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The Open-Ended Nats Discussion Thread

Hitting streaks in the high-twenties, ERAs in the teens, WHIPs close to 2.00 -- it's all fair game. Please discuss here.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 12, 2009; 4:28 PM ET
 
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Next: A Streak-Related Correction, and Some Morning Reading

Comments

Great hitting.
Lousy pitching.

Turn the pitching around, and we're going to the World Series!

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Great hitting.
Lousy pitching.

Turn the pitching around, and we're going to the World Series!

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

get Cabrera out of here, right now.

Posted by: MrMadison | May 12, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

That's the spirit, usmc!

Hopefully after the road trip and the double-header this weekend there will be some steps taken on the pitching front.

For now, go Zimmerman/ns tonite!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 12, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you created another post for this. I didn't want us griping and arguing on your lovely tribute to your grandfather.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, NN.

1a1 - you didn't dream that up, you just saw it on baseball tonight really late last night. I think they said Joltin Joe faced 58 pitchers and Zim has already faced 60

Posted by: nattaboy | May 12, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Chico: Thank you for letting us into your private life and your thoughts. At such a time, a wordsmith is perhaps fortunate to be able to express and share his or her emotions on 'paper.' I know that we are definitely fortunate to read them.

Posted by: nova_g_man | May 12, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

We need Jesus and AH back in the lineup tonight!

Posted by: FloresFan | May 12, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

SI.com is listing its opinion on the "Best and Worst Owners" in all of the major sports. In MLB, Ted Lerner is rated the fifth-worst owner but the mack daddy worst MLB owner is ...the envelope please ... Peter the Grate, steward of the AngelO's!

The story can be found at
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/05/08/mlb.owners/index.html?eref=T1

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 12, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

DFA _____ right now and fire ____! Rabble rabble rabble!!

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Um, I hate the Fuddrucker's font.

So there's that.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 12, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Last night, Dibble asked whether Joe D took off nay games during the streak. Brings up the question whether the streak continues if a player sits out a game.....

Anybody know the answer? Does Zimm have to play in both ends of Saturday's double-header? If he does, the record-setting game would be a home game -- 4:35 start, vs. Cincy, on June 11.

Posted by: fischy | May 12, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

(I need direction.)

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 12, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

If almost all of the pitchers have been getting bombed for over 2 years, and all relievers walk waaay to many batters, and we lead the league in wild pitches, it seems to me that:

+ Cabrera should be released.
+ Randy St. Clair should be replaced (especially if we hope to sign pitching phenom Strasburg, and turn JZimm and Balester into stars).

And it goes without saying that RZimm is AWESOME right now!!!

Posted by: AWWNats | May 12, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious, 506. By the way, I didn't jump in on the fun a few threads back in time, but that was some of the best NJ banter I've seen in a long time. I was in a meeting this afternoon and kept thinking of GRIP's zinger about Cabrera and glass houses and tried hard not to giggle.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 12, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Might be time to trade NJ...around the all-star break. It would give him a chance to play for a contender. Maybe the Angels... Brandon Wood, anybody?

Posted by: dclifer | May 12, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman must be a Republican, based on the minimal coverage accorded him and his phenomenal streak in the WaPo's print editions.

Or it may be that the Post's editors, having to deal with an exciting NHL playoff series, are not able to walk and chew gum at the same time—as their compatriots are in more sophisticated towns like Boston and New York—so they devote the bulk of the paper's coverage to the NHL playoff while virtually ignoring the Zimmerman phenomenon, which at this stage is equalling or surpassing numbers by any MLB third baseman in the history of the game.

Not only is Zimmerman on a streak, he is getting there with power and a soaring batting average. My guess is there has been nothing like this performance—ever. But we'll never know by depending on the WaPo.

Many of us recognize the Post is a hopeless excuse for a newspaper, so I guess there's no point in my complaining when it demonstrates the editors' ineptitude again by ignoring this signal feat.

Posted by: JohnRDC | May 12, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The streak is not a consecutive-games played streak, so yes, it continues if a player sits out a game, in the sense that sitting out does not break the streak. Interestingly, it also continues (is not broken) if a player is walked in each plate appearance in a game he plays.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 12, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Fire Clint!

Posted by: frog7694 | May 12, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

IN a previous thread someone intelligently pointed out that b/c of next saturday's DH and a lack of an off day monday, we'll need to call up a new starter anyway for the 5/19 game (lest our entire rotation work on 3 days rest).

So, here's what I want to happen:
- Let Cabrera blow the evening 5/16 game against Philly.
- On 5/19: call up one from Stammen, MEstrada or maybe even JD Martin.
- Put Cabrera in the bullpen as long man/mop up/go out and embarass yourself because its already an 8-1 game man
- DFA/cut/kick all the way out of town Kensing. This frees up the 40-man spot for Martin or Stammen, if they go that route.

If the team just wants to pull the plug altogether on Cabrera, understood. But its a bit early to totally eat $2.6M.

And, as I always do when talking about Cabrera, i'll sign off with "Thanks Jim Bowden for this great roster!"

Posted by: tboss | May 12, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

tboss, please no Estrada...he was terrible last year.

Posted by: FloresFan | May 12, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine Cabrera as a reliever. If I'm frustrated by his walks now, I can only imagine what shape my computer would be in if he came in when the Nats were in the lead.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Baseball Almanac has ALL the answers... :-)

"Rule 10.24:

A consecutive hitting streak shall not be terminated if the plate appearance results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly shall terminate the streak.

Consecutive Game Hitting Streaks: A consecutive game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all the player's plate appearances (one or more) result in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit. The player's individual consecutive game hitting streak shall be determined by the consecutive games in which the player appears and is not determined by his club's games."

So there's that.

Off to see Tim Kurkjian at Hard Times Bethesda.

Posted by: OldDude | May 12, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

what is this club's fascination with fat middle infielders? vidro, guzman, belliard. jimenez, baerga? those guys look like wrestlers - and sometimes field like wrestlers too.

Posted by: surly_w | May 12, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, nattaboy. Couldn't remember where I'd seen it.

I had the same thoughts about this thread and the previous one, NatsNut. Thanks for this one, Chico.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 12, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Put the Nats offense this year with any team that has good pitching, and you'd probably have a 1st or 2nd place team in the division. But because the Nats only have 3 good starters and a terrible bullpen (except for probably Beimel and Villone), they're in last place again!

Posted by: rxs85 | May 12, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

From MLB.com:

Determining player performance streaks:
Consecutive Hitting Streaks: A consecutive hitting streak shall not be terminated if the plate appearance results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly shall terminate the streak.

Consecutive-Game Hitting Streaks: A consecutive-game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all the player's plate appearances (one or more) results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit. The player's individual consecutive-game hitting streak shall be determined by the consecutive games in which the player appears and is not determined by his club's games.

Consecutive Playing Streak: A consecutive-game playing streak shall be extended if the player plays one half-inning on defense, or if he completes a time at bat by reaching base or being put out. A pinch-running appearance only shall not extend the streak. If an umpire ejects a player from a game before he can comply with the requirements of this rule, his streak shall continue.

Posted by: comish4lif | May 12, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"A consecutive hitting streak shall not be terminated if the plate appearance results in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly shall terminate the streak."

What about a sac bunt where a run scores? My understanding is that a sac fly terminates counts as a plate appearance b/c among other things the batter gets an RBI.

Posted by: dclifer | May 12, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

dclifer, a sacrifice bunt is a sacrifice bunt, regardless whether it is a squeeze or another kind of bunt. It does not terminate a streak.

A sac fly that scores a run actually does not count as a plate appearance for some reason--but it does terminate a streak per Rule 10.24 as quoted above. As I understand it, the reason for this is not the RBI, but the fact that the player is not "trying" to make an out, as he is when he gives himself up to bunt.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 12, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"- Let Cabrera blow the evening 5/16 game against Philly."

No, let him blow the afternoon game. I have tickets for the evening game on Saturday, and it would really blow if I have to watch Cabrera.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 12, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Pardon me, I meant that a sac fly does not count as an at bat, though it does still serve to terminate a streak. A sac fly is of course counted as a plate appearance.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 12, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

They need a veteran pitcher or 2 that knows how to win and throw strikes. I suppose Cabrera was considered for that role? He doesn't seem to be working out. Neither is Olson.

Posted by: periculum | May 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I am laughing to myself trying to imagine a scenario where Zimmerman lays down four sac bunts in one game.

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The fact that a sac fly terminates the streak, presumably because the player does not "try" to give himself up, undercuts the whole notion of the sacrifice fly.

If we don't believe the hitter is trying to sacrifice himself, why is it scored that way? I've always thought it should be an out like any other, except that the batter gets the RBI.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 12, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera was considered for the role of "reclamation project." And while JimBo may be gone, we're still that kind of team.

Fischy, you earlier challenged me to give an example of a position player with a good glove and a good bat other than Zimmerman and (I think) Dukes. I might add Flores and say the jury is out on Hernandez, but overall my response is: you get my point.

For all the sturm und drang about relief pitchers, they really are the lowest priority for this team right now. Saul Rivera is just another example of how relief pitchers are unreliable quantities, so you can't ever count them as "in place."

Starting pitching and position players still need work and THAT is the long term reality for this team. Willingham and Johnson need to be moved. Kearns, too, if you can with his salary. We need more young starting pitching and more young position players.

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

506, who do you see at 1B if Johnson is traded? Marrero, Dunn, someone else? Just curious.
I agree that a quality starting pitching rotation wins a lot more games than a good first baseman, but we'll need somebody good there, particularly with how some of our infielders have been throwing to First.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

you know, i still don't understand why the concept of "eating" salary in a trade is as bad as people make it out to be. at least not if you get decent quality players in return.

is it better to, say, pay kearns $8m (or whatever it is) to play on the team and get nothing in return from a trade? or is it better to pay kearns $5-6m to play for someone else and have a prospect for the future?

is it better to pay cabrera $2.6m to lose games miserably or to pay cabrera $2.6m to stay away and have a young player pitch not so miserably?

yes, it sucks to "eat" the excess money, but they're going to pay it regardless of what they do. so do you pay lots of cash and have a better chance to lose or lots of cash and have a better chance to win (and/or develop young players for the future)?

Posted by: sec231 | May 12, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

As long as they keep pitching to Zimm, he's on everything. He's whacking the ball so hard it's scary. Using the whole field. Looks like an awfully short bat he's swinging, probably getting around quicker with it. Keeping both hands on it throughout the swing to get the extra pop.

Fingers crossed. Of course, if you start walking him, then you've got somebody on pace for 63 homers on deck. Dukes needs to go on a rotation with Kearns and Willingham, he's just too tense, getting jammed a lot because he's lunging a little. When you get tired, you grip the bat too hard and press. He'll be alright.
Just got to get the right mixture.

Posted by: Brue | May 12, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"506, who do you see at 1B if Johnson is traded? Marrero, Dunn, someone else? Just curious."

Dunn, and it's going to be uuugly. We have to hope that 40 home runs will act as high-fructose corn syrup to make us swallow something that's really not that good for us. A young first baseman should be near the top of the list of desires.

231, you're right about eating the money. If it nets a good prospect, then it is worth it. I'm not sure that Kearns does, though. But hanging on to him doesn't really increase our chances of getting a draft pick if we offer arbitration. Anyone thinks Kearns will even hit Type B? Not hopes, thinks.

Willingham, however, is a good deal for someone out there, so finishing the year with Dukes-Harris-Kearns and Maxwell is better than Harris-Maxwell-Dukes and Bernadina.

And then, Milledge could always come around, but I'm smart enough not to stir that pot around here.

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

how did denise debartolo york beat out dan snyder as the worst nfl owner in the si poll?

Posted by: surly_w | May 12, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

well, if you have depth in the OF, how "good" does the prospect need to be to eat some cash to move him? i mean, i don't expect someone amazing, but kearns himself isn't amazing, isn't going to be a part of the future of the team, and if he can net you a B level prospect if you eat cash, would you rather have the B level prospect or have willingham on the bench more this year?

Posted by: sec231 | May 12, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

you know, for all the criticism heaped on daniel snyder, he doesn't have the critical flaw of the worst owners. he's willing to spend to win and he *WANTS* to win desperately. he's making lots of mistakes and that's annoying as #(@*&$(@, but at least he wants to win and cares about winning.

that's what i tell myself whenever he does something stupid. it's still valid, even if it doesn't make me feel better. but there are definitely worse owners in the league, owners who don't care about winning that much. that's a worse crime, to me, than making aggressive mistakes.

mistakes of omission are worse than mistakes of commission.

Posted by: sec231 | May 12, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Fickle group...I thought St. Claire was well liked last year. He's been consistently, or so I thought, praised in the years past for doing a good job.

Gotta like Eckstein too.

Posted by: derwink | May 12, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Here's some promising news:

Washington Business Journal reports that the "Bullpen" food/drink/entertainment area will be opening in the Akridge-owned land opposite the half-complete Monument Realty project, at Half and N.

It ain't exactly Chinatown, but it's better than what's down there now.

Let's hope this "Bullpen" is better than the real one.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 12, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say the "Bullpen" will be opening for Friday's game.

The fact that it was opening was, without the date, old news.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 12, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I think we need to understand what the free agent market looks like for pitching next year. We don't want to make the same mistake again and start dismantling something that works to fix something else. Certainly either Kearns or Willingham needs to go. I think Kearns is the better all around player if he can keep his hitting something close to respectable. As the season unfolds on both guys get playing time and demonstrate good play we might at least get a relatively stable reliever.

After that I might be hesitant to screw with the lineup/defense too much (except to improve it). Especially since 2B is still an uncertain position and Dunn/Dukes are mistake prone. If NJ stays healthy and he's willing to sign a reasonable contract (and of course they need to start talking about that now) then maybe you keep him. If he wants a 5 year contract for loads more dough then I'd trade him.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 12, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Question for all: Is Zimmerman hitting the way he is because of:

1) contract issue being resolved.
2) maturity
3) having protection in the form of a six foot six inch outfielder/firstbaseman with a huge bat and an iron glove.

I want to say it is a combination of 2 and 3...

Posted by: TimDz | May 12, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of having an open-ended discussion thread on occasion. I also like ice cream in tiny batting helmets. That is all.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 12, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd say 1 and 3 and probably 3 more than 1 but the combo of 1 and 3 happening around the same time has proven to be a huge benefit for him. I don't think he's matured any more in the last year to make this kind of difference.

As much as he denied it, not having a contract bothered him I think. Which is a good example for the Lerners. Don't cave to every player who has FoF potential but don't drag it out for years either.

Dunn is having career numbers. Let's see if that holds up. If it doesn't then RZim might not get good stuff to hit.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 12, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"I want to say it is a combination of 2 and 3..."

I would agree and add #4: he's learned to stop swinging at breaking balls away.

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

@506: I considered that, but figured that as being part of the maturity aspect.

Posted by: TimDz | May 12, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

That, or Brue told him not to do it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 12, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

LOL, 1a.

The ice cream post cracked me up too. You're on a roll.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

How about a legally binding policy to never sign any more questionable re-treads. Jimbo himself was a questionable re-tread. Re-treads beget re-treads...

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 12, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I find myself checking this space every hour or so in hopes of a "Cabrera released" post.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 12, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

What's the story with Olsen? Hate to see a guy get hurt... but if we can get someone else in the rotation who is more effective....

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 12, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'd love for them to be able to keep both Kearns and Johnson for the next few years. Both bring a lot to the lineup, as long as they can stay healthy.

If we could get a good arm for Willingham and maybe a couple others, that would be phenomenal, but maybe I'm dreaming.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera serves a useful purpose. He eats up innings, sparing a developing arm.

What I don't understand about the Gnats is why they can't get a better outfield. Last season, their outfield was atrocious. This year, it's worse. It's Little League bad.

Why?

Pitching, I understand, takes years to develop. But competent outfielders are a dime a dozen.

Posted by: MartinZook | May 12, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"I find myself checking this space every hour or so in hopes of a "Cabrera released" post.

"Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 12, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse "

The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, apologies if already pointed out in previous posts. But I was looking back at Chico's excellent breakdown of previous 29-plus hitting streaks and thinking that Zim's work is all the more impressive for doing it on a team with significant dysfunctions--the heartbreaking losses, the bullpen meltdowns, Cabrera's endlessly frustrating (and just plain endless) outings, Drama Queen Milledge, Acta on the hot seat, empty stadiums, etc., etc., etc. Did any of the other hitters (maybe Castillo?) pull off their feats with so much negative energy around them? Thank goodness Kasten got him signed.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 12, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

That was Sheinin that broke down the hitting streaks, not Chico.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 12, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to think this team is close to being competent, maybe even good, but I wonder if we're kidding ourselves. I think we spend so much time watching that godawful bullpen that we downplay the fact that this team isn't very good defensively and the starting pitching's pretty mediocre. If you look at the rosters at AAA and AA, it's not clear that there's a lot more talent ready to come to the rescue. But, then again, I'm watching the team that shall not be mentioned playing the Rays. Nobody thought the Rays were ready to turn things around going into last year, but they patched up the bullpen, their young guys blossomed and look what happened. So, let's think big, shall we?

Posted by: baltova1 | May 12, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

pssst. kierkegaard. (whispering) that was sheinin's post.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

RE: Zimm's streak...all three plus he has just about hit 1500 PA, which is the number normally associated with a hitter reaching his expected potential.

RE: The SI survey...surveys are compilations of opinions and everyone has one, just like they have an exit portal. The Lerners haven't been owners long enough to be judged.

RE: Zimm's streak...I think that the fact that DiMaggio (2nd best hitter during his streak, as he was outhit by Teddy Baseball over that period) faced 58 pitchers over the 56 games, while Zimm has already faced 60 says a lot about what has happened to baseball.

RE: Off the subject...There is a thread on the SABR listserv about a game in 1926, at Griffith Stadium, that drew 6,000. It was between the KKK and a group from the Junior United Mechanics (presumably a rec league team a al FedLock) and another between the Klan and the "Hebrew All Stars", played in Arlington. Has anyone or their father heard about these games????

Posted by: Catcher50 | May 12, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I love what Boswell said to Stan Kasten when they got Cabrera. "haven't you seen the Orioles?"

Posted by: 6thandD | May 12, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I seriously can't believe Zman's streak. I never thought it would get this far.

As for bullpen help, I am a 100% believer that Josh Willingham should be a great person to trade for a decent to solid righty. I know he's not doing THAT well, but we just straight up need bullpenners right now. I don't trust any of those guys coming in... every pitch I'm thinking "here comes the homer".

Posted by: DudeItsEric | May 12, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Wish I knew how to get on the SABR listserv. I'm a member and submitted a request many moons ago, but never received a response/confirmation.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 12, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

The streak is not covered as much as it might be because the Nats are not winning.

The streak may also be helped because the Nats are not winning, because the pitchers have less reason to fear him. Guzman, Dunn and Johnson hitting well also are helping.

Posted by: tailwagger | May 12, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera to the bullpen and Mock back to AAA. Kensing back to AAA and Colome back to the Majors.

Cintron out and bring back JMax or Alberto Gonzalez.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | May 12, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

"It was between the KKK and a group from the Junior United Mechanics (presumably a rec league team a al FedLock)"

Who wore the home whites?

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

@Catcher50: Ted Williams was known as Teddy Ballgame, not Teddy Baseball.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 12, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Willingham is hot now and defensive liability. Johnson is solid defensively. And he hits. Kearns isn't great defensively but he has that contract.

Trade the 2 ex-Marlins for a closer.

Posted by: periculum | May 12, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

You won't get anything for Olsen. Willingham maybe. Kearns is solid defensively and a good clubhouse guy.

That's why I say look at the FA market for next year. It's a tough one for sure. You can't say if they'll get re-signed before the FA deadline and so you miss out.

Does anyone have faith that this FO can trade for someone decent anyway? So they deal NJ and yeah Jimbo the dipsh@! is gone. But what if the deal NJ for a loser?

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 12, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"Wish I knew how to get on the SABR listserv. I'm a member and submitted a request many moons ago, but never received a response/confirmation."

They probably have a made-up statistic to predict how often that kind of thing happens. If it's less than expected, they don't worry about it.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 12, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no, no! No trading the few pieces we have for bullpen pitchers! It's like trading a pint glass for crystal champagne flutes. When you use them every day to down your Bud Light, they're GONNA BREAK. They just do.

All pitchers break, but especially relief pitchers. If they were durable, they'd be starters.

You trade guys like Willingham and Johnson (during the 1/4 season he's not hurt) and Kearns for people like Justin Maxwell and Lastings Milledge (yes, I know) and Alberto Gonzales and Anderson Hernandez. Young position players with a lot of up side.

The good news is that Willingham, at least, ought to be worth a prospect that's a lot more sure-fire than anyone we've been able to acquire before (see mediocre list above). With injury history, I bet Johnson gets someone of their equal level.

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

there are no first baseman on the way or on fA. extend NJ. he's a good glove and great obp in the two hole.

sign lackey, strasburg and some bullpen guys. and lower the price of booze. and the stadium is so empty they should allow pets.

i'd like to hear a a couple dogs bark at a popup.

Posted by: longterm | May 12, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

In five seconds I found this list of first base prospects. Surely there are others

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/messages/chrono/13866276

1. Justin Smoak (TEX)

Strong wrists and bat speed give him excellent power, and should hit for BA with his fluid swing, use of the whole field, and plate discipline. Runs well for size and has feel for game. Defense is above average, featuring soft hands, agility and adequate arm strength.


2. Eric Hosmer (KC)

Strong wrists, fluid hitting mechanics, and plus bat speed generate power to all fields and is a disciplined hitter who will hit for BA. Below average runner, but has good instincts. Defense is solid, possessing arm strength and ability to scoop low throws.

3. Yonder Alonso (CIN)

Pure hitter with excellent bat speed, contact ability, and plate discipline, who won’t spend much time in minors. Drives ball hard to all fields and will hit for a high BA. Thick lower half leaves him with below average speed and still needs work in bringing defense to average level.

4. Lars Anderson (BOS)

Boston’s minor league offensive player of the year in ’08. Natural hitter with mature approach and keen batting eye. Promoted to Double-A in July and kept on hitting for BA and power. Glove is good enough for 1B, though will never be more than average. No plus tools outside of the bat, but that will be more than fine.


5. Freddie Freeman (ATL)

Strong-framed hitter with natural strength, bat speed, and uppercut swing that generates pole-to-pole power. Improved plate discipline should keep BA strong, but does tend to strike-out. Lacks speed/agility, but improved defense where he has soft hands and arm strength.

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Stammen for Cabrera - now!

Posted by: Favman | May 12, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@JohnRDC:
Why do you want to politicize discussions about baseball? We should be eternally thankful that it's such a common denominator and that plenty of strong opinions are regularly expressed here by people who keep their political persuasions to themselves.

Posted by: nats24 | May 12, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of listing the five top First Base prospects in MLB? Any of those 5 guys would cost an arm and a leg. HOsmer was the 3rd overall pick last year, Smoak was the 7th, and Alonso was the 11th. THose guys are not available. And if they were, they cannot be traded until 1 year after last year's draft date.

The SABR-listserve - if you saw the KKK game info there, that's the best place to look for more follow up. Someone will fill in the details. To get on the SABR-listserv, you have to be a SABR member. If you are, send in another request, and then make sure that the reply doesn't go in your spam box.

Zimmerman's success - 3 factors. A real hitting coach. Dunn as protection. And he's healthy. A lot of folks have forgotten that he got hurt in fall 2007, but came to camp "healed" - but wrist injuries like he had are known to take a long to before the wrist strength fully returns. It has clearly returned fully at this time.

Posted by: comish4lif | May 12, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

post of the day?

__________________________
They probably have a made-up statistic to predict how often that kind of thing happens. If it's less than expected, they don't worry about it.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 12, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"Wish I knew how to get on the SABR listserv. I'm a member and submitted a request many moons ago, but never received a response/confirmation."

Posted by: lowcountry | May 12, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Longterm, watch out for what you ask for. I just got an email from the Reds about "Bark in the Park" - yes, bring your pet to the game, next Tuesday against the Phils.

Posted by: jonb5 | May 12, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

@natsfan1a1:
the daily SABR List-serve had a discussion of the 9-2 force at the plate the other day.
To get on the SABR List-serve,
try an e-mail to:
SABR-L-request@APPLE.EASE.LSOFT.COM

Posted by: nats24 | May 12, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Lineup time. Looks like, in the case of Flores, "day-to-day" has the same meaning this year as it did last year. If he's not in the lineup tomorrow (day game after night game), then something is definitely up.

C Guzman SS
N Johnson 1B
R Zimmerman 3B
A Dunn LF
E Dukes CF
A Kearns RF
A Hernandez 2B
W Nieves C
J Zimmermann P

E Burriss 2B
E Renteria SS
P Sandoval 3B
B Molina C
R Winn LF
A Rowand CF
T Ishikawa 1B
N Schierholtz RF
M Cain P


Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"...except around the comfortable confines of the ballpark...he thinks of himself as 'Teddy Ballgame of the MFL.' That's the Major F***ing Leagues."

(I'm re-reading "Ball Four" and just read this the other day)

********************
@Catcher50: Ted Williams was known as Teddy Ballgame, not Teddy Baseball.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 12, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey johnRDC

I understand that you may be miffed that Zim hasn't gotten a lot of national press for his streak, but don't point fingers at the Post. They have mentioned everyday since it hit 20. Everyone knows a hitting streak isn't national news until it climbs over 30, so relax and let it continue.
Besides, the hockey series is much bigger news right now, considering the 3 best hockey players in the world will play to stay alive come Wednesday. The Caps are the only winner we have right now. They've slogged thru horrid seasons the past 5 years and deserve to hold onto the top spot in the press. You should turn on the game Wednesday and appreciate what we have.

Posted by: jmurray019 | May 12, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Props to 506 for a GREAT line:

"Dunn, and it's going to be uuugly. We have to hope that 40 home runs will act as high-fructose corn syrup to make us swallow something that's really not that good for us."

Posted by: HotNats | May 12, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Willingham can play first. And he's a big bat. Why isn't anyone talking about that?

Posted by: jmurray019 | May 12, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I love it when the discussion free-wheels like this.

Wanna pontificate on a couple things before everyone is totally in game mode ...

Meridian1: "If we don't believe the hitter is trying to sacrifice himself [on a sac fly], why is it scored that way? I've always thought it should be an out like any other, except that the batter gets the RBI."

- It's a tough call, and that's why the rule has changed many times over the years. At times, a flyout that moved a runner from second to third was a sac fly. At times, there was no such thing as a sac fly. (Just out plus RBI.) The way it is now is just the way it is now. I'm guessing it won't change any time soon, but I think it's still a question.

sec231: "you know, i still don't understand why the concept of "eating" salary in a trade is as bad as people make it out to be. at least not if you get decent quality players in return."

- That's because (I'm guessing) sportswriters don't have your firm grasp on the concept of sunk costs. It's crazy -- the other day, Boswell intimated that trading for a player with a "bad contract" is more palatable than "eating" some of Kearns's salary. It's the SAME THING! Either way, you're paying an amount of money you wouldn't have chosen to because of past decisions, and an intervening change in circumstances. Yargh.

Oh, and 506: thanks for keeping us straight on relievers. I need that reminder sometimes.

Okay, I think I'm done.

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 12, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The thing about Zim's streak is that so far he's making it look easy. I only remember one game where he went a couple at bats without a hit. It seems like he has at least 2 hits every game, and it looks effortless.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

jmurray, I can't say *why* for sure, but I can tell you that the team has never seriously discussed playing Willingham at first. I do have a guess: the guy has a problem with his back. They may feel that a position where common nicknames might include "Scoop" and "Stretch" might not be the best place to put a guy like that.

Oh, and I can also tell you that he's only got 2 games (3 innings) at first in the bigs. So it's not like he's put in oodles of time there, and everyone just forgot.

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 12, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Atta boy, ZIMM!!!!

Posted by: HotNats | May 12, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I am drinking the Kool-Aid ... Zim is gonna hit in 100 straight games!

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 12, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Whadya know! He did it in the first again! It's a great way to start the game.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

30!!

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

in 15 years zim will be able to hold any elected office in the area

Posted by: bford1kb | May 12, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I can go to sleep now. 30 it is. Thanks for doing it early, Zim!

Posted by: jmurray019 | May 12, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Zim is class!

Posted by: cabraman | May 12, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

nah, c'mon jmurray. stay up and watch with us. it's the least we can do for the guy!

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I would love to, but I have a meeting at the a**crack of dawn and I'll be at the hockey game tomorrow night. Gotta rest up. Win or lose tomorrow, I'm going to need the rest tonight.

Posted by: jmurray019 | May 12, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Man, Blue is squeezing the hell out of the plate tonite...

Posted by: HotNats | May 12, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Have a good one then, jmurray, and definitely enjoy the game tomorrow eve, definitely jealous!

Posted by: HotNats | May 12, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

we love boosting OBP. COME ON man make them earn it. Lets get those runs back.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | May 12, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

What's the delay?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I missed it. was that run down between 2nd and 3rd or 1st and 2nd?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Dukes? I only have Gameday, and I'm getting no info.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I missed it. was that run down between 2nd and 3rd or 1st and 2nd?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 10:40 PM |

Between 2nd and 3rd.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Dukes was apparently feeling ill earlier tonight and was a late scratch, hence Willie Harris starting in center.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Dukes is sick, apparently.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Dukes? I only have Gameday, and I'm getting no info.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

*************

I think gameday had dukes in the lineup in error and just made the correction to harris.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, ok, it was mixed up on Game Day and ESPN. Thanks for the update.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

heh, heh. in these away games listening to the audio, it takes a couple innings for me to remember that crowd moans=good news; crowd cheers=bad news.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

LOL NN!

Posted by: HotNats | May 12, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Zim is now the first entry on the mlb homepage. makes a mother proud!

Posted by: NatsNut | May 12, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Austin Kearns officially STILL sucks. Shorten your swing and get the runner in from 3rd with no outs. A-hole.

Posted by: kfisher32 | May 12, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Two things, why is Kearns playing over a guy that has 3 HRs in the last 2 games?

Section506 -We should have drafted Smoak last year instead of Crow, the guy is a stud.

Posted by: bigcountry22 | May 12, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Does Guz now hold the longest walk-less streak? Molina walked tonight...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Znn, please don't pull a Cabrera...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

And Bob Carpenter is on his bat rant again...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Man, it's frustrating.

Come on Nats. Get back in this thing.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I really don't like the pitch calling with J. Zimm. Dibble is right about this. Way too many pitches down, especially down and away. Look at the way they worked Renteria. They're 0-2 and then keep going down and away until he hits one. Especially in a pitcher's park like this, why not throw high fastballs, especially to guys who don't have that much power? I don't know who to blame (Manny, St. Claire, the catchers) but they have to work on pitch selection.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 12, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Just to back up my point, look at how Cain just pitched Guzman (who admittedly swings at everything). Fastball up and in, fastball in. He struck out NJ the last time up with a fastball in.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 12, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

One last rant on this. How does Cain get out Zimmerman? Fast ball, up and in.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 12, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Is there a Strasburg in next year's draft?? Warm up the scouting department, number 1 pick here we go..again.

Posted by: jfromPG | May 12, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Nats. Let's get a couple runs in the 6th.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I hope Dibble stays with the Nats for a long time. He knows what he's talking about, and he doesn't pull punches.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Cain is toying with our guys, which is pretty impressive considering how good our lineup is. He's pinpointing his balls all over the strike zone. It would be fun to watch if it wasn't so painful to see the Nats struggle.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I hope Dibble stays with the Nats for a long time. He knows what he's talking about, and he doesn't pull punches.
******************************************

Yeah, I really like Dibble. Last night, he called out the Nats for playing "Sweet Caroline" and said that it's the Red Sox's song and we need to find a new one. Yeah Rob!

Posted by: BGinVA | May 12, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Cain's pitching a really nice game. The Giants offer a lesson to our front office. It's great to score runs but it's better to have quality pitching and steady fielding. That's a pretty lousy lineup but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants stay in contention all year, with that rotation.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 12, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

"Sweet Caroline" was Davidson's song when they made their NCAA tournament run to the Elite 8 last year, too. Popular tune.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

can they come back from 4 runs down? i hope so...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 12, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Cintron? Great...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

"Does Guz now hold the longest walk-less streak? Molina walked tonight..."

Yep; Molina choked, so Guz is now the last man standing in the no-walk category.

That was the trivia question tonight on MASN (who's the only player left with over 75 ABs this year and no walks). Bob and Rob had no idea.

Posted by: joebleux | May 13, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'll be darned. Cintron gets a hit!!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Attaboy Cintron. Monkey is off your back. Now, get hot.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

"...and he has a batting average."

I love Charlie & Dave.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

NICK!!!!!!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Nick!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Nick the Stick...WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Man, I thought that was going to be a double into the gap, and it just kept flying.

Beautiful!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Take that, you Cintron haters. Brother's only 29 games behind Zimmerman...

Posted by: baltova1 | May 13, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

The problem is: It's bullpen time for the Nats.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

OMG. I leave for, what, 1.5 minutes, to wash my face and I miss the NJ homer! Grrrr.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, NN, you might need to call it a night.
--
OMG. I leave for, what, 1.5 minutes, to wash my face and I miss the NJ homer! Grrrr.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2009 12:08 AM

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 13, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh shoot. It's so much easier to go to bed when we're down by 4. :)

Posted by: JennX_ | May 13, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Without the two unearned runs, we'd be up by one right now. I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Story of our season, BG.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 13, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Whoops....lucky for us.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Man, that pitch was right down the pipe. Bummer.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Willie's a fighter up there.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I love it!!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Way to go, Belli! Dang, this offense is fun to watch!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Reasons we like Dibble - because he describes Belliard's hit off his shattering bat as no problem, "died a hero." Beautiful.

Posted by: janus4444 | May 13, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

YES!!!! Some great "small ball" this inning!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

WOOOHOOOOO!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Great job Nick!
Guz's hit was cheap, but we've lost plenty of games on cheap, stupid hits this year. We deserve it.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Hoo-boy, the 8th inning is making it worth it to stay up late. C'mon, RZim!

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

love it love it love it!!!

Posted by: HotNats | May 13, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Alright Nats!!

Love losing sleep over this team!

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Can the bullpen record six more uneventful outs? Please?

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

No quit in these Nats.
C'mon 'pen.

Posted by: patchss | May 13, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

"what is this club's fascination with fat middle infielders? vidro, guzman, belliard."

Yes! Revenge of the Chunky Infielders!!

Posted by: joebleux | May 13, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Earn your money, bullpen. You can do this.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

come on bullpen. Once.

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

"Can the bullpen record six more uneventful outs? Please?"

...now that's just not our way...

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I'll answer my own question: NO.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Oops.

Posted by: patchss | May 13, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

really?

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

At least Wells is throwing strikes.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

dangit

Posted by: HotNats | May 13, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

yikes... 7-6

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

4 outs

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

3 outs

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

whew...half way there...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Attaboy Dunn. Nice grab (I was nervous).

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Okay, Dunnkey, it's your time...

Posted by: HotNats | May 13, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

I had to cover my eyes when I saw Dunn circling under that fly ball!

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

come on Dunn! one more run

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

One of the great things about living in Idaho (besides the lack of traffic and taxes) is that it's 10:50 right now, not nearly 1:00 a.m. for you folks back home.

When the Nats play at home, I'm done watching the game by about 7:30 and I'm off doing other things.

Posted by: rushfari | May 13, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Rough night for AK.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

You can't spell Kearns without "K"

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Ok, here we go Nats fans. I wish I could say I was confident about this.

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Le closer du jour: Mssr. Beimel

Posted by: fischy | May 13, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Let's go, JB!!!

Posted by: HotNats | May 13, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

I admit I was wrong. I thought AK would be better than this...but he did make that awesome force play at home this weekend....

Posted by: fischy | May 13, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

1 down....

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

2....

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

2 down...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

1 to go.

Posted by: patchss | May 13, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

crap.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

There has to be drama, can anyone remember the last time the Nats had a 1-2-3 9th with the lead?

Posted by: patchss | May 13, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Ugh. If it weren't for bad luck, the Nats would have none at all.
C'mon, Beimel, close it out!

Posted by: patchss | May 13, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Nothing is ever easy with our bullpen, is it?

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh, God, Hanrahan's getting up!

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I need a defibrillator...

Posted by: HotNats | May 13, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

oh please not hanrahan. please.

Posted by: gretchenrose | May 13, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

a walk? i can't even think of anything smart alecky. i'm speechless.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Two more strikes ... c'mon, Joe, leave Hanrahan in the 'pen.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

2-2...here goes nuthin'

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Shoot!

Posted by: patchss | May 13, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

D'oh!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 13, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

1 frigging strike away.
I really think these guys have a mental block when they pitch the ninth.
Gotta come back tomorrow (later today).

Posted by: patchss | May 13, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Good thing this is another wasted year for the Nats. Otherwise, this loss would be a real heartbreaker.

Posted by: fischy | May 13, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

ohfergawdssake

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

*puts head in hands*

And he's suppposed to be the reliable one.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 13, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

At least they are consistent. Where's the Golden Gate when I need it....guess I'll have to jump off the couch instead. Unreal. With any semblance of a bullpen, this team is playing .500 ball.

Posted by: jfromPG | May 13, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

What does it take for us to win a friggin' game??????

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Someday, we'll look back and laugh about all this.

But not now....*#*#&*#&*

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Can any of you pitch?

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 13, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

How many games have we lost when we led going into the ninth inning?

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 13, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Ray Knight is right...the umpire was horrible in the last innning...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

bulletin for immediate release.....All Washington National relief pitchers will be receiving christmas cards from each National League baseball club.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 13, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

2 quick outs, nobody on, and we STILL LOSE!!! I GIVE UP.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

agreed BG. Not sure if it made the difference, but Biemel got NO calls. The ump totally changed his zone in that last inning.

Posted by: bdevil02 | May 13, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Tonight was the nail in the coffin. Why din't they make any moves today. Heads have got to roll. Really, really awful baseball!!!!!

Posted by: natsguy | May 13, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I picked a bad night to stop smoking

Posted by: jfromPG | May 13, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Et tu Joe B.?

Posted by: Section222 | May 13, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Definitely bad umping in the 9th. Yet another way for us to lose.

Waiting for JZim to shake out his MLB noobie jitters (if you want to call it that). 3ER and 8SO? Sheesh... he's either got 'em wiffin' or hittin'.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 13, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

This "closer by committee" is not working. In fact, that terms rally means that there's no one qualified for the job, and they'll just throw different people out at each opporunity and hope it works out. Our number one priority right now should be seeking a trade for a major league closer.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I love you such much Nationals. Why do you continue to hurt me so much. If not for the number 30 I would be done with team for the year.

Posted by: mastroj | May 13, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Sure...like everyone has a quality closer just hangin around to be traded. good luck.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 13, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

And who would you trade? It's either NJ or bucket load of minor league talent to attract a worthy closer. No one else is a candidate.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 13, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

We had won 5 of 6. I was starting to believe.
Why do I do this to myself?

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Ya gotta believe

Posted by: fischy | May 13, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

You guys are right...there are no obvious solutions. I'm just ranting, but something needs to be done. Hmm...maybe we can steal an idea from the movie "Major League" and put a cardboard cutout of Ted Lerner in the clubhouse. After each curly W, the guys can peel off a piece of clothing and, oh, nevermind...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 13, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

See you guys tomorrow.
Martis will get us a win.
I still believe!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Listen folks, this is godawful painful this year, but here's the thing. All of this is palatable if it is happening in the context of an honest attempt by management (FO & Acta) to improve this ball club, even if it is for next year. My problem is I DO NOT believe this to be the case. I think far too many decisions are being made on the basis of finance and covering one's own a$$, etc. and there is a power struggle going on between Acta and the front office. This, NOT OUR RECORD, is what makes our team a joke. Case in point:

1) Cabrera obviously should not be starting. Anyone who still defends this decision (inning-eater my a$$) has lost all credibility. This is a financial decision not to send him down.
2) I don't want to hear any more crap about "rushing players." Martis and JZ are 22/23... but you can't bring Stammen up because it would be rushing him? He is 24 or 25. Again a financial decision based on arbitration clock.
3) The OF situation has been complete mismanagement. It is my belief that they are playing Kearns and Willingham based on developing tradability rather than production. They played Kearns heavily early on because he was the trade bait - he was going to be a FA. Willingham is locked up for a bit. They put Dunn at 1st from time to time for WHAT??? Huge defensive liability. Why would you bench Nick for Dunn at 1B... it is all about tradability, not wins. They are trying to convince themselves that Nick is expendable.
4) On top of all of this, Acta is an inadequate manager. There are numerous tactical, in-game decisions to cite as proof, but the bigger proof is his utter, complete unwillingness to show a freakin' BACKBONE and STAND UP FOR HIS PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!. When is the last time you saw Manny argue a strike call... or argue ANYTHING for that matter. Dude is spineless and eventually spineless managers lose the respect of their players, deserved or not.

I could go on for days, but bottom line is this club has been built on a foundation of out-of-whack priorities. Winning is not prized above all else, profit is. You can plug in all kinds of nice pieces, but if you are plugging them into a bum switchboard it is just spinning your wheels. The Lerners must realize that only WINNING=PROFIT.

Posted by: kfisher32 | May 13, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Cyron Martis...out last hope to win the west.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 13, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

nice one. made me stop crying for a minute:

Et tu Joe B.?

Posted by: Section222 | May 13, 2009 1:15 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Tracee

Could you give Steve Fainaru, who covered the game, keys to NJ for a new post? This was one of the most gut-wrenching losses I've seen this team have. Can the Nats petition to have games shortened to eight innings? As the song says "It's gotta get better, cause it can't get worse."

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 13, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

"if you ain't got no bullpen, you ain't got nothin,'" Lawrence Peter Berra, manager of the 1973 Mets who overcame the struggles of the relief pitchers to win the National League pennant.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 13, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Mike Macdougal
does anyone have any clue if they are thinking about bringing him up from syracuse and inserting him into closer role
i know he did it few years back as an allstar - but has gone through some rough patches recently. but he cant be worse then their current options

Posted by: djrupture | May 13, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

I think far too many decisions are being made on the basis of finance and covering one's own a$$, etc.

-----------------

I don't think it's finance after the Texiera offer and the Zimmerman signing, and from what Rizzo has said, he has the green light to make trades from the Lerners. I think the National just had a complete and total huckster in Jim Bowden, and it's looking more that way with the bullpen decisions this past winter..

Posted by: bromisky | May 13, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I just woke up to get the late-night disaster recap. Not again? Is it just me or has JB not been the same since he tweaked that leg/hip/whatever? He got rocked in his one rehab stint, and has been hit hard in practically every appearance. And I thought he was out great hope. Utter dismay. Go get 'en, Martis. We need another complete game win.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 13, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

So it wasn't just a bad dream after all. We really did have 2 outs with nobody on in the 9th and still lost the game.

Can I go back to bed?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 13, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

kfisher, I got your answer for what's going on here. The pitchers in the bullpen are bad. As in, not good.

Tada.

It's not a game, no one's trying to cheat anyone, they just got bad talent because they spent their time and resources investing in position players (barely) and starting pitching.

And that is working.

Rome wasn't built in a day. But we also didn't have the agony of 24 hour sports coverage to watch the barbarians burn and pillage every night until it was completed.

Posted by: Section506 | May 13, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Good gamer by Steve Fainaru.

We're getting better gamers than games these days.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 13, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"We're getting better gamers than games these days."

That's because our bullpen doesn't write the gamer.

Posted by: Section506 | May 13, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Manny Acta sez "We have tried everybody and their cousins, and we still can't get anybody to put a zero up in the eighth and the ninth innings. And that's really just killing us."

Doesn't A-Rod have a cousin? A-Rod's under contract to the Yankees, but his cousin's not. Maybe they could try him.

Posted by: GalRevelsInPee | May 13, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see them catch one.

---

i'd like to hear a a couple dogs bark at a popup.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 13, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Gotta come up with something positive here...well, Beimel stuck around to talk to the press and said "I've just got to bounce back tomorrow." That's the attitude, and he at least (I presume) is someone who can do it. Keep up the encouragement, USMC53. And geez, Zim's streak--talk about positive.

Posted by: Section109 | May 13, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

After reading through, thanks to those who shared SABR tips. I do receive news update emails and newsletters but have not had success as far as the listserv. Will try again.

Re. the game, the only bright spot this a.m. was learning that Zimmerman extended the streak. Could not believe that Money Joe Beimel blew it. And gave up a homer to boot. I'm hanging my hopes on "Babe" Martis to salvage a win before they head home. I have a feeling that there may be a pitching shakeup after their return. Not sure what there is left to shake, though.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 13, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Another positive is our offense, 109. We should be winning a lot more games if not for pitching/defensive woes.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 13, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

The one thing we can be thankful about is the fact that Daniel Snyder does not own the Nats....at least I don't think he does. Yes NN...you can go back to bed. It's all a bad dream anyway for now.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 13, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Another positive is our offense, 109. We should be winning a lot more games if not for pitching/defensive woes.

Posted by: natsfan1a1
----------
Agreed.

Posted by: Section109 | May 13, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

how come all the national "media coverage" i've seen so far of zimmerman's streak is them simply stating "it's gonna be tough now cause we are gonna start paying attention." they basically say the story is themselves. bunch of useless a-holes.

Posted by: longterm | May 13, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen the SI article listing the best and worst owners in sports? Well this should not be a surprise but Lerner is listed as the fifth worst owner in MLB. Angelos is listed as the worst.

Posted by: mjames0 | May 13, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Another positive: Zimm's attitude. From today's gamer:
"Asked if he'd like to carry the streak back to Washington, he said: 'I think I'd rather win, but it would be fun.'"

It's great that he signed that 5-year deal and has said he wants to play his whole career here. Hopefully they'll get him some pitching; he deserves to play for a contender.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 13, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

This team has the beginnings of a solid core of players. Dunn, Zimmerman, Dukes, are the focus of the offense with Guzman, Flores, and Willingham supporting. Note, I don't puts Johnson in the core.

Johnson is the poster child for national health insurance. He should be dealt for a young, power hitting corner outfielder or first baseman. Johnson can't and won't ever stay healthy, he should be traded.

The starting pitching will be better in two ways. First, Lanann, Martis and Zimmermann will mature and improve. Second, Cabrera will go at some point because he just isn't any good. Third, Strasburg will be the ace sometime next season. Finally, if Stammen or Olson are the fifth starter, that's a pretty solid rotation.

The bullpen is bad but its only game or season away from being good. Relievers are inconsistent, they always will be. Its tough to build a consistently good pen.

I would go young to improve the pen. I would release Wells. He wasn't effective when he had stuff, now I'm not sure he has any stuff. Releasing Wells would open a roster slot for Stammen, if the Nationals didn't want him to start right now.

I would also send Kensing down. He just isn't that good. I would then look at JD Martin. He's a former first round pick and is still only 25. Although I haven't seen him pitch, he's always posted good minor league numbers.

They may want to do the same thing with Detwiler, who has to be on the 25 man roster next year. Let Beimel or Hinckley go and bring up Detwiler for the pen.

Earl Weaver was a big believer in getting young pitchers MLB experience by working them out of the pen for a year or two. The Nats could do that with their youngsters at AAA.

The Nationals aren't as bad as their record indicates. They just need to go young and forget the veteran presence, its not like they aren't on pace to lose 108 games this year.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | May 13, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

1. Justin Smoak (TEX)

Strong wrists and bat speed give him excellent power, and should hit for BA with his fluid swing, use of the whole field, and plate discipline. Runs well for size and has feel for game. Defense is above average, featuring soft hands, agility and adequate arm strength.
__________________________________

We passed on him last year, opting for Crow instead. sigh.

Posted by: dclifer | May 13, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The Nats should sign Pedro and go to a six-man rotation. Pedro's most effective when he has plenty of rest. That would ensure that Zimmermann doesn't throw too many innings in a lost year. Once the Nats add Strasburg, a six-man rotation would also save him innings. Strasburg would replace the abomination that is Cabrera. Theoretically, if guys pitch every sixth day, they could go longer and potentially avoid the disaster that is the Nats' bullpen. Yes, this would take an arm out of the bullpen, but it's not like anyone's getting people out these days.

Posted by: rucks35 | May 13, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

New post, y'all.

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 13, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

how bout MIKE MACDOUGAL

Posted by: djrupture | May 13, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Might as well go back to Hanrahan, since they all stink.

Posted by: rbelleisle | May 13, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Is Dunn ill? Why didn't Acta bat him when the RH pitcher came in? The Giants have been pitching around Zim all day to get to .180 Willingham, whom Manny put in behind him. Thanks, Manny. I am SO disgusted.

Posted by: wpost-rml | May 13, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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