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The Azzurri Take A Bruising

They served ziti in the lunch room today. That's about where the ode to Italian baseball ended. This one is in the top of the fourth, and right now, the Nats lead the Italian WBC team 4-0. What's going well right now for Washington? Just about everything. John Lannan pitched three quick innings, allowing just one run. He saved himself from a little damage, too, by backing by up home plate on a mid-range fly to CF with a runner on third in his final inning.

Lastings Milledge, sensing a tag-up, ready himself to throw him... and unleashed a rocket. It sailed about 20 feet over the catcher's head. But Lannan, positioned behind home plate, caught it on the fly, and helped catch the Italian baserunner in a rundown, putout 8-1-5-2.

(Play those numbers tonight.)

In the bottom of the third, the Nats busted out for four runs. Lastings Milledge, Ryan Zimmerman and Elijah Dukes all had extra base hits. Also, Nick Johnson was hit by a pitch somewhere in the hand/wrist area, but seemed to be OK.

By Chico Harlan  |  March 3, 2009; 2:02 PM ET
 
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Comments

Chico,

I assume you mean Lannan gave up only one hit, not run, as the score is 4-0. MLB's "live boxscore" is all over the place.

Posted by: sec307 | March 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Unless the hit was a home run. The live boxscore has definitely been wacky.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow's story - Nick Johnson Day-to-Day after HBP.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | March 3, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The scorekeeper should have some fun proving that box later.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Nieves is getting in on the extra base fun.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Newposted:

Looks like Bernadina singled and got picked off, then Whitney struck out to end the second (Zimmerman got the other hit off DiFelice).

Then Desmond singled to lead off the third, and Nieves and Hernandez failed to convert, leading to a two-out double from Milledge, scoring Desmond. Zimmerman tripled in Milledge, and was himself tripled in by Dukes, probably along with Nick, although the box score is lacking on this point because Nick is not shown with a hit or a walk, or a run scored, even though we somehow have four runs, and Dukes has two RBIs.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:19 PM

******

And the mystery is solved, Nick was HBP. So there you have it. Let's hope we see some more innings like that when the season starts.

Remember Barry's line after the first few games last year? It was either "this looks different" or "this feels different," in reference to the team's newfound ability to turn the lineup over. We all know how that turned out.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Lastings Milledge, sensing a tag-up, ready himself to throw him... and unleashed a rocket. It sailed about 20 feet over the catcher's head. But Lannan, positioned behind home plate, caught it on the fly, and helped catch the Italian baserunner in a rundown, putout 8-1-5-2."

******************
Man, I love baseball. This is gorgeous.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 3, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Good detective work, BobL.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"ready himself to throw him ..."

So Lastings botched the throw, and Chico botched the description of it. Can we call Lannan in from the showers to fix the post?

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, I didn't have March 3 in the "day Johnson gets injured" pool.. who did?

Posted by: Section406 | March 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

So it looks like Dukes needs a double to hit for the cycle?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

So then in the fourth, Desmond drew a one-out walk and was doubled in by Nieves, and Dukes hit a solo shot in the fifth. Hot Dogs 6, Pasta 0.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Lastings should have an error if not for Lannan cover up his poor throw....Stop sugar coating it....we know Lastings was the worst CF in the NL last year and we know he was the second worst in all baseball.....tell us how bad he is this spring, not that he somehow did something right when he did not.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Never mind. I thought I saw an 8 in the total bases field (in addition to the triple and HR).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

1a, Dukes is 2-3 with a triple and a homer.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

JayB, where does Chico say that Lastings did something right in that description?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, thanks, BobL. I misread the total bases line earlier.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Hot Dogs 6, Pasta 0.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:42 PM

*****************
Cracked me up!

Posted by: NatsNut | March 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side, Milledge displayed a little bit of an arm. Obviously, we can't tell how deep the ball was hit, but the one of the main criticisms last year was that his arm was too weak (notably, JayB, this has nothing to do with the other primary criticism, that he gets a late break/bad read on balls, since there's no doubt that he caught this one in the air).

If he has the capability of "unleashing rockets," then his arm strength isn't a concern, as long as he gains the ability to control it.

Posted by: faNATic | March 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. OVER throwing the catcher, from center field, by 20 feet? That's a gun right there. A little tweaking on the control-side of it and he's golden.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Jinx! We just said the same thing at the same time, faNATic!

Posted by: NatsNut | March 3, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

And welcome JayBeee, our resident anti-alchemist, always on call and ready to turn gold into lead when circumstances warrant (or not).

Having said that, Lastings may be closer to lead than gold in CF, and the situation bears watching. I didn't see any sugar-coating in Chico's post though.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Ladson's blog has an item about Dukes giving Bernadina a couple tips on hitting. They are both 2 for 3 today.

For what it's worth.

Posted by: sec307 | March 3, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hot Dogs 6, Pasta 0.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 2:42 PM

Not hot dogs, dude. Half Smokes. All the way.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 3, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

But nobody said "buy me a Coke," NatsNut. And that *was* funny, BobL.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I knew those italian pitchers couldn't be trusted.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Dukes gave Casto batting tips, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I watched that We Are Young show on MLB-TV last night. I think JayBeee is really Dmitri and Delmon's father. Same uber-supportive MO. Doesn't JayBeee rag on Dmitri a lot about his weight?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about that, coked, but after reading the box these pitchers are making me hungry (Barzilla, Grilli, Panerati).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, interesting point, nunof.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

these pitchers are making me hungry (Barzilla, Grilli, Panerati).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 2:59 PM

***************

OMG, post of the day. I'm cracking up here!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | March 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'd also like to know how Martis hasn't managed to pitch an inning through 6 innings and how Bernadina has played LF-CF without Milledge coming out.

I guess it's spring training for the box score computer geeks too.

Posted by: estuartj | March 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I picked up on the Martis discrepancy but not the switch, estuartj.

The box score definitely isn't in regular season form yet.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The Italians change governments what, about every other month? They're never even sure who's running their country, and you expect them to be able to keep a box score straight?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 3, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Bill (IDIOT!) Lasen alert; quote today about Kasten working on a Zimmerman deal. Yes you read that right boys and girls, Lasen actually used a quote in a story.
He must have slept at a Holiday Inn last night...anyway the quote from Zimmerman's agent Van Wagenen;

"I'm happy to have the meeting with Stan and am looking forward to the new direction the team is taking"

Sounds like Stan is taking a much different approach then JimBow, or am I readying way too much into one line?

Posted by: estuartj | March 3, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

As long as were upgrading the blog guys, can they add a spell check option so I don't write things like "Readying" instead of reading in the same post I call someone ELSE an idiot? Isn't technology supposed to save us from our own shortcomings?

Where is HAL when you need him...

Posted by: estuartj | March 3, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Plus I misspelled Ladsen's name TWICE in one post, but given his complete inability to spell the names of the players he is paid to cover I'm not feeling especially guilty on that one...

Posted by: estuartj | March 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Martis's line is up now: 3 in, 0 r, 1 h(a 2b), 1 bb, 2 k's. Another solid start from the kiddie corp.

Posted by: sec307 | March 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Martis gave up 2 hits, one of which was a double.

Posted by: sec307 | March 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

uh oh, Estrada put an end to the goose eggs.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

That's just payback for Ladson, estuartj.

Re. spellcheckers, the Firefox browser has a built-in one, which has come in handy for me a number of times.

If we had HAL, he'd just be telling us how he was sorry but he couldn't do this or that.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

1a, NatsNut,

Welcome to Panerati. Our specials today include Seafood Mazzanti and Grilli Chicken Rottino. Can I get you anything from the Barzilla?

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Plus I misspelled Ladsen's name TWICE in one post"

I thought it was intentional, to be honest. Idoit!

;)

Posted by: Section506 | March 3, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you, BobL. I'd love a cappuccino.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Un cappuccino, per favore!

Posted by: Section506 | March 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

On second thought, make that a Liddi Latte, please.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

uh oh, then it was Ledezma's turn.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

So now it's Budweiser 6, Chianti 5. Six strong innings from the starter(s) followed by a bullpen implosion. Where have I seen that before?

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

La maledizione!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Also, we got new posted.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

For those following Nat in international play, Adam Dunn played RIGHT field and 1B today, going 0 for 4 with 3Ks and 1 R and 1 RBI, but no BB.

I don't see a HBP on the box so I guess it's a FC? Of course it's anyone's guess what the hell is going on with that box score given how accurate ours has been today...

Posted by: estuartj | March 3, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

May I recommend a nice bottle of Cervelli to go with that?
_____________________________
1a, NatsNut,

Welcome to Panerati. Our specials today include Seafood Mazzanti and Grilli Chicken Rottino. Can I get you anything from the Barzilla?

Posted by: BobLHead | March 3, 2009 3:18 PM


Posted by: lowcountry | March 3, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, that sounds quite refreshing.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 3, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Nick Johnson, DH - Hit By Pitch"

... somebody please tell me this isn't another GroundHog Day deja vu all over again! If anyone ever tries to throw him inside this year, he'll most definitely land in an intensive care bed.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 3, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

i'm with natsfan1a1, and another plug for firefox's built-in spell checker. doesn't keep me from ignoring it when it doesn't like me not capitalizing "i'm," for example, but i notice actual mispeeelingz now.

Posted by: sec231 | March 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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