- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2009

THE BUZZ

Tracking the Nationals’ news and trends from the past week:

Jim Riggleman era [UP]

Team has won eight straight; interim manager’s record is 14-11

Ryan Zimmerman [UP]

Homers in four straight games last week; third baseman is in second major hot streak of season

Jordan Zimmermann [DOWN]

If rookie right-hander’s elbow discomfort is anything serious, club’s future will take a serious blow

Josh Willingham[UP]

Having hit a bunch of homers lately, it’s clear why asking price was so high for the outfielder

MINOR LEAGUE WATCH

Acquired July 31 for first baseman Nick Johnson, left-hander Aaron Thompson made his first start at Class AA Harrisburg on Wednesday, giving up three runs and three walks in five innings of a 4-2 loss to Binghamton. The 22-year-old has struggled most of the year at Class AA, first in the Florida Marlins’ system, and it will be up to pitching coach Randy Tomlin to get Thompson to the next level. The former first-round pick got lost in the shuffle of the Marlins’ talented minor league system and could be a nice acquisition for the Nationals if he can get on track relatively quickly.

EX-NATIONALS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Since he was moved to the Colorado Rockies in a trade deadline deal, Joe Beimel has pretty much kept up what he was doing for the Nationals. He has a 3.38 ERA in four appearances — after posting a 3.40 mark for Washington — and the Rockies entered Sunday a game back of San Francisco in the wild-card race. That might be the biggest thing for Beimel: He went from pitching in the NLCS last year with the Dodgers to a last-place team in Washington and seemed to be chafing at the environment created by all the losing around the All-Star break. With the Rockies, he’ll get a chance to pitch in meaningful games down the stretch again.

Season stats: 1-5, 3.40 ERA, 42 1/3 IP, 26 K, 15 BB

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