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5:25 p.m.

Lineups for Game 2 tonight are posted below.

Some other notes from the last hours.

* Nick Johnson emerged in the clubhouse after the 4-1 loss in game 1 with a shaved head. While walking out of the clubhouse, I noticed the following sign on the whiteboard, which put everything together: "Hugo the haircut guy in auxiliary locker room between games."

* Jesus Flores, hit by a pitch on his left hand, had X-rays after the game that were negative. The team is calling his injury a "contusion of the right hand." Flores is optimistic he'll be OK. "It hurt," Flores said, "but I want to play."

* Bowden on Crow: "I never put the timetable on [major league arrival], except I can be very comfortable telling you that the last game we all saw him pitch together, he would have pitched in the big leagues that particular night. We would start him at Potomac if he signs right away, and from there, we'll see how he develops. But normally when you look at a pitcher you can say, 'He needs to improve his command, or 'He needs to improve this pitch.' This is a pitcher that should come fairly quickly."

St. Louis
Schumaker - 8
Miles - 5
Kennedy - 4
Ludwick - 5
Glaus - 3
Mather - 9
LaRue - 2
Parisi - 1
Izturis - 6

Washington
Guzman - 6
Dukes - 9
Milledge - 8
Boone - 3
Casto - 5
Lopez - 4
Langerhans - 7
Nieves - 2
Redding - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  June 5, 2008; 5:25 PM ET
 
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Next: Reports on games, draft picks and minor leaguers

Comments

so I got to the park and acquired the zim bobbleheads for my daughters. my eldest opened it up and ... the left arm fell off immediately. i am not kidding. beware the curse of the bobblehead! (not me)

Posted by: bob l. head | June 5, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least it wasn't his throwing arm.

Posted by: joebleux | June 5, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

oh, that's bad, Bob.

Posted by: Patty | June 5, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

LOL, bob l. I mean, that's just wrong.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 5, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not the Grammar Lady, but Kilgore, shouldn't it be "shown?"

"The Nationals may have showed their hand last night."

Posted by: NatsNut | June 5, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comment from Bowden.

But, given the fact that in 14 years he's never drafted a successful major league starting pitcher, it seems kinda irrelevant what he normally says.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 5, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Bob! Did you go through one of the gates at the far right or left? They were distributing voodoo dolls at those entrances.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 5, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

i wonder how willing guzman would be to give the nats a discount if they trade him in july...

Posted by: 231 | June 5, 2008 5:36 PM

-----

I would imagine it depends if he wins the World Series or not.

[add a wink there, I hate emoticons, but I'm not at all serious about this line of discussion]

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 5, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

With the nats 2nd round pick they take Destin Hood, a high school SS/OF from Alabama.

He is a 2 sport athlete with a linebacker build with raw power, above average speed, a decent arm and "incredible athleticsm".

Problem: He has committed to being a 2-sport (Baseball and Football) at the University of Alabama.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"Hood didn't play all that impressively as a senior, either at the plate or in the field, but scouts were more interested in his tools and raw athletic ability." --PGCC Scouting Report.

Perfect Jimbo pick, all tools no baseball focus.....perfect!

Posted by: JayB | June 5, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

any hope for bowden's binary batsmen in the nightcap?

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

3rd round pick - SS Danny Espinosa from Long Beach State Univ

A switch hitter who hits line drives with a little power. Great instincts on the basepaths and on the field. Good range.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

is dmitri in drydock since he's not starting either half of the doubleheader?

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I hate losing.

Posted by: 6th and D | June 5, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

DUKES!!!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

wow. this sure is an offensive explosion! 2 runs... wow...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

TWO RUNS! A LEAD! I may faint!

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Round 4 - Graham Hicks LHP HS pitcher from georgia.

6'5" 170lbs. Really tall and skinny.

Scouting report to come...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

This is from the Florida High School Baseball Report...

The 6'5", 170 lb. senior features a fastball, slider, change and curve and lists the slider as his best pitch.
As a junior in 2007, he was 9-1 with a 0.53 ERA and punched out 82 in 67 innings. He helped lead Jenkins to the district title and last summer he helped Chet Lemon's Juice to the 18-under National Championship in Atlanta, throwing five perfect innings in the semi-final game. In the Florida Diamond Club event in Lakeland, he punched out the side in both of his two innings of work. Obviously, 6'5" lefties who know how to pitch are a commodity.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Finally one of our call-ups wants to stay here with the big club and has the clutch hitting to prove it!

Way to go Kasto!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

In the good news category, Elijah Dukes has raised his average by 100 points in about 2 weeks, that counts for something, doesn't it?

Posted by: SF Fan | June 5, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Yea Baby! I'll take it. But, I still hate losing.

Posted by: 6th and D | June 5, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

5th Round - HS C Adrian Nieto from Florida

Generally considered to be the second-best prep catcher in the Draft class, Nieto has a solid approach at the plate and a very strong arm behind it. However, an elbow injury last year has limited his time behind the plate and he struggled a bit defensively early this season.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

did the sixth inning come early tonight for redding?

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

This team reminds me a lot of the movie "Groundhog Day" in that they're going to lose two of every three games because of anemic hitting, then will bust out in the game they do win.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Round 6 - RHP Paul Demny out of Blinn Junior College from Texas

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Redding, get more gas in your tank...

Posted by: 3-run shot | June 5, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Tim Redding - head case. It doesn't matter how many pitches he's thrown or who he's throwing to, he can't get out of the 6th inning.

Posted by: Ed | June 5, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

it's obviously randy st. claire's fault that the opposing pitchers are hitting redding like a rented mule tonight. and it looks like lenny harris has turned the corner and finally has the bats going. fire randy and sign lenny.

Posted by: bob l. head | June 5, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about firing Randy and signing Lenny, but there is no way the Cards rookie should have a chance of getting out of the start he had. He endured though a lot of hardship and Redding did not. The vet should be able to outlast the rookie.

How many pitches did Redding throw? Does he have a 70 pitch limit?

Posted by: Ed | June 5, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

If you want to keep up with the draft and get good analysis go to Nationals Farm Authority. Brian (with a little help)is doing an outstanding job.

Posted by: Tom | June 5, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Redding ended up throwing 79 thru 5 2/3 (he had only 60 thru 5.0); the issue was that he allowed 6 runs, and his last pitch was a 3-run shot to bring it within 8-6, so Manny pulled him. Had he gotten the last batter out, he would have had plenty of gas to go 7 easy....

Posted by: CN | June 5, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Tune away for an hour and what seemed to be a comfortable (for the Nats) possible win is now a life and death struggle. Bring this one home, boys.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Shoot me! Shoot me NOW!

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

If we lose this one, I'm going to be really upset...

Posted by: BSG | June 5, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

well... thats nice.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

serenity now...serenity now...

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Well done lastings.

Its a good thing that the 2nd rounder we drafted today has been compared to him. Excellent...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

why not bring in manning and put us put us our misery quicker?

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Manning already pitched tonight and had a good outing

Posted by: BSG | June 5, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

my mistake.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Elijah Dukes be frying out here all of a sudden

Posted by: Jason | June 5, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

shoot...we're up 7-0 and now we're going to lose...#%!*

Posted by: BSG | June 5, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm going to be ill. The Beav hits his first MLB HR.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Giving up HRs has cost us lately - heck, we've given up the first career homers for TWO hitters tonight..

Posted by: BSG | June 5, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

...and joe mather as the beaver.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, if your starter is an all star and he gets a 6 or 7 run lead, he's got to close the deal. Going 5 2/3 innings is not getting it done.

Posted by: Ed | June 5, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

we finally get the offense and the pitching falls apart

Posted by: jason | June 5, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Dukes!!!!!

Posted by: BSG | June 5, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

DUKES DA MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Dukes dawg!

Posted by: lowcountry | June 5, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Damn.....

Posted by: TimDz | June 5, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

is that his first of the season?

Posted by: SF Fan | June 5, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Here comes the shaving cream....

Posted by: TimDz | June 5, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Line of the night by Mike Rizzo (who was in the booth with Charlie and Dave):

"it's nice to smell the fireworks."

Posted by: lowcountry | June 5, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

SF Fan

his first as a nat, 11th career.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 5, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA-DUKES 08!!!

Posted by: Jason | June 5, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Nationals Duke out a victory in the 10th!

Posted by: Jason | June 5, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Stat of the night:

Dukes started tonights game hitting .148 and he ended the game hitting .203

Thats what happens when you go 4-6 with 2 singles, a triple, a homer and 4 RBIs. Reaching base 5 times.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Protecting him in the line up may be the thing that he needed. He said it himself at the ending interview. He's protected in the line up, so they can't pitch around him and need to give him fast balls.

Did he not get ALL of that one?

Posted by: TimDz | June 5, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

that at bat was SICK
dukes comin around?

Posted by: YESSS | June 5, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I think maybe we should keep Dukes in the two spot tomorrow.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 5, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

sorry for my double speak...

Posted by: TimDz | June 5, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Is it too much to hope that the Nats can take 3 of 4 from the Giants and their fine young pitchers?

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he definitely needs that protection in the lineup, safe to say if he keeps up 1/2 of this performance he'll stay toward the front of the lineup.

Posted by: Jason | June 5, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Gotta dig the Dukes, and gotta give some love for Guz -- 4-6, and getting on base to make it the walk-off as opposed to simply a tie.

El Guz is on fire.

Cheers, and happy baseball!!!

Posted by: nats del negro | June 5, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

man he straight tagged that ball. awesome.

Posted by: YESSS | June 5, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The offensive production Dukes offered this game was so incredible, I almost lost sight of the presence he was in the field, as well. I really hope this is a breakout game for him, because this lineup badly needs someone to catch fire.

Posted by: Jason | June 5, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

It's funny. My reaction wasn't the same jumping and screaming from Opening Night. I watched Dukes almost defiantly throughout the at-bat, and kept saying "send it, Elijah". He hit the ball, and I just stood up and started cursing at the TV, as if it had been defying me.

Man, baseball sure can make you act irrationally.

Of course, when my senses returned, I went up to the radio to hear the good call of the end of the game.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | June 5, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Kory Casto has a microphone on that looks like a huge wart on his cheek.

Get the kid some Compund W!!!

Posted by: Positively Half St. | June 5, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I remember right before the inning was on I predicted it exactly, Guzman first pitch single, Dukes clears the bases with a walk off homer. Of course nobody else was in the room at the time, so nobody will ever believe my prediction. C'est la vie.

Posted by: Jason | June 5, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Holy Aaron Booning Dukesie. We can't even have an easy 10-run win. Cracked me up when Dukes said he was a fastball hitter. Everyone is a fastball hitter. But you know the protection plays a big role on Dukes because he came into the game with his OBP 150 points higher than his average. That means he's seeing plenty of pitches NOT to swing at, just not many pitches TO swing at. As soon as he gets more quality pitches you know he'll drive 'em.

Also had to laugh at Debbie yanking him by his elbow out of the tunnel to come get interviewed. And for Ray and Johnny's deliberately totally corny fake high-five oops-you-caught-us start to the post-game show.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 5, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

We believe you Jason.

Posted by: Voices in Your Head | June 5, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

After all the rain delays, after sweltering in the sun today, after not leaving early because of a comfortable lead... I feel like I earned the win, like I deserved the drama, like a little bit of that surfeit of karma was cashed in tonight.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 5, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Washington, Mr. Dukes...what a night: 4 for 6, only a double short of the cycle, the game-winning HR, plus a sac fly and the #3 web gem on Baseball Tonight. Glad to see all the bats finally come alive tonight!

Posted by: BSG | June 5, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Just back from the ball park. What a glorious day! Watching your favorite team lose on a sunny afternoon is better than working. As for the high scoring affair, it had more ups and downs than a caffeinated kangaroo. I gave up hope when the Cards hit the homer in the top of the 10th. I needed the Prophet Positively Half Street, and I needed Guzzie and Dukes! It was great to here the scouts in the radio booth say, "It's a walkoff!" just as it left the bat. Hooray, double headers! Hooray, baseball!

Posted by: flynnie | June 5, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

natsinthevalley - thanks for all the great posts!

Could anyone tell me why they kept playing hava nagilla on the organ? I've nothing against it, but is it a new Nats tradition?

And we got the best rhp in the draft - what a great day!

Posted by: flynnie | June 5, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Dukes' fabulous backhanded sliding catch is #3 on web gems.

Posted by: flynnie | June 5, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Things to be grateful for:

1. That we didn't sign Andruw Jones.
2. That we didn't sign KoKo Crisp.

Posted by: flynnie | June 5, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

What a wild ride!
And three cheers for Elijah. Good for you!

Posted by: dcbatgirl | June 5, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I never thought that I'd say that walking Ryan Langerhans to load the bases was an act of managerial genius, but when LaRussa did it, it was. It put all the pressure on Wil Nieves to bring in the runners on second and third, and, when that failed, Manny was forced to yank Rivera, who had only thrown three pitches, to put in a pinch hitter, Willie Harris, who failed to produce in the pinch. Leaving the bases loaded opened the door to the Cards' comeback and nearly cost the game.

Posted by: flynnie | June 5, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so from now on, Dukes bats second and Flippie bats somewhere-in-the-lineup-basement.

What I don't get (speaking as a TOTAL baseball spectator who never made it past Farm League - one level below Little - in the fifth grade) is why Manny didn't do this kinda shuffle two weeks ago?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | June 5, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Anybody tape-measure Elijah's homer? Let's hope he hits one even FURTHER next time! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | June 5, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

On the radio, Mike Rizzo said, "It takes a man to hit it there - past the 402 sign!"

Posted by: flynnie | June 5, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Sweet dreams to all - dreams of Willy Mo breaking out of his slump, and Elijah and Lastings becoming superstars, and Korey Casto keeping it up so that it's impossible to send him back down, and lots of exciting Nats wins! Good night, everybody!

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

why is the gamer have all of 5 lines about the game itself? Granted, the draft was today, but shouldn't that be a separate article, or at least have equal time with the ACTUAL game in the gamer?

Posted by: q | June 6, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Elijah Dukes, I could kiss you... Up in Sec. 315, behind home plate, we were wondering if Manny was going to have to throw the water cooler around the clubhouse.....

He probably should still toss a tantrum, for blowing a 7-0 lead.

And Kory Casto may have laid claim to the third base job -- he made a dice throw to second at one point (lucky to get the call there), but otherwise, he was awesome. If Zimm has to miss the year, they may want to consider moving him to shortstop.

However, I want to raise another, infinitely more scandalous issue -- the complete farce that was the dugout push-up contest, sponsored by WSC. Tonight's affair matcfhed a steroid-inflated kid -- didn't look like he was more than 20, but he had biceps bigger than most people's legs -- and he was wearing a tank-top to show-off. The other contestant was an older man -- I"d guess in his 0s, but clearly in great physical condition. They began the contest, and the eventual winner was instantly obvious. The older gentleman was whipping off push-ups at pace that would make Jack LaLanne proud -- crisp and flat as a plank. The young bodybuilder was clearly intimidated and tried ot keep up. His form broke down completely. His rear end never moved from on high, and he still couldn't match the older guys pace -- even with his "cheating" form.

The thing about this competition is that a one judge counted one of the contestants, and another counted the other contestant. THe one counting the older gentleman seriously undercounted the number of completed push-ups. I can only guess that the older guy was actually moving too fast for the counter to keep up. And the other judge probably overcounted the young guy's efforts, especially if you consider that they weren't regulation push-ups. When the counts were announced, the young guy was announced the winner. The crowd booed lustily, but the Nats pack did not respond.

This was a travesty of justice. If there is a tape, I demand a recount!!

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 6, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

no. there's absolutely no way they should consider asking zim to move to SS. from him wanting to be a 3B (important for signability) to him actually being one of the best 3Bs in the game defensively.

plus you're judging casto on *one* game. he had a bunch of other "one games" in the past that were terrible offensively (his career numbers are 140/167/175/342 in 57ABs). so before you anoint him, look at his career numbers and make him prove himself before deciding he belongs in the majors at 3B (and is good enough to push zim to another position).

Posted by: 231 | June 6, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Question -- we've heard from Bowden that it's counterproductive to bring young fielders up from the farm to sit behind the young kids who are playing up here. For Dukes, I'll buy that arguement. He's a good fielder, and this evening he looked like he'd found his bat.

For Milledge, however...can we bring up Escobar or Maxwell? Escobar is 29, Maxwell is 24, and Milledge is 22. What's counterproductive about bringing up an older/more mature player to give Mr. Milledge some time in Columbus or Harrisburg to learn to field, (which includes finding the cutoff man), learn to avoid hitting into double plays, and learn to not hotdog unless he has a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger performance that backs it up?

Posted by: 422 | June 6, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie -- LaRussa showed again and again why he is the best manager in the game. He never panicked, knowing that his team could score enough runs to come back. He left in Worrell, to bat with two outs, instead of lifting him for a pinch-hitter, when it seemed a perfect spot to use Pujols. Of course, LaRussa must've known that Tim Redding just can't get out the opposing pitcher. So, Worrell smacks a three-run homer. It seems so off-the-wall that I hesitate to call it good managing - but then, it's Tony LaRussa, and he makes his own luck.

The intentional walk to Langerhans probably seemed ridiculous, given that it was Langerhans being walked, but it was the right move for many reasons -- the force at any base, and it made a double-play possible. Also, Nieves was less likely than Langerhans to hit a long sac fly. Then, as you note, Acta was forced to pinch-hit for Rivera.

Also, give much credit to Mather. He hit the stuffing out of one off-speed pitch -- it looked like it was headed into the lights, before it finally landed deep in the stands down the left-field line. After that Sanches started throwing fastballs, and Mather was barely fouling them off, sending most of them straight back. One after another, as his pitch count neared 25, for the inning. Clearly, another fastball was called for, if possibly in another location. Instead, Sanches gave in and threw another off-speed pitch -- same speed and location as the one Mather just missed hitting out the stadium. Sure enough, Mather deposited it in the left field bleachers. I hope Sanches and Nieves learned a lesson, but it was a painful one.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 6, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree the team would be better with Escobar in center field, and possibly even with Maxwell there -- but the team gave up Church and Schneider to get Milledge. That's one heckuva commitment, so they feel pressured to use him. He hits into an awful lot of double plays, but we're going to have to face facts -- the Nats aren't going to send him down, at least not while he's above the Mendoza line.

As for Zimmerman -- I love having him at third base. Don't get me wrong -- he's up there with Rolen as the best at the position. It's just the team may have to find a place for Casto to play -- and the team may be better overall with Zimm at SS, if it puts Casto in the lineup. If they can find another position for Casto, great. I think we need his bat, and he showed he can play the hot corner in the bigs, too.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 6, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

I should add an example. The Yankees signed SS Alex Rodriguez, when they had the comparatively weaker-armed Derek Jeter already at SS. Everyone who knew baseball, knew A-Rod was the better SS, and that Jeter might even be better as a 2B than SS. However, the Yankees didn't focus on what would be the best defensive lineup. Instead, they moved A-Rod to a new position, where he has struggled noticeably. at times. However, they are probably a better team overall with that lineup. Certainly, at the time -- with Soriano, and then later with Cano at 2B, this was the best lineup the Yankees could produce, even if it hurt their defense.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

@FischFry -- I'll take your point on what we gave up to get Milledge -- but in the long run, wouldn't it help his cause to have some time to straighten out his fundamentals (and I forgot to add his baserunning to the list)? He's still young enough to have options, and we hear reports that fielders come up with great batting averages in Columbus. Could he at least get some real batting instruction if he's sent down and given a chance to grow up?

When the Nats came to Washington, I resolved not to boo a player when he came to the plate. Milledge is beginning to test my resolve.

Posted by: 422 | June 6, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

"Could anyone tell me why they kept playing hava nagilla on the organ? I've nothing against it, but is it a new Nats tradition?

Posted by: flynnie | June 5, 2008 11:24 PM"

I don't know, but I kind of liked it. I mean, they should've mixed it up a bit more but it was cool if for no other reason than I've never heard it at another park.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 6, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Milledge worked in some real good plays last night. My Yankee-fan roommate, who went with me to the game when Milledge dropped the ball in center, actually commented "wow, he learned to play center." I wouldn't go that far myself, but there has been some real improvement.

There are much bigger problems on this team than Lastings Milledge. There are bigger Fisch [to] Fry?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I think they need to stay with Milledge. I've seen improvement in the field lately. He'll learn, he's young, talented and enthusiastic. It's not like he's costing the Nats a run at the pennant. Growing pains are tough but necessary.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 6, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Count me in for some Milledge-love, too. He runs the completely wrong direction a lot less now than he used to. He makes decent throws. IIRC, it was him who got damn near the homer that landed in the batter's-eye yesterday. I would like to see him needs to rob a few like that and find out that stealing homers is really, really fun.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 6, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry - Thanks for the knowledge! What great posts, as I have become accustomed-to from you! I did not notice that the fatal curve to Mather had been forecast by a near-homer in the same at-bat. I could tell that Worrell was a hitter, just from the way that he was fouling off Redding's best stuff. At the end of the very long day, a very tired Manny could barely disguise his contempt for allowing 2 home-runs to the opposing pitchers. Anyone who thinks that Manny is laid-back needs to watch that presser. He has excelled at baseball, no small feat considering that he comes from the Dominican, where every kid on the street knows enough to manage a minor league club here. He was seething at what he saw last night, an insult to all that he holds holy, though there are no words in English to describe his relief at the win.

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Milledge is definitely looking better to my untrained eye, although Dave thought that he had given up an inside-the-park home run on that triple off the wall.

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

i'm not necessarily saying casto might not eventually work out as a big league hitter, but why are you getting all worked up over one game? it's just one game... he's had other games up here that were far worse offensively. until he actually proves he can consistently hit major league pitching (it's not like he's a prime prospect that we've been waiting on to come and push zimm), why even worry about this?

and arod/jeter? arod was already one of the best hitters in baseball when he went to the yankees, not a rookie who hadn't gotten avg, obp, or ops over the mendoza line. this isn't two of the top players in the game at one position, so it's not even vaguely a comparable situation.

when castro proves he can at least carry arod's jock, then we can worry about that comparison.

again, i hope he turns into even a serviceable major league player, but any talk about moving zimmerman to SS to make room for him is ridiculous at this point (and unless casto turns out to be something special, likely ever).

Posted by: 231 | June 6, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"it's just one game... he's had other games up here that were far worse offensively."

This could be said of everybody but Guzman. They were not facing the league's best pitching last night. But, you've got to admit, 231, they're due. Last night could be the moment that we point to when this team of sluggers busted out of a nasty slump. We can only hope, and hope is one of the most fun thing about being a fan.

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it was only one game for Casto and we need not demnad so much of him by talking of moving Zimm to SS. But let's give him credit as well - a number of people around here have been calling for a "bringing up the farm" and seeing how they all pan-out. Well, Kory has come-up and gotten off to a nice start after last night. Let's hope it continues. I suspect that if he continues to hit they will find a position for him when Zimm returns.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 6, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Dukes most impressive effort was the triple. He really motored around the bases. Now if Milledge can get it together, the winter movers seem less problematical.

As to the Hood pick, it would seem we are in Lerners are Cheap territory. Let us see if money indeed talks. I do not believe JimBo, Boone , Rizzo, and Brown (You see SOCH there were more people behinf the Crow pick than just Jimbo) would committ to that pick if they did not believe they could sign him. But again, let's see.

Posted by: Sec 204 Row K Seat 11 | June 6, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

My point about Casto -- if Zimm is going under the knife, Casto will be our third baseman for much of the season (I suppose Boone will get some time there, but Casto can expect the lion's share). If he hits like he was doing before he was called up, and like he did last night, he will merit a place in the team's long-term plans. I'm not hading him the 3rd base job based on one game. I'm saying that if Zimm misses the rest of the season, we will get a long look to ask questions of Casto -- and the answer maybe that he should be in the Nats' lineup in 2009.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 6, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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