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Monday, August 07, 2006


Nationals lose Padres series, Today a Travel day, tomorrow starts Marlins Series

Nationals won the first game in the Padres series 6-2, but lost 3-6 on Saturday and close extra-inning 2-3 game on Sunday. Ramon Ortiz, Pedro Astacio, and Livan Hernandez pitched in the series, who do you think picked up the win?

Ortiz pitched 6 innings on Friday, giving up 7 hits, 1 HR, 5 walks, and 2 runs while only striking out 3. Bowie, Rauch and Cordero pitched behind Ortiz. The Friday night game was something of a pitchers duel until the 6th inning when the Nationals scored 4 runs (including a 2 run home-run by Zimmerman (his 14th home-run of the year). The Nationals scored first in the third inning, off of a Lopez home-run (his 11th of the year), and added a run in the fifth to take 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. The Padres finally scored in the bottom of the fifth and would score another run in the sixth (Bowen home-run), but would fall to the Nationals 6-2.

On Saturday, the Padres jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. They would add another run in the third, before the Nationals finally scored 1 run in the fourth, and then 2 in the fifth to tie the game. The tie would last until the seventh inning, when the Padres would score two runs to take the lead for good (and score 1 more in the 8th as insurance). Astacio struggled through 6.2 innings and would end up giving up 5 runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, and struck-out 4 (Astacio is now 2-2). Zimmerman hit another home-run in the game, his 15th of the year, and Marlon Anderson hit his 5th home-run of the year.

On Sunday, the Nationals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before the Padres scored 2 in the 7th to take the lead. The Nationals would immediately respond with 1 more run in the 8th to tie the game. The game would go into extra-innings, and would be won by the Padres in the 10th after they scored 1 run. Of note: Zimmerman hit a long ball that bounced off of the foul pole in the late innings. He had to run back to the batters box from second or third because the hit was called a foul ball. Apparently the bouncing off of the foul pole was not seen by the decision maker (whichever one called it foul). Zimmerman would then fly out to lead off the 9th inning instead of being on second or third after hitting that ball that hit the foul pole. Game was tied 2-2 at that point. Not sure how the game might have turned out without that blown call. Hernandez threw 7 quality innings, giving up just 2 runs off of 1 walk and 7 hits (1 a home-run) while striking out 7. Bowie picked up the loss for giving up that winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning (other than finding errors - mostly wrong word-choice, rereading my own blog means that I'll know that at least 1 person has read it; I need to do it more often).

As mentioned, today is a travel day. Tomorrow starts a 10 game homestand against the Nationals NL East rivals. Marlins up first for Tuesday-Thursday, then Mets for Friday-Sunday, and finally the Braves play four, on Monday through Thursday. Without a break, the team will immediately thereafter go on a road trip. They will visit the Phillies for three games, then visit the Marlins for three games Monday-Wednesday before having an off-day on Thursday.

RHP Ricky Nolasco (9-7, 4.23) vs. RHP Tony Armas (7-7, 5.16)
Nolasco pitches in the second inningArmas throws the ball

Nolasco has a 2.76 ERA for the year (if, as the Probable pitchers page notes, you remove his starts against the Mets, against whom he has a 19.96 ERA). “The 23-year-old is 2-1 against Washington this season.” If it means anything at this point, Nolasco is 4-4 with an ERA of 4.66 on the road.

“Armas has now given up 12 runs in his last 6 2/3 innings.“

LHP Dontrelle Willis (7-8, 4.05) vs. RHP Ramon Ortiz (8-9, 4.76)
Ramon Ortiz pitches to Finley
Willis has good months (April - 1-1, 3.13; June 4-1, 2.51; August 1-0, 0.00) and bad months (May 0-5, 6.45; July 1-1, 5.52) and, unfortunately for the Nationals, August is turning out to be a good month for Willis, though he has only started one game so far in August.

So far Ortiz is 1-0, with an ERA of 3.00 in the month of August after 1 start.

RHP Anibal Sanchez (4-2, 4.27) vs. RHP Pedro Astacio (2-2, 5.49)
Pedro Astacio throws the first pitch of the game
The rookie, Sanchez, has now pitched in 132 innings this year (including his time in double-A). His ERA as a starter is 3.21.

Astacio pitched in his longest outing, 6.2 innings, in his last start, but ended up with the loss.
Oh, and some LHP pitcher named Billy Traber, who has gone 7-7, with an ERA of 4.05 in New Orleans (AAA), has been called up by the Nationals. He is reportedly going to pitch out of the bullpen, and then start. Most likely his first start will be against the Mets on August 12th, according to the Nationals.com article.

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