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"I don't believe ... what I just saw."

Um, please sit down for the following news. Comfy? Good.

Robert Fick has hit a home run.

I'll let that sink in a bit. Got it? Arms around it? OK.

This brings up an interesting point -- as it's 7-3 Nationals in the top of the sixth inning here. Or at least it's a point that seems interesting to me.

How difficult is it for a team, on Aug. 28 and 29, to have players on consecutive days hit their first homers of the year? It's more difficult than on, say, Sept. 3 and 4, because that's after rosters expand, and maybe someone brings up a couple of studs. But last night, Tony Batista connected for his first homer this season. Now, Fick has one.

Strange but true. Carry on.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 29, 2007; 4:41 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: End-of-the-road-trip lineups
Next: Bits and pieces from the road

Comments

Now maybe Nook logan will get his first dinger of the year...

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

No dinger, but his 2nd hit of the game and 3rd RBI.

Making a heck of a case to stick around for next year...

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'll settle for Nook's three ribbies so far today... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Because I rarely do this, and because I have a soft spot for Fick, I'm bringing this comment over from the previous thread:

Gotta love Fick's HR in his hometown in front of family and friends. Just heard Dave and Charlie talking about how excited Fick was to get on the bus and get to the park this morning since he was starting. He's totally making this opportunity pay off!

Posted by: JennX | August 29, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

If a starting pitcher goes 6 innings and gives up only 3 runs, then gets hammered for one or two runs in the 7th, does he lose his quality start?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

You said it JennX!

FYI, Fick's HR seemed almost exactly in the same spot as Batista's last night!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Another error by Lopez, this time to load the bases...please God no, no, no, no, no...

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. Fielding error by Felipe Lopez.

UNLEASH THE HOUNDS

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Enough said.

Posted by: Lopez sucks | August 29, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

ANOTHER error by FLop!!

Bases loaded, 1 out.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Section 506 (AM),

Quality start is purely a function of going at least 6 innings and giving up less than 3 runs. If a pitcher gives up more than 3 runs, no matter when it is (even after pitching 6), then it is no longer a quality start.

And oh thank goodness for another Felipe error.

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

This is scarily familiar... :(

Posted by: JennX | August 29, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. When things aren't going for you...

Are you kidding me? FLop with another E? Bases clearing double? 8-6?

Oh, for some of you newbies, if you don't recognize Barry's post title, that's a Vin Scully announcer quote from when Kirk Gibson hit his limping HR in the 1988 World Series (referenced earlier in the week when WMP hit his gimpy HR on Monday).

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm finally on board with you all about Lopez. I'm done with him. Sit him down and let Jiminez and Belliard play. He got us 2 runs and cost us 3. Cost Hill his QS too.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's hear it for Fick's glove work. A lot of first basemen wouldn't have been able to get out of the way of that ball. Sure, he could've stood still and caught/knocked down the ball, but that would've been exactly what they were expecting. The element of surprise....

Posted by: Funafuti | August 29, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Ya gotta wonder what's going through Lopez's head, now that the Dodgers get a bases-clearing double, chase Hill off the mound and the score is 8-6.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You have GOT to be kidding me ...

Posted by: e | August 29, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't watch - it's tied.

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John muses, "Ya gotta wonder what's going through Lopez's head, now that the Dodgers get a bases-clearing double, chase Hill off the mound and the score is 8-6."

Lopez: "[RF] Los Angeles better send me a [RF] fruit basket for single-handedly giving them two, maybe three games so I know that SOMEBODY [RF] likes me. [RF]!"

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Is Hill CURSED or something?!? Maybe the Nats should trade him for some big-bat, quality infielders...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I step away from my desk for a quick meeting with the Nats up 8-3. I get back and read that Flop has another error.

Can someone tell me how this error came about? All it says on my computer was E-6. Could it have been an inning ending double-play?

And dang you Hillenbrand!

Posted by: e | August 29, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Good thing most of my coworkers are on vay-kay. Lots of [RF]s being emitted by yours truly.

Posted by: JennX | August 29, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"Is Hill CURSED or something?!? Maybe the Nats should trade him for some big-bat, quality infielders..."

Clearly, Barry and Shawn Hill's Sinker's illicit tryst is bringing down the wrath of God on the Nationals.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

OK boys, fresh start, 3 inning game to play.

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

can we get rid of lopez...like now? he has cost us 3 games in a row. yes maybe a tough play but you are a major league SS, make a play.

Posted by: hate | August 29, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

OMFG. These boys need the "comforts" of home in a BAD way. I bet they kiss the moldy, stinky, rat-ridden floor of the clubhouse the second they walk into RFK.

Posted by: MKevin | August 29, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

My office was pretty much empty with the boss outta town. When I found out it was a 3:00 gamer, I was outta there!

Don't know how I never realized today was a day game - just assumed with the day off yesterday that the travel day would allow a night game tonight.

C'mon, let's get after 'em!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The game results notwithstanding, I am not enjoying listening to Vin Scully... since you brought it up... though he sure is better than almost anyone else you could think of working alone...

I think I've gotten into having that second person there in the booth... I think it makes for a more interesting broadast...

Listening to Scully is a little like listening to a guy muttering to himself... it is just musical and coherent... it sounds funny, though.

Posted by: Wigi | August 29, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Clearly, Barry and Shawn Hill's Sinker's illicit tryst is bringing down the wrath of God on the Nationals."

11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Pitcher's Sinker.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Here, too. Luckily I work out of my home, but my throat is sore now... :(

---

Good thing most of my coworkers are on vay-kay. Lots of [RF]s being emitted by yours truly.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Can we still call up Pete Runnels? Yes, I know he's been dead for over 15 years.

Posted by: RobertFickingShortstops | August 29, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Austin Kearns, way to be hit by a pitch!

That's 2 for August, he needs two more to match his previous monthly average. I've been worried about the big 0 in the HBP category this month, it's good to see now that his swing's back he's not slacking.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Churchy, you know you can hit lefties!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Church, they're going to pitch you a CURVEBALL, LOW AND AWAY. DON'T SWING AT IT!!!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that worked out nicely!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

OK Jimenez, your freakin' due for a hit. Your also the only guy in the line-up without one already today...get it done!!!

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Angelo, you're a stud!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, DJ!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, baby! Come on, Robert!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Guardian D'Angelo! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

WTG DJ! Everyone has a hit now and only Austin Kearns is without a RBI, though he has scored twice so he's ok in my book!

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

D'Angelo: You're a stud

Austin Kearns is now tied for 8th place in the National League for most times hit by pitches. He shares that honor with Uggla, Encarnacion (E), and Core Hart.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Only SEVEN innings played so far?!?

I shoulda bet on the "over" for Barry's 2:17...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

So, did anyone else have a burning hunch that [RF]RF would hit into another GIDP?

Unreal. It feels like any inning without one in this series is a 'good' inning...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Methinks it's time to Jimenez play SS for a few days!

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 29, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, the offense did its job, now it's time for DEFENSE!

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

How bad is this: I'm actually staying at work so I can see the end of this, because my commute will be over an hour

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

[RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF][RF]

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

RF!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

to quote a U.S. Senator...

JIMINY GOD!!

Posted by: JennX | August 29, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

That's okay, Sect. 506, we understand.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Clearly not Ayala's day today...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Are we just snake bit or what? We scrap back to get another lead and give it away with one pitch in the next half inning.

You'd think they were tanking for the draft picks...

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Hold your heads up, guys, we're going back in...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Who are those guys?

Posted by: Butch and Sundance | August 29, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so we need to get back to RFK with a "Jesus Wins!" send-off.

Remember, we got Meat and Belly available as a PH today so the usual lack of pop (Batista's HR last night notwithstanding) isn't the case today.

Who am I kidding - the bat boys could hit a HR today!!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Jenn X, what's happening to us now is the exact purpose for which said Senator visited certain public restrooms...

-----

to quote a U.S. Senator...

JIMINY GOD!!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

What's Pena's (where's the tilde when you need it?) status?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

This series is a calamity of errors, by several players, I think this is more than just Lopez

Posted by: G-town | August 29, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

ALT-0241

Peña

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

You have to love the game tracker thing here on the Post website. Where the Dodgers are batting, Jeff Kent is on both 2nd and 3rd bases and D'Angelo Jimenez is on 1st.

I'll just assume the score is correct.

Posted by: Prophet | August 29, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"This series is a calamity of errors, by several players, I think this is more than just Lopez"

Lopez makes that double-play in the 6th then there's no 5 run 6th. It's hard NOT to blame him.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Good one 506 (AM). I needed a laugh.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | August 29, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This is really affecting my productivity this afternoon.

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sect. 506!

Hope Colome's leg isn't too bad...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"You have to love the game tracker thing here on the Post website. Where the Dodgers are batting, Jeff Kent is on both 2nd and 3rd bases and D'Angelo Jimenez is on 1st. "


Actually, Kent (Speed Good) was even on 3rd base when the Nats were batting... he must be stranded there !

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Again with the buttocks! And here I was preparing my Jesus saves post.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 29, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Productivity? WHAT productivity?!?

That went out the window the minute I realized it was a day game...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I believe they said it was his left leg on the radio. The, uh, extremity issue was on the right?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Jesus might not have saved today, but his butt remains holey...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Peña (thanks for the note, 506) is available to pinch hit, according to Barry.

Seriously, I miss an inning and a half and this is what I come back to?

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 29, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

JESUS SAVES!!!!

Or at least doesn't let us fall into the Pit where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. We'll leave that to Chad...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Jesus Flores: Productivity, you want productivity? I'll got your productivity right here! Yearggh!! Then he gets an extra-base hit.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

JESUS SINGLES!!!!

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 29, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Okay, it was a single, but whatever.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else catch Barry's line that some Nats insiders suggest Flores would hit .180 if he played everyday?

When he gets playing time, I just don't see it.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I meant "I've" got.

And watch the holey butt talk...

Posted by: Jesus F. | August 29, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

John, you went to Burger King, didn't you?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

FELIPE!!!

YOU

OWE

US

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! (rending clothing as I type)

---

Or at least doesn't let us fall into the Pit where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. We'll leave that to Chad...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Felipe, redemption can be yours

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

[RF] it

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

So, those of you who use WashPost's GameTracker -- can I recommend you give the Gameday on Nationals.com a try? I do like the Ratings section though!

The program shows the trajectory, speed, and results for all the pitches. Pitch-by-pitch recording. If I can't watch on TV, it's about as close as I can get to feeling each pitch.

One problem: sometimes I can't run it at work, most of the times I can.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman, Kearns, Church.

We entrust ourselves to you. No extra innings, please, I'm hungry.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I could just see Flippie's at-bat before it happened...

C'mon, Wookie, one more inning!!

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, guess it's Schroder...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

They'll git 'r done.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

506, I'm supposed to go to the P-Nats game tonight, but I don't want to leave until the big nats game is over...I'm going to miss the opening pitch, I know it!

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering who they would put in after Rauch. I'm holding my breath.

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

May the force be with you, esj. I'm going to the P-Nats game on Friday nite.

Posted by: natsfan1 | August 29, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

That Hillenbrandt guy scares me.

Posted by: H LE | August 29, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Schroderman (or is that Shroderman?)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"So, those of you who use WashPost's GameTracker -- can I recommend you give the Gameday on Nationals.com a try? "
----

Yeah, I've tried it and it is vastly superior. I had completely forgotten about the day game though and so I was looking for the quickest access and I already had the Post website open.

Jeff Kent, still stranded on 3rd by the way.

Posted by: Prophet | August 29, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Friday for Famous Chicken nite? I'm jealous...isn't Detwiler pitching Friday too?

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

estuartj,

No way in The Pit you will ever make it to Woodbridge by the opening pitch, even if you left now. It's still worth going though. I've been a fan of the P-Nats since they were the Prince William Cannons and Prince Willie (who looked an awful lot like Don Mattingly) signed my glove. It's a ton of fun. NOTHING is routine. Have a great time for me (and you too).

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

1-2-3

Come on ZimmKeaUrch!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I was guessing that he would but he pitched in the first game of the double header on Monday, I think, so I don't know.

---

Friday for Famous Chicken nite? I'm jealous...isn't Detwiler pitching Friday too?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Break out the oxygen and defibrillators. Guess who MASN showed warming up in the 'pen for the 9th?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

506, I went monday and left at 6:30 and made the 2nd inning, not too shabby. That was a no-traffice day for some reason...

How about that 1-2-3 inning for Every Day Colome! Now we need the heart of the order to get us that double digit run scored and Chief can come in and prove Friday was a fluke.

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

whimpering (at the 'pen thought)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"Break out the oxygen and defibrillators. Guess who MASN showed warming up in the 'pen for the 9th?"

Uhm, Bacsik, King, Traber, Abreu, Rivera, Rauch, or Cordero?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

How bout some Schroder there? After a battle against Hillenbrand, he takes care of Ethier and Furcal...

If we don't score a run in the top of the 9th, Manny absolutely has to keep him in.

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

OR SPEIGNER!(?)

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice Schroder's out pitch in that 1-2-3 8th inning?

Change up.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys... just thought I'd chime in on the live game updates on the INTRAWEB. With a wife and 3 year old who don't care to watch I either DVR games and watch later (FFWDing through times we're on defense usually) or more often then not I'm watching the web updates on my laptop.

I've tried every site - MLB.com, WPost, Sportsline.com, and ESPN.com. ESPN.com Gamecast is far and away the best one out there. I find the one on MLB (Nationals) to be almost unusable because it's so visually overwhelming and poorly organized. I find most times that ESPNs site is closest to realtime with the updates. Highly recommend it. Sportsline.com would be next. I only use MLB.com if both of those sites are having update issues.

Posted by: MKevin | August 29, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

6:30 or 7 o'clock you can hit the HOV lanes and get to Woodbridge pretty quickly most of the time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"6:30 or 7 o'clock you can hit the HOV lanes and get to Woodbridge pretty quickly most of the time. "

Once you get to HOV. You also have to deal with Old Bridge Road, which can be a mess that time of day.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

All right, Churchy!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

BE A STUD!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Pinch hit Batista for Jiminez. Fick is 3 for 4, let him bat.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Musta just had the one in him...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

GARR, too slow! Manny didn't have time to read my advice from his laptop in the dugout!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Cordero's on the mound. Let's hope Randy St. Claire fixed him.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Performing my Batista blessing ritual for three quick Dodger outs.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I second the vote for ESPN's Gamecast. Usually how I "watch" Nats games since I am on the left coast.

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

uh, it's Schroder?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Schroderman, Schroderman,
does whatever a Schroder can

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Attaboy, FelipFick!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Schroder is a great call here. He pitched effectively in the 8th, and who else would you trust at this point? Might as well see how this guy performs under fairly intense pressure. Just to throw it out there, I like the decision to leave him in (knowing that I could get a lot of crap for this as soon as he gives up a game-ending hit, etc.).

Schroder is already the 5th pitcher of the game for us - should pitch him until he shows signs of cracking or until it's time to pinch hit for him.

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Next inning:

Fick (2 for 4)
Flores (3 for 4)
PH - WMP

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank whoever you thank that Saito's out too... we can't hit him for anything. Church was the only one who even sniffed daylight against him.

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Belay that -- Schroder's still in.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Schroder is due up in the top of the 10th if we get that far...

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

They're on their 7th pitcher, the closer is out.

NOW IS THE TIME

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

10th inning, here we come...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Go long, Robert! There's a star shining in the east!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Na, estuartj, Jiminez flyed out to third for the last out. Pitcher spot is third.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Grady Little should have done a double switch when he put Saito in for Broxton (or left Broxton in)... they could have gotten way more mileage out of Saito after having already gotten that deep in their bullpen. And as I said, we suck pretty bad against Saito.

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Alternatively, let the Batista hitting blessing ritual commence...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, Schroder is due up in the 10th, right behind Fick & Flores.

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you've got an angel out there, Robert!

---

Go long, Robert! There's a star shining in the east!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I was acually hoping that Kent got on so that Saito would be gone. Harmless walk with Saenz K.

Posted by: MKevin | August 29, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty ok with the walk to Kent. Just don't give him something meaty, and, putting him on with 2 outs brings up the pitcher's spot, getting rid of Saito for sure.

Saito's a certain kinda nasty, eh?

Schroder showed good stuff, working that change-up and getting good movement. Good work, kid.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Hell.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I would bat Pena so he could hit it out of the yard, or else let us start the order at the top.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

506,
Now we know what happened to Jesus.

Keep your [RF]s to yourself. This is a family channel (although the horror movie that is playing on MASN right now might not be suitable for kids)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh Lord, hide not thy face from me!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Uhm, who now? Rauch?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Fastening seatbelt for the bottom of the 10th...

Come on, Chief!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh no...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Rauch already pitched. We're onto Cordero now...

More pressing, who do we have left in the tank as hitters? WMP and Belliard and...?

Of course, both of them have ailments of some type too... Great.

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Schneider

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"Helmets fastened, keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times, and HAVE FUN!"

- Announcement prior to the CHIEF ride at Chavez Ravine

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Are you [RF}-ing kidding me? Lead-off walk?

Notice how that slider is laying flat. Uh-oh...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

An [RF]-ing leadoff walk... Fantastic.

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Chief's pitch isn't tailing over the plate any more. Walks a speedburner to get to 4 rbi Maloney. Them that the Lord loveth, he chastiseth.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

There's not going to be a need for another pinch hitter, Bad Chief is here today...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my goodness, I need the oxygen now...

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

(whimpers)

Colome = shin splints

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

doubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaypleasedeargoddoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplaydoubleplay

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Russell!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!

Jesus knows when you are stealing!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

whew! not bad, maybe not even an E ticket ride today...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Damn, I'm still at work

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

stolen bases make me cry

Posted by: Baby Jesus | August 29, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Phew!!

Note to self: Oxygen bottle running low...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Martin! Wow!

Bad new about Colome, but at least it was before Aug 31 so we can plan our post-season roster around it.

Oops, sorry. Wrong blog.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Russell has actually saved us a bunch of runs this series... especially when you add in that baserunning blunder the other night, getting caught in the rundown between 3rd and home.

He's tryin, guys. Now of course, Chad just can't get rid of Hillenbrand...

Posted by: faNATic | August 29, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

TV watchers, safe or out?? Radio guys said safe.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Tie goes to the Dodgers.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Zimmy!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"Tie goes to the Dodgers."

Ain't that the [RF] truth?

I'm going home now. I could have been home twice at this point. Here's to finger-crossing.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Is this Philadelphia West, or what?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

See ya, 506

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

(click) ding ding ding
the ride is about to leave

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Catch that line-drive! Break their hearts, for a change!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

FLop comes through! Come on, Chief!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Your conductor for the second time today is finding his way around the strike zone, and keeping the ball from being too straight.

I will say his slider is looking better this inning, with a little bite. That a baby, Chief. Get after 'em!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Chief! Two innings, no long flies! Great hold! Let's end this bitter, nasty streak and have a sweet flight home!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

OK, chiefie, not bad. Not bad at all. Nice to see your confidence returning.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, Chief!

Come on, boys!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's go, Austin's Power!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Come on, you Lowly Nats! Get another manager in trouble by winning one! Reward our love! Being a fan is PAINFUL!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

OK be patient DJ Proctor may be tiring

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

DJ, you did have another one in ya! All right!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

C'mon [RF]-ing RF!

Show your fam and friends what you can do! Get 'em in!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Frick you got to be patient too!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

NOOOOO! NOT AGAAAAAAAAIN! FICK! Men on the corners with one out. Why not a squeeze play?

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Who's up in the 'pen?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Arrrrrrgh...

I hope Church didn't hurt himself sliding into 3rd. Looked like his foot caught the bag as he slide over it.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Rivera

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Throw strikes, Saul! Schneider on 1st???!!! Ok.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Schneider: please don't let it come my way...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Not that kinda strike, Saul.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I remember him being at first late in the last game in 2006

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Strike Three -Out 1!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I hate Jeff Kent

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Martin, Loney and Hillenbrand. Strike 2 on Martin. Come on Saul!

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Walk Loney.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Hell and Death.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh well.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Crap!!!

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping the Nats drained all the fight out of the Dodgers' playoff hopes.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 29, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

And the defibrillator is handy?

Posted by: Patty | August 29, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Blah. If ever there was a day to get away, this is it.

Posted by: Hendo | August 29, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

6 game losing streak... ugh. Can't believe it's been a week since we've won a game.

Posted by: MKevin | August 29, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to RFK to boo Barry* on Friday?

Posted by: MKevin | August 29, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

That's a toughie. How many 1-run losses can a team take? Opportunity knocked and we put up the "No Soliciting" sign.

Let's cheer 'em on at RFK this weekend. 2 day games (Sun and Mon) and bobblehead night.

That's gonna be one LOOOOOOONG plane ride back.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Grrrrrr! What do we need to do top win a freakin' game here, swept in 3 consecutive 1 run games? How does a teams luck go so bad so fast?

Sombody needs to sacrifice a chicken for Cerano.

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

GHF, we scored 9 runs, and the 'pen was looking good overall. Hope that the team can shake off the last two series of this trip and start fresh after the day off. But do we *have* to wait for the team meeting until after the call-ups, Manny?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm going home, comrades in suffering. "I get knocked down, but I get up again, and they're never gonna keep me down!" Wheeee! Better draft picks! We'll be cheering a winning season from our Assisted Living Facilities.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Would the San Diego Chicken do? I may have a shot at him on Friday...

---

Sombody needs to sacrifice a chicken for Cerano.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Senior Fanatics' motto of the future: We're Nats fans, that's how we roll....

---

We'll be cheering a winning season from our Assisted Living Facilities.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

See you at RFK this weekend*

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Did Jeff Kent get in any blows against Baroid in that dugout fight when they were teammates in SF? My memory is that Barry's roid rage got the better of that fight.

Posted by: flynnie | August 29, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

And, an homage to 506, Barry's over/under game time of 2:17 was...

... over. 4:10?

Dodgers just picked up Loaiza. FYI.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 29, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of over, this portion of the game thread has over 200 posts. Ai yi yi!

Gotta go make some dinner...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't get home from overseas until Sunday afternoon, so I'll miss Everybody's Favorite Giant.

Can't wait for Labor Day though!

Posted by: Hendo | August 29, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

So, I was thinking as I was walking home (make your jokes, go ahead):

Nick Johnson (2006) is never coming back. The best we'll have is Nick Johnson (Remember 2006?). The quick motions at first and the "speed" on the base line will never be back. Meat Hook is not the long-term answer at first.

Why don't we follow up on Hendo's suggestion of buying Marrero a first baseman's mitt?

Game? What game?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

This is the worst trip of the year. The plane ride home must seem like a ride on a garbage truck..it stinks so bad. 3 one run losses in a row to the floggers. My oh my...oh well...hopefully, we'll have a september to remember., for the dog days of august ended up to be just that. OK, take a deep breath...in....out...again...in...out. Nah, that didn't help either. maybe a nap.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 29, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

We are soooooo ready to turn the page on August.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side we are in sole possession of the number 3 draft pock slot and can take over #2 if the chisox beat balmer.

Did someone mention an impact infielder draft pick for next year?

Posted by: estuartj | August 29, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

On another Fick trivia note, he hit the last home run in Tiger Stadium, which was a Grand Slam in the bottom of the 8th on 9/27/1999.

It may have actually been the last hit ever in the stadium. Visible at 50 seconds into this video on youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=971MJjpm274

He *kills* it.

Posted by: Constitution Ave NE | August 29, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

In case someone didn't notice, Barry dropped a shoe in today's chat. (Which, sadly, I missed. Jet lag sucks, and let no one tell you differently.)

Barry on the 2008 Nats beat:

"Not trying to dodge the question, really. I'm certain we will do some shuffling of staffs in the offseason, and I do know that I'm going to Beijing for the Olympics next August, so I wouldn't be able to be the day-to-day guy all year. But I also know I'll be involved in lots of the coverage running up to the new ballpark opening, etc. The fact is, we don't have everything finalized yet, and I'll certainly let you know how it's going to work out as soon as I do."

So we can turn our attention from hounding Barry about his 2008 status, to hounding him about whom he should be grooming for his backup. Thoughts?

Posted by: Hendo | August 29, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Yonda

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe...what I just saw. Oh wait, yes I do. Nats Lose.

Sept. callups cant some soon enough

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 29, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

What a road trip! Started so nicely...team still hasn't recovered from the meltdown in the Mountains - this is the tough part suffering through all the losses as the team rebuilds...hopefully things will get a little better in 2008 and onward and upward after that. It STILL beats 33 years of nothin'!

Posted by: natswriter | August 29, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

3 games. 3 mistakes by Felipe Lopez. 3 leads that were lost in the same inning as those mistakes. 3 losses.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

OK. That was a gut wrenching road trip, but 3-6 on a west coast swing isn't awful. Streaks breed streaks, so I'm hopeful they have a hot stretch in them soon.

To me these extra inning games are so excruciating because the other team seems to send up 6 or 7 guys who you feel could end it with one swing. The Nats on the other hand don't have that. It didn't help that the bench was so short with Wily Mo's injury and Ronnie's illness.

I was glad too see Manny hit and run with Church and DJ in the 10th or 11th. They needed to make something happen there. Given their pathetic power numbers, Manny ought to hit and run more.

Lastly, someone referenced the title of this thread calling it Vin Scully's call of Kirk Gibson's famous limp around the bases HR. I'm pretty sure that, "I don't believe what I just saw" was actually Jack Buck's radio call. Vin Scully's call was, "The impossible has happened".

Posted by: #4 | August 29, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I have followed the Expos/Nats since 69. This team mirrors, to some extent, those teams of the early years. I do not mind building through the draft. The Expos were always very successful in developing their talent. What I do not like about the Nats and this recent stretch of losses is how they have lost. The team has no spirit and their play is indifferent. They expect to lose - at least that is the impression they convey. Their play is sloppy. Bowden should bring up Broadway or Whitesel. I do not care if they lack power. If they can hit and play some defense it would be an upgrade. These guys have to be better than Fick. He should have had that ground ball today. Manny better talk to Lopez. His play quite frankly is unacceptable. I can live with his lack of hitting but fielding no.

As a matter of fact Manny will earn his pay over the next week or so. It is his responsibility to put a stop to this style of play.

He needs to tell his team that their play is unacceptable and an embarrassment to the fans. Lose but lose as professionals not like some beer league team

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but I forgot to sign the prior post. I am responsible for it.

Posted by: Mjames | August 29, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I believe the following positional players have played themselves off the team. Unfortuantely I do not have replacements for some of them so we maybe stuck with them.

Fick
Jimenez
Lopez
Church
Logan
Kearns

Maybe some of them could be bench players. As a matter of fact if the Reds want to unwind that trade I would listen to them.

Posted by: Mjames | August 29, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Mjames, I couldn't disagree with you more. The amazing thing is that these guys play so hard - yes, even Felipe. A team that's not trying doesn't get 9 runs on 16 hits. They lost by one run every game. They were in it to the last every time. This game even went into extra innings. How is that indifferent with no spirit?

In all three games, one play could have made the difference. The obvious one play in each centered around Felipe Lopez, but it could be one pitch too. Or one bad call. They are NOT playing like indifferent losers.

Your list for playing themselves off the team's most glaring error is Logan. Most folks are scratching their heads because confound it if he isn't playing his way ON a team.

Splits before/after All-Star break:
110 AB - .227 AVG / .274 OBP / .574 OPS
138 AB - .312 AVG / .356 OBP / .747 OPS
I left out slugging, because we know he's not a slugger. But OPS is trendy, so I stuck it in, even though I don't understand its value.

Church has 37 doubles, that's nothing to sneeze at. I think he's a great spot for an upgrade, but he hasn't exactly "played his way off the team".

Kearns is finally looking good.

Since the All-Star break:
.293 AVG / .397 OBP / .854 OPS
We know this is because Lenny Harris has been working with him on his stance (the hands) and we know it has payed dividends. He's a golden-glove quality fielder who seems to have figured his way out at the plate. Seems to me he has flat out EARNED another year to prove first half '07 a fluke.

Fick we've been over a hundred times before. Find another veteran C, 1B, 3B, RF, LF utility guy and then we can replace him. Until you do, he needs to stay. If he was better he would be a starter, not a utility man, on a bottom of the pack team.

Lopez and Jiminez are the hardest to defend. Jiminez would be in AAA if Guzzie wasn't hurt, so we can consider him that next year. Lopez better play a GREAT DEAL of winter ball, because I'm thinking Guzzie and Bells should start next year down the middle. You may be right in his case.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I Wikipedia-ed OPS and it's actually a pretty cool stat. I think it's a pretty worthless measure of determining the value of a player offensively, BUT I think it's a neat snapshot of their potential and if you're only allowed to see one stat to determine their abilities, it's probably the one stat I would pick - now that I understand it. Multiple stats are much better, though.

So here's the Nats OPS ranked for the ENTIRE year (with number of ABs):

1. WMP .944 (35)
2. Meat Hook .909 (413)
3. Guzzie .850 (173)
4. Zimm .797 (543)
5. Church .774 (426)

6. Kearns .748 (484)
7. Bells .732 (398)
8. Batista .709 (76)
9. Logan .670 (248)
10. Flores .662 (136)

11. Lopez .652 (511)
12. Watson .649 (18)
13. Schneider .640 (352)
14. Fick .555 (150)
15. Langerhans .543 (192)

16. Jiminez .511 (63)

Now, as I mentioned in my last post, Kearns and Logan are skyrocketing up that list due to their awesome second half. I imagine Belliard is dropping a bit with his slump. it would be a mistake to hold the first half against some folks, I think. It was a confusing, scary time. New manager, new team (it definitely was not the same Nats from '06, though it had similar parts), new owners, new expectations, new weather pattern (cold!).

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 29, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, a little time has passed since the 6th loss in a row ended. Time for emotional reactions to subside a bit. For the most part, the team has shown up for work everyday with a good attitude. Thats a credit to Manny. It isn't often that a team so far out of contention can maintain a good attitude. We'll see how they react when back in RFK. Losses could keep coming as the competition for the most part has a lot more to play for in September. It's the effort we have to look at now, not the record.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 29, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Section 506:
The point I was making concerning their play was the errors - Lopez and Fick (today). Given our team's limited skills we need to at least play sound defense. I know we can not hit but we need to make the plays in the field.

Concerning Kearns - every time he swings he almost falls down. How can he hit the ball if he is falling down. Similarly if you watch Fick he falls over the plate when he swings. I could scream every time these guys swing . They look like they are swinging too hard. I am sorry but Fick has to go. Maybe Casto can fill that role. He nees practice at first but hey anything would be an improvment.

I know Church has a lot of doubles but every "down and away" or "down and in" pitch he swings at and of course misses.

You can see Zimmerman at least trying to work on his weaknesses but these other guys - same thing day in and day out. We will not win with our current set up. It looks like it be another two three years as we need to grow our own like the Expos of years past.

Just venting

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Mjames, I think I've done my share of venting today as well, so I don't begrudge you that. It's very therapeutic.

You're dead on about Church and his sucker swing. He needs to be cured of that. I think he's Target No. 1 for off-season trade, because he's attractive enough. I don't, though, think we're going to get anyone much better for him, so I'm concerned with who we might trade him for. Is a risk on a prospect worth more than someone we know can be settled with? I guess that depends on how the prospect pans out.

Kearns does fall over the plate and that's why he gets hit so many times. C'est la vie. With his numbers up due to some mechanical changes over half a year, I'm not going to hold that against him. I bet you some caviar (what an odd unit of betting, who do we blame that on? Wigi?) that next year you will be pleased he is around.

I can't defend Lopez anymore, as I've said a couple times. My stats professor in school told me the number one rule was to "beat the stats, until you get the results you like." I've been splitting and splitting Felipe's and I can't find anything yet. All three Dodgers games can be traced back to one Lopez bungle. It's not that he's lazy or doesn't care, it's just that he doesn't seem to be able to put it all together. Adieu.

Fick, we just have to disagree on, I think. I think he's a good guy, but I also think he's useful. When the team gets better, we'll need a more useful utility man, but it's a low priority in my book.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 30, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

mjames and 506:

Thanks for an interesting discussion. As I was falling asleep last night, I was thinking about the guys on mjames' list and whether they have played themselves off the team. Let's begin with the starters - Lopez, Church, Logan, Kearns. I think the reason we all argue about these guys is that one can make the case that any one of them has some value. The problem is that a winning team can have one of these types in the line up, but not four. Looking at any one of their season's statistically in isolation can yield enough positive information to say, "he can help". The issue is that they are batting 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th, when in reality they are all 7th or 8th hitters at best.

As far as Jiminez and Fick go, neither is a quality bench player. Good teams have Belliards on their bench, not Jiminezes. While Fick is an interesting personality, about his only real value is that he can be an emergency catcher. However that only comes into play when your two starters are attractive pinch hitting options off the bench. I like Flores and Schneider as a long term platoon behind the plate, but neither will ever be a guy who hits above .250. On a good team, when they are not starting they should be the 3rd or 4th pinch hitting option at best. Having a 3rd catcher is a luxury, not a requirement, and it's more important to have someone in that spot who really can hit or play great corner defense. Fick excels at neither. There are better options than Fick that can be acquired cheaply in the off season.

Lastly, with these guys that are 25 or older, I would encourage us to stop thinking things like, if "they could just go to winter ball and work on 'X' they could really get better" Positions players are what they are at 25 most of the time. Kearns is not going to stop taking those ridiculously big swings. Church has been waving at breaking balls for three years. JimBo sent him to winter league last year to work on that specifically. It didn't help much. Some guys are just stubborn that way. As the old saying goes, "a leopard doesn't change its spots."

In summary, I think the Nats need to sign a couple of FA position players this year. Other than 3B and C, they can play any position. Whichever ones they sign, they should trade the corresponding players they already have at those positions for a couple of quality utility players. Perhaps better yet to provide a bit of roster continuity, make those guys the utility players. Simply, they need major upgrades everywhere, so let's get started.

Posted by: #4 | August 30, 2007 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Good post #4. Some of these guys should become utility players and we sign say two FA's until we start harvesting the farm. Also in the interim take a look at our minor league system. Bowden says he has no real postions players in the system but hey you never know. look at Lannan last year. There maybe some postion players buried some place. I am not talking about retreads. Maybe Whitesel, Broadway, Powell, Casto and a few others. Look at these guys - you never know.

Posted by: Mjames | August 30, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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