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Off The DL, Arriving At A New Position

Willie Harris's recent trip to the 15-day disabled list didn't just allow recovery time for a left oblique pull. It also coincided with a position change. When the Washington Nationals activate Harris tomorrow (on the first day of his eligibility), he will return primarily as an outfielder, not an infielder.

Washington's preference to use Harris in the outfield reflects not just the team's plan for its most versatile player, but also its preference with the accompanying transaction. When Harris, whose 26 innings this year have all come at second base, becomes the team's fifth outfielder, it likely means that Washington will return reserve outfielder Justin Maxwell, 25, to Class AAA Syracuse.

"I think our preference will be that Maxy gets more at bats," Manager Manny Acta said.

At the start of the season, Harris seemed pegged primarily as an infielder -- especially because of Washington's outfield depth. But then, Lastings Milledge was demoted. Roger Bernadina, recalled as a replacement, fractured his ankle. Maxwell, recalled as the replacement's replacement, was miscast as a back-up -- only because his development requires regular at bats. And since his promotion to the big leagues April 19, Maxwell has started just one game.

One day after Harris returns, Washington will activate Cristian Guzman (left hamstring strain). That move will send either Alberto Gonzalez or Alex Cintron back to Class AAA.

*

OK, here are some other little nuggets from the drive-thru window...

* Collin Balester pitched six scoreless innings (4 H, 2 BB, 3 K) yesterday for Class AAA Syracuse in a 4-0 win against Rochester. It's the second quality start in a row for the 22-year-old, as you can see. Nice way to recover from a tough early April.

* Lastings Milledge, through eight games: .267 AVG, 30 AB, 8 H, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K.

* This tells you all you need to know about the deceptive potential for "quality" starts. So far, Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton (today's starter) has two of them in three outings. But both were 3 ER, 6 IP deals -- the minimum qualification. Yes, the bare minimum. (Say it like Jennifer Aniston's restaurant boss in "Office Space.") Really, Blanton is getting hammered. Opponents are hitting .362 against him. Lefties are hitting .391 against him.

* When Guzman returns, he'll be the leadoff man. I don't think there was any doubt about that, but Acta said as much today, just to clarity. Is he the ideal No. 1? No. But, Acta said, "he's making up his on-base percentage by just flat-out hitting. We like what Nick is doing in the No. 2 hole, and we want to keep it going."

By Chico Harlan  |  April 27, 2009; 6:58 PM ET
 
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Next: Max Offense, Max Deflation

Comments

It'll be nice to have both players back again, though I will miss Maxwell.

I totally forgot how Zim has gotten off to a slow start every year. This is a nice change, although my first thought when I saw your post title was, "Chico, you just ended his hitting streak. Thanks alot!"

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I have no issue with either probable replacement - sending both Maxwell & either AGonz or Cintron down would enhance SYR or HAR without crippling the Nationals. I'd personally rather see Maxwell & AGonz go down, as they need not only regular AB's, but regular time in the field as well (particularly AGonz).

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

martis with the rbi. yes! way to give yourself run support. maybe lannan will need to take lessons.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Martis with an RBI single; How about that!

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Our great outfield defense is at work again.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Chico!!! You didn't jinx Zim! Congratulations!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

And Zim's extended his hitting streak...in a big way! Into the Batter's Eye!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Lastings Milledge, through eight games: .267 AVG, 30 AB, 8 H, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K.

I don't understand how he isn't tearing the cover off of the ball in AAA!!!!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | April 27, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Reverse jinx for Chico! Zimm goes deep with Nick on base.

Posted by: tmp2234 | April 27, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

And RZim CRUSHES a pitch to dead-center - hitting streak intact, Nationals back in the lead.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

And Dukes crushes one!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Dukes! Dude! Yowza!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

...and Dukes CRUSHES a ball to Left-center, onto "Ashburn Alley"; wow!

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Most definitely not jinxed.

Posted by: chicoharlan | April 27, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@GGG:

Nice snark re: Milledge.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Chico, maybe you should write about good streaks every day! Just don't write about error streaks...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Here comes that 8-9-1 lineup I was talking about this afternoon. I hope they prove me wrong and get a couple hits/walks to bring it around to NJ and Zimm.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Danced with the Devil a little bit there, but Martis got out of it with no damage. 5-2 Nationals through three.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

@usmc53:

Hernandez can hit, he's just going to be streaky about it. He has tried to hold the fort while Guzman was on the DL, but will be more comfortable at #8.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice catch by Kearns against Dobbs.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Woo-hoo!!! ZIMM!!!!! Upper Deck!!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Rick Eckstein. Thank you.

Posted by: mrm0to | April 27, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Blanton looks like he's throwing BP out there. I love it.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 27, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Now this is what I like to see! Good work Nats, keep it up! Two solid starting pitching outings in a row.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 27, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

What a catch by Victorino. Pretty.
And then AG tattoos one right to 3B. Unlucky. We could have had 2 more runs in that inning if those balls had gotten through.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

And we have a whole new ballgame...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

EXPLETIVE!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Ugh! I was feeling too happy.

Posted by: CountDemoney | April 27, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

amorris, you are apparently not as lucky as chico...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I hate Philadelphia more than they hate themselves. Damnit

Posted by: jfromPG | April 27, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, the wheels just came off the bus - Grand Slam, Howard.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

With the five hits, including the GS, given up last inning, I thought Martis might be done, especially since he was due up first the following inning. But, since he's batting, I guess I was wrong...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow...we finally get a break on a well-hit ball...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Come on Elijah. Just a single.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

i'll settle for a walk.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Bases-loaded walks are a good thing when we're on the recieving end!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Sweet...I'll take a walk!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

We needed that walk to get a little bit of momentum back.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

and then Kearns pops out.

Posted by: CountDemoney | April 27, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I foresaw Kearns hitting a double there. Oh well.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Unreal...

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Just so unlucky
As much as i want to fault someone there I just can't.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 27, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

ohhh...juuuust a bit inside...

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Hinckley hits Utley.
I fear that the wheels are off in this one.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Hinckley is looking rough.
THis reminds me of when he came in and walked in the winning run against the Braves.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

NICK!!!!!! WOOHOO!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how you did it Hinckley, but you did.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 27, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

sheesh, people. I go out for a run, come back and it's tied up!?! What the...?

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Can we somehow find a way to win this one??

Let's go NATS!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

In the 9th, we could have Nick-Zimm-Dunn coming up.
The Phils could have their 8-9-1.

Not bad.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I'm wrong about the lineups in the 9th. My bad.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@NN:

Did the same thing - ran to the store to re-stock the vices & what happens... Aack.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Kippy! Our new 7th inning set-up guy!

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 27, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Attaboy Wells. Very nice inning.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain to me why Wells isn't already in Cabrera's rotation spot.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 27, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

BinM: I guess these kids can't be left unsupervised.

And now we're back NJ hits a homer.

You're welcome.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Nick...The Stick, baby! Crushed!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Big Nick Johnson!
11 game hitting streak, and we're back on top!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

And now Nick with an upper deck shot!!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's go bullpen!
Finish it off. It would be so great to win a game like this, after blowing a big lead.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Dunn hasn't done anything big lately. It's time.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Rick Eckstein. Thank you.

Posted by: mrm0to | April 27, 2009 8:19 PM |

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

great post. what he said ^^

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

And Dunn goes deep!!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

WOW...The Nats are stroking the ball tonight!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Lovin' the longballs!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 27, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Jageler deadpanning on Dunn's home run: "It didn't even hit 400 feet. It shouldn't count."

It's nice to hear them get to call a game like this. They're really on.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 27, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut and BinM - please just sit tight till the game is over. (Going out for a run - sheesh!)

Posted by: lowcountry | April 27, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

@NN:

Thank you - Guess we need to take mid-game breaks, eh?

------------------
@leetee:

Do we have you back among the believers yet?

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Please - just keep pounded that darn ball!


Posted by: Kev29 | April 27, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful. We'll have the top of our order up in the 9th.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Come on Belliard. Just a single.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@lowcountry:

I know things can change in an instant in this bandbox, but leads need to be mentioned, at least.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut and BinM - please just sit tight till the game is over. (Going out for a run - sheesh!)

Posted by: lowcountry | April 27, 2009 9:49 PM |

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

ok.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Please don't lose a 4-run lead twice in one night.
My ticker wouldn't be able to handle it.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm noticing about a 2-minute delay between mlb.com gameday & the mlb.com audio feed. Earlier in the season, it was maybe 15-20 seconds; anybody else getting the same effect?

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

My God - I have to watch with my eyes closed

Posted by: Kev29 | April 27, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Gameday audio is about 2 secs ahead of MASN HD

Posted by: ramgut | April 27, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

i swear, this game is TOOOOO exciting.

Posted by: kevinx | April 27, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I just hope they're setting it up for Hanrahan to be eligible for the save. Which he has to get. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. Come on Hanrahan!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 27, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Here comes Hanrahan...I need a drink.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh Gawd! "Gas Can" Hanrahan in the game? I may go for a run.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 27, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Do you walk Howard here and bring the go-ahead to the plate?

I guess not.

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

I would work around Howard i would not let him beat me yeah i know you never bring the lead run to the plate but........

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

just one out to end the inning hanrahan. just one out.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

WTF!!!

Posted by: Willy2 | April 27, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

i'm not sure i can handle this.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME???????

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

ugh...that one hurts...

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Good grief - I feel like Charlie Brown!

Posted by: lowcountry | April 27, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Another self-destruct.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

You have to be f@$king kidding me!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 27, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"Gas Can" pipes one and now it's 13-11 Phillies. No lead is safe with this guy. Say goodnight, Gracie.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 27, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Of course that happens.

These guys wrote the book on spoiling optimism.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 27, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

another move to aaa tonight?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

*whimper*

Posted by: JennX_ | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

And the first flight to SYR tomorrow morning is when?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

At least we're one game closer to Acta getting fired. Have to find a silver lining or just laugh during times like this.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

What the F?!? Han-run-han has GOT TO GO. He is not a closer. Sorry folks. This experiment needs to come to a close and quickly. How many of these things are we going to watch this year?

Posted by: mastroj | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Goodnight Gracie.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

This is approaching more than I can take.

Posted by: dcbatgirl | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

That should get him a ticket to Triple A.

Posted by: caese | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I just threw up in my mouth. Kip Wells should be the closer by default at this point. Hanrahan is garbage. Enough of the defenders. This was an atrocity.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

At least Mock is off the hook for the loss. Sheesh!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Hanrahan does not understand that his job is to get people out.

Posted by: janus4444 | April 27, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan has got to go. We can't trust him with any kind of lead. This stinks! I turn away from the TV for five minutes, and now we're down by two, which means Lidge is coming in. Grrrrrrrr....

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

UnBeLiEvable..another good outing spoiled by the bullpen. Mainly Hanrahan, but just plain wow.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 27, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Joel, thank you Randy, thank you Manny - I'm out.

Posted by: BinM | April 27, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

kip wells needs to start AND close.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

This team is just torturing the couple dozen fans they have. Seriously, I think I know what it's like to be waterboarded.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 27, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

BULLPEN IMPLOSION!!!! This is unacceptable can't blame this on Manny we hit five home runs and still can't win man i need a St.Jude medal(patron saint of lost causes).

Posted by: dargregmag | April 27, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

another hr from zimm?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Like so many inexperienced pitchers, "Gas Can" seems to pitch away from contact. Then again, Kearns would have needed a ticket for that Ibanez shot. Manny, TRUST YOUR OWN EYES and get someone else to do the heavy lifting late in games. The Constituency begs you.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 27, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

what is the delay??

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

How long until Joe Beimel gets back? It can't be soon enough. Hanrahan is responsible for more of our losses than anyone/anything else.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

much as that stunk, this really has been a good game. can't say it isn't exciting, that's for sure. And lord knows our boys are definitely in the game.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Alright we need ANOTHER home run from someone, which we just shouldn't need. 11 runs should be MORE than enough.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 27, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

So I go to walk the dog after the top of the 8th and, while I'm out there, I'm thinking, "Why take out Wells? He cruised through the 7th, only 14 pitches, two K's, he's a former starter, there's no reason he can't do the 8th and maybe the 9th, with a four-run cushion. Why use five relievers when you can probably get the job done with three?" Now look.

But this is classic textbook modern managing. They all do the "one inning per reliever" thing, which actually works when, you know, you have OTHER RELIEVERS worth using! Why stick to a formula when you don't have the right ingredients? Where's the bourbon? At least I know THAT'S got the right ingredients.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

All right Justin Maxwell, you're our last hope.

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

Good thing Dunn isn't up right now. Maxwell's D came up huge.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 27, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Maxy, go get your strikeouts at SYR.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 27, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Balls...that sucked.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 27, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, at least I got the 2 HR's from Zimmerman for my fantasy team.

Posted by: rxs85 | April 27, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Even more heartbreaking that their non-closer closes the game.

Posted by: caese | April 27, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

i used to say this about cordero, but now it's for hanrahan:

boys, if you want to take him out in the alley, we'll look the other way.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 27, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Chico - I'm counting on you to report back with news about Hanrahan being optioned to Syracuse. Or designated for assignment. Or something other than "He's our closer."

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

it does not get worse than that

Posted by: bford1kb | April 27, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Just to really open the wound, add this debacle to the three games against the Marlins, turn them all into the wins they should have been, and this team is 8-10 right now.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Chico: Can you pass this on to Hanrahan? I think he may need it:

1: Start out going NORTH on CITIZENS BANK WAY toward PHILLIES DR. 0.1 mi
2: Turn LEFT onto PHILLIES DR. 0.3 mi
3: Turn RIGHT onto S BROAD ST/PA-611 N. 0.3 mi
4: Merge onto I-76 W toward VALLEY FORGE. 17.3 mi
5: Merge onto I-476 N via EXIT 331B toward PLYMOUTH MTG (Portions toll). 115.6 mi
6: Merge onto I-81 N via EXIT 131 (Crossing into NEW YORK). 123.6 mi
7: Take the ADAMS ST exit, EXIT 18, toward HARRISON ST. 0.3 mi
8: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto ALMOND ST. 0.3 mi
9: Turn LEFT onto NY-92 W/E GENESEE ST. 0.3 mi
10: Turn RIGHT onto S STATE ST/US-11. 0.0 mi
11: End at Syracuse, NY

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Eh, less than 20 games into the season and I'm already numb. My heart's already been ripped out so many times this season.

You guys can fight over the carcass.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 27, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Wells was taken out for a pinch-hitter with a runner in scoring position. It was the only move to be made at the time - of course, Belliard hit into a double-play making it look all the more lamentable. Still, you have to believe that your bullpen can get six outs before they give up four runs.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 27, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

In case nobody noticed, that game was just as miserable for Philadelphia. It was just an all around miserable game.

And we lost that miserable game. You can count me among the time for Hanrahan to go crowd. Back to Syracuse. But who gets to come replace him? You could just demote him from closer, which ought to be enough, because his problem is 100% mental.

Posted by: Section506 | April 27, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

And tell him we'd all be happy to chip in to pay any tolls on his trip. Or perhaps he can head to Harrisburg, as that's a straight shot west on the PA Turnpike. Either way, he needs to go, and he needs to go NOW.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 27, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

@baltova

You're preaching to the choir. For the last three years I have ragged on Manny trying to emulate Tony LaRussa with the way he uses his releivers. Lots of times it doesn't matter how well a guy pitches once his inning is over it's bring somebody else in. With this team scuffling for wins, he's got to go with the hot hand out of the bullpen. "Gas Can" Hanrahan and "Rack 'Em Up" Rivera should only be used as lat resorts.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 27, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Hanrahan will never see Syracuse. If Washington passes he will be in St Louis, Atlanta, or Anaheim before the night is over.

Posted by: NoVaNatRat | April 27, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Lets face the facts....Hanrahan just doesn't seem to have the make up to be a closer, at least not yet. I'm not sure they have anyone who has the closer mentality at this point. The Nats only needed about 6 more homers and they might have sewn this thing up.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 27, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe we found a way to lose. Hanrahan looks shell-shocked -- at this point, it would be an act of mercy to move him out of the closer's role, whether he pitches middle relief or goes down to AAA.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | April 27, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Aha, the Hyperbole returns! It's not enough just to lose a miserable game, we have to blow it up in our imaginations to an epic loss. Maybe that way we'll feel just a little bit special.

Sorry, this was just a regular, crummy loss.

"'Rack 'Em Up' Rivera should only be used as lat resort"

You can't have been saying this for two years, because Rivera was our most reliable reliever last year. Go check the numbers. He was good the year before, too. It's only this year he's had nothing.

"The Nats only needed about 6 more homers and they might have sewn this thing up"

Actually, just one more would have done it, and we had three chances at it.

"less than 20 games into the season and I'm already numb. My heart's already been ripped out so many times this season"

Wrong, you have a big giant heart, full of baseball love, you just need to start taking a few more trips to Burger King during the games.

Posted by: Section506 | April 27, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry, it's really not worth an argument but...I realize Wells was pinch hit for. But I wouldn't have done that. You pointed out why in your post: "Still, you have to believe that your bullpen can get six outs before they give up four runs." Why? Not this bullpen with the options we have. Just because you tell a guy he's going to pitch in the eighth inning doesn't make him a set up man. Same with the ninth inning guy.

It's like the Redskins. Just because Jim Zorn runs a West Coast offense and he has Jason Campbell at QB, it doesn't mean that Campbell is a QB in a West Coast offense.

As much as I'm unhappy with Manny tonight, what options does he really have? They gave him a low-budget bullpen and they're pitching up to their standards.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone say Manny "Dead Man Walking" Acat has reached the final curtain. ENOUGH ALREADY, in less then two weeks the v2.0 of the bullpen is burned to a crisp. Please stop the madness. I'm completely drained of all emotion with this team, only problem is I have 41 more games to attend this year.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 27, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Anyone up for paying Pedro $5 million to close?

Posted by: jcj5y | April 27, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan needs to go asap. At this point, I would rather see Tavarez get a shot a closer. Hanrahan is too nervous/antsy to be a closer. Dude looked like a mess on the hill.

Posted by: FloresFan | April 27, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Over/under on Pedro's arrival:

7 days.

Takers?

(of course, his asking price just went up...)

Posted by: CajunD | April 27, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhhhh, see this is the madness I'm talking about. Pedro closing... no. Pedro is not anywhere near a baseball club right now for a darn good reason. You all hate Jim Bowden for taking risks on players, jeeze....

Also, the bullpen is not fried to a crisp, despite the rather spectacular loss tonight. I promise you when the stats are posted tomorrow that it will not be as bad as it was before the swaps.

Posted by: Section506 | April 27, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Just to be fair to Manny, after slamming him, think of his options. Sure, you yank Hanrahan from the closer's spot. Who do you go to? Obviously, not Mock, Hinckley's shaky, ditto Bergmann. I won't even mention Rivera. That leaves Tavarez and Wells until Beimel comes back, which means you're going with two guys nobody wanted two months ago. Good luck, Manny.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory that most people who post here are day traders. BUY BUY BUY!!!! SELL SELL SELL!!!!

Posted by: Section506 | April 27, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"Also, the bullpen is not fried to a crisp, despite the rather spectacular loss tonight. I promise you when the stats are posted tomorrow that it will not be as bad as it was before the swaps."

506, whatever you're smoking isn't legal. Here's the stat to keep in mind: four leads blown in either the eighth or ninth inning, and a tie game lost on a bases loaded walk. Not to mention no clear set up man or closer.

At least we know what they'll trade Nick Johnson for...

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Pedro closing isn't madness. It's a calculated risk that he can stay healthy, in which case he's a lot better than Hanrahan and our backup closer option, Mock (who was also shelled tonight). Is the risk worth $5 million? That's the question.

Posted by: jcj5y | April 27, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Is Hanrahan still the closer?
Manny: We're going to have to sit back and think about it. It's not like we have Rollie Fingers and Mariano Rivera.

Thanks Manny for reminding us. Its you and your coaching staffs job to find a Fingers or Rivera amongst the 6 dead trees you currently have planted out there in the pen.

Tired of the Manny excuses, its never Manny its always they scored more runs, they gave up less runs, they fielded the ball. No Manny, you don't have this team ready to WIN everyday! Your still looking for Rolly Fingers, Mariano Rivera, Joe Morgan, Willy Mays, Mickey Mantle blah, blah, blah.

SaberMetrics says; if Kip Wells gets 3 outs in the 7th, bring in, Am I supposed to be here Mock and Shell Shocked Homerunhan! Gee Whiz enough of the insanity.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 27, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

People, people, people. Pedro is not going to sign with this team to close. Of course, if he watched this game, he won't sign with this team, period.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"Is the risk worth $5 million?"

- No, waste of money with this team.

Move Wells into the rotation, ditch Cabrera. Call up Stammen. Make Tavarez the default "closer" until Beimel gets back. Stop making ridiculous repetitive game management mistakes. Get angry when you lose. Etc.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 27, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

baltova, you're counting games that happened before the new bullpen came up. There have been three wins and four losses since our new look bullpen came up:

4/20 Wells H, Biemal H, Mock H, Hanrahan SV
4/21 Hinckley H, Tavarez H, Hanrahan SV
4/22 Mock L, Hinckley, Tavarez
4/24 (Olsen L) Bergmann, Wells
4/25 (Cabrera L) Bergmann, Rivera, Tavarez, Hanrahan
4/26 (Zimmermann W) Hinckley, Mock, Wells

And then tonight.

That's actually pretty darn good bullpen service. But, hey, if you want to keep counting people who are not on the team because it makes you feel worse, go for it.

Posted by: Section506 | April 27, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks Manny for reminding us. Its you and your coaching staffs job to find a Fingers or Rivera amongst the 6 dead trees you currently have planted out there in the pen."

Actually, it's not his job, TippyCanoe, if there isn't one out there. You can't just wish someone into being a closer. If they can't do (or if they've never done it), you can't just make it happen with warm thoughts.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks Manny for reminding us. Its you and your coaching staffs job to find a Fingers or Rivera amongst the 6 dead trees you currently have planted out there in the pen."

????

Do you think there's a Fingers or Rivera lurking on this wretched staff, just waiting for a manager to work his magic? Do you think Acta selected this softball bullpen? I say "no" to both questions. Look, I don't think Acta's a strong manager. But, you can't blame this mess on him. Bowden, Rizzo, Kasten: Them's the ones you should be yelling at. Hanrahan was a joke of a closer last year, and that brain trust did nothing to bring in anyone until the last minute (Biemel).

Posted by: mvm2 | April 27, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Bah, you all just want to rage, forget it.

Posted by: Section506 | April 27, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

RickFelt, that is the best short-term solution. Hanrahan is gone. When Manny sez "we have to think about it," that's as good as gone.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 27, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

506, go ask Manny Acta if he thinks he's getting "pretty darn good bullpen service" with the "new look bullpen." Better yet, go ask some of the hitters. Even better, watch who's closing the next chance we have a save opportunity.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 27, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Joel Hanrahan has killed my fantasy team. LEft him on the bench last week and he pretended to be a major league pitcher and got a couple of saves. I play him and he tanks AGAIN.

For the love of whatever greater being in which you believe, send that guy down to visit with BUSTings Milledge(who, by the way, was the only other Nat I drafted)! Heck, at this point he should be playing little league ball!

Get him out of my face! Get out of baseball Joel! Become an outfielder like Rick Ankiel! at least then you'll be within striking distance of the plate!

Posted by: accellera | April 27, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Uhm... accellera... what on earth is Hanrahan doing on your fantasy roster in the 1st place? Surely you had more options available to you with the enitre ML roster pool sitting there at the start of the draft. Sheesh. Blame what you will on Hanrahan for the losses and blown saves in real world baseball but he's not to blame for your poor fantasy judgement. Sometimes being a fanboy gets in the way of the fantasy game huh?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 27, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Haha, I also made the horrendous mistake of having hanrahan in the lineup tonight. I dropped him before the game started, but he had to stay there for the rest of today. I'm sad.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 27, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

What about resigning Odalis Perez.....I haven't seen any reports he's been signed and if not, he could be had for $1M easy and come back with an apology and blame it all on a Bowden misunderstanding. Perez was actually solid for us last year.

Posted by: gusgrace | April 27, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

The last thing we need is the poison Perez spews in the clubhouse. The rotation isn't the issue.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 27, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm onboard with Taverez closing til Beimel comes back, he's not scared out there and goes after the hitters, it could not be any worse.

Posted by: skippy1999 | April 27, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Not that it's the worst of the issues, but Martis did give up 7 ERs tonight...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 27, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Nope, we're NL only, so I only had 16 closers to chose from. I should have used my Auction dollars more wisely.
I drafted a Single-A closer at best. Time to drop Hanrahan, pick up a setup guy or two and hope for the best

Posted by: accellera | April 28, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Bring up ANYONE at this point to take over the closer's role. Any pitcher at this point could do a better job. Han-run-han is not a closer and will never be one. Bring up Zinicola from Harrisburg and throw him out there or let Tavarez close (I believe he closed for a while somewhere else). But what ever happens - never ever put Han-run-han out there with a lead in the ninth. I don't know what "it" is but he does not have it.

Posted by: mastroj | April 28, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

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