Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Matt Chico: Some good, some bad

Dodgers lead the Nats 3-0 in the middle of the third. Chico allowed a leadoff single in teh first, but then struck out Delwyn Young and got Andre Ethier to ground into a double play.

He then -- shockingly, for a Nats pitcher -- walked Andruw Jones to lead off the second. Nomar Garciaparra followed with a double, one lined hard to left-center. Jones scored on Mark Sweeney's grounder, and Dodgers first baseman Lindsey grounded an RBI single up the middle to make it 2-0.

In the third, with two outs, Ethier laid into a fastball from Chico and sent it out to right to make it 3-0.

Chico's line: 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Another lefty, though, had an impressive outing here today. Veteran Odalis Perez, signed to a minor league deal earlier in the month, is having issues getting a work visa here in the U.S., meaning he can't yet play in games which people pay to see. So he threw his first outing over at accelerated minor-league camp.

Perez was sharp in his three innings, retiring all nine hitters he faced, throwing first-pitch strikes to the first seven. He struck out four -- including Aaron Boone (over there getting at-bats as he rehabs a knee injury). He threw 36 pitches to get through the three innings, and 30 of them were strikes. I was sitting right behind the plate, and to the untrained eye, his changeup is darn deceptive. Way too much for the minor league kids.

Jim Bowden is anxious to get Perez's visa issues straightened out so we can see him in an actual game, but this was a nice first step.

Esteban Loaiza for the Dodgers: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HB (Milledge)

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 1:48 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video Spotlight: (Even More) Shawn Hill
Next: A little night baseball

Comments

Good update for us at work. Thanks Barry.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Always wanted to say this on the Skins chats but never could...

First!

Posted by: svxcountry | March 4, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Milledge just cracked another double, knocking in Whitesell (walked) and Guzman (single). Game tied 3-3 in bottom of third. Zim now up ...

Posted by: e | March 4, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

well that stinks...nevermind then

Posted by: svxcountry | March 4, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Bob Carpenter is in mid-season form. Zim flies out to medium-depth right field. But if you listened to Carpenter, you'd have thought he hit it all the way to Cape Canaveral.

Posted by: e | March 4, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Here's a difference between the 2008 Nats and 2007:

One out, second and third, full count to Lastings Milledge. Pop up foul on the first base side, but the Dodgers drop the ball for an error. Milledge hits the next pitch for a two run single, advancing to second on the throw.

That doesn't happen in 2007.


Now 3-3

Posted by: Wigi | March 4, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

If you're over at the Clark Construction site, check out 11:46. Welcome home, indeed.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 4, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Barry: So does it look like no room for A Boone and the rule 5s - GGuzman and Whitney? I think you were saying expect some cuts today. Probably too soon for the Rule 5s to be offered back. Other than Screech, who looks like an endangered species?

(Actually, I think bald eagles are no longer endangered - merely threatened. And if you read this blog, Screech is threatened every few posts, but sadly, is not really endangered)

Posted by: jon (lower case) | March 4, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Yup Chico is in mid season form already.....sure glad we did not "overpay" for any Vets like Livo or even Estban........

Posted by: JayB | March 4, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

why wouldn't mlb offer a free preview of mlb.tv in order to entice us? I honestly would never order it because I can't be guaranteed it'll work on my computer unless I see it. Just a preseason game guys...oh well. Go Nats.

Posted by: svxcountry | March 4, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The site is a little slow at updating posts, svx, but I'm sure that you'll make it one of these times.

---

well that stinks...nevermind then

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 4, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Barry, do the Nats have a specific person that deals with the VISAs and international issues. It seems like there are a lot more problems than there should be. They don't seem like complicated cases. Do other teams have this problem?

Posted by: Shoulda used AMEX | March 4, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

My apologies to all those 20 gamers and folks in the general public out there that didn't get Opening Day Tickets.

Because we lost the $4.2 million law suit to the District we had to find some cash fast to pay for the uniformed personnel (players, ticket takers, ushers, etc.) in our organization therefore, we took a good number of Opening Day tickets and put them on Stub Hub ourselves, skipping the middle man.

Once again, we sincerely apoloigize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We hope you understand that there is no loyalty in business.

Please remember to "Pledge Your Allegiance" and sign up for Full Season Ticket Plan in the Presidential or PNC Diamond Club seats today!


Posted by: The Lerner Family & Stan | March 4, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I think that bald eagles may have been delisted, jon, so that they are no longer classified as either endangered or threatened.

But we have our eyes on you, Screech. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 4, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

one of these days...

Posted by: svxcountry | March 4, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

WMP with an outfield assist to home plate. Throw beats the runner home by two steps. WOW!

Posted by: e | March 4, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Turned on the game for five seconds to see Wily Mo field a one-hop line drive to left and gun down a runner at the plate.

Dat's all I needed to see today to make me happy. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | March 4, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

oof, Esteban. I think of him, and I all that comes to mind is first place in the NL East, with poor Loaiza pitching his guts out with no run support. Imagine what we could have done with him if we'd had a little mass production back in '05.

Gosh, I miss that guy.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 4, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Tim Tolman in mid-season form...

Posted by: swanni | March 4, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Guzman on second. One out. Milledge slaps a single to right. Tolman sends Guzman. Easy out at home. Sigh. Same old, same old.

Posted by: e | March 4, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

i think tolman was just trying to make the dodgers' 3b coach feel better. the gut wmp threw out never had a chance and shouln't have been sent, either.

oh, and a 2nd great play by zimmerman.

Posted by: 231 | March 4, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

They just said on WTOP that there are OD tickets remaining, but you have to purchase a game plan in order to get them (i.e., they are holding them in reserve).

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 4, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"They just said on WTOP that there are OD tickets remaining, but you have to purchase a game plan in order to get them (i.e., they are holding them in reserve)."

Yep. I found a block of four 81 game seats in CF Lounge, a block of five 81 game seats in IF Gallery, and a pair of 41 game seats in RF mezzanine. Then I quit looking. I bet there are a couple hundred such seats held back for ST purchases throughout the park. My guess is that if they don't sell as season tickets the club will just hand them out as freebies to construction workers or other VIPs on Opening Day, rather than selling them to the general public.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 4, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

From MLBtraderumors.com:

"A small note from SI.com's Jon Heyman:

The Mets appear to be looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder to platoon with Ryan Church."

Wow. Ryan's opportunity to play every day didn't last long.

Posted by: Positively Half St | March 4, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"My guess is that if they don't sell as season tickets the club will just hand them out as freebies to construction workers or other VIPs on Opening Day, rather than selling them to the general public."

As well they should. Or, more accurately, as well they should be doing anyway, instead of trying to make another buck. But what do we expect? No point in buying season tickets now if you don't get Opening Day.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 4, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Wow. Ryan's opportunity to play every day didn't last long."

That's because he isn't very good. He put up significantly better numbers when he was playing five days a week, remember?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 4, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

More than a couple hundred I suspect. If there were 18,000 full STH packages sold (per Stan's earlier comment) and only 4,000 OD tickets were available to the public today (per the Post article online), that still leaves a sizable number that could be available for ST holders. Which only makes sense -- it's still almost a month until OD, why would they decide to cease selling ST packages now? As a novice STH myself I'm not sure when they stop selling packages, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could still get them even a little after OD.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 4, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Barry (and Tom):

I'm a bit surprised you all are not at National Park with your tape measurer today. Home plate is now in place so you can now get an accurate measurement to the fences - or did Jim Bowden confiscate your tape measurer while you were at RFK?

Posted by: HD Nat Fan | March 4, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I dont' think that the tape measure would reach from Florida. ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 4, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

post typed, hit submit
punctuation mark transposed
wait! too late, it's gone

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 4, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

1a, did you really compose that haiku inside of two minutes? I think you planned that! If not, kudos.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 4, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Not planned, just off the cuff.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 4, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I like how the first line is clipped and orderly, and rhymes, and then the second line goes faster and reads like a wave as things get a little out of control (resulting in the transposed mark), then the clipped realization that stops the wave ("wait!"), and then the trailer as the sent message goes off into cyberspace (and no period after gone, it's not stopping, it's out there forever). It reads like you put some thought into it.

OK, that was only a little OT.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 4, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

They will, but not this early. Look for it (free preview) the last week of spring training, first three weeks of the regular season.
---------------
why wouldn't mlb offer a free preview of mlb.tv in order to entice us? I honestly would never order it because I can't be guaranteed it'll work on my computer unless I see it. Just a preseason game guys...oh well. Go Nats.

Posted by: svxcountry | March 4, 2008 02:22 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | March 4, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Haikus are easy
But sometimes the don't make sense
Refrigerator

Posted by: Anonymous | March 4, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Check out 2:07 on the construction cam. They've had a stealth screen on the right field wall all this time! You can also see all the other video strips between seat levels.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 4, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that's the out of town scoreboard.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 4, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

JD posted her pics from today....as always, impressive.

Posted by: Corey | March 4, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

What's with the red seats in left center? Did they run out of blue ones? Or is that where they're going to quarantine the Filly fans?

Posted by: joebleux | March 4, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"What's with the red seats in left center? Did they run out of blue ones? Or is that where they're going to quarantine the Filly fans?"

Those are the Red Porch seats, which provide the name for the Red Porch Restaurant behind them. Centerfield Club, Centerfield Lounge and Batter's Eye Box sections. They've been running ads for season ticket plans there for several weeks now.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 4, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Pre Dukes, I had pushed for signing Kielty as a platoon for Church because, while he is nominally a switch hitter, he has extreme left / right splits (kills lefties, flails v righties). Another guy perhaps for the Mets to look at would be the loser of the Shannon Stewart / Reed Johnson battle mentioned in ESPN's Grapefruit league position battles posting.

Posted by: jon (lower case) | March 4, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I mean

Posted by: Pre Milledge | March 4, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Nats home page says they will be giving behind the scene tours on days when the Nats are not playing. Says there is a fee for this tour, but doesn't say how much. Anyone know how much they're planning to charge for this tour?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | March 4, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Loverro has the news that Ross Detwiler was among the first players "cut" or re-assigned to minor league camp. Any other names?

Posted by: Brian | March 4, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Sure helps to have your columnist working full time in Spring Training eh Barry?

Times is really coming on strong this year...fix that so called blog and I'm gone. I Know that is music to many of your ears but I will welcome you all over there once Barry is gone from here....

Posted by: JayB | March 4, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Shoulda signed Livo or Loaiza...

Loaiza was a free agent after the 2005 season. He signed with Oakland after the 2005 season (3 yr deal I believe) and is making $7 mil this season. He's playing for the Dodgers because the A's WAIVED him. Dodgers made a claim during the waiver period and he was traded for a six pack of Pabst. First spring appearance: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER. 2007 ERA was over 8.00.

Livo - first spring start - 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER

Both look like gems to me...

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 4, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

hey barry,
if we're doing questions for players still, can you get someone to ask Kearns why his shoulder is flying open on his swing, and why Lenny hasn't worked with him on that. I've noticed this last year, and it's going on still. His hands are slow, and his front shoulder flies open. So, you know, ask him that. thanks.

Posted by: jon | March 4, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Time will tell but my feeling is by the end of the year both Livo and Loaiza will have better ERA's and more innings pitched than Hill, Patterson and Chico (on average).

Posted by: JayB | March 4, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

That wouldnt surprise me either, especially the innings pitched.

The question then is, how would Livo or another other pitcher who could have been signed during the offseason at 1 year for multiple millions compare to O Perez or Lannan or Steve Shell or any of the other cheap alternatives used to offset the innings loss by potential Patterson/Hill injuries?

Why spend $5 mil when you can get similar results for less than $1 mil?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 4, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

JD posted her pics from today....as always, impressive.

Posted by: Corey | March 4, 2008 04:39 PM

================
Ooops! I'm out. See you over on JDland.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 4, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

JD posted her pics from today....as always, impressive.

Posted by: Corey | March 4, 2008 04:39 PM

================
Ooops! I'm out. See you over on JDland.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 4, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

JD posted her pics from today....as always, impressive.

Posted by: Corey | March 4, 2008 04:39 PM

================
Ooops! I'm out. See you over on JDland.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 4, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

JD posted her pics from today....as always, impressive.

Posted by: Corey | March 4, 2008 04:39 PM

================
Ooops! I'm out. See you over on JDland.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 4, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

JD posted her pics from today....as always, impressive.

Posted by: Corey | March 4, 2008 04:39 PM

================
Ooops! I'm out. See you over on JDland.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 4, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

JayB-
"Times is really coming on strong this year...fix that so called blog and I'm gone. "

I agree, but what's wrong with their blog, in your opinion? I don't mind it too much.

Posted by: MrMadison | March 4, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

LDO: Good point about Loaiza. Hard to imagine how Jimbo missed this one:

"(AP) OAKLAND, Calif. -- Athletics pitcher Esteban Loaiza faced drunken driving and speeding charges after exceeding 120 mph on a freeway in his Ferrari, prosecutors said Thursday.

Loaiza, 34, was jailed early Wednesday after he failed a sobriety test near San Lorenzo, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Wright. He was released from jail later that day."

Posted by: joebleux | March 4, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how giving innings to two guys in their mid to late 30's is ever better than giving innings to three guys in their 20's - particularly for a team like the Nats.

It's not a question of how to spend the money. It's simply a question of building a roster for the long term.

Posted by: #4 | March 4, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I just watched Barry's video piece and noticed his hat. That ain't right...

Posted by: TimDz | March 4, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

No worries TimDz. We covered this a few posts ago. It's for Brown college. His wife's alma mater. Very neutral.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I meant University.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I have a question that's probably dumb and may have too broad an answer, but it's got me thinking. Say a pitcher knows, and is told often, throw more first pitch strikes, quit walking guys. But he's still missing on the strikes and still walking guys.

At this level, shoot-even AA level, surely they've figured out how to hit the strike zone, right? So it must be some very subtle, pinpoint nuances that are causing the problems. What are some of those those nuances? Nerves? unexpected movement in the pitch? I mean, (and I'm not being facetious here), do they ever just throw and hope for the best?

Everything we read from the players sounds so obvious "i just gotta throw more strikes" or "I gotta get 'em down in the zone" Well. Duh. But what's really going on?

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Natsnut:

My take on your question is this. Pitchers are never trying to just "throw strikes." Really they are trying to hit a spot no wider or taller than the size of two or three baseballs. Missing by just three inches means the difference between throwing a strike, getting hit hard, or missing the zone completely. As pitchers move up, their margin for error decreases. In other words, some pitches in the zone that missed the spot don't get hit by less talented hitters. When a guy gets to be big leagues, those pitches get hit causing him to try to be more fine. He then misses the zone more and ends up in the situation you've described.

It can be either mechanical or mental -- sometimes both. The bottom line is that the best hitters in the world will expose their weaknesses quickly.

Posted by: #4 | March 4, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The other thing I would add is that MLB pitchers are amazing athletes, regardless of the physical condition some of them may appear to be in. Their ability to repeat a motion over and over again in order to have the pinpoint control they need requires incredible tendon strength and balance. Their bio-mechanics must be nearly flawless. Some of the "I just need to throw more strikes" comes down to mechanical adjustments a guy needs to improve his command and his ability to repeat the motion.

Posted by: #4 | March 4, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

JayB -- you contribute nothing here except misguided bile. Go elsewhere asap, good riddance.

Posted by: JayB's Stepmom | March 4, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

#4. That's precisely what I meant. Makes a lot more sense. Thanks for that.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Misguided or not,
any bile's unwelcome
Batter up - bang-zoom.

Posted by: G. Thompson (MIBs haiku name) | March 5, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

As #4 ably points out, it's not just throwing bp, they're still trying to get someone out.
Sometimes it is physical, like Chico sailing one over the dugout last year("I want you to hit the mascot."), but more subtle -- after about 60 feet, tiny differences get expanded considerably.
Think about bowling -- totally repetitive, same motion (on the first ball, anyway), the pins are always in the same place (approximately) and configuration, no one is trying to stop you or hit the ball, and yet 300 games are still a big deal.
Most power pitchers take a long time learning to "take something off" a pitch, trusting that they don't have to operate at the extremes of their ability to succeed (a novel concept for most of them).
**********
Everything we read from the players sounds so obvious "i just gotta throw more strikes" or "I gotta get 'em down in the zone" Well. Duh. But what's really going on?
Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 10:05 PM

Posted by: CE | March 5, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company