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Final: Nationals 5, Mets 5

As Chris "Mad Dog" Russo finishes his broadcast from an adjacent booth here ...

The Mets and the nats played to a 5-5 tie, and I'm pretty sure, at this point, Washington is just happy to get the point. The shootout has not been instituted in Grapefruit League play yet, but I've long been an advocate for it, as teams get too defensive when it goes to extra innings. I'll post more on that later.

Some important lines:

Zimmermann: 3-1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0.00 spring ERA
Hinckley: 2/3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Colome: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Dukes: 3 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, hitting .389
Eldred: 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI, hitting .364

And I'll throw one more in for good measure:

Zimmerman: 0 for 1, R, 2 BB, because I've long advocated that if Zimmerman could get more selective at the plate and not give away as many at-bats as he does (resulting in more walks), his entire offensive stat line would change.

Also, don't miss Steinberg getting existential with Bergmann over at the Bog.

Team is off tomorrow, at the Braves/Disney on Thursday. I'll have a few posts during the day tomorrow, but likely not much in the way of news.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 10, 2009; 4:48 PM ET
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Next: Zimmermann: Didn't Make The Paper


I've enjoyed Chico's reporting and posting since he became the go-to baseball reporter last year, but it's still really nice to see Barry's byline in the paper under a Nationals' heading and here on NJ.

Posted by: samantha7 | March 10, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely that Zimmerman needs to be more selective at the plate... Most of the Nationals should take mor pitches. That seemed to be a symptom of Lenny Harris as hitting coach, as far as I could tell.

One would hope that with a more potent line up, the #3 hitter will see better pitches. Perhaps the #4 and #5 hitters will too.

Posted by: arlingtontwb | March 10, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd say the bestest find for the team, in the off season, wasn't found at all. He was right under their noses all along under the name of Eckstein.

Posted by: Berndaddy | March 10, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Times is a different story since it never was, and never was intended to be, a for profit paper, it's "paid for" by the owners who use it as a distributer for a conservative ideology, not as a money making business.

Posted by: estuartj | March 10, 2009 3:22 PM

And the NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, etc. are not distributors for a Liberal ideology?

Posted by: Section505203 | March 10, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Eckstein is the biggest change of the year. I and many others starting calling for Lenny Harris to be fired in Sept of 2007. How he made it through all of 2008 is probability a microcosm of the total dysfunction that was Jimbo. Barry still says Jimbo was smarter than the rest and two moves ahead of everyone but the Harris hire and none fire just does not add up Barry.

Same as Ross D and his Matt Chico like stuff. That really needs to be looked into Barry. Trust us....Ross is not showing anything like MLB stuff. Rizzo is blowing smoke and that is too Jimbo like for my tastes. Stan take Note!

Posted by: JayBeee | March 10, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Dear Journal,

Today I had to take a note to the study hall proctor. So I walk in the door and JORDAN is sitting right in the FRONT ROW. And when I opened the door he TOTALLY looked up and looked right AT ME OMG. Then he went back to his book (i love that he's so studious0, so I played it totally cool too, i just walked over to Mr. Stclair and gave him the note and walked back out.

but zOMG he was totally looking right at me. I don't know if he *saw* me, but I know that he saw me, if you know what i mean, Journal.


Posted by: Scooter_ | March 10, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

OMG, that is, like, sooooo funny, Scooter. Totally. LOL! Good 4 u.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

And also a nominee for Post of the Day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or are we getting more unfiltered Barry opinions? Am I just looking back on the early days with a mind only for snark, or have y'all picked up on it too?

If this is the advent of a more opinionated Barry, then could this turn into (please!) a columnist gig? You know that being a Nats columnist is waaay better than covering the Redskins as beat writer #17!

Posted by: NattyDelite | March 10, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

PS, Props to Scooter. That was awesome.

Posted by: NattyDelite | March 10, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The new Stengal-isms ... the Mets get no respect? How about the Nationals?

Asked when the recession will end, Bernanke said: "My forecasting ability on this recession has been about as good as the win-loss percentage of the Washington Nationals," said Bernanke, referring to the baseball team that finished in last place last season.

Posted by: periculum | March 10, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Duke-sie Duke-sie Duke-sie

Oh Duke-sie talk to me you friggin whole sale deal just hit anywhere from 3-6 middle of the order destruction bound manster

Posted by: Brue | March 10, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

ah, I do love it when Brue gets into his stream of consciousness ravings. Especially when it's about someone already on the team.

Posted by: NattyDelite | March 10, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on some of the prior threads: First, the 1st "red-cards" of the season. I'm suprised by only one of the pitchers that were sent down = Justin Jones; 2.5/1 K/w ratio, 2/1 GO/FO ratio, 0.00 ERA in three appearances - what's not to like there?
Amongst the hitters, sending Whitney down suprised me a little, but if he's going to get more playing time & regular AB's in the minor-league camp, I'm all for it. He's the bridge between NJohnson & Rhinehart/Marrero, not Eldred.

Second - It may be that teams are starting to "build a book" on J.Zimm; Don't get me wrong, he's still good, but the Mets got to him a little today; his next couple of starts should tell where he actually is, in terms of being ready for the "Big Show".

Finally, the Nationals' bullpen is still a very unclear picture.
I think Hanrahan & Rivera are both close to "locks" for jobs in 2009; Bergmann needs a couple more games under his belt to have a better feel for where he is; T. Young hasn't done anything to kill his chances yet, while Colome, Glover, & maybe Ledezma are challenging for roster spots. Hinckley & Mock are pitching themselves back to AAA, and Shell could be on the outside looking in as well. Estrada or Chacin could be in the mix for the LR slot, with Towers as a dark horse for the job. That's 13 pitchers fighting for seven roster slots come opening day; may the best men win.

Posted by: BinM | March 10, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

>Especially when it's about someone already on the team.

I don't play favorites.

listen to me Duke-sie quick hands hands back patient rip chord

Posted by: Brue | March 10, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

... just getting home from work. Previously, on NJ:

"Not going to make a big deal out of this bullpen thing ..."

... oh but Barry. Please; go ahead. Be my guest!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 10, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

To keep talking about the Nats, please also check out! It's a great site with good Nats information, like this one.

Posted by: DCNats | March 10, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Barry for columnist!


Posted by: arlingtontwb | March 10, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Since it seems the Nats are not bringing Ohman / Beimel, failed to sign Reyes, and pretty much have suggested that any help is coming in the form of a trade, my guess is that the OF / 1B / backup infielder deal will target a relief arm. Maybe the entire relief pitcher.

Unfortunately, they may be late in pulling the trigger on an A's deal. Chavez may have to DH some, which pushes Giambi to 1st and Nomar, Crosby or Hannahan to 3d. It looks like that is not a landing spot for Nick. Would have liked almost any of their relievers. Perhaps TB will give up on some of their guys without options (Nieman?), but last I saw they were still bringing in bullpen options and not dealing.

WE may end up with a pitcher off waivers who is out of options. I have not looked at the lists of guys without options (I think MLBTR has one). Dave Aardsma?

Maybe the set up guy for the Nederlands.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 10, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

i'm a recent returnee to fan status, and not really in the loop of the sport, but i hope to follow the nats and attend some pnats games this year, so i appreciate any help in undersanding nuances.

does anyone think that adam dunn's plate discipline, i.e. seeing/watching him draw bb after bb, will have a positive effect on others' selectivity?

i know that brook jacoby had dunn spraying the ball more, and i trust eck will encourage him to keep that up? our stadium is not (left hand batter?) homer friendly?

perhaps he won't hit 40 this year, but more left-center power alley doubles could be the result?

his personality seems to be a good fit for this locker room (as opposed to scott olsen, a jim b-reclamation-brat-for-life, light-in-the-ass, confrontational menace to club chemistry)?

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 10, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

You're such a doof when you get happy about a player.

Posted by: BinM | March 10, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Which Nats’ minor league pitcher played and pitched for two league champions in 2008?

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 10, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope that E. Dukes has finally grown up between the ears, because his upside is natsromonical to the line-up. That could be a nice JB legacy to counterbalance a lot of the negative vibe he left. I'm walking on eggshells.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 10, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Welcome nova_g:
Good for you regarding the P-Nats; you may well run into a few blogsters there.
Dunn's plate selectivity may carry over to RZimm, if either he or Eckstein thinks it's worth looking at.

Posted by: BinM | March 10, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Nederlands, as jca was - I don't believe what I just saw! That was one heck of a game those kids played. Sorry, Manny, but I was kinda rooting for them as I do love the underdogs.

I also like Brue's enthusiasm, especially when it's about a present-day Nat.

Welcome, nova. I'm one of those who attends P-Nats as well as Wash Nats game.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

thanks natsfan1a1 et al:

pnats are loaded again? frowney and ozzie rodrigues, two age-challenged guys, will be with the pnats this year?

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 10, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

rodriguez, i mean ; no brit here.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 10, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

@natsfan -- Agreed. That was an incredible game. As I posted over at Soccer Insider, this was a truly stunning upset in what should have been a complete mismatch -- possibly ranking up there with the USA upset over England in the '50 (Soccer) World Cup as one of the most unlikely sports results ever. The Netherlands team has 2 guys that have seen more than a couple of at-bats in the majors, and one of them -- Kingsale -- made a crucial error in the 11th that could have cost his team the game. Then, the one player that had a handful of major league at-bats -- former Nationals' minor leaguer Yurendell de Caster -- drives in Kngsale to score the winning run with 2 outs in the bottom half of the inning.

As for the Nats' bullpen troubles, maybe they could look to that Netherlands team. Their relievers have looked a heckuva lot better than Hinckley. He must be covering up some injury...If I'm Rizzo, I send some scouts to check out these guys.

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Ouch....Mike Rizzo is openly calling the Jimbo years "dysfunctional" and admitting freely that Nats suffered from a total lack of respect by their peers in MLB.

Sure sounds like all the issues we negative types have been pushing to the top for coming on 3 years now had some merit huh?

That said, I am starting to be more and more optimistic about 2009. I like J. Zimmermann a lot. I like Lannan. I like Martis. I think we could trade Guzman soon for pitching and not really hurt the offense much. A Gonzalez’s improved defense and a few walks would make up for the defense in hits and total bases from Guzman. I would also trade Belliard for pull pen help sooner than later. I would trade Milledge for Starting pitching and put Dukes in CF.

These moves many not be the right ones but at last we have an honest GM type and some talent to work we need a long term view of the roster and some major reworking to get the right talent at the right position.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 11, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

On Rizzo, I think Stan is going to move to his type of experienced seasoned GM at the end of the year. Rizzo’s comments just prove to Stan why he needs to get a more polished, media savvy GM. Can you imagine Stan making those comments? Stan would spin that message quite differently than, yea we were a total mess for 3 years but now we are going to get serious and make some progress.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 11, 2009 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Barry has a DMTP post up (NJ Old School time).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Found a quick way to avoid another 102 loss season: start counting ties.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

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