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12/29/07 'Aught-Seven...Washington Nationals: Season Three...

A Month-by-Month Look At The Nationals' Third Season In DC...

May and June '07:

     The months of May and June 2007 finally allowed Cristian Guzman to show Washington, DC's baseball fans why the Nationals organization gave Guzman a 3-year-$16.8 million dollar contract in 2005. After injuring his hamstring running to first in the fifth inning of the first game of the season on April 2nd, Guzman returned to the lineup on May 7th in Milwaukee, and proceeded to hit in 26 of his next 87 at bats for a .299 AVG with 2 doubles, 3 triples, 1 HR and 6 RBI's.

     After Felipe Lopez went 0 for 4 against San Diego on June 2nd, lowering his batting average to .245, Ronnie Belliard was inserted into the lineup at second and batting second behind Cristian Guzman, who took over the leadoff spot, going 1 for 4 and lowering his own average a bit to .320 on the season.

     Felipe Lopez was back in the leadoff spot for a three game series against Pittsburgh, where the Nationals lost two of three to the Pirates and Lopez went 2 for 13 with 3 RBI's to lower his average to .240 on the year.

     Up next on June 9th and 10th was a two game Interleague set with the Minnesota Twins for whom Cristian Guzman had manned the turf at short for some six seasons before signing as a free agent with the Nationals in 2005. Guzman went 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 1 RBI to raise his average to .339 on the year, and Guzman officially ascended to the leadoff spot during the next series with Baltimore, where he remained until June 24th, when Guzman sprained his right thumb on a play at second in a game against Cleveland.

     Cristian Guzman made an impressive comeback in late September and the one unsuccessful at bat he got lowered his average a thousandth of a point to .328 on the season, a campaign in which Guzman collected 2 HR's and 14 RBI's with a career-high .380 OBP in 46 games...At the end of June, Felipe Lopez was batting .234. Lopez would finish the '07 season with a .245 AVG, with 9 HR's, 50 RBI's, 24 stolen bases and a .308 OBP which was down from his career high .362 OBP from the previous season...

     ...Also in May, the Nationals faced their one-year wonder Alfonso Soriano, who had signed with the Cubs for a riduculous sum, spurning the city that had taught him to play left...

     ...An hour or so after a 1:30 am restart to a rain-delayed May 12th game with the Marlins, Ryan Zimmerman steps to the plate in a game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth...(as described on my old site>>>>>)...

          "...Two outs. Bases loaded. Tie ballgame in the ninth. The
          Marlins bring in closer Jorge Julio to face Ryan
          Zimmerman, 1-0 fastball low...CRACK!!! THE KIDS CALL
          HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! THE KIDS CALL HIM
          ZIMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Long fly to left center and GONE
          GRAND SLAM...MAKE THAT WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM!!!
          THE NATIONALS WIN, THE NATIONALS WIN!! GOING FOR
          THE SERIES SWEEP TOMORROW!!!"

     ...Jason Bergmann went eight innings deep with a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves on May 14th, before Brian McCann brought the no-hit bid, which ESPN had interrupted programming to cover, to a dramatic end with a solo home run to lead off the frame. The Nationals held on to win 2-1, with Bergmann allowing just two hits, 1 walk and 1 run while striking out 10 over 8.0 IP...

      ...On June 7th the Nationals select left-handed starter Ross Detwiler out of Southwest Missouri State University with the 6th pick in the 1st Round of the '07 Amateur Draft. Detwiler doesn't record a win in his first four Minor League starts with the Rookie level Gulf Coast Nationals, but his 2.25 ERA and 15 K's in 12.0 innings, earn him a jump up to Class-A Potomac...

     ...Brandon "The Streak" Watson was called up to Washington on June 20th after an International League record-breaking 43-game hitting streak which had ended the previous day, after starting on April 30th...

     The Nationals end the month of June in Pittsburgh, where Pirates fans stage a mid-game walkout to protest the direction of the franchise...Nationals fans everywhere wonder what that must be like...

*Instead of Links*

Today i'll just recommend everyone check out ESPN's own Peter Gammons and Jayson Stark's exchange entitled, "Debate: Is Tim Raines a Hall of Famer?" which, obviously, argues for and against Tim Raines being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof08/news/story?id=3169953&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlines