- Padres 6, Nationals 5
Anyone who was worried that the Nats might lose their identity and start thinking of themselves as major league hitters can rest easy. Thanks in large part to home plate ump Larry Poncino's indecipherable strike zone, they managed 6 walks but just 5 hits off the Padres pitchers, and lost another winnable 1-run game. Livan had another tantrum, but this one was a bit more expected, seeing as how he gave up 12 hits and 2 BB in 5.2 innings. Guillen's talking about going on the DL until his shoulder is 100% healthy, which makes sense if you've seen him attempt to hit lately.
There Goes the Sun
Recalling Tony Blanco from AAA New Orleans cost the Nats reliever Sunny Kim, who was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies. Kim will be joining Zach Day at Coors Field, making possible one of my wildest dreams: the Sunny-Day Watch. Apparently Frank didn't much care for Sunny, since the team could have optioned Matt "Bizilkie" Cepicky to AAA instead but chose not to.
In spite of Jim Bowden's continued assertion that it's all about pitching, pitching, pitching the Nats have gone from being a team with pitching depth (Day, Kim, Claudio Vargas) to a team with just 3 guys at AAA who've started a major league game (Ed Yarnall, Chad Durbin, and new acquisition John Halama).
And the Award for Stating the Obvious Goes To...
The Nationals braintrust, such as it is, has come to the startling conclusion that Brad Wilkerson is not a traditional leadoff hitter. Was it the career 620 K vs. 352 BB that tipped them off? Was it the fact that Wilkie was only hitting leadoff last year because Endy Chavez drew a BB as often as Christopher Reeve? We may never know.
But the new thinking in the organization is that AAA OF Brandon Watson would make a fine leadoff man. The 24 year-old Watson is hitting .367 in New Orleans with 26 stolen bases and an .850 OPS. Left unanswered in this potential roster shake-up is what would happen to Preston Wilson and Ryan Church. If Watson comes up to bat leadoff and play everyday, the Nats would have a brand new overpaid 4th outfielder and a rookie of the year candidate languishing on the bench.
Bethesda's ProFunds Advisors are the latest group to be in serious talks for the naming rights to RFK Stadium. Sure, fine, whatever... we'll take your money. But the deal should be similar to the one in place in Denver, naming rights for the field, but not the stadium. "ProFunds Field at RFK Stadium" fine. "ProFunds Advisors Stadium" not cool.