Thursday, April 19, 2007

Manager Manny Acta said he hopes Jerome Williams’ comments following Tuesday’s loss to Atlanta were a result of the heat of the moment.

Minutes after the 6-4 loss, Williams told a group of reporters he’s “not confident” when pitching.

Acta said that’s not the message he wants to hear from his No. 4 starter.

“He talked too quick,” Acta said. “He didn’t think [through] what he was saying, because that doesn’t send the right message to me or the rest of the league.”

Williams allowed three runs in the first inning but allowed just one over the next four.

“I’m not confident out there,” Williams said after the game. “They gave me a shot to be a part of this rotation, and they gave me a shot to be here, and I’m not taking advantage of it. I’ve got to go out there and pitch the way I was pitching before and prove to people I belong here and prove to people I’m a good pitcher.”

Acta said Williams (0-3, 5.63 ERA) lets his emotions take over on the mound.

“I had a talk with him in the middle of the game yesterday about showing his emotions and being so mad out there,” Acta said. “I don’t think being mad helps anybody. I don’t think when people are mad they can think straight. I actually kind of threw a weird example to him that when people commit murder they are not in the right frame of mind. And then, the next day after they get collected, they’re like ‘what have I done,’ but you’re already going away for 30 years.”

Restovich arrives

The knock on outfielder Michael Restovich during spring training was that he didn’t show enough power. After 11 games with Class AAA Columbus, Restovich had no home runs and one RBI.

But that didn’t discourage the Nationals from calling the burly outfielder up after Tuesday’s game and optioning outfielder Kory Casto to Columbus.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Restovich said he isn’t worried about his lack of power numbers, saying he’s sure they will come. During a pregame batting session, Restovich drilled an impressive shot into RFK Stadium’s upper deck in left field.

“When I don’t concern myself with hitting home runs and I just concern myself with swinging the bat well, that’s when homers show up,” said Restovich, who hit .278 with two doubles with Columbus. “I didn’t do it in spring, and I think that’s a big part why I didn’t make the team.”

A full squad visit

Acta, his staff and all but two players visited injured troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Tuesday, surprising director of community relations Barbra Silva,, who came to RFK seeking only eight or nine players.

With so many new players this season, pitcher John Patterson and catcher Brian Schneider thought it would be better for everybody to go, especially the new guys.

“We get to play a game for a living. We get to have a lot of luxury and things like that in our lives,” Patterson said. “These guys gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be able to do that. I just wanted everybody to see it and experience it.”

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who had a media commitment, and Williams (Tuesday’s starter) did not attend.

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