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Shawn Hill shut down, to have surgery on right elbow

The news today: Right-hander Shawn Hill will have surgery on his right elbow to release the radial nerve -- the same nerve that has bothered John Patterson -- at some point soon. He will not make his start this Wednesday.

General Manager Jim Bowden said just now in a telephone interview that Hill will "absolutely" be ready for spring training despite the fact that he will have this surgery followed by left shoulder surgery two weeks later. The original date for his shoulder surgery was Oct. 4. That's moved back.

"His stuff went down a lot his last start," Bowden said. "I went down to the locker room during the game, ... and Shawn had some recurring pain, the same kind he had in spring training. He had been shut down and started up again [when he went on the DL for three months], and obviously with it recurring, it showed there was a problem."

The Nationals took an MRI and an EMG today to, as Bowden said, "study it." Nationals head orthopedist Ben Shaffer recommended getting into the elbow as quickly as possible. "They'll scope the elbow, release the nerve and while they're in there they can clean up any scar tissue," Bowden said. The scar tissue would be from his original elbow reconstruction surgery that cost him the 2005 season.

The immediate impact is that Mike Bacsik will start Wednesday against the Mets. But the long-term concern is for Hill, who the Nationals are counting on as some sort of anchor for the staff. When he's healthy, he pitches well. When he's not, he doesn't. He needs to start 30 times next year to establish himself. Who knows if he will?

Your lineups:

Nationals:
Jimenez -- 6
Belliard -- 4
Zimmerman -- 5
Church -- 7
Kearns -- 9
Fick -- 3
Maxwell -- 8
Schneider -- 2
Chico -- 1

Mets:
Reyes -- 6
Castillo -- 4
Wright -- 5
Alou -- 7
Delgado -- 3
Lo Duca -- 2
Gomez -- 9
Pelfrey -- 1

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 24, 2007; 5:56 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Position by Position: The Bullpen
Next: Shawn Hill: The Past, and the Future

Comments

Guess I get to lead off with the obvious: the vaunted development of the starting rotation this year is evaporating. I don't want to get Barry in bigger trouble with Stan and the gang (yeah, right) but they're clearly going to have to rethink their philosophy toward spending money on free agents. Unless they can pull off some good trades for starters using guys like Guzman, Church, Rauch, Cordero or Dmitri (probably next May at the earliest on that one), they're going to have to break out the checkbook to have a real rotation to go with the new stadium.

Posted by: GEVA | September 24, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Carlos Gomez and Justin Maxwell...the future NL EAST STAR Centerfielders?!?! Id like that.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | September 24, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I'd wondered over his last couple of starts whether Hill's elbow was bothering him, though it seems like we'd been hearing more about the shoulder than that. Hope that with the surgery he will be back in good form, able to stay healthy, and able to reach his full potential.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

And it's evaporating at the right time, in the last week of a season with nothing to play for. At least there's a physical explanation for Hill's sudden ineffectiveness. Two weeks ago, GM's were saying that he would be a 3rd or 4th starter on the Yankees. I was at his last two games and thought that must be the liquor talking. One reason that Stan likes JimBow is his ability to bottomfish for pitching, and put a watchable line-up on the field. Here's to another year of watching a scrappy group of cast-offs struggle to play .500 ball while the future Glavines and Joneses develop.

Posted by: flynnie | September 24, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

But maybe St. Louis wants Ronnie Belliard back bad enough to trade some pitching. It must kill them every time they see his glee-filled face in his Cardinals uniform promoting this years playoffs on Fox!

Posted by: flynnie | September 24, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Going under the knife is never good, but this seams minor - assuming it's successful. Our experience with JP and nerves is a bit, well nerveracking.

I'm dissapointed that Bacsik will start. With all due respect to "the integrity of the pennant race" I think Detwiler should get a start and that it was a mistake not to bring up Balester.

I'd like to give Detwiler once through the Mets rotation (hopefully 3 innings) and then let Bacsik come in for long relief.

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Is Guzman going to start this week? I saw that he came off the DL. Let's go Maxwell!

Posted by: G-town | September 24, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Our pitching is going to be fragile for at least another year. That said, I believe that the Nats should sign their arbitration eligible players and then trade from the bullpen. We didn't end up with any signings that worked as well as Esteban Loaiza in 2005, but we certainly will try again next year. Perhaps the closest was Colome, but he can't be traded until signed, can he (eligible for arbitration)?

We absolutely need a big bat, and Rauch and Cordero and Colome and Rivera and etc need to be expendible to make it happen. We have enjoyed the identity of a team with a great bullpen, but have you enjoyed being a team that can't score runs? I agree with the many that say the bullpen is more easily rebuilt, and that Randy St Clair is one of the reasons.

Posted by: Scrub fan | September 24, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

You know what they say: one man's garbage is sometimes really just garbage, no matter how much another man treasures it.

I ain't calling Hill garbage, Screech love 'em, I'm just suggesting that maybe Bowden was able to pick these guys off the scrap heap for a reason. Hill is chronically injured, though when he's not, he looks brilliant. Same for Patterson. Bergmann, Bacsik, Redding, Hanrahan, and Simontacchi all have good and bad days, but aren't reliably good, like we'd need for a championship.

So we should trade or buy ones that are dependable, right? Nooooooooooo! We should keep letting Trader Jim work his magic and pick these guys off the scrap heap while the real gems develop in Vermont and Woodbridge. That's what you call cheap bandaging, while the real product grows.

Ditto on hitters. Put J Max back in AA (unless he has an awesome spring try-out) and let him fill out and practice. Nook and D'Angelo and Batista and so on can keep putting on a pretty good show here until we're ready to do this right.

What would be bad? To get too eager and go off half-cocked. What a great exciting team, but we all know that you don't hit a home run by swinging your arms off at every pitch.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I was so looking forward to having Hill start the Presidential Opener in 2008. This latest development illustrates the razor-thin fragility of this staff where the starters don't throw enough innings and the bullpen throws too many innings. On paper, it looks like Bergman is now the putative "ace" and another overworked year for the bullpen.

From the earlier thread about the merchandise conspiracy theory, the team has done "half-off" sales each of the last three years to clear out stuff that hasn't moved (could you say "overpriced?"). Also, outlets like Modells are also running sales.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 24, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many of Church's 41 doubles have ended up being runs scored?

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Section 506 I agree with you. It really gives you an appreciation for the Glavine's and Smoltz's of the world that can go 8 innings at 40 years old.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Chico, don't be discouraged
The Mets, they ain't so hard to understand...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Not a great pair of at bats for J-Max so far tonight, but two great defensive plays so far. He runs really well out there, a good gliding stride that seems to eat up distance and he made good breaks on both plays.

I hope he gets a chance to show off his arm strength, I saw him throw some darts to 1nd at Potomac, but nothing home...

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone recall the reports on Maxwell earlier this year? I thought we were told he was great with a bat, but shaky defensively...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the line on him was that he was raw, primarily because he hadn't played very much for a guy his age.

Maybe all he needed was finally get 150 games in a year to get his "feel"

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

7:24 pm:

Future Me: "Chico will outlast Pelfrey in this game"
Everyone: AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

Baseball's a funny sport.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

GEVA, I'm not sure why the FO needs to change its philosophy on spending for free agents. The philosophy, as I understand it, is to keep the spending sane and wise.

Philosophy-wise, the FO, and the organization, does not seem very impressed with the slick, shiny egos who cost a fortune. They are all about home-grown boys and trades, where you can find humble, hard-working, team-loving-as-opposed-to-self loving, under-the-radar (read: cheap) guys. Kasten seems to have brought this with him from the Atlanta days. He and Schuerholtz had no problem 86-ing hot players who were too self-centered and too egotistical to put the team over self. Not a bad philosphy to have.

Even if the FO *were* philosophically inclined toward FAs, which free agents would you have in mind? It's a pretty unlikely field out there at the moment.

And finally, if you can name a good FA that fits the plan, for what would we be getting him exactly? A .500 record? I don't think anyone's seriously expecting to contend next year (see the tumbleweeds and crickets chirping in AAA). So spending a bunch of money wouldn't really make sense in '08. Our starting rotation won't be HOT next year, but they'll at least get off to a much better start than this year. (Fingers crossed of course).
Short story longer: If the default setting is no FAs, but with careful consideration of them if it fits the long-term plan, then I think it's a great philosophy.

To steal a line from another poster: Exit Soap Box.

Now. Looky there. We got a nice lead but it looks like Rivera got himself into his own little cardiac situation...


Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Who's the hottie with JimBo? He didn't get HER off the scrap heap!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Cardiac Saul comes through (at least for tonight)...

Posted by: Juan-John | September 24, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Off topic a bit, but I wonder if the Post will do a story about the Orioles attendance woes. Check MASN 2. Maybe 2000 fans at that game against the Royals. It's a make up game and all, but I am sure if it were the Nats the Post would surely use the lack of fans as the lead story.

Angelos need not to worry, the Yankees fans will fill the place over the last weekend. If the O's weren't in the AL East, they'd be talking relocation.

Posted by: MASN2 Stinks | September 24, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I gotta tell you, Kearns is fast becoming my favorite player. I was pretty cool on him all year, thinking he was just 'meh'. Hard-working, good fielder, but not very sparkly.
But after one at-bat a couple months ago when the count was 0-2, he drew something like 10 pitches and STILL got the walk. Then he did it again a couple weeks later. Since then he's been growing on me, and now that he's actually hitting too? Fahgeddaboutit. He's on he fast track to NNFP. (natsnut's favorite player).

Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I decided to move Autin Kearns into my Most Favored Player status after he ran over that Braves (?) Catcher a few weeks ago.

Nice homer tonight to get to 15 on the year, considering his Guillen-esque Hr hoes at RFK we might be a 25-30 homer guy in the new stadium.

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Yea, that was awesome. But what got me (girl alert!)was after he plowed over the catcher, he gave him a no-hard-feelings pat.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse


http://mlb.mlb.com/was/photogallery/year_2007/month_09/day_17/cf2214022.html

Posted by: NatsNut (avoiding chores) | September 24, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I think they were teammates when they were both commies, the catcher made some joke about Austin having gotten him smashed like that with his throws when they were in Cincy.

BTW Lopez was totally safe, but that isn't a call you get very often. If the ball gets there first you're out no matter what the catcher does with the glove.

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

check your emails. Nats sent out a survey about parking at ballpark.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

RIBS IN FLUSHING!!!!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

ahhhhhh. 10-run lead and Chad's sitting out. so relaxing.

Posted by: NatsNut (zen buddha) | September 24, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Why not give Detwiler an inning of work?

And after hitting a dinger a would have left Langerhans in to play left field and give Kearns an inning of like Manny just did with Zimmermann.

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Woops, I forgot Manny put in Langerhans as a defensive replacement for Church.

Posted by: estuartj | September 24, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I dont think its necessary being a 13-4 win but...

JESUS SAVES!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 24, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to extend a warm congratulations to the Washington Nationals who are now - officially - not the worst team in 2007.

With tonight's victory, it is now mathematically impossible for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to finish the year with a better record than the would-be worst team in baseball history.

Hey Florida! Your elimination number is 2.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

You beat me to it, Sect. 506 :)

---

RIBS IN FLUSHING!!!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

But...but...we won tonite, so wouldn't our tragic number be .5?

---

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to extend a warm congratulations to the Washington Nationals who are now - officially - not the worst team in 2007.

With tonight's victory, it is now mathematically impossible for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to finish the year with a better record than the would-be worst team in baseball history.

Hey Florida! Your elimination number is 2.

Posted by: Devil Rays | September 24, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait, we didn't play today. But wouldn't our tragic number be .5, as it was 1?

Posted by: Devil Rays | September 24, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

For those of you keeping score, the Nats have a few more objectives left. Here are the titles we hope to clinch before the year's end and the teams we hope to beat out for them (with the E# representing the magic number of Nats wins and/or opponent's losses that will clinch the title).

Nat the Worst Team in Baseball:
Clinched, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 9/24/07

Not the Worst Team in the National League:
E#: 2, Florida Marlins
E#: 2, Pittsburgh Pirates

Not the Worst Team in the NL East:
E#: 2, Florida Marlins

Not the Worst Team Covered by the Washington Post (Leaving Aside All Discussions of the Merit of Such Coverage):
E#: 3, Baltimore Orioles

Not the Worst Nationals in Nationals History:
E#: 2, 2006 Washington Nationals

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

No, Devil Rays, alas your poor knowledge of baseball statistics might demonstrate your inability to play. The Tragic, Magic, Elimination number is the number of wins by the leading team or losses by the trailing team that will result in elimination.

Thus, to stay in the game, the Nats would have to lose and you would have to win, every game.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I snapped the whip more sharply than I meant, Devil Rays, no offense meant. Don't worry, everything will be alright just as soon as you move to _______.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice, 506. Ever the GHF guy.

Hey, can ya'll report back on how espn, fox sports, and baseball tonight talk about our boys tonight?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"Nice, 506. Ever the GHF guy."

Call me Manny Acta. I have to also cheer on my boy Matt Chico with a win and his 30th start of the year. With some more seasoning I predict that he'll turn into another Livo. Someone teach him a big, slow curve ball!

That last one, beating last year's Nats, is the single most important thing these guys could accomplish this year. They should play like the champs they are in order to get it done. Last year's team needs to be the low point for this club.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

What, just two more wins in the next 5 games, right?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I was listening to Schneider on the radio pre-game and laughing at him talking about the "so-called experts" who weren't really experts and how the team had "shut them up pretty good" and how other teams in the division had thought the "experts" were "full of it" with their predictions because the other teams knew how hard our guy play until the final out. Schneider also said how proud he was of Chico and the rest of the pitching staff and of Flores, who he said would be in the game for a long time. That guy is a class act, I tell ya! Love him!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, to beat last year's record. We have the same record now that we had last year with five left to play.

---

What, just two more wins in the next 5 games, right?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Yep.

Bergmann v. Glavine
Bacsik v. Humber (two bullpen guys, dueling)
Redding v. Hamels

No projections posted after that, but I would presume...

Hanrahan v. Moyer
Chico v. Lohse

Gotta say, that's a pretty tough stretch to pick up two in. With the way Willie Randolph and Charlie Manuel are killing their bullpens, though, if we can knock out starters early, we'll have our best shot.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

506 (movin' on up):

I take it you mean that the Nats are 2 games from being eliminated from being the worst team covered by the Post in 2007... they covered the Expansion Senators.

Here's my optimal scenario for the rest of the season - Sweep the Mets, and have the Phillies win two of three, so we get them virtually tied... then ruin it for the Phillies.

Posted by: Wigi | September 24, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

"Not the Worst Team Covered by the Washington Post (Leaving Aside All Discussions of the Merit of Such Coverage):
E#: 3, Baltimore Orioles"

Actually, as of Sunday morning Sept 23rd, the Nats will have to share this one with the Phillies.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 24, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

What am I, chopped liver?

Mets:
Reyes -- 6
Castillo -- 4
Wright -- 5
Alou -- 7
Delgado -- 3
Lo Duca -- 2
Gomez -- 9
Pelfrey -- 1

Posted by: Carlos Beltran | September 24, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Re: Re:s to "Not the Worst Team Covered by the Washington Post (Leaving Aside All Discussions of the Merit of Such Coverage):
E#: 3, Baltimore Orioles"

Boy, tough crowd!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I like that scenario, Wigi. If the Phillies are still in it this weekend, Fox should still pick us up for their Saturday game (the game was rescheduled to 3:55 for that reason). If they drop us, we're blacked out for tv.

---

Here's my optimal scenario for the rest of the season - Sweep the Mets, and have the Phillies win two of three, so we get them virtually tied... then ruin it for the Phillies.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

We should go easy on 506... he's homeless until April... though, so is 419.

Posted by: Wigi | September 24, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

We still love ya, 506!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a: Almost certainly I won't get to see it, because they'll carry the west coast game, and it'll be blacked out on MLB TV...

Posted by: Wigi | September 24, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Wigi, that stinks like Short!

---

Almost certainly I won't get to see it, because they'll carry the west coast game, and it'll be blacked out on MLB TV...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

From the Notebook:

"A source with knowledge of the Nationals' 2008 schedule said the team's interleague opponents are scheduled to be the Los Angeles Angels, Texas and Baltimore at home and Seattle, Minnesota and Baltimore on the road."

Seriously, how lucky am I? Two years in a row of Nationals visiting the Metrodome? That's awesome. And I know at least one other guy excited about the prospect...

Calling Levale Speigner...

Posted by: John in Mpls | September 24, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I was kinda hoping to host the Yanks or the Sox and sell a bunch of $350 seats to their fans so they could watch the Nationals beat them real close.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 24, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

506 (BM), are you thinking about the reports on Chris Marrero?

-----

Does anyone recall the reports on Maxwell earlier this year? I thought we were told he was great with a bat, but shaky defensively...

Posted by: John in Mpls | September 24, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Meet me in Seattle... its just a three hour flight... Hope it is a weekend series...

Posted by: Wigi | September 24, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Sorry gang, just a quick chance to catch up on hap'nings tonight although I caught most of tonight's game.

I have to agree that with Hill out, why not give Detwiler a chance? Have Bacsik available should the need arise, but his ML clock has already started and he's here! Go for it!

Something tells me if the Nats win tomorrow, it's a much easier decision to make, but I'd love to see it.

Nice shot by Langerhans, with a chance to tunnel vision for one pitch. He crushed it!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 24, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Wigi,
I just might meet you in Seattle! We'll see how the schedule lines up, but I can do the Angels, Twins and Seattle just from having friends' places to crash.

Hoping for the good news with the schedule gods, and I'm hoping Opening Day evening will be at Nats Park!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 24, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

ShawNatsFan:

That would be cool... a PlanetNJ road trip... Every year, I've threatened to catch the Nats when they're out west, but I never do... Seattle is just so easy, though. This time I'll just do it, instead of thinking about it... time ends up making the decision for me...

In 2005, the Nats played a weekend series in Denver, and a friend invited me to come down... and I could get flights and everything... but I didn't go... and of course, they swept the Rockies.

NatsNut: I am with you about Kearns... he's really showed a lot recently... except I don't have favorite players... There's a 30-way tie for first... So I just have un-favorite players.

Posted by: Wigi | September 25, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Just watched the Nats-Mets clip on SportsCenter on a VERY slow sports night (only a couple b-ball games and the Monday Night Football game) and the Nats got more air time than I can remember on any Baseball Tonight or SportsCenter.

Not much mention about Nats, however, except that they are "one of the worst road teams in the majors." After several shots of Moises Alou in the field and at the plate for his "longest hitting streak for a player over 40" that they tried to use to build some tension, they showed his double and then the two dingers and that was it - as if the game was Moises' streak and once it was a laugher, there was no there there.

3 Theres = Har Har Har. Nice win tonight, boys!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 25, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

While I'm happy that John in Mpls may get to see the Nats live next year as well, doesn't it make more sense if we're supposed to match up with the AL West to play at Seattle? That way, we could have a series against the DJ's (Disgruntled Joses).

BTW - What were the five words that Nats fans most dreading hearing the team's first two years?

BTWA - "Just past a diving Vidro!"

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 25, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

leetee: I think they are at Seattle... that is what the Botebook piece says...

Posted by: Wigi | September 25, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Notebook...

Posted by: Wigi | September 25, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

"Not much mention about Nats, however, except that they are 'one of the worst road teams in the majors.'"

Yet towards the end of the midnight edition of ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," they listed the seven or eight worst teams in MLB, and the Nats WEREN'T ON THAT LIST.

Never thought omission would feel that good... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | September 25, 2007 1:56 AM | Report abuse

From the "Silver Lining" department:

The problem isn't that people think the Nats are bad or good, it's that they think they don't exist... which is good... we're under the radar.

Posted by: Wigi | September 25, 2007 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Too bad about Hill, but I told you so. His mechanics are a killer. Forget him; not in the Nats future plans.

Posted by: JHM | September 25, 2007 6:28 AM | Report abuse

The stealth plan is working, BWHAHAHA! Get 'em all to underestimate the team and then strike when they least expect it.

---

The problem isn't that people think the Nats are bad or good, it's that they think they don't exist... which is good... we're under the radar.

Posted by: Nats FO | September 25, 2007 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Wigi sez "We should go easy on 506... he's homeless until April... though, so is 419."

Boy, talk about a pessimist. Bucking for a job at the Post, are we? I happen to believe Stan that I'll know my seat location in the new park long before April. Of course he won't let me actually sit there until April, but then again I won't want to. It was cold enough sitting in RFK last April, an enclosed stadium with no river winds blowing around. I don't need a stadium home until the cherry blossoms bloom, and I'm sure I'll have one then!

Posted by: Section 419 | September 25, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Sect. 506, that was me indulging in a flight of fancy as the fake Devil Rays in trying to reconcile my understanding of the Magic Number calculation with the numbers posted. Hope that you'll forgive my late-night whimsy. I really appreciate all of the work you've put into the GB/A and now the E standings over the season. My knowledge of baseball statistics is definitely not expert, but my understanding is that the Magic Number represents any combination of wins and/or losses that adds up to elimination of the opponent and that each win or loss by a team counts for .5. One formula that I've seen is adding 1 to the number of games per season (162), for a total of 163, then subtracting first our wins total (70 for the Nats) and then the opponent's losses total (90 for the Marlins, who were idle yesterday). Using that formula, I come up with a Magic Number of 3 for the Marlins rather than 2. Course, if that's so, it would merely delay the inevitable a bit longer for the fish (and the rays).

---

No, Devil Rays, alas your poor knowledge of baseball statistics might demonstrate your inability to play. The Tragic, Magic, Elimination number is the number of wins by the leading team or losses by the trailing team that will result in elimination.

Thus, to stay in the game, the Nats would have to lose and you would have to win, every game.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"Here's to another year of watching a scrappy group of cast-offs struggle to play .500 ball while the future Glavines and Joneses develop."

If only.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | September 25, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, my flight to Las Vegas lands at 12:15pm local time on Saturday. Does anybody know a casino with a good sports book near the airport?

And I already know of two people (other than Ann and myself) planning to visit Seattle to see the Nats next season. There's good beer there, too, even inside Safeco Field -- which is also across the street from the Pyramid brewery and pub, and easy walking distance from the Elysian Fields brewpub as well.

--- --- --- ---

I like that scenario, Wigi. If the Phillies are still in it this weekend, Fox should still pick us up for their Saturday game (the game was rescheduled to 3:55 for that reason). If they drop us, we're blacked out for tv.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:16 PM

Posted by: Section 502 (formerly) | September 25, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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