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The Lineups

Just to whet your appetite tonight. It'll be interesting to see how John Lannan responds after being ejected and breaking Chase Utley's hand in his first outing last week. This is the 22-year-old's first start at RFK. Also, Nats lit up Arroyo in his start at Cincinnati. We'll see.

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

Reds:
Hopper -- 8
Keppinger -- 6
Griffey -- 9
Phillips -- 4
Dunn -- 7
Conine -- 3
Encarnacion -- 5
Ross -- 2
Arroyo -- 1


By Barry Svrluga  |  August 1, 2007; 4:28 PM ET
 
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Next: Some minor stuff

Comments

Reverse lock?

I don't know if it's as sound as Speigner vs. Santana, but it qualifies, right?

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 1, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm psyched to get out to the park tonight to see Lannan bounce back.

Isn't Arroyo's record amazing? Who would've thunk it?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 1, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

So is this one of those nights where the great Barry S gets to be just a fan like the rest of us?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 1, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Ring 'em up, Lannan. Welcome to your spacious, gracious "home".

Posted by: i hate walks | August 1, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I hope he responds by continuing to pitch inside. Since their arrival I thought this was one of the pitching staff's major problems. You can't let the Chipper Jones, Andru Jones, and Ryan Howards of the world feel comfortable leaning over the plate and owning the outside corner. Keep up the good work I say!

Posted by: NatsFaninKC | August 1, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

interesting to see that Nook gets the start in center instead of Langerhans against the RHP Arroyo ...

Personally I wish both were off the team, but Nook has been hitting the ball a little better over his last 7 games played (8 for 19 with 3 doubles) so I'd rather have him in there than the strikeout king ...

Posted by: e | August 1, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

To the person on today's chat who recommended the Washington Glory women's softball team:

I live in the neighborhood where they play near George Mason, and was ready to bring my family to their first game. However, at $15 a ticket, I am definitely going to see the Potomac Nationals instead, if the Nats are not in town. We wonder about the Nats working to build a base of fans who aren't already hard core. That team is pricing itself out.

Posted by: Kevin | August 1, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

If I'm Griffey, I'm not digging-in.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 1, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

HA-HA! Lannan already is already showing promise by starting a pick off at second.

Hopper is out when Zimmerman run him down.

Bottom of the first, Zimmerman walks while Lopez is on third.

Posted by: Viva Livan | August 1, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Barry, call your dad. If he has a landline, call that number first.

(Everyone else, call your dads, too. Why not.)

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 1, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Now this is the John Lannan we all expected to see!

Posted by: Tom | August 1, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Apologies for multiple related posts on an earlier thread. I kept getting rejected, editing, resubmitting, etc.

I think I know what the problem is: if you get rejected, wait a bit before resubmitting (unless you forgot to [RF] an expletive).

Posted by: Hendo | August 1, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Now there's some mighty fine redemption for John Lannan in collecting win number one of what we hope are many.

However, our new motto in the Double Dactyl Department is All-Ryan, All The Time:

Nattily-battily
Kearns, Austin Ryan, de-
livers a clinic on
Extra-base hits.

Double and four-bagger
Trio-scoristically
Scare Cincinnatians
Out of their wits.

Oh you Nats!

Posted by: Hendo | August 1, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Hendo:

... interesting theory about the censorship. This morning, I rewrote what was ostensibly a mild inoffensive post until I had it pared down to two or three declarative sentences with no soul. It took over half and hour, and I still have no idea why it was rejected. The most offensive words, which I finally deleted, were "... the big bad world".

... oh well, life's too short to worry about small minds and smaller executives.

... very good win tonight you Nats. Sweep on the way.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 1, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Yawn...just another curly W...ho hum, I love the pattycake Reds...welcome to Yellowstone Park @ East Capitol cincy.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 1, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I think it's more likely some sort of server glitch than a content/censorship issue. It happens to me sometimes, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 1, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Barry totally called it:

Nats lit up Arroyo in his start at Cincinnati. We'll see.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 1, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Unannounced promo for tomorrow night...broom night.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 1, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

shhhh...

Unannounced promo for tomorrow night...broom night.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 1, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Natscan: Censorship's not to blame -- not directly, anyway, I suspect.

Here's what I think is the deal:

1. Bloggist submits an entry.
2. Entry-processing routine sends the entry to an entry-checking routine to be vetted for Bad Words, and sits back to wait for some number of seconds.
3. Entry-checking routine (we're two steps down the line now) is running slow.
4. Entry-processing routine -- one step back up the line -- gets tired of waiting and returns the (incorrect) "Your Post Has Been Rejected" error message.
5. Entry-checking routine, some minutes later, finally does its stuff and passes and posts the entry.
6. Bloggist registers embarrassment some minutes or hours later, when all the entries appear for the world to shake its head at in despair that the bloggist has finally gone Around The Bend. (Cheer up, folks; that happened years ago.)

Barry, can you submit this scenario to the techies at WPNI to see if it makes any sense? Thanks. (And if I'm right, then at Step 4 something different needs to happen, but I'll not bore the blog with the details. I can bore you via private email if you want.)

Posted by: Hendo | August 1, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Hendo, me too (around the bend, that is, not to be confused with around the horn, which would be a good thing)

---

6. Bloggist registers embarrassment some minutes or hours later, when all the entries appear for the world to shake its head at in despair that the bloggist has finally gone Around The Bend. (Cheer up, folks; that happened years ago.)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 1, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a empathizes: "Hendo, me too (around the bend, that is, not to be confused with around the horn, which would be a good thing)"

Well, natsfan1a, I've never seen you pivot on the DP attempt, so whether you can or can't deliver, your secret is safe. Fortunately, our Nats are blessed with dudes who can Do The Deed. Or just get the needful, nifty force on the lead runner. (Bells, Flip, I'm bowing at you. We're not worthy.)

Posted by: Hendo | August 1, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls: Glad to hear from you. I've been flipping back and forth to the news all night and the scene there just looks horrific. My first thought was of all the folks heading out to the Twins game and thinking how that could be any of us. Awful. My thoughts are with you all.

Herndo: I had the same problems earlier with my attempts to post and all I could figure was that I had used to many exclamation points. I guess it was just a technical glitch of some sort!

Posted by: JennX | August 1, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Whoa. That is one nasty scene in Minneapolis.

John, and Barry, and all Twin Citians, our prayers are with you tonight.

Posted by: Hendo | August 1, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

JennX, thanks for the thoughts. It's pretty bad here. 35W is a major road to the Metrodome, as well as a road getting into and out of the city during rush hour. Imagine the same thing happening on the B/W Parkway at 6:05 in the evening.

Go here for help: http://www.redcrosstc.org/

Great win for Lannan, but I don't think it's what I'm going to remember about today.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 1, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Just getting back from RFK. That was a fun first two innings. Here are some random observations on the evening.

1. The Hook and Zim swung it really good tonight. Both were staying on the ball and driving it up the middle. I think Zim will be at .275 by the end of August.

2. Belliard is such a fundamental veteran. His first AB after Lopez's double was text book.

3. It was good to see Church and Kearns contribute tonight. More of that please - although I'm not holding my breath.

4. It's two steps up and two steps back with Nook. Those last two ABs were putrid.

5. Felipe has tremendous range on pop-ups.

6. Ray King showed a lot of guts (and gut) tonight after Fick botched those two plays. I'm beginning to think that whoever recommended against using Fick and Batista as late inning defensive replacement was right.

7. I don't mean to rain on everyone's parade, but after watching Lannan live, I'm not hopeful he'll be consistent big league starter. His margin for error is slim. He didn't miss too many barrels tonight and I thought was lucky he didn't give up 4 or 5 runs. We'll see, but registering only 2 Ks in 10 innings (those both pitchers I think) it makes you wonder how good his stuff is.

8. Why was the stadium so empty in the 9th inning? The Nats were ahead but it seemed like there were only about 5,000 people left in the stands.

9. Bronson Arroyo does not appear to care anymore.

Good night

Posted by: #4 | August 1, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

In response to SC Nats Fan, I remember last year when we swept the Cubbies at RFK I brought a broom to the finale and I was told by security that it was a weapon and couldn't bring it in... lame.

Good win tonight. Kearns and Church are both getting really hot. I liked Carig's stat, Church's 3rd multi-RBI game in his last 5.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 1, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls advises: "Go here for help: http://www.redcrosstc.org/"

The link must be way busy, because it keeps timing out, but I'm gonna keep trying until I get it right. Rest of y'all do the same, too, huh?

Posted by: Hendo | August 1, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, John. I didn't know about this until after my first post went up. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by: #4 | August 1, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Just returned from a nice W at the home park. The boys really turned it on to start the game, pelting Arroyo like last time in Cincy. On the metro ride to the park, I told my friends how the Nats shook him out in Cincy, batting around in the first inning and knocking him out in the second - when we arrived for the first pitch and the next two innings, it was Nats 7-0 and Arroyo out!

If you didn't see Kearns's HR, that was a rocket! A nice greeting for the former team tonight.

Nook surprised me after his 3-4 last night then hits in his first 2 AB.

Oh, and Mr 300* -- I received a few compliments on my updated "Save Da Meat" t-shirt tonight! Just arrived in the mail as I was headed to the park!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 1, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Also gotta show some love to Nook, 10 for his last 23. Raising his average from .215 to .248, very well done.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 1, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Yikes - sorry to hear about Mpls. John, I'm sending a shout out to the wonderful Twin Cities!

On a much less important note, no one has posted about the 2-base steal against the Nats shift for Dunn. What a smart play and I hope other teams follow suit when the shift is on! The runner picked up steam when rounding second and seeing Zimmerman stuck to the bag at second. It was a close play at third, but a great highlight for the night. The Reds served at least two liners to the wide open left side against the shift to get their two runs.

I'm all for the shift with no one on base but if teams continue to play it with runners on, i'd be happy to see Ortiz, Dunn, Griffey, Bonds et al simply serve up singles and doubles to bring guys around. (Against teams other than the Nats, of course).

Nice night tonight. Would love for a broom for this series!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 2, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

So, I just saw the highlight of the 2-base steal by Brandon Phillips on Baseball Tonight. It looks even better on the replay.

Turns out the same thing happened tonight on the Big Papi shift against the O's. But the O's version didn't even have anyone cover third.

At the time, I faulted Schneider for lobbing the ball back to Lannan and not recognizing what happened. After seeing the O's version tonight, we at least had a chance at Phillips at third...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 2, 2007 12:47 AM | Report abuse

John in Minneapolis,

... I just want to extend my concern and condolences this morning to you as a citizen of Minneapolis on the occassion of the bridge disaster. I pray no one you know or love was harmed. My prayers are with you and those in your community.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 2, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

John in Mpls, just wanted to add my thoughts and prayers to the others that have been extended. Barry, hope that your dad is okay.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

John in Mnpls, I've been watching film of the collapse of the bridge and can only imagine how devastating it is for the cities. My prayers are also with all the Twin Citiers.

Posted by: Traveler | August 2, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

John in Mpls

Very relieved to see that you are okay. I too add my thoughts and prayers to you and yours. I found myself hoping last night that you were at Burger King for dinner.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 2, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

This just in. John Lannan is good. He looks like a pitcher, he looks like he thinks he belongs. It was great watching him live last night. Didn't hear what the broadcasters had to say, but hopefully it was something like he's setting up his pitches well and he looks like he has a plan. He did not give in to the hitters. (Several hitters seemed to give in to him).

A little better defense and he might have lasted a little longer. Still, it feels like he should be around for a long time.

Posted by: NatBisquit | August 2, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

... well now, we have 'a disagreement'. NatBisquit likes Lannan and thinks he looks like he belongs in the show. #4 thought John L. looked shaky and was lucky on many ABs.

... so now I'll sit back and let these guys fight it out. Thank God, the deciding vote will be cast by John himself as he takes the hill on a few more occasions.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 2, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to everyone who voiced concern. This really is a great little community we have here, isn't it?

Have checked in with most of my friends and coworkers. Waiting to hear from Barry. Hoping for the best.

(For the record, the two-base steal was crazy.)

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 2, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I thought Lannan looked decent last night. He definitely got away with a couple pitches, especially that long fly ball to deep center by Conine, that pitch was meat.

As for him having a plan, you could tell that Schneider was catching him instead of Flores, I'm sure that helped out.

His fastball location still looked sketchy, but his curveball had a lot more bite on it this time. He was occasionally hitting 91 on the gun as well. Not bad overall.

Posted by: G-town | August 2, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I didn't watch the replay of the 2 base steal to see exactly what the shift was, but if I recall my plays on the shift correctly then if lopez was on the short shift his move is to second and zim is supposed to move to 3rd. If lop was on the long shift (zim is basically on top of 2nd) then zim moves to take the throw from schneider and lop moves to cover for a missed throw and church should have been charging third. The idea is supposed to be to keep the runner at 2nd on an errant throw/catch at 2nd.

MLBers practice plays so rarely and it's such a rare situation since you rarely shift over that far with a man on, as last night games in DC and Boston show why....

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I would think on that play that the pitcher should be heading for third as soon as someone yells that the runner on first is going. He's a lot closer to third than the left-fielder.

Posted by: joebleux | August 2, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

If this was little league you might be right, but everywhere I played from middle school through college the only play they ever work on pitchers with is the run to first and sometimes backing up the catcher or cut off man.

Making the run to 3rd and then making the catch and making the tag on a charging baserunner is beyond the ability of most pitchers, and way too dangerous in the majors when that guy is making a lot of money and NOT to field. Could you imagine if Curt Shilling were to get and anckle broken on such a play?

For the most part pitchers should only go to a bag for a force out, never to tag, and I think at most professional levels they tell pitcher just to get out of the way or just protect their legs, face and hands on hit balls.

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

It's too early to make a definitive judgment on Lannan good or bad. It just seemed to me yesterday that I didn't see one Red take an uncomfortable swing against him. How many swings and misses were there? I don't remember any except for Gosling - the relief pitcher with 4 ABs all year. That's particularly strange when facing a guy you've never seen. It also seemed that at least 50% of the outs were hit on the screws. Sure, his line looked OK and improved defense would have gotten him through another inning or so maybe. It just concerns me that he's not really fooling anyone. Oppose that to say Ray King who made the batters he faced look very uncomfortable.

On the two base steal - there is one tidbit that no one mentioned. The strange thing about the play is that Phillips got such a good jump there was no throw, and he didn't need to slide. That enabled him to run to 3rd without breaking stride. If Lannan had held him better and Schneider had had a play, Phillips would have had to slide and would have been unable to do what he did. The two ways to defense it when the runner gets a big jump would be:

1. Have Lopez cover the bag and have Zimmerman break for 3rd. You lose the benefit of the shift though so I wouldn't do it.

2. Have Zimmerman cover 2nd and have Lannan break for 3rd after the ball crosses the plate. This would be my choice. I don't think Church can get there in time. He's shading left-center field with a LH pull hitter up.

Either way it's a play that happens so rarely, it's certainly hard to practice. My sense is that next time they'll deal with it better

Posted by: #4 | August 2, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

estauartj -

Please don't add to the school of thought that pitchers shouldn't do anything athletic because they might get hurt. Anyway the point is that if Lannan is breaking that way, Phillips does not even attempt to do what he did.

Posted by: #4 | August 2, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Yes, #4, you explained the cover scenarios well. It's really too bad they didn't include the play on the highlights.

As I mentioned earlier, Phillips was actually picking up speed rounding second, since Zimm was pretty much on the bag.
I think the choices are:
a) throw through to second anyway (if Zimm is expecting it) to at least keep him honest, and/or
b) pitcher has to cover third.

Regardless, it was Schneider who lobbed the ball back to the pitcher - I'm sure he'd admit he had a lapse and just never thought about the runner continuing to third. It was a flash and Zimmerman wasn't going to catch up with him. The only hope was to catch a piece of the runner sliding into third.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 2, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

To answer the question about the shift, it was probably Zimm's job to cover second - he was closer than Lopez. Schneider couldn't make the throw because Zimm didn't break for the bag. He held it and some good, heads-up base running allowed the second base.

It was unfortunate, but didn't hurt. The Reds took advantage of a good break and still didn't score. C'est la vie. I'm not mad.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 2, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"If Lannan had held him better and Schneider had had a play, Phillips would have had to slide and would have been unable to do what he did."

#4: you nailed it with this important, indeed most basic, piece of baseball strategy. I didn't see the game of course, but you don't need to see it to know that if there is a shift on, one of the main parts of the pitcher's role is to keep the runner close to first. That might be something else to consider when judging John's second start.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 2, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

#4, I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but I'm sure that until Lannan got to the dugout after the inning the idea of covering third had never crossed his mind and in his entire career (if it had come up at all) no coach had ever suggested it.

I think the runner was going for third the second he took off from first. He knew zim was going to have a tough time getting to 2nd and he would be faster to 2nd without a slide. It's a risk, but the reward of getting to third on one play makes it worthit.

BTW - I think it should NOT have been scored as a double steal, I would have booked it as defensive indifference and a steal since there was no throw from schneider.

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Last night in the minors:

Potomac: Marrero 2HRs

Vermont: Rhinehart 3-4 2b, HR, 2 RBI's
Alaniz 6 IP 2R 1K

Also not Nats related, but DC related: Hagerstown played Augusta last night. Starting at SS for Augusta was Emmanuel Burriss. He is a product of the DC public school system graduating from Wilson HS in 2003. He's the first player from a DC public school to be drafted in many years. He's the heir apparent to Vizquel at SS for the Giants. Root for him.

Posted by: #4 | August 2, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"I would have booked it as defensive indifference"

... I disagree with this, estuartj, simply because I believe this curious and unusual piece of scoring is reserved for ONLY those instances when, as the phrase implies, the defending team actually does not care whether the runner achieves another base or not. In last night's case, I doubt that was the case, so I wouldn't have scored it that way. So the only other way is "2 steals".

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 2, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

ShawNatsFan: it wasn't Schneider's fault. Once Phillips got to second with no one covering or close to third, the play was over. Nobody's going to beat him to third (although Zim made a nice try), so there would have been no one for Schneider to throw the ball to.

Posted by: joebleux | August 2, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

There's a lot of 20/20 vision today about last night's play. Phillips thinks "I got your shift right here" and then surprises the ENTIRE STADIUM. Considering that no one, I mean no one saw it coming, Zim still got fairly close. Baseball-love-wise it was a beauty. To see a smart, non-routine play like that, especially since we held him at 3rd anyway? You can see the replay on the Nats website. There's a little article about it and the video is at the top of the article. Says Phillips had been wanting to do it all night and found his shot.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 2, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I still think the scoring should have been defensive indifference. There were two outs so a run on 1st for 2nd makes little difference. Now we all know you never want to put a run in scoring position, but the call from the box should have reflected that no effort was made to hold or catch the runner at 2nd base. With two outs the only out that matters is the one still holding the bat.

Also, I didn't want to imply in my earlier post that he would not have slid into 2nd base if it had looked close. However, I don't think he was waiting to see if a throw was coming before rounding second. I think he saw where Zim was playing and dedcided that no matter what Schneider did he was going to third.

I also don't think he thought for an instant that Lannan was going to cover third and if he had he probably wouldn't have let up a bit. "Make a Pitcher tag me out" would have probably been his thought, and I don't want to think what Lannan would have done as the throw comes in and he's looking up to see spikes headed for his face...best guess is that he would have scored on a catching error by Lannan at 3rd. Just my opinion of course...

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut - I've been looking everywhere for the video clip and story. Where's it on the site?

Oh, I didn't mean to say it was Schneider's fault. I have to side with NatsNut's assessment - it was obvious to me at the park that he was thinking third the whole way, which is why I kept mentioning he was revving up going around second. Can't wait to read the piece from Phillips, because it was a heads up and exciting play!

It ended up not hurting the Nats, but it was the Reds first player in scoring position after Lannan mowed through the lineup first time through.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 2, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

On the double steal, I just watched it on MLB.com and I'm even more sure about the defensive indifference. Zimmerman never made a move to 2nd base, he was in fact walking toward the pitcher (with his glove up, he knew he needed the ball to keep Phillips at 2nd), but never made any effort to get in place for a play at second.

I think the runner (Phillips) was still going for third as soon as he took off, as his quote after the game confirms.

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

ESJ and others:

I did cross my mind what Phillips would have done if Zimm had covered the bag and Schneider had thrown the ball. Would he have tried to round the bag without sliding, figuring he would beat the throw by that much and simply then outraced Zimm to 3rd base? I doubt he could have done that and he probably did not take off with that intent. Instead, my guess is that when he took off for 2nd, he was reading Zimmerman and Lopez. Because neither covered the bag, he knew no throw was coming. At that point he made the decision to round the bag and go for 3rd.

I'm with those who think the correct scoring is 2 SBs. Going from 1st to 2nd with two outs is huge. It's why most SB attempts are with two outs. It wasn't indifference. Lannan just did a bad job of holding him; Schneider realizing he had no chance held the ball; Zimm realizing they had no chance did not bother to cover. I don't think it was anyone's fault, except may be Lannan's. It was just a great heads up/ fun to dissect play by Phillips.

Posted by: #4 | August 2, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse


http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070801&content_id=2124299&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: NatsNut | August 2, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Oh, found the Phillips steal highlight on the Reds team site.

It really is a heads up play. The replay shows Zimmerman actually broke towards third before Phillips hit second, so I'll give him some credit for making a break. Otherwise there wouldn't have been any play at all at third (which is what happened for the O's against Boston/Ortiz shift yesterday).

Check it out if you haven't seen it.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 2, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

#4

I stated in a earlier post that I didn't mean to imply that he wouldn't slide if zim was there, I think he was reading zim and when he saw that he wasn't moving to 2nd that he was going to head for third regardless of what Schneider did. Once there is no play at 2nd (because of the defensive indifference) then it's a foot race to third between him (at a full run) and zimmerman (who is walking the wrong way).

If this game was in Cincy I would totally expect to give the home team guy two SBs and in fact considering what an amazing job of baserunning it is I'm not surprised or upset about the scoring - why penalize a guy for making a great play, no matter what Zim, Lannan or Schneider did (or didn't do).

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This is from the MLB.com story that Natsnut linked.

It was new territory for official scorer Ben Trittipoe, who had to call the Elias Sports Bureau for clarification before awarding Phillips with two stolen bases.

I'd be interested in what Elias Sports Bureau had to say, very unique situation on a double steal.

Maybe what Zim should have done when Schneider didn't throw was make a move to 2nd to fake a catch & tag to try to bluff Phillips into sliding, but then he would have had no play at all at 3rd...

Great play by Phillips and very glad that out defense getting caught flat footed didn't cost us.

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Give Phillips two stolen bases.

Give Lannon and the Nats a win.

We get the better side of that deal.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 2, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'll admit I don't pay a whole lot of attention to official scoring, but I don't think you'll see "defensive indifference" scored unless the first baseman's playing off the bag (i.e., not holding the runner on).

Otherwise, the defense is making some attempt (even if not a good one) to keep the runner from freely advancing.

And I'm pretty sure DaMeat was on the bag on that play.

Posted by: joebleux | August 2, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Re: Lannan. He certainly does look like he belongs out there. His demeanor does not say 22 year old rookie. Reminds me of Zim's first starts very much. Not sure I agree that Lannan was shaky or lucky. There were a lot of infield ground balls, soft fly balls. He had a reasonable pitch count when he went out. He looked downright solid in my opinion.
Now. Let's hope he continues to develop, hopefully at the same rate the other teams are figuring him out.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 2, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

can someone explain to me why Fick wasn't charged with an error on the grounder that bounced off his chest? Sure it was a bad hop, but he didn't have to range to get to the ball. He was right in front of it!

Also, the next play when he fielded the slow roller and looked to throw to second then at the last second decided to toss it to Belly covering first, in which the ball bounced off of Belly since he wasn't looking at Fick assuming that the throw would be coming back from second for the double play. Why wasn't Fick or Belliard charged with an error on that play either?

Posted by: e | August 2, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Somebody check my math. With 55 games remaining in the season, the Nats would have to win 27 of them to finish above .500, right?

Does that make sense? I know it's probably a very, very long shot of them doing that, but I may as well go grasping after straws when the opportunity presents itself, right? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 2, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John:
The Nats would have to win 35 of the 55 games to finish 82-80, (above .500) - but I love your "optimism"

Let's get a sweep tonight!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 2, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I think they'd need to win 34, 47+34 being 81, to finish at .500.

However, they only need to win 3 more games to be at .500 for home games.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, guys, if you keep saying the "s" word you might put the whammy on 'em. Just sayin'...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't care about .500, I want to beat the O's for the third straight year.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 2, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

In order to finish at 81-81 (matching 2005) the Nats would need to go 34-21 (.618) the rest of the way.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what our record was for June of 2005? I believe that was the best record the team has posted for any month since the move...

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

On that double steal play...fahget about it. Perhaps if Schneider isn't going to go through with a throw to 2nd, he could just jog up the 3rd baseline in case an attempt to advance is made. It's a bluemoon play and not worthy of spending to much time on it. Todays word jumble...psewe

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 2, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

To answer my own question...

Between May 28th, 2005 and July 5th, 2005 the Nationals played 34 games in 39 days. In those games they went 27-7, improving from 24-25 on the 28th to 51-32. (They hit a high water mark of 19 games over twice that week, I'm using the second one).

27-7 is a win percentage of .794. My o' my if the Nats were able to catch that lightening in a bottle again this year...

They would be 74-67 (.525), just between Atlanta and Philly for 6th in the wild card race.

I know this is a pipe dream (if even THAT close to reality), but I'm pulling for out second straight month with a winning record.

Oh yea, and we're only 2.5 games behind Florida with a chance to get out of the NL East cellar!

Still a lot to play for...

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

SC Nats Fan, I'm dyslexic. That counts.

"Todays word jumble...psewe"

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 2, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"My o' my if the Nats were able to catch that lightening in a bottle again this year..."

Yeah, but you saw what that led to after the 4th of July....

Frank burned up bullpens like no one else.

Barry, what's up with Frank at the Hall?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 2, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

... the '2 steals' last night, and the subsequent call to Elias by the scorer, has engendered much discussion here today (as you have noticed). I think it might be a good idea for a day-off story sometime to do an interview with an official scorer - all the ins and outs of the job, game by game.

... which brings up another question: does every city with an MLB team have to supply a scorer for each game, or are they employees of MLB and move about the country like umpires? How does the home and visiting teams fit into the selection and engagement of the official scorer? How do they relate to the other in-game officals - umpires etc., and to the on-hand media?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 2, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Sect. 506, you mentioned the team that shall not be named so as not to disrupt the fragile truce (I think that's how it went) ;)

---

I don't care about .500, I want to beat the O's for the third straight year.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

yer funny, SC!

---

Todays word jumble...psewe

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Todays word jumble...psewe

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 2, 2007 12:38 PM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

... well I hope it's not WEEPS! ;)

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 2, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Frank burned up bullpens like no one else."

Not just the bullpen, he killed Patterson's career. I remember him having Patterson pitch two innings, then take two hours off for a rain delay and then put him back out there...next thing you know he's on the DL and hasn't been the same since.

I think Frank hates all pitchers, no matter what team their on. Same thing with Buddy Ryan and Quarterbacks, which is why he never had anyone block for Randall Cunningham until someone finally took his knees off. Something tells me deep down Ryan was happy to see a QB go down, even if it's his own.

Not trying to bad mouth Frank, I love what he did with this team when there was no one else willing, but he did have his shortcomings and pitcher handling was surely not his forte...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The reason to have the pitcher cover third in that shift situation is not that he'd have to make a play, but his presence would simply prevent the second bag from being taken. The only reason a player would try it is because there was nobody at third... so the risk of injury is small, unless you're pitcher is Alex Escobar.

Posted by: Wigi | August 2, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

natscan, here's an article on official scorers by David Vincent, who has played that role for the Nats:

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2005/08/the_official_sc_2.php

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Alex Escobar...pitcher...now THATS funny :>)

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 2, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Or that it's targeting the Reds if so... (rim shot)

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... well I hope it's not WEEPS! ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

SC Nats Fan: I'd pay to see both of those pitches...

(darn typos... youR)

Posted by: Wigi | August 2, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"the risk of injury is small, unless you're pitcher is Alex Escobar."

LOL Wigi

I love Escobar, but is he made of glass or what?

On the steal play (and then let's please stop obsessing about it, I'm sorry I started this line of discussion), I don't think it would matter if Lannan went to cover third or not. Phillips wouldn't have seen him in time, or probably cared at that point. If Phillips still headed for third I doubt Schneider would have risked the throw, you're more likely to put the ball in the outfield and have phillips score than to get the tag.

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm also looking forward to a Frank update at some point.

---

Sect. 506 wondered: Barry, what's up with Frank at the Hall?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Fry the Fish! Kick 'em down those stairs!! There, I feel much better now. Hmmm, I may need to eat lunch now...

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estuartj mentioned in passing: Oh yea, and we're only 2.5 games behind Florida with a chance to get out of the NL East cellar!

Still a lot to play for...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 2, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the math correction(s), shawnatsfan, natsfan1a, estuartj!

This is why I never became an accountant... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 2, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Any chance we could sign Franco for the rest of the year. He could double as a second hitting coach. He is a quality pinch hitter and still plays a pretty good 1B. He's at least as versaitle as Batista. I know he won't be part of the plan, but cheap and available seems like a good match.

Posted by: NatBisquit | August 2, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I hope Franco signs on with a winner, maybe even sign back with Atlanta after rosters expand...after all this time I'd hate to see his career end like this.

Posted by: estuartj | August 2, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Cheap and available - sounds perfect to me! Oh, you mean baseball...

ok all - Barry's posted minor league stuff so let's move it over... PSEWE!

(Escobar, ask someone else to click the mouse for you. We don't want you to sprain a finger)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 2, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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