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Nationals Journal: September 20, 2009 - September 26, 2009

Updates on Guzman, Burnett, Zimmerman

Cristian Guzman has likely played his final game at shortstop this season. Sean Burnett has likely pitched his final game, too. Both are suffering injuries - Guzman has a sore shoulder, Burnett a bruised hand - and neither appears ready...

By Zach Berman  |  September 26, 2009; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Saturday's Lineups

Atlanta Braves (83-70) McLouth - CF Prado - 2B Jones - 3B McCann - C Anderson - LF Escobar - SS LaRoche - 1B Diaz - RF Hanson - RHP Washington Nationals (52-101) Harris - CF Orr - 3B Willingham...

By Zach Berman  |  September 26, 2009; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Braves 4, Nats 1

The what-if scenario has no purpose, I admit. But let's just suppose that way back in the first inning, John Lannan, with the benefit of decent fielding, had finished the frame after three outs instead of six. Let's pretend Josh...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 25, 2009; 10:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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A Few Pre-Game Notes

* John Lannan on Friday night will go for his 10th win this year, which is at least semi-landmarkish enough to warrant a mention. Since this franchise relocated to Washington, double-digit winners are rare. Livan Hernandez (15-10) and Esteban Loaiza...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 25, 2009; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Lineups From Nats Park

Atlanta McLouth - 8 Prado - 4 Jones - 5 McCann - 2 Escbar - 6 Anderson - 7 Diaz - 9 LaRoche - 3 Vazquez - 1 Washington Harris - 7 Desmond - 6 Dunn - 3 Zimmerman -...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 25, 2009; 3:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Nats Announce 2010 Season Ticket Prices

Preparing for their third season at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals on Friday announced their 2010 season ticket prices, lowering the cost of roughly 2,000 outfield seats and leaving all other prices virtually identical to 2009. An additional 1,000 high-level...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 25, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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What's In Store for a 100-Loss Team?

Over the last 25 seasons, 26 teams -- not counting the latest entrant in the group -- have lost 100 or more games in a season. And what becomes of those teams thereafter? Well, here's the (marginally) good news. The...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 25, 2009; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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The 100th Loss

It took 152 games, and then three-hours, 41 minutes, but the Nationals, after falling on Thursday to the Dodgers, 7-6, have now joined the exclusive fraternity of 100-game losers. Since 1903, 134 teams, not counting the latest entrant, have lost...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 24, 2009; 11:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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A Few Injury Notes

A few dings and dents to update you on... SEAN BURNETT: On August 23, the left-handed reliever took a groundball off his left thumb. Though X-rays were negative, he missed a few days. But it turns out, Burnett is still...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 24, 2009; 6:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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The Let's-Avoid-100 Lineup, Take II

Please note, because of a sore right shoulder, shortstop Cristian Guzman is getting the day off. Interim skipper Jim Riggleman indicated that Guzman would need a short rest to deal with the injury, which has been bothering him for the...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 24, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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The Premature 2010 Prediction Question

Ever since General Manager Mike Rizzo's We-Are-Not-Rebuilding trading deadline declaration, I've heard the viewpoint -- with increasing frequency -- that the Washington Nationals aren't all that far away from becoming a drastically improved team. Just from Wednesday, for instance: Ronnie...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 24, 2009; 8:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Nats 5, Dodgers 4

For most of this season, the Nats have shown a giftedness for cramming even their finer moments into losses. (Not many teams can lose, for instance, when homering five times.) Wednesday night's 5-4 escape against the Dodgers felt like the...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 23, 2009; 11:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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A Few Notes From Nats Park

As if hoping self-evidence would sell his point, Ronnie Belliard, while talking Wednesday afternoon, pointed to his left, then his right. The locker right next to Belliard's belonged to Jim Thome. The locker two down belonged to Manny Ramirez. In...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 23, 2009; 6:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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The Let's-Avoid-100 Lineup

Washington Harris - 7 Guzman - 6 Dunn - 3 Zimmerman - 5 Dukes - 9 Bard - 2 Maxwell - 8 Gonzalez - 4 Detwiler - 1 Los Angeles will be posted soon...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 23, 2009; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Good Livo, Bad Livo, More Bad Baseball

On his good nights, Livan Hernandez is a durable don't-give-a-hoot workhorse and/or warhorse who eats innings in the manner that most men eat meatball hoagies, a true old-fashioned gunslinger who just plays for the love of the game and won't...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 23, 2009; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Desmond's Future at SS, 2B, OF... All of the Above?

The Nationals' view towards prospect Ian Desmond's future continued to evolve Tuesday, as Desmond started at second base against the Los Angeles Dodgers -- the fourth consecutive game in which he has started at a different position than the game...

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 22, 2009; 7:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Lineups From Nationals Park

Harris -- 8 Guzman -- 6 Zimmerman -- 5 Dunn -- 3 Willingham -- 7 Dukes -- 9 Bard -- 2 Desmond -- 4 Hernandez -- 1 [UPDATED WITH DODGERS' LINEUP] Furcal -- 6 Ethier -- 9 Ramirez -- 7...

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 22, 2009; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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More On Elijah Dukes

Here's the story from Tuesday's pulp edition on Elijah Dukes. Personal confession: It feels almost like a transgression against journalistic standards to write a Dukes story without the Previous Sins Paragraph. Maybe it was irresponsible to leave it out. If...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 22, 2009; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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A Semi-Historic 115th Pitch

In the Nats' otherwise nondescript loss Sunday, something unusual happened. Something borderline-unprecedented. Something (use your best monster truck voice here) with screeching, edge-of-your-seat excitement; a non-stop THRILL-ride; an unfor-GETTABLE display of horsepower and toughness. That, or maybe I've just forgotten...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 21, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Riggleman Says Nats Were Flat In 6-2 Loss

Neither science nor sabermetrics has yet devised a method for measuring energy, so any attempt to moderate a debate on the Washington Nationals' energy level Sunday afternoon might be as futile as the baseball itself. It's hardly worth assembling the...

By Chico Harlan  |  September 20, 2009; 5:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Lineups From Citi Field

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

By Chico Harlan  |  September 20, 2009; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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