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After Error, Zimmerman Practices Fielding

Ryan Zimmerman was the Washington Nationals' lone all-star, and he has shown why this season with a host of highlight-reel plays in the field. But he has also been prone to throwing errors, which is why he has recently focused on sharpening his work defensively.

Zimmerman is perhaps the Nationals' best fielder with his range at third base - he often snares drives at the foul line or charges in for balls near the mound - but frequently making plays on the move might have affected his delivery on more routine, third-to-first throws.

"You can get yourself in a position where you're throwing a lot balls on the run because that's the only thing you can do by the time you get to them, and he's outstanding at that," Jim Riggleman, Washington's interim manager, said before tonight's game against the Chicago Cubs. "But somewhere in there, he lost his arm slot on the basic play. The ball's not coming out of his hand as good as he knows it can and we know it can."

Zimmerman has committed 13 errors this season, many of which have resembled his airmailed throw Thursday that allowed the Cubs to score in the third inning. In an effort to return to a more natural throwing motion when fielding the ball, Zimmerman, along with the other infielders, practiced taking ground balls before tonight's game.

"He's got a real good arm," Riggleman said. "And we just want to display that a little more often, with a little more consistency, instead of being concerned about the arm slot and taking something off the ball and throwing it over there."

Olsen, Guzman Scratched

Pitcher Scott Olsen, scratched as the starter for tonight's game because of tightness in the left side of his back, is scheduled to make his next start Monday against the New York Mets. But that is subject to change pending the results of a doctor's exam he had yesterday.

"If Olsen couldn't go," Riggleman said, "then we would have to pull someone out of the bullpen or make a roster move."

Also scratched from the lineup was shortstop Cristian Guzman, who complained of tenderness in his feet. Guzman was said to have struggle struggled with sore feet in past seasons. He is considered day to day.

By Mark Viera  |  July 17, 2009; 6:32 PM ET
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Next: Nats (Again) Helpless at the Plate


This team is an absolute disgrace - and in no way shape or form should represent the city. For the first time, I'm actually angry about their being here and ashamed that they play in a publicly financed stadium. What a total joke.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 17, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

One should not feel BAD to root for a team .... but this team makes you feel bad, depressed, futile, dark of mood in so many ways you wonder WHY SHOULD I CONTINUE!!!!!

Posted by: CBinDC | July 17, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

It is hard. I grew up a White Sox fan. After 1959, well, let's just say, I got used to hardship. Hang in there, people.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

wonder how chico's culinary retreat weekend is going so far?

Posted by: surly_w | July 17, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

you are So wrong! LOL!

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 17, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

check out this link about we long-suffering nats fans.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 17, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

After tonight I have no trouble if they traded them ALL....clearly anyone who has been here is infected with a horrible condition.

Nobody can tell me that after tonight that there is ANY HOPE.
We are but fans of team that is national punchline that even the Prez of the US feels free to use.

What are we, the fan, the customer to do?

Posted by: CBinDC | July 17, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

This is juvenile SNARK

Are we suppose to take such moronic ramblings to heart!!!!!!

check out this link about we long-suffering nats fans.

Posted by: leetee1955

Posted by: CBinDC | July 17, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

The fan as customer has already made their voice heard. We're not really showing up in droves. Honestly, how many people do you think were there to root for the home team tonight? 5k out of 27k (announced). Another night where the Lerners made plenty of cash from the other team's fans.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 17, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

As bad as the Nats always are they crossed a line tonight. The fact that even they didn't have at least 5 runs after the first 2 innings and that zambrano was still in the game is pathetic even for them. zimmermans no good and what happened tonight is more pathetic than anything I've ever seen before.

Posted by: DCsportsfan18 | July 17, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Cheer up folks, the Nats' ownership is milking good profits from this sorry situation. It's our job as fans to go along with it all, and think about the next moves. What bargain basement talent can the Nats trade for some other team's bargain basement talent? If Rizzo is smarter than their guys, then a small, incremental improvement is certainly possible. The change in itself will produce some good distraction for awhile!

Posted by: EdDC | July 17, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Come on, folks. It's not THAT bad. We are watching a terrible baseball team. There is no denying that. Take a moment to think about some of our other local teams. The Redskins were god-awful in the mid 90's.
The Caps have had periods were they just plain sucked . BTW, who else would like the Lerners to take the Ted Leonsis ownership seminar???? Don't even get me started with the Bullets.... Things will get better, but damn, they bad right now.

Posted by: chris88 | July 17, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Ohh it does feel that BAD.

It should not, at worst it should be disappointing maybe mildly amusing. but this now has reached the point where it's nothing close to that in tone and in nature.

It makes one feel abused and ignored. Even in their worst seasons of the Caps, Bullets, Redskins and Senators did it ever feel this BAD.

Even on this blog things have broken down into snarking and attacks. Something that has been minimal the last few years it's been on line.

BUT now the Post is not content to let The DC Blog snipe and snark at the Nationals fans they are pulling out the guns to make us a real punchline of epic proportions with this hack job.

What will be next PostPoints if you hit a person wearing curly W hat with a spitball and post the video on YouTube.

Posted by: CBinDC | July 17, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

just got back from the game so i'm a little late to the conversation.

malcom young: ya'll were talking about contracts earlier. can't vouch for reliability but here:

Posted by: NatsNut | July 17, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Jeez. Real infield practice. Will wonders never cease?

Are there other parts of the game the Nats might try to practice before they take the field for games?

Posted by: fischy | July 18, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

One should not feel ashamed of the Nats. They are representative of the city. As for the players, yesh!

Fancy Dan Zimm has let it all go to his head. He will be lucky to be a .245 hitter by seasons end. Dunn is done, but we knew that when we got him and now he is ours. Close your eyes when he is at bat...just listen to the swosh, presuming he does not just stand there as the ball goes by. I feel sorry for Kearns...poor guy seems to have just lost it this season....cut him loose. Put a padlock on the bull pen so that the relievers cannot escape. Let the starters learn to be enders or get rid of them.

The Nats may be lousy but they are our Nats! Root, root for the home team!

Posted by: crimsonmac | July 18, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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