Hi everyone — long time, no speak. Sorry about that. After covering the All-Star Game in San Francisco last week, I took some vacation time so I could attend a wedding in Oregon. Beautiful country out there; it certainly was a shock to return to the D.C. humidity yesterday.
I’m chatting today live from RFK Stadium, where the Nats currently lead the Astros, 4-1, in the middle of the fourth. I’ll provide some game updates as we proceed. To get you up to date, Ryan Church doubled in a run in the first and Austin Kearns (yes, that Austin Kearns) drove in two more runs with only his second double in 22 games. Houston’s Mike Lamb homered off Jason Bergmann in the second to make it 3-1, but Ronnie Belliard got the run back with his own RBI double in the third. That’s where things stand as we speak.
Before we get to your questions, one brief pause for some sad news: Dave Fay, the Times’ longtime hockey writer, passed away last night after a 12-year battle with cancer. Dave was truly one of the giants in this business, an institution at the Times since the paper’s inception in 1982 and earlier this year was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sadly, he didn’t make it to this fall’s induction ceremony, but I can’t tell you how touched he was when he found out he had been elected and began getting well wishes from all over the place. “Dr. Puck” will surely be missed…
OK, let’s move onto the Q&A…
From Mark in Oakton, Va.:
From Barry Prophet in Reston:
In-game update: Luke Scott just hit a solo homer to right to cut the Nats’ lead to 4-2. We’re still in the top of the fifth, with Jason Bergmann still on the mound for Washington. Also, George Washington won the Presidents Race in a runaway. Sorry, Teddy fans: He finished dead last yet again.
From Robert in Springfield:
From Jeff in West Lafayette, Ind.:
Another in-game update: Ryan Langerhans just absolutely crushed a three-run homer into the right-field mezzanine. The Nats now lead 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a spate of clutch, multi-run hits. When’s the last time we saw that?
From gilsfan in State of Confusion:
From Neal in Gaithersburg:
Another in-game update: Couple of nice diving stops by Ryan Zimmerman helps Bergmann get out of the sixth with no damage. Astros starter Jason Jennings is now out of the game, replaced by Matt Albers. We’re in the bottom of the sixth, Nats still comfortably ahead, 7-2.
From Brian in Alexandria:
OK, we’re now into the seventh inning here at RFK, so I’m going to have to cut the Q&A short and get back to work. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions, and thanks again for your patience as we try to get our revamped website in order. As always, the Nats Mailbag will run on Monday, so send me questions for that in advance — firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care, everyone!