Blue White Roundtable: Penn State vs. Indiana State

Adam Collyer at Black Shoe Diaries is running Blue White Roundtable now and here are questions preceding game 1 of the 125th season of Penn State football. The Nittany Lions take on the Sycamores of Indiana State.

BSD: Let’s get this out of the way right now – how does everyone feel about Robert Bolden and Matt McGloin being even on the depth chart? How do you feel about the proposed time sharing plan for Saturday’s game against Indiana State?

If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback, right?

I understand why Joe Paterno is going to play both Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin this Saturday. I just hope that he is being very specific every step of the way with both of them about the plan. For the Alabama game, I think they need to establish the #1 guy and I’m not sure they can do that based on Indiana State and another week of practice. All things being equal, I’d go with Bolden, who has more physical skills. McGloin should only be the #1 is he is distanced himself from Bolden. If that’s the case — #buckleup.

BSD: What are you looking for out of the offense this week? Will the offense we see on Saturday set the tone for the rest of the year?

I want to see how the offensive line performs — are they on the same page? I expect to see whichever QB have his timing down with the wideouts. Will Andrew Szczerba get many balls thrown his way? I don’t have a lot of concerns about the running game, I think Silas Redd and Brandon Beachum are an upgrade over Evan Royster and Stephfon Green.

BSD: Do you expect the defense to be significantly upgraded from last year?

I expect a better defensive showing because by all accounts Jack Crawford is healthy again which means an improved pass rush. I also anticipate a serious upgrade in linebacker play. Remember how we were sure Mike Mauti was going to move to the middle? That Glen Carson has simply taken the job and as his own kept Mauti on the outside is really promising. The secondary should be solid and with a better pass rush, should be improved. I am excited about the defense.

BSD: Outside of the money earned, these games are no-win situations for major powers. A win is expected and anything less than complete dominance is a cause for concern. How do you define success for Penn State this week?

A successful game against Indiana State includes a victory, cohesive offensive line play, strong QB play and perhaps most of all, NO INJURIES.

BSD: Predictions?

Bolden gets the start. Paterno coaches from the box. Silas Redd rushes for over 100 yards. The new jerseys won’t look as good as the old ones. The student section will never fill up. Guido D’Elia will dumb down the gameday experience more. The drum major will land both flips. Glen Mason will mention how he misses the last blue sapphire during the telecast. Indiana State alumn Larry Bird will be mentioned at least twice during the telecast. Paterno’s future will be speculated on. Penn State will win 44-10.

Other members (more to be added)

Nittany Lions Den

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Sentimental fanboy: Hey Nats, sign ¡LIVAN!

Last night Washington Nationals righthander¡LIVAN! threw his 50,000th career pitch. His opposite number on the Atlanta Braves, Jair Jurrjens, grounded out on that pitch, the 34th ¡LIVAN! threw of the night. He would throw 71 more over 7 innings, giving up 2 runs. He also made a difference at the plate (from Nationals vs. Braves: Livan Hernandez’s 50,000th pitch, four home runs spark 9-2 victory, The Post:

Hernandez also hit a double in the fifth inning off Jurrjens, against whom he is 4 for 7 in his career. The pace of Hernandez’s jaunt to second would have protracted the wait in a senior citizen movie ticket line.

“I think I made it [to] second base in 18 seconds,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez ambled to third base when Ian Desmond singled, which is where he stood when Zimmerman blasted a deep fly ball to right-center field. Third base coach Bo Porter told Hernandez, “Tag up.”

“No,” Hernandez replied. “I’m just gonna jog home.”

When Zimmerman’s drive landed two rows deep, Porter could only shake his head and laugh.

“I’m a pitcher,” Hernandez said. “So I know when the ball is a home run.”

Later in the story it came out that ¡LIVAN! wants to return to the Nats and was realistic about the situation, indicating a willingness to pitch out of the bullpen.

“I’d love to stay here and pitch,” Hernandez said. “I know a lot of young guys are coming up. I can be a long reliever next year, I think. We’ve talked a little bit. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully something good.”

This is where the sentimental fan boy in me gets excited — I like having ¡LIVAN! around because he’s entertaining and he loves being here. I am intrigued by the thought of him as a long man and spot starter. Given the way things go with pitchers in D.C., he’d probably get a fair share of starts. If money really isn’t an issue, GM Mike Rizzo has to sign him, right? I can’t think of any reason not too, except well, this.

PREVIOUS FANBOY LOVE LETTERS TO ¡LIVAN!

Boswell and I are hopeless ¡LIVAN! fanboys 02.21.2011
Livan makes it fun to be a Nats fanboy 07.22.2011

The Nats hit 4 home runs last night (Laynce Nix, Michael Morse, Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa) in the rout. The challenge is whether than can win in this series again — the have a tendency to win game 1 and then lose the next 2 or 3.

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Upgrades to Beaver Stadium for 2011

There are several upgrades to Beaver Stadium for the 2011 Penn State Nittany Lions football season, including:

Also in the East and West stands, vomitory ramps have been improved to allow for increased and easier access by ADA patrons to the new seating areas.

Um, yay?!

For those who get up there, enjoy!

Oh yeah, here is the depth chart via Black Shoe Diaries and oh, SPOILER WARNING: Both Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin are listed at starting QB.

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Nats: Ryan Zimmerman wants a big contract and I want the Lerners to give it to him

Ryan Zimmerman contract negotiations with Nationals colored by comeback from injuryThe Post
Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman is signed through through the 2013 season and he would like to sign a contract extension before then. I wouldn’t mind it either, but it isn’t going to happen this offseason. Zimmerman’s latest stint on the DL brought up the unappealing reality that his durability could be lacking as he has missed chunks of two seasons with injuries. That and the drafting of Anthony Rendon, another third baseman, means the Nats have the leverage to be a little cautious. No reason not to be, but that doesn’t mean it will be fun for the fanbase. Since I am just a fan, I would just sign Zimmerman now and get it out of the way. The Lerners have a $3 billion fortune, they can afford it.

Of course, I said the same thing about Adam Dunn, didn’t I?

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Heroic beer vendor Emmanuel Marlow had the best week in Natstown

The last week has been a rough one for Washington Nationals fans. After taking 2 of 3 from the Philadelphia Phillies last weekend, they took game 1 of the Arizona Diamondbacks series a week ago tonight and have not won since. That yesterday’s loss included a short Jordan Zimmerman start (his last of the year), a blown save by Drew Storen and a 14 inning walk-off home run by the host Cincinnati Reds seems just about right.

Were the Nats hungover from taking the Phillies series or did their skill level (especially at the plate) just catch up with them? I can’t say, but they were not a fun distraction during a week with an earthquake and a tropical storm hitting D.C.

Just as I was getting to write this post over lunch, some happy Nats news came from D.C. Sports Bog. A beer vendor, D.C. native Emmanuel Marlow successfully performed the Hemlich maneuver on a choking child.

At the game in question, Marlow told me that he was selling beer when he noticed a little boy in the crowd, coughing, gagging and turning a strange color. The fans in that section seemed to be panicking, but no one had taken charge of the incident.

“I guess they never had experienced a first-aid situation,” said Marlow, who had once worked a game at FedEx Field when a patron had a mild stroke. “[The boy] was actually going to a new color. I knew I needed to jump in and do it. There was no time for hesi­ta­tion. It had to be done right then and there.”

And thus, remembering his UDC training, Marlow indeed performed the Heimlich on the boy, who had a piece of chicken lodged in his throat. It took three thrusts, but the chicken was dislodged.

Awesome. If I ever see him in my section, he’s getting a good tip.

UPDATE: WTTG Fox 5 did a profile of Marlow (h/t DC Sports Bog):

Nationals Park Beer Vendor, Emanuel Marlow, Saves Choking Teen: MyFoxDC.com

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Have I ever mentioned that Nationals Park support line?

Remember Washington Nationals fans, if you see some people misbehaving in Nationals Park, you have an outlet (from the A-Z Information Guide):

Fan Support Line

Discreetly alert ballpark officials to unruly behavior or security issues during the game.
Text “SUPPORT” along with a brief description of the issue and its location to 91347 to contact ballpark officials when in need of assistance.

In other news, the game today is likely a sellout against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Ugly loss last night, I blame Ian Desmond. Rubber game of the series is today.

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Nats: Mr. Walkoff returns! Ryan Zimmerman’s grand slam beats Phillies 8-4

Yesterday, I was thinking about how pathetic Ryan Zimmerman‘s Walk-Off total was in 2011. Foolishly, I didn’t tweet it, Facebook it, etc.

The Washington Nationals scored two runs in ninth and loaded the bases. Zimmerman had a 3-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with , game tied with Ryan Madson pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies:

Just in case that video gets pulled (which it will) here is the MLB.com link.
I like the look back to the dugout, I wonder what he was talking about with his teammates prior to his at bat.

The blast was Zimmerman’s 8th career game-ending home run which is why he’s called Mr. Walkoff. I named Zimmerman that on Opening Night 2008 when he inaugurated Nationals Park with a walk-off. Zimmerman is now 66.6% of the way there to the all-time walkoff record shared by Jim Thome, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth who all have 12. By the way, it’d be nice if the Nats would acknowledge I created the nickname.

You have to like What Zimmerman had to say about the situation too: “The pressure’s on him, man,” Zimmerman said. “It’s not on me.” as quoted in Adam Kilgore’s great write-up: Nationals vs. Phillies: Ryan Zimmerman hits walk-off grand slam to cap Washington’s improbable rallyThe Post

Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington described the scene this way: “The entire marathon night had come down to this singular moment, a moment that would leave mere mortals shaking with trepidation but incredibly leaves Zimmerman in his ultimate comfort zone.”

The Nats had rallied back from a 4-0 deficit. The Phillies had tagged ¡LIVAN! for 4 runs in the third inning. He’d only go one more inning because he had thrown a tremendous mount of pitches:

Amanda Comak of The Wash. Times Zimmerman’s walk-off grand slam lifts Nats to 8-4 comeback win over Phillies noted that: “Hernandez threw 85 pitches during his pre-game bullpen session, nine in the game, roughly 35 in the cage four different times during the rain delay and 30 pitches to warmup once the delay concluded. Then he threw 59 more in the game — seven of which were hit in the third inning to help the Phillies to a 4-0 lead. By the time Hernandez was done for the night, he’d thrown over 300 pitches.”

Phillies starter Roy Oswalt got scratched without throwing a pitch and was replaced by Kyle Kendrick. Overall, ¡LIVAN! had very active night:

Tom Gorzelanny allowed only one hit in 3 innings of relief. Sean Burnett and Todd Coffey both pitched scoreless innings with the latter earning the win.

Game 2 of the series is tonight with John Lannan set to face Roy Oswalt. Lannan has some better numbers 8-8, 3.54 ERA than Oswalt 5-7 3.84 ERA, but the Phillies own Lannan. The season series and thus the Cheeseteak/Half-Smoke Challenge is at 7-5 in favor of the Phillies. A Nats sweep this weekend, however unlikely, would tie it up.

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