Per Nats' Director of Baseball Media Relations Mike Gazda:
[T]here are plenty of good seats available for Stephen Strasburg's start tomorrow vs. FLA... [T]here are a lot of fans who have been shutout from seeing Strasburg pitch (because of sellouts), but they have a chance to get tix tomorrow since he is coming off the DL and word has been slow to spread.If they're pushing this hard, they're probably 99.44% sure that Stephen won't be scratched in warm-ups in favor of Miguel Batista this time. Mister Irrelevant, who's also hawking tickets to the game, notes that Strasmas ticket prices are slowly returning to normal. So this would be a good time to see the phenom in action. Consider the word spread.
In other news...
These Things Have a Way of Working Themselves Out: Detwiler to the DL, Stammen to the 'pen, and all of a sudden the Nats' glut of starting pitching has thinned considerably. Note that thinned is not a synonym for improved.
Five Fighting For Future: The Zucker Man has his list of 5 Nats to watch in the season's waning months. For my money, the only truly interesting name of the list is Michael Morse, who has about 8 weeks to play himself out of a career as a platoon outfielder/bench bat. I'm working on a little piece for later this week about the great Morse/Bernadina/Maxwell cage match shaping up in August and September.
The Spirit is Willing, But the Ham is Weak: Speaking of the outfield, Josh Willingham's 2nd half slump (and it's potential impact on the lineup) has become a topic of muted concern. In truth though, the Hammer's "slump" from his hot start dates to the beginning of June, and shows no sign of letting up. If Adam Dunn is playing himself into a multi-year contract, Josh could be playing himself out of one, and putting LF back in play for the Nats in 2011 and beyond. Hmmm... do we know any free agent left fielders?
Dear National Media, Please Go Away: There was a time when I would have welcomed any mention made of the Nats from beyond the boundaries of the DMV. But we have Strasburg now, so I'm over the desperate need for attention phase. Now I'm firmly with Harper in the "stop plugging my team into your generic story generator" camp. Mike Rizzo turns Matt Capps into Wilson Ramos and change and unloads the Guz, but "loses" the trade deadline because he didn't jettison Adam Dunn for Daniel Hudson and a handful of magic beans? Spare me. Exactly who are all these people that have it on good authority that the Nats won't offer Dunn arbitration and "risk" paying him $15-16M next season? Go bother some other mid-market team. Isn't there a Prince Fielder to the Red Sox non-rumor you people should be busy inflating?