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Pre-Game Notes: Willingham, Olsen

For the last week, Josh Willingham has dealt only with grief. He was back home in Florence, Ala., where on June 13 his younger brother, Jon, was killed in a car accident. He was there for the funeral. He stayed home as long as possible, only returning to the Washington Nationals when his bereavement status expired.

Today was Willingham's first game back. But the Nationals, at least for the first game or two, will hold their outfielder from the starting lineup, well aware of the difference between a player who's available to play and a player who's prepared.

"As we know, Josh wasn't doing any baseball activities over there," Manager Manny Acta said. "So he's gonna hit, do some baseball activities, and if there is a chance we'll probably pinch-hit him. It's probably going to take a day or two before he can be out there playing for us."

Before this evening's game, Willingham ran the bases, took some swings, and spent a little time in right field -- the position he'll now be playing regularly, especially with Austin Kearns in stuck in perpetual slump mode. Willingham briefly took questions, but didn't wish to talk about the tragedy, only baseball. Still, he acknowledged a degree of comfort in being back.

"Yeah, to see everybody, people care about you, you care about them," he said. "These guys, they're family away from family. It's good to have people, familiar faces and friends, that care about you. And hurt with you."

*

So far, pitcher Scott Olsen has made three rehab starts in the minors. That process is aimed to ready him for a return to the Nationals' starting rotation, but so far, it's convinced those watching him that he's not quite ready. After Olsen's latest start with Class AAA Syracuse, a 3-2/3 inning, seven-hit, four-earned run effort on Friday against Columbus, those in the Nationals' front office spoke with the Syracuse coaching staff and determined that the left-hander would need one more rehab start.

Two of Olsen's rehab starts have come with the Chiefs; they've produced, total, 6-2/3 innings and an 8.10 ERA.

"He needs one more outing to come up here -- for his own good and for our good, too," Acta said. "They felt that even when he had good velocity he still wasn't sharp. He was scattering the strike zone too much."

*

By the way, just out of curiosity, I asked Acta today about the possibility of a six-man rotation once Olsen returns.

His answer: "I think it's too early to do that. That's something that we will consider, maybe, at the end of the season when we have to limit these guys' innings. But at this stage we're not even at the All-Star break. We're not even thinking about that. But you can disrupt too many guys in the rotation having them pitch out of whack [on too much rest]."

By Chico Harlan  |  June 20, 2009; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Chico - Boz suggests that Det is the likely guy to go down when Olsen is up. I thought your piece Wednesday or Thursday suggested the plan is to run JZ, Det, and Martis out to their innings limit in the majors unless they are shelled. It did not sound like Stammen was as likely to stay up. Isn't he more the spot starter / rotation filler than the other 3 rookies?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 20, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

If Willingham is going to start playing regularly in RF, where does Dukes play (unless they platoon) ? Please no CF. Keep Willie in there.

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

That first inning GIDP puts Z'man firmly in first place in the NL with 13. Bummer. Opportunity lost.

Looks like a gorgeous night at the park -- considered going, all the way until 5:00, but still chance of rain. That looks out of the question now!

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Zimm is prone to the GIDPs because he hits balls hard and isn't quite fast enough to beat out the relay throws. In addition, having NJ as the person usually on in front of him means that the relay throw is very rarely broken up. You often see Nick start his break-up slide about 30 feet from second base.

Given the rest of his strengths (although it'd be nice if he broke out of this semi-slump that he's in, that one 3-for-5 game aside), I think you take that as part of the package.

Posted by: faNATic | June 20, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

The fake umps are a lot better entertainment than Clint.

Posted by: BGinVA | June 20, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Zimm hits into lots of GIDPs when he's trying to pull the outside pitches instead of driving them the other way. He's done it since he arrived, and when he hits it the other way, good things happen.

During his hit streak, he was going the other way more often, seemed to me. Last night was a messed up night for him -- opefully he breaks out of it tonight.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

umps are leaving -- at least for the time being. Numb Nuts

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

"THE FACE OF THE FARNCHISE" aka Ryan Zimmerman has turned into a double play machine(hitting wise that is)in addition to that he is Mr.Clutchless with the bases loaded he is hitting under .250 talk all you want about comparing him to David Wright but Wright is a much better hitter than the "face of the franchise".

Posted by: dargregmag | June 20, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Blank screen on Cox in Fairfax for the past five minutes. Anyone else have the same problem?

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 20, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

There is NOTHING on MASN2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's just playing stupid music, where is the game?????????????!!!!! ARGH!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

You said it better. Looks like no one's watching anyway based on the absence of posters on the various game threads.

Nice job by Kasten killing this franchise in record time.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 20, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

4-6-3! 8 pitch inning! Go after them and get 7 innings tonight, Ross!

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

What did debbie taylor get tagged with the other night?? was it HBD???

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah no one's watching cuz it's not even on MASN2. This whole sharing with the O's thing is not working. I've already missed an hour of the game.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Weird that the MASN2 debacle (in some areas... getting here RCN/DC) continues, I was hoping for you guys that it was a one-time glitch last evening...

And yep chris, HBD is the tag!

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Willie! Gotta keep in in there! This is the outfield -- NOT Dukes in center. Now start hitting the ball like we know you can.

3 great nights in the field.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Willie !!!!!!

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

thanks hot nats! Had a few beverages that night and wasn't sur. And it fits too... Willie rocks!!! that was awesome!!!!

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah - I called his mother. You are in big trouble buster. (She agrees, however, in part, with you analogy.)
________________
@lowcountry

You mean BOTH of you?

Posted by: leetee1955

Posted by: lowcountry | June 20, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

No problem chris, credit goes to RicketyCricket for the original phrase that HBD stands for (had a few myself at that point, had to research the posts to be sure who came up with it)...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Willie would've caught that ball he just hit...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

WILLIE! 2 bagger.

Posted by: dand187 | June 20, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

And for the record, the umps in the stands make me chuckle, no question, just like they did when I first saw a highlight of them on ESPN a few months ago.

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Willie again !!!!! nice double

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Willie! 2B, steal 3rd with 1 out, and makes thinks interesting before the pitcher is up. Heads up ball! Earning some PT!

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Send Willie to 3rd !!!!

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

@JT2009: "Willie!"

Say it again "Willie" - he just 'made' our 1st run almost solo.

Can't take him out of CF the way he is playing!

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Dang, I thought that one was gonna be gone, awesome manufacturing the run regardless!

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey, since I can't watch the game (and it's making me furious) just wondering, are the two umpires behind home plate there again?

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Manny better keep Willie in there.

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

So I am almost fanatical in my belief in youth and prospects but, the the real value of having a few disciplined, intelligent, professional veterans was really just displayed there. If Bernardina was out CF then this is still a 0-0 game.

Willie Harris! You are worth keeping around!

Posted by: soundbloke | June 20, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Willie!
The catch, the 2B, the steal with 1 out, making something interesting before the pitcher comes up. Yeah! First run!

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Yep, they're there this eve, Rachel

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

So here I am watching the game on the Blue Jays broadcast. The same announcers who had fun with the fake umps last nightare simply ignoring them tonight. But what's worse, they haven't yet clued into the fact that Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau is the guy in the rosy purple shirt behind the plate.

123NattyDelight

Posted by: natscanreduxit | June 20, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

And I gotta give them props for traveling with their team. I just keep wondering if they were doing that during the Philthy series, I'd reckon their reception was a little less hospitable!

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Manny has to play Willie as the everyday CF for now - and into the near future, the way he is playing defense, and hustling and manufacturing runs on offense. And it he get on a hitting streak - look out.

So, it's settle: our everday outfield now is Dunn LF, Harris CF, Dukes in RF, and Willingham to spell Dukes or Dunn when they need a day off.

Now what are we going to do about Zim? He seems to be in a htting funk right now.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

That is Boudreau, isn't it? I was just discussing that with a friend. Very cool, muchrespect for that man...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for double-post. I got blocked by the blog-hog limiter (too many posts in too little time) and didn't know the first one posted. Is that new?

Rachel, the umps are back. They seem to be better synchronized tonight and doubly as annoying to me since their schtick is old. Glad I'm not sitting near/behind them.

And, bummer luck on the Rios homer. 3rd time through the order, Ross. Push through it.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Was that Rios who cranked it? Thought it was V. Wells...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Actually, dargregmag, Zimmerman is hitting well above league average in nearly all "clutch" situations as defined by baseball-reference.com.

See: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=zimmery01&year=2009&t=b

He has above-average OPS+ in late and close situations, and regardless of whether the game is tied, or the score is within 1, 2, 3, 4, or more runs.

As mentioned, while the GIDP is an unfortunate part of his game (and agree that it's due to trying to pull the away pitch as well), it doesn't bear on the other point that you brought up, which is frankly, flat-out wrong.

Finally, as compared to David Wright, it's true that Wright is a great hitter (leading the league in average, and ranking highly in plenty of other categories), but this season, Zimmerman is beating him in homers, runs scored, RBI, and intentional walks. Notably, David Wright is also tied for 4th in the NL in strikeouts with free-swinging Soriano, so there's that as well.

Posted by: faNATic | June 20, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Right on, NICE HITS, GUZ and Stick-Swingin' NICK!!! Hoo-Ah!!!

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I can smell the positivity coming from Nats Park.
Keep it going guys.

Posted by: patchss | June 20, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Big props to BB. Caps are the best thing going in DC (with the possible exception of the torrid Nick Johnson)

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Nick !!! 10 for 10

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Time for Zimm to come thru

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, they got Dunn out despite his blazing speed...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Nats FO: Feel free to keep Olsen down in AAA as long as you like.

Posted by: Juan-John | June 20, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

HotNats: you're right, it was V Wells. My bad.

Ugh Zim. Yes, gotta get him on track. At least no chance for a GIDP this time.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Duuukes! Dangit...

Posted by: Juan-John | June 20, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Woohoo Nats 3-1! Thanks HotNats & mo_dc.

Man, it's so much fun when the Nats win! =)

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

No worries, mo.

Taking this commercial break to check on the O's beating the Philthies 2-0 in the 7th. Boston leading Atlanta 2-0, FLA's holding onto a one-run lead vs. NYY, and the Moots already lost today, we might get another one up the ladder when this evening's done!

(Cool, the Kool-Aid's Orange tonight!)

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Dibble homer moment. Saying Elijah's "gotta take that chance" turning the double into a triple in the bottom of the 6th. He knows better. You don't take that chance with 2 outs. It was a baserunning mistake by Dukes.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 20, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be great if there were a designated runner rule?

That way, we wouldn't have to watch the appalling sight of Elijah Dukes on the basepaths.

Carpenter just said Dukes showed good hustle, and Dibble said "you gotta go for it." Really? I thought rule #1 on the basepaths was don't make the first or the last out trying to get to third.

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 20, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

91 pitches, 61 strikes, 30 balls.
Really nice night for Mr. Detwiler so far!

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

If Manny goes with Bobo Olsen over Det when/if he returns, is that of the magnitude of starting AK over Dukes and, lately, AK over Willie in center. What, exactly, does the organization see in Olsen? I see a run-an-inning guy, and apparently that applies to pitching in the minors as well. Take your time, Bobo, take all summer in fact.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Go ROSS!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

IT's ON!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 20, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

How much longer are we going to give Dukes a pass about his terrible baserunning? At what point does someone "learn" - or not? Don't we have a coach - Grissom or Listach - who's in charge of that and put some responsibility on Dukes? His decision-making on the bases has NOT improved in the almost year and a half he's been here.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | June 20, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Just outta curiosity, where did the "Bobo" nickname originate for Olsen? Makes me chuckle every time I see it.

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

That's five straight better than quality starts by our 5 young guys, Manny can't mess with the rotation right now.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Do you think that: after these past few games, where Dukes has played RF and done OK out there - and Patterson (now DFA) and Harris have done an excellent job in CF -- that Nats management gets it -- Dukes is a Rightfielder and you need a true CF playing that position. Don't force Dukes or Milledge (if we ever see him again in a Wash Nats uniform) to try to be CF-ers when they are not. I hope so; because this defensive lineup, along with excellent pitching, and "just enough hitting" seems to be working.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Rachel, et al, if it ain't broke...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Damn you, RicketyCricket...

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 20, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The Phillies are really struggling. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Other than what appears to be a good arm, I am not impressed by Dukes. I would be happy to see Willingham out there every day and Dukes "learning" from the bench. Hearing Dible continually say Dukes is still learning some aspect of the game gets old

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

XOXOXO

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 20, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Er, hard to say bigmook. It's been five years. But, we have a new GM and a new outlook. So we can only hope.

Posted by: soundbloke | June 20, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Det starting the 8th makes me nervous.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 20, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

JT2009: I can't argue with you there. Willingham when allowed to play regularly is probably the better all-round ballplayer. And Josh hits with power, as does Dukes. I can be happy with an OF of:
Dunn - LF
Harris - CF
Willingham - RF (rather than Dukes)

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

WOW what a game from Det!!! 7 innings and one run. AWESOME and re Olsen. I live in Florida and have seen a lot of Olsen over the last couple years and what we got this year is NOT the same guy, He was throwing 92-93 with wicked movement and a tremendous curve. I have seen what he can do if healthy and functioning properly between the ears. I agree with Boz. Lets see which guy we have. Also with the talk of limiting innings for the young guys is it possible the Fish pushed Olsen too hard and then unloaded him on the Nats as damaged goods?

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm Reeeeeeeaaaallly digging our young staff in these past games, they are dealing quickly, setting a great tempo.

Right on, Mr. Detwiler, great night this eve, I applaud as well!!!

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Nice job, Ross! Get your first curly W tonight! C'mon team, back him up!

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Det. Keep that spot in the rotation. Keep Bobo on rehab...permanently.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Super job again by another one of our kid pitchers. Way to to go Ross.

Now lets hold the Blue Jays and get Ross a Win.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

God Dunnit...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I guess a little of the 'old Nats' is still in these guys. Kip - beardown and strike this next guy out (and maybe the guy after him too).

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice throw dunn!!! ARGHHH!

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

On comes Gas Can Hanrahan. Can somebody please pass the bourbon and Maalox, please?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Oops again - Nieves. Easy popup to Guzzie, 2 down. Now a big K for the 3rd out works for me. Leave that guy stranded on 3rd.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan makes me really nervous.. come on Joel..

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

goddam it

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 20, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Shoot.

Posted by: patchss | June 20, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Make that a double bourbon and Maalox, please.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Same old Hanrahan... nice move Manny, NOT

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a double of the bourbon on the lox, if you're offering...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

No more win for Ross. Hanrahan seriously suckssssssssssssss, why does Manny keep putting him out there?

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I can see why he took out Wells vs. Rolen (Rolen is 7-16 lifetime vs. Wells), but why Hanrahan? Again?

Paging Mr. Clippard? Mr. Tyler Clippard?

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, just leave the bottle...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan-so hittable. Now we'll lose the lead if he stays in.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Do we have any confidence that Hanrahan can spot his 95+ MPH fastball anywhere but over the middle of the place?

Come on Joel. Don't blow this game for these guys.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan did get the job done last night, one step forward, one step back.
We'll rally in the 8th.

Posted by: patchss | June 20, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I meant it won't even be a tie anymore if he stays in..

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, feel bad for Ross. =(

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Even with the crappy relief pitching in the 8th, this still comes down to offense. They have to score more than three runs to expect to win games.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

How many times does this need to happen???
Let me throw this out there, How many games do you thing Hanrahan has singlehandedly cost the Nats???

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Well that was painful, but not a total collapse. Lets see if these 'new Nats' have some intestinal fortitude.

Get some runs and then bring
in McDougal (sp) to close it out.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

OOps I meant "think" typing gets worse as the night goes on. ;) and I would put the over under on games lost by Hanrahan at 8

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Rachel! Feel really bad for Ross -- still winless. Let's get something going here and get someone on base before NJ goes 11 for 11!

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Good job Josh. Now come on Guzzie advance the runner with Nick coming up next.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Now that Dukes 3rd out at 3rd sticks out as a big bad play.

Posted by: JT2009 | June 20, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Guzman has to bunt here. I know Manny doesn't like to bunt much, but you need to bunt here. You only need one run to win.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Rachel, Det deserved better, but how many times have we said that about our starter?
:(

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Good move, Manny. Small ball is working for us. Bunt is not a four-letter word.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

JT2009, good point. Even with the better play this week, we still make some fundamental mistakes (Dukes' running, Dunn's throwing, some missed pitches by the relievers). Still some work to do.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Another mismanaged game by Manny why take Detweiler out? then you bring in "gas can" Hanrahan who as usual gives up the game tying hit do any of us honestly know where this team would be if Manny had been put out of his misery.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 20, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

You called baltova1. Nice managing job.

Now Nick needs to stroke one in the gap.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey baltova1;

2 outs - runner on 3rd and Zim has been cold as a cucumber at the plate.
What do you say:
Have Zim surprise them and bunt for a hit and have Willingham break for the plate on contact?

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

You take Detwiler out because he's running out of gas and until tonight, the bullpen has been solid.
Relax, they're going to win, Zim's due.

Posted by: patchss | June 20, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, dargregmag, I don't agree on Detwiler. He pulled him at the right time. I question using Hanrahan (mainly because I question why he's still here) but you got what you wanted out of Detwiler.

Now we just need Zim to stroke a nice little single to right center.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Bad Zim! =(

Posted by: rachel216 | June 20, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

You can't complain about that swing from Zim. He hit it hard. Time for you-know-who to get 'er Dunn...

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Right on the money Baltova. This isn't the same team that won in NYC (partly because Dunn's in the field, and a couple bobbles in the infield).

Last night was like the Nats of old were looking for a way to lose, and tonight... making things more difficult than they had to be, and ruining Detwiler's beauty.

Hanrahan's out, and glad to see Willingham contribute and get a chance to get some bball back.

Not done yet, so let's get it done! Zimm, still struggling.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Can our 'pen perform wonders two straight nights? Make that a Triple bourbon and Maalox.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Dibs (Idiot) just came right out and said that when/if Olsen comes back, "he's auditioning for a trade." Hey, Dibs: what team in its right mind is going to trade for that stiff? We'll throw in Kearns as a bonus if you take Bobo off our hands.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

When will the Nats coaches realize that Dukes isn't as fast as they think he is?? He's like 3 of 10 in SBs (with another CS tonight) and thrown out at 3rd trying to stretch a double. His "speed" isn't helping the team at all...

Posted by: g3jr | June 20, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we're fine until Manny starts "managing" again. Hanrahan vs. Rolen in a key situation, wonder who's going to win that matchup? What, Joel has one good outing and Manny thinks he's the Eck again?

Posted by: truke | June 20, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

mo_dc, they really have to get rid of Kearns. They're actually better off with Patterson on the roster, because they need a CF, even one who doesn't hit. They don't need Kearns at all when they have Dukes. Ideally, they'd find a CF'er who can hit a little and field.

Weird to say this, they might be better off trading Nick Johnson (hot as he is) so they can hide Dunn at 1B in the field.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I am liking this MacDougal fellow as the closer. Too bad we can't clone him.

Now let's get a run and win this do we don't have to take the field again.

Get-er Dunn. And if not Dunn, Dukes has hit it hard tonite - maybe he'll go downtown to end it.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Please don't take this as me trying to defend Manny because i am not. I think he was trying to get an off night for Villone/ Tavares/beimel. Now he is going to need to use at least one of them anyway. Unless of course Dunn blast one out..

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. Not even close. Pathetic.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

What the heck is wrong with the umps lately. They can't tell a ball from a strike. Adam got the shaft on that call!

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Dukes will do something, but it just makes me sad looking at our batting order. The reason we're so bad in extra innings is that we have so much dead space in our lineup.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Come on Willie.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Did you see Flores might be out for the season? He wasn't an all-star but he was so much better than Nieves/Bard.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Like that walk.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Hah, that last pitch to Willie was a strike. Thanks, ump, for the makeup call.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, AH, just a stinking little single, please...

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

@202character: Next time you'll see Kid Flores is 2010 spring training. And I hope we have a decent backup by then.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Holy Cow (Sorry Scooter), these guys sure do keep you on the edge of your seat.

MacDougal for a second inning. Keep your fingers crossed.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Any bourbon and Maalox left??? ;)

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

At least Josh Bard is at the bottom of the order.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Leadoff walk = recipe for disaster.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Chris88: If dschulz50 is out I have some.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Adam Dunn will hit a homer in the 14th inning so hard that it goes back in time and wins it for us in the 10th.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Come on Zim - what is it with his throwing accuracy. Has he been taking lessons from A-Rod?

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Lucky us...we get either AK or Belliard up first in the bottom of the 10th.

Posted by: BGinVA | June 20, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap, the Philthies got a 5-3 lead off of a (who else?) R. Howard 3-run dinger, and the O's came back with 3 runs in the top of the 9th to beat 'em! Now if we can only pull this one, good times, indeed...

I love the smell of Philthy fans' disgust in the morning)

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

And it's Kearns. Will he:
A) strike out?
B) hit a weak infield grounder?
C) hit a pop-up?

Posted by: BGinVA | June 20, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

So- as I said before, can we get some of the NIH scientist on this thing about cloning MacDougal. He sure does carry himself like he has ice-water in his vains. Good job guys.

Now get 1 stinkin run and let's go home with a curly W.

Wait - Kearns in is to pinch-hit. Instant rally killer (to start the inning). At least he can't hit into a DP.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Good at-bat by Kearns. He only made one out.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Free baseball = two fingers of Maalox, with a Maalox back. And a shot of Maalox. And, a glass of of Maalox, please.

Posted by: Section220 | June 20, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

lol jd, pass your glass... you need a refill

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I ran out a couple of innings ago to hit the liquor store before they closed.

Posted by: BGinVA | June 20, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Well at least we made Shawn Camp throw seven pitches.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I am now all out of Maalox.

How about Eagle Rare followed by some Tums, the cocoa flavor ones.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

And at least the Blue Jays won't beat us with a walk-off.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, since we have some serious bourbon fans here (and I'm sorry if this has already been asked and answered), any thoughts on Four Roses? New to me, my nearby store just started carrying it. 220 likey.

Posted by: Section220 | June 20, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm more of a Maalox guy

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Old Crow is more in my price range.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Colomoe is hurt...

Posted by: BGinVA | June 20, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, let's get that DP...

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Glad manny felt the need to "rest" some of the guys in the bullpen. Now we are going to need to use the whole pen tonight!! More Maalox,please.

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: BGinVA | June 20, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Aw, Carpenter stole my thunder, about #11 in the 11th!

C'mon Zimmm!!!!

Posted by: HotNats | June 20, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

If you're paying attention here, Manny has wasted one pinch hitter (Hernandez for Nieves who then had to be replaced by Bard thereby using up two bench players for one rather bizarre move); and one pitcher - Hanrahan for Wells, both righthanders, to face Rolen. So where does this leave us? I believe out of pinch hitters in the 11th. Hopefully we'll win here and it will be moot, I just saying...

Posted by: truke | June 20, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh no Zim really is slumping

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

That was some performance by our 3-4-5 hitters. Personally, I'm getting pretty tired of Dukes swinging at three straight pitches out of the strike zone. Get rid of this toolsy outfielder. He's a model citizen, all right; he's just not a very good all-around player.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | June 20, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Well this is just sad.

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I swear, Zim is getting Kearns-itis. Take the damn bat off your shoulder! You look like an absolute fool when the breaking ball drop right over the heart of the plate.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | June 20, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

You gotta love the "face of the franchise" standing there as if he were waiting for the bus and striking out again and you are right on truke Manny's moves are baffling but whadaya expect.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 20, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

WILLIE HARRIS???

Posted by: 202character | June 20, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

OK - no way Willie doesn't stay the everyday CF NOW.

Willie Harris for Major of DC!

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris hits a walk-off two-run shot. He also has solved the health-care crisis and caused North Korea to give up its nukes.

An all-around player.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | June 20, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

But back to Zim. I am wondering if he doesn't need to have his eyes check - an eye exam. He really does not seem to be seeing the breaking ball coming.

Guzzie had eye trouble a couple of years back. Maybe Ryan needs to get the name of that eye doctor from Guzman.

Anyway, thank you Willie. And how about Gonzo, 3 for 5 tonite.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Where did everyone go?

New post?

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Yup.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 20, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

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