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Rainout Ramifications

1. Makeup date TBA (almost certainly at a time when the weather is better).

2. The Nationals' starting pitchers all get pushed back a day. Thus, Shairon Martis, tonight's scheduled starter, goes tomorrow night (against Philadelphia's Joe Blanton), and the rest of the rotation follows in regular order.

3. Yes, this means Jordan Zimmermann's debut, previously scheduled for Sunday, will now occur on Monday. (He threw a simulated game of around 85 pitches yesterday in Syracuse, after the Chiefs' game was rained out. So he will get an extra day of rest before making his big league debut.)

4. This is the lineup the Nationals would have fielded had the game been played:

2B Anderson Hernandez
1B Nick Johnson
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Adam Dunn
CF Elijah Dukes
RF Austin Kearns
C Jesus Flores
SS Alberto Gonzalez
P Shairon Martis

5. Cristian Guzman's hamstring injury is day-to-day, and with a second straight day off now, he may not even have to miss a single game. When he returns, he bats leadoff, according to Manny Acta.


By Dave Sheinin  |  April 15, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

poor Willingham.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 15, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Grr. This is my thing, but I really get vexed when managers insist on putting a fast guy in the leadoff spot, never mind whether he can get on base.

(And I too was hoping to see Willingham in right. Don't worry, NN, I think we'll see plenty of him soon enough.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | April 15, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Shoot...I wanted to see JZ pitch on Sunday. Any chance of a doubleheader tomorrow at all, or will they wait until later in the season to get it in? The Phillies come into DC two more times this season, but they don't have an off day on either side of those visits (we have off days prior to both series). With that, it looks it will be a doubleheader, but it's just a question of when...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 15, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Nick hitting 2nd? Thank you. Finally.

Now just flop Dukes and Zimmerman and it'll be as good as it's going to get this year.

Posted by: traderkirk | April 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@NatsNut

You're disappointed Kearns was in Manny's lineup? Aren't you his mom?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 15, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm with traderkirk, love seeing Nick hit 2nd

Posted by: NationalsPrideMike | April 15, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

BGinVA,

The close proximity of the two cities is a plus in that the schedulers may look at playing the game sometime during the season when both teams are on homestands and have an off night. They would not have to play a doubleheader. Of course, I haven't scrutinized their schedules.

Posted by: DoctorJoe | April 15, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson is a good #2....I would like to see him in that slot more often.

Posted by: pryorcommitments | April 15, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Scooter - agree on the "we need a fast guy hitting leadoff even if he doesn't get on base!" nonsense. Probably never going to change, but it sure is frustrating.

Posted by: Section220 | April 15, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

TO ALL MY FELLOW NATS FAN POSTERS: Happy Jackie Robinson Day,Sixty two years ago on April 15,1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball and the social fabric in our country changed forever,thank you Jackie#42!

Posted by: dargregmag | April 15, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

with OBP ciphers like hernandez and guzman leading off, johnson's bat may be wasted in the two-hole.

Posted by: surly_w | April 15, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

sunova...

i bought tix for sunday presuming that jzimmermann would be starting. now i get... CABRERA?

grrr... that totally sucks.

Posted by: sec231 | April 15, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@sec231

ya shoulda waited to buy those ducats. i have the feeling that good seats will be available all season in natstown.

Posted by: surly_w | April 15, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

PTI just had an over/under (5) on the number of games that Manny Acta remains the Nats skipper. Has anyone heard any substanitive grumblings about Manny getting the axe?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 15, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Harlan

Any word as to whether the Phillies are still going start Blanton or will they skip him and pitch Hamels tomorrow?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 15, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Problem w/ Johnson in the 2 spot is that he's so, so, so slow. Can't go from first to third or second to home on many singles. That said, I think we need Dukes in the 5 spot (or 3) so much, I guess we have no option but to bat Johnson 2nd. When Guzman comes back, I wouldn't mind seeing Hernandez 2nd.

Posted by: Sal143 | April 15, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Any word as to whether the Phillies are still going start Blanton or will they skip him and pitch Hamels tomorrow?
*******************************************

WTOP's Craig Heist said Blanton will pitch tomorrow.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 15, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

i bought tix for sunday presuming that jzimmermann would be starting. now i get... CABRERA?

grrr... that totally sucks.
**************************************

I hear you as I'm in the same boat and not happy at all. I got more than enough of Cabrera from Monday's game. I'd much rather see JZ than having to put up with Carbrera twice within one week. Grr...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 15, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, let's play Willingham over Kearns most days, please. Not sure if Willingham has played much RF, but still. Kearns could fill in in late innings IF -- heaven forbid -- we have a lead to protect.

Posted by: Sal143 | April 15, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

i bought them w/in the last couple of days. i guess i could have walked up, but i liked the seats that were there and it didn't feel like a horrible risk.

little did i know.

*sigh*

Posted by: sec231 | April 15, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

>poor Willingham.

Only for a short while. I heard Davey Johnson's name mentioned again tonight.

Posted by: Brue | April 15, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the overload of gushy Willingham love the last 2 days? Willingham is almost as poor a fielder as Dunn. He might have a better bat than Kearns, but Kearns is giving us enough with the bat and his defense is far superb to Willingham. Josh should get some more bats, but leaving Willingham out of the starting lineup is NOT why the Nats have yet to win a game. We are driving in enough runs this year, we can't get a lead because we give up more runs than we can score from piss-poor pitching and lousy defense. We need better defense (which we get from Kearns), not worse defense and more K's (which is what we would get from Willingham). That means we keep Nick at first, Kearns in right and Willingham has to be the first guy off the bench for now. Sorry for all of you who love him so much, but that's how this team is constructed (for now).

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | April 15, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Can someone confirm that:

"Those with individual game tickets (non-season tickets) may use their tickets for Wednesday's game for the rescheduled game or exchange their tickets for the same priced seat at any future 2009 Nationals home game, excluding the three-game series against the Red Sox on June 23-25. All rain-check exchanges are subject to availability."

...means I can still use the tickets I bought for tonight for a future game even though I used the 50% coupon code?

Posted by: map408 | April 15, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

With the season starting the way it is, and the rainout providing an extra day of rest why not try to delay the Jordan Zimmerman call up in hopes that you delay his eligibility clock?

Also, this would delay another move and you can simply call up Cintron who is tearing up AAA in a limited time there.

I'll see everyone at the P-Nats game on Friday.

Posted by: PNatsFan | April 15, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

>cheeseburger53

Some of your sigs are pretty funny. For me to poop on

Posted by: Brue | April 15, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

cheeseburger53: you bring up solid points but I think we can give Willingham a week or two to get the majority of at bats. We know what we got in Kearns, I think its time we see what we have in Willingham. I mean whats the worst that can happen we lose a game or two?? Its not like we are really competing for a playoff spot. To me the gain of seeing what you have in Willingham (and potentially increasing his trade value) and taking a look at the future. Willingham is under Nats control for 3 years, Kearns is an FA after this year lets see what we've got.

Posted by: Steveo11 | April 15, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

leetee, good point, but I never said I wanted to see Willingham instead of Kearns. I just feel bad for him.

Milledge gone helps the quandry, but with these 4 left, I would make a terrible manager because I wouldn't be able to decide. My favorite is Dunn, Dukes, Kearns, but I still think Willingham needs to be a starter too. (I'd be really impressed, btw, if we heard he's being a good sport about all this0.

Come to think of it, I have a sneaky suspicion that somebody has whispered in his ear to be patient because something will all be worked out soon. Don't know exactly what that something might be, but I wonder...

Posted by: NatsNut | April 15, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

> ...means I can still use the tickets I bought for tonight for a future game even though I used the 50% coupon code?

I would say yes, although you will probably be limited to the same section or a cheaper one, i.e. no upgrades. The friend that went with me to OD had rain checks from the last game from last season and tried to trade them in on OD, but they wouldn't let him upgrade to better seats even though he was willing to pay the difference. I think the reason is because he had some sort of group discount tix to the rained-out game.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 15, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Lord! No Cabrera for my Saturday game. Olsen not much better, but I didn't think I would have lived through two Cabrera games in one week.

Posted by: AshburnVA | April 15, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Steveo11
Cheeseburger53

You can't do the same 'disguise sequence'.

Posted by: Brue | April 15, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Davey Johnson doesn't want to be a big league manager again. He definitely doesn't have the fire in the gut any more. He was practically phoning it in as manager of Team USA in the WBC. Even though he ended up not doing it, no one who really wants to manage would ever even consider skipping managing his team in a playoff game in order to attend a wedding.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 15, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Still mystified by the Nats decision to call up Bernadina. Do we really need another outfielder? Is he going to start over Dukes in center?

Posted by: CountDemoney | April 15, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Must be Bernadina's bat given how he was lighting it up in Syracuse.

Posted by: CountDemoney | April 15, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

If they didn't bring up Bernadina, who would replace Dukes in CF if he were injured midgame?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 15, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The Florida Marlins had the opposite reaction.

-----

i bought tix for sunday presuming that jzimmermann would be starting. now i get... CABRERA?

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 15, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Nervous, Kearns has about 60 appearances as a CF, so I think he'd be the one to step in. He's not your prototypical CF by any stretch of the imagination, but he has good instincts and runs good routes.

-----

If they didn't bring up Bernadina, who would replace Dukes in CF if he were injured midgame?

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 15, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to defend Acta (at least not tonight) but I have a hard time believing the Nats are seriously thinking about changing their manager after only 7 games.

After all this would mean the "acting" GM would hire an "interim" manager. This doesn't give me a great deal of confidence.

I concede that Kasten could give Rizzo the GM title and allow him to hire a manager but for a team that preaches patience, this would be a poor sequence of events.

To me that's the biggest issue. I agree with "the plan" but I don't see any evidence of it lately. I'm not a Milledge fan but dumping him to the minors after 7 games shows a quick trigger. Getting rid of Acta would only worsen this perception for me.

If the Nats were considered a serious playoff contender, that would be different. However, at best I thought the Nats were a 70 win team. They can still easily get to that level, with Acta at the helm.

Now it's true that at some time losing becomes unacceptable. If the team doesn't start playing better (and reasonably soon) Acta's head might well be on the chopping block. But after 7 (or 10) games ... sorry, I think that would be a mistake.

Posted by: grforbes | April 15, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. He has only played 14 of those games (54 innings total) in the last 5 years. Also, an outfield of Dunn, Kearns, Willingham, if only for a few innings? Ikes.
----
Nervous, Kearns has about 60 appearances as a CF, so I think he'd be the one to step in. He's not your prototypical CF by any stretch of the imagination, but he has good instincts and runs good routes.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 15, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

>Still mystified by the Nats decision to call up Bernadina. Do we really need another outfielder?

He could double as backup 1B. Right after they deal Nick because all he does is hit singles.

Lefties only play in so many places. But in reality Dunn would go to 1B and Route 66 San Bernadina goes to LF, which in turn is the one event that will transform the team from a defensive standpoint, you have your fourth outfielder, your defensive replacement>

Posted by: Brue | April 15, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little bummed not to see nn on Sunday too.

But one awesome thing about Cabrera on Monday, he laid down one of the best looking bunts I've seen in awhile. How come he isn't getting more love about that around here anyway?

Posted by: NatsNut | April 15, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

AshburnVA, where did you see olson on sunday? if cabrera was scheduled for sat and zimmermann scheduled for sunday, and the push them both back a day, that puts cabrera on sunday. right now olsen is scheduled for friday, which would put him on saturday now.

Posted by: sec231 | April 15, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Appropos of nothing, I dialed past the game of the Team That Shalll Not Be Mentioned on Mr. Angelos's Sports Network and saw that the Rangers now have "TEXAS" emblazoned across the front of their home jerseys. As long as I have been a sports fan I can only remember the Knicks and Suns and Vancouver Canucks have their location name on their home jerseys or sweaters. Interesting.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 15, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

If Kearns has to be in the lineup (which he doesn't), why bat him ahead of Flores, who can actually hit once in a while.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 15, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Also, agree that Dukes and Zimmerman should be flipped around.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 15, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

@Brue sorry man i'm not Chesseburger53 also i wouldn't mind if your thoughts about Johnson being traded turned out to be true.

Posted by: Steveo11 | April 15, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I think Bernadina was called up because its in the stadium lease to have a light hitting centerfielder who has no business being in the major leagues on the roster. See Logan, Nook; Milledge, Lastings.

And it gives Manny another excuse to not play Willingham if Dukes gets hurt.

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

Somehow, no one has commented on the most significant ramification of the rainout: The Nats did not lose on Wednesday. This represents great progress.

Perhaps, the Nats fans could have a new refrain: "Rain, rain, rain, rain, and Strasburg..."

Posted by: fischy | April 16, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Appropos of nothing, I dialed past the game of the Team That Shalll Not Be Mentioned on Mr. Angelos's Sports Network and saw that the Rangers now have "TEXAS" emblazoned across the front of their home jerseys. As long as I have been a sports fan I can only remember the Knicks and Suns and Vancouver Canucks have their location name on their home jerseys or sweaters. Interesting.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 15, 2009 9:45 PM
________________________________

Texas is a strange place in so many ways.

But while baseball teams typically use their names rather than locations on home jerseys, some teams have traditionally used just initials that denote their cities, rather than their names: the Yankees, Tigers, and pre-expansion Senators (uncurly W) come to mind.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 16, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention my favorite, the interlocking DC worn by the Nats as an alternate. Much better than the W. Hence my handle here - I'm a fan of those DC caps!

Posted by: DCCapsFan | April 16, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Two years ago we had guy playing CF who is currently hitting around 400. Prior to that we had a guy playing CF who is currently hitting 417 with 1 hr and 8 rbi. Last year this guy hit around 300. If you think this is an isolated instance here are some names of guys who use to play for us.

R. Church
B. Schneider
Bonifacio
A. Gallarga (W 2-L 0 era .68)
S. Hill
Marlon Byrd

These players were all under our control during the Bowden era. I wonder how strong our talent assessment is? The Nats are not deep enough to be losing talent such as the above for little or nothing. When you factor in the how we botched our number 1 picks for the last two years you have to wonder if we have the right people in place.

Posted by: mjames0 | April 16, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey, PNatsFan, sounds like we'll have great weather on Friday for our fan ring ceremony. :-)

I love a pitcher who can lay down a nice bunt, NatsNut. Didn't Olsen also demonstrate some skills in that department recently? Wonder whether he also has sweet nunchuck skills.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 16, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I dialed into MASN in the early innings to check on what was running after the rainout. Looking at the score this a.m., it would seem that I missed all the fun. hehe.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 16, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The Orioles are improving. Two years ago they were losing to the Rangers 30-3. Now they've got it down to 19-6. Whatever their plan is, it's obviously working. Maybe the Nats could take a tip from them.

Posted by: DCCapsFan | April 16, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Nady is done. Trade Willingham, Kearns or Milledge.

Posted by: dclifer | April 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Church is another borderline corner outfielder. If he were here, he'd be in Syracuse, learning to play center.

Schneider, g-d bless him, would be a third catcher now.

Bonifacio -- let's see how he does *after* Lent. (but if this does turn out to be Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio, we're never going to outlive it.)

Gallaraga - part of the Soriano trade, of course. If we still had him, we would not have Jordan Zimmermann. So hold off on the pitchforks, there.

Hill, again. I wish him all the luck in the world, but he won't make ten starts.

Marlon Byrd -- see Church. Although I did like him, he's a fourth outfielder with weight issues, not a center fielder.

**************
R. Church
B. Schneider
Bonifacio
A. Gallarga (W 2-L 0 era .68)
S. Hill
Marlon Byrd

Posted by: mjames0 | April 16, 2009 8:30 AM |

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 16, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Last night, PTI had the over/under at 5 days for Manny getting the ax.

I've got the under. Boo yeah!!

Posted by: Brue | April 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

And Marlon Byrd was hitting .277 before yesterday's pummelling of the O's. Also, he is a product of his homepark. In '07 he hit 100 points higher at the Ballpark than on the road (.356 vs .259).

Oh, and here's another list of players that used to play for us:

D'Angelo Jimenez
Tony Batista
Michael Restovich
Jason Simontacchi
Billy Traber
Royce Clayton
Damian Jackson
Wiki Gonzalez
Pedro Astacio
Tony Armas

Posted by: erocks33 | April 16, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

So I'm back in town! I know y'all missed me.

Anyone have any idea how to post to the blog from a blackberry? I couldn't figure it out.

Posted by: Section506 | April 16, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@Leetee,

Teams generally do this sort of thing to identify and expand their base. It is, essentially, the reverse of what the O's did for all of those years, removing the "Baltimore" from their road jerseys, hoping to capture the DC market.

@Meridian1

You are so right, Texas is a strange place, especially with a governor who has apparently misread the agreement, when they became a state. He has, apparently, also not understood what happened in this country between 1861 and 1865, when Texas and a few others decided to secede. On the other hand, simply read some of Molly Ivins' writings about the Texas state government and you will understand the mindset that exists there.

My guess is that the ownership simply decided that there were a lot more people who live in the state than those who reside in either Dallas or Houston.

Posted by: Catcher50 | April 16, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Last night, PTI had the over/under at 5 days for Manny getting the ax.

I've got the under. Boo yeah!!

Posted by: Brue"

PTI? That's Kornheiser and Wilbon, right? The over/under on how many more days til the next time either of them even notices the Nats is 7. And when they do, Manny will still be managing the team.

The over/under on how many hairs Tony Combover will have left on his head then is 5. I've got the under. How about you?

Posted by: DCCapsFan | April 16, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I like Nick hitting second - for now. I've wondered what that would be like.

Anderson Hernandez I think is the long term solution to leadoff. He's better than we all know at the moment. I like this guy.

I'd swap Kearns and Dukes - see if pitchers groove more to Kearns with Dukes hitting behind him.

I'm also a big advocate to have punch at the bottom of the order. Conceding 7-8-9 is not good baseball in my mind. Guzman in the 8 hole behind Flores would get Flores better pitches to hit.

Posted by: dand187 | April 16, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Willingham is a solid hitter. Kearns is a .220 hitter and a joke!!!! Acta please put a little thought into it or you will be joining the unemployment line. Riggleman get ready!!!

Posted by: KGG769 | April 16, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Haha, SEC231....Don't worry I'll make up for your error. I also wanted to see Zimmermann pitch but didn't want to buy a ticket in advance, just incase... So, with Cabrera pitching, I'm not going. Also, with this pitching staff, I may not buy ANY tickets in advance.

Posted by: Pete433 | April 16, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Someone above knocked Davey Johnson for being ready to miss a playoff game for a wedding? It was a Team USA game in the double elimination stage and he actually left his son's wedding party on a standing by plane to make it to the game. Hardly evidence of him phoning it in.

Davey would be the perfect guy for this job, IF he has any interest in the gig, the nats should jump on him. All the guy has ever doen is win gracefully. He was a great player and he has proven himself to be a great manager. The fact that he hates Angelos''s guts as much as anynone makes him that much better!

Posted by: dfh21 | April 16, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

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