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Olsen And Bard

Before today, Scott Olsen and Josh Bard knew of one another only as opponents. Bard had faced Olsen three times, getting one hit. That was back when Bard was a Padre, and Olsen was a Marlin. Today, in the Nats' 6-3 loss against the Cardinals, they were battery mates.

In the morning, pitching coach Randy St. Claire tried to bring Bard, signed this weekend, up to speed. Bard always thought Olsen had a tough, sinking movement on his pitchers -- a sharp downward trajectory. But for this game, he needed to learn more. The signs. The way Olsen likes to work. His full pitch repertoire. In the last two weeks of spring training, as Bard tries to make this team, almost every day will be a cram session. Day 1, several said later, proved to be an encouraging start.

After finishing his five innings today, Olsen went out of his way to give Bard some props. "It was great, great," he said of the game Bard called. "He sets up nice." Olsen mentioned, in particular, that Bard sets up in a way that forces the pitcher to be aggressive. That time in the first inning when Olsen got Albert Pujols to pop up? It was because Bard made an emphatic point to set up inside.

"So I came in, jammed him," Olsen said.

Said Manager Manny Acta: "He called a pretty good game for Olsen."

Olsen was happy with his own performance, too. Almost all of St. Louis's seven hits were grounders that found their way through the infield.

"I felt good," Olsen said. "The ball was coming out of my hand pretty well. Consistently we were down in the zone today."

By Chico Harlan  |  March 23, 2009; 4:13 PM ET
 
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Comments

Quoth the Bard to Olsen,

"Nay, pray you, throw none away." (Henry V, Act V, Scene I)

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 23, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Just heard that Cincy is looking for a RH hitting OF. Hey Reds, come on down, let's make a deal!!

Posted by: NatsMan21 | March 23, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"lay on, John in Minneapolis!"

Posted by: lowcountry | March 23, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"A non-guaranteed minor league deal? The Nats couldn't have offered him that, instead of sending him packing????"

Actually, no they couldn't have offered him a minor league deal without sending him packing. Hill was signed to a major league deal with the Nats, and out of options. They couldn't have just arbitrarily decided to send him down to the minors without passing him through waivers. In other words, the only two things they could have done with him were to keep him on the 25-man roster, or cut him. Welcome to the CBA.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 23, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me. The Nats just expletived him out of $600K, said it was time to move on when he said he was feeling well, and some folks expected him to sign a minor league deal with us? Those are Spicoli pipe dreams.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 23, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

So Chico Harlan "loses hair" because his job is such "a grind?" After reading some of his posts, written with the boilerplate language and lazy cliches of a college newspaper, I wonder if perhaps Mr. Harlan should take a less demanding job at a Wendy's.
Plenty of people in this terrible economy would take his job in a second.

Posted by: ronjon1 | March 23, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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