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Nats lineup, and a Detwiler update

So Ross Detwiler made his second start for Class A Potomac today, and the results were pretty darned rocky. He went 2-2/3 innings, allowing eight hits, seven runs (six earned) with two walks and three strikeouts. This development stuff is a slow process. It'll be interesting to see how Detwiler (0-2, 9.82 ERA) does over the remainder of the month with Potomac.

I have no new McGeary news right now. Stay tuned.

You also might be encouraged to know that Manny Acta is currently working with Ryan Zimmerman on throws and footwork at third base. Acta hitting grounders, doing lots of teaching about stance and stuff, with Jerry Morales receiving throws at first base.

Your home team lineup:

Lopez -- 6
Belliard -- 4
Zimmerman -- 5
Young -- 3
Kearns -- 9
Church -- 7
Schneider -- 2
Logan -- 8
Redding -- 1

I'll get you Phillies when I have it. Off to the clubhouse.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 15, 2007; 3:26 PM ET
 
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Next: McGeary deal done!

Comments

If anything, I hope that Detwiler's growing pains will end the absurd thought of bringing him up in September.

Posted by: Brian | August 15, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Had this at the bottom of the previous post, so apologies in advance.

Question from this (still somewhat rookie) baseball fan:

From today's chat:

"Baltimore: So Hill looked really good last night. Does he have what it takes to be a solid No. 2 starter on a decent team?

Barry Svrluga: I believe he does. And if he's your No. 3, look out."

My question for those of you who might know is, what difference does the order of starting pitchers make? I understand batting orders (particularly in the NL), but the whole apparent conundrum about which pitcher is the "No. 2" or "No. 1" or No. 4" starter still escapes me.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 15, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Det needs a lot more seasoning. Hopefully he'll not be rushed to bigs. I'm with you Brian on not needing him in September. Heck, maybe not even September 08.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The order of the starters doesn't matter a bit. It's just a general way of describing the quality of the guy.

Most people think of a #3 as the kind of guy who gives you 6 innings with 3 runs or so every time out. A #4 is basically the same but with less consistency.

A #5 is most of the bad pitchers we've seen this year!

Posted by: Chris | August 15, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Ranking pitchers...your best pitcher is ranked #1 and so on down the line. Theoretically, he'll get more starts than anyone and presumably face the opposing teams top pitcher more often than not. That's my take on it anyway.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"presumably face the opposing teams top pitcher more often than not"

It never works that way because of injuries, teams having different off-days, teams skipping fifth starters, etc.

Posted by: Chris | August 15, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

So last night's result caused me insomnia, so I decided to do the research about how the Braves built their dynasty. I looked at the staring line ups and pitching staffs for their teams between 1991 - 2005 to determine if they developed their own talent, traded for it, or signed it as free agents. I decided to count it using this system:

1. I counted any player who started the most games at his position in a given season only - no reserves.

2. I counted starting pitchers who started at least 20 games. The Braves moved from a 4 to a 5 man rotation in the late 90's.

3. I counted the top three or four relief pitchers - looking for guys who appeared in at least 50 games basically.

4. The grand totals of each account for the seasons this particular type of player performed for the Braves during this period. For instance Chipper Jones was drafted and developed by the Braves. He played in 11 seasons so he accounts for 11 of the seasons played by position players they developed.

Here are the results:

Position players

Developed: 70 seasons
Signed as Free Agents: 21 seasons
Acquired by Trade: 29 seasons

Starting Pitchers:

Developed: 35
Signed as Free Agents: 17
Acquired by Trade: 23
Claimed off Waivers 1

Relief Pitchers:

Developed: 20
Signed as Free Agents: 7
Acquired by Trade: 10
Claimed off Waivers 1

The average Braves roster during this period had 4.6 (58%) position playing starters who came through the farm system, 1.4 (17%) who were signed as free agents, and 2.0 (25%) who were acquired by trade. The starting rotation had 2.3 (46%) starters who were developed in the system, 1.1 (22%) starters who were signed as free agents, and 1.6 (32%) who were acquired in a trade. Lastly the 4 relievers averaged 2.2 (54%) that were developed, .75 (19%) who were signed as free agents, and 1.05 (27%) who were acquired by trade. Here are a couple of observations:

1. It appears that the Braves actually did a worse job of developing starting pitching, compared to position players and relievers.

2. It was amazing looking at the trades they made. I may have missed one, but I couldn't find one time that they traded away anyone who amounted to anything after they left the Braves. In fact counter intuitively, most of their trades were ones in which they traded older guys who were just about to decline for younger ones other organizations had developed. I thought given their great reputation for developing talent that it would be the opposite.

If others are so inclined, I'd love to hear people's reactions to all this and how it impacts the Plan.

Posted by: #4 | August 15, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking about Tony LaRussa, and him batting the pitcher 8th... I wonder if that wouldn't be a good thing to do with Logan batting 9th...

Just a random thought...

Posted by: Wigi | August 15, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

[My question for those of you who might know is, what difference does the order of starting pitchers make? I understand batting orders (particularly in the NL), but the whole apparent conundrum about which pitcher is the "No. 2" or "No. 1" or No. 4" starter still escapes me.]

Here's how I see it (and please correct me, everyone else, if I'm getting this wrong):

If you understand batting orders, you know that the leadoff man generally only actually LEADS OFF once or twice a game (the first inning, and whenever he may happen to be first to the plate later on in the game). He does usually get one more at bat than the guys at the bottom of the order, though, which is a good thing if he's a better hitter. It's the same with the No. 1 starter. If he goes first, he ends up pitching more times than anyone else.

Also, since everyone's rotation goes in order (No. 1 is your best and No. 5 is your worst), your best is generally facing your opponent's best. That way you don't have to watch your least reliable starter try to compete against a perennial Cy Young winner.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 15, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

#4, very interesting post. Noting your #2 observation, seems the Nats did just the opposite with the Young/Belliard signings.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John,

... my answer is at the bottom of the previous thread.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 15, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I love the analysis, #4! Thanks.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 15, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Given that Nook's currently one of our best hitters, I'd take tonight's lineup, move Nook to lead-off, and bump everyone else down.

Posted by: joebleux | August 15, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Wigi:

I don't know if batting him 9th is the answer, but batting him 8th is a bit of a waste. With the pitcher coming up next, it often eliminates his ability to steal. With one or no outs the pitcher bunts. With two outs you don't take the chance because you don't want the pitcher leading off.

Posted by: #4 | August 15, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Thx 2 all!

This is why I love this blog...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 15, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

I was at the P-Nats game, and I'll tell you - don't believe the linescore on Detwiler - that was some of the worst scorekeeping I've ever seen. Desmond got charged with an error in the first, but Marrero should have got one in the first as well when a fly ball hit right at him bounced off his glove, and landed in fair territory. If Desmond or Marrero avoids the error there, it saves two runs in the first. In the third, the 2B-man had a routine pop-up catch him in the sun, and the ball literally rolled down his jersey (no error was charged). The next man tripled, followed by a sac fly, followed by a single, an FC, and a 2-run HR. If he makes the catch, it saves three runs. So if the P-Nats play something other than high school level defense behind Detwiler, his linescore is 3IP, 2R, 4H, 1 BB, 3K.

That said, he's not ready. Pretty sure I saw Bowden in the stands, and it seemed like Detwiler was nervous...seemed to miss his arm slot some, and it caused the ball to sail up and away against righties. The errors (both charged and not) really seemed to rattle him a little. Velocity was good, but he seemed to be throwing almost all fastballs. The talent is obvious, but he should definitely spend the rest of the summer enjoying life as a P-Nat. Can't wait to see him put it altogether.

Also, not sure what Marrero's actual defensive position is, but I don't think it's LF. Can we chip in collectively and get that kid a 1B mitt?

Posted by: Playing Hooky | August 15, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

SCNats Fan:

Actually the Young and Belliard signings are exactly what they did several times. They signed guys like that - used them for a year or two and then flipped them for young talent as they were just about to decline. The trick of course is knowing when that will be. The Braves FO seemed to have the knack.

Posted by: #4 | August 15, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

playing hooky thanks for the insight. I wasn't ready to write him off either after one bad start. The kid is young and as someone said earlier today, "the players move up the players." If he kicks butt the rest of the way then promote another level or so.

But it doesn't look like he'll touch the majors this season. As for Balester, wonder if he'll get a call-up?

Posted by: detwiler will still be a stud | August 15, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Wigi, I was saying the same thing at last night's game. Could Schneider hit any worse with the pitcher behind him instead of Logan?

Nook seems to do a lot better in the top of the order, so maybe instead of moving him up (and Belliard down) you just move the order up. I think Nook would do well after the first run through the rotation as a second lead-off man.

That said it won't happen, it took a lot for someone as established and respected as LaRossa to do it and I just don't see Manny being a guy who upsets the apple cart of baseball traditionalism with a move like that. Plus as much sense as that argument makes, pitching it to the poor guy who's now pitching behind the pitcher is not an easy sell.

Maybe we should do this tomorrow night with Hanrahan pitching, except Hanrahan should be hitting 5th.

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I was at the P-Nats game as well and will be at the parent club's game tonite...nice little doubleheader today.

Anyway, the previous poster was right on target regarding the scorekeeping errors while Detwiler was pitching. This was my first time seeing Detwiler and he did look like a guy who'd only thrown a few innings since May.

A couple initial impressions- good velocity on the fastball, but he was all over the place with it, which explains the ugly line score. All the balls hit hard were fastballs that caught a lot of the plate. He occasionally featured a nice sharp breaking ball and a very effective changeup, but was usually too far behind in the count b/c of his lack of command with the heater.

The potential is definitley there, but wait 'til next year when he gets a full season in pro ball and we'll have a much better idea of what we've got.

Posted by: also played hooky | August 15, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

In the AL, the #9 hitter is just your second leadoff man, generally with a lower OBP but comparable speed. I'd love to see Nook there at the bottom of the lineup. In reality, of course, Manny would never, but it's at least something to consider in the hypothetical.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 15, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

follow-up to the batting position discussion:

will someone with a statistics subscription figure out how many times the pitcher (9th spot in order) came up with 2 outs and runners on base? it seems like that would happen quite a bit. Or even 1 out for that matter. Or how many times the 9th spot led off an inning? I was always a fan of the LaRussa method. I think there is a benefit to putting the pitcher 8th, if only to disrupt the preconceived notions of the other manager - catch him sleeping perhaps.

who wants to donate to my curiosity? i accept paypal.

Posted by: theraph | August 15, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

#4...what I was implying was, maybe this was the time to make that trade...perhaps they'll be declining shortly. As you say, it's a guess as to when their best days are behind them. Additionally, they're also signed for (I think) at least for 2 years rather than 1. Time will have to be the judge on this though, won't it.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I think #4 should do it. He rocked out in that last statistical analysis.

-----
who wants to donate to my curiosity? i accept paypal.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 15, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

So, who was the scorekeeper at the P-Nats game....Stevie Wonder??

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"I think #4 should do it. He rocked out in that last statistical analysis."


Unfortunately I have to do a little of my real job before heading to RFK tonight, but thanks for the compliment.

Time will tell SCNatsFan. I think though that a trade after next year could be the ticket. They'll have value if they played decently and will have one year remaining on their fairly small contracts.

Posted by: #4 | August 15, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"I may have missed one, but I couldn't find one time that they traded away anyone who amounted to anything after they left the Braves."

Jermaine Dye and Jason Schmidt. Schmidt wasn't great with the Pirates, but he's certainly been a productive pitcher post-Braves.

Posted by: MF | August 15, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Good catch MF. Those two guys have had decent post-Brave careers - particularly Dye at times. Considering though they traded for 62 players during that period, it's still a pretty good return. The really amazing thing is that I don't think they ever gave up any farm hands (people who hadn't yet played on the MLB level) who then performed well in other organizations. Again though, someone out there may prove me wrong

Posted by: #4 | August 15, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Actually, that is EXACTLY what to expect when you develop players internally: bring them up, use them up, and dump them when they're through. Paid handsomely in the meantime, of course.

------
In fact counter-intuitively, most of their trades were ones in which they traded older guys who were just about to decline for younger ones other organizations had developed. I thought given their great reputation for developing talent that it would be the opposite.

Posted by: cevansjr | August 15, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Add Ryan Klesko and Brett Boone to that list as well.

Posted by: MF | August 15, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice one, estuarj! or "Batting cleanup, the pitcher J. Hanrahan!"

#4 - thanks for the analysis and food for thought. Seems like we have the same sleep pattern (at least when Nats were on the left coast).

A couple comments:
1- Smoltz (trade) and Maddux (trade) have got to be responsible for nearly all the starters "trade" numbers at 23. However they were acquired, they were phenomenal.

2- Glavine likewise represented 14(?) seasons for the 'developed' crew, right?

The key for me is the number of Free Agent seasons. For this, your analysis isn't as useful, since Free Agents are typically expected to be only a few years of work. But look how many combined seasons there are - and despite my many years of watching them in the non-sold-out playoffs, I can't think of any of them!


Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 15, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Manny for shouldering the "blame" for Zim's poor throwing. He made it sound like it was his fault for not coaching Zim more often, taking some of the heat off his third baseman when you know Zim is beating himself up over last night.

Posted by: swanni | August 15, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The Ace Pitcher won't necessarily start more games for being the first one to go -- it's a looooooong season, as Chris points out -- but it is a rough approximation of the general received wisdom of what to expect in a staff, a sort of benchmarking. A good team will have one, a really good team will have two, lights-out, 35+ starts, know-them-by-the-trail-of-Ks starters. Since it's unreasonable to expect to have three guys like that, the expectations scale down for other starters, to #s 5 or 6, you're happy if you get 5 innings and the 3rd baseman lives through the game.

Posted by: cevans | August 15, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

#4, I'm not sure I understand how you're figuring this. If you have 14 seasons, and 8 positions, and you are only counting starters (none of whom played 162 games every year), shouldn't the total number of seasons be less than 110 (14*8), and not 120 (70+29+21)?

Posted by: c jr | August 15, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

that should be 112, not 110.

Posted by: oops -- CE | August 15, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Good point, swanni. Manny's great. Okay guys, I'm off to RFK. See you at the game!

----
Kudos to Manny for shouldering the "blame" for Zim's poor throwing. He made it sound like it was his fault for not coaching Zim more often, taking some of the heat off his third baseman when you know Zim is beating himself up over last night.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 15, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

There are quite a few players actually that the Braves traded and went on to at least have some value post-Braves:

Justice, Estrada, Millwood, Odalis Perez, Jason Marquis, Wes Helms, in addition to Dye, Schmidt, Boone, and Klesko.

Posted by: MF | August 15, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Imagine the trouble my manager had, explaining to me why I wasn't starting when we only had 9 guys.

---------
Plus, as much sense as that argument makes, pitching it to the poor guy who's now [hitting] behind the pitcher is not an easy sell.
Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 04:08 PM

Posted by: C "Big Evs" Jr | August 15, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Atlanta got Maddux as a FA, not in a trade.

Posted by: Section 418 | August 15, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Dammit. BF won't go to the game with me and friends all have plans. Is it crazy to go alone? :(

Posted by: JennX | August 15, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely not, JennX. In fact, you may enjoy it more by yourself. If not, I met one of my best friends at a Nats game that we were both at flying solo.

Posted by: Matt | August 15, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

On a side note, I'm not sure I approve of your BF.

Posted by: Matt | August 15, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Matt: funny you should say that as you both share the same first name. ;)

Posted by: JennX | August 15, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

This is what I like about the pleasant surprise we seem to have stumbled upon with our starting pitching situation. It doesn't look like the Nationals will need Detwiler or Balester to be ready next season.

I can come up with a few satisfactory permutations using guys the Nats already have that don't involve either pitcher starting next year.

If health permits, of course.

-----

Det needs a lot more seasoning. Hopefully he'll not be rushed to bigs. I'm with you Brian on not needing him in September. Heck, maybe not even September 08.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 15, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

This is what I like about the pleasant surprise we seem to have stumbled upon with our starting pitching situation. It doesn't look like the Nationals will need Detwiler or Balester to be ready next season.

I can come up with a few satisfactory permutations using guys the Nats already have that don't involve either pitcher starting next year.

If health permits, of course.

-----

Det needs a lot more seasoning. Hopefully he'll not be rushed to bigs. I'm with you Brian on not needing him in September. Heck, maybe not even September 08.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 15, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Ok, ok, ok, I approve. I'm sure he has a perfectly good reason not to go to a baseball game on a beauitful summer evening. I hope. :)

Posted by: Matt | August 15, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, JennX - there's nothing wrong with going to a game solo.

I am going by myself tonight to see Redding put a red W on the board!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 15, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Alright... thinking I'll go. Good chance the BF will relent once he puts some distance between him and whatever is making him grumpy at work. :)

Let's go, Nats! Time to put innings 8 and 9 last night behind us!

p.s. Thanks for the backgrounder on [RF], Hendo! Before looking back, I thought folks were using RF in place of the expletive due to their feelings about that particular player's ability (notwithstanding his current 4-game hitting streak). :)

Posted by: JennX | August 15, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Go for it, JennX, but be careful and stay aware of your surroundings when you're heading home alone afterwards.

---

Dammit. BF won't go to the game with me and friends all have plans. Is it crazy to go alone? :(

Posted by: JennX's mom | August 15, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

During the cooler months my wife often will not go to the games, so I go alone. As a result, I got to know the people who sit around me.

Posted by: Sec 515 | August 15, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

During the cooler months my wife often will not go to the games, so I go alone. As a result, I got to know the people who sit around me.

Posted by: Sec 515 | August 15, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Haha. Thanks, Mom! And apologies for not [RF]ing my expletive above. I'm a [RF]ing potty mouth in real life, so sometimes I don't catch myself when I'm typing.

Posted by: JennX | August 15, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

JennX, I'm glad Hendo clarified [RF], too. Wouldn't want you to think we were all dissing Robert (I like him and I don't care what y'all say -- so there! Stomps foot , tosses head, and flounces out of blog) ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 15, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I also forget that we're all posting these thoughts on the website of one of the nation's most respected newspapers... :D

Posted by: JennX | August 15, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Okay, then. I didn't want to have to wash you mouth out with soap, anyway. :)

Have fun and don't forget the sideline reports!

---

Haha. Thanks, Mom! And apologies for not [RF]ing my expletive above. I'm a [RF]ing potty mouth in real life, so sometimes I don't catch myself when I'm typing.

Posted by: JennX's mom | August 15, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Ted Lerner:

Don't worry about being buds with Bud and sign Jack McGeary regardless of whether the final offer exceeds "slot" money.

Bud Selig will not help us get to the World Series, but Jack McGeary might.

That is what matters, not how you are perceived in the old boys network.

Posted by: swanni | August 15, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for the JP lovers out there.
Assuming JP isn't able to pitch in the majors again this year, what will the Nats and JP (and JP's agent) have to do to get him into spring training for '08.
My understanding is that he is up for arbitration next year.
Will the Nats offer arbitration?
If they do will the Nats be compensated if he leaves?
Will another team be willing to take a flyer on JP as a reclemation project?
How much are the Nats willing to spend on him for next season?

My guess is that the answer to the last one is something similair to DaMeat's 500k deal, with lots of potentials based on performance (roster, 20 starts, etc). But will 8 other potential starters at ST next year Bowden won't be willing to go up and JP will get a better offer elsewhere (especially if they don't have to give up picks).

Also, if we don't offer him arbitration isn't he inelligble to sign back with us til May 1st?

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for the JP lovers out there.
Assuming JP isn't able to pitch in the majors again this year, what will the Nats and JP (and JP's agent) have to do to get him into spring training for '08.
My understanding is that he is up for arbitration next year.
Will the Nats offer arbitration?
If they do will the Nats be compensated if he leaves?
Will another team be willing to take a flyer on JP as a reclemation project?
How much are the Nats willing to spend on him for next season?

My guess is that the answer to the last one is something similair to DaMeat's 500k deal, with lots of potentials based on performance (roster, 20 starts, etc). But will 8 other potential starters at ST next year Bowden won't be willing to go up and JP will get a better offer elsewhere (especially if they don't have to give up picks).

Also, if we don't offer him arbitration isn't he inelligble to sign back with us til May 1st?

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Nationals of March 2007 would have rolled out the red carpet for someone with John Patterson's background (and small salary.)

Posted by: swanni | August 15, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The nats of '08 aren't the Nats of '07 and someone like John Patterson and the actual John Patterson aren't the same thing either.

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhh JennX...if I weren't hundreds of miles away, I'd gladly use that ticket and make a doctors appt for BF Matt. :<3

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Yay! BF has come around. Will have to fly solo another day.

BTW Barry- Marvelous Market at Eastern Market carries Geary's Pale Ale.

Posted by: JennX | August 15, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

That's super, JennX. Now I won't have to worry about you getting home safely after, either!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 15, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify re. my earlier Fick scenario, I was attempting to depict myself, not anyone else (I seem to be not so good at conveying humor online today -- what's that you say, how is today different than any other? very funny...). Anyway, okay, now I can go make dinner and listen to the game.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 15, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, Smoker on the radio pregame! Woohoo! Welcome, Josh!!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog. Discuss. Or not.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 15, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

... a bit off topic ... but maybe not. This week has been a difficult one for sports fans of a certain age. Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto died and many (often disliked) Yankees fans felt a sad nostalgic twinge in their batting and catching gloves.

... now we get the news that Sam Pollock has passed away. For those of you who don't know the name, back in the sixties, he was the GM of the Montreal Canadiens - the 'other' most famous franchise in professional sport - leading them to a great many of their twenty four Stanley Cups. He was renown for his superhuman skill at player evaluation. I hope his competitive spirit in that regard is miraculously transported to our own Jim Bowden.

... and on those notes, there's only one more thing to say: GO NATS!!

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 15, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

... whatever these pitchers are doing during BP, make sure they keep it up. Yeah, Redding! GO NATS ... SOME MORE!

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 15, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow - Tim Redding just hit a 2-RBI double...

Posted by: Patty | August 15, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

woooooohooooooo....dancing on computer desk as Redding drives in two...GO NATS...STAY HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Mlb.com is reporting the Nats signed McGreary to a 13 million contract.

Posted by: borat | August 15, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Very funny, Borat. NOT!

Posted by: swanni | August 15, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Did Don Sutton really just say "severe jamage"? Is he just making up his own language now?

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

ha ha ha ha...no way 13 mil is going to a sixth round pick. A checkup from the neckup would follow a move like that. Not to mention clubhouse mutiny.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Redding is pitching himself into a waiver trade tonight...he will be pitching for a contender before September.

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | August 15, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

McGeary actually decided to go to Stanford, as expected, unfortunately.

Posted by: swanni | August 15, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

No way we let Redding go now, 1 he wouldn't clear waiver and 2, we need someone in the rotation next year who shaves every day and I'm thinking Patterson isn't that guy.

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

"McGeary actually decided to go to Stanford, as expected, unfortunately.

Posted by: swanni | August 15, 2007 08:10 PM

~~~~~~~~~

... "unfortunately" swanni, if we're making our evaluation based on baseball alone. But it seems to me that this guy is a very well-rounded person who knows - perhaps instinctively - that his life is broader and fuller than that. I say "Good on ya' Jack."

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 15, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Where are you getting that Swanni? Until I hear from Barry, JimBow or McGreary's family I'm still holding out hope!

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no I can't believe they pulled DaMeat already!

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Just in time for a double play.


___________________________________________________
No, no, no I can't believe they pulled DaMeat already!

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 08:38 PM

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | August 15, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

They should have put in Schroder, he had already warmed up. Rivera needs a couple mental health days.

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Now King might have pitched his way into a waiver trade.

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

BANG ZOOM Chief does it again

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

No, esj, that's Paciorek-speak. Sutton is merely adding another language to his repetoire.

---

Did Don Sutton really just say "severe jamage"? Is he just making up his own language now?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 15, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Let's not fool ourselves, McGreary probably didn't go to Stanford to get an education. He went to get three more years of ball experience to ratchet up his drafting round in order to get more money. For even a $1 million signing bonus, McGreary could get an education, he didn't need the scholarship Stanford offered him. And if he were so committed to getting an education, why would he enter the draft in the first place?

Now, while I don't believe he has any noble motives whatsoever, I applaud his good business sense. We might want to look at trying to draft him again in three years, because we know he's crafty and those are the sorts that make good pitchers.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 15, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

506, if he would have gone in the first round if he had been available (and he almost certainly would have gone ahead of Smoker, yes?), and we know the market for pitchers is hot this year, what does he gain by going to Stanford and being drafted, IF HE IS STILL GOOD, in 3 years? And I don't think entering the draft requires anything affirmative, just eligibility.

Posted by: cevans | August 15, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, the $2M or whatever can now go to getting Torii Hunter AND Andruw (your new LF) Jones.
Hey, I can dream.

Posted by: Cevansjr | August 15, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

My hope is that if McGeary comes out in 3 or 4 years that the Nats are drafting near the end of the first round and don't have a chance at him. Of course, you know what that means.....that the Nats are very GOOD then. GO NATS...STAY HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Reds/Cubs on WGN now...might get a look at Adam Dunn...a JimBow favorite.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Poor bast@rd McGreary, he's going to do well at Stanford -'m sure and maybe if things go well he's one of the top picks in 3 years. I hope, for his sake, that that doesn't mean a career wasted in KC or Tampa.

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

good point, estuartj

Posted by: cevans | August 15, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Blood Drive Saturday at RFK all day, before the Mets game. The Nats promise 2 free tickets "to a future Nationals game in 2007." -- well, who would want tickets to a PAST game? Not much of a draw, that.

But seriously, the blood supply is always low in summer here. You'll need less beer at the game. 2 tickets and you save $6 on beer, what's not to like?

Posted by: CevansJr | August 15, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Is there anyone that thought in April that this pitching staff would look this good now? I'd be lying if I said I did. The pitching was probably the sole or at least the major reason that a season of 110 to 120 losses was thought to be realistic. It appears now if they can stay healthy, a promising 2008 season, with the addition of a power hitting outfielder or two, could/should be expected. That being said, I hope there is no NJ jinx.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 15, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Ah, what a nice win on a gorgeous night for a ball game! And, JennX made it to the game without having to go alone! Good job, Matt! Get outta the office already!

Redding looked really good tonight, and came through big at the plate with that 2 RBI 2 out double. He was mowing them down efficiently and with lotsa K's - he's really the only starter on staff who can get K's (except now Hill hopefully).

It was a bummer to leave him in to hit with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs in the 6th, but he did come through earlier. Tough luck in the 7th. My question though, with 2 on and no outs - why Rivera, instead of Ayala, when you need a K to get out. Ray King came up BIG to get the Nats out of that jam with only 1 run.

All in all a nice win! One more thing: I would've liked to see Rauch come on in the 9th to close it out and put yesterday behind him.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 15, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Just got home again and took a look at the win story. It's one thing for the position players to ride the pitchers hard by not giving good run support, but to rely on them for all your hitting too? Sheesh, c'mon guys, was Redding the only guy playing today? Between Chico, Bascik, Hanrahan and now Redding, we got a better bench in our pitching staff...

Posted by: NatsNut | August 15, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

A win against the Phillies always feels good, and especially against this edition. There isn't a one of the 2007 Philly lineup that I feel complacent about when they come to the plate, with the possible exception of one or two of the pitchers. (Kendrick wore the Golden Sombrero tonight, so no worries from him. I think.)

Someone remarked a while ago that what's made the Nats more fun as the season's rolled on is that you just always feel that they're in it until the last out. They showed that tonight when Redding had to exit without retiring a batter in his final inning of work.

Even though I'd maybe like to have seen Schroder at the moment of crisis, Rivera got the call. And he stepped up -- if quickly down again after two batters -- and the Nats shortly got out of a jam. Laurels to our comrades in arms:

Nattily-battily
Timothy Redding this
Evening's compelled to re-
ly on his friends

Saul, Ray, and Luis
Bullpen-fraternally.
Just one run later, the
Seventh frame ends.

Oh you Nats!

Posted by: Hendo | August 15, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

You said it NatsNut!

When Redding came on again with 2 on and 2 out in the 6th, I was asking myself "who else would you bat here? Jimenez or Flores? Batista is the guy? Well, yes? But Redding or Bacsik wouldn't have been that much further down the thought process!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 15, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Saying we have a better pitching staff than bench isn't saying much.

I think Hanrahan should bat 7th with Schneider and Logan behind.

Maybe, but no.

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Any word on who signed and who didn't among the draft picks for all teams?

Posted by: estuartj | August 15, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of the bench, it reminds me of another little GHF thing I've been thinking about related to a conversation above b/t SC Nats Fan and #4 about Belliard and Young. I get all the arguments for being a little skittish about signing those two, but only IF you're thinking of them as *core* players, i.e.the roles they have now. Yea, that's a little scary.

But I have this delicious little hope that more than just the CF hole will be filled in the off-season, with good enough guys that maybe, just maybe, Belly and Meat are the backup guys on the bench. Much better scenario and one I'm going with for now...

Posted by: NatsNut | August 15, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Det update, from the layman's point of view:

I hooked today as well, not a hard call as my 9-to-5 laptop has been having connectivity issues, which are now being addressed. Even if it can't connect, at worst that is not a tragedy as I have a couple books to work on offline. (No, not baseball books. Yet. Anyhow, that's Barry's job [ *duck* ].)

There was a good turnout today at Woodbridge, including lots of day-care groups. Baseball is a fun outing for kids; they love to cheer no matter what happens or what the score. It was fun to listen to them yell their fool heads off -- and do a bit of yelling of my own -- even after the game turned into a bit of a laugher, or a weeper.

So around 11:30 I got to my seat right over the P-Nats bullpen and sure enough, there was Detwiler, just starting to throw some catch. He proceeded to some long-tossing to the outfield, which gave the viewer a chance to see his mechanics from all angles.

On to serious pitching warmups, starting with some pitches from the windup. Looked very good there, with speed and location seemingly in order.

But then he started to pitch from the stretch. Didn't look as good there, not hitting the strike zone, and throwing across his body a bit. Little alarm bells rang in my head.

Which turned out to have been justified (again, layman's POV disclaimer) when Ross yielded a hit to the first Blue Rock and then proceeded to spend most of the rest of his short outing pitching from the stretch.

I have to think that the P-Nats' pitching wizards saw what I saw with about ten times as much detail and accuracy, so they should know what to do to keep the kid's ERA under ten bucks.

Posted by: Hendo | August 15, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

GO TO BARRY'S NEW POST. NOW!!!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | August 15, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

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