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Game 1 Lineups

Quick note -- Elijah Dukes is NOT available for the first game today. We'll see after this game whether he can play in the nightcap.

Onto today's starters, first edition...

Phillies (17-16)
Rollins (S) -- SS
Victorino (S) -- CF
Ibanez (L) -- LF
Howard (L) -- 1B
Werth -- RF
Feliz -- 3B
Coste - C
Bruntlett -- 2B
Myers -- RHP

Nationals (11-22)
Guzman (S) -- SS
Johnson (L) -- 1B
Zimmerman -- 3B
Dunn (L) -- RF
Willingham -- LF
Bard (S) -- C
Harris -- CF
Hernandez (S) -- 2B
Olsen (L) -- LHP

By Zach Berman  |  May 16, 2009; 11:44 AM ET
 
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Next: Pitching Update [Update!]

Comments

YES! The best possible lineup for game 1; Sacrifice a little defense for maximum hitting potential.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I was hopeful for some bullpen changes before the game...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness, I shoud add that the Phillies 3-7 hitters have been less than gentle to Olsen historically. Ibanez/ Howard/ Werth/ Feliz all hit over .300 against Olsen, with 17 total RBI.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Time to call up Stammen, Clippard, and JD Martin for the rest of this homestand.

Justin Maxwell should get the call up if Dukes is out for a while. He covers a lot of ground in CF.

Posted by: PNatsFan | May 16, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@Zach Berman:

I believe Willie Harris is a LH-hitter; you missed that in the lineup post, FWIW.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

PNatsFan:

Depending on DCab's outing this evening, I wouldn't be suprised if Stammen was selected for the 25-man; While Clippard is throwing well in SYR, he needs to stay down a while longer - Bergmann is the better choice, IMO. As for JD Martin, maybe a cup of coffee in September, but not right now.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Lets Play Two. So why not analyze the first one a little.

Don't think this is worthy of a blog. But a bit interesting on how managers make out their lineups. Earl Weaver believed some stats were bunks, but a few were gold. The stat he believed in most was individual matchups __if you had enough plate appearances for a good sample. Give him 20 PAs of data and he thought he could add something to his O's chances.

Charlie Manuel sure knows how to use this. Against Scott Olsen he's resting Utley. Chase doesn't hit Olsen much __4-for-27 vs Olsen with a .640 OPS. Also, he's picked Coste (2-9 w double and homer) over Ruiz (0-5). After Rollins and Victorino, neither of whom hit Olsen well (.725, .526 OPS), he has stacked the guys who kill Olsen __Ibanez (3-5), Howard (1.332 OPS, 9 rbi in 27 abs), Werth (7-16, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 1.409), Feliz (.972) and Coste. The ol' Red Devil is smarter than many in Phill think. He seldom overlooks matchups.

Acta is aware, too. He has Willingham in (6/16, 1.194 OPS vs Randy Myers) rather than Kearns (.727). And he has Hernandez at 2d (5-for-7!), not Belliard (.485 OPS). But, imo, he should have Hernandez hitting ahead of Harris, not the other way around because Harris 0-for-13 vs. Myers, despite the LH-RH matchup in his favor. Earl would say that 0-13 with three walks is a red flag that Harris doesn't "see the ball well" against Myers.

The top of the Nats order is comfortable against Myers __Guzman (.720 OPS) and Johnson (.857). Zimmerman kills him (1.135 w a stunning 13 RBI in 37 abs) and Myers seems to pitch around Dunn when possible (.931, only 3-for-18, but with a double, a homer and six walks.)

I thought Olsen pitched his best game of the year against the Phils in Phillie on 4/29, beating Myers 4-1. I was surprised either pitcher was that effective given how many guys on the other team like to hit against them. Lannan showed last night how essential it is for a LH to pitch Utley and Howard hard up and in, then soft low and away. (Yes, I know that worked on Babe Ruth and everybody else, too.) But Lannan has been leary of doing it since he got thrown out of the first game of his career for hitting both Utley and Howard. You have to pound Utley inside constantly, to the degree that you hit him in the elbow-ribs-back (accidentally) about once a series or you aren't pitching him correctly. Utley's been hit 52 times the last two seasons. Like Don Baylor, standing on top of the plate is core to his game. Half the time, Utley "hits himself" as he did last night when he got an HBP on a checked swing that may have been a strike by Lannan.

Sorry to "go on." But when Hanrahan drilled Utley in the 10th __one out, nobody on, 0-1 pitch__ with a 95, it may have been a turning point for him. Nobody ever got injured by getting hit in the wallet. But it hurts. Hanrahan looked excellent after that, hit 96 with a sharp slder at 85. He could be "back," if back s the guy with the 3.95 ERA last year. He's still the Nats best (and only) real option as a closer in the whole organization. His 20-6 K-to-W ratio in16 1/3 shows you he has the stuff to be adequate. Does he have the presence, confidence, resilience? He had them last night. Okay, two inning sample! Will Manny stick with him through bad outtings on the grounds that he's the best available and, with Beimel for the 8th, might consitute an adequate backend to the pen (and thus a big improvement over "horrid.")

Enuff "ball" for everybody? Four games w the world champs in about 45 hours.

Posted by: Thomas Boswell | May 16, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

--Don't think this is worthy of a blog. But a bit interesting on how managers make out their lineups.

This may be a few days late but does anyone remember when Davey Johnson was managing the Os and they were facing Randy Johnson and the Mariners in the playoffs? Johnson sat every one of his left-handed batters and he had about 4 of them. And he employed an entire right-hand hitting lineup. It was an amazing and gutsy move and if memory serves, it worked because the Os won the game.
Now that's managing. Never saw it done before or since.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

not good.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the in-line comments, Bos. I agree, Hanrahan showed some "stones" last night; He should be back in the mix at the end of games if he keeps that up.

And, as predicted, Ibanez is killing Olsen. Sigh.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine,

!!!

My favorite Davey move. I just looked it up. He did it FIVE times to Randy that year and the O's won all five games, two of them in the playoffs, including a 9-3 win in Game One. Early in the year, he used Jeff Reboulet (not Robby Alomar who hit .333 in '97), Pete Incaviglia, Lenny Webster, Geronimo Berroa, Aaron Ledesma (instead of Raffy, Ledesma hit .352 in 88 "selec" at bats for Davey, Raffy had 38 HRs). In the playoffs, started Brady Anderson, Reboulet, Eric Davis (over BJ Surhoff), Berroa, Ripken, Hoiles, Jerome Walton (! 74 abs in '97 instead of Raffy), Jeffery Hammonds and Mike Bordick.

Nice memory. Yeah, I guess Earl and Davey were a little better than Manny. They sure didn't worry about keeping their players happy. Remember in '96 as soon as Bobby Bonilla said he didn't want to be a DH...ever, Davey called him in, gave a critique of his OF work and used him at DH 44 times. Bobby grumbled, drove in 116 runs. Davey also moved Cal to third, which Cal didn't like at all. Of course, Davey treated Peter with a similar attitude __we'll be doing it my way, I won't be asking for your advice or responding to it if you offer it__ and was fired the same day he was voted Manager of the Year.

OK, 5-1. Guess I'll check back on the carnage at a (much) later date. Z'man continues to kill Myers. Ibanez 3-for-5 hinted at HR, HR. Will Olsen show heart, take one for the team, throw 110 pitches, get through 5-6 innings, or fold his tent? Bases loaded, 3 IP, two outs. Got out of it. Just suck it up for 50 more pitches, Scott. You can do it. (Because it's your JOB.)

Posted by: Thomas Boswell | May 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess my comment got eaten. I was going to reply to dovelevine that I remember a column by Boswell -- you know, that guy who comments here sometimes -- about that lineup against R Johnson. The column mentioned that D Johnson was not just putting in right-handers; he was filling the lineup with his best fastball hitters. That column helped remind me just how much I still had to learn about matchups, lineups, and ... well, the game.

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 16, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Olsen ... 65 pitches through 3. Keep the arm warm, Scott, 'cause your gonna have to throw 65 more.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 16, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

If you know a guy's got your number then get with the pitching coach and map out a plan, Ibanez was 3 for 12 as a Seattle Mariner versus us last year no doubt he is hitting in a better lineup with the Phils but he is killing us!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 16, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Let Rollins steal 2nd - hell, let him steal 3rd, if he thinks its' necessary; Concentrate on the out at the plate.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Or you could just pick him off and get out of the inning with a 0! (I have to celebrate the small things today.)

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Idle thought while watching Olsen stink it up out there: Does he soak his cap in water or is he really sweating that much? He's got drops falling off the bill of his cap. I've never seen that before. I think he needs to use some of that sweat on the ball because he reeks right now.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 16, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Bos, thanks for the memories of D. Johnson and E. Weaver. My favorite Weaver move was the time he put Kiko Garcia in LF against the Yankees and Ron Guidry (it was 1979; I looked it up). Kiko could barely play shortstop, much less LF. Of course, Kiko went 1-2. Earl knew what he was doing.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 16, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

not sending hernandez is awful he coulda crawled home

Posted by: bford1kb | May 16, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be a loooong day for the bullpen.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

This is awful. I thought this team was improving out west, now they're April bad again. And right when they get back home - do they ever want fans?

Posted by: Kev29 | May 16, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Missed the context on Berg; I don't think it was the trivia question, but it must have been late innings. I just perked up when I heard the name, Dibble saying something to the effect of "Moe Berg?? Who the [kip] is Moe Berg??"

The house is safe enough for this series. My Cubs-fan wife, like me, is long inured to losing in cruel and stupid ways. My cats are basketball fans, and don't much care one way or the other.

****************
Laughing here at the description of your section, sec. 3. I missed the Moe Berg part. Must have been one of the times when I clicked away briefly. Out of curiosity, what was the context?
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 16, 2009 8:23 AM
----------------
BTW, sec. 3, do you ever have any issues with "protecting the house" there? Those "few hundred" Phillies Phans last night must have been ventriloquists, because they were quite noisy.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 16, 2009 8:26 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 16, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Nice inning by Mock - Let him start the 7th, but get Villone ready.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Sure seems likely there will be some roster moves later today involving starters. We don't have probables for Monday or Tuesday and Martis is pencilled in on Wednesday at the moment.

So ... Craig Stammen? He threw 96 pitches on Friday so that seems unlikely. Who else? J.D. Martin's pitching today so it won't be him. Marco Estrada? He hasn't pitched since May 13. He has nice numbers (1-0, 3.67, 34.1 IP, 12 BB, 27 SO) but a lot of no decisions...

I'd also point out that BinM and declared at 11:10 a.m. that Zim and Willingham "feast on Myers." That's a pretty good call there...

Posted by: traceeh | May 16, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Scooter,

Okay, you'll like this. Davey didn't just want RH hitters and fastball hitters, he wanted the lineup that had the discipline and power to sit on ONE PITCH for the entire game __the low fastball__ and swing for the fences every time they got it. That was the game plan. Lay off everything else. Accept 12-13-14 strikeouts, but hope for 3-4 walks (because you're being patient and not chasing the high fastball); and, since you're only going to get 4-5-6 hits off Randy, you want a couple of them to go off the wall or maybe one or two over it.

I don't think the Big Unit had ever seen a team come to the plate and "swing from the ass" on every pitch (that they didn't take). By the fourth meeting, in the playoffs, it had actually reversed the intimidation factor.

Johnson's lines:
6-6-5-5-2-10 (Hoiles double and HR)
5-2-4-4-8-8 (Hoiles HR)
8-4-4-3-4-13 (Hammonds, Reboulet both HR)
5-7-5-5-4-3 (Berroa HR) Playoff loss, 9-3.
8-7-3-3-2-13 (Berroa double, Berroa and Reboulet HR). Playoff loss, 3-1, O's win DS.

That season, '97, Johnson was 20-4 with a 2.28 ERA and 291 K's in 213 innings.

Posted by: Thomas Boswell | May 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"It wouldn't be so bad if Acta could actually explain his rationale like maybe Dave Trembley or something, but he can't even express what went wrong and how they're going to go about fixing it. There's no change in methods, the only thing they change is players. Maybe having a closer is overrated, but he's got guys that could go anywhere from long relief to a closer's role on a day-to-day basis. What is Beimel's role? What is Hanrahan's role now? Kip Wells used to be a sixth-inning guy, now he's closing when he's available. What the hell is going on? Nobody knows. Do they pitch to one batter, or two innnings? Hell, maybe they can sit there in the bullpen and try to figure out when they'll get called, and then worry about throwing balls and get cut."

Beimel, Hanrahan, Mock, Wells, etc, have a role now, and they should know what that role is. Their role is to get guys out, and if they can't do that then for heaven's sake don't walk them. They are all failing miserably at that role, and until they quit failing miserably Manny owes them no further explanation on what their "role" in the bullpen is going to be. If they can't get guys out or at least not walk them, let them worry about what their role is going to be in the Syracuse bullpen.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 16, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Can't figure out why Willingham isn't in there every day. Must be because of his manager. 11-24 by the end of the day lol

Posted by: Brue | May 16, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

>This is awful. I thought this team was improving out west, now they're April bad again. And right when they get back home - do they ever want fans?

Yeah, the Giants are barely a cut above AAA even though they have a much better record than the Nats. Phils are a real team. And you see what happens when they play real teams.

Posted by: Brue | May 16, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Seems like they would have left Olsen in even if he was bad to try and go another inning, since the Nats were way down anyways. Now this game is lost and it's just helping the Phillies for tonight...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, Davey treated Peter with a similar attitude __we'll be doing it my way, I won't be asking for your advice or responding to it if you offer it__ and was fired the same day he was voted Manager of the Year."

IIRC, that was Davey's fourth pink slip, after never finishing worse than second at any point, up to then. How "prickly" do you have to be, to get fired by four different teams with that record? Big prickly, I imagine.

(and thanks for the insights, Boz--we appreciate it.)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 16, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

traceeh:

Thanks for the shout-out; Regular 5-man rotation has Martis up on 5/18 (Monday), but Tuesday raises the problem - Lannan on 5/19 would be on short rest Maybe that's part of why Manny is resting Wells today?

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

traceeh:

Thanks for the shout-out; Regular 5-man rotation has Martis up on 5/18 (Monday), but Tuesday raises the problem - Lannan on 5/19 would be on short rest Maybe that's part of why Manny is resting Wells today?

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Way down?? what game are you watching? It's four runs, with three to play at that point--at least once more through our decent-hitting lineup. Don't get your dauber down so easily, Nervous.

************
Seems like they would have left Olsen in even if he was bad to try and go another inning, since the Nats were way down anyways. Now this game is lost and it's just helping the Phillies for tonight...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 3:03 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, NOW it's five down.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 16, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Well said, nunof1. You can't assign roles to pitchers when they can't consistently do the basic job of pitching. Manny would be perfectly happy to make someone a closer and someone else the 8th inning guy, etc., if someone could earn the job.

Charlie Manuel won the World Series last year when Brad Lidge went 41 for 41 on saves. This year, Lidge has already blown two games, his ERA is over nine and the Phillies are barely above .500. Did Manuel suddenly get dumber?

Nothing will change with this team until they can put together a competent bullpen. It also wouldn't hurt if they caught the ball more regularly.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 16, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, BinM, that's my concern -- Martis ISN'T down for Monday. The game notes have no one listed and when Zach asked, he was told "we'll know something later," which to me means something's happening. Otherwise, Martis would be listed in the notes as the Monday pitcher... The Nats' website has TBAs as well for Sunday (!), Monday and Tuesday. Strange... Wells is a good thought.

Posted by: traceeh | May 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

ok, now it's SIX.
I may have been a little hasty...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3 - I guess you're right, I'm just feeling discouraged as a fan. Cintron is normally so bad as a PH that I don't see it as that much of an improvement. And if you ever need an innings eater (which Olsen was supposed to be), it's on a day like today.

Luckily, Mock did pretty well (relative to what I expect from the bullpen).

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Here's some food for thought while watching the Nats stumble along. Instead of focusing on possibly trading Nick Johnson, Kearns or Willingham, how about some other trade bait? I propose the Nats consider trading Guzman and/or Dukes. They both can hit but they're barely adequate in the field and in the case of Guzman, getting worse. Good teams are strong defensively up the middle (catcher, 2B, SS and CF). Needless to say, we're not. I'd be willing to swap offense for defense.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 16, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Brue:

Willingham isn't in there every day because Dunn can't play RF (or 1B) every day; If that were the OF alignment (Willingham LF, Dunn RF), the team would chew through a half-dozen or more CF in a season trying to cover the ground between their defensive ranges.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, Guz. Keeping the streak alive (and getting a double/RBI)!

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This team doesn't give up at the plate. At least we have that

Posted by: Kev29 | May 16, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

traceeh:

Hmmm - Why would the Nationals delay an on-time, scheduled start by their most consistent SP to date? It dosn't pass the "smell test", unless there's a trade in the works.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The good news (if you can call it that) is that we only used Colome and Mock as relievers...

Posted by: swang30 | May 16, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Nice nine-pitch AB by Harris.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 16, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

BinM: Agreed. Hoping we'll find something out after the game.

Posted by: traceeh | May 16, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought Dukes wasn't available for the day game? This is a good sign for his injury.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Ah, fellow posters, you are about to see, not just the joy and enthusiasm, but the wisdom of Ernie Banks that I echo as a closing.
Let's face it, this is not an abnormal game for us. Olsen blew up, the bull pen threw gas on the fire, but the offense scored and didn't quit.
But, wonder of wonders after NINE if we are down 3, WE CAN STILL WIN!

Feel free to pump up the crowd usmc53.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | May 16, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Twenty-three down.... Seventy-seven to go...

And the good news is...

There is no good news. Cabrera is starting the night cap and, well, what else REALLY needs to be said?

Posted by: randy_boyd | May 16, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Ah, fellow posters, you are about to see, not just the joy and enthusiasm, but the wisdom of Ernie Banks that I echo as a closing.
>Let's face it, this is not an abnormal game for us. Olsen blew up, the bull pen threw gas on the fire, but the offense scored and didn't quit.
But, wonder of wonders after NINE if we are down 3, WE CAN STILL WIN!

Feel free to pump up the crowd usmc53.

Let's play two!

Good one

Posted by: Brue | May 16, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Olsen getting an MRI. He was "tight" today according to Manny. I think that means he's finally admitting he's been hurt all along, which would explain the loss in mph over the last year or so.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 16, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I would disagree with that assessment and argue that it is worthy of a blog. Thanks for sharing it.

---

Don't think this is worthy of a blog.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 16, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, BinM, that's my concern -- Martis ISN'T down for Monday. The game notes have no one listed and when Zach asked, he was told "we'll know something later," which to me means something's happening."

What they'll know later is whether Cabrera totally stinks up the joint tonight or whether he somehow puts it together enough to get by. As Manny just said in his post-game press conference, they're bringing up a pitcher to start Monday. But they're not saying who. My guess is that's because if Cabrera stinks up the joint tonight, Monday's pitcher will be here for a while because they'll dump Cabrera. If Cabrera gets by tonight, though, Monday's pitcher might be a different guy since he'll only be here for one start before going back down.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 16, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Last night I was happy we were able to go nine innings without an error.

Now I'd love to see us go a complete GAME without an error.

Then I'd like to see us go TWO straight games without an error.

Is that too much to ask?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 16, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Currently, only Tuesday is a TBA on the Nats' site.
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/probable_pitchers.jsp?c_id=was

--
Yeah, BinM, that's my concern -- Martis ISN'T down for Monday. The game notes have no one listed and when Zach asked, he was told "we'll know something later," which to me means something's happening. Otherwise, Martis would be listed in the notes as the Monday pitcher... The Nats' website has TBAs as well for Sunday (!), Monday and Tuesday. Strange... Wells is a good thought.

Posted by: traceeh | May 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 16, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Now they show Zimmermann tomorrow and Martis on Monday, FWIW.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 16, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Yuck - Olsen has earned his creds as a #5 SP in the NL today; the pm game could be the crucible for DCab as a NL starting pitcher.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Ah, well, they changed that in the last 30 minutes or so, then. Thanks!

Posted by: traceeh | May 16, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Somebody said Detwiler was throwing well>

Posted by: Brue | May 16, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Please see the new post... sigh.

Posted by: traceeh | May 16, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Now they show Zimmermann tomorrow and Martis on Monday, FWIW."

Manny said in the postgamer that Zimmermann will pitch tomorrow, TBA on Monday and Martis on Tuesday. Charlie and Dave are speculating right now that TBA might be Detwiler.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 16, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to have that confirmed as I'll be at the game tomorrow.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 16, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

So, worst-case scenario from todays' double-header is that Olsen goes to the 15-DL for either an ankle/shoulder/elbow problem & DCab pitches himself out of the NL, and we lose two to the Phillies.

The best-case might be that Olsen goes 15-DL, DCab goes DFA, and the Nationals call up Bergmann (for Olsen) and select Stammen (for Cabrera).

In a bizarro solution, the Nationals trade multiple pieces for a closer, have Stan kill Acta on the pitchers' mound between games today & name Riggleman as interim MGR, then win 13 straight.

Posted by: BinM | May 16, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure no one's still reading this post, but a huge thanks to Tom Boswell (Tom Boswell!) for helping me gain -- a decade after the fact -- an even deeper understanding of that anti-Randy Johnson lineup.

Maybe that was all in the original column, and I mis-read or mis-remembered. Or wasn't ready to understand it yet. Just goes to show, again, how many levels this game operates on.

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 17, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

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