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82 pitches (and 44 balls) through three innings

Well, Shawn Hill's start, here in the third, has gone from uneven to unsightly. He started the inning with two outs. But then he lost all command. He walked three guys in a row with a string of pitches that included 10 balls. He went to a full count on Michael Barrett, who then lined a single up the middle to tie the game at two. Then he walked Paul McAnulty, the eighth guy in the lineup, again loading the bases.

Then, finally, he struck out his counterpart, P Randy Wolf.

Shall I state the obvious? Hill does not look himself.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 27, 2008; 11:05 PM ET
 
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Comments

If so ... please call up Collin Balester.

Posted by: So Hill to DL, huh? | May 27, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

wow this guy wont punch anyone out. hill should not have been in that much trouble last inning if the umpire wasnt afraid to punch out barrett. he just did the same thing with giles!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 27, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

This ump bites, how many strikes are being thrown that aren't being called. He's setting up on one side of the plate

Posted by: Will O. | May 27, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

That happened to us yesterday, too. Even my roommate that likes to mock the Nats as much as possible agreed that it was just plain wrong.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 27, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

wow. talk about settling down. what did manny/st claire say to him?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 27, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Seriously though that goes to show you what a competitor Shawn Hill is. He hasn't thrown off a mound since his start in Baltimore, so he's working off some rust. And you're dealing with a jack@$$ of an umpire.

The fact he gave us five innings of two run ball (with what 5 or 6 k's) ... I'll take it. Get this guy some runs and give him a win!!!

Posted by: Section 111 (Formerly 223 @ RFK) | May 27, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Gutsy performance by Hill

Posted by: lowcountry | May 27, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

At least this umpire is consistently inconsistent.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 27, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Hill hung with it and had a strong finish. Colome in a tie game, though, makes me nervous.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 27, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

My apologies, JC.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 27, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! MASN just dropped the game for an infomercial for some sort of girdle thing. At least here in Fairfax. What's up with this?

Posted by: sec314 | May 28, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Hill really battled through, and Colome did well.

Go late-night Nats.

Posted by: p/f/c | May 28, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

where is the dang game?
MASN switched to some girdle infomercial.

Funny, the O's are still on

Posted by: cabraman | May 28, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

OK we like to gripe about Carpenter, but can we be clear that he's never done anything as awful as calling Aubrey Huff "Huff Daddy." That's what I'm hearing on Orioles radio.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

SoCH,

Why are you listening to the AngelO's?

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 28, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

You don't probably want to be watching now anyway.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

You're right. I'll let Charlie and Dave carry me the rest of the way.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 28, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I listen to and watch a lot of games. Don't worry, I was rooting for the Yankees, and I've got the Nationals on MLB.tv.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

mlb.tv has the nats broadcast with johnny doc....usually they carry the home team broadcast, but I'll take it, though I wish they have a comback like them dratted oreos did vs. yanks tonite...GO NATS..please.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 28, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

OK people, it's time to move on from the Wily Mo era. That guy's just never going to figure it out. Patience for Milledge and Dukes, but Wily Mo is just not good.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

The bottom of the 7th looked like batting practice, and the top of the 8th looked like Web Gems. 22-31. 2 runs is not enough to win, even in San Diego.

Posted by: flynnie | May 28, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Charlie just said that Hill threw 112 pitched in his five innings. That makes MY arm hurt. Also, with the Pads throwing LHPs in the next two games as well, would Manny keep Boone's bat in the lineup by playing him at 2B when Zim returns?

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 28, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone find a girdle infomercial? Northern Virginia doesn't need baseball - those people are crying out for girdles!

Posted by: Peter Angelos | May 28, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Nats lose to a two out rally in the bottom of the 7th. Manning looked so good before that dinger, and Hanrahan looked so good after dinger 2.

Posted by: flynnie | May 28, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

As Charlie just said, "Thanks for staying up with us for baseball on the West Coast."

Posted by: flynnie | May 28, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I stayed up as long as I did, knowing now that they lost the game. It is looking more and more like this is the year we welcome all the minor leaguers up half-way through the year.

I have already read columns suggesting Dmitri Young would be a cheap fix for the Mets' problems at first base, and that Cristian Guzman is the most logical shortstop to trade for (hitting well, last year of contract).

It is a good thing that the minor league teams are playing so well, because we are going to need their help.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 28, 2008 5:07 AM | Report abuse

I would hate to see them trade Guzman. Sign him for two years based on the fact that we do not have another shortstop in the system within a light year of replacing him. Secondly, he consistently gets good at bats, never complains, is a very smart base runner and gives this team its only hope of an offense.

Hill needs to go on DL. His sinker is not working at all evidenced by the number of fly outs. We should try bringing up a pitcher (other than Chico) from the minors for our year long spring training camp at National's Park.

Posted by: Dale | May 28, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

The Yankees, Steven! It explains so very much!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Ya'll get a lot of credit for staying up. I got through two innings and I was done.

I HATE comparisons between Hill and Patterson.

From day one Hill has said it hurts, but that he'll play through it and he has. Unlike Patterson who said he was perfect, but walked around looking scared to death half the time. Then he tanked, and THEN it was the "worst pain he'd ever felt."

It might be the same *physical* predicament but mentally, Shawn Hill is NO John Patterson.

I trust Shawn Hill to be forthright with Manny and to fight through it

Posted by: NatsNut | May 28, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

That cut on Cox Cable from MASN to the girdle infomercial last night was a particularly rude one. One second I'm looking at Elijah Dukes taking second after a pick-off throw goes awry, then the next second I'm looking at the back side of an obese woman while another woman is grabbing the rolls of fat on her back to emphasize them for the camera. I thought at first this was another example of shoddy commercial editing by Cox with the MASN2 feed, as happened a lot during the first week of the season. But it just wouldn't go away. Fat woman after fat woman pulling on full body girdles. Disgusting. But not nearly as disgusting as what I heard once I finally pulled out my radio and tuned in Charlie and Dave, only to hear Manning give up the homer. I turned the radio off and went to bed before the next pitch was delivered, and I see from reading the gamer this morning that was a good choice.

Even though it was probably Cox that screwed up in running the infomercial, I still blame MASN. This whole MASN2 thing is a travesty. Instead of standing up a second full-time channel like a respectable network would do, they ask their cable partners to let them barge into a second channel to create a bogus MASN2 just to air games. They're doing the same thing with MASN HD. It's like the neighbor you don't really like knocking on your door right at dinnertime asking if he can come in and hang out for a while. No wonder MASN gets disrespected by the cable companies. But ultimately it's we the viewers who get shafted.

Somehow I doubt they have this problem up in Baltimore.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 28, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

So, did the game ever come back on MASN after midnight? There is no mention of it -- or apology for it -- on the MASN website.

Of course as second-class citizens, the expectation of either explanation or apology is pure hubris.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 28, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

We didn't have the infomercial in MoCo, ABM, although I could use a girdle and have Direct TV. Their satellite feed is fine unless there's a thunder storm, in which case I turn on the radio or show up at the neighbors who have cable just like your unwanted guest during dinner. This generally isn't a problem, but during the World Cup match between Les Bleus and Italia, I would not have witnessed Zidane's head-butt -seen-round-the-world were it not for neighbors with Comcast. However, that was during a truly Biblical storm that lasted a long time and unleashed tornadoes in PG County after passing over here. Those events are rare, and the interruptions in cable service are not, which is why I switched.

Posted by: flynnie | May 28, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Carrying over, for old times' sake:

C'mon on now . . . barbeque? in upstate NY?

------

Next thing you know they'll be recommending the ribs in Toronto...

Posted by: NR Langerhans | May 28, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

i'm hoping we draft a college bat now. they tend to get to the majors the fastest. unfortunately there are mostly stud 1b bats in this draft. it will be interesting to see how this affects marrero. if we draft a 1b that person would be ready for Potomac immediately. and probably have a better glove.

best case scenario is gordon beckham slips all the way to us. very unlikely but that could settle out the left side of the infield for the next 7 years.

most likely we stick with marrero, don't get middle infield help, and draft another pitcher. i love a low scoring game more often than not (quicker action, watching fielders is more fun than watching a ball). but we sure could use a cleanup hitter.

Posted by: longterm | May 28, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

A girdle commercial - unbelievable. My sympathies to those of you who stayed up only to have that happen. To carry over from yesterday's topic, real baseball fans would raise a ruckus about this. Somebody needs to complain to the commissioner (seriously) and maybe even Arlen Specter.

On a more upbeat note, Hanrahan was BB free again last night. I have no idea about his location on the HR pitch but his box score numbers look good. Another tough loss for the bullpen last night but as someone mentioned above - two runs aren't going to win a lot of ballgames.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

longterm - I've seen Smoak play and would love to see the Nats get him. Most projections seem to have him going earlier though. Remember too, that everyone needs pitching and another couple of good young arms will also allows to start making trades from our minor league system - a concept that this franchise has not even been able to entertain for years.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

From the "sheesh, I thought we had it bad" department:

Last night the Philadelphia Phillies, the team to unimaginative to come up with a real nickname, defeated the 2007 league champion Colorado Rockies, 20 - 5.

For the millionth reason, I'm glad I don't live in Denver.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"too," of course

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I think that game was at CBP, 506 (not that it makes any difference in your sentiment)

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Man, I can't believe we're already talking draft. Time's flying way too fast.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 28, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, lowcountry, losing 20-5 is terribly depressing no matter where the game is. Have the Nats ever lost by such a large deficit in the Washington era? I remember some bad losses, but not ones as lopsided.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Not that immediately comes to mind. The Phillies bats have been explosive the past few days - it maybe time to have Lannan face Howard and Utley again.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

up til now i've thought draft pitching first and last, and sign free agent bats. but we need a cornerstone bat. no idea where it's coming from. but we've never had one. nobody can claim soriano, his fate was sealed as we traded for him.

fortunately we have good pitching throughout working its way up. we really need this years first overall pick to produce, and soon, not develop in the minors with the other 30 picks.

besides if we draft a stud 1b, marrero instantly becomes available. i love his bat but we don't need a dh. maybe i'm just getting antsy. even longterm gets antsy. this is a big year, aren't they all.

Posted by: longterm | May 28, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

of course marrero is roping the ball right now so either way is cool with me!

Posted by: longterm | May 28, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Well, I think that Butler's performance for the Reds last night probably has a lot of fans looking at the draft. A solid position player can move up quicker (ala Zimm) and is often more immune to injury than are pitchers,

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

our solution is near! scott hatteberg! more reds!

Posted by: theraph | May 28, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

That's true, but that's why drafting pitchers is so valuable. The demand is very high. I wouldn't be opposed to a quality position player early, but I don't think you can go wrong with drafting pitchers. Everyone always needs them, especially desperate teams trying to make the playoffs who will pay big for them.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

jay bruce is something else. absolutely amazing.

Posted by: longterm | May 28, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"On a more upbeat note, Hanrahan was BB free again last night. I have no idea about his location on the HR pitch but his box score numbers look good. Another tough loss for the bullpen last night but as someone mentioned above - two runs aren't going to win a lot of ballgames."

The pitch was down and in, the slow mo showed it was right at the target, I think it was just a case that Kousmanoff guessed perfectly...

Posted by: natrat | May 28, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Bruce - not Butler - thanks longterm

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I can't really get excited about the bats in the minor leagues, even if they're tearing it up down there.

I'm just tired of *potential* bats. Our entire lineup is full of potential bats.

I'm not saying don't bring the kids up, but I won't get excited until they're here and actually hitting big league pitching consistently.

Speaking of which, Guzman is the one man. He's just quietly going about his business, seemingly in his own baseball world, oblivious to anyone elses slumps or miscues. I'm so incredibly impressed by him.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 28, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Have the Nats ever lost by such a large deficit in the Washington era? I remember some bad losses, but not ones as lopsided."

How about 15-1 to the Tigers on 6/19/07? Oh wait, that's only 14 runs, not 15. Not NEARLY as lopsided.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | May 28, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I think that Guzzie knows that he is going to be in a pennant race in just a few weeks, NatsNut.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

2 questions, 1 oriole: any oriole fans here who watched the game last night? wondering why do you pinch run for millar at first base in 11th and not for huff at 3rd base? could you explain.
also why can't masn sit sutton for a couple days and bring in knight until he stops croakin like a frog. man its painful to listen to him. and where the heck is carpenter? who gets vacation time in the middle of a season?

Posted by: dk | May 28, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

dk,
my thought on the move was to put more pressure on the turn in a double play situation by having a faster runner trying to bust up the play. i have no idea why, but just a guess.

Posted by: theraph | May 28, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

guzman was a good signing at the time. i don't think many people in here believe it though. starting shortstop for playoff team three consecutive years for the Twins. bowden brought in playoff contributors early on. livan, nick johnson, soriano, guzman, stanton, etc. no studs but good foundation for young guys to grow up around. not having that structure and stability in place for young guys when they arrive is tough to overcome, ask tampa. also i think we were lucky we had schneider around for flores. i still have no problem resigning guzman and really think thats the way to go. it's gonna be awhile before we have the next answer there.

Posted by: longterm | May 28, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

much easier to contribute in here without all the sniping.

Posted by: longterm | May 28, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

dk,
my thought on the move was to put more pressure on the turn in a double play situation by having a faster runner trying to bust up the play.
Posted by: theraph | May 28, 2008 10:24 AM

theraph, i agree with that. i think that was the reason. but my question is, since huff aint fast, and he is at 3rd and is the winning run, dont you want the fastest runner on 3rd so you can score on a sac fly? why worry about breaking up a double play and not worry about scoring from third?

Posted by: dk | May 28, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't have any problem re-signing Guzzie. As I've said before, this year I find myself longing for some continuity. But I think that if they can make a deal they will (which doesn't preclude re-signing him in the off season). It was not lost on me that, unlike Pete Orr, Pokey Reese has experience playing SS.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 28, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the Nats feed did come back finally here in Ffx Co after 10 minutes or so of the girdle commercial. Thanks An Briosca Mor - I fell out of my chair laughing at your writeup.

Shawn Hill should have left with a 2-0 lead. That pitch was a strike and Barrett should have been left standing there with a bat in his and. I am really tired of umpires seemingly making decisions that no one strikes out looking on a 1-2 pitch that's close. Drives me crazy!

Posted by: DanD187 | May 28, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Marrero is starting to warm up, and what he is doing at 19 in A+ ball is pretty encouraging. Like the organization has said, the position he'll play is "bat." That doesn't preclude the team from taking Smoak or Alonso in the draft, though.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | May 28, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Reese was ONLY signed to fill in for AAA because of the lack of shortstops in the system. They have absolutely no intentions of him playing at the major league level.

Posted by: natrat | May 28, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I noticed the blissful lack of name-calling and sniping here too.

Thanks ya'll, it's a real joy reading comments like these.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 28, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

why worry about breaking up a double play and not worry about scoring from third?
------------

now we are getting into specifics. how many players were left on the bench? huff is faster than millar, thats for sure. i know what you are saying and i would like to hear the reason from trembley. how was the infield situated? corners up and middle back for two? were they all playing on the grass? i know the OFs were playing shallow.

there are probably about 13 things that we need to know for sure, and i was just switching back and forth to that and something else, so i did not get the full monty.

ideas?

Posted by: theraph | May 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

LDO - Gerut actually did win one AL ROY award. From MLB.com bio, 2003 highlights:
"Was selected as The Sporting News American League Rookie-of-the-Year among position players in voting by major league managers, executives and scouts..."

He actually had a nice year, but then injuries did him in.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 28, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm not opposed to signing Guz to a two-year deal. The only other real option on the free agent market is probably Furcal, whose last deal was 3 years $39 million as I recall. Just for kicks, though, let's say we sign Furcal to play SS. And Orlando Hudson for 2b, while we're at it. And Mark Teixeira. So, the lineup goes:

Furcal, ss
Hudson, 2b
Zimmerman, 3b
Teixeira, 1b
Dukes/Kearns, rf/cf
Milledge, cf/lf
Pena, lf
Flores, c

Ummmm ... no, that doesn't really solve the problem. We would still need the outfield to improve substantially. Furcal, Hudson and Teixeira are good players, but they're not enough of an upgrade over Lopez, Guzman and Nick J./Meat H. to make a difference (again, unless the outfield solidifies).

So, the problem was, and is, that we only seem to have two (offensive) pieces of a future contender in place right now: Zimmerman and Flores. We were hoping Felipe and Kearns could be there, but that's looking less certain. We're still hoping some of the outfielders will be there, but so far, they haven't shown it. We need Jay Bruce. We need Troy Tulowitzki (2007 vintage). We (still) need more Zimmermans (before it makes sense to sign free agents).

The rest of this year is about the outfield and the young arms in the minors. And Lannan and Bergmann. And whatever we get in the draft and at the trade deadline.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 28, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The team needs something in the position players category in the minor leagues. Drafting won't fill our needs fast enough, so we have to trade. Guzman is our prime asset and his contract situation makes him ideal for a team that needs a boost.

Who are the top minor league position players on teams that look like they need a little extra oomph to make the playoffs?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

NEW POST

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Bob L - In a sense, we have many offensive pieces for the future. It's just we don't have many players capable of producing runs when we are at bat.

Actually, the Reese signing may not be completely irrelevant to the future. If his focus is on the game, he can be a short-term glove first SS. With Johnson signed for one more year, in 2009 you could have 3 top-tier defensive infielders in Zimmerman, Reese, and Johnson, and perhaps an average or better 2d base glove if Lopez is resigned (or Belliard can hold the job). Again, you really need offense out of the OF to make that work well, but a Reese /Zimmerman left side of the infield would prevent a lot of runs.

I still prefer a better all around player than Reese as an every day guy, but I think the AAA contract is more to see if his head is together than to serve as roster filler for Columbus.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 28, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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