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Nationals Journal: April 13, 2008 - April 19, 2008

Saturday night lineups

Manny Acta said yesterday that he figured he'd start Felipe Lopez at shortstop today, resting Cristian Guzman. Instead, he's sticking Lopez at second again because Guzman told Acta he's feeling good and didn't need/want a day off. Still a chance...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 19, 2008; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (174)
 
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Bienvenidos a Miami!

Much going on last night. First, the win, which was described here (hopefully most of you have read it by now). Serious sense of relief in that clubhouse. Here's a left-over Austin Kearns quote I didn't get in the gamer:...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 19, 2008; 2:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Lineups -- and general demeanor

There are some guys on this team that are sick of losing. Really sick of it. I suppose that should be obvious, but because baseball's so daily, so relentless, sometimes I swear you can't tell. What does that mean, that...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 18, 2008; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (155)
 
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Trivia answers

Answers to this morning's trivia quiz. 1. Without question. 2. b) 48 feet (per Hanrahan's own estimation last night) 3. d) foolish (as Hanrahan found after the ball skipped into left field) 4. Answer tailored to each individual. Please let...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 18, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (193)
 
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After a 4-12 start, and 14 innings -- a quiz

Random and delirious thoughts/questions, on three hours' sleep, while awaiting Delta 1866 from Laguardia to Fort Lauderdale: 1. Mets catcher Raul Casanova went 0 for 6 with four strikeouts last night. Would he help the Nationals' offense? 2. Before it...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 18, 2008; 6:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
 
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Trivia answers

Those 10-K Nationals games: Jason Bergman, 10, 4/14/07 vs. Braves Esteban Loaiza, 11, 4/27/05 vs. Phillies Esteban Loaiza, 11, 9/4/05 vs. Phillies John Patterson, 13, 4/15/06 at Florida John Patterson, 13, 8/4/05 vs. Dodgers John Lannan, welcome to the club....

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 17, 2008; 9:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Imagine all the strikeouts ...

John Lannan has somehow struck out 10 Mets through five innings. We're in the bottom of the sixth now. That is obviously a career high. His previous career high? Um, four. Against St. Louis earlier this year. Only three other...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 17, 2008; 8:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Lineups -- and Frank Robinson in the house

So Frank Robinson is here in his role with Major League Baseball. Just talked to him by the cage for quite a while. Asked him if he missed managing. In a nutshell, he said, "It was probably time." Interesting. I'll...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 17, 2008; 6:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
 
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Franchise values, Lo Duca update -- and that bench

Many of you have obviously discovered that Forbes magazine is out with its latest round of baseball franchise values, etc. These things are very, very well-educated guesstimates, and it's interesting that the Nationals rank 13th overall in franchise value ($460...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 17, 2008; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Chief: Uh-oh

So entering last night's game, there seemed to be a nice little story about the lineup changes and the offense. But then, the closer came in, threw his first "fast"ball at 76 mph, and the early story gets blown up....

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 17, 2008; 6:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Acta tweaks lineup! And a move

Let's roll out Manny Acta's lineup tonight vs. John Maine and the Mets. Cristian Guzman -- 6 Ronnie Belliard -- 4 Ryan Zimmerman -- 5 Nick Johnson -- 3 Lastings Milledge -- 8 Austin Kearns -- 9 Wily Mo Pena...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 16, 2008; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Let's chat at 2 p.m.

The offense? Attendance? Chad Cordero? Matt Chico? I'll take questions on any and all, live from Shea Stadium, in my 2 p.m. chat....

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 16, 2008; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Zim, Kearns and Faith

I was sitting with someone for a couple innings in the stands last night at Shea Stadium, and around the sixth inning, he said, "Ladies and gentleman, Mike Pelfrey." But couldn't it have been, "Ladies and gentleman, the Washington...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 16, 2008; 6:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bowden: Hill tentatively starting Saturday

So Jim Bowden just watched batting practice and spent considerable time hanging with Casey Close and Brodie Van Wagenen, the agents for Ryan Zimmerman. Pleasant chit-chat. No, I don't have a long-term contract to announce. I do, however, have a...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 15, 2008; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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No. 42

A reminder that, in honor of Jackie Robinson Day/Night throughout the majors, the entire Nationals and Mets squads will wear No. 42 tonight. Which should save everyone money on a scorecard. Seriously, a nice gesture. Last year, Dmitri Young wore...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 15, 2008; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Shawn Hill: Friday or Saturday?

Okay, then, moving on from attendance talk ... (Just kidding. Keep it going if you're interested.) As we discussed Sunday night and in Monday's paper, Shawn Hill had a six-inning start for Class AAA Columbus at Charlotte on Sunday. He...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 15, 2008; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Attendance: Too early to tell?

Live from the 9 a.m. Acela to New York, with MASN's Bob Carpenter riding shotgun. As Bob said, "Isn't this a civilized way to travel?" It's the best. Always go this way between D.C., Philly and New York. Three-game set...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 15, 2008; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Lo Duca, Milledge prepare for Big Apple

Real quick: I'll be on "Washington Post Live" on Comcast SportsNet at 5 p.m. We'll talk Caps, obviously, but I'm told we'll get in some baseball as well. Tune in if you like. Nats: Here's catcher Paul Lo Duca on...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 14, 2008; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (152)
 
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The bullpen: Shaky strength?

I wrote this morning about Manny Acta's handling of the bullpen yesterday, a day in which each decision happened to work out. This was not intended to say that Acta has always made all the right moves, but more a...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 14, 2008; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (134)
 
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Streak over! Nats win!

My goodness it wasn't without its moments. Wily Mo Pena returned, dropped a fly ball and went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. Chad Cordero returned, issued a two-out walk to Yunel Escobar, a two-out double to Chipper Jones, then...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 13, 2008; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
 
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Glavine: Strained right hamstring; Nats: Missed opportunities

Tom Glavine left the game with a strained right hamstring with no outs and the bases loaded in the first. Thus, he matches the shortest outing of his career -- May 16, 1989 against the Chicago Cubs. That was, in...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 13, 2008; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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WMP activated; Flores to Columbus

So with Wily Mo Pena activated before today's game, the Nationals optioned catcher Jesus Flores to Class AAA Columbus. The plan all along was to have Flores catch every day at Class AA Harrisburg. In the last week, that changed....

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 13, 2008; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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