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Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Nationals Rained Out, Astros lose, Nationals now 1/2 game out of Wild Card lead

Oddly enough, this is the Nationals first rainout, as pointed out by Bill Ladson in his Nationals.com article ("It's the first rainout in Nationals history"). I've been to games where the rain came down so hard that it literally looked like a huge waterfall/river had suddenly appeared in RFK. And oddly enough, though I didn't stay for that particular game, the game eventually was played. There's been very heavy rain, thunderstorms/lightning and considering the sometimes poor field work of the RFK staff (covering and uncovering the field, etc.), I'm rather surprised that it took this long for a rain-out, even if the first one did occur on the road.

What did happen? "The teams managed to play until the bottom of the first inning, with the Phillies taking a 1-0 lead. "

What will happen? "The two teams will play a day-night doubleheader on Thursday, starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. The nightcap is at 7:05 p.m. ET."

Tuesday's scheduled starters will pitch the Thursday night game, and Thursday's scheduled starters will pitch the Thursday day game. It would appear that Wednesday's starters will still pitch on Wednesday.
"Guzman draws Robinson's ire" article by Bill Ladson.

But on Tuesday, Robinson spoke his mind about Guzman's defense, which has been subpar in recent days. In his last eight games, Guzman has made six errors, and most of them have been on routine plays.

"The error he made [on Monday] -- do you think he made it because he's in a hitting slump?" Robinson asked. "I don't know where that error came from. I don't understand it. "He is also making errors because his throws are low. We talked to him twice about it last night, and then he made another low throw, and [first baseman] Nick [Johnson] had to scoop it out of the dirt. What is that? That's not being focused.

"I really don't understand how a Major League shortstop of his caliber misses ground balls like that. You take a guy from Class Z ball, and he would at least catch that ball. That's what's puzzling about those errors. I can think of three or four errors that he has like that."

Ken Wright also talks about Guzman's problems in the "Nothing routine for Nats' Guzman" article in the Washington Times.

The first page of the Washington Post print edition also has an article about Guzman ("A Bad Sign: Guzman's Errors Multiply" by Barry Svrluga; and in the on-line edition here).

"Club owners to discuss steroids, sale of Nationals" article by the AP in the Globe and Mail.
Basically the team owners will be holding their quarterly meeting and the Steroid Issue and the Sale of the Nationals are two topics under discussion.
NL East:
Braves lost, Nationals didn't play, therefore the Nationals moved up a half-game.
Braves 68-51, LOST 6-4 to Dodgers (who had to score 3 in the Ninth).
Nationals 63-55, 4.5 GB
Phillies 63-56, 5 GB
Marlins 61-57, 6.5 GB
Mets 60-58, 7.5 GB
Wild Card:
Astros lost and Nationals were rained out, therefore the Nationals moved up a half-game.
Astros 64-55, LOST
Nationals 63-55, 0.5 GB (RAIN OUT)
Phillies 63-56, 1 GB (RAIN OUT)
Marlins 61-57, 2.5 GB
Mets 60-58, 3.5 GB
Loaiza (7-8) vs. Lieber (11-10)

"Scouting Report:Loazia has given the Nats quality starts in seven of his last eight starts, but he is only 3-3 during the stretch. A comforting trend throughout August has been his reliance on the ground-ball out, boasting a 32-17 ratio of groundball to flyball outs."

Loaiza is currently 3-4 with an era of 4.46 in 12 away starts. Against the Phillies, Loaiza has pitched 3 games overall, and is 0-1 with an ERA of 3.48. He has pitched two away games against them (in Philadelphia), and is 0-0 with an ERA of 4.26.

Lieber is 7-4 with an ERA of 5.11 at home. He has pitched 3 games against the Nationals, 1 at home. Overall: 1-1 with an ERA of 4.58 in 3 games (17.2 IP, 21 H, 9 ER, 4 HR, 1 HBP, 6 BB, 11 SO). At Home: 1-0 with an ERA of 4.63 in 2 games started.

Thursday: Day Game:
Drese (7-12) vs. Lidle (9-10)

"Scouting Report:Drese brings a five-game losing streak to his start against the Phillies. In fact, he has not won since a July 8 start against the Phillies, when he allowed four earned runs in five innings. His control has improved slightly since joining the Nationals, taking a 23-18 walks-to-strikeout ratio with the Rangers and turning it around to 22-26 with the Nationals.Lidle allowed four runs -- three earned -- in five innings against the Dodgers in his previous outing. He was more upset with issuing six walks, his highest total since 2001."

Drese is currently 3 for 8 overall on the Road (including 7 games with the Rangers). With the Nationals, Drese is 2-4 with an ERA of 5.09 on the Road in 7 starts. Drese has started two games against the Phillies, once as a Ranger and once as a National. Both Away games (i.e. in Philadelphia). With the Rangers, he lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up 5 runs (giving him an ERA of 16.87 for the game). With the Nationals he lasted 5 innings, giving up 4 runs (giving him an era of 7.20 for the game).

Lidle is currently 3-5 with an era of 5.89 at Home in 11 GS. He has only pitched two games against the Nationals in 2005 (both starts) and they were two of his better games of the year. He is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.93 overall against the Nationals, but 0-0 with an ERA of 0.00 at home in 8 IP against the Nationals (5 hits, 1 walk, 7 strike-outs).

Thursday Night Game:
Armas (7-5) vs. Padilla (5-11)

"Scouting Report:Armas, who has given up just one run in his last 11 innings, will face the Phillies for the 11th time in his career. Armas is 5-3 with a 4.76 ERA against them. In his last start, Armas pitched six shutout innings as the Nationals blanked the Rockies, 8-0.

Padilla continues to be the team's best pitcher since a July 6 start against Pittsburgh. His 1.94 ERA over a seven-start stretch is only clouded by the lack of run support that has kept him from winning. He's 2-3 over that span. "

Armas is 2-5 with an ERA of 6.35 on the road. Has not pitched against the Phillies in 2005.

Padilla is 4-6 with an ERA of 4.81 at home. Has not pitched against the Nationals in 2005.

60-58 Mets (Friday through Sunday in Shea Stadium)
John Patterson (7-3, 2.44) vs. Jae Seo (4-1, 1.35)

"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).

Saturday: (against the Mets)
Hernandez (14-5) vs. Pedro Martinez (12-5)

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.

Sunday: (against the Mets)
I believe that it will be Loaiza's turn.

Off day.

Cincinnati (Tuesday through Thursday at RFK).

St. Louis (Friday through Sunday at RFK)

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