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Nationals Journal: May 9, 2010 - May 15, 2010

Willy Taveras sent down for Mike Morse

The Nationals designated outfielder Willy Taveras for assignment and recalled utility player Mike Morse from Class AAA Syracuse tonight, General Manager Mike Rizzo said. Morse will be in Denver for Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies. Taveras, whom the Nationals...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 15, 2010; 11:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Game 37 discussion thread: Nationals at Rockies

Between games, the Nationals shook off their Game 1 loss by singing "Happy Birthday" to reliever Tyler Walker, who turned 34 today. Matt Capps even presented Walker a birthday cake, burning candles and all. The Nationals will send Luis Atilano...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 15, 2010; 8:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Game 36 discussion thread: Nationals at Rockies

The first game of the Nationals doubleheader against the Rockies this afternoon will not be televised by MASN because of the 2:10 p.m. start, which interferes with FOX's exclusive window to air games on Saturday. For a Nationals fan, that's...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 15, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
 
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Nationals will need a starter Wednesday

Because of today's doubleheader and the dearth of an off day, the Nationals will need a starter next Wednesday at home against the New York Mets. The Nationals might bring back one of today's starters, Livan Hernandez or Luis Atilano,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 15, 2010; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The Nationals lineup explained

The Nationals have a few twists in their lineup today, all of which Manager Jim Riggleman explained this morning. *Willie Harris is in for Josh Willingham. Willingham might play in the second game of today's doubleheader, but he is still...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 15, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Today's lineup

The Nationals will keep Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn flip-flopped, as was the plan before last night's game was rained out. Willie Harris remains in left for Josh Willingham, who is dealing with a tweaked groin. Ivan Rodriguez, originally out...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 15, 2010; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Nationals undecided on Stephen Strasburg's debut

No surprise here, but Mike Rizzo wouldn't give it up when asked about Stephen Strasburg's debut date. "There's a window there that I've decided, but there's so many variables still," Rizzo said. "I can't even pinpoint to the point where...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 14, 2010; 8:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg , bullpen  
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John Lannan on track to make next start

Still miffed at his elbow tendon tightening in the fifth inning Thursday night, starting pitcher John Lannan remains on pace to make his regularly scheduled next start Tuesday. Lannan played catch today and his flexor tendon responded well enough that...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 14, 2010; 8:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  John Lannan , Pitching rotation  
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Jason Marquis undergoes successful surgery

Jason Marquis underwent successful surgery today to remove bone chips from his elbow and is expected to return to the major leagues in eight weeks, General Manager Mike Rizzo said. Marquis pitched Tuesday in a minor league rehab assignment and...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 14, 2010; 8:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Jason Marquis , Pitching rotation  
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Josh Willingham and Ivan Rodriguez resting minor ailments

Josh Willingham and Ivan Rodriguez, who were both out of today's lineup, will use today's impromptu night off to mend minor ailments. Rodriguez's lower back, which has bothered him most of the season, felt "a little tender" after Thursday's cold,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 14, 2010; 7:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ivan Rodriguez  
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Nationals-Rockies game is rained out

The Nationals' game tonight against Colorado in Denver, scheduled to start at 9:10, has been postponed by rain. It will be made tomorrow as part of a doubleheader, with games at 2:10 and 8:10 p.m. Eastern time....

By washingtonpost.com sports editor  |  May 14, 2010; 6:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Today's lineups

The Nationals have a few different touches to their lineup today. Wil Nieves will catch Livan Hernandez, which is odd because Manager Jim Riggleman has made note of the productive union between Hernandez and Ivan Rodriguez. Also, Willie Harris take...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 14, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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A remarkable pitching matchup, a remarkable season

Tonight, a 35-year-old pitcher who throws his fastball at 84.5 miles per hour will try to claim the league's lowest ERA and keep the Washington Nationals atop the National League wild card standings. Yeah, that sounds about right. The Nationals'...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 14, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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John Lannan's worrisome inning

For four innings last night, John Lannan felt great. He allowed the Colorado Rockies two hits and two walks, shutting them out in his return to the mound after missing a start. He returned bite to his sinker, "everything was...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 14, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Q&A: First Things First with Tracee Hamilton, 9:30 a.m.

Join Post columnist Tracee Hamilton at 9:30 this morning for the latest edition of her daily chat, when she'll discuss the Nationals and whatever else your sporting heart desires. See what's on her mind, and submit your questions....

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  May 14, 2010; 6:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Game 35 discussion thread: Nationals at Rockies

With John Lannan making his first start in 10 days, Manager Jim Riggleman will have Miguel Batista and Doug Slaten at the ready in case Lannan falters early. Riggleman wants to stay away from Tyler Walker and Tyler Walker, who...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 9:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
 
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Seth Bynum suspended for PED use

Nationals minor league infielder Seth Bynum has received a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for testing positive for an amphetamine, the league announced today in a press release. The amphetamine violated the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program....

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 8:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Nationals-Rockies start delayed

The Nationals game against the Rockies at Coors Field has been delayed. The Rockies have not set a new start time, but the grounds crew here stretching the tarp over the infield in anticipation of a coming large rainstorm. The...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 8:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Miguel Batista's view on immigration law and baseball

Among Nationals players, reliever Miguel Batista is the most intimately connected to the players' union's denouncement of the recently passed immigration law in Arizona. Batista is an MLBPA board member who owns property in Arizona, where he once played for...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 7:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Today's lineup

John Lannan will make his return to the Nationals rotation tonight as the Nationals begin a four-game sereis at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies. The Nats will back him with a standard lineup against Jhoulys Chacin, who is 2-0...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Chien-Ming Wang targeted for July debut

The Nationals are planning on rehabbing starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang making his season debut around July 1, a team official said. The Nationals originally anticipated Wang pitching by June. Wang, currently on the 60-day disabled list, did not experience any...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Nationals Minor League Report

MIGHT AS WELL FACE IT, YOU'RE ADDICTED TO GLUV: This week's Nationals Minor League Report is below, and Nats p.r. guru Bill Gluvna came strong with the info and the puns this week. As always, readers are encouraged to leave...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Stephen Strasburg's next start is May 18

It's official: Stephen Strasburg's next start for the AAA Syracuse Chiefs will be May 18 at Rochester. That gives him an extra day off. "Strasburg is being given an extra day of rest in accordance to the pitching plan laid...

By Alexa Steele  |  May 13, 2010; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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More from Syracuse on Stephen Strasburg

Know this: Stephen Strasburg is having fun. He said so last night, grinning. He wants very badly to be in the major leagues, and there can be doubt he belongs there. But one terrific thing about Strasburg is that he...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Washington Nationals Q&A with Tracee Hamilton, 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'll discuss the Nationals. Are expectations on the rise? And how 'bout that Strasburg kid? See what's on her...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  May 13, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Stephen Strasburg live blog, Syracuse edition, Vol. 2

8:58: Drew Storen has entered in relief on Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg's lines are below. Tonight: 6 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 7 K Class AAA: 12 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 13 K Minors: 34 IP,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 12, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Scott Olsen not upset after early hook

Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman says the hardest part of his job is something he confronts on a nearly daily basis: deciding when to pull the starting pitcher from a game. "You hope you get it right 162 times, and...

By Mark Viera  |  May 12, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Jim Riggleman , Scott Olsen  
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Game 34 discussion thread: Nationals at Mets

Cristian Guzman saw his starting short stop position taken by Ian Desmond during spring training. But it has not dampened what Manager Jim Riggleman saw in the Washington Nationals veteran. Guzman has worked hard with coaches to improve himself at...

By Mark Viera  |  May 12, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
Categories:  Cristian Guzman  
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Jason Marquis to get surgery on elbow Friday

UPDATED | 7:05 p.m. Washington Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis said he has never undergone an operation to repair his arm as a result of throwing. So, in an effort to avoid surgery, he opted to join the 15-day disabled listed...

By Mark Viera  |  May 12, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Jason Marquis  
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Nationals-Mets lineups

Nationals 1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 2. Adam Kennedy, 2B 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B 4. Adam Dunn, 1B 5. Cristian Guzman, SS 6. Willy Harris, LF 7. Roger Bernadina, RF 8. Wil Nieves, C 9. Craig Stammen, P Mets 1. Angel...

By Mark Viera  |  May 12, 2010; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Again, the Nationals have to bounce back

Last year after brutal losses, Nationals players dressed quickly and walked out of the clubhouse as if there was nothing brutal about them, their indifference shielding any sting. This year, the Nationals want to move from losses like last night's,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 12, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Jason Marquis leaves rehab start healthy

Jason Marquis threw 54 pitches in 3 2/3 innings with 36 strikes in a rehab start with Class A Potomac Tuesday. He did not appear the pitcher that Nationals invested $15 million in during the offseason -- Marquis allowed three...

By Zach Berman  |  May 12, 2010; 12:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Tags: Derek Norris, Jason Marquis, Washington Nationals  
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Game 33 discussion thread: Nationals at Mets

Scott Olsen will take the mound tonight for the first time since his brush with a no-hitter against the Braves, the best start of his major league career. Olsen has allowed one earned run in his last 20 1/3 innings,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 11, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
 
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Right field still a work in progress

Jim Riggleman isn't all that concerned about the lack of production from his right field platoon, since a couple of his choices play good defense.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 11, 2010; 6:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags: Right fielder, Roger Bernadina, Willie Harris, Willy Taveras  
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John Lannan's pitch count Thursday

John Lannan will have a pitch limit of roughly 100 for his start Thursday at the Colorado Rockies.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 11, 2010; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  John Lannan , Pitching rotation  | Tags: Colorado Rockies, Jim Riggleman, John Lannan, Washington Nationals  
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Today's lineups

The Nationals will go with a pretty standard lineup aside from Willy Taveras receiving a rare start in right field because the Nationals will face left-hander Jonathon Niese. Nationals 1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 2. Cristian Guzman, 2B 3. Ryan Zimmerman,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 11, 2010; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Ivan Rodriguez still not slowing down

It seemed like Ivan Rodriguez had started slowing down, which at some point is what you'd expect to happen to a 38-year-old catcher. Rodriguez entered last night 5 for 22 in May. "Hits weren't coming as often lately," Manager Jim...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 11, 2010; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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How Tyler Walker struck out Jose Reyes

In today's birdcage liner story, I fear I may have overlooked one important moment by one important pitcher. In the seventh inning, Tyler Clippard jogged from the bullpen to the mound. At the moment, based as much on circumstance as...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 11, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Game 32 discussion thread: Nationals at Mets

Without any hyperbole, you could fairly say this is the most significant series the Nationals have entered since they hosted the San Diego Padres at RFK for a weekend three-gamer starting Aug. 5, 2005. The Nationals were 58-50 and in...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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Tyler Clippard, winning machine

Tyler Clippard just keeps on winning

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 6:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Mike Rizzo on the Nationals right field situation

Mike Rizzo discusses the right field situation

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Nationals release minor leaguer Mike Daniel

Nationals release minor league outfielder Mike Daniel

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 6:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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John Lannan set for Thursday

Nationals' John Lannan remains on schedule for next start

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bog: Shoe Shine Sunday ... and more

Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog features a few amusing Nats items today: * Shoe Shine Sunday is self-explanatory. * The Nats' unluckiest fan has finally seen a win. * Nats attendance has been a hot topic of discussion this season,...

By Alexa Steele  |  May 10, 2010; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Today's lineup

The Nationals, against John Maine, will go with what's becoming their regular lineup. Nationals 1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 2. Adam Kennedy, 2B 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B 4. Adam Dunn, 1B 5. Josh Willingham, LF 6. Ivan Rodriguez, C 7. Roger...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Norris returns, Willingham produces, more on 'luck'

A few quick, mid-afternoon tid-bits: *Minor league catcher Derek Norris, regarded as the No. 2 prospect in the Nationals organization, was reinstated to Class A Potomac this morning from the disabled list. Norris had been receiving extensive at-bats in extending...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Will the close wins keep coming?

The Nationals have won seven one-run games, tied with the Cincinnati Reds for most in the major leagues. Clutch hits and lights-out late relief pitching lifted the Nationals to another victory yesterday, and over the course of this season it...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
 
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Game 31 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Marlins

The Nationals will be swinging pink bats today, a league-wide gesture in support of breast cancer awareness for Mother's Day. The Nationals took the pink theme seriously -- even the lineup card in their clubhouse was printed on pink paper....

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 9, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Where Doug Slaten fits in

The addition of Doug Slaten gives the Nationals some new options in their bullpen. A second left-handed pitcher allows Manager Jim Riggleman the freedom to use Sean Burnett as a seventh-inning set-up man. Riggleman could not previously commit Burnett to...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 9, 2010; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Explaining Matt Chico's designation

The bottom line to the transaction the Nationals made this morning in regard to Matt Chico is this: Chico will remain on the 40-man roster and the Nationals are at no risk of losing him. The process that mase that...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 9, 2010; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Jason Marquis set for rehab assignment

Nationals starter Jason Marquis will make his first rehab assignment Tuesday in a start for Class A Potomac. The Nationals will re-evaluate Marquis after the outing, but if all goes well, Marquis will likely make one more rehab start and...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 9, 2010; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Today's lineups, Doug Slaten called up

The Nationals purchased the contract of lefthander Doug Slaten from Class AAA Syracuse, replacing Matt Chico with a second lefty and seventh pitcher for their bullpen. Slaten appeared in 11 games last season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, last pitching July...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 9, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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A quick trip for Matt Chico

Matt Chico didn't have much time to revel in his return to the major leagues after nearly two years. He instead had to pack his belongings and get back to Class AA Harrisburg, where he had been pitching this season...

By Gene Wang  |  May 9, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Matt Chico , Pitching rotation  
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