Sunday, May 9, 2010

Game 31: Marlins at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats will look to take this weekend series from the Marlins.
Happy Mother's Day, everyone. Hope all the moms out there have a wonderful day, whether at Nationals Park or elsewhere with family members.

I'll actually be spending this day with my wife and her family, so I'm skipping today's series finale against the Marlins. Figured it was probably a wise move, since I'm leaving town tomorrow morning for the week, making the first two legs of the Nats' road trip (New York and Colorado, skipping St. Louis).

The morning news from the ballpark, though, is that reliever Doug Slaten is having his contract purchased from Syracuse. The 30-year-old lefty dominated at Class AAA, not allowing a single run to score in 17 innings of work, while striking out 17 and only walking one. Pretty impressive.

Slaten's addition, though, requires the Nationals to remove someone from the 40-man roster. That someone is actually Matt Chico, who surprisingly has been designated for assignment. But before you get worried, I'm told this move is only procedural and that Chico will remain in the organization and actually be placed back on the 40-man roster within days. Not sure of the details how this works -- I've never heard of something done quite this way -- but I am assured it's all on the up-and-up.

So with that, I hope you enjoy the game. Feel free to converse with each other in the comments section, and I'll talk to you tomorrow from New York.

(Oh, and to the wonderful Lois Zuckerman of Scottsdale, Ariz.: Happy Mother's Day!)

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
TV: Ch. 50-HD, MASN-HD
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees, Wind 20 mph LF to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Josh Willingham
C Ivan Rodriguez
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
P Livan Hernandez

MARLINS (14-16)
LF Chris Coghlan
3B Wes Helms
SS Hanley Ramirez
1B Jorge Cantu
2B Dan Uggla
C John Baker
CF Cody Ross
RF Bryan Petersen
P Anibel Sanchez


Anonymous said...

Lots of smart moves Mark! Happy Mother's day to all of the moms. Hopefully, Livan delivers a nice Mother's day present to his mom in the form of a Nats win!

Doc said...

Happy Mother's Day MarkMeister, to you and your family. Your mother has to be very proud of her son's successes.

Carl in 309 said...

Joining in the celebration of Mother's Day, and commending Mark for his wisdom. Enjoy the abbreviated road-trip (though sorry you won't be reporting from St. Louis).

On the matter of the Nats roster moves, I find myself wondering if the skill and foresight (hopefully) exhibited by the Nationals front office in our new Rizzo era isn't one of the necessary three components needed for a successful MLB team (the other two are money and luck). Conventional wisdom has had it that money is the key to success. Clearly the example of the Mets on one hand and the As on the other should give pause to that view (I would also suggest that Red Sox have been competitive in spite of their income disadvantage compared with the Yankees in what was once one of the smallest parks (33K several years ago)). That suggests front-office smarts--particularly given the affirmative leadership of a Billy Beane--can play a compensating role in pushing a team forward beyond their financial means.

I wonder if the Nats don't enjoy the prospect of putting two of my three legs of success forward at once: front-office smarts, championed by Stan Kasten, and engineered by Mike Rizzo; together with an eventual money making machine with future (re)grown attendance and a strong affluent fan base.

As an aside, I just read an excellent book on umpires: Bruce Weber's "As They See 'Em"--after next yelling at a call, take time to pick up this remarkable insider/Plimpton-esque account of the third group of on-field players in baseball.

Jaumiusk said...

Mark: Bernadina, RF, I hope is what you mean.

Les in NC said...

How does he do it?
How/why is this year's Livan so incredibly better than previous years? What has changed in his mental approach or pre-game preparations that makes him so good?
Whatever it is, here's to an entire season of it!
Livan has already earned his salary by a long shot IMO! I hope his incentives are all vested by the end of the year (whatever they may be)!

bumsfan4 said...

Given our bullpen today, presumably with no Clippard and no Capps, Livo is eating innings and performing heroically.

Les in NC said...

another game coming down to the wire...
Clipp did a great job only allowing the 1 (inherited) runner to score after the bases were loaded with nobody out. It could have been real bad....
Now who wants to win THIS one for us?

Les in NC said...

I guess that would be the Hammer!

It's Hammer time!

Anonymous said...

Anyone else think that Clip's stats might be a bit deceiving? He's inhereited 17 runners and allowed 9 of them to score and the only reason he has so many wins is because he's blown 4 saves! One has to wonder if Clip is more lucky than good...

Anonymous said...

@ 4:45, Clip's K/9 rate is ridiculously high, and that is considered to be the best predictor of future success, so no, I'm not sure his stats are that deceiving (although, wins are always a worthless statistic). Now, Livo, on the other hand...

Anonymous said...

Upper decks were arctic conditions but i'll take the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Dibble was all over Clipp and inherited runners yesterday.

Anonymous said...

If you can, watch the A's - Rays game.

Braden's got a 'good' game going on - middle of the 8th......

Anonymous said...

And he's done it.

Perfect game.

greg said...

Mark, what do you think of Tim Kurkjian's prediction of June 8 instead of June 6 for Strasburg?

Our colleague Tim Kurkjian is on record as guessing June 8, when the Washington Nationals will be at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and you know what? That date makes complete sense. There is one off day built into the Syracuse schedule this month, and I think they'll use that to give Strasburg a little extra rest. That would put him in line to pitch either on June 3 or June 8. The Nationals' game on June 3 is at Houston, and you'd have to believe Washington would want Strasburg's first game to be in Washington. By throwing the right-hander against the Pirates at home in a midweek game, they'll have a perfect storm for possible success in place: An enormous and welcoming home crowd and a subpar team on the other side of the field.

greg said...

another thought... david dejesus. he's a little older than i'd want to target, but... he's $4.5m this year, $6m option for next year. plays good defense, has bounced around a high 700s OPS for his career, and was 818/781 the last two years and 807 so far this year. plays all three OF positions...

oh, and it's rumored KC has made him available.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

DeJesus in May,
Jesus in June,
Can we now just hope,
for a Phillies' swoon.

Nervous Nats Fan said...

Mark, It seems like every time you take a day off, something incredible happens in baseball. Last time, it was a no-hitter, today a perfect game.

Souldrummer said...

Hopefully, one of the positive tradeoffs of the independence that you've carved out for yourself is that you can take a day off for Mother's Day and not have to worry about what the boss says.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

And in Alumni News:
The New York Yankees have placed Nick Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a right wrist injury.

Who could have ever seen this coming?

Anonymous8 said...

So Philly travels to Colorado and as their luck continues, they don't have to face Ubaldo Jimenez on this trip, and of course the Nats have to on Friday when the Nats are in Colorado.

natsfan1a said...

Atta boy, Livo! Another nice win for the Nats.

I had to go out after the game ended, so I missed the end of the Oakland no-no. I did see highlights later. Very moving footage of Braden and his grandma after the game. Oh, and just one word to A-Rod in light of his earlier comments re. a pitcher "with a handful of wins." 'Hah!' (you could look it up) :-)

Anonymous said...

Re Kurkjian's speculation that Strasburg's first start in DC might be delayed due to an off day in the Syracuse schedule, he needs to take a closer look. The day after that off day there's a doubleheader due to a prior rainout, and Strasburg's regular turn falls on that day. He will need to pitch one of those doubleheader games unless they insert an extra pitcher in their rotation to give him a day off. And if one of the points of having him in the minors in the first place is to get him used to pitching every five days, why would they be giving him extra off days anyway? Forget the June 8th speculation. Get your tickets now for June 6th.

Mark Zuckerman said...

My quick take on the Strasburg speculation. I do think June 8 is a possibility. It would not be all that difficult for the Nats to push him back two days (even with that doubleheader in Syracuse). They'd throw a spot starter out there in a heartbeat, that's not a concern. The Nats are more concerned with setting up Strasburg to debut when it makes the most sense. A Sunday afternoon against the Reds would be fine, but a Tuesday night against the Pirates (the day after they possibly draft Bryce Harper No. 1) sure makes a lot of sense from a PR standpoint.

I'll also say that in the last couple days, I've begun wondering whether it's possible he could be up before the end of May. If he dominates his first three starts at Syracuse, he would line up perfectly to start Saturday, May 22 against the Orioles. Not saying I believe that's the most-likely scenario, but I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Oh, and for the record, just in case Kurkjian's theory proves true, I wrote the following on March 8 in Viera, the day before Strasburg's spring training debut...

"Some front-office execs have even gone so far as to extrapolate when the appropriate date for Strasburg's major-league debut might be. Let's see, if he pitches every fifth day from here on out ... how does June 8 against the Pirates sound? Think that might turn an otherwise pedestrian Tuesday night on South Capitol Street into something a tad more significant?"

Grant Mulkey said...


I was at this game yesterday, so I didn't hear any commentary there may have been on this issue. But Nyjer was playing CF in long pants yesterday. I've never seen him do that before. Any idea why the high pants and stirrups weren't on display yesterday?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Grant: I asked Nyjer about it and he said he wears long pants only on Sundays. Compared it to Tiger Woods always wearing red on Sundays. Though, considering the Nats wear red socks, it would make more sense if Morgan wore long pants all week and then rolled them up to show off his red socks on Sunday. But what do I know about fashion?

Post a Comment