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Wilson Ramos is already a prime target

Morning roundup

Jason Marquis first pitched to Wilson Ramos last month, when he was still rehabbing and when Ramos had just arrived in Class AAA Syracuse from the Minnesota Twins. So yesterday, when Ramos made his first start since being called up Wednesday and second with the Nationals, Marquis knew what to expect.

And he knew he wouldn't have a problem throwing to him. Back on Aug. 19, when Ramos made his Nationals debut, John Lannan and Drew Storen raved about working with Ramos. After Marquis produced another nice start yesterday, pitchers throwing to Ramos have allowed three runs in 18 innings. It's a small sample size to gauge, but it's not a fluke.

"He's special back there," Marquis said. "He's definitely got a bright future. Real big target, real soft hands. He's confident in what he's doing back there. It makes you a little more confident on the mound. I enjoyed throwing to him."

Ramos also pounded his first hit with the Nationals, a hard single through the left side that loaded the bases and contributed to the five-run fourth inning. His defense is clearly well ahead of his hitting, but he's strong and has the potential for power.

One of the bright storylines to follow in the final 25 games of the season will be how Ramos and Danny Espinosa take to the majors, and how Ian Desmond - not hitting .348/.371/.484 since the all-star break - closes out his rookie season. In Ramos's case, you may have to watch closely.

"It's kind of like Pudge," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "The game goes by, and you don't notice him back there."

FROM THE POST

The Nationals pounded the Pirates 8-1 as Jason Marquis pitched well and they matched last year's win total.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse 5, Pawtucket 4: Chase Lambin went 2 for 3 with a home run run and a walk. Shairon Martis allowed three runs in five innings on four hits and four walks, striking out four. He finishes his season 8-7 with a 4.09 ERA.

Harrisburg 13, Binghamton 3: Josh Johnson went 2 for 4 with a triple and two walks. Ryan Tatusko allowed one earned run in seven innings on six hits and no walk, striking out six. Since coming to the Nationals from the Rangers in part of the Cristian Guzman trade, Tatusko is 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA, 36 strikeouts and 13 walks.

Kinston 1, Potomac 0 (10 innings) : Potomac was no-hit. Over the weekend, the P-Nats clinched the second-half division title. Jimmy Barhmaier allowed no runs in five innings on four hits and no walks, striking out four. Joe Testa threw three scoreless, hitless relief innings, striking out four and walking one. The playoffs start Wednesday at Frederick.

West Virginia 4, Hagerstown 3 (10 innings): Rick Hague, the Nats' third-round pick this year, went 2 for 5 with a double and a stolen base and is hitting .323. Mills Rogers went 2 for 4 with a home run.

Vermont 7, Staten Island 4: Connor Rowe went 2 for 4 with a triple and four RBI. Russel Moldenhauer went 2 for 5 with two doubles. Justin Martinson went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Vermont finished the 36-38.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 6, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
 
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Next: Today's lineup

Comments

"...Ian Desmond - not hitting .348/.371/.484 since the all-star break..."

If Desmond isn't hitting .348/.371/.484 since the All-Star break, what IS he hitting?

Some typos are more fun than others.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 6, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Reposting this for the possible food for thought in it:

BTW, two interesting tidbits to check out:

One, this little item in a "dots and dashes" baseball column in the Chicago Tribune:

"Apparently the firing of announcer Rob Dibble from the Nationals broadcast team goes deeper than his criticism of Stephen Strasburg not "sucking up" his elbow pain. It was just the final straw in a long line of what executives saw as an excessive mouth. …"

That's it, no details. Might be something that warrants more detailed coverage, perhaps in the hometown paper of the team...

Second, not to continue to dwell on Nyjer, but SI.com ran an interesting column about the unwritten rules that Nyjer "broke" that led up to the brawl.

The author wrote a book on this subject and concluded that Nyjer basically got what was coming to him. You can agree with them or not but it gives you an idea of the thinking that was going on out there among the other players and managers...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/baseball/mlb/09/03/code/index.html

Posted by: baltova1 | September 6, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the TV color / analyst job, I would really prefer to have a platoon rather than 1 guy for the whole or the bilk of the season.
It's hard to comment for 140 - 162 games and not be redundant and predictable. Finding two capable guys to share the job would give the viewers a better overall experience.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 6, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"for the whole or the bilk of the season."


As stated in an earlier comment, some typos are more fun than others.

Posted by: zadok1 | September 6, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Sunderland: That is an interesting idea. Do any other teams use an alternating 2 person color team? I liked Dibble, but at times did find him repetitive this year. In a season this long, I agree with you that that is almost certain to happen.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 6, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Do any other teams use an alternating 2 person color team?"

MASN does for the Orioles. Jim Palmer does color for some games, Mike Flanagan does others. They also have ex-Orioles like Brady Anderson and Ben McDonald in the booth as third guys from time to time. And they seem to rotate the PBP guy too - Gary Thorne is there most often, but Jim Hunter does a significant number of games as PBP guy as well.

Posted by: nunof1 | September 6, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"not to continue to dwell on Nyjer, but SI.com ran an interesting column about the unwritten rules that Nyjer "broke" that led up to the brawl.

The author wrote a book on this subject and concluded that Nyjer basically got what was coming to him. You can agree with them or not but it gives you an idea of the thinking that was going on out there among the other players and managers...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basebll/mlb/09/03/code/index.html"


Oh, Morgan is such a jerk! He hurt our feelings, stealing second and third! Our catcher should be allowed to block the plate!!

It seems that catchers are blocking the plate because Morgan can't slide. If that's the case, Morgan is making them pay for it, just like safeties punish recievers for running routes across the middle. Think twice about getting in his way, MLB catchers.

Sports fans can be SO hypersensitive. SI is a media outlet that caters to the most sensitive of Sports fans. Unwritten rules exist for elitists. Middle finger to all of them.

Posted by: jboogie1 | September 6, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"not to continue to dwell on Nyjer, but SI.com ran an interesting column about the unwritten rules that Nyjer "broke" that led up to the brawl.

The author wrote a book on this subject and concluded that Nyjer basically got what was coming to him. You can agree with them or not but it gives you an idea of the thinking that was going on out there among the other players and managers...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basebll/mlb/09/03/code/index.html"


Oh, Morgan is such a jerk! He hurt our feelings, stealing second and third! Our catcher should be allowed to block the plate!!

It seems that catchers are blocking the plate because Morgan can't slide. If that's the case, Morgan is making them pay for it, just like safeties punish recievers for running routes across the middle. Think twice about getting in his way, MLB catchers.

Sports fans can be SO hypersensitive. SI is a media outlet that caters to the most sensitive of Sports fans. Unwritten rules exist for elitists. Middle finger to all of them.

Posted by: jboogie1 | September 6, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think Morgan should keep nailing catchers that block the plate.

The other team wants to throw at him? Fine. It will boost his OBP, give him steal opportunities, and the opposing pitcher will get ejected after 4 innings. That's an asset!

Posted by: jboogie1 | September 6, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Was nice to see Morgan make a highlight film catch and score a few runs yesterday --- even if he did over-slide 2nd base and get caught stealing.

I hope for the best for Nyjer. He's been having trouble this year but he is not the beast or jerk that he's made out to be.

Posted by: nattydread1 | September 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

From the baseball rulebook, section 7.06:

"NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand."

This seems self-contradictory at first. First sentence says the catcher doesn't have the right to block the runner unless he has the ball in his hand. Second says he can be there if he's fielding the ball.

I read that to mean that if the catcher has to get into the third base line to receive a throw from left field, he's okay, but if the throw is coming from right, he can't possibly have to be on the third base line to receive it, and he therefore has no right to be there without the ball.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 6, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

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