Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nats take another series, beat R.A. Dickey and Mets; Lannanmas tonight

The Washington Nationals won for the 88th time in 2012 last night, defeating the New York Mets 5-3 in Flushing Meadows. On the mound for the home team was R.A. Dickey, who dominated the Nats earlier in the season and entered with 18 wins, a viable Cy Young candidate.

Bryce Harper had been 0-10 against Dickey headed into last night. He had 3 hits off the knuckleballer and singled home the final run in the ninth. MLB.com gave him the embedable video treatment:

Harper and leadoff hitter Jayson Werth started the game by going 6-6. They have both played well with that batting order.

What they should have given an embeddable video was Tyler Moore’s pinch hit two-run homer to give the Nats a 3-2 lead in the 7th.

Moore might see some more playing time with Michael Morse’s wrist ailing (The Post). ROger Bernadina is probably the first option though.


Kurt Suzuki
kept his hot streak going by driving in another run.

Jordan Zimmerman didn’t make it to the sixth inning again, going 5 innings. He only gave up two runs, but threw a lot of pitches.

Scott Hairston homered off Tyler Clippard to pull the Mets within 2, but he finished the job and earned his 31st save.

Tonight – Lannanmas! John Lannan faces Matt Harvey, who is nearing his innings limit.

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Phillies sweep Nats and I owe somebody a half-smoke (again)

Ugh, for me the 2010 Washington Nationals have officially become a lost cause. Sure, they have long since been eliminated from the playoffs, a winning record, a .500 record or taking the series against the cowardly Baltimore Orioles. The only thing I they had delivered me was a Primanti Bros. sandwich for taking the Pirates series. That’s great, maybe I will actually get to Pittsburgh next season to claim my winnings. The bragging rights I really wanted were different though and seemingly unattainable — a season series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

One of the things I most looked forward to with the Nats being here and in the NL East was the season series with the Fleas. The Ombudsman/Cliff/Matthew character is a Phillies fan and the back-and-fourth is a convenient way to avoid ever discussing something meaningful.

During the 2005 season, when the two teams were tied with each other in the season series, I proposed the Half-Smoke/Cheesesteak Challenge — “a mayor’s bet” based on the foodstuffs of the respective cities. He declined to start it until the next full season which was fine after the two finished tied in 2005. The next year, perhaps shockingly, the regressing Nats pulled out a season series win (and just about eliminated the Fleas I think) in a rain-delayed game. Good times, especially 3 months later when I got to eat my cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks on South Street in Philadelphia.

It has been downhill since then. This season marks the 4th consecutive year that I have had to buy a half-smoke for my friend. He claimed the first one, but he has not returned to the area since then, having moved to Boston a few years back. I have to pay up 3 seasons worth of losing off now.

Later this week The Ombudsman/Cliff/Matthew is making his first trip to D.C. in a long time. It coincides with the Fleas at Nats. I imagine I’ll pay off my bet, times 3, at one of those games.

Cliff tastes victory
He should just be glad I did not photoshop another two half-smokes in there.

Anyway, a few quick summaries of this weekend’s games:

Friday: Early lead turns into Phillies rout
Saturday: Early lead turns into Phillies rout
Friday: Early lead turns into Phillies lead, turns into Nats lead, turns into walk-off loss

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Penn State football media day video at 3:30

Oh joy, it is Penn State football media day. The biggest question will be how Joe Paterno is doing, but ones that need to be asked is what the quarterback situation is right now (two-headed I’m guess), how is the offensive line look, what about the secondary and finally, does Penn State have a deep ball threat to throw to?

You can watch the festivities on gopsusports.com, it is slightly different. less active than players running around touching cones.

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Why Frank Robinson won’t be in Nats ring of honor

There are have been a couple of blog posts out there supporting Hall of Famer Frank Robinson‘s enshrinement in the Nationals Park Ring of Honor.

Still waiting for Frank Robinson DayNationals Enquirer
THOM LOVERRO – Nationals “Ring of Honor” fails to connect with Washington baseballWTEM 980

It won’t happen because there is already precedent — Ted Williams.

Williams, one of the greatest hitters of all time with the Boston Red Sox, was the last manager of the Washington Senators. In fact, he is the only man to lead a D.C. baseball team to a winning season (86-76 in 1969) in the last 50+ years. That was not enough to get him in the ring of honor, though I’ll point out it makes him more worthy than a couple of former Expos. Robinson, who managed here for 2 seasons, broke even in 2005 and had a losing record in 2006.

There seems to be a consensus that a Frank Robinson Day is in order and the bitter split seems to be a distant memory. Chances are that is because Jim Bowden is not part of the franchise. Perhaps the Hall of Stars can be restarted and moved down from the parking garage to a place that makes more sense. Put Robinson in then, along with several other worthy people. Or combine the ring of honor with the Hall of Stars which was the Ring of Stars at RFK Stadium prior to 2005.

Now, isn’t that better than reading about the latest loss to the freaking Florida Marlins? I can’t stand that team, they have the Nats number, overachieve regularly, play in an empty football stadium, had teal uniforms and somehow won two World Series.

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Big Ten wusses out, puts football championship indoors in Indy

Rather than hold its football championship game in a venue that promotes the conference’s appealing aspect of playing outdoors in all weather, the Big Ten will be holding its championship game indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Just a shameful decision by the Big Ten to cave into the “let’s not let wheather determine the outcome of a game” crowd. Also, Indy only discovered football when Peyton Manning arrived.

PREVIOUSLY: The Big Ten title game better be outdoors

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Nats take series from the 1st place Braves; Strasburg on DL

Scott Olsen gets his groove back, leads the Washington Nationals to a 5-3 win over the Atlanta BravesThe Post
Resurrected Olsen revives NatsNats Insider
For the first time in a while, the Washington Nationals won a series, taking the first and third games of their series with the Atlanta Braves. Yesterday’s series clincher marked the return of Scott Olsen after a few months dealing with shoulder problems. The lefty pitched 6 innings, giving up 3 runs — a quality start. Olsen, coming off the DL, turned out to be the only effective member of the rotation in this series with Stephen Strasburg shut down and ¡LIVAN! ineffective.

Ian Desmond
and Adam Dunn both homered — was it Dunn’s final dinger as a Nat? Dunn was knocked in by Michael Morse right before the Desmond homer in the 2nd. Desmond later scored when Wil Nieves knocked him and Morse in during the 4th inning. If GWRBI was still a stat, Nieves would have it. Dunn added an insurance run with his 24th homer in the 8th to add an insurance run.

Derek Lowe took the loss for Atlanta. Matt Capps earned his final save in a curly W cap.

Washington Nationals place Stephen Strasburg on 15-day disabled listThe Post
Zuckerman: Strasburg Placed On 15-Day DLCSN Washington
Stephen Strasburg doesn’t seem too happy to be headed to the DL. It is the right thing to do though, it added the roster flexibility to bring up Olsen. It is retroactive to July 22, so he will probably be back on the mound around the start of the next homestand. I’d guess August 10 against the Marlins, though he could start at the Los Angeles Dodgers as early as the 7th if my math is correct. That might appeal to Strasburg, a San Diego native who missed the trip there. We shall see. I’d love to hear what Vin Scully has to say about watching Strasburg pitch.

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Even after 2 shutouts to Marlins Nats should sign Dunn

Two shutouts in a row have not helped my arguments that the Washington Nationals need to keep their heart of their order together through the next few years. Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman both came up empty driving in runs this weekend. #5 hitter Josh Willingham accounted for three of the weekend’s runs in one swing in Friday’s win over the Florida Marlins, so he gets a bit of a reprieve. Two strong performances from Livan Hernandez (2 runs) and Craig Stammen (1 run) were wasted. Wasting 1 run outings from Stammen is particularly troublesome, because they don’t come often.

Bad weekend aside, I’m still firmly in the Dunn camp and even as it is coming out that he may be asking for $60 million over 4 years, I’d still do it. Is it responsible, Moneyball-type signing? Of course not but this is what happens when you do things on the cheap for so long, you have to overpay. They got Dunn for a bargain in the first place, so suck it up and find some of the same logic that was used to keep Cristian Guzman around. Plus signing Dunn makes Zimmerman happy and that isn’t a bad idea if the franchise wants to keep its “face.”

RECOMMENDED READING

Craig Stammen puts it together, at least for one day – Nationals Journal, The Post
Tyler Clippard slows it down, steps it up – Nationals Journal, The Post

More from Eckstein – Nationals Journal, The Post

Wasted opportunitiesNats Insider

Is it just me or are watching games from Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphins/LandShark/Dolphin/SunLife Stadium pretty tedious? Must be all the empty orange seats. RFK Stadium had orange seats too, but never that empty.

The bees in the bullpen weren’t great either.

Now it is onto Cincinnati and their curiously cinnamon flavored chili. The Nats have a four game series with the Reds who are further along in the post-Jim Bowden recovery.

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Penn State announces noon kickoffs for first 2 home games

Nittany Lions’ First Two Home Games Set For Noon KicksIntercollegiate Athletics
The first two home games of the Penn State Nittany Lions 2010 football season will be noon kickoffs. Opening day will be on Big Ten Network, but the second home game will be on ESPN or ESPN2. Hello Pam Ward!

I’ll get an updated schedule here later, WordPress doesn’t like PRE tags, so I have to format it into a table.

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Everybody wants Strasburg promoted

Add Joe Posnanski to the list of people who want to see Stephen Strasburg promoted now. – Sports Illustrated

Would it really cost so much to do so? – Fanhouse

Strasburg had another good night for AAA Syracuse last night. He hasn’t given up a run in AAA.

I’m resigned to waiting until June, probably the 4th rather than the 8th when I have tickets.

Oh and the Nats should never play “Sweet Caroline” again (DC Sports Bog).

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