Trivialities and a mild controversy
Some quick notes...
* The Nationals still have not officially named a starter for Sunday's game, but Class AAA Columbus's Tyler Clippard (4-4, 3.41) will be the likely choice. Acta said he would not use RHP John Lannan on three days' rest, but that using a veteran starter (like Tim Redding) might be an option. I'm guessing it's Clippard.
* 2B Ronnie Belliard, on the disabled list since May 19 with a left calf strain, begins a rehab assignment tonight with Class AA Harrisburg.
* Dmitri Young is missing his third straight start because he's still under the weather with flu-like symptoms.
* Take a close look at Dukes' home run last night: When he's about three steps into his home run trot, he turns to home plate ump Doug Edding (or perhaps to his home dugout; a take official today didn't allow an interview request) and makes a quick gesture. Evidently, it upset Edding quite a bit, and the ump relayed his anger (indirectly, through intermediaries) to Acta.
Here's Acta's take on the celebration:
"Well, at the beginning, it wasn't what we want to see, because he turned to the umpire and naturally the umpire wasn't very happy about it. But yeah, we want to see emotions as long as we're not showing anybody up. He showed emotion, and I don't think he offended anybody. He felt that it was something good, to win a ballgame. That's a walk-off homer. ... As long as you don't show up anybody, I don't see a problem with showing emotions."
* Dukes, by the way, is back in the No. 2 hole, where he's 5-for-10 on the season. He sees fewer breaking pitches in that batting spot, which makes him less susceptible to his greatest weakness as a hitter. Dukes said after yesterday's game that he's happy to stay in the No. 2 hole for as long as possible.
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