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GTR results are in

(Biggio and Ensberg both hit homers off Saul Rivera in the sixth, and the Astros lead 5-2 in the top of the eighth. Not that that matters.)

Thanks to the 60-something people who played Guess The Rotation over the last couple of days. I have some results, and maybe even some analysis.

First off, only a couple people believe John Patterson won't be ready for Opening Day. That's good. Forty-three votes for Patterson as the No. 1 starter. One for Traber. One for someone who would be traded for. (There were some stray votes for people like Svrluga and the raccoon that was caught yesterday and some other people, but I dismissed those, as we are humorless here at the Journal in general and with GTR specifically.)

Anyway, according to the rules that I made up about 15 minutes ago, pitchers received five points for getting a vote to be the first starter, four for a vote to be the second starter, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth. (To those folks who didn't put them in a specific order, too bad. I just counted it up as you had them listed.)

Fifteen (15) different pitchers received votes to be in the rotation. And all of those were serious votes (or as serious as we're taking this).

The results (with first place votes in parentheses) and then total points:
Patterson (43) -- 215
Shawn Hill -- 135
Jason Simontacchi -- 63
Tim Redding -- 50
Matt Chico -- 49
Billy Traber (1) -- 47
Jerome Williams -- 40
Beltran Perez -- 35
Jason Bergmann -- 10
"Other" (1) -- 7
Jon Rauch -- 6
Chris Michalak -- 5
Josh Hall -- 1
Joel Hanrahan -- 1

Other tidbits: Hill had the most second-starter votes with 24, and he tossed in 10 third-starter votes to solidly take the second spot. Lots of support for Traber on the back end of the rotation, with 15 votes for either the fourth or fifth spot. People like Chico. He received only two votes for the second spot, but 17 for either fourth or fifth, appearing on 25 ballots total. People seem to think if Redding makes it, he'll be on the front end -- 12 votes for second or third spots, just six votes for fourth or fifth spots. And Simontacchi has a ton of support for third or fourth -- 17 votes in those two spots (not to mention five for the second spot).

Jim Bowden's sitting in the front row here at BOCS, and I'll make sure to run the point totals down to him. Then we can just call off this silly competition right now and get on with things.

(Rauch throws a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and striking out a guy. I'll explain a bit more why he won't be in the rotation in tomorrow's paper (just $.35). Astros 5, Nationals 2, bottom eighth.)

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 7, 2007; 3:02 PM ET
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Thanks Barry - I'd be very surprised, however, if Chico made the team at all given that he still has options.

Think they'll put a Nats team store in the Columbus airport? [/snark]

Posted by: CoNATStant Lurker | March 7, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Since you're in Florida, should we demand a recount?

Posted by: Jenn | March 7, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Beware the hanging chads, and hanging curve balls.

Posted by: BoysOfSummer | March 7, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ask Jimbo how he plans to sell-out RFK on opening day. He and the Lerners ought to be here in snowy Washington giving away tickets to the masses. When I bought my opening day tickets, it seemed that more than half of the stadium is available.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 7, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

How long is Mike O'Connor out for again?

Posted by: Mick | March 7, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

No votes for Steve Howe?

Posted by: gtr | March 7, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

O'Connor isn't even throwing off a mound yet. Has to get 120 feet first. I'd say he'd be pitching by May or so, but I'd think he's start in the minors.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 7, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Also: Forgot to mention O'Connor got one third-place vote. I should've put that in the totals.

Nationals lose 5-2 to Astros, now 1-6 on the spring.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 7, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

sure, pitching has been less than stellar so far, but am I the only one concerned about our offense (save for Zim, Kearns and Schneider)?

Seems Ryan Church is in mid-Spring Training form, 2-for-11, a couple of K's and I believe he's left 6 men on-base. Casto is too young (he does need at least a half a season in AAA) and Escobar is always hurt. Do we have any other options to play LF?

Posted by: e | March 7, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to remember the Tigers rotation the year they almost finished worse than the Mets. I know Maroth had the most losses, and I think Bonderman lost 19. Was Robertson on that club? Are there guys in contention (Chico / Hill / Perez) comparabel to Maroth (mid-rotation) or Bonderman (#1- #1A)? I suppose the Glavine / Mercker / Smoltz analogy also works. Chico cracked the BA top 100. Is Maroth his comparable?

I'd be inclined to give 2 young guys who you are eventually wanting to stick and take my lumps, and wait for O'Connor and Claussen to come back to fill out the rotation. In the interim, toss 2 of the Simontacchis / Reddings in there and hope they develop a bit of value. Send Williams down if he's got an option left and let him work it out in AAA. Look for the Jeremy Guthries and Kyle Snyders who are out of options when they get cut.

Posted by: jon | March 7, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

e and Jon

Snyder sucks - we dont need any more truely sucky pitchers.

I also find it hard to believe Redman is still available - but he also sucks, so dont get him.

Do what the Marlins did last year and run some of your young SPs out there. Its expierience for them, and it might just be an expierience to watch. Maybe not a good one, but maybe not a bad one.

Also - Snelling can play LF.

Escobar should be traded to Florida (They need a CFer)for Renyel Pinto.


Posted by: Andrew | March 7, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Did you try HTML for the Links?

Posted by: Link Help | March 7, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

HTML Tutorial

Posted by: Link Help | March 7, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

What's the timetable for Claussen? I think he's going to be a reliable starter after St. Claire works with him, similar to Ryan Wagner.

If we were going into the season with Patterson, Claussen, O'Connor, Hill and Chico we might approach respectability. Too bad we aren't. Is there a snowball's chance that we'd trade for Pavano from the Yanks if they'd pick up most of the huge contract, ala Preston Wilson in '05? ESPN was saying on the Yankee game Monday that Pavano was considered 'soft' by his teammates, so it is conceivable that the Yanks would be willing to dump him.

Posted by: Ray | March 7, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

No need for Pavano...Claussen should start pitching by May but might not be ready to really PITCH by early June.

Posted by: Andrew S. | March 7, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Redman and Pavano would be wastes of time. Let's see what the young guys and the last chance guys can do. Today's game was a little better, although I guess that's like saying being paired up on a blind date with Carney Phillips is a little better than being teamed up with Rosie O'Donnell.

Posted by: Hondo Lives | March 7, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Way to bring the "snark" today Barry! Thanks for your comments and analysis. It must be tough to try to define/refine/divine what kind of baseball town is being created in the DC market while pitchers insist on putting up ERAs of 135 while a 600+ million dollar stadium is under construction.

While the A man up in Baltimore insisted we don't exist, I think Spring training can truly tell if there are indeed fans in DC. The response to your blog puts that question to rest.

The fact is, we have no idea what is going to happen this year with the Nats. Many fans predict death and destruction based on the stats and throw in the towel during spring training. Others pull out the foam fingers.

Myself? I try to imagine how incredible it would be for a baseball playoff game to happen at RFK. For all we know, Hanrahan could strike out the side at a critical point in game 5.

But then again, the Nats suck...right?

Or do they? We shall see.

::ready to endure pain::

Hey! At least we are not Cubs fans. Their meltdown by improbable means will be sweet to watch this year. ;-)

Posted by: Eric | March 7, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Nats fans have a lot to learn from Cubs fans. The whole point of being a Cub fan is enduring pain. That's what being a Cubs fan is like -- that scene in Casino Royale.

Posted by: cevans | March 8, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I thought being a Cubs fan was talking on your cell phone in the bleachers instead of watching the game. You wanna know curse? Cubs fans should try going without a team for 33 years than talk to a Nats fan about a curse.

Posted by: Ray | March 11, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

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