Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Nick Johnson: a modest appreciation

Quick note here after watching Nick Johnson draw a bases-loaded walk to tie the game.

Johnson's .223 average is unsightly, sure, but he entered the game with a .413 OBP, just outside of the league's top-10. Here's a large reason for that discrepancy: Right now, Johnson leads MLB in the percentage of pitches taken. Exactly 69 percent of his pitches he simply watches. (Albert Pujols, by the way, ranks second in this statistic.)

Johnson's at bat here shows exactly why he's still a valuable player even when his average doesn't reflect it. He looked at his first two pitches, gaining a 2-0 edge in the count. Then he started fouling pitches -- toward the Mets dugout, over the backstop, down the right field line. He worked the count full, and then, with the Shea crowd rising in anticipation, drew a simple walk.

Didn't help his average, obviously, but it tied the game.

Well, briefly. We've got Odalis Perez on the hill here, and he's letting up a solid one run every inning.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 12, 2008; 8:17 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: They wait all of one inning at Shea to play this...
Next: Any idea requires just six words

Comments

Welcome Chico!

Great gamers the last couple of days, and nice posts today. But a word of caution ... 4 posts (so far) today is great, but be careful about feeding the expectations monster.

Posted by: dcbatgirl | May 12, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

we want it all, and we want it NOW!

Posted by: natsscribe | May 12, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm hooooooongry!

Posted by: expectationsmonster | May 12, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Go windmill man!

Posted by: Don Tolman de la Mancha | May 12, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

My prophecy is coming true:

Flores is going to make Lo Duca's return a personnel problem for Bowden.


(I am so glad we have good hitting in the 8 and 9 holes)

Posted by: Wigi | May 12, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Chico can you ask Acta what he is seeing in Milledge's recent Abs?

To me he looks worse by the day. I would like to hear Acta's take on this, what is Milledge doing to get better? Is he taking extra BP or is he arriving just in time to make the lineup still?

Is he coachable is the big question because he sure needs it. I am not seeing any progress in his approach at the plate.

Posted by: JayB | May 12, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

it looks to me like milledge approach as a 5-hole hitter has been much more of the 'swing-for-the-fences' approach than his 2-hole approach. maybe the answer is as simple as bumping him back up to 2nd in the order and dropping guzman or lopez to 8th-ish??

Posted by: mark | May 12, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Is Odalis purposely trying to get a ND the rest of the year??

Posted by: CN | May 12, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

It seems as if the Nats can't stand prosperity.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 12, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Chico! Good work tonight.

Way to go Odalis! He must really want the win.

As far as I'm concerned, Rob M. deserves to get more playing time. I was down on him a while ago, but that catch he made in Houston and the way he is handling himself at the plate, he deserves more playing time.

Posted by: BofG | May 12, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Plus Mackowiak sounded great talking to Charlie and Dave. Well spoken, no cliches, a little self-deprecating.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

My Gawd! That Nick Johnson is a pitch-taking FOOL!

I didn't even notice is batting average because dude is always on base!! I love him.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

And Lastings finally comes through!

Posted by: BSG | May 12, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

...you were saying?

Posted by: Milledge's mom | May 12, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Go Lastings!

Time for more runs, Mackowiak.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 12, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, we need to pile it on, even if by superstitions come true, we are stealing runs from tomorrow's total.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 12, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Get another hit, Livo!!

I mean, Odalis!!

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 12, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Odalis for MVP! ;)

Posted by: BofG | May 12, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Perez...3 for 3!

Posted by: BSG | May 12, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for listening. It makes the argument that we should have signed Livan instead less compelling.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 12, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Another brilliant call by Carpenter. He was already giving the totals for the inning when that ball hit the ground.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 12, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Can Odalis Perez play LF?

I kid, I kid.

Posted by: Pablo | May 12, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Can Perez DH when we get to interleague play?

Posted by: SF Fan | May 12, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Finally, someone that can hit in the clutch. Way to go, Odalis.

Posted by: mike8 | May 12, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I just heard that Jews kidnap little Christian babies and drink their blood. I can't believe it! My ex-girlfriend kidnaps little Christian babies and drinks their blood! That's such a bummer.

Posted by: Ryan Church | May 12, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

No, not a clever Ryan Church imitation. Please don't try that again.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 12, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

All this Mackowiak love is directed to the same guy you all were ready to run out of town a week ago, right?

Posted by: nattybynature | May 12, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Odalas is hitting like the old Livan Hernandez.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 12, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

nattybynature: not even a week ago. Try a couple hours ago. LOL!!

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I admit I was hating on R.Mac earlier today.

I'll give him props. He's done a good job.....TODAY

Posted by: Pablo | May 12, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

At least you can admit it, for that I commend you.

Uh oh, here comes the comeback.

Posted by: nattybynature | May 12, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Today's Nationals coverage was a little better on the grammar front, but still contained some too-basic errors:

"Yesterday's 5-4 loss to the Marlins, made possible by relief pitcher Luis Ayala's 18-pitch, two-home run, eighth-inning unraveling..." (This is a terribly misplaced modifier--literally this is telling us that the Marlins, the team, were made possible by Ayala's unraveling. I'm quite sure the Marlins would exist with or without Ayala's performance last night. However, I will give Mr. Harlan credit for avoiding a very common error--compound adjectives without hyphens.)

"Not with a pitch count nearing 100." (Again, this is a sentence fragment. For the defenders of these mistakes, you can be perfectly conversational without resorting to ungrammatical writing. The next thing you know we'll see words like "ain't" in the Post.)

Early in the story he writes, "He'd starred for the team in 2005, departed in 2006 to rehabilitate a reconstructed elbow, and returned with style in 2007." But then later, he writes, "Twice, Nationals relief pitchers entered games with several on base, promptly allowed those inherited runners to score and just as promptly ended any reasonable chance for a Washington win that night." (His comma usage is inconsistent here, first using the comma after the second item in a list, and then not using it in the same situation the second time. Depending on your stylebook, either usage may be acceptable, but in no stylebook is this kind of inconsistency acceptable. Personally, I much prefer the usage of the comma for clarity in a rather complicated sentence like this.)

Posted by: The Grammar Lady | May 12, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I will also say that I'm sure Dukes and WMP wouldn't have done the same things R.Mac has done tonight (draw 2 walks).

Posted by: Pablo | May 12, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"That sounds like a homer how far is it going?" Good grief this guy is an awful announcer. Stan should start the 09 broadcaster hiring process NOW.

Posted by: Carpenter stinks | May 12, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

i'm watching this game from boston, and that inning hurt from here. yikes...

Posted by: ouch | May 12, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I came in late. Did Flores seriously catch REYES stealing? I mean catching ANYONE stealing would be awesome these days. But REYES?????

Attaboy Jesus. Now I understand the comment earlier about Flores making it hard for Bowden.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I can't watch this. This bullpen is the polar opposite to last year's and it's practically the same guys. See ya'll tomorrow.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Cringe inducing: "Battle of the Beltways".

This is totally Angelos crap -- there is one Beltway, one team inside, 29 outside, and Baltimore is just one of them. Please don't put that phrase in the Post, Chico (TWNTP).

Posted by: NatSafeForWork | May 12, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Chico, your very much appreciated mid-game appreciation of Nick Johnson deserves better than the horrific post by "Ryan Church" and BC Stinks[it did sound like a homer, and I wanted to know how far it would go]. But NATS WIN!!!! YEEEESSSSSS! And thanks for keeping us informed, Chico!

Posted by: flynnie | May 12, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, you should have seen Jesus' glare at the wining Reyes after he was called out at 2d. Wonderful!

Posted by: flynnie | May 12, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: The Grammar Lady | May 12, 2008 9:47 PM
------
Hobgoblins are the Consistency of Little Minds

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

1-0 in the Chico era! (the writer, not the pitcher)

Posted by: lowcountry | May 12, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Nice win guys! Perez finally gets his first win and he only had to drive in 2 and go 3 for 3 to get it. Maybe that little offensive explosion can get these guys going. If the middle of the order can start getting near to thier career numbers the team would be doing some damage.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | May 12, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The whining Reyes is who Jesus was glaring at after throwing him out. I need Spelling Lady.

Posted by: flynnie | May 12, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie your non-stop apologia for Carpy is getting kind of silly. Come on, it "sounds like a homer?" It was caught one step onto the warning track. Nothing "sounds like a homer" and the call was ridiculous. You know he stinks. Does he have pictures of you or something?

And by the way, how do you like Carpy referring to the Subway Series as the "Battle of the Boroughs"? The guy is a train wreck.

Posted by: Carpenter stinks | May 12, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

The TV post-game was a lot of fun! Johnny makes everyone comfortable, accusing Bob of having the heater at his feet, with Bob responding by fanning himself like it was warm, and then ending with Don's hurry to leave for some "hot chocolate from Napa Valley." That was a great post-game!

Posted by: flynnie | May 12, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The TV post-game was a lot of fun! Johnny makes everyone comfortable, accusing Bob of having the heater at his feet, with Bob responding by fanning himself like it was warm, and then ending with Don's hurry to leave for some "hot chocolate from Napa Valley." That was a great post-game!

Posted by: flynnie | May 12, 2008 10:46 PM
----
if you watch the replay closely you'll note that Bob deftly lifted a cheek and floated an air biscuit. That's why Don was bailing so fast...

Posted by: N@sfan | May 12, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Troll,BS,troll. Great win! Great broadcast! Lannan tomorrow, and a lot to look forward to!

Posted by: flynnie | May 12, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Troll,BS,troll. Great win! Great broadcast! Lannan tomorrow, and a lot to look forward to!

Posted by: flynnie | May 12, 2008 10:51 PM
----
All I have to quote is "sounds like a homer" quod erat demonstrandum.

Posted by: N@sfan | May 12, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I honestly would rather have Johnny and Don doing the game.

BC is ok, but he can be very boring/lame....just my opinion

Posted by: Pablo | May 12, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Pretty cool video on the Indians' site of Asdrubal Cabrera's unassisted triple play (they just played the call on the Nats' postgame radio show).

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 12, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

you see what nelson the marriage of figaroa said about the nats bench being into the game and clapping for their teammates. i dont know what was more stupid, his implication that being into the game is offensive or that softball players are offensive. he is a hack. "look at who they are, a last place team" well this last place team just kicked your bush league butt.

Posted by: love | May 13, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

love the gamer chico...but please call figeuroa what he is...a bitter d-bag. being a pro means you cant enjoy the game? try to make your teammates better? its a game dude have some fun. what it must be like to be him...a grown man playing a child's game with that sort of bitterness in his heart...he doesnt deserve it you know?

Posted by: love | May 13, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

In case I haven't said it before, welcome, Chico. Great gamer. I read many hopeful and good things, in particular, from these lines:

So the Nationals found an unlikely formula to avoid such misery, and it included both a starting pitcher, Pérez, who had earned his last win since Aug. 18, and a reserve outfielder, Elijah Dukes, who decided around the third inning to start some clapping from his dugout seat.

"Just changing the feeling in the clubhouse," Dukes said. "It was funny, though. Kind of softballish."


Now, I'm not ready to say, "Mission Accomplished" here, but I'll take this attitude improvement any day. Cheering from the bench is always better than sulking. I hope to God something for Dukes is changing for the better.

Posted by: Atlanta | May 13, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

On the "softball" chanting, see also the New York Time's gamer for additional anti-Nats quotes, as well as a seemingly-substantiated report (in a sidebar) that Santana will be held out of the rotation until Friday (to pitch against the Yankees).

Posted by: Section 133 | May 13, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Haha, you know what? I heard that crack, muttered Aaron Boone's middle name, commented to my girlfriend that that ball was gone, then threw my hands in the air when it got caught, then muttered Aaron Boone's middle name again. My red-headed, Cubs-fan girlfriend asked me what I was upset about, they just dodged a bullet and I said, "Now everyone's going to be hating on Carpenter instead of cheering a massive victory."

Dukes got a big bagful of brownie points for the cheering. It was Yule Log-esque.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 13, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The Mets fans really don't like the Nats. Not sure if it is b/c we beat them last fall and lost to the Phils, but it seems that the Mets animosity towards the Nats is one-way. I have no problems with Dukes trying to "change the atmosphere" because, well, it needed changing.

Side note: the throw by Flores to nail Reyes as a beauty. Reyes looked stunned that he was caught.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | May 13, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Flores or Lo Duca. You can put a dress on a pig but you still shouldn't take her to the prom - - no matter what you paid for the dress. After last night's play, the choice is obvious.

Posted by: 6th and D | May 13, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

What was up with the funky hyphens in this morning's physical paper gamer? "Tumble-weed"? "In-artful"? C'mon, people get it to-gether.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 13, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Grammar Lady, is that you? ;) Such instances could be due to reflow of lines.

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 13, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

1a, thanks for pointing out the triple play video. Unbelieveable.

There sure is a lot of nit-picking and curmudgeonism in this crowd considering that the good guys won so handily last night. Seriously, what nits are there to pick on? Perez' slow delivery gave up a base in the first? What else? They played like crap on a night that the Nats -- for some reason -- didn't. Yay team! Let's do it again.

If you haven't figured out to watch these games with the sound turned down and the radio on, I certainly ain't gonna be the one to convince you. But I will start referring to Bob Carpenter as "air biscuit" every once in a while now.

In today's gamer I particularly liked the line "dead as a Tyson chicken" :)

Ok, last chance to take this silly survey about Nationals Park, results in tonight's lineups post.

... http://tinyurl.com/49xdmo

Posted by: i hate walks | May 13, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Nice Win! Nice Gamer!

The last time I saw a kid catcher throw out a runner who was surprised that anyone would have the audacity to throw him out, it was Earl Battey gunning down Luis Aparicio, and that was a long time ago.

The Mets & New Yorkers are angry at the Nats for dumping them from post season because they won't look inside. Randolph blew enough games to cause the meltdown. OTOH, I don't blame the Mets for saving Santana. The Friday night game against the Bombers is much more important to them, internally than a game against a division rival. It has to do with marketing in NYC.

Posted by: Catcher50 | May 13, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Awesome throw by Flores, but Reyes was as surprised as I was that the Nats got the call. Even on slo-mo replay it looked like he could have had his hand to the bag before Guzzie applied the tag to his helmet (c'mon, man, watch those fingers this year!). I wouldn't put money on safe or out, but I thought in that case you give credit to the runner.

Not that I was complaining. As soon as the replays were done I graciously declared, "we'll take it!"

Hats off to Figaroa, a true professional! Whining to the press, that's how the big boys do it!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 13, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Most of us accept that "Carpenter stinks." His return and the cheesy MASN visuals and bad camera angles are bush league and should be embarrassing to the Lerners. (Who probably ARE cheap.)

Chico, consider starting a thread about Carpenter on a slow day so we can get our bile out of our systems.

Posted by: Geezer | May 13, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Mark: I think you are on to something about Milledge and the top of the order. He did have one successful at bat last night, and I got his jersey because I'm looking forward to watching him play a long time, so I'm no Milledge critic. Having said that, I do think against RHP Milledge should bat 2d and Guzman 5th.

It's 1/4 of the season, and it's about time to stop saying "small sample size" to every trend. Against RHP:

Season
Milledge: OBP - .353, SLG - .384
Lopez: OBP - .333, SLG - .338
Guzman: OBP - .292, SLG - .376

While all of those SLG's are weak, it does not look like we lose much in the 5th spot if Guz is there, and we do pick up OBP in the 2d spot if Milledge is there. Also, it is small numbers, but Milledge got off to a good start over about 65 plate appearances as a #2 (.298/.354/.439). As you suggest, maybe we can get him going again without weakening the order.

Against LHP, I'd leave the Lopez/ Guzman combo 1 - 2 as is - they are doing well.
_______________
"it looks to me like milledge approach as a 5-hole hitter has been much more of the 'swing-for-the-fences' approach than his 2-hole approach. maybe the answer is as simple as bumping him back up to 2nd in the order and dropping guzman or lopez to 8th-ish??

Posted by: mark | May 12, 2008 9:00 PM "

Posted by: PTBNL | May 13, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Most of us DO NOT agree that Carpenter stinks, thank you.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 13, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

you got newposted

Posted by: Anonymous | May 13, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Today's gamer represented progress for our new beat writer. For one, he's no longer spraying commas around like so many Joel Hanrahan fastballs. He continues to show a mastery of the use of the hyphen in the frequently botched compound-adjective, as in the line "back-to-back two-inning stints."

In fact, the only really offensive writing gaffes that caught my eye were the made-up word "in-artful" and the unnecessary hyphen in the word "tumbleweed," which Lindemann already cited. With or without the hyphen, however, "inartful" is not a word. The antonym of "artful" would be "artless."

The notebook, sadly, was a different story. Once again, the sentence fragment, crops up this time twice consecutively: "For the second time this season. After two earlier seasons in which he also made major league cameos."

These fragments. Are very disruptive. To the reader. And surprising. In a national newspaper like the Post. Which has editors. I. Thought.

Posted by: The Grammar Lady | May 13, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"Most of us accept that "Carpenter stinks." His return and the cheesy MASN visuals and bad camera angles are bush league and should be embarrassing to the Lerners. (Who probably ARE cheap.)"

Gee, I seem to recall that the Lerners, via their designated hatchetman Stan Kasten, tried to dump Carpenter at the end of last season until they were forced to rescind the dumping due to fan complaints. So someone out in the fanbase must like him. Myself, I'm basically indifferent to him. Until this year I never was able to watch many games on TV anyway since I didn't have cable. Now that I do have cable I'm watching pretty much every game I'm not at on TV. I'm forced to listen to Carpenter and Sutton because the radio broadcast is so far ahead of the TV broadcast. (You think Carpenter anticipates the call? You ain't seen nothing til you have Charlie and Dave doing it. They call a home run before the pitch ever leaves the pitcher's hand on TV. But amazingly they always get their calls right.) Anyway, I noticed Carpenter's tendency to call the play before it happens last year, and it does seem like he's made some changes to his calling style this year to avoid that - although maybe he hasn't changed it enough yet to satisfy everyone.

As for the cheesy MASN visuals, I doubt the Lerners had any input to that. They are minority owners of MASN at best, and probably don't have much say in the day-to-day operation there. The camera angles are clearly a function of the stadium design - you can clearly see the "high view" MASN camera in the top level of the press box, the same level that Bob and Don broadcast from. For them to move it lower would require a major redesign and rebuilding effort, since the level just below where the camera sits now is dedicated to the print media with all their laptops and such, and the level below that is the Upper Concourse, where they would have to remove some seats to position a camera directly behind the plate, as well as do a lot of rewiring. Maybe they'll change it during the offseason if a lot of people really think it's a problem. Personally I don't mind it, since my seats at the stadium are in the Upper Infield Gallery and I guess I'm used to that angle.

Posted by: An Bruscar Mor (#4) | May 13, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Let the record show that I do not think "inartful" is a particularly bad made-up word. Or that it's a made-up word at all; after all, there are cites going back to 1751:

http://volokh.com/posts/1190736856.shtml

But I do think "in-artful" is un-readable.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 13, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Once again, the sentence fragment, crops up this time twice consecutively:

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

There should not be a comma after "fragment." There should be a comma after "up."

Posted by: Who cares, really, but | May 13, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

ABM:

Hang television camera under infield club.

To operate, use remote. Solves angle.

(Maybe wrong thread for this post)

Posted by: PTBNL | May 13, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company