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Breaking News: Nats Score Hundredth Run!

In the first inning of this evening's game, Ryan Church grounded out to second base. Ronnie Belliard scored on the play. This run, the first of the night, marked an historic occasion. The Nats have now scored 100 runs this season.

Yes, one hundred.

I know this sounds like a lot; back in the days of the ancients, they only counted to a hundred. Or maybe it was a thousand. Whatever. Turns out this figure isn't so great thirty-something games into the season. In fact, the Nats were the last team to reach a hundred. (The team closest to 100, on the other side, is St. Louis. They've scored 105, though in two fewer games than the Nats.) Who knew?!

I'm watching the game for now, and Carpenter and Sutton are making a big deal over the influence of new hitting coach Lenny Harris. Now, when we say "new," usually we mean it's a person's first season on the job or something like that. Sean Payton, for instance, was the "new" coach of the New Orleans Saints until like late October. But Harris is really, really new; he was named interim hitting coach three hours before game time. What a miracle worker!

At any rate, the Nats are making some solid contact early on, and as humans we are causal creatures. Obviously, it's Harris. For his part, Florida starter Scott Olsen is aiding the cause. I'm no expert or anything close, but he's laying it on a tee. The Nats expressed their gratitude by lashing a comebacker flush off his right foot.

It's 1-0 in the bottom of the second. Updates won't be forthcoming. Read an assessment of Harris's predecessor, the temporarily disposed Mitchell Page, at Capitol Punishment.

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Update [2007-5-11 23:35:47 by Basil]: reports Page was granted a leave of absence for a physical condition unrelated to his bouts with alcoholism and Page is unlikely to return to the team.

Page was adamant that his problems were not alcohol-related. Page left the Cardinals after the 2004 season because of substance abuse. He said that he is losing feeling on the left side of his body. According to Page, he is having problems holding on to a cup of coffee and walking to the batting cage.

"Drinking has nothing to do with it. I'm not going to rehab," Page said. "I have to do this. I lost control of my body. Just holding on to a cup of coffee -- I'm dropping them."

It is a very cliched blogger convention to express that a person is in the blogger's thoughts, as if that person would know or care. Nevertheless, Page is in my thoughts. He has battled -- and, one would hope, defeated -- some personal demons and is by all accounts a very good hitting coach, notwithstanding the struggles the Nats bats have faced in the seasons first two months. I hope to see Page return, if not with the Nats then with some other team.

Shawn Hill continued his excellent pitching -- for a few innings at least. I caught the fifth inning in the car on the way to the theater (more on that below), and it certainly seemed like Hill hit a point where he wasn't right. He walked the first two batters of the inning, and Charlie Slowes noted a number of the errant pitches were not close. Miguel Olivo and Reggie Abercrombie assisted Hill profoundly by flying out quickly, and Hill finished the inning with no further damage and a no-hitter intact. Apparently, he came out for the sixth but didn't face a batter. He left the game with a sore right elbow. Hill will have an MRI on Monday and will be held out for seven to ten days. Dumb flukin' luck. Hill's right elbow has been bothering him since the start of the season, a fact obscured by the minor injury to his other arm resulting from his baserunning escapades in South Florida a few weeks back. Needless to say, it would be preferable if this isn't major. Hill is by far the brightest of few bright spots so far this season, and he's coming into his own as a reliable big league starter.

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I saw the movie Fracture tonight. It stars Anthony Hopkins and some kid who somehow makes the phrase "cocky young lawyer" sound completely unbelievable. I'm not one who normally picks apart movies in the interest of verisimilitude, but here's some free advice: If you know anything about the law and/or common sense and/or the way real human beings interact with each other, keep an eye shut during this one. Read a book. Check your voice mail. Moderately concuss yourself. Maybe not the last one.

But whatever you do, don't keep track of whether the movie makes any kind of sense. If the devil is in the details, then this movie is one galactic-scale devil.