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Morning Reading

This might give you an idea of how Craig Stammen measures himself: The guy remembers not just each and every start, but how those performances compared to the corresponding performance of his pal, John Lannan. That five-inning, five-run game on June 7, for instance? Stammen thinks of that one as the game following Lannan's first complete game. As you can read here, the friendly competition has gotten a bit fairer.

In July, Stammen has made four starts. His numbers from that span:

IP -- 29 1/3
ER -- 7
ERA -- 2.15
WHIP -- 0.99

So now the Mets leave town in a state of disrepair. They lost two of three to the Nats, their GM still isn't certain if they should buy or sell at the deadline, their lineup resembles a Class AAA Buffalo outfit, and the behavior one of their front office execs has taken the carnival antics to a new level.

One interesting excerpt here:

"[I]n more recent seasons, [Tony] Bernazard's conduct has come into question. He was widely portrayed as someone who, intentionally or not, undercut former manager Willie Randolph by lingering in the Mets' clubhouse and building his own relationships with players.

Bernazard's public fraternization with Manny Acta, then the Washington Nationals' manager, infuriated Randolph, who felt that Bernazard, in effect, was implying that Acta should be managing the Mets. Bernazard said that he was friendly with other managers as well."

The Cardinals, in Houston on Wednesday night, stop for a one-game make-up contest Thursday night at Nats Park. Then they're on to Philadelphia.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 23, 2009; 9:12 AM ET
 
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Next: Beimel, Harris on Caring About Losing

Comments

Nice to see we're not the only screwups in the NL East.

And has anyone noticed how the Royals are starting to challenge us for awfulness? They've blown the lead in the past 6 games. And they traded for a SS worse than Guz.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | July 23, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

What is it with St. Louis and rain at Nats Park? In 2008, at least one game (June 4, I believe) was rained out, and if I remember correctly, a double-header preserved only one game needing to be made up later in the year. This year, I think their visit had rain every day but somehow a couple games went in the books.

Posted by: mo_dc | July 23, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

So is Riggleman going to do for us what he did for Seattle: win just enough games to keep us from the #1 draft pick?

Posted by: twinbrook | July 23, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Even if this team was talented, and we traded all our under-performing veterans for more talent we would still have to win a LOT of games to finish 'not last'.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 23, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse


Well Olsen getting hurt was both unforseen and unfortunate. But as for resting Zimmermann, and recharging Martis and Detwiler, I really think that this is a better time to do it than September. July is the time of year when arms, especially young arms, get tired. Probably more importantly, it is also the time of the season when a pitcher's legs and back start to tire, which, at best, often leads to developing bad habits but, more seriously, leads frequently to arm injuries.

Zimm(nn) could pitch tonight and probably make his next three or four starts - at which point you'd be looking at shutting him down. Let him rest now and bring him back at the end of Augsut to make his last five or six starts.

If I had to guess the Sept rotation (barring further injury)
Lannan, J Zimm, Martis, Mock, and Chico (the pitcher, not the writer :))
____________________________
Am I reading the pitchers' roster correctly? 1/2 the staff are guys brought up from the minors this year, and it's only July? Who is left to bring up in September? Thoughts...?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 9:24 AM |

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Shairon Martis, what's happening to him in Syracuse? He's had four starts there. The first one was decent, the next two were frightful, and yesterday's was adequate but not inspiring. His ERA is 6.50 and his WHIP is 2.16. Is he pitching hurt?

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 23, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Who is left to bring up in September?
===========================
Gee, maybe we could bring up Strasburg.
;-)

Posted by: twinbrook | July 23, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

(From the post about Zimmermann's elbow)

Does JZimm's injury scare the bejezus out of anybody else? If I remember correctly, this is the second time this year he is missing time for his pitching elbow. Didn't he miss a start in June with an issue on the same elbow? I hope Riggleman is right that they are being ultra-conservative with it.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 23, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I read the Amazing Avenue (Mets blog) for last night's game. That was fun. Teams HATE losing to the Nats.

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

Oh, we'll be bringing up Strasburg in September. We'll be bringing him up plenty. I just hope we'll be bringing him in discussions as a Nat and not as in how do you like Japan?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

If I had any be-jesus in me after Olsen, yeah, it would be gone worrying about ZNN.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I watched quite a bit of Washington Post Live last night. Wow! It's downright terrible. I recommend that the posters who yesterday criticized ESPN, flip on WaPo Live. I particularly enjoyed when the Wizards' beat writer and Redskins' beat writer waxed poetic on baseball. It's the complete AP-ification (or should I say ESPN-ification) of news coverage, where news outlets increasingly report on what (and how) the AP reported on a story.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 23, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Riggleman career record with Nats: .400

Posted by: nattydread1 | July 23, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope the team takes advantage of the fact that this sandwich game is between a disappointing sweep by the 'Stros and a big series against the Phils. Catch them napping and steal one to extend that win streak to 3 and the countdown to (avoiding)history to 12.

Putting Zimm on DL was precautionary but one wonders whether that also reflects subtle (and positive?) thinking that a golden armed #1 pick may be avail. come September ...just sayin' ....

Posted by: terrapin31590us | July 23, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I think Martis is still a little peeved at being sent down and i for one don't blame him and now it appears his performance doesn't merit him another shot even though JZimm is injured, plus the fact that Martis beat the Cardinals earlier this year why wouldn't you give him a shot? This is the kind of brain dead thinking that has us almost forty games under five hundred!

Posted by: dargregmag | July 23, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

cheeseburger53, yeah, it worries me, too. He's got the best arm in the organization (you know, among the mere mortals who've agreed to contract terms, not to be confused with the gods in California who might one day bless us with their presence). Sounds like they're being extra cautious which is good.

Meanwhile, on the trade front, doesn't it make sense that Johnson ends up with either the Giants or the Rangers? Both teams desperatly need an upgrade at 1B and have a shot at the playoffs. My hunch is that's where he'll end up.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

i could see dunn to tampa and nick to the giants.

Posted by: longterm | July 23, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Catching up here. Let's here it for two wins in a row. It's amazing how much happier I am when the Nats are winning - kind of sick really.

I'm glad MJHoya cleared up the 3 1/2 pro scouts thing. While it's a low number, it hurts their ability to trade more than their ability to find amateur talent. The only correction I might offer is that pro coverage is assigned by region, not by league, I think.

I'd be disappointed if all they got for Adam Dunn was a AAA reliever from the Cards as someone suggested. My sense is that people underrate AD on the blog. He is a significant offensive force, one of the 20 most valuable hitters in baseball. I think the Nats, and the Reds before them, use him improperly - I'd bat him 2nd - but he does add a lot with his walks and power.

Lastly, Balester, was the one called up most likely because it happened to be his turn in the rotation in Syracuse. NN will miss just two starts.

#4

Posted by: db423 | July 23, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'll go out on a limb and suggest that maybe the fact that Martis pitched last night might have had something to do with it. (I know, I know, we are just babying these kids these days . . . )
____________________________
... plus the fact that Martis beat the Cardinals earlier this year why wouldn't you give him a shot? This is the kind of brain dead thinking that has us almost forty games under five hundred!

Posted by: dargregmag | July 23, 2009 10:37 AM |

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"This might give you an idea of how Craig Stammen measures himself"

In feet and inches, like the rest of us? ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | July 23, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Too early to look at the free-agent pool for 2010?

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2001/05/2010-free-agents.html

I take no responsibility for accuracy - as they do have Bard as a Red Sock. Nice list though.

Posted by: dand187 | July 23, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I measure myself in demi-cubits

Posted by: Section506 | July 23, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

And, centimeters for those people who were being tortured by this franchise since before 2005...

Posted by: soundbloke | July 23, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Kasten will be on with Mike Wise at 11:25, hopefully they ask some tough questions.

Posted by: jacktrickard | July 23, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

BTW... I was just kidding about Starsburg. There is no way we will see him up here in anything other than a one inning cameo.

Posted by: twinbrook | July 23, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Boz is on.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

was that a typo, or is that a hopefule nickname, STARS-burg?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Meanwhile, on the trade front, doesn't it make sense that Johnson ends up with either the Giants or the Rangers? Both teams desperatly need an upgrade at 1B and have a shot at the playoffs. My hunch is that's where he'll end up.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse "
---------------------------
The knock on Nick to SF is that they may be more interested in a 3B and moving Sandoval to 1B.

As for Texas, if everyone is healthy, Blalock is their 1st baseman, and the DH / OF time is split among Hamilton, Jones, Cruz, Byrd, and Murphy. Now if Cruz had to miss time due to his finger, the Rangers might want a little extra depth in lieu of bringing Davis back or Smoak up. I don't see them as a likely destination with Cruz playing through the finger injury.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 23, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Either way, I'm in. Starsburg. I like it.

Posted by: Section220 | July 23, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@Twinbrook:

I think you can put money on Strasburg making a start (or several) in September. Maybe even August if signs prior to the deadline, has been on a throwing program, and can make a few minor league starts first. I don't think they'll pay the guy $30M to hang around the bus leagues... remember, the minor leaguers are done by Labor Day. His first start will be a sellout.

Posted by: outsider6 | July 23, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

From the tone here on NJ, it seems like there is hopefullness regarding a SS signing?

Posted by: TimDz | July 23, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Regarding SS, I (and probably countless others) asked Boz if he thought someone in the Boras camp "leaked" this information about the Nats being behind the curve in negotiations.

I also suggested that 18-25 million gets it done at about 11:55 PM on Aug 17th.

Posted by: TimDz | July 23, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the "Nats must sign Strasburg" sentiment. He had trouble w/UVa's hitters when facing them in the playoffs. His fastball was no better than 96. He had control problems. Would he make it out of A-ball? Maybe. AAA? Who knows? When the team could sign position players or free agents who are less risky, I don't freak out if they refuse to give Strasburg some astronomical sum above slot heretofore unpaid to a draft pick. As long as the Lerners spend a lot of money on proven players, they don't have to make a Boras-bloated bet on Strasburg. But they've got to lay out a lot of money to field a good team next year, or no more season tickets for me.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 23, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey, how come nobody feeds us reminders of or, more importantly, links to chats anymore? And don't tell me I should know the schedule -- how can I concentrate on anything when JORDAN is in pain?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 23, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

flynnie: yes, but. I'm reminded of the Monty Python bit about sheep trying to fly. The farmer let them keep jumping off cliffs and out of trees. "Imagine the commercial possibilities should they succeed!"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 23, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

could be worse, Scooter--it could be Willie's mom.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 23, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Sec3: This week it's Willie's mom...

Last week, it was his "boys."

__________________________________________________________

could be worse, Scooter--it could be Willie's mom.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 23, 2009 12:02 PM

Posted by: TimDz | July 23, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

flynnie - I asked the other day what number everyone would consider a bona fide offer for Strasburg. I don't think I got much of a response, if any. I notice TimDZ threw out 18-25 mill this morning. But is there any consensus on the limit to which the Nats should go? At what point does Strasburg simply become a greedy bast***?

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"He had trouble w/UVa's hitters when facing them in the playoffs"

Huh? he made one bad pitch. The rest were bloopers and 2 errors.

Posted by: JDB1 | July 23, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie, see Boz's last answer in his chat today, he thinks Boras has a weak hand and Stars-burg's price won't be astronomical.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"I don't understand the "Nats must sign Strasburg" sentiment. He had trouble w/UVa's hitters when facing them in the playoffs. His fastball was no better than 96. He had control problems. Would he make it out of A-ball? Maybe. AAA? Who knows? "
___________________________________________

According to reports, his fastball sat at 97 most of the game. He gave up 2 ER, struck out 15, and walked none in that game, so I'm not sure what control problems he had.

I do agree they must spend to improve the team, but they pretty much have to sign SS.

Posted by: goexpos2 | July 23, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

OK, someone needs to set up one of those polls on the price we will end up paying for SS. With, of course, a "FAIL" choice. Votes, people?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

How do we get to Boz' Chat. Barry used to give us the link - along with the ice cream!

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"I don't freak out if they refuse to give Strasburg some astronomical sum above slot heretofore unpaid to a draft pick."

They need to sign whoever they draft. I would personally freak out if they failed to sign SS, b/c it would be a(nother) wasted opportunity. They knew it would cost a ton to sign SS and they drafted him anyway. If they had serious reservations before the draft, then they should have taken someone else (Ackley). But I would freak out, b/c that would be 2 top draft picks unsigned in 2 years.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 23, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Scooter, I said "Boz is on" at 11:13, sorry I was late with that. About Willie's mom, sorry, again--I have no current info.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/07/16/DI2009071602359.html?hpid=discussions

Posted by: twinbrook | July 23, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry: Boz put the number at 14-15 million during his chat.

I'm not sure about a consensus, but IMHO, if SS rejects anything above 15 million, I would say let him play Indy ball for a year.

Another question then becomes, what about the 2010 draft? We will certainly (baring Riggleman morphing into Joe Torre) have the #1 pick next year and have the opportunity to do this dance with Scott (BOP) Boras again. If we sign SS, we can expect Boras to want to beat whatever number we agreed upon. If we don't sign him, Boras will say that we saved money and will most likely begin the 50 million BS again...

Glad it ain't my money...

Posted by: TimDz | July 23, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I have to do everything???

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/07/16/DI2009071602359.html

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

On the new DC sports radio station, WJFK 106.7, Stan Kastan was on with Mike Wise. He indicated that they have signed several players lately from the DR but the team will not announce the names until MLB has done the homework on the ages and such. Guess they don't want to be 'smileyized' or duped again this year.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 23, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, coked. Haven't got my presets set to WJFK yet. Listen for a few yesterday but it was all Skins.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about a consensus, but IMHO, if SS rejects anything above 15 million, I would say let him play Indy ball for a year.

Another question then becomes, what about the 2010 draft? We will certainly (baring Riggleman morphing into Joe Torre) have the #1 pick next year and have the opportunity to do this dance with Scott (BOP) Boras again. If we sign SS, we can expect Boras to want to beat whatever number we agreed upon. If we don't sign him, Boras will say that we saved money and will most likely begin the 50 million BS again...

Glad it ain't my money...

Posted by: TimDz | July 23, 2009 12:18 PM
-------------------

You are right, it ain't your money. I don't care if SS signs for $10m, $15m or $30m. The Lerners won't spend on free agents regardless, so who cares.

And I'm so glad that the Lerner's made that huge offer to Texiera... all that talk about building a working relationship with Boras is hogwash, IMO. Boras might like the Lerners a little more, but it won't stop him from taking them to the bank and emptying their pockets.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 23, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Nats_Lady, your mention was the only reason I knew to complain about the Post folks' failure to let us know. My gripe was not directed at you.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 23, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Boz = LAC??

Boz:
However, if you want to worry about something, ask yourself, "Who replaced Mike Rizzo as assistant GM?"

I haven't seen any announcements of a signing. Perhaps I am wrong. But I suspect that Rizzo is now, essentially, doing everything he used to do and everything Bowden used to do. Oh, and he has to run point on Strasburg. If true, and it's just my best guess because I have never known the Nats to pass up a chance to say, "We just spent some money. Get off our backs. We just got a new asst GM," I wonder how big a pay raise he got to do two jobs? I wonder if he got any?

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 23, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Scooter--didn't take it as a complaint. Was just jokin' around wit ya.

The Post keeps moving the list of discussions around, but right now it seems to be on the bottom half of the home page, on the left-hand side.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

You should see a News link on the top left corner of the page. Choose Discussions from under that link, and you'll get to the Discussions page. Any active chats should show up.

Now, about that ice cream, NatsLady. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Meaning the top left corner of the page on which you are reading NJ. Getting weaker...need ice cream...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, how come nobody feeds us reminders of or, more importantly, links to chats anymore?"

Chats are so yesterday. Twitter is where it's at now. Boz is so out of it that (a) he's still trying to figure out this chatting thing and (b) in his chat he says he actually thinks the future of the Washington Post is strong. As my favorite Simpsons character would say, HA HA!

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 23, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Boz is on.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 11:13 AM

Hey, how come nobody feeds us reminders of or, more importantly, links to chats anymore? And don't tell me I should know the schedule -- how can I concentrate on anything when JORDAN is in pain?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 23, 2009 11:56 AM

How do we get to Boz' Chat. Barry used to give us the link - along with the ice cream!

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 12:16 PM
****************************************

Listen to Nats_Lady - she is wise!|

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 23, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I watched Stammen pitch both last night and on Friday vs. the Cubs. He's not a hard thrower, but keeps the ball down, throws strikes, and gets a lot of ground balls. Stammen doesn't have as good of stuff as Lannan, but should be a good 3rd or 4th starter in a good rotation down the road assuming we sign SS and he's the real thing. Between Lannan, Zimmerman, and Stammen, Nats fans should take some positives out of this year. A number of teams would like to have as many good young arms as the Nats do in their starting rotation.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 23, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

What am I, chopped liver? ;-)

New post up (still waiting on the ice cream).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

1a, and there ya go.
Oh, sorry, I guess you are not Bob.

http://www.leelanau.com/nmj/spring/images/icecream.jpg

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

mmm, thanks, NatsLady! I'm not Bob but I'll take it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@flynnie:

No less an authority than Tony Gwynn, he knows a thing or two about what a good pitcher looks like, says SS can be a #2 or #3 for almost any MLB team RIGHT NOW. He went on to say on the Nats he'd be #1. Others who've been around for a long time say SS is the best pitcher in the draft since Tom Seaver.

If Boswell is saying $15M gets it done, that's incredible. At draft time Bos thought it would take $25-30M. I'd say this kid is easily worth $15M, especially to us beleaguered fans.

@wizfan:

I don't think Stammen will be around more than a year or two, unless he's in the bullpen. I think the Nats see their future rotation as SS, Lannan, ZNN, Detwiler, and a #5 among Stammen, Balester, Martin, Martis, and Mock. Maybe a Matt Chico makes it back? In reality, once the become more competitive they'll sign/trade for a veteran #2 or #3 guy to provide guidance and hopefully post-season experience. Stammen will be trade bait, I think.

Posted by: outsider6 | July 23, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Tony Gwynn also said Strasburg needs seasoning, and he (Gwynn) wouldn't use him in pro games any more this year.

And there's a new post, in which Joe Beimel keeps digging.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 23, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Lowcountry; I wasn't aware that Martis pitched last night or i wouldn't have made that statement,that being said i'm still in the opinion that he should have never been sent down, at one point the kid was 5-0 and then the wheels started to come off the wagon it should have never gotten to that point. Manny and his coaching staff did a poor job of helping this kid right himself and now what?

Posted by: dargregmag | July 23, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

They can still call-up Estrada ... he would be next to receive a call-up (or live audition). After that its AA pitchers.

Martis had a good night last night in just 6 innings. They are limiting he and Detwiler's pitch count intentionally. Just as they have now become "ultraconservative" with JZim. Both good moves given the circumstances?

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

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