• Tuesday's Top Stories:
5. Take Cover: The first game of the three-game series in Busch Stadium between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals was delayed at first by the threat of rain, and then by the predicted storm which arrived preceded by sirens warning of potential tornados (or tornadoes). The Cards' home was soon consumed by a driving rain and then assaulted golf-ball-sized hail which pelted the empty seats of the stadium building to a frighteningly loud crescendo before halting abruptly to leave only a sustained downpour which was strong and persistent enough for officials to finally postpone the game two hours and fifteen minutes after the scheduled start time. The Nats will now play the second doubleheader in the last four days as they put their three-game winning streak on the line against the Cardinals at 2:15 pm EDT when John Lannan which pitch game one against Jake Westbrook and 8:15 pm EDT when Jordan Zimmermann will face Jaime Garcia.
4. Maya on the Mound: The Syracuse Chiefs were the Nats' only Minor League affiliate in action last night. Cuban-born right-hander Yunesky Maya was on the mound in McCoy Stadium in Rhode Island as the Chiefs took on the Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston's top affiliate. In 6.0 IP, the international free agent, signed to a 4-year/$8M dollar deal in July of '10, gave up seven hits, three singles and two runs in the first and four doubles one per frame in every inning but the third which led to just one run allowed over his next five innings of work...
The 29-year-old starter struck out four, walked three and threw 118 pitches, 71 strikes to 27 batters four of whom flew out and four of whom hit groundouts. In three starts and 16.1 IP for the Chiefs, Maya's allowed 19 hits, 10 runs and six walks, while striking out 11. He was replaced on the mound by Matt Chico, who struck out three over 2.0 scoreless IP. The 27-year-old left-hander's given up seven hits, four walks and six runs, five earned in six games and six innings pitched, all in relief.
The Chiefs only run of the game came courtesy of infielder Brian Bixler, who singled to start the first, took third on a double by Roger Bernadina and scored on a sac fly by Chris Marrero to put Syracuse up 1-0 in the top of the first. Syracuse drops a 3-1 decision to lose their fifth straight game and drop to 5-7 on the season.
3. Nats On Upton: An article last night by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Nats not currently interested in acquiring Upton", indirectly addressed FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's report from Monday entitled, "Nationals: Seeking help in center," in which Mr. Rosenthal reported that the Nationals, who, "...rank 14th in the NL in OPS from center field, are searching for potential upgrades," and interested in 26-year-old Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton, who may or may not be available at some point in the future. The Rays, of course, as Mr. Rosenthal wrote, "will not entertain moving Upton unless they fall out of contention," and, "If that happens, the Nats hardly will be the only team interested."
The Nationals, according to the MLB.com writer's sources, "...have been scouting Rays center fielder B.J. Upton," but, "...the club doesn't have interest in acquiring him right now." Mr. Ladson points out that D.C. GM Mike Rizzo, whose connection to the Upton family from his time in Arizona when he oversaw the selection of B.J's brother Justin was cited in reports on the Nats' interest, "brought Ankiel to Washington and played a major role in Ankiel playing every day."
• Zim Not Back Soon: Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore wrote last night, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Ryan Zimmerman not traveling with the Nationals", that Nats' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman did not accompany the team on their six game road trip to St. Louis and Pittsburgh, providing, "the clearest indication yet Zimmerman will not return from the 15-day disabled list a week from today, the first game he is eligible," to play in after having been placed on the DL after aggravating a strained ab sliding into second in a game against the Mets in Citi Field in NY on April 9th.
• Don't forget, the first game of today's doubleheader is being played at 2:15 pm EDT.