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How the pieces fit

In a lot of ways, the Nats roster resembles one of those games you'd play in a dentist office waiting room. There are all these sliding pieces, and all the fun is deciding how to compose them. So...

Given the latest -- Lasting Milledge's injury and DL trip -- here is what Manny Acta has decided.

* Roger Bernadina will be given every chance to play regularly in center field and bat leadoff.

* Elijah Dukes will bat third... at least until Ryan Zimmerman can return.

* If Bernadina somehow struggles in center, Dukes is the back-up option there.

* Cristian Guzman will be batting second. "I think Guzman's hitting approach doesn't change at all regardless of where you're hitting him," Manny Acta said. "He's hit well at second earlier in the year and leadoff. This is just the fact that losing Milledge now, in order to make our lineup a little deeper, we need to move those guys."

* As for Zimmerman, good news on that front. Looks like he'll begin swinging a bat next week. The team is encouraged by his progress, and is counting on his return this season. (Which means surgery is looking unlikely.)

And a health note not related to anything immediate...

* Ryan Wagner, recovering from major right shoulder surgery, threw a 45-pitch bullpen session this morning and reported that his arm felt "awesome." He'll likely begin a rehab assignment in the first week of July. "God, it's been so long since I've been able to compete, other than beating my kids in basketball," said Wagner, who hasn't pitched since May 2007."

By Chico Harlan  |  June 29, 2008; 1:28 PM ET
 
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Next: Washington 3, Baltimore 2

Comments

So far they're batting like they've all got hot dates in Florida tonight. Dukes was the only guy to see more than two pitches in that first inning.

Posted by: Capybara | June 29, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

They loaded the bases in the 1st. Men on 1st and 2d w/1 out in the 2d. And you're b!tchin'about the battin'? The rally-killing double plays hit into by Casto and Nieves - I could understand complaining about, but not working the counts when they load the bases?

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Bernardina looking good. Should have had a hit in his 2nd at-bat.

Posted by: LetTeddyWin.com | June 29, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

How do the pieces fit?


"I know the pieces fit cuz I watched them tumble down
No fault, none to blame it doesn't mean I don't desire to
Point the finger, blame the other, watch the temple topple over.
To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication"

Well, maybe Jimbo is to blame.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Bernadina has had two really AB's so far.

Posted by: Pablo | June 29, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

O's exec, waxing poetic
O's doom is sealed with a seal hermetic
Top of the 5th, picked off at second!
Winning at NatsPark tougher than you reckoned!
You're behind-it's a shame-
1-0 against the halt and the lame!

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

flynnie

Your post just made my day!

Posted by: kgwcoach | June 29, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Pride goeth before destruction;
And a haughty spirit before the fall.

If the Nats lose, blame me, but I had to light a candle amidst the stench of O's exec's mephitic gas.

Now I've gotta go to a wedding. So I'm leaving it with you and BALL GIRL-wow! Back-handed! Bring the Nats a win! JBerg is pitching sweet!

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Great pitching by Bergman. This team has to score more runs when they have the opportunity.

Posted by: Ed | June 29, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

BELLY!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | June 29, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

BEEELLLLLIAAAARDDDDDDDDDDDD

Posted by: Jason | June 29, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Ronnie!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Pablo | June 29, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Suck it angelos

Posted by: Big Goob | June 29, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Gotta give props to Da Meat Hook...I know they wanted to pitch around him, but he showed patience at the plate and didn't do anything silly.

Posted by: TimDz | June 29, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

go back to the inner harbor crablovers...walk off kids do it again

Posted by: love | June 29, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Gone!

Posted by: Cabraman | June 29, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Is it ok to suck on it and like it?

Posted by: Joey Eischen's Ghost | June 29, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Suck it angelos

Posted by: Big Goob | June 29, 2008 4:55 PM

===========================================

O's record = 41-39
Nats record = 33-50

Looks like the O's are 8 better in the win column and 11 better in the loss column.

Kudos to the Nats though, the season series ends tied 3-3. Hope taking 2 of 3 from the O's at Nats Park is a highlight for the Nats and the Nats fans in an otherwise very disappointing season.

You all just keep feeding MASN with your cable bill, make sure to eat up plenty of crab cakes too.

Also, on Saturday night the Nats had a record attendance and what did it take to achieve that? It took having the O's come down the road to play. You all try to knock the O's "inflated" attendance numbers b/c of the Sox/Yanks but I'm guess there will be a double standard applied when trying to discuss the O's being responsible for the Nats record attendance.

However, again, kudos to the Nats for a thrilling, dramatic, walk-off win. Walks killed the O's in their past 2 losses and the Nats made sure to take advantage of those situations. Good for them.

Day wasn't a total loss though, Spain/Germany played an exciting EURO final and DCU throttled Posh Spice and Sissy-boy Donovan.

Enjoy the victory and series win Nats fans. You all earned it and deserve it.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

i hope it's not a highlight.

Posted by: Ed | June 29, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

i didnt know people from baltimore could spell all those words

Posted by: love | June 29, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The Orioles series did bring in the biggest attendance of the season, but there's a huge difference between that and when the Yankees or Red Sox go to OPACY. Nats are drawing about 30K anyway, and many of the additional 10K are Nationals fans here for the spectacle. When the Yankees bring in 40,000 to Camden Yards, 30,000 are cheering for New York!

Posted by: nsfw | June 29, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

i didnt know people from baltimore could spell all those words

Posted by: love | June 29, 2008 5:14 PM

=====================================

Well it helps that I'm not actually from Baltimore.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I was at Saturday's game and based on listening to today's game on the radio, I think there were more than 10,000 Orioles fans there, or the 30,000 Nationals fans were just very quiet. Sounds like a double standard of sorts is going to develop in this regard. For the record, I support BOTH teams (except when they play each other) and hate Angelos with a passion, but realize that hating what Angelos did to his own team and to DC Baseball is separate from supporting the Orioles (something others need to learn).

I also think that Nationals fans have a bigger rivalry with the Orioles than vice-versa. I was out of the country in May so I wasn't at the Baltimore games, but having the Oriole bird trip Teddy, get challenged to a race, and lose is childish. The fact it was shown as the game's lone highlight on the scoreboard during the 8th was just sad. While I realize the Nationals aren't in the best of states right now, let's take this up a notch and have a rivalry that is played out on the field, not with mascots and off the field disputes over MASN, Angelos, and anthem performances.

Posted by: OTP | June 29, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Great win for the Nats, and I get to be in Miami tomorrow to watch them play the Marlins. Hoepfully they will have some momentum.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 29, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Hope taking 2 of 3 from the O's at Nats Park is a highlight for the Nats and the Nats fans in an otherwise very disappointing season."
Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 5:01 PM
*******************************************
Disappointing to who, O's exec? Don't project your disappointment on the fans of an expansion team that had nothing to trade and just took two out of three from your uninjured A-team. Why don't you come over 3000 miles in your private jet and we can play leggos and make s'mores to celebrate the victory? In the meantime, we Nats fans will luxuriate in the cool of an evening where heavy-set baseball players, Dmitri and Belly, criticized all year long on this blog for not looking like storm-troopers, gave Our Beloved Nats victory before the year's biggest crowd! To throwback, Ruthian players! To the best 3rd baseman in the Dominican-El Tigre de Licey! To Dmitri, the reigning comeback player of the year! To JBerg! To Manny! To Mr. Bowden, who assembled this team! To Our Nats!

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Ronnie! Ronnie! Ronnie!

A great, great win! The team could've packed it up after last night, but they fought to the last strike and beat a hot club and an excellent closer.

With half the team injured, now Milledge even, the Nats beat an almost completely healthy opponent! DC ties the series, 3-3!

What a great weekend!!!

"To at least pull a tie for our fans, it's tremendous!" -- Manny Acta

How sweet it is!!!

Posted by: Steve | June 29, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing to who, O's exec?

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 5:48 PM

=========================================

Oh c'mon.

If at the beginning of the season someone would say that at this point between the O's and the Nats one team would 2 games over .500 and the other team would be 17 games under .500, most (if not all fans) would've guessed the Nats would be 2 games over and the O's would 17 games under. I seem to recall alot of people on here (taking the lead of MLB talking heads) and predicting the O's would lose 100+ games.

I'm not saying people expected the Nats to be World Series contenders but most (if not all) Nats fans would've expected them to do much better than they currently have.

That's what I'm talking about.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Can't we all just get along. I don't wish the O's ill. I just don't wish them well when they play us. I enjoyed "borrowing" the O's during the '80s and '90s. Baseball finally put things right with a team back in DC. At that very moment, I stopped caring what happened to the O's. Best of luck, just don't beat us. Go Nats.

Posted by: Firpo | June 29, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I just got back from the game, it was a blast. There was some nice O's fans/Nats fans harmony, particularly when all of the O's fans were completely confused by the double switch. I saw several Nats fans patiently explaining its nuances to grateful, semi-drunken O's fans. It was real nice.

Posted by: natty by nature | June 29, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Overall good harmony tho I did have two boorish O's fans nearby who felt the need to drop the f-bomb periodically - apparently something O's can't do at OPACY.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 29, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game. I noticed the comments about the Baltimore vs Nats fans. Yes the Baltimore morons sounded loud but most of the ones that I encountered were drunk.

Posted by: Jay | June 29, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

The insecurity of the O's fanbase is simply astounding.

Posted by: Hector Camacho | June 29, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

NattyDelite, I miss your comments on the Nationals Journal since you were flamed by O's Exec. Here he is again, trying to hog the spotlight rather than let it gleam in the cool of the evening on this wonderful Nats team. So, in honor of the attention-starved O's exec, here he is in one of the least gracious moments to ever pollute this Journal.
*********************************************


And guys, not to be the moral compass here, but let's avoid flaming people, even O's fans. I happen to find O's Exec to be pretty witty and funny. Just laugh with some of the inane things he says, and then laugh at him for living in or around Baltimore.

And then really laugh hard because of the owner of that franchise.

I also confess to still following the O's ever-so-slightly (basically until they don't have Roberts or Markakis anymore). You may commence raising my effigies.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | June 13, 2008 4:16 PM
*****************************************

Thanks for sticking up for me buddy, pal. Wanna come over tonight and make smores or play legos?

However, I do live about 3000 miles west of Baltimore. You got your own personal plane right?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 13, 2008 5:46 PM

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how that is "least gracious" as you put it. I'm betting most people found it funny.

Sorry dude, but you take yourself and this blog way to serious flynnie.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Shocked by magnanimous post by O's Exec. Is it human after all? Kudos to both teams for this Genesis of a rilvalry. The Teddy-Bird HTH last night was totally contrived of course but still a hoot. Great atomosphere this weekend. If it takes O's fans to fill Nationals Park (ala Bosoax and Yankees fans at OPACY) then so be it. Nat's fans need to accept the challenge.

Posted by: NatMan | June 29, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I was being genuine in thanking him for sticking up for me.

Also I do like to eat smores and wish I was still a kid so I could justify playing with legos.

And if he offered to fly me from So-Cal to DC (either on his own personal plane, if he has one, or on any commercial flight) I'd gladly accept.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Shocked by magnanimous post by O's Exec. Is it human after all? Kudos to both teams for this Genesis of a rilvalry. The Teddy-Bird HTH last night was totally contrived of course but still a hoot. Great atomosphere this weekend. If it takes O's fans to fill Nationals Park (ala Bosoax and Yankees fans at OPACY) then so be it. Nat's fans need to accept the challenge.

Posted by: NatMan | June 29, 2008 7:26 PM

===========================================

See what I don't get is that in both the Nats 2 wins this series I game them alot of credit and kudos. I complimented them for jumping on mistakes the O's made. The O's mistakes (lack of timely hitting, getting picked off base numerous times, failure to work counts, walks issued by the pitching staff, etc.) and the Nats made them pay. Just like Saturday night when the O's made the Nats pay for the mistakes the Nats made.

I'd venture a good guess that had the O's won 2 of 3 in this series Nats fans wouldn't be giving the O's credit like I have for the Nats.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Here you go O's Exec: Props to the O's for surprising all their 100+ loss naysayers. Plenty of pop in their bats and a big improvement in the bullpen. I was watching P O's batting practice last night and was impressed by all of the RF upper deckers. The hit parade continued after gaemtime. Please whack the Yankess at every oppotnity. Too bad the Nat's injuries have prevented a true HTH competition. Looking forward to 2009 Battle of the Beltways. Will you please take F. Lopez now? Will take a bag of balls and 2 maple bats.

Posted by: NatMan | June 29, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Of course we wouldn't credit the O's because we're not trying to curry favor with you. We don't care about you.

Posted by: Everybody | June 29, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks flynnie, I actually didn't disappear because of that comment. I didn't even consider it a "flaming" to be honest. It's just tricky because I recently moved, and the time difference is about 6 hours from National Standard Time.

For the record, I too dig lego's and smores. Although I'm not sure how long that would hold up if I was doing them with O's Exec...

I'm excited to see what Bernadina can do. Does anyone think he's only got the call up because JMax is injured? The kid's line is pretty legit.

Also, JBergs, dunno if you still read the blog but, you were pro-awesome tonight.

And if anyone on this blog has a private jet...please get me to DC and take me to a game.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | June 29, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

That *was* a great win. In fact, it is destined to become one of my all-time favorites, methinks. And it deflated the O's fans in our seating area quite nicely, thank you very much.

Re. Manny's comments, it was a tie for the season series but the Nats lead the O's in games played since 2006 (10-8 if I recall correctly).

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 29, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks flynnie, I actually didn't disappear because of that comment. I didn't even consider it a "flaming" to be honest. It's just tricky because I recently moved, and the time difference is about 6 hours from National Standard Time.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | June 29, 2008 8:04 PM

==========================================

Looks like once again flynnie is wrong. What else is new. Trying to create conflict where there is none.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Nothing on Lopez yet. Are we stuck with him? Funny - I thought he would be a good pickup for the O's. He needs a change of scene and the O's are playing better baseball right now. On the other hand Trembley is less patient than Acta.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 29, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Also, how cool was it that Hanrahan got the W in the midst of his flood fundraising efforts?

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 29, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

And, could Belliard's reaction to hitting the homerun have been any more bush league? C'mon buddy act like you've been there before. Walking 1/2 way down the 1st baseline and than spitting. Are you serious?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he thought it might go foul?

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 29, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec

I noticed Belliard's reaction . He certainly did pose. He looked like a bit of punk. The only thing that ran through my mind was that I was glad it was not Dukes. I hope Dukes did not see it.

Posted by: mjames | June 29, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he thought it might go foul?

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 29, 2008 8:23 PM

=========================================

Possibly but than explain the spit and stare at Sherrill.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

"but having the Oriole bird trip Teddy, get challenged to a race, and lose is childish."

just remember, the only way that happens is if both the nats *AND* the Os agree to it.

i don't root against the Os unless they're playing the nats. while i'm not the Os fan i was 10 yrs ago, i still wish them well (except angelos, who i hope disappears from baseball).

and i enjoy Os exec when he's being witty, altho i don't enjoy either side of the "mine is bigger" arguments.

Posted by: 231 | June 29, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

mackowiak's now a red minor league player.

"THIS ISN'T one that's going to frighten the bejeezus out of the Chicago Cubs, but general manager Walt Jocketty admitted, "We're short of bodies at Louisville." So he signed 32-year-old journeyman Rob Mackowiak to a minor-league contract. He took batting practice in Toledo with the Class AAA Bats Saturday."

Posted by: 231 | June 29, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I didn't pick up on a Belliard reaction but my seat was not close to home plate.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 29, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

On an O's note, I did think that Huff's snag of the line drive was impressive.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 29, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I didn't pick up on a Belliard reaction but my seat was not close to home plate.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 29, 2008 8:45 PM

===========================================

Here ya go:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200806293029671

Enjoy watching Ronnie go deep (again) and than watch his reaction about 1:08 into the clip. Class act all the way.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't get this whole "act like a walk-off home run is nothing" etiquette. I can see how ball players themselves might affect a poker-faced demeanor, because it's a really long season in a game predicated on failure.
That's a choice; I don't criticize it, I just don't happen to share it.

This is not the Special Olympics, it's a competition, a zero-sum game. I like winning, and I get a thrill out of beating a skilled opponent. It's an inherently confrontational situation. He gets me sometimes, and then *he* gloats. I really hate that, but the way to avoid it is to not let him beat me, not complain when somebody hurts my widdle ducky feewings.


Posted by: And of *all* people to complain about taunting and gloating! | June 29, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Not too classy - tho Belliard is a spitter. He always seems to be chewing sunflower husks. Watch him. Not too sure that the spit was directed at Sherrill, but the cocky strut was showmanship.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 29, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't get this whole "act like a walk-off home run is nothing" etiquette. I can see how ball players themselves might affect a poker-faced demeanor, because it's a really long season in a game predicated on failure.
That's a choice; I don't criticize it, I just don't happen to share it.

This is not the Special Olympics, it's a competition, a zero-sum game. I like winning, and I get a thrill out of beating a skilled opponent. It's an inherently confrontational situation. He gets me sometimes, and then *he* gloats. I really hate that, but the way to avoid it is to not let him beat me, not complain when somebody hurts my widdle ducky feewings.

Posted by: And of *all* people to complain about taunting and gloating! | June 29, 2008 9:33 PM

========================================

Oh please, if the tables were turned and it was an Oriole who did that against a Nat most people in here would be up in arms.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

They might very well be. I would disagree with them in that.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 29, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

and have done, repeatedly, come to think of it.
----
They might very well be. I would disagree with them in that.

Posted by: | June 29, 2008 9:39 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 29, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Mais "Hypocrisie est un hommage que la vice rend à la vertu."

Posted by: so who's surprised. | June 29, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"Also, how cool was it that Hanrahan got the W in the midst of his flood fundraising efforts?"

Cool indeed, and it reminds me: the handle "Hanrafhan" was awesome, hats off for that one, I keep forgetting to mention that.

O's Exec, this was a great series, we got to see some well played baseball this weekend - by both teams in 2 out of the 3! I've enjoyed going back and forth with you, but I ain't going to stand up for you right now, because you got so many good digs in this week, it's your turn to take a couple, friend.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 29, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

So, how you say ... oh yes!
"Ownage is complete!"
Thankyouverymuch.

Posted by: I wait long time for this... | June 29, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

So, how you say ... oh yes!
"Ownage is complete!"
Thankyouverymuch.

Posted by: I wait long time for this... | June 29, 2008 9:48 PM

==========================================

Exactly how is "ownage complete"? Each team split the season series 3 games apiece. The O's took advantage of Nats mistakes to win games and the Nats took advantage of O's mistakes to win games.

And yes 506 it was an entertaining week but you know me I'm sticking around all year long to rep my O's. I ain't going nowhere. I look forward to the upcoming battle raps.

My weekend was still highlighted by going to see Snoop Dogg and 311, sneaking booze into the venue, the smell of the venue (gotta love the smell of 50,000+ sparking the sticky-icky-icky), coming home and finding out the O's slaughtered the Nats Saturday night and than waking up butt-early to see DCU trounce Posh Spice's team. Even George Sherirll and the O's Sunday losing streak couldn't spoil that.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Loved the comments from Manny Acta and Dave Trembley ("the other local team") - showed respect, class, dignity for one another. Two good managers, two better men.

Acta's held together what could have been a disaster. To win this series with Zim, Kearns, Johnson, Hill, Cordero down and then Milledge joining them and Lopez in another season-long funk was a great accomplishment.

Take Baltimore's #1 starter, closer, 3B, 1B, RF, CF, LF, C and put Roberts in a .250-funk/slump and their record might be quite similar to the Nats. Heck, do that to any team in baseball and they would suffer. Look what's happened to Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle (closer hurt, Bedard not 100%), Colorado (Tulo out until now), etc., etc. with all their injuries.

To hold serve with Baltimore this year, with the team we have now in DC, is something to savor, especially the wonderful way it happened -- one strike away...then victory! How sweet it is!!

I think we got us a rivalry now!!

Posted by: Steve | June 29, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Husband & I are going over to Cincinnati (our hometown) this week to visit family & see the Nats play the Reds -- we have tix for two of the games. Will be rooting for both teams but hope the Nats walk away with at least a split of the series! Cincy has been struggling too this season so the games might be somewhat of an even match-up. I'm wondering if the racing Presidents will make the trip to Cincy, at least for the game on the 4th of July ... haven't they been at a couple of road games this year?

Posted by: M. Carroll, Springfield | June 29, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Down to the final strike of the final at bat, down one run, bottom of the 12th, having given up the winning run in the top of the 12th and needing two to win, with Buck Martinez in the announcer's booth going on about how George Sherrill would make history with this save, Chico Harlan tell the rest. It reads sweet.

"Given the dilemma, Belliard, hitless in his last 13 at-bats, saw only one option. A home run, and nothing else, would enable Young to score without difficulty. A home run would free the Nationals from entering another stage of a depleting game.

"He knew what he had to do," Young said.

So Belliard looked for one thing: A slider, inside.

After two pitches, Belliard was behind 0-2. One more pitch, and Baltimore could clinch a series win; Adam Jones's 12th-inning single off Joel Hanrahan could stand as the game-winner. Then, with the count 1-2 to Belliard, Sherrill tried an outside fastball. Most on the Baltimore side believed the pitch brushed the corner; plate umpire Ron Kulpa disagreed. "Yeah," Sherrill said, asked if he thought the pitch was a strike.

Next pitch, Belliard saw what he wanted -- a slider inside. He unloaded, took two or three slow steps toward first base, let a wad of spit fly, and began his home run trot.

"I got lucky," Belliard later said. "I got lucky."

Several lockers away, Young overheard the explanation. With that came a rebuttal.

"He didn't get lucky!" Young bellowed. "He didn't get lucky!"

Posted by: flynnie | June 30, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

It was the most satisfying win at Nationals Park since Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off home run in the season opener - and Nationals manager Manny Acta called it.

With Dmitri Young on first and two outs and Belliard behind in the count 1-2, Washington pitching coach Randy St. Claire said he turned to Acta in the Nationals' dugout and predicted Sherrill would throw Belliard a slider.

"And Manny said, 'And he is going to hit it out of the yard.' And he did it," St. Claire recalled.

Thom Lovarro, Washington Times,Bragging rights don't leave D.C.

Posted by: flynnie | June 30, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

from mlbtraderumours...

==

A's To Sign Michel Inoa
By Tim Dierkes [June 29 at 10:55pm CST]

According to John Manuel of Baseball America, the A's have reached an agreement with 16 year-old Dominican righty Michel Inoa. He'll receive a $4.25MM signing bonus, a record for an international amateur (excluding Cuban defectors). Manuel reports that the Yankees had a tentative deal in place for $2.7MM at one point but agent Adam Katz stepped in and raised the price.

This signing is akin to drafting a top high school player here in the states, only Inoa is younger. Oakland's farm system has improved drastically in the last year or so.

Posted by: 231 | June 30, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm up.

Posted by: FYI | June 30, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Nothing to do with the teams, just you, personally.
____________
Exactly how is "ownage complete"?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 10:11 PM

Posted by: You lost. | June 30, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The 12 inning version

O's exec, waxing poetic
O's doom is sealed with a seal hermetic
Top of the 5th, picked off at second!
Bottom of the 12th tougher than you reckoned!
Belliard homers! O's lose the game!
3-2 against the halt and the lame!

Posted by: flynnie | June 30, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Maggie | July 1, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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