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Washington Nationals News and More...

Not even Newark Star-Ledger baseball writer Dan Graziano and his weekly swipes at the Washington Nationals are gonna bring me down after DC starter John Lannan persevered and beat the Chicago Cubs this afternoon to help Washington take two of three from the NL Central's leaders, but Mr. Graziano's determined to try...featuring a quote, in his "Quote Of The Week" section of his weekly column, "Dan Graziano on MLB", from televlsion's Jay Leno, whose monologue quip is repeated by Mr. Graziano:

"Jay Leno, on The Tonight Show: '46,000 people showed up to see the Pope in the Washington Nationals' ballpark. He beat the Nationals 15-1.'"

That's a funny one, Mr. Leno. I think it was Jimmy Kimmel who said, just before the start of his own "Late Night" show, that he wanted his show to be like the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno", but funny...

...and don't think I didn't notice that no where in the feature article of the "Dan Graziano on MLB" section about John Smoltz's numerical achievements, entitled, "Nimble Smoltz has sidestepped all roadblocks", does Mr. Graziano mention that the Washington Nationals actually beat the Atlanta Braves and starter John Smoltz in the game in which Smoltz collected his 3,000th K. (ed. note - "...cause you know that's probably what Smoltz was most concerned about that night.")

...And Now, Another installment of a continuing series of "Arguments" Between an Atlanta Braves' supporter and a DC baseball fan:

"Smoltz shouldn't even have lost that game," my Brother Scout, Braves Fan and Source For All Things Baseball interrupts.

Federal Baseball.com (FB) -- "OK sure, have your say," I encourage Scout, (whispering under my breath), "...a week later."

"...he(Smoltz) only gave up one run, and the one run came on a 3-2 pitch to Willie Harris with two outs, and a catcher (Wil Nieves) with 10 plate appearances (ed. note- "Actually just 7!") to his record, so he should've thrown a ball to Willie Harris and see if he swung and if not walk him and face the catcher?"

FB --"You don't think it was Smoltz's decision to throw that pitch?"

"I don't know who made the decision, I don't remember if Bobby Cox came out, made a call to pitch to Harris, or let Smoltz make the decision himself...I'm not even sure it was a 3-2 pitch, it was just a two-strike pitch..."

FB -- Maybe he would have just made Wil Nieves a hero a week earlier.

"'I would've take that chance, especially since he hung the slider he'd tried to go backdoor with,' Scout concludes, 'Maybe hung is a little harsh, it was a hittable slider, and for Smoltz it was 'hung'. Do you disagree with my analysis?"

FB -- "No, I never would've pitched to Harris there. Especially with Willie Harris having been on the Braves the last season or so...he probably has watched Smoltz pitch quite a bit, knew what to look for..."

 

...Smoltz won't have another shot at the Nationals in the two game series that starts Tuesday night at 7:10 in Nationals Park with Tim Redding on the mound for DC and Tom Glavine on the hill for Atlanta. Wednesday night it's Shawn Hill for the Nationals, against the Braves' pitching sensation, Jair Jurjjens. 

According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article, "Cordero honing his control":

"Manager Manny Acta said Cordero would get his closer's job back after his next outing."

After watching Jon Rauch dominate the Cubs on Sunday afternoon, and watching Cordero fail to get his fastball going again on Saturday...Who do you think should be the closer in DC? The Poll for that question is included below...

The #'s

Jon Rauch - (2-0, 4.63 ERA), 12 games, 4 of 6 SO, 11.2 IP, 14 hits, 7 runs, 6 ER, 2 HR, 2 walks, 10 K's.

Chad Cordero - (0-0, 0.00 ERA), 5 games, 0 SO, 4.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 3 walks, 5 K's.