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Patterson: An A in the B game

Just back from watching John Patterson pitch four innings on the minor-league side. And, uh, he was pretty good. Four perfect innings. By my count, 39 pitches, 28 strikes. (Randy St. Claire had 41 pitches, but I'm seriously going to take my count over his. He was walking around. I had no other task to monitor. I might not be able to do much, but I can count to 40.)

Patterson threw first-pitch strikes to eight of the 12 men he faced, struck out five and showed a sharp curveball. He faced Dmitri Young twice, striking him out looking and getting him on a lazy fly ball to right. He made SS prospect Ian Desmond look foolish in a three-pitch at-bat in which Desmond looked at strike three and walked back to the bench.

"That was the best I've felt," Patterson said afterward. He said he was very, very relaxed. "Over there," he said, nodding toward HSCS, "you can sometimes get worried about results." But in the minor league game, he said he could smooth out his delivery and not worry about results. He had been "a little quick" with his delivery during his first outing, he said.

Patterson's next scheduled day to pitch is Tuesday -- which is the Nationals' one off day of the spring. So he'll throw on the minor-league side that day as well. His next appearance in a game will be March 18 against Florida in Viera.

Other news: They did that thing with Bobby Williams, putting him in Andy Dunn's old spot. I'll talk to Williams in a while and let you know how that goes.

Beltran Perez pitched the other side of the B game, allowing five runs in two innings and getting smacked around. (Chris Marrero, first-round draft pick from last year, can really crush the ball. He scalded a double off of Perez. But let's not get too excited yet. Start him in Class A this year. He's a young 18. Oh, and Esmailyn Gonzalez played shortstop behind Patterson and fielded a few balls flawlessly. So there's that.)

Dmitri Young later hit a homer. We're going to see him later on, maybe early next week. I'll have to check in on that first base competition in the coming days.

Astros lineup:

Adam Everett -- SS
Mark Loretta -- 2B
Lance Berkman -- DH
Mike Lamb -- 1B
Charlton Jimerson -- RF
Jason Lane -- LF
Richard Hidalgo -- CF
Eric Bruntlett -- 2B
Humberto Quintero -- C

RHP Jason Jennings

That's all for now.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 8, 2007; 12:11 PM ET
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Next: One in the books


Barry - you have no idea what a service you do by writing the blog for those of us freezing up north. I so look forward to your updates, your humor, and your insight. Keep doing what you're doing and tell the big boys at the Post to give you the raise you deserve.

Barb Angelino

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Hear, hear! Ditto that!

Posted by: JammingEcono | March 8, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Barb Angelino: My New Favorite Person on the Planet

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 8, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Whew, that's a huge relief to hear! Thanks much for the update!

Now, the important question of the day:

Simon-tatchee as the Astros broadcasters are pronouncing it, or Simon-t(ah)chee? (as in open up and say 'ah')

Posted by: misschatter | March 8, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Simontacchi is a flat "a" sound, not like the first "a" in "pasta" (unless you're from Canada), but like the "a" in "cat."

(Bob Carpenter, who worked with the Cardinals when Simontacchi was in St. Louis, said they pronounced it wrong for a long time, until Jason corrected them.)

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 8, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Cool, thanks! I've been pronouncing it wrong too. Oops.

Posted by: misschatter | March 8, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Barry, You're doing a great job! Thanks for keeping us posted. Question, have you noticed a decline in attendance for the Nats so far this spring over the last?

Posted by: Nats Fan | March 8, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

hey Barry,

What does the H in HSCS stand for?

Posted by: 6th and D | March 8, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Decline in attendance? I don't know. Let me ask the 25 folks who are here if they've noticed one.

The "H" in HSCS stands for "Historic," naturally. There are very few towns as steeped in history as Viera.

History is good. Better in Viera.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 8, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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