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Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Nationals Lose 6-2; Drese - DL; Zimmerman Rushing to the Majors?

The Game:

Vinny Castilla and Jose Guillen provided two runs by hitting the ball out of the park. Guillen's home-run was right down the middle and almost if not in the upper deck and cut the lead in half in the 4th inning. Castilla's home-run came in the 2nd inning and gave the Nationals the brief lead. Those two runs, unfortunately, was all the Nationals were able to produce off of the formerly 7.35 ERA Luke Hudson, and I believe, if the radio recap that I heard on the way home from RFK was correct, the Nationals failed to get a hit in the last four innings.

Tony Armas was chased early, lasting just 3 innings and giving up 4 of the Reds eventual 6 runs in the third inning when all the Reds had a crack at him (including Encarncion, who answered Castilla's home-run with one of his own in the 3rd inning). Hector Carrasco shut down the Reds offense for two innings, and John Halama shut them down for the next two innings. Stanton relieved Halama in the 8th inning and gave up 2 more runs. Eischen relieved Stanton and pitched a solid 9th inning.

The line-up was similar to Sunday's, except that Schneider played instead of Bennett, and Schneider played higher up in the batting order than Bennett.

ESPN.com recap. CBS recap. Nationals.com recap. FOX box score. SI.com recap. Washington Post recap.
Robinson quote, after the game (from the CBS recap): "Each game that we're playing here now we have to try to win that ballgame," manager Frank Robinson said, "and we just didn't give ourselves a fair shake tonight."

Hudson after the game: "It's just a matter of getting to know yourself," he said. "The more you pitch the more you get to know your body."

The CBS recap ends with a note section which bluntly notes: "Drese's roster spot will go to RHP Travis Hughes, who's being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans."

Found out what's going on: article on Nationals.com: "Armas exits early with shoulder soreness: Drese goes on 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 19" by Bill Ladson.

- Armas said that he couldn't get loose . . . The Nationals knew something was wrong when Armas' fastball was clocked in the low 80s.

That home-run by Encarnacion?: "I thought Encarnacion hit a slider for the home run," said manager Frank Robinson. "It was clocked at 83 miles per hour. And then I was told, after the inning was over, it was a fastball. He had one pitch before that, and it was clocked at 82 piles per hour. I thought that was a breaking ball. I found out it was a fastball."

- Drese: As for Drese, he has pain in the front of the shoulder. He admitted that he couldn't lift his arm all the way up while throwing his sinkers in his last start, on Aug. 18, and left his pitches up in the strike zone.

Drese was scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals on Thursday, but left-hander John Halama most likely will get the start.

ESPN thought that it was Hernandez was supposed to start Thursday, which is why I included him against Brandon Claussen in an earlier post.

Travis Hughes, then, will be taking Drese's roster spot, not place in the rotation. Well, if Halama actually starts, then he will be the first LHP to start for the Nationals this year.

Washington Post article on the Drese to DL issue can be found here.
Notes from the Minors:
Travis Hughes:
Hughes is 6'5", 235 pounds and born 5/25/78. The Minor League.com website notes that he appeared in 4 games earlier in the year for the Nationals, pitching 4.1 IP, giving up 2 hits and striking out 3, and picking up 1 win.

His stats with the New Orleans Zephyrs:
2-5, 2.97 ERA, 50 games 0 GS 12 saves 57.2 IP 44 H 24 R 19 ER 3 HR 22 BB 70 SO

Marlon Byrd:
Currently hitting .416 with New Orleans in 20 games, 77 AB. 32 hits, 6 doubles, 5 home-runs, 11 RBI, 9 walks, 7 strike-outs, 4 stolen bases, and 1 caught-stealing.

Rick Short:
Currently: .397 AVG 140 hits in 353 at-bats. 34 doubles, 1 triple, 11 home-runs, 68 RBI's.

Brandon Watson:
Currently: .354 AVG 121 hits in 342 AB. 14 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home-run, 23 RBI, 31 SB, 12 CS.

Ryan Zimmerman:
A: Savanah: .471 AVG, 4 Gs, 17 AB, 8 H, 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI. 0 BB, 3 SO
AA: Harrisburg: .313 AVG, 56 Gs, 208 AB, 65 H, 37 R, 17 2B, 9 HR, 31 RBI, 11 BB, 32 SO
Washington Times article: "Zimmerman's call-up soon" by Ken Wright:
Ryan Zimmerman's meteoric rise from the University of Virginia to the Washington Nationals could be completed as early as today.

Zimmerman was picked up by the Nationals in this year's amateur draft, and has only been a professional ball-player since June.

"We'll announce it when he's coming up," Bowden said. "He's not going to be here [last night]."

Last week, Bowden instructed Senators manager Keith Bodie to move Zimmerman from third base. . . . Zimmerman has played seven games at shortstop, where he had four errors. . . . Zimmerman would have to join the Nationals by next Wednesday to be eligible for the postseason roster.

"He's played well at shortstop. He's a Gold Glove at third. He's going to be a good player, and he's a player we think can help us in this pennant race. He will be here," Bowden said.
Nationals lost, Atlanta lost 10-1 to the Cubs, the Phillies overwhelmed the Giants 10-2, the Mets dominated the Diamondbacks 14-1 and the Marlins lost 11-2 against the Brewers. The Nationals are now in last place, for, I believe, the first time this year. Of course, it might be mildly more informative to point out that they are tied for fourth place with the Mets.
Braves 71-55
Phillies 68-59, 3.5 GB
Marlins 66-59, 4.5 GB
Mets 65-60, 5.5 GB
Nationals 65-60, 5.5 GB
Wild Card:
See above, plus: Houston lost 2-0 to the Padres.
Phillies 68-59
Astros 67-59, 0.5 GB
Marlins 66-59, 1.0 GB
Mets 65-60, 2.0 GB
Nationals 65-60, 2.0 GB
Brewers 62-64, 5.5 GB
John Patterson (7-4) vs. Ramon Ortiz (8-8, 5.44)

From earlier post:
Scouting Report:
Ortiz is in the midst of his best stretch this season. The right-hander is 2-1 in his last three starts, and he's given up three earned runs in 20 2/3 innings pitched in those contests. In his last outing, Ortiz went a season-high 7 2/3 innings against the Giants, picking up the win.

Patterson is 5-0 at home with an era of 1.67 in 13 games started (86.1 IP, 59 H, 16 ER, 1 HR, 2 HBP, 26 BB, 85 SO). Apparently, Patterson has not faced the Reds in 2005.

Nationals.com game preview. ESNP.com stat pack. SI.com preview.
Other News:
Toronoto Sun Article: " Nationals Manager Robinson Says Wipe Out Palmeiro's Statistics " by AP.

"Where do you go back, stop and say, 'OK, when did he start using steroids?' To eliminate all that, and get the players' attention, you wipe the whole thing out," Robinson told MLB.com in a story posted on the website Tuesday night. "Why put the burden on baseball to try and figure out where to go, and maybe put an asterisk? Just wipe the whole thing out."

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