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The Streaking Nats

Sometimes, streaks tell the storylines. I'll give the ones to watch for this afternoon, in no particular order:

The Hitting Streak: Ryan Zimmerman's now stands at 27. If he can push it to 30, that's probably the point where the national media starts taking notice. Last season, no MLB player had a streak even this long. Zimmerman saved it last night with his final at bat in the eighth; in retrospect, the home run he hit also saved his team, because the Nats needed that second run as insurance. (By the way, this was just the third time that Zimmerman needed his final at bat to continue the streak.)

The Homer Streak: OK, it's pretty modest. But Adam Dunn has homered in two straight against his former team. Yesterday, he absolutely demolished a feather-soft pitch from Doug Davis, sending it 442 feet the opposite way. Dunn already has nine homers. Last year, the Nats' team leader had 14.

The Walk-less Streak: Incredible. Cristian Guzman has 83 at bats... and no walks. Can he get to 100? Can he get to 250? Maybe he can survive the whole season without drawing a base on balls? Maybe, in something akin to a golf handicap, umps can send him to first when he gets to ball 3. But take note -- Alex Cintron, a former D'back, is starting at SS today. Guzman might come off the bench in the later innings.

The Opponents' Streak: The D'backs have lost three in a row. The offense is really ugly out here in the desert. Over its last eight games, Arizona has not scored more than four runs. The Diamondbacks have a .226 team average and a .302 OBP.

OK, now for some quick-hit news... Catcher Jesus Flores, with a right shoulder contusion, is getting the day off today, as planned; Manager Manny Acta said he's day-to-day... Washington has released Class AAA relief pitcher Gary Glover... Acting GM Mike Rizzo said that reliever Jorge Sosa, currently finishing out a 50-game minor league suspension for amphetamines, will be eligible to play for the Chiefs starting on May 22. Keep an eye on Sosa. He could quickly be a part of the mix in the big league bullpen.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 10, 2009; 3:46 PM ET
 
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Next: Another High-Scoring Loss

Comments

YEAH ZIM!!

Posted by: JennX_ | May 10, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Ryan!

What's with the pink bad and armbands? Are they really pink, or is it the lighting?

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | May 10, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The pink bats are a nod to Mother's Day.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 10, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Come on Zimm!! TWENTY-EIGHT AND TWENTY-NINE OUT OF THIRTY SAYS BOB

What? The pink is for Mother's Day/breast cancer cure>

Posted by: Brue | May 10, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Geez... Call me naive, but I don't get how a major leaguer can't field that ball. I know Dunn's strength is his offense, but yeesh.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 10, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

>Geez... Call me naive, but I don't get how a major leaguer can't field that ball. I know Dunn's strength is his offense, but yeesh

I think that some people can't get a decent bead on a ball when they're running and their head is bobbing and so is the ball. Dunn's excuse for his errors at first are a lack of agility. He could probably lose some weight imo>

Other than that, it's poor concentration and taking your eye off the ball right before it hits your mitt.

Posted by: Brue | May 10, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Dunn also uses one hand when there are times he should use two hands to make an easier catch. It's like he's stabbing at the ball. If you keep your throwing hand involved, you don't stab as much. You cradle the ball more.

Posted by: Brue | May 10, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, JennX_ and Brue. I figured it was something like that, but tuned in late and wasn't sure. It's a nice tribute.

Posted by: LoveThoseNats | May 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Where's Dibble? Did he get fired or something? He has a 3-year contract.

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 10, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Dibble's just off. I think they mentioned it earlier but he dipped out in LA to see his family.

Posted by: mrm0to | May 10, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Dunn! (Not that I'm complaining, but once you're behind Dunn 3-0, why would you pitch to him with 2 outs and a one-run lead?!) Thanks, D-backs!

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Also: J-Willy!

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Big time lead off double Zim! Coming off a sick play at 3rd base...

FoF

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Double by Zim. =)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

DUNN!!! 2 RUN BOMB

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

ADAM DUNN HOMERS AGAIN! 4-3 NATS!

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Okay. Dunn is forgiven. :)

Posted by: JennX_ | May 10, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman's power is gone and his production declines every year. He's proving to be a league-average 3rd baseman, with all the throwing errors, and he may never get back to 100 RBI. It would be a big mistake to sign this guy long-term, believe me.

Wait,... what?

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

natinbeantown: uh who wrote that?

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Keep your seatbelts fastened kids, because we're in for a long ride on the bullpen rollercoaster. Olsen's done after this inning since he's near 100 pitches and due up 2nd next inning. And, get ready, it's Mock up in the pen. It may be a wild ride...

Posted by: BGinVA | May 10, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

and Olsen blows it before the bullpen even gets a chance :(

Posted by: BGinVA | May 10, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Rachel216: Several commenters who don't post very much lately, or who have moved on to firing Manny and demoting 2/3 of the pitching staff.

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Gosh... Olsen you are killing us today. Between you and Cabrera, I don't know who I'm more anxious to see gone next year.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

how hurt is Olsen?

Posted by: swang30 | May 10, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Man, that's two CHEAP infield hits for these jokers.
I think it's just not our day. I guess anytime Olsen is on the mound and Dukes, Flores, and Guzman are all sitting, there's a good chance it's not going to be our day.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Mock looked good out there

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

This pitching staff the collective bunch of them sans Martis and Zimmermann are a bunch of dumb azz's they consistently get ahead 0-2 on hitters and let them off the hook and why in the name of Bob Gibson would Olsen throw Byrne a fastball out and over the plate i can see why the Marlins tubed his azz you give him a lead...AGAIN!! and he turns around gives it right back, the D-Backs are ripe for sweep and Olsen like some of our other starters can't stand prosperity.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 10, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree w/ Knight. Bunt.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

YES!! NATS TAKE THE LEAD BACK! 6-5!

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

For those of us who can't watch, is this one of those "whose batters want it more" or "whose pitchers want it less" kind of games? The back-and-forth is driving me to drink. (Well, I was already drinking, but the game is so dramatic...)

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if our bullpen can hold. =)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"The Walk-less Streak: Incredible. Cristian Guzman has 83 at bats... and no walks."

Um, that's not a good streak though. Walks are good. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

OMG that was some serious bad luck.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 10, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice job bullpen, you suck! We keep giving you leads but you keep blowing it again and again.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I have no clue why Bergmann is in Syracuse. None.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Damn, it's just so frusturating knowing what this team's record could be if their bullpen was just average

Posted by: amorris525 | May 10, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

the diamondbacks suck on offense, yet they have 9 runs already.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

wow...I leave the room for ten minutes to take a shower, and I come back and we trailing 9-6? I don't know what happened, but our bullpen $uck$.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 10, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Clippard, Berggman, Bynum up please.
Cintron, Kensing, and Mock away please.

Posted by: jonfhoffman | May 10, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The thing most frustrating is the offense keeps giving them a lead, even though it's just a 1 run lead, but it's still a lead. And they keep blowing it. Yes, this bullpen blows.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 10, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I love how every time a new reliever comes out I think, "who's this guy?" Don't recognize any of them.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 10, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Starting to wonder if he should be managing this team. I'm watching and with 1B open, he has Kensing throw a 3-0 fastball down the middle (maybe he didn't call it down the middle) to one of the hottest D-Back hitters - Snyder. You walk the guy and set up the force with the rookie hitting next. Also, he overworks the heck out of the pen, but when Kensing allows the first 3 to get on, he doesn't take him out in tie game (still at that point)?

Oh, and Cintron needs to go,
Cabrera needs to go to the pen, then cut him if he can't do it there,
Bring Bergmann and Clippard up,
Send Kensing down (even though he was a victim of some bad luck).

Posted by: goexpos2 | May 10, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

They lose this game and Manny needs to be fired why would you not walk Snyder after the count runs to three and oh and set up a force and why would you bring in Kensing or whatever the hell his name is, he has shown absolutely nothing since he was accquired, Mock got the last two outs the previous inning why not let him start the next inning? this was a sweep for the taking the D-Backs are the worst hitting team in the NL and this pitching staff has turned them into the 27 Yankees this is demoralizing you come back time and again and because of a horrific bullpen and dumb azz strategy we lose to these bumms.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 10, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Kensing has been ineffective since acquiring him. I'm all for continuing to look under rocks for guys that can contribute, but he's not worked out terribly well yet.

goexpos2: Cabrera would be an absolute disaster in the 'pen. We need guys with solid mental approach who can throw strikes. Cabrera's not that. (And to be honest, Bergmann's never shown us he is, either).

We can b**** about the 'pen all we want, but unless we can start getting starters to give us 7IP at least some of the time, we're going to lose a lot of games late.

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Come on Cintron. How 'bout your first hit, right here??

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Too bad they had to pull Villone. I like that guy.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Dang...Nieves crushed that ball - just a few feet foul unfortunately.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 10, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, FLOP!

Posted by: JennX_ | May 10, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Good job Lopez.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

haha...Lopez's error lets a run in and keeps us alive!!!

Posted by: BGinVA | May 10, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

We never should have released Felipe Lopez.

*grin*

Posted by: wigi | May 10, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

FLop!

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Was there a double switch when Guz came in? Is he staying in at SS (I hope)?

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay, this is a big one. Nick-Zimm-Dunn-Hammer. Let's tie it up, boys!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Logan Kensing stinks

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

If (when!) we get there, you PH Kearnsy for Willie, right? Or Dukes?

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if that ridiculous light in that stupid stadium affected how well Zimm and Dunn saw those pitches.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Who calls the pitches these guys are throwing? If its the catcher, then he needs to learn what is best in any situation. Not down the middle with a 3-0 count and first base open. Also, how long before everyone quits kissing Manny's butt and starts holding him responsible for the way these guys are playing.

Posted by: orneryone2 | May 10, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

orneryone2: you mean "held responsible" for winning the last 5 of 6 til today, including 3 on the road?

Manny can't make retread and low-talent releivers hit spots any more than Yo-Yo Ma could play my garden hose.

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

and today they revert to their minor league ways. it does no good to score 10 runs a game if your pitching staff gives up 11.

Posted by: orneryone2 | May 10, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

orneryone: I grant you that, for sure. What part of that is Manny's fault, though? Do you think better management would get a better result out of the guys on this pitching staff? Eric Wedge is a damn fine manager, and the Tribe has imploded for many of the same reasons.

Posted by: natinbeantown | May 10, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Even with Olsen's typical below-average performance, we could have won this one if Kensing hadn't gotten shelled.
Kensing down, Bergmann up.

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* I guess when Jimbo kept saying the focus is on pitching, pitching, pitching I guess he didn't mean GOOD pitching. These guys are embarassing.

Olsen throwing 80mph "fast" balls little leaguers could hit. Then tomorrow we've got DCab.

God help us...

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 10, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Send Harris. Cintron is a DP waiting to happen.

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Come on Guz!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Dah... Oh well.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | May 10, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow's another day.
Randy Johnson's ERA (5.68) this season is worse than Cabrera's, so maybe we get the SF series off to a good start, despite DCab pitching for us.

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

That was certainly a seesaw of a game. A sweep would have been nice but we still have a winning record on the trip so far. Take one from SFO and we'd ensure at least .500 for the trip, which would seem like a pretty good trip to me. The West Coast has not always been so kind to us.

Also, how much better is our offense this year? This team can really put some runs on the board and doesn't seem to ever think that they're out of it.

Also, Cleveland lost and has a lock on worst team in baseball for another day.

Also, re. Snyder, I believe Ray Knight said he thought Manny had held up 4 fingers when the count reached 3-0 but that Nieves hadn't seen it, FWIW.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 10, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the Zimmster extended his steak early (and so did Guz, late).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 10, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

streak, I meant. I must be hungry...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 10, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

NATSFAN1A1: If you want to be a competitive team you want to go 7-1 or a minimum of 6-2, today's game was there for the taking its doubtfull that we'll beat the Giants three straight not with that pitching staff so the D-Backs series was an oppourtunity lost, as far as the bases loaded situation Manny should have been emphatic "if" what you've heard actually took place Synder should have been walked no if and or butts, this team fought and scrapped its collective azz off today and to have that effort undermined by azz backward managing is stupid.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 10, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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