June 8 is the date, and judging by what I'm seeing on-line, the game against the Pirates is already a near sellout. Stephen Strasburg's coming out party will rank as one of the hottest tickets for a sporting event in recent D.C.history. Barring postponements, Strasburg's opponents - after Pittsburgh - through the end of the month should be the Indians in Cleveland, the White Sox
What's worse? An error by a below average fielder, or a misplay by an average-to-above-average defender? From my perspective it's the latter, but not everyone sees things my way. On Thursday in San Francisco, Adam Dunn's seventh-inning error on a ball hit by John Bowker opened the door to three-run Giants' rally, erasing a 4-2 lead in a game won by the home team 5-4.
Personal issues aside, I always thought Steve Phillips had some degree of credibility as a baseball commentator. He was, after all, a big league GM with the New York Mets at one point in his life. Now, however, I have to assume that the level of stress in his life has impaired his judgement. During an appearance on WFAN in New York, Phillips told host
I spoke with Hall of Famer Bob Feller this week on the subject of Stephen Strasburg. Feller, who will turn 92 later this year, will be in Washington on Monday to ride in a Memorial Day Parade. When it comes to tremendous hype at a very young age, Feller is the prototype. Bob signed with the Cleveland Indians at 17, and never played a day
Let's give some credit to Carlos Maldonado. He is one tenacious guy. Carlos, 31 this year, is a native Venezuelan who began his pro career in 1995 in the Seattle organization when he was 17. Since then he's made multiple stops around the country with six organizations before signing with the Nats on March 20. He's spent a total of 21 games in the big
Walking the concourse during the recently concluded Nationals-Orioles series, I couldn't help but notice the relatively large number of fence-sitters. You know, the fans wearing the gear of both teams. A Nationals' jersey topped off with an Orioles' cap, or vice-versa. It's been clear since baseball returned to the District that there were a lot of Orioles' fans on the south end of the Parkway.
I've never seen anything quite like it. Adam Jones' inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning today was a catchable ball - granted, it would've been a highlight reel catch - but even had it not been caught, it should've been a double, a triple at best. Nyjer Morgan missed the catch, the ball hit off his glove and dropped behind him. He didn't turn
Stephen Strasburg's debut with the Nationals can't come soon enough for some people. The heavy speculation is that it will come during June's first homestand, likely against the Reds, but it's possible they'll put it off another week. Strasburg has been dominant on two levels of the minor leagues this year, and expectations are going to be high when he finally takes the hill at
I was thinking last night that I'd seen a triple play in Washington before, and a caller on "Nats Talk Live" after the Nats 5-3 win over the Mets mentioned one from 1969. In a game against the Tigers on July 15, Eddie Brinkman grounded into a third-to-second-to-first TP, and I thought that was the one. I was wrong. I went back to my old
You're going to be sorry you missed this one. Nationals Park gets it's first inside-the-park home run - by the Mets' Angel Pagan - and first triple play - also started by the Met centerfielder. The Nationals are winning the game currently - Livan Hernandez has surrendered just the single run through 5 - and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is making his NL debut. Dickey is
I was chatting with Jim Palmer tonight - he'll be working the Nats-Orioles series this weekend on MASN - and he mentioned he'd seen a lot of the Nationals this season on MASN. He got into some specifics when the conversation came to the Washington bullpen. Palmer said he thought that Tyler Clippard may have a flaw in his repertoire. "His fastball command is somewhat
Drew Storen has just entered the chronicles of Major League Baseball, entering tonight's game at Busch Stadium in the seventh inning. He retired the first hitter he faced, Felipe Lopez, on a foul fly out to left. Now that Storen - picked 10th in last year's draft with a compensatory pick the Nats received for not signing their 2008 first-round pick - is a big
When the Nationals acquired Brian Bruney from New York last December, I asked Yankees' broadcaster Ken Singleton about him. "He throws pretty hard, but he'll walk some guys," he told me. "He'll have some innings where he's absolutely lights out, but then he'll lose command and really frustrate you." That kind of inconsistency has been on full display the current series at Coors Field. Following
I went to the Orioles-Mariners game today, since I figured there was good chance it would be my last opportunity to see Ken Griffey Jr. play a big league game. He's struggled all year, is barely hitting .200 with no power. He walked as a pinch hitter in his only plate appearance against Baltimore. The whole "clubhouse nap" controversy seems like much ado about very
If rebounding from a loss as tough as Tuesday night's is a sign of character, today's win deserves some neon highlight pen around it. Roger Bernadina's first two big league home runs - including the game-winner - may indicate that whatever was said to him after last night's game paid dividends right away. Scouts throughout the league have been saying that Frankie Rodriguez' velocity is
Remember Luis Matos? He played all or parts of seven big league seasons, mostly with Baltimore, though he made his final bow in a Nationals' uniform in 2006. Matos was a good fielding - albeit light hitting - center fielder. He hit as many as 13 home runs in a season (2003) when he also batted .303, providing false hope for Baltimore fans. They finally
A caller to "Nats Talk Live" yesterday questioned the rule that awards wins to relievers who weren't particularly effective. He was pointing at Tyler Clippard's getting his 6th win of the young season after he allowed the game-tying run - charged to Sean Burnett - to score. The rules of scoring are fairly specific. There are some instances where you're not required to give the
Another nail-biter, but a win nonetheless. Matt Chico gave the Nationals more than they expected, at the same time forcing the organization to take another long look at him. Too much pitching depth? No such thing. On a separate note, the speculation continues to grow regarding the arrival of Stephen Strasburg to the 25-man roster. The early line has him starting one of the games
Having been an official scorer in the 1990's, I'm sure Nats' Park scorer Dave Vincent was relieved that the Braves' first hit off Scott Olsen last night was a no-doubter. Essentially, when a no-hitter goes by the boards, the last thing you want is an element of doubt about it. The only no-hitter I ever saw in person has my name attached to it as
Not a lot of offense tonight by either team, but the Nats are up 1-0 over Atlanta in the bottom of the 7th. Perhaps you've noticed. I won't say any more than that, but you might want to google the name in the headline.
Hey, I like Chuck Berry as much as anyone; check that, I like Chuck probably more than most. He was an inspiration to me as a young guitar player in the 1960's. I've seen him in person a half-dozen times. A true genius of his genre. Having said all that, I just don't get the playing of the first few bars of his hit "No
From a distance, Ian Desmond's second inning home run tonight off of Braves' starter Tommy Hanson would seem fairly inconsequential. Yet, putting in the context of 2010 vs. 2009, it seems like night and day. A year ago, if the Nationals had scored one in the first and had given up two in the second on a walk and a home run, many fans might've
Ernie Harwell died tonight. He was 92. I was fortunate enough to be able to call Ernie a friend for the past 30 years or so. I was introduced to him by longtime Baltimore broadcaster Vince Bagli, who'd known Ernie since the 1950's when Harwell was the Orioles' radio play-by-play man. He was always in a good mood, and always completely honest. In 1983, I
I can't get too worked up over the Nationals not winning the Marlins' series. It was a 3-3 road trip, and that's acceptable. I'm also not too concerned about Stephen Strasburg losing a decision at Harrisburg. That was going to happen sooner or later. Now on to the really important stuff: with red sleeves and socks, doesn't the road navy blue cap look out of