Didn't Make the Paper, Vol. VII
First, some lineups:
Rollins -- 6
Victorino -- 9
Utley -- 4
Burrell -- 7
Dobbs -- 3
Helms -- 5
Rowand -- 8
Ruiz -- 2
Moyer -- 1
Uh, notice anybody's absence? We'll get to that.
Lopez -- 6
Belliard -- 4
Zimmerman -- 5
Young -- 3
Kearns -- 9
Church -- 8
Restovich -- 7
Flores -- 2
Patterson -- 1
So Ryan Howard has a left leg injury, and he's out today. He injured it -- for those who stayed up -- running to first base and landing awkwardly in like the top of the 79th last night.
Nationals: Restovich gets a start against the left-hander Jamie Moyer, who he said he has never faced before. He was in the clubhouse about an hour ago already telling himself to stay back against Moyer's repertoire, which goes something like this: slow, slower, slowest.
Jesus Flores with his second start of the year, giving Brian Schneider a well-deserved rest.
Big start for Patterson (0-2, 7.07), and a chance at a series win for the first time (and for the dial to go up on Charlie Manuel even further).
DMTP: So among the many things that become hard to cram in when a game ends at 11:22 p.m. are (and this is my fault) some subtelties that may have decided the outcome. In the seventh inning, The Nationals needed to pinch hit for reliever Micah Bowie, leading just 4-3. With lefty Matt Smith on the hill for Philadelphia, it made sense that Michael Restovich would be the pinch hitter, because he hits right-handed. Restovich, indeed, was in the on-deck circle.
But he was never announced into the game. Sam Holbrook, the home plate umpire, never signalled to the press box -- where the official scorer sits -- that Restovich was in. So when Manuel went to replace Smith with right-hander Geoff Geary, he made an error. He could have forced the issue, waiting until Restovich was announced. But he didn't, and that meant Manny Acta could pull Restovich back and send up left-handed hitting Robert Fick.
Why does this matter? Well, the Nationals failed to get an insurance run that inning, which was ridiculous considering they had the bases loaded with no outs. But it allowed Restovich to be inserted as a pinch hitter in the 11th, when he stroked a single to center, and then Acta kept him in the game -- moving Austin Kearns to center -- and he delivered a key double in the game-winning rally. Restovich's day began at about 7:30 a.m. in Columbus, Ohio (he finished packing at around 3 a.m., so not much sleep there), but he didn't have time for a nap and was basically playing on adrenaline by the time the 11th rolled around. Pretty cool stuff.
If Manuel is fired, these subtle things will be pointed to in Philly, no doubt. He basically gave the Nationals an extra player.
What else? The team finally gets a break from the weather tomorrow, when it's due to be in the 80s and sunny in Miami. Marlins are currently reelling a bit, losers of four in a row. Restovich will get a start tomorrow against lefty Scott Olsen of Florida (though Acta said not to look at it as a straight platoon.)
Also: On the farm, and not in the little minor league report in today's $.35 edition, last year's No. 1 pick Chris Marrero hit his first pro homer for Class A Hagerstown last night. A lot is being put on this kid, but the early signs are that he can hit.
More minor minor news: LHP Chris Michalak, the veteran at Class AAA Columbus, strained a quad two nights ago (and by quad, I mean quadriceps muscle), and Bob Boone said last night that the team moved Eduaurdo Valdez to Columbus, and brought lefty Arnie Munoz off the disabled list, so they've got enough starters. The problem in Columbus: Not enough hits. They have two homers -- both by 1B Larry Broadway, who is hitting .167
Boz is here, locked and loaded. I'll toss you an update from time-to-time.
Oh, and if you want to read quite a bit about Charlie Manuel's bizarre session with the press yesterday, read Steinberg. It's fascinating.
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