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Nothing to worry about?

May 22, 2010, 4:35 AM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Scott Olsen was pulled after three innings and faces an uncertain future.

They all insisted afterward — after this 5-3 loss to the worst team in baseball, after the left-hander who had been so good for the last month departed with shoulder tightness, after they dropped their seventh game in seven days (don't forget that doubleheader in Colorado) — everything will be fine. There's nothing to be worried about.

Jim Riggleman: "Not the least bit."

Willie Harris: "We're on a little skid, but I don't think it's serious."

Miguel Batista: "It's not a big deal."

OK, so clearly the Nationals clubhouse isn't concerned. But are you? Are you concerned that this team has scored a total of 25 runs over its last eight games? Are you concerned that its once-promising record now stands at 21-22, below .500 for the first time since April 15? Are you concerned that Scott Olsen, 10 months removed from surgery to repair a torn labrum, felt his shoulder tighten up while warming in the bullpen before tonight's game?

And this: Are you concerned that the high point of the 2010 season came and went last Thursday in Denver, when the Nats were 20-15 and leading the NL wild-card race?

OK, maybe that last point is a bit extreme. There's far too much baseball left to be played, and there's a certain young right-hander getting ready to make his big-league debut, to declare everythingRead more »

  1. PDowdy83 - May 22, 2010 at 6:31 AM

    Ummm, Willie, wouldn't that be the definition of a rut?

  2. natscan reduxit - May 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    … according to Goessling over at MASN, I-Rod said after the game, "I was just screaming at him in the bullpen, 'Are you OK? Are you OK?' He didn't say anything to me. … "I knew there was something wrong with him."… come on Ivan. You're a veteran, you're a pro. If you had your suspicions, why did't you go tell Riggs before the game started? Just asking …Go Nats!!

  3. Bote Man - May 22, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Another page in the chapter "Manly Men Do Not Cry Out In Pain", and look where that got us. Thanks for playing!At least Wee Willie got it half right: the Nats are not in a rut so much as they were playing above their abilities for a time. Now they might very well be reverting to their mean. Ivan's fall to Earth was expected. Bernadina's sudden power surge might not have been, but could be as much a product of luck as ability; too soon to tell with him.I see Zimmerman horked another of his patented off-line throws to 1B last night. Silver Slugger, Golden Glove, but Awful Arm.While this team is fun to watch with its triple plays, ItPHRs, and all, I seriously doubt anybody will be talking the Nationals' Wild Card chances come September. And yes, I know that the Great Savior is coming. Still…

  4. JayB - May 22, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Olsen is a major head case. Just a very long list of things to not like about his make up. Chain smoking to fan baiting. He will not be in a Rizzo clubhouse too long after this year.RIGGS is out managing himself lately. Mike Morse get NO AB in that game but LIVO DOES!?!?! That is just plain stupid. A run in the 3rd inning is just as important as one in the 9th.

  5. Section 222 - May 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    I can kind of see him wanting to save his bench until later in the game, but did they bring up Morse to replace Taveras as the only guy who doesn't really play? Come on Riggs. At least pinch hit him for 1-5 Harris (ok, the 1 was a homer, but still) the last time around.

  6. 320R2S15 - May 22, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    I agree completely, Livo instead of a real hitter. If I were an Orioles fan, that move would be considered an insult. Maybe it was, but if not, it is the first dumb move I've seen Riggs make this year. Reminds me of Frank allowing the pitcher hit, then replacing him in the next half. I think Frank did that 4 or 5 times in his last year.

  7. JayB - May 22, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Riggs has a major flaw. He is just too loyal to vet players. It will be his undoing here at some point down the road. Right now he is soooo much better on most every measure of a manager than Acta this Achilles heel is not an issue. In a year or two he is gone because he just can not bring himself to give new talent major roles. That is still years given the state of our minor league position prospects.

  8. K.D. - May 22, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    It's okay for the fans to worry, not okay for the players to worry. So much of baseball is confidence, do you want them pressing? If Pudge's batting .322, calling great games, being solid defensively is considered falling I'll take it in a heartbeat. I'm also a Tigers fan and Detroit fans are worrying over pitching, men left on base, etc. Nobody is ever totally happy with their ball club, just ask the Red Sox fans:)

  9. yankish2 - May 22, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    If Riggs "won't give new talent major roles" then who was the manager that put Desmond at short and moved a vet to 2nd base and even right field? And what is the status of the guy playing right field regularly the last 3 weeks or so? All managers want to play veterans since you know what they can do at the major league level. Rookies are potential. The run Storen gave up last night in the 8th was huge. At AAA, he probably would have pitched that inning 1-2-3.But Riggs pitched the rookie.

  10. JayB - May 22, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Rizzo is making those decisions not Riggs….Every Chance Riggs gets he plays the vet over a rookie unless Rizzo tells him he has to….in the case of Ian and Storen….Rizzo is running the show…..Riggs plays Harris when ever he can get away with it….Not a big issue now really because Riggs is just SO much better about getting the Defense and Fundamentals to a place of priority. Down the road….we shall see how Rizzo likes him giving Willie Harris all the time he can get him.

  11. Anonymous - May 22, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Can someone help me understand why they allow Zim to keep making the underhanded sling to first? Hey hotshot, set up and throw the ball the way you learned it in Little League.

  12. 320R2S15 - May 22, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Again, i agree, the side arm throw works fine from short (CR8) but how many third basemen use it. Zimm needs to talk to the guy who really understands how important footwork is, the guy who needs no coach, IR7.Oh and one more thing, Desmond's glove is too big.

  13. Chris - May 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    @JayBYou are absolutely clueless regarding Rizzo's involvement with the lineup. You really are. Keep on posting though, makes for good reading.

  14. Anonymous - May 22, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    i love it when blog commenters tell gold glove fielders how to play their positions!

  15. 320R2S15 - May 22, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Hey there Mr no name, get your head out of the sand. Are you telling me that 7 can't teach 11 about footwork and the throw? And, where do you think the blog world would be without opinion? Do you have one? Do you think that because 11 has major league physical skills that he has a major league brain? I'm not saying he don't, it's just an example.

  16. Mark Zuckerman - May 22, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Regarding Zimmerman's sidearm throwing: That started last summer, after he went through a rough stretch of wild throws on routine plays. Coaches felt he was better off just slinging every throw over to first sidearm, as though he was making a difficult play, because he had less time to think about it and throw off his mechanics.

  17. JayB - May 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    @Chris,Well in a way you are correct. I have not talked to Rizzo or Riggs about this, but they have said plenty and actions speak for them selves. Go Back to Spring training (where I was twice this Spring and did talk with a few coaches about this) and read how Riggs would say that Ian would be a Willie Harris type sub and Rizzo would say an hour later, "no Ian will play SS everyday somewhere"…..If you think Rizzo is going to let his one and only chance at attaining his life long dream of being a winning GM ride on Riggs your a fool. Riggs has a one year contract for a reason. Following your logic when SS comes up Rizzo will have no say in how and when he pitches and for how long……Right, sure you know what your talking about and I don't…..dream on.

  18. Chris - May 22, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    You went to Spring Training? Jeez JayB, why didn't you tell me? If I would have known you were the ultimate Nats Insider (sorry Mark, you've been replaced) I would have never questioned your authority on all things Nats. Seriously, aren't the interwebs great? It gives every Tom, Dick, Harry and JayB the chance to let their opinions (even as ignorant and uniformed as 99% of them are) be heard. I for one, feel like a more enlightened person because of it. Thanks Al Gore. And thank you JayB.

  19. JayB - May 22, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    @ Chris,Your welcome….you have a lot to learn keep at it.

  20. Chris - May 22, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    My welcome? No comprende, senor.

  21. JayB - May 22, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    You are welcome…I will keep trying to learn English spelling if you make a good faith attempt to learn baseball. Deal?

  22. Anonymous - May 22, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Ha! Well played JayB. Chris just got crushed.

  23. Anonymous - May 22, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Give JayB credit, he is learning. He's even picked up a new word in his vocabulary – bromance. He's still dumb as a stump, though. Pay him no mind.

  24. Chris - May 22, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Crushed? Wow, is it possible that the IQ of the average poster on this board is lower than I originally thought?

  25. Anonymous - May 22, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    There is no crying in baseball Chris.

  26. Slidell - May 22, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Olsen is not the first player to put his personal interest above that of his team. I wonder why though, when Pudge, Batista and McCatty all felt that something wasn't right, that Olsen was not only allowed to start, but then permitted to struggle for 3 innings, possibly doing more damage to himself? Who's in charge in these situations? It certainly shouldn't be the player who has a vested interest to hide the truth.





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