The Washington Times - July 6, 2009, 08:50PM

We’re just about ready to go here at Coors Field. Not much in the way of pregame news, but here it is before we get to lineups:

—Ronnie Belliard is starting at second for just the fifth time since the start of June. It’s only the 15th game where the veteran has seen action. “He swung the bat very well yesterday, and he’s got pretty good numbers against (Rockies starter) Jason Marquis,” manager Manny Acta said. “I think we need to get him going. If we do get him going, we’re going to be a better ballclub.” Belliard, hitting .185 this year, entered Monday’s game 5-for-10 lifetime against Marquis with a homer and three RBI. There’s also a possibility that we’ll see him more this month as the Nationals try to showcase him for potential buyers. If you see Austin Kearns more often, it’s probably for that reason, too.


—Other than Belliard, the main news of the day was Kip Wells electing free agency, continuing an exodus of out-of-options veterans from the Nationals organization. Since the start of the year, Steven Shell, Mike Hinckley and now Wells have all elected free agency. Jesus Colome will probably wind up doing the same thing. Of the DFA’d relievers, only Logan Kensing has stayed with the organization.

That’s all the pregame news—unless you’re curious about my near-arrest. As you’ve probably seen, Mark and I do a pregame segment on MASN’s broadcasts, which requires us to go down to the field after the clubhouse has closed. Well, when I got to the field, credentials in plain sight, I was met by an eager-to-impress security guard who immediately told me I couldn’t come onto the field and I’d have to come with him. Managed to do the TV segment before defusing the situation with his much-calmer supervisor, but that was interesting for a minute. I guess 6-foot-1, 160-pound reporters are a big security threat in Denver. Kind of flattering, actually.

Anyway, here are the lineups:


Morgan CF

Johnson 1B

Zimmerman 3B

Dunn LF

Willingham RF

Guzman SS

Bard C

Belliard 2B

Stammen P



Fowler CF

Barmes 2B

Helton 1B

Hawpe RF

Tulowitzki SS

Stewart 3B

Iannetta C

Gonzalez LF

Marquis P