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Wednesday, May 11, 2005


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").

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