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Thursday, August 18, 2005


Nationals Lose 4-3; Watson Demoted

Last Night:

Phillies jumped out to an early 2-0 lead by picking up 2 runs in the first inning. Nationals tied the game in the 3rd, but the Phillies immediately responded with two more runs in the bottom of the 3rd making the score 4-2. The Phillies would not score again in the game, but that four runs were enough to defeat the Nationals (who picked up an extra run in the 7th, but couldn't get another run across the plate).

The Phillies offense was powered mostly by little ball, 3 doubles, 1 sac fly, and the rest of the hits were singles. Rollins, Lofton and Pratt had multi-hit games (2 hits each), and all of the other starters contributed offensively except for the pitcher (whose job was to keep the Nationals off the board - Leiber allowed just 2 runs in 6 innings pitched).

Losing Line-up and results:

B Wilkerson RF 0 for 4, 1 SO .254
J Vidro 2B 1 for 4, 1 RBI (28) .278
N Johnson 1B 0 for 3, 1 BB .311
J Guillen LF 1 for 4, .303
P Wilson CF 1 for 4, 2 SO .257
B Schneider C 1 for 3, 1 double (18), .291
V Castilla 3B 1 for 3, 1 HR (9; 3rd inning, 0 on, 0 out) 2 RBI (53), 1 SO, .242
C Guzman SS 1 for 2, 1 double (8), .190
E Loaiza P 0 for 1, 1 SO, .196


Guzman goes 1 for 2 (.500), is involved in 2 double plays (defensively) and commits zero errors.

Loaiza pitched 5.2 innings, giving up 10 hits, 4 runs, and 1 walk while striking out 3 in 91 pitches (60 strikes). Ayala (0.1 IP), Eischen (1.1 IP) and Majewski (0.2 IP) came in to relieve Loaiza and kept the Phillies from scoring any more runs.

ESPN.com Recap, Box Score. Nationals.com recap.
1) Watson Demoted:
Because of the double header, the Nationals need another starter, apparently, so they have demoted Watson and called up recently acquired 33 year old LHP John Halama who had originially been picked up by the team to add pitching depth in AAA. He will likely start Sunday, according to the Bill Ladson note on Nationals.com.

With AAA New Olreans: ". . . In two games, he has given up one earned run in eight innings."

With MLB Boston, this year: ". . . He was mostly a reliever with Boston, appearing 30 games with a 1-1 record and a 6.18 ERA before the Red Sox designated him for assignment on July 26."

Career: "Halama has played in the Major Leagues for eight seasons. His best season was 2000, when he went 14-9 with a 5.08 ERA for the Mariners."

2) Ryan Zimmerman:
Despite being a great third baseman, and slightly less great hitter ("Entering Wednesday's action, Zimmerman was hitting .315 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs for Harrisburg"):
"Bowden instructed his Minor League people to play Zimmerman at shortstop on a daily basis for Double-A Harrisburg starting Wednesday night against Bowie."
Why? Guzman.

3) Yet another article noting that the team should/could be sold by early September.

"The Commissioner is committed, he said, to getting this done within 30 days," Bob DuPuy -- MLB's vice president, chief operating officer and No. 2 official behind Commissioner Bud Selig -- said. "Ballpark, Labor Day. That's still our target for announcing a winner."

NL East:
Atlanta 69-51 (Win 10-2 over LA Dodgers)
Philadelphia 64-56, 5 GB (Win over Nationals)
Washington 63-56, 5.5 GB (Lost)
Florida 62-57 6.5 GB (win over Giants)
NY Mets 61-58 7.5 GB (Win over Pit)
Wild Card:
Astros 64-56, (Tied for WC lead)
Phillies 64-56, (Tied for WC lead)
Nationals 63-56, 0.5 GB
Marlins 62-57, 1.5 GB
Mets 61-58, 2.5 GB
TODAY (1:05 PM):
Armas (7-5, 4.33) vs. Padilla (5-11, 4.65) (apparently I had the order wrong earlier)
See my scounting report and the Nationals.com scouting report in the next blog entry down from this one.
Armas is 2-5 with an ERA of 6.35 on the road.
Padilla is 4-6 with an ERA of 4.81 at home.

ESPN double header preview, and the stat pack for first game of the double header. Nationals.com preview.
TONIGHT (7:05 PM):
Drese (7-12, 5.67) vs. Lidle (9-10, 4.61)
See my scounting report and the Nationals.com scouting report in the next blog entry down from this one.

Drese has pitched twice against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
1st game (with Rangers): 2.2 IP, 5 Rs, 16.87 ERA
2nd game (with Nationals): 5 IP, 4 Rs, 7.20 ERA

Lidle pitched two games against the Nationals this year, both two of his better games.
At Home: 8 IP, 0 Rs, 0.00 ERA. (combined with his start at RFK, his ERA against the Nationals is 1.93).

ESPN stat pack for the second game of the double header.

Friday: Off to Shea Stadium:
John Patterson (7-3, 2.44) vs. Jae Seo (4-1, 1.35)
Scouting reports are from Nationals.com probable pitchers page (except for the parts that I write outside the quotes).
"Scouting Report:Patterson is looking to win his fourth consecutive decision as he faces New York for the third time this season. Patterson has yet to pick up a decision against the Mets, but he has given up five runs in 12 innings against them. In his last start, Patterson pitched eight solid innings, giving up one run on nine hits as the Nationals pounded the Rockies, 9-2.

Friday's start offers Seo an opportunity to enact a measure of revenge at the club responsible for the lone blemish on his spectacular -- albeit limited -- 2005 Major League resume. The Nationals handed Seo a loss on April 29, tagging him for three runs on three hits over five innings. He was stellar in his subsequent outing before being shipped to Triple-A. And he picked up where he left off since returning to the Mets on Aug. 6, allowing just one run on nine hits over 15 1/3 innings in victories over the Cubs and Dodgers."

Patterson is 2-3 on the road with an era of 3.67 in 9 starts. Against the Mets, Patterson has started 2 games, and lasted a combined 12 IP. Both starts were at RFK and in those starts he went 0-0 with an era of 3.75 in 12 innings, giving up 10 hits, 5 ER and 5 walks while striking out 11.

Seo has started 5 games for the Mets, and has a record of 4-1 with an era of 1.35 in 33.1 IP (giving up 19 hits, 5 walks, 5 ER and striking out 24). At home, Seo's record is 3-0 with an era of 0.44 in 3 starts (20.1 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 16 SO). Seo has pitched 2 games against the Nationals, acquiring a record of 1-1 with an era of 3.27 in 11 IP. At home against the Natioanls (1 GS) Seo went 1-0 with an era of 1.50 in 6 IP, giving up 6 hits, 1 run and 0 BB (striking out 4).

Livan Hernandez vs. Pedro Martinez
"Scouting Report:Hernandez will face the Mets for the fourth time this season. He is 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA against them. In his last start, Hernandez threw eight solid innings, giving up two runs on five hits in a 6-3 win against the Phillies. He struck out three batters and walked two. It was his best outing since July 31, when he pitched eight strong innings against the Marlins.

Martinez came just five outs shy of throwing the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history on Sunday. He hasn't had overpowering stuff his last few outings, but as evidenced by his start against Los Angeles, he's still plenty effective and a perennial tough customer. He allowed three runs over seven innings in a start against Washington on July 5, taking a loss"

Hernandez is now 8-2 with an era of 3.35 on the road. He has started 3 games against the Mets, and is 2-1, 3.68 ERA in 22 IP (26 H 9 ER 1 HR 1 HBP 7 BB 12 SO). At Shea Stadium, Hernandez has pitched just 1 game, lasting 7 innings and giving up 9 hits, 3 ER and 2 walks while striking out 3 and picking up the win (and recording an ERA of 3.86).

Martinez is 6-1 at home with an era of 2.89 in 12 GS (84 IP 59 H 27 ER 7 HR 19 BB 80 SO). Martinez has faced the Nationals batters only once, and at RFK Stadium. He lasted 7IP giving up 8 hits, 3 earned runs, hit 1 batter, walked 1 batter and struck out 6. He picked up the loss and ended up with an era of 3.86.

33 year old LHP John Halama ? vs. Kris Benson (9-4, 3.49)

"Scouting Report:
Benson comes into Sunday's start on a roll, having won his last two outings against San Diego and Pittsburgh and pitching about as well as he has for New York. Benson has spoken often about feeling like a totally different pitcher this season and it's shown, as he's soaked up lessons from the Mets' staff with vigor. Benson allowed two runs and seven hits in a no-decision against the Nationals on July 7."

John Halama is 6-5 and 210 pounds. His MLB debut was April 2, 1998.
1 GS for Boston: 5 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 HR 1 HBP 0 BB 2 SO = 1 Win and 3.60 ERA.

Career: Pitching: 53-44 4.60 ERA 235 Games and 115 GS, 860.1 IP 987 H 500 R 440 ER 106 HR 37 HBP 256 BB 469 SO.

Career: Hitting: 23 games, 21 AB, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 double, 3 walks, 11 strike-outs, .208 OBP, .095 average.

Benson: 5-2 (2.87) at home in 12 games started. 78.1 IP 67 H 28 R 25 ER 3 HR 17 BB 49 K.
Started just one game against the Nationals, at RFK.
No decision, 2.57 ERA. 7 IP 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks and six strike-outs.

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