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Nats Lose Again, And Lose Olsen For Season

The Nats lost 6-2 Monday night. The whole J.D. Martin-superhero plotline lasted until about 7:06, when Martin threw his first pitch. (I examine his debut, and his exit after four innings, at greater length in the gamer.) Here's the more pertinent information: Scott Olsen has a small tear of his left labrum. His season is over. His goal now: To recover in time for spring training of 2010.

"It really [stinks]," Olsen said. "But I'm not the only person that has had surgery. We just go back and try to build up for next year now."

Thursday, Olsen will have surgery, performed by team doctor Wiemi Douoguih, at Washington Hospital Center.

"What it appears is that he's got a small tear of the labrum," Douoguih said. "The rotator cuff looks to be in good condition. Nine times out of ten this is just a clean-up procedure, with the idea that they're back to being competition-ready in three months. And that's the goal here. Every once in a while you go in [in surgery] and find something a little more extensive, but I think probably there's a 90-percent likelihood this will just be a clean-up procedure.

"If it's just a clean-up procedure it's probably three months before he's back to being competition-ready. If it's more extensive it could be pushed back later. That's part of the reason we want to take care of that now for him, so it doesn't encroach on spring training of next year."

A few notes about the latest game -- Washington's sixth loss in a row, 11th in 12 games, 20th in 25 games, and, well... you get the point.

* Livan Hernandez is now 6-5 this season with a 4.93 ERA. Opponents are hitting .305 against him. Prior to facing the Nats in this series-opener, he'd been rocked in his two previous starts and was on the brink of losing his rotation spot. Well, he met his favorite team just in time. Against Washington this year, Hernandez is now 3-0, with 3 ER in 23 IP.

* Sometimes baseball has little carrots waiting for you where you least expect 'em. I was just playing around, doing some research on J.D. Martin, looking at the other names selected by Cleveland in the 2001 draft. (Martin was taken 35th overall that year, a sandwich first-round selection.) Guess who was drafted by the Indians in the 44th round that year? Garrett Mock.

* Tyler Clippard, with three perfect innings of relief, looked terrific on Monday night. His ERA now stands at 2.13. So take that for whatever it's worth. On this team, the difference between Clippard and Julian Tavarez is like the difference between a 6-2 loss and a 9-2 loss.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 20, 2009; 11:14 PM ET
 
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Comments

Heard the tail end of the game on my way home from work. I see we are still in the mode of "Give me your tired, your poor..." Can't even beat the half-Mets?

@Leetee, thanks for report on Martin from someone who actually saw him pitch, rather than just saw his stats.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 20, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

His season is over. His goal now: To recover in time for spring training of 2010.

-------------------------------------
Unfortunately, it remains to be seen if the rest of the team will recover in time for spring training 2010....

Posted by: bromisky | July 20, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

"Washout"

"Maybe in the future you will learn some baseball knowledge before you spout in the future, and maybe you'll learn to be careful before you abuse other commenters with your rather filthy and abusive mouth."

Hmmm I pride myself on having a rather rich command of the English language. So, I am rather certain that nothing I said even appeared to be filthy. So, apparently I am dealing with a child or an older gent in a nursing home who has clearly lost his faculties.

I am also just as certain you know nothing about baseball, except for your notion that pitchers should "throw straight over 90 mph". A sure fire recipe to pitching gopher balls.

I am fairly certain you are indeed Mr. section 503202 whatever. But even still, changing your "handle" to "washout" ... well telling me to grow up is a bit like the kettle calling the pot black?

You aren't worth the time or effort.

For the rest, and Nats_Lady, this may be the absolute worst losing team in the history of baseball. Why not give guys a chance who have earned it at this point?

The "toolsy" guys have been much worst at every level of baseball for this year's Nats. They are still developing. Some will make it. Others won't. Trades will be made. New players signed. And too many "toolsy" types and veterans have given up trying. I personally would rather watch a Martin or a Padilla than one of them. Its like letting them steal your hard earned money. At least we know in the case of these guys they aren't.

Posted by: periculum | July 21, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

We wish Scott Olsen all the best in his recovery. Does anyone have hypotheses to explain that one of Bill James big rules from his first Baseball Abstracts - that minor league stats are just as accurate a predictor of success as major league stats - is no longer true? I give you Messrs. Mock and Martin. Is minor league talent a lot thinner with expansion and a smaller talent pool than it was when James made that observation? International League hitting streaks and pitching dominance dissolve at NatsPark. This should not be so. Any ideas?

Posted by: StephenJFlynn | July 21, 2009 3:55 AM | Report abuse

So, was flipping around on XM listening to various broadcasts and paused on the Phillies. One of the announcers was doing a promo for an upcoming homestand, and the following exchange occurred between their two guys:

"Tickets are selling quickly, so if you want to see the Phils for the rest of the year you should --"

"Go to Washington?"

Posted by: markfromark | July 21, 2009 4:10 AM | Report abuse

markfromark, that exchange you've described saddens me, angers me, and sickens me.

Posted by: greggwiggins | July 21, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

A few questions to ponder:

* Why isn't Marerro in Harrisburg?
* Does the organization have the guts to release Austin Kearns?
* Can the Nats get anything measurable in return for *anyone* on this roster?
* How much longer before avg attendance dips into the teens?
* Is the organization now in *worse* shape than it was when MLB had control?

Posted by: SavedByZero | July 21, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

In my optimist guise I think that Martin will do much better next time. Most of the hits were not hard hits against him--Murphy's certainly were not. Bard not blocking the plate on the first throw home was a mistake, Morgan not throwing to the cut off man on the second throw to home was another mistake. I hate to sound like a broken record but no pitcher for the Nats will look decent as long as we have such a sorry defense playing. Would an infield of Harris at third, Guzman at short and Belliard at second with an outfield that had Dunn and Willingham in it give you the tremors if you were pitching for the Nats?

Posted by: driley | July 21, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

* Why isn't Marerro in Harrisburg?
* Does the organization have the guts to release Austin Kearns?
* Can the Nats get anything measurable in return for *anyone* on this roster?
* How much longer before avg attendance dips into the teens?
* Is the organization now in *worse* shape than it was when MLB had control?


- He's not that good
- No
- No
- May 2010
- Yes

Posted by: RickFelt | July 21, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

* How much longer before avg attendance dips into the teens?

Posted by: SavedByZero | July 21, 2009 7:36 AM

People will keep showing up to see the other team. So announced attendance is kind of a false signifier for this franchise. The Nationals are CLEARLY the worst team in MLB right now, but 24th in attendance. There will be important (for them) series against the Mets, Phillies, Dodgers and Braves down the road to bolster the average and line the Lerners pockets.

That said, August attendance is going to be shockingly low (Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Milwaukee). Though 12k seems to be as bad as they'll announce on a given night, with season ticket plans. You will see a bunch those traditional Nats Park "Hey, I just counted 25 people actually in the stadium" finishes. And I think we're getting to the point where there will be only a couple thousand people showing up to actually root for the Nats on a given night.

Thank you Lerners - you f*cked this up royally.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 21, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm I pride myself on having a rather rich command of the English language. So, I am rather certain that nothing I said even appeared to be filthy. So, apparently I am dealing with a child or an older gent in a nursing home who has clearly lost his faculties.

-------------

Periculum - Would you please use your exquisite command of the language to find epithets unrelated to the presumed age of the commenter? I of course dislike your overly defensive and personal style, so as a favor, stick to the merits of the arguments.

Thanks,
Geezer

Posted by: utec | July 21, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

1. Marerro has no position and they want to trade his ASAP to an AL club

2. No, in fact what I think has happened here is Kearns has said he will sign a year by year MLB min contract to stay with the Nats next year and beyond. He feels bad about the wasted $16+ Million over the past two years, he wants to stay with Dunn and he knows if not with the Nats he is out of baseball.

3. Yes, Johnson should bring some bodies but not top prospects. Willingham should bring a younger type middle prospect.

4. The early Aug AZ home stand should average about 14,000.

5. No we are not worse overall from the 2005 MLB ownership times. Some major parts are worse because of Jimbo and Lerner ownership's lack of understanding of the business model. Yes clearly the MLB team is the worst in Franchise history. The Baseball Operations Staff needs a complete gutting from Jimbo and Cheap Lerner influence. The Park is running much better so that is improved. Team is on TV every night and HD half the time. This is improved. We spent more money on the draft (not well for the most part but see baseball operations comment above) than under MLB ownership. SO

Posted by: JayBeee | July 21, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Love the 'snark', Chico...Keep it up!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 21, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Before judging whether the organization is worse than under MLB management, I will wait for

1) July 31 trade deadline
2) Signing of Strasburg?
3) Free agent signings
4) Winter actions

By 2010 spring training and Opening Day rosters, we should know. Last chance, I think, for the Lerners to have any credibility in this town.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 21, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"JD Martin - superhero." don't know why that made me think of "wile e. coyote - super genius."

Posted by: surly_w | July 21, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Also like the contract for broadcast TV on Sundays. Keep that up, there are people who don't have cable.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 21, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

So for all of you baying for Mannys blood, here's a little summary of last night:

Now THAT was bad management. Sure Manny was no Torre but it takes a special kind of vindictive incompetence to place a defense THAT bad behind a debuting ground ball pitcher.

Riggleman. There are no words to describe the lack of baseballing savvy needed to make that kind of decision.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 21, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"Tickets are selling quickly, so if you want to see the Phils for the rest of the year you should --"

"Go to Washington?"

Posted by: markfromark

Sad, just sad. It's gonna be a long, long time until this team is even respectable. Who hasn't taken shots at this team? From spelling Nationals wrong to how they play on the field.

Posted by: rachel216 | July 21, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

@soundbloke, I am SO in agreement with you. How often have I said here that for the baby pitchers (ok, Martin not so baby, but rookie) you neet GOOD DEFENSE behind them...

Clippard great in relief, Burnett good too, that is a nice step. If Martin had any chance of winning or no-decision, relief would be meaningful.

How can Riggleman put in THAT lineup for Martin's debut???? A guy should get the BEST to welcome him--at least the best the Nats can offer. :(

Willie doesn't seem to belong in Zim's spot in the infield. I love you with all my heart, Willie (hope your Mom is ok), but maybe not so much at 3rd base.

Sorry, I don't buy "resting" Zim and Willingham. What about players that played for hundreds of games without a "rest"? What about the old dog days with afternoon double-headers? Man up, you guys.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 21, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"If you want to see half-evolved, drunken scum start a riot after 13 "lagers" and a Phils loss, you should --"

"Go to Philadelphia?"

Posted by: Kev29 | July 21, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I am fairly certain you are indeed Mr. section 503202 whatever. But even still, changing your "handle" to "washout" ... well telling me to grow up is a bit like the kettle calling the pot black?
___________________________________________________________

Peri,

Once again, you're dead wrong. I don't change my "handle."

Now get over yourself and stop attacking people personally.

Nobody on here is safe with you. You are an equal opportunity attacker. Once you attacked NatsNut personally, that's all I needed to know about you.

Now, go read up on some more stats, so you can dazzle us and be wrong yet again, on the next Nats diamond in the rough.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 21, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

JayBeee, I agree with your assessment of the Nats now versus 2005. I would also add that while the major league team was semi-competitive in 2005, the organization was a mess, specifically in terms of overall talent. The farm system was bare, with no prospects ready to fill the holes at the major league level. Drafting Zimmerman and having him replace Vinny Castilla was the only net positive during the pre-Lerner period. As awful as the team has been on the field the past 1.5 seasons, I'd argue that the minor league system is vastly improved. It's not the best, but when MLB owned the team, it was almost useless.

Posted by: NattyFan | July 21, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Periculum,

You are one very sick dude who seems to have a problem with nursing homes. Either you work in one or need some serious therapy. I suggest you get some and stop attacking everybody on this site because of your own inadequacies. I also suggest you learn how to spell the name Strasburg.

Posted by: WashOut | July 21, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Peri, one of the things I remember from public speaking and debate class (since you have shown flashes of ageism I'll assure you that while my studies did take place a few decades ago I was not personally tutored by Demosthenes of Athens) is that when a person resorts to ad hominem attacks it's because they're unable to win an argument with relevant facts.

Posted by: greggwiggins | July 21, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@Soundbloke, Nats_Lady:

Riggleman's thinking last night was that Harris, Belliard, and Kearns all had crazy good numbers against Hernandez, who has dominated the Nats this year. With Zimm in a funk he opted to give him the night off hoping to trade defense for some "O". Both Belliard and Kearns were 1-3 with a walk each, so it didn't completely backfire.

Not defending, just repeating the logic as I heard it. Given how abysmally we've done pretty much EVERYTHING this year it's hards to argue with a guy trying to do something to put us in a position to win.

Seems like with Manny and Riggleman, these guys get bashed in this space no matter what they do. These guys are trying to make lemonade out of the lemons Bowden left 'em. I feel bad for both... can't imagine any quality manager wanting to take a crack atr this mess in 2010.

Posted by: outsider6 | July 21, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Joe Torre and Tony Larussa wouldn't win with the talent on this roster. Those calling for Manny's firing should take a reality check now that Riggleman has been the manager for 4 games. It's not a matter of strategy, being more fiery, or holding players accountable for lack of effort. Jim Bowden with Stan Kasten's support assembled a disfunctional team that had huge holes in the bullpen, fielding, and a young starting staff.

Realistic expectations should have been for a 50-win season which would mean 112 losses was acceptable. Given the current tailspin and the fact that the Nats are playing better team like the Cubs simply makes the losses look even worse. I'm hoping that we can win a few more games in August when the opponents are a little closer to the Nats level.

Unfortunately, things will likely get worse before they get better as the team trades serviceable vets like Johnson, Guzman, and possibly Willingham. It will be a minimum of 2-3 years before this team is even respectable on the field.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 21, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

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