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Dukes DL'd, Cintron DFA'd; Maxwell And Bergmann Recalled

When the Nats report to the ballpark on Wednesday, they will face a six-game losing streak. They will face (yet another) chance to recover -- though time after time they find new ways to avoid anything but self-inflicted pain. This time, they will also have a slightly re-worked roster... and an eighth bullpen member.

After this latest loss, an 8-5 ten-inning decision against the Buccos, Washington announced several roster moves.

* Elijah Dukes, who injured his left hamstring on May 15, was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 18. (The outfielder tried to play on Sunday, May 17, but was lifted after his first at bat.)

* Infielder Alex Cintron (.077, or 2-for-26) was designated for assignment.

* OF Justin Maxwell was recalled from Class AAA Syracuse; he will split time with Willie Harris in center while Dukes is on the DL.

* RHP Jason Bergmann was recalled from Class AAA Syracuse, and will pitch in relief.

"We're adding another pitcher," Manny Acta said. "We're going to go with eight guys in the bullpen now, because we need it."

Now, a few quick thoughts on the game...

This one had an unconventional feel. Especially before we hit extra innings. Why do I say? Well, for one thing, the Nats never had a lead. (They had leads in 14 of 17 previous games this month.) Their offense was persistent, but not overpowering. Their bullpen notched three scoreless innings. At one point, Washington pitchers retired 17 in a row. The game was going along quick and clean. No bullpen combustions. No abysmal defense. Just a methodical comeback.

But that's where things got tough. After tying the game with one out in the ninth, a succession of hitters (including Adam Dunn and Willie Harris) couldn't knock in the winning run from second. That took the game into extra innings, where a struggling Joe Beimel allowed three runs and three hits, giving the Pirates an 8-5 edge. Now, the Nats have lost six in a row and nine of 10.

Oh by the way, in those 10 games, they've scored five runs or more every time.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 20, 2009; 12:05 AM ET
 
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Next: From This Point Forward

Comments

"I tried the new 'The Pit' on Sunday. The meat was not smokey. The only barbecue sauce was a little packet of Kraft BBQ. Yuck."

Pit beef is a Baltimore thing. I don't think it's supposed to be smoky like BBQ. That's why they serve it with an aioli, which is a fancy word for mayonnaise. I agree, putting BBQ sauce on it would be an abomination. I didn't have the beef there tonight, I had the turkey - which was flavorful enough and came with a nice chutney. Again, putting BBQ sauce on that would ruin it.

There's a Teddy's Barbecue that's supposed to be opening soon out there. I think that will be the kind of BBQ you're looking for.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 20, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Any word on a potential trade brewing? I've heard several rumors about NJ to Boston, and they apparently have surplus pitching. It would be a good fit for both teams, so I can definitely see it happening. Anyone know more?

Posted by: BGinVA | May 20, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm getting used to the losing, but tonight didn't seem to feel as bad.

Posted by: natsguy | May 20, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

It didn't feel as bad, because it was a record-tying loss. Tomorrow, the Nats can claim the record all for themselves, as they make it 7 straight losses while scoring 5 or more runs in each game.

Posted by: fischy | May 20, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Forget firing Acta just beat the crap out of him.

Posted by: rskinz34 | May 20, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Well many people have been asking for Bergmann to return and here he is. Let's see how long the posters support him. My guess is one bad outing and everyone will dump on him, just like the rest of the members of the bullpen.

After all it wasn't that long ago that Taveras, Wells, and Beimel were the team's saviors. A handful of bad innings and the opinion quickly changed.

I'd love it if Bergmann helped get the team turned around though. I want this team to win as badly as anyone.

Unfortunately, I think the only way we'll improve our record is to improve our talent. I suspect Rizzo will have to make an unpopular move or two, moving offense for pitching, and even then all we're playing for is a chance to avoid 100 losses (again!).

Posted by: grforbes | May 20, 2009 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Acta once again pulled a starting pitcher too early. Shairon Martis is a decent hitting pitcher who can get a hit. He had retired ten batters in a row at this point and he was cruising through the lineup. His replacement--Belliard, who has slumped horribly this year and a player that swings for the fences on every swing, even with two strikes on him. Belliard of course strikes out. Net result, Acta has just taken a pitcher who has found his rhythm out of the lineup for no good reason. Had Villone not pitched two good innings the situation would have been worse. Acta had the one pitcher on the mound who has shown the capability of holding up into late innings and yet he squanders this asset for one lousy at bat from a pinch hitting free swinger. Not using this bullpen is the safest play, without argument.

Posted by: driley | May 20, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

I was there last night - definitely a different feel for the game with the bullpen doing their job. I can't fault Acta for pinch hitting with Belliard - just choosing Belliard over anybody is questionable. Then, we just needed to win it in the bottom of the 9th with the big guns. He hasn't had that many chances to prove my nephew (big Reds fan) right but last night my nephew's words were ringing in my ear "... just wait until Dunn's up in the 9th and can win a game and he strikes out 3 out of 4 times ...". The last thing is I wanted to see a different reliever in the game in the 10th. It was a new game and needed a different pitcher. But I can also see where Manny's got to try to get one more inning out in the spirit of saving arms.

This team is in a very, very bad spot...

Posted by: natslifer | May 20, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Nj to Boston? I'd do it for buckholtz and lars Anderson...really I'd do it for just Anderson

Posted by: theredskin | May 20, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Real baseball teams work out the roster kinks in spring training.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 20, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I thought that Manny said that there would be roster changes in the bullpen--as in subtracting a couple of non performers. Cintron was low hanging fruit and so is Dukes' DL. This is just typical of the talk tough and do nothing management. Half (errrr, most) of the bullpen does not belong in the major leagues--if getting the job done is the standard you are judging by.

Cabrera is still on the team? Pathetic is too kind of a word.

Posted by: driley | May 20, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I can't blame Acta for pinch hitting for Martis, but it did not work out. Acta seemed a bit defiant post game about going to Cintron, defending the guy as being a .270 big league hitter, as if to say it was the right call to send him to the plate all of those times in pressure situations. Maybe it was the right call, but it did not work. Nothing Manny does works out. Nothing worked last year, and even with best in league hitting in May, nothing works now. He's jinxed. The hex is on him. It is rubbing off on others. He is a cancer -- a nice guy cancer -- but a maignant losing cancer none the less. He needs to be removed.

Posted by: dfh21 | May 20, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

The game was exciting until I looked over and saw that it was Cintron that our hopes were resting on.

Pulling Martis was the right move at that time, but it was scary to go to the bullpen. Fortunately, it worked out (for a few innings, anyway).

I'll say this, too ... Pirates fans are a heck'va lot better to sit near than Phillies Phans. Although I don't want us to become known as either type (accustomed to losing or lowlife drunks). I'll take quiet and reserved over either.

Finally, this was my first night game at Nationals Park this year and I noticed that there was a lot more character to the entertainment. The organ filled in when it wasn't walk-up, warm-up, or walk-out music. The volume was tolerable in the half-price lower bowl. The announcer was fairly reliable. I expect in another summer of "seasoning" the in-park entertainment team might start to gel. [insert snark about onfield team here.]

And, man, I sure would love to fire one of those t-shirt cannons ...

Posted by: ihatewalks | May 20, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

That's a bummer about your concession experience, natbiscuit. That said, I agree with nunof re. the pit beef. When I've had it in Maryland it did not have sauce (though it was made available on the side). I thought the Nats Park beef was quite good, and the turkey looked so tempting that I want to try it next time. Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I guess that I'm not used to it, because I felt deflated, and I just wanted to curl up into the fetal position on my sofa. My husband says that I have an unhealthy obsession with the team because I'm still watching games. So there's that. heh.

---

Maybe I'm getting used to the losing, but tonight didn't seem to feel as bad.

Posted by: natsguy | May 20, 2009 1:07 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"Nj to Boston? I'd do it for buckholtz and lars Anderson...really I'd do it for just Anderson

Posted by: theredskin | May 20, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse"
-----------------------
In other words, you'd do the trade for a guy who has already thrown a major league no hitter, was a top 10 prospect on BA's 2008 top 100, and who is having the best season among starting pitchers in AAA, and a consensus top 20 prospect among Sickels, BA, BP, and ESPN? For a one year rental of an insurance policy for Lowell and Ortiz? Or maybe just the consensus top 20 prospect?

OK, we know your concept of the market.

Seriously, how about a young, cost controlled middle reliever / set up guy who could close in the NL, has already pitched 2+ years in the majors, has a career FIP below 3.5, strikes out close to a batter an inning, and was the primary righty set up guy in the 2007 playoffs? That is probably closer to the market.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 20, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Losing is one thing, most expected more losses than wins. Losing three run leads in the ninth or by making errors is deflating. This organization better get it together before a "culture of losing" sets in. There is hope, there are prospects, there is Strasberg.

Posted by: sjt1455 | May 20, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I think the organ playing is relatively new...I don't remember hearing it before.

Posted by: combedge | May 20, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"Pit beef is a Baltimore thing."
Posted by: nunof1 | May 20, 2009 12:15 AM

nunof1 - you need to get out a little bit more, bud!

When I think pit beef I think Houston, Kansas City, and even Memphis - when I think about Baltimore the only thing that comes to mind in crabs . .

Posted by: lowcountry | May 20, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I should have stipulated in my rant last night that The Pit was not the target of my angst or frustration - it actually is a welcome addition.

My frustration was that I had to work mighty hard to find an open beer stand that was serving a decent beer (no Budweiser and Miller don't count). And that so many of the food stands were closed that the lines at the ones that were open were intolerably long. A fellow in my row missed a nearly two innings trying to get through Ben's Chilli line. Walking the lower concourse even in the middle of the game there was not a single line that was less than ten (some 15) deep. Getting a decent draft beer on the left-field lower level was difficult. The Capitol Club was open, but the lines were long. And, per my previous diatribe, I could not get a hot dog without sacrificing a significant portion of the game. I spend nearly $100 per game on tickets and parking which is > $5/half inning and if I want to visit the concessions twice per game, I should not have to miss $20-$30 worth of game product for the privilede of spending another $30-50 on food.

Aside from the first few months of 2005 at RFK, I don't recall the service there being quire so bad. Maybe it was, but regardless the promise was that things would be better here.

I'm calling out my old pitchfork and torches crowd. To paraphrase Young Frankenstien, a riot is a terrible thing, and its about time we had one. (metaphorically).

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 20, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is, Thank goodness there isn't a draft lottery in MLB.

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 20, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

They need a win in the worst way,glad to see Maxwell will be back on the roster,now as far as Nick goes if you are going to trade him here's the deal; a frontline pitcher only and a good minor league pitching prospect two for one that's it Bosox can't win their division unless they get some help and the way Big Papi is struggling...........Rizzo should be able to name his price within reason in dealing with the Bosox.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 20, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Last night didn't hurt so much because it was a "better" loss - one of our young starters had a rough-ish early outing and managed to right the ship, the offense clawed back into it, and then we lost in extras. This wasn't one where we gave up a three run lead in the ninth having led the whole time. Matter of fact, had this one not come as part of the current streak, I'm guessing this would be a "one to grow on" loss based on Martis settling in after the tough early going.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | May 20, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

natbiscuits, I feel for you. I've not run into that situation myself, but I also tend to get there early and eat before the game. Have people run into the same situation in the Veeckian reaches of the park? During a 7th-inning sprint on Sunday, I picked up some candy at a concession located near our section. There was no line there and I didn't see lines at any of the stands in the vicinity. Maybe it would be worthwhile to try a trek to the nosebleeds next time? Just a thought, and perhaps the experiences of others there have not mirrored my own.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

7th inning stretch sprint, I should have said.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I'd even trade NJ to the Mets. with Delgado out, they need him more and as much as I like NJ, this is his last year under contract.

This team is not going to win as constructed. Rizzo needs to trade some talent to get back talent that we will have under control. That might mean trading Willingham or even Dunn as well. Don't think Boston would love to have Adam Dunn over NJ. For Dunn, you might actually get a Buchholz or Anderson type of talent. Lars Anderson is blocked at the MJ level, so trading him makes some sense.

Posted by: NatsWin | May 20, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"This organization better get it together before a "culture of losing" sets in."

Sorry to break it to you but it set in a long time ago.

Posted by: RickFelt | May 20, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Webber, Catcher50 - just caught your replies on the catcher record and ERA posting. I like the idea that comparing catchers who catch the same pitchers to each other as a gauge of their defensive abilities, I'm just a bit skeptical about the small numbers. Reputation-wise, I think the view is Nieves> Flores > (by a lot) Bard. Maybe if you showed that last year, Flores was a run better than Nieves, that would be a stronger case. I recall a defenisve rating of catchers on Fangraphs in march or so that had Flores below average for last year and Nieves somewhat better, but I have not chased it down and must do some actual work today.

My guess is that the spread in defensive quality among catchers may be less than at other positions (like left and 1st base) because players get mustered out of the position before they hit the majors if they are bad at it. It's not like LF or 1st, where you can hide bats like Dunn's but can also find gloves like Nick. That may make the short term numbers even less persuasive.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 20, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"When I think pit beef I think Houston, Kansas City, and even Memphis - when I think about Baltimore the only thing that comes to mind in crabs . . "

Go to a community event in Baltimore sometime. Not the Inner Harbor, not OPCY. Something sponsored by the Knights of Columbus or somesuch. There among the food stands you'll find one or two selling pit beef. You'll likely not find any selling crabs, except maybe when they're in season. But pit beef is year round in Baltimore. You don't really see it at similar events in the DC area. That's what I meant by saying it's a Baltimore thing - and the key point there is that it's NOT barbecue.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 20, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

One last:

"Lars Anderson is blocked at the MJ level, so trading him makes some sense.

Posted by: NatsWin | May 20, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse "

Actually, they view him as a potential replacement for Lowell or Ortiz when their contracts run out. He's not blocked, since he's only 20 or so and in AA.

Look at the Xavier Nady trade last year to get an idea what Nick might bring. Ohlendorf (middle reliever for the NYY) and Karstens. Not prime prospects, but useful to a weak team. Nick is a better player, but Nady was under team control for another year, while Nick is not. The equivalent of DelCarmen and a AAA starter who is not a top 100 prospect.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 20, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

":Lars Anderson is blocked at the MJ level, so trading him makes some sense."

Wait, Michael Jordan is playing for the Red Sox? I thought he gave up on baseball after his gambling suspension was done?

J/K - but if you think the Red Sox are moving Buchholz in any trade that doesn't have a Zimmerman(n) involved, you're way more hopeful than me.

I mean, I hope Theo's that dumb, but I don't think he is. I still think NJ's probably got more value to us as a healthy hitter than he does on the market, owing to his lack of healthy history. If people were willing to trade based on NJ's value when healthy, then sure, it's worth dealing him - but when you factor in the discount you have to give for his health history, it's probably not. The most tradeable commodities we have on the team are the things we'd not want to give up. We don't want to give them up because they have value - that's the same reason other people would want them.

Don't get me wrong, I love the good old "Let's trade our guys who suck and get hurt for their great prospects!" idea in theory, but it's kind of hard to pull off in practice. It's not Rizzo's fault that nobody wants to trade a top-flight cost-controlled prospect for an aging middle infielder or an oft-hurt 1B.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | May 20, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Far be it from me to even condone the suggestion that any dish made of beef is "truly" barbeque. We do it a bit differently down here.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 20, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Heck, I'm just glad they actually played an error-free game.

. . . Although I still don't understand why a wild pitch that advances a runner on base isn't considered an error.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 20, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"And, per my previous diatribe, I could not get a hot dog without sacrificing a significant portion of the game. I spend nearly $100 per game on tickets and parking which is > $5/half inning and if I want to visit the concessions twice per game, I should not have to miss $20-$30 worth of game product for the privilede of spending another $30-50 on food."

Why not get there a half hour or so before first pitch and get your food then? That's what I do, and I've never had to wait in much of a line - and even if I do, I'm not missing the game. Or try going up to the upper concourse where it's not so crowded. There are Ben's Chili Bowl stands up there, plus a few microbrews (Home Run Ale, Blue Moon). It's easy enough to get up there during a between-innings break, watch the game from the concourse while timing your line-standing with the pace of the game, and then head back down in another between-innings break. Sure, you're still away from your seats for a while doing that, but you're not missing so much action.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 20, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Weekend service does seem to be better - more stands open, more staff. I realize it is an economic decision: They expect fewer customers so they staff with less. But,its a slipery slope. If the fan experience is not good, then why come back. (I will beacuse I'm a sucker, but what about the rest of you)

On a more baseball note, my heart absolutely took a leap off the high dive when Willie Harris misplayed that ball in centerfield. I have always thought of him as one of our more fundamentally sound players. But, bad fielding seems to be contagious.

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 20, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Teddy Roosevelt, please pick up the White Courtesy Phone...

---

"This organization better get it together before a "culture of losing" sets in."

Sorry to break it to you but it set in a long time ago.

Posted by: RickFelt | May 20, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the distinction, natsbiscuit. We do tend to attend weekend and holiday games, so that may be the difference.

I agree re. Harris.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

You probably like that vinegary stuff, lowcountry. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"Far be it from me to even condone the suggestion that any dish made of beef is "truly" barbeque. We do it a bit differently down here. "

Understood. There are many dishes around here that pretend to be barbecue or call themselves barbecue but aren't barbecue as it should be. My point is that pit beef is not even pretending to be barbecue. It's a whole different kind of thing - like roast beef, only cooked in a pit rather than an oven.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 20, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

New post (and I'm getting hungry).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@natsbisquit - you think its tough finding a decent beer on the lower level - come on up to 309 - Am I guessing or do they just have one keg of any decent beer which is usually gone by the 1st inning - lines are ridiculous for food or beer and I was amazed that they were out of onions by the 3rd inning as well

that said, why is Colome still here? Are we just doing this overhaul piece by piece?

Posted by: sjm3091 | May 20, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"Those poor bastards must be totally freaked out, and that can't be helping matters. I wonder how the rest of the team is treating them."

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 19, 2009 11:19 AM
Posted by: Section109 | May 19, 2009 1:56 PM
*****************

I'm not sure which of you posted this (dclifer or 109), but this is what I'm worried about too. Seems like the first overhaul they did got the bullpen freaked and now even the "reliable" guys have the yips.

Maybe the position players could take the bullpen out to eat and treat them to a game of putt-putt, make them feel special and appreciated.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 20, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"On a more baseball note, my heart absolutely took a leap off the high dive when Willie Harris misplayed that ball in centerfield. I have always thought of him as one of our more fundamentally sound players. But, bad fielding seems to be contagious."

Lastings Milledge appears to have left his own special blend of bad mojo in centerfield and on the basepaths at Nationals Park during his brief time there this season. Yet another good reason to elect him the starting centerfielder of the NL All Star team so he can infect the rest of the league with it in July.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 20, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

It goes without saying that the position players should let them win the putt-putt game.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

We're getting close to the quarter mark of the season.

The Nats are on pace to win about 66 games this year. Four players on are pace to earn over 100 RBI. Two players are on pace to hit over 40 HR. One of those players, Zimmerman, is also on pace to hit over 40 doubles.

Is there any precedent for a team losing 100 games and still having four players drive in 100 RBI? Is that even possible? I know it's still early to talk about the pace the team is on, but it's really striking.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 20, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"I'd even trade NJ to the Mets. with Delgado out, they need him more..." When are we ever going to learn: These trades within the division are never going to work out. No team is the NL East is going to give up anything remotely promising to a division rival. There's only one team dumb enough in the division to do that....and they is us. So, let's all promise: No more trades to the Marlins or Mets. If they're willing to part with great talent like Lastings Milledge or Scott Olsen or Logan Kensing...there's probably a reason.

Posted by: mvm2 | May 20, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"When I think pit beef I think Houston, Kansas City, and even Memphis - when I think about Baltimore the only thing that comes to mind in crabs..."

Well...think again. Think Boog's BBQ at Camden Yards, Andy Nelson's BBQ in Cockeysville, or any other dozens of places. Or, see this (admittedly dusty) article from the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/28/dining/how-to-say-barbecue-in-baltimore.html?sec=travel

Posted by: mvm2 | May 20, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I meant 47 wins. I really did.

New post.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 20, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

>

And both those places suck. Consider the source. No one from New Your should be writing about BBQ.

Posted by: JDB1 | May 20, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I went back and re-read Boswell's column from early April. I think it sums up where this team is at right now quite correctly.

"The first year Tom Glavine and John Smoltz pitched together in Atlanta, they were 22 and 21 years old and went 7-17 and 2-7. The next season, they were 14-8 and 12-11. By their third year together, they were fully formed workhorses. So, how did the Braves fare?

Atlanta went 54-106, 63-97 and 65-97. Yes, the next year, 1991, they went to the Series as Steve Avery, 21, went 18-8. But look at the patience, bordering on anguish, that is required to develop young pitching, even when it works.

'If we end up with three high-quality starters out of this current group, then we'll be a contender,' team president Stan Kasten said of the current rotation plus Balester.

Just a mere three of six. Not counting other Nats now in the minor leagues or whoever is fetched with the Nos. 1 and 10 picks in June. It sounds easy. But it's so hard.

The Nats had a choice last winter: Sign a mediocre free agent starter and let the 22-year-olds, as a group, bear less weight. Let Manny sleep at night. Avoid a chain-reaction catastrophe of youngsters failing in unison.

Instead, the team felt the pitching pipeline, even before the '09 draft, had enough prospects that it was time to find out what the franchise was holding. So, here they go.

Yogi Berra was right to say, "Ninety percent of baseball is pitching. The other half is hitting." We laugh because we recognize the wisdom in the malaprop. Hitting matters after you have pitching. But without pitching, nothing matters.

With their new bats, the Nats have done the easy half of becoming respectable. Now comes the hard part. Pitching is precious. Nobody misplaces it. We all find pennies in the street. Nobody stumbles on a $100 bill."

While he is primarily discussing the rotation, he was right that our young starters aren't ready to step up and carry this team yet. So, the Nats should have spent some money in the offseason to sign some quality relievers to take the heat off of the rotation. There isn't enough talent in the Nats system ready to step up and therefore no easy answers for Manny or Rizzo.

Posted by: psubman | May 20, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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