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Clouds, Rain, Sickness, Lineups (Con't)

Weather update, first:

Right now - 3:55 p.m. - the tarp has just come off the field. An on-schedule start is looking unlikely, but maybe there's a chance. The rain looks, per Steinberg (sitting next to me), "steady." AP writer Joseph White just scanned the hour-by-hour forecast and said, half-muttering, "Rain. Rain. Rain."

But - there's a good window from about 5:15 to 8:30 where we might have some luck. Can two games be played tonight? Not sure. But let's cross our fingers for at least one.


A little health update...

Sunday night, just hours after hitting his eighth home run in 24 games, outfielder Josh Willingham started to feel sick. By the next day, he felt sicker than ever before. His muscles ached. He felt no strength. Willingham even felt a little scared. "You bang your knee up in a baseball game as an athlete you can kind of take that," the outfielder said. "But you have something that you're not really familiar with and don't know what it is and have a hard time figuring out what it is, it's hard to take."

Only today did Willingham reveal the extent of his sickness -- a viral infection that still has him out of the lineup for the scheduled doubleheader. Though Willingham said his condition has improved today, he still doesn't know when he'll be able to play again. He described weakness and muscle soreness as the primary symptoms.

"It's a case where we're just waiting for him to get his strength back," Manager Manny Acta said.

Willingham's sickness comes at a difficult time, interrupting his playing time at just the time when it was coming regularly. Since May 7, he has batted .311 with eight homers in 74 at bats.

And why was he able to overcome such a rough start? (He batted .143 in April.)

"Repetition," he said. "Playing all the time. And when you play all the time, you've got a chance to get in there and get a rhythm."


San Fran's lineup for Game 1

Rowand - 8
Renteria - 6
Winn - 9
Molina - 2
Lewis - 7
Ishikawa - 3
Uribe - 5
Burriss - 4
Johnson - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  June 4, 2009; 3:58 PM ET
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Next: Running Weather (And Game) Thread


New posted...

At some point we all have to let the Crow issue die. There is a point where all the malaise turns from venom to just plain whining. Nothing that happens in the draft this year or any year after can change what happened last year. Critique the FO on what they do with the 2 top 10 picks they have this year and move on.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 4, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The geniuses of baseball (local and national) looked at the forecast discussion from NWS last night and decided they would schedule the starting time to coincide with the beginning of a 24-hour rain event moving this way from the south.

A 1:00 p.m. start time would have allowed Randy Johnson to get in his start without a rain delay, based on last night's forecast, a possibility which was ignored in favor of a 4:05 start. This outcome is consistent with the brainpower being deployed on a daily basis at Nationals Park.

Posted by: JohnRDC | June 4, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

NJ commenters knew from day 1 that Willingham should have been starting. Why does it take Manny 1/3 of the season to figure out the same thing?

Posted by: erobw | June 4, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

So if the games don't happen today (and remembering that the Nats played 161 games last year, not 162), what are the chances of the Nats and Giants only playing 160 games this season?

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

"Why does it take Manny 1/3 of the season to figure out the same thing?"

Because his players all stink!! How can this possibly be his fault?!?!!

In all seriousness he is an awful, awful manager.

Posted by: RickFelt | June 4, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - I did not mean to open up a can of worms asking about Crow. (Nor did I mean to improperly punctuate my last post). I'm not really concerned about a blame game. I was just curious about his projected status - everything I've heard is that this year is a "pitcher-rich" draft, and yet, someone who, for all practical purposes, has not pitched competively in over a year is ranked in the top ten. I would think sitting out for a year would adversely affect his projected minor-league timeline, not to mention increase concerns about potential injury. But then again, I'm not a GM (nor do I play one on the internet).

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Re Willingham's illness, there are rumors floating around that one or more of the players on the Mets may have swine flu. Carlos Beltran and John Maine are the names I've seen mentioned.

Re the tarp being off right now, I was at the park for the Sunday Cards game that was eventually postponed. Weather was much like today, intermittent periods of rain. There were several acts of Tarp Ballet that day. Take tarp off, put down stuff on the infield, put tarp back on. If they're not putting the chalk down on the foul lines and batters boxes by now they won't be starting on time.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 4, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Chances of only playing 160 games? (and at *most* 160!) pretty good -- the two teams do not share an off day for the rest of the year, other than the two days surrounding the all-star game.

Posted by: hats4bats | June 4, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The song of the day/night for these games is, it's now or never. If it doesn't happen today, it won't, unless playoff implications are involved. Quit laughing, I'm just sayin.

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 4, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry, re: crow's projection.

I read (i believe right here), that he is projected to go in the top 10 this year, but before Nats get to their second pick (9A). somewhere around 4 is what I saw.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | June 4, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

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