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Resurrected Olsen revives Nats

Jul 29, 2010, 10:34 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Scott Olsen was strong in his return from the DL.

Turn back the clock to, oh, 6:45 p.m. Tuesday night, a few minutes before Stephen Strasburg's warm-up session was cut short and all of NatsTown went on red alert. At that moment, if someone had told you the Nationals would take two of three from the Braves, you would have thought that sounded reasonable. Most likely, Strasburg and Livan Hernandez would have led the way.

Strasburg and Livo, of course, combined to pitch 4 1/3 innings this week. Which makes the fact the Nats still took two of three from a first-place opponent all the more impressive.

"That's huge," Drew Storen said. "I think the manner in which we did it [is most impressive]. That's not an ideal series, the way things went with the rain delay, with the whole Stras thing. For us to work through that, play well and have the offense come through like they did, it's big for us."

Stop the presses: There's more to the Nationals than Stephen Strasburg! And there's apparently more to the pitching staff than Strasburg and Hernandez! Take out Livo's sub-par and brief start last night, and the rest of the staff combined to allow two earned runs and 13 hits over 22 2/3 innings in this series. The bullpen didn't give up any runs in 11 2/3 innings. And if you want to count Miguel Batista'sRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Nice to see Olsen get the win, with good support from the bullpen and bats. Hopefully, the injuries are behind him, and he can finish out the year strong.

  2. Farid Rushdi - Jul 29, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Mark,Do the Nationals control Olsen next season or beyond? The release-and-sign last winter makes it all a little uncertain for me.

  3. JaneB - Jul 30, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    It was so good to see him out there today! If it hadn't been raining, we would have given him a nice ovation before the rain delay.

  4. Anonymous - Jul 30, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    The Nats were 27-31 before Strasburg was called up, now 2-1 since he was scratched. 29-32 without Strasburg, 15-26 with him. Just sayin'.

  5. Sec3MyAnonymous - Jul 30, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    Yeah, if that keeps up, they're going to have to trade him for some toolsy outfielders.

  6. raymitten - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    Mark — CBS reports Capps traded to Minnesota for Wilson Ramos. True?

  7. David - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    Capps to Twins for 23 year old Wilson Ramos.

  8. Big Oil - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    RAMOS! Great move is my initial reaction. Man would have been one of the key pieces in a Cliff Lee deal. Helps a position of need and could be starting by next year. Got to like it based on what I know so far.

  9. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    Congratulations to Rizzo. He's selling high on Capps and getting Ramos to fill our gaping hole behind home plate, with no offense to Pudge. He can go back to being the 60-70 game guy he was supposed to be to backup Kid Flores.Great move, I say.

  10. David - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    Very good deal! Capps salary is a least 7 mil next year. 23 year old full time catcher in AAA is very good. #58 BB prospect definite backup next year.

  11. Gus in FFX - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    Read on CBS that Nats also got Joe Testa in the deal. Here is what I could dig up:Who Is Joe Testa?Twinkietown_tiny by Jesse on Jul 16, 2009 4:36 PM EDT in Player Profiles Comment 9 commentsWhile browsing minor league numbers for the Twins this afternoon, I came across a pitcher by the name of Joe Testa. Who is he?This is his page at No profile picture. Check out those numbers, though. He's currently pitching with the Miracle in Fort Myers, having appeared in half a dozen games and 10.2 innings. Testa's struck out 14, walked three and allowed eight hits. Nobody's scored yet. He's sporting a 1.44 FIP according to, although they haven't logged two of his appearances, which probably means that FIP is even lower.For the majority of this spring and summer, Testa was quietly blowing away hitters as a pitcher for the Beloit Snappers, Minnesota's low-A ball affiliate. He started just one game, appeared 24 times in relief, and accumulated a substantial 45.2 innings. Strikeouts: 63. Hits: 26. The walks weren't quite as impressive, with 23 earning a free pass. That's a 1.07 WHIP, 2.56 ERA (FIP 2.70), and a .161 opponent average.Testa is a 23-year old southpaw, undrafted out of Wagner College in 2008. Wagner College is in Staten Island, New York, and has been part of the NCAA since 2003. Until recently, in the history of the school only Curt Blefary has had a major league career ('65 – '72), although a couple of guys did make it to triple-A. In 2006, the Oakland Athletics drafted Andrew Bailey, a teammate of Testa at Wagner in '05 and '06. Baily is now blowing people away as a rookie relief pitcher with the A's.

  12. David - Jul 30, 2010 at 5:36 AM

    seriously, people give him a lot of S for his bulldog mentality, and he is no saint, look at his arrest record with florida, but as a baseball player i love his mentality on the field, i always felt better out there playing behind someone like that… his fighter attitude is something that's easy to get behind, i hope he sticks, he's better than a lot of our AAAA pitchers

  13. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 30, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Farid Rushdi said…Mark: Do the Nationals control Olsen next season or beyond? The release-and-sign last winter makes it all a little uncertain for me.Sorry, meant to respond to you last night but got caught up in the Capps story … Olsen is still under the Nats' control next season. It will be his final arbitration year. He can't become a free agent until 2012.





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