Friday, August 12, 2011

Game 118: Nats at Phillies

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Cole Hamels tonight at Citizens Bank Park.
As if the challenge facing the Nationals this weekend in Philadelphia wasn't tough enough, they're going to have to go up against the NL East division leaders tonight without their best hitter. Though X-rays taken on Michael Morse's left elbow were negative, the cleanup hitter and first baseman is not in Davey Johnson's lineup for the series opener at Citzens Bank Park.

Johnson is already dealing with a short bench because of an eight-man bullpen, so barring some other roster move, the Nationals will have only three healthy reserves tonight: Alex Cora, Laynce Nix and Jesus Flores. Jonny Gomes, meanwhile, will take Morse's spot in the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Brian Bixler makes his first career start at first base and will bat eighth.

That lineup will be up against lefty Cole Hamels, who has posted a 1.76 ERA his last four starts. He'll be opposed by Livan Hernandez, who has a 7.06 ERA over his last six outings.

I'm at Potomac tonight for Stephen Strasburg's rehab start, so there won't be updates on this game here. But I'll be driving up to Philly tomorrow for the rest of the series. Enjoy tonight's games...

NATIONALS at PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Sunny, 81 degrees, Wind 5 mph in from LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (56-61)
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Jonny Gomes
RF Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
1B Laynce Nix
SS Ian Desmond
P Livan Hernandez

PHILLIES (77-40)
SS Jimmy Rollins
CF Shane Victorino
3B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
RF Hunter Pence
LF Raul Ibanez
C Carlos Ruiz
3B Wilson Valdez
P Cole Hamels
5:15 p.m. -- OK, turns out Laynce Nix will play first base after all, with Brian Bixler on the bench.

108 comments:

JayB said...

OK....I have a problem with a MLB team starting Bixler at 1B.....that just can not happen. It is a complete surrender and those days are gone. I have been quite and happy for a month...BUT this is just wrong even for 1 game and it will be more than that...Call up Chris M that is what a real team who wants to win would do. NOT HAPPY

DCJohn said...

Totally Agreewith JayB. Should have Bixler back to Syracuse and called Up Chris. They are going to do it anyway. Whay not now?

Court said...

Maybe they heard you: Bixler's out and Nix is in.

carolync said...

Earlier lineup I saw had Nix at first and batting 7th. So Nix must have gotten sick or injured again.

Let's hope these guys step up and surprise us.

Might not be too ugly if Livo has a good game.

Go Nats!

Gonat said...

Here's what I don't get. They are carrying both Gorzelanny and Balester and don't need both of them. They could have called up the RH Chris Marrero last night and had him in Philly for the weekend and probably through his Sept 1st callup for a longer taste of the MLB.

I don't get this reluctance to bring up Marrero especially when Nix is hobbled himself.

Mark'd said...

Gonat, uh, that would make to much sense.

Anonymous said...

I don't think putting Marrero against the best pitching staff in baseball will be a smart move. Breath, relax, breath.

JaneB said...

Wisdom from Anon at 5:54.

GYFNG!

Anonymous8 said...

You know what, if Marrero is going to be playing with the big boys, you might as well jump into it. A lefty righty matchup would be a good start.

Scooter said...

JayB said...
I have been quite and happy for a month...


JayB, you know that you're allowed to post when you're happy, right? I mean, I know you know some ball, so your perspective is not unwelcome. Drop by some time and tell us whose swing looks good to you, or whose footwork at second is amazing, or something.

Otherwise, it seems kinda like you think we're your therapists, here only to listen to what you're upset about. And while I'm flattered that you think I'm qualified, it's just not a job I want.

Anonymous8 said...

Austin Kearns is available at league minimum as the Indians DFA'd him this afternoon.

Gonat said...

Anon8, are you suggesting picking Kearns up?

Anonymous8 said...

Gonat, no, just giving current events that JimBo's boy Kearns is available again. I am sure some team will take a chance on him next season.

Another_Sam said...

There's no one more in the tank for Livan than me. But he's looked tired for his last few starts, and the last time out he looked almost disinterested -- at least on the tube. I'm hoping for a turnaround tonight.

gonatsgo said...

You know what's good about tonight's game vs. Philadelphia? First - there are absolutely no expectations that we will win the game - does Vegas carry odds on baseball? Second - EVERYone is watching the PNats and Steven Strasburg. Hope Zim continues his streak!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Jageler in the TV booth, Sunshine Bobby out.
Any word? Is this vacation for SB? Or an open mike tryout for 2012?

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

What an upgrade Jageler is from that other guy. What was that other fella's name again?

Waddu eye no said...

Someone fill us in on the booth tonite. Is this an audition for Dave ? I'd read that carp's contract is up. Dave sounds great but I'd miss him w charlie on the short wave.
Nice steal by ankiel btw

Gyfng

baseballswami said...

Danny flashing the leather!Everyone should be back soon - Strassie is probably done so they will lose interest.

gonatsgo said...

Funny - listening to the pnats radio broadcast - 3 cops in the bullpen with ss as he throws some more pitches to get up to 50.

Exposremains said...

Can anybody explain to me why Desmond swing for the fences all the time. He has 4 homeruns. Livo has a better approach.

Anonymous said...

Well - this is interesting...

Anonymous said...

Man I sure love Dave in the booth tonight on the broadcast. Don't miss Carpenter AT ALL!!!!!!!

baseballswami said...

It's very strange hearing Dave on the tv broadcast - I like it - it's just somehow odd. I don't care how long it lasts - it's sweet hearing Citizen's Bank very, very quiet.

Curious said...

JayB. What has made you happy over the last month? The Nats were two games above .500 when Riggleman quit. Davey Johnson is 6 games under .500. You said we'd be off and running with a new manager but in actuality, it has been quite the opposite.

baseballswami said...

Curious - I have really been wondering about this manager issue. I have been very vocal in my dislike of Davey - but I admit that it's just a personal thing. But - since I can't really be objective, I am wondering if you can be a good manager if the guys don't play well for you. I also had always heard that DJ was a "players manager" - but I don't see him go out and stick up for guys at all and he calls them out in public. Those of you who have a fairer approach than I do -- is this working out?

phil dunn said...

Next year, in the booth, Dave and FP. They finally got it right.

Curious said...

Show me a players' manager, i'll show you a loser.

Anonymous said...

Phil Dunn - would hate to break up the radio team.

phil dunn said...

Hire Vin Scully to replace Dave on the radio.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I don't know; I like Dave with Charlie, and I like FP, but they don't sound comfortable together. Dave is used to doing radio--he talks too much. FP has had to bite off a few comments in the inning or so I've been in.
Still, I'm sure they'd get used to it.

Another_Sam said...

Players' manager? Earl Weaver.

baseballswami said...

Dave does not exactly have a face made for tv....Maybe we can replace Debbie Taylor?

John B. Ramsey said...

Bill Ladson reports that Jageler is subbing for Carpenter while Carpenter is on vacation.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110809&content_id=22972070&notebook_id=22978328&vkey=notebook_was&c_id=was

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And as long as we're sharing, I like having Bixler on the bench, he brings something they don't really have much of, otherwise: speed and plug-n-play defense. No, he can't hit much.

What's wrong with Dave's face??

RickH said...

Love Dave in the booth.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

OK, now I'm intrigued: whose footwork do you like, Jaybee?

Scott from Burke said...

Professionalism in the tv booth..fp is biting off his comments because he realizes the guy next to him is'nt an easily ammused stooge

Exposremains said...

twice in 2 days, bases full no outs, one run, pathetic.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Who you callin ammused?

Anonymous said...

My Sofa: Wasn't sure if you were kidding or not..and yeah, I misspelled amused..obviously I was referring to Mr. Carpenter..on a $1 ticket night FP was joking about what scalpers might charge for the $1 tickets..and Carpenter, in all seriousness, said "Whatever they charge they'll get arrested" Ugh..what a douche..he's awful.

ehay2k said...

Ok after another bases loaded, no out situation, I would like to once again recommend that WE FIRE THE HITTING COACH.

No plan, no skilz, only 1 run on a poorly hit ball (Werth, big surprise) to first, and only because Ankiel was on third.

Perhaps if we had someone in the organization who understood situational hitting, they could part that to the guys who are supposed to hit.

FIRE THE HITTING COACH.

Anonymous said...

Exposremains you are correct it is pathetic and someone on this board will show you on fangraphs thats all they should score :P

ehay2k said...

Even better, hire Livo as the hitting coach.

John B. Ramsey said...

Ya gotta love Livo tonight! Two hits for Livo and three hits for the whole Phillies lineup.

Another_Sam said...

Livan! Livan! Livan! Enough said.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

OK, here's a challenge for negs and pozzes alike: show how it's done. I need a shortstop, and you can never have too much pitching. Gotta be 48+, games are in Md. or Va., but near DC. It's real baseball, just not very good. Y chromosomes optional, by the way.

Bob "Wally Pipp" Carpenter said...

Hey, am I missing anything tonight?

Anonymous said...

Sec 3, you can have Desmond. Maybe he can pitch.

Anonymous said...

ehay2k said... Next time Eckstein strikes out, I'll second your motion. Until the, blame the batters.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Watching the score crawl below the picture, thinking, "Wow, Tampa Bay is really putting it to KC, 15-0! Giants getting beat bad, too--losing 10-0 to...wait a minute, New Orleans doesn't have an MLB team!

Guess it's getting late in the season.

Jim Webster said...

I've been a Bob Carpenter fan from day 1, just about done with my second copy of his scorebook, in part because of his (and my dad's) Cardinals background. But I gotta say Jagler is better. Dave also works well with FP. With experience he can get over radio tendency to talk over the play, and let the picture and the action tell the story.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

More phodder there for the philly phan haters: even when they mess up, it winds up costing the Nats.
Zimmerman pops up into the seats down the line in right, but only one row in--Hunter Pence is there and ready for it, but the guy in the grey Howard jersey beats him to it. Got thoroughly and deservedly booed, too; looked pretty mad at himself, even. But then Zimmerman GIDPs, so the foul pop actually would have been better.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I"ll tell you what, I'd very gladly take Livo at short in a ten years.

Anonymous said...

Their ball girl interfered with Desi's hit, too. I think he should have gotten an extra base for that.

ehay2k said...

Ahhhh, but we have Livo. He better get gold glove consideration

Anonymous said...

Sec 3, Livo is already age-eligible for your league!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Actually, 9:39, she did whiff on it, I'm pretty sure. Still interference, which is always 2 bases in plays like that, but she missed it. I don't think she realized it was fair until the fans in the seats right there were laughing at her.

Cwj said...

Clippard in with two outs, runner on in the 7th. Nice.
Johnson skipped the lower guys and went right to Clip and presumably Storen in the 9th.
Simple, effective managing.

Livo was awesome tonight!
Go Nats!!!

Nats Outsider said...

You're right, Cwj. I can never understand how Livo gets batters out, but when he is on, he is truly awesome.

Every time I get ready to say he's through, he turns in a performance like this. It gives hope to middle aged guys.

Cwj said...

By the way, does anyone here enjoy authentic Philly Cheese Steaks?
I've only tried local Va/DC, Subway imitations but would like to sample a 'steak in Philly.
Though I can't envision myself ever going to that horrid city :D

Home made cheese steaks would be awesome as well.

JaneB said...

I just love Livo. Love. Him. I'm so glad he had a terrific night.

Nats Outsider said...

By the way, Livo leaves the game with a .231 batting average for the year. That puts him ahead of several of the Nats position players in the game.

Nats Outsider said...

The radio announcers just passed along the news that Austin Kearns has been DFA'd by Cleveland.

ehay2k said...

Mark Zuckerman, pleas find out who Livo's hitting coach is.

Cwj said...

I too like Jageler. But he and Charlie Slowes are such an outstanding radio team that I'd hate to see it broken up.

I don't dislike Carpenter at all. I think he and FP are a pretty solid tv broadcast team.

Good job Clippard!
No doubt Storen is soon to follow.
A single win in Philly would be great this series...I'd consider it a moral victory. Lets face it, the Nats are not yet in the same class as the Phillies.
Go Nats!

dj in Fl. said...

Livo also left the game very angry. We have the Philly tv broadcast here tonight and they showed Livo go down the steps and say something to McCatty who had his back to him, and McCatty spun around with a shocked look on his face. He then slapped hands with a few guys, knocked stuff off the bench and went into the clubhouse. They then showed Davey, McCatty and Jewitt all huddled together.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Late addition for post of the day:

Bob "Wally Pipp" Carpenter said...
Hey, am I missing anything tonight?

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Better stock up on those Bob Carpenter Scorebooks now. Come to think of it, there may be a pile of them by the curb outside Nats Park on Oct. 2.

What a refreshing bit of honest announcing by Jags tonight.

Cwj said...

Antacid time. Bottom of 9th with a 4-1 lead. 3 runs sounds like a good lead to me.
Come on Storen. Close down that hated team.

Cwj said...

HUGE strikeout of Howard.
DP time!

Note to Storen, More Sliders!

Cwj said...

Awesome Nats win 4-2!!!

Waddu eye no said...

Listened to 2 inngs while out running. Charlie did ok alone.

Dave ending it great though. Welcome back livo

ehay2k said...

Livo gets the win!! Fire the hitting coach and I'm in heaven. :-)

LoveDaNats said...

I LOVE it when we beat the Phillies!!

Gonat said...

The Nats did tonight what they couldn't do yesterday vs. the Cubs. Early runS and Web Gems.

Good Livo tonight.

Gonat said...

Nats Outsider said...
The radio announcers just passed along the news that Austin Kearns has been DFA'd by Cleveland.

August 12, 2011 9:54 PM
______________________

Well, one of our Insiders wrote that here at 6:05

Anonymous said...

Maybe Livo pulled a Riggleman and told McCatty he's going to retire if the Nats don't extend him.

Anonymous said...

4-2 with the tying run at the plate.

Kardiac Kids

baseballswami said...

I can't believe what I just saw. Livo( who has been atrocious lately) vs. Hamels ( who has been superb lately) in Philadelphia. That's why we don't play the games on paper, I guess. Drew in a spot of trouble, but once he got Howard, he was on. Another example though, of why you need to be ahead by more than one run so that your pitchers don't have to be perfect. Nice to see vintage Livo tonight, too. And Zim is probably happier with the win than he would have been extending his streak and losing. Hurrah and Ole, Nats!

josh f said...

Livo with the forget-me-not gem. Wow!

Gonat said...

Bryce Harper had a Walk Off HR

Harrisburg was losing 2-1 and Bryce Harper in a 3-2 count hit a 2 run jack for the Walk Off. Nice day by the Nats 2 big Minor Leaguers.

RickH said...

Go Nats! Go Senators! Go P-Nats!

Anonymous said...

awesome day for dc sports: nats beat phillies and livo has an awesome game, strasmus in potomac and ss continues to dominate minor leagues and work his way back to the majors, and the redskins beat the steelers in first spring training game. great stuff

gonatsgo said...

The Big Leagues,AA and A --the Trifecta-- and exciting nights for all 3 clubs!! Very cool.Sounds like the Pfitz was packed tonight.

Gonat said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dPgkXG4gx0

Fast forward to the 2 minute mark. This was a BOMB by Bryce Harper. Enjoy

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK... Just breezed through the thread and have to say that if you don't know why JayB's happy, you aren't an original INSIDER.

Tonite maybe the most enjoyable game I've watched this season.

Drew8 said...

The Nats are a very respectable 6-5 on this road trip. That makes Saturday's game against Oswalt very important with Doc looming on Sunday.

The good news is that the Nats then come home for a 10-game stretch as they try to scratch their way back to .500.

The bad news is that they play host to tough cookies -- the Reds, the Phillies again and the Diamondbacks.

Anonymous said...

Just when you think Levo is through. He pulls off a great game. Awesome.

Gonat said...

Mark'd said...
Livo's starts. Good, bad, good, good, bad, good for March/April. Bad, bad, good, good, good, bad for May. Good, bad, great, bad, good for June. Good, bad, good, good, bad for July. Great, awful for August.

August 6, 2011 9:42 PM
______________________________

Can I update,

Livo's starts:

Good, bad, good, good, bad, good March/April.

Bad, bad, good, good, good, bad for May.

Good, bad, great, bad, good for June.

Good, bad, good, good, bad for July.

Great, awful, Great for August.

I hope Livo can change the August pattern. The team is now 8-17 in Livan starts. Livan lowers his ERA to 4.21

A couple of interesting notes. FP Santangelo after the game referenced this Livo W/L pattern to.

Davey said he should have pulled Livan earlier in the 7th for Sean Burnett right after the double play. Instead, Davey goes to Clippard for a tough 1 1/3 innings which probably makes him unavailable for tonight.

It is this need Davey has to keep going to Clippard in the 7th that has to change. I like how Davey acknowledged he made a mistake however he has acknowledged this before.

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dPgkXG4gx0

Fast forward to the 2 minute mark. This was a BOMB by Bryce Harper. Enjoy

August 12, 2011 11:00 PM
_________________________________

patriotnews_gmo Geoff Morrow
by HbgSenators
@HbgSenators hitting coach Troy Gingrich estimates Bryce Harper's walk-off HR traveled 460-480 feet. Longest to CF at Metro Bank Park.
10 hours ago

NatsLady said...

@Gonat: Ha. That would have made Livo even ANGRIER! But it is true, Burnett needs clean bases. So you either put him in at the start of the 7th or after the double play. Once there is a man on base, you can't go to either Burnett or HotRod. That leaves either Clip or Coffey.


To the person who asked about Vegas odds, yes, they do post odds for MLB. They are a little tricky to read, but suffice it to say the Nats were substantial underdogs at -270 (meaning that you bet $100 to win $270). On another site that gives percentages, the Nats had a 16% chance to win. There were a couple of teams that only had a 10% chance to win...

Gonat said:

Davey said he should have pulled Livan earlier in the 7th for Sean Burnett right after the double play. Instead, Davey goes to Clippard for a tough 1 1/3 innings which probably makes him unavailable for tonight.

NatsLady said...

Here is a website with the betting lines and the percentages (pie chart). This is for today's game.

http://www.thespread.com/mlb-baseball-public-betting-chart

Unkyd said...

Pleeeeeeeease, oh please.....

Leave Jags with Charlie...... Please....

Quality announcing is SO much more vital to the radio broadcast, and they're SO wonderful, together.....

Please.

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
@Gonat: Ha. That would have made Livo even ANGRIER! But it is true, Burnett needs clean bases. So you either put him in at the start of the 7th or after the double play. Once there is a man on base, you can't go to either Burnett or HotRod. That leaves either Clip or Coffey.

___________________________________

Yep, you are correct and that is what Davey basically said without saying what you said because if he said what you said he basically would have been saying I don't trust Burnett with man on base with a 3 run lead.

natsfan1a said...

Haven't read the thread but was happy to hear that Livo got some ribeyes and the win. Listened to the last 20 minutes or so while driving home from the Pfitz. Did DVR the game so maybe I'll power through the recording today.

NatsLady said...

Speaking of plans (as we were in regard to hitters planning at-bats), why doesn't Davey have a game plan that he communicates to Livo:

You go six. If we're ahead by two or more runs, I'm going Burn, Clip, Store.

And, we now see what to do to get the "good" Livo-- get some Nats fans to dress in home uni's and rag on him in the bullpen.

m20832 said...

Great pitching by Livo! Jags was sooooo much better than Carpenter.
Our Boys have beaten Oswalt this year and they can do it again!
Go LannEn! GYFNG!!!

natsfan1a said...

If memory serves, they'd beaten him as an Astro, too (even if blisters and short-fused umps were factors :-)).

Go, LannEn! Go, NATS!!

Mick said...

The one thing that is impressive is the mental toughness of the team. I was thinking after the Cubs series that the Nats were due for the walls to cave in last night. So as much as I have bashed Davey, I will give him his due when it comes to getting the boys to refocus for the next game. Strassburg was unreal last night. I wish it was 2012

baseballswami said...

Mick - I agree with you on the mental toughness thing. So much is made of a players "tools" - but mental toughness in a player is very critical. I think Rizzo looks for those kind of guys. Gomes is an example of a hard-working guy with a lot of focus and a competitive spirit. I am constantly amazed at some of our younger players that are mature and poised out there. Yes, Jordan made a mistake out there on Thursday - high-pressure situation - this is his first full season, AND his catcher was also a rookie. Ramos, Espi, JZ,Storen - young guys, but with that hard-nosed attitude. Even though RZim is quiet - he has a very constant demeanor. Not too fiery, but always in the game.Ankiel has shown that kind of toughness as his baseball history has shown. Give me that kind of players any day of the week as an example to kids and as our team guys. Be thankful we don't have a Zambrano - oh, wait - Chicago doesn't have him anymore either, or do they? No loose cannons for the Nats, please.

Mick said...

baseballswami, very good points. In fact, Storen showed he is the real deal last night in Philly after his botched play allowing the lead off batter to first base. At that point the crowd came alive and I was thinking this could be a Calvin Shiraldi moment if he blows the save. after all, he had to have been thinking about last season's blown save when Werth blasted a two run shot in the 9th. I was just watching Phil Wood and Mike Wallace and its seems that everyone, Nats fans and management are on the same page for 2012. I just hope we do not deal off pitchers impulsively unless we can a get a for sure thing such as a lead off guy. which brings me to, why can't Ankiel be that guy next season?

natsfan1a said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they 3-4 on the road trip to date?

Drew8 said...

The Nats are a very respectable 6-5 on this road trip. That makes Saturday's game against Oswalt very important with Doc looming on Sunday.

NatsLady said...

For the road trip the Nats are 4-4. For August the Nats are 6-5.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

he had to have been thinking about last season's blown save

I don't think so. One thing good closers seem to have in common is amnesia. I'm convinced he was entirely focused on the game at home plate.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, NatsLady. I think I missed counting one of the wins in the series at Colorado.

NatsLady said...

Wow, didn't no what you meant. Apparently, Zambrano pulled a Riggleman and cleaned out his locker and "retired" after giving up 5 homeruns and being ejected. OK. No, let's not sign him in the off-season.


baseballswami said,
Be thankful we don't have a Zambrano - oh, wait - Chicago doesn't have him anymore either, or do they? No loose cannons for the Nats, please.

natsfan1a said...

Wow, I hadn't heard of his latest episode either (plenty of earlier ones, but not that one). Just say no to Zambrano.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-rogers-zambranos-exit-long-overdue-20110813,0,3408819.story

baseballswami said...

Zambrano is one scary dude - they have had problems with him for years. By the way - new post!

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