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Lineups (7/8)

Hello everyone. This is intern Andrew Astleford. I'll be filling in for Chico during the Arizona series. I'll be back later with reaction, but here's tonight's lineup:

Washington:

Lopez - 4
Belliard - 5
Guzman - 6
Kearns - 9
Young - 3
Flores - 2
Pena - 7
Bernadina - 8
Perez - 1

Arizona:

Young - 8
Drew - 6
Hudson - 4
Jackson - 3
Reynolds - 5
Upton - 9
Hammock - 2
Burke - 7
Webb - 9

By Chico Harlan  |  July 8, 2008; 5:52 PM ET
 
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Next: Arizona 2, Washington 0

Comments

forgive me for asking, but there are TWO teams playing tonight at nats park. right?

Posted by: natsscribe | July 8, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Webb is starting and batting 9th

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 8, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Andrew -- don't let them get you down. Any anger isn't directed at you. It's pointed squarely at WaPo.

Good luck this series.

Posted by: e | July 8, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's a little something to chew on between CHarlan's programmed question packets. It's a little long, but bear with me.

OK, the Lerner group has held the franchise for just over two years now; Let's take a look at where "the Plan" is in terms of depth to date.
Many thanks to both NFA & MiLB.com for data & statistics.
State of the Orginazation - June/July 2008 (by position)
#1) -Starting Pitchers: In a huge turn from 2005, now possibly the deepest position on the team.
WAS - Redding, Tim, Lannan, John, Ballester, Colin, Perez, Oliver, Bergman, Jay; Hill, Shaun (DL15).
Minors - Clippard, Tyler (AAA), Mock, Garrett (AAA);
Brownlee, B. (AA - non40), Zimmerman, J. (AA - non40), Van Allen, C. (AA -non-40);
Detwiler, Ross (A);
Mandel, J. (A-adv - non40), Nunez, J. (A-adv - non40);
Willems, C. (A - non40);
Dean, P.J. (R - non40), Peacock, B. (R - non40), Atwood, W. (R - non40).
#1) Relief Pitchers: A strength in 2005, not so much in current configuration.
Key= LR - Long Relief, LS - Lefthanded Specialist, MR - Middle Relief, SU - Set-up, CL - Closer.
WAS - LR - Shell, Steve, LR - Wagner, Ryan (DL60), LR/MR - Colome, Jesus,
MR - Hanrahan, John, MR/LS - Manning, Charlie, MR/SU - Rivera, Saul, MR/SU - Ayala, Luis,
SU/CL - Rauch, Jon, SU/CL - Cordero, Chad (DL15).
Minors - LR - Chico, Matt (AAA/inj) - Elbow surgery, done for 2008;
MR/LS - O'Connor, Mike (AAA), MR - Schroeder, Chris (AAA), MR - Schmoll, S. (AA - non40),
MR - Peralta, C. (R - non40), MR - Wilkie, J. (A-adv - non40), MR - Gunderson, K. (A-adv - non40),
MR - Whitmer, C. (R - non40);
MR/SU - Sanches, Brian (AAA), SU - Zinicola, Z. (AAA - non40).
#2) Catchers: Looked upon as a weakness in '07, better but still thin in '08.
WAS - Flores, Javier, LoDuca, Paul, Nieves, Wil, Estrada, Johnny (DL15-rehab):
Minors - Montz, L. (AAA - non40), Ivany, D. (AA - non40), Rooney, S. (A - non40), Norris, D. (R - non40).
#3) First Base: Solid at ML level, very thin in minors entering 2008.
WAS - Johnson, Nick (DL60), Young, Dimitri, Boone, Aaron, LoDuca, Paul;
Minors - Rhinehart, B, (AA - non40), Broadway, L. (AAA - non40), Marrero, C. (A/inj - non40) - Knee/Leg, done for 2008,
Jimenez, L.A. (AA - non40), Moore, T. (R - non40).
#4) Second Base: Very shallow pool overall.
WAS - Belliard, Ronnie, Lopez, Felipe;
Minors - Orr, Pete (AAA), Bergolla, W. (AA - non40), Rogelstad, M. (A - non40), Lawhorn, T. (A - non40),
Smolinski, J. (A - non40).
#5) Third Base: Decent depth in minors.
WAS - Zimmerman, Ryan (DL15), Belliard, Ronnie, Boone, Aaron, Harris, Willie;
Minors - Orr, Pete (AAA), Davis, L. (AA - non40), Casto, O. (AAA - non40), Pahuta, T. (A - non40), Souza, S. (R - non40).
#6) Shortstop: Another shallow pool in the orginization.
WAS - Guzman, Christian, Lopez, Felipe;
Minors - Bynum, S. (AA - non40), Desmond, I. (AA - non40), Lyons, D. (A - non40), Keithley, J. (R - non40).
#7) Left Field: Decent positional depth, lacking power overall.
WAS - Dukes, Elijah (DL15), Milledge, Lastings (DL15), Pena, Wily Mo, Harris, Willie, LoDuca, Paul, Lopez, Felipe;
Minors - Maxwell, J. (AA/inj), Casto, K. (AAA), Daniel, M. (AA - non40), Langerhans, R. (AAA - non40), Seuss, A. (A - non40),
Lowrance, M. (A - non40), Guerrero, M. (R - non40).
#8) Center Field: Historically thin spot for franchise since transfer to DC.
WAS - Milledge, Lastings (DL15), Bernadina, Roger, Harris, Willie, Dukes, Elijah (DL15);
Minors - Maxwell, J. (AA/inj), Langerhans, R. (AAA - non40), Guzman, G. (AA - non40), Plasencia, F. (A - non40), Valdez, J. (R - non40).
#9) Right Field: Some promise for future here.
WAS - Kearns, Austin, Dukes, Elijah (DL15);
Minors - Maxwell, J. (AA/inj), Padilla, J. (AAA - non40), Guzman, G. (AA - non40), Burgess, M. (AA - non40), Seuss, A. (A - non40),
Brown, D. (A - non40), Englund, S. (R - non40).

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I think the missing AZ roster is a ploy to get those from the NJ to watch the game and improve those horrible MASN ratings.

MASN then privately promotes the viewer increase relative to the all powerful Nats blogosphere. This in turn allows the new WP editor to rationalize charging for access to the NJ.

Its a vicious cycle, I tell you.

One, unfortunately, that does not lead to a big free agent signing.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 8, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

How many series did Svrluga take off during his tenure on the Nationals' beat? I think Chico may have matched that already.

Posted by: Just sayin' | July 8, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Intern Andy,

I'm not going to personally bash you. This blame is laid squarely at the feet of Emilio Garcia-Ruiz and the suits at 1150 15th Street, NW who think that anybody is qualified to cover what the paper does not consider to be a major sport. These are the same people who think three writers should cover a football team that plays a regular season one-tenth as long as the Nationals. These are the same decision makers who have two writers covering an NBA team that plays half the number of regular season games than do the Nationals. This is a management that never bothered to cultivate an in-house successor to the baseball writer who is now part of team coverage of said football team. These are the men and women who don't think it's necessary to have another full-fledged, experienced sports writer as a backup to the new beat writer who seems to need a lot of time away from from a team he barely knows. These are the people who don't get it.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 8, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

What e said goes for me, too, Andy.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 8, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. I think that is the single-worst lineup I have ever seen.

Is there any part of that lineup that makes you say "Boy, I want to make sure I'm in my seat when those three guys come up."

Nats should turn tonight into a $0.25 beer night - with Webb pitching and that lineup, nobody will be there long enough to get drunk or cut into their profits.

Posted by: Highway 295 Revisited | July 8, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, rather.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 8, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Right.
That said,
Wow.
Just, wow.

OK, if you read Weingarten, add "that's nice, Emilio."
___________________
Andrew -- don't let them get you down. Any anger isn't directed at you. It's pointed squarely at WaPo.

Good luck this series.

Posted by: e | July 8, 2008 6:04 PM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking? What coverage? | July 8, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Anybody want to bet on which gets selected for post of the day?

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 8, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@leetee1955: Ouch, but well stated. I too, grow a little tired of the "ugly step-child" coverage given this team. Not that I wish to step into CiL's camp completely, but we could use a bit more balance.

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

long live zuckerman and goessling of the paper that actually cares who covers the team.

Posted by: natsscribe | July 8, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

leetee 1955 and others: I don't get it. The Wizards have one beat writer, Ivan Carter, and one NBA writer, Michael Lee. The same way there's a Nats beat writer, Chico, and a MLB writer, Dave Sheinin. Also, they play 162 games, which makes it way more difficult for one writer to cover for the whole year. And the Redskins are obviously the biggest ticket in town, see Steinberg's article RE: tv ratings yesterday. You people need to chill out, seriously. If you want to be angry at someone blame people who stopped reading the newspaper and required the Post to buy out 100 people recently.

Posted by: Naturals | July 8, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

BIM

I'm not trying to usurp CiL's status. It just makes me so angry that after 34 years without a team, the Post might as well run stories by AP writers Joseph White and Howard Fenderich. The coverage the Post gives this team should not be deemed adequate for this city's so-called paper of record.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 8, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

"How many series did Svrluga take off during his tenure on the Nationals' beat? I think Chico may have matched that already.

"Posted by: Just sayin' | July 8, 2008 6:15 PM"

Of course, Barry did cite "the intense grind of baseball" as one of the reasons he was leaving us for Redskins. Hmm, sounds like TWO writers might be needed...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 8, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

CHRISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

Posted by: COME BACK!!! | July 8, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Call me crazy, but I have this sinking feeling that tonight's game is going to be ugly.

Posted by: John | July 8, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

ok, John, I got dibs on reverse lock, then

Posted by: CE | July 8, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

masnstinks and Ray King's Gut Feeling, both from previous post: I remember when Herzog teamed with Dave J. to call the game when Charlie was out. Yes, it was awful, because not only did he not know baseball well, he hogged the mike and the broadcast. He seemed so eager to be back behind a mike calling a sports game, any game, that he couldn't rein himself in (and while I was annoyed, I felt sorry for him). That leads me to masnstinks' wondering about the egos of some of these announcers. We're only working with a small sample so far, but I think you're right about the ego. The tv announcers are on air and, a number of times, on camera. People don't often see the radio announcers. And radio has to make the game come alive visually in people's minds, whereas it's already there on tv. If you go for that look, Carpenter is sort of a looker. I think it all fits in together. (For egos in other sports, look no further than Larry Michael with the Skins. He used to try to crowd out Sonny and Sam the first few years, and I could barely listen to the broadcasts.)

Posted by: samantha7 | July 8, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

From the Dbax site

Young 8
Drew 6
Hudson 4
Jackson 3
Reynolds 5
Upton 9
Hammock 2
Burke 7
Webb 9

Posted by: Odalisque Perez | July 8, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

You know, if you grouped all the fill-ins together...you almost have the makings of a second baseball writer.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 8, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, "Odalisque" (ahem).

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 8, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The "ahem" was moniker-related, to clarify.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 8, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

BIM- Does that stand for Behold Intellect Magnificent? Because that was one helluva post! Maybe Steinberg could apply himself similarly and we could actually understand more about the team than devoting front page space to numbers pulled from an unknown ass.

Posted by: flynnie | July 8, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I *knew* you'd like that, 1a

Posted by: Your biggest fan (ahem) | July 8, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

re: steinbog's story

maybe the post's new slogan should be "if it's negative about the nats, you'll read it here first."

Posted by: natsscribe | July 8, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the starting pitching is much better, nevermind "huge turnaround" from 2005.
Then, they had some guys who got hurt eventually, and won a fair number of games in the first half. Now, there's a bunch of guys who are getting hurt, and losing a lot (through no fault of theirs, usually, but still).
Livo, Loiaza, Patterson, Okha, FITB, eventually Hector Carrasco...

Posted by: CE | July 8, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Andrew-

Good luck, have fun.

I was going to add some comment for Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, but realized it was futile.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | July 8, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Great post, BIM!

I think that we are only half way to filling out the farm system from what you have posted. Two more good drafts and add two more years of seasoning and something good may develop with the home cooking.

Posted by: Dale | July 8, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

long live zuckerman and goessling of the paper that actually cares who covers the team.

------

QFT.

and it is a shame that so many people are so afraid that someone might think they are a part of the Moonie cult to go over there and populate the Times blog like they do here, and show the writers over there who do an excellent job some love.

and they've got TWO full-time beat writers for the Nats over there.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Highway 295-

You said,

Ugh. I think that is the single-worst lineup I have ever seen.

You clearly didn't join me in rooting for the 1979 Mets, whose best player might have been our AA manager, John Stearns. They were putrid, but I loved them, too. I root for these Nats like I was still 15.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | July 8, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@naturals: I don't think it's just the NBA that leetee was talking about - Let's look at the day-to-day sports coverage overall from the WaPo.
Redskins: Clearly the #1 game in town, with J.laCanfora, C.Boren, J.Reid & soon B.Svrluga on full-time coverage, with Mark Maske contributing wire clips to the blogosphere for NFL coverage.
total= 3 writers, 2 bloggers (16-game, 6 month season).
NBA: As you stated, Ivan Carter on the Wiz with Michael Lee supplementing & covering the NBA overall. Additionally, columnnist Mike Wilbon gives regular props to the league & the Wiz, and Steinblog for Wiz-related esoterica.
total= 2 writers, 1 columnist, 1 occaisional blogger (82-game, 9-month season).
Baseball: Chico Harlan is now the lead Beat reporter for the Nats, with Dave Sheinin the MLB lead writer. Don't know what the O's coverage looks like (I haven't read their stuff since Jorge went to ESPN). Add the coverage from columnist from Tom Boswell to the overall mix.
total= 3(+) writers, 1 columnist. (162-game, 9-month season).
Hockey: Tarik el-Bashir handles both the Caps & some overall NHL news. Some occaisional support from Steinberg & others. (80-game, 9-month season).
total= 1+ writer/blogger, 1 occaisional blogger.
Soccer: Steve Goff is the lead reporter for MLS, USNT (men & women), and world coverage of "the beautiful game", with assists from P.Tenirio.
total= (uncounted games, 12-month season).
Lacrosse: A full-time writer/blogger for college Lacrosse (Christian Swezey). Really?
WNBA: Melissa Rosenburg and others covering both the Mystics & the WNBA overall.
HS/College: A team of writers and interns, fronted by Josh Barr's blog.
There's a lot of other stuff there, between blogs, columnists & articles.
Overall, I think that MLB overall (and the Nats in particular), are currently getting short shrift from the WaPo.

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Flores just nailed Conor Jackson stealing - something the nats haven't done very often -- great to see, especially with no outs and the lead off batter walked. He has been a real bright spot this season.

Posted by: masnstinks | July 8, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

@flynnie from 6:48: No, I'm just Bob In Manassas. Steinblog couldn't keep his concentration long enough to pull together that list.

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"and it is a shame that so many people are so afraid that someone might think they are a part of the Moonie cult to go over there and populate the Times blog"

Also, don't forget, are afraid to be associated with a two-bit, reactionary paper that has all the political sense of a five-year old boy after eating a package of Kool-Aid powder.

But they do have good Nats coverage! Comparative advantage, I suppose.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 8, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

@Dale: I tend to agree - the National's draft strategy should shift to a focus on position players at the JC/College level. Grab a highly-rated picher when he falls to you (pitchers are always trade-fodder), but keep an eye on organizational soft spots.

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

506 - make no mistake, the Nats Page(print and web) is the ONLY page i read in the Washington Times.

regardless of the negative stigma attached to the Times, their Nationals Coverage is *excellent*, imo.

by comparison, the Nats Journal Comments are pretty much the only thing that I feel is worth my time from the Post. If you guys ever decided to move over to the Times Blog, I'd never come here again. and be satisified with my fill of Nats coverage, between WNFF, NFA, and the Times.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! Just took a look at the lineups for real! Manny is playing around, hot damn!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 8, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I suppose it would be too much to ask for WMP to not strike out with a man on third and less than two outs.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | July 8, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Stop crying, you all act like children complaining about the Washington Post's coverage of this team. Just get over it already, this is what we have, be glad for it. There is such thing as fair and reasonable critique, but you, presumably grown men/women, have taken it to a level where its whining. Take some pride in yourself, please.

Posted by: Jason | July 8, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

...or for anyone to do anything positive. Ugh.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | July 8, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Just my 2c about the pitching. I agree with BIM that we are in a better place today than we were in '05. This is primarily due to a younger and deeper staff.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | July 8, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Stop crying, you all act like children complaining about the Washington Post's coverage of this team. Just get over it already, this is what we have, be glad for it. There is such thing as fair and reasonable critique, but you, presumably grown men/women, have taken it to a level where its whining. Take some pride in yourself, please.

---------------

"hey, you know you are Black right?" said the Pot to the Kettle.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

@Jason: Sorry, but the hamsters/crickets want to be fed from the source they are used to. I don't see it as whining, but rather a plea to the editors for more robust coverage of MLB in general, and the Nationals in particular.

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

@Jason: Sorry, but the hamsters/crickets want to be fed from the source they are used to. I don't see it as whining, but rather a plea to the editors for more robust coverage of MLB in general, and the Nationals in particular.

------

QFT.

besides, whining about whining isn't very productive either.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

on a lighter note, Zimmerman took BP today.

------

"Ryan Zimmerman took batting practice on the field today for the first time since late May. The good news is that Zim (who has a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder) was hitting the ball pretty solid, driving it to the gaps. The not-as-great news is that he didn't say he wasn't in any pain, only that his shoulder felt better than it did back before he went on the DL.

"I felt like I hit the ball well, had some carry on the ball," Zimmerman said. "The big thing is, for me, to be able to be productive. I don't want to be a singles hitter. We've got plenty of guys who can do that. If I can't drive the ball and hit for power, I'm not going to play."

So in other words, Zimmerman isn't completely ruling out season-ending surgery. That's not to say he's going to be shut down again. He's making pretty good progress. And there's still time before a decision has to be made. He'll keep taking BP this week, then possibly go on a rehab assignment next week during the All-Star break.

Stay tuned."

-----------

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

If players can be ejected/suspended for arguing calls, can umpires be suspended/demoted for making dumb calls? Given that MLB supposedly reviews games, what was that series of calls all about?

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

wow, those were some "compound words" used by perez.

Posted by: kevinx | July 8, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Any idea what was said? Thw first was a balk but what about the second

Posted by: at the game | July 8, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

they were both balks.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

As many of you commented earlier this week, we seem to be snakebit (no pun intended). Manny needs to get Colome ready; I don't think this is going to end well.

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

BIM,

it's natsluck.

Posted by: natsscribe | July 8, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Hoping for the best tonight, but I'm outta here.

Posted by: BIM | July 8, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I love Austin Kearns.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Charlie and Dave didn't think they were balks.

Posted by: Just sayin | July 8, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I was saying that both calls were balks. not that i agreed with them.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Steven was awesome getting out of that inning.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Charlie and Dave said Odalis has been doing whatever that move was since opening night.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Hi Ho Wily Mo! Let's End another Rally!

Posted by: SF Fan | July 8, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Watching a WMP at-bat hurts my soul. Why has he never learned to hit an off-speed pitch? Why haven't the Nationals forced him to take BP every single day seeing nothing but breaking balls? Uggggggggggh.

Posted by: John | July 8, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

They were both balks and Perez is wrong but it is hot night after an unbelievably bad first half of the season......I think if Angle H really is known as a hard ass ump (I think that he is) then I think the best thing Acta could have done out of a bad situation is.......let him have it with both barrels and get into the AC in the club house. It is not like he is helping the team anyway.

Posted by: JayB | July 8, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

cmonkearns cmonkearns cmonkearns please please please please please. big hit. please.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

My ears are burning. Thanks all for taking the coverage mantle while I've been on vacation.

In all seriousness, it is really unfortunate to see that the Post's coverage of the Nats has--like the Nats--hit rock bottom in Year 4. Barry openly recognized that the paper's coverage was not at the level where it should be, but he professed that the Post was committed to improving the coverage and making the paper a top-notch baseball paper. However, all we have seen are steps backward.

For example, to replace Barry, the Post hired someone who 1) had no experience covering baseball before, 2) had no experience writing for the Post before, and 3) had minimal experience writing for any paper of note before. To be clear, this is not a personal shot at Chico--I think he is working hard, has talent, and is doing as well as he can. But the fact of the matter is that he just did not have the experience that the Post's Nats beat writer should have and he has been thrown in over his head. The fact that Garcia-Ruiz hired him shows his disdain for the Nats and that the commitment that Barry spoke about is just not there.

Now, when the Post's inexperienced beat writer takes days off, we get interns covering our major league baseball team. That just should not happen for any major market paper, let alone for The Washington Post. On top of that, even the interns' work is barely edited.

Specific instances of the Post dropping the ball recently are too numerous to mention all of them, but here are a few: 1) Ronnie Belliard hits a dramatic walk-off against the Os and what is the color picture on both A1 *and* E1? Michael Phelps at the US trials! (Do any of you think that the actual Olympics--not the trials--will knock the Skins' training camp coverage off the front page?). 2) The Nats have a huge day with both the amateur draft and a doubleheader on the same day, but only rate 1 story--which Garcia-Ruiz later openly admits is a mistake. 3) The Post's inexperienced beat writer decides to ignore completely a game played on the field and instead write a color piece about Dmitri Young and his family--and his editor lets him do it.

In many respects, the times when a team is playing poorly on the field are the times when fans can benefit most from good coverage in the paper. It's a shame that the Post is not providing it. Others have mentioned the Times--it appears that the Post is getting what it deserves for its demonstrated disdain of the Nats.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 8, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Kearns comes through when we need him. Not all. So felted.

Posted by: Jason | July 8, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Kearns comes through when we need him. Not all. So felted.

----

Quit Crying. this is what you have, deal with it. have some pride in yourself.

or some crap like that.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

It is crime that WMP is not up in the front of the Box....look at him....he is as deep as he can get!

WHO IS THE HITTING COACH?

Posted by: JayB | July 8, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Kearns used up all of his luck with his two singles. This year the Nats are just unable to score in these two out (or even one out) situations. So frustrating.

Standard plot - The Nats will get decent pitching thru 6/7 innings, then give a couple of more runs in the 7/8th inning and ultimately lose.

Posted by: Count Demoney | July 8, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, nice job out there Bernadina.

Posted by: Jason | July 8, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Complaining about the product on the field is an entitlement as a fan, as far as I'm concerned. Completely different that crying about the "lacking coverage"

Posted by: Jason | July 8, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

C'mon. These guys are really fighting. We'd normally be down by, what, 6 runs by now? Especially since we've been riding on our bullpen since the 3rd?

Hey I'll take any + I can get.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Holey Moley. How much more of this brutal cr-- do we have to take from Wiley Mo Coyote and FLop?? And what the SAM H*LL is Bernadina DOING out there in center? That error in the 6th doesn't get made by kids in Babe Ruth league!! This is just brutal, brutal baseball. Roger is SO not ready for anything remotely like ML baseball. He needs to go back to AA after the game, and WMP and Flop need to be cut. Straight up released. Wiley just can hack it, and Flop is a disgrace to the uniform. I don't care if I could get Felipe for $1.50 - I wouldn't have him on my team. All he does is ground out, and the ONE TIME a ground out could help and advance a runner, what does he do? Routine fly ball. UGH UGH UGH.

This is brutal, Jim/Stan. Truly an awful display. You're gonna lose us if you keep this up. With the kids, i could deal, but from vets?? C'mon now. This had gone from insulting to embarrassing. I've been a season ticket holder for all 4 years, and I can't bare to watch. Seriously. I really can't take it. I'm going to have to seriously consider non-renewing my tickets next year. I can't in good conscious pay to watch this abomination much longer.

Posted by: Fed Up (sec 419) | July 8, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Complaining about the product on the field is an entitlement as a fan, as far as I'm concerned. Completely different that crying about the "lacking coverage"

------

no, not different at all. it simply complaining about two different aspects of the fan experience.

anyhow, I'm pretty much done complaining. I only come here for the comments. I go to the Times website when I want to read coverage. (incidentally, the Times does several blog updates during games, instead of just one "here are the lineups" posting.).

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey now, Kearns is doing his part. I've no complaint about a guy who goes 2 for 3, you can't get everyone.

For everyone moaning about poor defense, let's not forget that as things stand, the winning run was caused by a Guzman error, who now leads the team in errors. I ain't mad at him, I like Guzzie, but let's be sensible in our criticism.

What do you get when you're playing with 5 of your 9 players as backups? You get a lot of dead rallies, because you don't have many hits, which means they're not being strung together to get men all around.

This was not the Lerners plan, this is the result of a lack of depth caused by five or six years of deliberate depletion, followed by a rapid talent-for-names effort in order to increase the price of the team to stuff MLB's pockets.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 8, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Ste-phen Stras-burg [clap-clap-clapclapclap]

Posted by: Silver Lining | July 8, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Pena just had a great catch.

Posted by: Count Demoney | July 8, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

506,

I know you like to always see the glass as half full, but this team now has its worst record since the Nats came to Washington. Surely, there is no longer a debate about this team being better than last year's.

Posted by: Ed | July 8, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Those Heineken Premium Light commercials are driving me crazy. I hate them.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Is there anything good to say?

Sure, Austin Kearns is 6 for 19 (.316) since his return with 2 RBI and 2 BB. Wouldn't I like to see more doubles from him and a few homeruns, but even singles are helpful.

Not to mention a huge round of applause for the bullpen, especially Shell and Hanrahan.

This is how it's going to be until at least August, folks, sorry. We're going to have to focus on individual performances instead of worrying about the "team" because there is no team. There's a collection of replacement players that are playing their hearts out, but are replacements for a reason.

So don't ask yourself anymore whether the team won or lost last night. Ask yourself whether Flores was able to make adjustments now that big league pitchers are identifying him as the guy to watch out for in the lineup (Meat seems almost unaware that they're trying to pitch him a certain way, it's all advanced BP to him). Ask yourself if John Lannan is able to turn in another quality start. Ask yourself if Kearns has recovered his defensive abilities. Ask yourself which is the real Bergmann and whether Hanrahan can get his head straight enough to be a closer. Ask if Stephen Shell is blooming into a gem of a reliever or booming into a quick flare out.

These are the things that we're going to find victories or defeats in until more of the starters begin to return. And - ultimately - they're more important than 2008 wins and losses.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 8, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

if anyone is curious about how some of our walking wounded are doing, here is an update from the Nats Team Doctor that was just put up about 20 minutes ago:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/chatter/2008/Jul/08/update-ben-shaffer/

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Ed, I wouldn't dare say what you saw on the field tonight was better than last year. There's no Zimmerman, Church, or Schneider, and there's also no Milledge, Dukes, or Johnson. But what we saw on the field tonight wasn't supposed to be what we saw on the field this year, so I can't get irate at Jim, Stan, or Ted, et al., because this isn't what they planned either.

If this is what we keep fielding, yes I will be angry, as angry as many posters. But this is like if we started Fick, Batista, and Jiminez every single night last year. 2007 wouldn't have been the success it was if that had happened.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 8, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, Mr. Madison. TWT is kicking WaPo's a** with that stuff.

I hate to say this but I really miss Barry. He just seemed so much more *interested* in all the story lines and it always seemed like he couldn't WAIT to tell us stuff.

With Chico, it seems like, "oh, they're fine talking amongst themselves. I'll get them the news later."

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

well NatsNut...the Times Blog has a Comment Section that works too, ya know. ;)

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know. I've tried, believe me. But it's lonely over there. All the cool kids hang out here.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Perez and Hernandez have a history. I thought after the second balk that Perez was holding up four fingers; like "that's the 4th balk you've called on me". I found at least one other time Perez has been ejected by Hernandez (as a Dodger):

"The Giants had a runner reach second base against Perez for the first time in 12 innings. It came on what initially looked like a pickoff, before first-base umpire Angel Hernandez ruled it a balk.

Dodgers manager Jim Tracy leaped out of the dugout to argue and was ejected. Perez settled down to retire Edgardo Alfonzo, then Grissom went down and hammered a cut fastball into the left-field bleachers for a two-run shot.

Perez (4-6) ended the inning, went over to give the umpire Hernandez a piece of his mind, and was also ejected. "

(Oakland Tribune, Jun 25, 2003, Josh Suchon)

Posted by: joebleux | July 8, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Natsnut - yeah I know. we gotta get them over to the Dark Side of the Force.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Hats off to the 26,000 plus that showed up tonight. Just imagine what a winning team would draw. Milwaukee had there 16th sellout of the season tonight....MILWAUKEE. That could happen at Nats Park one day, that is, once a winning traditions begins to take shape.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 8, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

do TWT blog posts still have to wait to be approved? i thought that was part of the reason few people actually commented there...

Posted by: 231 | July 8, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I think they changed it. maybe we could do a one day "walk out" from Nationals Journal in protest of the measly coverage.

(and i was the one saying I'd pay for an online subscription!)

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

231 - nope. not any more.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

We welcome all disenchanted Nats Journal posters over on the Chatter blog... every third new poster gets a mass wedding free!

Posted by: A humble messenger | July 8, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

*points up*

that was NOT me.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 8, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

What about demoralized posters?

Posted by: NatsNut | July 8, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I like trades. I want trades. But will the Nats make trades?

How do other teams view the Nats tradeable assets? I was sorta surprised to see Harden traded for what is essentially a 22 year old 3rd/4th starting pitcher at best, two fringe OF's and a struggling C prospect. I know Harden hasnt made more than 20 starts since his rookie year and has spent what seems like years on the DL.
But thats it? Injury prone and team controlled Bedard was traded for two highly regarded prospects in Jones and Tillman, two more minor league arms and George Sherrill.

I gotta think Rauch and Redding have value as inexpensive alternatives under team control. But based on the Sabathia & Harden deals how much?

Could Rauch get a Lowrie/Kalish/Kris Johnson package from the Red Sox (even with Masterson turning into a RP)? Rauch will be cheap closer option through 2010.

Is Redding worth a Garcia or Jess Todd plus a lower level pitcher from STL? Redding is arbitration eligible through 2010.

Can Guzman fetch DeJesus plus one of McDonald or Meloan from the Dodgers?

Between players playing themselves out of value and high expectations from the Nats front office, I fear the trading deadline will come and go without a meaningful deal.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 8, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

506,

Not sure I agree with you entirely. I think the pitching is better this year. Johnson didn't play last year. Flores may not be as good a leader as Schneider, but I think he's hitting the ball as well or better. Also, many of those guys were healthy and it didn't matter. Not sure I agree with your analogy.

Posted by: Ed | July 8, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and one P. Lo Duca was the catcher in that Dodgers's game where Perez was ejected by Hernandez.

Posted by: joebleux | July 8, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Comcast SportsNet just had a piece on prospect Jordan Zimmermann on their nightly SportsNite show. Guess who appeared in the piece, offering expert commentary and insight? That's right, the Looger. Saint Barry of Panera.

At least Cheeks is resting up.

Posted by: Wily Mo Pena's Barber | July 8, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have had bad luck with injuries, but the Nats were not that good before the injuries. In the short term the plan is not working and unfortunately, it now appears that the plan will be require much more time than many of us thought - the farm is improved but still weak in may areas (nice post by BIM). TV ratings are apparently not good and I suspect that attendence will slowly decline despite the new stadium. To top it off the Nats' media coverage is poor.

This offseason should answer the question of whether the Lerners are penny wise but pound foolish.

I agree with 506's 10:02 point - to make the rest of the season bearable we will need to focus on individual players rather than the team.

Posted by: Count Demoney | July 8, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

They really need to drop that stupid Welcome Home scroll that goes on the ribbon boards...change it up, it's just so old, boring, and stupid...it's July for cryin out loud. They should have dropped that stuff on May 1st for petes sake.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 8, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

506,

Not sure I agree with you entirely. I think the pitching is better this year. Johnson didn't play last year. Flores may not be as good a leader as Schneider, but I think he's hitting the ball as well or better. Also, many of those guys were healthy and it didn't matter. Not sure I agree with your analogy.

Posted by: Ed | July 8, 2008 10:54 PM

-----

I'm flabbergasted. Someone more optimistic than me. On a point-for-point basis, I think you're right, Ed, but added all up, this team is less. My analogy only meant to demonstrate that backups don't make a winning club. When you have more than a certain number of backups playing as starters (how many? three? four?), your team is going to stop performing well.

Which brings me to my conclusion about judging games based on individual performances instead of team performance. Those individuals will tell you more about the progress of the Plan - and there has been progress, just not as much as we wish - than the W/L record.

And to throw in another analogy: the plan is like cooking a dish. You can follow a set of written instructions that you have ahead of time, but when you take your food off the stove at precisely 8 minutes, like you planned, there's no guarantee it's delicious. You've just followed a set of instructions.

Rather, you need to constantly be attentive to what you have, sneaking a taste here and there so you know what extra ingredients might be needed, until you know for sure that the thing is just right.

My fear? That we have the Sweedish Chef cooking and not Alice Waters. I kinda hope that JimBo is really the Samurai sub-man and all this insane chopping and lettuce flying will yield a perfect Hero.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 8, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Time for TiVo. Guess I'll get Intern Andrew's reaction to tonights game sometime tomorrow. Sigh.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 8, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Astleford's gamer is another instance of poor--or non-existent--editing. No mention of Odalis getting called for 2 balks and then ejected. Not a single word about the D'Backs at bat. This stuff should be in there. Tpand then, what editor allows an intern to wrap up his story with this cliche-ridden paragraph:

"A majority of the crowd stayed behind, perhaps to get their money's worth, maybe to pepper their struggling team with boos as they sulked from the field. Whatever the reason, patrons filtered into the night as they had so many times before: heads down as they left an empty, lifeless Nationals Stadium, just like their team."

Give me a break. Along with the trite cliches, I can say that I know I've never left Nationals Park with *my* head down, and I haven't seen too many other fans with theirs down either. And good grief, get the name of the home team's park right--it is not called Nationals Stadium. This stuff from the Post is pathetic; almost as pathetic as the play on the field.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 9, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

CiL, I was about to agree with you, but was saved by the fact that gamer's been changed to address your points. Phew, that was a close one.

Wonder which one makes it into print?

Posted by: joebleux | July 9, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Nats fall to 23 games under .500?

WOW, just, wow!!

No matter how good or bad the O's are this year they won't be 23 games under .500.


You sure Peter Angelos isn't running the Nats now?

Posted by: O's Exec | July 9, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Re. the OP's comments section, I occasionally tried to post, often without success, in the past. I looked again when they changed the format, but I was turned off by their wanting to know my gender, birthday, and zip code (required fields) to register.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 9, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Agree, 506, re. the applause for the 'pen. I was not optimistic on the pitching front when Perez was ejected but they stepped up nicely (just wish that they hadn't had to do so on the first night of the home stand). Also, it sounded like Lopez and Pena each had a highlight-type play? (Haven't looked at the team site yet - it keeps blowing up on me with the new viewer.) Nice that the Nats were getting some more hits but unfortunate that they couldn't deliver with runners in scoring position (again).

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention that we are currently not over .500 ourselves. Maybe I angered the baseball gods by gloating over injuries to Nats players? Nah.

Posted by: O's Exec | July 9, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

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