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Nationals Journal: August 31, 2008 - September 6, 2008

About the decision

Manny Acta had said he wanted to sleep on the decision, and so today, one reporter started the obvious question by saying, "Manny, I'm assuming you had a good night's sleep." He did. And he decided. "We're going to put...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 6, 2008; 7:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Bergmann to bullpen

Some news broke this afternoon, and I'll come back as soon as possible with more reaction to the move. But here's the bulletin-style dispatch: The Nats are moving Jason Bergmann to the bullpen, replacing him in the rotation with 21-year-old...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 6, 2008; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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After a tough outing

So what's up with Jason Bergmann? That's the real question that last night's game left behind. In matters like this, Randy St. Claire is often the man to go to -- pitching's equivalent of a Magliozzi brother from Car Talk....

By Chico Harlan  |  September 6, 2008; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Who's on first?

Trivia game... This year, the Nats have started six players at first base. Who are they? (Answer below.) There's some timeliness to this question, actually. One first baseman (Ronnie Belliard) was injured yesterday. Another (Dmitri Young) is returning Tuesday. Another...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 5, 2008; 7:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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A best-case scenario for Hill

Make no mistake: Shawn Hill isn't yet in the clear. The Nats can't count on Hill to be a part of next year's rotation, or any year thereafter, for that matter. If he makes it back from the arm problems...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 5, 2008; 6:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Catching up

I'm guessing the vast entirety of Washingtonians (or at least those without membership in the Baseball Writers Association) were watching Jason Campbell throw last night, not Shairon Martis. But that's OK; the Reader's Digest version of Martis's start is here....

By Chico Harlan  |  September 5, 2008; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Belliard likely done for season

As of tonight, it looks like Ronnie Belliard's right groin strain will end his season. "Yeah, it's a bad groin pull," Nats Manager Manny Acta said after tonight's loss, 2-0 against Atlanta. "As of up to now, it might look...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2008; 11:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Ronnie Belliard: right groin strain

In the top of the seventh inning tonight, 1B Ronnie Belliard came up lame while running out a chopper to short. He made it to first with an infield hit, but left immediately with what the Nationals are calling a...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2008; 9:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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A battery debuts

OK, I'm putting out a challenge. Anybody with a predilection for trivia, arcana or research has the chance to make my day. If you've got dinner plans soon, don't even try. I'm trying to figure out when a major league...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2008; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Lineups from Turner Field

Plenty more to come before the hour is up... Please note the last-minute pitching change for the Braves. Jo-Jo Reyes was supposed to be on the mound tonight, but his wife just gave birth, which has led to a reshuffling:...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2008; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Archived reading, upcoming instruction

Flying into Atlanta is always kind of a mess, even in the best of circumstances, which is why you've got to pick a way (or two) to salvage a little enjoyment. For me, the on-flight tomato juice is always a...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2008; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Off to Atlanta

My apologies for the brevity this morning; gotta catch a flight to Atlanta, which is never a fun trip, unless you're a baseball team and Jo-Jo Reyes greets your arrival. For now, I'll just post the reading material. By this...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2008; 6:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Tonight's lineups

[UPDATE, 7:15 p.m.] The blog platform isn't allowing new entries right now, so I'll just re-top this one with some new notes... * Jesus Flores was hobbling around in the clubhouse around today, wearing a heavy black boot on his...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 3, 2008; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
 
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Nats: Flores expected back this year

The latest medical update on C Jesus Flores, passed along by PR man John Dever, says that the MRI taken this morning on Flores's left ankle confirmed a sprain, nothing greater. Flores is expected to return to play this season...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 3, 2008; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Good school?

If you had the chance to watch and/or see the replay, what did you think of the Jesus Flores-Chase Utley home plate collision last night? Was Utley being clean, or was he being Brian Urlacher? After the game, the consensus...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 3, 2008; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Flores injured, leaves game

[UPDATE, 11:27 p.m.] Manny Acta believes there's a chance Flores can come back before the end of the season, but he's still not sure. (My guess is that Flores is shelved for the year. It makes little sense to rush...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 2, 2008; 8:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Guzman: NL co-player of the week

Perhaps the best thing about Cristian Guzman's week is that it buried the several weeks that came beforehand. In the last seven games, the Nats -- and the entire National League -- has seen Guzman at his best. He's had...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 2, 2008; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Notes and lineups

* Perhaps you're wondering about the press release issued by the Nats today announcing that three players have been recalled -- not to report -- and one player has been placed on the 60-day DL. Those recalled from Columbus and...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 2, 2008; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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At the root of the W streak

It is patently unfair to credit two people alone for the Nats' seven-game winning streak. As a general rule, a team can win a game or two because of one or two players. But for a winning streak -- especially...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 2, 2008; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
 
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Comments galore on the call-ups

The Nats' clubhouse felt crowded today, with just a little of that first-day exuberance. The Wash Times' Ben Goessling observed that it felt like the first day of school. Lots of hugs and good-to-see-yas. Kory Casto is back (with a...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 1, 2008; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Today's lineups

Philadelphia Rollins - 6 Victorino - 8 Utley - 4 Howard - 3 Werth - 7 Dobbs - 5 Stairs - 9 Coste - 2 Kenrick - 1 Washington Harris - 7 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 3 Milledge -...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 1, 2008; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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From Nationals Park

Happy holidays to all. If you're not at the ballpark today, I hope you're somewhere near a grill and a cooler. The Nats try today for their seventh win in a row, with Tim Redding (9-8, 4.54) opposing Philadelphia's Kyle...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 1, 2008; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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A win, and what came beforehand

I just filed my game story for tomorrow's paper, so I'll hold off on any excessive rehashing of today's dramatics. But this game had all the compelling components: Aaron Boone (after a failed bunt attempt) launched the go-ahead home run...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 31, 2008; 7:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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September call-ups

Six players will be joining the Nationals come September 1, including three pitchers who the team will add to the official 40-man roster. The players... > 1B/3B/OF Kory Casto > SS Alberto Gonzalez > OF Roger Bernadina > P Mike...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 31, 2008; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Lineups from Nats Park

Some notes about today's lineup... * Lastings Milledge has the day off. * So does Chipper Jones. * Elijah Dukes is batting fourth for the first time all season. He's 6 for 15 (.400) since coming off the DL earlier...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 31, 2008; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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They go for six in a row

Had I been granted the room, I could have written 2,000 words on last night's game. So much to mention... With one clutch hit in the fifth, Jesus Flores did to his slump what Bo Jackson used to do to...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 31, 2008; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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