...But watching the Orioles embarrass the Nationals once was bad enough, I don't really ever want to relive tonight's eight-run sixth inning, which saw three Nationals' pitchers face 13 Orioles' batters and throw 57 pitches before finally getting the third out of the frame on a fly ball to right from rookie catcher Matt Wieters, who'd K'd swinging eight batters earlier for the first out of a long, long inning. Joel Hanrahan struck Wieters out with a full-count slider in the dirt, for the first out of the sixth, the only out he'd record. Hanrahan throws 27 pitches, 16 for strikes and allows 4 runs on 3 hits, with a walk and a K in 0.1 IP in relief of DC starter Ross Detwiler, who's chased after 5.0 IP, 9 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB and 3 K's, when he allows back to back singles to start the sixth. After Hanrahan surrenders four runs, it's Ron Villone's turn, and the DC lefty gives up 2 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs, 1 earned, 1 Hanrahan's, allowing a sac fly from Melvin Mora to score the Orioles' 11th run of the game before a fly ball to right from Wieters mercifully ends the frame, which should have ended two batters earlier, had Cristian Guzman not missed a DP grounder up the middle, for his 10th and the Nationals' Major League-leading 66th error of the season.
And The Full Game Report Is After The Jump...
Headlines: (coverage continued after jump)...
Olsen's Coming, Who's Going?
Strasburg In No Rush...
Nationals now 21-50.
Olsen's Coming, Who's Going?
MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote today, in a post at his blog entitled, "Olsen to pitch next week against Marlins", that, "Right-hander Craig Stammen, who is scheduled to pitch on Monday, is the leading candidate to be sent down." Washington Post writer Mark Viera, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Olsen To Return Next Week", says DC Manager Manny Acta, "...offered no hints about the organization's thought process in deciding which pitchers would be sent down," and Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling notes in a Chatter post entitled, "News and Lineups from Baltimore", that Olsen is expected back Monday when Stammen's turn in the rotation comes around, but, Mr. Goessling writes, "...if the Nats pushed Olsen back two days they could swap him out for Detwiler." Or, it could be someone else, as Mr. Goessling reported earlier this morning, in a Washington Times' article entitled, "Olsen To Rejoin Staff", that, "...acting GM Mike Rizzo said last week the choice was 'not necessarily' limited to Stammen and Detwiler." So it could be Stammen, it could be Detwiler, or it could be someone else...Glad we got that straightened out...
Strasburg In No Rush...
SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote this past Wednesday, in an article entitled, "Identifying this season's superb starts...and the poor ones", that the Washington Nationals were, "off to a slow start" in their negotiations with '09 No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg, though Mr. Heyman speculates that it could be because:
"Strasburg's people don't want him taxing his arm by pitching in the major leagues this year, so they are taking the position in talks that there's no rush to sign this year."
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's advice for fans of the Washington Nationals? Mr. Rosenthal offers it up in a recent article entitled, "Nats will be in tough battle with Boras":
"My advice to Nationals fans is not to read anything concerning the Stephen Strasburg negotiations until after midnight Aug. 17, the deadline for the team to reach agreement with the No. 1 draft."
Mr. Rosenthal then runs through a "doomsday scenario" which plays out with the Nationals failing to sign Strasburg as they failed to sign '08 1st Round pick Aaron Crow, leaving them with the #1 and #2 picks next year, at which point Strasburg refuses to allow DC to draft him again, and potential 2010 #1 overall pick Bryce Harper, another Boras' client says he doesn't want to play for the Nationals...You know, I think he's right, I might stop reading about Strasburg until he signs...
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, 1st Round pick Matt Hobgood, the 5th overall selection, was in Baltimore today, according to Baltimore.com writer Peter Schmuck's article entitled, "Hobgood in the house", and his agreement with the Orioles will be announced tomorrow.
Washington Nationals At Baltimore Orioles. Game 71 or 72 of 162.
A 1-2 slider from Brad Bergesen gets Cristian Guzman swinging for the first out of the evening. Robert Andino sends a rainbow to first Melvin Mora fires to first as the Nationals are all swinging early and down in order...2-2 fastball on the inside corner at 90 mph, "Steerike!!" Brian Roberts called out looking. Adam Jones turns a fastball inside around for a double to left and off the wall. Nick Markakis bunts by Detwiler as he comes off the mound, and Nick Johnson’s shuffle pass to first is late. Jones to third. Aubrey Huff hits a line drive to center, Jones tags and scores, 1-0 O’s. Cristian Guzman tosses to Anderson Hernandez at first on a grounder from Nolan Reimold.
Adam Dunn flies out to right field. Josh Willingham singles through short for the Nationals’ first hit of the game. Elijah Dukes stays locked in on a slider outside and lifts it to left for a second straight single. Josh Bard singles to left, Willingham scores, Dukes gets nailed at third, sorta, he was safe. 1-1 ballgame. Willie Harris walks. Anderson Hernandez pops out to first, and it’s 1-1 in the second...Luke Scott grounds back to the mound, Detwiler fields, steps and throws to first. Melvin Mora grounds to short, Guzman handles it. Detwiler walks Matt Wieters, but Robert Andino grounds into a force at second, Zimmerman tosses to Anderson Hernandez.
Cristian Guzman pops out over third. Nick Johnson grounds the first pitch to short. Ryan Zimmerman takes a slider to right for a two-out single in front of Dunn. Dunn K’s chasing a two-strike slider to end the DC third...2-2 change outside finds Brian Roberts looking fastball. Strike three swinging. Adam Jones grounds out to short. Markakis gets a two-strike fastball high and inside and he K’s swinging to end the third.
Josh Willingham grounds out to Brian Roberts. Elijah Dukes grounds weakly to Mora for the second out of the Nationals’ fourth. Josh Bard walks with two down. Willie Harris takes a fastball high and outside and gets punched out by the home plate ump, though Harris disagrees...Aubrey Huff singles to center to start the O’s fourth. Nolan Reimold rips a double to left and Josh Willingham bobbles it, allowing Huff to score from first on the error. 2-1 O’s. Luke Scott lines to right, Reimold stops at third when Dukes sends a missile back in. Melvin Mora drops a single in front of Dukes in right, Reimold scores, 3-1 Baltimore. Wieters walks for the second time to load the bases for Robert Andino. Andino grounds to third, Zimmerman fires home, Bard throws to first, double play!!! Ground ball to short from Brian Roberts, who’s 0 for 3 now.
Anderson Hernandez gets a grounder up in Aubrey Huff’s gut, but Huff makes the play. Cristian Guzman grounds out to second. Nick Johnson gets hit again with another curve. Ryan Zimmerman K’s swinging at a slider outside...Adam Jones grounds weakly to short. Nick Markakis’ chopper gets by Anderson Hernandez and into right center. Aubrey Huff grounds to second, Anderson Hernandez fields, spins, throws to second, Guzman to Johnson, double play.
Adam Dunn pops a full-count pitch up foul of third. Josh Willingham K’s swinging over a sinking fastball inside. Elijah Dukes hits a broken bat single back up the middle, but Brian Roberts gets there and throws to first to end DC’s sixth...Nolan Reimold rips a singles off the mound and into center. Luke Scott lines a single into the gap, and Reimold takes third. Detwiler out. Joel Hanrahan hangs a slider to Melvin Mora, who rips a slider to left for a two-run double and a 5-1 O’s lead. Matt Wieters K’s swinging at a slider from Hanrahan. Zimmerman dives and a hard-hit grounder from Robert Andino, who’s safe at first. Joel Hanrahan walks the bases loaded, issuing a free pass to Brian Roberts. 0-2 slider outside to Adam Jones, bloop single to right, 6-1 O’s. Ron Villone on for Hanrahan. Nick Markakis lines an RBI single over second, 7-1 Orioles. Aubrey Huff singles to right, Roberts and Jones score, 9-1 Orioles. Villone walks Reimold. Luke scot grounds to second, DP grou...Guzman misses it, another run scores, 10-1 Orioles. Sac fly to right from Mora, Dukes throws home, too late, Huff scores, 11-1 Orioles. Matt Wieters flies out to right to finally, mercifully end the sixth.
Josh Bard rolls a ground ball under Brian Roberts’ glove at second for a leadoff baserunner as DC tries to mount a comeback. Willie Harris grounds into a force at second, but beats the throw to first. Anderson Hernandez gets the DP grounder right, going to short, Andino to Roberts to Huff, double play...Robert Andino pops out to Guzman in short center. Jesus Colome gets Brian Roberts swinging. Adam Jones lines to right and...fair, Dukes misses it and hits the wall, the ball rolls to the track in right and Jones is safe at third. Nick Markakis strands Jones at third with a fly ball to right.
Matt Albers on the mound for the O’s, and he gives up a leadoff single to center to Cristian Guzman. Nick Johnson lines to third, right into Oscar Salazar’s glove. Alberto Gonzalez singles up the middle to put two on for Adam Dunn. Dunn K’s swinging through a 95 mph fastball. Josh Willingham walks with two down, bases loaded for Elijah Dukes. Dukes down swinging to end the Nationals’ eighth...Aubrey Huff leads off against Colome in the eighth. Anderson Hernandez shows off his range, sprinting his left to get a grounder on the outfield grass and throw Huff out. Nolan Reimold beats Hernandez to the hole with a single to right. Luke Scott grounds into a force at second, but beats the DP throw to first. Oscar Salazar pops out to second to end the eighth.
Josh Bard pops out foul of third, Salazar makes the grab. One down. O’s reliever George Sherrill gets a ground ball from Willie Harris, but Brian Roberts boots it. Anderson Hernandez grounds into a force at second. Cristian Guzman chases junk into the dirt, game over. 11-1 Orioles win.
Nationals now 21-50.