Saturday, June 11, 2011

Game 65: Nats at Padres

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan faces Clayton Richard tonight at Petco Park.
What do you do when you're facing a left-handed starter and have no traditional, right-handed leadoff option on your side? You do what Jim Riggleman is doing tonight with the Nationals' lineup against Clayton Richard: Jayson Werth leads off, John Lannan bats eighth and Roger Bernadina bats ninth.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The rationale: Werth gets on base more than anyone else on the Nats' roster, especially against a lefty. But you don't want him also hitting behind the pitcher. So the first time through the lineup, Werth leads off. But essentially, Bernadina becomes the leadoff man the second time through, hitting in front of Werth. Hey, why not?

Earlier start tonight in San Diego (5:35 p.m. local time, 8:35 p.m. Eastern) so you don't have to stay up til the wee hours to catch the entire game. The Nats, by the way, will be wearing throwback 1936 Senators uniforms. Enjoy...

NATIONALS at PADRES
Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 8:35 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 65 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (28-36)
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
1B Michael Morse
C Wilson Ramos
3B Jerry Hairston
CF Rick Ankiel
P John Lannan
LF Roger Bernadina Brian Bixler

PADRES (29-35)
CF Chris Denorfia
SS Jason Bartlett
3B Chase Headley
LF Ryan Ludwick
1B Anthony Rizzo
C Nick Hundley
RF Brad Hawpe
2B Logan Forsythe
P Clayton Richard
8:12 p.m. -- Lineup change: Roger Bernadina was scratched with a tight hamstring, so Brian Bixler will start in left field and bat ninth.

88 comments:

NatsJack n Florida said...

Wow... I like it! Did Riggs bump his head sleepwalking last night?

TimDz said...

Interesting lineup...what the hell...
It'll be nice to watch a game that SHOULD end before midnight...
1a has probably been going through withdrawals...

JayB said...

now that is a good line up....Agree with Njack...Riggs did not make it up.

Danny E is the best player on the Nats tonight. He should be in the All Star game since some Nat has to go anyway.....His Defense alone is good enough to show case to the Nation and AL teams we do not play.....

I was wrong about Ian D....he can be coached...it took Davey Johnson but it seems he has learned to charge the routine grounder....this gets his feet moving forward...his hands loosen up and it has been all good....I was wrong about if he would ever learn it but I was right about what he needed to learn.

Bigfish said...

It'll be interesting to see how Hairston (& the rest of the Nats , for that matter) deals with Richards trying to quick-pitch him.

Anonymous said...

Good lineup! It really is hard to believe that rigs came up with this.

Grandstander said...

I believe Bernadina is playing left and not center.

I really like what Riggleman did with lineup. Very smart move IMO. Did he put on LaRussa jersey or something? Still not sure I agree with Ankiel over Nix, but I'm just going to go ahead and hope beyond hope as soon as Richard comes out he comes in on a double-switch if we're behind.

Whatever Rig put in his coffee this morning, I want the entire roster to have it. Hey, Dock Ellis (allegedly) threw a no-hitter on LSD!

JimHoy said...

of minor import, but I wonder why we are wearing 1936 throwback jersies. Senators last made the Series in 33. Does anyone know why that year? And why wear them in San Diego? I'd assume we'd wear them at home, where people might give a slight damn.

Despite what seems like a lousy road trip, if we win tonight, we win the series against the Padres and finish the trip 5-5. Not too bad...

natsfan1a said...

Maybe it's an homage to LaRussa. At least, the 8 and 9 part. They're halfway to a split now. A series win would be even sweeter. Let's go NATS!!

Re. the road trip finish scenario, I was just saying the same to my hubby this a.m. (In return, he said something about drinking the Kool-Aid. Say what? :-))

Traveler8 said...

Pads are celebrating 75 years of baseball in San Diego, counting Pacific Coast League and MLB time.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, Traveler. I was just going to ask if the Friars were sporting throwback unis as well, but thought that the numbers wouldn't add up as far as total years.

Expos Forever said...

So when are my Nats gonna wear an Expos uni??? Or have they already done that?

SonnyG10 said...

This lineup should be interesting. Can't wait to see how it works out. Go Nats!!!!!!

SonnyG10 said...

Expos Forever, I wouldn't mind seeing that. It would be nice for all the Expo fans that are now rooting for the Nationals.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I willing to try things to change things up. Bet if they score 17 tonight we will see this again tomorrow.

Mikey Morse Fan Club Member #1 said...

Hallulejah! There is hope for Riggs yet!

Anonymous said...

Yup, this is what you have to do when you've got an anemic offense. A page from LaRussa? How about Randy Knorr who has had to do this in Syracuse to get some bats awake.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Ankiel and Bernadina look a little crowded...

natsfan1a said...

No worries, sec3. The CF will just take charge. D'oh!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

My advice to Riggs? Next time, put down the crack pipe before writing the lineup card.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I sure hop Bernie didn't develope that hamstring problem after he saw his name in the 9 hole.

NatsJack in Florida said...

hope

JaneB said...

Why Ankiel? And where is Laynce? Love the pitcher batting 8th. But should be Laynce in there, instead of Rick.

And JayB! Good on ya for seeing Desi's good points!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

JaneB....Laynce has been handcuffed by lefthanders. Hard to believe but Ankiel has been measureably better.

Grandstander said...

Has Riggleman ever been directly asked why he continues to start a minor leaguer, out of position, who hasn't done much of anything, over our 2nd hottest hitter, who's been excellent defensively?

I understand the L/R thing, but this seems like it's taking it past its logical conclusion.

Anyway, great first inning by the boys. If this keeps up, we may have to keep these unis on!

CBinDC said...

WHAT happened in Montreal stays in Montreal

Jim Webster said...

Traveler8 jogs a memory when he mentions the 75th year for pro baseball in S.D. That means they were only 13 years old when I saw Minnie Minoso play for them in the PCL in '49 ... which would have made me a mere 11. Ballpark was between the Santa Fe tracks and the harbor, just a few blocks north of where Petco is now.

Knoxville Nat said...

JayB.....don't break your arm while patting yourself on the back. You were still wrong about the June 1 day of rapture for Riggleman.

Mark'd said...

Since you cant depend on Stairs and Bernadina is out so Nix is the main pinch hitter.

It is a good strategy.

Mark'd said...

Zimmerman is 2 for 4 with a RBI tonight in Syracuse

RickH said...

Out of town in a hotel room and watching the Nats on my iPad. I love the 21st Century!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Yeah, this Werth leadoff thing is working out real well.

JaneB said...

IPads and reliable Tommy John surgeries: two excellent developments of the 21st century.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I wonder how bad the Yankees want Marquis now that Colon is going on the DL?

Anonymous said...

Werth makes Austin Kearns look like a hitter. $126 million right down the rat hole. He may turn out to be the biggest free agent flop in the history of baseball.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

You know, LaRussa (Genius, just ask him) can pull this 8-9 nonsense and it doesn't make any difference because he has Pujols and Berkman et al to make up for all the silliness. When Riggs does this, it just reduces our margin of error for winning that much further. It might not matter against the patsy Padres ... but then again, it might.

Memo to Riggs: No more free association lineups.

FS said...

Anon 9:55, I think many others before such as Soriano, Rowand, Zito, etc already took care of that.

Nats fans need to accept the reality. Werth was overpaid and will not match his contract ever. However, he is a solid ballplayer who can and will contribute to this club.

Meanwhile, Nats still have not managed to put a runner on 2nd since first. Right?

Steve M. said...

I have to applaud Riggleman for using Coffey to his strength which is coming into a stopper situation. 2 batters, and gets both out and now on to the 8th.

Not sure who pitches the 8th. Stammen? Who can you count on since you burned out Clippard last night?

Steve M. said...

OK, there's Clippard...

HHover said...

Sunshine

You may just be looking to hate on Riggs and not really care, but he isn't free associating or smoking crack. There's sabremetric support for the idea that you improve your offense by batting the pitcher 8th (see Tom Tango et al's The Book). It's so slight a gain in runs scored that it doesn't really make a difference on a game by game basis, but it certainly doesn't *hurt* the offense.

FS said...

We also have new guy available or no?

Eugene in Oregon said...

HHover

In fact, to support your argument, Bixler reached base all three times he batted, putting Werth in position to move him along. While it didn't happen, the Nats were in a better position than they would have been with the pitcher batting 9th.

Steve M. said...

Yes, Mattheus is available. Riggleman has trust in 2 guys. Clip and Storen.

No Burnett to the lefties tells you that this is Clippard's 8th.

Mark'd said...

So much for Clippard not being available!!! That was the inning.

TimDz said...

At this point, Clip is our all star rep....

What say you, insiders?

Steve M. said...

TimDz, if you were picking today it has to be Morse but if you get 2 then pick 'em from Storen, Clippard and Marquis.

Mark'd said...

TIM, Morse is my guy.

FS said...

My Nats all star rep is either Ramos or Pudge. I know neither are tearing it apart at the place, but their catching is pretty great and all those great NL pitchers will need a great catcher to catch their game.

Clip is great but he tends to run out of gas in the middle of season because of overuse.

To Storen in the ninth now.

TimDz said...

Morse has been good of late, but Clip has been pretty consistent all year. Besides, no chance Morse gets past Albert and Prince at 1st...

RickH said...

Woohoo!!! Go Nats!

Steve M. said...

FS - Ramos is certainly an unsung hero but not much of a chance for Ramos or Pudge to be picked.

It is very nice of you to recognize their contribution to the success of the team.

Ramos had the Game Winning RBI tonight so this guy is doing BIG things for a rookie.

Storen with 14 saves is making a name for himself too.

FS said...

Well what do you know? You can score 2 runs and win a game back to back nights.

again close win but I will take it.

rogieshan said...

I think Marquis would have to be considered, should he get to 10 wins or more.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Storen got at least three generous strike calls, but I'm not complaining.

As for an all-star rep, Clippard would be good choice on several levels. He's having a great year. It would recognize the roll of set-up man. And it would allow the NL manager to use a real reliever rather than 'waste' a starting pitcher.

Steve M. said...

That Ludwick reversed HR call was a key turning point in a 2-1 win. Amazing, 2 runs up in the 1st and then nothing the rest of the way.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I would have Clippard as the all star. There are too many good first baseman for Morse to have to replace.

We hit ball hard tonight just the wrong places, but we scored enough to win.

Let's see if Zim can give us another quality start tomorrow.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Clip is the All-Star, no question.

Mark'd said...

Short sighted, Morse is an OF also. Maybe the Nats get 2 picks.

FS said...

Clippard is great but there are too many good relievers ahead of him. Also closers are selected to all star games more than any relievers. And to be honest, the only non-closer reliever I will put in ASG is Venters, approx 40 IP and 2 ER. Is that insane or what?

On the other hand, catchers are having a down year. Ramos will still get my vote.

If it has to be hitting wise, it has to be Morse. Even though he struggled in April, since May 1st he is one of the hottest hitters in the league.

natsfan1a said...

Didn't notice this earlier, but you were right, TimDz. Was just thinking how nice it will be to get back to games played on a normal schedule, starting tomorrow. Did manage to watch all of this one, though. A split and 5-5 for the road trip feels pretty good. How awesome would it be to have curly (or straight) w's for the series and the road trip?

Oh, and I'll take Clip for the ASG.

TimDz said...

Interesting lineup...what the hell...
It'll be nice to watch a game that SHOULD end before midnight...
1a has probably been going through withdrawals...
June 11, 2011 5:30 PM

Sunshine_Bobby_Catrpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Alumni News (Sort of): Aaron Crow just unleashed a wild pitch to let the go-ahead run in as the Angels lead the Royals 6-5 in the seventh. I hate this kid.

Traveler8 said...

Can anyone tell me what Danny Espinosa's batting average is - separately for left-handed and right-handed - or else, can you tell me where I could find this info?

FS said...

As a righty, .182/.286/.358 with 6 HR and 23 RBI
As a lefty, .300/.377/.600 with 4 HR and 10 RBIs.

Source: Baseball-reference.com

I just saw the highlights and we are very lucky to win this match. Both run scoring hits were catch-able. Danny's was a little difficult but I have seen Ludwick make plays like that before. As for the other hit, even Richard thought he had, only to see it end up in CF. Anyways, that is how we catch breaks and win. When we do not catch breaks and pitching explodes, losses are extremely ugly.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Most of the relievers chosen will be closers. Clippard is a set up man, and they sometimes pick one of then.

sparky said...

FS, I think you got it backwards.
Espinosa is batting .300 v left handed pitchers (this would then be Espinosa batting right handed), and .182 v righties (when Espinosa would be batting left handed)
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8805/splits

Cwj said...

Morse, Marquis, Clippard, Storen...one of them will represent the Nats at the ASG.
I would go with Clippard. A dominant reliever.

Traveler8 said...

FS, Sparky, thanks much, for both the info and the sources re Espinosa's right and left-handed batting averages.

Drew8 said...

Somebody going by RobBobS posted a cute bit on the Federal Baseball site:

"Do you find yourself completely unable to score more than once a week? Do you experience frequent LOB and RISP-failure heartburn? If so, you may be a P.A.D.S. sufferer. P.A.D.S. is a treatable disorder characterized by excessive bunting, improperly aggressive baserunning, and a nauseated fan base. Left untreated, P.A.D.S can lead to painful losses, sudden drops in standings, and comatose sideline reporting.

"But now you can rid yourself of these embarrassing statistical blemishes and unsightly box scores. Now there’s Offenza.

"Offenza is a safe, legal, over-the counter cure for bad offense. It’s a combination of power and patience that allows your team to score when you need it most.

"Offenza is an effective treatment for ineffectual offenses, but it will not cure bad management. Frequent bullpen meltdowns are a serious baseball condition and require immediate roster attention. Use Offenza only as directed, and see your doctor if you have top quality players languishing in Low-A for more than four weeks.

"If you or a loved one suffers from the symptoms of P.A.D.S, please, see a doctor, and ask about Offenza."

Joe Seamhead said...

Mark Z, is there any way that you could post a poll for the bloggers on NI as to who should be the Nat's All Star rep? It would be interesting, and fun.

Speaking of all star games, Harper will play in the SAL game on June 21st, followed by a day off, and then the team travels to very hostile Greensboro, home of the team that was the recipient of "the kiss." Earlier this year I thought that Bryce would make, and play the AS game and then get moved up a notch.Though he still has a few bone heads in his game, he is about ready for Potomac. Greensboro is probably going to be ugly.might not this be a good time to make the promotion, or let the kid hang out to dry and learn the repercussions for his antics?

FS said...

Definitely agree with you JS. I would not put it to chance whether he gets hurt due to beaning or not. Let us just move up the kid. With all these injuries around, we do not want another one.

There are better ways to learn repercussions than get hit by opponents.

Drew8, I read that the other day and thought it was funny. But more than Offenza, our position players need 5 hour energy.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Throw me in me in the T-Clip for the All-Star game, hands down. When Bochy asks Riggs who should I pick, you think he's going to say Morse or Clippard?

T-Clip is truly the best set up, middle relief guy in the game today, a true specialist.

And Joe Smearhead..... you are exactly correct. Back when everyone was clamoring for a Harper promotion, I said he'd stick till the Sally All-Star game, but I expect he and Kelso to advance to Harrisburg and Lombardozzi to get to Syracuse, right after Antonelli gets his last shot at a ML roster.

baseballswami said...

Regarding the ASG -- Bochy will have more to say about it than Riggs - he will see what he's got and he will want to win. He will basically tell Riggs who he needs to round out his team. I am guessing that a reliever has the best chance. If left up to the manager it would probably be Matt Stairs so he could be a really good clubhouse and dugout guy for the rest of the team. Morse isn't quite enough of a household name to compete in the homerun derby, but that would be sweet, too. Who knows - a lot of guys won't go to the asg, drop out because they are dinged up,etc. It will be interesting. I agree that I would like Mark to do a fan poll, though. Oh -- and -- close wins are still big time L's in the books. The Giants went to the world series on pitching and close games.

Steve M. said...

This could be an interesting year if you get 2 set-up guys in Venters and Clippard for the ASG. Usually they load up with closers like Matt Capps last year.

3 weeks ago Drew Storen was the pick. Exactly 1 year ago today Zim was batting .309 with a crazy .404 OBP and he was a lock for the ASG. On June 30th he was down to .284. The Nats only got 1 rep for the ASG and they chose the closer.

Still a long long way to go in baseball terms and if you disregard stats and look at last 8 starts, Jordan Zimmermann has been a top starter but they won't put in a starter with a losing record which is why Marquis is in the conversation and if he has 10 wins on July 1, he might be the guy as keep in mind he is a former All Star so in the world of snubs, the Nats have 5 guys who are performing great and 3 of them consistently in: Clip, Storen and Marquis then 2 who have been red hot in JZim and Morse.

Let's see if Riggleman can get in Bochy's ear and get more than 1 Nat!

Joe Seamhead said...

Though Drew Storen hasn't exactly been chopped liver, I am also in the Tyler Clippard camp, though I wouldn't mind Morse getting a pat on the back, either. Given his batting, and maybe even more importantly, his stellar performance at first, he has been a huge positive for the team. I really like watching the guy having so much fun, and his appreciating playing ML baseball.As Mark pointed out last week, Morse's defensive stats since 2005 have been perfect while playing several different positions. For a guy that doesn't always look graceful, the fact that he hasn't been charged with one error in over five seasons is amazing.
(NatsJack in Florida, I'm not sure what I did, or said, to bring on the "smearing" of my good name.)

JaneB said...

Baseball swami, you mean close wins are still big time Ws, right?

I'm a Clip guy, if we get only one. Would be fun to see Morse in the home run derby though.

FS said...

Man I seriously miss Mark's articles. After watching games the last night, I would read his articles in the morning. Sucks that he is not covering the whole road trip.

Steve M. said...

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable_player_stats.jsp?statType=2&subScope=teamCode&teamPosCode=all&c_id=mlb&Submit=Submit&baseballScope=NL&timeFrame=1&sitSplit=&venueID=&timeSubFrame=2011&&sortByStat=ERA

Here is the current ERA leaders for pitchers and there are plenty of relievers ahead of Clippard and then Storen.

Two former Nats on that list: Joel Hanrahan and Bill Bray.

VP81955 said...

The '36 Padres were the relocated version of the original PCL Hollywood Stars, which shared Wrigley Field with the Los Angeles Angels. The Stars were revived in 1938 when the Mission franchise of San Francisco was moved. The new Stars shared Wrigley with the Angels in '38, then moved to their own ballpark (Gilmore Field) in 1939.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Joe Seamhead.... My bad..... two late nights in a row and no coffee...Wasn't even thinking.....

NatsJack in Florida said...

And it is a good name.

natsfan1a said...

Y'all know I'm not big on predictions, but I would not be surprised to see some good old-fashioned country gorse-hacking from the visiting nine today.

Joe Seamhead said...

All's good,Jack!
Last night, the. Nationals knocked the snot out of the ball, but only had 5 hits to show for it. One after another hard hit balls went right to a Padre. I think that the law of averages says that if they keep hitting the ball that solidly, eventually they have to start falling in for hits.
As to Harper and Kelso possibly moving up, they sure move Kelso around a lot, position wise, which isn't all that unusual at that level. Do they project him ultimately as a SS or 3B?

baseballswami said...

JaneB -- thanks for the correction - I DID mean W's! Late night last night,I guess. Either that, or I need to focus more on W than L! Joe Seamhead -- I think you are on to something with the law of averages. Even though we fuss and fume about the multitude of stranded runners - if you keep getting runners on, then surely at some point you will start finding holes and getting bloops and missing out-stretched gloves. Sometimes I think every highlight reel is a bunch of guys making fantastic plays against us!Just lately - Espi got robbed of homer - ball waas over the fence.

FS said...

Steve M, the list is nice. If we sort that list by IP, Clippard is right behind Venters. Lot of innings with a low ERA. Anyways, I was wrong about thinking that there are more better relievers than Clip in this league. Tyler is the second best right now. If Nats rep selection is upto Riggleman, he should go with him or Storen.

Also Sparky, thanks for correcting me about Danny's stats.

Cwj said...

Another thing about Clippard, if NL hitters still can't resist chasing his high fastball or changeup, AL hitters will look down right silly against him.

Just an elite reliever. Right now, I think he should represent the Nats.
If the NL needs someone to come in with runners on base to put out the fire, Clippard's the man.

FS said...

What would it take for us to trade for Ichiro? He might solve our leadoff issues for next couple of years at least.

JaneB said...

Ichiro is at the end of his career, isn't he? At least his numbers are going down this year. I feel like we have a bunch of those less-productive-than-they used-to-be guys already.

Are we all getting ready to say goodbye to Matt Stairs today? Someone has to go down Tuesday to make way for Zimm. Bixler has acquitted himself well enough to NOT be that guy. I hope.

Eugene in Oregon said...

JaneB

I hope you're right and I'm wrong about Stairs, but I just don't see it happening. That said, if he goes I hope he goes out with a bang -- but I'm afraid I don't see that happening either.

Cwj said...

I still hope Stairs will simply retire with dignity and spare the Nats the decision to let him go.
Perhaps they could offer him a non-player job? He seems to be a nice presence in the dugout...he just can't hit anymore.

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