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Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Nationals Lose and Owner Information

Owner Information:
MLB sent letters to the 9 bidders setting a May 31st deadline for bids. The Nationals president believes that it is likely that the team will not be sold before September or October.

Tuesday Night Game: Nationals Lose 8-2:
Late 2-run homerun by Johnson in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs keeps the Nationals from being shutout. Vargas is now 0-1 and went from a 0.00 ERA to a 7.36 ERA. Three starters pitched for the Nationals in last nights game, besides Vargas, Ohka and Day also saw action. Vargas faced 13 batters in 1.1 innings, giving up 7 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks and 2 home-runs (46 pitches). Ohka relieved Vargas and shut-down the Brewers for 5.2 innings, giving up just 2 hits and 1 walk in those innings, and striking out 4 batters (70 pitches). Day pitched the last two innings and gave up an extra two runs in the top of the ninth (38 pitches). As the Nationals only managed 3 hits, 2 by Johnson, there isn't much to say about the batters. ESPN box score; recap; Nationals.com recap. Washingtonpost.com. Washingtontimes.com. CNNSI.

Tonight's Game:
Well, the now 21-18 Nationals are 1-1 in the Brewer series with 2 more games to go. 1-2 Loaiza will start and try to keep the Nationals in the series and will face 3-2 Capuano. Game Preview. Stat Pack. CNNSI.

TV coverage expands. New cable deal.

CNNSI's Nationals team website added to links.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Weekend Review

Friday: Nationals Lose:
I finally saw Esteban Loaiza pitch, the only Nationals starter that I had not seen who had started the year in the rotation. Loaiza pitched a good, close game. He lasted 7.0 innings, and gave up just 2 runs in the fourth. After Loaiza left, a string of bad fielding and bad pitching undermined the Nationals chance at the win (oddly, the best Nationals reliever turned out to be Day, who gave up one walk in his 1 inning of relief).

ESPN box score; recap; Nationals.com recap.

Saturday: Nationals Win after long rain delay:
I stayed for roughly 2 hours of the 2 hour ~ 35 minute rain delay, but left about 35 minutes before the game actually started. Learned on the drive over to the game that Endy Chavez had been traded to Philadelphia for Marlon Byrd (who I saw on Monday). Byrd played in 5 games for the Phillies in 2005, with 13 ABs and 4 hits (.308) and an OBP more in line with Nationals desires (.400).

Hernandez pitched 6.1 solid innings after the rain delay, giving up just 2 runs before leaving due to injury (despite leaving after only 6.1 innings, Hernandez left after pitching 105 pitches). Hernandez picked up his 6th win of the year. Majewski came in to pitch 1.2 scoreless innings, and then Cordero closed out in the 9th, making it close by giving up 1 run.

The Nationals offense worked in one inning, scoring 4 runs in the 4th, just barely enough to win. Wilkerson started the inning by doubling, then Carroll moved Wilkerson to third (strange, it says that Carroll sacrificed to pitcher, Wilkerson to third on the play-by-play on ESPN, which would imply that Carroll was out, but then it says that Carroll moved to second after Guillen struck out and Johnson was hit by pitch). Castilla singled, scoring Wilkerson and Carroll, then Church knocked in Johnson off a single, and then Guzman picked up an RBI when he singled and Castilla ran in for the fourth run of the inning.

Both Church and Guzman hit when their batting was needed, but both ended up with just one hit each (Church: 1 for 4 (.288); Guzman: 1 for 3 (.223)).

Injury news: Hernandez left the game after injuring his knee; and Mateo was placed back on the DL after appearing in just one game (Friday).

ESPN box score; recap; Nationals.com recap.

Sunday: Nationals Win:

The Nationals just barely won the series against the Cubs when they pushed one more runner over the plate than the Cubs were able to manage. Patterson started the game and had another relatively bad start. Patterson lasted 2 outs less than Hernandez, but gave up 2 more runs than Hernandez (Patterson gave up 4 runs off 7 hits, 4 walks, but he did strike-out 6). The Cubs scored early, knocking in 2 quick runs in the top of the 1st. Washington eventually answered in the 3rd, making the score 1-2. The Cubs increased their lead immediately by scoring another run in the 4th, but the Nationals immediately scored another run in that inning (2-3), shut down the Cubs offense in the 5th, and then scored two more runs in the bottom of the 5th (4-3). The Cubs immediately tied the game in the 6th, but the Nationals moved into the lead to stay in the bottom of that inning by scoring 1 more run (5-4).

Church's average fell to .273 when he went hitless in the game, and Guzman's average increased to .226 after he hit .333 in the game. Johnson hit his 5th home-run in the game.

ESPN box score; recap; Nationals.com recap.

Monday: Nationals Win:

I saw Tony Armas start for the first time, and he picked up his first win of the season. Marlon Byrd also made his first appearance in a Nationals uniform. The Nationals lead from the beginning (well, by the 2nd inning), and were only briefly tied in the 3rd before pulling away for good in the 4th inning.

Armas pitched 7 solid innings, giving up just 2 runs and 5 hits. Majewski came in for 1 inning, gave up one hit and one walk, but no runs, and then Ayala closed out the ninth for his first save of the year.

Guillen went hitless in his last game of the series, while newcomer Byrd is now hitting .750 for his new club (3 for 4), and has picked up his first three RBI's in a Nationals uniform. Guzman went hitless (.219) and Castilla went 3 for 4 with his fourth home-run of the year.

ESPN box score; recap; Nationals.com recap; Washingtonpost.com recap; Washingtontimes.com recap.

Injury News: Sledge will miss the rest of the season with a torn hamstring and his spirits are down. Meanwhile, Guillen will not finish the Brewers series due to "a muscle pull in his right rib cage and sore left triceps." Hernandez's MRI test results in: inflammation in his right knee. Hernandez had his knee drained and might make his next start (Washingtonpost.com notes that this is good news; Washingtontimes.com's take - interesting, Ohka is in the bullpen, and won't get into a game except as a reliever but neither Robinson nor Ohka see Ohka as a reliever).



The Nationals remain in third place, 2.0 games out of first with a record of 21-17.

The second game of the Brewers 4 game series occurs tonight with Vargas (0-0, 0.00) facing Obermueller (0-0, 3.72). Nationals.com preview; ESPN stat pack.

And a new Boswell column (all about Cordero).

WashingtonTimes.com had a reporter spend two weeks following the Nationals minor league teams; this story is about the Potomac Cannons, A level minor league team, an affiliate of the Nationals.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Chavez's Time In Bigs Cut Short; ESPN Still lists Wrong Nationals Starter

Well, it appears that I forgot to mention that the activation of starter Vargas caused the demotion of Chavez. Well, noticed my error as I was wondering around the internet (Washingtonpost.com story), though ESPN hasn't mentioned the transaction yet (well they hadn't, went to get the link and saw that they had included the transaction).

Tonight's Game:
ESPN has now posted their preview and stat pack, both of which still list Ohka as the starter (instead of Vargas).

Other News:
New Boswell column in the e-mail box, but not on the website. "Road Success May Set Stage for More Surprises." All about the Nationals and how they really hated road trips last year, and played like it, but this year have been playing great on the road.


Nationals Lose Close Game

Tuesday's Game: Nationals
Tony Armas started his first game this season for the Nationals, lasting 5.2 innings (23 batters faced) and giving up 3 hits, 3 runs and 3 walks (unfortunately, only 2 strike-outs, but fortunately, only 1 home-run). Armas is now 0-1 with an ERA of 4.76. Majewski and Ayala pitched shutout innings, but the Nationals offense couldn't muster the needed runs to regain the lead and win the game.

Armas seemed to be doing well, shutting down the other team's offense for 5.2 innings, until he gave up a 2-out three run home-run to Diamondback's 3B Troy Glaus. Since I mentioned, and linked, Hernandez's career stats, I'll mention that Armas' loss moves his career record to 32-42 with an ERA of 4.21.

Nationals batters: Carroll went 1 for 5 (and left 4 batters on base) lowering his average to .381. Hammonds continues to be unable to hit, going 0 for 2 (LOB 3), and lowering his average to .143. Chavez came in off the bench for Hammonds and went hitless in 1 AB, but walked in his only other appearance at the plate (now hitting .222). The new everyday 2B, Baerga, hit .333 in the game (1 for 3) and increased his average to .227. Church continues to warm the bench, though he did come in to PH for Majewski and walked.

After Tuesday's loss, the Nationals are now only a half game ahead of the Mets for the coveted third place slot in the National League Eastern Division standings. ESPN's recap, and box score; Nationals.com recap -> "Armas was great," Robinson said," "I was confident. I wanted to get that first out in the first inning. I wanted it to get out of my mind. Everything went pretty well," [Vargas] said"; Washington Times recap -> Zuckerman's article noted that this might turn out to be "the night the Nationals found the missing piece to their beleaguered pitching staff"; Washington Post recap -> "We had a lot of opportunities to put them away," Manager Frank Robinson said, "and have a nice, easy game. But we couldn't get the hit;" Armas in the minors: "He made six starts for Class AAA New Orleans, with decidedly mixed results, just a 1-2 record with a 4.38 ERA."

Wednesday's Game:

Despite ESPN's indication that tonight's game will feature the starters Ohka and Vazquez, it would appear that Claudio Vargas will start the game for the Nationals, with Ohka moving to the bullpen (Nationals.com game preview). And now it appears that Ohka will join the growing list of players that might be traded (in the "start" article). As noted on the Nationals.com website, Vargas was "2-2 with a 4.18 ERA for Triple-A New Orleans, striking out 35 batters in 28 innings" (same article linked under the word "start").

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Carroll Gets His Chance and Promotions Announced

Carroll Gets His Chance
With Guzman, Vidro, Sledge, Will Cordero, and six other Nationals on the DL, and Mateo just coming off the DL, Jimmy Carroll will get his chance to play every day.
His career major league average? .288 (which includes this year).
In 71 AB's in 2002, Carroll hit .310, with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home-run, and just 1 stolen base (.347 OBP/.507 SLG). 1 Game at 2B (2 innings, no balls hit his way). 13 games at 3B (125 innings, 36 TC, 7 PO, 26 A, 3 Errors, 2 DP). 3 games at SS (26.2 innings, 17 TC, 6 PO, 10 A, 1 Error, 2 DP).
In 227 AB's in 2003, Carroll hit .260, with 10 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home-run, and 5 stolen bases (.323 OBP/.326 SLG). 11 games at 2B (51.1 innings, 27 TC, 12 PO, 15 A, O Errors, 5 DP). 67 games at 3B (421.1 innings, 163 TC, 43 PO, 115 A, 5 Errors, 8 DP). 14 games at SS (50 innings, 22 TC, 7 PO, 15 A, 0 Error, 4 DP).
In 218 AB's in 2004, Carroll hit .289, with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 0 home-runs, and 5 stolen bases (.378 OBP/.372 SLG). 51 games at 2B (344.2 innings, 182 TC, 84 PO, 97 A, 1 Errors, 32 DP). 13 games at 3B (78 innings, 36 TC, 8 PO, 26 A, 2 Errors, 1 DP). 10 games at SS (59 innings, 27 TC, 11 PO, 16 A, 0 Error, 4 DP). 2 games at OF (6 innings, 2 TC, 2 PO).
In 37 AB's so far in 2005, Carroll has hit .405, with 0 2B, 1 triple, 0 home-runs, and 1 SB (.439 OBP/.459 SLG). 9 games at 2B (49 innings, 32 TC, 17 PO, 15 A, 0 Errors, 6 DP). 2 games at 3B (15 innings, 2 TC, 0 PO, 2 A, 0 Errors, 0 DP). 3 games at SS (8 innings, 1 TC, 1 A, 1 DP).
Mark Zuckerman, of the Washington Times, has also written an article about Carroll and his chance. Zuckerman notes that with the injuries, Carroll will be the everyday 2B for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure, but it appears that this article was posted on 5/10/05. That's after Guzman became injured and left last nights game, and after it was learned that he will likely be out at least 5 to 7 days. Right after Guzman left the game, Carroll moved to SS and Baerga took over at 2B. Maybe Carroll will move back to 2B for the foreseeable future, does Mateo play SS (instead of, say 2B)? Oh I see, Carroll entered the game with a .438 average the writer notes. Ok, then this article might have been written before Guzman became injured.

Saturday June 25: Floppy Hat night. (vs. Toronto).
Thursday July 21: Umbrella night. (vs. Houston).
Friday August 5: 6-pack cooler night. (vs. San Diego).
Saturday October 1: Team photos and 2006 schedules. (vs. Philadelphia).


Hernandez Wins 100th Career Win, Guzman Injured

Nationals win, 4-3 and raise their record to 18-14, and Hernandez wins his 100th career win, raising his career record to 100-96 with an career ERA of 4.13 (ESPN; Nationals.com; Washingtonpost.com (for some reason I've lost the link to the Washington Post's recap); Washingtontimes.com; ESPN box score). Nationals picked up their first run in the top of the third, then added 2 more before the Diamondbacks scored their first run in the bottom of the seventh (unfortuanately, two more Arizona runs also scored that inning). Hernandez shut down the Diamondbacks for six innings, but was unable to repeat his complete game performance, and was pulled after giving up three runs in the seventh (though he did complete that inning). Carrasco came in for the 8th and only allowed 2 hits, and then Cordero came in to close out the game, picking up his seventh save.

Carroll's performance at the plate started to come back to earth, hitting just 1 hit in 5 at-bats. On the other hand, Church went 3-for-3 and upped his average to .302 (and hit his 3rd double, 3rd home-run (with 0 on and 2 out in the sixth) and recorded his 13th RBI; as Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times notes: "That was Church's third hit of the night and left the rookie a cool 11-for-17 on this road trip -- a .647 average"). Before leaving the game injured, Guzman lowered his batting average to .222 by going 0-3. Hernandez showed why he won the hitting as a pitcher award last year, by getting 2 hits in 3 at-bats, raising his average to .250 (one of those hits was a double). Not to be overlooked, Johnson went 3 for 4, hitting 1 home-run (his 4th; took him a long time to get that first, and now he has 4), and 1 double (his 8th).

Overall: New Boswell article. "The Nationals should be falling apart. They have every excuse. But so far they're not." The GM's scared because the Nationals have 10 players on the DL. Guillen needs to start wearing pads, after he "was drilled by his fourth fastball in a week -- all in almost the same spot on or near his left elbow."

Injury News: Vidro was placed on the DL and Armas was activated off the DL. Then Guzman became injured in last night's seven inning and will be likely out 5 to 7 days. It is reported that "[i]n Guzman's absence, Jamey Carroll will play short, and Carlos Baerga will play second base."

Apparently rehapping starting pitcher Claudio Vargas flew with Mateo to join the team. Mateo knows that he has been activated, but Vargas, as of last report, has not had anyone tell him why he was told to fly up with Mateo. It appears that Vargas will join the starting rotation, maybe as early as Wednesday.

Along with trade talk concerning Day, it appears that Robinson believes that Chavez might do better with a change of scenery.

Game 2 of the series. Tony Armas, jr. will make his first start of the season, while he and the rest of the batters face Shawn Estes (2-3, 3.86). Nationals.com preview. ESPN.com preview. ESPN.com stat pack. The Nationals.com verison of the "stat pack," the "Gameday Press Pass," still has yesterday's information up on the system (of course, that is something that you need to sign-in for).

Monday, May 09, 2005


Weekened in Review

The Nationals played a three game series against San Francisco over the weekend (which includes Friday night). The Nationals entered the series with a 15-13 record, and in third place in the National League East. They left with a 17-14 record, and still in third place.

Friday Night:
The Nationals won this game 9-3 off of great offense. Ohka started for the Nationals, but only faced 19 batters in 4 innings of work, giving up 3 earned runs. Rauch came into the game in the 5th and pitched three shutout innings (though he did give up 4 walks), and managed to pick up his first win of the season. Ayala and Cordero pitched the 8th and 9th innings.

Ryan Church came in off the bench and hit in his only at-bat, knocking in three runs on his first double of the season (after this game, his average went up to .222). Ex-Orioles Jeffrey Hammonds went hitless in this start, dropping his batting average down to .250. Guzman hit .250 in this game, raising his average to .238.

Game Notes (ESPN recap): Guillen went 0-3 and 1 for the last 14. Sledge will be out 4 to 6 months. Vidro is expected to miss three to five days due to that injury he had in Wednesday's game (Carroll started in place of Vidro on Friday, going 1 for 3 with 2 walks, 1 RBI, and 2 runs).

This was an interesting experience. For the first time, I watched a Nationals game by way of the out-of-town scoreboard (first Orioles game I've seen this year, and probably only one I will see). That scoreboard was an exciting board to watch. San Francisco went up by 4 runs in the bottom of the third, and then the Nationals immediately came back with 7 runs in the top of the fourth. Then I sat in the Orioles stands, waiting for the next update, but the fifth inning just kept going over there in San Francisco. And then the news came up. San Francisco had scored 4 more runs and were now up 8-7, where they would remain in the lead until the top of the 9th.

Which Nationals pitcher started, and let his team fall behind early? Why, that would be the outstanding John Patterson, who entered the game 2-1 with an ERA of, I believe, 1.60. This was Patterson's worst game of the year, facing just 15 batters in 3 innings of work, giving up 4 earned runs. In April, Patterson posted outstanding numbers (just 3 earned runs in 27.2 innings pitched, 0.98 ERA). So far in May, Patterson's ERA has been the quite bad 7.00.

Zach Day came in to replace Patterson, and pitched like the last time I saw him in relief. Day gave up 4 runs in 1.1 innings. After him, Carrasco (0.2 innings), Majewski (1 inning), Ayala (1 inning, and the winning pitcher), and Cordero (1 inning and 6th save) shut down the other sides offense (though they did give up 4 hits). Carroll again covered for Vidro by playing 2B, going 3 for 4, with 1 walk, and scoring 2 runs (now hitting .385). Church raised his average to .267 by hitting 4 hits in 6 at-bats and knocking in the 9th, 10th and 11th runs in the top of the ninth off of his second double of the year (he also acquired another RBI, raising his total to 12 RBI's). Guzman raised his average 1 point to .239 after going .250 in this game.

Game Notes (ESPN recap): well, according to ESPN, Schneider's three hits were a season high for him.

The Nationals lost 4-3 and Rauch picked up his 2nd loss of the year. It was a close long game, with the Nationals only losing in the bottom of the 13th inning when the Giants scored their fourth run, ending the game.

Starter Loaiza went 7.2 innings, giving up just 3 runs, though only recording 1 strike-out. Majewski followed him and gave up 2 walks, then left the game. Carrasco faced 1 batter, and finished the 8th inning. Ayala came in for the 9th and gave up just 1 hit, but Robinson had Rauch come in for the last three innings. Rauch gave up 1 run in those three innings, and recorded his 2nd loss of the season.

Game Notes (ESPN recap): Interesting, the Nationals had four double-plays in the game. Guillen hit his 8th home run of the year (his only hit in the game). Carroll filled in for Vidro again, and raised his average to .438 after hitting 4 hits in 6 AB. Hammonds again went hitless, lowering his average to .167. Guzman went 0-5, lowering his average to .228 (losing 11 points). Church, despite being instrumental in the last two wins, did not play in Sunday's game.


Monday's preview, Nationals.com (17-14 Nationals against 18-14 Diamondbacks).

The Nationals will now play three games in Arizona (Hernandez 4-2 vs. Webb 4-0, Armas first start vs. Estes 2-3, Ohka 2-3 v. Vazquez 4-2), and then will return home to face a three game series against the visiting Cubs (Friday-Sunday).

Other Notes: Just noticed that "out 4 to 6 months" actually means that Sledge will be "likely lost for the season." On Saturday, according to the Nationals website, "Robinson doesn't know how long he will stick with right-hander Tomo Ohka." Day might be going back to the minors (same article). Tonight's start in Arizona could be Hernandez's 100th career win.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Week in Review

This week the Nationals finished the Mets series at RFK (a loss) and headed off for their road trip. First stop: Los Angeles.

On Monday Esteban Loaiza won his first game of the year against Scott Erickson (ESPN's recap). Injury news: Eischen had surgery (later he was moved from the 15 day to the 60 DL) and Sledge left the game early due to a pulled hamstring and ended up on the DL ("Sledge could be out longer than three weeks").

Tuesday: Sledge placed on DL and Eischen moved to 60 day disabled list. Outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds contract was bought by the major league club, and Eddy Chavez was recalled. The GM believes that Chavez hasn't improved his ability to get on base, but the stats at AAA seem to suggest that he has (they've removed his stats from the minor league team page, and they don't have it on the major league site, but they do have the combined stats if you search for his name on the minor league site).

Also on Tuesday, the Nationals lost the second game against the Dodgers 4-2. Starter Zach Day managed to last only 3.2 innings giving up 6 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs (and recording 4 strike-outs). The game included Guillen running to third for the 2nd out of an inning (coach signaled him to run to third and that coach held up Schneider from an easy score later in the game, and because it was such an easy score opportunity, Guzman was tagged out between 2nd and 3rd because he thought Schneider would head home). Rauch replaced Day and pitched 2.1 innings, and gave up 2 more runs. Rauch ended up being the pitcher of record, and recorded his first loss of the season (he now has 3 career losses). Ayala pitched two shut-out innings to close out the game. Chavez entered the game off the bench and hit into a double play for his only at-bat. Guzman hit two hits to move his average up to .247. Church also had two hits, though his average only went up to .207.

Wednesday: Hernandez pitched a complete game to pick up his fourth win (gave up just 2 runs and his ERA is now 4.04). Recent additions Hammonds and Chavez started the game, with Chavez in the lead-off slot (Wilkerson on the bench). Line-up and resulting stats for the game:
Chavez CF - 2 for 4, raising his average to .400 (which I believe is also his OBP)
Guzman SS - 0-3, lowering average to .238
Vidro 2B - 1-3, .290
Guillen RF - 1-4, .327
Castilla 3B - 1-4, .341
Johnson 1B - 2-4, .305 and his third home-run of the season
Hammonds LF - 2-4, .500
Bennett C - 0-2, .200
Hernandez P - 1-4, .176

Friday: The Nationals are now 15-13 and in third place heading into their game tonight against the 14-13 Giants. The Nationals visit San Francisco for 3 games then head off to Arizona for a 3 game series, and will return home on Friday for a series hosting the Cubs. Nationals.com game preview. Ohka (2-3, 4.50 ERA) faces Lowry (1-2, 5.60 ERA).

Notes: Does Robinson hate Zach Day? Day seems to thinks so, and he might end up traded. Day will be moved to the bullpen when Armas returns next week from his rehap in AAA. Vidro sustained a minor injury in the Wednesday game. Nationals writer Bill Ladson answers some questions about the Nationals. First question? About a LHP. Obviously the lack of LHP's in the bullpen has not escaped fan notice.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Home Games #11-13 and Overall Game # 26

I was able to personally attend home games #11-12, but not #13.

Home Game: #11: Guillen, Schneider and Hernandez hit Home Runs:
This was an exciting game to watch. Liven Hernandez, the team's supposed ace (instead of last second addition fifth starter John Patterson, who currently appears to be the best starter), finally had a great game. Hernandez started off looking a little shaky, giving up one quick run in the top of the first, but shut down the Mets offense for the rest of the game. As the title mentions, three home runs were hit in Friday nights contest, all for the Nationals (Guillen's sixth, Schneider's 2nd, and Hernandez's sixth career, first this season). Two more runs were added when Castilla hit a double off the wall (the ESPN recap notes that it was a ground rule double, I don't recall it being a ground-rule double).

ESPN.com's recap.
Nationals.com recap.

Notes: I wasn't 100% positive until I checked the recap, but I've confirmed it. Nick Johnson's hitting streak has been broken, as he failed to get a hit in this game.

Home Game: #12: Rain Rain Everywhere, and the Playing Field is mud:
After an ear infection sidelined scheduled starter Zach Day, Tomo Ohka stepped in and pitched, I believe, his best game of the season. Ohka lasted five and 1/2 shutout innings until a thirty minute rain delay forced him from the game (lowering his ERA to 4.50). Majewski came in for the seventh and part of the 8th. Neither team could score a run in the seventh, but Majewski gave up three runs in the top of the 8th before being pulled (destroying his 0.00 ERA). While replacing Majewski with Hector Carrasco, Manager Robinson wandered over and continued an argument that seemed to have started at some point eariler in the game. I could be wrong, but it might have had something to do with the heavy rain and very swampy playing conditions. Whatever the argument was about, Robinson was ejected. Carrasco finished off the top of the 8th, and the umps decided to to delay the game again (the ESPN scoreboard has a 0 down for the Nationals 8th inning, but they didn't get a chance to bat). After the game was finally called, Ohka ended up with his 2nd win and Carrasco ended up with his first save. Oh, and driving home after the second rain delay started, I heard on the radio that it took the grounds crew something like thirty-two minutes to pull the tarp over the field. It was muddy, wet, the wind kept getting in the way, and the ground crew was shorthanded.

ESPN.com's recap.
Nationals.com recap.

Notes: Guillen was hit for his second and third times in the last two games in this game.

Home Game: # 13:
Did not attend, nor watch, nor listen to this game. My actions are unlikely to have caused them to lose, but I'll take it into consideration.

ESPN.com recap.
Nationals.com recap.

Notes: LHP Eischen broke his arm. He is expected to miss the next 8 to 12 weeks, leaving the club without an experienced major league level left-hander, though I assume LHP Horgan will be called up. Other than him, the club seemed to have few left-handers when I looked through their minor leagues the other day. Ok, my mistake. Horgan is doing horribly in the minors and has a sore shouldar. Apparently, the Nationals are considering calling up starter RHP Tony Armas, jr., or RHP Claudio Vargas. Vargas is listed as 6'3" 230 lbs and born 6/19/78. Vargas has started four games in AAA New Orleans and currently has a record of 1 and 2 with an ERA of 5.14. Armas is listed at the same height as Vargas, though 5 pounds smaller, and about 1 month younger. Armas has also started four games, going 1 and 2 with an ERA of 4.82 during those 18.2 innings pitched. Checking just AAA, the team currently has LHP's Matt White, Ed Yarnell, and Micah Bowie at New Orleans. White has pitched 7 innings in relief, with an ERA of 3.86. Yarnell has started 3 games at New Orleans and is 1-1 with an ERA of 4.61. Bowie apparently hasn't played yet at New Orleans because he is on the DL. Neither Yarnall nor White are on the 40-man roster.

AAA official website. Don't forget, Monday's Zephyrs promotion is Zatarain's Red Beans & Rice.
And it is MULLET MADNESS MONDAY at A level Savannah Sand Gnats.

Overall Game: # 26: Loaiza vs. Erickson
The 13-12 Nationals are in for a rough game tonight trying to stay above .500 as they face the 16 and 8 Los Angeles Dodgers.

Nationals.com preview of tonight's road game against LA. RHP Loaiza (0-2, 4.13 ERA) faces LA Dodgers for the tenth time, and the opposing pitcher will be ex-Oriole RHP Scott Erickson (1-2 7.20 ERA 2005).

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