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Nationals Journal: September 13, 2009 - September 19, 2009

Mets 3, Nats 2

Jim Riggleman, roughly 11 a.m., speaking about the decision to play Ian Desmond in right field: "If he can play short and he can play second, I'm not saying he's going to be a Gold Glove outfielder, but I think...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 19, 2009; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Ian Desmond , Jim Riggleman  | Tags: Ian Desmond, Jim Riggleman  
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Lineups, With A Surprise

Harris - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 7 Orr - 4 Desmond - 9 Bard - 2 Lannan - 1 New York Pagan - 8 Castillo - 4 Wright - 5 Francoeur -...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 19, 2009; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Josh Willingham's Left Field Power

Ever notice how every Josh Willingham homer looks the same? Think about it: When was the last time you saw Willingham hit a homer to right? Or even to center? The Nats' other big home run guys do it all...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 19, 2009; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Nats 6, Mets 5

Whew, that was close. The surgeon general does not recommend Mike MacDougal ninth innings. They're bad for your heart and blood pressure. This was a 6-2 game -- a cruise-to-the-finish-line Nats' victory -- until Mr. MacFastball ratcheted up the tension....

By Chico Harlan  |  September 18, 2009; 10:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Get Your Catcher's Mitt, Pete Orr

As a major leaguer, Pete Orr has played second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field. In the minor leagues, he's also pitched and played center field. But Orr figures that adding one more position to his repertoire...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 18, 2009; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Lineups From Citi Field

Washington Harris - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 7 Dukes - 9 Desmond - 4 Bard - 2 Martin - 1 New York Pagan - 7 Castillo - 4 Wright - 5 Beltran...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 18, 2009; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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En Route to New York

I am currently on Amtrak train 2160 from Philadelphia to New York, making an unfortunate 1-1/2-hour exodus from consequential baseball. You can't accuse the Nationals, of course, of failing to influence the playoff picture this year. They all but chauffeured...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 18, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Nats Lose Game, Acquire C Jamie Burke

The Nats went down again on Thursday night, 4-2. I'd summarize things thusly: Ross Detwiler was good, Cole Hamels was great, and Washington's offense made him look even greater. The Phillies' ace, dominant with that classic fastball-change combo, took a...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 17, 2009; 11:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Nieves Leaves Game With Injury

[UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.] -- Nieves has a left hamstring injury. In other news, the Nats are no longer being no-hit by Cole Hamels. Mike Morse broke up the no-no with a single on the ground between short and third to...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 17, 2009; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Livo Won't Get Chance to Make Mets Pay

Shortly after Livan Hernandez signed with the Washington Nationals, he glanced at his new team's schedule, scanning for one thing in particular: Games against the Mets. Washington still had six remaining dates with its division rival, Hernandez's former team. Briefly,...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 17, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Lineups From Citizens Bank

Washington Maxwell - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Willingham - 7 Dukes - 9 Desmond - 4 Morse - 3 Nieves - 2 Detwiler - 1 Philadelphia Rollins - 6 Victorino - 8 Utley - 4 Howard -...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 17, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Quality Starts, Walks and Foul Balls

It takes some digging, I admit, because the Nationals are playing some of their most oppressive baseball of the season. But not every element of this team's recent performance is unpalatable. So, for the sake of sanity and variety, I'll...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 17, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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More on the Toddler's Toss

I'm sure you've seen the original footage, but this AP video and story describe how this dad and daughter have become media darlings since Tuesday's game between the Nationals and the Phillies....

By Alexa Steele  |  September 17, 2009; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Phillies 6, Nats 1

After Washington's 6-1 defeat against the Phillies on Wednesday night -- a rambling effort that included nearly every conceivable form of inability -- interim skipper Jim Riggleman gave his team a brief lecture. It probably lasted about five minutes (and...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 16, 2009; 11:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Flores Labrum Surgery Successful

Nats' catcher Jesus Flores on Wednesday evening underwent surgery on his right labrum, performed by orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. The surgery was, indeed, successful, marking Andrews' 1,743rd consecutive triumphant procedure. Flores, according to the team, will require approximately...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 16, 2009; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Lineups From Citizens Bank

Washington Harris - 7 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Willingham - 9 Desmond - 4 Maxwell - 8 Nieves - 2 Hernandez - 1 Philadelphia Rollins - 6 Victorino - 8 Utley - 4 Howard -...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 16, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Some Thoughts on the Flores Injury

Let's suppose that the surgery performed today on the right shoulder of catcher Jesus Flores is a "success." (As opposed to say, "a calamity of stunning proportions.") And let's suppose that Flores's recovery follows a conservative timetable, meaning he rejoins...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 16, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Flores Has Torn Right Labrum; Will Miss 3-6 Months

The Nats pulled off a rare feat Tuesday night, actually losing a nine-inning game in roughly two innings. They were down 5-0 at the end of the second; that was also the final score. Cliff Lee was dealin' the whole...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 15, 2009; 11:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Detwiler Will Start Thursday Against Phillies

Counting work in the majors and minors, pitcher Ross Detwiler has already thrown 130-2/3 innings this year. With that alone, the 2007 first-round pick has shown enough -- at least in "flashes," according to general manager Mike Rizzo -- to...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 15, 2009; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Lineups From Citizens Bank

Jim Riggleman, on why Ian Desmond is out of the lineup: "Well, it's not to just play him every day, but as I've said before I just can't abandon those who've been out there for us all year. It just...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 15, 2009; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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The Nats' 2010 Schedule

It was released on Tuesday -- the 2010 MLB schedule. I've already spent the last 15 minutes scanning Washington's slate, letting my mind roll. When will Stephen Strasburg make his debut? How many Phillies fans will be at Nats Park...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 15, 2009; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Roster For Florida Instructional League

The Nationals on Tuesday announced their roster for the Florida Instructional League. The Nats' team will have 50 players, but if MLB Network cameras are there, the presence of one particular pitchers explains why. No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg is...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 15, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Ian Desmond, on His Toes

Since his call-up to the big leagues one week ago, Ian Desmond has walked around the clubhouse wearing a pair of these. He has, of course, taken constant joking from the older players. When you wear these things, you somehow...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 15, 2009; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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The Pleasures of the September Grind

As a kid, I always loved NHL playoff series, if only because by the end -- Game 5... Game 6... Game 7! -- familiarity and contempt were indistinguishable, and those third-line grinders on the New York Rangers felt like enemies...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 14, 2009; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Nats Cap Wet Weekend With Series Win

On Sunday, the Nationals endured when they most needed to. Relying on a pitcher making his 30th start and a lineup resting two of its top three hitters, the Nationals grabbed an early lead, persisted through another stultifying rain delay...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 13, 2009; 9:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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In Another Rain Delay; Nats Lead, 7-2

[UPDATE, 7:00 p.m.] -- Game was just called. Officially, a 53-minute wait. Nats win! Nats win! --- [UPDATE, 6:23 p.m.] -- MLB rules requires umps to wait 30 minutes after a delay to call a game. This game was paused...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 13, 2009; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Desmond Gets Start at Second Base

* First of all, take note. Ian Desmond is starting at second base -- a position he hasn't played since his junior year of high school. For the last two or three days, Desmond has prepared for the position switch,...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 13, 2009; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Lineups From Land Shark Stadium

Washington Harris - 7 Desmond - 4 Guzman - 6 Dunn - 3 Dukes - 9 Maxwell - 8 Orr - 5 Nieves - 2 Lannan - 1 Florida Coghlan - 7 Johnson - 3 Ramirez - 6 Cantu -...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 13, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Silver Lining to a Dreary Night

There's no way to sugarcoat the fact that the Nationals got pounded Saturday in Florida. As interim manager Jim Riggleman is quoted in Chico's online game story, "Losing by eight or nine runs when you out-hit somebody (10 to nine),...

By CJ Holley  |  September 13, 2009; 1:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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