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Updated: 2012-04-12T17:25:33.526-05:00

 



Injuries from opening day

2007-04-03T16:06:45.243-05:00

From Nationals.com (Bill Ladson): “Center fielder Nook Logan suffered a hyperextended left foot, while shortstop Cristian Guzman suffered a mild left hamstring strain. Both players are listed as day to day.” It is noted that Kory Castro could be called up if Logan goes on the DL.

Also: “The Guzman injury appears to be a lot worse” and if he can’t play “second baseman Felipe Lopez will move over to short and Ronnie Belliard will be the second baseman.” Lopez is quoted as noting that he Lopez doesn’t want to move again.

Tonight: RHP Shawn Hill vs. LHP Scott Olsen.

Olsen has started 35 games in the majors, and has amassed a record of 13-11, with an ERA of 4.03. 201 IP, 187 Ks, 85 BB.

Hill started 3 games in 2004, but only made it to a total of 9 innings. 1-2 record and 16.00 ERA. In 2006, he started 6 games, and did much better - appearing in 36.2 IP 16 K 12 BB 4.66 ERA (1 W 3 L).



Nationals lose first game of 2007 2-9, Patterson out after 3.2 IP

2007-04-02T15:09:15.793-05:00

First game of the season is over. Nationals lost. Patterson lasts just 3.2 innings (80 pitches) before being pulled for a rule 5 pick-up. Patterson gave up 6 runs to start the season with an ERA of 14.73. Jimmy LeVale Speigner finished the fourth, and pitched the fifth and sixth innings, giving up just 1 run to leave the game with an ERA of 3.86. Bowie came in for the 7th inning, and gave up 2 runs, leaving with an ERA of 18.00. Jesus Colome then came in to pitch the 8th inning and 9th, and while he gave up 2 walks, he also struck out one batter, and didn’t give up a hit or a run. It wasn’t pretty (30 pitches, 16 strikes, 14 balls), but Colome ended up the only pitcher on the Nationals side to not give up a run. Shortstop Josh Wilson to first baseman Dmitri Young for the last out in the top of the 9th inning. Wilson to Young?

On the Marlins side - Willis left after 100 pitches, and 6 innings, after giving up just 1 earned run (and 1 unearned), off of 1 walk and 7 hits, while also striking out 3 (1.50 ERA). Some guy named Jorge Julio came in to “close” for the Marlins. Yes, yes, I recall, Julio was the O’s closer back when I paid attention to the O’s. Jorge made it interesting, walking Church, and throwing 13 pitches in the 9th (8 balls, 5 strikes), but the Nationals scored no runs in the 9th.

Batting - Young hit two doubles, and Zimmerman hit a triple. Logan left the game with his batting average at 1.000 (1 for 1; he came out injured). I’m not certain, but Guzman apparently injuried himself swinging, and missing, the baseball. I’ll have to look later to see what happened with Guzman. He left the game 0 for 3.



First Game Underway: Nationals Losing

2007-04-02T12:49:05.433-05:00

John Patterson vs. Dontrelle Willis

Florida up in second inning. Scored 1 run in top of first to lead off game (After 1.2 innings, Patterson has an ERA of 16.20 according to the GameDay log).

Line-Up: Nationals:
Lopez, Felipe 2B
Gusman, SS
Zimmerman, 3B
Kearns, RF
Young, 1B
Schneider, C
Church, LF
Logan, CF
Patterson, P

So far: Zimmeran got his first hit of 2007 in his first at-bat with 2 out, and Kearns immediately got his 1st LOB when he got the third out of the inning.

Giving up 2 more runs in the Second, Patterson's ERA drops to 13.50. Nationals now up in the Second, with Young leading off with a ground out. Schneider up for his first time in 2007. 2 strikes 2 balls. 5th pitch, in play, Out (Ground out). Church up for first time. Called strike. Ball, low, outside corner. Another called strike. . . . Now full count. another foul. 8 pitches so far thrown to Church. Another ball - Church walks with 2 out. Logan up for first time in 2007. Ball, in the dirt, can't really tell with GameDay. 3rd pitch - IN PLAY, NO OUT - ground ball to center - Church to 2B, Logan to 1B. Pitcher Patterson up. 2 strikes. Swinging strike - inning over.

. . . .

Game continues, I return to watching . . . and not "talking" . . .



Quick note, mostly to remind myself

2007-02-08T11:55:00.130-05:00

Nationals preseason games on MASN:

  • Saturday, March 3, 1:05 pm - Orioles-Nationals, Viera, FL
  • Thursday, March 8, 1:05 pm - Astros-Nationals, Viera, FL
  • Friday, March 9, 1:05 pm - Nationals-Orioles, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Monday, March 12, 1:05 pm - Mets-Nationals, Viera, FL
  • Wednesday, March 21, 7:05 pm - Braves-Nationals, Viera, FL
  • Tuesday, March 27, 7:05 pm - Mets-Nationals, Viera, FL **
  • Friday, March 30, 2:05 pm - Nationals-Orioles, Norfolk, VA
  • Saturday, March 31, 1:05 pm - Orioles-Nationals, Washington, DC **
From e-mail just received. Now if I can remember when the date occurs, and also remember what channel MASN is on my system.



Fick rejoins the team, at least at the Minor League level; 3 Catchers?

2006-12-21T14:40:44.063-05:00

With Harper sent done to AAA (outrighted, with the possibility someone else would claim him), the question became, who will back-up Brian Schneider? Well, Robert Fick joins the recent Rule 5 pick-up Jesus Flores as contenders for the back-up role. Jesus Flores is a rule 5 pick-up and must remain on the major league roster for the entire season (or be given back, and other odd little rules). Considering that the Nationals seemed to like playing with just one declared catcher, Schneider, in past seasons (with Fick and the like bouncing between the infielder and catcher column on the roster), the likelihood of Fick’s rejoining the team, with Flores cemented to the major league roster, would seem to be slim, no?

On the other hand, there was talk of the need for a back-up at first-base, so there is room for another utility man. Other potential back-up first-basemen appear to be less likely to join the team in that limited capacity (at least that is what I’ve read concerning Larry Broadway).

So, will the Nationals actually enter the season with three “catchers”? One that sometimes struggles at the plate (Schneider), one that struggles behind the plate (Fick), and one that was last seen in high A ball (Flores)?

Flores is now 21 and has played three seasons in the minors. He played at the Rookie level and Low A in his first season. He played a combined 48 games that season, with an batting average of .319 at the Rookie level, and .333 at the Low A level. He then spent the entire 2005 season, his second, in A ball, hitting just .216 in 82 games. In 2006, he advanced to A+, or High A level baseball. In 120 games, he hit .266 and 21 home-runs and 32 doubles. Those 21 home-runs in 2006 is both a milestone for most hit by him, and the first time he went past 7 home-runs in a season. As a fielder, he had 5 errors in the Rookie league in 2004 and 7 errors in A ball in 2005. The 2006 stats appear to be missing on Baseball Cube.

Considering Flores should probably now be exploring AA pitching instead of major league pitching, there does seem to be some need to have an extra body on the team that can fill in at catcher for small stretches.

And that’s my attempt to write a column length article about Fick getting a minor league contract and an invitation to Spring Training.



Nationals acquire two more players late last night

2006-12-19T16:07:52.676-05:00

ok, maybe not late last night, but I first noticed it through the 8:30 pm article on Nationals.comTwo more relief pitchers added (though one is fighting to be a starting pitcher). Both signed to non-guaranteed Minor League contracts. LHP Ray King, 32, and RHP Jason Simontacchi, 33, join the fight for a roster spot on the Nationals major-league club. King could add another left-handed pitcher to the bullpen, joining Bowie, and Simontacchi wishes to be one of the Nationals starting pitchers. King played in 67 games for the Colorado Rockies last season, picking up a ERA of 4.43 for the season. King notes that he played in mile-high Denver, and his stats should be better in Washington DC (check out The Beltway Boys for King's road/home record).Simontacchi last played in the majors in 2004, during which he injured his arm ("tore his right labrum").Oddly, the St. Louis Cards city paper made note of the recent signing of Simontacchi and King with the Nationals. Ah, of course. Forgot to mention that Simontacchi was playing with the Cardinals in 2004. The paper notes that Simontacchi, though currently slated to fight for a spot in the rotation, appeared in just 13 games in 2004, in relief, before injuring himself. He tried out for the Cubs in 2006 (this past season), but didn’t make the team. Mostly because he failed the physical. Apparently, what caught the Nationals attention, according to Derrick Goold of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, is Simontacchi’s current record in the Dominican league. This winter, he's pitched in the Dominican Republic and in his first four starts went 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA over 22 innings. That caught the Nats' attention.The signing of King is briefly mentioned in one paragraph in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. Something about King being traded from the Cardinals club to the Rockies before the 2006 season started.Right, some Baseball-Reference information: Jason William Simontacchi stands 6' 2" and is reported to weigh somewhere around 185 pounds. He is right handed both for pitching and batting. He has appeared in the majors in three seasons. He debut came in 2002 with the Cardinals (entire major league career with Cards), and went 11-5 with an ERA of 4.02 in 24 games started. In the 143.2 innings he pitched in 2002, he gave up 134 hits, 64 ER, 18 HR, and 54 walks to 72 strike-outs. He also hit 6 batters and threw 1 wild pitch. He ended up ranked ninth in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting. In 2003, Simontacchi went 9 and 5, with an ERA of 5.56. He started 16 games and entered 30 games in relief. In the 126.2 innings he pitched in 2003, he gave up 153 hits, 78 earned runs, 21 home-runs, and 41 walks to 74 strike-outs. Before injuring himself in 2004, Simontacchi appeared in 13 games, as mentioned, but more specifically in 15.2 innings of relief. He gave up 17 hits, 9 ER, 5 HR, and 7 walks to 3 strike-outs in those 15.2 innings to end up with an ERA of 5.28 for the season. He has a career .200 batting average. Simontacchi did not play in 2005, and spent the 2006 season with an independent league team, the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League. Simontacchi appeared in 10 games, all in relief, and ended the year with a record of 1-0 and an ERA of 0.84 (catching on as to why I noted the Nationals picked up two relief pitchers?). Ray King stands 6' 1" and weighs a reported 230 pounds. He has had two seasons where his ERA fell below 3, and 4 more seasons where his fell below 4. In his 365 innings pitched (all in relief), King gave up 330 hits, 133 ER, 27 HR, and 156 walks to 252 strike-outs. His 8 season career ERA currently stands at 3.28. Since 2001, King has appeared in at least 67 games a season. Other Things Noted- None of the three Cards blogs that I had put up for the World Series mention either Ray King or Jason Simontacchi in their most recent blog posts. - Harper outrighted, thanks for noting that information Farid. Y[...]



Roster Moves: Unless there are Problems with the Physical, Vidro now a Mariner

2006-12-18T10:26:08.130-05:00

Since last I blogged: Roster updates:Jose Vidro was traded to the Seattle Mariners for OF Chris Snelling and right-hander Emiliano Fruto. The trade is on hold until Vidro’s Monday physical. Vidro had a no-trade clause in his contract, but he agreed to the trade after discussing it with the Mariner’s skipper and with his wife (Vidro’s wife, not the manager’s wife). Vidro was told that he would be their DH, and backup at 1B, 2B, and 3B. With Vidro’s trade, Lopez will move to second base (played 12 games at 2B in career), and Guzman will cover the short-stop duties.Christopher Doyle Snelling, 25 (birthday: December 3, 1981), was signed by Seattle as a amateur free agent March 2, 1999. He made his major league debut May 25, 2002 with the Mariners against the Orioles. In three major league seasons Snelling has appeared in 59 games, and his 2006 appearance in 36 games is his most ever, to this point. He hasn’t exactly shown anything, yet, in the majors, so the reason for his acquisition by the Nationals must be due to potential. In three seasons, Snelling has hit .237, with 2 SB and 3 CS, 5 HR, 1 triple, and 8 doubles. Snelling has played 38 games in RF (265 innings, 33 GS, 1 error), 14 in LF (119 innings, 14 GS, 0 errors), and 1 in CF (1 inning, ball never hit near him). For his 59 major league games, Snelling has already made $1,244,500.As mentioned, his acquisition is based on potential, so let’s check out his minor league stats. Snelling started in 1999 at the age of 17 in low A ball. In 8 minor league seasons, Snelling has played at the low A, high A, double A, AAA, and Rookie level (for some reason, after playing 47 games in AA, and 18 games in AAA in 2003, Snelling spent the entire 2004 season at the Rookie level, unless the website I’m using is wrong). Snelling appeared in the AAA in three seasons. In 2003, Snelling played in 18 AAA games, hitting .269, striking out 12 times to 5 walks, hit 3 home-runs, and 2 doubles, picked up 1 stolen base, and his OBP was .333. Snelling then appeared in AAA in 2005 for 65 games. In those 246 at-bats, Snelling hit .370, hitting 8 HR, 2 triples and 17 doubles, while knocking in 46 runs (RBI). He was caught stealing more often than he successfully stole a base (3 CS to 2 SB), and struck out more often than walked (43 SO vs. 36 walks). In 2006 he appeared in both the majors and AAA. In AAA, Snelling appeared in 69 games, and in those 241 at-bats, he hit .216. He had 13 doubles, 1 walk, 5 home-runs, and 39 RBI. His strike-out to walk ratio suffered (60 K to 31 BB), though he managed to get more stolen bases than get caught trying to steal (4 SB, 2 CS). In the minors, Snelling has only appeared in the outfield. He has 11 errors in the minors. Apparently he isn’t particularly speedy, and/or hasn’t mastered the base-paths yet, doesn’t have great power. He has a tendency to strike-out more often than walk, though there are several seasons when he walked more often than struck-out.Columbian Emiliano Fruto made his major league debut last season on May 14, 2006. The right-handed reliever stands 6' 3", and is reported to weigh anywhere between 170 (Baseball Cube) and 235 (Baseball Reference) pounds. In his first season in the majors (at the age of 22), Fruto pitched in 36 innings in 23 relief appearances. He ended up with a record of 2-2 and an ERA of 5.50. In those 36 innings, Fruto gave up 34 hits, 22 earned runs, 4 home-runs, 24 walks, hit 2 batters, and threw 4 wild pitches. He also struck out 34 batters. He has played 6 seasons in the minors. Like Snelling, Fruto started when he was 17. Unlike Snelling, Fruto started in the Rookie leagues. He entered the Seattle system as a starting pitcher, but was quickly transformed into a relief pitcher (starting pitcher complete first season, 13 GS in second season with 20 relief appearances). He has appeared in AAA in three seasons (2003 - 1 game, 4 inning pitched, 0[...]



Manager Acta, Soriano gone, Roster moves

2006-11-21T12:01:09.903-05:00

SorianoAs expected, Soriano is no longer a member of the Washington Nationals. Soriano is now a Cub, after signing the "fifth largest contract ever". He officially became a Cub yesterday after passing a physical. He signed an 8 year contract worth $136 million. Soriano:"It's a big contract, but that's not my goal," Soriano said. "My goal is to play hard and give you a championship for the city. That's my goal. It's not about the contract."ActaThe Nationals new manager, Manny Acta, officially joined the team one week ago on November 14, 2006. Acta was the third base coach with the Expos in 2002 to 2004, and spent the 2005 and 2006 baseball seasons with the Mets as their third base coach. While this is Acta’s first manager job in the majors, he worked as a manager in the minor leagues, and lead his team to the 1994 New York-Penn League Championship series. Acta’s 1999 Class A Kissimmee team won the Florida State League Championship. Acta moved up to the big-leagues in 2002, joining Robinson’s Expos coaching staff.Roster10/3/06: Released RHPs Brian Lawrence, Pedro Astacio, Felix Rodriguez, Zach Day and Ryan Drese and LHP Joey Eischen.11/6/06: Signed RHP Tim Redding, RHP Joel Hanrahan, INF Josh Wilson and OF Michael Restovich to one-year contracts. Signed RHPs Jermaine Van Buren, T.J. Nall, Colby Lewis, Felix Diaz, Eduardo Valdez, Josh Hall, Winston Abreu, Jim Magrane; LHPs Mike Bacsik, Billy White and Chris Michalak; C Juan Brito and C Danny Ardoin; INF Joe Thurston and INF Alejandro Machado; and OF Darnell McDonald and OF Wayne Lydon to Minor League contracts; Purchased the contract of LHP Matt Chico from Double-A Harrisburg.6 feet 200 pound RHP Tim Redding will be 29 in the 2007 baseball season. He made his major league debut in 2001 with the Astros (20th round draft pick). In 101 games, 79 started, Redding has a 21-34 record with an ERA of 5.16. Redding’s best season came in 2003, when he was 25 and amassed a record of 10-14 in 32 games starts (33 overall games), with an ERA of 3.68. In that year, 2003, Redding pitched 176 innings, gave up 179 hits, 65 walks, and struck out 116 batters. Redding has made at least $1,445,000 so far in his career (2003-2005). There is no mention of Redding’s Nationals contract amount. RHP Joel Ryan Hanrahan will be 26 for the 2007 baseball season. The 6-2 191 pound pitcher was drafted by the LA Dodgers in the second round of the 2000 amateur draft. He was a Double-A all-star in 2003, and named "Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher". Hanrahan has never played in the majors, and has spent 7 seasons in the minors (1 year at the Rookie-level, 1 year at A, roughly 2 years at A+, parts of 4 seasons in AA, and parts of 3 seasons in AAA). Overall, Hanrahan has a minor league record of 62-45, with an ERA of 4.23 in 167 GS (174 total games). In AAA, Hanrahan’s record is: 2003: 5 GS, 1-2, 10.08 ERA; 2004: 22 GS, 7-7, 5.05 ERA; 2006: 14 GS, 4-3, 4.48 ERA. As a hitter, Hanrahan has a minor league batting average of .174 in 86 AB.I’m not certain about Josh Wilson’s stats. If he is the Josh Aaron Wilson who played his first major league game on Sept. 7, 2005, then I have some very limited information. The 6'1 178 pound Wilson was drafted in the third round of the 1999 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins. At the age of 24, he appeared in 11 games in 2005 with the Marlins, getting 1 hit (a double) in his 10 AB’s, and striking out 4 times. He played 6 games at SS, and 4 at 2B. No errors were recorded by Wilson in those 10 games. Josh Wilson is listed as a SS on the Minor League website. In 2006, Wilson hit .307 in 89 games in AAA for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He had 4 triples, 10 home-runs, 45 RBI, 15 SB, .376 OBP, .475 SLG, .851 OPS. In 2005, Wilson hit .257 in 143 AAA minor league games. I don’t have any record for earlier work. OF Michael Rest[...]



Left Tackles and You, the story of Michael Oher and a change in the NFL

2006-10-24T12:17:12.496-05:00

The author of Moneyball, Michael Lewis, returns with another sports book, this time focused on football (the USA version of the word). Lewis tracks the changing nature of the NFL, and the changing importance of certain positions. As time advanced, and the strategists, mainly Bill Walsh, pushed the organized systematic method of offensive production that increased the average yards per pass, increased the total number of passes, relative to total and to percentage of plays vs. run plays, while at the same time increasing the completion rate. This new method, which has been called by some the “West Coast Offense”, coupled with a new player/management system that allowed free agency, drove one particular position to the forefront.

In the past everyone that played on the offensive line believed himself (apparently) to be playing a position that was not-individualistic, and interchangeable (play Center, Guard, Tackle, left-right didn’t matter). Adding in the lack of measurable production numbers, the pay for players on the offensive line reflected this “through any body in there” mentality. Then things began to change, both with an offensive system that advanced the use of the pass to the point where it became much more feasible to stress the pass over the run and win games, and with advent of the counter to this system. The advanced pass system opened up a new realm of offensive production, but also opened up the quarterback to danger. Why? Because the blockers who would normally be back for the run, are forward as potential targets for a pass (not specifically the same players). This allowed players like Lawrence Taylor to run forward and clobber the QB (though, he likely would have been able to do so anyway, there were just fewer people between him and the quarterback after the change in offensive systems). The position pushed to the forefront by the changes in the game? Left tackle. Why left tackle as opposed to any other position on the field, like say right tackle? Because the left tackle guarded the quarterback’s blind side (right-handed quarterback, and most are right-handed). While the system was in transition, most salaries remained the same for offensive linemen, while an increasing number of quarterbacks became injured, sometimes with career injuries. Then free agency came about, and everyone awaited the avalanche of money to fall on quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Oddly enough, a good portion of this free agent money, though, went to left tackles. GM’s realized that they needed a great left tackle to protect their quarterback, and without one, even the best quarterback will have lower production.

This realization flowed down to the college level (many “lately” “pro”-level offenses), and somewhat down to the high school level. Especially down to one particular kid by the name of Michael Oher. Oher was a gigantic black kid from the poorest area of Memphis when he joined a private high school and began his rise up the social-economic ladder.

Lewis’ book introduces the change in the NFL system and specifically follows Michael Oher’s life up to the present (2006) as a college football player. I enjoy sports, including football, but am most familiar with the inner-workings of baseball. As noted in Lewis’ book, most football fans follow the ball, and pay less attention to the offensive line. This particular book provided me with a great deal of insight into an area of the football field that I had never really considered, and never really understood.



No Sweep for the Cards

2006-10-23T09:15:14.060-05:00

Entering the World Series, there was much talk of a possible Tigers sweep. Then the Cards won game one. So, sweep for the Cards? Nope, Rogers and his mysteriously brown smudged hands, won game two for the Tigers. Series tied 1-1. Rogers great work smeared by some odd brown substance (see ESPN Photo).

That brown oil smear on Rogers' hand? According to Rogers, it was dirt. Is the dirt especially liquidly in Detroit? Rogers pitched a great game, giving up just two singles and three walks in 8 innings of work, but now because of that mysterious brown sludge on his pitching hand, an asterisk has to be attached to the game. Did Rogers cheat? Did he not cheat? You would hate for the guy to pitch an outstanding game, and get labeled a cheater, if he didn't cheat, but you (whoever "you" is) would hate for him to be able to get away with cheating.

Cheating, of course, isn't new to the World Series, and sometimes the cheating is an attempt to win (Jay Howell, though that was the NLCS, not the World Series; or any overly muscular home-run hitter who has played in the World Series and has the shadow of steroids or the like marring his career ("his", am I being sexist? Unless someone went undetected, even MLB baseball players named Christy are male) or an attempt to lose (see: 1919 Chicago Black Sox, or see the movie "Eight Men Out").

The Reds ended up with a World Series in 1919, but with the public ("say it ain't so Joe") aware that it might have been, should have been, the White Sox World Series victory. If the Tigers win the series, will they be marred by this mysterious brown substance? Will the world continue to argue about the "tainted" Tigers-Cards series 90 years later? Only time will tell.



Rest in Peace

2006-10-12T10:17:26.700-05:00

(image)



Frank Robinson's last game as the Nationals manager

2006-10-02T11:54:12.896-05:00

My Videos from the Game:Robinson's talk with the RFK crowd, Part 1 (Youtube version) Yahoo Video version (not sure why I can never get videos to work on the blog, no matter, here's a link to the Yahoo Video page that has my video in three parts)Robinson's talk with the RFK crowd, Part 2 (Youtube version)Yahoo version:Robinson's talk with the RFK crowd, Part 3.Shots taken of that last game:  - first pitch by Ortiz. - Perez pitches in the first inning. - Franco scores. - Hernandez Scores - Floyd scores. - Ortiz removed. - Teddy walks by. - Jefferson walks by - Fuzzy out of focus look at the new stadium - new stadium - new stadium - RFK[...]



Nationals lose first game in last series of 2006

2006-09-30T10:27:34.076-05:00

 Tony Armas and John Maine solid in first couple of innings, both going for shut-outs, but both ended up out of the decision.  Armas throws 112 pitches, but that is just in 5 innings.  Nationals lose 4-3.  

Of Note: Zimmerman gets 110th RBI, but batting average falls to .289.  Church hits 10th home-run of season and goes 2 for 4, raises average to .270.  Lopez steals a base, his 44th.  And the Nationals handed out blankets to the first 15,000 fans at the game.  Tonight, I think, t-shirts will be handed out, and on Sunday, 2007 preliminary schedule handed out.

In the last two games of the season, RHP Beltran Perez with his 2-0, 1.50 record, will face off against LHP Tom Glavine (14-7, 4.94) on Saturday (today), and RHP Ramon Ortiz (11-15, 5.32) will face off against RHP Steve Trachsel (15-8, 4.97) on Sunday to end the year.

Interesting article about the parking situation over at the Curly W blog.



Nationals lose, win, lose against Braves, on road today, will face Mets this weekend

2006-09-21T09:49:41.963-05:00

Nationals lose 1-6 on Monday in the first game of the series, win 9-2 on Tuesday, and lose 3-7 on Wednesday.

Monday: Tie game until top of sixth (0-0 in first, 1-1 in second up to top of sixth) when Braves add two runs to take the lead and the game. Braves eventually score 3 more runs in the 8th inning. Tony Armas pitched, picked up his 12th loss. Not a bad start, 6.2 innings pitched, just 3 runs given up off of 6 hits (1 HR) and 3 walks; plus 4 strike-outs in 96 pitches thrown. Nothing else really of note, other than Logan hitting in the Nationals 1 run, Kearns 1 error, and Flicks 2 base hits in 4 at-bats starting at catcher. Monday Game box score

Tuesday: A much better game, the Nationals won 9-2 behind the pitching of a rookie pitcher Beltran Perez making his first major league start (for Perez photo go here). The 24-year-old spent most of 2006 in AA Harrisburg, acquiring a record of 8-6 (3.11 ERA) in 121.2 innings over 31 games (16 starts). In those 121.2 innings, Beltran gave up 127 hits, 42 ER, 8 HR, 40 BB, and struck-out 107.

ON Tuesday, Beltran pitched a six inning 1 hit-shut-out, striking out 3 and lowering his ERA to 0.77 (had made previous relief appearances). Other news of note from the game: Zimmerman went 2 for 4 with his 42nd double and 98th RBI; Johnson: 2 for 4, 23rd home-run; Kearns 2 for 4, 33rd double; Lombard PH for Perez and stole two bases after walking. Washington lead 6-0 when the 7th inning started and Perez out of the game. Rivera came in and gave up 1 run. Then Nationals scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the 7th, end of 7: 9-1. Wagner started the 8th and gave up 1 more run to make it 9-2. No more runs by either team recorded in the game. Tuesday Box Score

On Wednesday: Ortiz lasted 5 innings, giving up 5 runs off of 8 hits (2 HR) and 2 walks (and striking out 1), to record his 15th loss of the season. Of note: Zimmerman picked up his 99th RBI and 19th HR while hitting 2 for 4. DP: Johnson-Castro. Wednesday Box Score.

Thursday/Today: Travel Day.

Friday-Monday: @ New York Mets.

Other news of note:
New AAA minor-league team: located in Columbus: Official Press-release - 2 year deal. The Columbus Clippers were most recently associated with the New York Yankee organization. Link to new team on sidebar.
New A level minor-league team (high-A Potomac remains): Official Press-Release - 2 year deal. Savannah Gnats now part of Mets organization.



Washington Wins, and Loses . . . Soriano - 40-40

2006-09-18T08:33:59.866-05:00

Nationals win on Saturday (8-5)and Sunday (6-1) and now host the Atlanta Braves for three games starting tonight. Redskins lose, again, 10-27 and will now face the Houston Texans in Texas at 1pm Sunday. As Riggins noted, the test comes next Sunday, though I don't recall his arguement now. And: United lost to the Fire in a rain-delayed match in Chicago. ESPN2 kept losing the coverage and during one of the lost coverage times, Fire scored. They, the Fire, ended up winning 0-1 after a 20 minute rain delay. United's next match will be at home on Saturday 9/23/06 against the New York Red Bulls.

Back to the Nationals: Soriano picked up his 40th stolen base on Saturday to match up with his 40+ home-runs, and 38 doubles (just needs 2 more for 40-40-40). Also on Saturday, Castro hit two triples, and Zimmerman also hit a triple (3) and stole his 11th base. "Speedy" Logan finally stole a base this year on Saturday. And Astacio picked up his 4th win of the year on Saturday. Nationals, as I mentioned earlier, won 8-5. Saturday's Box Score

On Sunday, Lopez picked up his 39th stolen base, and now he is just 1 away from 40. Of course, he doesn't have 40 home-runs (he has 11, and 24 doubles). Also on Sunday, Kearns hit his 23rd home-run and picked up his 82nd and 83rd RBIs. O'Connor started and went 4 innings, giving up 1 run off of 3 hits. Rivera picked up the win, his 3rd of the year. Despite winning 6-1, this is still another game where they came from behind to win the game. The Brewers picked up 1 run in the top of the second, and kept that 1 run lead until the bottom of the fifth, when Kearns hit that previously mentioned home-run for a tie game. Tie game until the bottom of the 7th, when the Nationals picked up another run for the 1 run lead, and then tacked on 4 more runs in the bottom of the 8th to make sure of things. Oh, and Vidro started at 1st base, no errors committed. Nationals won 6-1. Sunday Box Score

Washington Times: Nationals Bullpen: "More and more, that bullpen has shown signs it can do an effective job. . . . Over the past six games, the bullpen has allowed just four runs in 26 innings for a 1.38 ERA."


Washington Times: Nationals Mailbag: First question: predict the Nationals 2007 starting line-up. Zuckerman's answer? Position and line-up:
CF Nook Logan
2B Felipe Lopez
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Nick Johnson
RF Austin Kearns
LF Ryan Church
C Brian Schneider
SS Cristian Guzman

assumptions: Soriano gone, Logan wins over Escobar, Vidro traded, Guzman healthy, no major fielding signings.

Why Kory Casto not up? Many reasons, but the fact that Casto has settled in at LF, and the Nationals have that position covered . . . (and the fact that Casto will be playing in Fall ball).



Sorry . . . ; Ohka back

2006-09-15T14:52:22.493-05:00

Can't think of anything to say. Nationals lost again on Wednesday night, ending the minor win-streak, though they still won that series. Then on Thursday the Nationals traveled home and will play the Brewers tonight at 7:05 pm. Of course, I'm so out of touch, I completely forgot and while I have tickets to the game, forgot to bring them with me to work. I feel very ashamed.

Anyone that does happen to attend the game, maybe because they remembered their tickets, will get to see Tomo Ohka again, though, of course, he will be starting for the other team. Ohka is currently 0-2 with an ERA of 9 in his two starts in September, and has a record of 4-5, 4.83 ERA for the year. Ohka will face Nationals starter Ramon Ortiz and his 10-13, 5.19 era. Ortiz is currently 1 for 1 in September with an ERA of 3.60 in the 15 innings pitched.

And if you attend, maybe you'll get to see Soriano pick up his 40th steal to go along with his 45 current home-runs (and hopefully at least number 46).

Great article about one of the Nationals minor leagurers over at The Beltway Boys temp address.


5 Q and A's
with a Brewers blogger at Curly W (last Q&A of the season).



Nationals Win 2 in a Row, and Series, go for sweep tonight

2006-09-13T12:55:01.363-05:00

Jason Bergmann started, and left after giving up 3 runs in three innings off of 6 hits and 1 walk. Starter Michael O'Connor relieved the starting reliever and pitched the fourth and fifth innings, giving up 1 run off of 1 hit. That one run, a home-run in the fifth inning, was the last run scored by the Diamondbacks in the game. Schroder pitched the sixth, Felix Rodriguez pitched the seventh and picked up the win, Booker started the 8th (0.2 inning pitched) and Cordero finished the 8th inning and closed in the ninth, picking up his 26th save of the year.

Another come-from behind victory, as Arizona jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning. The Nationals cut the lead to 1 run when Nick Johnson hit his 22nd home-run of the year, with Zimmerman on base. The Diamondbacks then picked up their last 1 run off of a home-run by Hudson in the fifth, before the Nationals tied the game in the sixth inning with 2 more runs scored (Johnson scored off of a Vidro ground out, and Kearns scored off of a Schneider ground out (Schneider then reached on throwing error)). Game won in the top of the 8th inning when the Nationals scored 1 additional run (Schneider scored on Logan's single).

Box Score

The Nationals finish their Diamondback series today at 6:40 pm, before spending the day Thursday traveling home to host the Milwaukee Brewers.



Washington Wins! Washington Nationals Win 7-6 over Diamondbacks!

2006-09-12T09:18:13.226-05:00

Redskins, of course, lost, and Nationals won. The Nationals came back again last night, having suffered the horror of being behind 4-2 by as long into the game as the top of the seventh (before the start of that inning), but the Nationals picked up 4 runs in the 7th and pulled to a 6-4 lead. The Nationals relievers, of course, in the form of Rauch, promptly gave up 2 more runs to the Diamondbacks, making it a tie game. Somehow or another the Nationals picked up another run in the top of the 9th and Cordero kept the Diamondbacks from countering with a run of their own in the bottom of the 9th, so the Nationals won the game. Of course two games ago (as in the game before last nights game) the team lost their 82 game, so even if by some werid set of circumstances the team were to win every single game from here on out, they will still finish below .500 (though that would be a great story, not the below .500 finish, but the 19 game win streak to finish the season).

Ok, now I see. Traber lasted just 3 innings (and 3 4th inning batters, no outs recorded that inning for him), giving up two home-runs in the 2nd inning, and another home-run in the 4th inning to give the Diamondbacks a 3-0 lead. Then in the 4th (or also in the 4th), the Nationals finally responded. Kearns lead off with a single, Vidro doubled, Kearns scored. Vidro moves to third base when Schneider grounded out. Logan then singled home Vidro. Score now 3-2. Then Traber gave up his last run of the game, his fourth, when he gave up a single to Snyder that allowed Jackson to score (no, not Damian Jackson). Score 4-2 after 5, and 6 innings played.

7th inning: Castro pinch hits to lead off game (for Wagner), gets a single, then steals second base. Soriano walks. Pitcher changed. Lopez sacrifices, Castro to third, Soriano to second. Zimmerman walks. Bases loaded 1 out. Johnson singles, Castro and Sorinao score (now 4-4), Zimmerman to 2B (and Johnson on 1B). 1 out, 2 runners on. Kearns walks. Bases loaded 1 out. Vidro singles, Zimmerman and Johnson score (6-4, Nationals), Kearns to second base. Schneider then hit into a double play to end the inning.

8th inning: Rauch pitching (also pitched 7th inning): 2 run home-run given up to Easley. Score now tied 6-6.

9th inning: Lopez singles to lead off inning. Zimmerman singles. Wild pitch, runners advance. Johsnon out - swinging. Kearns IBB. Bases loaded, 1 out. Vidro walked, Lopez comes home, and Schneider then hits into another double play to end another inning. Score 7-6 Nationals.

Cordero picks up 25th save for his work in the 9th inning.

Box Score


Tonight: Bergmann vs. Batista (10-6, 4.44)



Go Redskins!

2006-09-11T15:51:15.023-05:00

Traber pitches tonight for Nationals.



Washington ties, again: MLS Part IV: Third game watched on TV

2006-09-09T21:13:47.086-05:00

I was going to mention that the Nationals were also tied, but then they let the Rockies score 2 more runs, and the Rockies now lead 5-3 (actually, they are now tied 5-5, took me some time to write this entry). So, DC United:DC United out-played the Salt Lake team in the first 45 minute half, though it was obvious (somewhat) that there was some trouble involved from having 4 starters out of the game (passing the ball, knowing where your teammate is standing/going to be). But Salt Lake, for the most part, outplayed a tired cramping United team. Adu scored a great goal at the end of the first half, and the team tried to keep the ball away from the other team in the second half, but Salt Lake scored at the 64:43 minute mark (6th goal by Klein in the season, 10th assist by Cunningham, Rimando seemed out of place even after he returned to the net area after going for the ball). Interesting game, at times exciting, at times somewhat boring. deRoux showed great promise in the first half, but looked out of it in the second half. Well, I'm still not in position to really examin the game, so I'll end. Play by PlayNationals Since my last entry about the team, the Nationals have lost two straight games against the Rockies in Colorado, and are currently losing to the Rockies tonight. Thursday's game found the worst start by Jason Bergmann, pitching just 3.2 innings, giving up 5 runs off of 5 hits (1 HR) and 3 walks (while also striking out 5 batters). This worst outing unfortunately game after Bergmann's best outing of the year in his last start. Bergmann didn't pick up the loss, though, no the loss went to Wagner, who pitchedTie Game (current game)! the seventh and start of 8th inning. The game was tied 5-5 in the 8th inning when Wagner gave up 5 more runs to allow the Rockies to win 10-5. Soriano now has 37 SB for the year, and Johnson has 20 HR.Thursday box score.Friday: Friday saw the Nationals in yet another game where they were able to come back from a deficit. This time, though, they didn't win. By the top of the 7th inning, the Nationals actually lead 5-4 (getting the leading run in the top of the 7th inning). Rivera had his second blown save and gave up 3 unearned runs in the bottom of the 7th. 7-5 after 7. Nationals then pick up 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning, pulling to a 8-7 lead, but Rauch also blew his 2nd save, and picked up his 4th loss of the year, when he let 4 runs score in the bottom of the 8th. End of 8, Nationals behind 8-11. Final score: 8-11. Fielding: Errors: Lopez (25th), Logan (1st), Dorta (1st), Rivera (1st), Zimerman 2 (12th, 13th). DP: 2.Soriano picked up number 38 stolen base, and Zimmerman picked up his 10th stolen base of the year. Johnson picked up his 21st home-run in the 6th inning, and Lombard picked his first home-run of the year (and 8th of his major league career) in the 7th. Friday: box scoreSaturday:Ramon Ortiz started, and is still in the game after 6 innings, having given up 3 earned runs (2 unearned) off of 5 hits (2 HR), 2 walks and has 2 strike-outs.So far: 2 doubles by Johnson (43rd, 44th doubles), Fick has hit his 2nd double of the year, and Soriano (38), Lopez (23), and Vidro (22) have hit doubles so far. Soriano has his 45th home-run (franchise record) and is slowly moving to 40-40, and while unlikely, 50-50.The "normal" starters started except for Fick as catcher, which includes Logan as the normal starter, at this point, in CF. So, I'll end here: top of 7th, 1 out, Fick up, another pitching change, commercial because of pitching change (odd, using both Game[...]



Nationals Win 7-6, despite pulling O'Connor!

2006-09-06T15:39:13.480-05:00

O'Connor pitched 5 quality innings, giving up just 3 hits and 1 walk, but was pulled for a pinch hitter (Mateo) in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mateo struck out. Nationals did not score in that inning. Booker came in to pitch the 6th inning but didn't get a single batter out, instead he gave up 1 hit and 1 walk, which allowed 2 runs to score. Schroder relieved Booker and picked up his first Blown Save, giving up 1 run off of 1 hit (HR) while striking out 1 in a full inning of work. Rauch had the exact same line (difference, of course, is IRS), but picked up his 14th hold. Rauch also gave up 1 run off of 1 hit (HR) and struck out 1 batter while pitching the 7th inning. Rivera made things interesting (1 hit, 2 walks) before he was through pitching the 8th inning, and Cordero acquired his 4th blown save and 7th win for his work in the ninth inning (giving up 2 runs off of 2 hits).

The Nationals lead the entire way until the 9th inning, when Cordero gave up 2 runs. Fortunately, that gave the Cardinals just a 1 run lead, so the Nationals tied and won when Vidro singled and Lopez & Johnson both scored with 1 out in the 9th inning.

Player of the game: Michael O'Connor.
(image)



Nationals Lose 2-0, winning streak over; O'Connor is today's starting pitcher (O'Connor pitches five innings, gives up 3 H, 1 BB) Nationals LEAD! 1-0

2006-09-06T13:31:40.356-05:00

O'Connor is starting today's day game and has already acheived 1 out by getting Preston Wilson, leading off, to fly out to start the game. Then he walked Taguchi. Pujols up now. (see below)Last night's game:Pedro Astacio picked up his 5th loss of the year, but actually pitched a very solid quality game. He was out-pitched by the Cardinals Suppan who gave up zero runs. None of the Cardinals pitchers gave up any runs (Nationals shut-out), and none of the Nationals relievers gave up any runs. Only Rauch gave up a hit and walk, while both Wagner (whose ERA has now fallen to 3.86) and Rivera combined for 1.2 innings of zero runs/walks/hits/strike-outs (Wagner relieved Astacio and pitched the for the last 2 outs of the 7th inning, while Riveria pitched the ninth inning).Castro committed an error (started, played 2B, went 0-4, average now .236), and the team managed to make two double plays in the game while hitting into zero double plays. Logan again started in CF, and went 1 for 3. His batting average is now .357. There is nothing more to say about this game other than: After last night's game, the Nationals are now 60-78.And to include a picture of a real live bald eagle: - O'Connor throws first pitch at 6/30/06 game.Right Now:O'Connor got out of the first inning without giving up a hit, while Soriano has lead off the Nationals half of the inning with a "reached on error." Lopez then came up and singled, which moved Soriano to second base. Zimmerman just popped out. Nick Johnson up. Johnson Doubles! Soriano scores! Not sure how Lopez didn't score off of a Johnson double, but he is now on third base. 2 men on, third and second base, 1 out, Church up, and out (ground out). 2 out, 2 men on, Jose Vidro up. Vidro flies out (long fly out to warning track in center field). Inning over. 6 batters up for Nationals in first inning, score 1 run, leave 6 on base. 4 batters up for Cardinals in first inning, zero score, 1 walk, 2 left on base.2nd inning: Spiezio singles, Belliard Grounds into Double Play. Catcher Molina up. Molina Grounds Out!. 2 innings so far for O'Connor, 1 hit, 1 walk given up, 1 GDP induced. Now up for Nationals: Fick, Logan, then O'Connor.Fick hitting .236 with the bases empty (which is better than his .222 average against RHP). Fick Singles! Average rises to .226 from .217. Nookie up. Logan hitting .500 with runners on. .357 vs. RHP. 2 balls, 2 strikes. Come on Nook! 3 balls 2 strikes. Interesting, Fick actually has a SB recorded. Sorry, waiting for the sixth pitch to occur. Foul! Runner Running! Sixth pitch was almost exactly in same spot as second pitch, which was a called strike. Another foul. And another. Fick running on each foul ball (3). Trying to tire him out, I see (Fick, that is). In Play! No Out Recorded! Seemingly hours roll by as I wait to see what happened in the play. Still waiting. Um . . . did hit a bird? What's the hold-up? What happened? Ok, not seemingly hours going by, actual hours going by waiting for the result of this play. Ah, I see, complicated. Fick at second base now, Logan at first due to error. Logan's average falls from .357 to .333. O'Connor up. 2 outside balls.Update 1: Fick caught stealing while O'Connor bats, O'Connor strikes out, Sorinao grounds into force out. Third inning, SS Miles leads off, out, pitcher Carpenter now up for Cardinals; strikes out. Wilson up for second time. This will be the test, second time through the order. Odd, they have Wilson wearing the wrong hat on GameDay. 1st pitch to Wilson - in t[...]



Washington Wins! Washington Nationals Win Fifth game in a row!

2006-09-05T08:21:24.330-05:00

Ortiz adds another win to his total, moving to 10-12 after pitching 8.2 innings, and coming within 2 hits of first Nationals no-hitter. Ortiz ended up giving up 1 run off of 2 hits (home-run) and 3 walks, striking out 5 in 95 pitches (62 strikes). Cordero finished the game and got the last out. Ortiz also went 2 for 3 at the plate, including his first major-league home-run in the 8th inning (after which he promptly turned around and gave up a home-run in the top of the ninth).Everyone except Schneider got a hit in the game, and only Ortiz had a multi-hit game for the Nationals. Castro’s hit was his 1st double of the year, as was Logan’s hit. Soriano (36), Zimmerman (40), and Johnson (41) also hit doubles, while Kearns (22) and Ortiz (1), as mentioned, hit home-runs. Lopez stole his 34th base.Box scoreI’ve mentioned Nook Logan before, but didn’t realize that he was actually acquired from Detroit for either cash or a player to be named. 2005 was Logan’s first full-time season: .258 batting average, 17 RBI, 23 SB, and “Logan's speed allowed him to rank second among AL leaders in outfield putouts per 9.0 innings (2.9), infield hits (sixth with 27), stolen base percentage (eighth at 79%) and stolen bases (tied for ninth with 23).” If I’m reading the press release correctly, Logan was “named the third-fastest runner in the American League in a Baseball America survey of league managers” in 2005. Logan press releaseAnd I had mentioned the call-ups before, but didn’t actually mention all five or link to the press release. On 9/2/06, the Nationals called up infielder Melvin Dorta (age: 24), outfielder George Lombard (30), RHP Chris Booker (29), Brett Campbell (24), & Beltran Perez (24). All but Perez come up from the New Orleans squad, and Perez is from AA Harrisburg. Dorta was hitting .433 in New Orleans (8 games). Lombard hit .302 with 10 doubles and 10 home-runs, 24 RBIs, and 19 SB. Booker pitched with three minor-league teams this season, combined record of 2-2, 4.29. Campbell also pitched with three different minor-league teams, and has a combined record of 3-5, 16 saves, 3.12 ERA. Perez has pitched both in the starting rotation and out of the bullpen. He has a record of 8-6, 1 save, and an ERA of 3.11.Press ReleaseTonight (if it isn’t rained out):RHP Pedro Astacio leads the team towards their possible 6th straight win with his record of 3-4, 6.12 ERA. RHP Jeff Suppan, 10-7, 4.61, will start for the Cardinals and try to stop the Nationals streak.A Look Ahead:Wednesday: Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter (13-6, 2.87) vs. LHP Billy Traber (3-3, 7.36) (home)Thursday: Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (9-13, 4.15) vs. Jason Bergmann (0-1, 6.24) plus start of regular season of NFL (away)Friday: Rockies RHP Byung-Hyun Kim (8-10, 5.35) vs. RHP Tony Armas (8-10, 5.23) - watch this game, some want to add Kim to our rotation. (Away).Saturday: Rockies RHP Josh Fogg (9-9, 5.36) vs. RHP Ramon Ortiz (10-12) (away).[...]



Washington Wins! DC United Wins! Slump Over!: MLS Examination, Part III: Second game watched on TV

2006-09-03T20:34:08.946-05:00

My seats weren't the best at RFK at my one and only time at RFK to watch the United team, but I now realize, after seeing my second United game on TV, that the seats were great compared to what is available on the tv. At times, it looked like I was watching ants kick something small and white on the tv screen. Really makes me appreciate attending an MLS game live and in person. So, apparently, the MLS is slowly approaching the position of being one of the few sports that I prefer watching live (sports in this category: baseball, hockey, auto racing (as in Indy 500)).

Tonight's game (or today's as the game occured on the West coast), was very exciting. A 2-1 victory by DC United, that featured great play by Christian Gomez, and the introduction, at least in a regular season game, of Matias Donnett. I'm a beginning fan, and not yet comfortable with examining the game in something like a recap, so I'll just say: United scored first in the 3rd minute, as Gomez kicked a free kick into the net on minute 2:39. Oh, and first foul at minute 1:56 by Kjestan of Chivas. Minute 17:21: Yellow Card issued to Bobby Boswell. Minute 22:16: Yellow Card issued to Alecko Eskandarian. 29:21: Gomez receives Yellow Card for dissent (dissent?). 31:07 Goal scored by Chivas during penalty kick, scored by Claudio Suarez. Immediately thereafter Gomez ran down the field with the ball and scored in minute 32:39, Gomez's second goal of the match. HALF: Matias Donnett enters game. More Yellow Cards issued, and two red cards issued (Chivas Juan Francisco Palencia (Abusive Language) & United's Joshua Gros (Abusive Language)). No more goals scored, game over after 6:09 of stoppage play.

As I said, not yet ready to recap MLS games. Mostly in imputing my thoughts and opinions.

5 game slump ended.
Box Score.

Next Game: 8:30 @ Chicago - 9/06/06 - US Open Cup
Next Regular Game: 7:30 @ RFK - Real Salt Lake (9-12-5) - 9/9/06.



Nationals win three come-from-beyond games in a row, Sweep Diamondbacks; Sept. call-ups greatly help team

2006-09-03T17:39:07.636-05:00

As mentioned, Friday's game postponed to Saturday.Saturday: Game 1: Arizona took early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, and Nationals responded with 1 run in the bottom of the inning. Diamondbacks pull into 6-1 lead after end of top half of 8th inning (Nationals run: Castro singled in Church in 2nd inning). Diamondbacks will obviously win leading 6-1 in top of 8th, right? Wrong. Bottom of 8th inning: Pena pitching for Arizona. Lopez strikes out to lead off inning. Zimmerman then strikes out. Looking bad. Johnson up, doubles with 2 outs against Nationals chances. Kearns walks. Church up. Church hits 8th home-run of the year. Three runs score. Schneider strikes out to end inning. End of 8: Arizona 6, Nationals 4. Rauch pitches 9th inning, does not allow a runner to score (also, no runners on base).Bottom of 9th. Old Orioles closer Jorge Julio enters the game. Castro walks. Fick strikes out for Rauch. Soriano hits his 44th home-run. 2 runs score. Game tied. 1 out. Will Nationals use last 2 outs to win? No. Lopez walks, Vizcaino relieves Julio, Zimmerman grounds out (FC), Johnson strikes out.Bottom of 11th: Castro walks, Fick sac hit - Castro to second. Soriano IBB, Lopez unintentionally walks. Basses loaded for Zimmerman with 1 out. Zimmerman walks, Castro scores, game over score 7-6 Nationals.Box ScoreSaturday: Night game: The Return of Hernandez:Jason Bergmann vs. Livan Hernandez.Bergmann pitches 7 very solid innings, giving up just 3 runs off of 4 hits (1 HR) and 2 walks (4 Ks). Lowers ERA to 6.24. Unforunately, Bergmann leaves game before Nationals win, and Rivera picks up his second career victory. Cordero saves his 24th game. Hernandez went 7.2 innings, giving up 11 hits (2 HR), 4 runs, 1 walk and striking out 7.Arizona lead 3-1 until bottom of 8th inning when Nationals scored 3 more runs to win game (Save by Cordero in top of 9th). Fick started at catcher, lowered average to .220. Schneider enters mid-inning as catcher as Cordero didn't want to pitch to Fick anymore. Dorta started at SS, goes 2 for 4, average now .400. Nook Logan started in CF - makes good defensive play, gets two hits in 4 plate appearances, leaves with .400 average. Johnson hit 40th double of year. Zimmerman hit 18th home-run. Kearns hit 21st home-run. Soriano stole his 35th base, and Dorta caught stealing for 2nd time this year.Box ScoreToday's (Sunday) win:Armas pitched 6.1 innings, gave up 3 runs off off 4 hits (1 HR), and 4 walks (plus struck out 2). Wagner pitched rest of 7th, and all of 8th inning, picked up his 3rd win of season (now 3-2, ERA of 4.00). Rauch picked up his first save of his career by pitching 9th inning.Washington got the early lead in the first inning scoring 1 run. Kept that lead until the 5th when the Diamondbacks tied the game off of home-run by Tracy (16th). Diamondbacks add two more runs, take 3-1 lead, but Nationals respond in bottom of 8th inning with 4 runs, take 5-3 win from Diamondbacks, and sweep them. Nationals managed just 7 hits with their 5 runs, plus just 3 walks. Still left 11 base runners on base. Kearns hit his 30th double of the year, Soriano stole his 36th base of year. Soriano needs just 4 more stolen bases for magical 40 (SB) - 40 (HR) season. Needs 6 HR and 14 SB for even more magical 50-50 season. Sorry for bad recap for today's game - did not see nor watch - family affair, then watched movie "The Illusionist"[...]