth 6) Morse (DH) 7) Ramos 8) Espi 9) Cora/Hairston (flip a coin)

I see a bat warming for Morse. Sharp hits; even his outs are hit hard.

Riggs will go into DTs without a double switch in this series.

Anonymous said...

"When Marquis pitches, let him hit. But, keep LaRoche at 1B and DH for him. Is this possible?"

No.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Espinosa should bat 3rd in front of Werth. He looks like the only guy who is going to drive in 100 and he has mostly either been at the end or the beginning of the lineup? Behind LaRoche and Ramos tonight?

He's a rookie and still learning I suppose that would be too much pressure.

- peric

Anonymous said...

Henry Rodriguez looking just like he did in Syracuse. I guess they settled him down.

Anonymous said...

good call, joker. how ya like them 17 runs? BWAAAHAHAHA!

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