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Nationals Journal: March 2, 2008 - March 8, 2008

Slugfest over, Hill questions abound

Nats beat the Astros 12-10 behind homers from Ryan Zimmerman, Ronnie Belliard and Luis Jimenez. The wind -- unbelievably hard out to right, so hard that while at a stop sign this morning my car was shaking -- dictated this...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 8, 2008; 5:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Zimmerman and Bowden on the renewal

I talked to Ryan Zimmerman prior to today's game about his renewal, and obviously I'll get into it more in tomorrow's paper. But here's what you need to know. Reaction to being renewed: "It doesn't matter to me. That's kind...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 8, 2008; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
 
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Shawn Hill: Shut down or not? Zimmerman: Renewed

Have I written about anyone this spring more than Shawn Hill? I think not. But first: The Nationals renewed Ryan Zimmerman's contract was renewed for $465,000. GM Jim Bowden said the relationship with Zimmerman is good, and Zimmerman told me...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 8, 2008; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Nick, Mock, and a 3-2 loss

Nats fall 3-2, though there were some decent pitching performances. Luis Ayala needed only nine pitches to toss a perfect fourth inning. Steven Shell, who continues to impress, gave up a wind-blown homer, but Manny Acta spoke highly of him...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 7, 2008; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
 
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Garrett Mock: Three innings done

Right-hander Garrett Mock, who came over with Matt Chico in the Livan Hernandez trade, made his second start of the spring today and showed two things -- why the club likes his potential and why he is not currently a...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 7, 2008; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Lineups vs. Marlins

Pretty late today, huh? Not much in the way of news, and not a ton of regulars on this trip, the second to Jupiter in three days. Patterson: The Nationals reports trickling down here are that he threw well, fully...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 7, 2008; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Spotlight: Ronnie Belliard

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  March 7, 2008; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Patterson vs. Pedro rained out

Anyone who saw my appearance on Washington Post Live, which was cut off by some lightning, knows how hard it was raining here. So they called the game about an hour ago, long before most fans got here. John Patterson...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 6, 2008; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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MASN, Comcast, etc.

No, no contoversy. Just a programming update. MASN is here at Space Coast Stadium. Don't get too worked up. They're merely filming some commercials for the season. Right now, they have Ronnie Belliard out at second base. (Remember the ads...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 6, 2008; 2:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Spotlight: Ray 'Burger' King

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  March 6, 2008; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Patterson and Pedro

(Game's at 7:05 p.m. Why am I up? I could have slept in. It's funny what happens when you get in a rhythm of getting up at 6:15-6:30 every day. Not exactly the in-season rhythm for a ball scribe.) We...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 6, 2008; 8:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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In the bottom of the eighth ...

(Apologies for being so late. Actually trying a novel approach today: Working.) Nationals lead 6-3. They have a two-run homer from, of all people, Pete Orr, as well as a two-run triple from Elijah Dukes, a ball that was smoked...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 5, 2008; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Lineups vs. Cardinals

Sorry this is late. We're about to get under way here. Washington: Guzman -- 6 Milledge -- 8 B. Boone -- DH Dukes -- 9 Langerhans -- 7 Belliard -- 4 Whitesell -- 3 Flores -- 2 Orr -- 5...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 5, 2008; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Spotlight: Dmitri Young

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  March 5, 2008; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Cuts are official: Detwiler, Smoker and Bacsik

A bit of interesting tweaks with the cuts. Yes, last year's first-round pick, lefty Ross Detwiler, was sent to minor league camp, as was lefty Josh Smoker and veteran lefty Mike Bacsik. But right-hander Adam Carr, one of the better...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 5, 2008; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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A little night baseball

Second half of this split-squad doubleheader was in Vero Beach tonight against the Dodgers. The big deal going in: Jason Bergmann was pitching. The big deal coming out: Perhaps "Little Papi." Bergmann was, according to reports from Vero (to which...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 9:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
 
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Matt Chico: Some good, some bad

Dodgers lead the Nats 3-0 in the middle of the third. Chico allowed a leadoff single in teh first, but then struck out Delwyn Young and got Andre Ethier to ground into a double play. He then -- shockingly, for...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
 
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Video Spotlight: (Even More) Shawn Hill

Editor's Note: This interview was conducted before Hill's latest MRI....

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  March 4, 2008; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Still more Shawn Hill: He speaks

Hill returned to the Nats clubhouse a while ago. He's going to be taking some different medicine, etc., and feels like he'll be playing catch again within a couple of days. But why am I telling you? You can hear...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 9:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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More Shawn Hill

Manny Acta gave some thoughts on Shawn Hill's situation. He considers it "very encouraging" that Hill's tests showed no damage, but he's also realistic. "I don't want to be too quick to pull the trigger, but this right now doesn't...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Early-morning Shawn Hill update

(This, by the way, is Journal entry No. 700. Celebrate in your own special way.) Got in touch with Shawn Hill briefly last night, and that's reflected in this here notebook. For those not inclined to click through, Hill returned...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 7:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Single-Game Tickets

Keep in mind, for those of you who don't own full-season or partial-season ticket plans to Nationals Park, they are available in the following two ways: 1. By calling 888-632-NATS (6287). 2. By visiting nationals.com on this crazy thing they...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 3, 2008; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Mid-afternoon randomness

Some stuff that's happened here since we last spoke. * A special, as-yet-to-be-determined prize goes to anyone who can figure out what the "B" on my hat stands for in that video in the last post. (Manny Acta has been...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 3, 2008; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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2008 Nationals Season Preview

The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga outlines the major storylines and position battles in spring training for the Washington Nationals. Video: Jonathan Forsythe / washingtonpost.com Photos: Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  March 3, 2008; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bits and pieces from the morning

So the pitchers for Wednesday are not listed, which is a bit odd because the schedules are normally posted days in advance. This could be because the first round of cuts are scheduled for after tomorrow's split-squad games against the...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 3, 2008; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Your questions with Jason Bergmann

So Nationals right-hander Jason Bergmann was kind enough to not only suggest that he would answer questions from Journal readers (he lurks here from time to time), but to say that he would take on whatever questions I sent him....

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 3, 2008; 6:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Back-to-back jacks

Nats lead 4-3 in Ft. Lauderdale against the O's. Here in Kissimmee, Wily Mo Pena absolutely crushed one off Houston's Jose Valverde, who saved 47 games for Arizona last year, for a solo homer to left. Ronnie Belliard followed with...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 2, 2008; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Ring one up for Zimmerman

The Nationals came into today's game having scored just five runs in their first three Grapefruit League games. Ryan Zimmerman upped that in the top of the first off Shawn Chacon, ripping a line-drive, two-run homer that got out over...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 2, 2008; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Lineup against the Astros

Please don't miss your "Guess the Rotation" results below, but here's your lineups for the split-squad game, Houston-style, here in Kissimmee. Nationals: Felipe Lopez -- 6 Lastings Milledge -- 8 Ryan Zimmerman -- 5 Nick Johnson -- DH Austin Kearns...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 2, 2008; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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"Guess the Rotation" Results

So the reason we posted the "Guess the Rotation" contest on Wednesday was because - well, because people would have to make their choices before, say, one of the presumed starters went down with soreness in his forearm. With that,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 2, 2008; 6:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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