Around the NL East - Giancarlo's epic slam, Nationals turning to the committee, questioning Roy Halladay, and David Wright's flight for .400

This is the look of a man questioning the capability of his successors once he walks away.

You know something, I haven't watched a Braves game in over a week now, since I was out in California for last weekend and part of the week, which I'll eventually talk about sooner rather than later. Less than two days home, I'm off again this weekend, as I'll be up in Raleigh, North Carolina for Memorial Day. And there stands to be a good chance that I won't get to see any Braves games the holiday weekend too, unless I ditch my friends and find a bar or something that's televising the games.

I'll keep it short because I'm sleep depraved and travel weary. My internet connectivity over the weekend might be spotty, so this is going up a day in advance. Have good holiday weekends, everyone. Welcome back to the basement.

2012mia_medium

Giancarlo Stanton hits pretty much the everything home run - Fish Bytes
Let's see, this home run by Giancarlo off of Jamie Moyer did the following:

  • Came from behind
  • Took the lead
  • Grand Slam, cleared the bases
  • Clocked at 122.4 mph, the fastest, well ever
  • Hit the scoreboard
  • BROKE THE SCOREBOARD

I'm pretty sure this will be the marquee highlight for Giancarlo's entire career. It's like when Shaq broke an entire basket on a dunk in his rookie year; as many scoring titles, MVPs and championship rings he won, it always goes back to him breaking the entire basket.

Gaby Sanchez optioned to Triple-A - Fish Stripes
Like Jair Jurrjens, if you're young(ish) and have options available, a demotion to the minor leagues is never impossible. Nobody ever pegged Gaby Sanchez to be a superstar one day, but at the same time, Marlins fans were expecting someone better than a .238 wOBA. Chris Coghlan was recalled to take Sanchez's spot on the roster, with the general idea of Logan Morrison or Greg Dobbs playing first in the interim.

Ricky Nolasco becomes Marlins all-time winZ leader - Palm Beach Post
With 69 wins, Nolasco passes Dontrelle Willis to become the all-time leader in WINZ for the Fish. Compared to the other 29 franchises' all-time win leaders, Nolasco is three away from Colorado (Aaron Cook, 72), nine away from Tampa Bay (James Shields, 78), 49 away from the Dbacks (Randy Johnson, 118), and just 287 away from the Braves (Warren Spahn, 356).

Emilio Bonifacio put on DL with sprained thumb - Fish Stripes
This is a kind of move that might derail the Marlins' hot May momentum. He was excellent at getting on base, and was pretty much a super utility guy that was for the most part, their starting center fielder.

Leoviedo receives visa to return to the United States - Fish Bytes
Leo Nunez, or Juan Carlos Oviedo, whatever you want to call him, is finally allowed to return to the United States after being deported, jailed and suspended for falsifying his identity. Regardless, now that he's allowed back in the U.S., he's still required to serve his eight-week suspension from MLB, so don't expect him to actually pitch in the majors until almost August.

Omar Infante leaves team after passing of grandfather - Palm Beach Post
In unfortunate news, old friend Omar Infante left the Marlins for a few days to go back to Venezuela to attend the funeral of his departed grandfather. Hearts go out to Omar and his family for their loss.

2012was_medium

Nationals employing closer-by-committee - Nats Insider
With Drew Storen and Brad Lidge on the shelf, the Nats have been relying on Henry Rodriguez to close out ballgames. It was okay at first, but it's all come undone lately. Davey Johnson can't really take any more of it, and has declared that closing duties will be done by whomever seems like the best choice.

Brad Lidge is ahead of schedule in rehabilitation program - Nationals Journal
Since having surgery for a sports hernia, Brad Lidge appears to be ahead of schedule with his throwing. If all goes well at his current pace, he could re-join the Nationals as soon as June 12th.

Tyler Clippard wants his chance to close - Nats Insider
Despite his spotty track record in actual last-three-outs save situations, Tyler Clippard feels that it's his time to get a shot at an official closer's role. In fact he doesn't just feel it, he wants it. Badly.

But Ryan Mattheus won't get any chances - Nats Insider
Because he's going on the DL for a foot injury, plantar fasciitis to be precise. Conveniently, this opens up a roster spot for Chien-Ming Wang to return to the 25-man roster, where he will likely be coming out of the bullpen until the team figure out what they wan tto do with him otherwise.

Read Cole Hamels backpedaling - The Bog
After causing a massive sh*tstorm and getting suspended for declaring the HBP to Bryce Harper intentional, Cole Hamels claims to have accidentally said that he deliberately plunked Bryce Harper, and that in the end, HARPER STILL SHOWED HIM.

Bryce Harper scouted Roy Halladay better than most scouts apparently do - Nats Insider

"This is what he's going to do," Harper told Eckstein that morning. "And when he does it, this is where it's gonna go."

"I've been watching him for about three years," the 19-year-old outfielder said. "He throws a first-pitch curveball to so many people, and they just let it get over the plate.

Sure enough, Halladay's first pitch to Harper in the top of the third inning was a "get-me-over" curveball. And sure enough, Harper was waiting for it and sent it on a beeline to right-center field for the two-run triple that put the Nationals on top and set them on their way to an impressive, 5-2 victory.

Citizens Bank Park issued extra security in right field for Bryce Harper - Nationals Journal
Isn't this, well, kind of sad?

Philly magazine asks Philadelphians if it's now time to hate the Nationals - The Bog
The Nationals are now 4-2 against the Phillies this year, and have pretty much had their way at Citizens Bank Park over the span of the last nine games. Despite all the taunts of waiting for the Nationals to deliver, now that they are currently in the process of doing such, and well at that, is it now time for those in Philly to start recognizing a rivalry?

Stephen Strasburg hits his first career HR, delays game drastically running the bases - Nats Enquirer
After acting as the role of the stopper with his arm, he acted the role of the stopper with his bat as well, clocking his first career home run, to help prevent the Baltimore Orioles from sweeping the Nationals.

Ian Desmond is flourishing batting fifth - The Nats Blog
Reading this, it kind of reminds me of when the Braves moved Yunel Escobar to batting fifth, and then he exploded for a period of time. But then I remember when Yunel Escobar exploded in a different way, and it ultimately led to the Braves having Alex Gonzalez for two years.

Mike Morse will be back by June 8th "for sure" - Nationals Journal
Swinging the bat hasn't been a problem for Morse, who suffered a lat injury. It's simply throwing the ball that has been problematic. Thank goodness for Interleague; DH instead of just one PH, and he can still contribute.

I have to admit, Gio seems like a really cool dude - Nats Enquirer
Custom headphones with name and number emblazoned on them? That's actually kind of sweet looking.

2012phi_medium

The Roybot admits to feeling nonexistent duress - Phillies Nation
In other words, Halladay shows glimpses of being human and admits to feeling pressure. This admission came after he was rocked by Bryce Harper and the Nationals and saw him give up multiple home runs and five earned runs.

Can the Phillies still rely on Roy Halladay? - Beerleaguer
Velocity is down, he's making the same mistakes multiple times, etc, etc.

In short, yes, he'll be fine - Crashburn Alley
Utilizing rate stats of this year versus the rest of his career, Doc looks to be right around his usual norms. It also doesn't help that the Phillies just aren't scoring runs, either.

Mostly because much like many teams, the Phillies stink at hitting with RISP this year - Beerleaguer
I'm feeling too lazy to cross-reference the actual league average slash, but .259/.326/.377 doesn't sound very promising overall.

Congratulations, J-Roll - Phillies Zone
On Sunday night, Mrs-Roll gave birth to the couple's first child, a baby girl. According to new MLB rules, fathers of newborns are entitled to missing up to three games to tend to their new children. Rollins missed all three of them.

Vance Worley does not need Tommy John Surgery - High Cheese
Someone should get him a sticker that says he survived a trip to Birmingham and Dr. James Andrews without needing Tommy John Surgery.

Instead, he has bone chips - Phillies Zone
Food for thought; Derek Lowe had a bone chip in his elbow in 2010, and he took a start off. When he came back, he pitched like nothing Braves fans saw from Derek Lowe ever again.

Placido Polanco is getting better, whether people realize it or not - Phillies Nation
An interesting article about how the numbers don't exactly reflect it, but Polanco is showing a lot of improvement at the plate. Line drives have been increasing, and he's simply making better contact with the ball. If things manage to stabilize, he won't exactly be at his career numbers, but a respectable total could be in sight.

2012nym_medium

Terry Collins believes David Wright could .400 all year if he can make it to All-Star Break - NY Daily News
As cool as it would be to see someone actually manage to bat .400 throughout an entire season, in my lifetime, I'm going to have to be that guy and say that I wouldn't bet on it. Braves fans went through this back in 2008 when Chipper Jones was batting .400 all the way up until mid-May, and although Wright has already surpassed that time frame, it's going to take some torrid hitting to keep that average up until the All-Star Break, let alone the remainder of the season.

Ike Davis no longer safe from demotion like he was last week - NY Post
Ahh, how quickly the tides turn in this beautiful sport of ours. Despite having the personal endorsement from Terry Collins last week, nobody's piping up to quell the ideas of sending Ike Davis back to Buffalo amidst his prolongued slump. Especially having seen guys like Jair Jurrjens and Gaby Sanchez get exercised, sometimes you have to demote a struggling player. The decision looms soon, because Jason Bay will have to be activated, eventually.

What an Ike Davis demotion means - Amazin' Avenue
Leave it to the folks at AA, whom despite their propensity to put R.A. Dickey's face on and MSPaint everything, have to go and inject a whole lot of logic and thought into what it would mean if Ike were demoted.

F*&# Majestic - The 7 Line
You know, I'm with this guys. Shirts that blatantly slam other teams should be reserved for the fans to create for other fans. Not Majestic. They're supposed to be official, legit, and vanilla. Not blatantly abuse their licensed ability to put team logos and identity on apparel and then make slander.

Back to more important matters at hand - Amazin' Avenue
That's more like it. Stuff that people really care about. I voted for Nickeas.

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