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Nats 3, Yankees 0

Tonight was all about waiting. (By the time Joba Chamberlain threw the first pitch tonight, Manager Manny Acta had already eaten three square meals at the ballpark.) But in some cases, waiting is OK. By the end of the night, Washington's 3-0 victory led to several landmarks -- the kind that, in some instances, had required plenty of patience.

* Craig Stammen (6-1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 ER) got his first career victory in his sixth start.

* The defense dazzled, committed no errors. Austin Kearns had a beautiful outfield assist. Willie Harris, twisting for an over-the-shoulder A-Rod liner, made a sprawling catch. Say what you want about the low-yield bats in Washington's outfield (especially Kearns and Corey Patterson), but defense helped save this game for the Nats.

* The bullpen, the workload shared among four, finished off Washington's first shutout of the year. Ron Villone and Julian Tavarez helped the Nats escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. Joe Beimel and Mike MacDougal nailed down the final six outs.

* And as a result, the Nats won just their third series of the year. They won back-to-back games for the first time since May 8-9.

Really, it's pitching and defense. In this series, the Nats scored only nine runs. But their pitchers combined for a 2.08 ERA -- the starters (20-2/3 IP, 14 H, 3 ER) had a 1.31 ERA -- and they had a .992 fielding percentage, with just one error.

Said Acta: "We felt that despite our record we have been playing better baseball. We've just been beating ourselves defensively. We came in, these kids threw strikes, we played good defense, and we ended up winning the series against one of the top teams in the major leagues."

By Chico Harlan  |  June 18, 2009; 10:26 PM ET
 
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Comments

Man this feels good!

Posted by: BobBarker | June 18, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Fun game to watch, especially in regards to the starting pitching. Stammen looked good, but clearly ran out of gas in the 7th. It was only 82 pitches, but Manny took him out at the right time.
It was also nice to see the bullpen work out of the bases loaded jam to preserve the shutout and ultimately the win.
We ain't going to the post season, but this was a fun series to watch.

Posted by: TimDz | June 18, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Fire Manny! (If you have nothing to say, calling for somebody's head always feels good.)

Posted by: tailwagger | June 18, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I have always maintain that Manny is a great manager.

...

Posted by: soundbloke | June 18, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

So where does Olsen fit into the rotation when he comes off the DL?

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 18, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

". . . and for one extraordinary [Wednesday and Thursday], the [Washington Nationals] began playing baseball with joy and verve and poetry."

-- Annie Savoy, BULL DURHAM

Posted by: Ted_Striker | June 18, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice where Dunn was playin these last two games the Nats won? Exactly. Pitching and defense is correct when you've got the right players in the right positions.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 18, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Olsen fits in the rotation right now.

Posted by: edr04 | June 18, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

friends, we have another psychic among us.

***********

I bet Kearns will be 0-4 with 2 strikeouts today.

Posted by: BGinVA | June 18, 2009 6:49 PM |

Posted by: NatsNut | June 18, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

And this is freakin' funny! laughing out loud here.

****

I have always maintain that Manny is a great manager.

Posted by: soundbloke | June 18, 2009 10:37 PM |

Posted by: NatsNut | June 18, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Although the bat is MIA, you gotta give it up to Kearns's arm in RF. That was an awesome throw to nail the runner at 2nd.

Here's a thought (though it will most likely get poo-pooed):

Keep him through the end of the year (I mean, really, who will we get for him?) and then buy him out (Million bucks) and offer him a coaching job with the outfielders.

His bat is worthless, but his defense is outstanding and he could make a long term career as a coach.

Posted by: TimDz | June 18, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I too am not so sure either that Olson breaks back into the rotation. Let's see how JZim and the rest of young arms do against the Blue Jays and Red Sox at home.

Posted by: bigmook | June 18, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we can't get much for Kearns right now in a trade, and maybe he should stay with the big club for his defense and arm. But I have not totally given up on him hitting again. Maybe Eckstein can get through to him sometime over the course of the next 3 months. And for that matter, keep Patterson with the big club - play him in CF for the Defense and let Eckstein work on him all the rest of this year. If Patterson would stop trying to hit EVERTHING out of the park, he might be able to become a respectable hitter (again). But then I almost believe that pigs can fly - so...

Posted by: bigmook | June 18, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I just love series against the Yankees. Wish we played them more often than every three years. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 18, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I just kinda wish Pedro Martinez was a Yankees pitcher so we could hear him say "What can I say? The Nationals are my daddy."

Posted by: HotNats | June 18, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Folks - When Olsen comes back to the fold, he'll probably bump Stammen to the bullpen. Chain of events = Olsen to SP, Stammen to BP, Colome' to DFA. Net positive, in my book; Stammen saves his arm (lower IP / PT count), and Colome' is gone, so the effective bullpen gets deeper.

Posted by: BinM | June 18, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

There's something to be said for defense and team speed. This team needs a reall centerfielder for the long haul. Many other things will fall in place after that.

Posted by: jdsp2000 | June 18, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

The DC er'ea needs to start throwing support for this team! Yes, the Nats are bad, very bad, but they're OUR team. And i know the tix for the games are pricey and it rains every day, but we need to rally and have fun with team. Last year was pathetic! Atleast this team can put some runs on the board...Lets bring some witty banners, posters, instruments, (free booze) whatever is clever! ok, we just took a series from the yanks. i'll calm down for now...

Posted by: boricuabopper | June 18, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

>Folks - When Olsen comes back to the
> fold, he'll probably bump Stammen to the
>bullpen.

My prediction is Detwiler to Syracuse, every one else stays where they are.

Posted by: mvm2 | June 18, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

We went to the Orioles-Mets game (a great game, by the way) and found myself looking at the out of town scoreboard much of the time. I cheered for the Yankees when I lived in New York, but now the Nats are the home team and I'm behind them.

Posted by: p-man | June 18, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the catch, BinM, but for the record, it's TimBuk 3 (they were a trio).
Theme song for Roger Craig's Giants in the early 80s.
http://tinyurl.com/m26w39
**************************

Wow - Two music references in tonights' string - An early post from Sec3(sofa) paraphrasing Tom Waits, then late with 1stBaseCoach chanelling Timbuk2. Very cool, and great fun as well.

Posted by: BinM | June 18, 2009 10:00 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 18, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

In addition to letting everyone move down from the upper deck, the Yankees are also offering all ticket holders from today's game--whether they used their tickets today or not--to trade in their tickets as a limited rain check (there are some restrictions) for a game this season, or next season.

Nats could learn a thing or 2 about marketing and fan-friendliness from the Yanks. When the Nats have had some of their 10 or 11 pm rain-delayed starts so far this season, some around here have commented that there's "nothing the Nats can do" to compensate ticket holders who don't stick around. Clearly, there is something they could do. It's just a case of whether they want to do it, or not.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | June 18, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

There, thou hast said it, CiL.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 18, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with CiL. I hope the Nationals management noticed what the Yankees mgmt did.

Was out tonight but checked in to the score via Internet when I could. How exciting! GO TEAM!

Amazing how the negative posters disappear with a win or two. They don't have much to say right now.

Posted by: samantha7 | June 18, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Great win tonight.

But did anyone notice the O-fer for the last 5 guys in the lineup. If we can win with that kind of production, we might have a chance to exact some revenge this season.

Posted by: SonicBlues | June 18, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

We took 2 out of 3 games from the YANKEES in their own house. JOY!!!!! Like Rob Dibble said, its great watching the kids grow up. They didn't let anything get them down...they weren't intimidated...they kept on trying and they won. How can you not love this team?!?!?!

Posted by: lostein | June 18, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

OK, here's my latest in a series of brilliant marketing ideas they won't ever, EVER, do.

Suck Checks.

Any game the Nationals either get blown out of, or blow a save, counts as a rain check (sop: except for the premium games--Boston, Cubs, 0's). Not quite a money-back guarantee, but hey, it's a reason to show up, buy beer, hot dogs, build-a-bears, whatever.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 18, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we may have to work on the name a little...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 19, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

PS: Willie Harris' amazing catch was the number 1 play on Sports Center, broadcast just before midnight. Hip Hip Hooooray!

Posted by: lostein | June 19, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

WeStanK checks... no.

Bum checks. No.

Schadenfreude checks ... too hard to spell.

We'll Do Better--We Promise! checks. No, too long.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 19, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Nats had 3 of top 5 web gems, with Willies being #1. Take that America

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 19, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

No. I know what they are.

TeddyChecks.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 19, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Here is the rub: we play our best baseball of the season when we have our best defensive lineup in the field. Manny, in the post game interview said that we have to play Willingham and Dunn in the outfield.

The answer all along has been so simple--defense will win games. Yet can you imagine the score if Dunn had played right field tonight? Or Willingham had played left field? Or Dukes had played center?

The Nats need to think hard about going back to the same stupid lineups that cost us nearly 50 losses so far this season.

Number one priority this offseason is to get a defensive center fielder that can also hit the ball. Trade Willingham and Dunn. This young pitching staff can carry the team, indeed has carried the team when it has been backed up by good fielders.


These are the kinds of wins that will bring fans back to baseball in Washington.

Posted by: driley | June 19, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"Number one priority this offseason is to get a defensive center fielder that can also hit the ball. Trade Willingham and Dunn. This young pitching staff can carry the team, indeed has carried the team when it has been backed up by good fielders."

I suspect this could happen during the season. Likely as not it will be yet another prospect, but hopefully someone ready to make the jump as Flores was.

Given the record as it is, trading Willingham, Johnson and Guzman may make sense. Can Dunn learn to play good first base?

Marrero, Norris, Desmond, Baez, Lowrance, maybe Rhinehart and some of the others might be able to help next year.


Posted by: periculum | June 19, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Nats had 3 of top 5 web gems, with Willies being #1. Take that America

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 19, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

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

And, believe it or not, our Nats have more total Web Gems than any other team. Go Nats!

Posted by: BGinVA | June 19, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Patterson didn't make any unusual plays in the field, and he is totally impotent at the plate. I would agree that no one other than Willie Harris makes that catch off ARod's ball, and that was a game-saver.

But I would submit that the Nats can't be a winning team with Harris as a regular. The Nats need better outfield defense, for sure, but that won't make them a winning team unless the pitchers can do all the time what was done the last 3 games (too much to expect) and those defenders can hit (which Patterson and Kearns don't seem to be able to do).

Let's savor this victory because it was so wonderful, and not worry about second guessing for one night.

Posted by: nats24 | June 19, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

You can suck on it and like it, Joe Girardi. Glad you waited five and a-half hours to play this thing now, Joe?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 19, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

This series could've easily been a sweep if it wasn't for 2 CF blunders by Dukes. Regardless, the Nats have played their best ball during this series. I'm very proud of them and I hope its a sign of more good baseball to look forward to.

Posted by: FloresFan | June 19, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Good for Manny too. As a fellow Latino, I would love to see him succeed in DC. I just hope they give him the ammo.

Posted by: FloresFan | June 19, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

First timer--love all the regulars here. Yesterday and tonight make it all worth the while. I think a post on the MLB Yankees website said it all--We just saw the future this week and it's wearing Nationals uniform.

Posted by: thelonghaul | June 19, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

FAIL checks?

Lame checks?

Pain checks!

That's all I got, it's too late...

Oh, and it's a shame we can play the Yanks 162 a year, eh?

Posted by: harpmick | June 19, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

And a Yankee-beating good morning to all of you! For your reading pleasure, here are your fan blog items for today. A sample excerpt follows the URLs.

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/yankees/2009/06/longest-rain-delay-ever.html#comments

http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/blog/2009/06/gameday_live_66_nationals_at_y.html

Man…this is so embarrassing, inexcusable, and just plain frustrating. I’ve been a Yankee fan for over 40 years and never felt this way before about the team. Even during the bad years they were TRYING to win games, they just didn’t have the team to complete the task. How can you only score 7 runs in 3 games against the worst pitching staff in the majors, in your own park, with the team that NY puts on the field???????? Where is the breakdown? You have great hitters struggling and it seems like there’s nobody around that can help fix their problems. Thus, the real problem…coaching and the manager. Someone needs to go out and get Paul O’Neill as the Yankees’ hitting coach and please, someone go out and get a different manager. NY needs someone like Mattingly who will fire up the team. I can already hear the replies to this postings, “it is the way things happen in baseball,” “don’t blame it on the manager,” or “how stupid it is to want to have O’Neill replace Long,” but one thing for sure, there IS a problem with this team and it isn’t being corrected by the current staff. Lose 3 to Boston, should have lost 2 to the Mets, and the only reason they won the 1st game against the Nats is because all the breaks went for the Yankees. Enough said!


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 19, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Sounds kinda familiar, no?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 19, 2009 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Yankees suck! ohhhhhhh Yankees suck!

Posted by: bromisky | June 19, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"But I would submit that the Nats can't be a winning team with Harris as a regular. The Nats need better outfield defense, for sure, but that won't make them a winning team unless the pitchers can do all the time what was done the last 3 games (too much to expect) and those defenders can hit (which Patterson and Kearns don't seem to be able to do)."

The counter to this argument is simple. How many runs a game does a poor defense for the Nats give up? I would say an average of two. Not just errors, but also include the non-called errors, the poor throws from outfield, the balls that Dunn and Willingham can not get to, the singles played into doubles. Now add in the ripple effect of that cost: opposition rallies extended, extra bases taken, pitchers having to face more batters than necessary, pitchers being taken out of the game because the of the extra pitches thrown, the bullpen having to start in the fifth inning or sixth inning, the mental frustration of the other players. Add to that the cost to opposing team as its hitters become frustrated as their hits are made into outs. As you plainly can see from the last two games, good defense is contagious. Good defense wins games.

Would I like to see better hitters in the outfield? Of course, but first solve the problem with the players you have on the roster. Play your best defenders if you have a good pitcher pitching. Make the other team struggle for every run. Our team can win games 3-1, 4-2, etc, but I do not recall us winning too many games by 10-9, 8-7 and the like.

Why not have a reverse strategy of playing the defensive outfielders as the starting lineup? If the other team still jumps to a lead of three or four runs then make the substitution of Dunn and Willingham and Dukes into the lineup for sheer offense. I would argue that giving the pitcher a chance to not have an automatic two run deficit with an outfield of Dunn and Willingham behind him will go a long ways to solving the woes of this club.

Posted by: driley | June 19, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Since the team moved here from Montreal it's played the Yankees six times -- and kicked their pinstripes in four of those. Statistics can be fun. And I'm already looking forward to 2012. (See what a little winning can do for the attitude?)

Posted by: greggwiggins | June 19, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh yes -- and reading the comments on the New York City newspaper websites this morning, especially the tabloids, is both awfully familiar (Fire Joe Girardi!! trade two thirds of the team!!) and kinda fun in a schadenfreude sort of way.

Posted by: greggwiggins | June 19, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

natsfan1a1: "And a Yankee-beating good morning to all of you! For your reading pleasure, here are your fan blog items for today. A sample excerpt follows the URLs."

Just got done reading through the NY Daily News blog comments. "Fire the manager! Fire the coaches! They aren't even trying!"

Wow, just like reading the NJ comments. And this is for a WINNING team. Can you imagine the massive coronaries that would be going on in NY if the Yanks were 17-46?

Funny, I've been a devoted Yankees fan since I was about 10 years old (woulda been even earlier except my dad was an immigrant and probably thought "foul pole" was some kind of ethnic slur), but the last couple of nights, I've found myself cheering like a madman whenever the Nats pulled off something unexpected and good against the Yanks - went nuts at Willie Harris's amazing catch.

Now I can go back to cheering for my beloved Yankees again. I just hope the two don't meet in the World Series.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 19, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

driley: "The counter to this argument is simple. How many runs a game does a poor defense for the Nats give up? I would say an average of two."

Actually, the number is a lot closer to 0.6.

Here's the math for you:

The Nats have given up 367 runs so far this year, of which 330 were earned and 37 unearned, in 562.2 innings. 330 earned runs in 562.2 innings works out to an ERA of about 5.28 (330 / 562.2 x 9). Thus, the team's UNearned run average = (37 / 562 x 9) = 0.59. (Is this my own personal new stat? Do I need to copyright it?)

Statistics don't exist in a vacuum; you need to compare how that 0.59 UERA compares to the rest of the league. Here's how it compares to the NL average:

The league average runs allowed = 296 total, which breaks down as 274 earned, 22 unearned, in 578 average innings pitched.

That gives you a league ERA of 274 / 578 x 9 = 4.26, and a league UERA of 22 / 578 x 9 = 0.34.

So the Nats' woeful defense is responsible for giving their opponents 0.59 - 0.34 = 0.25 extra runs per game more than the league average

The Nats give up a quarter of a run per game due to fielding gaffes. Okay you argue, correctly, that there's the poor play that isn't counted as errors but still causes runs, but are you seriously going to claim that sloppy play adds another 1.75 runs? If so, please show us all the numbers you used to arrive at this conclusion.

And while you're at it, please show the math that proves Austin Kearns's sparkling defense makes up for the fact that he's hitting under .200 and hasn't driven in a run in over a month.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 19, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, that made my morning, 1a.

-----

And a Yankee-beating good morning to all of you!

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 19, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it was just me, but I felt like I was watching our own little "world series" when Derek "Mr. Clutch" Jeter was up with the bases loaded in the 7th inning! Man, that was fun to watch!

Might that be the Nats "Defining Moment" of this season?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | June 19, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I should think that Mr. Texiera might be having some "second thoughts" as well this morning :)

Posted by: lowcountry | June 19, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Guzman's play to end the Yankees' bases loaded threat in the seventh and the Guzman-Hernandez-Johnson DP in the ninth were things of beauty. Tonight's Toronto starter, Brian Tallet, has been HR prone so far this season (10 in 77 2/3 innings), so perhaps the boys will put some runs on the board for J Zimm to work with.

Posted by: VaNat | June 19, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Timbuk3 was a duo (Pat MacDonald and Barbara K. MacDonald) who (most of the time) used electronics for drums and other backing.

"The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" is (IMvHO) not the happiest song you'll ever hear (though much more easily misinterpreted than "Every Breath You Take" which is tops on the "I'm not sure you're really listening to the lyrics there bub" scale).

Oh, right, baseball... Hooray Nationals!

Posted by: OldDude | June 19, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

"Demolition Man-ny"

Posted by: Intrudr | June 19, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I think we're safe there, gilbert. :-) Loved your story about cheering the Nats on!

---

Now I can go back to cheering for my beloved Yankees again. I just hope the two don't meet in the World Series.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 19, 2009 7:03 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 19, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Nats could learn a thing or 2 about marketing and fan-friendliness from the Yanks. When the Nats have had some of their 10 or 11 pm rain-delayed starts so far this season, some around here have commented that there's "nothing the Nats can do" to compensate ticket holders who don't stick around. Clearly, there is something they could do. It's just a case of whether they want to do it, or not.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | June 18, 2009 11:30 PM

_________________

IAWTP. It seemed like there were several times this year the Nats forced fans to endure long delays and dreadful weather just to hang onto the money. Doing what the Yankees did would have cost them next to nothing and generated a lot of good will.

And, unlike the Yankees, the Nationals have tens of thousands of empty seats at most games. It's not like they don't have the capacity.

Posted by: Meridian1 | June 19, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

A broken clock is correct twice a day.

Posted by: Tom8 | June 19, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Quirky stat of the day:

Nats home record 10-22) is only 3 games worse than the Phils (13-19).

Nats road record (8-24) is 12! games worse than the Phils (23-9).

Posted by: NoVaSnow | June 19, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Yuck the Fankees!

Posted by: futbolclif | June 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

NoVaSnow, assuming that your records are correct (and I'm sure they are), when I crunch the numbers that you provided, I get that the Nats road record is 15 games worse than the Phils.

Maybe it's too early for my internal calculator to be up and running...

Posted by: faNATic | June 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

NoVaSnow, assuming that your records are correct (and I'm sure they are), when I crunch the numbers that you provided, I get that the Nats road record is 15 games worse than the Phils.

Maybe it's too early for my internal calculator to be up and running...

Posted by: faNATic | June 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

No. Actually it's MY internal calculator that is broken. The records are correct. My math skills are broken.

Posted by: NoVaSnow | June 19, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

After last night, can't wait to see Manny's starting line-up for tonight (defense again, or "offense')?

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | June 19, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

As I have been saying (infrequently) this ia a better team than last year with improved run scoring potential and rotation (after the removal of Olsen and Calberra. We will win more games.

What is somewhat amusing to me (and also mystifying) is the dismissal of Dunn after he has been doing what he was brought here for -hit homeruns,ger RBI's and to a lesser extant obtain better pitches for Zimm. The National League (the better league for watching baseball) does not have a DH postition-boo hoo!! Dunn must play a position in order to bat. Live with it!!
As for Kearns, that problem, sooner or later will be worked out by management.

Posted by: adhardwick | June 19, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Weather or not the last two nights were the highlight of the season, not sure it will get any better than the Os and Nats sticking it to the Mets and Yanks simultaneously two days straight. What a great Wednesday and Thursday. And i thought it was gonna be a brutal week.
Just remember Defense and Pitching. So whataya gonna do when Dunn has to play back in the field?

Posted by: dovelevine | June 19, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

ride on adharwick, ride on.

although, a productive olsen is/could be a key inning eater for us. he is no slouch and both he and cabrera were brought here with the young guys in mind.

and don't forget, cabrera took less money to pitch here. we didn't outbid everybody for his "services." i doubt we expected him to be in the rotation all year.

Posted by: longterm | June 19, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

i'm pretty sure dunn is the left fielder. the same one who is on pace to hit 46 homers with 120 rbis.

the key is guzman and hernandez with the gloves. that was a beautiful turn at second last night. great double play.

Posted by: longterm | June 19, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

but i'll agree with the point regarding defense as far as belliard playing. i'll live with dunn's glove because he is a left fielder who crushes the ball. belliard is an infielder who does not hit or field very well anymore. belliard would not have made those plays.

Posted by: longterm | June 19, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse


Was last night's game the first game in the New Yankee Stadium in which NO HOME RUNS were hit?

Thank you.

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 19, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Talked a little smack to my wife last night, who is a Red Sox fan since birth.

When I told her that the Nats just took 2 out of 3 from the Yankees she laughed and then I said "and after we take care of the Bluejays this weekend you all are next."

She just laughed at me. I'm used to that though, I think most husbands are.

Hopefully we get on a roll after this series but, I'm thinking that my mouth may have written checks that my beloved team can't cash.

Oh well, it sure was fun saying it though.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 19, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it was, ihatewalks.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 19, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Someone give Guzman a pee test. Better yet check behind the mask cause that wasn't the same guy out at short I've been watching all season. Was it the Wheaties? That was some fine glovework? Now where has it been for the other 50 games? You can't just get up for the Yankees.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 19, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Hubris"

If you were to Google
"Closer Mike MacDougal"
You'll find the hits are pretty frugal

If you try your search again
with "Yankee Joba Chamberlain"
Amazing how the hits roll in

Now go ahead and slam in
"Nats Pitcher Craig Stammen"
It's a veritable hit famine

Having gathered all those stats in
Now softly, sweetly tap in
"Yankees lose and Nats win"

You'll find the Daily News a-yappin'
"How the h*11 could this have happened?
They're the team we took a cr*p in!

And when did all our hitters
Turn into bailing quitters?
I am bitter - bitter - bitter!"

Oh sweet Bessie how I love it
The unbridled hubris of it
They can take their team and shove it

Go Nats!

Posted by: nationalsanthems | June 19, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey gang...hooo-weee,,,,going to have coffee with my garrulous, Ireland born and Yankee loving godfather. Now, I'm not a Yankee-or Sox-hater(ma is from NYC, pa from Mass)....but how sweet it is! Faint stirrings,,,of,,,could it be,,,hope? And as bad at the plate as he has been,,,"I Stink" was good in the field last night. C'mon, Eck-work some magic on him-and my guy Dukes, too. Go NATS!

Posted by: zendo | June 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Kudos, nationalsanthems.

Thanks for the check, gilbertbp.

It is a happy day in NatsTown, is it not?

And What's this? http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/natcast/

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 19, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I would go to a 6 man rotation. It will allow them to string out the time when they (starters) need to be shutdown

Posted by: JDB1 | June 19, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the correction, OldDude.
Nobody's going to mistake it for vintage Bob Dylan, nevermind Cole Porter, but it's mostly upbeat, in an 80s pre-crash Yuppie kinda way.
***************
Timbuk3 was a duo (Pat MacDonald and Barbara K. MacDonald) who (most of the time) used electronics for drums and other backing.

"The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" is (IMvHO) not the happiest song you'll ever hear (though much more easily misinterpreted than "Every Breath You Take" which is tops on the "I'm not sure you're really listening to the lyrics there bub" scale).

Oh, right, baseball... Hooray Nationals!

Posted by: OldDude | June 19, 2009 8:02 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

and thanks to 1a for our morning reading, as Chico and the our new step-blogmother are sleeping it off. Rest easy, kids. We've got this one.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 19, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Doveline,

Its whether not weather and I want to know how everybody on this site is going to act if they go back to playing like they were through Tuesday. Are we going to support them or second guess them like the unknowledgeable fans we have been. Lets be consistent and support them.

Posted by: natsguy | June 19, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen any comments Chico's aticle about Detwiler's delivery. Nice work, Chico.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/18/AR2009061803734.html

Posted by: twinbrook | June 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I know that this is off topic, but...

Today all Washington area baseball fans mourn the death of Ron Gabriel of Chevy Chase. Ron was one of the founders of SABR. While not a native Washingtonian, he was a Brooklyn Dodger fan, so he really knew our 33 years of pain.

Ron was a good guy and should be remembered for all that he did for baseball fans, everywhere. I don't know how he would have handled some of the vituperation that exists on this and other boards, but I do know that he was a gentleman and a scholar all of his life.

Posted by: Catcher50 | June 19, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Someone made the argument earlier that Patterson did very little spectacular of defense. I would argue that this is part of his value. A couple of steady days making the middle to hardish plays with minimal fuss gives our young staff a lot more confidence.

Posted by: soundbloke | June 19, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Are we going to support them or second guess them like the unknowledgeable fans we have been. Lets be consistent and support them.

Posted by: natsguy | June 19, 2009 10:44 AM
_____________________________________________________________

Oh lighten up, Natsguy. Just because people are upset with the way things are going and second guess moves, it doesn't make them not a fan or even an unknowledgeable one.

Taking 2 out of 3 from the Evil Empire was sweet, and I hope this team turns the corner.

However, the problem is still with the owners and the president running things on the cheap. When national media folks like Heyman at SI and other FO people within baseball are calling them cheap that's a problem and an embarrassment.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 19, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I dunno about you guys but I'm WAY excited about Teddy's BBQ this weekend. Especially the corn on the cob on the husk.

I've been saying all season that it would be cool if there were a corn-on-the-cob stand, selling them on a stick. (like street vendors in Seoul do)

Posted by: NatsNut | June 19, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Section505

I agree that there is little indication that anything has been 'solved' but, for a day, for just one day I'm going to smile and be happy and pretend I support a team capable of regularly going to the Bronx and giving them what-for!

I'll see you tomorrow when I'll be back to being grumpy and moaning about our shocking defense.

You want some of my gin and cool-aid I'd be happy to share.

Posted by: soundbloke | June 19, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

>>Its whether not weather

Dang dint reelize the grammer police were out in force.
BTW as good as a couple wins against the hated Yanks feel, a 2-game win streak is hardly reason for celebration. Let's keep all this in perspective. As someone said, the Nats have much bigger problems such as the Front Office and Ownership that isn't going to quickly disappear. And also your non-DH regular fielding lineup is going to rear its ugly head once again. You can set your watch to it.
Lets see how the Jays series progresses.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 19, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

soundbloke, I'll second the value of non-spectacular defense. Patterson made a nice play on a shallow fly ball that Dukes probably wouldn't have gotten to due to a late break, and there was another ball to deep left center that might not have been caught by Dunn/Dukes. And Willy made the last out of the game look fairly routine, but there's no way that either Dunn or Willingham gets to that ball.

Posted by: joebleux | June 19, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

soundbloke,

Gin and Kool Aid tastes great together.

I especially like Tanqueray mixed with Natsberry Red.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 19, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This sure was a fun series. Anytime the best team money can buy loses to the "cheapskate Lerners", with a manager who Smarmenthal STILL says is to be fired (on MLB Channel the other night), and the tone here changes to something that resembles positive support...well, I'm all for it.

Flavor of the day is Natsberry Red. Good one Section505203.

I'm at the game tonight. Let's cheer Jordan on - Go Nats!

Posted by: dand187 | June 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, second that on the 'cue and corn.

I'll second also dand187. Nobody can spoil our postwin fun without our cooperation, and I'm not feeling cooperative today. So wooooooohoooooooo to yoooooooou!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 19, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Uh, guess I'll see y'all in the new post.

Before that, I join catcher50 in a salute to one of SABR's founders (and to online civility). Tip of my virtual cap to both.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 19, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

seconding 1a's second. thanks, Catcher.

he was correcting your spelling, not your grammar. with 2 a's.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 19, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

kearns made a great throw as he should seeing as how this is his only definable talent on the field, he's a good defensive player but his futility at the plate is flat out unacceptable, willie should play center, dukes in right, dunn in lf, ham should get all pinch hitting appearances and be fourth outfielder, kearns is still just a late inning defensive replacement in my book, I'd rather see a young kid or willie play center than see patterson flailing at the ball every couple innings, the starting pitching hasn't been anything to write home about but all the young guys have shown me something I like and lannan is the man without question, getting 3 tonight would be sweet, do it up

Posted by: bford1kb | June 19, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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