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Nationals Journal: April 20, 2008 - April 26, 2008

Lineups vs. Cubs

Two small bits of news. Paul Lo Duca took batting practice today, said his hand is getting better, and is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Monday at Class A Potomac. Elijah Dukes went 0 for 2, was hit by...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 26, 2008; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
 
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Baseball Equipment Drive through the weekend

Sorry for the late post, and the late reminder about the equipment drive. I'll get you any lineups and news in a bit, but for now, if you're headed out, grab that old glove you don't use any more for...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 26, 2008; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Dukes begins rehab tomorrow -- plus lineups

Beautiful night out here at the yard. Many Nationals gathered around Alfonso Soriano during BP, even with Soriano on the DL. Just a magnetic personality, smiling 24 hours a day. Too bad he's not playing. News: Elijah Dukes will begin...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 25, 2008; 6:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (118)
 
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Dukes attorney: "There's nothing hanging over his head"

A Hillsborough County Court official confirmed that Elijah Dukes's probation - stemming from a January 2007 misdemeanor marijuana charge - was ended five months early in a hearing yesterday in Tampa. Dukes was on a 1 p.m. flight yesterday...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 25, 2008; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (157)
 
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Dukes: Probation over

The club has not been forthcoming with details of Elijah Dukes's plans, so I'm quite familiar with the Hillsborough County (Fla.) courts by now. The St. Petersburg Times, however, reported that Dukes's probation for a misdemeanor drug charge last year...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 25, 2008; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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O'Connor a winner, and what to make of Milledge

Funny how these things work out, huh? Mike O'Connor got the call that he would be promoted about 2 p.m. yesterday. "Weird day," he said. He scrambled to his apartment in Columbus, gathered a few things, (presumably) kissed his wife...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 25, 2008; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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One in a row!

Actually, you could make that two of three! Or four of 20! Nats finally beat the Mets, 10-5. Jon Rauch a bit sloppier than need be in the ninth, what with Marlon Anderson's solo homer to lead it off. But...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 24, 2008; 10:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
 
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Ladies and gentlemen, Felipe Lopez

My goodness. The Nationals second baseman is 2 for 3 with a walk, a two-run single and a grand slam. That would be 6 RBI. Nationals lead 7-3. O'Connor already pitched a scoreless inning. It's now up to Saul Rivera...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 24, 2008; 9:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Milledge: Late scratch

The original lineup had Lastings Milledge in center field and batting fifth. The one I posted here, and one that was up in the clubhouse at the end of the batting practice, had Willie Harris in center. A club spokesman...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 24, 2008; 7:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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King and Bowden on the move

Straight from each of them. But first, some numbers. Ray King had a 5.68 ERA in 12 appearances for the Nationals this year. Left-handed hitters were hitting .235 off him, right-handed hitters .500. Mike O'Connor was 2-0 with a 1.96...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 24, 2008; 5:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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King: I'll take my time; O'Connor will be long man in pen

I'll get you full reaction from King, Acta and Bowden, but the upshot of the move: 1. King has 72 hours to report to Columbus. He didn't completely rule it out, but he wants a major league job and will...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 24, 2008; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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King optioned to Columbus

With Barry down in the clubhouse, I'm getting this up on the blog for him: The Nationals optioned veteran lefty Ray King to Columbus today and are bringing up lefty Mike O'Connor, who was off to a fabulous start in...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 24, 2008; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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New Stadium, New Pressure

I admit. I've got nothing. I'm drained. Lots of losses, similar stories, a theme that has morphed into pure redundancy. So I have not much of a post, but merely a desire to point you in Boz's direction. Many of...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 24, 2008; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (121)
 
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Bowden, Cordero on the diagnosis

I talked to Chad Cordero as he awaited his flight from Birmingham. "Very relieved," he said. "He said it was just normal stuff," Cordero said of the "clicking" in his shoulder. "Most pitchers have it at some point. It's nothing...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 23, 2008; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Andrews: Cordero does not need surgery

Chad Cordero's examination with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., is over, and Andrews reaffirmed the diagnosis of tendinitis. The club says Cordero will not need time on the disabled list. Cordero had an MRI exam and what the club...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 23, 2008; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Santana can't beat the Nationals

(Reminder: Chat at 2 p.m.) That's what history tells us, right? Johan Santana has faced the Washington Nationals once in his illustrious career. That was June 9, 2007. The opposing pitcher: Levale Speigner, a right-hander the Nationals selected in the...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 23, 2008; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Lannan, the plan -- and the future of the rotation

First, remember I have a 2 p.m. chat on Wednesday, live from Nationals Park. Among the possible topics: Chad Cordero's shoulder, John Lannan's guts, Nationals Park's crowds, Manny Acta's attitude, Lenny Harris's tactics, Felipe Lopez's role, Ryan Zimmerman's slump. Etc....

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 23, 2008; 12:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Cordero to see Dr. Andrews tomorrow

In the perhaps-it-was-inevitable department, Washington Nationals closer Chad Cordero will travel tomorrow to Birmingham, Ala., where he will have his right shoulder examined by renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews. Cordero, who threw a scoreless inning last night against the Braves,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 22, 2008; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Acta's Attitude

As I mentioned yesterday, and have addressed to some degree in the paper, there has been some discussion about Manny Acta's approach to these tough times. (How tough? 5-15 is not only the worst record in the majors, but it's...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 22, 2008; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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More on Lenny

So anyone who read the gamer knows that I focused on Lenny Harris and the Nationals' sputtering offense. I'm wondering if any of you who watched the game saw what the Nationals saw -- which was a better approach at...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 22, 2008; 6:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (164)
 
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Manny, Lenny -- and lineups

Two hot topics around here seem to be Manny Acta's attitude about all the losing and the ability (or lack thereof) of hitting coach Lenny Harris. Did some pregame work on both subjects, and will try to get you some...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 21, 2008; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
 
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Analyzing a slump: Zimmerman

Just for kicks, here are Ryan Zimmerman's at-bats during this road trip. (L = liner; P = popup; F = fly ball; K = strikeout swinging; K* = strikeout looking) L8, P4, K*, P3, F9, K, 3-1, K*, K,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 21, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The cure for what ails you

When you've lost 14 of 16 games (and this is hypothetical, obviously, because no team that hoped to play .500 ball would go through a stretch like that), the way to get well is to face the following three pitchers,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 21, 2008; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Is it still early?

Obviously, it's April 20. There are 144 games remaining in the season. That is a ton of wood to chop. But did you watch last night's game? Can you pick an adjective to describe it? A couple of things I...

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 20, 2008; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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