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Nationals Journal: April 25, 2010 - May 1, 2010

Game 24 discussion thread: Nationals at Marlins

In nine straight games, Nationals starting pitchers have lasted at least six innings and allowed four runs of less. The previous eight have fallen under the quality start category -- three earned runs or less, six innnings or more. Tonight...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 1, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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No throwing yet for Jason Marquis

When Jason Marquis went on the disabled list April 21, the Nationals hoped he would begin throwing again within a week to 10 days in the wake of bone chips being found in his right elbow. Marquis, though, has yet...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 1, 2010; 6:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Too much Tyler Clippard?

On Friday night, Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman wanted to avoid using Tyler Clippard as a reliever. The Nationals had the previous day off, but Riggleman hoped he could provide extra rest for his most-used relief pitcher. However, Riggleman ran into...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 1, 2010; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Today's lineups

Pretty standard lineup for the Nationals today. Ian Desmond receives a blow and Cristian Guzman takes over at shortstop. Ryan Zimmerman still in there as a starter. Nationals 1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 2. Adam Kennedy, 2B 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 1, 2010; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Nationals getting defensive

Last night, after Ryan Zimmerman's big night, the Florida Marlins had one chance to maybe beat the Nationals. They trailed 5-1 and, with two outs, had the tying run at the plate. Ronny Paulino drilled a line drive to right-center...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 1, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Game 23 discussion thread: Nationals at Marlins

That picture hangs on the wall in the tunnel from the players' entrance to the visitors' clubhouse at Sun Life Stadium. Livan Hernandez is not pitching this series, but the location makes him somehow a part of it. Another...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 30, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Ryan Zimmerman 'ready to go'

When Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman makes his first start in nine days tonight, he will do so without concern. His tender right hamstring, he believes, has fully healed and should not affect his performance or all-out playing style. "That's...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 30, 2010; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  
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Waiting is the hardest part for Craig Stammen

Manager Jim Riggleman swapped Scott Olsen and Craig Stammen in the rotation in order to ensure teams would not see Olsen and John Lannan, both left-handed pitchers, in consecutive games. Thursday's off day meant Olsen and Stammen, who last pitched...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 30, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Craig Stammen , Pitching rotation , Scott Olsen  
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The improvement of Ian Desmond's defense

Ian Desmond made three errors in his first four games as the Nationals' starting shortstop, which invited the same worry that dogged him during his minor league career -- he could make any spectacular play but he too often botched...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 30, 2010; 6:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Ian Desmond  
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Today's lineup

Ryan Zimmerman will return to the Nationals starting lineup for the first time since April 21, back in his customary spots -- batting third and playing third. Zimmerman will make just his his 11th start of the season. Nationals 1....

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 30, 2010; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Nationals shuffle starters

Today is Craig Stammen's turn to pitch, but the Nationals used the offday to tweak their starting rotation. In an effort to break up their two left-handed starters, Scott Olsen will pitch on normal rest tonight and Stammen will start...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 30, 2010; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Extras on Livan Hernandez's hot start

Livan Hernandez has joined the league's elite starters just months after he couldn't find a job. He finished last season with the Nationals, whom he joined only after the Mets waived him in late August. At year's end, over the...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 30, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Livan Hernandez  
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Nationals Q&A with Tracee Hamilton, Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Join Post columnist Tracee Hamilton at 9:30 this morning for the latest edition of her daily "First Things First" chat, when she turns her attention to those plucky Nats. See what's on her mind, and submit your questions....

By David Larimer  |  April 30, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Drew Storen promoted to Class AAA Syracuse (Updated)

The Nationals have promoted Drew Storen, the right-hander they are grooming as a future closer, from Class AA Harrisburg to Class AAA Syracuse. Storen was informed of the promotion on Wednesday night in Reading, Pa., after the Senators wrapped up...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 29, 2010; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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Video: Strasburg's fourth start

Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg recorded his most impressive outing of the season on Tuesday in his fourth start for Harrisburg....

By Alexa Steele  |  April 29, 2010; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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For starters, the Nationals are on the right track

The Nationals' bullpen, led by Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps, has in many ways become the thrilling, dominant face of the Nationals' winning April and rapid team turnaround. Their 0.77 ERA over the past eight games has helped the Nationals...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 29, 2010; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Game 22 discussion thread: Nationals at Cubs

Partly because of injuries, partly by design, Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman has been able to use an array of players this season, keeping bench players involved in the game. Before the Nationals faced the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday in...

By Mark Viera  |  April 28, 2010; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
 
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Roger Bernadina joins the Nationals

Perhaps the only thing that could slow down red-hot Roger Bernadina right now is lack of sleep. After being recalled by the Washington Nationals from Class AAA Syracuse on Tuesday, Bernadina, currently one of the best hitters in the minors,...

By Mark Viera  |  April 28, 2010; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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As expected, Ryan Zimmerman out of lineup again

UPDATED | 1: 30 p.m. As expected, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has a sore right hamstring, was not in the starting line up on Wednesday for the Washington Nationals third of three games against the Chicago Cubs, marking the...

By Mark Viera  |  April 28, 2010; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  
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Talking fatigue with Nationals relievers

When it comes to relief pitching, the Washington Nationals are doing more with less. That is to say, they are relying so heavily on Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps in the latter innings that Manager Jim Riggleman has expressed concern...

By Mark Viera  |  April 28, 2010; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Jesse English optioned to Syracuse

With a dearth of healthy position players, the Washington Nationals on Tuesday optioned left-handed reliever Jesse English to Class AAA Syracuse and recalled Roger Bernadina in order to add more bodies to the bench. After Washington's 3-1 win over the...

By Mark Viera  |  April 28, 2010; 12:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Game 21 discussion thread: Nationals at Cubs

Alberto Gonzalez, who has been playing well lately, will start at third base for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday in the second of three games against Chicago Cubs. Before the game, Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman was asked about Gonzalez's role....

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 7:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Report: Roger Bernadina to be promoted

The Washington Nationals are planning to recall outfielder Roger Bernadina from Class AAA Syracuse following Tuesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs, according to a report on Nats Insider. A Nationals spokesman said he did not have knowledge of the...

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 7:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Ryan Zimmerman likely to return in Florida

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, out of the starting lineup for six straight games with a sore right hamstring, probably will not start again until the team's trip to Florida to play the Marlins in a three-game series starting...

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 7:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  
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Strasburg live-blog: Baseballtown, USA

9:28 p.m.: Drew Storen pitched two scoreless innings to lock down the Senators' 1-0 victory and improve Strasburg's record to 3-0 with one no-decision. Because this was the first game of a double-header, Strasburg's between-games interview session was brief and...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 27, 2010; 6:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Ivan Rodriguez in line up, Ryan Zimmerman out

UPDATED | 6:40 p.m. After sitting out with tightness in his lower back on Monday night, catcher Ivan Rodriguez will return to the starting lineup for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday when they play the second of a three-game series...

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Ivan Rodriguez , Ryan Zimmerman  
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Wrigley Field is 'friendly' to Adam Dunn

For Washington Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, the Friendly Confines has indeed been a welcoming environment. Over the years, Dunn has crushed the ball at Wrigley Field. On Monday, Dunn went 3 for 5, with a double, in a 10-inning loss...

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Adam Dunn  
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Nationals battled heavy wind in Chicago

Jim Riggleman went 374-419 in five seasons, from 1995 to 1999, as the manager of the Chicago Cubs, so he knows why they call Chicago the Windy City. "It's a beautiful day in Chicago," Riggleman, now the manager of the...

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Jim Riggleman  
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Nats contemplate moves to add position players

The Washington Nationals have had a number of nagging injuries that have limited what Manager Jim Riggleman can do with his bench. As a result, he said that the organization was considering sending down some relief pitchers in order to...

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Ivan Rodriguez , Jim Riggleman , Ryan Zimmerman  
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Game 20 discussion thread: Nationals at Cubs

Before the Washington Nationals took on the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, General Manager Mike Rizzo provided an update on a number of rehabilitating players. -- Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, who underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery last August, is so far...

By Mark Viera  |  April 26, 2010; 7:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Chien-Ming Wang , Pitching rotation  
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Willie Harris nagged by bone bruise in knee

As a result of lingering injuries to his club, Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman said the organization has considered demoting a relief pitcher in order to add another position player. The Nationals are particularly limited because do-it-all utility man Willie Harris,...

By Mark Viera  |  April 26, 2010; 7:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Tags: Chicago Cubs, Jim Riggleman, Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals, Willie Harris  
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With cold weather, Ryan Zimmerman out again

With the temperature dropping and wind whipping furiously at Wrigley Field, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, battling a sore right hamstring, was held out of the starting line up on Monday for a fifth-straight game as the Nationals continue to take...

By Mark Viera  |  April 26, 2010; 7:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  
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Ryan Zimmerman not in starting lineup again

UPDATED | 6:40 p.m. Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has a right hamstring injury, is not starting at third base on Monday for a fifth consecutive game. Adam Kennedy will play again at the hot corner to start...

By Mark Viera  |  April 26, 2010; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  
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Strasburg, Senators rained out

Tonight's game between the Harrisburg Senators and the Phillies in Reading, Pa., in which pitcher Stephen Strasburg was scheduled to start, has been rained out. Strasburg is now scheduled to pitch the front end of a doubleheader tomorrow at 6:30...

By Alexa Steele  |  April 26, 2010; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Video: A star is born

Nationals top draft pick and pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg is living up to lofty expectations while dominating Class AA batters and getting a taste of the life of a professional baseball player in Harrisburg. Here is a video that captures...

By Alexa Steele  |  April 26, 2010; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Nationals make some minor league moves

The Washington Nationals made a handful of player moves Monday that will affect Class AA Harrisburg, notably demoting left-handed pitcher Aaron Thompson from Class AAA Syracuse. In addition to Thompson's move, infielder Ofilio Castro will rejoin the Senators from extended...

By Mark Viera  |  April 26, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Nyjer Morgan is getting caught up

Nyjer Morgan is not going to stop trying to steal bases. It would betray how he approaches the sport. "Hell, no, I'm not going to stop," he said. "That's part of my game." But Morgan recognizes he needs to start...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 26, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Willie Harris has MRI, may play tomorrow

Nationals utility man Willie Harris underwent an MRI on his sore right knee, but the test revealed no serious damage. Harris is not likely to play tomorrow in Chicago, but he did not rule it out. "I don't know, let's...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 25, 2010; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Game 19 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Dodgers

It's easy to forget the Nationals, in the middle of their uplifting start, still have Chien-Mien Wang on the horizon. If Dodgers Manager Joe Torre had his way, Wang would be rehabbing for the team in the other dugout today....

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 25, 2010; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Without Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals stay afloat

The Nationals today will play their ninth game of the season without Ryan Zimmerman in the starting lineup, which would have qualified as a nightmare scenario before the season began. No National creates more runs on offense or saves more...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 25, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The state of the Nationals bullpen

The Nationals used only three relievers in their 13-inning loss yesterday to the Dodgers, but the strain of the game left most of their bullpen fatigued beyond the wear it endured in the actual game. Brian Bruney threw 13 pitches...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 25, 2010; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Willie Harris sitting out

Willie Harris was in the original Nationals lineup, but his sore right knee forced him to the bench. Before the game, Pat Listach asked Harris if he would take batting practice. Harris simply shook his head no, and then he...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 25, 2010; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Today's lineup

Ivan Rodriguez is back behind the plate as Scott Olsen makes his third start, trying to recover from his two-inning shellacking against the Rockies his last time out. The Nationals are 5-4 on their homestand, and they will attempt to...

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 25, 2010; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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