Saturday, May 29, 2010

Game 50: Nats at Padres

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
J.D. Martin returns to the majors tonight at Petco Park.
SAN DIEGO -- It's another beautiful day in paradise, where hopefully there won't be any lineup card mishaps tonight. Then again, based on what we learned last night, the Nationals could write in Stephen Strasburg's name as their starting pitcher and not be penalized for it.

I don't think Jim Riggleman will be trying any shenanigans like that. If anything, I have a hunch he'll proofread tonight's lineup card about 10 times, then ask every one of his coaches, players, trainers and clubhouse attendants to do the same before handing it over to Tim Tschida.

Assuming no mistakes, the Nats will send J.D. Martin to the mound for the first time this season. The right-hander, who was recalled from Class AAA to take over Scott Olsen's rotation slot, went 2-1 with a 2.99 ERA in six starts at Syracuse. As we saw last year when he was up, Martin generally keeps his team in the game. He doesn't blow you away at all, but more often than not, he seems to get the job done.

No real surprises in the rest of the lineup. Ian Desmond gets the night off, probably more because Riggleman wants to get Adam Kennedy into the lineup than a real desire to rest Desmond.

Check back for updates throughout...

Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 8:35 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Clear, 67 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Josh Willingham
2B Adam Kennedy
RF Roger Bernadina
C Wil Nieves
P J.D. Martin

PADRES (28-20)
RF Will Venable
2B David Eckstein
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Chase Headley
C Nick Hundley
SS Jerry Hairston
LF Chris Denorfia
CF Tony Gwynn Jr.
P Mat Latos

7:31 p.m. -- Scott Olsen update: The left-hander played catch today for the first time since he was shut down with shoulder pain eight days ago. He said everything felt fine, just waiting now to see what the next step is. His turn in the rotation comes up Thursday in Houston; obviously he won't be eligible to come off the DL by then. Jim Riggleman pretty much said J.D. Martin will get to make that start following tonight's.

7:36 p.m. -- FYI: Stephen Strasburg is currently pitching for Syracuse against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Through two innings, he's allowed one single while striking out two. Opposing him on the mound tonight: Tim Redding! He apparently just recently signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees after getting released by the Rockies following five starts at Colorado Springs.

7:50 p.m. -- Uh-oh: Stephen Strasburg has given up his first home run as a minor leaguer. Rene Rivera takes him deep to open the third inning. Only took 10 starts for the first ball to leave the yard against him. Syracuse trails 1-0.

8:31 p.m. -- In the most anticipated exchange of lineup cards since ... well, maybe ever, it appears everything's in order tonight.

8:36 p.m. -- And we're underway with a strike from Mat Latos to Nyjer Morgan. Shadows creeping across the field from left to right, and the sun's going to be a problem for the first baseman and right fielder. Hitting background won't be great early in this game, either.

8:42 p.m. -- Latos cruises through the top of the first, retiring the side. Not a lot of comfortable swings from Morgan, Guzman and Zim there.

8:45 p.m. -- If anyone's interested (and hasn't heard yet) Roy Halladay has retired all 18 Marlins he's faced tonight. Might be worth tuning in. (Am I allowed to use the words "perfect" and "game" together when it's a game involving two other teams?)

8:52 p.m. -- In Syracuse, Stephen Strasburg's night is done, and he's currently on the hook to lose to Tim Redding. He departed three batters into the sixth holding a 2-1 lead, but Josh Wilkie allowed two inherited runners to score. So Strasburg's final line is 5 ip, 6 h, 3 r, 3 er, 2 bb, 6 k, 86 pitches, 54 strikes.

8:55 p.m. -- An error by Adam Kennedy of all people opens the door for a big bottom of the first by the Padres. After Kennedy booted Adrian Gonzalez's two-out grounder to second, J.D. Martin made the error costly. Chase Headley singled, and then Nick Hundley blasted a hanging 2-2 curveball into the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer. Nats trail 3-0 after one.

9:06 p.m. -- The Nats get two runs back in the second, thanks to Kennedy's RBI single and Wil Nieves' RBI groundout. Padres lead 3-2 now.

9:09 p.m. -- Um, you're going to want to switch over to MLB Network. Roy Halladay is perfect through eight innings against the Marlins.

9:24 p.m. -- Two perfect games in a month. Incredible.

9:25 p.m. -- Oh yeah, it's still 3-2 Padres here, going to the bottom of the third.

9:40 p.m. -- Someone needs to command Nyjer Morgan never to leap for another ball at the fence again. Just stand there and stick your glove up, dude.

10:02 p.m. -- Still 4-2 here at Petco, now in the bottom of the sixth. The Nats have done very little with Mat Latos to this point.

10:07 p.m. -- Credit where credit's due: J.D. Martin has pitched pretty well tonight. Six innings, four hits, four runs (but only one earned). He hasn't walked a batter, and he's certainly given his team a chance to win. He's due up third in the seventh, so that should do it for him.

10:31 p.m. -- Nyjer Morgan is lost right now. Simply lost. In every facet of the game.

10:39 p.m. -- The Nationals really haven't seriously threatened in this game since the second inning. Three hits since then. They trail 4-2 and are down to their final three outs. It'll be Willingham, Kennedy and Bernadina against Padres closer Heath Bell.

10:53 p.m. -- That'll do it. The Nats go down quietly in the ninth, much as they did all night. Padres win, 4-2. Martin takes a tough loss. Rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon, Livan Hernandez vs. Jon Garland.


Brad said...

stop sitting Desmond

natsfan1a said...

Wow. Somehow that 50 really jumped out at me. Hard to believe we're nearly one-third of the way through the season. Who seriously thought we'd have the record that we do now back in spring training? I sure didn't (and, no, I didn't think it would be better ;-)). Go, Nats!

Souldrummer said...

I don't have a major problem sitting Desmond tonight. Latos is a nasty, nasty righty and I believe that sitting Desmond once a week against righties isn't a major problem. I wish that we could abandon the Guzman can't hit in the two hole logic, though. Kennedy has been putting together the professional at bats that would be better in front of the boppers. Plus Guzman's splits are much weaker against right handed pitchers. It will be interesting to see how Guzman and Kennedy perform tonight, though, and if there are any defensive plays that Guzman misses that Desmond likely would have made.

Grandstander said...

Well, if you're gonna sit Desmond, tonight's the night to do it. As Souldrummer said above, Latos is a nasty righty. Desmond is hitting just .260/.301/.365 against righties this year. Also, Martin tends to be a flyball pitcher, mitigating (somewhat) the gaping hole we're gonna have up the middle with Guzman at SS.

I'm a huge hater on Guzman, but even I've shut up about him, for now... When he gets hot, he's fun to watch (at bat, not on the field)

Ernie said...

Here's a random question that has nothing to do with tonight's game:

Does anyone know the music played for every player in the Nats' lineup when they step to the plate? Dunn gets "Sister Christian" some of the time, and Willingham sometimes has the Outfield's "Your Love." Desmond gets a re-mix of "Sunglasses at Night." Anyone know an easy way to find what the others are?

As for changes to the lineup--Desmond, Morgan, etc--I swore that once my prayers were answered and Bruney was cut I would never ask for anything else...

Grandstander said...

No Soy Yo start at 2:24 (Tony Vega)

Deliverance (Bubba Sparks)

I Wear My Stunna Glasses at Night (Federation)
Warrior - Buffalo Soldier (Kymani Marley)

In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins)
Turn The Page (Metallica)

Prrrrum (Cosculluela)
Arremangala arrempujala (Los karkiks)

How We Do

I Wanna Rock (Snoop)

Chillin (Wale)
Down and Out (Tantric)
Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)
My Time (Fabolous)

Wired to the T (Dorrough)
Hands Up (T Pain)

All I Do Is Win (DJ Khaled)

Blow Da Whistle (Too Short)

Mikey Rocks (Cool Kids)

Your Love (The Outfield)
Chicken Fried (Zack Brown)
Even Flow (Pearl Jam)
Grito Mundial (Daddy Yankee)

Virtual Diva (Don Omar)

Eminem- Not Afraid
Lil Wayne- Drop the World
Eminem- Music Box
Here We Go Again (White Snake)
I Got a Name (J. Croce)

Final Countdown (Europe)

Peaches (POTUS)

Higher Ground (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Riot (3 Days Grace) - pitching
2 Hit 2 Stop (Barkays) - hitting

Requiem of a Dream Remix- pitching
Pursuit of Happiness (Kid Cudi) - hitting

Holler Back (Lost Trailors)
Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
Bonfire (C. Morgan)
Eight Second Ride (Jake Owen)
Behind the Mask (Anarchy Club)
La Grange (ZZ Top)

Souldrummer said...

@Ernie This is a truly heroic comment. One of the best that I've seen anywhere in the Natmosphere.

Dave said...

Dude, Grandstander, how did you do that?!? Incredible!

Souldrummer said...

@Ernie You're cool too.
@Grandstander truly epic. Epic. Put this man on the payroll, Mark!

Mark Zuckerman said...

Grandstander appears to have better sources within the Nats organization than me! He/she's hired!

Traveler8 said...

Grandstander, thanks much!

Grandstander said...

Thank you all! But thanks to the Nats production team as well! I'll start work on Tuesday, Mark. Do you have dental?

Knoxville Nat said...


Thanks for reminding me just how old I am. I didn't recognize the name of any of those songs, barely some of the artists!! :)

Mark Zuckerman said...

Grandstander: No dental, no health plan, no 401K. We'll no-frills here at the Insider. Gotta keep the overhead low. :)

NatinBeantown said...

If Halladay pulls this off at the Marlins park, is it possible the combined attendence of two perfect games could be less than 25k? (with probably 100k claiming they were there...)

NatinBeantown said...

Nice small ball to get a few back, boys.

Spike94wl said...

Mark, I watch the Nats games on ESPN Gamecast and it's reporting that none of the runs Martin gave up were earned. Is this accurate? It seems fishy to me.

Grandstander said...

Yeah, Kennedy boofed a grounder with 2 outs.

As much as I hate the Phillies, it was pretty cool to see the end of that game. Now back to some Nats baseball!

Spike94wl said...

I know Kennedy made the error, but Martin allowed a single and a homer so shouldn't two of those runs be earned?

Steve M. said...

This was discussed last week about Nyjer positioning in the OF.

Again, if he is back 5 to 10 feet, isn't he set at the wall to catch that Hundley triple?

Way too many balls hit over Nyjer's head.

Doc said...

Totally neat Grandstander! Now if Mark could put some sound to the Insider, each time a respective batter gets in the box, we'd have it knocked.

Nyjer needs some serious flyball practice--he must have missed his Little League drills.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

We stand in awe, Grandstander. We stand on guard for you.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Does anyone have Nook Logan's cell phone number? Or he is blacklisted?

Sec$39.99 said...

Spike, Rule 10.16 (c) and (d)

(c) No run shall be earned when scored by a runner whose presence on the bases is prolonged by an error, if such runner would have been put out by errorless play.
(d) No run shall be earned when the scoring runner's advance has been aided by an error, a passed ball or defensive interference or obstruction, if in the official scorer’s judgment the run would not have scored without the aid of such misplay.

So the runner who reached on Kennedy's error, and all subsequent runs, are not earned, because that would have been the third out.

Dave said...

Yep. Two outs when Kennedy's error happened. None of those runs in the first were earned.

Doc said...

Just wondering, but I don't think that Nyjer knows how to listen and take instruction. The fielding stuff is pretty basic. He has the best in Rick Eckstein for a batting instructor. What he's doing on the bases is anybody's guess! If you can't do any or all of that stuff, then it's time to change your name to Lastings Milledge, and play for the Pirates.

cadeck13 said...

Seriously, I am not a Nyjer hater/basher...but he sure is making it look like we traded Lastings Milledge for Lastings Milledge. He needs to exorcise Tony Plush and get Nyjer Morgan back in the game.

BTW - very impressive Granderstander.

Ernie said...

Grandstander: A million thank yous for the song list. I have wanted to put together a playlist for my wife to listen to at work. You've helped me earn a lot of brownie points!

Anonymous said...

I just listened to Nyjer's locker room talk to reporters after the game and it did not increase my confidence in him. Asked if he were having problems going back on the ball, he said with a mystified look "Problems? No, I'm not having problems going back. I'm right there. The ball just isn't going into my glove." Well, gee, isn't that the whole point!!! He was asked about his leaps that continuously misjudge the ball direction and he seemed not to grasp the point. He doesn't see it as a problem. I wonder if he ever looks at tape of some of his misadventures in the outfield?

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