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Spotlight: Lastings Milledge

Jonathan Forsythe posted the video, but I'll bring you a couple of updates.

1. Elijah Dukes was in the original starting lineup, but Manny Acta said he would test his strained right hamstring first. Apparently, it didn't go as well as they hoped, because Ryan Langerhans is the starter in left field. Obviously I'll follow up on this afterward.

2. Mike O'Connor is, appropriately, starting on St. Patrick's Day, adn the Nationals are all wearing green hats (as are the Mets).

3. Shawn Hill threw 35 pitches, including curveballs, in a bullpen session this morning. He said he felt fine -- still a little tight, but no pain, so he's happy. Said his breaking stuff was better now than it was when he was throwing live BP before his cortisone shot of a couple weeks ago.

4. John Patterson said his body feels sore, like he threw the day before, but his arm feels fine. Reiterated that he kind of ran into a wall, felt sluggish all day, etc.

5. Ryan Church is in the Mets' lineup for the first time in five days. His wife, Tina, gave birth to their first child -- a seven-pound, 12-ounce boy named Mason Alexander Church -- on Friday. Church lives in Viera, so this is like a home game right here. But he just struck out against Mike O'Connor.
That's it for now.

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  March 17, 2008; 1:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Without fail....

Here's a reposting

Kranny asks, "Did Hanrahan EVER give up a run in the first inning last year? I don't know, just asking. If he throws like he did against the Braves, 95-98 with a sharp 87mph slider, that is in fact 'closer stuff'."

I'm not sure either Kranny, but I think if it's true that he gave up very little in the first it would help prove my point. Part of the most infuriating thing about the Chief is that he seems to not care when he blows a save or gives up a solo home run in a tight game. That's also part of what makes him so valuable as a closer. You need that guy to have amnesia.

Hanrahan, on the other hand, tended to compound mistakes. He'd make one and it would be a slow slide from there. That's why I say set-up man, and then we can get an idea of how he does in tight spots to see if he'd be able to take the mental pressure of closing.

He also has been known to hit a triple in his time.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 01:06 PM

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Hello again Nat's fans. I just want to point out yesterdays final score:

Baltimore Orioles - 11
Washington Nationals - 3

So, with that said and with it painfully obvious that the Orioles will put a better product on the field this year, let me once again invite everyone to come up to Oriole Park at Camden Yards this year to watch some exciting baseball action.

We've got delicious crab-cakes, Boog's BBQ, and of course a young, exciting team to watch. So come on up I-95 to our BEAUTIFUL stadium in all of MLB and watch the O's.

Posted by: Orioles Front Office Executive | March 17, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"So, with that said and with it painfully obvious that the Orioles will put a better product on the field this year..."

Rule 3, enclose parenthetical expressions between commas.

You were so close, keep trying.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

From Boz's column today on predicting future performance:

"Patterson's career does virtually duplicate Bennie Daniels, who won a presidential opener for the Senators in '62 and was quite friendly, years later, when I visited him in prison."

So maybe it would be just as well if JP misses the opener this year. Don't want him to follow that particular career arc.

Posted by: joebleux | March 17, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Also erroneous:

- "Nat's fans"
- "yesterdays"
- "crab-cakes"
- "and of course"
- "to our BEAUTIFUL stadium in all of MLB"

That last one a) is untrue, and b) doesn't even make sense.

Posted by: faNATic | March 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

West Wing + Nationals + English language > The Wire + Orioles + BEAUTIFUL stadium in all of MLB

Posted by: kwamesnani | March 17, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to be the first (I'm sure) to say to Church: mazel tov.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | March 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"From Boz's column today on predicting future performance:

"Patterson's career does virtually duplicate Bennie Daniels, who won a presidential opener for the Senators in '62 and was quite friendly, years later, when I visited him in prison."

So maybe it would be just as well if JP misses the opener this year. Don't want him to follow that particular career arc."

Posted by: joebleux | March 17, 2008 01:42 PM

This is bizarre! Does anyone have any idea what Boz was getting at here or was he just filling up column space?

Posted by: jpsfanandproudofit | March 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Better product on the field? What are you smoking Orioles exec? You dumped your stars, all you have left is Nick Markakis and Roberts (for now). Your starting rotation sucks and you don't have a true power hitter. Good luck getting creamed in the AL East by everyone, including the Rays.

Posted by: Takoma Park | March 17, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Along with Steven, I offer my congratulations to Church on the birth of his son.

Now have a seat!

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 17, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Takoma Park, it's a troll, don't fall for it. He lurks around here, my best guess is that it's one of the NJ regulars who likes stirring trouble. Don't try to actual engage him or her with any logical points, it's like talking to LaRouche people in front of the metro.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, they're thinking about moving him back to short.

I still like the kid a lot. If you can free up some roster space and acquire a guy who could be your 2009 or 2010 starting shortstop, maybe it's worth taking a loot at.

-----

I think I read Casilla was just optioned to AAA based on "sloppy play", for whatever thats worth.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 17, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Ahem, taking a *look* at.

Man, K and T aren't even close to one another on the keyboard. What on earth was I thinking?

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 17, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Down here in Blacksburg, I live and die by gameday audio...the game day streaming box score was awesome last season, because it updated in time with the radio broadcast. This year, it's incredibly sluggish and I can't even see pitch counts, information comes sparingly, if at all with each at bat. Does anyone know if MLB plans on stepping it up when the regular season starts?

I'll be back in DC this summer, so it's just the first month of the season that I have to huddle around my laptop for 9 innings, but it'd be nice to soak in the first month of a new season with as many resources as possible since Southwest, VA lacks MASN thanks to the wrath of Peter Angelos.

Any info from other gameday users would be killer

Posted by: VT Mikey | March 17, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Steven, you might not be the first. At the time of the infamous 2005 Post article (hatchet job) about Church, his girlfriend at the time was Jewish. I have no idea if the same girl is now his wife.

--------------------------
Allow me to be the first (I'm sure) to say to Church: mazel tov.
Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | March 17, 2008 02:02 PM

Posted by: PB | March 17, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice video of Lastings. I like his strategy for getting Teddy to win.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 17, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the partial box score, O'Connor is having about as much success as the other soft-tossing lefties--Perez and Lannan. As we wind down to opening day, the rotation is looking more and more like last year's.

Posted by: Lou | March 17, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Sweet!! Centerfield camera now shows the US flag flying on the Nats Park flagpole and an unexpected but very pleasant surpise to see one of the other flags as the POW/MIA Never Forgotten flag. Very very nice touch and fitting addition to Nats Park given the other memorials and monuments of the city. I assume the 3rd flag will be the District flag?

And not to mention the nice Coca Cola spot on the Scoreboard...

Posted by: Gibby | March 17, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

actually PB the whole "Jews in Hell" story was about his EX-girlfriend who he was worried was going to go to hell because she didn't believe JC was her savior.

Unless the ex was so enamored with the fact that Ryan was concerned with her damnation that they rekindled their love and made a baby. If that's true, however. Church may need to seek counseling because his baby may be destined to hell as well.

Posted by: mazel tov | March 17, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, the POW/MIA flag was up at 2:37 but then taken down...very odd

Posted by: Gibby | March 17, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Churches. Nice, solid name. As they say in Magyarul: Gratulalok!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 17, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Here is a reposting:

" Somebody please explain what is wrong with the rehab assignment?"

I'm sure that Barry could clarify this for us if he would, but since he doesn't seem inclined to do so, here is my understanding of the situation. Patterson is out of options, therefore he can't just be sent to the minors to work on regaining his velocity. For rehab starts, he would have to be on the DL, and to be put on the DL he needs to have a legitimate injury. His arm appears to be fine, it is just his velocity that is "injured". Still, assuming he were placed on the 15 day DL and sent on a rehab assignment, he then would have 30 days to make rehab starts. Suppose at the end of those 30 days, he has still not regained his full velocity? I am not sure, but I suspect that he would then have to be either activated or placed on the 60 day DL. This doesn't seem to make sense for Patterson or the Nats at this time. Why all the fuss about velocity, anyway? Until the third inning yesterday, he had pitched 7 innings and allowed only 1 - that's o-n-e run. Isn't the pitcher's main function to get the batters out-or do I not understand the game of baseball? Does it matter that much whether he did it with curveballs or fastballs? Acta and Bowden have said that as long as he is getting the extension and the hop on his pitches, the velocity will come. He is doing the best he can and it certainly is an improvement over last year.
This has been one small blip in his spring so far - why is it asking too much to wait and see how he pitches when he gets over the flu? He should still have 2 more starts before OD.

Posted by: jpsfanandproudofit | March 17, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Patterson, or any pitcher (Hill) could be sent to the minors to rehab an injury, and if it wasn't a legitimate injury the club could make one up. You'll recall that last year, Jason Simontacchi began the season in the minors rehabbing a groin injury.

In the case of injuries, options don't matter. There is, however, a limit on how long a player can be rehabbing an injury in the minors -- it's something like 30 days for pitchers and 20 for position players.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 17, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Trade Colome and Lopez to the cubs and get Cedeno and Marquis get a pitcher and a Shortstop that simple.

Posted by: DJ 26 | March 17, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

grumble, grumble

JP's fan is probably right.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Until the third inning yesterday, he had pitched 7 innings and allowed only 1 - that's o-n-e run.

----

Okay, so my question is:

Does he tend to pitch two or three good innings, and then fall apart the second time through the order? I'm too lazy to go look up his stats, but I figure jpsfan or someone else will know offhand. I ask because it sounds to me like he might have pitched effectively in shorter outings, and then had problems when batters figured him out.

That would be a situation that worries me, but if it's not the case then I'm willing to discard this and hope he gets over that flu soon.

Posted by: also, K/BB ratio good either way | March 17, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

This is bizarre! Does anyone have any idea what Boz was getting at here or was he just filling up column space?

This would be what we on Earth refer to as a "joke."

Posted by: Mark | March 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Having Teddy break his streak, followed by a full pro wrestling style reveal that it was Lastings, would be the greatest moment in Washington baseball history. I wish I was joking, but I mean that. That would be #1.

Posted by: pondaz | March 17, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"Hmmm, the POW/MIA flag was up at 2:37 but then taken down...very odd"

I wonder if someone decided that it was on the wrong pole -- the proper order (as I understand it) is: (1) U.S. flag on tall center pole (2) POW/MIA flag to left of U.S. flag and (3) state (DC) flag to right of U.S. flag.

I would think that the point of view for determining this would be from within the stadium, although I don't know for sure.

Posted by: joebleux | March 17, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

To jpsfanandproudofit: You are absolutely correct about velocity. See Jamie Moyer. Unfortunately, Patterson is a power pitcher. Trust me, if his velocity doesn't come back, you will get to see with your own horrified eyes how bad it is. I went to the Braves game. Saw it in person. No runs in three innings, but 20 pitches an inning. Wanted to work four innings but ran up his pitch count in only 3. Baserunners all over the place. Full counts on every batter. Did you see Roberts yesterday when he threw him 3 curveballs in a row. Strike one, strike two, double off the wall. He froze Texiera on a curve ball to wriggle off the hook. Won't happen next time!

A five inning pitcher is not a pretty sight, particularly if one game is a shut-out and the next a 6-run debacle. Maybe time will prove me wrong but I don't think so. The dude appears finished! At least until he can get back to being a power pitcher.

Posted by: Dick | March 17, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry guys I have nothing better to do than to point out grammatical errors on an internet message board.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

You should separate your two independent clauses with either a semicolon or a period. Also, "Internet" should be capitalized.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 17, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

506,
You spelled "actually" wrong. he he
________________________
Don't try to actual engage him or her with any logical points, it's like talking to LaRouche people in front of the metro.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 02:14 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | March 17, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Simontacchi was a nonroster invitee and not on the 40 man...thats how he was in the minors to start the year

Posted by: B | March 17, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry guys I have nothing better to do than to point out grammatical errors on an internet message board."

I should have put a comma after "I'm sorry guys"

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It bothers me that JP attributed his poor performance to feeling numb. He didn't say "I just had a bad outing - my location was off, that is what Spring Training is for." Perhaps I'm being unfair, but there always seems to be ambiguous forces at work when he has a bad outing.

Posted by: lowcountry | March 17, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what anyone says. We need 506's eye on grammar so he should correct anyone and anything he sees fit.

Plus he's funny and knows baseball stuff.

Posted by: 506sfanandproudofit | March 17, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Something for the Lastings grist mill. Two N. VA High School teams came all the way to FL to play each other at Lastings' High School alma mater. The Lakewood Ranch Mustangs had the next game after us. I asked the JV coach if Lastings swings by to visit the old team. He said Lastings coach has moved on so there is less incentive to visit. Last year he wrote a $5k check to the boosters, but has not visited the team. Probably not worthy of a normal post, but given the spotlight, I thought I would share.

Posted by: Section 311 | March 17, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

My money's on Jorge, just coming in here messing with Barry's blog.

****************
Takoma Park, it's a troll, don't fall for it. He lurks around here, my best guess is that it's one of the NJ regulars who likes stirring trouble.
Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 17, 2008 02:14 PM

Posted by: MIB | March 17, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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