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Saturday, September 30, 2006


Nationals lose first game in last series of 2006

 Tony Armas and John Maine solid in first couple of innings, both going for shut-outs, but both ended up out of the decision.  Armas throws 112 pitches, but that is just in 5 innings.  Nationals lose 4-3.  

Of Note: Zimmerman gets 110th RBI, but batting average falls to .289.  Church hits 10th home-run of season and goes 2 for 4, raises average to .270.  Lopez steals a base, his 44th.  And the Nationals handed out blankets to the first 15,000 fans at the game.  Tonight, I think, t-shirts will be handed out, and on Sunday, 2007 preliminary schedule handed out.

In the last two games of the season, RHP Beltran Perez with his 2-0, 1.50 record, will face off against LHP Tom Glavine (14-7, 4.94) on Saturday (today), and RHP Ramon Ortiz (11-15, 5.32) will face off against RHP Steve Trachsel (15-8, 4.97) on Sunday to end the year.

Interesting article about the parking situation over at the Curly W blog.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Nationals lose, win, lose against Braves, on road today, will face Mets this weekend

Nationals lose 1-6 on Monday in the first game of the series, win 9-2 on Tuesday, and lose 3-7 on Wednesday.

Monday: Tie game until top of sixth (0-0 in first, 1-1 in second up to top of sixth) when Braves add two runs to take the lead and the game. Braves eventually score 3 more runs in the 8th inning. Tony Armas pitched, picked up his 12th loss. Not a bad start, 6.2 innings pitched, just 3 runs given up off of 6 hits (1 HR) and 3 walks; plus 4 strike-outs in 96 pitches thrown. Nothing else really of note, other than Logan hitting in the Nationals 1 run, Kearns 1 error, and Flicks 2 base hits in 4 at-bats starting at catcher. Monday Game box score

Tuesday: A much better game, the Nationals won 9-2 behind the pitching of a rookie pitcher Beltran Perez making his first major league start (for Perez photo go here). The 24-year-old spent most of 2006 in AA Harrisburg, acquiring a record of 8-6 (3.11 ERA) in 121.2 innings over 31 games (16 starts). In those 121.2 innings, Beltran gave up 127 hits, 42 ER, 8 HR, 40 BB, and struck-out 107.

ON Tuesday, Beltran pitched a six inning 1 hit-shut-out, striking out 3 and lowering his ERA to 0.77 (had made previous relief appearances). Other news of note from the game: Zimmerman went 2 for 4 with his 42nd double and 98th RBI; Johnson: 2 for 4, 23rd home-run; Kearns 2 for 4, 33rd double; Lombard PH for Perez and stole two bases after walking. Washington lead 6-0 when the 7th inning started and Perez out of the game. Rivera came in and gave up 1 run. Then Nationals scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the 7th, end of 7: 9-1. Wagner started the 8th and gave up 1 more run to make it 9-2. No more runs by either team recorded in the game. Tuesday Box Score

On Wednesday: Ortiz lasted 5 innings, giving up 5 runs off of 8 hits (2 HR) and 2 walks (and striking out 1), to record his 15th loss of the season. Of note: Zimmerman picked up his 99th RBI and 19th HR while hitting 2 for 4. DP: Johnson-Castro. Wednesday Box Score.

Thursday/Today: Travel Day.

Friday-Monday: @ New York Mets.

Other news of note:
New AAA minor-league team: located in Columbus: Official Press-release - 2 year deal. The Columbus Clippers were most recently associated with the New York Yankee organization. Link to new team on sidebar.
New A level minor-league team (high-A Potomac remains): Official Press-Release - 2 year deal. Savannah Gnats now part of Mets organization.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Washington Wins, and Loses . . . Soriano - 40-40

Nationals win on Saturday (8-5)and Sunday (6-1) and now host the Atlanta Braves for three games starting tonight. Redskins lose, again, 10-27 and will now face the Houston Texans in Texas at 1pm Sunday. As Riggins noted, the test comes next Sunday, though I don't recall his arguement now. And: United lost to the Fire in a rain-delayed match in Chicago. ESPN2 kept losing the coverage and during one of the lost coverage times, Fire scored. They, the Fire, ended up winning 0-1 after a 20 minute rain delay. United's next match will be at home on Saturday 9/23/06 against the New York Red Bulls.

Back to the Nationals: Soriano picked up his 40th stolen base on Saturday to match up with his 40+ home-runs, and 38 doubles (just needs 2 more for 40-40-40). Also on Saturday, Castro hit two triples, and Zimmerman also hit a triple (3) and stole his 11th base. "Speedy" Logan finally stole a base this year on Saturday. And Astacio picked up his 4th win of the year on Saturday. Nationals, as I mentioned earlier, won 8-5. Saturday's Box Score

On Sunday, Lopez picked up his 39th stolen base, and now he is just 1 away from 40. Of course, he doesn't have 40 home-runs (he has 11, and 24 doubles). Also on Sunday, Kearns hit his 23rd home-run and picked up his 82nd and 83rd RBIs. O'Connor started and went 4 innings, giving up 1 run off of 3 hits. Rivera picked up the win, his 3rd of the year. Despite winning 6-1, this is still another game where they came from behind to win the game. The Brewers picked up 1 run in the top of the second, and kept that 1 run lead until the bottom of the fifth, when Kearns hit that previously mentioned home-run for a tie game. Tie game until the bottom of the 7th, when the Nationals picked up another run for the 1 run lead, and then tacked on 4 more runs in the bottom of the 8th to make sure of things. Oh, and Vidro started at 1st base, no errors committed. Nationals won 6-1. Sunday Box Score

Washington Times: Nationals Bullpen: "More and more, that bullpen has shown signs it can do an effective job. . . . Over the past six games, the bullpen has allowed just four runs in 26 innings for a 1.38 ERA."

Washington Times: Nationals Mailbag: First question: predict the Nationals 2007 starting line-up. Zuckerman's answer? Position and line-up:
CF Nook Logan
2B Felipe Lopez
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Nick Johnson
RF Austin Kearns
LF Ryan Church
C Brian Schneider
SS Cristian Guzman

assumptions: Soriano gone, Logan wins over Escobar, Vidro traded, Guzman healthy, no major fielding signings.

Why Kory Casto not up? Many reasons, but the fact that Casto has settled in at LF, and the Nationals have that position covered . . . (and the fact that Casto will be playing in Fall ball).

Friday, September 15, 2006


Sorry . . . ; Ohka back

Can't think of anything to say. Nationals lost again on Wednesday night, ending the minor win-streak, though they still won that series. Then on Thursday the Nationals traveled home and will play the Brewers tonight at 7:05 pm. Of course, I'm so out of touch, I completely forgot and while I have tickets to the game, forgot to bring them with me to work. I feel very ashamed.

Anyone that does happen to attend the game, maybe because they remembered their tickets, will get to see Tomo Ohka again, though, of course, he will be starting for the other team. Ohka is currently 0-2 with an ERA of 9 in his two starts in September, and has a record of 4-5, 4.83 ERA for the year. Ohka will face Nationals starter Ramon Ortiz and his 10-13, 5.19 era. Ortiz is currently 1 for 1 in September with an ERA of 3.60 in the 15 innings pitched.

And if you attend, maybe you'll get to see Soriano pick up his 40th steal to go along with his 45 current home-runs (and hopefully at least number 46).

Great article about one of the Nationals minor leagurers over at The Beltway Boys temp address.

5 Q and A's
with a Brewers blogger at Curly W (last Q&A of the season).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Nationals Win 2 in a Row, and Series, go for sweep tonight

Jason Bergmann started, and left after giving up 3 runs in three innings off of 6 hits and 1 walk. Starter Michael O'Connor relieved the starting reliever and pitched the fourth and fifth innings, giving up 1 run off of 1 hit. That one run, a home-run in the fifth inning, was the last run scored by the Diamondbacks in the game. Schroder pitched the sixth, Felix Rodriguez pitched the seventh and picked up the win, Booker started the 8th (0.2 inning pitched) and Cordero finished the 8th inning and closed in the ninth, picking up his 26th save of the year.

Another come-from behind victory, as Arizona jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning. The Nationals cut the lead to 1 run when Nick Johnson hit his 22nd home-run of the year, with Zimmerman on base. The Diamondbacks then picked up their last 1 run off of a home-run by Hudson in the fifth, before the Nationals tied the game in the sixth inning with 2 more runs scored (Johnson scored off of a Vidro ground out, and Kearns scored off of a Schneider ground out (Schneider then reached on throwing error)). Game won in the top of the 8th inning when the Nationals scored 1 additional run (Schneider scored on Logan's single).

Box Score

The Nationals finish their Diamondback series today at 6:40 pm, before spending the day Thursday traveling home to host the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Washington Wins! Washington Nationals Win 7-6 over Diamondbacks!

Redskins, of course, lost, and Nationals won. The Nationals came back again last night, having suffered the horror of being behind 4-2 by as long into the game as the top of the seventh (before the start of that inning), but the Nationals picked up 4 runs in the 7th and pulled to a 6-4 lead. The Nationals relievers, of course, in the form of Rauch, promptly gave up 2 more runs to the Diamondbacks, making it a tie game. Somehow or another the Nationals picked up another run in the top of the 9th and Cordero kept the Diamondbacks from countering with a run of their own in the bottom of the 9th, so the Nationals won the game. Of course two games ago (as in the game before last nights game) the team lost their 82 game, so even if by some werid set of circumstances the team were to win every single game from here on out, they will still finish below .500 (though that would be a great story, not the below .500 finish, but the 19 game win streak to finish the season).

Ok, now I see. Traber lasted just 3 innings (and 3 4th inning batters, no outs recorded that inning for him), giving up two home-runs in the 2nd inning, and another home-run in the 4th inning to give the Diamondbacks a 3-0 lead. Then in the 4th (or also in the 4th), the Nationals finally responded. Kearns lead off with a single, Vidro doubled, Kearns scored. Vidro moves to third base when Schneider grounded out. Logan then singled home Vidro. Score now 3-2. Then Traber gave up his last run of the game, his fourth, when he gave up a single to Snyder that allowed Jackson to score (no, not Damian Jackson). Score 4-2 after 5, and 6 innings played.

7th inning: Castro pinch hits to lead off game (for Wagner), gets a single, then steals second base. Soriano walks. Pitcher changed. Lopez sacrifices, Castro to third, Soriano to second. Zimmerman walks. Bases loaded 1 out. Johnson singles, Castro and Sorinao score (now 4-4), Zimmerman to 2B (and Johnson on 1B). 1 out, 2 runners on. Kearns walks. Bases loaded 1 out. Vidro singles, Zimmerman and Johnson score (6-4, Nationals), Kearns to second base. Schneider then hit into a double play to end the inning.

8th inning: Rauch pitching (also pitched 7th inning): 2 run home-run given up to Easley. Score now tied 6-6.

9th inning: Lopez singles to lead off inning. Zimmerman singles. Wild pitch, runners advance. Johsnon out - swinging. Kearns IBB. Bases loaded, 1 out. Vidro walked, Lopez comes home, and Schneider then hits into another double play to end another inning. Score 7-6 Nationals.

Cordero picks up 25th save for his work in the 9th inning.

Box Score

Tonight: Bergmann vs. Batista (10-6, 4.44)

Monday, September 11, 2006


Go Redskins!

Traber pitches tonight for Nationals.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Washington ties, again: MLS Part IV: Third game watched on TV

I was going to mention that the Nationals were also tied, but then they let the Rockies score 2 more runs, and the Rockies now lead 5-3 (actually, they are now tied 5-5, took me some time to write this entry). So, DC United:

DC United out-played the Salt Lake team in the first 45 minute half, though it was obvious (somewhat) that there was some trouble involved from having 4 starters out of the game (passing the ball, knowing where your teammate is standing/going to be). But Salt Lake, for the most part, outplayed a tired cramping United team. Adu scored a great goal at the end of the first half, and the team tried to keep the ball away from the other team in the second half, but Salt Lake scored at the 64:43 minute mark (6th goal by Klein in the season, 10th assist by Cunningham, Rimando seemed out of place even after he returned to the net area after going for the ball).

Interesting game, at times exciting, at times somewhat boring.
deRoux showed great promise in the first half, but looked out of it in the second half. Well, I'm still not in position to really examin the game, so I'll end.

Play by Play

Nationals Since my last entry about the team, the Nationals have lost two straight games against the Rockies in Colorado, and are currently losing to the Rockies tonight.

Thursday's game found the worst start by Jason Bergmann, pitching just 3.2 innings, giving up 5 runs off of 5 hits (1 HR) and 3 walks (while also striking out 5 batters). This worst outing unfortunately game after Bergmann's best outing of the year in his last start. Bergmann didn't pick up the loss, though, no the loss went to Wagner, who pitched

Tie Game (current game)!

the seventh and start of 8th inning. The game was tied 5-5 in the 8th inning when Wagner gave up 5 more runs to allow the Rockies to win 10-5. Soriano now has 37 SB for the year, and Johnson has 20 HR.
Thursday box score.

Friday saw the Nationals in yet another game where they were able to come back from a deficit. This time, though, they didn't win. By the top of the 7th inning, the Nationals actually lead 5-4 (getting the leading run in the top of the 7th inning). Rivera had his second blown save and gave up 3 unearned runs in the bottom of the 7th. 7-5 after 7. Nationals then pick up 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning, pulling to a 8-7 lead, but Rauch also blew his 2nd save, and picked up his 4th loss of the year, when he let 4 runs score in the bottom of the 8th. End of 8, Nationals behind 8-11. Final score: 8-11.

Fielding: Errors: Lopez (25th), Logan (1st), Dorta (1st), Rivera (1st), Zimerman 2 (12th, 13th). DP: 2.

Soriano picked up number 38 stolen base, and Zimmerman picked up his 10th stolen base of the year. Johnson picked up his 21st home-run in the 6th inning, and Lombard picked his first home-run of the year (and 8th of his major league career) in the 7th.

Friday: box score

Ramon Ortiz started, and is still in the game after 6 innings, having given up 3 earned runs (2 unearned) off of 5 hits (2 HR), 2 walks and has 2 strike-outs.

So far: 2 doubles by Johnson (43rd, 44th doubles), Fick has hit his 2nd double of the year, and Soriano (38), Lopez (23), and Vidro (22) have hit doubles so far. Soriano has his 45th home-run (franchise record) and is slowly moving to 40-40, and while unlikely, 50-50.

The "normal" starters started except for Fick as catcher, which includes Logan as the normal starter, at this point, in CF.

So, I'll end here: top of 7th, 1 out, Fick up, another pitching change, commercial because of pitching change (odd, using both GameDay and the MASN broadcast to watch the game, just need to find the local radio broadcast). Oops, 2 outs now. Wasn't able to post this before 2nd out occured. Guess I'll wait for Logan to bat before I post this entry. Logan has 1 hit in his 3 at-bats in this game. Announcers going on about the old style stockings on the relief pitcher. Logan drives it - out. Ok, now I'll post this entry.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Nationals Win 7-6, despite pulling O'Connor!

O'Connor pitched 5 quality innings, giving up just 3 hits and 1 walk, but was pulled for a pinch hitter (Mateo) in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mateo struck out. Nationals did not score in that inning. Booker came in to pitch the 6th inning but didn't get a single batter out, instead he gave up 1 hit and 1 walk, which allowed 2 runs to score. Schroder relieved Booker and picked up his first Blown Save, giving up 1 run off of 1 hit (HR) while striking out 1 in a full inning of work. Rauch had the exact same line (difference, of course, is IRS), but picked up his 14th hold. Rauch also gave up 1 run off of 1 hit (HR) and struck out 1 batter while pitching the 7th inning. Rivera made things interesting (1 hit, 2 walks) before he was through pitching the 8th inning, and Cordero acquired his 4th blown save and 7th win for his work in the ninth inning (giving up 2 runs off of 2 hits).

The Nationals lead the entire way until the 9th inning, when Cordero gave up 2 runs. Fortunately, that gave the Cardinals just a 1 run lead, so the Nationals tied and won when Vidro singled and Lopez & Johnson both scored with 1 out in the 9th inning.

Player of the game: Michael O'Connor.


Nationals Lose 2-0, winning streak over; O'Connor is today's starting pitcher (O'Connor pitches five innings, gives up 3 H, 1 BB) Nationals LEAD! 1-0

O'Connor is starting today's day game and has already acheived 1 out by getting Preston Wilson, leading off, to fly out to start the game. Then he walked Taguchi. Pujols up now. (see below)

Last night's game:
Pedro Astacio picked up his 5th loss of the year, but actually pitched a very solid quality game. He was out-pitched by the Cardinals Suppan who gave up zero runs. None of the Cardinals pitchers gave up any runs (Nationals shut-out), and none of the Nationals relievers gave up any runs. Only Rauch gave up a hit and walk, while both Wagner (whose ERA has now fallen to 3.86) and Rivera combined for 1.2 innings of zero runs/walks/hits/strike-outs (Wagner relieved Astacio and pitched the for the last 2 outs of the 7th inning, while Riveria pitched the ninth inning).

Castro committed an error (started, played 2B, went 0-4, average now .236), and the team managed to make two double plays in the game while hitting into zero double plays. Logan again started in CF, and went 1 for 3. His batting average is now .357. There is nothing more to say about this game other than: After last night's game, the Nationals are now 60-78.

And to include a picture of a real live bald eagle:
Bald Eagle

O'Connor throws the first pitch of the game - O'Connor throws first pitch at 6/30/06 game.
Right Now:
O'Connor got out of the first inning without giving up a hit, while Soriano has lead off the Nationals half of the inning with a "reached on error." Lopez then came up and singled, which moved Soriano to second base. Zimmerman just popped out. Nick Johnson up. Johnson Doubles! Soriano scores! Not sure how Lopez didn't score off of a Johnson double, but he is now on third base. 2 men on, third and second base, 1 out, Church up, and out (ground out). 2 out, 2 men on, Jose Vidro up. Vidro flies out (long fly out to warning track in center field). Inning over. 6 batters up for Nationals in first inning, score 1 run, leave 6 on base. 4 batters up for Cardinals in first inning, zero score, 1 walk, 2 left on base.

2nd inning: Spiezio singles, Belliard Grounds into Double Play. Catcher Molina up. Molina Grounds Out!. 2 innings so far for O'Connor, 1 hit, 1 walk given up, 1 GDP induced. Now up for Nationals: Fick, Logan, then O'Connor.

Fick hitting .236 with the bases empty (which is better than his .222 average against RHP). Fick Singles! Average rises to .226 from .217. Nookie up. Logan hitting .500 with runners on. .357 vs. RHP. 2 balls, 2 strikes. Come on Nook! 3 balls 2 strikes. Interesting, Fick actually has a SB recorded. Sorry, waiting for the sixth pitch to occur. Foul! Runner Running! Sixth pitch was almost exactly in same spot as second pitch, which was a called strike. Another foul. And another. Fick running on each foul ball (3). Trying to tire him out, I see (Fick, that is). In Play! No Out Recorded! Seemingly hours roll by as I wait to see what happened in the play. Still waiting. Um . . . did hit a bird? What's the hold-up? What happened? Ok, not seemingly hours going by, actual hours going by waiting for the result of this play. Ah, I see, complicated. Fick at second base now, Logan at first due to error. Logan's average falls from .357 to .333. O'Connor up. 2 outside balls.

Update 1: Fick caught stealing while O'Connor bats, O'Connor strikes out, Sorinao grounds into force out. Third inning, SS Miles leads off, out, pitcher Carpenter now up for Cardinals; strikes out. Wilson up for second time. This will be the test, second time through the order. Odd, they have Wilson wearing the wrong hat on GameDay. 1st pitch to Wilson - in the dirt. Foul, then apparently another ball in the dirt (at least looks that way on GameDay graphic). Another foul. High outside ball. Ball in play (was in strike zone). Wilson grounds out. O'Connor has now made it through 3 innings while giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk. Now up for Nationals: Lopez, Zimmerman and Johnson.

Update 2: Lopez grounds out, Zimmerman grounds out. Johnson up. Hit a double last time up. 6th pitch, ball in play. Johnson singles! Church up. Ground out first time up. Church grounds out again. Inning over, update 2 over.

Update 3: O'Connor would have lead off the bottom of the fifth inning, so Robinson pulled him for Mateo, who is called out on strikes for O'Connor. Now it's up to the bullpen (after this inning over, Soriano has strike out, and Lopez has walked, currently on 1st base, Zimmerman up).

Today's Nationals Line-up:
LF Soriano (.290)
SS Lopez (.274)
3B Zimmerman (.284)
1B Nick Johnson (.292)
RF Ryan Church (.253)
2B Jose Vidro (.289)
C Robert Fick (.226)
CF Nook Logan (.333)
P Michael O'Connor (.077)

Against: RHP Chris Carpenter 13-6, 2.87 era.
LF Wilson (.263)
CF Taguchi (.271)
1B Pujols (.321)
RF Encarnacion (.287)
3B Spiezio (.264)
2B Belliard (.281)
C Molina (.219)
SS Miles (.271)
P Carpenter (.143)
Received an e-mail yesterday about the Scouting Report by the Fans for the Fans for 2006. I had forgotten, but I had participated in this in 2005. Well, if you are interested in expressing your views about the Nationals players, head on over to the website.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Washington Wins! Washington Nationals Win Fifth game in a row!

Ortiz adds another win to his total, moving to 10-12 after pitching 8.2 innings, and coming within 2 hits of first Nationals no-hitter. Ortiz ended up giving up 1 run off of 2 hits (home-run) and 3 walks, striking out 5 in 95 pitches (62 strikes). Cordero finished the game and got the last out. Ortiz also went 2 for 3 at the plate, including his first major-league home-run in the 8th inning (after which he promptly turned around and gave up a home-run in the top of the ninth).

Everyone except Schneider got a hit in the game, and only Ortiz had a multi-hit game for the Nationals. Castro’s hit was his 1st double of the year, as was Logan’s hit. Soriano (36), Zimmerman (40), and Johnson (41) also hit doubles, while Kearns (22) and Ortiz (1), as mentioned, hit home-runs. Lopez stole his 34th base.

Box score

I’ve mentioned Nook Logan before, but didn’t realize that he was actually acquired from Detroit for either cash or a player to be named. 2005 was Logan’s first full-time season: .258 batting average, 17 RBI, 23 SB, and “Logan's speed allowed him to rank second among AL leaders in outfield putouts per 9.0 innings (2.9), infield hits (sixth with 27), stolen base percentage (eighth at 79%) and stolen bases (tied for ninth with 23).” If I’m reading the press release correctly, Logan was “named the third-fastest runner in the American League in a Baseball America survey of league managers” in 2005.

Logan press release

And I had mentioned the call-ups before, but didn’t actually mention all five or link to the press release. On 9/2/06, the Nationals called up infielder Melvin Dorta (age: 24), outfielder George Lombard (30), RHP Chris Booker (29), Brett Campbell (24), & Beltran Perez (24). All but Perez come up from the New Orleans squad, and Perez is from AA Harrisburg. Dorta was hitting .433 in New Orleans (8 games). Lombard hit .302 with 10 doubles and 10 home-runs, 24 RBIs, and 19 SB. Booker pitched with three minor-league teams this season, combined record of 2-2, 4.29. Campbell also pitched with three different minor-league teams, and has a combined record of 3-5, 16 saves, 3.12 ERA. Perez has pitched both in the starting rotation and out of the bullpen. He has a record of 8-6, 1 save, and an ERA of 3.11.
Press Release

Tonight (if it isn’t rained out):
RHP Pedro Astacio leads the team towards their possible 6th straight win with his record of 3-4, 6.12 ERA. RHP Jeff Suppan, 10-7, 4.61, will start for the Cardinals and try to stop the Nationals streak.

A Look Ahead:
Wednesday: Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter (13-6, 2.87) vs. LHP Billy Traber (3-3, 7.36) (home)
Thursday: Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (9-13, 4.15) vs. Jason Bergmann (0-1, 6.24) plus start of regular season of NFL (away)
Friday: Rockies RHP Byung-Hyun Kim (8-10, 5.35) vs. RHP Tony Armas (8-10, 5.23) - watch this game, some want to add Kim to our rotation. (Away).
Saturday: Rockies RHP Josh Fogg (9-9, 5.36) vs. RHP Ramon Ortiz (10-12) (away).

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Washington Wins! DC United Wins! Slump Over!: MLS Examination, Part III: Second game watched on TV

My seats weren't the best at RFK at my one and only time at RFK to watch the United team, but I now realize, after seeing my second United game on TV, that the seats were great compared to what is available on the tv. At times, it looked like I was watching ants kick something small and white on the tv screen. Really makes me appreciate attending an MLS game live and in person. So, apparently, the MLS is slowly approaching the position of being one of the few sports that I prefer watching live (sports in this category: baseball, hockey, auto racing (as in Indy 500)).

Tonight's game (or today's as the game occured on the West coast), was very exciting. A 2-1 victory by DC United, that featured great play by Christian Gomez, and the introduction, at least in a regular season game, of Matias Donnett. I'm a beginning fan, and not yet comfortable with examining the game in something like a recap, so I'll just say: United scored first in the 3rd minute, as Gomez kicked a free kick into the net on minute 2:39. Oh, and first foul at minute 1:56 by Kjestan of Chivas. Minute 17:21: Yellow Card issued to Bobby Boswell. Minute 22:16: Yellow Card issued to Alecko Eskandarian. 29:21: Gomez receives Yellow Card for dissent (dissent?). 31:07 Goal scored by Chivas during penalty kick, scored by Claudio Suarez. Immediately thereafter Gomez ran down the field with the ball and scored in minute 32:39, Gomez's second goal of the match. HALF: Matias Donnett enters game. More Yellow Cards issued, and two red cards issued (Chivas Juan Francisco Palencia (Abusive Language) & United's Joshua Gros (Abusive Language)). No more goals scored, game over after 6:09 of stoppage play.

As I said, not yet ready to recap MLS games. Mostly in imputing my thoughts and opinions.

5 game slump ended.
Box Score.

Next Game: 8:30 @ Chicago - 9/06/06 - US Open Cup
Next Regular Game: 7:30 @ RFK - Real Salt Lake (9-12-5) - 9/9/06.


Nationals win three come-from-beyond games in a row, Sweep Diamondbacks; Sept. call-ups greatly help team

As mentioned, Friday's game postponed to Saturday.

Saturday: Game 1:
Arizona took early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, and Nationals responded with 1 run in the bottom of the inning. Diamondbacks pull into 6-1 lead after end of top half of 8th inning (Nationals run: Castro singled in Church in 2nd inning). Diamondbacks will obviously win leading 6-1 in top of 8th, right? Wrong.

Bottom of 8th inning:
Pena pitching for Arizona. Lopez strikes out to lead off inning. Zimmerman then strikes out. Looking bad. Johnson up, doubles with 2 outs against Nationals chances. Kearns walks. Church up. Church hits 8th home-run of the year. Three runs score. Schneider strikes out to end inning. End of 8: Arizona 6, Nationals 4.

Rauch pitches 9th inning, does not allow a runner to score (also, no runners on base).

Bottom of 9th. Old Orioles closer Jorge Julio enters the game. Castro walks. Fick strikes out for Rauch. Soriano hits his 44th home-run. 2 runs score. Game tied. 1 out. Will Nationals use last 2 outs to win? No. Lopez walks, Vizcaino relieves Julio, Zimmerman grounds out (FC), Johnson strikes out.

Bottom of 11th:
Castro walks, Fick sac hit - Castro to second. Soriano IBB, Lopez unintentionally walks. Basses loaded for Zimmerman with 1 out. Zimmerman walks, Castro scores, game over score 7-6 Nationals.

Box Score

Saturday: Night game: The Return of Hernandez:
Jason Bergmann vs. Livan Hernandez.
Bergmann pitches 7 very solid innings, giving up just 3 runs off of 4 hits (1 HR) and 2 walks (4 Ks). Lowers ERA to 6.24. Unforunately, Bergmann leaves game before Nationals win, and Rivera picks up his second career victory. Cordero saves his 24th game. Hernandez went 7.2 innings, giving up 11 hits (2 HR), 4 runs, 1 walk and striking out 7.

Arizona lead 3-1 until bottom of 8th inning when Nationals scored 3 more runs to win game (Save by Cordero in top of 9th). Fick started at catcher, lowered average to .220. Schneider enters mid-inning as catcher as Cordero didn't want to pitch to Fick anymore. Dorta started at SS, goes 2 for 4, average now .400. Nook Logan started in CF - makes good defensive play, gets two hits in 4 plate appearances, leaves with .400 average. Johnson hit 40th double of year. Zimmerman hit 18th home-run. Kearns hit 21st home-run. Soriano stole his 35th base, and Dorta caught stealing for 2nd time this year.

Box Score

Today's (Sunday) win:
Armas pitched 6.1 innings, gave up 3 runs off off 4 hits (1 HR), and 4 walks (plus struck out 2). Wagner pitched rest of 7th, and all of 8th inning, picked up his 3rd win of season (now 3-2, ERA of 4.00). Rauch picked up his first save of his career by pitching 9th inning.

Washington got the early lead in the first inning scoring 1 run. Kept that lead until the 5th when the Diamondbacks tied the game off of home-run by Tracy (16th). Diamondbacks add two more runs, take 3-1 lead, but Nationals respond in bottom of 8th inning with 4 runs, take 5-3 win from Diamondbacks, and sweep them. Nationals managed just 7 hits with their 5 runs, plus just 3 walks. Still left 11 base runners on base. Kearns hit his 30th double of the year, Soriano stole his 36th base of year. Soriano needs just 4 more stolen bases for magical 40 (SB) - 40 (HR) season. Needs 6 HR and 14 SB for even more magical 50-50 season.

Sorry for bad recap for today's game - did not see nor watch - family affair, then watched movie "The Illusionist" (though I did watch Saturday games, and provided bad recap). Good movie.

Box Score

Call-ups help:
Some guy named Chris Booker with a career era of 29.25 pitches 5th inning in Saturday day game (Traber pitched only 4 innings). Booker struck out 1 and gave up zero runs/hits/walks. Ended up with an era of 27 for his efforts (according to box score, stats page lists his era as 0.00 for 2006). Some guy named Beltran Perez made his major league debut (according to stats), and pitched 6th and 7th innings, giving up just 1 hit. Logan PH in day game, started night game, went 2 for 5 for day (and started today, went 1 for 3 with 1 run scored, average dropped to .375). Dorta went 2 for 4 in Saturday night game. Some guy named George Lombard pinch hit in 7th inning of Saturday night game, struck out (did not help).

Barry Svrluga's National Pastime book:
Much better book than expected, really gives a deeper connection and feeling to the names and people that I either have seen used, or never knew existed.

Covers first season, and return to Washington, D.C. of baseball. Recommend this book. I'm not a book reviewer, just a fan, so take this comment as it stands. Sorry can't provide a "book review" for the readers. I haven't done a review in more than a year.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Friday's game postponded until 1:05 pm Saturday September 2, 2006

Probably everyone that would care about this information already know, and those that don't are not likely to visit here.

So, tickets for Sept. 1, 2006 game can either be used for the make-up game scheduled for 1:05 Sept. 2, 2006, or "exchanged for comparably-priced tickets and are subject
to availability. Tickets may be exchanged at the Nationals
Box Office located at RFK Memorial Stadium or mailed to
the following address:

The Washington Nationals
C/o Season Ticket Services
RFK Stadium, Gate F
2400 E. Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003"

The information is vaguely confused in the e-mail I received:
"Please note that tickets for the September 1 game will
not be valid for the second game of the doubleheader on
September 2, scheduled for 7:05."

and then later:

"you may exchange your September 1 tickets for
any remaining 2006 regular season game (including the
second game of the September 2 doubleheader)"

I assume that they just mean that you can't see the Sept. 2 game and the make-up game scheduled at 1:05 pm. Just as those ticket-holders with Sept. 2nd tickets can't use their tickets to see both Sept. 2 games.

"Tickets must be received by the Nationals at least five
(5) days prior to the game requested for exchange.

Certainly, should you have questions or if we can be of
help, please contact us at 202/675-NATS (6287)."

So, anyone with 2 tickets for both tonight's game and tomorrow's game could, conceivably, exchange their Sept. 1 tickets for night game tickets, and have four people go to the game, sitting in similarly priced seats, though likely not near each other. Of course: "subject to availability." Oh and that 5 day issue, I assume they are referring to mail, or they would not have mentioned the possibility of using the Sept. 1 tickets for the night game.

Right, as mentioned, everyone probably has already been informed. This means, of course, that I have only two things that I could blog about tomorrow: 1) the pictures (the few) that I took for Thursday's game; 2) the "Today in Baseball History" segment (assuming that games were played some time in history on Sept. 9th; I assume it is possible, but highly unlikely, that no games have ever been played on Sept. 9th).


Nationals Win Exciting Game (6-5), Ship Ward to Atlanta and Anderson to the Dodgers

Last night’s game was exciting to see in person. The game was colder than expected, but at least none of the expected rain shower hit during the game.

Astacio started and actually made it past the third inning for the first time since his complete game. He made it to the sixth inning, and recorded two outs in that inning before being relieved by Rivera. Astacio gave up 4 runs off of 8 hits and 2 walks in the 99 pitches he threw in 5.2 innings of work (with 62 strikes).

The Nationals scored first in the bottom of the first inning, when Kearns hit a sacrifice fly, which allowed Lopez to score and Zimmerman to move to third base (Johnson had walked, and was on first base after the sac fly, if I remember correctly). Anderson then was up and hit a single to drive in Zimmerman and move Johnson to third. Score after 1: 2-0, Nationals.

The Phillies then scored a series of unanswered runs in the second inning (1 run), fourth inning (1 run off of Howard’s 49th home-run (Phillies record) to tie the game 2-2), and 2 more runs in the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead.

Bottom of the ninth, score 4-2, Nationals up. Anderson pushes the ball forward, pitcher retrieves ball, and makes a throwing error - Anderson safe at first (going somewhat by memory here). Schneider then doubled, moving Anderson to third base. Castro then struck out. 1 out, runners on first and third. Mateo PH for closer Cordero - grounds out. 2 outs, runners at first and third. Soriano up. Soriano had been 0 for 4 up to this point, but Rhodes didn’t want to face him, and intentionally walked Soriano. Lopez now up, bases loaded, 2 outs, game on the line. Lopez hits a single, Anderson and Schneider score the Nationals third and fourth runs of the game, and Soriano moves to second. 2 outs, tie game, runners on 2nd and first, Zimmerman up - and out (strike-out).

Cordero is out of the game (PH for in ninth), so Wagner comes in to pitch the tenth inning. Gets the first batter he faces to ground out. 1 out. Hits the Phillies catcher. 1 out, runner on first. Nunez up, the sub .200 batter. Nunez hits into what, if I recall correctly, should have been a double play, but Johnson misfired the ball. Lieberthal (the catcher) was out at second, but due to the nature of the throw, and catch, there wasn’t a good shot at getting Nunez out at first. 2 outs, runner at first. Jeff Conine comes up to bat for Rhodes. Yes, the 40 year-old Conine who had appeared in 4 previous at-bats this year. Conine singles, Nunez to third. Wagner misfires the ball, or as it is officially recorded, Schneider lets the ball get past him, and Nunez scores during the play for the potential winning run, and Conine moves to second base. 2 outs, runner at second, and Phillies in lead by 1 run. Rollins is walked. Inning finally over when Victornio is struck out.

Bottom of 10th, Nationals at-bat. Johnson leads off with a single (a strange little single, with Johnson stumbling down the basepath, and the ball apparently misplayed, no error given though). Kearns out, fly out. Anderson singles, Johnson moves, slowly, to second base. Schneider up. 1 out, runners on first and second. Schnedier singles, Johnson scores (I guess Johnson really can run, then), Anderson moves to second. Game tied 5-5. 1 out, runners at first and second. Castro up - and out, though, and importantly, Anderson moves to third. Church PH for Wagner. Pitch to Church, pitch rolls past catcher, Anderson runs home, catcher retrieves ball and fires it to the pitcher who lunges towards Anderson, Anderson slides past the tag and is safe at home (I suppose the play is somewhat confused in my mind). Nationals WIN!

Wagner picks up his second win of the season. Lopez committed another error (Harper threw the ball to get a base-runner out, who was trying to steal second, but Lopez missed catching the perfect throw), but also went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI. Zimmerman was 2 for 5, Johnson was 2 for 4, Anderson made a great catch in centerfield and was 3 for 5, with 2 runs scored and 1 RBI (and then traded). Harper started, but went 0 for 2. When a reliever came into the game, Schneider stood in the batters box to PH for Harper, but after the inning went to two outs, Ward PH for Harper. Schneider came in to play catcher, and went on to go 2 for 2 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Astacio went 1 for 2.

Box Score - the pictures from the game will be posted tonight, hopefully, though there is supposed to be a game tonight.

Daryle Ward traded to Atlanta Braves for pitching prospect Luis Atilano
Atilano is a right-handed starting pitcher who is both 21 years old and on the DL (had Tommy John surgery on August 10th). Atilano was drafted in the first round (35th pick) in 2003 (First-Year Player Draft).

According to the Baseball Cube, Atilano pitched in 2003 with the Gulf Coast Braves (Rookie level), and posted a 3-2, 3.83 ERA in 12 games started (1 CG, 1 SH; line: 54.0IP 61H 25R 23ER 5HR 7BB 24SO). In 2004, 19 year old Atilano pitched with Danville at the Rookie level. He went 5-1 with an ERA of 4.20 in 13 games started (64.1 IP, 64 Hits, 54 strike-outs, 10 walks). 2005: Rome, Single A team, 8-9, 4.17 in 24 games started, 136 IP 138 hits 32 walks 66 strike-outs. 2006: Myrlte Beach, High A level, 6-7, 4.50 in 19 games, 18 started. 116 IP 134 hits 27 walks 45 strike-outs.

Press release

Anderson (and cash) dealt to the Dodgers in return for pitching prospect Nunez
The 20-year-old Nunez is a right-handed pitcher and in 2006 has a record of 6-0, with an ERA of 1.58 in 10 games (7 started). 57 IP, 56 strike-outs. First two years were spent in the Dominican Summer League, where he went 8-4 in 26 games (18 starts). Overall, combining the rookie level work this year, and the two years in the Summer League, gives him a minor league career total of 14-4, 2.02 ERA in 36 games (25 starts).

Press release
Tonight: Probably Rain-out, or:
RHP Miguel Batista (10-5, 4.46) vs. LHP Billy Traber (3-3, 7.14)
Traber did not do well in his last start, 2.2 innings pitched, and has lost his last two games. Batista worked 8 innings in his last start, giving up just 3 runs off of 8 hits, but did not pick up a win (or a loss).

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