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Postgame wrap-up

Steve Yanda posting one last time this weekend. A quick note before we get into the game itself. In my previous post, I said the info on Langerhans and Wagner would not make tomorrow's paper. I retract that statement. Little did I know that the Nationals' bullpen (and more specifically, Charlie Manning) would give up seven runs in the seventh inning. I had planned on devoting a section of the notebook to the bullpen's solid effort Friday night and how it might signal a turn-around for the group after a poor road trip, but that inning changed my plans. Instead, you will find the information in the previous post in the second section of tomorrow's notes. And now, onto the game ...

For the second straight night, the Nats dug themselves an early hole. The second pitch from Garrett Mock ended up on the tip of Wily Mo Pena's glove at the left field wall before bounce off the glove and over the wall for a home run. In the end, Mock would allow three first-inning runs, and this time, the Nats could not recover.

Mock was sent down to Class AAA Columbus following the game, along with Brian Sanches, who gave up four runs in just a third of the seventh inning. The Nats called up infielder Pete Orr, who was batting .267 with 14 doubles and 30 RBI for Columbus, and right-hander Steven Shell, who posted a 1.73 ERA in 18 relief outings but a 4.09 ERA in four starts. Manny Acta said the Nationals will use Shell in middle-relief.

There was, in fact, an Elijah Dukes sighting at the ballpark tonight, though he looked vastly different from the night before. Where was the guy that smacked five hits? Where was the guy who came through when the Nats most needed him? He went 0 for 5.

Conundrum of the night: In the sixth inning, the Nationals had the bases loaded with two outs and the pitcher's spot in the order up to bat. They trailed by one run, and, at the time, this appeared to be their best -- and possibly last -- chance to take the lead. Acta had several choices of pinch hitters. He could have gone with hot-hitting Jesus Flores. He could have gone with cagey veteran Aaron Boone. Instead, he went with Kory Casto, known to be a conact hitter but keeper of a .179 batting average.

Casto lined out to shortstop Michael Young to end the inning. The Nationals gave up seven runs in the top half of the following inning. They never challenged for the lead again.

Was Casto the right call? "It was only the sixth inning," Acta said. "We needed a contact hitter with a good eye at the plate," especially against Frank Francisco, who likes to throw the fastball.

Your guys' thoughts on the decision to pinch hit with Casto? And what did you think of Mock's outing? The kid had a bad first inning, but seemed to find a groove after that. He ended up with eight strikeouts and one walk.

It's been a pleasure overseeing the NJ for a few days, but I'll be handing back the keys to Chico tomorrow. Take care.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 21, 2008; 11:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Lineups from Nats Park

Comments

The Casto decision would be a moot point if fatass Wily Mo Pena could do anything other than lumber around and serve as an absolute and total failure at his job.

Bases load--again. Only need a deep fly ball to tie the game. What does fatass do? Pop up.

Fantastic Pena. Can't hit, can't field, and can't even wear the uniform without looking slovenly.

Posted by: EmbarassedNatFan | June 22, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

And to preempt anyone who may say: "Well if you think you could do it . . ."

Guess what? I could do it.

Yes, give me a uniform and I can go out there and flail away at every pitch in the dirt and four feet outside the strike zone. And, I could most certainly run around and badly misplay balls.

The best part: I won't charge $2 million for the chance either.

Message to Jim Bowden: If you want to save the Lerners a bit more money, shoot me an email. I personally guarantee to give you the same results, and it will cost a six pack per night.

Posted by: EmbarassedNatFan | June 22, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Embarrassed - is that you letee1955? Pena is known as "the batting cage" or "the cage." He ain't fat. It was nice to see him get that single. Flores has done nothing with the bases loaded, most recently against the Twins, as has Boone. Casto had a 10 pitch at bat against a 97 mph fast ball. He was our best chance. All we needed was a seeing eye single, and he nearly doubled to left twice, but they went foul, as did the pen, as did the game. But until the fateful 7th, it was a great game.

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I was there tonight and before the 7th the team looked alive. It was great to see.

As for Casto hitting, I thought it was a FANTASTIC at-bat. It seemed like 15 pitches and that line drive was hit HARD. Flores would have come through, no doubt, but I was still impressed with Casto's at-bat. He really gave Francisco a run for his money.

And you're right about Mock. Bottom of the 2nd I said, "no way he makes it through 5 innings." But he seemed to figure it out and got through 6 so that was impressive.

[AB]-ing Sanches.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 22, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Why call up the infielder? Why send Mock down? He had 7 strikeouts against some of the best hitting in the bigs. But Shell might just shore up the pen. Paplebon stinks as a starter, but is pretty good out of the pen. And a shout out to Yanda - thanks for working so hard for us!

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse


[AB]-ing Sanches.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 22, 2008 12:15 AM

************************************
Actually, that's not fair. I take this back. He's still raw and just got sent back down so I should be gentle.

Only the vets making millions have earned the right to be cursed like that.

Sanches, it's alright, buddy. Get it back together and you'll be back up in no time.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 22, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Of all the call-ups from Columbus, only Flores and Nieves have made compelling cases for staying here.

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

flynnie,

I just want to say how sad it is to see you say something about a major league baseball player, making millions of dollars, along the lines of "it was nice to see him get a single"...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 22, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"Bowden also said injured right fielder Austin Kearns could be ready to go on a rehab assignment as soon as Thursday."

*********************
Woo Hoo! You think Kearnsy will be rehabbing in Potomac? If so, he could be down there for the 4th of July! And I got the P-Nats version of the $325 seats too, so maybe he'll chat with me when he's on deck. Anything you want me to ask him? ;)

BTW, guess how much the P-Nats version of the $325 seats are? $13. So cute!!

Posted by: NatsNut | June 22, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"Of all the call-ups from Columbus, only Flores and Nieves have made compelling cases for staying here."

I believe Lannan started this season in Columbus, did he not? Shall we send him back down?

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 22, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Kearns and Flip must rue the day they were traded. They were stars in Cincy, their confidence buoyed by the Smallpark, and life has been hell since arriving here. I hope things look up for both of them soon.

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

...how sad it is to see you say something about a major league baseball player, making millions of dollars, along the lines of "it was nice to see him get a single"...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 22, 2008 12:29 AM

**********************************

You make a good point nitv. I was going to comment too on WMP's getting on base twice.

The bar is definitely low around here.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 22, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Right you are Mr. Gut! Do NOT send Lannan down!

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHA. Mr. Gut. That's cute.

Hey, Barry's olympic stuff is on the Post online's front page!

Hey Barry! You still reading us?

Posted by: NatsNut | June 22, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

It's not a low bar, it's a candle in the darkness. We are hoping that we are not witnessing the destruction of promising big league careers.

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Flores has "done nothing with the bases loaded"? Half of Washington's four runs on June 20 were scored on a bases loaded single hit by J. Flores. That would have been more recent than his "failure" against the Twins.

I believe J. Flores also hit the first grand slam of his career earlier this year against the Padres in another Washington win.

Does any other Nationals player have 6 RBI in at bats with the bases loaded?

Posted by: L Street | June 22, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

What do I have to do to get off this team?

Posted by: Wily | June 22, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

@Wily - Um, continue just the way you've been doing.

Who's the fool who said Flores does nothing with RISP? He's only one of the few productive hitters on this sad little excuse of a major league team.

Posted by: bagoverheadforthenextyear | June 22, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

"Paplebon stinks as a starter, but is pretty good out of the pen."

say what? first of all, he's only had 3 starts in the majors in his career, so that's not really enough to say he "stinks."

second, his ERA as a starter in the major leagues is 2.25. pretty stinky.

lastly, his last two years in the minors, where he was a starter, were 2.63/1.08 and 2.59/0.92 (ERA/WHIP).

sometimes your comments are extremely random, flynnie (and in cases like this, completely incorrect).

if that stinks, i think we need a whole lot of stink on this team, too.

Posted by: 231 | June 22, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

231-Thanks for being so helpful! Papelbon couldn't get out of the 5th inning as a starter in spring training and had to be shut down in his last season as a minor league starter becasue of a sore shoulder - but you knew that right? That's why you're flaming me as "extremely random." Knock yourself out, Cannibal King! A re-post, just for you -

To NatBisquit, whom I hope is enjoying the game, but has not been enjoying the Nationals Journal:"How did the Easter Islanders use you?" asked Stephen.
"Oh, pretty well, sir, on the whole; they are not an ill-natured crew, though much given to thieving: and I must admit they ate one another more than was quite right. I am not over-particular, but it makes you uneasy to be passed a man's hand. A slice of what might be anything, I don't say no, when sharp-set; but a hand fair turns your stomach. Howmsoever, we got along well enough."
Patrick O'Brian, The Truelove,(Title is "Clarissa Oakes" in Britain) p. 22.

Posted by: flynnie | June 21, 2008 8:35 PM

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

231-enjoy a little knowledge!
BBTF
Sunday, November 06, 2005
The Big Little Papi Decision

Papelbon has only been pitching for a few years and the majority of his pitching experience has been as a reliever. His brief stint as a starter last year was pretty rocky, and it appears that his secondary pitches may not be reliable enough for him to be a consistently good SP. Add to this the fact that he has never thrown more than ~150 IP in any season. All of these factors add up to Pap, in my mind, being much more likely to succeed as a reliever than a starter. My WAG would be 80-90 IP, 3.50 ERA as a reliever, 150-170 IP, 4.30 ERA as a starter. That's either a horse in the pen or a starter who overtaxes the pen.

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Daryl Thompson, who we all considered a throw-in when we traded for Kearns and Lopez, shut out the Yankees for 6 innings in his debut for the Reds. Bill Bray, who we also gave the Reds in the trade, picked up the win.

We have all detailed how bad Kearns and Lopez have been this year, Lopez's mild hitting streak notwithstanding. It is time to fire Bowden.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | June 22, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh god, +.5St has been possessed by Steven.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 22, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Wily Mo has got to go!!

Posted by: PenaSucks | June 22, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The most "I don't give a #$%@" at bat of the year. Flop's pitiful AB in the 6th. If he gets the bunt down both Young & Belliard score on Loduca's hit, we have the lead and different guys coming out of the pen. Did you see the look on Flop's face when he got the bunt sign? O yea, I forgot, he's hitting too good to be asked to bunt. This guy is a cancer on the team. Release him immedsiately!!!

Posted by: Natspos fan since '69 | June 22, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

+.5St. is right - Thompson was featured on Baseball Tonight. He got lost on the subway, was late to the game, loaded the bases in the 1st inning and then induced a pop-foul to the catcher and a strike-out to get out of trouble. With Galaraga, that's 2 Nats prospects mowing down Yankees. Chris Needham said that Trader Jim might miss Thompson the most of all those traded to get Lopez and Kear here. Although he defends the trade.

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Wow, really bad news about Marrero. Also, Nick's headed to the Mayo? Get him a massage first!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 22, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Let's look at Thompson's line against the Yankees yesterday:

5 (not 6) IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER

Sounds pretty good so far, doesn't it? But wait, there's this:

4 walks (only two strikeouts) and 96 pitches. In five innings.

That's a WHIP of 1.6.

Basically, he's Garrett Mock or Tyler Clippard, just without any runs scored against him.

Okay, so Bray had a good line in the game:

1-1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 22 pitches.

But what about the other guy Bowden let go, Traber of the Yankees?

1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 6 pitches. (Way to make best use of your pitches there, Billy. Save the arm for another day.)

If this is the best case SoCH can make for firing Bowden, he really should give it up. He's looking more and more ridiculous with this every day.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 22, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I don't agree that Trader Jim be fired. There was no way to know that these prospects would turn out as well as they have, and do we need to be thinner in middle infield? You have to trade prospects to get major leaguers. Kearns and Lopez were young and promised to only get better. Who knew that the new park would be a house of horrors where promises come to be broken?

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Chris Needham does not blame Bowden:
From BBTF

17. Chris Needham Posted: June 20, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#2827639)
Just as it wasn't fair to expect all the signings/retreads to pan out, it's amazing at how almost none of them have. He rolled snake eyes instead of box cars. Both are equally improbable.
27. Chris Needham Posted: June 20, 2008 at 06:40 PM (#2827692)
"I'm not saying Bowden had better options, just that his strategy wasn't that likely to lead to much of anything."

Well, yes. I don't think that they really expected it to amount to anything either. THE EDICT IS COMING FROM ABOVE HIS HEAD. They give him a low budget to find his proverbial 'lightning in a bottle' while all us suckers go to the new stadium, enriching our cheapass owners. All the while, they're reloading the farm system and devoting most of their resources and attention there.

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Why mention Traber? Isn't the point that Bowden and crew have to be *better* at evaluating talent than other teams? If not--if it's left to chance, and the response is that you never know how guys will turn out, then how is that a "Plan"?

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | June 22, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

If Lerners ARE Cheap then aren't Jim Bowden's hands tied?

Posted by: flynnie | June 22, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"Why mention Traber? Isn't the point that Bowden and crew have to be *better* at evaluating talent than other teams?"

Well, if SoCH (and presumably now you) are going to fixate on every player that Bowden lets get away and who ends up performing well for another team as yet another example of how bad Bowden is at evaluating talent, then you need to also look at the players Bowden let get away who perform poorly for other teams as counterexamples that say that maybe he's not as bad as you think. If you're going to dive into the weeds to make your point, then you need to stop and smell whatever flowers you find in there too. And SoCH (and presumably now you) are not doing that. That's why SoCH's (and presumably now your) grand and noble crusade to get a better GM for the Nationals smells of nothing more than a nasty and irrational vendetta against Jim Bowden.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 22, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

flynnie,

Twas not I who opined as EmbarrassedNatsFan. I only post using my nom de blog. But I agree with ENF posted about the Lummox in Left Field.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 22, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

506- I'm just frustrated. When I stop to think about the players we traded away in Bowden's trades and other moves, I know I have to calm down about him. I wouldn't honestly want Wilkerson, Sledge, Ohka, Fruto, Stanton, Ward, Majewski, or Snelling back right now.

I would want Schneider less than Flores, Byrd or Anderson less than Milledge or Dukes, and I feel Rasner is no different than Clippard. I don't need Endy Chavez or Nook Logan.

I was excited about Wily Mo Pena, so it is not like I can say "I told you so" there.

The truth is that Bowden has had little to work with, but for a while I was willing to give him credit for being able to weave fabric from garbage. I think he is ordinary, in the end, but not popular among his peers. Even if I back off from wanting him to be fired, I wouldn't be able to make a case for his retention anymore.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | June 22, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Yes, that's my point flynnie. His hands are tied from implementing many tools that most big-market GMs have at their disposal--including signing impact free agents. So that just puts an even higher premium on success on the player development front. Bowden has to be better than his peers when it comes to player drafting and development. Has he demonstrated that he is?

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | June 22, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

RKGF, I'm not joining a fire Bowden crusade, though I am not thrilled with him. My point is that he needs to do so well when it comes to developing players, thanks in part to his cheap owners who won't let him do things like sign impact free agents. So I disagree entirely with your premise that you need to look at poorly-performing players who got away also. What does that show? All I care about is the team becoming a contender, and not some petty debate about Bowden that you appear to be mired in.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | June 22, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Here's a different take on yesterday's game:

My family and some of our friends made it to the game yesterday, and stationed ourselves in Section 301 to enjoy the views. It was easy enough to get food and drink, except from Ben's Chili Bowl, and the game was keeping us all involved. In spite of multiple failures in the clutch, the Nats were still within a run.

Then, of course, the 7-run 7th inning happened. My 5-year-old son, arm in a sling from a fall, was fading fast. The game was well out of reach, and I certainly had reached my limit on how much money I could afford to send the Lerner's way. With the Nats down by five, I said that we might just leave if they gave up any more runs. Immediately the Rangers responded by clearing the bases with a 3-run double.

I stood up, sighed, and said, "OK, let's go." My 12-year-old and 10-year-old daughters immediately began to cry. I was conflicted- the game didn't warrant keeping all the kids up an additional hour, but the girls were actually enjoying the game enough to resist leaving! Had playing softball and playing with the batting contraption in the back yard finally converted them? Were they shaming me for wanting to leave early?

No.

In fact, they were waiting for the seventh inning stretch. We had encountered the person dressed as a polar bear and his pamphlet-wielding friend on Half St. on the way in. I rolled my eyes, but apparently they took it to heart. The girls were simply waiting for a mention of Exxon/Mobil during the 7th inning stretch so they could boo at the top of their lungs. Wisely, the announcer failed to mention who sponsored the 7th inning stretch yesterday.

The girls were disappointed, but perfectly willing to leave the game after they were thwarted in their superficially informed attempt at activism. Hey, Exxon/Mobil is no corporate jewel when it comes to the environment, but I don't see the stadium losing its "green" rating because of the sponsorship.

Anyway, we drove the minivan to the game instead of taking Metro.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | June 22, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Get Big Oil out of Nationals Park:

http://strikeoutexxon.org/

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Half Street: don't forget to sign the Fire Jim Bowden petition and tell your friends about it too.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/fire-bowden

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 22, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"Why mention Traber? Isn't the point that Bowden and crew have to be *better* at evaluating talent than other teams? If not--if it's left to chance, and the response is that you never know how guys will turn out, then how is that a 'Plan'?"

And

"So that just puts an even higher premium on success on the player development front. Bowden has to be better than his peers when it comes to player drafting and development. Has he demonstrated that he is?"
__________________

@Lerners are Cheap--BRAVO. Excellent points. Keep it up.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 22, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I just want to say I'm reaching out to all the FIRE LENNY people and the LERNERS ARE CHEAP folks and the FIRE STAN KASTEN folks as brethren in the pitchfork brigade.

We need more accountability, not less. I'm persuaded that the MOST blame should be assigned to the guy who picks the players and who's been here the longest and brought with him the worst track record before he arrived.

But throw out all the bums, I'm ok with that.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@Ray--Daryl Thompson is noteworthy, but this one six-inning start is NOT the best we can do arguing for Bowden to go.

For the "best case we can make," come to

FireJimBowden.blogspot.com

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 22, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It probably should have been Flores, but in the end, it probably didn't even matter.

Posted by: Jason | June 22, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I looked at the Get Big Oil out of Nationals Park site. I would be a little more sympathetic if I wasn't so sure that the folks in on this have no interest in baseball whatsoever, and are part of the same crew who tried so hard to keep the Nats out of DC in the first place. I honestly feel that is why they are choosing to protest Exxon/Mobil through the Nats in the first place.

None of us loves the oil companies, especially right now, and we are flooding the trains to get to work. I can't help but think, though, that it would be a lot more effective to write to your Congressman or protest ExxonMobil directly, rather than go after the Nats. Is MADD going to come out next to protest the Anheuser Busch ads?

Just don't protest outside of Exxon gas stations. The Post has shown us that the corporate bastards are too cheap to even let their service station owners make a decent living while they are rolling in the dough.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | June 22, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@flynnie--Chris can speak for himself, but I don't think he's making a full-throated defense of Bowden. He's saying that the ownership and Kasten have a role too. But re: Bowden he says in that same chat:

"Just as it wasn't fair to expect all the signings/retreads to pan out, it's amazing at how almost none of them have. He rolled snake eyes instead of box cars. Both are equally improbable."

and

"Darrell Rasner is 4-4 with a sub-4 ERA for the Yankees. Bowden kicked him off the 40-man to sign Matt LeCroy. Two days after dumping Rasner, he sold Jamey Carroll to the Rockies, clearing an extra 40-man spot. Armando Galarraga is 7-2 with a 3.03 for Detroit. Bowden traded him to Texas with Wilkerson in the Soriano deal."

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 22, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey--I was looking through all the Nationals transactions since 2005, and here's one I had no idea about:

November 29, 2004: Released Scott Downs.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2005_trans.shtml

Did everyone else know that the top LHRP in MLB the last 2 years was just straight released by JimBo in his first month on the job? Is there a backstory here that I'm missing?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 22, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, it looks like Downs was released to make space for Gary Bennett, I guess? Is that really all there was to it?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 22, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

flynnie,

first of all, the stuff you posted from BBTN is from 3 years ago. second, 2003-2005 in the minors, he had 58 games, 48 starts (check it out yourself, http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=25828). note that he was very good in the minors as a starter. third, his final year as a starter in the minors (btw, they were *ALL* years as a starter) he was also already pitching in boston (2005). 4th, virtually *NO* starters come out of the minor leagues with over 150 innings in a season, and he started off in the majors as a reliever. it's ridiculous to use that as an argument. 5th, it's not uncommon for starters in spring training to not go longer than 5, and iirc, he switched back to closer before spring training was over, anyway, so he hadn't been stretched out.

so i'm perfectly comfortable with the comment that it's ridiculous to say papelbon "stinks" as a starter, since there's no evidence at all that it's true, just speculation from some blogger on BBTF. and even then, he didn't say he'd "stink."

btw, that guy also thought he'd be a reliever w/a 3.5 ERA, hows that prediction working out for him? methinks he underestimates papelbon in general, not just as an SP).

Posted by: 231 | June 22, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The following is a quote for the Post/

"When General Manager Jim Bowden spoke with Ryan Zimmerman before last night's game, he told the injured Washington Nationals third baseman how impressed he has been of late with the production of Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge and Jesús Flores.

Then he mused about how the lineup would look if those three young batters had some protection from another trio -- Zimmerman, Nick Johnson and Austin Kearns, all on the disabled list."

Hey if Zimm and his gang has been available the lines would have been as follows:

Zim AB-5, H-1 RBI-1 LOB-3
NJ AB-4 H-1 RBI-1 LOB-3
Kearns AB-5 H-0 RBI-0 LOB-4

This team is a mess and getting worse. The bullpen has regressed to its mean ability, so have the hitters. Only the starting pitching are performing above their mean.

Happy to see that Thompson, Bray, Galarraga, Byrd, etc are doing well. Where have I heard those names before?

I suppose I can take solace in the fact that Orr and Shell will lead us out of this mess. Without a doubt this team has regressed significantly since Jimbo came on board. It is disconcerting that the Post and Times do not ask any tough questions. The above quote is an insult to the Nat's fans. I would have thought that after Watergate the Post might have grown some. For a start ask Bowden what he thinks they should do? Do you think bringing up Orr is the answer. Send a message to the team. For instance cut Lopez.

What anoys me the most is that Washington seems to be willing to accept this excuse for a team. The Post should speak up.

Posted by: mjames | June 22, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

For all of us out of towners, the MASN web site has implemented a new feature. For those of us not able to see Nats Xtra or Nats postgame with the mlb extra innings package, they've now made available interviews with players, the managers press conference, some video and lots of audio. It's almost like being there. Once you are on the site, just click the media page and presto, a whole new world opens for us out of town diehards. Now lets not worry about last nights drubbing, just get this one today and we take the series. GO NATS....

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 22, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Main point and a side bar -

Main point - The call up of Orr might mean you will see a lot of a Casto / Harris platoon in left, with Belli at 3d and Orr playing 2d when Felipe sits.

Side bar to Flynnie / 231 - I'm with 231 on the Papelbon record and potential but do not want to turn NJ into Sons of Sam Horn. Take a look again at his page on baseball reference for his actual stats as a professional. The BBTF piece is off in so many ways. But this is not SoSH, nor am I Theo.

Posted by: PTBNL | June 22, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Flynnie - that last one was not meant to be overkill. I was working up a longer post but cut it b/c we all ought to save EE#4 posts for when they are relevant to the Nats (trade possibilities, comparison of hitting styles, development and drafting, or just freakin' funny stuff like a closer who does milli vanilli videos for rain delays).

Posted by: PTBNL | June 22, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mjames - you've followed the franchise a lot longer than I have, so I would defer to your judgment about what a great organization this was through the early and mid-90s. We ought to fly a flag for the best record in 1994 (the strike year). Having said that, I am more with Jim Bo than you on the potential of a the line up if RZ/ NJ/ and AK were healthy.

Nick was still grinding and getting on base, as he has done throughout his career, when he went down. You recall the hardball tiems piece saying he was the unluckiest hitter in MLB in April. As we've seen Dukes's OBp rise first then his BA and power, so to it would have been for Nick. Ryan Z was already coming around. AK i'm a bit less up on, but he would only have to the 7th or 8th guy in this order. That's the role he's supposed to be suited for in a good order. Add in Guz and Belli to the 4 23 year olds, Nick and AK, and at least that could be fun to watch.

Posted by: PTBNL | June 22, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"So I disagree entirely with your premise that you need to look at poorly-performing players who got away also. What does that show? All I care about is the team becoming a contender, and not some petty debate about Bowden that you appear to be mired in."

I only point out that one needs to look at both kinds of players who a GM lets get away if one is nitpicking to make a case that a GM should be fired. If you're not doing that, then mopar to ya. My apologies for lumping you in with SoCH, who clearly is doing that. And I'm not in a debate about Bowden with SoCH or anyone else. I'm merely pointing out how foolish SoCH is in his repetitive, poorly-constructed argument that Bowden needs to go. I'd rather see him gone, too, but the reality is that that won't happen - and if it does, it won't be because of anything SoCH is saying now. Since we're stuck with him, I'm still hoping that he'll have some success, as I guess so are you.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 22, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

PTBNL

Point taken. I am going to zip it until July 1st. Everyday I fully expect these guys to get it turned around but it is more of the same. I guess what bothers me the most is that there does not seem to be any accountability. I really do not think that the fans and the press should give Bimbo a free pass.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

PTBNL

Point taken. I am going to zip it until July 1st. Everyday I fully expect these guys to get it turned around but it is more of the same. I guess what bothers me the most is that there does not seem to be any accountability. I really do not think that the fans and the press should give Bimbo a free pass.

Posted by: mjames | June 22, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"What anoys me the most is that Washington seems to be willing to accept this excuse for a team."

This excuse for a team, sorry as it may be, is infinitely better than no team at all. I make no apologies for accepting this excuse for a team. It will get better. And if it doesn't? We'll still have a team. Gain some perspective, you Red Sox wannabe.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 22, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This excuse for a team, sorry as it may be, is infinitely better than no team at all. I make no apologies for accepting this excuse for a team. It will get better. And if it doesn't? We'll still have a team. Gain some perspective, you Red Sox wannabe.

-------------
The team has bee here since 2005.

It cannot legally relocate for at LEAST the next THIRTY-FIVE YEARS.

how long will this "just be grateful you have baseball at all, how dare you actually want the team to be competitive" excuse linger?

Does winning matter at all?

or rather when will it be OK to want a winning team, instead of "just being grateful that we have a team"?

Posted by: MrMadison | June 22, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

BEEN here. silly typos.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 22, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Who says I don't want a winning team? I do. I just don't have an irrational sense of entitlement that makes me think that a federal investigation is warranted every time the team I'm glad to have slips another game under .500.

I repeat: Gain a sense of perspective, you Red Sox wannabes.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 22, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

i moved the discussion to the most recent posting.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 22, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, SC, for the MASN heads-up. Those features are nice for locals without cable as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 22, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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