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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

Latest Blog Entries

LaRoche to see doctor about shoulder

Concerned with a lack of strength in his swing, Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche will see a doctor Sunday night or Monday morning for another look at the torn labrum in his left shoulder. LaRoche, who has the second worst average in the major leagues at .172, was diagnosed with the tear at the end of spring training but has only felt pain when making throws in the field. He is still not experiencing pain when swinging, but he's feeling an inability to power the ball the way he normally does, unable to get his top hand to the ball, and it has gone on long enough to prompt some worry.

About that inning-ending double play in the sixth, let Matt Stairs explain

The Nationals best scoring opportunity in a 4-2 game Saturday came after Laynce Nix walked and Jayson Werth singled to center field with one out in the sixth. The Nationals looked to be getting to Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie and designated hitter Matt Stairs -- still searching for his first hit in the series and third of the season -- was coming to the plate with a prime opportunity to reward manager Jim Riggleman for allowing him to be the DH. Instead he rolled over on a first-pitch changeup, hit into a 4-6-3 double play and ended the inning. Here's what he had to say about it:

The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Jeremy Guthrie

The Nationals offense will take on right-hander Jeremy Guthrie this afternoon, three days after the Orioles used Guthrie in relief during a 15-inning game with the New York Yankees. Guthrie was scheduled to start Wednesday against New York, but because he was needed Tuesday night (for only a few pitches) he was pushed back to today.

Sticking with what works: today's lineups

To no one's surprise, after a record-setting night offensively, the Nationals are sticking with the exact same lineup in the middle game of their three-game set with the Orioles. Chances are, the Nationals 17-run, 19-hit outburst will not be duplicated, even if the lineup is. But it has to be encouraging for manager Jim Riggleman to get to the ballpark today and not have to even think about who he's running out there. Before we get to the full lineups, a few things that may have gone overlooked last night:

Reaction from the Nationals record-setting night

The Nationals clubhouse was more upbeat Friday night than they have been all season -- and with good reason. There aren't too many negatives to dwell on when a team gets 19 hits, scores 17 home runs, has two hitters a double shy of the cycle and hits a club-record six home runs. Here are some quotes that didn't make it into the game story about the Nationals' 17-5 victory over the Orioles:

A record-setting night, by the numbers

Before Friday afternoon's game, several Nationals who had never played in Camden Yards mentioned the park's reputation as a hitter's ballpark. They then went out and in record-setting fashion proved that to be completely true.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo addresses MLB investigation into umpire altercation

Addressing reports that Major League Baseball was investigation a "verbal altercation"between Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and the umpiring crew from Thursday's game at Citi Field in New York, Rizzo said today that he's been in touch with MLB executive VP for baseball operations Joe Torre and has no timeline for a resolution of the investigation.

Werth cleans up again: today's lineups

With the Nationals facing the first of three straight right-handed pitchers, Laynce Nix is slotted into left field and, in an attempt to break up the left-handers, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has once again given Jayson Werth the start at cleanup.

Designating a hitter this weekend in Baltimore

The Nationals get the luxury of a designated hitter this weekend as they open Interleague play in an American League park against the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight, with Jason Marquis on the mound, that may not seem like such a great idea (Marquis has one of the team's best averages) but the Nationals don't plan to waste the opportunity to get someone a few extra at-bats. The most likely candidate for those at-bats will be Matt Stairs, who relishes the opportunity.

About that blown call in the ninth...

As the Nationals packed up in the visiting clubhouse Thursday afternoon, leaving New York after 48 hours, two losses and without a single run, most of their post-game frustration was focused on Phil Cuzzi's blown call at first base in the ninth inning. "I want to be an umpire when I grow up," one Nationals player joked, the loudest voice in a quiet clubhouse. "No responsibility, no accountability."