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The Rain Goes Away, Saul Comes Back, Etc.

[UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.] -- Wait, I spoke too soon. (Darned hexes!) Now the scoreboard here at Nats Park warns of a second weather system that will be coming through. For the moment, the tarp is back on. Word from the field is that more rain is coming, but we anticipate a start between 8 p.m. and 8:05 p.m.

---

OK, the tarp is being taken off the field. It looks like we should be ready for some baseball within, say, 20 minutes or so. Let's hope this is the last weather-related update. In the meantime, some reading material...

*

The Joe Beimel injury today touched off a string of consequences: It prompted the Nationals to promote right-hander Saul Rivera from Class AAA Syracuse only 44 hours after his demotion. It opened Beimel's eighth inning role for right-handers Garrett Mock and Kip Wells. And, it spurred Manny Acta to wonder whether his team is hexed.

"It's a very bizarre situation," Acta said. "I'm not a believer -- I don't believe in negative stuff, but I was wondering if somebody buried that red cross jersey here before they built this stadium because it's kind of, I don't know, weird."

Since April 2, five players from the team's 25-man roster have been placed on the disabled list. The transactions have created an increasingly curious search for replacements. On Sunday night, the Nationals decided that Rivera -- "he was throwing one first-pitch strike for every eight hitters," pitching coach Randy St. Claire said -- needed to reboot his game in the minors. But Rivera, given 72 hours to report to the minors, never even left Washington.

In a roundabout way, that partly rationalized his return. Acting GM Mike Rizzo didn't want his bullpen, even for a night, to be shorthanded. Rivera, no matter his form, would be immediately available. Now, the Nationals are hoping that Rivera will regain his prior effectiveness; despite this year's struggles, he has a 3.97 career ERA.

"He's been a little bit open with his front side," St. Claire said, "and I've talked to him about that. But I think it's more of a mental thing with him, where he's trying to be too fine."

When Rivera returned to the clubhouse today, he found that his locker had jumped from the left side of the room to the right. Rivera compared his last two days to a "cold shower."

Without Beimel, the Nationals have just one left-hander in the bullpen. The team hopes Beimel can return as soon as he's eligible.

This is the first time Beimel has ever been on the disabled list. In his typical wry manner, Beimel said of his injury, "That's what I get for trying to show off and be a real athlete." He sustained his injury when tumbling for a bunt attempt in the eighth inning -- and Beimel chalked it up to the wet grass. (It was raining heavily at the time; before Beimel could even try to throw another pitch, the game was delayed.) "The physical therapist had the video. When I dove, my knee kind of jammed in and extended. So that's what the injury actually happened."


*

A few additional notes.

One week from now, during the series against Philadelphia, the Nationals expect Willie Harris (left oblique) and Cristian Guzman (left hamstring) to return from the disabled list. Harris is heading today to Class AAA Syracuse to begin a rehab assignment. Guzman will go to Viera, Fla., tomorrow to rehab in extended spring training.

*

Rizzo was asked today about the decision to designate Steven Shell.

Just a little interpretation here. It doesn't sound like Rizzo is much of a Shell fan.

"I just didn't like the way he was performing," Rizzo said. "I didn't like the mindset on the mound and off the mound and the preparation for the game and just the whole aura behind him on the mound."

*

The weekly Dmitri update, from Rizzo...

"Dmitri played five innings and took himself out of the game the other day; said he wasn't feeling great," Rizzo said. "I haven't gotten to follow up yet on it, so I don't know if it was [that] he didn't feel great hamstring-wise, hip-wise, or just body-wise or fluids. I don't know. But the report I got yesterday was that he didn't feel well."

By Chico Harlan  |  April 21, 2009; 7:13 PM ET
 
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Next: It Ended The Right Way... With The Wrong Pitch

Comments

I get the feeling that Da Meat Loaf is persona non grata now that his patron is gone and soon so shall he be.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 21, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"I didn't like ... the whole aura behind him on the mound."

If this team hires a phrenologist, I'm officially off the Rizzo bandwagon.

Posted by: NattyFan | April 21, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"However, about 12,000 people have not renewed their season tickets since the end of the 2005 season ended. And that's an opportunity that the Nats and the Lerners have squandered to date - and they squandered it by not appreciating the goodwill that came with the team and by putting a crappy product on the field."

This whole "they squandered the goodwill they were handed" perspective is very, very warped. First off, fickle so-called fans began yanking back the goodwill even before the Lerners were awarded the team. 5,000 of the 22,000 2005 STH left before the 2006 season, despite the exciting 2005 wild card chase. If the Lerners had any period of goodwill at all, it began and ended with the July 2006 RFK Re-Opening Weekend. Even before they were awarded the team, the Lerners Are Cheap bandwagon was underway. When they initially announced their plan for building the team, some were supportive but many were dismissive. They never said they would win immediately, and they haven't. They have done EXACTLY what they said they would when they took over the team, but because losses have been higher than even they expected the negative folks have just continued to pile on. Negativity has become a far more interesting sport in this town than baseball. That's sad. We began this thread discussing possible curses on the team, and I truly believe if there is a curse on the team it begins and ends with the fickle, overly negative fans. It's one thing to be critical of your team from time to time, and there's nothing wrong with that. But if whenever something happens you immediately go looking for the negative side of it, then there's something wrong with that. As they say, you reap what you sow.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 21, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Just caught the tail-end of a rain-delay piece between Charlie Slowes & Rob Dibble, talking about the pitching staff. I must say, I was somewhat impressed with Dibble's views on "mound presence"; wish I'd heard the whole interview.

Posted by: BinM | April 21, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I guess it was a personal thing with Shell then.... his numbers from last year look great... granted, he was over performing... but over performing isn't a crime... and, through 5 IPs this year, he was adequate, especially compared with some of the criminals in the bullpen...

Posted by: rumbly45 | April 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

to break this jinx let's sacrifice screech, clint, the natpack, luis ayala's golden gasoline can and the tape of "sweet caroline" on the mound in the nats bullpen, couldn't hurt.

Posted by: surly_w | April 21, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Guh. All that with 2 outs and the bases empty.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 21, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Curse or no curse, the two-out walks and errors put us on an express train to 100 losses. Can you blame the pitchers for trying too hart to locate, when their defense has failed them so much? (Conversely, can you blame the infield for pressing, when they're so often faced with RISP?)

Well, yes, actually. To both.

Posted by: natinbeantown | April 21, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I may have started todays protracted discussion about seat and beer pricing today by commenting on a discussion broadcast on XM this morning regarding the fact that attendance is down 7% this year. I offered my own commentary that the Nationals had not found the price point that maximizes the dollar value of the seats behind home plate. I also lamented that the $7.50 beer price was high. I regret touching off a firestorm of personal invectives among others.

I had hoped to stimulate a different discussion, but its hard to control the collective...

Posted by: natbiscuits | April 21, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@nunof:

Can't say that I disagree with the jist of your post; There are a lot of commenters (regular or otherwise) who have taken up the "cry to arms" over one issue or another over the short period there has been a team in D.C.; that's expected, and I'm as guilty as anyone on this dialogue of that.

While I fully understand that "fan" is part of "fanatic", sometimes it's better to just step back & think before firing the next round at your current target.
Snarkiness I expect, and sometimes even appreciate, when it's not targeted at a personal favorite. Over-the-top idiocy is part & parcel of the experience as well, as are the "one-note" negative posters, trolls, etc. They are who they are.

What concerns me is when I have seen posters to this dialogue turn from optomistic, to realistic, then to embittered, angry or vindictive over either real or perceived errors made by the orginization in D.C. It seems to me that those people are losing their real love of the game, and that saddens me.

Sorry for being long-winded, but I felt that this needed to be put to words.

Posted by: BinM | April 21, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

WHAT?!?! Stealing 3rd with no outs??

Posted by: joemktg2 | April 21, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I agree totally. So-called fans like that did not hand goodwill to the team that could have been squandered away. Instead they dangled false goodwill in front of the team and cruelly yanked it away to be replaced with scorn. You have to give your team a chance if you want to reap and share in the rewards of eventual success. These folks never did.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 21, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

@bisquit:

I thought your overall "price-point" opinion was fine - the seats behind the plate are still too costly, and $7.50 for a 12-ounce domestic beer is too much. I do, however agree with another commenter on that string (greg?), that the underwrighting of personal tastes in "adult beverages" is greatly appreciated.

Posted by: BinM | April 21, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

yes I like the beer too and wish to drink more of it.

Posted by: natbiscuits | April 21, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not gonna dwell on the attempted steal of third with no outs,but that was down right stupid and what happens after that of course Kearns walks and Flores doubles him home well you can figure the rest of what might have been for yourselves, and I am going to say this Mr.Rizzo you had better be right about Shell because you have already blown one situation with the Shawn Hill fiasco!.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 21, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@nunof:

Perhaps a bit too harsh there; Everyone has a breaking point. Mine was reached when Selig cancelled the playoffs & World Series in 1994; As a cognizant fan of the game since 1964, I was heartbroken.
I went for 10+ years as a casual baseball observer, but re-kindled my love for the game when DC was awarded the Expos' franchise for 2005.
Some of the participants' on NJ have seen one, or even two franchises pulled out from under them - they have a right to be distrusting, I'll give them that. For everyone else, you have a Major-League baseball team playing in DC.

It may be imperfect as constructed, and this is an open platform to comment on our thoughts on how to fix the flaws. Just, as "fans", try to remember that we didn't have either this team, or this forum to express opinions on.

Posted by: BinM | April 21, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

nunof1 - you are talking out of your a55.

To presume to know that fans presented false goodwill is ludicrous. You don't know what I or anyone else in here feels now or felt at the time.

You are right, the Lerners did what they said they would do - they are rebuilding the team from the ground up and this will take time. In the meantime, they could have worked a little harder to put a better team on the field. And also note, I also put a lot of blame on MLB for dangling the Nats around for 18 months before finally handing the keys to the Lerenr.

Posted by: comish4lif | April 21, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I am one who had a team yanked out from under me here. I'm just a little too young to remember the first of the two.

Comish4lif, if I'm talking out of my a55, so are you. None of us has a monopoly on the truth. Each of us is fully entitled to our own opinion. You see owners who squandered goodwill, I see so-called fans who never have given the team a chance and who revel in negativity. It's pretty clear which group is in the majority here, but that doesn't make them right.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 21, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

nunof1 and BinM, I hope you don't mind a third opinion on your discussion. What's become clear over the past few years is that Washington doesn't have fickle baseball fans, it doesn't have baseball fans, period, at least not fans committed to rooting for a Washington team. Look at the attendance figures and broadcast ratings. People have been showing up for games but not following the team on radio and TV. Yes, I know there were challenges to find the games but that doesn't excuse the lack of ongoing interest. Some of the people who've been coming to games are probably fans of other teams (I grew up in the Baltimore area as an O's fan and willingly adopted the Nats once they came here). Others just aren't used to being baseball fans. I don't think the franchise understood that when it came here. I have to say that I think people like Boswell and Phil Wood overestimated the number of people ready to support a team when they promoted Washington as a baseball market. There is a lot more work to be done to get people to commit to supporting this team. It also increases the penalty for every mistake made. Every bad signing (or in the case of Aaron Crow, non-signing), every bad trade, every injury, every sloppy play, every loss hurts the Nationals more than other teams, because they have no history of past success or fan support to cushion the blow. That's why I think the team has always needed to be more aggressive in what it did, in terms of marketing, broadcasting and talent acquisition. They're starting from scratch in a market that doesn't guarantee them success (compared, say, to the Panthers joining the NFL as an expansion team; they had an existing fan base there ready to support the team).

I guess what I'm saying in a long-winded way is that you can't blame people for being fickle fans because they haven't become fans yet. The first step is to create fans. The Nats haven't done that yet.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 21, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

DUNNKEY!!!!!!

Posted by: HotNats | April 21, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1

You know, I think the problem is that people don't 'choose' their team. You are assigned your team at birth. I understand people in DC being confused by the ex-Expos. However, at lot of the lack of loyalty comes from the fact that a lot of people in DC weren't born into a team so, they don't have the emotional investment to stick through this mess. Why would you endure this terriblness unless you had loved this team for years and years. The next generation might.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 21, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I'm a Nats fan. I listen to every game on the radio whenever possible, if I'm not watching or there in person. I grew up rooting for the O's (and still do, despite how much I despise Angeloser). I'm just psyched I have baseball in DC — at the last minute, I can decide to go to a game, and 30 minutes later bingo, I'm there! How cool is that? And as for my ticket track-record, this is the first season that I'm not a full STH due to having to cut back financially...

Posted by: HotNats | April 21, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Hotnats

I'm sorry if I implied that not having a team from birth lessens the passion of true fans. There are always going to be some genuine fans, with real passion as this message board proves. But the casual fan is not going to be a dedicated as in cities like St. Lois, Boston, NY or Chicago.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 21, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

And also note, I also put a lot of blame on MLB for dangling the Nats around for 18 months before finally handing the keys to the Lerenr.

Posted by: comish4lif

------------
I couldn't agree more. While I'm critical of the Lerners, Kasten and Bowden for their mistakes, the fault starts with Bud Selig for taking so long to get an owner in place. We're still paying for that.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 21, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, the Nats are playing a nice game. Loved the hitting with RISP last inning and the throw by Flores. Now, let's see who pitches the 8th and 9th.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 21, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Hinckley and Tavares!

Thanks to all the positive posters who seem to be turning the tide here a little too.

I think there are plenty of baseball fans here, but they just don't know HOW to be baseball fans. For instance, people don't cheer when there are 2 strikes on an opposing batter. The idea that you can go to a game on a whim hasn't sunk in yet either. But it will.

DC is a great baseball town, and it's only getting better. I was an Orioles fan for 33 years, but when the Nats came, it was luv at first sight. Once people learn what it's like to have a baseball team and that it's not like company is coming...things'll be better.

Just go to the games. Support the team. It's the lack of fans that cost us our teams in 1961 and 1971. Boycotting will not help!

Posted by: dand187 | April 21, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way we can blame Tim Tolman for that?

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 21, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Come on Joel...

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 21, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

"Fih-yah....Fih-yah"

Posted by: surly_w | April 21, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan is pitching. There goes another win blown away.

Will Manny ever learn?

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 21, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Groundhog day, once again.

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | April 21, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

does hanrahan remind anybody else of "two-pack" don stanhouse, the relief pitcher so nicknamed because earl weaver said he had time to go down the tunnel and smoke two packs of cigarettes while stanhouse got the last three outs (or not)?

Posted by: natty-bumppo | April 21, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of chad cordero...

Posted by: amorris525 | April 21, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@surly_w:

"to break this jinx let's sacrifice screech, clint, the natpack, luis ayala's golden gasoline can and the tape of "sweet caroline" on the mound in the nats bullpen, couldn't hurt.

Posted by: surly_w | April 21, 2009 8:14 PM |"

priceless.

Posted by: natty-bumppo | April 21, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe what i just saw!

Posted by: surly_w | April 21, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Joel! That was exciting.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 21, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

The defense bailed Hanrahan out this time. He's lucky!

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 21, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

how do you like me NOW?

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 21, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, he got out of it. I was not expecting that. But whatever, we got the win!

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | April 21, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Guess what? 2 in a row is a win streak! Way to battle Joel. Nice win guys.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 21, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

He gets, with maybe his job on the line, a comebacker, a popup, and a ground ball. I should get so lucky.

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 21, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Gonzalez throw aside I think we are really seeing the upside of plus defending. Dunn and Kearns (I know, I know, but check the sabermetics) aside, every player here is capable of being a plus defender.

It saved Hanrahan, Flores made the heads up play, and Zimm earned his contract about three times. This is how to squeeze wins from an ordinary team.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 21, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Don fullpack stanhouse...now that is going to the wayback machine natty. But yes, I think Hanny must be a distant relative.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 21, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Guess what? 2 in a row is a win streak! Way to battle Joel. Nice win guys.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 21, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------------

Now THAT post made me happy!!!!

Posted by: soundbloke | April 21, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Joel, you proved something to me, I hope you did to yourself, too.

I hope what you proved to yourself is when you just shut down your head and pitch the ball, you do great. Now please go teach it to Jason Bergmann, too.

Oh, also, the defense is your friend, stop trying to be Nolan Ryan.

Posted by: Section506 | April 21, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

WINNING STREAK!!!!!!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 21, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

You can thank me for both wins. I turned everything off--audio, gameday, NJ, etc.-- when it came down to the wire. Did the same thing last night and we won both games.

You're welcome.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 21, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

nats win!!! but i see my memory was 100% inflated. properly, it's "full-pack" stanhouse. and yes, he's like cordero in that he is effective but nervewracking...

wikipedia: "Shuttled back and forth from the bullpen to the starting rotation with the Rangers and Expos, Stanhouse excelled in 1978 after joining the [Unmentionables], where Manager Earl Weaver employed him as a full-time closer. ...

Stanhouse finished 3rd in the American League in both 1978 & 1979 in saves, recording 45 over that span, helping the [Unmentionables] capture the American League Championship in 1979. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1979.

Although an effective closer, Stanhouse had a reputation of walking batters he was not willing to face. Frequently his tactics would lead to dangerous situations in close games with multiple base-runners, and send the chain-smoking Weaver pacing back and forth in the dugout in agony. This resulted in Weaver nicknaming Stanhouse 'Full Pack,' referring to the number of cigarettes consumed while watching him pitch."

Posted by: natty-bumppo | April 21, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"The defense bailed Hanrahan out this time. He's lucky!"

Eh? He got a comebacker off the mound, a pop-up barely out of the infield, and an at-'em ball to Hernandez. The defense didn't do anything for Hanrahan other than catch the ball.

Posted by: joebleux | April 21, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank you NatsNut...I knew there had to be divine intervention involved.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 21, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Natty-Bumpo you're dead on with the Stanhouse comparison except Stanhoue had some save history to hang his hat on,Manny ain't gonna be satisfied until Hanrahan gets him fired there's no way in "fo" hells that the Pyromaniac(Hanrahan)closes or attempts to close another game,He's got no business in that role and this was one of the worst managed ball games i can remember but as i said last night we'll take em anyway we can get em.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 21, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

hey cokedispatch, that reminds me. I heard the tail end of your email question to Charlie and Dave during the rain delay yesterday. Way to represent!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 21, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"The defense didn't do anything for Hanrahan other than catch the ball."

The defense bailed Hanrahan out this time. He's lucky!

Posted by: Section506 | April 21, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way: props to 109 for getting to ask Charlie and Dave her Bernadina question during the rain delay.

Posted by: joebleux | April 21, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering whether any of you caught my email from the guys...I was surprised they answered...guess the pickins were slim..lol.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 21, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

A very astute observation, Joebleux. Couldn't have said it better myself.

********
"The defense bailed Hanrahan out this time. He's lucky!"

Eh? He got a comebacker off the mound, a pop-up barely out of the infield, and an at-'em ball to Hernandez. The defense didn't do anything for Hanrahan other than catch the ball.

Posted by: joebleux | April 21, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 21, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

The defense didn't bail him out. But solid defense helped him. It just looked slick which has not been the case all year. Good for them.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 21, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

lovethosenats: its called baseball - nine guys not just a pitcher -

liked what was said earlier about the snarky negative comments just rolling through here no matter what the situation - it makes it hard to read sometimes

I am one who saw two teams leave and while I only have a 20 game package its great to have baseball back and sure they can frustrate you but its just a great game to watch and I continue to learn, no matter how many years I have watched

not sure we will reach .500 this year but we were definitely not as bad as it looked early and hopefully we will continue to roll

Posted by: sjm3091 | April 21, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

How about the young guns with all 3 victories.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 21, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Dukes hustled like heck to get in to catch that fly ball. And that ball to Hernandez was hit so hard he was lucky he wasn't hurt. That was a fast reaction from him.

If Dukes had been a little slower or Hernandez playing a couple of feet one way or the other, we'd be chocking up another L.

Hanrahan is the worst closer in baseball. But Manny just won't admit he's wrong.

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 21, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

flores throwing well lately.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 21, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

sjm3091: Yes, there are nine guys. But the pitcher is the most important one on the field. You don't see a second baseman get a win or a save, do you?

If a pitcher does his job right, the other seven (not including the catcher, obviously) don't have to continually bail him out.

The only difference between tonight and the last two outings is the fielders were able to bail him out. He was lucky there.

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | April 21, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"The defense didn't do anything for Hanrahan other than catch the ball."

The defense bailed Hanrahan out this time. He's lucky!

-----

Hey, great snark, 506!

Yes, I'm in a good mood.

Posted by: Section506 | April 21, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess the team was due for a little luck. The sun can't shine on the same dogs a$$ all the time.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 21, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

No no no LoveThoseNats!!!

Those plays were tough, but defensively adept major leaguers should be expected to make them. That is why you surround young pitchers with good defense. Hats off to all of them.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 21, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

One other bit of optimism from tonight -- Jesus hit the ball to the fence again tonight, in cold weather. Once it warms up, those balls are out. They get 15-20 HR out of the 7-hole, that's going to leave a mark.

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 21, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

The ball to Dukes was skied and he had all day to get to it. It would have a horrendous play if that had dropped. Likewise, infielders are supposed to catch balls hit right at them.

Hanrahan is closing because he's the only guy in the bullpen who has potential as a major league closer, and it makes sense to give him an extended try out to see what he has.

I think if it were up to a lot people here, the entire staff minus maybe Martis would have been shipped to the minors after the first week Not sure what the backup plan would have been when their replacement stunk up the joint too.

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

Really starting to like Dibble. How many color commentators go "oh geez" in disgust when their team's pitching coach heads out to the mound?

Oh, by the way, Dibble likes Hanrahan as a closer, but what the heck does he know. Obviously just a company flack.

Posted by: joebleux | April 21, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Also, Dibble made me crack up tonight when he started doing voiceover for the ump conference. He and Carpy are getting a very weird, but pleasant rapport. I feel like I'm listening to an older, earnest uncle, and his wise-cracking son-in-law at a family picnic. They would normally never be together, but they're having fun and doing a decent job entertaining most everyone.

Well except for Aunt Edna, who complains about everything and wants to trade every player that hasn't batted .500 in the last week for a bag of balls.

Posted by: Section506 | April 21, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

these guys must feel pretty gloose about now (good/loose). a sweep would be good for the ole confidence.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 21, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

LoveThoseNats, sure, the pitcher is important, but don't get stuck in video game mode. Most of the IRL game is about defense.

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 21, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Dibble has learned to kiss up properly. He mentioned during the O's pre-season game Mark Lerner's name no less than 3 times. I figure he had notes from JimBo.

Otherwise he is entertaining. Better than Don Sutton!!!!

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

506, I was laughing at the "umpire conference voiceover" too. I was fully prepared to be annoyed with Dibble, but I'm liking it so far.

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

Teddy needs to win to break the hex.

Posted by: WashingtonNationalsFan | April 21, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I will never forget the day Don Sutton commented "With a name like Saltelamacchia he should be pushing an Italian ice cart somewhere."

I sat there puzzled for several minutes, before deciding it must be a racist joke. And like all his other jokes, it was just a really bad one.

Posted by: Section506 | April 21, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@506 - I'm not sure I'd exactly call it racist. In my book, Italian is a nationality not a race. Politically incorrect? Yes. Discriminatory? Absolutely. Offensive? Probably - depends on your sensitivity level. Things a whole lot worse have been said before.

Funny? Aaaaaaaactually... I kinda think so. I'm pretty sure if I'd heard it in context it would have gotten a decent chuckle from me. It's the mental image that gets me. Gellato might have been funnier than Italian Ice though ;)

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 21, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean they burned an option with Rivera? Did he have options? Does he have any more?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 21, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

For two nights in a row: Bless you, boys!

Posted by: COL_DFox | April 22, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

@Nunof -- Personally, I've forgiven almost every baseball move the Nats have made, even the ones I vehemently disagreed with. The one baseball move I won't forgive was the cutting of Shawn Hill. It was cheap beyond words.

My other complaints relate to the team's poor citizenship -- the withholding of rent, the nonsense about forcing the city to build above-ground parking garages which were never needed, and the outrageous ticket prices. The Lerners don't seem to grasp the extraordinary opportunity they've been given and the civic responsibility it brings.

On the other hand, the Nats have won 2 in a row. How cool is that? It's just a shame that Daniel Cabrera and Scott Olson will be starting later in the week.....

Posted by: fischy | April 22, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Nice, nice win tonight, do I hear signs of hope amongst the Nats faithful tonight?

Posted by: skippy1999 | April 22, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

How about this for something good?

From ESPN "Shairon Martis won, giving the Nationals three wins, all by rookies. They are the first NL team that could say that since the 1968 Mets."

So the 1968 Mets weren't all that good. But the 1969 Mets...WON THE WORLD SERIES!

Could the Nats follow their lead? I hope so!

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 22, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

@506 again -

"It's the mental image that gets me. Gellato might have been funnier than Italian Ice though ;)"

If you're a Simpson's fan you may recall this gem from the "Lisa's First Word" episode:

"Chipwich for sale! Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin! Chipwich for sale!"

See the 1:58 mark here and tell me that's not funny:

http://wtso.net/movie/187-The%20Simpsons%20410%20Lisa's%20First%20Word.html

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

Please can we talk about the only team that matters? We really need to trade down and get o-line and d-line help.

Posted by: rskinz34 | April 22, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

The team that matters? O line and D line help? Ohhhh, the Caps! Gotcha.

Posted by: dfh21 | April 22, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

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