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Thursday, September 08, 2005


Nationals lose 12-1; 4 man rotation; Boswell's Column; Competition

The Nationals required the use of seven pitchers last night, starting with starter Halama, who was quickly pulled after giving up 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk and striking out 1 (and getting 1 more out, - he pitched 0.2 innings). Halama has been pulled too early twice now, the first time he started for the Nationals (5.1 innings pitched) and in this game. All six relievers gave up runs in relief. Travis Hughes (1.1 IP, 2 R), Jason Bergmann (1.1 IP, 2 R), Joey Eischen (1.2 IP, 1 R), Gary Majewski (1 IP, 2 R), Hector Carrasco (2 IP, 1 ER, 2 R), Mike Stanton (1 IP, 1 ER, 2 R) pitched in relief. Ryan Zimmerman started and gave up 2 errors at short-stop. Rick Short hit is first home-run to keep the Nationals from being shut-out (Short now has 2 hits and 2 RBIs off those 2 hits).

Strange Line-up:
Marlon Byrd, LF 1 for 3, 1 2B (11), 1 BB .272
Deivi Cruz, 2B 0 for 2, .264
Joey Eischen, P .333
Gary Majewski, P .000
a- Kenny Kelly, PH 1 for 1, 1 2B (1) .400 (First AB as a National, used as a PR prior)
Jamey Carroll, 3B 0 for 1, 1 SO .243
Jose Guillen, RF 0 for 4, 1 SO .296
Preston Wilson, CF 0 for 3, 1 BB 2 SO .255
Vinny Castilla, 3B 0 for 2, 2 SO .248
b- Tony Blanco, PH 0 for 0, 1 BB .190
Hector Carrasco, P .000
Mike Stanton, P .000
c- Keith Osik, PH 0 for 1, 1 SO .000
Ryan Zimmerman, SS 1 for 4, 1 SO .300
Carlos Baerga, 1B 1 for 4, .259
Gary Bennett, C 0 for 3, .228
John Halama, P .250
Travis Hughes, P .000
Jason Bergmann, P 0 for 1, .333
Rick Short, 2B 1 for 2, 1 HR (1), 1 RBI (2), .333

ESPN.com recap. Washington Times recap. CBS.com recap. Nationals.com recap. Washington Post recap.
Houston defeats Phillies 8-6. Atlanta over Mets 4-3 in 10 innings. Marlins over Nationals.
Braves 81-59
Marlins 74-65, 6.5 GB
Phillies 73-67, 8.0 GB
Nationals 72-68, 9.0 GB
Mets 70-69, 10.5 GB
Wild Card:
See above.
Astros 75-64
Marlins 74-65, 1.0 GB
Phillies 73-67, 2.5 GB
Nationals 72-68, 3.5 GB
Mets 70-69, 5.0 GB
4 Man Rotation:
Due to the fact that the team has let numerous starters slip through their fingers and now only have 3 heathy legitimate starters, the Nationals will need to use a 4 man rotation for the rest of the year.

Before last night's game, Boswell sent out a very interesting and detailed examination of the pitching situation and noted that the Nationals were very loaded, relatively speaking, with starters when the season started, but because so many starters ran into "attitude" troubles with Robinson, the Nationals now have just 3 starters. Sunny Kim, Claudio Vargas, Zach Day, Tomo Ohka, and others all could be very useful right now, but were either traded away or lost through waivers.

Ohka: 2005: 10-7, 3.93 with 24 GS.
Ohka: 2002-2004: 26-27 with 80 GS (2002 ERA: 3.18, 2003: 4.16; 2004: 3.40)
Vargas: 2005: 8-8, 5.10 with 19 GS.
Vargas: 2003-2004: 11-13 with 34 GS (2003 ERA: 4.34, 2004: 5.25)
Day: 2005: 1-2, 6.64 in 6 GS (15 overall)
Day: 2002-2004: 18-19 with 44 GS (2002 ERA: 3.62, 2003: 4.18, 2004: 3.93)
Kim: 2005: 4-2, 4.50 with 5 GS (19 overall)
Kim: 2002-2004: 7-7 with 25 GS (2002 BOS ERA: 7.45 (15 G), 2002 MON: 0.89 (4 G), 2003: 8.36, 2004: 4.58)

Oh, and Boswell also mentioned that it might not be a good idea to use a 4-man rotation, despite the lack of starters, because Patterson has a history of injuries, and you do not want to injury your three best pitchers.

Washington Times article on the situation by Ken Wright.
" Starting next week, Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson will go to a four-man rotation designed to maximize the talents of his Big Three -- Livan Hernandez, Esteban Loaiza and John Patterson -- to keep the team in the National League wild-card race.
According to Robinson, the other start will be handled by various members of the bullpen."

Nationals.com comment on the situation. "[P]itching coach Randy St. Claire said he is against the Nationals having a four-man rotation"

Washington Post note on the situation: "In truth, the arrangement would be a three-man rotation, and the fourth day would likely be handled by a hodgepodge of relievers. Injuries to right-handers Tony Armas Jr. and Ryan Drese have left the Nationals strapped for starting pitchers, and it didn't get any better last night against the Florida Marlins, when Robinson pulled left-hander John Halama after just two-thirds of an inning."

"There's no more September," Hernandez said. "The only September is next year."
Tonight: Last game of the 4 game series.
Beckett (12-8, 3.62) vs. Patterson (8-4, 2.44)

see last entry for match-up and prior start information for this game and for Friday and Saturday.

CBS.com preview. ESPN.com stat pack. Washington Times article on Patterson. Nationals.com preview.
Friday: Atlanta visits.
LHP Horacio Ramirez (11-8, 4.45) vs. RHP Esteban Loaiza (10-10, 3.62)

My earlier guess was right. Check out the next most recent entry on this blog for information about the starters and games they have pitched against the opposing team.
RHP Jorge Sosa (10-3, 2.74) vs. RHP Livan Hernandez (15-6, 3.80)

Again, guess correct. Again, check out . . .
RHP John Smoltz (14-6, 2.96) vs. a bullpen pitcher

Scouting Report:
Three early runs and a neck injury forced Smoltz out of his last outing vs. the Nationals on Sept. 1 at Turner Field. The right-hander looks for some redemption and a longer outing when he faces Washington on Sunday afternoon. Fresh off a 3-1 win over Pedro Martinez and the Mets, Smoltz is poised for consecutive wins for the first time since his July 15 and 20th starts. Smoltz is 7-3 with a 2.83 ERA on the road this season.

I hope the Nationals win, but my attention will be on the Redskins game. Here is a collection of Times articles on the new season. Post's Redskins page.

"Magic Number is 17"
"Dontrelle reels in 20th win" - "It was the first 20th win by a pitcher in a Marlins uniform - ever."
"Monkey Off His Back" - " Kaz Matsui just may be picking the perfect spot to try and endear himself to us fans"
"An Email to the Phillies" - " I'm not quite sure about what to say about last night's loss. It was heartbreaking (though I probably don't need to tell you that).
Yesterday I was mad as hell at you guys, but I have to admit that today, while I'm disappointed in you guys, there's a part of me that is proud too."

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