Davey Johnson, Ian Desmond, Tom Milone and Ryan Zimmerman react to Milone's smashing major league debut.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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With the Nationals offense lacking throughout almost the entirety of the 2011 season, Nationals manager Davey Johnson was asked Saturday for his evaluation of hitting coach Rick Eckstein. He did not hesitate to offer a glowing review and an emphatic vote of confidence for Eckstein.
On the one-year anniversary of the day that Stephen Strasburg had his precious right elbow sliced open and a new ulnar collateral ligament put in place, he stood on the mound in the Nationals' bullpen effortlessly doing the same thing any other starting pitcher does three days before his next start. Then he talked about the past year, and his future which, if he has his druthers, will never include the minor leagues again.
As left-hander Tom Milone becomes the fourth Nationals pick from the 2008 draft to make it to the major leagues, he does so leaps and bounds from the type of pitcher he was when the Nationals selected him in the 10th round out of USC.
Nationals left-hander Tom Milone will make his major league debut today, standing on the mound at Nationals Park as the fourth member of the Nationals' 2008 draft to make it to the major leagues. Milone joins Espinosa, Aaron Crow and Louis Coleman -- the latter two both signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2009.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson confirmed after his team's 7-3 loss to the New York Mets Friday night that Livan Hernandez will indeed start Sunday afternoon against the Mets but it will be his final start for the Nationals for the foreseeable future. With an eye toward 2012, the team will shut Hernandez down and clear the way for other pitchers in their starting rotation over the season's final month.
Danny Espinosa was absent from Nationals manager Davey Johnson's starting lineup Friday night for the first time since Johnson took over in late June. It was only the fourth time all season that Espinosa didn't appear in lineup and, if he were not to appear at all, would be the first game of the season that Espinosa did not participate in. Espinosa has said on several occasions that he'd love to play all 162 games, something only eight rookies in MLB history have ever done.
Roger Bernadina was back in the Nationals' clubhouse, all smiles as he returned to the Nationals for the first time since being optioned to Triple-A on July 29.
The Nationals return home top open 10-game homestand that will feature the debut of left-hander Tom Milone, the return of Stephen Strasburg, the debut of Brad Peacock and the return of Ivan Rodriguez. And that's only the stuff we already know for sure will happen. Needless to say, it figures to be an interesting stretch for Washington which will need a strong showing to keep their hope of a .500 or above record alive.
Laynce Nix left the Nationals' game in the third inning Thursday night after tweaking his groin and it looks like Roger Bernadina is on his way back up to the big leagues as a reinforcement.
The Nationals wrap up their final multi-city trip of the 2011 season this evening at Turner Field with Chien-Ming Wang going against Atlanta's Tim Hudson. The Nationals have yet to augment their roster with any September call-ups but there's a distinct feel to the lineup Davey Johnson's been using lately that it's made with an eye toward 2012.
Harrisburg outfielder Archie Gilbert was arrested Thursday morning for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and endangering nine construction workers.
In dramatic fashion, the Nationals Double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, clinched their 14th postseason berth in the last 24 years and let loose in a celebratory frenzy inside the home clubhouse at Metro Bank Park. The Senators now need to win one of their remaining five games -- and Stephen Strasburg starts for them Thursday night -- in order to clinch the Western Division title. The Eastern League (Double-A) playoffs begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Single-A Potomac also clinched a playoff berth.
Change is coming to the Nationals in the form of September call-ups. The Nationals open September 63-71, in fourth place in the NL East and 24 games out of first place. Still, they know it's a pivotal month.
At some point in the next three days, Tom Milone will join the Nationals and their starting rotation. And in the immediate days to follow more and more of his Triple-A teammates will find their way to Nationals Park as well. But don't expect them to all arrive at the stroke of midnight on Sept. 1.