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Friday, May 19, 2006


Week in Review, and O’s vs. Nationals starts tonight

Off Day

Shutout by Cubs, Lose 0-4.
Livan Hernandez actually made it past the first inning without giving up three runs, and actually made it through a game without being charged with three earned runs (2 ER, 2 Unearned Runs). Unfortunately, despite past games when the Nationals would score in the top of the inning only to see Livan give the game away in the bottom of the first inning, this time the Nationals were only able to get 4 total hits all game, and were not able to score a run against Zambrano & Dempster (starter and relief pitcher for the Cubs). Hernandez pitched 7 quality innings and lowered his era to 6.04, but increased his number of losses for the season to 5 to put his record at 1-5. Vidro, Johnson and Gonzalez (who was hitting .417 after this game) got one hit each. Clayton and Anderson (PH) got one walk each. And that was the extent of the Nationals offensive powerhouse in operation. Errors: 1 for Soriano (now has 5), and 1 for Clayton (who also now has 5).

Nationals.com recap. ESPN recap.
Shutout by Cubs, Lose 0-5.
The problem of using a catcher like Gonzalez is that he is a much better offensive catcher than . . . right I can’t keep that up. Gonzalez was brought up to put his stronger arm behind the plate, and supposedly provide some defensive ability, not offensive ability. Point? Zach Day and Wiki Gonzalez struggled to communicate early in the game and together they ended up giving up 3 earned runs in the first 2 innings (and 1 more unearned run; Gonzalez went 0-3 and his batting average lowered to .333). Day’s day (sorry) ended after 4 innings pitched (specifically, after facing 23 batters and throwing 84 pitches). Day’s era increased from 5.85 to 5.94.

Soriano went 1 for 4 with zero walks. The Cubs pitchers also gave walks to Byrd, Johnson, Zimmerman, and Jackson (playing SS). That was the extent of the Nationals offensive abilities in this game. Also: Zimmerman was charged with his fourth error and Jackson was charged with his second.

Nationals.com recap. ESPN recap.

Nationals Win 5-3.
I was in the middle of writing a “game in progress” blog entry when I lost access to the internet. Here’s what had been written and then what happened in the game after that point:
After being shutout twice and on the verge of being swept by the Cubs, the Nationals have finally scored some runs in this the third game of the Cubs series in Chicago. The annoying thing is that I didn't even realize that this was a day game until a couple of seconds ago. The good thing is that the Nationals are leading the Cubs 4-0. Let's try to figure out what has happened so far (currently fifth inning).

Let's see, Ramon Ortiz and his 0-4 record (and 6.30 era) is currently taking on the Cubs Kerry Wood first or second start (hard to tell, I can't get his stats page to open, and ESPN has him down for 1 start going 1.2 innings pitched an a 0.00 era, but the Nats page have him down as 0-0 with an era of 9.00). Ortiz has now pitched 4.2 innings in this game and has given up just 3 hits and no walks, while striking out 3 batters and keeping those three base-runners from scoring. His era has fallen from 6.30 down to 5.64 in those 4.2 innings pitched.

Now, the runs: um, I'm fairly sure that some home-runs are involved, but the internet just stopped working and I have no way to get this posted, so . . .

Right, so Ortiz pitched a total of 5.1 innings and picked up his first win of the season, giving him a record of 1-4. Jackson was charged with another error, and Anderson was caught stealing. Gonzalez’s batting average lowered to .263 after going 0-4 in the game.

Zimmerman (7th total homerun; 0 on, 1 out; 2nd inning), Jackson (2nd, 1 on, 2 out; 2nd inning), Soriano (13th; 0 on 0 out, 3rd inning), and Anderson (1st; 0 on 0 out, 6th inning) all hit home-runs in the game.

Nationals.com recap & ESPN.com boxscore.
Friday-Sunday: O’s vs. Nationals:
Michael O’Connor is scheduled to start tonight in the first ever regular season O’s/Nationals game. He will face 5-3, 4.38 era Kris Benson. Benson has started 8 games, 4 on the road. Half of Benson’s starts made it through seven innings, and 1 additional game made it into the seventh inning (6.2 IP). In 31.1 March/April innings pitched so far this season, Benson has given up 29 hits, 3 home-runs, and 11 walks. In those 31.1 innings, Benson also struck-out 17 batters off of 480 total pitches (278 strikes). In May Benson’s pitching has started to slip and in 18 innings, he has given up 18 hits, 2 home-runs, and seven walks (and 12 ER), while striking out 8 batters off of 301 pitches (175 strikes).

As a team, the O’s are currently 19-22 and are currently 5-5 in their last ten games. They are 5-10 on the road and, overall, have scored 210 runs and given up 242 runs. Both teams enter this series off of a win in their last game played, and lost their series 1-2 (O’s against the Red Sox and Nationals against the Cubs). The O’s had Thursday off.

Brian Roberts, Daniel Cabrera, Chris Gomez, Luis Matos, Tim Byrdak, David Newhan, John Parrish, and Aaron Rakers are currently on the O’s DL.

Batting Order/Roster:
1. Brandon Fahey (.298; 10 games leading off) & Ed Rogers (.200; 1 game leading off) split the duties at the top of the batting order and at 2B (at least they did in the last two games played). Patterson (.289; CF) & Terrero (.000; CF) have both lead-off in two games. Everyone else that has lead off are currently on the DL (Roberts, Newhan, Matos, and Gomez).

2. Melvin Mora (.363; 3B, 18 games in this spot); Conine (.318; 1B; 5 games); Markakis (.296; LF/CF/RF; 4 games)

3. Mora (.363; 3B, 21 games in this spot); Miguel Tejada (.395; SS; 19 games)

4. Tejada (.395; SS; 21 games); Jay Gibbons (.310; RF; 19)

5. Gibbons (.310; RF; 20 games); Ramon Hernandez (.377; C; 18 games); Kevin Millar (.339; 1B (listed as DH); 1 game); Conine (.318; 1B; 1 game)

6. Hernandez (.377; C; 13 games); Conine (.318; 1B; 12 games); Millar (.339; 1B; 8 games); Javy Lopez (.319; C/DH; 5 games); Patterson (.289; CF; 2 games)

7. Lopez (.319; C/DH; 11 games); Millar (.339; 1B; 11 games); Patterson (.289; CF; 10 games); Conine (.318; 1B; 4 games); Markakis (.296; LF/CF/RF; 2 games); Hernandez (.377; C; 1 game)

8. Conine (.318; 1B; 10 games); Millar (.339; 1B; 9 games); Lopez (.319; C/DH; 7 games); Markakis (.296; LF/CF/RF; 3 games); Patterson (.289; CF; 3 games); Hernandez (.377; C; 2 game)

9. Probably pitcher

Probables for Saturday and Sunday:
RHP Ace Rodrigo Lopez (1-6, 7.86) vs. RHP Tony Armas (4-2, 3.02)

Lopez’s last win was 4/3/06 (last loss: 5/15/06)

LHP 5th starter Bruce Chen (0-4; 8.23) vs. RHP Livan Hernandez (1-5; 6.04)

Chen’s last win was 10/2/05 (last loss: 4/23/06)

In the Bullpen for the O’s:

RHP Chris Ray (CL) 1-0, 2.76, 17 G, 10 saves, 16.1 IP 10 H 5 ER 1 HR 10 BB 18 SO (0 BS)
RHP Todd Williams 1-1, 3.86, 10 G, 1 save, 11.2 IP 15 H 5 ER 1 HR 3 BB 4 SO (1 BS)
RHP LaTroy Hawkins 1-1, 4.42, 19 G, 18.1 IP 20 H 9 ER 2 HR 6 BB 10 SO (2 BS)
LHP John Halama 2-1, 5.09, 13 G, 17.2 IP, 23 H 10 ER 5 HR 8 BB 7 SO (1 BS)
RHP Sendy Rleal 0-1, 3.79, 18 G, 19 IP, 20 H 8 ER 4 HR 11 BB 8 SO (1 BS)
LHP Kurt Birkins 0-0, 1.13, 5 G, 8 IP, 3 H 1 ER 0 HR 6 BB 6 SO (0 BS)
RHP Julio Manon 0-0, 2.25, 8 G, 8 IP, 6 H 2 ER 1 HR 8 BB 11 SO (1 BS)
RHP Chris Britton 0-0, 4.05, 5 G, 6.2 IP, 6 H 3 ER 0 HR 2 BB 6 SO (0 BS)

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