Photo courtesy Milwaukee Brewers
The Nats try to avoid getting swept today at Miller Park.
1. Michael Morse is not in the Nationals' starting lineup today.
2. Yes, I agree with the vast majority of you that he should be.
3. I'm not in Milwaukee this weekend. Therefore, I can't ask Jim Riggleman why Morse is not in the lineup.
4. Ryan Zimmerman also is not in the Nationals' lineup today. This was a pre-planned day off, much as Adam Dunn got last night.
5. Willie Harris is starting at third base and batting second. Though his presence anywhere near the plate with a bat in hand sends shivers down plenty of people's spines, I'll just throw this out there: Since June 25 (one month's time) Harris is batting .357 with a .500 on-base percentage and 1.071 OPS. Those numbers are even better than Morse's stats over the same period (.308 average, .325 OBP, .966 OPS).
6. I still agree with the vast majority of you that Morse should be in the lineup somewhere today.
7. Morse should be in right field instead of Roger Bernadina, who over the last month is batting .246 with a .284 on-base percentage and .677 OPS. Nyjer Morgan deserves to remain in center field on a daily basis; over that same span of the last month, he's hitting .295 with a .346 on-base percentage. (His .662 OPS is pretty weak, but as a leadoff man, he's not being asked to drive in runs, simply to get on base. Bernadina has consistently been used lower in the order and today is actually batting fifth despite his paltry production of late.)
8. Ross Detwiler makes his first big-league start of the season. The lefty pitched very well in the minors (2.27 ERA in eight games, 33 strikeouts and only eight walks in 35 2/3 innings) and now gets his chance to prove he can be a reliable starter in the majors. The Nationals, who selected Detwiler in the first round of the 2007 draft, would really like to see him step up and establish himself. They need more legitimate big-league starters, in part because...
9. J.D. Martin has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury that apparently had been plaguing him for some time. Detwiler is already replacing Luis Atilano in the rotation. That means someone else will need to replace Martin by the end of the week. John Lannan and Matt Chico appear the most likely possibilities. Scott Olsen or Jason Marquis could perhaps get the call if the Nats believe either is ready to return after making only a couple of rehab starts. Jordan Zimmermann probably won't be the choice, because the Nats have made it pretty clear they won't let him return until he's the full 12 months removed from Tommy John surgery (ie. mid-August).
10. Michael Morse should be in the lineup today.
NATIONALS at BREWERS
Where: Miller Park
Gametime: 2:10 p.m.
TV: Ch. 50, MASN2
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Sunny, 77 degrees, Wind 8 mph LF to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
3B Willie Harris
LF Josh Willingham
1B Adam Dunn
RF Roger Bernadina
C Ivan Rodriguez
2B Adam Kennedy
SS Ian Desmond
P Ross Detwiler
2B Rickie Weeks
SS Alcides Escobar
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
C Jonathan Lucroy
CF Carlos Gomez
RF Joe Inglett
P Dave Bush