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Washington Nationals Drop Finale To Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-3 In Jason Marquis' Return.

• Tonight's Top 5: 

5. Riggleese: I just happened to be watching Ken Burns' "Baseball" last night when the "inning" in which Yankees' Skipper Casey Stengel took over on the bench for New York in 1949 came on, and I couldn't help thinking back to the description the narrator gives of the style in which the newly-hired manager led NY to the World Series in his first year at the helm while glancing at the Nats' starting lineup for today's series finale against LA: 

"Narrator: 'Casey Stengel had had only one winning season as a big league manager, and when he took over the Yankees in 1949, few gave him much of a chance. If Stengel was worried, he kept it to himself. "I've been hired to win," he told the press, "...and I think I will. There is less wrong with the Yankees than with any club I've ever had." To make good on his promise to win, Stengel used a system he had learned long before while playing for John McGraw, platooning. Left-handed hitters would often be benched against left-handed pitchers. Right-handed hitters went for weeks without facing a right-handed starter, he also relied heavily on relief pitching..."

Now if only all the Nats' starters could hit over .270 on the year like the Yanks did in '49, with the lowest OPS in the lineup belonging to Phil Rizzuto, whose .711 OPS is better than four of the Nats' regular starters. I'm not comparing the Yankees to the Nats, or Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman to Stengel really, though Riggleman did get the job with Washington with only one full winning season on his resume and few, including yours truly, gave him much of a chance, so I'm just noting while looking at Sunday's lineup with Adam Dunn the only left-handed bat listed, and knowing Riggleman's inclination towards platooning and his affection for relievers, that it caught my attention...On to the game...

4. E: 88, 89 - Loose Bodies: 3 stolen bases. 2 walks. 2 hits, 4 Runs, 1 Earned. 32 pitches. 18 strikes. 2 errors. In his last start before surgery to remove "loose bodies" from his elbow, Nats' right-hander Jason Marquis, who'd signed for 2-years/$15 million with Washington this winter, allowed 4 hits, a walk and 7 ER's without recording an out. In his return to the majors today, Marquis throws a 32-pitch first in which he commits an error and allows 2 walks, two hits and 4 runs, 1 earned. Marquis issues a leadoff walk, misplays a sac bunt and has a throwing error by Wil Nieves on a stolen base attempt cost him the first of two runs. E: 88, Jason Marquis' first, the Nats' 88th on the year. E: 89, Wil Nieves' 4th, the throwing error gives the Nats' a league-leading 89 E's. Marquis rebounds somewhat after the first, allowing just a run on back-to-back doubles through four when he's lifted for Doug Slaten after hitting the first batter in the fifth. 

3. Back-To-Back For Morse And Maxwell: I mentioned in the post game last night that the Nationals had all of their runs this series on HR's, writing that "The Nats go 0-5 with runners in scoring position on the night with the only runs scored on HR's for the third game in a row," and the Nats' PR folks apparently noticed today as well when Michael Morse and Justin Maxwell hit back-to-back dingers off LA lefty Ted Lilly in the top of the second:'s Bill Ladson on Twitter: (@Washingnats):

"From #Nats PR director: 15 straight Washington runs have been the direct result of a homer."

Shortly after the tweet. That streak ends when Wil Nieves scores on a sac fly by Alberto Gonzalez in the Nats' fifth.

2. All The Little Things: Jamey Carroll hits a two-run single to center off Jason Marquis in the first to make it 4-0 LA. Carroll gets a one-out grounder by Ryan Zimmerman at third in the Dodgers' fourth and then scores when A.J. Ellis doubles off Marquis to make it 5-2 Dodgers after four. Carroll hits a perfect hit and run single through short after a Ronnie Belliard single in the sixth and Belliard scores from third on a Jay Gibbons' grounder off Miguel Batista to make it 6-3 Dodgers. In the LA eighth, Carroll takes a full-count pitch low and away for a walk after a nine-pitch AB vs Drew Storen and then scores ahead of a throw from center for the second run of the inning, 8-3 LA. Carroll ends the day 3 for 3 with a walk, RBI and 2 runs scored. No wonder Frank Robinson loved Carroll. 

1. Random Notes: The Nats end the road trip with two losses and finish the seven-game west coast swing with a 3-4 record after splitting the four games in Arizona and dropping two of three to LA, and now they head home to DC where Stephen Strasburg starts Tuesday in Nats Park against the Florida Marlins on the night the Nats have decided to honor recent Hall of Fame inductee Andre Dawson and acknowledge publically for the first time the Montreal past of the Nationals' franchise...a packed house for Mr. Dawson is only appropriate and speaking of the Expos, as LA's legendary announcer Vin Scully pointed out, the loss today means the Nats have dropped every season series against LA since they were the Expos in 2001 and managed to beat the Dodgers in 4 of 6 games...Strasburg, Dawson and Carter in one park. It's going to be a great night...

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

Num Name - Comments
1 O.P.H - 127
2 rachel216 - 101
3 grizzy - 94
4 sweetpearacer - 93
5 ajk9hy - 81
6 brook - 57
7 RobBobS - 50
8 Doghouse - 45
9 MissB - 39
10 Jorgath - 23

• Final Score: LA 8, DC 3. 

Nationals now 49-63. 


1 - LA lefty Tedd Lilly gets a groundout to second from Alberto Gonzalez. Ian Desmond avoids James Loney's tag and reaches first safely with a bunt single. Lilly picks Desmond off, but the Dodgers blow the rundown when Theriot drops the ball at second. Ryan Zimmerman flies to the track in right-center, Matt Kemp with a great catch and throw, but Desmond takes third. Adam Dunn goes down swinging, 0-0 after a half...Jason Marquis walks Scott Podsednik in the first at bat following surgery to repair his injured elbow. Podsednik steals second. Ryan Theriot gets a bunt down and Marquis can't pick it up, sac and reaches on an E. First and third, Theriot steals second on Nieves and the Nats' catcher's throw sails. Podsednik scores. 1-0 LA. Marquis walks Andre Ethier. James Loney lines to left, Theriot scores, 2-0 Dodgers. Matt Kemp K's for Marquis' first out of the game. Ronnie Belliard ground into a force at second, but beats the relay to first. Two down. Jamey Carroll singles to center, two runs score, 4-0 LA. Nieves throws Carroll out at second going for the Dodgers' fourth stolen base. 

2 - Josh Willingham pops out to Ryan Theriot behind second. Michael Morse takes Lilly deep on a line drive to left that reaches the stands, 4-1 Dodgers. Justin Maxwell launches one to center, back-to-back HR's for the Nationals, 4-2 game in the second. Wil Nieves K's swinging over a curve from Lilly. Jason Marquis grounds out to short, 4-2 in the second...A.J. Ellis flies out to deep left, crowd got excited though. Ted Lilly strikes out swinging. Scott Podsednik singles up the middle with two down. Ryan Theriot pops out to right, Gonzalez tracks it down. 

3 - Alberto Gonzalez K's swinging over a changeup from Lilly. Ian Desmond rips a single through short. Ryan Zimmerman pops out to Theriot behind second. Ian Desmond outruns the throw from first when Lilly picks him off again. Another SB for Desmond. Adam Dunn takes a called strike three from Lilly...Nieves catches Andre Ethier's pop behind the plate. James Loney flies to Justin Maxwell in center. Matt Kemp strikes out to end a quick third for Marquis. 

4 - Ryan Theriot dives at a two-hopper headed for center and throws out Josh Willingham. Michael Morse K's chasing a fastball up high. Matt Kemp catches the third out off Maxwell's bat...Ronnie Belliard grounds out to Gonzalez at second. Jamey Carroll gets a ground ball by third for a one-out double and A.J. Ellis scores him from second with the second-straight double. 5-2. Ted Lilly bunts Ellis over. Scott Podsednik grounds to first and arrives there a step behind the covering pitcher. 

5 - Wil Nieves lines a double off the left field wall to start the Nats' fifth. Jason Marquis gets the sac bunt down. One down, runner on third. Kemp catches a fly ball from Alberto Gonzalez, Nieves tags and scores, 5-3 LA. Ryan Zimmerman grounds into a force at second, 5-3 LA in the fifth...Jason Marquis hits Ryan Theriot and is lifted after 70 pitches. Theriot caught trying to steal second. Andre Ethier K's swinging. Two down. James Loney K's too, Slaten gets the Nats out of the inning. 

6 - Adam Dunn pops out to Carroll at short. Willingham K's swinging over a nasty bender. Michael Morse grounds out to short to end the Nats' sixth...Miguel Batista strikes out Matt Kemp. One down. Ronnie Belliard lines a single into center past a diving Desmond. Jamey Carroll shoots a single through short with Belliard running, first and third on the single. A.J. Ellis pops out to second. Jay Gibbons sends a single up the middle for a two-out RBI hit, 6-3 Dodgers. Tyler Clippard on in relief, Roger Bernadina takes over in right. Scott Podsednik walks to load the bases. Ryan Theriot flies to center to end the sixth. 

7 - Kenley Jansen takes over on the mound for LA. Justin Maxwell lines a single to left to start the frame. Wil Nieves pops out in front of home. James Loney grabs it. Roger Bernadina K's looking at a fastball outside. Alberto Gonzalez K's swinging and does not like it at all...Andre Ethier flies out to left field, one down. James Loney K's looking. Kemp K's chasing, 6-3 LA after seven. 

8 - Octavio Dotel vs Ian Desmond. Swinging K for Desi. Ryan Zimmerman grounds weakly in front of home. Ellis throws him out. Adam Dunn K's swinging to end the Nats' eighth...Ronnie Belliard lines a double to left off Drew Storen to lead off the Dodgers' eighth. Jamey Carroll draws a nine-pitch walk. A.J. Ellis gets a sac bunt down. Second and third for pinch hitter Reed Johnson. Johnson flies to short center, Justin Maxwell tries to cut down Carroll after the first run scores, but the throw home is off-line and Carroll avoids Nieves' tag. 8-3 LA. Podsednik grounds into an inning-ending DP. 

9 - Josh Willingham flies out to right. Pinch hitter Adam Kennedy flies to left and reaches safely on an error by Podsednik. Maxwell pops out to Loney behind first. Kennedy takes second with Willie Harris up. Two-out walk to Harris. Roger Bernadina up, Troncoso's lifted for Hong-Chih Kuo. Bernadina lifted for Kevin Mench in a 1-0 count, and he pops up a 3-1 fastball to end the game.