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Friday, July 22, 2005


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.

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