Scott Olsen looked like the pitcher of old when he took the mound against his former team last night, however the gallant effort was not enough for a week hitting Nationals team, which lost 4-2.
Florida’s starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco contributed one of his best starts of the season in the Marlins victory. The 26 year old pitched eight strong innings allowing only four hits, two earned runs, and struck out eight batters while walking none.
Nolasco’s line against the Nationals becomes even more impressive when you consider that the four hits he allowed were not scattered. The Florida righty had one bad inning, the second, where he allowed all of his earned runs and three out of the four hits he gave up all night. Barring that, he was throwing absolute smoke.
The Nationals second inning was strong but not enough. Ryan Zimmermann led off the inning with a homer to left, his 13th of the year. Willingham continued his hot streak with a ground rule double to center, and Will Nieves singled him home, giving the Nationals the 2-0 lead.
Olsen’s great night wasn’t enough to hold the Nationals lead.
Carroll led of the Marlins third with a double to left center. A sacrifice, a single, and a Emilio Bonifacio triple to center later and the game was tied up at two a piece.
After the rocky third inning, Olsen locked in and pitched well, proving he deserved a spot in this rotation. In total Olsen tossed seven full innings, allowing only four hits, two earned runs, and struck out seven while walking none.
In the eighth inning Nationals manager Manny Acta turned the ball over to the bullpen. However neither Ron Villone nor Julian Tavares could keep the Marlins off the board. Two runs in the bottom of the eighth gave the Marlins the go ahead lead, and the victory.
The lack of run production in this game can arguably lie in large part with the top of the line up.
Willie Harris went 0-4 with three strikeouts, not even sniffing the base paths. Cristian Guzman went 0-4, and shockingly enough, didn’t earn a walk.
Their 0-8 performance stings so much more when you consider that the middle of the line up did their job. Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmermann, Adam Dunn, and Josh Willingham combined for five of the Nationals six hits, however there were never any runners on the base paths to knock in.
Well as we talked about a little over a week ago Scott Olsen is back and one of the young starting pitchers has to bite the dust.
We asserted that it would almost certainly not be Shairon Martis, and likely be Stammen or Detwiler as they have more upside and can learn more from a AAA demotion.
Recently talks stated that instead of any demotions Stammen would be placed in the bullpen to help in the middle innings.
However, instead of either of these scenarios panning out, the Nationals simply demoted Shairon Martis to AAA to put Olsen back into the rotation.
Shairon Martis had the most wins out of any Nationals starter going into last night, and was second on the team’s rotation in ERA.
Scott Olsen has one of the worst ERA’s for a starting pitcher in the Majors and had only one victory before getting hurt.
“I need to see consistency out of (Olsen),” Acta told Bill Ladson. “I want to see the guy that pitched 200 innings for the Marlins. He is supposed to lead these kids. He is the oldest one out of all of them.”
So lets put this in perspective. Manny Acta and the Nats think the outsider, the guy who came in from a different organization, who makes more money than the rookie pitchers and hasn’t been there in almost a month, will have more of an emotional and motivational impact on the development of the rookies than the one rookie who has had arguably the most success.
The Nationals think it’s good to separate this group of young starters that John Stammen described as a rotation of best friends. A group that has developed so much in the last month, that has pushed and challenged one another to be better. The Nationals think placing an underachieving has-been in that rotation will be a better motivational factor than keeping on the most successful of the rookies with the group.
Shairon Martis was too emotional for comment according to Ladson, and was being consoled by Jesus Colume.
The report, from Piratesreport.com, says that the Pirates GM would want Mike Rizzo to add at least one more player to the deal.
Nyjer Morgan is a slight 29-year-old outfielder who can provide mediocre hitting for average, poor hitting for power, good defense and solid speed.
Sound familiar? I’ll give you a hint:
He’s Pittsburgh’s Willie Harris!
Now while one can debate the importance of having a Willie Harris on a big league roster, I think one would be hard pressed to find someone who would argue that a team needs more than one Willie Harris.
Nyjer Morgan: . 5’11”, 176 LBS, 270/.346/.350, 2 HR, 18 SB
Willie Harris: 5’9”, 185 LBS, .248/.359/.440, 4 HR, 7 SB
The way the Nationals have handled Milledge is still confusing. He was on the fringe of becoming an above average outfielder, producing very good numbers at only the age of 23 last year. Many believed the young slugger was on his way to become a star. A poor spring training showing, and a poor first week of the season found him in the minors.
Going back to the minors is understandable for a young stud who needs to work out some kinks. However it has been clear the Nationals have the intent to remove him from their future, and this rumor only confirms it.
Why the Nationals want to trade him for a player who they; 1) already have in Willie Harris, 2) don’t need, and 3) has no future value….I just don’t know.
The Nats still need to give Milledge his chance.
The Washington Nationals avoided the embarrassing sweep from their Beltway rivals by pulling out the 5-3 victory yesterday afternoon in Camden Yards.
John Lannan shined once again for the Nationals, and as usual it was in a spot where the Nats needed a pick-me-up. Lannan tossed 7.1 innings, allowing only six hits and three earned runs. He had allowed only four hits going into the 8th.
The two most different players on the team came together with the bat to give the Nationals the push they needed to pull out the win.
Dunn, a six-foot-seven 275 pound country boy from Houston, Texas launched a deep two run homer in the top of the fourth to give the Nationals an early 2-1 lead. Willie Harris, a five-foot-nine 185 pound “wee ballplayer” also contributed a homer as well as three hits and a stolen base.
Diversity in our Nations capital; ethnically, racially, and well, size-ally, is a good thing.
The Nationals were able to keep the top prospect in baseball, Matt Wieters, completely hitless. Wieters has often been considered the Orioles saving grace, and has been used by many O’s fans as their trump card to our Stephen Strasburgh.
John Lannan has served the ace role well for the Nationals. When the Nationals have lost several in a row, and are starting to skid even more into oblivion than they already stand, Lannan has been there on the mound forging confidence into an untalented club.
His bulldog mentality allows him to dominate late into games despite lack-lust stuff on the mound. He pounds the corners without fear, he changes speeds on a dime, and he keeps runners off the base paths.
Even the Nationals always have a chance to win when John Lannan is on the mound.no comments
Going into the 6th inning, tonight looked like a great game. Detwiler had held Baltimore to 3 runs on 7 hits, pitching fairly well and putting the Orioles down for the most part. Then, well, the 6th inning happened.
After pushing a few dribblers through for hits, Acta opted to put in Hanrahan in for a strugging Detwiler. Coming in, Joel Hanrahan allowed the two inhereted runners to score, putting Detwiler's final line for the night at 5 runs on 9 hits through 5 innings. Hanrahan continued to wow as we went on to allow 4 runs of his own, while recording only one out. Villone came in to try and end the inning, serving up a perfect double play ball to Guzman that promptly became an error and more runs for Baltimore. After 8 runs, the 6th, and the Nationals were done for the night.
There is little good to report about this game. After stunning the powerful Boston Red Sox last night, the Nationals shipped up to Baltimore and played flat, poor baseball to the tune of an 11-1 loss.
Miss Chatter might lead you to believe it was 2008.
Once again The Nationals faced John Smoltz on a significant start of his carrer (albeit in a Red Sox uniform), matching him with one of their stud rookies, and once again the rookie out pitched the future hall of famer. Jordan Zimmermann set out last night and cruised through a Red Sox line up that had done a number on this club the past two nights.
Zimmermann was brilliant, scattering 5 hits through 7 innings and allowing just one run to pick up his thrid win of the season. This time, though, what has been a silent offense of late came alive with plenty of run support for young Jordan.
Getting at Smoltz early, the Nats scored 4 in the first, off of the top of the order getting on and the bottom of the order stringing together hits to bring everyone in. After Johnson was hit by a pitch, Zimmerman doubled to be followed by a Dunn walk. Willingham would find a hole in the infield to score one, which was followed by RBI singles by both Bard and Harris, who both ended the night with 3 hits.
The Nats continued to put runs on the board, with Bard driving in another run in the 3rd, Guzman knocking in 2 in the 6th and Willie Harris belting a 2 run shot in the 7th. Over all, both Harris and Bard went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs a piece.
Young pitching continued to impress as Acta put recently called up Tyler Clippard in to close out what was no where near a close game. After making the switch to the bull pen, Clippard has been lights out in Syracuse, and showed a promising start last night. Working 2 innings to finish the game, Clippard worked a one hit 8th, and erred slightly in the ninth, serving up a home run to Rocco Baldell. He soon settled down with back to back K's to secure the win.
Over all, the win was a very impressive feat, with the Nationals firing on all cylinders.
Potomac Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa was named today to the U.S Team in the XM All-Star Futures Game to be played in July.
The game coincides with the All-Star weekend and will pin the best United States prospects vs. the best prospects from around the world. This is the 11th annual Futures Game.
Espinoza is the only shortstop for the American team, and likely will be playing the whole game. The club just so happens to be managed by Ozzie Smith, one of the greatest shortstops of all time.
Espinoza was drafted in the third round last year out of Long Beach State, following a grand tradition of shortstops including Troy Tulowitzki and Bobby Crosby.
He has had moderate success with the bat so far. Last year he batted .328 in short season ball with Vermont. He is batting .264 with nine homers this year for Potomac.no comments