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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.

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