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Today's lineups

We've got a great pitching matchup today. Matt Chico, 24, versus Jamie Moyer, 45.

Let's put journalistic impartiality aside for a moment. Jamie Moyer is one of my favorite players of all time. Probably because he was pitching even back when Topps manufactured its baseball cards to look like they had a faux wood framework. (Now, of course, if people still collected baseball cards, Moyer would be one of those half-dozen players whose career stats are so lengthy that they must be downgraded to a non-visible font size. Always fun. Ask Danny Darwin.)

Anyway, here are some more facts about Moyer.

* He's pitched in 45 different Major League baseball stadiums. Nats Park will be No. 46.

* When he debuted for the Cubs in 1986, Jesus Flores was 1-1/2 years old.

* Moyer was once a teammate of Davey Lopes, who is now 63 years old.

* He has been described as "crafty" by an estimated 1,341 different baseball writers and broadcasters.

Philadelphia

Rollins - 6
Victorino - 8
Utley - 4
Howard - 3
Burrell - 7
Werth - 9
Feliz - 5
Coste - 2
Moyer - 1

Washington

Lopez - 4
Guzman - 6
Zimmerman - 5
Young - 3
Milledge - 8
Flores - 2
Pena - 7
Dukes - 9
Chico - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  May 21, 2008; 3:17 PM ET
 
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Next: Afternoon tea chit-chat with Bowden

Comments

what is lopez obp since being moved to leadoff?

Posted by: theraph | May 21, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"He has been described as "crafty" by an estimated 1,341 different baseball writers and broadcasters."

How the heck did you find that out??

Posted by: BigNatsFan | May 21, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I remember going to an Oriole game when Moyer was an Oriole. He pitched a perfect game one hitter. The batter who go the hit was erased on a double play ball hit by the very next batter.

Posted by: Tom | May 21, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

theraph, in 133 PA, he's got an OBP of .338

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=lopezfe01&year=2008

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Take Two:

theraph, in 133 PA, he's got an OBP of .338, AS LEAD-OFF HITTER.

.320 in 171 PAs is his season average

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=lopezfe01&year=2008

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"I still don't see how you know that he's not doing this? If I were him, I wouldn't, but it's quite possible he is and Milledge isn't listening.

But then you couldn't prove the thing you already know to be true, that Lenny Harris needs to be fired."

If Milledge isn't listening to Harris, then fire Harris and bring in someone else to talk to Milledge. Ask yourself this: What would Randy St. Claire do if one of his pitchers was acting like Milledge, talking about how he likes to plan his celebrations even though he spends more time walking batters than he does getting anyone out? Fire Lenny.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 21, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't Boone starting? Against a lefty, Boone should be the one to start over Dmitri. I know DY is a switch-hitter, but he is more effective batting from the left side (versus RHP). Plus, shouldn't he have a day off so soon after being on the DL for so long?

Posted by: e | May 21, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

so guz has a better BA and OBP while leading off... lopez has not batted 2nd right?

i say switch em.

Posted by: theraph | May 21, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, Boone is a journeyman player who wouldnt' be on this team if his father didn't work for it. Young is one of the highest paid players on the team.

Do the math.

Posted by: natty bo | May 21, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

theraph, it makes sense. I think the idea is that if Guzman gets on and no one drives him, it's useless. Worse, it could lead to a double play (Lopez has more ground outs). If Lopez manages to get on, then Guz (with better power numbers - HA! Guz power numbers!), can drive in more.

I'd still switch 'em.

And ABM, you've made your point. You want to fire Lenny Harris. I apologize for wasting your time by trying to point out that some people are different than you in attitudes and opinions.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Chico uses baseballwritersreference.com for stats like Moyers

SInce we are assessing general blame based on concepts we (at least me) barely understand, I'd like to blame Nick shaving his moustache for the team's poor performance.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 21, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"When an entire offense struggles, 1-9, you look for a common denominator. That's Harris."

________________

There are other common denominators, namely Jim Bowden, who has had a lot more time and power to improve the team than the lowly hitting coach.

Q: How many of our position players on the current roster, who are flopping completely and are rightly being ID-ed as the main culprit, where acquired by Bowden?

A: All of them. Nick, one of the only guys who hasn't sucked eggs, was inherited.

Q: How many of our pitchers, who are performing well enough to have us above .500 and right in the mix, were acquired by Bowden?

A: just 7 of of the 12, but mostly the sucky ones (OK, Redding and Perez have been solid, but Chico, Colome, Hanrahan, Schroder not so much. Rauch, Hill, Bergmann, Ayala, Rivera, without whom we'd be REALLY miserable--all inherited)

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 21, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"I'd like to blame Nick shaving his moustache for the team's poor performance."

This is a good point. I turned to my red-headed, Cubs-fan girlfriend and said, "uh oh, the molest-ache is gone, something bad is going to happen."

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I hate to make one game a referendum, but if the Nats offense struggles again tonight I might join the fire Lenny crowd.
Righthanders are hitting .348 off Moyer. They should hammer this guy.

Posted by: CapHill | May 21, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

CapHill, don't worry, there's been enough offense taken around this blog for minor things to more than make up for the Nats hitters.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

That would be John Rauch, the one who grooved a fastball and lost the game last night.
I mean, if we are going to play the "what have you done for me lately" game (something that can get real old over a 162 game schedule) we need to be consistent, right?

I'm getting tired of the fantasy baseball mentality around here. Let's fire some posters!
_________________________
A: just 7 of of the 12, but mostly the sucky ones (OK, Redding and Perez have been solid, but Chico, Colome, Hanrahan, Schroder not so much. Rauch, Hill, Bergmann, Ayala, Rivera, without whom we'd be REALLY miserable--all inherited)

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 21, 2008 3:52 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | May 21, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

well, at least they're not using two shortstops tonight.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 21, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Random Notes:

Actually Da Meat is equally effective from Right and Left sides (.008 point difference in lifetime average) with very similar RBI numbers from either side.

I missed out on the Flores lovefest from previous post. He has changed the question from "Is he ready?" to "How can you send him back down?".

Not that it mattered in the end, but I noted that in a 1-0 game in the 9th last night WMP and Dimitri were still on the field. In Dmitri's case I thought this might be in case we needed his offense, but how do you explain WMP?

Note to Bergmann: We are very glad you are back! Very impressive.

My opinion: I like Knight as a commentator.

As we get to the end of May other teams are going to be ready to make changes as they look around and see where they stad, what their needs are, etc.... Unfortunately with Belliard and LoDuca on the DL two of our best chips are out of play. What can the Nats do? One possibility: Trade Redding (I like Redding, but we got starters on the farm) for some offensive help. Maybe Rivera and Chico too. Lopez has value now. Kearns has to start hitting before they can move him even if they wanted to. Don't wait until July.

Posted by: NatBisquit | May 21, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I have tons of those 1987 topps cards. Any takers? I didn't think so. Do kids still buy cards? Now you get like 5 in a pack for $4.99. I miss the days where you got around 15 with gum for $1.00

Posted by: BRothbart | May 21, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

with a career .318 obp and seeing an average of 3.27 p/pa in 3,924 pa in his career. how could anyone - besides jimbow - think that lenny harris wouldn't preside over a bunch of hackmasters? dyk - lenny is a former cincinnati reds player?

Posted by: natsscribe | May 21, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Good news is here, BRothbary! Topps has brought back the bubblegum packs, with a new, lower-end baseball card line. I bought some for my little brother last year, who was inspired by my collection.

NatsBisquit, the problem with trading now is that there's no one out there yet feeling the heat from ownership that they have to get in the playoffs this year and that they're right on the edge and one more guy could do it. Well, no one except the New York Yankees, but that's a different story...

LDO, are you looking for insight? This is only a notional journal here...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I;m sure this will just pick a fight, but I can't stand Ray as the color commentator.

I mean REALLY hate him, he can't shut up, he just keeps going and going and going, right through pitch after pitch no matter what happens, Guzman laces a double, Ray's still talking, Zimmerman hits a homer, Ray keeps talking, Bergmann strikes out the side, Ray keeps talking, Bob (who I never thought I would wish would get more time to talk) tries to get a word in about the actual game, Ray keeps talking, what's that, I should take a breath between sentences, no, that's ok, I'll just keep on talking and talking and talking...

Posted by: Matt | May 21, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The funniest thing about Ray Knight is that he calls Carpenter "Bobby".

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"And ABM, you've made your point. You want to fire Lenny Harris. I apologize for wasting your time by trying to point out that some people are different than you in attitudes and opinions."

I just love the way you tell people who don't agree with your opinion to shut up and quit posting, while you just drone on and on with whatever you feel like saying.

And, oh yeah...Fire Lenny.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 21, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

You've summed me up perfectly, ABM.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

aboone is a journeyman? you mean the 3700 AB, 1000 hits (almost) kind of journeyman? the kind with 123 home runs? while a 761 career OPS isn't HoF credentials, it's a solid ML player. he's played over 1000 games in his career and is hitting better than anyone but flores (with 2x flores ABs) this year (944 OPS in a limited 65 ABs).

sorry, he's not a journeyman, he's an experienced veteran starter who hit well in FLA last year in limited time (811 OPS in 69 games/189ABs). and one who's been a solid starter for long stretches in his career (6 of the last nine years, altho one of those was a missed year for that knee injury when he was with the yankees, 2004).

a journeyman is pete orr or willie harris or marlon anderson or darryl ward, guys who rarely (if ever) had full seasons starting.

Posted by: 231 | May 21, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

As long as we are speculating about potential trades, I wonder how long Detroit is going to keep with their rotation, especially Nate Robertson. Other than Galarraga (why can't we get players like that), they've all been somewhere between unacceptable and awful. Rogers and Robertson have ERAs over 6, Verlander over 5, and Bonderman barely under 5. I'm not sure why Rogers puts up with the humiliation at this point. Robertson has had only one season with an ERA+ over 100 (pennant year). His career is 94. If Detroit thinks it can make a run, then perhaps they need to make a move. While I don't know what arms they have in the minors (and wouldn't Jair Jurjens look good now), my impression from BA is that the system is pretty stripped after the trades this year. They do have Dontrelle when healthy, but I'd think they be right up there with the NYY as potential contenders willing to overpay for help.

Maybe the equivalent of Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz is possible.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 21, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm basing my DY batting stats over the past three seasons (05-07). As a lefty, he hit .293/.356/.485 in that span. As a righty, .273/.302/.426. Enough of a difference for me to sit him down tonight against a LHP.

Posted by: e | May 21, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Fire the whole team except for Flores because he made a play last night!

I'm basing this on immediately observable fact that is never colored by my opinions or moods!

Hey Ho, the Team Must Go!

Obscure Statistics.com says that the Nationals can't win when Lopez bats right handed against a 45 year old! This is FACT!

Don't tell me that I'm wrong, because I'm right damn it! YES

Posted by: NattyDelite! | May 21, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry all, I became useless for a moment.

Back to interesting topics...

What kind of bat would we need to make the line-up operate at normal baseball levels?

At this point, Hanley seems to be the only one that I can say "Look, he kicks butt without protection." If you put Zimmerman in front of Hanley.... 120 RBI?

But seriously, what impact bats do you think would completely change the line-up? And are they available? (This includes off season)

Posted by: NattyDelite! | May 21, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm enjoying reading the Nat's fans going at each other on the blog.

Good stuff, keep it up guys. You all show more spark than those who put on the Nationals uniform night-in and night-out.

Posted by: O's Exec | May 21, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Interesting question, NattyDelite!. I think that Zimmerman, Pena, Milledge, and Dukes are all people that should be feared in our lineup.

But they're not.

Given that baseball is such a mental game, I think there's some mental issues with our team. The question has been asked before: whose team is this? I don't think you can bring in anyone and say "this is his team, guys" and be effective. I don't know how to solve this problem.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 21, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I haven't bought baseball cards since they stopped putting gum in them. My teeth thank me today. I want to see a list of those writers!

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 21, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Matt Holliday might be available.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | May 21, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Well SC Nats,

Go to nationals.com and read the preview for tonights game... Theres one of the references to crafty. Hilarious!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 21, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Wake up from your fantasy Florida is not trading Hanley. zgo stick your Topps cared in your triclyle wheels.


Posted by: junkbucket | May 21, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Man, no kidding. I don't wantt to just throw more wood on the negativity pyre, but I just can't take it!

He also is prone to end his rambling points with phrases like, "as the inning elongates."

-----

...Ray keeps talking, what's that, I should take a breath between sentences, no, that's ok, I'll just keep on talking and talking and talking...

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 21, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"I like Knight as a commentator"

Shoot, even I don't think I'm a good commentator person.

Posted by: ntr Ray Knight | May 21, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

junkbucket, I know Florida isn't trading him. He just signed a 6 year deal, I believe.

The point is simply: He has almost no protection in that line-up, yet he is still superhuman. We need those types of players, so they can come in and take our good players, and get them some good pitches.

Matt Holliday would be veeeeerry interesting. He would allow us to move NJ/Dmitri (sometimes) into the 3 hole and Zimms to somewhere more comfortable.

506, I agree, especially regarding our teams' mental moxie. But at the same time, I'm not looking for a leader, I'm looking solely for someone who will allow those players who we know, or have reason to believe, have talent, and let them see good pitches. Right now opposing pitchers are cruising through our line up like a drunk teenager on a country road. That has to stop.

Has anyone thought of Zimms hitting 2nd? He's not slow...maybe that would change his approach from trying to go for power back to going for line drives.

This, of course, comes to me as soon as he seems to be rediscovering his stroke.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | May 21, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Your little riff on Moyer recalled this great, recent tribute to the life and times of Julio Franco. Check it out.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-julio-franco-era/

Posted by: Anonymous Hero | May 21, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer to get Mark Teixeira in the off season. Bat him 4th and trade NJ for anything.

Posted by: e | May 21, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

before we get carried away with holliday, take a look at his splits. which do you think is home in coors field and which is away?

.281/.343/.466/.809 (30HR/126RBI)
.370/.430/.676/1.106 (59HR/212RBI)

not to say an 809 OPS wouldn't be welcome on this team, but what would you be willing to pay for that? cuz we won't be seeing that 1.106 in nats stadium, so i'd hate to pay for those coors numbers if we won't get them.

in case you're wondering, pretty much the same # of games home and away.

Posted by: 231 | May 21, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

btw, those holliday numbers above are for the last three years (based on the three year splits shown on ESPN).

Posted by: 231 | May 21, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Good points 231. Holliday isn't the definite answer. But would his presence change the tone of our lineup? I think yes, unless those numbers are due to the protection affected by having Helton (one of the most underrated great hitters in the game) behind him.

Anyone else have names that would change the nature of our lineup?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | May 21, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

i'm not saying i wouldn't like to have holliday on the team, just that i don't think i'd like the price it would cost to get him here, since the cost would be based on coors field production.

Posted by: 231 | May 21, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I love you to death, 506, but I sort of agree with ABM on this count.

You've spent an unusual amount of time recently telling people why they shouldn't have the opinions they have because yours are different.

It's not like you.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Standby for a rain delay. It is going to pour!!

I remember Moyer when he pitched for the Birds. Is he still married to Digger Phelps' daughter?

Posted by: 6th and D | May 21, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

3 weeks or so ago boz wrote to the effect that improvement in our hitting is on the way, "just wait till the nats hitters revert to the mean, and they will."

what he said.

meantime, don't be firing nobody. it's too soon, i tell ya.

if you treated your stock portfolio (should you have one) the way the bile-spewing malcontents on this blog want to treat the team, all you'd do is make your broker rich without materially improving your condition.

over-trading (which is i think the long-term knock on jimbo) is a fear-based strategy where the guaranteed transaction costs and disruptions almost always overwhelm the upside potential.

as for the nats, this is a time when we need to know how to hold 'em, not fold 'em.

Posted by: natty bumppo | May 21, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg just posted on his bog from the impromptu press conference of Nick Johnson's moustache (NJM)...couple of quotes from NJM....

'Theories abound as to the cause of the Nats offensive offense ... I've been hanging out with Guzman's Laser Eye Surgery (LSEG) and we discuss the problems...He chuckles and accepts responsibility for the success of Lance Berkman, Carlos Quentin and Josh Hamilton while I get the blame for Ryan Howard, Vladimir Guerrero and Troy Tulowitzki'.

'Doesnt seem right...however, I accept full responsibility for the Nats struggles...my inability to guide the team and management has turned opposing pitchers into all stars... almost every Nats bat has performed below career norms and it doesn't matter if they are injured - I am to blame'.

There you have it folks. Blame NJM.

check out the link:

www.tinyurl.com\giveitarest

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 21, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

If Lenny is fired, who would replace him? Has Mitchell Page sobered up? A reason not to make a change.

On the other hand, could one of his supporters, answer the following: What evidence is there that he has the ability to do this job? Has he done it well with someone else? Did he do it successfully in the minors? Is he renowned for either his analytical or communication skills? I don't think the answer is yes to any of the questions, but am willing to be convinced by evidence, testimonials, etc. He HAS demonstrated that he was a very good (or at least very long-lived) pinchhitter, but baseball (like the rest of life) is full of examples of great skill not translating into great administrative ability.

Posted by: 307/418 | May 21, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

It's not like we're actually firing the man!

We're ALL just spewing opinions, guesses, and speculations, even the ones who post stats to "back up" their opinions.

It does get negative around here, but if we all remember that being right isn't the point here, that talking about baseball stuff IS the point, it might get a little lighter around here.

Seriously, no matter how strongly we feel about this or that subject, do we REALLY want Manny and Jim reading this blog for management advice? Because the tone seems that way sometimes, myself included.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

And...Davey Lopes was a teammate of Frank Robinson (in '72), who was a teammate of Ted Klusewski, who was a teammate of Ernie Lombardi, (he caught both of Johnny Vander Meer's consecutive no-hitters, and) who was a teammate of Leo Durocher, who once was a teammate of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

And, so it goes...as Moyer is a teammate of Cole Hamels, who will one day be a teammate of....?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 21, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, if none of you have heard yet, Church just suffered his 2nd concussion of the year when he self-lessly tried to break up a double play. He took a knee to the head, really hard. I just saw the video, man, that looked painful.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 21, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

New Post

Posted by: New Post | May 21, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow... Werth as a platoon player has more HR (9) and more RBI (26) than our team leader Zim (8)(25)

Posted by: MKevin | May 21, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice 2-out hit Zim! C'mon Meat, knock him in.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS AWFUL! THIS TEAM SUCKS! BOWDENS AN IDIOT AND SO IS ACTA. Get Dukes and Pena out of here; they stink! and milledge isn't any better; wow do i miss ryan church! great move Bowden, you idiot; this is the absolute worst baseball i have ever seen; no offense; starters(except for this moron minor-leaguer Chico) pitching their guts out and NOTHING ON OFFENSE; this is the WORST

Posted by: readytojump | May 21, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

1 RUN IN THE LAST 18 INNINGS -- AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ugly | May 21, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

DUKES PUKES AGAIN! maybe when his BA gets to .020 Lenny will get him back in the cage; maybe use the TEE !!

Posted by: pukes | May 21, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

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