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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 Guzman will get Sunday's game off.

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

Florida:
Ramirez -- 6
Uggla -- 4
Hermida -- 9
Willingham -- 7
Jacobs -- 3
Cantu -- 5
Ross -- 8
Rabelo -- 2
Badenhop -- 1

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 19, 2008; 6:08 PM ET
 
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Next: Is it still early?

Comments

All is good - bring it on. BTW, 1st!

Posted by: BIM | April 19, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

My cold has finally left, it was a lovely day, I'll go with Hill and the over. And another win tonight, this time 5 to 1.

Posted by: OldGuy | April 19, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

who is this boris badenov guy pitching for the fish?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I took the 1:30 tour of the stadium today. It was great! (Cal Ripkin took the first tour, at 10:30.)

Posted by: bethesda fan | April 19, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Alright, boys, let's go.

Posted by: Budapest, Hungary | April 19, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Zim's the pitcher's best friend. Bat Nicky third!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

sutton just said that kearns is the key offensive player this year for the nats. i guess it's all in how you define "offensive."

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

And how dare Sutton mock the Marlins for wanting "inexpensive" young players. Look at your own team, Don.

Posted by: swanni | April 19, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@swanni,

One man's "cheap" and "inexpensive" is another man's "bargain."

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

All right! Gimme an S... Gimme an H... Gimme an A... Gimme a W... Gimme an N...

Posted by: Suicide Squeeze | April 19, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Can we please just bring back our one catcher who can hit? Tickets from Columbus to Florida can't be that expensive.

Posted by: Matt1962 | April 19, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Way to turn over the lineup, Shawn. Just stay put.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

a catcher who can hit? how about one who can THROW?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

nice job with the back-to-back two out RBIs by Pena and Estrada!

Posted by: BSG | April 19, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Would love to see Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight replace Carpy and Sutton.

Posted by: swanni | April 19, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I think Budapest and the Rift Valley brought us luck last night. Any others outside North America with us tonight?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Snoop Dogg, Leanne Rimes, and a Curly W.


http://tinyurl.com/5jggjl

Posted by: NatsNut | April 19, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

shawn hill needs to not let the errors behind him (in front of him?) let him get flustered.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Nice catch, NatsNut! :)

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

That'll cost Guzie in the Kangaroo Court, BIG TIME!!

Posted by: Twinbrook, MD | April 19, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Uuggghh!! Nothing hurts more than the little league base-running mistakes!!

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

That'll cost Guzie in the Kangaroo Court, BIG TIME!!

Posted by: Twinbrook, MD | April 19, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

sigh. this team needa an "outs" coach.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

With all of the high-tech scoreboards there are in each MLB stadium, how can player not know how many outs there are in an inning?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or did Tolman look like he wasn't trying very hard to wave Guz back to 2nd when they showed that replay?

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Tolman has just as much or more to answer for on that one....the replay showed he did not know how many outs there were.....What else does he need to do? I said in October....Acta's loyalty will have a cost....Tolman is overmatched as a MLB 3rd Base Coach.

Someone needs to talk to Kearns Barry, His head is not in the game, that ball should have been caught and by my count that is 5 balls he has misplayed this year.

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

kearns with some huge production. that HBP is more than we have seen from him lately!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

natsinthevalley: let's not forget that heads-up base-running by Kearns on the dropped pop-up!

I'm feeling patient with Kearns, personally. I have seen him play better and believe he'll come around.

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Okay, that's a tough error for FLop.

Posted by: Twinbrook, MD | April 19, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I know JennX, I have as well... It's more of the uncomfortable ribbing because I want him to be doing better...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Twinbrook. Felipe had to range pretty far over to get the ball, the runner would have made it to first without the throw, and didn't get an extra base as a result of it... How's that an error?

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Another Nats fan from outside the US here. Just like Barry, I have a huge crush on Shawn Hill - his sinker, that is - and could not miss his first start.

Posted by: Germany | April 19, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Twinbrook. Felipe had to range pretty far over to get the ball, the runner would have made it to first without the throw, and didn't get an extra base as a result of it... How's that an error?

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I rarely defend Lopez for the error should have been on Johnson.....that was a nice big hope. Dave Conception of the Reds back in the 70's made that throw many times off the artificial turf.....Johnson needs to pick it.

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

JennX:

If Johnson picks the ball, the batter is out... the only reason Lopez got the error was because he bounced the throw.

Posted by: Wigi | April 19, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Tougher play for Kearns but he took another bad angle.....so unlike last year....something is wrong there.

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Earth To Manny....He is gased.....get someone up now

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

all i have is the gameday. was that a catchable ball by pena?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Why was Hill allowed to start this inning? Stick a fork in him, he's done.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

It is like Acta is asleep in the dugout.....What is the point of waiting until 2 and 3 with no outs.....It just seems like the game is moving much faster than his brain this year.

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@natsinthevalley,

"catchable ball by pena" is an oxymoron.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I just came in - was it a good outing for Hill?

Posted by: lowcountry | April 19, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

touche natsscribe...

i thought it was a great first outing for hill. Obviously he was kept in a few pitches too long...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry,

It remains to be seen. Hill may be on the hook for the loss.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

once again with the inherited runners scoring.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

calamity colome has gakked up the tie.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to try my luck and turn the game off again. Plus I have a knot in my stomach.

I'll be back to check in in about an hour.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 19, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Had the Nats had a league-average defender in left field, probably the worst situation is that the game would be tied. JimBow loves "tools" guys like WMP. Somebody needs to tell our GM that a pitching staff that can be as shaky as his needs all the guys in the lineup who can catch the ball it can get.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Hill looked very good to me. Acta slow at the switch. Should have pulled him when he dropped from 92 to 89 fastballs...If I can see it why can't he?

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

JayB,

Sometimes managers see situations with their hearts and not their brains.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@NatsNut,

it's not your fault. if anyone's stomach should hurt, it's manny's.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Somebody call me?

**************
Somebody needs to tell our GM that a pitching staff that can be as shaky as his needs all the guys in the lineup who can catch the ball it can get.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 9:26 PM

Posted by: Ryan Langerhans | April 19, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying anything. I'm just sayin...

Posted by: Bonds. Barry Bonds. | April 19, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Barry - How is he still in the line-up? Two poorly judged reads in the outfield costing runs. He has a clip of like .180. What a joke.

Posted by: Kearns Sucks | April 19, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Just had a scary thought. If Dmitri was playing first and WMP starts in left, you have TWO lummoxes who have to be substituted on defense in the late innings.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Im not worried about WMP or meat hook.

JimBo got excited and brought the weapon back a few games too early, he will snap out of it.

And i fully believe that hook is still trying to find the right way to manage his diabetes, something that can take an entire lifetime.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does Jesus Colome look like Jack Palance?

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

@Ryan Langerhans,

on this team, you'd be known as LANGERHANDS!

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

you mean like last aug/sep, leetee? they did go 15-12 in september.

Posted by: 231 | April 19, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Langerhands is starting to make sense.....There OF defense is costing them runs every night.

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I HATE KEARNS

Posted by: ha | April 19, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

the bullpen is now 0-3 on inherited runners scoring...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

You guys have officially lost it if you think Langerhans can help. He is not even a good AAA player. And by the way, Kearns is a very good defensive outfielder, those were 3 rockets to right tonight, pretty tough plays.

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

And on this Passover, we all get to taste bitter herbs, and remember hard times.

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

At least Cordero is in the upper 80s tonight

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I opened a piece of Bazooka Joe a few minutes ago and the Nats bullpen was the joke.

Posted by: Suicide Squeeze | April 19, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

About time for Elijah, ain't it?

Posted by: not the youngest in here, but | April 19, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Most third basemen don't lay a glove on that ball. Anyone know the radar readings on Chief?

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

a serviceable inning by the chief.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

MASNs radar gun had him at 87

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

That's supposed to be horseRADISH, flynnie.

************
And on this Passover, we all get to taste bitter herbs, and remember hard times.
Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 9:45 PM

Posted by: Matzoh in between | April 19, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Elijah has a hammy, and it's hot in Miami. Welcome to the MASH unit, Elijah!

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Is Pinto Spanish for 6 straight grounders to short?

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

don't think so, flynnie. but he is as big as the 73 pinto i used to drive. :-D

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Good one Flynnie. How old is Johnny Holiday? 100? 200?

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Chief's 87 mph is something to be grateful for, Swiftlit, as is all this really good Kosher wine, so welcome with all two stranded runners on 3rd, Christian not knowing the outs, Shawn's arm falling off in the 6th,etc.

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Kearns was and likely will be in the future a good, no very good outfielder. 2 of the 3 balls tonight he have caught last year. Langerhans would have had all 3 of them. Kearns is not hitting, Pena is hot hitting, Langerhans can play Gold Glove outfield......worth a look while Kearns get head straight....maybe

Posted by: JayB | April 19, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

dunno about you guys but im pretty excited to see hanrahan strike out the side.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Hill looked fine tonight, but I still think is legal name is Shawn Hill, DL.

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Jay,
I think when there are 3 balls to the same gap like that, it's either a bad pitch, or a bad scout. I guess it's possible Kearns problems at the plate are affecting him, but I still think he is very good in RF, and WAY better than Langerhans in all areas. Just my opinion

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

i'm starting to sense something... flynnie, are you, by chance, jewish?

Posted by: 231 | April 19, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't know Swiftlit, but my wife still holds a grudge against him as one of the "DC 101 Wonders" who defeated her beloved Belair Junior High faculty in a game of donkey basketball. Yes, the game was played on donkeys, and Johnny had an uncannily accurate hook shot from the back of the burro. My utter admiration for Johnny as one of the unifying institutions in this nomadic town is lost on my wife, who is normally quite forgiving.

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie, JH shooting hoops while riding a donkey??? Please tell me there is video

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Basehit will tie it. Any chance Kearns can come through??Please

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

HE DID IT

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW, PUNK?

Posted by: Austin | April 19, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Come'on Kearnsie

Posted by: lowcountry | April 19, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

AUSTIN!!! I knew you could do it, man!

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Do my eyes deceive me? KEARNS???

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

hell yes.

Thats the Kearns JennX and I have been waiting for!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

@Swiftit,

Are you channeling AK tonight causing that hit that brought the Nats back to a tie?

BTW 231,
Six of those wins were against the choking dog Mets. If they had split, the Nats would have been 12-15 last september.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

tied!!! yes!!! i just flailed around so much i socked myself in the eye.

Posted by: gretchen | April 19, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

WMP!!!!
WMP!!!!
WMP!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

am i allowed to say hell on here?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

We've stopped singing Diyanu over here in favor of "My Old Kentucky Home"! Kearnsy! Yes!! after getting plunked hard in the left arm!!!

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

nevermind....

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

No channelling here. What's that saying about the blind squirrel and a nut?

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Here you go, Swiftit
http://tinyurl.com/4scjq7

Posted by: CE | April 19, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

WOW!!! That's way different than the donkey shows they have in Mexico

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

kearns came through. amazing. awesome.

Posted by: wow. | April 19, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

TMI

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

question: how long does this keep kearns off of the public enemy #1 spot?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

maybe we should add: ABOUT FREAKIN' TIME!!!
---------------------------------------------

kearns came through. amazing. awesome.

Posted by: wow. | April 19, 2008 10:24 PM

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

... late on a Saturday night, the conversation gets a little racier on NJ. :)

___________________
WOW!!! That's way different than the donkey shows they have in Mexico

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:22 PM

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, my bad. I'll keep it clean

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

hey anyone see if that pitch milledge looked at for strike 3 was close? looked like a good at bat from gameday, 8 fouls

Posted by: wow. | April 19, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

cmon saul. lock it down.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

It was a strike, LM was looking for something inside and the guy painted the outside corner

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

We need to roll a pair here

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

crap....

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

poop.

Posted by: JennX | April 19, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Okay, looks like game is still on. I have no idea what the score is. I'm ducking back out for a few.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 19, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

heartbreaking.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

unfreakinbelievable

Posted by: gretchen | April 19, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Good throw would have made it interesting.

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

It's over NatsNut. 6-5 FLA

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

*Sigh* These guys are such teases. Tomorrow is another day.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 19, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Now you are.
*******

am i allowed to say hell on here?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 19, 2008 10:19 PM

Posted by: MIB | April 19, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Walking the leadoff man is asking for trouble

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

We're still not hitting. NJ came through last night and Kearns tonight but we're still not scoring runs like we should. 11 LOB - too many.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 19, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to another heaping platter of the bread of affliction fellow PlaNateers.

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

"Six of those wins were against the choking dog Mets. If they had split, the Nats would have been 12-15 last september."

and your point, leetee? you play the teams in front of you. the thing is, they *DIDN'T* split. the nats won those games. besides, think maybe the nats playing well at the time could have been part of why the mets choked?

Posted by: 231 | April 19, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

just when i was ready to have charlie and dave shepherd me to sleep through extra innings land. crap!

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Silver Linings anyone?

The Nats came back in consecutive games.
Hill lookd pretty good.
Kearns Delivered.

Anything else?

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

i'm not disappointed in 5 runs scored. i'm disappointed in 6 runs allowed, tho.

Posted by: 231 | April 19, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman is constantly down 0-2 with guys on base. I know they don't want to move him out of 3rd, but NJ is able to get more favorable counts. Zim is always in protect mode

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

hanrahan struck out the side, tim. flopez 2-4.

Posted by: 231 | April 19, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Cordero was throwing 87, another positive I guess

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Bright Silver: Christian is hitting 312. Felipe got 3 hits. Chief threw 89 mph. The Weapon had an rbi-single.

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I think Flynnie invented the Rally Donkey tonight too

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

just two hits, flynnie. flopez was 2-4.

Posted by: 231 | April 19, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if I'm on an island here, but I feel things are slowly (emphasis on slowly), turning around. Thank God we don't have a 16 game schedule.
Can I say God?
If Hell can be said...

Posted by: TimDz | April 19, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

colome and rivera both got gakked tonight.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 19, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Rally Donkey - Yes! Brilliant! And if we can get Johnny Holiday in an elephant polo game, we can have bipartisan rally beasts! And, to quote the Official Major League Scorer and Smithsonian Lecturer on Baseball, Phil Wood, "There's only one way to look at it. It can only get better. Repeat: It can only get better."

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

So true, We're 1-4 vs. the Marlins, it really doesn't get much worse than that

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 19, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Frank Howard is vexed at being benched. His manager and he are into it, and Frank knows how to motivate an organization to be rid of him. What do we have that the Blue Jays want?

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

This was a sloppy ballgame. When the runs scored equals the errors committed, something is wrong. Austin Kearns was on a sightseeing tour in RF. Some guy in the RF bleachers was SCREAMING at him "Kearns, you stink! You should go back to Cinci" and you could hear his voice echoing off the mostly empty seats. I think he spoke for most of the baseball fans who witnessed tonight's game.

Hill was cruising until about 70-80 pitches. I think Manny should have been ready to yank him out as soon as that first hard-hit ball to the outfield, that was his warning sign.

Oh well, I'm learning to HATE THIS G.D. TEAM!!!

Posted by: Bote Man | April 19, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

tears of a clown...just awful

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 19, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

231- I think lowcountry stated why we've been losing, and why we lost tonight. "11 LOB - too many." To the extent that hitting is random as to where the ball lands, this should change for the better.

Posted by: flynnie | April 19, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Just catching up now. Why didn't Rauch close? Not blaming Rivera, but curious.

Also, pitch speeds on Chad? Saw one in the high 80s but no substantive analysis here, and (detailed) coverage is lacking elsewhere.

Hendo -- Top down this afternoon as well. Wish you were around here more often, though I know where you are instead.

Swannie -- Radio, dude. It's baseball. Radio. Nothing against the TV guys, but it's a radio game, even if you're RFing watching it. The more info, the better.

Buda -- yeah, if you're there longterm drop me a line at bob.l.head@live.com. Maybe we know some people.

OK, we lost. I'm not all that upset. A combination of accepting where we are, and being happy about a few things, like coming from behind two nights in a row, hitting with RISP, etc.

The Shaky Strength lost us the game though, and that's a major concern, because that's supposed to be our insurance while we test drive our prospects and retreads, and it's also supposed to be the source of guys we trade at the deadline and get low-level prospects in exchange, furthering the effort to restock the minors.

In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that if you ask me what my major concern is this season, I might pick bullpen failures above most or all of the more obvious concerns.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 19, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The game was tied in the 9th, so it was not a save situation, which is why Rivera was in instead of Rausch. Cordereo threw mostly fastballs, and the gun they showed on MASN had them all at 87 to 89mph. I'm with you Bob, trying to look on the bright side. Kearns had a big hit in the 9th, Hill was solid (and was in the 90s most of the game)

Posted by: SwiftIt | April 20, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Austin Kearns was on a sightseeing tour in RF. Some guy in the RF bleachers was SCREAMING at him "Kearns, you stink! You should go back to Cinci"

Posted by: Bote Man | April 19, 2008 11:10 PM

but kearns is such a professional, at least thats what carpenter and sutton keep jabberin at us. and no matter what you think, i swear that wasnt me yellin at him--i wasnt in the fla tonight.

Posted by: dk | April 20, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

and ive about had it with sutton and his bs milledge comments. talkin bout milledge and his handshakin escapade in ny last year after his first home run.
sutton with his big blow hard bs goes on and on about act like youve been there crap.

yea like people jumpin into stands at lambeau or to and his td antics or chad johnson and his showmanship arent revered.
milledge was guilty of wanting to share his moment with the fans. and no don sutton he had never been there before you big donkey.
give me milledges enthusiasm anyday. last i looked he may have been the leading hitter on the nats mr sutton.

Posted by: dk | April 20, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

btw this nats act is gettin old fast!!

Posted by: dk | April 20, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Bring up Potomac -- they are playing great and the minimum MLB salaries would make the cheap Lerners happy. Hell, they wouldn't even have to pay for airfare to get them to DC.

Just kidding, of course, but it's getting depressing, isn't it?

Posted by: swanni | April 20, 2008 4:58 AM | Report abuse

As Zim says, game after game. No problem, or something to that effect. Hope he doesn't start having any problems.
Agree with Bob L Head-the bullpen is the Nat's biggest problem in that they pitch well when the team is behind but cannot hold the close leads.

Posted by: Jeeves | April 20, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

What does a 3rd Base Coach do?

Acta says...."He (GUZ) told me that since he was at the plate, he had on his mind there were two outs," Acta said. "He went on the bases, and the same thing happened."

The fist thing a 3rd Base Coach does when a running gets to 2nd base is force the runner to acknowledges the number of outs with you. While 10 year olds have this skill it still applies equally in the MLB...watch any other team...they do it every time. Not the Nats, Not Tim Tolman and Not an ACTA's managed staff.

MY SOLUTION?....ACTA takes responsibility for keeping his friend Tolman in the job he clearly is no up to at his level by coaching 3rd himself today. It sends the message that the Coaching staff is willing to take responsibility for what they screw up. Yes it is embarrassing to Tolman and Acta....that is the point, it is embarrassing but it needs to be done and they are willing to do it. Team should take notice.

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh and before several of you start in some uniformed speculation about the appropriateness of Acta coaching 3rd.....I played for a guy who did the same thing and this guy has won the College World Series in the past few years. He told us he and his coaches were going to be just as much responsible for what they screwed up as we were, a strong message to the whole team.

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem is having a bunch of mediocre starting pitchers who collapse after five innings.

Posted by: swanni | April 20, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Jim B:

Ryan Church - .344
Austin Kearns - .206

Yes I know our guy has great potential and comes to play everyday. Church is a slacker and has no potential. Results show that you were smart to dump him along with that self centered catcher who was getting old and could not hit. When our replacement catcher comes back from the DL watch out.

One last thing, I suggest you and Manny introduce a new battle cry for the team - "We battled". Your team is an embarrassment and you are solely responsible. Also until Zimm starts producing I suggest he stop with those dumb ass quotes. I remember his quote after the first game - something about the veterans on this team are tired of losing - yea right. The problem is they do not know how to win - starting with the GM.

Posted by: mjames | April 20, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

JayB - following up on my kudoS to you from an earlier post:

T. Hunter, .323, game-saving catch in CF the other night

Fukodome - .317, 9 RBI's

Livan - 3-0 in 4 starts, 27 IP (about 7 per start), 3.00 ERA

With the Nats financial position (per the Forbes report) they MUST sign some good FA's next year. Couple that with the draft this year and, it's looking VERY likley, the first pick in the 2009 draft, and you could have a team ready to contend -- or at least compete. Right now, that simply isn't true.

GM Bowden needs to be held accountable for what's looking like a mess of a team.

Posted by: natswriter | April 20, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

JayB-

What angry man would you like to see managing this team? A Billy Martin kind of guy, who makes a 162 game season unendurable with his bullying of anyone who fails? Your old college coach? You don't want Manny, whose players would follow him through Hell in a gasoline suit. You don't want someone who keeps their composure during losing streaks, which is a qualification for success in major league baseball. See 2007 Yankees, Torre, Joe; Atlanta Braves, Cox, Bobby. They should fire Manny, hire your pal, and you know what? They would win the College World Series!

Posted by: flynnie | April 20, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Nope....my college coach never yelled once. He just took action and you never ever made the same mistake twice. I do not want Acta to be fired yet....I want him to improve. I want him and his staff can and lead by example. Sitting on your hands during a loosing streak like this one is no way to lead. He was asleep at the switch last night with Hill. Tolman was asleep in the coaching box. He needs to address it, not just give the same on qoute after each loss. We know "they just need to play better"....what are you doing to help?

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Natswriter....you could charge for your services.....another post, another smile.....if only they had ACTED (pun intended).

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Examples please JayB - I asked for examples. Because I've never seen a big league manager publicly humiliate his third base coach. Would they be better off with your clenched-jaw kind of coach? A quietly vengeful, quietly angry guy? Where is your example who had success in the bigs? I can't think of one, and from your answer, neither can you. So rant away, spew your rage. I'm looking forward to another 67 or so wins, which is about right for this team.

Posted by: flynnie | April 20, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie, you OK? You seem to be the one who is angry. You are miss reading the type of coach I had and the type of action I want out of ACTA. We loved our guy, we would do anything. My job was to get hit by pitches and I did it gladly....

What my guy was all about though is reality and he never ever had two sets of rules or favorites. Everyone was treated with respect but no special treatment for his friends. Time for Acta to take responsibility for the Staff he chose. Harris and Tolman are weak hires....and something I learned long ago in business; do not hire someone because he is your friend.

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh what mangers do this....good ones, with who get the most out of their talant. Acta did well last year, as a first year manager.....I do not see growth this year.....that is the issue now. He needs to improve not stay the same.

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

JayB-

An example, please. Answer the question. A Big League example. Who would manage this team better than Manny? I'll go ad hominem on you, if you'd like, though I generally don't respond in kind, but just for you JayB - From your posts, you were beaten and humiliated a lot as a child, your children, if you have any, want nothing to do with you, and the same is true for all your ex-wives and business partners.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"My job was to get hit by pitches and I did it gladly...."

This explains a lot.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

And for the record, I recall Tommy Lasorda taking over at third base to shake up a losing streak. I don't think Tommy would show up his dog for peeing on the rug, but he took over 3rd base and made it work, just for a short time.

Posted by: CE | April 20, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"My job was to get hit by pitches and I did it gladly...."

This explains a lot.

Posted by: | April 20, 2008 9:18 AM
________________________________

Oh, good one, anonymous poster, good one! Thanks for a much-needed laugh on a rainy Sunday morning.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Reposting, and I may just leave a Tin Yurl to this every two weeks or so for the next five months.
Except I may have been a little hasty about the fastball, at least in Chico's case, and Cordero's ...

***********************
I remember a Phil Frank cartoon, one panel, showing a guy at a card table, staring down an anthropomorphic prime rib roast in a poker game, and two women discussing him: "It's not playing with his food I mind; it's the continual LOSING that gets to me."

They're going to lose games. Everyone does. But they are losing like losers: clumsy, overthrowing, caught-napping, out-of-shape, sloppy plays, and not particularly crisp managing either, come to that. That's the bad sign.
Optimistic part there is, mental errors may be easier to fix quickly. Tough to coach an extra 5 mph onto your fastball.

Posted by: CE | April 8, 2008 2:53 PM

Posted by: CE | April 20, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Though you all would like that one, git punked to a future 300 game winner once and and scored the go ahead run once....just win bady....I also remember Tom Lasorda taking over 3rd Base....so just learn Acta and improve please....

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"Though you all would like that one, git punked to a future 300 game winner once and and scored the go ahead run once....just win bady..."

Either he took a good few of those HBPs to the head, or he's hitting the sauce way too early on a Sunday morning. Just spell, baby.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This is the wrong place for people who need to win every game. Bob Ryan just said that it is unlikely that any team will win over 95 this season, (58%) and the playoffs may well consist of 95-90 win teams. Our Nats will not be among them. They beat the odds if they win 40%. Last night was a very entertaining game that was decided by a ground ball single up the middle in the bottom of the 9th. Our Nats staged a 2 out 9th inning comeback with Austin Kearns singling in 2 runs, rewarding a brilliant managing decision to put a pinch runner on 2d. It was a fun game to watch if you're a baseball fan.

Posted by: flynnie | April 20, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Typing not my strong point clearly....sorry....oh and it was a 200 game winner.

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Just keep lower those expectation Flynnie....you'll get it right sooner or later. Honestly 60 some odd wins for this team is major underachieving! But hey if that is what you call good baseball....enjoy

Posted by: JayB | April 20, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I honestly have no [AB]ing idea what he's trying to say here.


*********************
"Though you all would like that one, git punked to a future 300 game winner once and and scored the go ahead run once....just win bady..."

Either he took a good few of those HBPs to the head, or he's hitting the sauce way too early on a Sunday morning. Just spell, baby.

Posted by: | April 20, 2008 10:44 AM

Posted by: Cabbage crates over the briney! | April 20, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more

Posted by: The Ladies Auxiliary | April 20, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for my morning chuckle you guys -- the Nats should sign Frank Howard. Heck, maybe they can get Harmon Killebrew, too.

Posted by: mike8 | April 20, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I think that he meant Frank Thomas.

Also, new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 20, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Might having one starting pitcher who is named Badenhop predispose any given game to having a number of fielding errors? Discuss.

Posted by: Random thought | April 20, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Badenhop German for "hit the showers" (lit., "jump-into-the-bath"?)

Posted by: MIB languages | April 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Good one!

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 20, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

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