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Bernadina Leaves With Injury [UPDATE]

[UPDATE 6 P.M.] -- Bernadina is going on the 15-day DL; Justin Maxwell will be called up Sunday.

[UPDATE, 3:28 p.m.] --Bernadina has a right ankle sprain. He is in the process of having precautionary X-rays.

---

Here in the top of the eighth, centerfielder Roger Bernadina made a spectacular catch against the wall. The cheering continued until the stadium realized Bernadina couldn't get up. Bernadina, promoted from Class AAA Syracuse earlier this week, was injured and exited the game after chasing down a deep fly ball hit by Florida's Dan Uggla.

Bernadina, mitt extended, soared toward the warning track to make the catch. But just as he did, he crashed into the wall, legs buckling, and crumbled. Manager Manny Acta and trainer Lee Kuntz rushed to assist, and Bernadina remained on the ground in apparent pain for at least a minute. With an arm around Acta, he then exited the field through a gate in center field.

Elijah Dukes has replaced him in center.

Entering the bottom of the eighth, the Nats lead, 6-3.

I'll update on Bernadina's condition soon.

By Chico Harlan  |  April 18, 2009; 6:05 PM ET
 
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Next: Injury Problems, Closer Problems

Comments

If he goes on the DL, does Lastings return?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 18, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Bernie's catch, if anyone wants to see the video:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2009_04_18_flomlb_wasmlb_1&mode=gameday

Posted by: Barney001 | April 18, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I going to guess Maxwell. Only he and Milledge are on the 40 man. I can't believe they would yank LM right back up.

#4

Posted by: db423 | April 18, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

THE NATIONALS MUST FIX THAT GAP UNDER THE OUTFIELD WALL. BERNADINA IS OUR SECOND OUTFIELDER TO GO DOWN BECAUSE OF THAT.. . Little foam please.

Posted by: tlynch44 | April 18, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

THE NATIONALS MUST FIX THAT GAP UNDER THE OUTFIELD WALL. BERNADINA IS OUR SECOND OUTFIELDER TO GO DOWN BECAUSE OF THAT.. . Little foam please.

Posted by: tlynch44 | April 18, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

In this case, I don't think the gap had much to do with the injury. It was how he came down on his leg, not getting it stuck under the wall.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | April 18, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The gap had nothing to do with it. He came down awkwardly.

#4

Posted by: db423 | April 18, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE the Marlins

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Should have put Tavarez in after Hanrahan let in the first run :(

Posted by: skippy1999 | April 18, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of Hanrahan immediately.

Posted by: longhorn64 | April 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Make Beimel the closer

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Play by play call from the future:

April 20th, 2009:

"Now in to pitch the sixth inning for Syracuse, Joel Hanrahan..."

Posted by: BShea82 | April 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Call up Bergmann and make Beimel the closer. PLEASE.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Get off my team you terrible pitcher. The fact you represented the USA in the WBC appalls me.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 18, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Why run a closer out for the 3rd game in a row, then refuse to take him out? Doesn't look like Acta has any concept of how to use a pitching staff.

Posted by: p-man | April 18, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Call up Bergmann and make Beimel the closer. PLEASE."

Posted by: BGinVA

---------------------------------

Agreed in full

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

How many different ways can this team cough up wins to the Marlins? Jeez, why don't the Nationals just come out & post billboards "Who's your daddy - the Marlins", with Hanrahan's face on it.

Posted by: BinM | April 18, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Two days in a row? This time three runs in the Ninth. Do we have a new "opener"?

Posted by: mastroj | April 18, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

c'mon Nick, c'mon Nick, c'mon Nick

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Why run a closer out for the 3rd game in a row, then refuse to take him out? Doesn't look like Acta has any concept of how to use a pitching staff."

This is true, unfortunately. He should have been taken out after the first run scored, no question, especially when you have a veteran in Tavarez who has closed games before sitting in the pen.

Posted by: skippy1999 | April 18, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

He's run Beimel out there three days in a row too. He used 5 last night knowing they to play again in 12 hours. Good god I would fire that idiot

Posted by: Brue | April 18, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Extra innings again. YIPEE. If we don't pull this off, I will be really pi$$ed (actually, I'm already there - this game should have been over 15 minutes ago).

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

>If he goes on the DL, does Lastings return?

Leonard Davis. Oh that's right - the Nats minor league player of the year just got cut. Yeah, bring Milledge back, I'm sure he's got his head on straight. Always was a quick learner.

Posted by: Brue | April 18, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan's problem is that he's seemingly fallen in love with the K. Yo, meat - the idea is to get the batter out without giving up runs, not just pitch until you get three K's.

Posted by: BinM | April 18, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

We look beaten already, and the Marlins look supremely confident. Guess the only question is how will they tear out guts out this time?

Posted by: LeeM9308 | April 18, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Voof, that was a healthily nasty SO pitch...

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Where is Shell? Where is Ledezma? Manny, for the love of God, turn the pitchers over to St.Claire & Knorr.

Posted by: BinM | April 18, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

why does hanrahan keep blowing games for us?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I can see Bergmann as a closer before Beimel. He usually was lights out the first time through a lineup in the past.

Posted by: p-man | April 18, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Attaboy Tavarez.

Zimm, hit a homer and end this ridiculous game.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Okay.
Nice work, Tavarez.
Big bats coming up. Let's get this done.

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Makes me long for the days of the Chief. They were always a thrill-ride but unlike our Han"run"han the Chief got the job done.

Posted by: mastroj | April 18, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I was skeptical of Hanrahan when I heard (in February or so) that he was slated to be the closer. My baseball instincts are usually wrong, but he's not our man. St. Claire needs to come up with a new plan.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Er, he sometimes got the job done mastroj. Cordero was not a total stranger to the blown save regardless of Joel's ability.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 18, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Echoing soundbloke's comment, I recall many a time when the big bats of the Braves, Mets and these Marlins feasted on Cardiac's fastball when it wasn't spot-on location-wise. He was damn entertaining though...He's in Seattle now?

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Tavarez about to lose it for us

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

When he did blow a save he at least had a history of sucess to fall back on. Han"run"han has a very thin resume. Blowing a three run lead in the ninth. You can't have those sorts of things happen. It bad for the fans and completely demoralizing for the team.

Posted by: mastroj | April 18, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Man, that's brutal.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Great. Another routine error.

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, while Acta has proven to be an advocate for and fair manager of the regular & bench players, he has also proven that he cannot hope to manage a pitching staff / bullpen. The Nationals will most likely lose this game, and Acta will become a dead-man walking, unlikely to last until June 1st.

Posted by: BinM | April 18, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm to the point that I feel sorry for the guys. These last two games have been painful as a fan; I can only imagine how hard it is for the players to take.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Hate to say this, but a couple more like this and Manny will be looking for work. Can't fire the whole team - although most of them might deserve it.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | April 18, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

This looks bad, but at least we made it one inning further than we did last night. I'm not encouraged by Ledezma's nearly-double-digit ERA. If we can pull through, Florida's bench is depleted, while we still have Flores, Willingham and Nieves.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Son of a...

My TV is in severe danger of exploding due to impact by beer bottle.

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

hermida homer. it's over.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE the Marlins.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

it's hanrahan's fault. one night he blows the save, and today he does it again, with a 3 run lead. he sucks.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

At this stage Hanrahan and Rivera are becoming interchangeable, and sadly, that is not a good thing for the Nats. Is there a closer in the minors?

Posted by: driley | April 18, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick to my stomach. I don't know why I do this to myself. They were picked by everyone in the country to finish last. Why do I get excited about the idea that they might be decent? I do it every year.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I guess Hanrahans new job should be renamed. I'd suggest...opener.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 18, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It's Acta's fault. Despite Dibble's comments about the responsibility being on the players' shoulders (which I agree with to a degree), as BinM posted Manny's game management regarding the pitchers and the circumstances in which they're used has been all but a complete debacle. I can't see him here much longer, as well. It just sucks 'cause he's a good guy.

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Stan - If you are looking at these comments. You will have two more seats in Section 131 to sell to some other sucker next year. I am done.

Posted by: mastroj | April 18, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Thank god, I was worried they would win and delay Acta's canning a few more weeks.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 18, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Why the hell did everyone pick the Marlins to finish 4th in the NL East? They're quite good.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

On the positive front, Dibble has officially won me over. When he said that a team that commits three errors doesn't deserve to win in correction of Bob Carpenter's "how do they always do this?" comment, and then when he said pitch what got you up here to get them out or we'll go find someone else who can, it was as if a color commentator was finally watching the same game I am.

And I hate to say it, but Manny may need to be the sacrificial lamb to get this team back in line. I'm not saying that anything he's doing is wrong, because he can't go out there and make his pitchers relax and trust their stuff, or make Mr. Face of the Franchise throw right, but it's likely a fresh start would do everyone good.

Posted by: Section506 | April 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Manny may be close to done after this series (depending on tomorrow's results)- Stan wants to sell seats and he sure as heck is not going to do it with Manny managing some of the aspects of the game the way he is. I can't believe we've snatched defeat from the jaws of victory twice in under 24 hours. My seats will be available next year too, Stan. Good luck...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Get Beimel to be the closer. He's clearly the best pitcher in the bullpen! I wonder how the tv ratings are now! Probably down to 5,000 now!

Posted by: rxs85 | April 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Man, the title of this post (Through Five: Nats 6, Marlins 3) feels like it was 2 days ago now...

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Ugh.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

So I make it 1 hit after the 2nd inning - is that right?

Posted by: Barney001 | April 18, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, my bad. Previous post title.
1-9. Fan-effing-tastic.

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Acta did not give up the home run to Ross yesterday or the home run to Hermida.. we should have 3 wins in a row if Hanrahan doesn't blow the saves. I don't think there's anything Manny can do.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Great - another blown Hanrahan save. And he had a three run lead!

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 18, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

When the closer can't close and gives the game away two days in a row that's tough to come back from and put's pressure on the team and the manager now its going to become's mental.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 18, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

No way Acta can survive this. It may not happen today, it may not happen tomorrow, but it's coming. It's unfortunate, but that's the way the cookies crumble when you're off to such a bad start. Just ask Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

And yes, Rachel, there is something Manny can do - send Hanrahan back to the minors and get a real closer.

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 18, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

506, I agree - how much worse than this can it get???? God, a high school team doesn't play like this. It's pitiful.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | April 18, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

And yes, as much as I love Manny, I'm afraid he's not going to survive unless something turns around real quick.

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 18, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

LoveThoseNats: That's true. But who woulda thought Hanrahan would blow it again, right? I sure thought after blowing the game yesterday, that he was not going to give up 3 runs.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan should not be the closer tomorrow. If they can send Lastings down for non performance, then JH should be treated the same. Isn't this supposed to be the year for change in Washington?

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 18, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, Manny can blame Hanrahan if he loses his job!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd like someone to explain to me how this loss was Acta' fault from a strategic point of view. There is an argument to be made about building a winning atmosphere handling players, and putting them in the right roles that could be had. But, I see no strategic mistakes.

In this day in age of the closer, a big league manager NEVER pulls his closer in the middle of a save situation. I have not seen it happen one time and to criticize Manny for not doing it today is ludicrous. Pulling a stunt like that signals to the rest of your ball club that you have no confidence in your closer. The manager has to let him stay in there and work out of the jam. If you don't, then whoever you bring in should be the closer in the first place.

My guess is that, like with Milledge, we will see a quick change in that role. Let's not crown Beimel just yet though. The set up guy is like the back up QB. He's always the most popular guy in town. Pitching the 8th is much different than pitching the 9th.

The bottom line is that the FO has given Manny very little to work with in the bullpen. They hoped that Hanrahan would grow into the role, but I just don't think he's got the make-up. I blame today on the players (and the FO) more than Manny.

#4

Posted by: db423 | April 18, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Heartbreaking. That's all there is to it. Baseball is a cruel cruel game. I can't believe this!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

No, Manny cannot send Hanrahan back to the minors. The manager does not control personnel. That would be a Rizzo job. And he can't send him back to the minors, because he would have to clear waivers and someone would pick him up in a heart beat because his problem is in his head, not in his delivery. These balls get clobbered when he misses his spot or they don't break right, which has to do with overthrowing, because he's nervous. He has always been that way.

The right answer is that there is nothing Manny can do, but that's the way the ball bounces (past the diving Vidro). Managers are constantly fired because of nothing they can really do. A fresh leader sometimes rearranges things and gets things better than they were -- much like a young Manny Acta taking over in 2007.

Acta is a good manager and will get another job in baseball and will do well. But something has to happen here.

Posted by: Section506 | April 18, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"Acta is a good manager"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: RickFelt | April 18, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not Manny did anything wrong, he's the one who has to take the fall. The manager is the one who is accountable for the team's performance, regardless of the quality of the players he has. Again, just ask Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Like Milledge, Hanrahan was sort of "gifted" the closing spot. Prior to the Rausch trade last year Hanrahan had not really shown anybody any reason that he could be a competent closer. There is absolutely nothing this short season, including spring training, that has convinced me otherwise.

When an organization makes decisions like this the gods of baseball have a way of exacting their retribution on you. I wonder if destroying the good performances of the last two starting pitchers is enough of a sacrifice for the gods of baseball. If not, then Hanrahan should be dressed in the ritual clothes and demoted to fifth inning long relief.

And now a blast at those who are saying we should trade Nick Johnson. We should sign him to a 3 year contract. He is saving about 4 errors a game from infielders who can't master the catch and throw routine. That is probably about two runs a game in production. Plus he is actually hitting well.

Posted by: driley | April 18, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Acta is a good manager"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: RickFelt | April 18, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

---------

Also from the glass half-full department: this is your most intelligent post yet, RickFelt.

Posted by: Section506 | April 18, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

We should be 3-7, and on a 3-game win streak right now, with a blowout and two nice, close games against a very good Marlins team.
3-7 would put us 1.5 games behind Philly and Atlanta.

Brutal.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 18, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

driley, I guess you weren't posting on this blog last year. Because there was a non-stop parade promoting Joel Hanrahan for closer, based on his incredible spring and great set-up work for Rauch. A lot of people wanted to can Rauch immediately and put Hanrahan in.

You also missed the part where Nick has never played a full season of baseball.

Posted by: Section506 | April 18, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The Indians must really love the new Yankee Stadium - following a 14-run 2nd inning, the Tribe is up 15-2 in the 4th. At least we're not getting blown out in our losses (the Indians also had a big win earlier this week to spoil NYY's hope opener). And I hate the Yankees almost as much as I hate the Marlins, so this is my lone bright spot from the world of baseball today.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

My glass is half full, Section. Did you not see my silver lining post earlier?

Posted by: RickFelt | April 18, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I find it hilarious how ESPN ignores the fact that the Marlins are the best team in the NL.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 18, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

So what if Hanrahan is let go on waivers? How would want him?

Maybe the problem is in his head - but as he is, he's no good to the Nationals or anyone else.

You can't, one one hand, say Manny is responsible for everything, and on another hand say there is nothing he can do about it.

Manny CAN do something. He's the manager of the team. He knows more about what's going on on his team than anyone else. If Rizzo doesn't listen to him, it's time to get a new GM. Manny has to have the authority - not just the responsibility. And good teams work that way.

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 18, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

RickFelt: Maybe it's because they have 5 wins over the lowly Nationals.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

506,

Actually I was posting last year (a.k.a. Dale) but the WaPo
reconfigured my posting name and I am just too lazy to change it. I think when Hanrahan got the position last year everyone held their collective breath, because they got what they asked for. I think that management held its breath this offseason as well and was basing its decision regarding Hanrahan on the fumes of hope.

From what I have seen Hanrahan has worked himself out of the closing role. He should stay with the club as a middle inning relief pitcher, and if he is successful there possibly be worked into the eighth inning spot at some point. But for now you go with the person who has the best chance to get 3 outs in an inning and at this point that would be Biemel.

Posted by: driley | April 18, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say Manny is responsible for everything. I'm saying he's not. And that it doesn't matter, because when a team is going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position as a matter of habit, the manager gets canned. Heck, I'm not even recommending it, I'm just saying that's what happens.

In the words of Omar Little: "That's the game."

Posted by: Section506 | April 18, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Touchez Rachel.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 18, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RickFelt. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 18, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

A few things if I may ...

The starting pitching was horrid to begin the season, but we all knew they were better than how they pitched, and in the last three games, the starters have allowed just 14 hits, 5 earned runs and 4 walks while striking out 14, posting a nifty 2.25 ERA. Now we know at least 3 of the starters can pitch well.

Problem fixed.

The hitting didn't look good at first, but the bats have really come alive. The only position that isn't producing right now is that 3rd outfield spot (Kearns & Willingham) yet we all know that once he plays every day, Willingham is one of our better hitters.

Problem fixed.

Right now, it's the bullpen and fielding that's killing the team.

Only Saul Rivera has been bad out of the bullpen, and he is one of the better guys we have, so he'll come around.

The problem is Joel Hanrahan, who simply isn't a closer, and we're going to ruin a pretty decent middle inning reliever if we leave him as closer for much longer.

Joe Beimel should be the team's closer for the forseeable future.

Then there is that 'X' factor that's killing the team right now. Bad throws from short and third, and goodness, when Nick Johnson makes an error, there is something going on.

I'm afraid that the problem is institutional, and that means Manny Acta.

He's gotta go.

I like him, I like his demeanor, but I'm afraid his largess, his relaxed style is causing these guys to get complacent.

I think that these kids needs someone who'll get on them, who'll scare them a little bit.

The team's offense is solid. The starters will be at least major league average, and could be better, the poor start notwithstanding. Add Jordan Zimmermann, Steven Strasburg and (voila) a near-excellent rotation for 2010.The defense can be good, as can the defense.

Like others have said, It might not be fair to fire Manny, but the Nationals have to do something to get the player's attention.

This team has looked great the last three games, and yet they only have one win.

Change closers, add a fiery manager, and the team can still win 75 games.

The attendance does worry me; it the last three games, the Nats have averaged less than 20,000 fans per game. I think all of us are saying to the team, "call us when you fix it."

And I too was very upset when Rob Dibble was announced as the MASN color man, but boy,was I wrong. He's a homer, but he's not afraid to call players out.

And I L-O-V-E his dislike for Emiliano Bonifacio.

Posted by: rushfari | April 18, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Marlins fan here. I'm not here to gloat. I want my team to win every game, but I have to admit that the last two games were gift-wrapped by your relievers. I can't imagine a worse way to lose two regular-season games in a row than this. BGInVA, I am sorry that we won this way. Your comments the last two days have made me laugh out loud. I understand why you hate us, but would you rather have the Phillies win the division again? Or the stinking Mets?

If it's any consolation to you Nats fans, the Marlins are playing well above their heads and will probably crash to earth rather soon. Most of our starting pitchers have long histories of injury, and when the starters stop dropping, so will the Marlins. No one expected our relievers to be so effective this year. They will probably revert to form as well.

I think Boz is correct that the Lerners are way too cheap. Our owner is Jeffrey Loria, so I empathize. The difference is that we have probably the best GM in baseball, Larry Beinfest, who achieves wonders with little money. I think the Lerners need to make a splash right now, to stanch the bleeding of the fan base, by doing something like signing Pedro Martinez to a one year deal. You have a lot of holes, but pitching is the biggest. There are a lot of veteran arms out there unsigned...consider picking up one or more of them.

I will root for the Nats as long as they don't play my team. Don't give up 10 games into the season.

Posted by: LurkingandShirking | April 18, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@LurkingandShirking: It's not that I really hate the Marlins, but your team always finds a way to beat us, even prior to this season. Even when it looks like we're finally going to get that elusive win, no luck. You guys do have a good team and I'm happy that you're off to such a good start. I wish I could say that about the Nationals. You're right - it does make the division more exciting to follow. It's great to see teams like San Diego, Seattle and Florida off doing so well this early - proof that big pocketbooks don't always equate to winning (hence, the Yankess).

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

This was tough! Agree with Rushfari on just about everything including a new manager. Also am pleasantly surprised with Dibble and loved his comment about if you can't get someone out we will get someone who can. No way this could happen but I would like to see Johnny Holiday replaced, realize he is a legend but its just awful.

It will be interesting to see if Hanrahan is back in there tomorrow if its a save situation. Also agree that Nick Johnson saves at least one error per game and I am hoping he can make it through an entire season.

Posted by: sjm3091 | April 18, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

At least I can stomach the Marlins winning. If it were the Mets or the Phillies killing us I would be looking for a large rock to crawl under.

Posted by: driley | April 18, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, no way is there more than the pleasant disdain of a division rival for the Marlins.

I mean, they're not Philly...

Posted by: Section506 | April 18, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

20 runs now for the Indians vs. 2 for the Yankees and it's only the 5th inning. I'm glad we're not losing by margins like that!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Coming from someone who lives in West Palm Beach, I agree BG, seeing these lower payroll teams do well is reassuring that you cannot just throw money at something to be successful. The Marlin's Larry Beinfest is pretty much a genius when it comes to evaluating talent. Prior to that we had Dave Dombrowski as our GM and he also served us well. The Nats starting pitching really looked good these past two games. I would think of it as something to build on. The closer doesn't have a lot of movement on his pitches and can't spot that fastball the way he wants. He'll keep on getting torched if he keeps that up. Good luck guys.

Posted by: beezerkats | April 18, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

@BGInVA, good points.

One thing about having no payroll, you can't afford to sign someone to a long-term big money deal unless they are pretty much guaranteed not to fail. Hence, Marlins management wisely locked up Hanley Ramirez. Not resigning Carl Pavano turned out to be a great move. No one applauded the trade we made with the Tigers, but Dontrelle Willis is not looking so good right now. Miguel Cabrera is a fantastic talent, but I have to admit that in his last year with the Marlins, he was overweight, sloppy, and lazy (especially on defense). As great a hitter as he is, he was a bad influence on a young team.

Bonifacio is turning out to be what you Nats fans thought he was, but he may have a few streaky games, and he should be a hell of a pinch runner. Olsen has a rotten attitude and is immature, but he is also an innings eater. He'll never be an ace, but he is good for bullpens. His E.R.A. will probably be around 4 and change. Willingham has power, and I was surprised that he didn't go yard against us.

One thing your team will need to avoid is the malaise that can affect young teams. You have potential head cases in Olsen, Milledge, and Dukes. I think Dunn will help keep these guys in line. The Nats were also wise to assign a bodyguard/nanny for Dukes, but as I recall, the Cowboys also tried the same thing for Tank Johnson, and he got into a fight with his minder.

Do you think Zimmerman is worth a long-term deal? He seems error-prone and doesn't bat for great average. On the other hand, he may get better, and you may not be able to get anyone better for the same amount of money. When the economy eventually improves, free agency contracts will go back to their ridiculous extremes.

Posted by: LurkingandShirking | April 18, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Has there ever been a more disappointing day in the history of Washington sports? The Capitals are down 2-0 to a team that they should be rolling over and the Nats blow two straight games and very well may lose their manager. I don't ever recall such a sad day.

Posted by: MKadyman | April 18, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Has there ever been a more disappointing day in the history of Washington sports? The Capitals are down 2-0 to a team that they should be rolling over and the Nats blow two straight games and very well may lose their manager. I don't ever recall such a sad day.
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Yeah, but none of this involves the Snyder-men, so no one will probably get too emotional about it. It is a depressing day though, you're absolutely right.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 18, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"Do you think Zimmerman is worth a long-term deal?"

It's heresy around here, but I don't. I've just never gotten this guy. I don't think he's that impressive. A solid, Brian Schneider type of guy that you can count on, but nothing special.

Posted by: Section506 | April 18, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The OP says an ankle fracture. :-(

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 18, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | April 18, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"Do you think Zimmerman is worth a long-term deal?"

It's heresy around here, but I don't. I've just never gotten this guy. I don't think he's that impressive. A solid, Brian Schneider type of guy that you can count on, but nothing special.

I totally agree, Section506. He's about the sixth or seventh best third baseman in the NL, and I might rank Bonifacio ahead of him right now. If Nick's not playing first, he would lead the league in errors. Offensively, he would make a nice 6 or 7 hitter. So, naturally, Manny bats him third. Even with Dunn behind him, he's overanxious at the plate, swings at too many bad pitches, grounds into too many double plays and, honestly, has not really improved from his rookie year. He may actually have regressed at bit.

Immediate changes:
Manny out, Tim Foli in
Hanranhan out, Beimel in
Sign Pedro
Why does this team have 3 catchers, for god's sake? Again, I ask, what does The Bard bring to this team?

There is no plan. Nobody's in charge, the emperor has no clothes, Manny hasn't got a clue and the ship is sinking faster than the rents at the Lerners' empty shopping malls. And we support these low-lifes everytime we buy a ticket. Utter dismay.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 18, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Someone on this post compared Manny to Eddie Jordan not even close, Jordan took the Wizards to the playoffs four years in a row and then the dumb azz Gm canned him after ten games and now we know the rest of that story.I may not be an Acta fan but Hanrahan was handed two leads two games straight and managed to blow both of them i'm not sure he's the answer as the closer i mean he embraced the role and in an interview he said he was ready but obviously not.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 18, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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