tv [untitled] CSPAN June 11, 2009 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
>> it looks like the weats going to help us out today as the nationals get ready for the cincinnati reds. byron kerr and ray knight with you, welcome to nats xtra. last night, we could use a couple of adam dunn long balls as we saw in the preview, ray, because 12 innings, two-hour rain delay, offense in the 9th inning, they lose 4-2. that was a tough one to swallow
yesterday. >> ray: we have had a lot of tough sexualing. my esophagus i think has tightened up for trying to swallow so much. we are doing a lot of things better. our pitching has been so much better, bullpen and starting pitching. and i'm excited to come to the park every day to watch these young pitchers work. offensively that is the part of the game. you will have streaks scoring. when you get into that feeling if our pitching can just come around we are going to do something because our offense is pretty stable. that was the case for the better 2/3 of the season we have gone through so far. we have all been around baseball and know you are going run into slumps. adam dunn is a guy that is going to get hot and hit 10 homeruns in a month. zimmerman has been hot. he has cooled down. johnson's hot, cooled down a bit. everybody in our line-up has to get better in hitting in situations. we get runners on 3rd base, you have to cash in on that and we haven't done it.
it is a matter of concentration. it is a matter of getting a pitch you know you can drive. especially with the infield back. you know, that is just a freebie. you have to make ground ball contact up the middle. the guys are trying it and i think that is the key. they are trying so hard they are coming out of their natural aggressiveness in probably trying to hit the 5-run homeruns. >> rain is in the forecast. seems like the whole month of
june into may we have had rain what does manny acta think about that? has he been through this in his career? >> yes, i managed in the florida state league. florida, stomacher time every day after 4:00, it rains. you use the batting cages a lot. not in the big league level. this has been very unusual according to the people who live in this area. so, it has been kind of silly. >> and ray, as a big leaguer stopping and starting, you start the game and then you have a
rain delay. how does that avenlth you? >> ray: it is the worst. if it happens once every 2 weeks, that is one thing. but you go in there and try to find a way to keep yourself going and keep yourself loose. it is a big downer. you either play cards, sign autographs, mail, get your mail out. but basically, killing time trying to stay in contact with the umpires. but for pitchers it is the worst. you saw cordero after 2 hours try to come
back and pitch. that puts a tremendous strain on your manager and pitching coach. you have got in a position where last night they were in a position they had the closer, three outs to get and the rain comes and the rain comes. it changes the whole momentum. but when it is day in and day out and you get your batting practice curtailed, it is a different way to prepare and it makes it difficult. >> not only on the batters but the pitchers as well. one thing that has been going
pretty well the last few weeks is the pitching. and you look at what steve mccatty has done, the new pitching coach. debbi had a chance to catch with up him. >> thank you, byron. let's talk about lannan. what is he doing? >> he is throwing strikes and getting more confidence, staying focused on the game pitch by pitch. he still is getting better. he is going after guys and he is trusting himself and making pitches. >> what do you think has been the key to the bullpen turning things around? >> i can't really say what that is. all i can say since i have been here for the most part, they have come in. they have been aggressive. going after it. and they are making pitches. what it comes down to is competing and making pitches. they have done a good job at that. >> scott olsen is heading to syracuse. can you give us an update on his rehab process. >> his bullpens have been very
good. velocity was good. last time out, i think he topped out at 92. he is throwing the ball well and feels good. he is trying to attack the zone. when i say attack, i mean be aggressive. i'm excited for him to see what comes out of it. >> speak of excitement, how thrilled are you that your son shane got drafted by the nationals today? >> i'm extremely happy. it was all they are doing nothing done by me. i never suggested, never brought it up. just watch him throw and then he came with me and came down and threw. i'm very happy. he is really excited and it is an opportunity. now it is all up to him. they are giving him a chance which i'm really grateful for. i can't tell you as a parent. i'm happy he's got the opportunity and that is up to him to go out and do well. >> and you have pitched at the big league level. what advice do you give him for
getting this chance and making the best out of it? >> go out and be aggressive and throw strikes. it is the same thing. you have got to throw strikes. it is not the about how hard you throw or all that other stuff. if you are willing to compete and make them hit the ball and not pitch to avoid contact, chances are in this game if you take that attitude and give it your best, you will never have any reason to look in the mirror and feel like you didn't give it your all. that is all i can tell him when i talk to him. i said i'm extremely proud of him. give it your best and where it goes it goes. >> steve mccatty, thank you so much. back to byron and ray. >> thank you, debbi. we are pulling for shane to make it from the 34th round. it would be nice to see that name come up. the draft is over. they got the 51 players. they have some guys with lineage that could be good for the nationals in the future. >> ray: yeah they do. there's nothing like genetics. [laughter]. >> ray: you see a lot of things going good when you get guys that know how to play the game.
any time that you draft a pitcher's son, you can bet from the time he was 6, 7, 8 years old, he has been at least taught the right way. and he's got the right way of thinking. sometimes those guys may not have as good stuff but they know how to pitch. it is just like my dad always said, he is a ballplayer. he may not be the fastest guy or the guy to hit with the most power or throws the hardest, but he knows how to play the game. >> all those picks for the nationals, stephen strasburg is on. also in our covering the bases segment today, 1st baseman adam dunn. we are going to learn a lot about adam dunn, his family and how things are going with this nationals. micah owings and john lannan today in the series fi family with the reds -- finale with the reds.
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today's pitching matchup, right-hander micah owings taking on left-hander john lannan. we talked about the big 6'5" hurlers going ray, >> ray: mike rizzo signed him out of atlanta georgia, georgia tech. said he was the best hitting prosecution text he -- prospect he had seen. good fastball, breaking ball and he has to get it together and learn how to pitch. john lannan, last 10 outings, outstanding. only one has he given up more than three runs. earned run average 2.87. he had a complete game t. kid can flat out pitch. he's got that fastball that he runs away from the right-handed hitters. he's got the big breaking ball that he throws for strikes and the change-up is devastating when he is on. >> byron: four straight losses for micah owings. that is a season low for reds pitcher and 29 starting starts. welcome back to nats xtra, byron
kerr and ray knight. getting some rest now, looking back at this draft that will be historic in nationals history, you have to be very proud. >> very proud of the guys. they did a tremendous job. people don't realize the man hours and effort that goes into putting together the board. and it all accumulates in the selections we see and the players we see in the stadium when they come to fruition, >> ray: you go through the months and months of preparation. and your wish list and at the end of the day, feeling how you feel about that wish list. how did you feel coming out of the draft? >> we felt great about it. things fell right for us in the earlier rounds. of course 11 you pick who you want and we took stephen strasburg. >> ray: i applaud you for that. >> thank you. fits what we are trying to do
here perfectly. character kid with a big arm, big heart and a lot of heart. then we followed up with what we felt was one of the best college bats in the country, then we pounded some good college pitching after that. >> byron: the agent for stephen strasburger has quoted saying stros strasburg is a -- strasburg is a different cat. how are the negotiations going as you try to get strasburg in the fold? >> it is an ongoing conversation. we keep the lines of communication open at all times. he is as good as it gets in his occupation. his job is to do his best for his client. but he realizes this is a player that needs to be pitching in professional baseball to get to hisibility national goal of being a -- his ultimate goal of being a major league pitcher. with scott, i have had a lot of
dealings with him. high school a professional, amicable relationship. it is based on fact and, you know, expectations have got to be realistic. >> ray: it will get done. i just believe it is going to get done. i felt that from the very beginning. those guys have to realize as you said, there's slots there. david price, whatever he got he got. it has to be somewhere around that figure. it can't be $50 million. forget that baloney. what is fair is fair and the kid needs to get here and start pitching. aaron you is a great example i'm going to go back -- he's lost value. he dropped back down after a year. my question is, you know, i know about the pitching. i know you build organizations on pitching but i have also known middle infielders and centerfielders are huge. and i heard this kid can run. >> he is a big time player. he can run. he also has the ability to swing the bat, defense, stolen bases and he's got the whole speed
offensive package for us. >> byron: you look at that first take, the top dog, the kind of money people think he will command in stephen strasburg, did that affect how you drafted the rest of the 3 days as far as how much money you had left for the guys still on the board? >> not at all. i have gone by the philosophy my whole baseball career, this is my 10th draft you have overseen. you never can make hay if you are drafting people that you can sign. you have to -- you can't have your draft picks solely on the fact you can sign the player. you have to give them what they are worth. you have to take the best player available, negotiate with them. if they want to play and get to the big leagues because the money is out there. it is not for the signing bonus. the sooner you sign a professional contract and play, the sooner you will be in the big leagues. >> ray: and that is what drew
storen's daddy said. we are going to make that money up in a hurry. if he does what he is expected to do, he will make that money up in a hurry. i don't want to put you on the spot, but i have to. your evaluation of our ball club. we all know they have been playing poorly. you are sitting back there dying more than anybody every day. just your feelings. >> well, you know, my glass is half full. i see a lot of positives coming out of this ball club. you see an offense that is capable of scoring runs. we started off so strong and so hot with the bats. we have cooled off since then. we are closer to the good offensive team than the bad offensive club we are now. the young starting pitching has exceeded the time frame i have had and the expectations i have had early on. when you have got guise like martis and detwiler and zimmermann really as the focal points of your rotation and the
steadiness of john lannan, those are exciting things. the bullpen has really kind of found their ground when we have made several changes for a more veteran type of bullpen in there. i look at the positives. the negatives, obviously we have to improve our defense. it hurts not only giving extra outs to these teams. you just can't give extra outs to the philadelphia phillies and the new york mets and atlanta braves and expect to win games. i think that has a lot to do with the pitching e.r.a.s and the lack of our bullpen's success. the defense has a lot to do with it. fundsmenttals we have to stretch -- fundamentals we have to stretch. i give the guys credit. they play hard and run hard. they are as upset and mad as anybody else. >> byron: certainly an exciting june 9th getting stephen strasburg and appreciate you taking the time to join us on
nats xtra. mike rizzo. >> my pleasure. >> the acting general manager. coming up we will get ready for the nationals and the cincinnati reds. don't forget saturday's game against the tampa bay rays. we will join in process at 7 p.m. from triple-play kana field. -- from tropicana field. it is the reds and the nats coming up. it's on. - it's on. - it's on. - ( music playing throughout ) - it's on. - oh, it's on, all right. - it's on. - totally on. jimmy, it's on. - it's on. - oh, yeah, it's on. affirmative, it's on. announcer: southwest airlines announces new service out of bwi airport, with three daily nonstop flights to new york laguardia for just 49 dollars one-way starting june 28th. grab your bag. it's on. - ( ding ) - book now at southwest.com.
♪ who's watching? ♪ tell me who's watching. (muffled music) ♪ who's watching... (announcer) it's right here. it's easy. ♪ i always feel like somebody's watching me. ♪ it's the money you could be saving with geico. >> byron: jay bruce has beee man for the cincinnati reds as we look at the line-up for the washington nationals. jerry hairston will lead off and bat from 3rd base. willy taveras. ramon hernandez, gone sal guess
zalez, rosales and micah owings, the pitcher. and guzman top of the order trying to get the bats going. alberto gon salzales, ryan zimmerman at third, dukes in center, willing ham is the left fielder, kearns in right, nieves will call balls and strikes with john lannan, the pitcher. >> welcome back to the nats xtra pregame show. >> ray: ryan's going to be there. he's creeping up. he's got almost 800,000 votes right now and he continues to swing the bat well and i have always said it, i have said it since i have been here, he is the best defensive 3rd baseman
barring nobody. barring none. >> byron: he has down a great job. adam dunn as well. when you look at the standings right now, david wright at the top of the list from the mets. almost a million votes and david wright with new york, chipper jones, pedro feliz and bill hall. >> you can vote at least 25 times per your ip address to get the guys to st. louis for the middle of july and the a-star game. now it is time for the stay in the game hold of the day brought to you by just for men hair color. we are looking at the top spots. last nationals pitcher to recall a hold versus the reds was charlie manning that was last year, august 8th of 2008. certainly going to take care of that very quickly. maybe even today. john lannan will probably go all the way with a complete game as well. just as these relievers chemotheir game in the -- keep
but we can't predict our shipping costs. dallas. detroit. different rates. well with us, it's the same flat rate. same flat rate. boston. boise? same flat rate. alabama. alaska? with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. dude's good. dude's real good. dudes. priority mail flat rate boxes only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. >> concentrate and get some better at-bats with situational hitting. i think we are underestimating at the end of the game. that counts even if it is in the 2nd inning. i think we all know they are trying to get it down but right now they are going through that period and we are just lacking that big hit and we can't slug away every single day. we are going to have to win a couple of 3-2, 2-1 ballgames. for that we are going to need
the big hits. we need one of those big guys to step up. >> byron: manager, manny acta of the washington nationals talking about the offense or lack thereof as they try to climb out of a swine. byron kerr with ray knight. mark suckerman joins us for game three of the reds and nats. it seemed mark, early on in the season it was the pitching struggling and the offense was getting five runs per game and it has turned around. >> it is remarkable how that happens. last 2 weeks they have averaged three runs a game and they includes a ten run game last week. it is everyone. it is not one guy. it is the top of the order, those four guys at the top have not produced the way they did early on and they are hurting at the bottom of the order without torres, willingham and kearns not getting it done. the lack of depth in the line-up hurts because you only get so
many shots. >> ray: i think the flores situation is critical. he became probably or most productive hitter. every time he seemed to come up with a run on second with two outs he would get a base hit. nobody else is stepping up in that role. you would think zimm is going to do it. he has hit into a lot of double-plays. johnson has been very productive but still in the rbi situation, situational hitting not real good. so, you are around manny all the time. have you talked to rick eckstein about the approach or change of approach or trying something different? >> yeah. i think it is not necessarily one thing. i think some guys are being too aggressive and going after the first pitch. some guys are maybe waiting for the perfect pitch and not getting it. more than anything else, major league pitchers are going to give you probably 1 pitch per at-bat that is going to be a
hittable pitch. they are just not taking advantage of it. they are not getting that done. especially early in games it seems like. we talk about in the 8th and 9th inning they have had had their chance. how many times have we looked at the 1st inning and said they had the bases loaded and couldn't finish it. >> ray: a bunch. >> or maybe they score one run and can't get the second across. that is what is hurting them. >> byron: mark, thank you so much from the washington times. the reporter watching the nationals offense and they are hoping it changes today. nick johnson is going to sit down 0-12? his last three games. josh willingham moving to left field. micah owings and john lannan as the nationals get ready for the cincinnati reds. trying to get one out of this series before they head to tampa bay. we are going get this one in. johnny holliday and rob dibble have the play-by-play next.
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