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Nationals Journal: September 6, 2009 - September 12, 2009

Rain Delay At Land Shark Stadium

[UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.] -- Estimated start time, 8:45 p.m. --- [UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.] -- The rain has tapered, and the tarp is coming off. There has been no announced start time yet, but I imagine we'll see a first before...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 12, 2009; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Dmitri's Summer Away From Baseball

Right now at Land Shark Stadium, as the Nats take batting practice, a former all-star is warming up along the third base line. He's wearing baggy blue jeans and a gray T-shirt. He's practicing a full wind-up -- a rocking...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 12, 2009; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Lineups From Land Shark Stadium

[UPDATE, 4:54 p.m.] -- Note the change. The Nats have scratched Elijah Dukes because of a stiff back. Justin Maxwell replaces him. Washington Harris - 8 Desmond - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 7 Maxwell -...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 12, 2009; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Nats Close To Finalizing New Site In D.R.

From one of three potential sites in the Dominican Republic, the Washington Nationals will soon headquarter their new Latin American baseball academy, reestablishing themselves in a country that previously linked them to embarrassment and scandal. Last Monday, general manager Mike...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 12, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Nats 5, Marlins 3

In the aftermath of Friday's 5-3 win against the Florida Marlins, the Washington Nationals' clubhouse inverted its pecking order. Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman had both homered, but they changed quietly, unbothered by reporters. The real stars were those who've...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 11, 2009; 11:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Seven Things To Know About the 2B/SS Situation

Lot's to go over here w/r/t Cristian Guzman, Ian Desmond, potential free agents, position changes, etc. It's all intertwined, but I'll try to distill everything as plainly as possible. First: General manager Mike Rizzo and interim manager Jim Riggleman met...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 11, 2009; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Lineups From Land Shark Stadium

A lengthy post on the 2B/SS situation -- both for the rest of this year and for 2010 -- is forthcoming shortly. Meantime... Washington Harris -- 8 Guzman -- 6 Zimmerman -- 5 Dunn -- 3 Willingham -- 7 Dukes...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 11, 2009; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Ex-Nats Dept.

We've got a few ex-Nats in the home dugout today at Land Shark Stadium. I suppose that's what made me think of this; as such, I've compiled a little progress report. You know the names. Here's how they are doing....

By Chico Harlan  |  September 11, 2009; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Reading Material, Shopping Lists

We can start working on our 2010 wish list. A shortstop. A decent reliever. (Though probably not a top-of-the-line closer type; why waste the money?) At least one free agent starter. Maybe two, if Livo returns. Boz, in today's column,...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 11, 2009; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Can Nats Avoid 210-Loss Ignominy?

This morning, Dan Steinberg's DC Sports Bog puts the Nats' loss total into perspective: As the Nats have settled into the Jim Riggleman era, their total loss pace has also settled in, in a zone much less horrific than we...

By Alexa Steele  |  September 11, 2009; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Nationals 8, Phillies 7 (Exhale)

As Thursday night's game entered its final innings, with the Nationals nursing a six-run lead, only a bullpen meltdown of the largest magnitude could have shifted the story of this game away from the brilliant big league debut of Nationals...

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 10, 2009; 11:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Riggleman Sees Big Picture, but Is He in It?

The question was simple enough: How happy are you that, even though you're losing all these games, your team hasn't given up on you? But Jim Riggleman's answer was not simple. It was long and impassioned. It took (with only...

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 10, 2009; 7:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Nationals Claim LHP J. English on Waivers

The Nationals made a waiver claim late this afternoon, picking up pitcher Jesse English from the San Francisco Giants, adding the 24-year-old left-hander to their 40-man roster. In a corresponding move, the team designated catching prospect Luke Montz for assignment....

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 10, 2009; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Desmond to Make First Start at SS

Here are the lineups for the Nationals' series finale tonight against the Phillies, with the Nats' lineup featuring shortstop prospect Ian Desmond making his big league debut. (UPDATED WITH PHILLIES' LINEUP AT 3:25) Nationals Harris -- 8 Orr -- 4...

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 10, 2009; 2:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Phillies 6, Nats 5

The Nats have won just two of 14 games against the Phillies this year. The latest loss came Wednesday, in a 6-5 oh-so-close, bases-loaded-in-the-eighth, runner-on-second-in-the-ninth sort of heartbreak. Say this much: Despite their disparities, the Phillies and Nationals play riveting...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 9, 2009; 11:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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You Play... To Win... The Game

Despite a team cemented in last place and a roster loaded with new faces, Jim Riggleman has managed the Washington Nationals this month with a style that belies those circumstances. And he will continue to, he said on Wednesday. September...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 9, 2009; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Lineups From Nats Park

Still waiting on the Philadelphia Nine. Washington Maxwell -- 8 Guzman -- 6 Dunn -- 3 Zimmerman -- 5 Willingham -- 7 Dukes -- 9 Bard -- 2 Gonzalez -- 4 Mock -- 1...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 9, 2009; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Reading Material

Links, missives and numbers, in no particular order: * The Nationals are 2-11 against the Phillies this year. An account of the latest imbroglio can be found here. * Against the Nats this year, Philadelphia is hitting .298, averaging 6.8...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 9, 2009; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Phillies 5, Nats 3

Fascinating game Tuesday night at Nats Park. All along, we thought John Lannan was a groundball pitcher in a groove. We also thought Brad Lidge was Philadelphia's closer. Then: Lannan gave up three homers in a four-batter span. Lidge loaded...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 8, 2009; 11:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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September Call-Ups Post, Pt. II

The reaction-commentary-and-penetrating-insight edition. Also, a few more facts. * The Nats now have 31 active players on their roster. Twenty of those players have spent time this year with Class AAA Syracuse. (Not counting rehab assignments.) * Marco Estrada will...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 8, 2009; 6:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Lineups From Nats Park

Philadelphia Rollins -- 6 Victorino -- 8 Utley -- 4 Howard -- 3 Werth -- 9 Ibanez -- 7 Feliz -- 5 Ruiz -- 2 Martinez -- 1 Washington Harris -- 8 Guzman -- 6 Zimmerman -- 5 Dunn --...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 8, 2009; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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September Call-Ups Post, Pt. I

Just-the-facts-ma'am edition. (I'll have a subsequent September call-ups post later this afternoon. Reaction, quotes, perhaps a non-exclusive Logan Kensing interview forthcoming.) For now, here are your official roster moves: * INF Ian Desmond -- recalled from Class AAA Syracuse *...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 8, 2009; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Zimmerman's Gold Glove Chances

I'll post with greater detail this afternoon about the Nats' September call-ups -- the full list is available here, via Nats Farm Authority -- but for the morning, I wanted to give some thoughts on another end-of-the-season rite. Awards. In...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 8, 2009; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
 
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Off-Day Musings

To honor the holiday -- or, rather, to honor the one-game winning streak -- here's a batch of marginalia and musings. There's not much of a common theme here, but I suppose all commentary herein relates to "baseball activities," or...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 7, 2009; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
 
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A Walk-Off Win

Wow, that happened fast. Nats down 4-2, bottom of the ninth. Closer Leo Nunez pitching. Easy save, right? The Nats had lost eight games in a row. They hadn't owned a lead -- any lead -- since Saturday, Aug. 29,...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 6, 2009; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
 
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Assorted Nats Notes

A few notes from the morning/afternoon at Nats Park... * Austin Kearns, trying to recover from a bruised right thumb, is still unable to swing a bat, and is looking less and less likely to make it back for the...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 6, 2009; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Lineups From Nats Park

Florida Coghlan -- 7 Johnson -- 3 Ramirez -- 6 Cantu -- 5 Uggla -- 4 Ross -- 9 Paulino -- 2 Maybin -- 8 Sanchez -- 1 Washington Harris -- 8 Guzman -- 6 Zimmerman -- 5 Dunn --...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 6, 2009; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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