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Monday, July 31, 2006


Soriano to the Tigers, through the Marlins?

Not likely, but Stark mentioned the possibility. The Nationals want pitching prospects and the Marlins are loaded with pitching prospects. The Marlins would trade pitching prospects to the Nationals for Soriano, then the Marlins would turn around and trade him to the Tigers for something or other (outfield prospect Cameron Maybin?). There is some indication that the Tigers and Marlins have discussed this particular scenario. And some indication that the Marlins talked with the Nationals. News stories on this particular development: Sun Sentinel (South Florida News)
It is believed the Marlins are willing to part with some upper level pitching prospects such as Yusmeiro Petit, Renyel Pinto and Jason Vargas to land the five-time All-Star and make a run at the wild card.

Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden has not received what he considers a suitable offer for Soriano, particularly from a pitching standpoint. The Marlins can satisfy that requirement.
(no mention of the 'to Tigers' part).
And: Fox Sports:
One rival executive predicts that the Nationals will either make a killer trade or one so poor that 15 teams will end up thinking they could have offered a better package for Soriano.

The Marlins tried to broker a deal for Soriano on Sunday with the idea of flipping him to the Tigers in a three-way trade that potentially could have landed them prime outfield prospect Cameron Maybin.

An official with knowledge of those talks, however, say that such a deal is unlikely to occur.

Abreu and Lidle to the Yankees, Red Sox likes countering the Yankee’s moves so they talked with the Nationals about Soriano. Red Sox have prospects, but don’t really want to trade them. Red Sox still might make a deal, though.

Apparently the Astros, Angels and Twins are also still in the trade talks, Dodgers slipped off radar (along with the other teams not mentioned).

Keep Soriano, trade him, whatever happens has to be decided by 4:00 pm today.

Also: Nationals swept by Dodgers, O’Connor back to minors with sore elbow, Ryan Wagner of the Reds trade up to majors. Travis Hughes, brought up when Stanton traded, pitched July 29th and gave up 1 hit in 1 inning of work, but otherwise had zeros across the board. He has now appeared in 17 games in the majors.

And Also: The other Nationals: Hernandez, Armas, and now even Ortiz are mentioned by Stark as possible pitcher pick-ups through trade. Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rangers, Mets, Dodgers, and Reds are interested in pitching, according to Stark. Hernandez has had three straight quality starts, the other two pitchers are “as is” type trade acquisitions.

Oh, and Dontrelle Wills placed on waivers. No, the Nationals can’t quickly claim him. Apparently he was put on waivers to keep other teams from asking for his services (can’t be traded until waivers expire). Anyone claims Wills, Marlins revoke waivers.

Will the losing ever end? Tonight Astacio (1-1, 5.06) faces off against Lowry (5-6, 4.16), again. You might recall that both pitchers last faced each other in their last starts. Lowry lasted 6 innings, giving up 8 hits and 2 unearned runs (and 1 walk) before being pulled (he also struck out 4). Astacio lasted 1 extra out (6.1 innings pitched), giving up 6 hits 3 runs (2 earned) 2 walks and also struck out 4 before being pulled. Neither pitcher picked up a win or loss from the game. The Nationals won 4-3, and Rivera picked up his first win. Recap of that game.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Nationals lose; Stanton gone, hello Martis; Soriano?

Rookie Billingsley picks up 2nd win as the Nationals are defeated 13-1. Nationals actually lead briefly in the top of the 2nd inning. With 2 out and 2 on (Johnson and Anderson out; Kearns and Church walked), Schneider shows that he can still, occasionally, hit the ball by driving in Kearns off of a single. Unfortunately that was all the offense that the Nationals would produce in the game. The Dodgers immediately responded in the bottom of the 2nd with 4 runs to take the lead for good. They would eventually win by a score of 13-1. Armas lasted just 3 innings, giving up 7 hits, 2 home-runs, 1 walk, and six runs while also striking out 2. Lopez (known for his poor fielding), Ward, and Jackson all committed errors in the game. Soriano was unexpectedly lifted in the fifth inning when Fick pinch-hit for him. Apparently he was lifted because Robinson thought the Dodgers were just too far in front of the Nationals (up 10-1 at the time) that he might as well rest Soriano (according to the ESPN recap).

Stanton – Martis:
Prior to the game, 39-year old reliever Mike Stanton was traded to the San Francisco Giants for a pitching prospect named Shairon Martis. Despite moving from an east coast team to a west coast team, Stanton will have to fly back from LA to Pittsburgh to join his new team. Shairon B. Martis is a right-handed pitcher born March 30, 1987. He stands 6 feet 1 inch, and is listed with a weight of 175 pounds. The 19 year-old is/was currently in Single-A Augusta and had a record of 6-4, 3.64 ERA in 15 games started. He has pitched in 76.2 innings so far this year, giving up 76 hits, 31 ER, 3 HR, 21 BB, 3 WP, and striking out 66 (and has a WalksHitsIP of 1.27). In 2005, Martis pitched for the Arizona Giants, the rookie level Giants minor league team. He started 5 games (appeared in 11), and had a record of 2-1, 1.85 ERA, 1 save - 34 innings pitched, 28 hits, 7 earned runs, 1 home-run 9 walks, 50 strike-outs, 3 wild pitches, 1.09 WHIP.

As has already been mentioned, Martis pitched in the 2006 World Baseball Classic with the Netherlands. The only information from his activity in the WBC seems to be that he threw a 7 inning no-hitter in 65 pitches.

Apparently the Astros and the Twins are now the front runners for Soriano’s services (according to what I read on ESPN, though Stark is reporting what others are saying). Tiger dropped from front-runner status because they don’t want to trade OF Cameron Maybin (10th overall pick in 2005; 19 year old currently in single A, 243 AB, 15 doubles, 5 triples, 5 home-runs, 47 RBI, 22 SB, 2 CS, 35 walks to 80 strike-outs, .317 batting average, .404 OBP, .481 slg, .886 OPS; 4 games in majors with Tigers, 5 AB, 1 strike-out), and the Nationals are concerned about Humberto Sanchez’s elbow (has played in both AA and AAA this year, 11 GS in AA – 5-3, 1.76, 71.2 IP, 47 H, 17 R, 14 ER, 2 HR, 27 BB, 86 SO, 4 WP, 1.03 WHIP; AAA: 5-3, 3.61, 47.1 IP, 45 hits, 20 runs, 19 earned, 2 home-runs, 19 walks, 39 strike-outs, 1 wild pitch, 1.35 WHIP; 2002-2005 minor league career stats: 64 GS (68 overall, 20-25, 4.73, 3 complete games, 331 IP, 321 H, 203 R, 174 ER, 24 HR, 183 BB 317 SO 29 WP 1.52 WHIP – 2002 A-; 2003 A; 2004 A+ & AA; 2005 AA (just 15 games total). White Sox dropped from co-front runner status because they won’t trade RHP Brandon McCarthy (17th round, 2002 Amateur draft; 23, 6-7, 180 pounds, 2006: majors: 3-4, 3.91 34 games, 1 GS, 53 IP, 39 hits, 23 er, 8 hr, 17 bb, 33 SO, 1.25 WHIP; 2005: majors: 3-2, 4.03, 12 games, 10 starts, 67 IP, 62 hits, 30 er, 13 hr, 17 walks, 48 strike-outs, 1 wp; 1.18 whip), nor 3B Josh Fields (6-2, 210 pounds, Dec. 14, 1982; 1st round 2004; currently in triple A, a 3B, so I won’t continue). Twins are said to have wanted Carlos Lee, but Lee is now a Ranger. Twins are apparently deep in prospects, and apparently Soriano is the last impact offensive player out there that will be a free agent in the off-season (as Stark puts it “money entanglements”). Astros want to add something, anything to increase their playoff chances, but are said to be reluctant to part with some of their prospects.

LHP Michael O’Connor (3-6, 4.59) vs. Lowe (7-7, 4.18 era)

I believe the game starts sometime after 4 pm EST, so I'll stick with "tonight".

Friday, July 28, 2006


Nationals win sixth straight, Soriano not yet traded (nor anyone else, like Hernandez), plus tips on taking photos through nets/fencing

Livan Hernandez wins his 8th victory in 2006 and is now 8-8, and Cordero picks up his 17th save in Thursday’s day game. Since June 5th, Hernandez’s ERA has risen from 5.16 (a low of 5.06) to his present era of 5.70 (a high of 5.94). He is currently giving up almost six runs a game. In the last three games, though, he has only giving up 3 runs a game, and lasted at least 6 innings (and 7 innings on Thursday). Of course the start before that he gave up 7 earned runs in 1.2 innings of work. On the other hand, he has now won three straight decisions (and the team has won all six of the games he pitched in that time period). The point? Hernandez might be traded, team’s are looking for pitchers, and these are Hernandez current stats.

Livan Hernandez

Right, the actual game on Thursday (see photo set of the game by MissChatter):
Soriano lead off with his 32nd home-run of the year, and Zimmerman added his 13th home-run of the year in the third inning. Hernandez was given an early lead and he held it until the third inning when he gave up a third inning lead off home-run to catcher Eliezer Alfonzo (8th home-run of the year). The Nationals responded immediately with Zimmerman’s 2 run home-run in the bottom of the third, pushing the Nationals back into a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, the Giants immediately responded in the 4th when Alfonzo sac flied, driving in Sweeney, and Vizcaino singled to drive in Durham to tie the game 3-3. The game was tied until the seventh inning, when the Nationals finally jumped ahead for good. Fick walked to lead off the seventh inning, Hernandez bunted, and was out. Soriano then walked. Lopez grounded out, then Zimmerman walked. 2 out, bases loaded. Sanchez then relieved starting pitcher Matt Cain. First batter Sanchez faced: Johnson. Johnson hits a double to right field, driving in Fick and Soriano and moving Zimmerman to third. Chulk then replaced Sanchez and immediately gave up a single to Kearns. Soriano and Johnson score. Game over? Score 6-3? Not quite.

Micah Bowie
Micah Bowie replaces Hernandez for the 8th inning and faces just three batters, all of whom Bowie gets out. Cordero relieved Bowie for the 9th inning. Score 6-3 Nationals. Sweeney leads off the 9th with a ground out. Durham then singles. Feiliz up and out. 2 outs, 1 runner on, 1 runner at the plate. Worst that could happen at this point and the Nationals still would be ahead. The worst happens and Alfonzo hits his second home-run of the game (and 9th overall), driving himself and Durham. Score now: 6-5 Nationals. Todd Greene up (I believe Greene came into the game in the to play 1B, Hillenbrand moved from 1B to 3B, and Feliz moved from 3B to SS, Vizcaino out; not sure when this occurred though). Greene strikes out, Nationals win 6th straight, Hernandez wins his 8th game, Cordero his 17th save, Bowie his third hold, and the Nationals are now only 10 games under .500.

Tonight: LA; and future
Tonight the team starts a three game series against the LA Dodgers (47-55), and then will face the Giants again, this time in San Francisco for three games before an off day on Thursday (8/3/06; then San Diego for 3, then an off-day, then 10 games at home against NL East division opponents). So do the Nationals have it in them to win 9 games in a row on the road? Pulling within one game of .500 before facing their NL East opponents for the rest of August (13 games at home, 9 games on the road)?

Right, first the Nationals have to try to win tonight before we jump too far ahead.
Tonight Tony Armas (7-5, 4.35) faces RHP Chad Billingsley (1-3, 4.26).
Armas is 2-1, 3.71 against the Dodgers and is 1-1, 3.75 for July. Armas is actually better on the road so far this season. 5-4, with an era of 3.53 in 9 games started vs 2-1 with an era of 5.40 at home in 8 games started.

Billingsley is a rookie who has pitched 8 total games in the majors (1-3, 4.26 ERA). Billingsley routinely lasts just 5 innings, though his first win came in a game where he pitched 7 innings.

Saturday: July 29, 2006
LHP Michael O’Connor (3-6, 4.59) vs. RHP Derek Lowe (7-7, 4.18)
O’Connor’s first start against the Dodgers, and Lowe is currently having some pitching problems (ERA moved from 3.49 to 4.18 over 1 month; see probable pitchers page).
O'Connor throws the first pitch of the game

Sunday: July 30, 2006
RHP Ramon Ortiz (7-9, 4.87) vs. LHP Mark Hendrickson (4-12, 4.10)
Ortiz: 7 innings of work in first start against the Dodgers on May 28 (this year), gave up 3 runs. Nationals won.
Ortiz warms up

Hendrickson has pitched just 5 games with the Dodgers as of 7/28/06; yet to win a game with them; era of 4.97 with them.

Monday: July 31, 2006
RHP Pedro Astacio (1-1, 5.06) vs. LHP Noah Lowry (5-6, 4.16)
Both Astacio and Lowry last pitched against each other in their last starts. Astacio lasted 6.1 innings and gave up 2 ER (3 total), and Lowry pitched 6 innings and gave up 2 unearned runs.
Pedro Astacio throws the first pitch of the gameNoah Lowry pitches

Trade deadline day. All of the above pitching match-ups are just “probable.”

A trick to take pictures through a net (like behind home-plate at RFK) or fence-like obstruction:
You want to take a picture of the batter (or runner, or whatever that is viewable through the net). If you point, focus on the batter, and take a picture, the camera is likely to focus on the net (even if the little focus box is around the batter, it is probably focused on the net around the batter, not the batter). So what do you do?
1) Focus on something outside the net, preferably on the field (third baseman is not blocked by the net).
2) Lock in your focus (on my camera, that means that the box is now green).
3) Move your camera back to the net area and take a picture of the batter. (probably better to focus on something the same distance as the batter and same lighting conditions of the batter; but focusing on the third baseman will give you good results).

Hopefully these notes are helpful.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Nationals defeat Giants for second time, Today a day game, Sweep?

Nationals win their 5th straight game Wednesday in a hard fought low scoring game. Nationals jump to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third and kept that lead until the seventh when Mike Stanton was credited with a blown save after giving up a single to Randy Winn which scored Todd Greene and Linden to give the Giants 3 total runs (a run was scored in the top of the fourth off of a double by Durham). The score was 3-2 until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Fick came in to lead off (despite the scoreboard mistakes, he was not pinch hitting for Rivera, but had come into the game in the last inning as catcher, this comment will be easier to see after I get the pictures uploaded hopefully tonight). Benetiz came in for the Giants to shut out the Nationals. First batter he walked (Fick), second he struck out (Soriano). Fick on first, 1 out. Lopez singled and Fick moved to second (if I recall correctly, the ball was deflected by a diving player, and the other infielder was not in position to stop the ball). Zimmerman, and his heroics of this past season stepped up to the plate as the fourth batter of the inning. 1 out, Fick on second, Lopez on first. Zimmerman singles, Fick scores and Lopez moves to second base. Whatever happens now, the Nationals are in it, tie-game - 3-3. Benetiz goes 3-2 to Johnson before walking him. Johnson on First, Zimmerman on second, Lopez on third, bases loaded. Kearns up, in a slightly similar position in the 7th (bases loaded, Johnson IBB, 2 out, instead of 1), Kearns popped up for the third out. This occasion? So far in this game, Kearns is 1 for 4 and had left 5 runners on base. Kearns hits the ball to shallow left field, the ball is caught, Lopez tags up and runs home, the throw to the plate, and Lopez is safe at home. Game over, Nationals win 4-3 and win their fifth game in a row.

Pedro Astacio ended up being charged with 2 earned runs and 3 overall runs for his 6.1 innings of work. 1 of those earned runs came in the fourth inning, and the other earned run crossed the plate while Stanton was on the mound. Once again, though, Astacio would not get a W or L. Saul Rivera, the pitcher of record win Lopez crossed the plate, earned his first major league win.

ESPN box score

Some Notes from the Diamond Club seating:
1) On Tuesday I sat in 113 on the first base side of the field. 7 rows back, staring straight at the batter while he is in the batters box. No net. One or two balls flew at my seat, but not while I was there (I could see them from up in the Diamond Club food area behind the right field fence, overlooking the Nationals bullpen). Interesting to be that close and in such a precarious position. Much better seats, though, than the ones I had on Wednesday when I sat in 118 on the third base side of the field (10 rows back). 118 is behind the net, and not enough over to be behind home-plate. 113, despite being further over from home-plate, was a much better seating area than 118, both because of the lack of net (quite distracting) and the angle of the seat (though looking over to the scoreboard in the outfield was a little hard on the neck).

2) The food is free up in the food area behind the Nationals bullpen, and in the seating area (except for certain things like beer/wine). Be aware of this fact, don’t stop and buy a hot dog on the way down to your seat. On the other hand, because of one thing or another (somewhat unexplained), you might have to wait until the third inning to get someone to come by and ask if you want anything (even if you sit there, mostly by yourself, from about 6:30/45 on; that was in 118 (where there was apparently only one server; 113 was much better served and had more servers - oh, and I saw the fellow running around in 118, despite my annoyance at not being asked if I wanted anything until the third inning, I still think he needs a raise - he was constantly in motion getting orders and bringing things to the seats, just not specifically to me). If you have the opportunity and choice, I’d say take the 113 seats, you stare into the batters box, and have a great view of the batter (and no net).

3) Plan to either: a) not get home for 2 to 4 hours after the game, or b) leave early. Why? Well, you, the Diamond Club patron, are way down next to the plate, with many many rows behind you in your area alone (which, of course, was the point of having those seats - being close to the field). Add in the 300 level seats, and you will, not might, but will end up standing for about ten to 15 minutes after the game is over (all activity on field over, fireworks, patting on back, etc., over) waiting for people to move forward. If you parked in the parking lot, getting out will take about 1-3 hours (90% of the 2-4 hour commute time home will be attempting to leave the stadium area). There is a trick to get out of the jammed parking area, the non-moving - except when someone decides to leave your lane and race to another lane parking area. Those that know it, apparently three people judging by the traffic, will not thank me for mentioning it now, so I’ll leave it a mystery. A not particularly well hidden mystery, but still apparently a mystery. Of course the trick depends on where you live. If you live where I live, the trick probably doesn’t really cut down on the number of hours in the car. What it does do, though, is put you in a position to be constantly in motion going at or slightly above the speed limit all the way from the stadium to home (just add - highway speed limit).

Today’s day game will feature the services of RHP Matt Cain (7-6, 4.67) and RHP Livan Hernandez (7-8, 5.80). Cain has pitched in 19 game this year (and 26 overall), and in those 106 (152.1 career) innings, has given up 11 home-runs (15 career) 52 walks (71 career), and has an era of 4.67 (3.96 career). He has also struck out 90 batters (120 career) and has limited batters to a batting average of .219 (.200 career).

Vidro wants Soriano to stay (“Vidro said recently that if left fielder Alfonso Soriano is traded before the July 31 deadline, it would be a devastating blow to the franchise”; oh, and in that same article: “The Nationals are 7-3 when Robert Fick starts behind the plate”). Soriano not yet traded (and my quick glance around the internet notes no new news (other than a Boswell column about losing particular players which I will get around to reading, hopefully)).

Oh wait, I see something for all those “trade Soriano now for prospects, re-sign him in the off-season” people: Soriano says he won't re-sign with Nationals if they trade him . A headline in the Baltimore Sun (a newspaper with more inside dirt on the Nationals, on this particular issue, than apparently any Washington DC area paper).

"To be honest, it's tough to say I'd come back if they trade me because you know if they trade me I'm going to think that I cannot be good for this team, because they traded me, because they [do] not need me anymore," Soriano said.

But Soriano said he likely would never put on a Nationals uniform again if traded.

"I think so. It depends, but that's what I feel now," said Soriano. "It depends on the situation. I don't want to say that I won't sign with this team, but that is going to be very tough."

Headline somewhat stronger than Soriano’s words.

Oh, and as I noticed yesterday, and then just noticed again the Sun article - Sal Fasano now a Yankee.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


President's race

From reading the various blogs, there has been some small desire to see the "live" "critters", so here they are:

The beginning:
President's race

The winner:
Abe Lincoln wins

Some talking Presidents:
Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson

Three of the four stand around posing (Abe's behind them):
The President's pose

Oops, games restarting, need to exit the field (right next to me):
President's leave

Bye bye Mr. President(s)!
They walk up the aisle near me

Larger pictures of the above available if you click on them and head over to Flickr.

Oh, and just because this picture is from the first time they appeared, here's another picture:
President's race
Don't overlook the blog entry below this one, also from today


Nationals Defeat Barry Bonds 8-6, Jose Vidro Placed on the 15-day DL

The Game:

In the second game in a row (that I’ve attended), Soriano lead off the Nationals offensive side of the game by being hit by the first pitch thrown by the opposing pitcher. And for the fourth game in a row, I believe, the Nationals chased the starting pitcher early in the game. This time, a starting pitcher, Matt Morris, who was going for his sixth win in a row (in games in which he factored in the decision).

Game 1 in the Giants - Nationals Series

Ramon Ortiz pitches

The Line-ups:

Giants Line-up

Nationals Line-up


and a miss

Soriano is hit by a pitch to lead off the game (first pitch)Soriano is once again hit by the first pitch thrown

, and moves to third on a Lopez single. Lopez then steals second base. First run scores when Zimmerman, third up, grounds out to short, and Soriano runs home. Johnson would then hit a single, which allowed Lopez to score. Kearns is the second and Anderson is the third out. Inning over, score 2-0 in favor of the Nationals.

Durham leads off the top of the second, and is out. Finley walks, Feliz singles, Aflonzo singles. Bases loaded for the pitcher, he hits it over the wall. Since it bounced first, it is a ground rule double – Finley and Feliz score, Alfonzo to third, Morris to second. Game now tied with two runners in scoring position and just 1 out. Winn will pop out for the second out, Vizquel will be walked to load the bases, and Hillenbrand will strike-out.

Nothing of significance happens in the bottom neither of the second nor in the top of the third.

Soriano flies out to lead off the bottom of the third, and Lopez singles to get on base. Zimmerman walks, Lopez to second. Johnson singles, Lopez scores and Zimmerman moves to second. Score now 3-2 in favor of the Nationals. Kearns walks to load the bases. Anderson singles driving in Zimmerman, Johnson

Ryan Zimmerman scores

, and moving Kearns to third. Anderson will end up on second base after a throwing error. Church then doubles, scoring Anderson and Kearns. Starting pitcher Matt Morris is then relieved after 2 1/3 innings by Correia. Correia promptly gets two outs and the inning ends. Score: 7-2. The game will continue to be a struggle, but never again will the game be tied, nor ever will the Nationals fall behind the Giants in this game. The Nationals win their fourth game in a row.

ESPN Box score

Photos from the game (from Diamond Club).

Micah Bowie:

Micah Bowie


On July 25, 2006, Jose Vidro was placed on the 15 day DL retroactive to July 18. He has strained his left hamstring. Bernie Castro called up from the minors. Castro has not yet played a game in the majors this year. He has appeared in 24 games in his career, 80 AB, with a career average of .288 with 23 hits in those 80 AB, and 3 of those hits were doubles and 1 was a triple. He has scored 14 runs, and driven in 7 runs (RBI). He has 9 walks to 10 strike-outs and 6 stolen bases to 2 caught stealing. An on-base percentage of .360, and a slugging percentage of .350 round out his offensive stats. AAA New Orleans this year: hitting .284 in 69 games (268 AB) with 36 runs, 5 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home-runs, 25 RBI, 18 walks, 34 strike-outs, 22 SB, 2 CS, .329 OBP, .347 SLG, .676 OPS, 7 DP (fielding, not hit into), 56 games at 2B, 13 games in outfield, 7 errors (not broken down by position).


Lowry (5-6, 4.45 era) vs. Astacio (1-1, 5.75 era)

Bowden talked to 27 of the other teams on Tuesday about the possibility, if any, that the other team might be willing to accept Soriano onto their team.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Guillen out for season (Tommy John Surgery); Soriano - White Sox?; New Owners official; tonight: Barry Bonds and the Giants strive for first place

Guillen up at-bat<_guillen
Jose Guillen now out for the season (see the Nationals note here), and Bowden denies Soriano trade rumors (which means, of course, that a deal is in place and will be shortly announced, going by past indicators). I guess it will be kind of hard to trade Guillen now, right? And with this being his final year on his current contract, that means that the Nationals will not get anything from the loss of his services come the off-season free agent shuffle. Of course he could re-sign with the Nationals at that point, but the likelihood of that occurring are slim (despite the contract being up, the Tommy John surgery, rehab - out for maybe up to 12 months, will be paid for by the Nationals; a great take on Guillen's as a Nationals player can be found on the Nats320 blog by the people that began that Jose song).
Alfonso Soriano scores on a wild pitch<-Soriano Oh, and that trade denial: "All I can tell you is that we don't have a deal in place with any team at this hour on any player. That's the only comment I'm going to have," Bowden said. Apparently there are reports that Soriano would be traded to the White Sox for a pitcher (Brandon McCarthy (White Sox GM: "I have no intention whatsoever of trading him in any sort of deal. He's very much a part of our future. To answer your question, Brandon is not going anywhere.") and a center-fielder (Josh Fields). On the other hand, ESPN said that the deal was very close to getting completed (“A source told ESPN's Tim Kurkjian that a deal that would send Alfonso Soriano to the White Sox is "extremely close" to happening”). Also: The Tigers have turned down a deal to get Soriano (Soriano to Detroit for RHPs Humberto Sanchez and Jair Jurrjens, plus OF Cameron Maybin), and the Nationals turned down the counteroffer (which is not mentioned). The White Sox, Twins, Tigers, Mariners, Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers are all interested in Soriano, but Bowden is asking for a lot in return and so far the Mariner’s interest has faded, the Yankees are looking elsewhere (plus they don’t exactly have a lot of prospects to dangle in front of the Nationals), the Tigers are moving away from a deal, and the White Sox note that the players it would have to trade are part of its future.

Contract Extension for Soriano - Guillen, apparently, wanted a five year $50 million dollar deal, but the Nationals didn’t want to give him one, instead they offered that deal to Soriano before this season started. Soriano rejected that deal, and now says that he doesn’t want to talk about his contract until after the season (see the “denies” link above; also both Soriano and Stan Kasten are very stubborn people - Soriano wants a no-trade clause, and Kasten has never included a no-trade clause in a contract).

Oh, and the team is now officially owned by someone/thing other than the MLB owners.

Outside RFK<-RFK
Barry Bonds and some other San Francisco Giants will be visiting RFK today, Wednesday and Thursday (a day game).
RHP Matt Morris (“going for his sixth straight win” - no decision last game he pitched, a win, no decision, etc.) will face off against RHP Ramon Ortiz. Morris has pitched in 20 games this year and has a record of 8-7, 4.42 ERA. In his last start on the 19th of July, Morris gave up 3 home-runs in 7 innings pitched, increasing his ERA to 4.42. For the year, Ortiz has appeared in 19 games and has a record of 6-9, 4.73 ERA. While Morris is going for his sixth straight winning decision, Ortiz is trying to avoid his fourth straight loss. The Giants (51-48) are currently 1 game back from first place in the NL West division. The Nationals are 16 games back in the NL East division, and in last place (43-56).

ESPN preview; Nationals.com preview

I know I have Ortiz somewhere, but I can't seem to find him in picture form

Projected starters:
Wednesday: Lowery (5-6, 4.45) vs. Astacio (1-1, 5.75)
Astacio throws the first pitch<-Astacio Thursday: Cain (7-6, 4.67) vs. Hernandez (7-8, 5.80) Livan Hernandez<-Hernandez

Monday, July 24, 2006


Section 319: The missing seating section at RFK

On this, an off day, I decided to mention a little issue that I've had with the stadium seating at RFK. My little issue involves section 319, and the brilliant sign work performed by the RFK staff (a second issue, which I'm going to forgo for now, involves the question: "Why, during the game, especially while the Nationals are at bat, does everyone and their cousin Shirley decide to walk directly in front of section 319 to exit, even if they have to walk from the opposite side of the stadium to walk in front of section 319?"). Right, the 319/318 sign.
Here is a picture of section 319, or a small part of it, as seen from the RFK field:
There's my seat
Notice anything wrong with this picture (other than the giant laundry bag and the balloons)?
That's right, the sign reads 318.
I'm obviously looking at section 318, right? Wrong. Another shot, taken from the upper deck (and blurry):
My seats
Notice the 319 written on the wall, the blurry hard to read sign that reads 318, and the sign on the railing on the next section over which also says 318.

Almost every game people wander around in front of section 319 trying to figure out where they are supposed to be sitting. And almost every game a miniature debate leads off the game, as those that hold tickets for section 318 (which is actually a better section) battle holders of section 319 tickets for the right to sit in the section 319 seats.

The signage issue has been a cause for concern since the beginning of this year (though the sign correctly read section 319 last year). Oh and those people that walk in front of section 319 while the Nationals are at bat? The ones apparently in need of some refreshment, or the like? Most of the time they are wearing Nationals hats, or shirts, or socks, or whatever.

Until next time, my faithful reader (which, I believe, consists of myself; turning this into a photoblog didn't pan out, and not continuing the entry style of last year removed the rest of the readers). To no one, except maybe as a reminder to myself: I will not be at the Tuesday-Thursday series games in my normal season seat, and will not attend the game on Tuesday nor on Thursday, but on Wednesday I will be attempting to see what the Diamond Club seats are like. I am quite interested to see what kind of pictures I can get from that short distance from the field (if I recall correctly, 10 rows from the field). Also, am I supposed to be getting free food and parking as a with this Diamond Club ticket?

Before I leave, just for fun, here are the new Nationals:
Kearns at bat:
Kearns at the plate
Kearns in the Field:
Austin Kearns in the field
Lopez at bat:
Lopez at the plate
Lopez in the field:
New player Felipe Lopez in the field
And hard to see, but this is Luis Matos at bat:
Luis Matos four at-bat as a National

Friday, July 21, 2006


Nationals Defeat Chicago Cubs 7-6

Jon Rauch picks up the win and Cordero earns his 15th save of the season. Alex Escobar started in center and drove in the tie and winning runs, but pulled up at first injured. News of the injury will be very interesting to find out.

At the game the US Army Chorus and Herald Trumpets performed:


Washington Nationals Jose Guillen effectively removes himself from trade discussions

Everyone on the team has been made available for trade discussions, except for Ryan Zimmerman (except sometimes the Washington Nationals forget to include that exception; recently the new (has the old one left yet?) team president mentioned that all players were tradable, without including that exception for Zimmerman)? Eh, maybe not. Guillen joins Jose Vidro (who has been rumored in several trade deals, including with the Mets, but indications are that he is too injured/injury-prone to be acceptable in a trade), on the list of unlikely to be traded Nationals players. Vidro's on that list because of injury problems (though he isn't on the DL), and Guillen is on the untradable list both because he has not hit this season, and because he is now on the DL. As of July 20, 2006 (retroactive to July 18), Jose Guillen has joined the long list of Nationals players on the DL.

With Guillen out, Alex Escobar will likely get his chance to start in center-field, and Austin Kearns will return to his more natural position in right-field. The once crowded outfield now consists of Escobar, Kearns, Alfonso Soriano, and struggling Luis Matos.

Another consideration to keep in mind is that with Guillen now off the tradable list, the likelihood of Soriano being traded has increased. There was a somewhat conceivable scenario that had the Nationals trading Guillen and getting the pitching prospects that they want, and in the meantime, signing Soriano to a long-term contract. Soriano wants to stop moving to various different teams, and he has expressed a mild interest in remaining in Washington DC. Even before the injury, though, this particular scenario was quite unlikely, due to the poor play of Guillen, and his still-in-mind-of the other GM's "attitude problem" in the clubhouse.

The tradable assets of the Nationals keeps decreasing (Guillen - DL, poor play; Vidro - injury prone; Nick Johnson - injury prone; Livan Hernandez - poor play (6-8, 5.87 this year, 116-112, 4.21 career; Tony Armas (28) - injury prone . . ..) Hey, maybe someone would be interested in Zimmerman, Kearns, Felipe Lopez, or Alfonzo Soriano. Wait, the Nationals want to keep the youngsters, right (in answer, see Bray, Majewski)?

Anyone want Daryle Ward? He is a great pinch hitter, he is hitting .316 away from RFK, .288 on Grass, .333 on turf, .321 during the day, and is currently hitting .188 in July (.000 after the all-star break). Oh, and he has only committed 19 errors in 451 games started at 1B, and in the OF. Oh course he also has a slightly better range than a scarecrow. He has been described as a great DH, and the reason for his signing by a National League team was for the games played in American League parks.

Pedro Astacio? Currently 1-1 with an ERA of 6.43 in three games started (on the DL most of the year). Career 125-120 starting pitcher with and ERA of 4.63. Any takers? He is only 36 years-old.

Anyone with a good bullpen that wants an innings eater? Ramon Ortiz (33) might not be the best pitcher around, but he does tend to get to the seventh inning (with some exceptions where he barely gets to the fifth inning). He has a career winning percentage (74-69), and has winning seasons with 13, 15, 16 wins.

The Nationals are a sellers team, but what exactly are they selling? Alfonso Soriano, bench players (Ward, Anderson, Fick, etc.), aged and or poorly playing pitchers, injury prone infielders (and outfielders, see Alex Escobar), youngsters in the majors, and prospects in the minors (and remember, we got Matos by signing him, not claiming him off of waivers - unless the transaction page is wrong, the O's outright released him, so how likely is it that someone would want Matos in a trade?).

(note: those few that see this write-up in more than one place: this also appears on ArmChairGM.com (written and posted there by me)).

Friday, July 14, 2006


Luis Matos joins the Nationals

A relatively old story (11:25 am EST), but first I noticed it was when I looked at their roster. Luis Matos came from the same hometown as Felipe Lopez, I assume there is not a connection with the pickup and that fact.

The O's released Matos on July 7, 2006, and the Nationals signed the free agent today. Matos played seven seasons with the O's (including 55 games this season), and spent five of them on the DL at some point in those seasons (Matos was on the DL for April of 2006). He is a career .256 hitter in 494 games (1590 AB), with 82 doubles, 9 triples, 30 home-runs, 140 RBI, 597 TB, 72 SB 24 CS .313 OBP and .375 SLG. Matos best season came in 2003 when he played in 109 games and ended up with a batting average of .303 with a .353 OBP and .458 SLG. he hit 23 doubles, 3 triples, 13 home-runs and 45 RBI, while also stealing 15 stolen bases. Matos has appeared in 55 games this season, and has hit a very low .207. In his last ten games, Matos hit .227 with the O's. Matos wore #32 with the O's, but as we all know, Chad Cordero wears #32 on the Nationals.

To make room for the addition, Marlon Byrd has been sent down.

Source: Nationals.com

Thursday, July 13, 2006


8 Player trade made

The "untradable" (as in no one would want him as he is too old, according to the Washington Post in an earlier article) SS Royce Clayton, young Brendan Harris, and young relievers Bill Bray, Gary Majewski, and Daryl Thompson have been traded by the Washington Nationals to the Cincinnati Reds for SS Felipe Lopez (26), currently hitting .268, tied for fourth in the NL for stolen bases with 23, and is second in the NL for home-runs by a short-stop with nine home-runs, outfielder Austin Kearns (26) who is currently hitting .274 with 16 home-runs and 50 RBI, plus RHP Ryan Wagner (23) who will be sent to AAA New Orleans. Reliever Roy Corcoran (26) with his 2.45 ERA, is likely to be called up (or "purchased" - last I checked he was on the 40-man roster) to fill the now vacant roster position. Corcoran has an opposing batting average of .169.

Interesting, I went to look for Ryan Wagner's record on the Minor League website, and it already lists him as being on the New Orleans team. He is coming over from the Louisville Bats with a record of 1-3 in 35 games and with an ERA of 6.34 in 38.1 IP. He has allowed 55 hits, 29 runs, 27 ER, 3 HR, 14 walks and strike-out 28 batters. Not exactly earth-shattering numers, no? The Bats, I now notice, are a AAA club. I'm sure there is a way to look closer at his record, but I can't seem to find it at this time. Now on to the other two players.

CF Austin Kearns (I guess Alex Escobar actually isn't going to get that chance to start, unless they move him to right-field in place of the struggling Jose Guillen, but then they are trying to hope that Guillen improves so that they can trade him - to bad, the often hurt Escobar is doing a great job so far) has a career batting average of .267 in 452 games played in the majors. He made his MLB debut in 2002 in April. He has 71 career home-runs, 263 RBI, 206 walks to 412 strike-outs, .468 SLG and .358 OBP. Kearns is currently hitting .316 vs. lefties and .257 vs. righties - platoon him with Escobar? probably not. He is currently hitting .270 this month. He hit .264 in 82 games in 2003 with the Reds, knocking in 15 HR, 58 RBI, and his OBP was .364. In 2004, Kearns hit .230 in 64 games with the Reds, knocking in 9 HR and 32 RBI. IN 2005, Kearns average inched slightly higher to .240 in 112 games, 387 AB, 18 HR 67 HR. I read something somewhere (one of those sporting newspapers) that batter reach their peak at 27 before sliding (I had previously read an older age for the peak, but times change), and it looks like Kearns might be getting better as he reaches that magically age of 27. He won't turn 27 until next year. Kearns would be a definate improvement for CF based on all the other strugglers that tried to play the position, but then Escobar did just start playing great in that position, so . . . Oh, and fielding - currently sporting a career fielding percentage of .986, .991 for 2006.

SS Felipe Lopez has appeared in four seasons with the Reds in the majors, and 2 seasons with the Blue Jays. He is a career .259 hitter in 505 games and 1843 AB. He has hit 93 doubles, 17 triples, 54 home-runs, 216 RBI, has 56 stolen bases to 26 CS, has an on-base percentage of .329 and a slugging percentage of .416. In terms of age and offense, he seems to be a great improvement over Royce Clayton. Fielding? Lopez is currently sporting a career fielding percentage of .959 vs. Clayton's .974. So, a downgrade in defense (and Clayton is hitting .001 point higher than Lopez, but that doesn't make up for the other great offensive number put out by Lopez).

Interesting to see this occur today. I just read an article in the Washington Post that talked about the GM's prior trades, and how most weren't particularly good. Also how the GM will need to be patient to follow the new owners plans. Then I hear about this trade. Youngsters in for youngters and old Clayton. Two major league relievers out the door, one minor league reliever in. So, I noticed that guy they will probably bring up, Corcoran, has great numbers, but will he make up two relief positions?

I'll let others get more detailed, and also to examine the Reds side of the deal.

Larger version
First pic: Royce Clayton
2nd: Majewski
3rd: Harris
4th: Bray
5th: Harris
6th: Some of these pitchers have been traded, can you tell which ones?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The All-Virginia Baseball Team

All-Virginia Team

This is a relatively easy task, right? Just look for the players and manager(s) in the Hall of Fame, and this little task will write itself. Except:

1. No player born in Virginia has had a Hall of Fame career except for pitcher Eppa Rixey, who played from 1912-1933.
2. No player born in Virginia was an All-Star except for OF/DH Willie Horton, OF Jim Lemon, 1B George McQuinn, 2B/SS Tony Womack (harder to double check All-Star, could be one that ended up with a bad record, but had an All-Star year - way too many VA players to check all).
3. No manager born in Virginia, except one who managed just 3 games in the 1800s, has a winning record.

[[Larry Woodall]] - born in Staunton, in 1894. Career .268 batter, played 10 seasons with the Tigers. Fielding percentage: .984.

[[George McQuinn]] - born in Arlington, VA in 1910. Played 1936-1948. [[All-Star]] 1939-1940, 1942, 1944-1945, 1947-1948. Played 12 seasons - 1 with the Reds, 8 with the St. Louis Browns (which became the Baltimore Orioles; AL Champs in 1944), 1 with the Philadelphia Athletics (moved to Oakland through Kansas City), and 2 years with the Yankees (MLB Champs in 1947). Career .276 batter with 315 2B, 64 3B, 135 HR, 794 HR.

[[Jim Pankovits]] - born in Pennington Gap in 1955. Played 1984-1990 for Houston and Boston. Career .250 hitter - no full seasons in the majors. .961 Fielding percentage at 2B. Weak, I know.

[[Tony Womack]] - born in Chatham in 1969. [[All-Star]] - 1997. Currently playing, so far played 12 seasons, with the Pirates, Diamond Backs, Rockies, Cubs, Cardinals, and the Yankees. Career .273 batter with 363 SB.

Third Base:
[[Billy Nash]] - born in Richmond in 1865. At the age of 31, Nash managed and played in 130 games for the 1896 [[Philadelphia Phillies]]. His managing record of 62-68 for a winning percentage of .477 is the best percentage for any manager born in Virginia who has managed at least 4 games. The Phillies finished eighth in the National League with that 62-68 record. Nash played in 15 seasons in the majors, from 1884 (when he was 19) until 1898 (when he was 33), for a total of 1549 games. He ended up with a career batting average of .275 in 5849 at-bats, and had an impressively low 384 strike-outs (compared with 803 walks and 1606 hits). Nash hit 266 doubles, 87 triples, 60 home-runs, 977 RBI, and stole 265 bases. Nash also pitched in 2 games, for a total of 1.3 innings. He gave up 1 hit and 1 walk but zero runs. He had an overall fielding percentage of .896. He played 3B (1464), 2B (43), SS (36), OF (8), and pitcher (2).

[[David Wright]] - born Norfolk, VA in 1982. Plays for the Mets. So far - career average .306 in 316 games. .949 Fielding percentage.

[[Jim Lemon]] - born 1928 in Covington. [[All-Star]]. Career .262 hitter in 12 seasons (career .961 Fielding percentage). 1950-1963. Ages 22-35. Indians, Senators (the one that became the Twins), Twins, Phillies and White Sox. Lemon also managed the 1968 Washington Senators (the one that became the Texas Rangers) to a 65-96 record and 10th place in the American League.
[[Steve Brodie]] - born in 1868 in Warrenton. Played for the Boston Beaneaters (1890-1891; eventually became the Atlanta Braves through Milwaukee) of the National League, the St. Louis Browns (1892-1893; became the Cardinals in 1900) of the National League, the Baltimore Orioles of the National League (1893-1896, 1898-1899; club existed from 1882-1899), the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League (1897-1898; started as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1882-1890), the Baltimore Orioles of the American League (1901; later became the New York Yankees), and finally with the New York Giants of the National League (1902; became the San Francisco Giants in 1959; started off as the New York Gothams). Played 12 seasons, 1420 games in the Outfield with an additional 16 at 2B and 2 games at 3B. OF fielding percentage of .959 with 3139 PO, 208 A, 142 E, and 52 double-plays. Offensive numbers: .303 career batter, with 1726 hits in 5699 at-bats, 191 doubles, 89 3B, 25 HR, 900 RBI, 420 BB, just 148 SO, .364 OBP, .381 SLG, 289 SB (either 0 CS or a stat not kept while he played).
[[Paul Hines]] - born in 1852 in Virginia. Played 20 seasons and ended up with a career batting average of .302 with 399 doubles, 93 triples, 57 HR, 855 RBI, and 163 SB (and 11 CS, a stat that apparently was kept from 1872-1875 and at no other time that Hines played). Played with the Washington Nationals (1872; just 1 year in existence; then played on another team that called itself the Washington Nationals 1886-1889 in the National League, it also folded), the Washington Blue Legs (1872, 1 year in existence; both Washington teams played in the National Association), the Chicago White Stockings (became the Chicago Cubs in 1903, oddly enough, played for both the National League and the National Association teams), the Providence Grays (which folded in 1885; National League team), the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the National League (which folded in 1889), the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates), with the Boston Beaneaters (Braves) and finally with the Washington Statesmen (which became the Washington Senators 1892-1899 of the American Association).

[[Michael Tucker]] born in South Boston, VA in 1971. .257 career hitter.

[[Willie Horton]] - born in Arno in 1942. [[All-Star]]. OF and DH (mostly OF). 18 seasons with the Tigers, Rangers, Indians, Athletics, Blue Jays, and Mariners (mostly with the Tigers). Career .273 hitter with 284 doubles, 40 triples, 325 HR, 1163 RBI, and 3332 TB. Fielding: .972 in 1190 games as an OF, and 1.000 in 1 game at 3B.

1. [[Eppa Rixey]] * - born in Culpeper in 1891. Played 1912-1933. Ended up with a Hall of Fame career and a record of 266-251 with an ERA of 3.15 in 692 games (552 GS), with 290 CG, 37 SHO, and 14 saves in 4494.7 innings pitched.
[[Doc Ayers]] - born in Fancy Gap in 1890. Played 1913-1921. Ended up with a record of 65-79 with an ERA of 2.84 in 299 games (140 GS), with 58 CG, 17 SHO, and 15 saves in 1428.7 innings pitched (.7?).
[[Charlie Ferguson]] - born in Charlottesville in 1863. Played 1884-1887 (age 21-24, died in 1888). Ended up with a record of 99-64 and an ERA of 2.67 in 183 games (170 GS), with 165 CG, 13 shut-outs, and four saves in 1514.7 innings pitched. Best year: 30-9 with an ERA of 1.98 in 45 GS. One of those odd things: had the most saves in the league in both 1886 & 1887. How many did he have? 2 in 1886 and 1 in 1887 (of course tied for the most in that year). He also had a career batting average of .288 with 13 triples. He also played OF, 2B and 3B. I’m not sure what happened to him, but he was just starting a great career when he died.
[[Deacon Phillippe]] - born in Rural Retreat in 1872. Played 1899-1911. Ended up with a record of 189-109 with an ERA of 2.59 in 372 games (288 GS), with 242 CG, 27 SHO, and 12 saves in 2607 innings pitched.
[[Ed Willett]] - born in Norfolk in 1884. Played 1906-1915. Ended up with a record of 102-99 with an ERA of 3.08 in 274 games (202 started), with 142 CG, 12 SHO and 5 saves in 1773.3 innings pitched.

[[Bobby Witt]] - who actually played in 1986-2001. Record of 142-157 with an ERA of 4.83 in 430 games (397 GS), 47 CG, 11 SHO, 0 saves in 2465.0 innings pitched.

[[Pat Sullivan]] - born in Lewisburg in 1854. At the age of 36, Sullivan managed three games for the 1890 [[Columbus Solons]] 1890 and acquired a record of 2-1 for a winning percentage of .667. That team played in the [[American Association]] and finished the year in second place with a record of 79-55. Sullivan would die six years later in 1896, when Billy Nash, also of Virginia, managed the Philadelphia Phillies.
[[Billy Nash]] - born in Richmond in 1865. At the age of 31, Nash managed and played in 130 games for the 1896 [[Philadelphia Phillies]]. His managing record of 62-68 for a winning percentage of .477 is the best percentage for any manager born in Virginia who has managed at least 4 games. The Phillies finished eighth in the National League with that 62-68 record. Nash played in 15 seasons in the majors, from 1884 (when he was 19) until 1898 (when he was 33), for a total of 1549 games. He ended up with a career batting average of .275 in 5849 at-bats, and had an impressively low 384 strike-outs (compared with 803 walks and 1606 hits). Nash hit 266 doubles, 87 triples, 60 home-runs, 977 RBI, and stole 265 bases. Nash also pitched in 2 games, for a total of 1.3 innings. He gave up 1 hit and 1 walk but zero runs. He had an overall fielding percentage of .896. He played 3B (1464), 2B (43), SS (36), OF (8), and pitcher (2).

* = in the Hall of Fame

Monday, July 03, 2006


Soriano - All-Star

Soriano homers1
Originally uploaded by BigCat.
A day late and all that, but I just noticed that article on Nationals.com about Soriano and his historic All-Star selection. I was slightly confused, I mean it's great an all that he was selected, but historic? Then I clicked on the link and noticed what the title was referencing. Soriano, Stan Musial, Pete Rose, and Robin Yount were all All-Stars in more than one position. That's the list, the complete and unabridged list of players selected to the All-Star team for more than 1 position, according to Bill Ladson. Wasn't Cal Ripken selected as both a SS and a 3B (different years)? Ladson Article. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Ripken was an All-Star each year from 1983-2001. He played SS from 1983-1996 (All-Star years, and 6 games at 3B in 1996 and 3 games at SS in 1997). He then played 3B from 1997-2001 (with some DH work in 2000-2001). So, that Ladson article does not include an exhaustive list of the players selected to the All-Star team in more than 1 position.

Oh, and the Nationals won the Devil Rays series 2-1 and will now host the third place Florida Marlins (35-43) for four games, and then the NL West first place San Diego Padres (42-39) will stop by for three games to finish out the first half of the 2006 baseball season. The Padres will first face the Phillies for three games in Philly. Hopefully the Padres will sweep the Phillies and then get swept by the Nationals. The worst the Nationals can do is end up with a record of 35-55 for the first half of 2006, and the best they can do, now, is end up with a record of 42-48 for the first half. Lose all, win all.

Rookie RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-4, 3.26 in 8 GS, 19 total games) will pitch for the Marlins, and Pedro Julio Astacio will make his Nationals debut. He has a career record of 124-119, 4.61 era, in 326 games started. 2106.1 innings pitched, with 2183 hits, 1080 earned runs, 277 home-runs given up, 695 walks, and 1622 strike-outs. In the last three seasons, Pedro has pitched for the Mets, Red Sox, Rangers, and the Padres. In that three year stretch, he amassed a record of 9-12 in 30 games started.
According to the probable pitchers information provided on Nationals.com, Pedro is taking the place of Shawn Hill in today's start. Hill was placed on the 15-day DL on 7/1/06, and Pedro was activated from the 60-Day DL. Meanwhile, RHP Santiago Ramirez was released.

July 4th:
Likely: LHP Scott Olsen (6-4, 4.26) against RHP John Patterson (1-2, 4.41).
Olsen had 3 good, low-era, starts in April (2.12 April ERA), raised his ERA to a height of 6.64 in 6 starts in May (before lowering it to 5.83; in May, his ERA was 7.98), and gave up only 8 earned runs in June to lower his ERA to 4.26 (2.12 ERA in June). This is Olsen's first start in July. Will his July be like April and June, or like May?

TBA vs. Michael O'Connor (3-5, 3.77)
After a rocky start in his last appearance, O'Connor has something to prove on Wednesday.

LHP Dontrelle Willis (5-7, 3.96) vs. Livan Hernandez (6-8, 5.46)
Willis' first win this season came off of a Nationals loss, and has recently improved his performance.

RHP Woody Williams (3-1, 3.04) vs. Ramon Ortiz (6-6, 4.90)
This will be Williams second start after coming off of the DL. His last start before the DL stint occurred on May 12th. Since then he pitched on July 1st. He pitched six solid innings, giving up just 1 run off of 8 hits and 1 home-run, and struck-out 4.

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