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Game 9 discussion thread: Nationals at Phillies

The Nationals will play their fourth straight game without Ryan Zimmerman in the starting lineup. He has already not played in four days, but Zimmerman brushed off any thought of going on the disabled list.

While Manager Jim Riggleman said he is leaning toward not playing Zimmerman tomorrow, too, Zimmerman will be available to pinch-hit today in specific situations -- men on base at the end of the game, a man on third with less two outs. Basically, if they can find a pivotal moment in which Zimmerman needs only to swing, he could play.

Before the game, Zimmerman tried running on his hamstring for the first time since Saturday, when he left a game against the Mets. At its worst, Zimmerman's left hamstring hurt when he swung the bat. Now, he feels nothing during batting practice. The key is having his hamstring hold up to explosive movements.

For now, he'll continue toward his goal during games he can't play: "Try not to eat every inning," he said.

One more quick note: Reliever Tyler Walker, who pitched in 32 games for the Phillies last year, received a National League championship ring in a pre-game ceremony.

3:53: The Phillies lead 1-0 on a Chase Utley home run, his fourth this season against the Nationals. Utley hit two last night and also drove one to the warning track. Despite that hiccup, Scott Olsen has been pretty good. He's thrown only 22 pitches so far, striking out one and allowing no other hits. (For comparison, Garrett Mock threw 43 pitches in his first two outings Friday.)

4:26: Olsen is still rolling. He ended the third by throwing Raul Ibanez a vicious, 82 mph slider. Ibanez spun like a top for strike three. It's 1-1 after four. The Nats scored in the third when Nyjer Morgan walked and got picked off, but reached second on an error. Ian Desmond bunted him to third and Cristian Guzman drove him in with a grounder to second.

5:53: I can't believe what I just saw. Pinch-hitting and making his first apperance since Saturday, Ryan Zimmerman added an all-timer to his litany of clutch performances. He came off the bench and crushed an opposite-field, two-run, go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth inning. The Phllies still have two chances to make it moot, but as a moment that was pretty incredible. In the dugout, Nationals were laughing at each other. It was the first pinch-hit homer of his career. Nats lead 5-4.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 15, 2010; 3:17 PM ET
 
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Next: Justin Maxwell's big week

Comments

Guzman walks: a sign of the apocalypse?

Dunn grounds out 3U: order restored to the universe.

Posted by: wigi | April 15, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Utley is just locked in right now and going yard like its nothing (silver lining that I picked him 3rd overall in my fantasy league...). Regardless, I'm actually pleased with the way Olsen was actually challenging the batters. Hopefully, he'll keep it up and get a groove going and at least give the bats a chance to compete.

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Utley homers in the first. Come on Olsen.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Will somebody, please bean Utley and get him off the plate.

Posted by: SouthernVA | April 15, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

This is our inning. Top of the order coming up.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, someone throw a fastball at Utley's head. I don't say that lightly. It's his fault, since a fastball to his brave end wouldn't faze him one bit.

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

This is the best Olsen has looked since he was in Florida. Easily better than any stuff he had last year. It's only two innings of one start, and the Phils can get to anybody, but this is who the Nats thought they traded for. Fastball 89-to-92 with ability to add and subtract a little. Good breaking balls that bother LHs. Every LH hitter except Utley has looked uncomfortable on most pitches. And a good changup that's 10 mph less than the best fastball. Olsen is actully 1 1/2 years younger than A.J. Happ. Regardless of how this game turns out, if this is how Olsen pitches after surgery, then he could be in the rotation a long time __the 2nd LH with Lannan. Or is this just the best he can look on his best day for 20 pitches? Still, I doubted he'd ever look this good again for one inning ever. Long-time lurker.

Posted by: russ_21401 | April 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Will someone explain the Ruiz out at third? Why for the love of baseball was Carlos Ruiz running on a ground ball to first base (which is how GameDay shows it)?

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

JA, not AJ, ooops.

Posted by: russ_21401 | April 15, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, Olsen has gone 3 innings, I'm ready to anoint him savior.

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I am also "watching" on GameDay and wondering what happed there at 3rd. Anyone?

Posted by: kjhealey | April 15, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Dibble just said the Nats have moved from a rebuilding team to a contending team and are expected to win a lot more games than they lose this year.

Bartender, I'll have what he's having...

Posted by: baltova1 | April 15, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Utleys up...bean him!...bean him!...bean him!

Posted by: SouthernVA | April 15, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi!

Happy to have found this discussion as I too am "watching" on gameday and can't quite pick up on the subtleties of what is going on.

Yes, an explanation of the Ruiz out at third would be most welcome.

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 15, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, someone throw a fastball at Utley's head. I don't say that lightly. It's his fault, since a fastball to his brave end wouldn't faze him one bit.

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 3:50 PM

Get Lannan in there to break his hand again. Actually, he should have done that on opening day.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 15, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I second 506's motion. Not to hurt, but Utley does croud the plate and needs to get pushed off of it...

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn (!!) charged a bunt & gunned Ruiz down at third. Threw a laser, right on the money.

----

I am also "watching" on GameDay and wondering what happed there at 3rd. Anyone?

Posted by: kjhealey | April 15, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: chiefwj | April 15, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

So, Olsen is handling Utley and Howard beautifully and we get a loooong conversation with Adam Kennedy's dad. Is this a big league broadcast or a cable access show?

Posted by: baltova1 | April 15, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Happ laid down a bunt, that Dunn charged in on and then gunned Ruiz down at 3rd. Great play by Dunn.

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with Baltova. These phone interviews are NUBS. Do that pre game, post game, or during the 7th inning stretch.

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn (!!) charged a bunt & gunned Ruiz down at third. Threw a laser, right on the money.

Posted by: chiefwj | April 15, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

--
Thanks! It would be nice if GameDay said "bunt". Dunn makes a good defensive play! Things are looking up.

Posted by: kjhealey | April 15, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Olsen has made it through 4 innings!!!

Or as we here in Nats Town call it:

"A quality start..."

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

What's Olsen's pitch count? I'm watching on GameCast, and it doesn't say. It seems like he's cruising through innings, though.

Good job, Scott. Keep it up.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Dunn makes a good defensive play! Things are looking up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ah, the optimism of April baseball.

Thanks for the info chiefwj!

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 15, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What's Olsen's pitch count? I'm watching on GameCast, and it doesn't say. It seems like he's cruising through innings, though.

Good job, Scott. Keep it up.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@ usmc53

Olsen:

51 pitches through 4 innings, 35 for strikes

HOO RAH

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

What's Olsen's pitch count? I'm watching on GameCast, and it doesn't say. It seems like he's cruising through innings, though.

Good job, Scott. Keep it up.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Morgan has two walks and a single thus far. He's clearly doing HIS job.

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Unless that was an attempted hit and run, I hope someone talks to Desmond about being more patient. Between Nyjer being on 1st and Happ throwing a ton of pitches, he needed to take some pitches in that situation.

Posted by: slewis1 | April 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

There has to be some good reason we kept Mock coming out of ST and sent Olsen down. Hmmm, what was it? Gotta root for Olsen coming back from a shoulder injury.

Posted by: fpcsteve | April 15, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I have Olsen at 65 pitches, 44 for strikes, on GameDay

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

506...post has the same.

Happ's already at 90

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I have Olsen at 65 pitches, 44 for strikes, on GameDay

Through 5. Go Scott!!

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 15, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

If Olsen gets through the sixth I am going to set off some fireworks in my office.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 15, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Happ out. Contreras in

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Wake up, bats! Wake up! (Not you, Phillies bats. You can keep on napping.)

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 15, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

J Max...runner at second base with two outs...

Strike out.

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Sit down Utley! Got him swinging. K'd him twice today... gave up the homer, but has worked him since then. Way to go Scott.

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Utley strikes out swinging. One away Palanco on first.

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 15, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Three ducks on the pond. Need to get Castro here.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 15, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or was Olsen getting squeezed on the Ibanez at-bat? I'm watching on MLB, but they have the Philly feed...no replay.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 15, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Or not. Looks like my office will be spared.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 15, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

What was Riggleman thinking? Olsen walks Ibanez, you have to bring in Clippard to face Castro and get that righty-righty match up. Don't tell me he wanted to put his faith in Olsen to win or lose the game. He clearly can't think too highly of the guy after he sent him down to the minors. What a botch.

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@BobL

Too bad.

Drat.

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 15, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

What was Riggleman thinking?

He was thinking that the bullpen has an ERA approaching triple digits against the Phillies so maybe have this guy they haven't seen yet this year try to pitch his way out of it. I imagine something along those lines.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 15, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

What was Riggleman thinking?

He was thinking that the bullpen has an ERA approaching triple digits against the Phillies so maybe have this guy they haven't seen yet this year try to pitch his way out of it. I imagine something along those lines.

________________________________________

Either that, or the coin just came up "tails."

Posted by: TimDz | April 15, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Not to bail out Clippard for a bases loaded walk, but I thought it was accepted practice at this point that if you were going to intentionally walk someone you do it with the exiting pitcher so as not to screw up the reliever's rhythm. Gotta think that didn't help.

Posted by: gtrain82 | April 15, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of the second Marquis start (I think). The Nats cruise along and then remember they aren't a very good team and promptly start acting like it.

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | April 15, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Bullpen = grand slam, so the right decision; of course a better decision would have been to get some ML pitchers instead of Bowden-like Bums. So how many home grown starting position players have the Nats developed since they arrived in DC? Zimmerman; even if you count Desmond as a starter, which he won't be by May, he started with Expos org in 2004. So one in six years -- quite a testament to the incompetence of StanK. Has any other team done as poorly? Why is he still in baseball other than to sell tickets to visiting teams?

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | April 15, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

It looks like we have a 2-man bullpen: Clippard and Capps (sort of).

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Dunn-key!

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Park one over the fence Zim

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

ZIMMMM!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

LIKE I SAID! PARK IT ZIM!!!

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Call it, jstack!

Ryan Zimmerman: Hero

Posted by: baltova1 | April 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Hamstring looked real spry when he was touching all 4

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

all that food zim ate kept his strength up. way to go, ryan!!! hold it, boys!

Posted by: gretchenrose | April 15, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

...am I just being a Nats homer or are they pitching and hitting with different strike zones?

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | April 15, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Come on BULLPEN!!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Alright, six outs away from a .500 road trip. Let's nail it down and get some momentum before our 10 game homestand.

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I love Willie stealing there. Base hit gives us insurance. Too bad Nyjer didn't come through.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Dunn still isn't hitting anywhere near his weight, but today has almost doubled his batting average, from about .105 to .192

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Next inning, we have Desmond-Guzman-Dunn-Willingham coming up. There's at least one run in there. I'm feeling it.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

does Dunn ever hit his weight lol?

Posted by: nami322 | April 15, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Man, this team has a ton of speed and a ton of great overall baserunners. Way to get to 2nd Desmond, thats big time right there.

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

i really like the aggressive running today

Posted by: nami322 | April 15, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Dunn hitting his own weight is asking a lot. He's listed at 285.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Very encouraging game. Even last night, when the pitching wasn't there they still kept battling back. This team is different from last year, everyone can see it. Playing the Phillies is really tough and I can't wait til we play some other teams not named the Phillies.

Hope we can close it out though!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I gotta think Capps is mad they won't let him hit. He's one competitive [person].

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Pudge!!

Posted by: jstack34 | April 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

PUDGEEE

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not watching the game... why would you pitch to Pudge in that situation? Why not load the bases and go after Capps?

Posted by: mrhyde | April 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess I need to revise my prediction for this year.

The Nationals are now the best team in baseball history.

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

If this team gets adequate pitching, they're competitive. God forbid if they ever got good pitching (cough-Strasburg-cough-Storen-cough-Zimmermann-cough)...

Posted by: baltova1 | April 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

they would have pinch hit for capps if they walked pudge

Posted by: nami322 | April 15, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

And so Bruney (13.50 ERA) would have pitched the 9th? Interesting strategy.

Posted by: mrhyde | April 15, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Luckily, MASN still sucks. That's Willie Harris, not Willy Taveras.

"why would you pitch to Pudge in that situation?"

Because Charlie Manuel is one of the worst managers in baseball.

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh Jesus, here we go...

Posted by: Kev29 | April 15, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Capps gives me Cordero-like Heart Attacks....

Posted by: CajunD | April 15, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

We're 4-5. Very nice!!! Considering we've played the Phillies 6 times, I think that's pretty good. At least we're not 1-8 like the Orioles. ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

i am happy with the start to the season. 2 and 4 against the phillies isnt horrible, took 2 out of 3 from the mets. definitely beats last year's start by a mile.

Posted by: nami322 | April 15, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Great game Nationals! I thought we were done when it was 4-1. Great great comeback against the best team in the NL.

Too bad Olsen couldn't get the win. He pitched well.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 15, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

So, we got Lannan, Livan, and Olsen. Now we need more to stay until June. Anyone hear anything new about Detweiler?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: ehardwick | April 15, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

LOL at AK's 5:53 update. When Zimm came in to pinch hit I said "Gibson." He *did* look a little gimpy rounding the bases (but not that gimpy). :-)

A nice big atta boy to Olsen for going as deep into the game as he did, and saving the 'pen some work. I liked his intensity regarding (IMO) obtaining the curly w for the team. Another atta boy to Capps for the five-out save (I think my heart rate might be getting back down again now, too).

I think that my favorite part was the view of Utley shaking his head in disbelief after he donned the Golden Sombrero (looking, btw).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 15, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm usually a little too quick to give up on pitchers, but I'm not writing Marquis off yet.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait. I guess it was the Silver Sombrero with 3 rather than 4 K's. I still liked it, though. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 15, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

And while we're on the subject, we haven't heard much from the Pudge-bashers lately, have we?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"I think that my favorite part was the view of Utley shaking his head in disbelief after he donned the Golden Sombrero (looking, btw)."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "Golden Sombrero" refers to 0 for 4 with 4 Ks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_sombrero

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Attaboys to: Olsen, Capps, Dunn, "the Z-man" & Pudge. 2-4 against the Phillies early, and the team doesn't have to face them again for a while. Bonus - The Nats got a win on the day the Phillies received their 2009 jewelry; Well played.

Posted by: BinM | April 15, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The Phillies are 0-2 on Thursdays. Coincidence?

Posted by: CapitolWill | April 15, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Some Notes

* I hate Chase Utley

* Capps is indeed Chad Cordero reincarnated. My Red-Headed Cubs-Fan Girlfriend already calls him "The Chief II". I won't complain if it means 47 saves.

* As a Pudge-basher, I am quite content to shut-up. Please continue to gloat, but more importantly, please continue to have a reason to do so.

Posted by: Section506 | April 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

So, what does Thor like? Cheese seems appropriate--maybe we could sacrifice a cheesesteak before the next Phillies game...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Capps and short notes: his middle name is Dicus. I'm hoping that's pronounced "DEE-suss."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Swett sweet sweet. This team has deficiencies but lack of heart is not one of them. Zim's pinch hit was one for the ages. Great job by Olsen. Didn't understand the decision to keep Mock and send him down but I like the new approach by management - produce or ship out. Maybe Mock was hurting but we've seen too many players hide an injury and hurt the team. The Bergmann move is also in keeping with the new philsophy. I'm sure Manual is getting ripped for pitching to Pudge instead of walking him and getting Capps out of the game. He may be a reincarnation of The Chief but putting away Utley, Howard and Werth was huge. Didn't give in to Victorino -- make 'em hit the ball. If it goes out, so be it but don't give them a baserunner without swinging the bat.

Posted by: Natmeister | April 15, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"I won't complain if it means 47 saves."
------------

I won't either, as long as it doesn't mean major arm surgery the next season and another two years on the DL...

Posted by: Juan-John1 | April 15, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

sec3, re. the sombrero, I'll offer the words that always bring joy to my husband (on the rare occasions that he hears them): "You were right. I was wrong." :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 15, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear. My guess would be that "Dicus" is a family name (with a long "i" and a hard "c" - and don't go there, people... ;-). If that's so, one of the meanings is "stout," which seems apropos.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 15, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

From Kilgore's earlier post titled 'Nationals pitching and the wrong kind of change'.

Let's do a matchup between the two early-season staffs and which of the Three (ten; twelve?) Stooges they most closely resemble so far...
2009 - 2010
John Lannan = John Lannan
Scott Olsen = Craig Stammen
Daniel Cabrera = Jason Marquis
Shairon Martis = Livan Hernandez

Julian Tavarez = Miguel Batista
Wil Ledezma = Tyler Walker
Steven Shell = Garrett Mock
Mike Hinckley = Sean Burnett
Joe Beimel = Jesse English
Joel Hanrahan = Jason Bergmann
Saul Rivera = Brian Bruney


And the 2010 pitchers so far with no 2009 counterparts (thank goodness):
Matt Capps
Tyler Clippard

Posted by: BinM | April 15, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

As a surname, seems to be from several languages, including Welsh.

I have a vewy good fwend in Wome by that name ...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FByERYetqI&feature=related

*********************
Oh dear. My guess would be that "Dicus" is a family name (with a long "i" and a hard "c" - and don't go there, people... ;-). If that's so, one of the meanings is "stout," which seems apropos.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 15, 2010 7:31 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 15, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Soooooooo.....This is where everybody is I had gone over to the next blog(Justin's big day) anyway great win they battled back, huge hit by Zimm and Pudge and a very good outing by Olsen, Capps did his best Don Stanhouse impression giving up that gopher ball in the ninth but other than that he was solid dude has a weightlifters neck. Adam Dunn finally got hold of one, tough homestand comming up with the Dodger's and Rockies comming to town and the Brewers won't be rolling over and playing dead for us either. What's up with the running Nat's how many steal's?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 15, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Great come from behind win for the Internats! But boy, Capps sure makes me nervous! Haven't felt that way since Randy Myers took the mound for the Orioles!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | April 15, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Sec506-

I made the Capps-Chief connection on another page a few minutes ago, well after you had done the same thing. I take it as a very encouraging sign that more folks can make connections back to 2005 at the moment.

Olsen did well until the 6th, and may do better without Joe West ignoring utterly obvious strikes next outing. Clippard is a keeper. The cavalry is healing (Wang and maybe Detwiler) or aging (Strasburg and Storen). The start of the season is the hardest part of the Nats' schedule this year, and they are holding their own so far.

As I predicted earlier today during a lull in posts, the win seems to have calmed the waters, improved everybody's mood. It is going to take a while before any of us feel safe to believe any improvement in the team, but it sure feels great right now.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | April 15, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Because Charlie Manuel is one of the worst managers in baseball.

I love that theory. Every year, I watch the playoffs and the Series and I think, man is Charlie Manuel bad. I'm going to think that when I see his plaque in the HOF. I wish our manager could be that bad.

Posted by: markfromark | April 15, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

For your reading pleasure from the city of Brotherly Barf:

PHILADELPHIA -- A New Jersey man is facing charges after police say he intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl and her father in the stands during a Philadelphia Phillies game.

Twenty-one-year-old Matthew Clemmens, of Cherry Hill, N.J., was arraigned Friday on charges stemming from his behavior at Wednesday night's Phillies-Nationals game.

Police say Clemmens made himself vomit on an off-duty police captain and his daughter after a companion was kicked out for unruly behavior.

Easton police Capt. Michael Vangelo says he saw Clemmens put his fingers down his throat. Philadelphia police say Clemmens also punched Vangelo and vomited on an arresting officer.

Clemmens is in custody on charges including assault and harassment. Bail is $12,000. His listed phone number is disconnected.

Posted by: Natmeister | April 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

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