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Nationals Journal: June 20, 2010 - June 26, 2010

Frank Robinson among those honored

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was part of a celebration today at Oriole Park at Camden Yards commemorating the 40th anniversary of Baltimore's 1970 World Series championship team, and he took some time out of his busy day to talk...

By Gene Wang  |  June 26, 2010; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Tags: Frank Robinson  
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Game 75 discussion thread: Nationals at Orioles

The day after perhaps their most disheartening loss of the season, 7-6, to Baltimore, the Washington Nationals resume their interleague series with their neighbors to the north in Game 2 of a three-game set. Starting for the Nationals will be...

By Gene Wang  |  June 26, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Livan Hernandez  
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Defensive lapses a growing concern

The Washington Nationals came undone in yesterday's 7-6 loss to Baltimore for many reasons, but sloppy fielding was among the major culprits in the team falling for the eighth time in 10 games. Cristian Guzman's throwing error in the bottom...

By Gene Wang  |  June 26, 2010; 2:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Cristian Guzman , Ian Desmond , Jim Riggleman , Nyjer Morgan  
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Today's lineups: Nationals at Orioles

Here are the lineups for this afternoon's game between the Nationals and Orioles in Baltimore: Nationals Morgan, CF Guzman, DH Zimmerman, 3B Dunn, 1B Willingham, LF Rodriguez, C Bernadina, RF Kennedy, 2B Desmond, SS Hernandez, RHP Orioles Patterson, LF Tejada,...

By Gene Wang  |  June 26, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Adam Dunn , Cristian Guzman , Ian Desmond , Ivan Rodriguez , Josh Willingham , Livan Hernandez , Nyjer Morgan , Ryan Zimmerman  
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Nationals need to regroup quickly

The Nationals need to quickly regroup from a deflating 7-6 loss to the team with the worst record in baseball, the Orioles.

By Gene Wang  |  June 26, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Cristian Guzman , Ian Desmond , Jim Riggleman , Nyjer Morgan  | Tags: Cristian Guzman, Ian Desmond, Nyjer Morgan, Tyler Clippard  
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Lannan returns to form in Class AA outing

John Lannan's first start since Monday's demotion to Class AA Harrisburg went as well as the organization could have hoped, with Lannan allowing one run and three hits through seven innings of Friday's 5-2 win over Reading. He struck out...

By Zach Berman  |  June 25, 2010; 10:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  John Lannan  | Tags: John Lannan, Randy Knorr, Randy Tomlin  
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Game 74 discussion thread: Nationals at Orioles

After having the day off yesterday, the Washington Nationals get back to work tonight in their final interleague series of the regular season, this one a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. J.D. Martin (0-3, 3.55 ERA),...

By Gene Wang  |  June 25, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
 
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Recent offensive woes no cause for alarm

After being shut out once in their first 68 games, the Washington Nationals have put up zero runs twice in their past five, including Wednesday's 1-0 setback to Kansas City that gave Stephen Strasburg his first loss in the major...

By Gene Wang  |  June 25, 2010; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Today's lineups: Nationals at Orioles

Nationals Morgan, CF Guzman, 2B Zimmerman, 3B Dunn, 1B Willingham, DH Rodriguez, C Morse, RF Harris, LF Desmond, SS Martin, RHP Orioles Patterson, LF Tejada, 3B Markakis, RF Scott, DH Jones, CF Wieters, C Atkins, 1B Lugo, 2B Izturis, SS...

By Gene Wang  |  June 25, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Nationals agree to terms with four picks from 2010 draft

The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with four players selected in the 2010 draft: center fielder Connor Rowe (21st round), first baseman Russell Moldenhauer (24th round), right fielder Rick Hughes (29th round) and right fielder Wander Nunez (36th round)....

By Alexa Steele  |  June 25, 2010; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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An important weekend for the Nationals

The Nationals have an important series this weekend, which begins tonight in Baltimore against the atrocious Orioles. The Nationals, despite their dispiriting, 1-0 loss Wednesday to the Royals, won the series. To give you an idea how bad the Orioles...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 25, 2010; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Hard to find any faults with Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg finally gave the baseball world something to nitpick yesterday. He allowed nine hits - one fewer than he had in his three other starts - and four of them came with two strikes. His pitches are never...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 24, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Game 73 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Royals

It's afternoon edition of Strasmas today. Will there be any edge for Stephen Strasburg pitching in the late afternoon? The Nationals have played four home games this year that started at roughly 4:30 p.m. The Nationals are 2-2, those two...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 23, 2010; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Mark Lerner confident about signing Bryce Harper

Principal Owner Mark Lerner today reiterated his confidence that the Nationals will sign first overall draft choice Bryce Harper, the 17-year-old outfielder and power-hitting prodigy from the College of Southern Nevada they drafted June 7. "I'm confident we'll get a...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 23, 2010; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Bryce Harper  
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Setting up Strasmas Afternoon

Stephen Strasburg will face a new opponent, aside from the Kansas City Royals, this afternoon in his fourth major league start: an oppressive, humid heat that's making thermometers light up like the radar guns that measure his fastball. With that...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 23, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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In-game chat: Nationals vs. Royals

Join Dave Sheinin at 4:15 for a discussion about this afternoon's game between the Washington Nationals and the Kansas City Royals, pitcher Stephen Strasburg's fourth start for the Nats. Strasburg's fourth start...

By Alexa Steele  |  June 23, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Today's lineup

Nationals Morgan - CF Bernadina - RF Zimmerman - 3B Dunn - 1B Willingham - LF Rodriguez - C Desmond - SS Kennedy - 2B Strasburg - P Royals Podsednik - LF Kendall - C DeJesus - CF Butler -...

By Alexa Steele  |  June 23, 2010; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Stephen Strasburg's fourth start: A hot day for a hot pitcher

The Capital Weather Gang's NatCast calls for "super hot" weather for today's 4:35 p.m. game against the Kansas City Royals. The temperature is expected to be in the mid-90s for the first pitch. The combination of pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg's...

By Alexa Steele  |  June 23, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Ivan Rodriguez makes history

Since debuting in 1991, Iván Rodríguez has (somewhat quietly) piled up some impressive numbers. He's closing in on 3,000 hits, has caught the most games in major league history and on Tuesday night he set another lofty mark - one...

By Jorge Castillo  |  June 23, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Ivan Rodriguez  
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Josh Willingham hits 100

In the fourth inning last night, the video board at Nationals Park played a highlight clip of Josh Willingham's most important home runs. "That was pretty neat," he'd say later. The last homer of the montage had been hit...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 23, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Game 72 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Royals

The most puzzling aspect of the Nationals' opening months may have been Nyjer Morgan's defense. After he arrived from the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, Morgan was one of the best defensive player in the majors. Defense, the saying goes, doesn't...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Ian Desmond's day off

Stuck in the first slump of his sometimes-spectacular rookie season, Ian Desmond will receive a day off tonight. Desmond is 2 for his last 24 with a double and a walk, which has lowered his on-base percentage for the season...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 6:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Hagerstown comes to the Nationals Park

The Nationals announced that Class AA Harrisburg Danny Espinosa and Class A Hagerstown outfielder Eury Perez will participate in the Futures Game, a showcase of minor league players set to take place July 9 before the All-Star Game. Their inclusion...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 5:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Mike Rizzo on the trade deadline, Adam Dunn's contract extension

General Manager Mike Rizzo suggests he has the freedom to improve the team as he sees fit regardless of salaries involved.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Adam Dunn , trade deadline  | Tags: Adam Dunn, Mike Rizzo  
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Today's lineup

Michael Morse returns to the bench and Roger Bernadina is in right field again against Royals right-handed starter Anthony Lerew, who has a 3.00 ERA and some kickin' sideburns. Manager Jim Riggleman is committed to that platoon -- Morse against...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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A quick update on Chien-Ming Wang

Chien-Ming Wang's debut for the Nationals remains most likely at least one month away. While the Nationals originally hoped Wang might be able to pitch in May, he has experienced no setbacks and prefers the precautionay stance the team has...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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No changes for overlooked Nationals in All-Star voting

As has been the case since the voting was first revealed, the Nationals received little support in fan balloting in the National League's latest All-Star vote update. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez remains the only National ranking among the top five at...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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The return of Clip & Save

Clip & Save help Nats get back on track

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Game 71 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Royals

The Nationals are at what feels like a crucial juncture in their season. In their first 35 games, they went an encouraging 20-15, reaching their high-water mark. In their second set of 35 games, they went 11-24, reaching their worst...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 21, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
 
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Stephen Strasburg's upcoming schedule

Even with John Lannan's demotion and the Nationals using a four-man rotation for about a week, Stephen Strasburg will remain on his once-every-fifth-day schedule. The Nationals, barring injury or rain, have mapped out his pitching outline until the all-star break....

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 21, 2010; 6:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Pitching rotation , Stephen Strasburg  
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John Lannan sent to Class AA Harrisburg (final update)

For the past two seasons, John Lannan established himself as the Washington Nationals' most reliable starting pitcher. He twice started on opening day. Over 2008 and 2009, he pitched more than 385 total innings with an ERA under 3.90. Only...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 21, 2010; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  John Lannan , Pitching rotation  
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John Lannan optioned to Harrisburg (Updated)

From Adam Kilgore at Nationals Park: The Nationals have announced that left-handed pitcher John Lannan has been optioned to Class AA Harrisburg. Joel Peralta has been recalled from AAA Syracuse and is available to pitch tonight. 4:43: The Nationals chose...

By Alexa Steele  |  June 21, 2010; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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Today's lineups

The Nationals will stick with their core lineup while trying to break a six-game losing streak, with one slight difference -- Michael Morse will play right field in place of Roger Bernadina. Nationals 1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 2. Cristian Guzman,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 21, 2010; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Guest post: Stat prediction winner

Scott Crane, one of the two winners from our "Predict Strasburg's Debut Line" contest, has sent us his guest post ... and here it is: The Light at the End of the Dugout Can you see it? It's coming out...

By Scott Crane  |  June 21, 2010; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Perspective on the 11-24 slide

How bad is the Nationals' 11-24 stretch over their past 35 games? Well, do you remember the atrocity that was the beginning of 2009? That was 12-23.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 21, 2010; 6:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  losing streak  | Tags: Washington Nationals  
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Even for Ryan Zimmerman, 'it's never easy all year'

Ryan Zimmerman is in the midst of a slump, despite his overall season numbers still looking good. "It's never easy all year," he said.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 20, 2010; 6:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  | Tags: Ryan Zimmerman  
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John Lannan will stay in the Nationals rotation

John Lannan proved for two seasons he can pitch effectively, and even thrive, at this level. But with his last three starts, during which time he is 0-3 with a 10.38 ERA and a 2.92 WHIP, he has forced the...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 20, 2010; 5:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Game 70 discussion thread: Nationals vs. White Sox

First off, Happy Father's Day to everyone -- especially Kent Kilgore, the best and hardest-working man I know. The Nationals and White Sox, like every team across baseball, will wear a sky blue ribbon decal on their jersey today in...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 20, 2010; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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The Nationals' offensive problems start at the top

Nyjer Morgan and Cristian Guzman have a hold on the first two spots in the Nationals' batting order, which, especially recently, has given them a platform to make lots and lots of outs. The Nationals' leadoff hitters have a .314...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 20, 2010; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Once his favorite player, Jake Peavy is a Stephen Strasburg fan

Growing up in San Diego, Stephen Strasburg had an easy time choosing a favorite baseball player. Jake Peavy, like him, was a right-handed strikeout machine. In 2004, when Strasburg was 15, Peavy led the National League with a 2.27 ERA....

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 20, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Today's lineups

Trying to break out of what's become their most significant offensive funk this season, the Nationals will stick to their usual lineup. Ivan Rodriguez gets a scheduled day off. Nationals 1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 2. Cristian Guzman, 2B 3. Ryan...

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 20, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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