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Lannan speaks

So just got off the phone with John Lannan, who is in fact slated to start tomorrow's matinee. He began the year with Class A Potomac, and there's no way he figured he'd be in the majors by the end of July.

"It's been a really good experience," he said by phone. "I think the longest I've been in one place is like eight starts. I've had a lot of fun."

Just talked to a scout who saw Lannan three times this year, and he said he's kind of a "soft-tosser," like 87-88, but he really likes him. Put him on his prospects list. Throws both a two-seamer and a four-seam fastball, good curveball and a changeup. Big frame at 6-5. "A very good package," the scout said.

What can Lannan expect to do?

"I'm just going to go out there and compete," he said. "I know it's going to be a different game than anything I've ever experienced. It's going to be faster. I'm excited to see how I match up."

He has not been told anything beyond tomorrow, and Manager Manny Acta said they won't decide anything, either. One of the relievers will be optioned down after tonight's game.

Jason Bergmann: He said he's taking it easy today, getting treatment, and we'll know more tomorrow and the next day. His normal day to throw a between-starts bullpen session would be tomorrow, but they could push that back till Friday. We'll know for sure on Friday what's going on, because if Bergmann's not ready to go, they would want to call up Hanrahan for Saturday, pushing Traber back to Sunday in NYC. (Same scout was not nearly as impressed with Hanrahan as he was with Lannan, which makes sense, because Hanrahan's scuffled around the minors for seven years now, and Lannan's been on the rise in his short career.)

OK, time to get to hacking for the $.35 edition. Chico vs. Hamels tonight. Enjoy.

By Barry Svrluga  |  July 25, 2007; 5:40 PM ET
 
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Next: Good Morning! or, Good Morning?

Comments

To John Lannan, who should read the Nats Journal at least this one time (remember, players say they never read the paper):

Welcome!! We have all been following your story, and look forward to you having great success. Since you were part of the first group of players drafter by the Nationals, I will claim you as among the first fruits of "The Plan" to rebuild the team.

We hope to be able to root for you for years.

Posted by: Kevin | July 25, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Barry, thanks for constantly updating Nats' fans with news like this. I always check your Nationals Journal first thing in the morning and then again at the end of the day. Keep 'em coming!

Posted by: Joanna | July 25, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry, for the update!

Welcome aboard, John. We'll root for you even if you are a soft talker. What do we care how loud a pitcher talks anyway, so long as he can throw the ball, and furthermore -- what, soft "tosser"? Oh. Never mind....

In other news, at one point someone had mentioned the song "Van Lingle Mungo." In an interesting bit of synchronicity (no, I'm not at work now, but I do work at home), the SABR publication "The National Pastime" features a piece by Dave Frishberg in which he describes his process in putting together that work.

Posted by: natsfan1a (channeling Emily Latilla) | July 25, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

speaking of songs... does anyone know what the song is that the Nats play a clip of at home games when the opposing pitchers throw over to check the runner at 1st?

"Oh, lahhhh-deee..."

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

yeah, but can he bunt?

Just kidding (sorta -- not really). But still, welcome aboard, John.

Posted by: i hate walks | July 25, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, as always, for the news, Barry.

Welcome aboard, John. See you tomorrow at CBP.

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

FINALLY got home and to a computer - forced to watch the game without sound at a local pub.

Man - is it just me or is this ump's strike zone tiny??? And, variable.

Tough outing Chico - good stuff, but not great and tough to nibble against this team of hitters in this bandbox.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Matt! I've been meaning to ask that myself, but I keep forgetting. It's a short little clip they play every time the pitcher has an unsuccessful pickoff. Anyone know what it is?

Posted by: NatsNut | July 25, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Matt -

You asked...

speaking of songs... does anyone know what the song is that the Nats play a clip of at home games when the opposing pitchers throw over to check the runner at 1st? "Oh, lahhhh-deee..."

The Nats have (annoyingly) mass adopted some Shea Stadium habits, er... traditions, and the song "Volare" - Italian for "oh-lahhh-deee" - is one. "Everybody clap your hands... [clap, clap, clap ...]" is another noise adopted from Shea. All we need is to move closer to the flightpath at National... Oh! Next year you say?

Posted by: natsagain | July 25, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, what's up with Da Meat? 0-8 since back from the heel problem.

While I would love for him to stick around, is this going to kill his market value this week? After JimBow's experience with the Reds, would anyone take a chance now?

If he's not traded by Jul 31, offer him a 2-3 year deal on Aug 1. Can someone explain why it still isn't clear if he qualifies as a Class B free agent? Is it his salary, or his "value" - tough to argue many more free agents would have more to offer this off season...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The correct response to "Vohhh-lar-ayyy" is "[pause] WHOA-OHHH". Get with the program, people. It ain't all THAT lame.

CBP food & beverage update: I'll be sitting in 140. One section over, behind 139, the options include the Schmitter(R), a cheese-steak-salami Dagwood on a Kaiser roll from McNally's Tavern, and a collection of beers at Brewerytown.

So I stand corrected. Maryland House may get a pass.

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Anything associated with Dean Martin (i.e., Volare) is, by definition, that lame.

Posted by: natsagain | July 25, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Rally runs from surprising places! Great hit by Jesus to put the good guys ahead.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Jesus saves (and doubles)!

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 25, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Great to see Batista make a big contribution. Good call by Acta to use him in that situation (especially with my 20-20 hindsight).

Posted by: Mr. 300* | July 25, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

If we traded Cordero would we still get to hear "Hail to the Chief" when our closer comes in?

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 25, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

You have to be kidding me...

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

oh. my. ......

Posted by: gretchen | July 25, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Almost as disgusting as that play is the obsession the Philly announcers have with calling Rollins "J Roll."

Is he still Jimmy from the block?

I hate the Phillies.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I feel nauseous...

Posted by: Mr. 300* | July 25, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Groan...

But, as General Anthony McAuliffe said when asked for a surrender by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge:

NUTS!

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Why can't we get an [RF] break tonight? EVERYTHING that could go wrong has.

See, Kearns, foul ball, right there.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I would just like to point out that two of (if not THE two of) my least favorite Nats contributed to that play.

Ryan "God forbid my uniform gets dirty" Church

and

Felipe "yeah, I guess I'll play baseball tonight, if you really want me to" Lopez

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

By the way, many thanks natsagain! My trivia question has been answered...

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

But, natsagain, be careful about dissin' the Pride Of Steubenville -- neighbor city to my hometown of Wheeling.

(Dean Martin sure was a piece of work, huh?)

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Even if the Nats came back and won this one, I hope I forget it soon. There's nothing good about this game. Except maybe Batista finally getting an extra base hit.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Matt: I would like to point out that Church did have a sliding catch in the 3rd inning...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | July 25, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

So, Barry's had to change his gamer at least 3 times in the past hour, and still doesn't have a final story.

How close was Kearns's ball down the line? Crazy, crazy game - and still the ump's zone is tiny (but not as crazy as the philly phans seem to think).

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Another gentle nudge:

Matt, were you in Pittsburgh the day that Church hit the wall in 2005? I was. Never want to hear a sound like that again. Not to minimize Church's issues, to be sure.

Talking of issues, what's with Rauch and the walks?

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Are there any MLB players in the clubhouse tonight?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I really can't believe the bunt was on right there, but I'm delighted at the result.

Two strikes, double play possibility...

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

1- The whole sliding on ytour legs/knees doesn't count. Talk to me (or Logan or Langerhans or my vote for CF for next year Rowand) when your ribs bounce on the turf.

2- So one time in 2005 when Church bounced off the wall? That's all we can come up with?

Facts (as far as I'm concerned): Church is not willing to sacrifice himself for an out, no matter how big or small, and Felipe Lopez doesn't really care about baseball. Every time I see or hear him, he puts off the vibe of "I'm really not that interested in being here right now."

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

ShawNatsFan sympathizes: "So, Barry's had to change his gamer at least 3 times in the past hour . . ."

Indeed. And I had my Cordero double-dactyl cued, but that went up the flue.

One will come some time, though, and y'all will like it.

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little peeved at Church right now, too, and he's definitely not my favorite player, but that wasn't exactly an easy play for him.

But it sure didn't look that difficult for Lopez, on whom I place the blame for that tying run.

Why is it we always seem to go into extra innings against Philly the night before a day game?

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Before it becomes an afterthought - you got to hand it to the Chief. He did his job, all the way to 0-2 on Rollins with no one on and 2 outs. Get's the pop up (ok, a drive, but an out, even at CBP).

Makes me wonder - that same ball is:
a) - a homer at new Nats park
b) - an out at new Nats park

regardless, it is:
c) - a homer at Cincy (aka. Dunn/Kearns inflator)

and with all those similar outs from Cordero, if the answer is a) then Cordero's numbers could be a little different next year (if he's here)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Matt, I'm ambivalent to Church, but on Lopez I don't think you could be any more wrong with your analysis, though the -- this McDonald's breast cancer commercial skeeves me out -- resulting play is agreeably dreadful.

Lopez's problem seems to be he cares way, way too much. He puts off the vibe "I am SO FRUSTRATED AND AFRAID OF LOSING MY JOB and I will do ANYTHING to keep playing in the majors, including swinging at that ridiculous ball away". I think Lopez over does everything, as most recently exemplified by running way out into the outfield so that he wasn't where he should have been and missed the throw.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice inducement and play of Dobbs' FC by Rivera.

Reduxit clan not heard from lately. What's up with that?

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

If Rivera had thrown as accurately to the plate as he had to second on that bunt, he wouldn't have walked the first guy.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

(to section 506): Really? I guess I have no comment on that.

Like I (kinda) said before, I really don't have anything to back up my Lopez accusation, it's just a "vibe" I get from him, that he just doesn't care one way or the other.

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

So, since we're all glued til whenever o'clock now (again, against the phillies), did anyone ever imagine this scenario when Hamels was mowing down guys earlier?

So, can we guess:
i) Barry's first story, pre-9th inning rally?
ii) Barry's second story, post-Jesus's Save (i liked that one lowcountry)
iii) Barry's third story, post-JRoll's roll

So, midnight anyone? (I did mention this history of extra-inning games w/the Phils in an earlier thread).

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of late rounds in an evenly matched fight, where the two boxers are using all their strength just to toss weak punches at each other as they sweat and bleed all over the ring. It's ugly.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Hendo, Natscan announced a three-day vacation yesterday, which I believe was his birthday.

It seems like a lot longer ago than yesterday. That's because, well, this game has been so damn long, and because Barry updates this so frequently, Natscan's hiatus was declared many, many posts ago.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

It's a holiday somewhere... c'mon Zimm - end it!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

ShawNatsFan: True that. Jageler just mentioned that we can't seem to have a series with the Phillies without a game like this.

Can't believe so many fans went home from CBP early. What a bunch of front-runners. (I will endeavor to restrain myself from that, and other helpful comments, at CBP tomorrow. Wanna get out of there in one piece.)

If there's a silver lining, it sounds like we've eaten up the Philly bullpen. We still have the rest of Rivera, and then Booker. This could get even more interesting.

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

SEE!!! SEEEEEE!!!!

Not a single [RF] break.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that. Really.

-----

iii) Barry's third story, post-JRoll's roll

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Matt: you are an idiot....that is all

Posted by: love | July 25, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"Matt: you are an idiot....that is all"

Aww, Ryan Church's mom, don't be mean to anybody tonight. Good lord, we all need a little bit of TLC after this

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

that's mature.

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Now, now, love. Matt's entitled to be grumpy, as are we all, after the blown ninth inning.

We can be cheered by the thought that Barry is surely working (or about to be working) on another meaty stat-crunch. Really don't know how he manages it all.

Our doughty crew should be giving Barry a lotta love. (Next time he's at RFK, we need to fetch his dogs and brews and stuff.) Barry will be a lock for Baseball Prospectus, best analytic site on the planet, if he ever gets tired of 15th and L.

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if I can take this much longer. My heart feels like Chad Cordero is starting.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

i was very mature you're fired

Posted by: love | July 25, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Any sighting of John Lannan at the park yet?

Posted by: natsagain | July 25, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I think he's already throwing warmups for his next start, five minutes from now.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

If he shows up, can he pitch?

Posted by: SF Fan | July 25, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Can Barry pitch?

Posted by: #1 Lurker | July 25, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

It's a night-morning double header.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

506 pants: "I don't know if I can take this much longer. . . ."

No lie, 506. I have an early day tomorrow (soon to be today!). Almost ready to switch from beer to coffee!

At least the Nats-Phillies two-day test match will make the headlines on the cricket sites. (Well, it should.)

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

They'll have to make room on the roster. Unfortunately, Booker seems the logical choice - BUT, will there be time to make the transaction before the game starts?

Posted by: natsagain | July 25, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

You know who I'm feeling for right now? Brian Schneider. 13+ innings tonight, and tomorrow Manny already said he's going to catch (rightfully so) since Lannan's pitching. Poor guy. Hopefully he'll get Friday off. Well, Manny DID say that before this game went into extra innings, but I'd still be surprised if both the pitcher and catcher tommorow are aged 22 years.

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

So, will we see a Booker sighting this inning, or are we living with Saul? If we make it to the 14th, Condrey doesn't have much left in the tank and we have top of the order coming.

Damn, Sutton just used my line - who started this game?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Schneider has been great tonight. I stand by him. He is our primary catcher next year.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's that. It's gotta be Booker next inning. Rivera can't go 4, he's a setup man!

Posted by: SF Fan | July 25, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

NICE! Schneid with the gun!
(unfortunately it is only Utley, Howard, Rowand due up next inning for the 300th time tonight).

Seriously, that'll be 3 times in 5 extra innings with that lineup??? Crazy - if we pull this out, surviving that lineup 3x would be an achievement in itself!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Good point, Matt. Way to prove you're not an idiot.

Despite his woes at the plate, Schneider has handled this patchwork staff better than anyone could have expected.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

First guessing...

Felipe scores (somehow), Booker gets a save &, as a reward, gets sent down.

Posted by: natsagain | July 25, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Love Schneider. Here's a question/stat you'll never know the answer to but is worth speculating nonetheless... How much worse do you think the Nats ERA and/or record would be this year without him?

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

oops, shoulda said "while giving up a lead-off walk to Utley 2x (PLEASE don't walk Utley again to lead off the 14th!)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats could score, Booker could get a save as a reward for getting sent down.

Posted by: natsagain | July 25, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Phils broadcast just showed a graphic of Lannan, and I swear it looked like he had a milk moustache.

He's young, but he's not that young.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

#1 pleads: "Can Barry pitch?"

Maybe. He's a lefty 1B, if memory serves, and might have a knuckler as many position players do.

And before anyone asks, don't be looking at me. My stuff is soft -- think Bacsik, at best, and that's extremely charitable -- and the return from one of them distinguished my already challenged map, effecting my retirement from the mound many seasons ago.

Would if I could, though. (Have we scheduled the NJ Slow-Pitch Classic yet?)

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, could Condrey go another inning? We gotta get through this one.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Booker might get a WIN and get sent down, wouldn't that just suck?

Posted by: SF Fan | July 25, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Do the Phillies have anyone left? or is Condrey in as Pitcher of Record no matter what?

Posted by: SF Fan | July 25, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

ugh. 3rd straight leadoff walk for Utley, ahead of Howard and Rowand. unreal.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I would have rather seen Saul lose the game than Booker. But I guess he did his duty tonight.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow. You called it.

-----

oops, shoulda said "while giving up a lead-off walk to Utley 2x (PLEASE don't walk Utley again to lead off the 14th!)

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Pffft... couldn't hold the luck forever, huh?

We'll get 'em tomorrow.

Posted by: Hendo | July 25, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

ok, mercy.

bye, bye Booker. Hopefully see you up in the show sometime soon

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 25, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, that was a hard way to lose.

Posted by: SF Fan | July 25, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I will hate Philly tomorrow, too exhausted tonight.

As Ray King says, forget about it, move on.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 25, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting.

13 hours to fume over this one.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 25, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

That sucks.

Posted by: Matt | July 26, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

This could be really, really ugly...

- overextended bullpen
- rookies making debuts on Thursday and, likely, Sunday (Hanrahan)
- double header on Saturday, one started by a middle releiver
- a manager who hasn't allowed any starter to extend past 100 pitches

Maybe I'll take a break until September call ups.

Posted by: natsagain | July 26, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Chiefie, can't blame you for this one. You had that game IN THE BAG were it not for our -- just for tonight -- Keystone Kops outfielders.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 26, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Closing it down at the hutch pondering a sigh from natsagain: "Maybe I'll take a break until September call ups."

Nuh-uh. C'mon. Join us out there on July 31.

A big salute to our posters and to our battling, if occasionally and ill-timedly bumbling, Nationals. If we didn't get our money's worth in tonight's loss, we never will.

Aww, let's wind it up right... Oh you Nats!

(See you tomorrow at CBP. Not to diss the working stiffs, but I'm lookin' at you Thursday layabouts... gotta represent!)

Posted by: Hendo | July 26, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I said last night that watching close games is fun even if your team loses. If I ever say that again, someone take a bat to my head. UGH.

Fundamentals, fundamentals.

There's been a lot of chatter about where the blame sits on the 9th inning Rollins play. Well ... I would say Ronnie Belliard. The two OFs were going after the ball hard. It was bad luck that Langerhans bumped Church's arm, causing him to drop the ball. Church hustled after the ball and got it quickly to the infield. His throw wasn't great and should have been picked by Lopez, but that still wasn't the killer. Anytime a ball is hit to the gap, any team from Little League on up knows it's time to run a double cut off. The 2B job is to hustle out behind the SS to back up an errant relay throw. The 1B trails the batter/runner to 2nd after making sure the batter/runner touches 1st. A team does this precisely because a ball rolling around in the OF on a bad cut off throw can be disastrous. I looked carefully at the replay. Belliard was jogging over and never got into good position. If he's in the right place, he picks up the bad throw. I doubt Rollins even attempts to score.

I agree with what Sutton said in the top of the 14th. How about a hit and run to mix things up? The last thing I wanted to see was Belliard grounding into a DP.

The rest of this post I typed at 1:00 PM but got interrupted by work(yes, work, darn it). Sorry it's a bit off subject. There is something related to Bergman's injury that I've been wondering about lately. When did it become accepted that pitchers would not run out ground balls hard? Sutton talks about it on the broadcast all the time. He says pitchers should jog down to 1st or even not swing at all if they are ahead late in the game. It's another example of pitchers getting babied and not being expected to be full players when they are in there. They have to be more likely to pull something because they don't exert themselves as often. It doesn't seem to me that Bob Gibson or Juan Marichal would play like that. Is this true or am I sugar coating my memory of 60's/70's baseball. I'd be interested on an old-timer like FRobby's opinion on that.

Oh well... excited to Lannan tomorrow (to)night.

Posted by: #4 | July 26, 2007 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Flores pinch hitting for Fick = my favorite moment. Glad Manny's move worked out. Great choice Barry to emphasize Manny's disgusted comments in hte gamer. Yesterday he accurately crticized Church's offense, today the OF defense. Gotta believe we will have 2 fewer Ryans next year. Or next week?
Thanks #4 for the Belliard observation.

Posted by: Geezer | July 26, 2007 6:28 AM | Report abuse

Hendo's right. I read somewhere, but can't remember where, that the idea of using the song there is that the runner should hold up because of the pickoff attempt (whoa).

At the risk of starting another musical meltdown, what's with dissin' the Dino? Confidential to Hendo: Steubenville, huh? My dad grew up in Barnesville.

---

The correct response to "Vohhh-lar-ayyy" is "[pause] WHOA-OHHH". Get with the program, people. It ain't all THAT lame.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 8:12 AM | Report abuse

On top of the tough game, attacking Dino? I understand some might not like using Volare, but what's with targeting all things Dino-related?
-HJMcK

Posted by: HJMcK | July 26, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

We can't have 2 fewer Ryans soon enough for me.

Peace, Booker.

I won't welcome "aboard" Lannan b/c we aren't pirates and this isn't a ship. But I am excited to see what he can do--I'm just bummed I can't watch it on tv and have to settle for the internet today. [RFX]ing phillies.

Posted by: .390 | July 26, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

.390 grumbles: "We can't have 2 fewer Ryans soon enough for me."

Oh, I don't know. I'd hang on to at least one. Of course I'd like to knock their [RF] heads together, but Manny will attend to the needful.

Posted by: Hendo | July 26, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Chit happens. Though it was a tough way to lose a game. What ya gonna do? Put it in the books, forget about it, afterall, this aint no pennant chase the Nats are in. This is about building for the future, I think, isn't it? Better to have lost a game than to have lost a player to another devestating collision (NJ). OK, onward to todays game...Lannan was one of my GTR for Sept. 1. As a n old Beatle song says...Don't let me down...don't let me down. Day game...yippee. GO NATS...GET HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 26, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Feeling much better this morning.

The Nats are still 5-5 in their last 10 and there was some good base stealing last night, and some great late-game managing by Manny Acta which would have paid off in a devastatingly crafty way if [insert gripes we've already been over].

The Phillies are also a good team this year and it's nice to make them really work for their win, even when dumb luck is nearly entirely on their side.

Sad to see my man Chico's control problems return. Do you think it bothers him? Do you think anything provokes emotion?

I said it last night, and I'll say it again, the Schneid needs to stay a major part of this team. For long after his major league career has ended, too.

Finally, do we have ANY strikeout pitchers in the pipeline? Do we have ANYONE who can through a 90+ mph fastball?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Great gamer today. It's exactly what I wanted to hear after a very long, angry night.

Great posts last night and this morning, although probably none as great as this:

"I won't welcome 'aboard' Lannan b/c we aren't pirates and this isn't a ship."

(At times, certain Nats may have played like Pirates last night, though...)

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Is there any chance we could trade a player for a hitting coach??? It is reaching the point of absurdity that our pitchers cannot even execute a sac bunt. The fact that Chico struckout on a bunt foul just underscores the biggest issue with this team...hitting. If you look back at the season, Kearns and Church were not performing that terribly until after Mitch left and Lenny showed up.

Not executing the fundamentals (catching, hitting a cut-off man, sac bunt) all cost the Nats last night. If you don't have the best talent you need to at least be doing the little things correctly. But I think the biggest issue of these is the hitting and the hitting coach.

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | July 26, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Very good point about Belliard #4 - not that I'm certain it would have mattered. It would have been much nicer for Langerhans just to catch the ball (the centerfielder has priority, no?). But it has been these very basic fundamentals that have been killing us as of late - and upsetting some very fine efforts!

Come'on guys - you are soooo close to being a winning team right now.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 26, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't hate Dean Martin, but I can't stand just adopting other teams' music cues for Nats games. We seem to have gotten rid of the execrable Red Sox adoption at the 7th inning stretch, thank god. So lets finally can "Volare." What about adopting local girl Patsy Cline's "Crazy" in its place--just the word "craa-zy"? It has more meaning for the situation--a failed pick-off--and is local to boot.

Posted by: local music | July 26, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Just read the gamer. While I am oddly pleased to hear someone on the Nats taking responsibility (they're getting too comfortable blaming bad luck), I don't agree with Church that it is "all [his] fault". It's a lot his fault, but Langerhans and Lopez share a good deal of responsibility.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

natsagain: I agree. Which wouldn't be so bad against say, Tampa Bay, but it's the Muts. It's going to be a rough weekend. Still, I bet (read: hope) our boys rise to the occasion at least once.

_________
This could be really, really ugly...

- overextended bullpen
- rookies making debuts on Thursday and, likely, Sunday (Hanrahan)
- double header on Saturday, one started by a middle releiver
- a manager who hasn't allowed any starter to extend past 100 pitches

Maybe I'll take a break until September call ups.

Posted by: natsagain | July 26, 2007 12:03 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | July 26, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

If you think Winchester is local, I'd hate to see what your morning commute looks like.

I kid. It's a good idea.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I wouldn't have thought it local either except I saw her name suggested around here a couple days ago. We'll take what we can get.

Thanks for the support--now all we need is the stadium staff to read the comments.

--
If you think Winchester is local, I'd hate to see what your morning commute looks like.

I kid. It's a good idea.

Posted by: local music | July 26, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

can someone please explain to me why, in the bottom of the 9th, Acta kept Batsita in the game at first base? Batista is not that much better of a defensive first baseman than Dmitri and if the Phils were to tie the game up in the bottom of the 9th (which we all know they did), Dmitiri's spot was due up second in the top of the 10th. Zim leads off with a single, then Langerhans once again fails to get a bunt down. How different could the outcome have been if Dmitri was batting there instead?

Posted by: e | July 26, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

If you're sick about posts dissecting last night's 9th inning play, don't read this one.

After (barely) sleeping on it and reading the comments from the OFs, I would say the blame sits equally on all parties (Church, Langerhans, Lopez, and Belliard). I have sympathy though for Langerhans and Church. Running full tilt in a stadium of 40,000 screaming people, it's almost impossible to hear each other calling for the ball. Even though I'm not a Church fan, I have to applaud his willingness to take the blame on an extremely tough play.

In watching last night's extra inning effort, it drove home the reality that the Nats just don't have very many good players. As my fellow Nats fan who's too timid to post his thoughts said to me an email this morning, Acta deserves to be Manger of the Year for guiding this pathetic group of offensive players to the record they have so far.

Posted by: #4 | July 26, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I know people who commute from Winchester (to Fairfax, at least). "Crazy" ain't it?

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 26, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Can't say I agree with you e. Batista's a much better fielder than the Hook. He was an above average 3rd baseman for much of his career. He has much better hands to handle low throws and better range. If Dimitri had cost them a run the 9th, we'd be screaming bloody murder. As a manager you have to play for the present inning and situation. You make that move 100 out of 100 times

Posted by: #4 | July 26, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh ... and e, the bottom line is that their bench stinks. If they had a serviceable major league back up to insert who could get a bunt down or do something else productive, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Posted by: #4 | July 26, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Let's not be too hard on the bench this morning - they're the reason the dropped fly ball had meaning.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 26, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

#4 - sorry, I still have to disagree with replacing Young with Batista.

In his career, Dmitri has played 360 games at 1B. Batista has played all of 13 games (all this year). While I give you that he was a decent 3rd baseman, it is completely different going from 3rd to 1st.

Plus, Manny has done this switch many times over the year (usually having Fick replace Dmitri in the 7th or 8th innings), and it seems to me that if he had kept Dmitri in the game, the Nats could have used his bat more than Fick's (or Batista's) defense.

Posted by: e | July 26, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Rats, work got in my way yesterday and I was under quota for visits and posts to the Journal. Me and Felipe got to work harder at this. I do not share the feelings posted last night by some that Felipe is indifferent or not trying. I've seen people throw Guzman, Schneider, and Bergmann under the bus before when they are in a prolonged slump and I expect that is what we have with Felipe too. I still think he will finish closer to his .260 career average this year. He's not going to hit 20 homers this year, but my guess is that he has a fine bounce back year at the new park in 2008.

I am a little tired of the Ryan CHurch show. I checked out the Columbus roster and there really is not much there, but if we do trade Church, I would like to see Watson come up for his just reward to finish the year. He's not a permanent answer, but the guy has earned a chance.

Langerhans is killing me. When Manny is forced to put/leave him in the cleanup spot, it is just unacceptable. Manny should get Manager of the Year for not being historically bad with this lineup. Really excellent work given the talent level.

And while I am on a rant, it would appear that we will finish the year with at least 16 pitchers having made a start for the Nationals. That would be an average of 10 starts per starter. Again, Manager of the Year time.

Tolman is not a bad third base coach, but he is definately in a slump. My opinion of Beasley (last year's 3rd base coach) was very high. He really had excellent and consistent judgement. Tolman has been a little less consistent and has been involved in at least two pitcher injurries (Hill/Bergmann) from the thirdbase coaching box this year. (Embarassing)

And while I really disagree with many of Swanni's rants and indictments of the National's management, I would like to know more about this rather large discrepancy between pledged funding and actual funded amounts. Is there a good explanation why the Lerners are not meeting their commitment? Was there a commitment?

And finally, I don't care as much about the giant parking structures in the line of sight at the new park as I care about the lack of parking in general. Parking (or lack thereof) will be one of the biggest themes in forums like this next year. I'm already stressing about how to get to and from the park next year.

Posted by: NatBisquit | July 26, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Good point lowcountry. Flores and Batista did come up big. I suppose it's my Langerhans frustration coming out.

e, as far as number of games at 1st being a barometer, the corner positions are very similar - same types of hops and angles on ground balls and picking the ball has more to do with softness of hands than experience. Are you telling me that Nomar, for instance, wasn't a better 1st baseman on day 1 when he moved over there than Dmitri is now?

Posted by: #4 | July 26, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

localmusic, I'm totally on board with Patsy Cline!

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

what I'm saying is that Batista is not a HUGE upgrade at first than Dmitri is. If the infield does their job right, no 1st baseman would need to pick balls up out of the dirt. As for fielding batted balls, I agree that Batista is probably better than Dmitri ... just not THAT much better. I'd rather have Dmitri's bat still in the game than Fick or Batista's glove.

Posted by: e | July 26, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Re: Young v. Batista

EVERYONE here should know I am a Meat Hook Partisan (a carnivore, perhaps? New term for someone in favor of keeping Dmitri - carnivore).

All the same, I have to point out that by the time we got to the bottom of the 9th Young had gone 0 for 4 and Batista had gone 1 for 1 with a big, big double. Given that a) he's a better fielder and b) he's just gotten a game-changing hit, let the man play.

Also, on Young news:
PHILADELPHIA -- First baseman Dmitri Young is close to signing a two-year extension with the Nationals, according to multiple sources. The move would come a few days after the team signed infielder Ronnie Belliard to an extension.
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070726&content_id=2110417&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Nats fans and carnivores, we're in the new thread. Come on over!

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

natsfan1a--Rock! I will take the resounding support here as license to push the use of "Crazy" to mock an opposing pitcher's failed pick-off attempt in every thread I find.

I almost forgot--the sample even calls for a response from the crowd! The back-up singers sing "doo-wah-doo" in response to the first line, which can easily translate into a resounding "da-da-da" from the stands. It's got something for everyone.

Posted by: local music | July 26, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Is hitting Utley and Howard with pitches sort of an IBB with an eye on pitch count?

I like.

Posted by: Section 434 | July 26, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

What the [RF1] is wrong with that ump??

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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