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Nationals Journal: August 9, 2009 - August 15, 2009

Nats 10, Reds 6

Here's the difference between the early-season (and heck, the mid-season) Nationals and the current version: The current team never lets problems grow into Problems. Friday, it was that three-game losing streak. They stopped it cold with a 2-0 win. Saturday,...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 15, 2009; 11:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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A Few Pre-Game Notes

* I talked for a while on Saturday afternoon with Ryan Zimmerman, current FoF, about Stephen Strasburg. Zim's thoughts here are particularly relevant -- probably more worthwhile than anybody else in the clubhouse -- because 1.) he's totally invested in...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 15, 2009; 6:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
 
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Lineups From Great American Ball Park

Washington Morgan - 8 Belliard - 4 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 7 Dukes - 9 Bard - 2 Gonzalez - 6 Martin - 1 Cincinnati Dickerson - 9 Taveras - 8 Votto - 3 Phillips -...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 15, 2009; 3:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Nats Offer Strasburg Record-Setting Contract

The Nationals have offered No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg the largest contract ever for a pitcher taken in the amateur draft, according to industry sources. Their proposed deal is worth more than Mark Prior's $10.5-million contract in 2001...

By Thomas Boswell  |  August 15, 2009; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
 
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Nats 2, Reds 0

Garrett Mock described the 101st and final pitch of his night as "just a good old fashioned heater down the middle." Without question, it was the most important pitch of his night -- and it solidified the best start of...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 14, 2009; 11:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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The 2009 Draft Class, So Far

The second game of this series is about to begin at the Great American Small Park, but I thought I'd quickly give a rundown of Washington's 2009 draft class -- or at least those selected within the first 10 rounds....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 14, 2009; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Lineups, And A Draft Pick Signing (No, Not That One)

I'll post Cincinnati's lineup when I get it. Meantime, here's how Jim Riggleman filled out the lineup card for tonight's game. Washington Morgan - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 9 Harris - 7...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 14, 2009; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Lerners, Kasten and Rizzo Meet With Strasburg

This summer, while awaiting the start (or the delay) of his professional baseball career, Stephen Strasburg has played a lot of golf. He's visited relatives. He's maintained a daily workout routine. But also, just last week, he sat down for...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 14, 2009; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Reading Material

Some links from around the baseball-lovin' hemisphere... The gamer: Bronson Arroyo tames the Nats, pitching a two-hit shutout. Legendary Dayton Daily News ballwriter Hal McCoy -- this is his 37th (and final) season covering the Reds -- adds up the...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 14, 2009; 8:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Reds 7, Nats 0: Arroyo Throws Shutout

Let me ask: Should we care that Bronson Arroyo, in Thursday morning's USA Today, admitted that he takes 10-12 supplements per day, including some that aren't approved by Major League Baseball? Do we think he's reckless? Foolish? Should he be...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 13, 2009; 10:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Dunn, Back Where His Career Began

Adam Dunn, back in 1998, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. He debuted in the majors with them as a 21-year-old. He played 1,087 games for them. Then, almost exactly a year ago, he was dealt in a post-deadline trade...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 13, 2009; 6:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Lineups, Brought To You By T. Plush

Nyjer Morgan explains his stage names -- some still works in progress -- for his teammates... Washington Morgan - 8 (Tony Plush. The original.) Guzman - 6 (We're thinking of that one.) Zimmerman - 5 (Pete Franchise. Comment: We dropped...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 13, 2009; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Nyjer Morgan's Baserunning

Nyjer Morgan, since coming to the Nats in a trade, has been one of the most hyper-active, hyper-aggressive baserunners in the majors. I have no doubt the sabermatricians among us have the exact formula to figure out just how many...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 13, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Braves 6, Nats 2

The Washington Nationals finished this two-game series in Atlanta with a sordid rendition of familiar baseball: Ahh yes, a little losing streak. We've seen these before. We also know what leads to them. This felt a bit like April, only...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 12, 2009; 10:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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Negotiations, Suspensions, Operations

Until Monday night, a figurative countdown clock lords over the day-to-day operations of the Washington Nationals, reminding all involved of the days, hours and minutes remaining to sign No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg. By Aug. 17, at midnight, the...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 12, 2009; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Lineups From Turner Field

Washington Morgan - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 7 Dukes - 9 Bard - 2 Belliard - 4 Stammen - 1 Atlanta Church - 8 Prado - 4 Jones - 5 McCann -...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 12, 2009; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Some Perspective on Tommy John Surgery

Although a few years older, Sean Burnett has a lot in common with Nats rookie Jordan Zimmermann. Burnett was a first-round pick (2000), Zimmermann a second-rounder (2007). Burnett cracked the big leagues at 21; Zimmermann did so at 22. When...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 12, 2009; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Pitching Accuracy, Briefly Forsaken

John Lannan is generally one of the most accurate pitchers in baseball. Just not on this night. In the Nats' 8-1 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night, Lannan was totally out of whack, uncomfortable and wild. He walked four,...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 11, 2009; 11:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Tonight's Lineups

Lineups Washington Morgan - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 7 Dukes - 9 Gonzalez - 4 Nieves - 2 Lannan - 1 Atlanta Church - 8 Prado - 3 Jones - 5 McCann...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 11, 2009; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
 
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From Turner Field

Just got to Turner Field, where it's about 113 degrees -- if you're standing in the shade. A few really quick notes before I head down to the clubhouse. * If you didn't see this earlier, as it might have...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 11, 2009; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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The Nats' GM Search Narrows

The Washington Nationals are narrowing their search for a permanent general manager, with Mike Rizzo, Boston assistant GM Jed Hoyer and Arizona player personnel vice president Jerry Dipoto emerging as the primary candidates, according to industry sources. The Nationals, who...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 11, 2009; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
 
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Comparing Nats Lineup to Better-Known Stars

In my column on the Nats, now up on The Post Web site, I mentioned how similar the statistics of members of the current Washington lineup are to the numbers -- either this season, full career or both -- of...

By Thomas Boswell  |  August 11, 2009; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Morning Reading

On Monday, while researching this article, I placed a call to the Elias Sports Bureau. Honestly, it was a thrill. All research should work like this: You call the main switchboard, explain what you're seeking, and then you're transferred to...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 11, 2009; 8:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
 
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Zimmermann Will Miss 18 Months

The Nationals' most promising rookie pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann, will have ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow and will be lost for approximately 18 months. "It's not good news," interim general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We got a second opinion today...

By Thomas Boswell  |  August 10, 2009; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
 
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Zimmermann to Have Tommy John Surgery

Nationals acting general manager Mike Rizzo has confirmed to Post columnist Thomas Boswell that rookie right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will need ligament-replacement surgery on his elbow. Zimmermann had an MRI exam on Friday with noted orthopedist James Andrews. Zimmermann was 3-5...

By Matt Bonesteel  |  August 10, 2009; 6:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Nationals Sign Five Dominican Prospects

Posting for Chico, who is en route to Atlanta: The Nationals have signed five prospects from the Domincan Republic: infielder Jean Valdez (16 years old), outfielder Jose Norberto (18) and right-handed pitchers Cleto Brazoban (17), Vidal Paredes (18) and George...

By Matthew Rennie  |  August 10, 2009; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
 
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The Guzman Question

Cristian Guzman is making $8 million this season, in the first year of a two-year, $16 million contract he signed just before the economy deflated. By present standards, he is overpaid. He is also, by present standards, a very necessary...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 10, 2009; 9:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (140)
 
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And the Streak Goes On

With a 9-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, the Nationals completed a sweep of their six-game homestand. The victory was the team's eighth in a row, the longest active winning streak in all of baseball. Washington also has...

By Steve Yanda  |  August 9, 2009; 6:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Lineups

Arizona Oeltjen -- LF Roberts -- 2B Drew -- SS Reynolds -- 3B Tracy -- 1B Snyder -- C Romero -- RF Young -- CF Petit -- RHP Washington Morgan -- CF Guzman -- SS Zimmerman -- 3B Dunn --...

By Steve Yanda  |  August 9, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
 
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