Did I mention that we are, in fact, live? Ok, so here is how this is going to work. We’ll be putting in journal type entries throughout Sunday’s game, if you are watching the game, feel free to refresh to see updates. If this is Monday morning and you’re reading, like most people, refreshing is just silly and pointless. A writeup of the fun we had earlier in the day will come later in the week. For now, Nats Review blogger Charlie and super utility man slash beat reporter Brian will be updating this post with our thoughts
1:35 – (Charlie) – Just got a chance to speak with Rizzo and Kasten. A few interesting points – they think a few guys are nearing innings limits and that alone tells me that Detwiler and Martis will be getting starts this September. Plus the fact that they named those two in particular. They also said that there will likely be a free agent veteran pitcher signing in the offseason, but not a “number one” guy. More to add that veteran presence. First pitch…
1:36 – (Charlie) – Felipe Lopez gets a hearty boo from the crowd, nice to see.
1:41 – (Brian) – Ryan Braun’s numbers are simply ridiculous. But he still grounds out. 3 up 3 down first inning for the Nats. I think I need another soda…
1:47 – (Brian) – Worth mentioning: Manny Parra is batting 8th today for the Brew Crew with Alcedes Escobar batting 9th. According to my cohort Charlie, this move makes sense according to some research Baseball Prospectus has done. If a player has really low slugging but high OBP, they can’t really knock people in, but they can get on well enough to let the top of the order guys knock em in. Jason Kendall was one guy this made sense with.
1:49 – (Charlie) – Two misplays in the infield lead to one semi-hit and and error. With two on, the runners start and Zim hits one up the middle, hustles his way to second and they’ve got 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Due to a mound visit, we get to enjoy an extended version of Dunn’s AB music, In the Air Tonight, by Phil Collins. I’ve got two ears and a heart, don’t I?
1:56 – (Charlie) – The windows were just opened out on the stadium. What a gorgeous day! Belliard just singled home 2 runs after Dunn and Willingham both popped out to the infielders, putting the Nats up 3-0, instead of the anticipated 1-0 lead.
2:00 – (Brian) – I always seem to miss bobblehead day and Frank Howard bobblehead day was no exception. I came to Friday night’s game which was free rain-soaking day but skipped last night’s game/swim meet. Thankfully, the Nats gave us one today as part of blogger day.
2:07 – (Charlie) – First hit for Mike Morse on the Nats, and it’s a double. He’s already exceeding Ryan Langerhans’ expectations.
2:10 – (Charlie) – Wow, an actual real life suicide squeeze play. I feel like it’s the 1950s. Morse broke for home as the pitcher delivered it, and Morgan got the bunt down. Guzman follows that up with a dinger, a hard hit shot to left field. It wasn’t a cheapy, and the Nats are up 5-0.
2:11 – (Brian) – Zimmerman just came up to “Regulate” by Nate Dogg and Warren G. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more; that or Morgan’s suicide squeeze.
2:16 – (Brian) – Well, that was fun. Manny Parra officially has broken up Craig Stammen’s no-no with a one out double over Willingham’s head in right.
2:23 – (Brian) – The Brewers squeak out one before Stammen shuts the door. So after 2 1/2, it’s 5 – 1. Break up the Nats. Also, big Nationals Review shout out to Neeters who I know is enjoying our live blog.
2:26 – (Charlie) – I think the most fun part about this is interacting with all the other bloggers. I’m sitting with the guys from FJB, Nationals Pride, and Federal Baseball, all great sites (seriously, not just saying that), and just talking about the Nats. Ok the best part is really the fact that we have all this access, we met players and management, and I’m sitting in the press box. But the interacting is very cool. Aaaand, Dunn just hit a ball into the Anacostia River. Wow. 6-1 good guys.
2:36 – (Brian) – Stan Kasten just wandered back into the blogger’s press box. This occurrence is probably my favorite part of that day, that he just swings by to hang out and talk baseball.
2:39 – (Brian) – CAN YOU FEEL IT??? President’s race coming up next inning! I’m feeling another Teddy loss.
2:47 – (Brian) – Abe pulls another one out after Teddy falls down trying to crawl under a tripwire held by the non-racing sausages. Yes, that really just happened.
2:49 – (Charlie) – Sorry for the absence, Kasten just made another appearance in the booth and was holding court. About 4 or 5 of us were gathered around him while he told stories of the 14 different sports for which he served as a GM. Pretty cool to hear, his job sounds more fun than mine. Also – “grow the arms, buy the bats” – the Kasten/MacPhail philosophies for building the BaWa area teams. Kasten mentioned it, just thought it was an interesting way to phrase what these teams are doing.
2:54 – (Charlie) – Number 26 for Zimmerman. Here are your Ryan Zimmerman Road to 30 HRs uni pics:
2:57 – (Charlie) – So, yeah, Nats are up 8-1 right now. Dunn is up after already hitting a moon shot today, a blast off the scoreboard would be a nice follow up.
3:00 – (Brian) – Adam Dunn just hit a ball of the the wall for a very long single. That’s all I’m going to say about that because Ryan Braun just made a great running catch on a Josh Thrillingham deep drive to left. It seems like whenever the Nats invite the bloggers to the park that the Nats play great. I’m just saying…maybe they need to have more of these.
3:06 – (Charlie) – Alcides Escobar, the guy the Brewers felt comfortable enough to play over JJ Hardy, just hit his first major league home run. That name is one you’ll probably know much better in a few years, he is gonna be pretty good. Nats are still up 8-2, and Stammen looks alright still – 77 pitches, a walk and a strikeout, 2 ER in 5 IP.
3:13 – (Brian) – Little food break and we’re back.
3:27 – (Charlie) – Stammen is still going strong, through 6 innings. His season ERA is down to 5.01. One more inning like that, and he could see the 4s, people!
3:32 – (Brian) – We interrupt this Cristan Guzman at-bat to search for information regarding Nationals Jewish Day. It’s apparently 9/6 but we’re looking for more specific information on it. Maybe Teddy’s run will be thwarted by a Rabbi gone bad. We can only hope. Our search continues…
3:37 – (Charlie) – I can’t find anything online about the Jewish Heritage Day, but I’m pretty sure it is 9/6. Just thinking the best Jewish position player since Hank Greenberg is playing against the Nats today, so maybe they should have done it today.
3:40 – (Charlie) – Ronnie Belliard is up, and I wonder why. Is he part of the future? No, so play someone else. Of course, as FJB blogger Steven pointed out, even though upper management and the fan base is looking to the future, Riggleman is competing for a job now. And seriously, why can’t baseball stadiums show replays of everything? Is it against the CBA?
3:46 – (Brian) – We’re wondering out loud how the Nats will shake out their rotation once the rosters expand. We expect to see Detwiler and Martis back up at the big league level but does this mean that they’re going to shut some guys down? Stammen is still hovering around 100 major league innings this year (130 and change overall between levels) so it’s tough to see him getting shut down early. September will be an interesting time for this team.
4:04 – (Brian) – With the game seemingly in hand (yes, I realize I might be jinxing it but I don’t believe in jinxes) we had a chance to talk to Director of Media Relations Mike Gazda about the experience overall. He’s already hoping to do another blogger day (which is awesome) and wants to get Nyjer Morgan to speak to us next time. Apparently Nyjer gets super focused before a game and we didn’t have time to speak with him today before he got in the zone. I for one, would be interested to talk to him about his approach and work ethic.
4:08 – (Charlie) – I’d be actually interested to see if Morgan is going to be attending a bunch of Caps games this year. I’m all about him switching loyalties since he’s a big hockey fan.
4:12 – (Charlie) – There’s a discussion up here in the booth right now about Morgan. Although people appreciate the speed, the defense, the work ethic, and the fact that he’s been one of the best hitters in the NL since the break, it appears what everyone likes most about him is the way he dresses. Stirrups, old school uniform, etc. I can’t say I disagree with them.
4:19 – (Brian) – Word just came through that the Mets lost by hitting into an unassisted triple play in the bottom of the 9th. I watched it on my iPhone and it was incredible: line drive to Brunlett who stepped on 2nd base and then tagged Murphy who was running on the pitch. It makes sense that today was the day that Minaya and Manuel were both given assurances that they would be back next year. Ooooooops.
4:23 – (Charlie) – The song “Peaches” has now been played 2 or 3 times, presumably for Clippard, because it’s played only when he’s warming up. Then again, it’s by a band called the Presidents of the United States of America, so maybe the song is for the mascots…
4:28 – (Charlie) – Game’s in the books, Nats win (2-0) on blogger days. Big thank you’s to Mike Gadza for setting this up, and for the team for bringing us out here and making us feel like part of the real media. Thanks to Stan Kasten, Mike Rizzo, Josh Willingham, Garrett Mock and Colin Balester for taking the time to speak with us. Thanks to Zimmerman and Dunn for the Home Runs, Stammen for the great start, Clippard for the strong relief and “Peaches” and to the Nationals for winning.