August 2009

2009 Washington Nationals Blood Drive

The Nationals hosted their fifth annual blood drive in conjunction with the American Red Cross. Nats fans from far and wide, as well as, members of the Nats front office rolled up their sleeves to donate blood. In all, the blood drive collected an amazing 252 pints of blood!


rob dibble.jpgMASN Color commentator Rob Dibble went with the sleeveless method for an easy donation. We can tell he’s done this before.


 pat listach2.jpgThird base coach Pat Listach showed up in uniform to donate blood. Hope it won’t affect him later as he waves Nationals runners home.


pat listach.jpgAlways willing to help out the fans, Listach signed autographs to pass the time.


zimm blood drive1.jpgStarter Jordan Zimmermann even stopped by to sign autographs and meet with the donors.


zimm blood drive2.jpg
zimm blood drive3.jpg
zimm blood drive4.jpgOverall, it was a very successful day. Thank you to everyone who showed up to donate as well as the Red Cross for all of their help today.


Lineups 8/8


Drew – SS

Romero – LF

Parra – RF

Reynolds – 3B

Montero – C

Whitesell – 1B

Young – CF

Ojeda – 2B

Haren – P



Morgan – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Willingham – RF

Harris – LF

Bard – C

Gonzalez – 2B

Mock – P


Close call:

Dunn compressed.JPG
I can’t quite hear you… Can you speak into my ear?

ump and manager.JPG

Lineups 8/7


Drew – SS

Romero – RF

Parra – CF

Reynolds – 3B

Snyder – C

Oeltjen – LF

Whitesell – 1B

Ojeda – 2B

Garland – P (RHP, 6-10, 4.26)



Morgan – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Willingham – LF 

Dukes – RF 

Belliard – 2B  

Nieves – C

Balester – P (RHP, 1-1, 3.68)


Ryan Zimmerman.jpgThe Nats completed their first sweep of the season against the Marlins yesterday and have won or tied the last five series. The Nats trailed 6-0 after two innings but they slowly chipped away at the deficit and eventually took the lead with a four-run eighth inning. It was the second-largest come-from-behind win in a home game since MLB returned to DC in 2005. (On June 17, 2006 at RFK, the Yankees jumped out to a 7-run (9-2) lead after their half of the 5th inning, but the Nationals rebounded to win, 11-9.)


“Our pitching has been our key because we have been in every single game,” Josh Willingham said of the recent success. “You have to have good pitching to be able to be in every game because you aren’t going to score seven runs a game so you have to limit the other team in runs and you have to catch the ball. And then we’ve been getting some timely hitting as well so we’ve just been playing a lot better baseball.”


It is a night and day difference from when the Nats were swept at home by the Marlins in April. That was the most painful sweep in Nationals history…


In case you forgot, the Marlins were the first team in Major League history to sweep a series of at least three games after trailing in the ninth inning (or later) in each game.


This time was different:


The Nats trailed 4-0 in the bottom of the eight but scored six runs in the inning to take a 6-4 lead. Adam Dunn blasted an opposite field two-run shot to break the tie and give the Nats the eventual 6-4 win.


The Nats jumped out to an early 5-1 lead and Mike MacDougal entered in the ninth with a 5-4 lead and saved his fourth game in four days.


The Marlins scored six runs in the first two innings and knocked starter Craig Stammen out of the game. It was a game the Nats would have lost before the break but Ryan Zimmerman led the comeback going 4-for-4 with three RBIs, three runs and was a double away from the cycle. The bullpen was sensational and the offense kept the heat on the Marlins to win 12-8.


Know your Nats: Willie Harris

Only 24 hours left!!


062009-177 willie harris.JPGHere at Notes from NatsTown, we want to give YOU the opportunity to get to know some of your favorite players both on- and off-the-field. This week, fan favorite Willie Harris will be answering YOUR questions. Submit questions to us via e-mail at from now until noon on Saturday and we will post his answers next week. Check back and see if your question was answered! If your question selected you will receive a free gift from the Nationals.


Also, check out John Lannan’s answers from the last edition of Know Your Nats here!

Storen Stops In

Drew Storen, the Nationals’ second pick in the first round (10th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is already making his way through the Minor League ranks. He signed with the team the day after the Draft and immediately went to work with the Hagerstown Suns. In 14.2 innings (11 games) he struck out 26 batters without walking anyone. On July 19th his hard work was rewarded with a promotion to the Potomac Nationals. On July 30th, Storen finally gave up his first walk, but not before accumulating 19.2 innings without a walk. In five games with the P-Nats, he is 1-0 with two saves, an ERA of 1.13 and a BAA of 0.050. Overall, the former Stanford Cardinal has 36 strikeouts and one walk over 22.2 innings in his professional baseball career.


Prior to tonight’s game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Storen stopped by Nationals Park to watch former P-Nat Craig Stammen pitch. While there, he sat down with Notes from NatsTown and the other Nationals beat writers. Here is what he had to say:


On his Minor League career thus far:
“I’m just very excited about how things are going. I’m very happy about how I’ve turned things around. I kind of  struggled a little bit at the beginning, just kind of getting back into the groove of pitching in a game again and I’m just planning to keep on doing my thing and just going out there and throwing strikes every time and hopefully finding success and if I get moved, I get moved.”


061009-236 drew storen.JPGOn trying to make it to the Majors this year:
“That’s my goal, obviously, but I really don’t plan on anything. I just kind of take it pitch by pitch, I guess, and that way it’s not really, you know, I don’t control that and I know that the Nationals are going to do what’s best for me and if they feel like I can be a good fit up here, they’ll put me up here. It’s not something I really try to concern myself too much with.”


On balancing his desire to play in the Majors with his everyday duties:
“I really do just kind of concentrate on doing those steps and really getting better each time and, like I said, if it becomes a fit for me in the Big Leagues than that’s what I want to do. But if I just go out there and get better each time, I should be able to put myself in a position to help them win at this level.”


On his early struggles:
“I really wasn’t doing anything differently than what I did at school. It was kind of a combination of not throwing in a game in a month and an adjustment to pro ball too. In pro ball, guys don’t really care how hard you throw, and I had to pitch a little more, make sure I got the fastball down in the zone a little bit, and that was really the main adjustment I had. Fortunately there were some veteran guys down there in Hagerstown that were able to help me out. Travis Reagan. He had come down from Potomac about a week or so into my stay down there and he helped a lot.”


061009-166 drew storen.JPGOn his walkless streak:
“You know, for the first twenty or so strikeouts, it really didn’t come [into my head] and then I kept getting asked about it and so then it kind of got in my head a little bit so it was kind of nice to get that off of my back a little bit… It’s something I take a lot of pride in too and so it worked out. It’s kind of good to get that monkey off of my back, though.”


On his strong ball-strike ratio:
“It’s something that’s the key for success out of the bullpen for me. I try to get guys to earn their way on-base and every time you give a guy a free pass it usually comes back to haunt you, especially at the end of the game.  So it’s really something. And ironically the guy I did walk… scored, so it’s just one of those things.”


On the types of pitches he throws:
“I throw a curveball and a slider, I usually work off both of those. I throw a changeup too, and I’ll only show that every once in a while. A four pitch guy out of the bullpen isn’t really something you normally see, but I don’t really use it too much. But I really try to work a little more on my fastball. That’s really something I’ve worked on since I’ve gotten in pro ball is trusting that fastball down in the zone a little bit more.”


On one of his role models, Chad Cordero:
“I haven’t talked to him. I would love to talk to him, and thank him for the advice he gave me about five or six years ago, but no I haven’t talked to him. Like I said before the season started, that was my goal. If I were to sign a professional contract, I wanted to try to get in the Big Leagues by the end of the year and that was really something I really worked for. That way I go out every day to get better to try to get closer to that goal. So that’s just something I kind of keep in mind that, ‘hey he did that.’ So it’s not out of the question.”


On the Minor League experience: 
“I learned how to sleep on a bus a lot better (laughs). I honestly didn’t anticipate how good the hitters were. You assume you’re going to wooden bats and the hitters wouldn’t be as good, because I’m just used to facing aluminum. But there’s really not that much difference because they’re better hitters and they really compensate for having wooden bats and, like I said earlier, you really learn how to pitch in the Minor Leagues and learn a lot from those older guys.”


On the adjustment period starting off in the Minors:
“Yeah that period was actually my second pitch of pro ball that went about 500 feet (laughs). I remember I fell 1-0 behind the guy and it was my first batter so I was excited to be out there and I was in front of a big crowd at Hagerstown and I was like, ‘okay, I’m going to throw this fastball by him here.’ He hit it way over center field and it was one of those ‘welcome to pro ball’ moments. And I asked the guy doing the radar how hard I threw it and he said 96 and I was like ‘wow, that’s pretty hard’ but it was belt high… In college you can get away with that sometimes and that’s when I was really like ‘okay, I need to make some adjustments with my fastball and work down in the zone a little bit more.”


Storen060208_01KT.jpgOn what he studied at Stanford:

Product design. It’s in the mechanical engineering school out there, so it’s a combination of mechanical engineering and art. My mom is a graphic designer so I’ve always been interested in design and I like engineering so it’s a perfect fit.”

Down on the Farm

Down on the Farm is a weekly window into the Nationals farm teams, with updated standings, league leaders, team and individual player stats, and the latest team and player news. This week, we feature the best pitcher and player of the month from each organization.


This Week’s Top Headline


21-year-old 1B Chris Marrero leads the Single-A Carolina League with 112 hits, and ranks among the league leaders in slugging, OPS, batting average, total bases, home runs, on-base percentage  and RBI. In 28 July games with Potomac, he hit .354 (34-for-96) with seven doubles, one triple, five homers, 17 RBI and 14 walks, which equates to .453 and .604 on-base and slugging percentages, respectively. Marrero was Washington’s first round pick (15th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.


Chiefs 2.JPGTriple-A Syracuse Chiefs

International League North Division

57-51, 2nd Place, 4.0 Games Back


SS Ian Desmond is batting a combined .305 with 16 doubles, one triple, six homers, 22 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 62 games with Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg. He is 20-for-66 (.303) with four doubles, four RBI, 11 walks and four stolen bases in 20 games since being promoted to Syracuse, July 16. In 42 games with Harrisburg, he collected 52 hits including 19 of the extra-base variety (12 doubles, one triple and six home runs). Desmond was Washington’s third-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.


In 12 appearances since joining Syracuse, July 7, RHP Zack Segovia has allowed one earned run in 13.0 innings (0.69 ERA). He owns a .174 (8-for-46) batting average against and a 3.5/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (14K/4 BB) with the Chiefs. The 26-year-old began the season with Harrisburg, where he appeared in 24 games (three starts). Segovia signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent on June 18, 2008. He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 2002 Draft.


Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Month – July

INF Mike Morsebatted .337 (35-for-104) with seven doubles, three homers, 18 RBI and a .410 OBP in 28 games.

RHP Jorge Sosa – in 11 appearances, posted 1.29 ERA (2 ER/14.0 IP), recorded three saves and struck out 21.


senators-new-logo 1.JPGDouble-A Harrisburg Senators

Eastern League Southern Division

50-57, 5th Place, 16.5 Games Back


RHP Clint Everts is a combined 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA and a 3.8/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (54 K/14 BB) in 31 appearances (48.0 innings) with Harrisburg and Potomac. Since joining the Senators on June 9, he is 3-1 with three saves and a 1.61 ERA (5 ER/28.0 IP) in 18 games. Prior to his promotion, Everts went 3-0 with two saves and a 0.90 ERA in 13 appearances with Potomac. The Cypress, TX native was Montreal’s first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft.


RHP Jeff Mandel is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA (4 ER/14.0 IP) in two starts with Harrisburg. He went 8-4 with a 3.61 ERA (40 ER/99.2 IP) in 17 starts with Potomac before earning a July 20 promotion to Double-A. For the season, he is a combined 10-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 19 starts with the Senators and P-Nats. His 10 wins are tied with fellow Senator Erik Arnesen for tops among Washington minor leaguers. Mandel was a 19th-round selection in the ’07 First-Year Player Draft. He is scheduled to make his next start, Friday at Trenton (Yankees).


C Sean Rooney is hitting .341 (14-for-41) with two doubles, three RBI and seven runs scored in 13 games as a Senator. The 23-year-old joined Harrisburg on July 16 from Potomac, where he batted .300 (65-for-217) with 18 doubles, six home runs and 40 RBI in 60 games. In a combined 55 games at catcher with Harrisburg and Potomac, he has gunned down 25 of 59 (42%) would-be basestealers. Rooney, a 2008 Single-A South Atlantic League All-Star, was drafted in the eighth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.


Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Month – July

INF Joel Guzmanhit .347 (35-for-101) with 9 doubles, 3 homers and 19 RBI in 27 games.

RHP Clint Everts – went 3-0 with one save and a 1.17 ERA (2 ER/15.1 IP) in 9 appearances.


potomac nationals 1.JPGSingle-A Potomac Nationals

Carolina League Northern Division

First Half: 37-30, 2nd Place, 3.0 Games Back

Second Half: 25-13, First Place, 1.5 Games Ahead


RHP Drew Storen, Washington’s second selection in the first round (10th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, has 36 strikeouts and only one walk in a combined 22.2 innings (16 appearances) with Potomac and Single-A Hagerstown. The Stanford University product has fanned 25, walked one and posted a .063 (3-for-47) batting average against in his last 10 games (14.2 innings) between Potomac and Hagerstown. Prior to joining the P-Nats on July 19, he struck out 26 and did not walk a batter in 14.2 innings (11 games) with the Suns.


For the third consecutive week, a Potomac National has earned Single-A Carolina League Player of the Week honors. OF Jesus Valdez follows 1B Chris Marrero (July 13-19) and INF/OF Dan Nelson (July 20-26) as the CL POTW. Valdez posted five multi-hit games, going 13-for-23 (.565) with five doubles, three RBI and six runs scored during the week of July 27-August 2 to garner the selection. He is hitting .312 with 13 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 30 RBI and 34 runs scored in 57 games with the P-Nats.


RHP Trevor Holder, Washington’s third-round pick in this June’s Draft, hurled 5.0 innings of one-run ball to earn the win in his Carolina League debut, Friday vs. Winston-Salem (White Sox). The 22-year-old, who played collegiately at the University of Georgia, is a combined 3-0 with a 3.52 ERA in six starts with the Potomac, Hagerstown and GCL Nationals.


Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Month – July

OF Francisco Plasenciahit at a .330 (31-for-94) clip with 4 home runs, 22 RBI and 16 runs scored in 25 games.

LHP Tom Milone – went 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA (12 ER/38.0 IP) in 6 starts.


hagerstown suns 1.JPGSingle-A Hagerstown Suns

South Atlantic League Northern Division

First Half: 31-36, T-6th Place, 10.5 Games Back

Second Half: 14-22, 7th Place, 7.5 Games Back


Derek Norris continues to dominate the South Atlantic League, leading the league in home runs, total bases, walks and OBP. The 20-year-old paces all catchers in professional baseball in homers and RBI. Norris ranks among full-season minor league leaders in home runs and slugging percentage. The right-handed hitting slugger has posted a team-best 33 multi-hit games. He has reached base safely via hit, walk or HBP 178 times in 100 games (1.78 times per contest). Per Baseball America, he entered the season rated as the No. 6 prospect and top overall catching prospect in Washington’s system.


2B Stephen Lombardozzi paces the South Atlantic League with 75 runs scored, and ranks second in hits with 115. In 99 games overall, the 20-year-old is hitting .299 with 20 doubles, six triples, three homers and 44 RBI. Lombardozzi was a 19th-round pick in the 2008 Draft out of St. Petersburg JC (FL).


Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Month – July

1B Tyler Moorehit .305 with 18 extra-base hits (12 doubles, one triple, 5 homers) and a team-high 29 RBI.

RHP Marcos Frias – in 5 starts, went 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA (9 ER/28.2 IP).


vermont_lake_monsters.jpgShort-Season Single-A Vermont Lake Monsters

New York-Penn League Stedler Division

22-23, 3rd Place, 4.5 Games Back


After being drafted by Washington in the 29th round of the 2009 Draft, LHP Evan Bronson has gone 2-0 with two saves and a 1.00 ERA in his first 11 games as a pro. He has limited opponents to a .182 (18-for-99) batting average against. The southpaw has 18 strikeouts against just one walk in 27.0 innings of work. Bronson played collegiately at Trinity College (TX).


INF Francisco Soriano has hit safely in a team-high nine straight games, going 13-for-35 (.371) during the tear. His .418 OBP is tied for second in the league, while his 14 stolen bases rank fifth. Soriano signed with Washington as a non-drafted free agent, July 5, 2007.


Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Month – June/July

OF J.P. Ramirez – in 41 games, collected 43 hits and recorded 22 RBI.

RHP Pat Lehman – posted a 3-1 mark with a 1.65 ERA (5 ER/27.1 IP) in 7 games (3 starts).


Gulf Coast League Nationals

Gulf Coast League East Division

19-14, 2nd Place, 3.5 Games Back


OF Eury Perez is hitting .337 with one double, two triples, one home run, 12 RBI and 12 walks in 26 games. He has recorded a team-high 12 stolen bases. Perez, 19, ranks fourth in the GCL with a .419 OBP. He signed with Washington as an international free agent, April 13, 2007.


1B Brett Newsome leads the GCL in walks, slugging and OPS. Nineteen of his 32 hits have been of the extra-base variety (12 doubles, three triples, four homers). In 27 games overall, he is hitting .305 with 21 RBI and 21 runs scored.


Organizational Player and Pitcher of the Month – June/July

OF Destin Hoodin 25 contests, hit a team-best .330 with 10 doubles, 3 homers and 18 runs scored.  

RHP Ruben De La Rosa – went 3-0 with a 1.12 (2 ER/16.0 IP) in 9 games…struck out 26 and walked 5.


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Dunn reading the inside pitch 1.JPG


Nats acquire Minor League 2B Greg Veloz from Mets

The Nats acquired second baseman Greg Veloz from the New York Mets in exchange for infielder Anderson Hernandez. The Nationals then recalled right-handed pitcher Saul Rivera from Syracuse of the Triple-A International League to assume Hernandez’s spot on their 25-man roster.


Veloz, who will report to the Single-A Potomac Nationals is a career .249 hitter with 77 doubles, 19 home runs, 145 RBI and 108 stolen bases in three-plus professional seasons. In his three complete pro campaigns, Veloz has averaged 30 stolen bases. He entered the season rated among the Mets’ top 25 prospects as listed in Baseball America’s 2009 Prospect Handbook.


A 6-foot-1 switch hitter, Veloz currently paces the Mets’ Minor League system with 18 stolen bases. In 2007, he led the Rookie-level Appalachian League with nine triples and ranked fourth in stolen bases, swiping 18 in just 66 contests. Veloz originally signed with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in March of 2006.


Rivera, 31, rejoins the Nationals after going 2-5 with seven holds, two saves and a 3.55 ERA (18 ER/45.2 IP) in 30 appearanes with Syracuse. A member of the Nationals’ Opening Day roster, Rivera went 0-1 with an 8.49 ERA (11 ER/11.2 IP) in 10 appearances with Washington before being optioned to Syracuse on April 20.


Rivera is 12-15 with 45 holds, four saves and a 3.94 ERA (109 ER/249.0 IP) in 225 career games spanning four seasons with Washington. He entered 2009 having registered a sub-4.00 ERA in each of his three complete big league seasons. Rivera’s 225 career appearances rank second to only Jon Rauch (236) among Nationals (2005-present).


Hernandez, 26, hit .251 (58-for-231) with one homer and 23 RBI in 76 games with Washington this season.

Lineups 8/6


Coghlan – LF

Johnson – 1B

Ramirez – SS

Cantu – 3B

Uggla – 2B

Baker – C

Ross – CF

Hermida – RF

Volstad – P



Morgan – CF

Belliard – 2B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Willingham – LF

Dukes – RF

Bard – C

Gonzalez – SS

Stammen – P


With a 1-2-3 9th last night vs. the Marlins, Mike MacDougal closed out his 10th save, four of which have come in the last four days. MacDougal is just the fourth MLB pitcher this season to turn the 4-in-4 trick, joining the Phillies Brad Lidge, Mets Francisco Rodriguez and Rockies Huston Street. According to Elias Sports Bureau, MacDougal is the first franchise closer to earn four saves in four days since June 1-5, 2000, when the Expos’ Steve Kline secured five saves in five days to establish a franchise record.




Lineups 8/5


Coghlan – LF

Johnson – 1B

Ramirez – SS

Cantu – 3B

Uggla – 2B

Ross – RF

Paulino – C

Bonifacio – CF

VandenHurk – P (RHP, 1-0, 2.65)



Morgan – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Willingham – LF

Dukes – RF

Belliard – 2B

Nieves – C

Lannan – P (LHP, 7-8, 3.41)


Pitching notes:

John Lannan has allowed three earned runs or less in 17 of his last 20 starts. In that same 20-start span beginning on April 17th, he is 7-6 with a 2.96 ERA (44 ER/133.2 IP).

Lannan is a ground-ball specialist. He paced the Majors with 87 ground balls induced in July and ranks among NL leaders in GDPs induced (MLB-best 20), ground ball-to-fly ball ratio (6th at 2.08/1) and ground balls induced (4th with 262). He is averaging 11.9 ground balls per start and 1.9 more than last season’s average of 10.0.

Rick VandenHurk is making his second career start against the Nats. He got the loss in his only other start, September 3, 2007 at RFK Stadium. In that game he surrendered six runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 5.1 innings.