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Friday, August 11, 2006


Nationals lose; Unconditionally release OF Luis Matos; Still haven’t promoted a fifth starter to the major league roster

Nationals Lose:
Astacio came within 2 outs of matching his season long start of 6.2 innings pitched, but that comment is deceptive as he was pinch hit for in the bottom of the sixth and never had the change to get those two outs. Florida jumped out to a 4-2 lead by the 5th inning (Marlins: 2 score in 2nd, 1 in 4th and 1 in fifth; Nationals: 2 score in 5th). Neither team scored in the sixth, and neither starting pitcher acquired a win or lose for their efforts. Score 4-2 at beginning of 7th, how could the starters not matter in the decision?

Florida tacked on two more runs in the top of the 7th to pull into a seemingly easy win (6-2), but the Nationals rallied in the bottom of the 7th to score 4 more runs (which included the wearing of hats by some (mostly ushers) as if they were shark fins - bill sticking up from top of head). End of 7, score tied 6-6. The damage was mostly done by Mitre who ended up throwing 12 straight balls and gave up 2 walks and 3 runs.

Score tied, who does the manager bring in to pitch the critical 8th inning? Ryan Wagner of the above 12 ERA. During the inning Wagner’s ERA will drop to 10.something before jumping up to 13.50. Wagner pitched the complete inning and gave up 2 runs off of 3 hits and 1 walk. Score after Wagner’s work: 8-6. Rivera would pitch the ninth and give up 1 more insurance run to drive the score to 9-6. The Nationals will not be able to come back again and lose 9-6.

Final note: A game of hit batters - Church was hit by Sanchez, Caberera was hit by Hughes, Soriano was hit by Mitre seemingly in retaliation (though Mitre only threw balls when he was on the mound in the 7th) and Ross was hit by Hughes (7th inning).

Luis Matos:
According to the transaction page, Matos was unconditionally released today (8/11/06). No story, just what’s written on the transaction page. My mistake, forgot official press releases: “Nationals unconditionally release outfielder Matos: Right-hander Bergmann expected to be recalled Friday”.
WASHINGTON -- Following Thursday night's game, the Washington Nationals unconditionally released outfielder Luis Matos. The club on Friday is expected to recall right-handed pitcher Jason Bergmann from New Orleans. Nationals Vice President/General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

Matos, who signed with the Nationals as a free agent July 14, appeared in 14 games (one start), and was 3-for-15 (.200) with two doubles and two runs scored. He was 2-for-10 (.200) as a pinch hitter.

Bergmann has gone 8-2 with four saves and a 3.28 ERA in 26 games (four starts) for New Orleans. Each of his last four appearances have been starts, and he is 3-1 with a 3.63 ERA (9 ER/22.1 IP) in those games.

The 24-year-old has no record and an 8.14 ERA in 17 relief appearances over a pair of stints with the Nationals in 2006.

Fifth starter/Saturday’s starter:
Depth chart still only has four starters, and Bergmann is still rumored to be the upcoming fifth starter, and the starter for Saturday’s game (Bergmann still on New Orleans roster). Bergmann is currently 8-2 with an era of 3.28 in 26 games in New Orleans (4 games started over the past month: 3-1 ERA of 3.63 in starts).

Note: The press release above, I now notice, also has Bergmann’s stats.

“Washington Nationals pay tribute to Negro Leagues on Friday, August 11 vs. New York Mets”
In honor of the Negro League legacy, Washington Nationals players will wear replica 1944 Homestead Grays home uniforms; while the New York Mets will wear replica 1944 NY Cubans road uniforms. Negro Leagues alumni Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, Hank Mason, Jose Piloto, and Bert Simmons will be recognized during a pre-game ceremony and will also be available to sign autographs from the 3rd through 5th innings near behind Section 302, outside of the Diamond Club, located on the 300 Level Concourse. (Short bios of alumni attached).

Pitchers: LHP Tom Glavine (12-4, 3.96) vs. LHP Billy Traber (1-1, 9.00)
Despite a 12-4 record Glavine had a high ERA in both June (4.93; still won 3 games in 6 GS) and July (6.00; lost 2 in 6 GS). First start in August, though, was a 7 inning 3.86 ERA effort. Gave up 3 runs off of 5 hits, 2 walks, 1 home-run, and 2 strike-outs. The probable pitchers page notes that Glavine was ill during that game.

Traber makes his third start in 2006 in the majors. Traber’s first two starts weren’t great (total of 7 innings between the two starts, gave up 8 runs). Traber pitched in 33 games in Cleveland in 2003, 18 as a starter. He went 6-9, with an ERA of 5.24. He also had 1 complete game and 1 shutout.

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