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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 a pitch and walked today as the DH for Potomac. He was thrown out trying to steal but ran down the line in 4.2 seconds. They'll see how he feels tonight and tomorrow, and he could play in the field tomorrow.

Lineups:

Chicago:
Johnson -- 8
Theriot -- 6
Lee -- 3
Ramirez -- 5
Fukudome -- 9
DeRosa -- 7
Soto -- 2
Cedeno -- 4
Zambrano -- 1

Washington:
Lopez -- 4
Guzman -- 6
Zimmerman -- 5
Johnson -- 3
Milledge -- 8
Kearns -- 9
Estrada -- 2
Pena -- 7
Chico -- 1

Interesting to see if Pena will get anything to hit in the eight hole, and if he doesn't, whether he'll be patient enough to walk.

Big crowd filing in right now. Hopefully the rain holds off.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 26, 2008; 6:10 PM ET
 
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Next: Four outta six? Thank you, John Lannan

Comments

About last night's game --

PARKING -- Drove to Nat's lot HH ($15) was a good idea. It is under the intersection of 295 and 395 on So Capitol st. 15 min walk to park. On return, once in car, on the highway or in our case on Mall heading to and through Downtown in seconds.

FIRE WORKS -- our 8 year old grand daughter summed ti up :"awesome". Apparently, they are a Friday night tradition?!?

Posted by: Bethesda Fan | April 26, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm already starting to hope for rain...

Posted by: JennX | April 26, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Just switched over from FOX, watching the Yanks lose (hooray!), to see a 3-run deficit already? Oy...
Hopefully, El Toro Zambrano won't be his traditional self.
The bottom of the 1st awaits...

Posted by: nats del negro | April 26, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

calling collin balester!!!

Posted by: hammondsnats | April 26, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Bethesda Fan: How do I get to HH coming in from Virginia on 395?

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 26, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Tell Balester I'll drive...

Posted by: nats del negro | April 26, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Mike O'Connor might get the chance to try that long-relief role tonight.

Good thing he only faced one batter last night so he's not too tired...

Posted by: JennX | April 26, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Barry--seems like you are having trouble coming with ideas on what to write about with this team. I thought I'd suggest some stories, and perhaps others will have some ideas:

--Jim Bowden's track record drafting and developing players in Cincy. Since it takes several years to really evaluate drafting, now's a good time to go back and look at how JimBo did in Cincy, especially drafting pitchers. This is especially relevant since this is main focus of "the Plan."

--Are Bowden, Kasten, and Acta on the same page? Acta in particular, but also Kasten, have been working to drive down expectations for this year, while Bowden has chatted up their ability to win now.

--How do other teams view our talent? What veteran players actually have trade value, and how much?

--Armando Gallaraga

--Is the Majewski/Bray deal hurting the team's credibility in trades? You have a timely hook with the Krivsky firing. Clearly, Wayne thought he's been lied to by Bowden. Are other GMs gunshy to make deals with us as a result?

--Jack McGeary update--what's he taking? How are his grades? He's not living in that hippy Columbae House, is he? You wrote a long feature on him before the season, but since this arrangement is so unprecedented, it would be worth periodic check backs.

--Why is it that Ryan Church can suddenly hit lefties? What does that say about our hitting coaches, given that he was in our organization for 5-6 years and never, even in short spurts, able to perform as he is this year.

--Why was Milledge late?? Come on, reporter man! Go do some reporting!

--Are the Nationals consciously marketing the team to fans of the opposing teams? From the murals of opposing players in the concourse to the signs urging Nationals fans to be polite to fans of the other team, it seems like they are perhaps counting on ticket sales to fans of the opposing team to inflate attendance, perhaps significantly.

--LoDuca and the juice. Assuming he's off the HGH, how's it affecting him?

--The potential but never discussed rivalry between the Nats and the Marlins, given that Loria played a crucial role in attempting to destroy this franchise.

--Ditto, Mets and Omar.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 26, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

A trumpet?! Someone has brought a trumpet into the park? Is that a Cubs fan, or did a Washington baseball fan just demonstrate the kind of old-school fan-dom that has to this point been completely missing in this town?

That definitely passes the "I wish I'd thought of it first" test (although, since I don't play the horn, that could pose a problem). Props to that person, whomever they're here to cheer.

Posted by: i hate walks | April 26, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Geez, I know Capitol Hill is filled with people with ridiculously outsized egos. But it takes an especially large one to suggest -- to the tune of 300 or so words -- topics to a beat writer for one of the major newspapers in the country. I'm sure Barry learned a while ago to skip your long-winded, egomaniacal posts.

Posted by: nonats | April 26, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Steven on CH,

To quote Sgt. Hulka from the movie Stripes

"Lighten up Francis"


Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 26, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

How would this game have been different if Lopez were playing in left instead of WMP?

I mean, if we don't score SOME runs it doesn't matter how many they rack up, but they've pretty much done it all night by aiming for that corner and taking a double.

But how much closer would this game be? Which of those doubles would have been kept to singles?

Just curious.

Posted by: i hate walks | April 26, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"Are the Nationals consciously marketing the team to fans of the opposing teams? From the murals of opposing players in the concourse to the signs urging Nationals fans to be polite to fans of the other team, it seems like they are perhaps counting on ticket sales to fans of the opposing team to inflate attendance, perhaps significantly."

You've got to be kidding here, dude. Murals of opposing players in the concourse? Those guys are all in the Hall of Fame, none of them is going to be stepping on the field against us. You seem to confuse a healthy respect for baseball history with marketing of the opposition. Unlike other cities that HAVE a baseball history, there's a 34 year gap in ours. That's nearly two generations of baseball we'd be ignoring if we just highlighted Washington baseball in our ballpark.

Signs in the concourse urging us to be polite to opposing fans? So what? There can't be that many of them. I've been to five games now and all over the park (except for the exclusive clubs) and I haven't seen a one of them. I'm more concerned with the ads over the urinals in the mens rooms that tout the same prostate-problem drugs that the commercials on TV games do. Boy are those annoying!

This town has always had a healthy number of fans of the Phillies, Mets, Braves, Cubs and Cards who come out to games. Yankees fans come too when they have their rare chance, as will Red Sox fans whenever they hit town. But other teams, not so much. There's no marketing behind that, it's just the way it is.

For an example of a team marketing itself to fans of the opposition, look to Susan O'Malley and the Wizards in the 1990s. The Nationals are doing none of that kind of thing.

Posted by: did swanni loan you his tinfoil hat? | April 26, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Steven's suggestions are good. Too bad Barry's editors don't care about interesting baseball reporting angles. Just the bare minimum is what they want.

As for the question about the murals, I actually think it is a great question. There are other cities--including ones with expansion teams--that have minimal baseball history. Yet I don't know of any other team's stadium that highlights the history of other baseball teams to the extent the Nats' does with the artwork in the ballpark. Is there one? Why highlight another team's history? If DC doesn't yet have enough history of its own, why not do something completely different that doesn't highlight history, period? It's not like every stadium has to have murals of baseball players in its concourses.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 26, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

prior post is 100% accurate, imo.

one of the reasons this team should be successful, long term, with attendance, is *because* we have so many transients who will always come to see their teams play even when the nats aren't good. just remember that their dollars in those times will help pay nats salaries.

and the susan o'malley example is *PERFECT* as to what "marketing the opponents" really is. you don't hear nats commercials advertising "come to nats park to see derrek lee."

and "igns urging Nationals fans to be polite to fans of the other team" is something you see as "marketing to fans of other teams?" that's very much "tin foil hat" material there. maybe the team just doesn't want people being d*ckheads in the stands. ;)

Posted by: 231 | April 26, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts:

*Weird, the bright spot in the box score was - again - Felipe Lopez. 2 for 4 with a walk.

*The extremely odd situation of Nick Johnson. 0 for 1 with 2 walks. That man has the oddest slumps of anyone in baseball.

*Zambrano was filthy tonight, I could tell from the upper deck.

*Chief never topped 80 tonight, yet he seemed to dissect the Cubbies. I have more confidence in him as a pitcher with his velocity missing!

*If I never hear the phrase "double, down the line" again, I'd be okay

*Once again sat in front of an obnoxious New Yorker. This one throwing a tantrum because the Yankees weren't on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and he couldn't watch all the games. I'm 3 for 4.

*I'm probably not the only one who thinks Chico needs to go hammer some things out in Columbus, but I might be alone in thinking that Balestar needs more consistency. Let's move O'Conner to the rotation. Note that he did NOT make an appearance tonight.

*Would really like to see Colome moved for Schroder.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 26, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Where are these murals? Are you talking about the little throw-away banner things that show All-Stars? Are we really opposed to Roberto Clements and Sandy Kofax? I thought they were supposed to be a mixture of ground-breakers and former Senators, not a tribute to other ball clubs.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 27, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

after attending three games, a few observations.

the seats are smaller than RFK and not as comfortable. i'm no 300lb man, but when people are sitting on either side of you, it's tight. especially if you want to try to eat anything in your seat. everyone i've been with has commented about the narrow seats.

i've taken each mode of transport now. parked opening night (great, but a bit expensive). took the nats express to the sunday braves game. that was great, too. took metro tonight. that was great getting in, not so great getting out. there was a huge backup getting into the station. and this on a night when the game was out of hand and a lot of people left early. if it had been a close game like it was last night, i can only imagine how backed up that entrance would have been. metro seems like transport mode of last resort for now.

i really noticed something jayb has complained about for a while now with flopez. he was on 1B for two DPs tonight, and both times he slid so early that i don't think he even made it to 2B at the end of his slide. he's terrible at breaking up DPs. he should be embarrassed.

and milledge needs to stop trying to "look pretty" when he makes plays in CF. he's going to butcher a few balls out there and turn singles into doubles or triples if he doesn't start playing more fundamentally sound out there. he ran hard in on two singles today and snagged the ball on a dead run toward 2B as if he was going to have to make a quick throw to get someone out at home. the smart play was to run up to the ball and make sure you make a good catch, but that wouldn't have looked as "smooth," i guess.

Posted by: 231 | April 27, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"i really noticed something jayb has complained about for a while now with flopez. he was on 1B for two DPs tonight, and both times he slid so early that i don't think he even made it to 2B at the end of his slide. he's terrible at breaking up DPs. he should be embarrassed."

But, 231, Lopez DID break up one of those double plays. Guzman reached on a fielder's choice when he got called safe by the ump, to the boos of all the Cubs fans around me.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 27, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

no, he didn't break it up, i worded things poorly. it didn't happen because guzman legged it out. flopez's attempt was pitiful.

Posted by: 231 | April 27, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

by "worded things poorly" i mean i should have said "he had a chance to break up two DPs." he could have ensured guzman was safe instead of guzman making it happen himself. he slid both times so far away from 2nd it was comical.

Posted by: 231 | April 27, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

The murals overall seem to have been pretty well chosen, with a particular focus on Senators and Homestead Grays, including one that just says that the Nats salute Frank Howard (not HOF'er, like the others). One nice touch is that Frank Robinson is fairly prominently placed.

I think the idea of reaching out to the tourists is great - see your own team play here, or if you don't have one, just enjoy a major league experience in a beautiful new ballpark that is easy to get to. Regardless, you can be assured of a friendly fan experience, and this is a good thing to take the kids to. I do think they should have some sort of family deal available for most every game, at least now while the park is not full.

Also, per comments about other team fans who are based around here, there are a lot of Dodgers fans.

231, one other thought on transportation - when it is really crowded when the game is over, the walk up New Jersey Avenue to Capitol South does not take that long and there is lots of company. We did that after the opener, and immediately got both a train there and at Metro Center.

Posted by: Traveler | April 27, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

yeah, that may be a future consideration, traveler. there will probably be times when metro just makes more sense based on where i'm coming from at the time. i started to think about it for a minute tonight as we saw the crowds ahead, but it also started to rain (and the sky fell pretty hard), so we decided to forge ahead and try to get under cover.

overall, i think the nats express is still the best way to go.

Posted by: 231 | April 27, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh, on signs encouraging us to be polite to fans of other teams - I haven't seen any of those and I don't think we need to be reminded, but they are useful to let newbies from other cities know that we take a friendly atmosphere seriously. I also think it would be a great idea to plaster the place with those signs, or signs that say that good behavior is expected from everyone, whenever the Phillies play here. Someone else noted that the Mets fans are enthusiastic, which is okay, but the Phillies fans really bring down the pleasure of watching a game.

Posted by: Traveler | April 27, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

One thing about Chico--when he is not sharp with all of his pitches his margin for error is zero. I felt ill just watching him in the first 3 innings.

Is there ANYONE else that can hit in the 3rd spot?

Posted by: Dale | April 27, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Posting this one last time. See you later!

Hey, fellow Nats fans and Constituents, it's almost time for the NJ faithful's first gathering of 2008!

Date: Sunday, April 27

Time: From 11:35 AM to approx. 1:05 PM (game time vs. the Cubs is 1:35 PM)

Where: We will plan to meet at Nationals Park on the right-field side of the center field gate (which opens 2.5 hours before game time) on the main concourse level. Somebody will be posted in that area with a Planet NJ sign, name tag, or some such identifier. Our scouts plan to arrive earlier and attempt to snag a picnic table (the tables are located behind sections 142 and 143 on the main concourse level). One of our scouts has learned that the tables can only be reserved as part of a group ticket package. However, unreserved tables may be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Our fall-back plan will be to pull up cement seats in a remote area of the park or to seek out the standup tables just inside the home plate gate. See the team site for a map of the main concourse level.

Attire: Baseball casual

What to bring: Your own drinking water and food (unless you plan to buy it inside the park). A blanket in case we are not able to snag a table and need to pull up cement seats in a remote area of the park. Something to donate for the baseball equipment drive, if you are so inclined (details available via team site).

For Nationals policy on outside food and beverages, see the excerpt below (cut and pasted from the A-Z Guide on the team site):

"All food items must be contained in single serving bags within a soft-sided container or cooler, that does not exceed 16" x 16" x 8". Metal, plastic or glass containers of any kind (except for factory-sealed, plastic water bottles, no larger than 1 liter and juice boxes) are prohibited at Nationals Park. Only one bottle of water per person will be permitted."

Your hosts include: Natsfan1a, NatsNut, Hendo, and our special guest host - John in Mpls (only he'll be in D.C., not Mpls, but I digress).

Please join us so that we can put faces to the monikers (and see some familiar faces again)!

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 27, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I've supported keeping Chico in the rotation all winter and spring. I think the kid still has potential (should be a 4 letter word). But, if his next 2 starts are like his last 3, he needs to got to Columbus and let O'Connor see if he's figured it out.

I'd keep Colin in Columbus for awhile longer. The way the Nats are hitting, don't want to kill his confidence up here.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | April 27, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

We're heading out to the park in a few. If you've not met your hosts before, look for representatives with Planet NJ name tags and/or posters on the right-field side after you've entered the CF gate.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 27, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Is the park radar gun slow? The MLB Gameday pitch by pitch has fastballs from Hanrahan and Colombe at 96 and 97 mph. I don't remember Charlie and Dave, Bob and Don or Ray and Johnny mentioning numbers like that, even when Ray was speaking very highly of Hanrahan's performance in the post-game analysis.

Posted by: 422 | April 27, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

1A, we'll be there today! A nice, cool day to meet nice, cool folks! MLB.com uses the pitchf/x system of triangulated cameras with laser beams that transmits its data to a van outside the stadium which transmits it to MLB. Yes, a van, down by the river. The lasers are instaled in most MLB stadiums, but was not in RFK. They measure the speed that the pitch leaves the pitcher's hand and the speed at the plate, which is 10% less. Breaking balls lose more speed (the more spin, the more speed lost.) No one at the Post has explained the difference in the speed measurements, which routinely reads higher than the scoreboard radar gun.

Posted by: flynnie | April 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I will be there as well, but a bit late, perhaps 12:15 or so.

And keep Nieves, the human Rally Marsupial, he's been playing dead at the plate all these years, but he's got something in his pocket!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 27, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

wish I was in town for the meet & greet at the park, but alas, I'm stuck down south, but do look forward to my first visit to the park...whenever?? Have a great day at the park folks, I'm envious.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 27, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Some friends and I stayed at the Best Western across the street from the ballpark between last night's game and today's game and I'll probably head over to the park in the next hour or so, so perhaps I'll see some of you there. Not having to worry about getting home last night allowed me to consume plenty of alcohol before, during and after the game, which eased the pain considerably.

My observations from last night:

--Chico was ineffective, as you all know.
ERA now 6.68. I can't see him being around much longer.

--Zambrano was, as someone else mentioned, lights-out.

--The Nationals got the lead-off man on board in several innings late in the game, but obviously, they failed to score each time. The offense is struggling and bad. They've showed some signs of life recently, but nothing consistent. Zim is now only 2-31 with runners in scoring position and .231 overall. Kearns is at .193. Pena is at .159. Johnson is hitting .208. The middle of the order is not getting it done at all. The only decent hitters it seems to me are Lopez, Guzman and perhaps Milledge. I'm hoping Nieves starts today with Lannan on the hill, which should provide a nice boost.

--Looking at the Cubs lineup from last night, excluding Zambrano and the pinch-hiters that they used, the lowest batting average is Mark DeRosa's .286. The rest of their lineup is hitting over .300.

I'm sure that some people wish that the rain the dumped on us as we walked back to the hotel had come a couple of hours earlier. But today's another day and hopefully we'll start a new winning streak. It's cloudy and cool in Southeast, but it looks like it will stay dry. Perhaps I'll see some of you folks in an hour or so...GO NATS!

Posted by: BSG | April 27, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

oh yeah, and according the the scoreboard, chad cordero didn't top 81 last night. he was between 70 and 81 all night.

Posted by: 231 | April 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey folks--Barry himself said he was running out of story ideas on Thursday. He didn't specifically ask us for help, but like a good neighbor, do we really need to be asked?

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2008/04/new_stadium_new_pressure.html

I'm not sure there's really anything there there in the stories I brainstormed, but I think these would be interesting topics to investigate.

Take, for instance, the role of opposing team fans in Nats attendance. This I think is a really unique phenomenon. Look at a team like the Pirates or the Royals. I doubt if those team get any significant bump at all in their attendance from opposing team fans. Teams like the Brewers and Cubs probably get some, but only when they play each other. But the Nats get significant attendance bumps from opposing fans at probably a majority of their games--certainly Philly, Mets, and Cubs fans show up in big numbers. The Orioles have this phenomenon as well (lots of Yankees and Sox fans come to those games), but I don't think to the same extent.

So it's possible that the Nats know this and are doing tangible things to promote the Nats to opposing fans. I think overall that Nationals Park feels more like a generic MLB park than the Nationals Park. Now, 90% of the non-Nats professional sporting events I've attended lifetime have been in Lambeau Field, which is a quasi-religious shrine to the Packers, so maybe it's just that my perspective is skewed. But I've also been to games at Comiskey (old and new), Wrigley, Miller Park, Camden Yards, Soldier Field, Verizon Center, and the United Center, and I think it's fair to say that all of those stadiums were quite a bit more focused on celebrating the home team than Nationals Park. But maybe I'm wrong, the Nats really aren't doing anything to promote to opposing team fans, and then there's no story.

Maybe it's real but not relevant--just a minor matter of interior decorating that only the most obsessed fans who need a life even notice. Then there's no story. But, it's also possible that turn-out by out of town fans reduces pressure on the team to field a winner. It could on the other hand push up team revenue and allow the Nats to have an even bigger payroll.

Anyway, I don't mean to criticize Barry or the Post coverage. I think it could be better, but Barry says that too, so I don't think that's controversial. And I think in general the mainstream media's coverage of baseball is pretty weak. Read Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, Hardball Times or a number of other publications, and the gulf in the quality of coverage is enormous. But in this I don't single out the Post.

Anyway, those stories I thought up are all stories that I'd be interested in. Some are pretty obvious stories that Barry I think will surely write about (Armando Gallaraga), but some are more unique, and maybe he'll think they are worth picking up.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 27, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

i am at 142 - where is the nj crowd?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | April 27, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday's result was more or less expected. I don't think anyone in the Natosphere expected to sweep the Cubs (tho' many Chicago fans expected a Nats sweep). And there had to be a come-down after the Nieves walk-off.

However, today a win would be nice. Lannan is, after all, the man. Maybe even best choice for interim face-of-the-franchise until Zimmy gets it in gear.

Following on Gameday from Nairobi while getting some work done. Would really like to see a W here --- maybe even some signs of life from Austin and Z. Or even a dinger from Pena --- he's due.

Posted by: Natty Dread | April 27, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"So it's possible that the Nats know this and are doing tangible things to promote the Nats to opposing fans."

They don't need to do this, and they aren't doing this. Look at where many of those opposing fans are sitting in the lower bowl. They are in seats that were sold out to season ticket holders, meaning that those opposing fans have bought their tickets via StubHub fron Nats season ticket holders - some of whom are professional ticket brokers. Fans of the Cubs, Cards, Mets, Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox, etc, don't need any help in figuring out that their team is in town. They know already. Likewise any fans there are in this town from the lesser-known teams (Marlins etc) know where to find their team's games.

You're really barking up the wrong tree on this one.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | April 27, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

looks like poor weather at nats park today.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 27, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

i know its really early still, but Lannan is getting squeezed heinously!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 27, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It seems have Zimmerman completely figured out. Not good.

Posted by: Natty Dread | April 27, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It seems pitchers have Zimmerman completely figured out. Not good.

Posted by: Natty Dread | April 27, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

can we use that double play as an out in the next inning? please?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 27, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Thought Manny didnt believe in early sac bunts?

Posted by: SF Fan | April 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

oh my god.

we just witnessed history.

the Weapon just hit a curveball...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 27, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You're really barking up the wrong tree on this one.
______________

You should read what I wrote again. I'm saying they may or may not be doing anything, and if they're not there may not be a story, but it would be interesting to investigate. And even if they aren't doing anything, if the team can count on an extra 2-3k per game, that DOES reduce the necessity of fielding a good team.

(PS why is it that 90% of the replies are snarky.)

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 27, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Nieves is making his case. A genuine MLB late bloomer. How many times does he have to come through before they decide to keep him over Loduca and Estrada?

He can definitely catches better.

Here here for the bottom of the order!

Posted by: Natty Dread | April 27, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

can anyone tell me what happened to the belt high strike? anyone?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 27, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

i for one would be perfectly happy if the post never did another nats attendance story. it is what it is, and it will be what it will be. when they win, attendance will be up. when they don't win, attendance will be down. well, duh!

where was the post on the wizards and caps attendance stories when they were perennial losers? nowhere. that's where they should be on their nats attendance coverage too. they need to cover the games better than they do now, not focus on who is or isn't coming to them.

Posted by: zimmerman = ripken (bill, that is) | April 27, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Watching the peanut butter jelly guy reminded me of fridays game....did anyone mention/see/hear clints attempt at the new kids on the block song? Utterly fantastic if only for the amount of booing he received.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | April 27, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Look at where many of those opposing fans are sitting in the lower bowl. They are in seats that were sold out to season ticket holders, meaning that those opposing fans have bought their tickets via StubHub fron Nats season ticket holders
_________

Come to think of it, this is an interesting hypothesis, whcih our trusty beat reporter could look into and either confirm or disprove.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Fundamentals bite today. But Lady Luck intervenes (1A? NatsNut?). And John Lannan. Let's take advantage.

Posted by: Bob L. Head(in the game) | April 27, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

What's the hypothesis -- that fans of other teams may go see them when they're here and play the Nats? I'm not sure if you all follow sports/teams other than baseball/the Nats (yeah, yeah, Lambeau Field, blah, blah, blah), but this is hardly unusual. DC just got a baseball team, so, obviously, people that care about baseball have been fans of other teams. Also, unfortunately, DC is populated by people who move here from other places, where they've followed other teams. What's the big mystery? Do you think that the Nats have bought mailing lists of transplanted Chicagoans to sell them tickets to these games? There's no need, despite the fact that most people are clearly not as intelligent as the geniuses of Capitol Hill, they can read a freaking schedule.

I think most of the responses to your posts, SoCH, are snarky because you are so arrogant and condescending, and you show it over and over. It's surprising that many folks read your posts once, to suggest someone read one again is just more arrogance. Especially right after you'd been called out.

Posted by: fatnats | April 27, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Its a good thing Zimmerman has Brooks Robinson 3B reflexes. His batting is a mess. 3 K's and counting!!!!

When is Manny going to bat him at number 8?

Posted by: Natty Dread | April 27, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Who's line is this?

2.2IP 9H 7R 7ER 1BB 2K 2HR

Poor Livo

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and remarked to my wife (from Chicago) that she doesn't have to take me to Wrigley now, because I felt like I was already there. It was *at least* 50/50 by the end of the game.

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll see a change until we field a winning team. As the Caps have shown, if you win, people will come watch you. We have season tickets to hockey as well as baseball. Fans of the Penguins, Flyers and Red Wings, among others, would routinely be able to drown out the cheers for the home team. But by March of this year, you could hear nary a peep out of the opposition in the Phone Booth.

We can only hope that the Plan will work itself out and someday we'll see a Nats-Cubs sellout where the ratio of red to blue is more like 90/10 than 50/50.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | April 27, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from my an outing with my son and saw the box score. Lannan looks like he was lights out! Shutting down that line-up for 7 innings, wow...

I don't think he's going back to Columbus. Nice to see a pitcher really perform, and our bullpen step up, too.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | April 27, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Sweet! Two of three from the red-hot Cubs, 4 of our last 6. Not too shabby.

Batting still sucks, but, with Dukes on the horizon, the team is going to wake up. Nice to see Pena and Nieves squeeze out a few runs to honor Lannan's performance.

Some nice defensive plays, some fine relief work by Big Jon and Ayala, some dumb luck.

Posted by: Natty Dread | April 27, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

So apparently Lannan has pitched 19 scoreless innnings. Wow! The question is, since he's been working so well with Nieves, what happens when LoDuca comes back? Personally, I would not be disappointed to see LoDuca go (heck, I'd help him pack!), but there are 5 million reasons that that won't happen. Do we keep Estrada around? Do we go with three catchers? It's tough, especially since Nieves has no options. With Dukes also due back soon, that's going to be another tough choice.

Posted by: BSG | April 27, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

In the post game interview with Lannan, Debbie Jarvis asked to what he attributed his success. The very first thing out of his mouth? Wil.

I can't remember where I read the quote but it really stuck with me. It was from a hall of famer and was something along the lines of your team is a direct reflection of your catcher.

Posted by: Eric | April 27, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Make that Debbie Taylor. Sheesh.

Posted by: Eric | April 27, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

To Powerboat69 (and anyone interested)--

PARKING -- Lot HH directions are on the Nat's website. We came down from the Mall to So. Capitol so I do not know about details from and to 295 and 395, but the lot is right under both and there are ramps next to the lot. We bought our ticket for HH on line.

Posted by: Bethesda Fan | April 27, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Boy, judging by the number of posts in the last 36 hours, Barry REALLY needs some help coming up with things to write about. Am I the only one who has any suggestions?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 27, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

SoCH: I believe you are somewhat mischaracterizing Barry's post about "not having anything to write about." The point he was (somewhat snarkily) making was that he was having a hard time coming up with new ways to describe the nightly losing. He's a beat writer. He writes about what happens during the game.

Also, re the number of Cubs fans in season-ticket-holder seats... Don't y'all know how this town works? Those people are getting their tickets from the law firms or consultants or whatever who bought the seats. They say, "Hey we have these clients we know are fans of X-opposing-team. Let's offer them the tickets." Or, as a last resort, they send an email around to employees asking if anyone wants them, and the employees who happen to be Mets fans or Braves fans or whatever jump at the chance to see their team up close and personal. Not that some aren't Nats fans. I've benefited from friends at said firms for choice seats more than once.

In any case, great effort by Lannan today. Wish the offense would have made it a little cushier, but it wouldn't be a Nats game if I wasn't sweating a little at the end. :)

Posted by: JennX | April 27, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Steve on Capital Hill,

Someday you will get it. This is Nats Journal, All is Always well. The Nats are as good as they can be and better than they should be. Anybody who thinks differently is not welcome here. Stan, Jim and Manny can do no wrong, unless they take a shot at Barry, then the gloves come off for them too.

Posted by: Former reader of NJ | April 27, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the specifics of how the radar gun on the Nats Ballpark scoreboard differs from MLB Gameday could be a story.

Today, I made note that the scoreboard displayed the first pitch to Reed Johnson in the 5th inning as a 69 mph strike. Coming home, I checked Gameday. It agreed that it was a strike, but gave the speed as 75 mph. Sean Marshall pitched two curveballs to Felipe Lopez in the bottom of the 7th, both 71 mph on Gameday, but 66 and 67 mph on the ballpark scoreboard. And I don't recall seeing anything like 95 mph displayed, which Gameday reported for Kerry Wood.

From @Flynn, I understand that RFK didn't have the same technology as the new park does, but last year, I frequently had Gameday on my computer while I listened to the game on the radio. I don't remember hearing Charlie and Dave give velocity numbers that were 3-5 mph lower than what showed up on Gameday.

Posted by: 422 | April 27, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Barry has a day off, and he doesn't spend 24 hours a day thinking of things to post on Nats Journal. Like some folks...

Posted by: mike8 | April 27, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"Former reader of NJ"

i always love people who say they're "taking their ball and going home," and yet they hang around to watch everyone else play and pretend they're not there.

Posted by: 231 | April 27, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I like it, Bob L.! A Nats fan sitting in front of me today chanted "Cub-by Kill-er" as Nieves stepped to the plate for his first at-bat today. I liked that, too. :)

It was great to see those of you who came out for our gathering today. Thanks for coming! Thanks also to all of our co-hosts for their help in making this happen, to IHW and NatsNut for providing name tags, and to Flynnie and his crew for some truly excellent signage. I was very sorry to have missed John, though, in whose honor we gathered today.

Something that just occurred to me - we've had two NJ gatherings, and each time the team has won. hmmm... perhaps we need to schedule more of them? ;)

---

And keep Nieves, the human Rally Marsupial, he's been playing dead at the plate all these years, but he's got something in his pocket!
Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 27, 2008 9:49 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 27, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Nothing personal meant by the Cubby Killer comment, Bob L. It just struck me as funny.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 27, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see many of you today, sorry those I didn't catch up with.

I have another theory on the out-of-town fans based on personal experience. Maybe those fans are Nats fans for the other 78 home games of the season. On Saturday night I sat, miserable, between my girlfriend and two really good friends from Iowa who were ecstatically cheering on the Cubs. All three of them love the Nationals. One of them only breaks out his Cubs hat when they come to town and is wearing the blue DC every other day of the year.

Similarly, my best friend is a Phillies fan (horror), but she cheers on the Nats and will call me and talk about their performance after wins. Got another couple we're friends with that are Mets fans, but follow the Nats. Guy in my office is Kansas City and Boston (home and school), but Nats are his NL team. And on, and on.

The Nationals, I'm finding, are everybody's much-beloved second favorite team.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 27, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what happened today, guys.

I went over to the picnic tables before the game, but I didn't see any of you there. At least I don't think I saw any of you; I'm still not sure what you look like.

I'm sorry if I missed any new directions or details. I haven't had any reliable Internet access over here, so I haven't been able to keep abreast of the comments.

If any of you will be at the game on Tuesday, maybe we can meet then. I'll go to Starbucks tomorrow to make sure I have some Internet to read any updates.

Posted by: John (not) in Mpls | April 27, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up in Queens, I thought I would be conflicted when the Mets came to town, but I'm not. Loyalty to a ball club comes from identification with the stories and the trials and the tribulations of the members of the team. The combination of isolation from the Mets and saturation with the Nats has made me a fan. I even got to ask Jon Rausch what the tattoo on the back of his neck meant. And he told me. He's a human being---cool!

Posted by: WA2CHI | April 27, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up in Queens, I thought I would be conflicted when the Mets came to town, but I'm not. Loyalty to a ball club comes from identification with the stories and the trials and the tribulations of the members of the team. The combination of isolation from the Mets and saturation with the Nats has made me a fan. I even got to ask Jon Rausch what the tattoo on the back of his neck meant. And he told me. He's a human being---cool!

-----

I think this is right on. My red-headed, Cubs-fan girlfriend told me on Saturday night that she's a Nats fan first now, because she didn't even know who was on the Cubs. I hope that as more and more people discover the Nats, this will be the case. Good baseball will help.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 27, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

We tried to go to the picnic tables upon arrival at the park, but it turned out that they would not admit us to that area until noon. After we did enter the area, we learned that the tables were reserved for a private function. We asked one of the staffers there to tell any constituents who showed up that we would be sitting at the tables outside the Strike Zone, but unfortunately they didn't do that in your case. We also had flynnie and his family parading back and forth inside the CF gate with his homemade NJ sandwich board (seriously - the man is a gamer). I'm so sorry that we missed you. :(

I won't be there on Tuesday but I hope that some of our members will be and can connect with you then.

---

I don't know what happened today, guys.

I went over to the picnic tables before the game, but I didn't see any of you there. At least I don't think I saw any of you; I'm still not sure what you look like.

I'm sorry if I missed any new directions or details. I haven't had any reliable Internet access over here, so I haven't been able to keep abreast of the comments.

If any of you will be at the game on Tuesday, maybe we can meet then. I'll go to Starbucks tomorrow to make sure I have some Internet to read any updates.

Posted by: John (not) in Mpls | April 27, 2008 8:06 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 27, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Bethesda Fan: Thanks for the response, I was able to find the directions on the Nats site. For now I'm sticking to the Nats Express and saving the cash, but HH looks like a pretty good option.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 27, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The Nats blocked off the three rows of standing room in centerfield for a Miller Lite party area, but no one showed up, so the Red Porch was jam packed and centerfield was empty.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 27, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember where I read the quote but it really stuck with me. It was from a hall of famer and was something along the lines of your team is a direct reflection of your catcher.
Posted by: Eric | April 27, 2008 5:53 PM

___________________________________________

It was Tony LaRussa. The quote appeared in "Men at Work" by George Will. You may have seen it there or elsewhere. Of course, LaRussa may have been stealing the quote from someone else.

Posted by: #4 | April 27, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

A few random thoughts:

1) I would not be surprised if Nieves stays once PLoD comes back. Estrada is really best suited for the Dmitri Young PH role, so as long as he is out, theri is a little slack in the roster. I suppose Dukes arrival might also squeeze the luxury of 3 catchers.

2) Is a trade with the Yankees possible?

If Posada is down for any length of time, there might be a trade opportunity with NYY. Nieves was with the NYY last year, and of course Paulie is a New Yorker. As noted, Traber was sent down, leaving the Yankees without a situational lefty. Maybe that is a landing spot for King. If both A-Rod and Jeter are healthy, perhaps the Former Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, might be the good glove middle infielder we'd be looking for for 2009 or later this year.

3) Livo now has an ERA over 5. Glad we don't have $5 million tied up in him.

4) John in Mpls - Have you seen Delmon Young? Can you compare him to Lastings (speed, tools, fundamentals, flaws so far)? Lastings seems more developed offensively at this point, and both seem to have defensive troubles.

5) I'll admit, I stuck away from the games the past few nights because I expected sell outs like the Cubs drew in 05 when they came in. I'm a little surprised but it sounds like there were nearly 10,000 unsold each game.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 27, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I and some others (5 to be exact), watched the game here in SC on WGN and really enjoyed the win. It's not often we get to see the Nats on the tube down here, unless they're playing the Braves and occasionally the Cubs as national telecasts of the Nats just doesn't happen that often. But today was enjoyable. We are transplanted Washingtonians but are still loyal Nats fans. My car has Nats window stickers, a Nats front license tag and I always wear Nats shirts and hats. I guess I'm just natty in SC. GO NATS...STAY HOT


w

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 27, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I hope they keep hold of Nieves and keep playing him. He calls a better game, he's got a great arm (has he caught 2 or 3 stealing? - maybe all of the CS our team has had this year), he seems to relate with the pitchers much better and makes them better than either Joe Polooka or Erik Estrada, and he's been a hitting machine of late .... but most importantly, he is a spark and truly wants to play. It might just be me - but I wish these Nats (ALL these Nats) were playing with the sense of urgency and focus like Nieves.

Will Nieves is refreshing!

Posted by: LeesburgNatsfan | April 27, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"Steve on Capital Hill,

Someday you will get it. This is Nats Journal, All is Always well. The Nats are as good as they can be and better than they should be. Anybody who thinks differently is not welcome here. Stan, Jim and Manny can do no wrong, unless they take a shot at Barry, then the gloves come off for them too."


Posted by: Former reader of NJ | April 27, 2008 6:30 PM

___________________________________________


If you are a "Former reader of NJ" then why the hell are you still reading and posting....Knucklehead.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 27, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

FYI, for anyone going to the game on Tuesday night, Nats320 is reporting that there will be a total revamp of the information displayed on the HD scoreboard. Apparently, it will now include full lineups for both teams and info on previous at-bats, two things I - and many others I know - would really like to see. It'll be interesting to check it out...

Posted by: BSG | April 27, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

They did have info on previous at-bats on the scoreboard today, if I recall correctly, as well as lineups.

Re. Nieves, I think Slowes said the other day that he was out of options and would have to clear waivers if sent down. :(

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 27, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

barry seems to be the only one not giving nieves any love...bowden, manny, lannan all lavishing praises upon him. but loduca will take his spot at the end of the week, which is outrageous. right now nieves is better in EVERY aspect of the game and should be out there 4 games a week at least.

Posted by: love | April 27, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Matt Morris was waived by the Pirates...only cost them $10 mil+ to do so.

Apparently, signing (or trading) for older starters with expensive deals doesn't always work out so well.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | April 27, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's your weekly GB/A. Nats are no longer in the thirtieth place in baseball, and, with a bit more luck, will be out of last place entirely very shortly. This is again a reminder of how fluid April is, since a few wins and we will be far out of last place.

Were on pace for a record of 56-106, though it's worth noting that we've been playing .500 ball for over a week now (5-5, in the last 10 games). It's not even May 20 yet!

To beat the 2007 Nationals we'll need to a .448 winning percentage over the remaining 136 games.

29. Texas (9-17) .346 (0)
29. Nats!!!! (9-17) .346 (0)
28. San Diego (10-16) .385 (1)
26. Pittsburg (10-15) .400 (1.5)
26. Colorado (10-15) .400 (1.5)
22. Toronto (11-15) .423 (2)
22. Detroit (11-15) .423 (2)
22. Cinci (11-15) .423 (2)
22. San Francisco (11-15) .423 (2)
20. Minnesota (11-14) .440 (2.5)
20. Kansas City (11-14) .440 (2.5)
18. Seattle (12-14) .462 (3)
18. Houston (12-14) .463 (3)
15. Cleveland (12-13) .480 (3.5)
15. Atlanta (12-13) .480 (3.5)
15. LA Dodgers (12-13) .480 (3.5)
14. NY Yanks (13-13) .500 (4)
13. Philadelphia (14-12) .538 (5)
12. NY Mets (13-11) .542 (5)

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 27, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Elijah Dukes went 0-2 today with 2 walks.

Sounds like he caught 2 balls while playing left field.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 27, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a little surprised but it sounds like there were nearly 10,000 unsold each game."

Nope. Friday and Saturday attendance was over 35,000 each game. At 41,888 capacity, that's about 6,000 unsold. Even those three sections in the RF Mezzanine that are almost always totally empty were mostly full on Friday when I was there. It seemed like the only areas that weren't nearly full were the expensive sections behind the plate, which were maybe one third full.

Sunday attendance was also near or over 30,000, I believe. Probably would have been more had the weather not been so raw.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | April 28, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

NatsFan1a and 1c, Hendo, NatsNut, Bob L. Head, 506, BSG, Los Doce Ocho, the illustrious I Hate Walks, and all others whom I am not listing because my feeble brain is tired at this hour, what a fabulous gathering today! Thanks for signing my poster and sharing the knowledge! AND WHAT A GAME! Lannan/Nieves looked like Maddux/Perez, and we got a new life motto from Young John Lannan: "Just flush!" (in answer to how he kept his composure when errors gave him men on 2d and 3rd)

1. We sat in "Po' Folks' Heaven" just below the real heaven in Section 232. The site lines were wonderful, but you have to depend on the scoreboard to see what Austin Kearns is up to. But, hey, we were in $5 seats ($10 for "premium a/k/a huge opposing team turnout" games) and just had a blast.

2. We finally found the Pat's Pizza from Philly, home of the Original Cheese Steak. It is in 214, and is reserved for the box and club seats. That's right! No original cheese steaks for the littles! Bless my son-in-law for begging like Lazarus until some kindly-disposed nobility took his money and brought back cheese steaks for all! Since he was in his Philly gear, he was refused by a number of Nats fans.

3. If this weather stays, wear your down jackets and hope for a sellout! We huddled like Inuit in an Igloo, and the wind off the Anacostia cut like a knife, but I will be remembering it fondly during this summer's heat waves.

4. The San Diego fish tacos from Cantina Marina are My Favorite Concession (thanks to Sheinen for the tip) and the Ben's Half Smoke All the Way is superior to the Pat's Original Cheese Steak and a D.C. original!

5. How can anyone drink beer in this cold? They do, and it does not improve many of them, especially at football games, and it was definitely football weather at The Meadows on the Anacostia today.

6. The bottom of the 2d was awesome, and we wouldn't have seen it in most parks because we were at the concessions. Nick scoring from 2d! The Weapon scoring on Nieves' double up the middle! Tim Tolman, a collective apology is owed you! And Nick looked like Maury Wills out there! Everyone in line at the hot dog stand was cheering, because we we could all see!

Posted by: flynnie | April 28, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

for those wondering about attendance, the nats are at 30,033 per game, so far. dead center in the league. a little over 7k more a game than balmer, 6k more than cleveland (both of whom are playing very well right now), about 600 more than hotlanta, and pretty much double what the marlins draw.

Posted by: 231 | April 28, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm watching the replay on MASN, and Bob Carpenter said, "That Was the Week That Was for Wil Nieves! A walk-off homer, his first in the major leagues, and 7 hits, wouldn't in be something if he could drive in Pena here?" Don: "The infield is wide open up the middle. They are shading him to pull." Bob: "And up the middle it is! And we may have a play at the plate!"

Messrs. Carpenter and Sutton, I lift a glass of 2005 Bordeaux to you! And to Nick Johnson, Willy Mo Pena, Wil Nieves, and Tim Tolman! And to John Lannan for holding a two run lead, and shutting out the $193 million Cubs!

Posted by: flynnie | April 28, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Ray King's Gut Feeling - Love the handle, second only to the great The Piehole of David Wells! Keep in mind that Boston only holds 37,000, so 35,000 to watch the Nats is quite good.

Posted by: flynnie | April 28, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the GB/A 506! "We are on pace for a record of 56-106." I once heard the sports concept of being "on pace" criticized in this manner: "If I get lucky with two different women this week, I am on pace for a 104 woman year, which ain't happening."

Posted by: flynnie | April 28, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

"...but I will be remembering it fondly during this summer's heat waves."

That's the spirit!

I sat in front of a row of 5 Cub fans in 401. One (the only female) got cold in the first, so she went ant bought a blanket. The next inning was spent discussing how the $50 could buy you enough beer that you wouldn't feel cold, and you don't have to disgrace yourself by sporting an opposing team's logo.

Before the seventh inning stretch there were two more Nationals sweatshirts on their way to Chicagoland.

It got COLD up there on "the north face" today.

I thought about offering the gal $25 for the blanket and letting her keep it until the middle of the 9th, but that just seemed ... cruel.

Now that we've already had Phillies and Mets fans, the Cubs in the cheap seats are not nearly as ... well, they're great with a little mustard. They kinda taste like Marlin (when cooked properly, which we haven't seemed to get down quite yet).

And John Lannan was *on* (no hitter for four? I'll take it despite a 1:1 K:BB ratio through that time), and gets us safely through seven. That was fun to watch. And team LOB: them 8 us 5.

phwwew!

Posted by: i hate walks | April 28, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I Hate Walks, did you stick with the green Nats' t-shirt for the whole freezing game? How much beer did that take? Not enough to impair your K:BB ratio-meter for the 1st 4 innings! It was great to meet you! My wife said that she didn't know that I was capable of associating with such nice people, and I am under pressure to upgrade my friends! My daughter said that the NJ folks were lovely, and this after being up all night helping to deliver a baby!

Great time, GREAT GAME!

Posted by: flynnie | April 28, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Lou Piniella needs to shave. He looks like Jed Clampett-the beginning. And Johnny Holiday's ad where he's teaching a class how to pronounce names is very funny and well-acted! All that dinner theatre is not lost!

Posted by: flynnie | April 28, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

I sat in the outfield seats just below the scoreboard for Sunday's game. Cool, but not cold, until you walked back up the steps to the promenade behind the scoreboard. THAT was cold!

Great game. Lannan pitched a beauty. The more I see of Will Nieves, the more I like him. And despite the Nats' hitting slump, the fact that they have nine wins already gives me confidence they'll be able to have a better record than that 9-and-25 start to last season.

And one final note: I took the N22 Metro bus from the stadium to the Eastern Market station. The bus itself was nowhere near full, and there were hardly any people at the station, and the trains headed towards Vienna and Franconia/Springfield arrived nearly empty. So that's another option for folks who want to get on the Orange or Blue lines and who wanna avoid the station crush at Navy Yard/L'Enfant Plaza.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 28, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

possibly the only new post of the day is up

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

RK's Gut Feel made me look at the attendance of the Cubs Series since 2005. I had remembered these games as sellouts, especially the first series in 2005. Turns out, my gut feel was not as accurate as Ray's. Size matters?

This is the earliest the Cubbies have been in, so I suppose that lessens the visiting attendance (not summer vacation). Of the 13 games, these all ranked ##7 - 9.

2005 -
Fri Jul 1 - 38,973
Sat Jul 2 - 40,488
Sun Jul 3 - 40,006

2006 -
Fri 7/21 - 35,442
Sat 7/22 - 38,021
Sun 7/23 - 30,851

2007 -
Mon 7/2 - 24,015
Tues 7/3 - 30,106
Wed 7/4 - 39,207
Thur 7/5 - 22,594

2008 -
Friday 4/25 - 35,154
Saturday 4/26 - 35, 188
Sunday 4/27- 33, 795

Posted by: PTBNL | April 28, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Posto Nuevo

Posted by: PTBNL | April 28, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

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