One pitch. One bad 2-out pitch to Brian Giles in the 7th blows what was an otherwise remarkable afternoon for The Former Ace.
Livan put on a great show; a dazzling array of junk. But one pitch sealed it. After that, it was only a matter of time...
And let's not mention that Zimmerman got robbed of a HR in the 9th -- thanks to a #%*! call by the 3b umpire Brian Runge. Runge should be ashamed of himself.
But in the end - this one was all about blown chances. 12 LOB, etc. etc.
(*yawn* Another HR by Fonzie to lead off the game)
p.s. The Nats weren't able to sneak Livan through waivers, so he'll be sticking around for the rest of the season. On an unrelated note, after an 0-3 day at the plate yesterday, Livo is now hitting his weight (.267).
Padres 6, Nationals 3. Frank lacks faith in the 'pen, so he leaves Astacio in for maybe, maybe, just a little too long.(Although you get the feeling that if it wasn't Astacio blowing this one, it would have been Rivera or Corky)
Zimmerman goes long for the second night in a row. Marlon goes yard, too.
Supposedly, it could happen as soon as September 1. But we say there's not a chance in hell that a single game gets on this season.
You know what? We're gonna miss that old MLB.TV splash screen. We'll sorta miss the hit-or-miss availability of Nats games on MLB.TV; the inexplicable blackouts; being able to watch for a few innings, then suddenly get kicked out; trying to figure out if clicking different combinations of buttons would trick the system into letting me in (sometimes it worked!).
Keep those e-mails coming to Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson, and we'll keep copying and pasting them over here and giving our half-assed answers. Thanks a bunch.
With the acquisition of Felipe Lopez, what are the plans for Cristian Guzman? -- M. S., Montreal
Ugh. That's right, we forgot all about Guzman, the $8 million albatross. Thanks a lot.
What is the biography on Micah Bowie? All I know is he's 6-foot-4, 31 years old, born in Texas and pitching like an All-Star closer. -- R. S., Alexandria, Va.
Bowie enjoys reading, skinny skiing, and going to bullfights on acid. He's a Scorpio. He's not related to Sam Bowie, the biggest bust in NBA draft history. Pitching like an All-Star closer? We wouldn't go that far, but yeah, sure, his performance so far has been pretty surprising.
With the Nationals under new management, are they trying to tell their fans that they are not competitive enough to sign Alfonso Soriano in the offseason? It appears that Soriano's good working habits and positive outlook is good for the fans and the team. -- D. P., Washington
Stop your whining. The trading deadline has come and gone, and we refuse to buy the argument that the decision NOT to trade Soriano had anything to do with the fans. Not that you were making the argument, D. P.; it just struck us that you might make that argument.
Why not wing it and worry about negotiations with Soriano later? Trading the best player on the team in exchange for prospects is like selling off a Kentucky Derby winner in exchange for a couple of promising young colts. You quote Vidro saying, "It would be a devastating blow." Vidro is right. -- R. L., Moultonborough, N.H.
Oh please, give me a break with that crap Richard. Go to hell. (Although with the way the 2006 Nats have been dropping like horsies at Arlington Park, it's probably appropriate to try to pull in a horse racing analogy here: The Nationals have been perfectly Barbaro-esque this season. While we're talking horses, maybe it's time we took Vidro out to the glue factory?)
Are the Nats trying to move Nick Johnson for pitching since they have Larry Broadway at Triple-A New Orleans, or does Johnson's injury history make him hard to move? -- E. B., Washington
Apparently not, E. B.
What are the plans for Broadway? I think someone is overlooking a good player here. -- L. S., Nashville, Tenn.
And who might this "someone" be that you speak of?
Is there any chance the Nats would trade the oft-injured Vidro? -- K. B., New Brunswick, Canada
Vidro is a guy I could see getting traded after the deadline if his hammy gets better. He might float right through waivers or something. Then again, there's always the glue factory.
I heard that Javier Vazquez is available. Do you think the Nationals are willing to get him from the White Sox? -- G. P., Montreal
Only if he has a history of arm problems.
Does Ryan Zimmerman have a chance to win the Jackie Robinson (Rookie of the Year) Award in the National League? -- J. F., Navarre, Fla.
Come on! No chance!
Ryan Church was first touted as one of the top rookies. Then he was sent down while others were kept. I don't understand it. -- E. B., Sebring, Fla.
You're asking the wrong guy. We've never really "gotten" Church. But a lot of people feel that he deserves another shot, and every day he keeps hitting, he makes idiots like us look like even bigger idiots. (For what it's worth, we were convinced that he was going to be shipped out in a trade yesterday, but as you know, nothing happened.)
Was releasing Mathew LeCroy a financial move or just a baseball decision? I always thought he was a hard worker. And, do you think anyone will pick him up? -- R. B., Gainesville, Fla.