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Patterson update

Doesn't it seem that, on a day like today, the current players are almost the third-most important topic? You've got the tickets for the new park (and I can tell you that the guys in my group seem very excited about the new seats, the new park, the whole prospect that things will get better). You've got the draft tomorrow, in which a player or two who might play in that new park and be seen by those fat cats in those expensive seats might be selected (make that BETTER BE selected if this team's plan is going to work).

And then you've got this game against the Pirates. Oh, and John Patterson faced live hitters.

Patterson threw 30 pitches or so. He did it in simulated-game fashion -- throwing 15-17, then taking a break, walking back to the dugout, getting a drink -- and then coming out and finishing up. Just two "innings."

"It was good to face some hitters again," he said. "That's a little different look. It's been a month since I've seen a hitter. It was fun. My command wasn't where I wanted it to be, but that's going to get better."

Patterson said he developed some bad habits when his arm was messed up -- he's on the DL with elbow and biceps soreness, but it's related to a nerve problem in his elbow -- and now his mechanics appear to be back in order. He's not up to his normal 92-93 yet, but thinks he'll be able to get there.

Next step: A bullpen session on Friday in Potomac, then a simulated game on Sunday in Potomac, one that will be five innings or 50 pitches, whichever comes first. Then, if all goes well, he'll have a rehabilitation assignment. You could see him in two-three weeks, I suppose.

That's it from here. Pick up the $.35 edition for the full-on coverage of the ticket pricing, plus tonight's game and more injury updates, etc. And continue to discuss whatever the heck you want below.

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 6, 2007; 6:11 PM ET
 
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Comments

I could see the Nats picking Mike Moustakas (ss/3b/c/1b) tomorrow. Hes got the potential to turn into an ELITE (Like, top top top) power hitter. Think ARod power.

Id like to see the first pick be someone we can watch see develop, but I would like a few of the top picks be players who might rise quickly (probably college players). Hopefully those would be pitchers. Then the rest could be mix and match and see who comes out on top.

Posted by: Andrew S. | June 6, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Don Sutton just said this to JimBo: "I have great admiration for the people you've surrounded with." It totally seemed like he had to cut himself out from saying, ". . . but I think you're an idiot." Just me? Okay.

Posted by: Atlanta | June 6, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

How about that for news? Nook is no longer a switch hitter... Bowden announced on MASN that Nook will only bat right... what he didn't say was that it was the beginning of a platoon at CF, but how can it be anything other than that? I can't see them playing Logan against righties....

Posted by: Wigi | June 6, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Bob, Don? "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Think about it." Please go rent "Bull Durham" and stop talking about how JPat got it from Tibet and/or Ryan Church. I mean, really.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

. . .But it's okay, because they can make "Major League" references. I'm so embarrassed for them.

Posted by: Atlanta | June 6, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

and hate...

Don Sutton has to go. he is god awful. how do you not recognize bull durham when it is served up by a real live nuke lalooche (aka the big nasty).

Manny Acta: what are you doing double switching fick into the 9 hole and the pitcher in for young in the 8th inning of a tie game. a left/left matchup for our best hitter who was coming up in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game with the go ahead run on second.

lucked out thanks to torres.

Posted by: love | June 6, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Some good-looking at-bats, some key productive outs in the bottom of the second and fifth. Very pretty wheel play in the top of the second to put the brakes on what could have been a big inning for the Bucs.

Too bad Big Jon seemed not to have it tonight -- not that it's been just tonight. Hope he and we find out what the problem is.

Awesome all-round effort to earn the curly W for the Chief! Oh you Nats!

Posted by: Hendo | June 6, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game. Do we call this win a walk-off wild pitch?

Posted by: NatsNut | June 6, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or did Rauch seem to be limping slightly when he came off the mound? I mean, he's always had an interesting gait, but tonight it looked a little "off." Maybe that was the reason he wasn't his usual wookie self?

Posted by: Juan-John | June 7, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Closing thought from the hutch:

We are going into Day 2 of hearing no explanation as to why Cincinnati traded us what may well have been damaged goods in the person of Ryan Wagner -- may his recovery be swift.

Swanni, you need to jump on this with both feet.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Hendo, you hit it on the head!

I was expecting some spitting bile from Swanni on the Wagner deal, the second I heard of it!

Nice walk-off walk tonight. What a GORGEOUS night for baseball - anywhere.

And, hats off to Bowie who did a heckuva job. Now, about those walks...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | June 7, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Re managerial demeanor, Dave Studeman of Hardball Times comments on the recent antics of Mississippi Braves manager Philip Wellman, and the ejection of three of his players shortly after Wellman himself was run out:

". . . the real difference a managerial rant can make: turn players into whiners."

(http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ten-things-i-didnt-know-last-week38/; free)

Here's hoping that Wellman works out his issues. (Why does Jimmy Piersall's name pop sadly into my brain?)

And with no disrespect meant to any other manager, a big thanks to Manny Acta for cultivating and exercising a level, measured approach on the field.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Mystery solved: Jesus Flores indeed has his own mask, painted like Schneider's. Schneider was left on base on the 3rd out so Flores was catching Chief while he buckled back up. They passed each other and each had their own painted mask in their hands.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 7, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I shouldn't even bother going to work today. Still studying the new stadium for next year, a 1:00 game, 2:00 draft, plus the Journal? Fahgeddaboutit. I'm toast at work today.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 7, 2007 7:16 AM | Report abuse

A couple of things of note:

1. love: I get the whole "defensive substitution" concept of Fick for Young, but with this team, it seems to be a recipe for disaster because, as you say, we've taken out our best bat before the game is nailed down (is the game ever nailed down for the Nationals?). I totally agree with you. In last night's game, it was part of a double switch to get a bat in the 9 spot, but even then, I don't believe Fick's glove is a substantial improvement in that scenario over Young's bat (given that neither Young's glove or Fick's bat really contributes anything). I can see making this switch in the 9th with the way Cordero has pitched lately, but not sooner.

2. I enjoy the utility player as much as anyone, but I really think we need to replace Fick. He's just not getting the job done and there must be some other minor league option that can play first and outfield (has he caught a game this year?).

3. With the ballots out, who will be our lone all star rep? Before the last few weeks it looked like they might bypass the rule that mandates a player from each team, but perhaps Cordero is now playing well enough to deserve it?

Posted by: Sec 315(2) | June 7, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

A few comments:
I'll take Don Sutton over Ray "Gabby" Knight anytime. As far as the all-star game is concerned, right now it looks like Guzman or Young are most deserving based on BA. Agree that Swanni should take up arms over the Wagner issue.

As a life-long Pirates fan, this series is tough but GO NATS!!!!

Posted by: Dancer13 | June 7, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Tough to pick an all-star at this point...

Draft today should be exciting!

Don Sutton is a GREAT baseball analyst. So he didn't get a Bull Durham reference, big f'n deal.

Big Jon's performance lately is definitely concerning. Maybe its just me, but is the Wagner loss not really that big of a deal? Especially with Ayala coming back in a month or two and Colome pitching so well.

Posted by: G-town | June 7, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

A wise choice Natsnut...fahgeddabout work today, for you realize the importance today brings with the future of the Nats at stake. Allstar...choices I see are D. Young and J. Colome for now. I suppose that might change, but....we'll see. Looks like the true fan will have to watch games from afar next season, unless you've got some pretty deep pockets. After the initial few weeks while away and those stuffed shirts fail to occupy those "premium fanny seats", I wonder if they might allow fans to filter down closer, say by the 5th inning. Nothing could look worse than bright red empty seats behind home plate. Be embarrassing now wouldn't it. Hey BARRY...you forget the batteries again..no podcast...mom & I are upset!! Please, please...carry some spares.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 7, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

My gripe about Wagner is not that he's out for an extended period. Rather, it's that his former team, the Reds, is trying to have it both ways: filing a grievance with MLB about a pitcher we sent them (Majewski) who they knew had issues, while having sent us a pitcher in the very same deal (Wagner) whose labrum damage may have been extensive well before the trade took place.

Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Wagner pitched great last year. I remember one game against the Phils when the obnoxious fan from the City of Brotherly Love (as in brothers that are 8 and 10) turned to me and asked why we took him out for a pinch hitter, then thanked me for doing so. I have no idea what a labrum is, though it sounds like something bad, but wouldn't his performance after the trade for half a season seem to indicate he wasn't damaged?

How much glee do you think Jim Bowden has when thinking about Da Meat as an all star?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 7, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

... I've heard you guys about last night's game, and read your comments this morning. I have to confess your vantage point is a lot better than mine, but from where I sit, I'd have to say last night's was a "bad win", if there can be such a thing. The game had all the earmarks of a loss, but a win it became. Now I'll take it, but it should be a win that requires some video work today.

... as I sat watching the last few games, I had a thought or two:

Where would we be today:

- if Patterson, Hill and Bergmann had been in the rotation since May 15 (the day after Bergie's almost no-no, when he came up sore). The team record since then is 11-10. What could it have been?

- if Guzman had not been injured in Game 1? How many more hits might he have?

- if Cordero had not had a family issue? How many more saves?

- if Nickie J and Luis Ayala had been able to start sometime this season? How much better would the line-up have been, or the bullpen (although no one can quibble with its success so far)?

... the Nats record today is 24-35. What might it have been if ...?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 7, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Do you think someone could tell Mr. Soot-on how to pronounce Brian SCHNEIDER'S name? Snyder is a catcher for the Diamondbacks.

Posted by: Simon Oliver Lockwood | June 7, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Re the sidelined, SLAP-torn and surgically repaired Ryan Wagner, Section 506 asks, "wouldn't his performance after the trade for half a season seem to indicate he wasn't damaged?"

Eh, Wagner did all right in DC: 3-3, 4.69 ERA, struck out 20 (but walked 15) in 30.2 innings. That said, his pattern had shown a steady decline for several years. The tail end of '06 is arguably a dead-cat bounce.

Will Carroll, in his "Saving the Pitcher," discusses the labrum and the SLAP tear much more informatively and entertainingly than I can. Suffice it to say here that the SLAP tear is an injury strongly correlated to pitching, or indeed repetitive throwing in general. (Remember that Guzie also had this injury.) If Wagner was having notable shoulder discomfort even in '06, as his long-term pattern of decline indicates he may have, a contrast MRI might well have revealed this condition, if not before it required surgery, at least far enough in advance for the Nats to have made an informed decision.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Natscan, I hear you on the "bad" win. Last night, though, the Nats were having some decent plate appearances (at least by recent standards) and were taking advantage of enemy mistakes while making few themselves.

Now, if the at-bats had looked like, say, Sunday's (and I admit that was a sodden, miserable day), that would have been an ugly win. Then again, such a game probably would have ended 7-2 Bucs, and we'd be sitting around here this morning mumbling to ourselves.

Re the "what if"s, I think we're supposed to respond reflexively: These things even out. And I do, but then my other reflex kicks in and I say: Bah.

Life just ain't fair sometimes.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Natscan, who would Patterson, Hill, AND Bergman have replaced? They can't all take Speigner's slot in the rotation. But maybe that's what you meant -- Patterson alone would be good for 3 losses.
I think Patterson is NEVER going to be right again. Sad but true. But getting Hill and Bergman back will be good, if they're healthy.

Posted by: cevans | June 7, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Natsnut, thanks for reporting that out, but I can't imagine using someone else's mask. Yuck.

Posted by: cevans | June 7, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Note to Hendo:

"Life just ain't fair sometimes"

Life is always fair when you win, unfair when you lose.

Hmmm, I think I'll use that as my signature on my e-mail from now on.

Posted by: Dancer13 | June 7, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Sec. 506 --
Definition of Labrum
Labrum: In medicine, a ring of fibrocartilage (fibrous cartilage) around the edge of the articular (joint) surface of a bone. The term labrum is used in anatomy to designate a lip, edge, or brim. Plural: labra.

The glenoid labrum is a ring of fibrocartilage that runs around the cavity of the scapula (wingbone) in which the head of the humerus (the bone in the upper arm) fits. The labrum deepens this cavity (the glenoid cavity) and effectively increases the surface of the shoulder joint.

Injuries to the glenoid labrum can occur from chronic trauma due to repetitive shoulder motion or from acute trauma. For example, from a fall on an outstretched arm, a direct blow to the shoulder, a sudden pull from trying to lift a heavy object, or a violent motion like pitching a baseball.

Signs and symptoms of a glenoid labrum injury include pain accompanying overhead arm motion, occasional pain in the shoulder at night or during daily activities, decreased range of motion and loss of strength in the shoulder.

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | June 7, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

so now you know! : )

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | June 7, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

cevans:

... they wouldn't have replaced anyone. They would have occupied their rightful spots in the rotation, now being filled by Bacsik, Bowie and Speigner. Not a law firm, but rather a set of over-achieving spot starters.

... sure Johnny Pat might not have been successful, but there's every good reason to assume he would have acquitted himself at least as well as Bowie or Bacsik, and in so doing, perhaps garnered a win or two more than they.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 7, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

oh, I think there's every reason to think both B & B have won games in the last 2 weeks that Patterson would have seen the 4th inning of from the whirlpool.

Posted by: cevans | June 7, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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