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Thursday, July 28, 2005


Nationals Swept, Fall to 3 Games back.

Nationals lost their third game in Atlanta today, and are just 2.5 games ahead of the Mets now.

Neither pitcher, Drese or Sosa, pitched particularly well, but the Braves were able to score one more run for the win. The Braves jumped out to a 4 run lead by the fourth inning (1 run in the third (FC), and 3 runs in the 4th (HR, Double). The Nationals made it somewhat interesting by picking up 2 unanswered runs, but then the Braves pushed their lead to 5-2 with another run in the bottom of the 6th (their last run scored, and the winning run - a home-run by Francoeur, his second of the game). The Nationals answered with another 2 runs in the top of the seventh, bringing the game to within 1 run but were not able to score in the 8th or 9th. Nationals lose another 1-run game.

Vidro and Johnson had multi-hit games (2 hits each), while 6 more hits were achieved by six other Nationals batters (including Drese going 1 for 1). Drese is now 3-4 after going only 4 innings, giving up 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 HR, and 4 runs (3 earned) off of 83 pitches. Sunny Kim came in for the 5th and 6th and gave up 1 run. Carrasco and Majewski pitched the last two innings, neither giving up a run.

Nationals.com recap, ESPN box score.

NOTE: "Robinson stands by Guzman":

Nationals.com article notes that "Robinson stands by Guzman" and that "[s]truggling shortstop not in danger of losing starting role -- yet." Guzman is now hitting .181 for the second half, and .180 overall.

Now off to face the Marlins, the wonderful Marlins (sorry, Wizard of Oz suddenly started in my head). Probables are in prior post, including stat pack and preview.


Nationals Lose, Fall 2 games back; Robinson Speaks; Nationals on TV; Next Games

The Nationals picked up a quick run in the first, but were only able to manage to score two more runs in the game (in the 8th) and fall 4-3. Joey Eischen pitched one solid inning (the seventh), other than that wild pitch that allowed a run to score, of course. Vidro, Guillen, and Johnson were able to have multi-hit games (2 hits each). Beyond that? Other than Wilkerson's 1 hit (a triple), 1 walk and two runs, none of the rest of the line-up did anything Wednesday night offensively (I suppose I should give Wilson credit for at least walking once).

As will be mentioned by many others, the Nationals got an early lead off of that one run in the first inning, kept the lead until the 4th inning when they gave up 2 runs to the Braves. The Braves went ahead 2-1 off of a home-run and a single in the 4th, kept the Nationals from scoring more runs until the 8th, and in the meantime scored 1 more run in the seventh when Eischen threw a wild pitch and a runner scored. The Nationals scored 2 more runs in the top of the 8th to tie the game, but the Braves scored quickly and picked up the winning run in the bottom of the 8th. The Nationals did nothing in the top of the ninth, the Braves didn't have to hit in the bottom of the ninth and the game was over. The Nationals already lost this series, but hopefully they won't get swept.

Well, here's ESPN's box score for the game. Nationals.com recap. SI.com's recap.

"Robinson Cuts Loose":
Washington Times article by Mark Zuckerman. Simple recap: "The crux of Robinson's impassioned message was simple: Play with more energy. Play with more brain-power. Play like major leaguers."

"Judge Dismisses Comcast Suit":
Washington Times article by Eric Fisher. Notice how hard it is to see the Nationals on TV? Partly that was a result from a fight between Comcast and the Orioles proposed new regional sports network. Comcast believed that it would have the right to show Nationals games, but the Orioles believed that those Nationals games belonged to its network. So Comcast sued the Orioles and that lawsuit has just been dismissed (though it can be refiled with just one of its counts/allegations/arguments).

"The court has now made clear that this is a bogus lawsuit, and Comcast's old excuse for not carrying Nationals games has been swept aside," said Arnold Weiner, a Lutherville, Md., attorney representing the Orioles. "They should begin carrying the games immediately."

But because of that 30 day option to refile the case with that one argument:

"Cohen's statement means a Comcast-MASN carriage deal will not be forthcoming immediately."

Wilson plays LF and Wilkerson plays CF. Article.
OF Kenny Kelly made it through waivers and is now in AAA New Orleans.
SI.com's Power Rankings (the Nationals are now 10th this week, after being 8th last week, right ahead of the Phillies).

Tonight's Game:
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Ryan Drese, 7-9 (5.65) will try to keep the Nationals from being swept when he pitches tonight against Jorge Sosa, 5-1 (2.55 ERA). Drese is currently pitching 3-6 on the road with an ERA of 7.19 (and is 4-3 with the Nationals). Sosa is 0-1 at home with an ERA of 3.26. Neither pitcher has faced the other team during this season. Unneeded stats: Drese is 10 days older than me, and is currently making $550,000 this season (and went to UC-Berkeley). Oh, and despite what people have told me that his name rhymes with greasy, ESPN says that you prononuce his name: Drees. Sosa, on the other hand, is one year younger, is making $650,000 this season, and he did not go to college.

Nationals.com preview. ESPN's Stat Pack.

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Armas (5-4, 4.73 ERA) vs. Josh Becket (9-6, 3.33 era).

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Patterson (4-2, 2.58 era) vs. Burnett (7-6, 3.48 era; the almost O's player)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Nationals Lose, Now in Second in NL East

Nick Johnson and Jose Guillen returned to the line-up Tuesday (Kenny Kelly demoted: "The Nationals have 10 days to trade, release or outright Kelly to the Minor Leagues."). When he hits a ball that looks like it will be an out, Guillen always seems to just trot to first, instead of hustle, but otherwise he certainly looks like he really wants to play. Forecasted to return on Thursday, Guillen returned to the line-up Tuesday. Just for that (and the 2 hits in 4 AB and that 1 RBI with 2 outs), I'll name Guillen the player of the game.

Hernandez pitched a very solid 8 innings, giving up just 1 run (a HR) in the seventh off of 5 hits, and 1 walk. 64 of Hernandez's 105 pitches were strikes, and 5 of his outs were strike-outs. Cordero, as always made it interesting in the ninth (by giving up 2 hits or walks), but unlike always, he wasn't able to finish off the other side, make up for his mistakes (4th blown save). Cordero came in to pitch the ninth and faced four batters. Off of 7 pitches, 5 strikes, the Braves batters knocked in 2 hits, and 1 run to tie the game. Cordero finished the ninth and was replaced by Stanton for the 10th inning. Stanton also pitched to 4 batters, and also picked up a earned run to add to his ERA, but this one was the winning run, so he picked up the loss (Ayala inherited Stanton's runners, and walked in the winning run).

Hernandez tried to help his cause by getting 1 hit in 3 at-bats (and scoring the Nationals second and ultimately final run), but the rest of the offense was mostly slight (Wilkerson had 3 hits in 5 AB's and already mentioned Guillen's 2 hits in 4 ABs). The Nationals took the lead early, scoring 1 run in the second and the 5th, but that was the extent of their offense. Pitching kept the team in the game, and eventually, that 2 run margin wasn't enough. The Braves hit a home-run in the 7th, and scored two more runs, 1 in the 9th, and the winning run in the tenth.

ESPN box score. Nationals.com recap (Just because, here is the write-up by the Brave's MLB.com writer). WashingtonTimes.com's recap. (and if you haven't read it: Boswell's "Giving Away Games in the Worst Way" Column from July 19th).

Ladson blames the loss on the bullpen, and they did give up two runs, but the Nationals offense should have been able to manage more than 2 runs, even with Preston Wilson warming the bench (Wilkerson played LF and Church played CF).

Sources suspect that Larkin won't come out of retirement.

Tonight's Game: Nationals.com preview, ESPN stat pack not available.
Loaiza (6-6, 3.56) vs. Hudson (7-5, 3.59). Loaiza tries to over come his 4.94 2-4 record on the road and return the Nationals to first place against Hudson's 2.91 4-1 home record. To restate the preceding sentence: The Nationals will start a pitcher that is worse on the road against a pitcher that is better at home, in Atlanta.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Notes: Tommy Johns - Let me Help You!, Barry Larkin - Move over Guzman! (though, as it should be, it's up to my wife)

For some reason, despite playing poorly, the Nationals can't seem to get rid of that first place label. They keep losing players (see Guillen, after a long list of others), keep failing to score runs, keep lowering their earned run average, keep . . . oops, did I say keep lowering their ERA? Well, it would appear that the Nationals do want to keep in the games and win, at least the pitching and the GM feel this need. Don't get me wrong, the batters also want to win, but are any of them 100% healthy? Guillen, Castilla, Nick Johnson, Junior Spivey, Ryan Church, Wilkerson, Vidro are all less than 100% healthy. Schneider keeps getting hit by pitches, is he 100% healthy? Well, Johnson apparently will be back today, Guillen promises to be back by Thursday (""I'm not going to let the people in Washington D.C. down. We have come too far to let them down," Guillen said on the telephone. "I played with a broken hamate bone in the past. I should be able to play with [the wrist injury]."), the rest? Well, they keep playing with pain.

Well, now the 55-44 Nationals are tied for first with the Braves, 3.5 games in front of the Phillies (52-48), 4 games in front of the Mets (51-48), and 4.5 games in front of the Marlins (49-47). Anyone remember when the Nationals had a comfortable margin in first?

The Nationals will play their next three games, starting tonight, in fellow first-place Atlanta, then will visit the last place Marlins (just 4.5 back) for three games (by the way, don't try to find those Braves games, apparently the only station that will be carrying the games will be something called MASN, that isn't the George Mason University channel, is it? Do I have to enroll in Mason U to see the Nationals games?). So, tied with the Braves, and 4.5 games in front of the Marlins before playing six straight games against them. Anyone think that the Nationals will be 6 games up in the NL East by the time that road trip is done (they host six games at home with LA Dodgers and the Padres after the road trip)? No one thinks that they will be six games down, do they?

Well, on the odd chance you couldn't find it/haven't read it already, here is the Nationals.com preview for tonight's game, which will feature a 12-4 Liven Hernandez (my knee hurts) and a 11-5 John Smoltz (wait, don't I close?). Here's a quote from that article: ""Offensively, we are trying to hit the ball too far, trying to hit the long ball. You have to deal with the situation as it is. If it calls for a single, you try for a single. It's not pressing. It's just not hitting what the game calls for." -- Hitting coach Tom McCraw, on the Nationals' offense." How about the ESPN preview, anyone care for that? Anyone actually read it (other than me, I mean)? Well, here it is, right here. Oh, thanks CNNSI. Ok, the Probables are: 1st game: Hernadez-Smoltz match-up, then Loaiza-Hudson, and finally Drese and Hampton will finish out the series.

Oh, and before I forget, 62 year-old LHP Tommy John wants to help the Nationals batters get better against LHP. He wants to pitch batting practice, or so says today's editon of "The Hill" (print edtion, is that on-line?). SS Barry (ask my wife) Larkin might return, this year, and take over SS. Any chance this pitcher that pitched until he was 46 would want to more directly help the team, like coming out of retirement?

One last note: Why are the Nationals currently 55-44, and the high-priced Orioles 50-48 (and 3.5 games back in third)? What happened to my Nationals-Orioles World Series match-up?

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Pictures from Saturday's Game & Notes from Sunday

Well, here's a test. I haven't been able to get the sizing issue taken care of yet.

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Welcome screen.
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pregame screens - notice the pitch count screen (between the beer sign and the Toyota sign, near foul poll).
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Pregame: Jamaican band.

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Nationals bullpen.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com This is around 8:21
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This is the 4th innings. As you can see, there is the scoreboard (showing the 4th inning information), the screen that currently says "Nationals" is where player pictures and the like appear.


The Nationals scored first in the 5th inning, and then Houston tied the game 1-1 in the 6th. The game went into extra innings. Game now in the 14th inning, tied 1-1. Update: Top of 14th, 2 on, two outs for Astros.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Braves come back from behind and win

Nationals still tied with Atlanta after the Braves came back from behind and beat the Diamondbacks 3-2. Arizona had scored the first run of the game in the 6th inning, but the Braves quickly answered with 2 runs in the top of the 7th. The Diamondbacks could not respond until the bottom of the 8th, but kept the Braves off the board until then. Arizona tied up the game in the bottom of the 8th by scoring one extra run, but the Braves came back and scored another run to take the lead. They completed the win by keeping the Diamondbacks scoreless in the ninth. Reitsma won the game and is now 2-2, while Valverde was credited for the loss and drops to 1-4. Also of note is the only home-run of the game, hit by Andrew Jones, giving him 30 home-runs for the year.

ESPN box score.


Nationals win 4-2, Losing streak ends at 3

27 year old Tony Armas, jr. pitched seven solid innings, giving up just 2 runs (2-run home-run in the 6th inning), only 3 walks and struck out 5 batters off of 111 pitches (71 strikes), lowered his era to 4.73 and won his 5th game and is now 5-4 (as the radio just noted, Armas is 4-0 at home and has an era of 2.87 at home before tonight). Joey Eischen relieved Armas and gave up 1 hit, and then was relieved by Majewski, who pitched 1 solid inning striking out 1. Chad "Chief" Cordero came in for the ninth and recorded his 34 save (leads majors). As always, he made it interesting by giving up two hits, but also struck out 2 and didn't let a runner score.


Highlights from the Game:
First inning: Baerga doubled and 3 runs scored (Wilkerson, Gullien, and Wilson).
First Inning: Schneider singles and Baerga scores.
Sixth Inning: Berkman hits 2-run home-run.

Player of the Game:
For his tireless work and double that scored three runs, I'll call Baerga my player of the game.

First Place:
For the moment the Nationals are now solely in first place, 1/2 game over the Braves. The Braves game is currently on-going in Arizona. After 2 innings, the game remains tied at 0-0.

Next Game:
Sunday: Patterson (4-2, 2.69 ERA) vs. Rodriquez (5-4, 6.79 era). Last game of the 4 game series. ESPN stat pack.

Old Nationals players helping their old team:
As an Nationals article notes: the Nationals remained in first after losing last night because ex-Nationals Claudio Vargas pitched the Arizona team over the Braves team last night.


Game has started . . .

Washington (54-43) vs. Houston (50-46) series continues with starters Tony Armas and Brandon Backe (8-6, 4.87; converted infielder).

Before the start of the game: Mets win against Dodgers 7-5. Phillies win against Padres 2-0.
After the game?: Atlanta vs. Arizona game starts at 9:40 pm EST. Florida's game against the Giants starts at 10:15 pm tonight.

GameCast. Scoreboard.

Note: Started at 7:10 pm, went to eat supper - 8:40, game not over yet (starting 6th).

Today's Nationals Line-up:
1. Wilkerson 1B .264 (back to top spot) 102 Ks
2. Vidro 2B .275
3. Guillen RF .302
4. Church LF .319
5. Wilson CF .261
6. Baerga 3B .284
7. Schneider C .278
8. Guzman SS .190
9. Armas P .150


Top Half:
Aramas pitching:

- 2 out walk to Berkman, just like what happened yesterday. And Ensberg up. The guy that hit that 2-out home-run yesterday. Good Berkman is forced OUT. Radio is certainly faster than the Internet . . . the Internet still hasn't processed the out yet.

Armas pitched solid 1st inning.
1 IP 1 BB 19 pitches, 12 strikes - 4.88 ERA

Score: 0-0

Bottom Half:
Backe pitching:

- Wilkerson leads off with a WALK. 0-0
- Vidro strikes OUT. 0-1
- Guillen - ground rule double (Wilkerson to third) . 1-1
- Church - Fly OUT. Biggio goes out into center to get the ball. Wilkerson does not score. 0-1
- Wilson - 2-out WALK. 0-0 - Bases Loaded.
- Baerga - Fly ball 2-out DOUBLE: Wilkerson, Guillen, Wilson Score
- Schneider - 2- out RBI Single: Baerga scores; Schneider to 2B after throw. (Radio - Schneider credited with Double - "but that can't be right". . . "it is a single")
- Guzman - 1 for last 23, 3 for last 33; Foul Ball - caught - OUT.

Backe: 1 IP 3 H 4 ER 2 BB 1 SO 36 pitches, 19 strikes. ERA now 5.14.

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0


Top half:
Armas pitching:

- Lane - Fly out to Vidro - OUT
- Everett - HBP to 1B
- Burke - Strikes out - Aramas first K of game - OUT
- Quintero - Strikes out - Aramas 2nd K of game - OUT

Aramas: 2 IP 1 BB 2 SO 33 pitches, 22 strikes, ERA now 4.81.

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0

Bottom half:
Backe pitching:

- Armas - Ground-out to 3B - OUT
- Wilkerson - 2nd AB - hits towards 1B - OUT (3-4-1)
- Vidro - OUT

Backe: 2 IP 3 H 4 ER 2 BB 1 SO 43 pitches, 25 strikes, ERA now 5.10.

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0


Top Half:
Armas pitches:

you can get Screech at your next event . . .

- Backe - line-drive to RF - OUT
- Taveras - grounded out to 3B first time up - to 2B but gotten by 1B - OUT
(manager argues that Taveras beat/tied Aramas to 1B)
- Biggio - WALKED
- Berkman - Guzman catches fly ball - OUT

Armas: 3 IP 2 BB 2 SO 50 pitches, 32 strikes, ERA now 4.74.

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0

Bottom Half:
Backe Pitching:

- Guillen - fly out to SS OUT
- Church - WALK (3rd by Backe) - OUT trying to steal second during Wilson's AB
- Wilson - WALK
- Baerga - Single, Wilson to 2B
- Schneider - pop up to Biggio - OUT

Backe: 3 IP 4 H 4 ER 4 BB 1 SO 64 pitches, 35 strikes, ERA now 5.05.

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0


Top half:
Armas pitching:

- Ensberg - Line-drive to Baerga - OUT
- Lane - Church makes catch - OUT
- Everett - OUT

ARMAS: 4 IP 2 BB 2 SO 63 pitches, 41 strikes, ERA now 4.67

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0

Bottom Half:
Backe pitching:

- Guzman - ground ball to SS - OUT
- Armas - OUT
- Wilkerson - OUT

Backe: 4 IP 4 H 4 ER 4 BB 1 SO 69 pitches, 38 strikes, ERA now 5.01.

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0

Armas pitching:

- Burke - Baerga gets ball - OUT
- Quintero - Strike-OUT (3rd for Armas)
- Backe - Strike-OUT (4th for Armas)

Armas: 5 IP 2 BB 4 SO 78 pitches, 51 strikes, ERA now 4.61

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0

Bottom fifth inning:
Backe pitching:

- Vidro - Foul down 3rd base-line caught - OUT
- Guillen - Biggio catches ball in CF - OUT
- Church - line-drive to RF - 2-out DOUBLE
- Wilson - to 3B - OUT

Backe: 5 IP 5 H 4 ER 4 BB 1 SO 82 pitches, 46 strikes, ERA now 4.97.

Score: Nationals: 4; Astros: 0


Going to eat supper, so have to stop: GO NATIONALS!

don't blame me for the 2-run home-run as I haven't been able to leave yet . . .


Atlanta just came from behind . . . Pushed the game to extra innings, but Lost! Nationals are still in first!

and tied the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the 9th inning. The Diamondbacks had scored first with 2 runs in the 3rd, then added two more in the 5th, and seemingly put it away with 1 more in the 7th, bringing the score to 5-0 at the beginning of the 8th. The Braves were not content to fade away and scored 1 run in the 8th, kept the Diamondbacks from getting insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th, and have currently scored 4 runs in the top of the ninth to even the scoring to 5-5. There is now one out in the top of the 9th. If Atlanta wins, Washington falls to second place, but if they lose, Washington remains tied for first.

One man on first, 1 out, top of the ninth, is ESPN reloading? Yes, the website just reloaded. Jones is currently batting for Atlanta and has 1 ball and 0 strikes against him.

In other news, while I wait for the Braves game to update again, the Philies won 8-6 against the Padres after scroing 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th. If you care about Baltimore (good/bad), they lost 7-5 against Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay. Boston lost. More importantly, the NY Mets lost 6-5 against the the LA Dodgers. Toronto lost and the New York Yankees are currently losing to the LA Angles 6-3 in the bottom of the 7th. Scrolling down the page and I find that Jones still has 1 ball and 0 strikes. Ok, did it start raining in Arizona, or something? Scrolling down further, I notice that Florida also lost today. So far none of the NL East teams have won today except the Phillies. To bad the Braves had to go and score four runs in the top of the ninth and potentially ruin this trend. Page reloading . . . and Jones now has two balls in his favor, and zero strikes against him. Either Cormier is something of a slow pitcher, or the updates just take a little while to turn up.

Ok, who is it exactly that is pitching for Arizona right now? Oh, I see, strange. Nevermind, the Braves part of the inning is finally over, without any idea of how or what happened, and now the Arizona team is fighting for their team and us in the bottom of the ninth. Ok, now it's updating quickly, 1 quick out for the Diamondbacks. This is very confusing. The Diamondbacks part of the inning just started, then 1 out appeared on the scoreboard, and at the same time one runner appeared on first base. Not exactly sure what is going on. Hope that runner on first is real and not a phantom. Ack, 2 outs now. Come on McCracken! Win it for your team, and the Nationals! 1 ball, 1 strike, 2 outs, some phantom runner on first, Kolb pitching. Now 2 balls . . . 2 strikes . . . And I now the updating has frozen, must mean something has happened, hopefully McCracken just hit a home-run. Nope, just another ball. Why would it freeze up to display a third ball? Full count, 2 outs, runner on first, come on McCracken! Well, there goes that inning. McCracken or the runner got out somehow, and now we move into the 10th inning.

As we take this break to observe nothing seeming to happen, I'll take this opportunity to recommend a great Nationals blog that tracks the Nationals minor leagues. A link to this blog can be find in the links section, right below the link to the Nationals minor leagues. And . . . wait, the 11th inning details have started to appear, and it seems that the Braves already have two out against them. Now Atlanta's Furcal faces Arizona's Cormier. Furcal has gone 2-5 with 1 run and 1 rbi. Corimer has pitched 1.1 innings, and strike-out 1 batter (and given up zero runs). Well, back to that blog that I was mentioning, it is called "Nationals Farm Authority." Check it out, quite interesting. Back to the game, 2 balls, 2 strikes, 2 outs . . . 3 balls . . . waiting . . . and Furcal's on first . . . can't tell, probably a walk. Now it's Johnson's turn at the plate. So far today Johnson has gone 2-5 with 2 runs, 1 double, 1 HR and 3 RBI. He now has 1 strike against him. Now two strikes. What's this "RealTime" like on ESPN's scoreboard, and why does it have that little IN symbol next to it, noting that it is a pay service? Has this Atlanta game already been concluded? Am I wasting time "watching" an already concluded game? Well, whatever is going on, at some point Johnson moved to 1 ball and 2 strikes (maybe hours ago, maybe minutes ago). Ah good, Johnson or Furcal became the third out of this inning. Now it's the Diamondback's chance. Oh, and right next to the little scoreboard saying "Middle of 10th" for many minutes, is the scoreboard that says "6-3 Angels over the Yankees, top of the ninth, 2 balls, 2 strikes, 2 outs, Jeter at the plate" (actually, that is not displayed in those exact words). Still the middle of the 10th. Waiting . . . Angels beat the Yankees . . . And now the Diamondbacks part of the inning finally begins! And Ends! I don't know how, but in about 1 second, the Diamondbacks scored a run, thereby ending the game in there favor, but more importantly, in the Nationals best outcome! Nationals are still in first! Tied, but still in first!

Friday, July 22, 2005


Nationals Lose 14-1

An experiment: A running log from RFK (written by hand, then transferred to computer).

Once again I've arrived very early (around 5:45) and eat supper. At 6:30 a special Hawaiian performance began, to celebrate Aloha Friday (I later learned that the Governor of Hawaii had proclaimed today Washington Nationals Day). The performance went from 6:30 to 6:42 and involved 4 dancers dancing on top of each dugout (8 total), six dancers behind home plate and 3 singers playing guitar-like instruments. The singers mostly sang in Hawaiian. After the performance, a Hawaiian Senator presented the proclamation that announced that today was Nationals Day, and then threw out a ceremonial first pitch at 6:44 pm. Then the "Instant Hawaiian Get-away Sweepstakes" five days, 4-night vacation was given away. There were four finalists, and the winner was announced at 6:46 pm. There were not a lot of fans yet at the game, too bad.

Around 6:55 Brianna Berry sang the National Anthem and then an Eagle Scout threw out another ceremonial first pitch.

First Inning: Ryan Drese pitching. Is able to get two outs, but then gives up a two run home run to Ensberg. The home run hit high up the Geico sign in left field. The next batter gets a hit (at this point, Drese has only thrown 14 pitches). Next batter: great catch by Guillen ends the top half of the inning. Total pitches by Drese: 15. SCORE: 2 Astros, 0 Nationals

Bottom half of first inning: Roger Clemens pitching.

Carroll at the plate:
1st pitch - 93 mph: ball
2nd pitch - 91 mph: ball
3rd pitch - 90 mph: strike
4th pitch - 93 mph: ball
5th pitch - 84 mph: Carroll pops up to the second baseman. 1 Out

Vidro at the plate:
6th pitch - 90 - ball
7th pitch - 88 - strike
8th pitch - 88 - hit right to the second baseman. 2 outs.

Guillen at the plate:
9th pitch - 93 - Single to right field - broken bat.

Church at the plate:
10th pitch - 75 - Strike (high)
11th pitch - 93 - ball
(Clemens throws to first: "should have been a balk")
12th pitch - 93 - strike
13th pitch - 94 - foul ball
14th pitch - 87 - foul
15th - 88- swinging strikeout. 3 Outs.

Top of 2nd: Drese (rhymes with greasy) Pitching:
1st batter: 5 pitches - Out
2nd batter: 3 pitches - Out
3rd batter: 4 pitches (Clemens) - Out
Ends inning on 27th pitch

Bottom of 2nd: Clemens:

Wilson - .264
16th pitch - 93 - ball (1)
17th pitch - 91 - ball (2)
18th - 92 - Foul (Strike 1)
19th - 94 - Ball (high; 3)
20th - 93 - foul (2)
21st - 93 - Called Strike out. 1 out

Wilkerson - .267
22nd pitch - 93 - strike (1)
23rd pitch - 92 - strike (2)
24th pitch - 91 - called strike out. 2 out.

Schneider - .283
25th - 85 - Strike
26th - 93 - Strike
27th - 79 - Ground out to second baseman

Top of 3rd: Drese: Starts with 28 pitch
1st batter: 2 pitches - hit to short center Single
2nd batter: 3 pitches (1st batter picked off base before 31st pitch - Out "he was safe") - hit to short center Single
3rd batter: 5 pitches - hit
4th batter: 5 pitches - Strikeout. 1 Out
5th batter: 1 pitch - hit - 1 RBI
6th batter: 3 pitches - Out

Pitch Count: 46 pitches for Drese

Bottom 3rd: Clemens:

Guzman - .188
28th pitch - ball (1)
29th pitch - foul (1)
30th pitch - 73 - ball (2)
31st pitch - 87 - ball (3)
32nd pitch - 88 - ball (4) - Walk.

Drese - .000
33rd pitch - 92 - Sac Bunt - Guzman to 2nd. Out

Carroll - .254
34th pitch - 92 - strike (1)
35th pitch - 87 - strike (2)
36th pitch - Foul

All Score-board Screens Lost power as the 36th pitch was heading home.

37th pitch - ball (1)
38th pitch - Strike Out swinging. Out.

39th pitch - Strike (1)
40th pitch - Strike (2)
41st pitch - Foul
42nd pitch - Ball (1)
43rd pitch - Ball (2)
44th pitch - Foul
45th pitch - Foul
46th pitch - Ball (3)
47th pitch - Ball 4 - Walk

48th pitch - Strike (swinging at a low pitch, probably a ball)
49th pitch - Strike (again, swinging at a low pitch, probably a ball)
50th pitch - Ball (inside)
51st pitch - ball (inside)
52nd pitch - Foul
53rd - Swing Strike - Out (again, swinging at a low pitch that was probably a ball). Third Out.

Top of Fourth: Drese Pitching.

47th pitch - 88 - hit - down left field line DOUBLE

(Power briefly back, though boards will continue to have problems all game).

Ausmus - .238
48th pitch - 80 - Ball (1)
49th pitch - 88 - ball (2)
50th pitch - 85 - foul (1)
51st pitch - 81 - Fly out to Center Fielder -> RUNNER TO THIRD 1 OUT

Clemens - .250
52nd - 81 - Strike (1)
53rd - Strike (2)

Boards Acting Funny again

54th pitch - Strike Out Looking. 2 OUT

Taveras - .295 (Boards back on - off by one pitch?)
55th pitch - 81 - Strike (1)
56th pitch - 90 - Ball (1)
57th pitch - 81 - foul (2)
58th pitch - 82 - Foul
59th pitch - 92 - Out - hit to Guzman. 3 OUTs

Bottom 4th: Clemens pitching.

Church - .312
54th pitch - 86 - Strike (1)
55th pitch - hit through in field into RF SINGLE

Wilson - .264
56th pitch - 89 - Foul (1)
57th - 93 - ball (1)
58th - 88 - Strike (2)
59th - 88 - ball (2)
60th - 92 - Foul
61st - 91 - foul
62nd - 88 - ball (3)
63rd - 93 - Foul (Church running, had to return)
64th - Strike Out Swinging 1 OUT

Church Stole 2nd on the 64th pitch

Wilkerson - .266
65th - 93 - Ball (1)
66th - 90 - Ball (2)
67th - 90 - Foul (1)
68th - 92 - Ball (3)
69th - 94 - Foul (2)
70th - 93 - Strike out swinging. 2 OUT

Schneider - .282
71st pitch - 92 - Strike (Inside; 1)
72nd - 93 - Foul (2)
73rd - 94 - Foul
74th - 94 - Strike Out Swinging. 3 OUTS

Top 5th: Drese Pitching:

Biggio - .282
60th pitch - 89 - Fly OUT to LF 1 OUT

Berkman - .312
61st - 90 - Ball (Inside)
62nd - 81 - Ground OUT to 1st base. 2 OUT

Engberg - .289
63rd pitch - 80 - Fly OUT to Center.

Bottom 5th: Clemens Pitching

75th pitch - 91 - Foul (1)
76th - 78 - Strike (2)
77th - 87 - Ball (1)
78th - 83 - Foul
79th - 94 - Swinging Strike out (High, would probably have been a ball) 1 OUT

80th pitch - 93 - Foul down the left field line - CAUGHT - 2 OUT

81st pitch - 93 - Ball (1)
82nd pitch - 91 - Foul (1)
83rd pitch - 91 - Ball (2)
84th pitch - ball (3)
85th pitch - 92 - Ball Four WALK

86th pitch - 75 - Ball
87th - 87 - Fly OUT to Right. 3 OUTs

Top of Sixth: Drese Pitching

Lane - .245
64th - 80 - Strike
65th - 80 - DOUBLE to center field

Everett - .242
66th - 89 - Foul
67th - 81 - To SS - FC - Lane OUT at 3rd -> Everett safe at 1B

Burke - .263
68th pitch - 80 - Ball (1)
Everett Stole 2nd base on pitch 68
69th pitch - 80 - Foul (1)
70th pitch - 90 - down middle - 2B to 1B - 2nd OUT
Everett to 3rd on play.

Ausmus - .237
71st -> 74th pitch - IBB WALK

75th pitch - Strike (1)
Double Steal on pitch 75 - Everett SCORES
76th pitch - 90 - foul (2)
77th pitch - Foul
78th pitch - 87 - ball (1)
79th pitch - 81 - foul
80th pitch - 91 - foul
81st pitch - Strike OUT 3 OUTs

SCORE: 3 Astros, 0 Nationals

Bottom Sixth: Clemens Pitches:

88th - 86 - Foul (1)
89th - 86 - Foul (2)
90th - 86 - Hit - DOUBLE - hits left field fence (under the N in Nationals)

91st - 93 - Strike (LOW; 1)
92nd - 92 - Foul (2)
93rd - 91 - HBP

94th - 83 mph - Strike (1)
95th - 90 - Strike (2)
96th - 92 - Foul
97th - 85 - Ball (on ground)
98th - 87 - Strike OUT swinging. 1 OUT

99th - 93 mph - Strike (1)
100th - 93 - Fly OUT to LF. 2 OUTS

101st - 93 - Fly OUT to LF. 3 OUTS

TOP 7th: Drese pitches

82nd - 89 - HIT to RF - SINGLE

83rd - 85 - Ball (1)
84th - 90 - Strike (1)
85th - 91 - POP OUT to CF. 1 OUT

86th - 89 - Strike (1)
87th - 87 - Foul (2)
88th - 90 - Ball (2)
89th - 86 - SINGLE to RF - Taveras to 3rd


1st pitch - 85 - Strike (1)
2nd pitch - 85 - Off of glove of Carroll SINGLE - Taveras SCORES

3rd pitch - 91 - Strike (1)
4th pitch - Strike (2)
5th - 74 - Ball (1)
6th - 89 - Fly Ball down line - DOUBLE
Ensberg and Berkman SCORE

7th pitch - 93 mph - Strike (1)
8th pitch - 84 - passed ball - Lane to 3rd
9th pitch - 84 - Pop OUT to CF - 2 OUTS
Runner tags up and SCORES

10th pitch - 93 - Ball (1)
11th pitch - 93 - ball (2)
12th pitch - 93 - Fly OUT to LF. 3 OUTS

SCORE: 7 Astros, 0 Nationals

The Hawaiian performers sing the "Take me out to the Ballpark" song.

Bottom 7th: Chad Qualls relieves Clemens

1 - Strike (1)
2 - ball (1)
3 - Strike (2)
4 - HIT - TRIPLE (if I recall correctly - the ball was hit to the right field)

5 - Strike
6- hit back to pitcher - 1 OUT

7 -GOUND OUT to 1B - 2 OUTS

8 - GROUND OUT to 2B - 3 OUTS

Top of the 8th: Kim Pitches

Name of player?
13th pitch - 93 - hit through SS SINGLE

14th pitch - Ball (1)
15th pitch - 92 - Foul (1)
16th pitch - 84 - Ball (2)
17th pitch - 91 - strike (2)
18th - 73 - DOUBLE

19th - 83 - Strike
20th - 93 - Ball
21st - 91 - hit to SS - throw to 1B - SAFE

22nd pitch - 92 - Foul
23rd - 84 - Pop OUT to CF 1 OUTS
Palmerio to Third base

24th - HR (2 run - I had it down as a 3 run home-run -> did I fall asleep and miss another player reach base before this HR?)
Runners SCORE

25th - Ball
26th - Strike
27th - Ball
28th - Ball
29th - Strike
30th - GROUND RULE- DOUBLE (bounced over LF Fence)

Lane -
31st - 93 - Strike
32nd - 90 - Pop OUT to CF 2 OUTS

33rd - Ball
34th - Ball
35th - Ground OUT to 3rd Base. 3 OUTS

SCORE: 10 Astros, 0 Nationals

Bottom of 8th: Wheeler Relieves Qualls

Baerga pinch hits - .277
1 - 89 - Ball (1)
2 - 87 - Foul (1)
3 - 82 - Ball (2)
4 - 88 - Foul (2)
5 - 88 - Foul
6 - 88 - Foul
7 - 82 - SINGLE to hole in LF

8 - 88 - Foul
9 - 76 - Foul
10 - 87 - Ball (high)
11 - 88 - DOULBE hits right before Budlight sign in LF

12 - 83 - Strike - Called
13 - 80 - Strike - Called
14 - 87 - Foul
15 - Foul
16 - 83 - ball (1) in dirt
17 - 89 0 Strike OUT called. 1 OUT


1 - ball
2 - Pop up in outfield - 2b catches it. 1 OUT

3 - Strike 1
4 - ball 1
5 - strike 2
6 - ball 2
7 - foul
8 - pop OUT to LF

SCORE: 10 Astros, 1 Nationals

PAID ATTENDENCE ANNOUNCED: 38,019 - bringing total attendance to 1,600,812 (and surprising number still in stadium)

Top 9th: Kim still pitcher

36th - HBP

37th - Hit to CF - Center fielder dove for the ball, almost caught it, but misses - SINGLE

38th - ball
39th - strike
40th - ball
41st - strike
42nd - SINGLE down gab between 1B and 2B

At some point Kim is relieved by AYALA and the Astros win 14-1, but we left right at this point (with the score 12-1, I thought, so it would appear that I've missed two runs during all the distractions).

The game was very very hot and humid and there were a lot of problems with the score boards (losing power, putting up the wrong pitch count, strike/balls count). It was nice to know what the actual pitch count and what the balls-strikes during the power outage, but this was probably a lot more work than it was worth (especially as I appear to have missed runs).

Sorry, there was a lot of bolding that I was going to do, but I can't seem to bold just the parts that I want without accidently bolding the entire document, probably the late hour.


Another New Line-up, Another Loss; Nationals Now Tied for First

The Game:
The Nationals were shut-out for most of the game, and only were able to score runs off of a two-run home-run by Preston Wilson with one out in the ninth inning. The score then stood at 2-3 (Nationals-Astros) with just 1 out in the bottom of the ninth with Wilkerson and Schneider up next. Wilkerson grounded out to second and Schneider flied out to right field.

Going beyond the ninth inning: Loaiza pitched 4 score-less innings, and almost a 5th, but an unearned run scored off of a Baerga error. He then gave up a home run and another run in the 6th, pitched a score-less 7th, and then was relieved by Eischen for the 8th and by Carrasco for the ninth (both pitched a solid inning of no-run allowed ball). So, Loaiza’s line: 7 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 SO, 1 HR, 107 pitches.

The new new line-up:
1. Carroll SS .255 -> 1 for 3, 1 HBP
2. Vidro 2B .280 -> 1 for 4 (1 LOB)
3. Guillen RF .299 -> 0 for 4 (1 LOB)
4. Church LF .314 -> 1 for 4 (1 LOB) 1 run
5. Wilson CF .264 -> 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 Run
6. Wilkerson 1B .267 -> 1 for 4, (1 LOB)
7. Schneider C .283 -> 2 for 4
8. Baerga 3B -> 0 for 2 (1 LOB) , 1 HBP
9. Pitcher (Loaiza .225 -> 0 for 2 (3 LOB))

ESPN.com’s box score; Nationals.com’s recap.

Some Notes, and a plea:
Wilson can sometimes a little alarming stumbling around the outfield, but he tends to end up with the ball (though not always) and he has been able to match Guillen’s home-run total at RFK stadium. As the non-waiver trade deadline fast approaches, I humbly submit a request for an additional high average batter. RFK is an "average" home-run park of yesteryear, when batters tended to try to hit home-runs down the line. 335 feet down the line, as the writing on the wall seems to indicate, is not really that far for a home-run to travel. Today’s batter, though, has been taught to try to not hit a long foul ball (which is a risk if you try to hit a home-run along the line), but instead to try to hit a home-run between the second mark and the third mark on the outfield wall (the first mark: 335 feet, then 380, then 410 at RFK). There appears to be a lot of room and gaps out there for a very good hitter to try to squeeze in some hits. So, please, find a high batting average hitter that can take advantage of these gaps. The power is nice, and Wilson’s home-run and the other home-run of the game, by the other team, provided 3 of the 4 earned runs. But, maybe a high-batting average hitter is more appropriate with the field that the Nationals will call home until around 2008 (or longer).

Injury Report:
Hernandez will not have that surgery (ESPN.com’s columns/articles about the issue). Johnson was seen taking batting practice and running the bases (not by me, but by Bill Ladson, as mentioned in his article).

Tonight’s Game:
Roger Clemens (7-4; 1.47 era) and his .189 opposing batters average starts for the Astros. Ryan Drese (7-8; 5.47 era) tries to keep the game interesting and starts for the Nationals. The only thing that can be said is that both starting pitchers have the same number of wins.
Nationals.com preview and the ESPN stat pack.

Kenny Kelly:
Here is a link to Kelly’s Nationals.com webpage. 26 year-old Kelly has managed to appear in 8 games this season (10 total) and has an on-base-percentage (OBP) of .333 (.300 career). That .333 also applies to his SLG and AVG percentages (just as that .300 applies to SLG and AVG). He has 9 at-bats this year, 3 hits, 2 RBI, 3 SO and 1 CS. Career? He has one more AB that does not change any of the non-average statistics.

The Nationals were a 1/2 game up on the Braves going into last nights game. Atlanta did not play and the Nationals lost, so they are now tied for the NL East Division lead.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


New Line-up Record: 1-1: Nationals Lose to Worst Road Team; Stanton 10th player to Reach 1000 Appearances; W. Cordero Dropped, Kelly Added; SS Larkin?

The first series in this Home stand, duped "Swamp Series 1" is now over. The Nationals lost the series 2-1 against the worst road team in MLB (I might be wrong about that, but they are at least one of the worst road teams). Houston, a team on a hot streak, arrives in RFK tonight for 4 games (over four days, not 4 games in one day) in "Swamp Series 2" (Washington, DC was built on a swamp, the Washington Monument is sinking, and the weather on Monday and Tuesday was rather swampy).

Notes from the Wednesday Game: Several Nationals hit very long fly-outs that would have been home-runs in other, more "modern" ball-parks, proving Boswell and his e-mail column correct (interesting and timely - it was about the outfield distance marks, and how they are probably incorrect by about 10 feet). One such player was Preston Wilson, who hit a towering fly ball about 400 or 408 feet to center field, which ended up being an out as that particular fence has written on it "410 feet." Hernandez hit four batters (hopefully not because Schneider was hit two times in the previous game) and still hasn't reached that 13th win. Wednesday waiver wire pick-up OF Kenny Kelly entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, with 2 outs already recorded. He took over the running duties (pinch runner) for Baerga. He took a rather long lead from first base, but was neither picked off nor moved further than that base before the game was over. Two more highlights from the game: 1) Stanton seems to either pitch to one batter and give up a hit or a balk and end up with 0 IP next to his name in the box score, or he pitches a very solid inning in his four appearances for the Nationals. Fortunately for Stanton, he pitched a very solid 1 hit/1 strike-out/no runners scored 1 inning of baseball in the 9th (just 9 pitches tossed towards the catcher) in his 1000th career appearance in a game (Stanton article). 2) Church was allowed to stay in the game, late, and proved that he can hit in the ninth (a double). ESPN.com's box score. Nationals.com's recap.

Wil Cordero, who never was able to get a hit as a pinch-hitter, is now "off the roster" (the Nationals do have 10 days to try to get someone to trade for him, or to release him or to place him in the minors). As the Nationals.com article notes: "Cordero, who was the heart and soul of the 2003 Expos, hit .118 (6-for-51) with two RBIs in 29 games for the Nationals this season. He went 0-for-14 as a pinch-hitter and 0-for-18 with runners in scoring position. He also spent a lot of time on the disabled list because of a left knee injury."

Nationals.com notes about the Wil Cordero-Kelly issue (also included in those notes is an injury report on Johnson - won't run the bases until the end of the week).

For those that recall Church being pulled late in the game on Monday: "Ryan Church had a cramp in his right leg, and Marlon Byrd had to replace Church in the top of the ninth."

SS Barry Larkin: SS Barry Larkin, currently a special assistant to the general manager noted that he is thinking about making a come-back with the Nationals. As the "Notes" linked above note: "According to a baseball source, Larkin would be the everyday shortstop, and Guzman would remain on the bench and be a late-inning replacement on defense" and "Also according to the source, Larkin's wife, Lisa, will make the final decision as to whether or not Larkin will un-retire."

Minor league pitchers Joe Horgan and Jacobo Sequea:
They have been "outrighted" to the teams they are currently playing for (New Orleans or Harrisburg), meaning that they are now off the Nationals 40 man roster.

First page of ESPN.com's Baseball Section: Article titled "All About Heart: The personality and profile of a winning team is often defined by the nothing-to-lose player commonly known as the "grunt." - Jamey Carroll is one of the "grunts" in the article.

Houston Series: Washington (54-41; still in first) vs. Houston (48-46)
Tonight: Loaiza (6-5) vs. Roy Oswalt (12-8) Nationals.com preview; ESPN Stat pack.
Friday: Drese (7-8) vs. Roger Clemens (7-4)
Saturday: Armas (4-4) vs. Backe (8-6)
Sunday: Patterson (4-2) vs. Rodriquez (5-4)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


New Line-up = Win in the Second Game of the Home Stand in RFK Otherwise Known as "Swamp"

After losing their starting pitcher early in the first game of the series (due to the weather conditions - as the ESPN.com's recap notes: "With the temperature 87 at the start, Nationals right-hander Tony Armas Jr. left because of dizziness and dehydration after throwing 31 pitches"; the Nationals lost a very close game 5-4, read about it in the ESPN.com's recap), the Nationals found themselves a starter that thrived in the extremely hot and humid conditions (both games had a temperature of 87, though Monday's game seemed to be slightly more unbearable). John Patterson pitched 8 very solid shut-out innings, and faced 1 batter in the ninth. Mike Stanton replaced Patterson for one batter in the ninth (who also got on base off of just one Stanton pitch) and then Cordero saved his 33rd game by getting three quick outs. Also in the game was former Nationals pitcher Zach Day, who faced four batters in the 8th, recorded no outs, and gave up 2 runs off of three hits and 1 walk.

After hitting 1.000 on Monday, Catcher Brian Schneider hit .500 on Tuesday, raising his 2005 average to .283. Schneider ended up with 1 hit and 1 RBI, and zero walks. He played the full game. So, how did he end up hitting .500? The Rockies starting pitcher hit Schneider in two consecutive at-bats (once around the hands area and once in the feet area: at least that is the way it looked from the stands).

New Line-up (maybe just for this game):
1. Carroll SS (later 3B) .251 -> went 2 for 4 with 1 RBI
2. Vidro 2B .280 -> went 0 for 3 with 1 walk
3. Wilkerson 1B .264 -> went 2 for 3 with 1 walk (best I've seen him play, in person)
4. Guillen RF .305 -> went 2 for 4
5. Schneider C .283 -> went 1 for 2 with 2 HBP and 1 RBI
6. Wilson CF .265 -> went 1 for 3 with 1 walk and 1 RBI
7. Church LF .311 -> went 1 for 4 with 1 RBI
8. Baerga 3B .271 -> went 1 for 3
9. Patterson P .037 -> went 0 for 2

Patterson won his fourth game of the year after pitching a 3 hit shut-out over 8+ innings (1 batter in the 9th), giving up just 2 walks and striking-out 8. His record is now 4-2 and his era is now 2.69.

ESPN box score of the Tuesday game. Nationals.com recap of the Tuesday game.

Tonight: Hernandez (12-3, 3.41) vs. Jennings (5-9, 5.08). Nationals.com's preview; ESPN.com's stat pack.

One note from the Monday game: Eischen recovered, somewhat, from his stint on the DL, but mostly I wanted to note that he is still hitting 1.000 after hitting a sacrifice in his one time at the plate.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Nationals Still in First, and Comfortably Over .500

Despite starting off the second half by losing 3 of their first four games (and 8 of the last 11), the Nationals remain in first, 1.5 games over Atlanta (they started the second half 2-2). The first place Nationals (53-39) will now host 7 straight games in a row. Colorado (31-59) will visit RFK Stadium at the normal 7:05 start time on Monday through Wednesday, and then Houston will visit for four games, only 1 of which will be a day game (Sunday).

According to ESPN.com the next 4 games will potentially have these pitching match-ups:
Monday: Tony Armas (4-4, 4.97) vs. Byung-Hyun Kim (2-7, 5.46); Nationals.com preview; ESPN.com stat pack
Tuesday: John Patterson (3-2, 2.92) vs. Shawn Chacon (1-5, 4.30)
Wednesday: Livan Hernandez (12-3, 3.41) vs. Jason Jennings (5-9, 5.08)
Thursday: Esteban Loaiza (6-5, 3.62) vs. Roy Oswalt (12-8, 2.54)
I assume Friday will see Ryan Drese (7-8, 5.47; interesting, Drese has an ERA of 2.98 at home, 7.19 on the road era, and 4.75 on grass, 13.00 on turf, and for the last 30 days, his era is 4.50) start for the Nationals.
And then Armas again for Saturday,
And then Patterson for Sunday.

A look at the Roster:
Recent Pick-ups:
P Mike Stanton: Stanton's first appearance came on July 15th, and where he balked in the running run (ESPN recap of the game). Stanton also appeared on July 16th, in the game where Cordero saved his 32nd game. Stanton came into the game and pitched a very solid 8th inning, picking up a hold. Stanton faced just three batters, and pitched them 4 strikes and 1 ball.

CF Preston Wilson:
July 14th: 4 AB 1 H (first AB was a home-run) 1 RBI 1 SO (batted 5th, played CF)
July 15th: 4 AB 2 H 1 RBI 1 SO (batted 4th, played CF)
July 16th: 3 AB 0 H 2 BB 1 SO 2 R (batted 5th, played CF)
July 17th: 4 AB 1 H 1 Run 1 SO (batted 4th, played CF; the game where ex-Nationals pitcher Ohka started, and won for the second time, with the Brewers).
With Nationals: 16 AB, 4 hits. .250 batting average.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Game in Progress: Part II: Updated: Nationals Lose

Well, I'm back. Did I miss anything? Nope, just 2 scoreless innings.

Ok, Top of the 6th, Washington up 2 to the Brewers 1 run, and Vidro leads off . . . and grounds out. Guillen up . . . And I'm just repeating what the GameDay thing states, so, I'll just continue watching without leaving the running log.

Update: Game is over, Nationals lost 4-2. Patterson pitched a great game, Wilson hit a home-run, but went 1 for 4 . . . Better luck tomorrow.


Game in Progress . . .

First Game of the second half: Washington (52-36) vs. Mil Brewers (42-46): A Running Log of the Game:

Nationals are currently up 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning. With one out, though, the Brewers have 1 runner on third. Apparently, going by the GameDay thing on Nationals.com, the Nationals run came off of a home-run by Preston Wilson. First at-bat as a National, and the player brought in to add offense, hits a home-run.

Wait, forgot, a game in progress, Hall apparently has scored, and the Brewers now have a run with 2-out in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Ok, now GameDay tells me that Damien Miller hit a sac fly and Hall ran home.

Line-up Today:
Wilkerson - 1B .270
Byrd - LF .255
Vidro - 2B .286
Guillen - RF .309
Wilson - CF .261
Castilla - 3B .253
Schneidar - C .262
Guzman - SS .200
Paterson - P .043

Patterson leads off the top of the 3rd and strikes out swinging. 1 out and now the top of the order. Wilkerson - 1 Ball. 2 Balls, 3 balls, 4 balls. This is a rather neat system, in the middle of the screen is a picture of the batter, and each pitch shows up on the screen next to the batter (showing a low ball, or a high strike . . . ). The top Left side shows the diamond, and it is very informative, there's a little red ball sitting outside the fences, showing where Wilson's ball went, if you move over each name it will show you information (like: Wilkerson: Walk, 4 SB, 7 CS). Bottom Left shows three tabs: Scoring Plays, Pitch-by-Pitch, and Play-by-Play. The right hand side has 2 versions of the box score. Oops, a game is in progress: Byrd singles and Wilkerson moves to 3rd. Vidro is up for the 2nd time today, with 1 out and 2 on. Well, now we have a full-count for Vidro. And off goes Byrd! Byrd steals 2nd with the count 3-2! Washington scores another run! Wilkerson scores as Vidro grounds out, and Byrd moves to third base. Top half of the inning is over, as Guillen strikes-out swinging. Ok . . . can't continue watching . . . At the moment the score is 2-1, Washington leading the Brewers in the bottom half of the 3rd inning. Bottom half of the 3rd, Patterson will enter after having thrown 37 pitches, 25 strikes and 13 balls.

Well, now, I was attempting to leave, but as I started to do so, Clark singles (top of the order). Clark does not have any attempted steals so far this year (apparently). And a quick change, there's now 2 outs after Weeks hit into a double-play. And then Overbay doubles off of a line drive to center. Carlos Lee is up. Counts full, 2 outs . . . man on 2nd . . . Strike-out! Patterson now has 4 strike-outs. Inning Over. Well, I've accidently killed the system, so I really must leave now . . .

Oops, it came back. Who was up first? What happened? Well, in his second AB as a National, Wilson received 4 straight balls and is now on first. Well, that's confusing, I was looking at the wrong section of the board :). He received 5 pitches, 2 were strikes (and he swung at another one, that was a ball) and well the information disappeared . . . And now I can't figure out what is happening. Apparently Wilson is out, but I can't tell how. Well, I restarted the system, and found out that Wilson grounded out . . . Castilla up, Castilla on first (system won't tell me why; I believe that he hit a single, ok, now I see, he hit a single to center field). Schneider is up. 3 foul, 1 ball. We pause now for 2 minutes as the game freezes (the game on the little box, not the literal game in Wisconsin). Schneider singles, Castilla to 2nd, high-priced Guzman up. 1 ball 1 strike, 3rd pitch - in play, out(s) recorded? What? Ah, half of an inning over, Guzman grounded into a double play.

Well, I really must leave now . . . hope the Nationals win . . .


All-Star Game Over, Second Half Starts Today, Nationals Pick up players . . .

On Wednesday the Nationals picked up Center Fielder Preston Wilson (currently batting .258 in 71 games, with 15 home-runs and 47 RBI) in a trade with Colorado. As the ESPN.com article notes, the Nationals also received cash, and in exchange sent Pitcher Zach Day, outfielder J.J. Davis and either a player to be named later or cash (two teams, trading cash). As the Nationals.com article title states: "Nationals acquire Wilson for Day," and while they literally traded Wilson for Day, they also will have Wilson for just this season (or for the rest of the days of the 2005 season), as he will be a free agent after this season is over. According to the Nationals.com article, the Nationals had been pursuing Wilson for weeks to try to shore up/fix their offense problems. As GM Bowden noted: "We needed to get someone that could give us the three-run home run[.] We also didn't want to trade our minor leaguers nor did we want to ruin the chemistry of the team." In his best season, this power hitter managed to knock 36 balls over the fence in 2003. CNNSI's article on the trade, Washington Post.com's article (their midseason report; Boswell column that appeared before the trade), Washington Times.com's midseason report (they do not seem to know about the trade; ballbark food not junk food, according to the Washington Times.com's article).

In other news, Left-handed Relief Pitcher Mike Stanton, and his career 3.81 ERA in 996 career appearances, has been signed by the Nationals (Nationals.com article). Bowden noted: "I like his postseason experience. I think he's better suited for the National League than the American League. He has good makeup and guts" (quotes are from the Nationals.com articles). Bowden noted: "I like his postseason experience. I think he's better suited for the National League than the American League. He has good makeup and guts" (quotes are from the Nationals.com article). This season Stanton has an era of 7.07 in 14 innings of work for the Yankees, who released him after June 30th (when he was designated for assignment). Hopefully his return to the National League will revive his old form, last year, with the Mets, he limited the Nationals National League East division rivals to little offense, giving up only 2.88 earned runs, in an average of 9 innings, and limiting batters to a .211 batting "average in 25 innings" (the number does not include the Mets or the 2004 Expoes).

Outfielder Ryan Church also rejoined the team on Wednesday, after being activated off of the DL. The Nationals article notes that Church will platoon with Byrd in left field, but this article appeared before the trade with the Rockies that brought Wilson.

Junior Spivey and Tony Blanco were placed on the DL and Henry Mateo was moved from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL.

Tonights game: The Nationals open the second half in first place in the NL East, just 2.5 games over the Braves, but 7 games over the third place Marlins.

John Patterson (3-2, 2.91 ERA) opens the second half by pitching against the Brewers Doug Davis (9-7, 4.11 ERA). Nationals.com article, ESPN.com stat pack.

Next At Home: Oddly enough, the Nationals first home game of the second season will be July 18th, Monday, against the Colorado Rockies.

Note: those oddly orange underlined words? They link to what the words state, i.e. career is highlighted above, that links to Stanton's career stats.

Friday, July 08, 2005


In Last Week before the All-Star Break . . .

the Nationals went 2-5 (including Sunday's win against the Cubs and not including the three game Philly series) and lost a series against division rival NY Mets. The Nationals enter the half-way point with a record of 51-34, which can be improved to 54-34 if they sweep the Phillies July 8th-10th in Philadelphia, or, in a worse case scenario, they could end up 51-37 at the half-way point.

At the moment, waiver claim starting pitcher Ryan Drese (6-7, 5.27 overall, 2-1 with an era of 2.08 with the Nationals) will start Friday against 1-1 Robinson Tejada in his 6th start of the season (ESPN Stat pack for Friday's game; Nationals.com preview). On Saturday, John Patterson (3-2, 3.16 era) will face Corey Lidle (8-6, 3.92 era). And the last game of the half will see a Estaben Loaiza (5-5; off of a great start against Pedro Martinez), Jon Leiber (8-8, 5.13 era) match-up.

Will the Nationals enter the second half of the season leading the NL East? They are currently just 2.5 games above Atlanta, with three games to go (both teams have 3 games remaining). The Braves will battle the 40-45 Brewers and the Nationals will face division rival Philadelphia Phillies (43-43; 8.5 games back).

(results for last three games: ESPN box score for the July 5th's win, July 6th's loss, and July 7th's loss; National's recap of July 7th loss).

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Nationals Win, Vidro Returns to the Line-Up

Pedro Martinez and Esteban Loaiza dueled for seven innings, with Martinez giving up 3 runs off of 8 hits, but giving up just 1 walk and striking out 6. Loaiza lasted one full inning longer than Martinez and gave up just 1 run off of 6 hits, 1 walk and striking out 8 (Loaiza faced 1 batter in the 9th). Martinez left the game and enters the all-star break with a record of 9-3, 2.80 era. Loaiza enters the all-star break with a record of 5-5 and an era of 3.61 (well, both probably have one more start, at least Loaiza is scheduled for one more start before the break). While Loaiza was charged with a run, it was super-closer Cordero that made things exciting when he allowed the inherited runner score, and then allowed another run past the plate (though he didn't get charged for it, as Guillen committed an error - way over-threw home-plate). The score was 3-2 in the top of the ninth with 2 outs, would Cordero blow it? Will Robinson pull him? No, after the 2nd run scored, Cordero notched his 30th save of the year when he got Daubach (hitting for Woodward) to pop out to Carroll playing shortstop.

ESPN: Box Score, Play-by-play, recap, Nationals.com recap, Washington Post.com recap, Washington Times recap, CNNSI recap. As CNNSI notes, while the rest of the league that has faced Martinez has managed to hit a low .177, the Nationals managed to hit .286 off of him. Also, CNNSI notes that Nationals starters are 7-0 "with a 2.70 ERA in their last 11 games."

Game Notes: Wilkerson went hitless, Vidro played a full game at 2B and managed 1 hit in 4 AB, recording an RBI and scoring 1 run, Guillen went 3-3 with an RBI (and an error), Baerga played 1B and went hitless in clean-up, Castilla struck-out 3 times and got 1 hit in 4 AB, someone named Cepicky played LF and went hitless, Byrd replaced Cepicky and went hitless, Schneider went 1 for 4 and recorded a RBI, Carroll played SS, scored a run, and got 1 hit in 3 AB and Loaiza helped his cause by getting 1 hit in 2 AB (and raising his batting average to .235).

Cepicky had one AB on July 4th, but otherwise hasn't played before in the majors this season. He has appeared in a total of 71 games (including 2 this year) for the Montreal/Washington franchise (and for no one else), getting 146 AB's over 4 seasons (including this one), and ending up with a career batting average of .212.

Hernandez (12-2, 3.32) faces the Mets Glavine (5-7, 4.95). Nationals.com preview, ESPN.com stat pack.

Washington remains in first, 4.5 above Atlanta, 8 above Florida, 9.5 above Philly and 10 over the Mets.

Cordero named NL pitcher of the month for June.

Johnson placed on DL. 6th consecutive year Johnson has spent some part of the season on the DL.

Other Sports News: London chosen for 2012 Summer Olympics.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Quick Note: Lose July 4th and All-stars

Nationals lose on July 4th.

All-stars: Only Liven Hernandez and Cordero are heading to the All-star game.

Friday, July 01, 2005


Cordero: Saved 15 Games in June . . . Guzman, Church, Vidro and Ohka news

Tied with Lee Smith (who did it with the Cardinals in 1993) and John Wetteland (1996 Yankees) with 15 saved games in June. Cordero's record currently stands at 2-1 0.87 ERA and has 28 total saves (25 straight, a franchise record). Nationals.com article; Washington Post.com's article.

Other News:
Guzman hurt, Carroll will replace him in the series against the Cubs (starting today at 2:20pm; ESPN stat pack; Nationals.com information about the game).
Church placed on DL, Eischen likely coming off DL.
Career minor leaguers Rick Short was promoted and will play 1B, he had been leading the minors with a .381 average, but is known as a poor defensive player.
Vidro reportedly started a rehap assignment with the Nationals single A team in Prince William County, the Potomac Nationals.

Final All-Star vote, normal on-line voting is closed, but a final vote July 3-6 will be allowed for people that have mobile phones and internet access through those phones, so don't forget to vote.

Remember Ohka, traded to the Brewers for Spivey (Nationals 10-5 since the trade)?
Ohka has pitched three games for the Brewers since the trade. First Game: 9 IP, 9 Hits given up, 6 SO, Won. Second Game: 6.2 IP, 9 Hits given up, 4 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 SO, Lose. Third Game: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 4 SO, No decision.

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