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Nationals 3, Marlins 1

Garrett Mock is on to close things off in the ninth, and if the Nats can hang on here, they've got themselves a well-played 3-1 win. Aside from two throwing errors -- one from Willie Harris, one from Alberto Gonzalez -- the Nationals had plenty to feel good about this afternoon. No pitcher allowed an earned run. (Even Josh Towers, who was cut earlier this morning.) Through eight innings, the staff struck out 11 and walked none.

The Nats even tagged Florida starter Anibal Sanchez for seven hits in his four innings.

Lastings Milledge, Corey Patterson and Anderson Hernandez all had multi-hit games.

If you don't see another post here in the next minutes, assume the Nats have hung on for the win. They'll be 8-7-2 in the Grapefruit League.

Wait, assume no more. Mock just recorded another strikeout -- the 12th of the game -- to end it. Winning pitcher is Jordan Zimmermann (1-0). Any bets on how many days 'til you can say that again?

By Chico Harlan  |  March 16, 2009; 3:38 PM ET
 
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Next: Wrapping Up At Roger Dean

Comments

64 pitches, 46 for strikes.
wow

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 16, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Hooray

jca:

It's interesting. I'm not sure that a team does itself any favors by having an organizational view of how to hit and pitch. Yes there are certain basic fundamentals that every pitcher and hitter must master in order to avoid injury and be successful. I'm just not sure you teach Anderson Hernandez and Ryan Zimmerman the exact same approach to hitting - both mental and physical. The same could be said for each pitcher - different arm angles, different ways to push or pull off the rubber, etc. Part of good coaching is being present and seeing what each guy needs. I suppose that's an organizational philosophy in and of itself. I'd just be leery of the Nats developing a "cookie cutter" approach to instruction.

#4

Posted by: db423 | March 16, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Nice game by the Nats!!! Not so great by Bonifacio.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | March 16, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully we will say he is 1-0 after his first start in April. Thanks for the update. It is good that the bullpen performed better today.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 16, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Where is JayBeee to give us all the details of what Lastings did right today? Must have been something. You might get one hit off of luck, but not three. How many runs did his three hits cost the Nats?

Or does JayBeee only notice bad things about Milledge?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 16, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Today I'm walking down the hall and I drop my books and so I bend over to pick them up and the bell rings while I'm bent over and so, everyone comes out of their classrooms going to their next class and when I stand back up I see that JORDAN is standing right next to me, he almost ran into me but he stopped short so he didn't hit me (hes so sweet) , and I look at him and I can totally feel myself blushing and I can't think of anything to say so I just say hey. And, he grins and says "Hey." And then he's off to his next class and I'm standing there blushing and glowing and wishing I could take AP classes with him and the next, bell rings and I realize I'm late for class so I have to go.

OMG.

"Hey."

sigh

Posted by: Scooter_ | March 16, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

More about Flores' injury please?

From Bill Ladson:
In other news, catcher Jesus Flores (sore right elbow) is going to start swinging a bat Tuesday. The team will determine by March 23 when Flores will play in a game. Flores hasn't played in an exhibition game since Feb. 28 because of the elbow.

Also, was the cut to Guzman's toe serious?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | March 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Um

So - Hill to the pen? That's a stellar inning, but how is he going to do for more than one? Is Zimmerman really this good?? It's hard to be calm about it.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Where is JayBeee to give us all the details of what Lastings did right today? Must have been something. You might get one hit off of luck, but not three. How many runs did his three hits cost the Nats?

Or does JayBeee only notice bad things about Milledge?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 16, 2009 4:05 PM

============================

Awesome post!!!!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | March 16, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Picking up from the last thread, I guess I understand why the rules would provide teams with sufficient flexibility to let players from their minor league camp play in games, that makes sense. What makes less sense is why you would cut a player and send him to minor league camp on the grounds that more innings were needed for others, and then promptly throw him into a game for the better part of two innings later on the same day.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 16, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

So far, on the daffiest Nat since the move to DC, the nominees we have are Robert "RF" Fick, Joey Eischen, and I think we have to add Jose Guillen, too. Eischen is our token lefty. Guillen I think was more tempermental than mental. Looks like Julian has no competition if he makes the team.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 16, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

And Scooter your "journal entries" are really quite funny, we're all a little weak in the knees over this guy at the moment.

Also, we've never really arrived at a suitable nickname for Ryan Z. either. How about the Carpenter? He's got all the tools, can handle the lumber and nails runners at first with regularity. Plus the name "Zimmerman" means "carpenter" in German.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 16, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't know BobLHead. It's a little too messianic for me.

#4

Posted by: db423 | March 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Many folks who watch MASN already think there are one too many Carpenters associated with this team, BobLHead.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Many folks who watch MASN already think there are one too many Carpenters associated with this team, BobLHead."

Count me in that mix. Hopefully in a year though Zimmerman would be the only Carpenter associated with the Nats.

Posted by: Steveo11 | March 16, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1:

Understand, I'm not a fan of JayBeee - he tends to single out individuals on (or associated with) the team, then harps on their shortcomings incessantly, and comes across as a sour, angry, overall negative poster.

That's not a reason to single him out for scorn - If his posts anger you, consider him as you would a "troll"; that is, ignore his posts unless there is an error of substance to correct.

Posting distainful "call-outs" just lowers you to a level you don't need to go to; Trust me, been there - done that, and it didn't make me any better at the end of it all.

Posted by: BinM | March 16, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I love what Jordan Zimmermann has done but I think Chico was right in an earlier post when he talked about the quality of players he's faced and the fact that he hasn't really hasn't gone through a line-up more than once. I'm really worried with him making the club out of ST. Let's let him get a little seasoned at AAA before we throw him into the fire. Also the increase in innings really scares me. He threw just over a 130 last year and any more than a 20 inning jump is just asking for trouble. Its a lot easier to limit his workload down on the farm (even for only a couple months) than on the big league club. I am just worried that having Zimmermann and limiting his innings will become a bigger burden on the bullpen.

Posted by: Steveo11 | March 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

@jca:

Eischen & Fick both meet the classification as "goofballs", in my book.

Majewski & Mock may qualify for the "Ted Nugent - kill it & grill it" category.

For the full-blown, short-fused & wired-too-tight on the field "CRAZY" category, I submit for your approval only one name (to date): Jose' Guillen.

Posted by: BinM | March 16, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Oooooh, a good point, Steveo11.

The FO has a formula for this, right? They shut Lannan down when he hit an inning total that represented something like a 10% or 20% increase from the year before.

Does anyone recall the specifics? Is there a chance the Cheese is shelved for a September call-up?

-----

Also the increase in innings really scares me. He threw just over a 130 last year and any more than a 20 inning jump is just asking for trouble.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 16, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I'm trying to take JayBeee seriously. Can Milledge really be as bad as he is saying?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 16, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about a formula, but Lannan was the best pitcher in Spring Training last year, and he didn't make the trip North with the team. (although he wasn't far behind). I think we will see him before Sept. though, just wait for the injury bug to come out of hibernation.

Posted by: psubman | March 16, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@Steveo11:
With roughly three weeks left in Viera, the starting staff is rounding out - JZimm & Martis will probably make the staff as either the #4 (comes north to start the season) or #5 (goes to HAG/SYR for three weeks).

I'd rather see only one of them come north to start the season in the #4 slot, with a tight pitch-counts to limit their IP. The remainder of the starters (Lannan, Olsen & Cabrera) can chew up innings with spot-starts from someone like Chacin &/or Hill on the back-end into mid-April, at the least.

Posted by: BinM | March 16, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

scooter, you are cracking me up!

Re. the goofball nominees - what, no Collin Balester (and I mean in a good way)? I feel like we've overlooked somebody from the Nats hall of fame but I can't think of who that might be at the moment.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 16, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Yay Nats! ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | March 16, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

JohninMpls: I do remember them shutting down Lannan, he had about a 30 inning jump last year from 2007, which is a bit on the high side but not cause for concern. The other factor with Zimmermann is b/c he was injured in college and played in Wisconsin he wasn't pitching as much as say other pitchers. They don't start their season until later and i believe only pitched 78 innings his senior year in college plus another 53 in the minors. He's had back to back 130 inning years and for him to jump to 165-170 or higher is a big risk. I don't think its a bad idea to start him at AAA limit his innings the first couple of months and then bring him up in June or July. His service time wouldn't have started yet so we'd still have 6 years of control over him starting in 2010 and we would help ensure that he's ready (see Homer Bailey) and that his arm isn't overworked.

Posted by: Steveo11 | March 16, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1:

Milledge isn't that bad - He just isn't great. It's just that JayBeee can be pedantic in some of his screeds.

Posted by: BinM | March 16, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Road Game.....I went to the beach after Minor League Camp......Hey Milledge can hit but not enough for a LF and he is no CFer that is for sure. He costs more run and causes more outs than he is worth.....I am just fine with judging him on his production...based on the Box score ne produced no runs. Based on his defense last year he was the 2nd worst in NL and cost us many runs.....Let's see where he is in a month.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 16, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

oh and the Nats I have "picked out"...Lo Duca, Lopez, Pena, Fick, Logan, Estrada (johnny), Redding, King, Casto...just off the top of my head......Think my track record for pointing out people that hurt the team more than they help is OK.....

Posted by: JayBeee | March 16, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@1a1:

We could probably open up "on-field, Locker-Room, or Training Table superstitions" as a category & really get into the dirt, but I think we're better off with the general categories of "Goofy or Crazy", yes?

Posted by: BinM | March 16, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@BinM:

The problem with that of having tight pitch counts and limiting their innings pitched is a lot more pressure gets put on the bullpen. Which gets a lot a pressure in the beginning of the year to begin with b/c everyone is on a pitch count as they are building their arm up. Also as we've noted the bullpen isn't that good to begin with. If we had to give an extra 30-50 innings to the bullpen thats gonna hurt our record as well as burden what good young arms we have in the pen. I felt last year a big part of Ayala's collapse was overuse early on. I don't want the same thing to happen to Rivera this year. I just don't see the long or the short term benefit of having JZ and/or Martis in the rotation to start, compared to having say Bergmann, Mock, Balester (even with the bad spring numbers) fight it out for those last two spots. Then mid way through the year rotation spots will open up due to ineffectivness or injury, bring up the young guys then.

Posted by: Steveo11 | March 16, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side....I love Lannan, Zimmermann, Hanrahan, T Young, Hernandez, Guzman, Zimmerman, Dukes, Dunn......

Posted by: JayBeee | March 16, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I would agree that we can likely come up with enough nominees in those categories without opening up others.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 16, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the positives, JayB.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 16, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I call for a moment of silence, or at least a moment of incoherent mumbling. A minor era of Nats history has closed. Gal Revels in Pee (Levale Speigner) has been signed by the Marlins to a minor league deal.

I didn't know the Nats had released him. Perhaps he was a 6-year free agent.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 16, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"It's interesting. I'm not sure that a team does itself any favors by having an organizational view of how to hit and pitch. Yes there are certain basic fundamentals that every pitcher and hitter must master in order to avoid injury and be successful. I'm just not sure you teach Anderson Hernandez and Ryan Zimmerman the exact same approach to hitting - both mental and physical. The same could be said for each pitcher - different arm angles, different ways to push or pull off the rubber, etc. Part of good coaching is being present and seeing what each guy needs. I suppose that's an organizational philosophy in and of itself. I'd just be leery of the Nats developing a "cookie cutter" approach to instruction."
-------------------------------------------
This is just it - the org. doesn't need to take the exact same approach to each hitter and pitcher (though for all their idiosyncracies, at their core great hitters' swings, and great pitchers' deliveries, are much more similar than most people think.)

Rather, there needs to be a system-wide approach to pitching, hitting, fielding, etc. The same drills from rookie ball to the majors, the same approach to physical training, the same expectations regarding work ethic. This way no matter where a kid lands in the system he'll be in familiar territory, so to speak. Remember the Oriole Way? There's a reason the O's had a 20 year run as succesful as any other franchise in history (Yankees excepted, as they're an empire not a franchise.)

So, if Eck & the Saint are all that people around here seem to think they are - and I see no reason to quibble with that notion -hopefully someone upstairs is taking notes on their general teaching philosophies, on their areas of emphasis, on how they run drills, and on what they look for in a player. If you get all the coaches in the system on the same page - assuming it's a good page to be on - soon enough you have a franchise that is self-sustaining both in terms of players and coaches. Again look at the O's of 1960-1985.

This is the kind of thing Bowden never seemed to have much interest in - he was such an instant gratification guy it was probably hard for him to get into the nitty gritty that is required for a long-term plan to be succesful. Hopefully his succesor, and I think Rizzo is the clear front-runner, is willing to wade a little deeper into the minutiae of how the organization is run.

Posted by: MoMonroe | March 16, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

>Or does JayBeee only notice bad things about Milledge?

Probably too drunk to find his laptop. Either that or he got locked up for running onto the field slinging insults.

Or maybe..

Posted by: Brue | March 16, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@JayBeee:

The past is, well, the past; Every season is new. Learn to understand the past (which you have), but look forward - you'll be much better off for it.

Posted by: BinM | March 16, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@ +1/2St:

Sorry, but Speigner was a minor-league FA at the end of the 2008 season. GRiP has moved on...

Posted by: BinM | March 16, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

>What makes less sense is why you would cut a player and send him to minor league camp on the grounds that more innings were needed for others, and then promptly throw him into a game for the better part of two innings later on the same day.

Before ST, they put a tag on every pitcher, and the number of pitches/innings they want him to throw for ST. It doesn't matter where they get the innings necessarily because some of them aren't slated to make the team anyway.

Posted by: Brue | March 16, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

JayBeee-

Yours is one of the many opinions here, and I enjoy reading it. I am glad we are mostly talking about or disagreeing about the team itself, and not the amount of coverage of the team. BTW, welcome back CIL, good to read you.

Am I trying to counter what the others are saying? Nope, not at all. Just adding my voice. I think that the back-and-forth, and the getting on each others' nerves is part of the maturing of our blogosphere, honestly. Other teams have scads of thoughtful writers who take wildly different stances and peeve each other immensely. It seems trolls from an interstate highway system worth of bridges come with that, too, but we will live with that when it happens.

There's one other thing that occurs to me at times. It is always possible that one of the others writing on these blogs that I spar with could be one of my friends under the assumed name. That could be embarrassing.

BinM- Thanks- you are a great resource, as always.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 16, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

>Is Zimmerman really this good?? It's hard to be calm about it.

Not yet. But that's how good he could be. Apparently he's got the build to be a horse. Music to the bullpen's ears. Music to my ears.

Music to everyone's ears

Posted by: Brue | March 16, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

>JayBeee-

Yours is one of the many opinions here, and I enjoy reading it.

Forget it man, he's passed out in his chicken tenders. All that sun, you know. All that angst.

All that angst..

Posted by: Brue | March 16, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of reading, new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 16, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The JZimm pitch count discussion is an interesting one. I understand the point about taxing the bullpen, but won't the bullpen be taxed either way? I mean I'd rather have 5-6 innings of pitch-count restricted work from Zimmermann than 5-6 innings of performance-restricted work from Balester, Bergman et al. Either way the bullpen is cleaning up the last 3-4 innings. With Zimmermann, they might more often be protecting a lead.

Also, put me in the "enjoy JayB's posts" group. I don't always agree with him, but for the most part his are not ad hominem rants. His criticisms are usually based on stuff he sees. His observations of Milledge's pre-game routine ring true. It's the type of stuff that drives teammates nuts.

#4

Posted by: db423 | March 16, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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