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Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Nationals win 5-0 off of an almost perfect game pitched by Pedro Astacio

Attempting to fool the batter, Astacio throws two balls
Originally uploaded by MichaelBriggs.
The Nationals provided their starting pitcher with both outstanding fielding (in that they didn’t commit any errors), and effective batting (in that they scored 5 runs), and their starting pitcher, Pedro Astacio, rewarded his team’s defensive and offensive efforts with a 9 inning complete game 2 hit shut-out. Astacio pitched 87 perfect pitches (in that no walks, hits, HBP, were given up on those pitches), and had just two pitches that were “bad.” Those two pitches were: 1) the hit by LaRoche, and 2) the hit by Francoeur. Think about it. Astacio was two pitches from pitching a perfect game.

Offensively: Soriano went 2 for 4 with 1 run, Lopez got a hit in four at bats and left 2 runners on base, Zimmerman struck out three times in 4 at-bats and left 2 runners on base, Johnson drew 2 walks scored twice and went hitless, Kearns went 1 for 4 (his 28th double) and drove in 2 runs while also striking out once, Escobar went 1 for 3 with 1 run scored 1 RBI and 1 LOB (and 1 SF), Schneider went 1 for 3 with 1 walk and 1 LOB, Castro went 1 for 4 (another bunt hit that drove in a run (2 out 1 RBI)) and LOB 2, and even Astacio got1 hit in his 3 times at-bat - though he did leave 2 runners on base.

Astacio is now 3 and 2 with an ERA down to 4.64.

Nationals.com box score.

Washington Times recap
He's the wily veteran of the Washington Nationals pitching staff, a 36-year-old right-hander whose better days are clearly behind him but who still has a gem in him every once in a while.

Washington Post recap
They saw a visiting lineup that had pounded their pitching staff for 14 hits, 10 runs and 4 homers an evening earlier. And they checked on the probable starter and saw 36-year-old journeyman Pedro Astacio, whose 16 career losses to the Braves ranked him among the dozen worst all-time against the Atlanta franchise.

Minor league news
Six of first eight selections from 2006 draft have agreed to terms

RHP John Smoltz (10-5, 3.41) vs. LHP Billy Traber (2-1, 5.14)
Billy Traber Throws first pitch2
While Astacio pitched his first complete game yesterday, Smoltz pitched his third in his last start on Friday.

This will be Traber’s first start against the Braves. He went 7 plus 1 batter in his last start and picked up a win.

Bowden's article in the Examiner
"Nats prospecting for gold this offseason"
In an effort to expand the payroll budget, Bowden plans on spending some part of the offseason prospecting for gold in the Rocky Mountains. Other GM's are dubious of Bowden's plan and believe that he has finally . . . . Oops, that is not what Bowden's article is about.

As we enter the middle of August, offseason planning is in full swing. Our baseball operations staff has begun to make offseason plans for all major league and minor league players. The offseason is not a time to sit around for five months. Players need to get into shape, make personal improvements and become better ballplayers. . . . This offseason will see the return of Major League Baseball’s relationship with the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League. . . . Among the players we plan on sending: shortstop Ian Desmond and pitcher Marco Estrada.

I don't actually see anything about prospecting for gold. How odd. Just talk about winter ball.

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