Josh Willingham became the thirteenth man in MLB history last night to launch two grand slams in the same game, helping power the Nationals to a 14-6 victory.
The trade deadline is an interesting dance.
It’s amazing because it’s a dance that everyone is involved with. A dance in which the best team in the league is just as important as the worst team in the league. A dance where teams you're not even negotiating with can effect your own trade by setting the value of players in the market. A dance of give and take, wait and see.
To prepare for the upcoming series against the Brewers, we sat down with TheJay from one of the top Brewers blogs on the net, Brew Crew Ball, to talk about the club and their future.
The Nats Blog: At the writing of this question the Brewers stand three games out of the lead for the Central division, and four and a half games out in the wild card, what do you think are the odds of the Brewers making the post season, and what would they have to do to get there?
Brew Crew Ball: Well, the Baseball Prospectus postseason odds place the Brewers’ chances at about one in ten. I think if you asked Brewers fans who have watched the team over the last month, you’d have a tough job finding someone who thought they were that good. The pitching staff hit a wall in late June, just in time for the offense to enter a slump. The team has tried to address the offensive woes with a trade for Felipe Lopez, but it’s going to take a dramatic improvement in the starting rotation through a trade to make a run. The minor league cupboard is bare – recent call-up Tim Dillard has been the best of a bad lot, but it’s hard to succeed in the majors when you don’t strike anyone out.
TNB: The Brewers have been on the brink of being a top team in the league for the last several years, what more pieces do they need to get there?
John Lannan pitched yet another gem Sunday afternoon as he took the Nationals into the top of the 9th with a 2-1 lead.
The Nats brought in MacDougal to slam the door on the Padres and take their second series in a row.
MacDougal looked unhittable. Hitting as high as 97 on the gun, with great movement, he soon fanned Padres number three hitter Chase Headly. Then he made third basemen Kevin Kouzmanoff look awful as he forced him to pop it up to right. The smoke MacDougal was dealing was so nasty that Nationals broadcasters could hardly believe he had experienced so many troubles in the past.
Not even the rain could cool off Ryan Zimmerman as he helped bash the Nats past the Padres for the win, 13-1.
Zimmerman got things going with a monster bomb to center in the bottom of the first inning, scoring Guzman and giving the Nationals the early 2-0 lead.
Then the rain came. The Nationals waited…and waited…and waited. It started to look as if their early offensive output would be for nothing as the game may be rained out.
Finally 3 hours and 11 minutes later, the teams took the field again.
The Nationals looked like little leaguers last night.
You remember that team in little league only cared about hitting, and they would rake a few bombs but could not field to save their life…kicking the ball in the infield and throwing the ball away in the outfield.
Yup, that was the Nationals last night; Four errors, three unearned runs, and a 6-2 loss against the last place Padres.
Nationals Now Are Shopping Dunn
“ Contrary to what Rizzo said in a radio interview earlier this month, the Nationals are willing to trade cleanup hitter Adam Dunn before the July 31 trade deadline.”
Whether this is a change in policy or strategy since the Manny Acta firing or just a simple mistake by Rizzo at the beginning of the month is unclear, however what is clear is that the Nationals are willing to trade Dunn and have taken several offers into consideration.
This decision may finally mean the Nationals are willing to move in the right direction.
The honest truth is the Nationals signed Adam Dunn so they could trade him. The same way they signed Dmitri Young or traded for Alfonso Soriano. The two-year length of his contract was a clear indicator that this wasn’t a permanent solution for either side, only a quick fix for both.