Results tagged ‘ Craig Stammen ’

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy Your Pies

There isn’t a better way of saying “great job” or “welcome to The Show” than getting a shaving cream meringue pie square in the face. It screams good job, leaving both eyes squinting, stinging and blurry to make sure you remember you were important tonight. It is the single game version of the playoff clinching celebratory champagne shower.


j. d. martin pie 2.JPGThe sour taste in the mouth and tears in the eyes are imperative, they are the robust rewards to make sure you –yes, you–know you won the game. It doesn’t taste like key lime or pumpkin pie–quite the opposite–but the shaving cream pie is a tasty treat in its own right.

Pieing has taken place in baseball for a while but there isn’t a documented beginning of the tradition. On the other hand, there is a start date for the pieing practice this season for the Nats. It began on April 20th after Jordan Zimmermann recorded his first Major League victory. Starting pitcher John Lannan is the Nationals pieing practitioner.

“I was the only pitcher in the starting rotation that wasn’t a rookie, so I took that role because of that fact,” Lannan said. “I get along with them so well that I want to be the guy that says here is a pie in the face. You did a good job. Welcome to the Big Leagues.”

Jordan ZimmermannFirst start, first win and victim No. 1. Bam. As Zimmermann finished his post-game interview with Debbi Taylor, Lannan with teammate Scott Olsen emerged from the steps of the dugout. Taylor slyly stepped out of the way and as Zimmermann turned around to walk into the clubhouse, Olsen delivered a devastating Joe Louis left-hook that had Zimmermann looking like baseball’s version of Two Face. Zimmermann tried to avoid the second pie–a half hearted run along the warning track–but Lannan reared back, grabbed his right shoulder and made sure the left side of his face felt the fury too. A typically emotionless Zimmermann beamed ear to ear in a post-game interview. 

“That was definitely shaving cream,” said Zimmermann that night. “It stung a little bit but I will be just fine.”

It didn’t stop there.

Craig StammenWelcome to The Show. Bam. Stammen had just pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing zero runs on six hits to get his first Major League victory at Yankee Stadium and handed the Nats a series victory over the Bronx Bombers. That has all the credentials for the pie platter. As Taylor distracted Stammen with a few post-game questions, Lannan locked in on his target, pitching a perfect pie game to the face has never been a problem.

Lannan isn’t known for his ninja like skills but he has an uncanny ability to successfully throw pie strikes each time.

“Debbi makes sure the interviewee is facing the field,” said Lannan conceding that Debbi is in on the pie prank. “So I come up through the stairs very secretively. I try to do it half way through the conversation because they know it’s coming but they forget because they are focusing on the question.”


garrett mock pie 3.JPGGarrett Mock
Your five o’clock shadow is showing–here let me help you. Bam.

The next day… J.D. MartinShaving cream is a great way to cool down. Bam.

Ross DetwilerYour 13th Major League start was memorable. Bam.

“I change it up,” Lannan said. “I do a little splatter. I do a little rub in the face and make sure it gets everywhere. My main goal is to make sure Debbi Taylor doesn’t get any shaving cream on her clothes.”

How can you get mad at someone who is that courteous? You can’t.

Lannan might have to change his tactics in 2010. Players adapt. Players get smarter. Players find a way to avoid the inevitable. Of course, not if you are always one step ahead of them.  He can always take a page out of the Mark Lowe pieing text book–it’s not for sale and I guess it’s not actually a book but it’s on YouTube.

Last year, Seattles’ Mark Lowe pied the usual culprit J.J. Putz after he made his first start off the disabled list. During his post-game interview in the dugout, Putz constantly looked over his shoulder expecting a pie in his face. Lowe took the U.S. Army Rangers approach to pieing–attack when they least expect it. When Putz made it back to his locker, he thought he had all his bases covered to prevent a pieing. 

“You guys need to make a wall so no one can get in here,” Putz said to the media members circled around him.

It turns out the Great Wall of China couldn’t have stopped Lowe. He was already inside the circle, nestled nicely in the cozy confines of Putz’s locker behind his shirts. Lowe emerged as Putz was answering his first question. We missed you… so here is a pie to your face. Bam.

“Welcome back big guy,” Lowe said.

Pieing is a treat best served quickly, unexpected and with shaving cream right between the eyes. Whip cream would make too much sense and actually taste good.

Lannan eventually worked outside of the pitching rotation. If your reputation is the “pie person”… you might as well make it a reality.

“Once I took over as the pie guy I had to get Justin Maxwell,” Lannan said, “after he hit the walk-off grand slam in the final home game.”

Justin Maxwell… that was an amazing way to close out the season at Nationals Park. Bam.


justin maxwell pie 1.JPGHis pie days are by no means done, they might just be starting. There isn’t a hit list or wish list, just a few people he might be pieing soon… Stephen Strasburg.

“I am going to throw a 100 mph pie at his face,” Lannan said with a smile. “I am just kidding. Hopefully I get to pie him this year.”

Nationals volunteer at Food & Friends

Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen and 30 front office employees volunteered at Food & Friends yesterday. Along with volunteers from other organizations, the group helped prepare some of the 700 turkey boxes Food & Friends will deliver to their clients for Thanksgiving–people with life-challenging illnesses who may not otherwise be able to host Thanksgiving dinner for their families. The Nationals staff also helped to sort donated food and label pre-made meals for Food & Friends beneficiaries.

 


Stamman F&F 4 (Stammen).jpg“It was a lot of fun, I’m glad a lot of us from the Nationals organization came out here and do a little good for the community,” Stammen said. “We all get to go home and do our Thanksgiving. It’s good that we can provide that for some other people.”

 


Stamman F&F 1.jpg
Stamman F&F 2 (vern).jpgVolunteers helped in the kitchen, preparing turkey, chopping veggies and boiling potatoes. Each turkey box serves four people and includes a 10-12 pound turkey, sides and two pies.

 

“Food & Friends is delighted to partner with the Washington Nationals,” Executive Director Craig Shniderman said. “Not only are the Nationals, and their staff, a first-rate baseball organization, but they are also staunch supporters of their community. We so appreciate their consistent volunteerism with Food & Friends.”

 


Stamman F&F 3 (employees).jpgInteresting facts:

  • The organization began in 1987 and serves close to one million meals a year to 1,400 clients throughout Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia area.
  • They rely heavily on volunteers – approximately 13,000 give their time each year.

30 Players in 30 Days: Craig Stammen

Craig Stammen

The Nationals relied on their young guns all season long–they knew there would be growing pains and there were. Craig Stammen made his Major League debut on May 21 against the Pirates and went on to lead all Nationals rookies with 19 starts. He went 6.1 innings in that first start with three strikeouts and four earned runs. He received the no-decision in the 5-4 victory. He was one of three Nationals–Jordan Zimmermann and J.D. Martin being the others–to make their debut this season as a starter. The Nationals led the National League with 95 starts by rookie pitchers. That’s more than the Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Dodgers, Brewers, Mets, Yankees, Pirates, Giants and Cardinals combined. Those teams only had 75 starts by rookies collectively–still 20 short of the Nationals.

A pitcher’s first Major League win is always a memorable moment but Stammen made it a magical moment. On June 18 at the new Yankee Stadium, Stammen kept the Bronx Bombers bats at bay pitching 6.1 scoreless innings. The win secured the series victory over the Yankees.

Stammen was drafted by the Nationals in 2005 and slowly worked his way up to the Majors. Before his call up this year, he pitched seven games for Triple-A Syracuse and was named the Syracuse Pitcher of the Month for April. In that time, he went 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA and .205 BAA in four starts.

Stammen struggled at times, like all rookies, but pitched well in July. If Stammen can pitch in 2010 like he pitched in July of 2009–2-2 with a 3.18 ERA (34.0 IP/ 12 ER)–he will be a force at the back end of the rotation. He also had a season-best K/BB ratio of 2.60 during that month too. The highlight of the month was on July 11 when Stammen threw a complete game in a 13-2 win at Houston. He scattered nine hits with two strikeouts and only one walk.

While Stammen didn’t have a winning record, he held his own in his first Major League season. Stammen did not get to finish the season and was shut down in September due to bone spurs in his elbow. He had arthroscopic surgery and should be fully recovered by Spring Training 2010.

 

Craig Stammen Final Major League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

4

7

5.11

19/19

0

105.2

112

67

60

14

3

24

48

.271

1.29

1.35

 

 

Craig Stammen Final Minor League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

4

2

1.80

7/7

0

40.0

33

10

8

4

0

8

14

.223

1.03

2.03

 
082309-129 craig stammen.JPG

Lannan and Stammen Bring Joy to Guests at the Children’s Inn


Lannan Cannons 7 c.jpgNationals pitchers John Lannan and Craig Stammen visited with 10 children and their families at The Children’s Inn at NIH yesterday, their first visit to the facility which houses children receiving treatment for life-threatening diseases at NIH. The Inn was decorated for Halloween–some children already in their costumes for the evening’s Halloween party–and an air of excitement surrounded the day’s activities.

“Our mission is to take kids minds off of why they come here,” said Meredith Daly, a Media Relations Coordinator at the Inn. “They come here for really difficult journeys, they’re going through life-threatening illnesses and if we can raise their spirits and make them feel a little bit better when they come, we’ve done our job.”


Lannan Cannons 1.jpgLannan partnered with The Children’s Inn through the Lannan’s Cannons program, created mid-way through the 2009 season, in which he hosted children and their families from the Inn for a day of fun at the ballpark. Along with tickets and food vouchers for the game, John named The Children’s Inn his beneficiary for the $7,500 donation he received when he was nominated for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award. The visit began with a check presentation to the Inn in front of the fireplace.

Lannan, Stammen and the kids then settled in for a reading of everyone’s favorite baseball book: “Casey at the Bat”. The kids (and Stammen) listened intently as Lannan told them the story of mighty Casey up to bat with the game on the line. After hearing about baseball the kids were ready to enjoy the fall weather and play ball on the sports court. They lined up for a chance to throw to John and Craig. Everyone had a great time running and playing with the Major Leaguers.


Lannan Cannons 4.jpg
Lannan Cannons 2.jpg
Lannan Cannons 3.jpg“Anything like this makes the stay that much easier and keeps the days a little bit more optimistic and more upbeat,” Colleen Paduani said, the mother of Quinn (Minnie Mouse) and Declan. “The Inn is the greatest place to get away–almost like a vacation when it comes to the kids. There’s just so much stuff going on here it makes it not so bad. It’s like a second family.”


Lannan Cannons 6.jpgWhen the children had their fill of the outdoors they returned inside to find “Screech” waiting for them with Build-A-Bear Screech dolls and baseball cards for everyone. The players and Screech signed autographs and talked to the kids a bit longer before it was time to get ready for the evening’s Halloween party.


Lannan Cannons 8.jpg“This whole thing sparked up during the middle of the season. I’ve been trying to come out here the whole year,” Lannan said. “It’s just great that I was in the area and I was able to come out here and see the kids. They came to the games and supported us. I want to come here today and show our support for them. Overall, it was a great visit.”


Lannan Cannons 5.jpg“It’s good we can come out here when the season’s over and connect with the kids, get out there on the playground and have a taste of fun,” Stammen added. “It’s great to help out the community when we get helped out on the field.”

Lannan and Stammen walked with the kids to the Halloween party at NIH’s main building and spent time greeting patients, playing games, being wrapped up like mummies and celebrating with the group.


Lannan Cannons 9.jpg“It keeps you humbled,” Lannan said. “It keeps you grounded. I’m grateful to be in a place where I get to give back. They are sick–I’m glad I can be here and have fun with them.”

Lineups for 7/26

Padres

 

Cabrera – SS

Venable – CF

Headley – LF

Kouzmanoff – 3B

Blanks – RF

Salazar – 1B

Rodriguez – 2B

Alfonso – C

Gaudin – P

 

Nationals

 

Harris – CF

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Bard – C

Gonzalez – SS

Hernandez – 2B

Lannan – P

 

Did you know: Last night’s game against the Padres was the third time that Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn homered in the same game this season. It was the first game that they both hit home runs since May 9 at ARI.

 

Last night’s 13 runs scored was a Nats (2005-present) record for runs scored in a home game. The last time a Washington team notched 13 runs in a game was back on April 7, 1970 when the Senators beat DET 14-4.

 

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section. The winning caption receives a free Nationals beach towel.

 

And the winning caption is… “Flat Stanley goes to Washington.”


072509-306b nationals.JPG

Nats doomed by rain… again

dunn homerun.jpgThe Marlins beat the Nationals last night 7-5 in a rain-shortened game at Land Shark Stadium. While the Nats looked strong on the offensive end, they ran into trouble with their bullpen and defense. Adam Dunn inched closer to home run 300 with a two-run blast in the fifth to give the Nats a 5-1 lead. He sits on 298. Starter Craig Stammen looked strong pitching, and helped his cause by driving in two runs on a single in the fourth, but he faltered in the sixth when the Marlins cut the lead to 5-4 on a home run by Hanley Ramirez. In the seventh, Ramirez again did some damage with a two-run, two-out single with the bases loaded. Jorge Cantu hit an RBI base hit before the game was suspended due to rain.

“It couldn’t happen an inning before?” Dunn said. “You’ve gotta think the baseball gods really do hate us.”

In other Nationals News:

- More details about yesterday’s trade

 

- A look at the Nationals ever-changing bullpen

- Newly signed Kobernus a steady, quality player

Sox sink Nats for second straight night

Starting pitcher Craig Stammen was perfect through three innings and the Nationals out hit the Red Sox and still fell to them last night, 6-4, in front of 41,530 fans. Once again, the Nationals broke their own attendance record, set the previous night, but the home crowd wasn’t enough to rally the team. Stammen gave up home runs to David Ortiz and Jason Varitek, scoring five of the Sox six runs.bard.jpg

“When you play against a team in that category, you have to play perfect baseball,” said Manager Manny Acta. “And today, one pitch basically cost us the game.”

A scary moment happened early in the game. On a broken bat grounder by Elijah Dukes in the second inning, both the ball and the splintered bat flew at Sox shortstop Nick Green. Green avoided getting hit by the bat but missed the ball, giving Dukes a hit. The bat finally landed stuck upright in the ground.

Late in the game, the Nationals tried to rally back by scoring runs in the 6th and 7th innings off of a single by Josh Willingham and a triple by Cristian Guzman. In the eighth inning Adam Dunn, who started the game on the bench due to a sore wrist, pinch hit with a runner on first and two outs. He drew a walk, bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of Ronnie Belliard who struck out swinging. This was the closest the Nationals would come as Jonathan Papelbon mowed down the side in order for his 17th save of the season.

Some notes about tonight’s game:


Jordan Zimmermann faces off against pitching great John Smoltz in his first start for Boston. When John Smoltz debuted on July 23, 1988, Zimmermann was only two years old. Zimmermann also went up against another future Hall of Fame pitcher this season: Randy Johnson in his 300th win.

With a home run last night, David Ortiz is now tied with Adam Dunn with 296 career home runs. Dunn has an advantage over Ortiz, as he averages 13.9 at bats per home run while Ortiz is at 16.43 at bats per home run. Dunn hit his last home run on June 17th against the New York Yankees.

In other Nationals news:

- Last night, the Nationals welcomed their 10 millionth fan

- Nats recall RHP Tyler Clippard at the expense of Kip Wells

- Willie Harris is looking forward to facing former teammate John Smoltz 

Sox take first game in Nation vs Town battle

Lannan vs Sox.jpg

Last night, Boston came to town for the first time and
showed the Nationals why they have won two out of the last five World Series’
by beating
the Nats 11-3
in front of 41,517 fans- a Nationals Park record. The
game was more competitive than the score indicates, as it was tied through six
innings. Ryan Zimmerman snapped an 0-for-17 skid, going 2-for-3 with one walk
and 2 runs scored, and Cristian Guzman has recorded 6 consecutive multi-hit
games, going 14-for-30 (.466) with 2 doubles and 4 runs scored during the tear.
Also starter John
Lanan
went 6.1 innings giving up three runs on nine hits, though he did
not factor into the decision as he left with a tie game. Julian
Tavarez
, pitching against his former team, gave up the go ahead run in
the sixth. The Sox opened up the lead even more in the eighth when they scored
six runs off of reliever
Jesus Colom
e.

“Our situational hitting is not up to par,” said Manager Manny Acta. “We had a
chance there to take the lead and build some momentum. We just couldn’t score a
run.”

The Nationals face the Red Sox tonight at 7:05 when RHP Craig Stammen faces LHP
Jon Lester.

In other Nationals News:

- Even through tough times, Nats’ young pitching rotation still
shines

- With his great play of late, Willie
Harris
has earned
a starting spot
in the line up

- Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz talks
about his experiences
working with Nationals President Stan Kasten

- Pitcher Matt Chico, recovering from Tommy John surgery, on
the road to recovery


Nats take the series


Stammen.JPGRain delayed the game 5 hour and 26 minutes. Then, RHP Craig Stammen dampened the spirits of the Yankees. The Nats finished up their six-game AL road trip by beating the Yankees twice on back-to-back nights. Stammen and the Nats bullpen kept the Yankees potent lineup off of the board for only the second time this season in the 3-0 victory. It was the first time they were shut out at their new Stadium. Stammen picked up his first Major League win with a solid performance and Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-5 with two runs and a RBI.

 

  • Adam Dunn got it done at DH. Of course, he won’t have that luxury at Nationals Park. In four games as the DH, he batted .455 (5-for-11) with three RBI, five walks and a .625 on-base percentage.

 

  • With the 3-0 victory last night, the Nats pitching staff snapped a 74-game streak without a shutout. The last Nats shutout was a 1-0 victory over the Mets on September 16, 2008.
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