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Nationals Journal: August 17, 2008 - August 23, 2008

A very innocuous health report

To answer your questions/concerns as quickly as possible: He's OK, and he's OK, too. I'm talking about Lastings Milledge and Willie Harris, of course. One was hit by a pitch today in the eighth inning, and the other departed the...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 23, 2008; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Oh, Odalis

From several levels (and zero elevators) below comes this report from the Nats training staff: Odalis Perez cut the back of his left thumb, which explains why he left the game looking at his hand with utter contempt. But there...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 23, 2008; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Today's lineups

In between the finish of yesterday afternoon's game and the start of this morning's game (well, first pitch is at noon), Manny Acta decided to fill his free time with another baseball game. Along with bullpen coach Rick Aponte and...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 23, 2008; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Improbabilities

The Nats were down 4-0 this afternoon, sleepwalking, really. And they could be forgiven, too; they'd gotten into town last night around 2 a.m. John Lannan couldn't find the strike zone and the Nats couldn't hit Cubs' pitcher Jason Marquis....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 22, 2008; 6:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
 
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GM: Nats hopeful for Dmitri's return this September

I just received an e-mailed statement from Jim Bowden, sent to several media members, about the condition of a particular first baseman who hasn't played since the all-star break. I'll copy and paste: "Dmitri Young has been cleared medically to...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 22, 2008; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
 
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Lingering rain and elbow stiffness

The game start time has been pushed back briefly here because of a little rain, but the radar indicates that things should clear up soon. This won't be a major delay. No start time has been indicated, but I'd guess...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 22, 2008; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Lineups from Wrigley

So this is my first trip to Wrigley, but it feels like I've been here before. In a way, I have. Like so many kids, I grew up with afternoon baseball on WGN. I tried my Harry Caray imitations. I...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 22, 2008; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Guzman Back, and the Other 17 Starters

Wanted to get you these lineups once they came out... Washington Hernandez -- 4 Guzman -- 6 Zimmerman-- 5 Milledge -- 8 Belliard -- 3 Flores -- 2 Kearns -- 9 Harris -- 7 Redding -- 1 Philadelphia Rollins --...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 21, 2008; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (160)
 
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A Consistent Pattern

The losing streak hit 12 last night. After that game, when Ryan Zimmerman held court for a few minutes to discuss the losing, he fell back on the same banality that's found wide favor in the Nats clubhouse these days....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 21, 2008; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
 
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On Hernandez

Let's sort things out with Anderson Hernandez. On-field stuff aside, he seems to fit in well with the Nats. Today, he was surrounded in the clubhouse for a good hour by several of the teammates he knows from winter ball...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2008; 6:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
 
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The newcomer slides straight into the lineup

Cristian Guzman needs at least another day to rest, Manny Acta said. And so, the starting lineup welcomes Anderson Hernandez. Washington Bonifacio - 4 Harris - 7 Zimmerman - 5 Milledge - 8 Belliard - 3 Flores - 2 Kearns...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2008; 5:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Chasing, um, history

To be clear, Jason Bergmann had the line and the look of a deserving winning pitcher last night. He pitched into the seventh inning. He allowed three earned runs (four total) and didn't walk a single batter. He was throwing...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2008; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Casto to Class AAA Columbus

After tonight's game, the Nationals sent Kory Casto back to Class AAA Columbus. This move will clear space for Anderson Hernandez, the player to be named later in the Luis Ayala trade. Hernandez is expected to join the Nats tomorrow....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2008; 11:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Vets out of the lineup and lower in the lineup

The daily collaboration of odds and ends... * SS Christian Guzman took batting practice before today's game and could return to the lineup within the next day or two, Manny Acta said. Guzman is even a candidate to make an...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2008; 6:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Lineups, with Flores

Here's a dose of good news. Jesus Flores's sprained right knee, which had him listed as day-to-day, isn't going to keep him from the lineup. He said he feels fine today. Even yesterday when he had an MRI, the catcher...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2008; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Estrada up from Columbus

Just about an hour ago, the Nats formalized their latest transaction, recalling RHP Marco Estrada from Class AAA Columbus. Estrada has never pitched in the big leagues before, and will take the place of Luis Ayala in the bullpen. Overall...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2008; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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The Budget for the Draft

In the last few days, as the spin-cycle following the Aaron Crow non-signing has finally slowed, we've seen arguments from both sides. A columnist for Baseball Digest Daily, Brian Joseph, called Crow's bonus demands "ridiculous" and credited GM Jim Bowden...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2008; 10:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (122)
 
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Flores: sprained right knee

Just your daily fix of Nats' medical news... In the bottom of the sixth inning on Saturday night, catcher Jesus Flores tried to score from first on a Ronnie Belliard double. The play at the plate -- he was thrown...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2008; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Off day

Lastings Milledge: "A day off is good." Ryan Zimmerman: "It will be nice to take a day off and get away from it." Ryan Langerhans: "I think it's good, you know." Odalis Perez: "It's good. We haven't had an off...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2008; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
 
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A few notes...

If you are all holding your breath as the Nationals try to avoid their 10th-straight loss, here are some notes from before the game to occupy you as you clench your fists... - The X-Rays for Jesus Flores' strained right...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2008; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
 
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One Player Going to a Contender, Nine Players Who Are Not

The Washington Nationals traded reliever Luis Ayala to the New York Mets for a player to be named later, who is expected to be infielder Anderson Hernandez. Ayala had requested a trade. He is a free agent at the end...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2008; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
 
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