Monday, July 4, 2011

Series preview: Cubs at Nats

Monday, 1:05 p.m. -- RHP Jordan Zimmermann (5-7, 2.63) vs. RHP Casey Coleman (2-4, 7.78)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. -- LHP Ross Detwiler (6-6, 4.53 at AAA) vs. RHP Ramon Ortiz (6-3, 4.26 at AAA)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. -- LHP Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 3.77) vs. RHP Randy Wells (1-3, 6.59)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Thursday, 7:05 p.m. -- RHP Livan Hernandez (5-8, 3.73)
vs. RHP Matt Garza (4-7, 3.77)
TV: MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Things have ... well, they haven't gone so smoothly on the North Side this season. The Cubs weren't expected to contend, but neither were they expected to be on pace for only 66 wins.

Pitching has been a problem, especially from a rotation that simply can't stay healthy. Four of Chicago's five Opening Day starters have spent time on the DL, and the only one that hasn't (veteran Ryan Dempster) spent Saturday night in the hospital with flu-like symptoms and won't start as scheduled in today's opener at Nationals Park. Fellow right-hander Casey Coleman (son of former Senators pitcher Joe Coleman) will be recalled from Class AAA Iowa to take Dempster's place. The 24-year-old boasts a 7.78 ERA, though he did beat the Nationals in his second career start last summer.

Speaking of Cubs pitchers getting called up from the minors, tomorrow's starter will be none other than Ramon Ortiz. Yes, THAT Ramon Ortiz. The guy who won 11 games for the Nationals in 2006 and actually carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning of a game at RFK Stadium, having homered the previous inning. Now 38, the right-hander has bounced around the last few seasons, including a stint in Japan in 2008.

At the plate, Chicago has been pretty productive this season. First baseman Carlos Pena (a target of the Nationals over the winter) is putting together a typical season for him: 17 homers, 44 RBI, .220 average, 80 strikeouts. The young middle infield tandem of Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney has been outstanding. Former Nats outfielder Marlon Byrd continues to enjoy a career renaissance and survived a scary face injury to return from the DL this week. And old friend Alfonso Soriano remains somewhat productive at age 35, with 14 homers in 67 games. (Of course, he's still signed for THREE more seasons, at $18 million per.)

Nats' best vs. Coleman -- Matt Stairs (1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI), Roger Bernadina (1-for-2, 2B, BB), Ryan Zimmerman (1-for-3).
Nats' worst vs. Coleman -- Ivan Rodriguez (0-for-3, RBI).
Nats' best vs. Ortiz -- Laynce Nix (2-for-5, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, 2 K), Alex Cora (4-for-11, HR, RBI, BB), Matt Stairs (4-for-13, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, K).
Nats' worst vs. Ortiz -- Ryan Zimmerman (1-for-4, RBI), Ivan Rodriguez (8-for-34, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 K).
Nats' best vs. Wells -- Jayson Werth (2-for-3, 2B, K), Alex Cora (1-for-2), Ryan Zimmerman (1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI).
Nats' worst vs. Wells -- Rick Ankiel (0-for-5, BB), Ivan Rodriguez (0-for-4, BB, K), Laynce Nix (2-for-11, 2B, BB, 3 K).
Nats' best vs. Garza -- Jayson Werth (2-for-5, HR, RBI, BB, K), Ivan Rodriguez (5-for-15, RBI, BB, 5 K), Ryan Zimmerman (1-for-3, K).
Nats' worst vs. Garza -- Alex Cora (1-for-9, K), Matt Stairs (2-for-13, 2 BB, 7 K).

Cubs' best vs. Zimmermann -- Carlos Pena (1-for-2, HR, RBI), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K), Koyie Hill (1-for-2, 2B, K).
Cubs' worst vs. Zimmermann -- Aramis Ramirez (1-for-3).
Cubs' best vs. Detwiler -- Carlos Pena (1-for-2, BB).
Cubs' worst vs. Detwiler -- None.
Cubs' best vs. Gorzelanny -- Geovany Soto (7-for-11, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, BB, K), Marlon Byrd (2-for-3), Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-4, RBI, 2 K), Reed Johnson (2-for-7, 2B, RBI, 4 BB, 2 K).
Cubs' worst vs. Gorzelanny -- Aramis Ramirez (2-for-17, RBI, 2 BB, 4 K), Carlos Pena (1-for-3), Blake DeWitt (1-for-3, BB, K).
Cubs' best vs. Hernandez -- Aramis Ramirez (12-for-35, 3 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K), Marlon Byrd (9-for-27, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 3 K), Alfonso Soriano (7-for-23, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, 5 K).
Cubs' worst vs. Hernandez -- Carlos Pena (0-for-5, BB, K), Geovany Soto (2-for-4, RBI, 2 BB, K).


Another_Sam said...

The honeymoon is over. Come on Davy, let's win a few.

Positively Half St. said...

Mark- You need to switch Pirates best to Cubs best.


JaneB said...

I know we can totally take these guys. I was in the stands for Ortiz's almost of my most fun Nats memories is Jim Bowden tossing papers out the window to celebrate that home run because what else was there to do? And, though I don't want him to get more than a single hit the entire time he is here, I have to say I just love to watch Soriano at the plate. Truly beautiful to watch.

It's funny to me how much I am craving the All Star Break. I hate no more baseball in the fall, but a little baseball break now is what I need. I'm tired, and all I do is watch and eat hot dogs and type a little after the game. I can only imagine how tired these guys must be, and how much has been taken out of them by the drama of the last ten days...and kind of, all of June, but that's drama in a GOOD WAY.
Don't forget to vote for Morse, often and a lot
See you the ball park. I know fireworks is the traditional way to mark Independence Day. To me, it's baseball. I like the way baseball brings people together, by generation and geography. Even if you hate the other guy's team, you know you both love the sport. And when you BOTH love the same team, how cool that is. The other things the divide us don't matter as much, when you are watching a game. Or getting ready to watch, or talking about having watched it. I like feeling connected to Florida and Canada and South Carolina and Beantown and Manassas and all the other places Nats fans are watching and living. So happy July 4th to all of you all.

Jim Webster said...

JaneB I share your memory of RFK in September 2006, sitting on edge in Sec 408, pulling for Ortiz and telling my daughter we were seeing something very rare in baseball.

MicheleS said...

Getting ready to leave for the game soon.. Torn between my childhood love of the Cubs and the Hometown team of the Nats... I think my Dad would curse me from up above it I actually openly root against the Cubs.. That's why my nephew will be in his Cubs Soriano Jersey and I will be neutrally dressed.

sjm308 said...

Have fun Michele, we will be there also. Waiting to see if my daughter-in-law wears her Mets gear or if she goes with the running presidents shirt her husband bought her at our last game. Just like all of you, how great is it to celebrate the 4th at a ball-game. Have the Nationals always played at home? I think so and can't imagine the schedule people messing with that. We are really banged up but I am still hoping for at least a split of these 4 games. I will go tomorrow with my step-daughter so I am getting both families involved.

Go Nats

baseballswami said...

I also love baseball on the 4th. It's just so "Sandlot". I hope Ortiz doesn't find another gear, today. You all know how pitchers tend to go all Cy Young on us. I will be attending PNats tonight - disappointed that the second game will only be 7 innings tonight -combining with last night's "storm -out" completion. I really should be cleaning up all that storm debris - maybe some Charlie and Dave on the radio will help! Happy Fourth to all, be safe, and GYFNG! We really should be able to whup up on them!

Sunderland said...

Following up on the previous post and concern about bringing up Lombardozzi and having Espinosa switching positions (to SS)during the season. He did it last year and it sorta worked OK, right? Espinosa has played all his life at SS. All of college ball and all of Minor League ball at SS until August of last year. He's played less than a year at 2B. He has not forgotten how to play SS. At worst, he'd be as good as Desmond in the field. It ain't going to affect his bat. And Lombardozzi has hit .327 between AA and AAA this season.
I'd be pleased, and surprised, if the Nats did this. Not only does it potentially improve the offense with a more productive bat, it also gives us a good chance at solving the leadoff batter issue. Lombardozzi has a .374 OBP this year and has had an OBP at .371 or better all 4 seasons he's been in professional baseball. He's also 18 out of 22 on the basepaths this year.
Move LaRoche to the 60 day DL, add Lombardozzi and bring him up!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Beautiful post, JaneB, and very well expressed. I need the A-S break too. Ramon Ortiz tomorrow night, eh? I too remember that near no-hitter and his home run and Bowden's paper shower from the press box. What a riot. Happy Fourth, Mark, and all the NatsInsiders.


N. Cognito said...

I think we'll be getting wings from Hard Times - but that's only if they change the rules to 6 or more runs in a series.

Big Cat said...

Cubs are throwing Joe Colemans son against us today. He is 2-4 with a 7.38 era. This will be interesting

natsfan1a said...

Looking at tweet link on right side of page, Harper to debut in Harrisburg tonight. Wonder whether they skipped Potomac due to outfield drainage problems. Noticed at the game on Saturday that a fair amount of water seemed to be splashing up when balls dropped in the outfield.

FS said...

I don't know about you guys but I am at least glad about playing NL teams again since we are competing for NL division or league, not any interleague title.

Pitching match-ups look favorable. Let's hope bats get going to win us this series.

natsfan1a said...

swami, yeah, I think they only ever play 7 innings with doubleheaders in that league.

Y'all have fun at the park(s) and stay safe. If you're not attending a game, have a fun, safe holiday. I'm going to be watching the Nats from the air-conditioned comfort of my home. I tend to wilt in the heat and got rather dehydrated at Saturday's P-Nats game; plus I'm crowd-averse and expect that today's game will be well attended - not to mention the Metro crowds generally.

I'm ready for the AS break, too. It will actually be a longer break for me given that the bulk the games the week after will be later ones. Will be setting the DVR for them as usual.

In closing, GYFNG, GYFPNG, and, oh yeah, GYFSG (in honor of Harper's promotion)!!

p.s. I believe Sandlot is airing tonight, as I seem to recall seeing it while scrolling through the guide last night. Can't recall which channel, though.

m20832 said...


1. Roger Bernadina, CF

2. Alex Cora, 3B

3. Danny Espinosa, 2B

4. Laynce Nix, LF

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Matt Stairs, 1B

7. Ivan Rodriguez, C

8. Ian Desmond, SS

9. Jordan Zimmermann, SP

Line up posted by AK on WaPo. WOW!! I guess days off are in line since the Nats are facing Casey Coleman with a 7.78 ERA?

I hope he doesn't pitch like the next second coming of Cy Young.


Manassas Nats Fan said...

Win 3 out of 4 is the goal.

@Big Cat are going to any of the games to say hi to your old room mate?

dabassguy1 said...

I mainly lurk here. But I do want to thanks the regulars I read everyday and seem to know for making following the Nats that much more enjoyable. I adopted the Nats after the second 2009 season, I followed baseball; but just rooted against the Yankees and for the underdogs. I found this site July of last year and have found it very informative and entertaining. Many thanks to the regulars and Happy Birthday, America!


masnstinks said...

Manassas -- how about at sweep???? Let's go all in!GYFNG! Oh - and I am very bitter about BHarp not coming to Potomac. I don't think it has anything to do with the fields - I think they want to keep him outside the glare of the DC media, where everyone would be hovering all the time waiting to catch an errant kiss being blown. At Hagerstown or Harrisburg, people can go out and catch a game or two if they plan it - at Potomac it would be a mob scene every single night because it's so close. It might even have drawn some ticket sales away from the big club. I think they want him out of the limelight for a while longer.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Bless your heart, MASNstinks ... you've been eating the conspiracy cookies again, havn't you? None of the media outlets has any spare sportswriters to send to Potomac. The couple of dozen people who might have gone to see him there are that many who will be sure to come to DC when he does come up.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

dabassguy, welcome to posting!

I totally read that name wrong at first ... "well, *he'll* fit right in!"
What? It's dab? Oh. Nevermind.

natsfan1a said...

I dunno, wouldn't the autograph/memorabilia seeking/selling types tend to trek there no matter where the kid plays? There were plenty of them around in Florida during ST, no? And Potomac isn't all that much farther away from DC than Hagerstown. Agree with sec3 re. the media. Seems like here hasn't been quite as much hype as with Strasburg (and thank the baseball gods for that, imho).

natsfan1a said...

Second the welcome from sec3. They say that dabassguy is a bad mammer - shut your mouth. Oh, wait. Never mind. I read that wrong, too. :-)

dabassguy1 said...

It Da-Bass-Guy-1.

Been playing the bass guitar for 28 years. Alot of folks think I am a fisherman. The names Jeff.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Marlon Byrd is back from his rehab assignment, I think. Another old friend from back when.

pos anon said...

I think there is an alternative to the Lombardozzi discussion that is alternating between bringing him up now or waiting until September. It seems to me that the trade deadline might be the time to make the switch. It gives him another month to prove that he is as solid as he appears. It also gives Desmond a month to get straightened out. Apparently Johnson likes Desmond a lot, but if that month passes and Desmond still isn't hitting, a trip to Syracuse might be in order (as opposed to letting him struggle and not play in DC). One more month--didn't rush; didn't settle for the status quo.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Now I've got the bass line fron Shaft in my head all day.
Not the worst thing.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And the captcha for that was "pusstrap".

natsfan1a said...

Yeah, I think MZ mentioned that somewhere, sec3. Good to see that Marlon is on the mend. Always liked him. It's a shame that his team is going to have to lose this series. :-)

(Thanks for the info dabass - my guess was fishing. Also, I was going for a Shaft reference but blew the lyrics. Typical for me on punch lines and lyrics... Oh wait, sec3 got it anyway.)

natsfan1a said...

What the? I trust that wasn't an editorial comment from the Captcha gallery... Honestly, this thing is starting to freak me out. Random generation my patootie! :-D

And the captcha for that was "pusstrap".

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Just a pregame glimpse through the blog mirror:

Conments look the same all over.

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