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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 afternoon, I'll be back to post more thoroughly. Thanks for the patience.


If you want to read about a welcome price lowering interrupting a season of largely unwelcome lows, read here.

If you want to read about the capstone of a dazzling nine-game stretch, read here.

If you want to read about two catchers, one who is hurt and one who is starting tonight, read here.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2008; 6:23 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's lineups
Next: Archived reading, upcoming instruction


I will read them all.

Posted by: Positively Half St | September 4, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about Jo-Jo Reyes. I am just excited for Shairon Martis.

Posted by: Positively Half St | September 4, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks - I read 'em in the dead-tree edition. Have a good trip.

Carrying forward:

Confidential to Mr. Manuel, that wasn't lipstick or makeup or rouge that you saw on Milledge or the rest of our guys tonight but rather face paint a la Braveheart. And, no, there wasn't a full moon last night. Why do you ask?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 6:30 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

p.s. Nice gamer - the Kory Casto quote was my fave.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy Atlanta, Chico! Gotta love Luke Montz - "Popeyes," Montz said, "never happened."

What a morning! 8-1 homestand, 2-3 against the Phillies and the P-Nats win an extra (15?) innings thriller! It is good to be a D.C. baseball fan!

When you look up Ryan Zimmerman on Baseball Reference and see that $375,000 salary, you go, "Whaaa? Do I need more coffee? This for the guy whom Bill James covets for the Red Sox?"

Posted by: flynnie | September 4, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Charlie got to laughing really hard last night about some call-up named "Shlitter" whom he said would be causing trouble in 30 broadcast booths all over MLB. Dave cut im off with, "We wish him all the luck in the world." This set Charlie off with a joke about how, when to told to change his name, Shlitter changed it from Ryan to Joe, which then caused the producer Jack, to have to take the "A.I.R." and by then, Charlie was saying that the producer couldn't get another job because he needed verbal abuse to work effectively, and he could only get it from Charlie and Dave. Charlie was laughing so hard we lost him. It took everything he had to call the next inning, when the game was in a 5-5 tie. Great fun!

Posted by: flynnie | September 4, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

It seems like the Nationals are down to there last cathchers. First Schnieder,then Flores. It's like every one in the National league is out to get our great cathchers. First Hoops gets traded and then Chase Ugly, oh sorry Utley, runs into Flores. Well I guess this might be okay.
O not.

Posted by: sec 125 seat 4 | September 4, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Church hit a grand slam in the 1st last night. Guess he's healthy again.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 4, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the radio recap of the inning, Flynnie. I missed the top of the 7th through the top of the 8th due to a phone call.

Schneider had a dinger yesterday afternoon, too, NatsNut.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

In a world where a 54-86 record is 16 games under .500, I suppose a population group that consists of 50.7% of the total US population (2006 Census Bureau data) can be considered to be a minority. But what do I know anyway? I'm dead.

Posted by: Don LaFontaine | September 4, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

... but I'd like to remind everyone here that I called the ST price cuts *weeks* ago.

Of course, since this is anonymous no one can prove that I'm the same guy - but I know and my smug self-satisfaction is all that matters.


Posted by: Not normally one to say I told you so | September 4, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Reyes. Who is the "Reyes" that I see in the dugout all of the time? He isn't a player.

Posted by: JT | September 4, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Utley's number is 26. He asked for 666, but MLB does not allow triple digits on uniforms.

Posted by: PTBNL | September 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I seem to have missed something. Can someone explain the significance of the "wife-beater" references to the Phillies?

Posted by: ce | September 4, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Also, interesting piece about the Washington National Opera's planned simulcast of "La Traviata" at Nats Park.

Word is that, not to be undone, the Cubbies are firming up plans to screen "Rigoletto" at Wrigley. Highlights will include a rousing rendition of La maledizione...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"I seem to have missed something. Can someone explain the significance of the "wife-beater" references to the Phillies?"

Brett Myers beat his wife last year.

How about Milledge's takeout slide (into Utley) last night?!!!

Posted by: 756* | September 4, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Here you go, ce. Myers is the poster boy...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Luckily, it was not a distraction for the team. (Slap a little makeup on her and she'll be fine, right, Charlie?)

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

One more link on the incident. Okay, I'm done now, I promise.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

With Flores hurt - do you think Sarah Palin could play some catcher for the Nats? She's pretty tough.

Posted by: Shirlington | September 4, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie, thanks for relaying the radio guys' hijinx. We were sitting in the upper deck, behind home plate, right in front of the broadcast booths, very last row (fantastic seats, by the way, at a swell price). We could hear the Nats' stat guys (or whoever) making announcements to the press folk, and we could also hear the radio feed from a TV by the concession stand. At one point I heard Slowes dissolve into a fit of giggles and I wondered what those rascals were up to. Sounds like the usual good times.

Posted by: Scooter | September 4, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Imagine what might have been if Zim, Dukes and Milledge had been on the field together for more than the 27 games so far this season (which is exactly one fourth of a season). The Nats are 17-10 in these games, which over a full season would translate to 102 wins.

And they've won with Nick, Belly, Dmitri, Boone and Casto playing first. They've won with Felipe, Boni and Hernandez playing second. They've won with WMP, Willie, Langerhans, Mackowiak and Bernadina playing in left.

Stay healthy, three amigos!

Posted by: e | September 4, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Nationals Win! Theeeeeeeee Nationals Win!!!

The young guns are fueling the changeover from a Subordinate Group to a Dominant Group!

Scooter got to stay up past bedtime!

If we can sweep Atlanta over the weekend, we'll only be two games back. The new goal: A 16-6 finish, and fourth place, at 70-92. Snatching victory from the jaws of Da Meat, and Flores' feet.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 4, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Groan, Bob L. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Da Meat, here's a picture of The Yule Log in a Lake Monster's uniform (with a tip o' the cap to Brian at NFA):

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 4, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Looks like good old Meat Hook is tearin' up the base paths. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Loved the game last night and loved Chico's phrase that Milledge "flipped Utley like a pancake."

Posted by: Section 109 | September 4, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Since August 1 (2008b) the Washington Nationals are 16-15.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 4, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

For Charlie and Davers, recap here (with Milledge's takeout at the top and at about 1:28):

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually, make that about 1:24.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I just got a new computer and I can't watch videos on What software do I need? I used to be able to do it. And I want to watch Milledge slide into Utley.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by: clueless | September 4, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone out there have a pitch count on Perez in the 2nd inning last night? I got the 2nd & 3rd batter out with one pitch each. I may have blinked on the first batter and missed a pitch. If not, it was the first perfect inning by a pitcher since the Nats moved back to town.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 4, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse claimed a 9 pitch inning in 2nd?

3 pitches, 4 pitches, 2 pitches

Posted by: SF Fan | September 4, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

You can get a pitch-by-pitch from espn:

Agrees with SF Fan's numbers. You must have been nodding off more than you thought...

Posted by: joebleux | September 4, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Dmitri looks like a monster, and a buoyant one at that. "Lake Monsters" works pretty well.

Posted by: Positively Half St | September 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Charlie and Dave said that Colome had a perfect inning the other night. Three pitches, three fly balls.

Posted by: faNATic | September 4, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

And further research reveals that Colome did:

top of the 6th, after Estrada gave up Howard's second 2-R HR:

J Colome relieved M Estrada
P Feliz flied out to center
C Coste lined out to right
S Victorino hit for E Bruntlett, S Victorino flied out to right

Same link as everyone else:

Posted by: faNATic | September 4, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

OK, probably my bad. Not in my usual seats until later in the game.

Apparently the Washington Nationals record for perfect innings remains out of danger.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 4, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

You all are right...Colome made the quickest three outs I've ever seen him make, taking only three pitches do so. Must be the new and improved version. I must say, he has been pitching extremely well lately.

Posted by: BSG | September 4, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of perfect, how great is it that we plunked Utley in his first AB and then took him out at second, scoring a run in the process, on the night after he nailed Flores? Perfect baseball contrapasso, no?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 4, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bob or Don made a remark about how Colome would probably be available the next game after that brief outing. And then, if I recall correctly, they reconvened their local chapter meeting of the Chase Utley Fan Club.

Posted by: joebleux | September 4, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

More from my 3rd favorite website,;

Elias Ranking Update: NL Starters
By Tim Dierkes [September 4 at 1:36pm CST]
Once again we turn to Eddie Bajek at Detroit Tigers Thoughts, who has cracked the Elias formula. Today, National League starters have been added. Thoughts:

Four starters project to have Type A status: C.C. Sabathia, Kyle Lohse, Ben Sheets, and Oliver Perez. Lohse and Perez are solid pitchers, but they're less attractive given the loss of a draft pick. Teams like the Dodgers, Tigers, Orioles, and Braves may be searching for starting pitching and may have unprotected first-round picks to lose.
Type Bs: Randy Wolf, Randy Johnson, Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, Jamie Moyer, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux. You have to like Lowe not costing a draft pick.
Odalis Perez, Braden Looper, Livan Hernandez, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, and others you'd expect are not Type A or B. No one loses a pick, no one gains a pick.

Posted by: estuartj | September 4, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. Apparently I simply missed it (was talking to an usher). Colome's doesn't count. He faced three batters, but it wasn't a perfect inning, since the Phillies had had multiple batters that inning. That would be no different than retiring the last two batters in an inning on two pitches and the first batter in the next on one pitch.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 4, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little slow to have just caught on to this, but with the #10 (or #11, depending on Alvarez) pick, and say a little rush that gets us out of the top 3 picks, the penalty for signing a Type A free agent is not too bad. If we are talking about shelling out $6 million for the #4 - #6 pick, and then waiting maybe 2 - 3 years for that player to show, perhaps having #10 and a cornerstone is attractive. I'd still like to see a hard push for Lowe, who wants to come east, or an OF/1B option, than CC or Sheets. I hate to give those guys Zito money and then have Sheets turn into Mike Hampton or CC turn into a giant Chili Dog. That could get dangerous with Dmitri and Belli under contract for '09.

Posted by: PTBNL | September 4, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

So it's safe to say that Bob L. Head is not in the camp that is hoping we finish dead last to win the Strasburg sweepstakes?

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | September 4, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

If we lose, I'll take Strasburg as a consolation prize. But I'm not going to root for that result. Especially in light of the Crow debacle, and the Boras/Alvarez fiasco. Heck I'll throw Mark Prior in there as well. The draft is a crapshoot. A Lerner/Bowden/Boras draft might be worse than that. Let's play to win and then draft the best player available (as far as we know).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 4, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

PTBNL, do you think that it would be better to find left-handed pop and lock it in place than a starter? Starters are so shaky, year to year (Lowe, of course, is not very shaky, which is why he is Lowe and I'm not), whereas a big bat should be consistent (at least now that steroids are already banned).

If we can only have one, I think I'd rather add the pitching in as the last ingredient, since that will make it fresher.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 4, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

To "clueless" (your moniker, not my editorial comment), wonder whether you began having video viewing problems when started using the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in (which is what happened to me)? I eventually figured out that I could continue using the standard Windows Media Player instead. If the MLB site gives you the option of using the original media player when you click on a video, you can choose it that way. You may also have to tweak the settings on the player (it's been a while and I can't remember exactly what I did). See also the technical FAQs below:

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on that, Bob. L.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Also, if Silverlight was inadvertently installed on your computer while you were viewing a MLB video, you may need to uninstall it.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 4, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's a ...

Posted by: New Post! | September 4, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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