Sunday, April 17, 2011

Game 14: Brewers at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis faces Yovani Gallado in Game 1 of today's doubleheader.
It's a beautiful day for baseball. Let's play two! (Sorry, I had to.)

We've got an old-fashioned, Sunday doubleheader here in the District. A reminder to those of you coming to the park: If you have a ticket for today's game, it's good for both games. If you had a ticket to yesterday's game, you can exchange it for a seat of equal value at both of today's games.

Game 1 features Jason Marquis vs. Yovani Gallardo. Jim Riggleman is fielding the lineup he planned to use yesterday before the rains came, with Danny Espinosa leading off, Ian Desmond sixth, Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate and Alex Cora at third base.

If you didn't see the earlier news, Todd Coffey has been placed on the DL with a left calf strain and Collin Balester has been recalled from Syracuse. More to come on that, and obviously plenty of updates to come from both of today's games...

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 183
Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees, Wind 19 mph out to RF
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
C Ivan Rodriguez
3B Alex Cora
P Jason Marquis

2B Rickie Weeks
SS Craig Counsell
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
RF Mark Kotsay
C Jonathan Lucroy
CF Carlos Gomez
P Yovani Gallardo
12:56 p.m. -- Before we get going here, be sure to check out my updated story on the Coffey-Balester roster move, with quotes from both pitchers.

1:37 p.m. -- And we're underway with a foul ball off Rickie Weeks' bat. A very comfortable 57 degrees at first pitch, hardly a cloud in the sky.

1:46 p.m. -- On the bright side, Jason Marquis has recorded an out against the Brewers. Three of them, actually. Which is three more than he recorded the last time he faced them (April 18, 2010, when he was tagged for seven runs without retiring a batter). On the not-so-bright side, he still gave up three singles in the top of the first, including an RBI base hit to Casey McGehee that put Milwaukee up 1-0.

1:58 p.m. -- Rick Ankiel took advantage of the Brewers' exaggerated infield shift by slapping a single past what would normally be the shortstop's position. He was the only Nat able to take advantage in the bottom of the first, though. Jayson Werth struck out looking at a borderline pitch from Yovani Gallardo. Adam LaRoche then struck out swinging to end the inning and leave Ankiel stranded at second.

2:10 p.m. -- Nothing happening for the Nats at the plate so far against Gallardo, who has notched four strikeouts in two innings. By the way, for those of you wondering about Nyjer Morgan: He's got a deep thigh bruise, a result of his collision at the plate earlier this week. He has only served as a pinch-hitter since, and he won't be starting Game 2 today.

2:20 p.m. -- Fantastic play at first base by LaRoche, who made a hockey goalie style glove save of Bruan's hot smash. Unfortunately, it was obvious LaRoche's shoulder wouldn't allow him to make a strong throw to second. That prevented the Nats from turning a 3-6-3 double play. No worries, though, because Marquis pitched out of it. He's got four strikeouts through three innings, this after striking out nine last weekend in New York. Brewers still lead 1-0 in the bottom of the third.

2:27 p.m. -- Another 1-2-3 inning for Gallardo, who has retired nine of 10 batters faced so far today. OK, so the Nats' lineup pretty much stinks right now. But it could always be worse. Within the last week, the Mariners fielded lineups that Ryan Langerhans batting third and Adam Kennedy hitting cleanup!

2:40 p.m. -- The Brewers are dinking and dunking Marquis to death right now. They've already amassed eight hits in four innings, all singles. Somehow, he's managed to limit the damage to two runs. Milwaukee now up 2-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth.

2:51 p.m. -- It wasn't exactly a clutch hit from Morse, but it'll have to do for now. With runners on the corners and one out in the fourth, he lofted a sacrifice fly to right. Morse was clearly trying to go to the opposite field in that at-bat, which is an encouraging sign. He's still hitting under .200, but he's now got four RBI. And the Nats have trimmed the lead to 2-1.

3:08 p.m. -- I really try not to toot my own horn too much, but I sort of feel obligated to share this one. With two on, one out and Danny Espinosa at the plate, I turned to Adam Kilgore of the Post and asked him what the Nats' current slugging percentage is. He's been keeping track of this all day and said it was currently sitting at .301, not having been helped by the Nats' six singles so far today. To which I replied: "Well, that'll go up when Espinosa hits this one into the right-field bullpen." Oh, if only I had put some money down before making that call. Three-run homer. Right-field bullpen. Nats lead 4-2.

3:30 p.m. -- Boy did Gallardo fade fast. After allowing those four hits in the fifth, he allowed a one-out single to Morse followed by a double to Desmond (both who sorely needed those hits). Sitting on 105 pitches and clearly fading, you'd have thought he'd be pulled. Instead, Ron Roenicke left his starter in and paid the price, because Ivan Rodriguez just clubbed a three-run homer to right-center. Yes, you read that correctly. Just like that, the Nats have stormed out to a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth, and Gallardo has finally gotten the hook.

3:37 p.m. -- Nyjer Morgan just made his first appearance at Nationals Park since the trade, pinch-hitting to open the seventh. There were some strong boos from the crowd, also some polite applause. Honestly, the boos earlier this week for Jayson Werth against the Phillies were louder. Nyjer grounded out to second, by the way.

3:41 p.m. -- Another nice outing by Jason Marquis. He's retired 10 of the last 11 he's faced, with only one ball getting out of the infield since the fourth. Of course, it's always easier to pitch with a 5-run lead. Still 7-2 at the stretch.

3:52 p.m. -- And Marquis will return for the top of the eighth. He's sitting on 92 pitches.

3:58 p.m. -- And Marquis is done after walking Ryan Braun to lead off the eighth. Gets a nice ovation as he departs the field in favor of Doug Slaten. So Nats starting pitchers have now allowed three or fewer earned runs in 12 of 14 games this season. That's impressive.

4:14 p.m. -- Apparently Ian Desmond's 0-fer-home slump is over. He's doubled and now homered in his last two at-bats, giving the Nats a comfortable 8-2 lead as we head to the ninth. Chad Gaudin, who recorded the final out of the eighth, will attempt to notch three more and end this game.

4:34 p.m. -- It's not over yet. The Brewers have scored twice in the ninth, and Tyler Clippard has entered. 8-4 now.

4:37 p.m. -- Now it's over. Nats win 8-4 and improve to .500 for the season. Livan Hernandez will face Marco Estrada in about 30 minutes. I'll have a new game thread up shortly.


JaneB said...

Hurrah for Collin!

Grandstander said...

Nyjer sitting against Marquis? Is Roenicke just not gonna play him this series?

Can't wait to get to the ball game(s)! Couldn't plan a better Sunday.

Anonymous said...

will the Red Porch be able to show the Caps game? I can think of nothing better than a great day for Nats baseball while keeping an eye on the Caps.

Rich said...

Does anyone know what channel the seconda game will be on? the first is on Masn but the O's have a game on Masn in the evening so are they on Masn 2 or are they bumping the O's?

JaneB said...

I've never been to an honest to goodness double header before. Added to Spring Training, it's another notch in my baseball experience belt. Looking for a perfect game from one of our own sometime soon to make it three. Why the heck not?

Surely Ramos will catch Livo. ANd get some good run production while he's at it.

Waddu eye no said...

welcome home

Anonymous said...

Both games today will be on MASN per Any one know what the Red Porch's policy on showing something like the Caps game is?

mjames said...

We have to do something about Cora and Harsten. Neither can hit. Cora is late on everything and just pops out to the left fielder. Watch the game today and you will see. They need to retool their bench with Stairs, Cora and Harsten DFA'd. Lastly this Willingham trade is looking a little iffy.

Nats fan in NC said...

Only a matter of time before Nyjer says something stupid

FS said...

WOW doubleheader sounds exciting. How I wish I could come to today's games?

Oh and I was thinking that if there is interest, we could form a fantasy league of NI followers.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Yea... That Josh Willingham... hitting a robust .212 and butchering up left field like he's been doing for the A's is exactly what we need.

Stranded_in_Philly said...

"FS said...
. . .

Oh and I was thinking that if there is interest, we could form a fantasy league of NI followers."

I like that idea

Unkyd said...

Thanks, Jack... Calling a trade of a journeyman outfielder, for two prospects, who might come up this year "iffy", after 13 games seems impatient....

FS said...

Oh and Riggs should have switched Hernandez and Marquis for today's DH. Have Livan face off against Gallardo, giving us a better chance of winning than Marquis against an ace pitcher. If I recall, Livan threw a shutout against Milwaukee last season.

Doc said...

Right on NatsJack! Let's give HRod/Cory Brown more than 2 weeks to show value, over a guy hitting .212.

Maybe Rizzo pulls a fast one on Billy Beane, afterall.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Mu first honest to goodness doubleheader occurred June 14, 1964. The Senators lost to the Twins twice 4-0. Pascal and Kaat pitched for the Twins. Killibrew homered in each game.

"I Get Around was number 1 on billboard that week.

My father though he hated Calvin Griffith (Or was it CLark he hated), still cheered for the Twins as he considered them the real Senators.

Life as an 8 year old didn';t get better than a double header with your dad.

I asked my 28 year old son if he wanted to go today, and like all my other friends none wanted to go. I guess I need to just start going solo.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Updated stats

Bat average Nats 30th Brewers 17th
ERA Nats 13th Brewers 4th
Fielding Nats 25th Brewers 2nd

A DC Wonk said...

Manassas -- We're almost the same age, although my first twin-bill came a bit later. My first double header was at Shea Stadium, summer of 1969, Mets won two against the Padres. I was 12, and had suffered through a number of Mets' years that were worse than anything the Nats had done. Tom Seaver threw a shutout in one of the games, can't remember who pitched the other one (but, I'd bet I can find it on

A DC Wonk said...

Manasas notes:

Bat average Nats 30th Brewers 17th
ERA Nats 13th Brewers 4th
Fielding Nats 25th Brewers 2nd

Yeah but, the bottom line stat:
Brewers 7-6
Nats 6-7


FS said...

I don't think Werth's strikeout was a borderline pitch. The umpire completely missed that one.

I hope Marquis can last at least 6 and keep the team in the game.

Smatt1001 said...

Not looking good for Marquis right now. I hope we don't kill the 'pen in game 1.

Smatt1001 said...

...and Marquis gets out of the inning with only 1 run allowed

FS said...

Did I tell you guys I have Gallardo also on my fantasy team (like Cliff Lee)?
Does not look like Marquis can last long, one more I guess.
Oh and I believe Espinosa does not have a hit yet from leadoff spot (only 2 games though).

Natman said...


Stop being ridiculous. Do you really think Willingham is going to hit .212 at the end of the year? He was a good player here. Give him that. And he was traded for prospects. That's the point, they are prospects, not sure things.

Smatt1001 said...

And Espinosa jacks a 3 run homer off of Gallardo

A DC Wonk said...

FS: "Oh and I believe Espinosa does not have a hit yet from leadoff spot"

Well timed! Let's see if you can reverse-jinx anyone else!

Nattydread said...

Nice call Mark!

TimDz said...

Manassas... Thanks for the walk down memory lane... I went to a double header with my late father in 1970... being 1 of 4 kids, 1 on 1 time with my dad was a rare occurrence... as a divorced dad with a son who is a HUGE Baseball fan, Having the Nats In town has been a Godsend to me.

Doc said...

The good news is that Espinosa did that while Mark remains in the press box--which will be a permanent stat from now on.

Jeeves said...

No Natmat, you stop being ridiculous. The last three years Willingham has averaged 60 runs scored, 60 RBI's and a batting average of 260. He was hurt, each of these years, you say. Yeah, exactly. And he plays a mediocre defense as well. Nats Jack was right. Now, the Nats have two potentially good players.

FS said...

A DC Wonk, glad to be of help.
Does anyone what position in the lineup Danny used to hit in minors?
Anyways, he is leading the team in RBIs I guess. Maybe he is not fit for leadoff spot either.

Smatt1001 said...

And now Pudge HOMERS!!

sm13 said...

Yay Pudge. He still has gas left on the tank!

A DC Wonk said...

Special delivery telegram from Pudge to DC Fans: "I ain't dead yet."

FS said...

Is Laynce Nix better defensively or what? I have noticed Riggs has done the Nix-for-Morse switch some times this season.
Glad to see Pudge chase Gallardo away. I might lose the fantasy matchup because of his performance but who cares if my team wins.

Unkyd said...

DESI!!!!! Thats My Boy!!!!

A DC Wonk said...

Special delivery telegram from Desmond to DC Fans: "I'm getting on track, don't worry!"

Natman said...


Willingham's numbers in a Washington uniform .263/.377/.479 an OPS of .856 and an OPS+ of 128. That's a great hitter. His batting average is NOT the entire answer for his abilities. For reference, Jason Werth had numbers a bit below this for most of his time in Philly (2010 being the exception). There are some people on here, and you might not be one of them, who just have to slam former Nats players as lousy. Willingham is not a lousy player. Just be honest. He's a nice player who was traded for prospects. We'll see how the trade turns out in the future.

FS said...

Special delivery telegram from FS to Nationals: "I almost had a heart attack. Please consider making it easy for fans."

Those walks and Espinosa getting played by wind almost cost us the match.

NatinBeantown said...

Natman, I liked Hammer, but you're just as guilty of selectively using stats. Rate stats don't tell the story for a guy who only plays 100 games a year. And he was tough in left field. And we only had control of him for one year. It was a good trade.

Let's win two!

FS said...

I consider Hammer as Werth without the glove. He just never got a chance to contribute on a daily basis. Injuries always hampered his play. Sometimes he would play injured or miss playing time. Otherwise I really liked him. Then again, Rizzo was trying to built more defense-oriented lineup and Josh did not fit the bill.

@ Stranded in Philly, let us see if more people are interested, then we can work out something.

Anonymous said...

Good day for the vets--Ankiel, Cora, and Rodriguez. Good bench; good win. Good for them.

JaneB said...

...but it didn't. We won! One more to go. This sure is fun. Do they start with the national anthem and everything? Go Livo!! Go Nats!

Slidell said...

Manassas 1:27: Clark was the old man, nice old guy; passed on about '56. Calvin was the step-son who moved the club just when it was getting good when DC wouldn't pony up for a new stadium. Calvin is buried in DC in an undisclosed location (I'm not kidding).

Natman said...


I'm not saying Willingham is the best player ever. Nor am I saying it was a bad trade. I'm just saying Willingham is not some washed up lousy former National. The guy has value as a major leaguer.

BinM said...

Marquis steps up today as the 'cooler' on the staff, going seven IP & coming out the backside with the win. Clippard looked a bit ragged, but hung in there for the Game Finished; Let's get two.

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