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The fourth inning isn't even finished yet, and...

* Both starters are already out of the game

* The Nats and Mets have combined for 14 runs and 21 hits

* Ryan Zimmerman is already 3-for-3

* John Lannan tied for his shortest start of the season

* Carlos Delgado has gotten two separate M-V-P chants

* Oliver Perez, who'd lasted at least six innings in 13 straight outings, was out in 3-1/3

* The Nats started the fourth with eight of their first nine reaching base

* All this scoring, and Luis Ayala hasn't even appeared yet!

By Chico Harlan  |  September 9, 2008; 8:48 PM ET
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Great post, Chico!!! This is fun.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 9, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Chico wrote:

"All this scoring, and Luis Ayala hasn't even appeared yet!"

Kinda makes you wish it was the ninth inning already!

Posted by: Wigi | September 9, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

When do we officially put Ayala in the Manny Ramierez class of "get you self traded" players?

Posted by: Tom | September 9, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Manning hadn't been this bad since his debut in San Diego.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 9, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

This is a terribly pitched game. Just terrible.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 9, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Concise. Nothing but the facts. Didn't have to look up any words.

Whiners should be happy now.

Top of the order to get back the lead.

Posted by: cat daddy | September 9, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Will Ayala be bringing his gas can out with him in the 9th?

Posted by: BSG | September 9, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

that was interesting double play...

Posted by: BSG | September 9, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Lannan has probably hit his inning limit for the year. Makes the reliever auditions a bit silly if they don't bring someone else up. The only one on the roster is Clippard. Maybe Bergman gets another shot.

Posted by: cat daddy | September 9, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

it really hurt to see the former "gasoline alley" get an easy save. this game shows that the homeboys need more guys in the lineup who can take one swing then trot around the bases. it takes too much effort for them to score runs in bunches.

Posted by: natsscribe | September 9, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else as PO'ed as I am about the showings of Ayala and FLop after jumping ship? It's almost as if they were rewarded for not giving maximum effort while here. Ayala now has a win and six saves for the Mets. How much better off would the Nats be if he had applied himself here instead of stinking up the joint? Don't want this team to be known as one that caters to malcontents.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 9, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

leetee1955, there seems to have been a lot of weird stuff going on this year. Ayala dogged it, but he may have felt he deserved better. FLop complained of no one telling him anything. Maybe there was more discontent and chaos they we are aware of. They went from given some guys extra chances, mostly to cover bad moves, to trying out guys for the future.
I don't know...

Posted by: cat daddy | September 9, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse


I would not place Ayala and Lopez in the same group. I think that Ayala gave it his all while he was here and it just did not work for him at the end. I do not think that his attitude was ever questioned, just his ability to get hitters out. I actually am happy that he is effective once again, though this time it was against our team. Besides, you have to admit that the player we got for him, Hernandez, has been playing spectacularly for us.

Posted by: Dale | September 9, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse


I don't understand the venom that you projected in the post concerning Chico's questions to Dmitri. I am sure that Dmitri will confide his failings in due time but perhaps the first day back is not right time for a mea culpa. Dmitri is still staggering at this moment and it seems that you want to cleanse him by fire, much like an inquisition judge would have sought his truth above all other considerations.

Posted by: Dale | September 9, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I was just about to comment on Hernandez, Dale. 2-5, 3 rbi, 2 runs, .372 Maybe he going to platoon with Emilio, but his splits look pretty good.

Posted by: cat daddy | September 9, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Strasburg -- git your bags packed, and start picking out apartments in Woodbridge and Harrisburg.

Have to say that you shouldn't speak of Ayala and Lopez in same sentence. I mean, I can...but you shouldn't. Ayala tried, I think. Lopez just didn't care. It's actually kinda stunning that Lopez got another shot so quickly, given his pee-poor attitude.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 9, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

My beef with Young and the total pass given to him by the Nats and Chico just continues the trend. Bowden said he would not be back until he gets into "real playing shape" this time. Yet like so many other things with the Nats, that is just BS....he walks back into the clubhouse at most likely over 325 lbs and hurt already because in his own words 'I don't know why, but I was actually trying to run out a hit in VT" and yet again pulled a muscle.

Some might find this just “lovable” DY, but I find it just more reason why this team is such a wasteland failed promise. Nats are getting known fast as a place where you can come to camp out of shape, (really, really out of shape), brag about it, drink and eat your way onto the DL, then get a 2 week front row seat to a pennant race, collect your Millions and have zero accountability for your actions. Young and his behaviors are not something to be proud of, he is not a role model, and he should not be rewarded with a end of year call up when he still is well over 300 lbs.

Chico should go back and look at Jimbo's promise to the fans and the team, and call them on this farce. The message this move sends the whole baseball world and this roster specifically is all wrong. The lack of accountably Young and Bowden are held to by Chico is a large part of the problem with this organization. With Chico's writing today it just proves Nats can say and do anything, without worry that anyone will do the slightest leg work and call them out when they do a 360 on what was promised.

Posted by: JayB | September 10, 2008 4:42 AM | Report abuse

I don't ever remember hearing that Ayala was a bad guy or wasn't trying. It just wasn't working - divorce, whatever. A change of scenery thing, it worked for him, good for him.
FLop? A leopard doesn't change his spots. His true colors will show in time, wherever he ends up.

Posted by: FFLop | September 10, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

"without worry that anyone will do the slightest leg work and call them out when they do a 360 on what was promised"

Posted by: A 360? | September 10, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Can't say I see the difference between Ayala and Lopez, except that Ayala never had to run 90 feet to first. Would we have seen hustle?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 10, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

"Some might find this just “lovable” DY, but I find it just more reason why this team is such a wasteland failed promise."

JayB, you seem to have mistaken MLB for the US Marine Corps and the Nationals for Parris Island.

Posted by: JayB, all about the inquisition | September 10, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

... and Chico for Judge Judy.

Posted by: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! | September 10, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

How is it rewarding DY to bring him into the clubhouse, where they can possibly get the odd pinch-hit out of those millions they're paying him in any event? Seems to me they'd want to keep him motivated to work a little, since he wasn't exactly living in Gold's Gym over the winter.

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

In regards to DY being on the team now it truly seems that he has no where else to be and it not costing the team anything extra. Much like Kearns he can hang out in the clubhouse and enjoy life as a highly paid DL player. For the moment it sounds like he wont be legging out any infield grounders but then again when did anyone see Dmitri do a Willie Harris impression? I think that JayB's questions are relevant in deciding next season if he should be on the 25 man roster. This season has not provided any reason for him to take a roster spot on next year's team even at the cost of a wasted 5 million dollars. If he arrives in 2009 in playing shape then he could earn a spot, but that seems to be a big "if". He has used up his free pass this year. So, JayB, I agree with the direction of your questioning just not on the timing.

Posted by: Dale | September 10, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

An excellent illustration of the 360-degree turn is at about 1:40

Posted by: ce | September 10, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

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