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Nationals Journal: May 30, 2010 - June 5, 2010

Game 57 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Reds

Tonight marks the sixth game since Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman switched Cristian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan at the top of the lineup. During that span -- with Guzman leading off and Morgan batting second in four of those five games...

By Steve Yanda  |  June 5, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Riggleman says Zimmerman not getting credit he deserves just yet

Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman leads the National League in on-base-plus-slugging percentage (1.005) and slugging percentage (.594). He also ranks third in the league in on-base percentage (.411) and seventh in batting average (.309). Not too shabby, right? But when...

By Steve Yanda  |  June 5, 2010; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  
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Ivan Rodriguez plans to catch Monday for Class A Potomac

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez took live pitching in the team's indoor batting cage and threw to all bases with no problems during a workout prior to Saturday's game. Rodriguez has been dealing with a lower back strain that has kept him...

By Steve Yanda  |  June 5, 2010; 5:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ivan Rodriguez  
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Maldonado goes on DL; Burke called up

The Nationals placed catcher Carlos Maldonado on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with right thumb fracture. The team called up catcher Jamie Burke from Class AAA Syracuse to fill Maldonado's roster spot. With a runner on first in the...

By Steve Yanda  |  June 5, 2010; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Tonight's lineups

The Nats host Mike Leake and the Reds tonight at 7. Leake, out of Arizona State, was taken seven spots behind that guy Strasburg in last year's MLB first-year player draft. Unlike Strasburg, he hasn't spent a day in the...

By Micah Pollack  |  June 5, 2010; 2:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg , draft  
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The Streak remembered: Ryan Church

Game 4, June 5 Nationals 6, Marlins 3 W: Ayala (5-3) L: Riedling (2-1) S: Cordero (15) When the day began, Brad Wilkerson was out with a sore forearm and Jose Guillen was out with an aching right hand -...

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 5, 2010; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Tags: The Streak remembered  
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Livan Hernandez fined for arguing Tuesday

As baseball umpires have faced harsh criticism across the league, the Nationals joined the critical chorus after the 4-2 victory Friday night over the Reds. After protesting a balk call from his outing Friday, starter Livan Hernandez revealed he was...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 5, 2010; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Game 56 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Reds

The Nationals are finally after an exhausting road swing. Before tonight, they played 20 road games, in all four time zones, in 26 days. None of them have had a travel schedule quite like reliever Drew Storen. Since April 28,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 4, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
 
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All eyes on the Nationals

With Stephen Strasburg's debut approaching, and perhaps the drafting of Bryce Harper soon to come, the Nationals are suddenly generating unprecedented media attention.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 4, 2010; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Bryce Harper , Stephen Strasburg , draft  | Tags: Bryce Harper, Nationals national attention, Stephen Strasburg  
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Ivan Rodriguez questionable for Stephen Strasburg's debut

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez will play in a minor league rehab game before he returns to the Nationals from the 15-day disabled list, and he may or may not come back in time to catch Stephen Strasburg's first start. Manager Jim...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 4, 2010; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Ivan Rodriguez , Stephen Strasburg  | Tags: Ivan Rodriguez, Nationals, Stephen Strasburg, disabled list  
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Today's lineups

Livan Hernandez will try to halt the Nationals' three-game losing streak against Aaron Harang, who is keeping alive his seemingly perpetual streak of owning one of the league's highest ERAs -- he's at 5.48 right now. Here's a good, and...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 4, 2010; 3:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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The Streak remembered: Frank Robinson

Game 3, June 4 Nationals 7, Marlins 3 W: Kim (1-0) L: Leiter (2-6) The box score would indicate this was as mundane a win as the Nationals could have. Nick Johnson went 2 for 3 and drove in two,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 4, 2010; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Tags: The Streak remembered  
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Nationals Minor League Report

HE'S JUST A GLUV MACHINE: Yup, a minor league report and a Morning Brushback in one post. Nationals PR maverick Bill Gluvna provided the NMLR a couple days ago. My apologies on the delay posting it, but here it...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 4, 2010; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Poor defense is catching up to the Nationals

Two crucial issues for the Nationals - one present all year, one just surfacing now - converged in the most devastating way and at the cruelest time Thursday. The Nationals have been unable to identify a consistent right fielder this...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 3, 2010; 8:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Cristian Guzman , Matt Capps , right field  | Tags: Cristian Guzman, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, error, right field  
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Adam Dunn on Ken Griffey: 'He couldn't understand why you stunk'

In 2000, Adam Dunn made his first appearance in a major league spring training with the Cincinnati Reds. The story of camp was Ken Griffey Jr., whom Jim Bowden had just acquired in a trade. "He was the best player...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 3, 2010; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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When Armando Galarraga could have been a National

Armando Galarraga, the biggest story in baseball today, could have been a Washington National. That was five years and two teams ago, but Galarraga began his career as a rookie with the Montreal Expos system in 2001. He reached Class...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 3, 2010; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Game 55 discussion thread: Nationals at Astros

After committing three errors last night, all by Ian Desmond, the Nationals extended their major-league leading total to 47. The Nationals have committed at least one error in each of their past eight games, making 11 during that span. The...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 3, 2010; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
 
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Scott Olsen's schedule

The Nationals are starting to form a more concrete schedule for Scott Olsen's return. He threw a 33-pitch bullpen session yesterday, his first throws from the mound since he went on the disabled list May 22. Olsen will throw once...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 3, 2010; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Strasburg live-blog: The final (minor-league) chapter

2:49 p.m.: Strasburg is out of the game, as Jeff Mandel just pinch-hit for him in the top of the sixth. His line today: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (and 1 WP). His final Class...

By Dave Sheinin  |  June 3, 2010; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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The Streak, Game 2: Livo vs. Beckett

Game 2, June 3 Nationals 3, Marlins 2 (11) W: Ayala (4-3) L: Bump (0-3) Josh Beckett was on the mound that day for Florida, a team Nationals outfielder Brad Wilkerson said was "probably the most talented team in the...

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 3, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Tags: The Streak remembered  
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Today's lineups

Ian Desmond gets the day off after his three-error game last night. As Jim Riggleman promised, Cristian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan have switched back to first and second in the order. Nationals 1. Cristian Guzman, SS 2. Nyjer Morgan, CF...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 3, 2010; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Collin Balester's new role

BUFFALO -- When Collin Balester left the Syracuse Chiefs early last month and boarded a flight bound for Florida, his career with the Washington Nationals was down to its last dying breath. He was carrying an 11.65 ERA as a...

By Dave Sheinin  |  June 3, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Craig Stammen's test

Craig Stammen fell asleep after his start Tuesday night at 3:30 a.m., which is when he usually does on nights he starts, good or bad. He always thinks about what he could have done better, and Tuesday he had...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 3, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Craig Stammen  
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Game 54 discussion thread: Nationals at Astros

Just because Nyjer Morgan is back in the leadoff spot today doesn't mean he's there to stay. "Tomorrow, I'll probably have him back in the second spot," Manager Jim Riggleman said. So why's he there tonight? It starts with a...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 2, 2010; 8:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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The Nationals' outline for Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg will make his final minor league start Thursday in Buffalo, his goodbye to the minors before making his scheduled major league debut June 8 at Nationals Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Nationals, according to a team source,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 2, 2010; 7:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Scott Olsen making progress

Scott Olsen pitched off a mound today for the first time since May 21, when he left a start after only three innings with inflammation in his surgically repaired left shoulder. Olsen threw 33 pitches. "No pain," he said. Olsen...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 2, 2010; 7:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Today's lineups

Nyjer Morgan is back atop the Nationals lineup, returning to the leadoff spot while Cristian Guzman moves back to No. 2. The two-game experiment seemed to work, as the Nats, after scoring 13 runs in four games, scored 21 in...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 2, 2010; 4:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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All-Star voting still unkind to Nationals

In baseball's latest update on All-Star voting, the Nationals have still received scant support. Only one National, catcher Ivan Rodriguez, ranked in the top five at his position. He is third among catchers, about 90,000 votes shy of leader Yadier...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 2, 2010; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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The Streak: A daily look back

Greetings, Nationals Journal readers. This is Barry Svrluga, and I'll be breaking into Kilgore's territory once a day over the next week or so. Those who have no interest in nostalgia, please look away. Others, read on. Wednesday morning, as...

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 2, 2010; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Tags: The Streak remembered  
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Against the worst, Nationals need to be at their best

The best way for the Washington Nationals to prevent their ascension from perpetual doormat to possible contender is to lose games like Tuesday night's against teams like the Astros. The Nats entered with a 7-3 record against teams with...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 2, 2010; 1:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Game 53 discussion thread: Nationals at Astros

How did I forget this after 52 straight games? Anyway, sorry for the delay, but here's the discussion post. And the talk is sure to be sour -- the Nationals have already fallen behind, 3-0, after one inning. Craig Stammen...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 8:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
 
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Nationals worried about winning, not Stephen Strasburg's debut

Inside the Nationals' clubhouse, the news that reverberated around the baseball world had little impact. They knew Stephen Strasburg would be arriving eventually, and while they're happy to add him, learning the precise day mattered little to them. "I have...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 8:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Roy Oswalt would accept trade to Nationals

HOUSTON -- Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt would be open to waiving his no-trade clause and pitching for the Nationals if they and the Astros agree on a deal, Oswalt said today. Oswalt, who has requested a trade from the...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Pitching rotation  
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Season-ticket holders receive June 8 special offer

The Nationals are giving season-ticket holders an exclusive chance to buy tickets for Stephen Strasburg's major league debut June 8 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to a release. Those who own season tickets can buy up to four additional tickets...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Today's lineups

As promised, the Nationals kept Cristian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan in the first and second spots today. Otherwise, it's the pretty much usual lineup. Ian Desmond is batting seventh, ahead of Roger Bernadina, which is a minor change. Nationals 1....

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Cristian Guzman, leadoff hitter

Nyjer Morgan may return to the first spot before the year ends, but for the immediate future his place in the Nationals lineup is second, behind new leadoff hitter Cristian Guzman. "If he had a bad ballgame, he's hitting second...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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User poll: Naming Stephen Strasburg's debut

On Twitter last night, there seemed to be competing phrases tossed around to describe June 8, the night when Stephen Strasburg makes his major league debut at Nationals Park. This morning, Steinberg squashed any debate about what time from...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Having beaten the best, will Luis Atilano stick around?

After beating Tim Lincecum and Roy Oswalt, nothing is guaranteed for the Nationals' Luis Atilano

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 1, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Stephen Strasburg to debut June 8

For everyone -- his fans, his soon-to-be Nationals teammates and, perhaps most of all, Stephen Strasburg himself -- the wait is nearly over. Strasburg, the phenom regarded as maybe the best pitching prospect of all time, will make his ravenously...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 31, 2010; 7:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Game 52 discussion thread: Nationals at Astros

In theory, the Nationals should be able to use their four-game series in Houston to finish their 10-day road trip -- and a string of 20 road games in 26 games -- on an upswing. But for a team struggling...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 31, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Nyjer Morgan moves out of the leadoff spot

Since Nyjer Morgan arrived with the Nationals on July 3 last year, he has never batted anywhere but leadoff in the 93 games he's started. That changed today when Manager Jim Riggleman moved him to the second spot in an...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 31, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Today's lineup

Manager Jim Riggleman moved Nyjer Morgan out of the leadoff spot, moving him down to second behind Cristian Guzman. Morgan's on-base percentage for the season has shrunk to .316 after posting a .256 OBP over his last 23 games. The...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 31, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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The Nationals 'pen is growing mightier

The Nationals bullpen, as currently composed and operating, is as good as it has been this season. Since they designated Brian Bruney and called up Drew Storen, the Nationals' bullpen ERA is 2.55 in 13 games. Despite a loss...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 31, 2010; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Game 51 discussion thread: Nationals at Padres

If the Nationals win in a walk-off today, don't expect any less of a celebration than usual. After Kendry Morales provided a lesson in how not to celebrate a game-winning grand slam yesterday, Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman said he did...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 30, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Willie Harris becoming odd man out

Willie Harris is not in the lineup today, which is nothing new. He's made one start since May 18, his last time in the lineup coming May 21. He has three at-bats since May 22, inconsistent playing that in part...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 30, 2010; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Stephen Strasburg's next start

As his major league debut presumably draws near, Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his next minor league start for Class AAA Syracuse June 3 at Buffalo, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said. The Nationals have made no indication when...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 30, 2010; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Today's lineup

1. N. Morgan CF 2. A. Kennedy 2B 3. R. Zimmerman 3B 4. A. Dunn 1B 5. J. Willingham LF 6. I. Desmond SS 7. R. Bernadina RF 8. W. Nieves C 9. L. Hernandez P...

By Alexa Steele  |  May 30, 2010; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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J.D. Martin returns to the majors

At the end of spring training, the Nationals shipped J.D. Martin to Class AAA Syracuse, where he had spent his whole season before last night. He never questioned the decision - "I try not to even think about that stuff,"...

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 30, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Pitching rotation  
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