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[August 30th] -- The kid just keeps on keeping-on.

Brian Schneider, after Ryan Zimmerman's big game against the Florida Marlins a few weeks back, said that he had stopped wondering when the "other shoe" was going to drop, meaning that he no longer believed that the young third baseman would falter in the last month and a half of the season. Of course, as soon as he said it, Zimmerman's batting average took a dive, dropping from a season high of .293 to .279. He was tired, and he looked it. He was taken out early in a blow-out against the Phillies (bad move, the Nats came back and might have won had Damian Jackson not replaced him at third) and had a day off against the Marlins (good move) last week. He got a hit in his last three games, keeping his average near .280.

Then came Tuesday night.

Zimmerman went 4-5 (including his 2nd triple and 39th double), drove in three runs, and was the lone bright spot in yet another dismal performance by a Nationals starting pitcher. He raised his average back up to .283 and now has 89 RBI's for the year -- the only way he'll not reach 100 for the season would be to get hit by a bus (but considering the Nats' luck this year, I shouldn't even joke about it). Every time I think I've seen the best the kid has, that by season's end, he'll have a batting average around .250, he takes a deep breath and drives the ball to all fields.

Maybe he is the rookie-of-the-year.

Tony Armas has now joined Ramon Ortiz and Pedro Astacio as pitchers who have little to no chance of remaining with the team. With the trade of Livan, and the injury to John Patterson, all three were given ample opportunities to show that they had both the desire and the ability to be adequate major league pitchers again. All they've done is shown why they were picked up for next to nothing by Jim Bowden. There is no pitching on the major league roster, and none in the minors. The only hope of getting better pitchers is to trade hitters -- remember, no free agents of consequence will be signed -- making both the offense and defense equally bad. That said, the Nationals' offensive prowess is a mathematical myth. Going into Tuesday's game, they were ranked 23rd in the major leagues. Hmmm.... 23rd offensively, and dead last in the NL in team ERA -- no wonder they've only won 55 games this season.

Well, maybe we can move up and get the 2nd or 3rd draft pick next year. Why not? Who cares if they win 55 wins or 65 wins this season. Last place is still last place.


Farid--I got to tell you, I have seen every home game this season and they are getting tough to watch. We have no life. The pitching is HORRIBLE. As horrible as an expansion team. Except for Soriano, Zimmerman and Johnson, no one else is playing well either at the plate or in the field. Armas is the most frustrating pitcher I have ever seen. You can just SEE that he is AFRAID to be tough to batters. Can't get the out pitch, even with an 0-2 count. Just can't stand him. He's going to be let go, after the season, hopefully someone will pick him up and we get a sandwich pick in the draft.

Finally, the Nats make a nice comeback to get in the game during the 5th, now down 5-3 to the Phils, only to see Frank Robinson bring in Kevin Gryboski with the game on the line and much better choices still sitting in the bullpen. What a terrible managerial decision. Frank lately has made some seriously mindboggling moves. Its like he doesn't care.
Franks thinking " I'm going to be fired any why, right? Why not lose as many games as I can and kill their fanbase, yeah I'll have the last laugh."
It's no doubt becoming a difficult situation. You're right, they're playing with no life whatsoever, yet they are still able to draw 25,000 to a mid-week game that meant absolutely nothing.

It's soooo sad ....
Realistically, I believe Zimmerman probably ranks fourth in the Rookie of the Year sweepsakes right now. As things currently stand, Josh Johnson of the Marlins probably has a lock on the award. Ethier of the Dodgers, with a .340 average probably ranks second, Dan Uggla of the Marlins is third, Zimmerman fourth, Fielder fifth and Chris Duncan is sixth. If Zim got his average up near .300 and ended up with 110 rbi's, he might sneak by the others. The fact that he plays for a last place team and for a team that might end up with the worst record in the NL doesn't help matters.
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