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Broken Hands, Broken Fingers

Randy Johnson, who pitches tonight for the Giants (career start No. 593), made his big league debut on Sept. 15, 1988. It might have been a few months earlier, if not for current Nats pitching coach Randy St. Claire and a few of his pals. Earlier in '88, St. Claire and Johnson were teammates with the Class AAA Indianapolis Indians. June came around, St. Claire said, "and there was all this talk he'd get called up."

Indianapolis, that year, had a veteran team. St. Claire was 27. The Indians had Razor Shines and Casey Candaele -- "a bunch of veteran guys that had been up and down with the Expos," St. Claire said.

"And [Johnson] was coming up as this big prospect, right? So he was coming up through Class AAA and he was pitching really good. There was all this talk he was going to get called so. So we started a rumor as kind of a veterans messing with the young kid; we did that with him. We started a rumor saying, 'You're going to get called up today.' So he went out and he was pitching that night, he was starting, and he got hit with a line drive. And it ended up breaking his throwing hand. He got taken out of the game and came into the dugout, so he thought the rumor was true and he was all pissed off because he thought he was getting called up and now knew he couldn't get called up [because of the injury]. So he slammed the wall with his right hand! The next day he comes in and he's got casts on both hands!"


A few other notes...

* Lastings Milledge, who broke his right ring finger while attempting a bunt in this morning's Class AAA Syracuse game, will see a hand specialist tomorrow in Baltimore, and after that the Nats will know the full extent of his injury. But already, it's certain that Milledge will head for the DL. Class AAA Syracuse manager Tim Foli told reporters up north that the outfielder will miss six weeks.

Here is what acting GM Mike Rizzo said:

"He's gonna see the doctor in Baltimore tomorrow. We'll see what happens. That's all I know right now. In terms of, Do they need to put a pin in it? Do they need to do surgery? That will all dictate how long he's out for. But he'll be out. He'll go on the DL for sure."

Asking about the significance of the injury, Rizzo said, "It takes away at bats, and at the early stage of his career, whenever you miss a chunk of at bats it retards your progress a little bit. So he just started coming around and swinging the bat a little bit. It will be at least a little step backward, because it'll cost him a lot of at bats."

* Jesus Flores's right shoulder is still a bit sore, so Wil Nieves is starting for the second consecutive day behind the plate. "He's getting a lot better," Manny Acta said. "He's still a little sore, but he's available if we need him."

* Scott Olsen, struck on the ankle by a grounder yesterday, is OK, and on track to make his next start.

* Josh Willingham is back in the lineup today, starting for the third day in a row. (First time that's happened all year.) He had a two-homer game yesterday, which is a good way to campaign for playing time.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 11, 2009; 9:48 PM ET
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Next: What's Said, And What's Unsaid


why cant you post this during the day when im bored at work??

Posted by: formerlylove1 | May 11, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JennX_ | May 11, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

instead of a K counter, think D-Cab will need a walk counter for tonight

I'll be curious to see how many runs he allows to the Giants without giving up a hit

Posted by: TGT11 | May 11, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I got tickets tomorrow. Going to see the Znn man!

Posted by: swang30 | May 11, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

BTW, there is a chance that Randy will be going for #300 on June 3 at Nats Park. That would be pretty neat if we got the opportunity to see him try for it. I got to see Nolan Ryan get his 300th in Milwaukee many moons ago.

Posted by: twinbrook | May 11, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Very cool, twinbrook.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 11, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Any reason why Hernandez hasn't been getting into the lineup as regularly?

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 11, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Zim's hitting streak is at 29 now, thanks to a first-inning single against Randy Johnson. This just gets more and more impressive. This was his first career AB against the Unit. One pitch earlier, he looked silly on slider. Then, Johnson tried another slider -- on a 1-2 count. Zimmerman roped it to center field.

Posted by: chicoharlan | May 11, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

1-2-3 inning for Cabrera.

13 pitches, 9 strikes, 1 K.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 11, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Chico, can you comment on the good things players are doing (and streaks) more often? You appear to be quite the good luck charm.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 11, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Zim needs a better sense of drama. I mean, how is he going to be a starter on the AS team if the national audience flips the TV off after his 1st inning hit every night when he's in the 40's?

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 11, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

so nice to hear jon miller call a nationals game on XM. (i assume same feed on his contract is up with SF in 2012. hope the nats make a bid for him then. he's the best.

Posted by: a-littlebird-ptolemy | May 11, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Could we get by with Dunn, Kearns, Willingham at LF-CF-RF? I'd like to keeep getting Willingham regular AB's while he's on fire, but I'd want NJ and Dunn out there every night, and Dukes could use a little rest/retooling. Are there any other possibilities? (I know Willie can play CF, but I'd rather see AK in the 6-hole.)

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 11, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Good. Sounds like Lastings will be off the DL in time to take his rightful place next to Zimmerman on the All Star team.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 11, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Watching Guzman and Belliard waddle around while the ball roles gently up the middle is sickening.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 11, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

ugh, Cabrera's no-hitter broken up already.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 11, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, there goes the measured, accurate Cabrera. Lasted about four batters.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 11, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I did like Dibble ripping Cabrera there for throwing a pitch down the middle to Johnson, while the pitchtrack replay showed one nailing the outside corner of the plate.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | May 11, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

breathing a sigh of relief at the double play.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 11, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I think that's my cue to go to bed. WTF.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 11, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

do you actually have a plan for this if you're Manny and Rizzo? do you say, "if the wheels come off the wagon, let it go all the way so we can justify his release the next morning?

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 11, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

And there are our nightly defensive and pitching meltdowns. Sheesh...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 11, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Uncle!!!! I've had enough. AS wilbon would say It's "GOTS TO GO time" for cabrera. Just admit the mistake, get rid of him and move on.

Posted by: chris88 | May 11, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

pitiful, just pitiful. eat the whole roll of tums manny.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 11, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Kensing stinks too.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 11, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

if you're wondering, i checked: 8 straight.

NYM pitchers Lee Guetterman and Anthony Young walked 8 straight batter (2 intentional walks) on July 18, 1992 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 11, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Can you really let him keep pitching after an IBB, walk to the pitcher, and then walking in a run? Do you expect anything better than another walk to score? I know they don't trust the bullpen, but seriously...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 11, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BGinVA | May 11, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

because clearly a reliever wouldn't come in an walk in another run, right? ugh.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 11, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Just in case anyone is wondering, the streak is now at 11 games. Which streak, you ask? 11 consecutive starts by Daniel Cabrera resulting in a loss for his team,going back to last season.

This is like Little League -- you send the guys up there and they leave the bats on their shoulders, because they know there's no way the pitcher can throw 3 strikes before he pitches 4 balls.

If Cabrera is still in the rotation next week, it will be the organizational equivalent of flipping the bird at Nats fans.

Posted by: fischy | May 11, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Benji Molina is really determined to beat Guz to the AB without a walk record! why else, in any circumstances, are you swinging at a first pitch there?

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 11, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Can Willie Harris pitch? He can't be any worse than Cabrera. I was actually encouraged by DCab's first inning tonight, but that is long gone. I seriously hope he's on the next flight to Syracuse...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 11, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

seriously, how many more starts will DC get?? he is not even eating innings like earlier posts suggested - he is not the same pitcher we saw with the O's when there would be at least one very good start out of three - if injured, put him on the DL - does he have options? - we have to have someone at SYR better then this

Posted by: sjm3091 | May 11, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Well at least Zimm gives us SOMETHING to cheer for on a nightly basis.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 12, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

another HR!

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Going from Daniel Cabrera to Logan Kensing when you're trying to get guys out is like switching from cigarettes to cigars when you're trying to quit smoking. Except that the smokes probably kill you quicker.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 12, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Cabrera down, Stammen up.
Kensing down, Bergmann up.
Mock down, Clippard up.

Why not?

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Well, on one good note, we have seven guys who are likely a cince to beat the team leading 13HR from last year. Maybe a few more. So that's somethin.

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 12, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Kensing still stinks.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Kensing should be cut immediately

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 12, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Why do I stay up late and torture myself? Get Cabrera - and Kensing - the f--- off this team.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Can we promote Rob Dibble to pitching coach?

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Why did I forget to watch the Caps? I could have seen something entertaining.

Posted by: fischy | May 12, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to bed. This one stinks.
Tomorrow is another day. With a 22-year-old on the mound, I like our chances tomorrow.

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

How's Rob Dibble going to make Cabrera and Kensing any better?

Posted by: swang30 | May 12, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I like Villone.
Villone, Beimel, Wells, and maybe Tavarez are worth keeping.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

You're right...those two are beyond hope now. Time to cut our losses and move on...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

How's Saul Rivera doing in Syracuse? He had a rough start, but pitched well in his last couple outings before being demoted.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Zimmerman with another HR to go 4-5! That's about the only positive thing from tonight's game...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

The dude is unbelievable.
Man, without those 5 unearned runs in the 5th, we're winning this game in the 9th. Frustrating.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

SF is bringing in their closer Brian Wilson! Wow, Zim just turned this game around. Rally on 2!!!!

Posted by: ilovethenats | May 12, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

and that's all folks...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Bummer. At least the Nats kept fighting until the end.

Posted by: ilovethenats | May 12, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

When we wake up, will Cabrera be gone? Maybe Olsen too? Neither of them have given us much of a chance at winning this season. Olsen could be a decent #4 or #5 starter, but Cabrera has got to go. Sure, Willingham's error was costly, but the five walks that followed (all with two outs, including a 4-pitch walk to THE OPPOSING PITCHER, and three BASES-LOADED walks) were what really killed us.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Just too too pitiful for words. Cabrera can't be allowed to pitch again. Same for Kensing. I figured that Acta learned that yesterday. Apparently not. Where do you start?

Posted by: natsguy | May 12, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

This year, the Nats can HIT so they should be set offensively for the year. Dunn & Zimmerman are tearing it up right now and should continue to do so for the next few years (especially if they do the right thing and keep Dunn, I don't find it coincidental that Zimmerman breaks out when he bats in front of a prolific 40+ home run hitter).

Unfortunately, the "youth movement" in starting pitchers and horrendous work in signing free agent pitchers (Olsen?? Cabrera?? WTF ARE YOU SMOKING MAN) greatly dilutes the offense's effect. Add in the worst bullpen ever and you will essentially win only if the offense scores over 10 runs...and even there, the odds are not favorable.

This team should definitely get better down the stretch once they bring up Balester/Bergmann and draft they will likely find some more bullpen pieces in trades/promotion from minors.

They will finish better than last year's team (not saying much) and have a much better 2010. Eventually, the rotation might consist of (in no particular order) Zimmermann, Martis, Strasburg, Balester, Lannan.

Posted by: Crunkenstein | May 12, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

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