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Looks like Chico on Wednesday

So if Tim Redding doesn't run into a disaster tonight against the Phillies -- meaning he would get knocked out before the third inning or so -- then Matt Chico will step in for an ailing Shawn Hill in Wednesday's start against the Phillies.

Hill, of course, got an anti-inflammatory shot last Friday in his elbow, which continues to bother him.

"It's precautionary type of thing," Manager Manny Acta said. "We know how Shawn is, and if it's up to him he'll be out there. Come on, let's face it. He just got a cortisone shot or whatever it is, I think for the best of him and everbody else, he should just take that start off."

For right now -- and naturally, this could change, because Hill likely needs to feel better before he goes out there -- the Nationals are looking at this as a one-time only situation.

Chico said he has felt more relaxed as a reliever. "For me, I felt like I've kind of found myself," he said. He went 0-5 with a 6.87 ERA as a starter, but allowed just one run in 6-1/3 innings over three relief appearances.

If Chico has to be used early tonight, then they'll make a move to get a pitcher up here to start Wednesday's game.

Also: The odd outfield alignment tonight comes because Acta wanted to get a couple of lefties in the lineup against Myers. He also is trying to protect Wily Mo Pena against tough right-handers. The bottom line: He has no viable choices to turn to right now in the outfield. Listen to this:

"There's only so much we can do, because every single one of them is struggling," Acta said. "Like a couple of nights ago, I looked at the bench, and I'm like, 'What am I going to do? Pinch hit one guy who's struggling for another guy who's struggling?"

It's a little chilly out here, so grab your jacket if you haven't left. Enjoy the ballgame.

By Barry Svrluga  |  May 19, 2008; 6:19 PM ET
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Next: Anyone notice the players o' the week?


When "every single one" of your OF is "struggling" on May 19th over 25% of the way into the season, is it time to look at the Coaching Staff? Spring Training?, GM? My guess is Harris needs to be replaced to shake things up and it is time to move Milledge out to AAA until he is hitting .300 and hitting extra base hits to all fields and several HRs.

Posted by: JayB | May 19, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Barry who?

Posted by: Ashburn | May 19, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Langerhans(.314) & Escobar(.325) are not struggling at AAA.

Posted by: Tom | May 19, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Sad to say, but...that's probably our best lineup now. At least they can catch the ball.

Posted by: swanni | May 19, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"Pinch hit one guy who's truggling for another guy who's struggling?"

Absolutely. I don't know what "truggling" is but it's gotta be better than "struggling," or at least, more interesting.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 19, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I do not want to be mistaken for a Chico hater. I love Chico and thought his shoe commentary was good stuff. He has great openers such as:

"Two tinted-window tour buses idled yesterday afternoon inside a lower-level concrete tunnel, waiting to transport a burdened baseball team from Nationals Park to Union Station. From there, the Washington Nationals would spend the remainder of the day traveling to New York -- the closest this team would come all weekend to forward movement."


Shea Stadium, decrepit and months from demolition, deserved a game like this one -- filled with both trash and trash talk. Shea's walkways around the visitor's clubhouse are a dump of discarded energy drinks and tangled extension cords.

He has provided good information and displayed a gift for snark that is much appreciated.

Posted by: NatBisquit | May 19, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Chico's snark is his best quality so far.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 19, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Chris | May 19, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Lenny needs to be the first to go.

Guzman sure is hitting well this year, though.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 19, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Escobar just got another hit to go up to 0.333. I would enjoy seeing him again, but would raher see our guys start to hit instead.

Nice hit Ryan. Glad to see that Tolman didn't send Guzman to the slaughter on that double.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 19, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Arriving at the plate, Dmitri came up huge, and then came up huge to deliver the RBI.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 19, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Me thinks our Post writers are truggling to!

Posted by: Tom | May 19, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me why pitchers have to come to me to get fixed? What is the Saint doing to earn his money?

Posted by: Steve Mcatty | May 19, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Carpy narrowly avoided the premature call on the long out by Flippie there.

"Truggling" is:

(A) What DMeat does when trying to go from first to third on a single to right;

(B) Something just short of "struggling"; or

(C) What the shorthanded Nats roster does while frequently playing with a man down, as they plan to do again on Wednesday when Chico will start and can't be his own long man.


Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 19, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about truggling, but "uggling" is what you do as you are amassing a sub-.200 batting average like Kearns, Mackowiak and Harris.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 19, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice job for Milledge with two doubles tonight. He's listed as a top performer at the top of the scoreboard page.

Posted by: BSG | May 19, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I like that plus point five. The three degrees of struggling.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 19, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Where is "Carpenter stinks" tonight? Bob just said Redding struck out when he hacked at a 3-1 pitch. He corrected himself a second later, but said he had already written it down. Redding ended up walking on the next pitch...

Posted by: BSG | May 19, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Bob L.-

Thanks. I think your solid "truggling" definitions need to include something about our running game. There is a reason the Nats don't try to steal bases. They truly stink at it.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 19, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

One good thing...the Nats pitching tonight will naturally be overlooked because of the job Lester did in Fenway tonight. Keep lookin the other way BT crew...we don't care. GO NATS...STAY HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 19, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

and here I thought it was when a pitcher couldn't retire the Marlins' second baseman...


I don't know about truggling, but "uggling" is what you do as you are amassing a sub-.200 batting average like Kearns, Mackowiak and Harris.

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 19, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

As for Bob L.'s definitions, B) is my fave.

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 19, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Belliard on 15 day DL, retro to 5/16 per C. Slowes.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 19, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Schroeder recalled to replace Belly...who has left calf strain

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 19, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Bergie's gonna outduel Hamels. It's in the cards. Mark it down.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 19, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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