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A Release, A Good Run

For a few weeks earlier this spring, the Nationals entertained the idea of Gustavo Chacin as a candidate for their big league rotation. Turns out, the lefty cannot even crack their Class AAA rotation. As a result, the Nationals have released Chacin, who had been signed this winter to a non-guaranteed minor league deal. The team never announced Chacin's release; word of the move only came today when Manager Manny Acta was asked about Chacin's whereabouts.

Chacin, 28, has an intriguing track record that includes recent injury problems but earlier, a two-year stretch (2005-2006) with Toronto where he started 51 games, went 22-13, and had a 4.12 ERA. This spring, however, Chacin's velocity hung in the lower 80s, Acting General Manager Mike Rizzo said. On March 19, when Chacin was reassigned to minor league camp, he told the team he was willing to go to Syracuse to rebuild himself. However, the organization later decided to use Jordan Zimmermann, Collin Balester, Kip Wells, Marco Estrada and Craig Stammen in its Class AAA rotation.

When Zimmermann is promoted to the big leagues later this month, Mike O'Connor will become the fifth Syracuse starter.

"We signed [Chacin] on the hope that his velocity would come back to what it was when he was a 13-game winner (in 2005), and he was in the low-80s, and we just didn't have enough room for him," Rizzo said.

Chacin signed yesterday with the Philadelphia Phillies.

*

Zimmermann is scheduled to start Syracuse's Thursday season opener against Rochester -- though bad weather could mess with those plans. He'll pitch again on the 14th, and after that, debut with the Nationals on April 19, when the team expands to a five-person rotation.


*

First baseman Dmitri Young remains at the team's spring training complex in Viera, Fla., trying to prove he's major league ready. The Nationals still want to see more. Before Young begins a rehab assignment, Rizzo said, the 35-year-old must be able to play back-to-back nine-inning games in the field. Young, who battled back problems for much of March, is still working to get to that level.

"It's just getting the work done and being able to take the grind of multiple days in a row and playing nine inning-games on your feet, on your back, on your hip," Rizzo said. "We need for him to be a full-time baseball player offensively and defensively, and when we're satisfied with that, then we send him on his rehab and the clock will start."

*

Running is therapeutic. And starting pitcher John Lannan relies on it. Last night, after a rough Opening Day start (3 IP, 6 R), Lannan was lying in bed, counting down the hours until he could lace up his sneakers. That's his routine for forgetting the bad outings. The next day, he runs.

"No music, no nothing," Lannan said.

So today, Lannan arrived at the stadium at 1 p.m. He spent the next 25 minutes sweating.

"It's a flush of everything," Lannan said. "You flush not just your arm, but running -- it gets everything out. Not just the soreness, but mentally, too. You clear your mind, you get a good sweat in, you think about what you did wrong and what you want to do next time. It's a good time to think.

"Last night was a little rough, because I just had high expectations. So just to get back to the ballpark... You know, I woke up last night and just wanted to get here and get my run in and forget about it."

By Chico Harlan  |  April 7, 2009; 6:59 PM ET
 
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Next: A Few Post-Game Notes

Comments

Dave and Charlie crack me up, even when they are just talking about the g*d-awful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner they just heard. Something about not intending to check out her web site.

Unfortunately, you can't escape Carpy completely even when listening to the radio. A MASN commercial featured Carpy yelling "Is it a Walk-Off HOMER???" Thankfully, I missed that one when it happened. But seriously? That's your walk-off call, Bob? Give me a break.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 7, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

So is Chacin pronounced "chackin'" or "chasin'"?

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 7, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

No Dibble on the radio either, which is a good thing.

Posted by: NFBLooser | April 7, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

32000 fewer eh Bob? So there's negative 10000 people there you patronizing piece of garbage?

Posted by: RickFelt | April 7, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Rare bit of TV praise - game looks absolutely beautiful on MASN HD. Really nice picture. I need to get a nice radio and figure out how I can sync up the commentary.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 7, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm still wondering how the news of Casto being put on waivers and him clearing waivers happened almost simultaneously. Is the list of people on waivers public, or is it known only to MLB FOs? How long does a player stay there?

I was just thinking about how Chico did an article on him on the same day he was sent to Syracuse. Did he know he was on waivers at that time?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 7, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

here we go again...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

oh no! behind 2-0 in the 2nd inning of the 2nd game of the season!

doom, doom, apocalypto, evil, fate, destiny, incompetence, stupidity, failure, drama, disgust, superciliousness, proclamations of abject unworthiness, etc...

as bill mauldin said when an officer objected to a willy and joe cartoon, "i build a shoe. if someone wants to put it on and loudly proclaim that it fits, that's their business."

Posted by: natty-bumppo | April 7, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I always forget how great it is to have NJ in the lineup. I've just got to learn to not get too attached.

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 7, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Jesus. That's the kind of fluke play where Nick usually shatters two legs and a pelvis. Maybe his luck's going to turn this year...

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 7, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Okay, this has been nagging me for a long time. How can we tell if the Marlins are cheating somehow or stealing signs? Their performance against us is just statistically appalling. I haven't wanted to say anything, because it sounds so middle school, but come on... No matter how bad the Nationals are, they shouldn't yield up this many more home runs than any other team.

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

a "five-person" rotation? seriously? (eye roll)

Posted by: fuglynats | April 7, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Great, give up a 2-out walk to the PITCHER to get Boni up. Nice...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

and a four-pitch walk at that...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

its bad enough giving up a two out hit to the number 8 hitter, but to walk the pitcher on 4 pitches...

Posted by: SFcapsfan | April 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

this is making me slightly sick to my stomach. how am i supposed to enjoy a ray's hell burger when olsen can't throw a strike to a pitcher! this team stinks

Posted by: skinzfan4 | April 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

and, of course, Boni comes through

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

ok back to caps intermission report. great trade olsen for bonafacio and yea willingham isnt even good enough to start

Posted by: skinzfan4 | April 7, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who feels like last season never ended?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 7, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

and EB sticks it to the national again.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | April 7, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

i kinda like dibble. little ants.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

good night

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

yea, 506, i think you're right. something fishy here.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

i think the umps are dirty.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG....Seriously..this is bad

Posted by: danp3111 | April 7, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Can the Nats looking into changing their number? I definitely think the Marlins have our current one.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

d**n you, Milledge!!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Scott Olsen is terrible.

Posted by: CletusVanDamme | April 7, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

just kidding. not dirty umps. we just suck.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Did Bonifacio really just hit another ball over the head of Milledge? Was nothing learned?

Posted by: rumbly45 | April 7, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Listen guys, you need to stop whining and learn to appreciate what we are doing here. This team is building for the future. Unless they get beaten up a bit how are our prospects like Dunn, Kearns, Belliard, Guzman, Johnson going to learn to be big leaguers.

Milledge is not a center fielder. Bonafacio is not a lead off hitter, but he does a better impression of one that Milledge...

Posted by: soundbloke | April 7, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Did Bonifacio really just hit another ball over the head of Milledge? Was nothing learned?
***********************************

Yes. No.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

they just showed a replay of lastings mendoza diving for the ball in center; oh wait! it's not a replay. oh darn.

well, on the bright side, mendoza has only struck out four times in a row.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Bonifacio triples over Milledge's head ... that makes 2 games in a row that Milledge has misplayed a ball on which he had to retreat. I don't understand the love affair with LM in center field. He has proved repeatedly he doesn't have the defensive instincts or the talent to play CF.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | April 7, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who feels like last season never ended?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking

NO you are not the only one.

I am the only one who feels the whole team looks lifeless, dead in the eyes, with no hope as if they are people waiting for the express bus to a place they all dread.

Posted by: CBinDC | April 7, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

also lastings has not made a baserunning error in a while. oh wait. right, i see. no bases for mendoza in a while.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

So when does Strasburg get here?

Posted by: SFcapsfan | April 7, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

c'mon Belly-Yard. Put us on the board.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

a "five-person" rotation? seriously? (eye roll)

Posted by: fuglynats | April 7, 2009 7:42 PM
-----------------------------------

Yeah Chico. You're not writing about food here. No need for PC. There are women chefs, but no women MLB players. Even if some of your guys do throw like girls.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

c'mon Belly-Yard. Put us on the board.

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

He did: the "K's for Kids" board

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

What the he// is going on out there? It really is pathetic.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 7, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

So - in order to pay attention to something other than this mess, I'll note that the Twins backup to Mauer just got hurt, and we're currently carrying not one, but two "professional" backup catchers. How about trading Bard for Gomez? (or some other variant of "trade our guys who suck for guys who are good").

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | April 7, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Yea, what do I know about baseball anyway.

You were right....Lastings Milledge has earned everything Acta has handed him. Stay Hot Lastings...do it your way.

Posted by: JayBeee | April 7, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

(or some other variant of "trade our guys who suck for guys who are good").

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | April 7, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

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

LOL!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Man I can't wait for a Nats pitcher to make it to the 5th inning.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | April 7, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Screw Strasburg! Who looks good in the following draft!

Posted by: soundbloke | April 7, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

What kind of Circle Line tour did Thrilledge take in center to miss Boni's triple? Does he get paid by the mile out there? I predicted 57 wins; I might be high.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 7, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

32000 fewer eh Bob? So there's negative 10000 people there you patronizing piece of garbage?

Posted by: RickFelt | April 7, 2009 7:22 PM
--------------------------------------------------

Wrong, Rick. YOU'RE the patronizing piece of garbage. Yesterday's attendance was 34,323, so there could easily be 32,000 fewer people there today.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The Marlins hitters seem to be playing tee-ball the first two games against the Nats. Cheer up, Daniel "El Fuego" Cabrera is pitching tomorrow afternoon and since the game is at 12:10 hopefully our headaches will be past before we go to sleep. Yeesh!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 7, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Dukes a more natural center fielder than Milledge anyhow? We're gonna need better range than this with Dunn in left.

Posted by: Favman | April 7, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

How bout Tavarez??
I take back all the cuss words I said about him yesterday.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 7, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

well at least those looking for the Nats to back some people off the plate will enjoy tomorrow. You can score a lot of runs against Cabrera (and people often do), but you don't do it with out a few welts on you.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | April 7, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

My goodness. This is a downright carbon copy of yesterday. Starter is gone after 3 IP. Julian Tavarez is on in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman is making low throws to 1B. Lastings Milledge is veering toward balls in the outfield -- nearly setting Bonifacio up with a SECOND inside the park homer.

I did the math some time around the third inning today, when Dan Uggla hit FLA's second home run of the day.

At that exact moment, based on a 162-game season with 27 outs per game (which is kind of fuzzy math, but hell), the Marlins were on pace for 847 home runs this year.

Posted by: chicoharlan | April 7, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I noticed the nats are on ABC TV tonight....no, wait a minute...thats Charlie Brown & friends playing ball...sorry.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 7, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Dunn will have to say after this debacle.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 7, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Look for some lineup changes tomorrow. Day game after a night game, also following two straight blowout losses. Gotta shake things up. I predict perhaps Dukes in center, Willingham in right. Guzman will lead off. Those guys will need to step up and grab hold of their chances.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

i'm paralyzed here.
devil:you should seriously consider turning this game off.
angel: I never thought you'd say that.
devil: But it's giving you a knot in your stomach.
angel: But you're not a fair weather fan either.
devil: hey, you put in your time last year. go ahead. turn it off.
angel: charlie and dave are on. stay.
devil: this is hurting you. you're in pain. what have they done for you to deserve this loyalty?

sigh

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Forget what I just said. Tavarez can't lay down a simple bunt. Pitiful.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 7, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Kearns, Dukes, Bernadina, Maxwell, Patterson all would have made that catch easily. Last night was a tough play...this one tonight was a High School play. If Acta starts him tomorrow....he does not care about staying a MLB manager the rest of this year.

Posted by: JayBeee | April 7, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I can no longer watch, this is beyond pathetic. The guys over on MLB Network are cracking up watching "Benda Knee" flop around in center while Bonifacio wheels around the bases.

Acta has not prepared this team to compete, its obvious on day #2!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 7, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

At that exact moment, based on a 162-game season with 27 outs per game (which is kind of fuzzy math, but hell), the Marlins were on pace for 847 home runs this year.

Posted by: chicoharlan
--------------------------------------------------

How many persons will need to come to bat to accomplish that, Chico?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

And I see we're now well into Game 164 of 2008.

More of the same. Hard as it may be, this team might be WORSE than last year's. But what did we expect? The club did nothing to fundamentally alter the squad.

Posted by: SavedByZero | April 7, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@NatsNut

The best way to handle this game - Charlie, Dave and Bacardi. Lots of Bacardi.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 7, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

We still suck.

Posted by: 6thandD | April 7, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

how many games into the season does it take RZimm to get more hits than errors?

Posted by: SFcapsfan | April 7, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

In other news, MLB Gameday is awesome. Their charts and graphs are cool. Play around with it, it'll make you FEEEL GOOOOD....

Posted by: swang30 | April 7, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

the disturbing part of thrilledge taking that hack off his proximal malleolus (ankle) bone is that he will no longer be able to run down the balls hit over his head.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

this is sooooo boring. starting pitching is not there, neither is the offense, but we've never had an offense..

Posted by: rachel216 | April 7, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

savedbyzero: I disagree. that's why this is so PAINFUL. we DID do stuff to fundamentally alter the squad. a lotta stuff. overhauled the coaching staff. big bat. decent pitching potential. heck we even have a HEALTHY TEAM.

all that and we're playing game number 164, 2008.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

It already feels like the dogdays.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 7, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Angel: If you turn it off, and they make a huge comeback, you'll never forgive yourself.
Devil: Have you seen this bunch? They're going to make a comeback?

And Favman, if by "Natural" center fielder you mean "stinks less," then probably yes.

Milledge really misplayed that ball tonight. The catcher's triple wasn't his fault, but Bonifacio's ball should have been caught - Milledge took a completely wrong line on it, and then put himself in a position where he had to dive for it.

Chico - fun with trends. At this rate, Tavarez will make 162 appearances and pitch 243 innings with an ERA of 6 - down from 18 yesterday!!

Bonifacio will hit .750 with an 1.375 slugging and an OPS of 2.125 (!!) That would be like a record or something.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | April 7, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

And more feel good news, Julian Tavarez is now the owner of the longest streak of innings that a Nats pitcher did not give up a run. (2). You could say Shell and Hinkley combined for 2, but JT is the only one that pitched it all by himself.

Posted by: swang30 | April 7, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Very embarrassing. They won't get 25,000 for the home opener. Thank God the Caps are in the playoffs and I won't have to watch this fiasco until late May or June.

Posted by: MKadyman | April 7, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

*sighhhhhhhh* need... a.. good... baseball.. team.. that can score some runs

Posted by: rachel216 | April 7, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the laugh, soundbloke, this was great.
* * * * *
Listen guys, you need to stop whining and learn to appreciate what we are doing here. This team is building for the future. Unless they get beaten up a bit how are our prospects like Dunn, Kearns, Belliard, Guzman, Johnson going to learn to be big leaguers.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 7, 2009 8:14 PM

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 7, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Honestly....what else would you expect from a team managed by a guy who set the tone for the season by starting a guy who missed the first meeting of the year that sets the rules and tone for the year!

Acta is the worst manager possible for this team. Yea, he might be manager of the year with the Mets or Phils but he is all wrong for this team.

Earth to RIZZO.....Time for Riggleman.

Posted by: JayBeee | April 7, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

is it gonna be like this every night? if it is, might as well end the season right now. the pitching sucks and we can't hit.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 7, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Lastings Milledge is slowly making Justin Maxwells offense look largely insignificant. So far what do we all think? Milledge has cost us two runs? Three? At least Maxwell might have walked. And would probably have caught a ball at least.

Stick a real center fielder in center field. Play guys in the position they belong, not where we really really want them to be able to belong.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 7, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Earth to RIZZO: Time for Tim Foli.
This team needs a full whack job as manager. Tim's the one.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 7, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

alright. alright. enough is enough. the fix is in. milledge must have bet heavily on the fish. that's right, i think milledge is taking a dive. (sowwy)

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

thank goodness for the 12:10 start time tomorrow, because A) I'll be at work and won't be able torture myself by sitting down and actually watching it, and B) there's a lot more time to drown my sorrows after the game

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

The "can't hit" part has more to do with Josh Johnson than our hitters, but the "can't pitch" part is because Olsen sucks majorly. Hang a few more changeups, why don't you?

Posted by: kfisher32 | April 7, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Somebody remind me why The Bard made this team?

I think Olsen, The Bard and Thriledge all need to be Pattersoned.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 7, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

MASN is torturing us even more than the Marlins are by running promos featuring Elijah Dukes.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Milledge on base for the first time this year!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

is my computer working properly??? Did Lastings just walk?

Posted by: SFcapsfan | April 7, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes he did - I think it's the Nats first walk of the season too...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

At least Shawn Hill will be back in the rotation next week... oh.. wait. Nevermind. That was the Padres' schedule.

Posted by: kfisher32 | April 7, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Is it over yet?

BTW Stan Kasten was on Philly Radio today and he invited all Phillie fans who could make the trip south to do so for Monday, according to Stanley plenty of good seats remain for the Opener. Thanks Stan, just what we need, having to battle loads of Filthy Fans while the Nats are getting trounced. Damn if that guy isn't a used car salesman!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 7, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Think Dunn's play makes my earlier point.

Posted by: Favman | April 7, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I think unless we start adding comedy sound effects when this team tries to field it's going to be a long season.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 7, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

i guess Obama didn't throw out the first pitch for the white sox opener. he probably won't for us either.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Chico,
Has there been any talk about going to the 5 man rotation sooner rather than later based on what we are seeing the last two games?

Posted by: tomfoc31 | April 7, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Chico,
Sports is about the only place guys can go to get away from political correctness.

I have been a fan of yours, I wrote in your support after the Washingtonian fiasco, but if I have to put up with "5-person rotation" and similar silliness here I'll start haunting BallPark Guys full time.

Please. Do you realize how dumb that sounds? I realize that the Post probably requires you to write that way but blogs are supposed to be less formal and more real.

Posted by: rushfari | April 7, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

CEvansJr.

... it's Chacin = shaa SEEN

Posted by: natscanreduxit | April 7, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I think unless we start adding comedy sound effects when this team tries to field it's going to be a long season.

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

Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons would be a good one: "Ha Ha!" Of course, Homer's "D'oh!" is a classic too.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

rushfari,

"Sports is about the only place guys can go to get away from political correctness."

... are you saying that political correctness is a bad thing??

Posted by: natscanreduxit | April 7, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

At this point if Obama got asked to throw out the first pitch it might be a good idea to just leave him in for the whole first inning. Seriously, is anyone in a rush to get a look at Daniel Cabrera?

Posted by: soundbloke | April 7, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Nice HR by Kearns!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Introducing your Monday home opening center fielder...Austin Kearns!

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 7, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

So last week, when I said DFA Kearns.

I willingly acknowledge my idiocy.

Thank you Austin, for giving the slightest hope to a dejected fan.

Should I just start saying we need to release Zim, Milledge and Flores? Maybe it's what they need...an anonymous blogger calling them out...

Posted by: NattyDelite | April 7, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Also, who thinks we can score 6 with only 3 outs?

Any takers?

Posted by: NattyDelite | April 7, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

i guess Obama didn't throw out the first pitch for the white sox opener. he probably won't for us either.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 9:21 PM
-------------------------------------------------

He's just coming back today I think from his overseas trip. He could still make it to Natinals Park on Monday.

And change that lineup prediction I made for tomorrow. It'll either be Kearns in center and Willingham in right, or Dukes in center with Kearns in right. Normally I'd think maybe Nick would get a day off with Dunn moving to first, but Nick is hitting too well right now for that. Either Willingham or Dukes is going to have to suffer yet another day off.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Man, I feel like I just hibernated all winter ... and so did this team.

Walking a pitcher on four pitches.
Swinging at first pitches.
Letting balls fly over our head.
Not gobbling up infield hops.
Lollygagging throws across the diamond.

...I mean, didn't we get a whole new coaching staff over the winter? Haven't they been working with the team for the last month? Sheesh.

Posted by: ihatewalks | April 7, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone comment on Nick's clean shaven head yet?

Posted by: ramgut | April 7, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

thank you natscan.
to paraphrase ee cummings

we scientists know a hopeless case when we ... listen, there's a hell of a good game on wgn, let's go

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 7, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

natscanreduxit,

Yes, I think political correctness is a terrible thing. I am a teacher, and I have a list of words, phrases and ideas that I am not allowed to say or show to my class.

For instance, I cannot show a picture of a woman working in the home. The reason? The memo says it's demeaning.

I am allowed to talk about abortion as long as I support it -- I can bring into my class guests who are pro-abortion, but I cannot bring in someone who is pro-life to balance the discussion.

I can discuss gay/lesbians and bring in guests as long as it supports that agenda. I can support gay marriage in class but must not discuss it from a negative perspective.

My favorite, though is the word police. We were actually called into a meeting and given a list of words not to use in class. I'm not talking about swear words, mind you.

A student used the word "niggardly" in an essay and she was not only given an 'F' but was suspended for two days.

We were told not to use that word in class, and not to let the students.

I asked why. I know the word and it means cheap or miserly and has nothing to do with the "n word" that is used to denigrate African Americans.

Several teachers thought niggardly comes from the 'n word.' The principal told the teachers that it did not, but we could not use it because it "sounds like a word that is offensive."

What?

See, that's the problem. Political correctness -- i.e. words and phrases that we can't say -- doesn't follow any logical pattern. Because a particular group, or organization, or political party finds something offensive, it is deemed offensive.

I'm not taking sides as to what is right, or wrong in the world. I just don't want my (or your) speech quieted simply because someone thinks it's wrong.

Posted by: rushfari | April 7, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Assuming Dukes has options left, he really needs to be sent down to Syracuse to play every day and get his batting eye back. He looks absolutely lost at the plate.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

our ferrari hit that pinto into the gap...dudes growing on me

Posted by: theredskin | April 7, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

don't trust natscan's pronunciations. he's canadian. ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

So when does Manny start saying "it's still early"? Right...just like last season. As Yogi said, it gets late early out there.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 7, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The few bright spots for the Nats tonight:

Guzzie
NJ
Kearn's bomb
The bullpen (especially Tavarez)

Posted by: FloresFan | April 7, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

nunof1

I would argue that Dukes needs to get his batting practice in the bigs.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 7, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Olsen's 'fatball' 85-87 tonight; and how about his third pitch? Fooled 'em with his changeup. Well on the way to 35+ ding dings and the league lead. The Atlanta Braves eyes will be BIG when little Scotty next takes the hill.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Ray Knight says we will be offensive this year. True.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

With Guz, Dunn, and Johnson (and Kearns, kind of) hitting the ball well, if we could just (1) get a leadoff man who could get on base once in his life, and (2) get Zimm to start hitting, we'd score a good number of runs.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 7, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank the invisible pink unicorn I was raised a Cubs fan. I was thusly equipped to handle this kind of situation.

Or as leetee says, "...lots of Bacardi."

Posted by: ihatewalks | April 7, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

What will Knight and Holliday say if the Nats ever win a game? They've used all their superlatives already

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 7, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Even Manny cant wait till we get strasburg

from manny's blog:

"Our pitching, despite being young, has a chance to be good. Granted we still don't have the dominant #1 and #2, that most teams need to go all the way in October, but I'd rather have young guys (some already with MLB experience) than have older guys patching up our rotation. All of them have the desire to get better and stick together, and if we can get at least three of these guys to become consistent starters in the big leagues, then we'll be fine. You can always go get a #1 in the free agent market or find him in the draft... LOL! I know what some of you guys are already thinking... Let's wait until we're closer to June to talk about it."

Posted by: theredskin | April 7, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see tomorrow's lineup. Milledge better not be in it.
I'd like to see Dukes in CF and Willingham in right.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 7, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Things I have learned tonight by reading the NJ:

-Ignore any post by a person with "skins" in there ID.

-Ignore any post from JayB or Nunof1. Toxic and negative doesn't even begin to describe them....but I think most people here already know that.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

When's Anderson Hernandez due back? I'd rather have him as a leadoff hitter. If you go back to when we accquired Milledge, Bowden and Manny touted him as someone who could hit any where from number 2 to number 7 in the lineup. From Bill Ladson's 12/1/07 story: "The Nationals believe that Milledge can develop into a middle-of-the-order hitter and become a good defensive outfielder." Last time I checked, the leadoff spot does not fit that criteria.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 7, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Rushfari,

I respect your having to teach under those conditions.

It's funny, there are certain political party's in this country that talk about free speech and people's rights but, that doesn't apply to everyone, apparently.

You get it, no matter what side of the aisle you are on politically and I respect that. God Speed.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

nunof1

I would argue that Dukes needs to get his batting practice in the bigs.

Posted by: soundbloke
--------------------------------------------------

Last year, yes. But this year Dunn, Kearns, Willingham and even Milledge are hitting better than he is right now. They need to play, not sit so he can play and get his groove back. Send him down. It will be good for him.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

More further proof that Acta is our "Alan Trammell". Just like the Tigers, when we get interested in winning we will fire Acta and bring in a Leyland type.

Thanks for nothing Acta! I'm tired of the "entitled" Milledge and even Zimmerman underperforming with the bat and glove (mostly Milledge). Play Dukes, Willingham, Maxwell, or anyone who actually has to compete for his job.

I'm a big Kearns fan right now because at least he's performing. I think having Dunn around is going to help Kearns a ton.

I'll be at Wednesday's game because I'm on Easter Break and I already have my tickets, but I must say this might be the last Nats game I go to this season.

In Strasburg we trust!
In the #1 pick in 2010 we trust!

Posted by: PNatsFan | April 7, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Things I have learned tonight by reading the NJ:

-Ignore any post by a person with "skins" in there ID.

-Ignore any post from JayB or Nunof1. Toxic and negative doesn't even begin to describe them....but I think most people here already know that.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 10:28 PM
-------------------------------------------------

That's okay. We've been ignoring you all along. Just didn't feel the need to be bragging about it. Glad you learned something this evening. Was that a first for you?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

In my attempt to see a positive in 17 innings of negative that is this season so far. The Nats did outscore the Marlins 3-0 over the last 5 1/2 innings tonight.

Hopefully that is something to build on.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Flowers and wine is what I thought I would find
When I came home from working tonight
Well now here I stand, over this failing Plan
And I need a cold one again

I got a new deal on seats
Had my hat on just right
I thought this new uniform was a sure bet
For romance tonight
Well it's perfectly clear,between the TV and beer
they'll swing and they'll miss
As I head for the door I turn around to be sure

Did I shave my beard for this?

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

You can blame me if that makes you feel better but it is Acta and his team that is the real problem.

Posted by: JayBeee | April 7, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

That's okay. We've been ignoring you all along. Just didn't feel the need to be bragging about it. Glad you learned something this evening. Was that a first for you?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 10:40 PM
___________________________________________________________

Nunof,

You're the biggest jackass on the NJ, you're just to pompous to see it. So go ahead and bloviate some more. Dazzle us with your wit.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

That one was for the ladies ;)

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Section505203:

you're right in re nunof1, but please add spamcastin to your list. he's nunof1. below find a recent vile post of his that found humor in Alzheimer's disease? a very unhappy little boy, that one.


"The Marlins are doing a knockoff of the Nationals' presidents race? Bush 41, I presume? God the comic possibilities of that are endless. Prying Clinton away from South Beach. Reagan with Alzheimers walking around aimlessly."

**********************************
Things I have learned tonight by reading the NJ:

-Ignore any post by a person with "skins" in there ID.

-Ignore any post from JayB or Nunof1. Toxic and negative doesn't even begin to describe them....but I think most people here already know that.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

You're a bundle of laughs too, nova_g_man, aren't you?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Okay, a more rational response:

"that makes 2 games in a row that Milledge has misplayed a ball on which he had to retreat."

That makes two games in a row that Milledge was far, far closer than he had any right to be the way Bonifacio was hitting the ball. Yes, he looked like a klutz out there, but one of two things is clearly going on: 1) the coaches are playing the outfield in, assuming all of Boni's work so far this year has been a fluke and/or 2) the pitchers are not pitching to their defense. I'm not saying Milledge is an all-star centerfielder, but even JayB can agree with me these two games have been far worse than anything he did last year. This is unusually bad, even for Lastings.

Dibble is growing on me. His exuberance ("come on, drive him in") is not far enough to be a homer, but definitely gives you more to do than simply listen to Sutton drone about how good the other team is. Let's see if the dumb ramblings dissipate as he gets comfortable.

Dunn, Kearns, Guzzie, and Flores are looking great. Dibble pointed it out, that none of those guys packed it in at any point. They were all going hard until the end, which was nice to see.

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Nova,

I caught that one, along with his joke over the weekend about Nick's 5 month old with a cracked skull. He's a real peach. Ignorant doesn't even begin to describe him. He thinks he's an intellectual but, what he really is, is a fool...to put in bluntly.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Gee, for guys that claim to be ignoring me you sure don't miss much, do you? Just sayin'. Have a nice night.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Section505203:

what breadth of humor he features: 5-month old babies to senile dementia praecox. sad, but i guess it makes him feel better about himself.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 7, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Gee, for guys that claim to be ignoring me you sure don't miss much, do you? Just sayin'. Have a nice night.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2009 10:59 PM
___________________________________________________________

That's the intellectual dazzle I was hoping for Nunof1/Spamcastin/ABM.

Make sure you kick your cat before you go to bed....

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but whoever made the decision to a) keep Milledge and b) continue to play him have no business as part of a major league organization.

Posted by: SavedByZero | April 7, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Ouch. The first paragraph of Chico's gamer is HARSH. Not that it's not deserved, but wow.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 7, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

So far, our hitters have drawn 1 walk, total.
Our pitchers have issued 9 walks.

Why can't our guys draw walks?? Get on base and keep innings alive!!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 7, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

These meaningless RBI by Kearns are really bothering me. It's buying him more time in the starting lineup, especially with this mickey mouse manager at the helm.

BTW - nunof if you think there were really 34K in the stadium yesterday you're out of your mind.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 7, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, CiL. Chico did not mince words in the gamer, he went out there and wrote exactly what he saw.

I'm curious to hear quotations from players.

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

This is a lot like the '07 start, when everybody said the Nats would lose 120 games, but they rallied and won game 3. We have 160 games to go; remember Boz's post, and don't lose hope.

Posted by: nats24 | April 8, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Today's Line (should be)

Harris 2B
Guz SS
Dukes CF
Dunn 1B
Willingham LF
Kearns RF
Zim 3B
Will N C
DCab P

Johnson first PHer and in for Defense in the 6th with a lead. Manny do you have the leadership skills needed to do what must be done with Milledge and Zim?

Posted by: JayBeee | April 8, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

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