Saturday, June 10, 2006
NATS BLOW ONE BIG TIME!!
As you would expect from a day game played less than 12 hours after a late night 12 inning affair, a good old fashioned pitching duel was in hand for the over 32,000 faithful at RFK. And They saw a No-Hitter until the 5th inning, For the PHILLIES. Livan Hernandez though matched Corey Lidle on the scoreboard through 4. We eventually held the lead until the 8th, needing 6 more outs to record another series win and even the home record at 13-13 when the PITCHING AND FIELDING Just fell apart. And, once again, we had the chance to pull away with a big inning, loading the bases with the BIG HITTERS at the plate. And failed to score for, most likely, 150th time in the 225 games the Nationals have played since arriving in Washington. Jose Guillen, who was on the disabled list for the past 2 weeks was activated before the game and Mike Vento was sent back to New Orleans. Guillen had played the last 3 days for the Potomac Nationals and killed the ball last night, stroking 2 Home Runs, but it was Single A ball. But, in typical fashion, both Frank Robinson and Guillen said that he would not come back until he was 100% and the team said that he was not. Yet, they activated him anyway.
On Chad Cordero Bobblehead Day, The Nationals again could not get a giveaway straight. The first 15,000 attending received a COUPON, that you then had to take all the way out to the Center Field Diamond Club Buffet Section on the 300 LEVEL--AND GET IN A LONG LINE TO GET THE FIGURE.. They had more people working the gates, handing out coupons, then maning the actual giveaway. It made absolutely no sense. They just could have given them out at the gate and there would have been no angst over it. And NO LINES!! Idiots, these people.
On to the game: The Nats wearing the RED DC Alternate Jersey and Cap. The Phillies, road grey. Livan rolls out with an easy 1-2-3 top of the 1st, getting Rollins to line to first, Ultley to K on a typical Livan sweeping crap pitch in the dirt and Abreu flys meakly to Soriano in left.
Soriano flys to left, Clayton grounds to short and Vidro K's to end the first. Corey Lidle looking very strong. Livan gets in to trouble in the second. With 2 outs, Rowand (FABULOUS HITTER AND PLAYER--I would take this guy on my team any day) smashes a single to left center. David Bell Walks
Rerserve Catcher Chris Coste (he with no MLB HITS and 32 Years old) smashes a liner to right center, Byrd is able to barely get to it, shoestring catch to save 2 runs. We go quietly in the 2nd, in order. And it continues this way through the 4th. Livan walks with 2 outs in the 3rd, Rowand would single and Bell would walk in the 4th, but both Livan and Lidle move through it unfazed. The Hitters, at this point had NO LIFE. NONE!! Then the 5th comes around, stupid baseball costs us again. With one out, Lidle comes to the plate, AND WITH 2 OUTS, lays down a beautiful bunt infront of the plate towards third. Schneider, not expecting this, falls down getting out of the crouch. Livan picks it up, wheels and throws to first, would have gotten the out, if he had not nailed Lidle in the back with the throw. Safe at First. As you might expect, Rollins drills a first pitch lashing single down the right field line to Marlon Anderson (today's RF) moving Lidle to 3rd. And not to be leaving a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs like the Nationals do, Utley flys to Deep Center scoring Lidle, Rollins to second. Livan k's Abreu on a crap pitch in the dirt to retire the side. 1-0 Phillies. In the bottom half the Nats finally get a hit with Anderson slices a double down the left field line that once again Burrell has trouble with. Anderson, easily into second. Schneider grounds out to Utley at second moving Anderson to 3rd. Marlon Byrd flys out to mid-center field, Rowands gives a decent throw, but Marlon Anderson is just too fast. Scores easily 1-1 and the 5th ends that way after Livan dribbles one to third. The Sixth gets very very interesting, and it looks like the game changer for the Nats. It was a Soriano fielding inning. Pat Burrell drives one the opposite way to the deep left field corner. Soriano makes a nice running catch for out 1. Howard then singles the opposite way to Soriano. Rowand comes up and hits a slicing foul ball that JUST NICKS the 3rd base bag on the foul side and then SQUIRTS its way down into the corner where Soriano is having problems. With Howard about to score EASILY, a fan picks up the ball, Soriano raises his arms signaliing stoppage, making the play dead and Howard has to return to third. Rowand is a second. Livan intentionally walks Bell to load the bases with one out. Chris Coste comes up, and on a 3-2 count drills one down the 3rd base line, Zimmerman snares it backhand, and instead of throwing to the plate to get the sure out, ROTATES AND THROWS A SNAP TOSS TO VIDRO WHO HOPS OVER THE SLIDING BELL AND RELAY TO JOHNSON AT FIRST TO GET COSTE BY ONE STEP!! Fabulous Double play to end the inning!! Livan double pumped his fist on the mound and stood at the dugout to thank all 3 as they came off the field. The crowd was into it. In the bottom of the 6th, Soriano grounds to short, but Clayton, now a 11 game hitting streak, drills and opposite field liner into the right field corner, stopping at second. Vidro, always one to NOT GET A HIT WHEN IT COUNTS THE MOST!!, flys out to Burrell in left. Nick Johnson is Intentionally walked, But Z, on a 2-2 count hits a looping singles off the end of his bat, protecting the plate, just trying to make contact, excuse me hit into mid center. Rowand retrieves the ball, but is off balance and can't make a clean throw to home. Clayton scores. 2-1 Nats and it looked like the luck would continue for Washington. Anderson grounds out to end the inning at 2-1 Nats.
In the 7th, Livan stays in but gives up a leadoff single to Victorino, batting for Lidle. Jimmy Rollins comes up and slams a come backer to the mound, Livan snares it off his left side, setting up a perfect rotation and throw to the awaiting Clayton and on to Johnson for a another BEAUTIFUL DOUBLE PLAY. Utley flys out to Soriano and it looked good for the NATS. Byrd singles to center with one out in the bottom of the 7th, Livan perfect bunt down the 1st base line moves him to second. Soriano is Intentionally walked, putting runners on 1st and 2nd. Clayton hits a dribbler down the 3rd base line and Bell can not make a play. All are safe. Bases Loaded with 2 out. Vidro comes up and in true fashion pops out to short right field, Abreu handles it easily. I WAS PISSED!! Another wasted opportunity. Needing just 6 outs to win, The NATS BLOW IT BIGTIME IN THE 8th. Guillen replaces Anderson in right (AND THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME ANYONE WATCHING KNEW HE WAS ACTIVATED AS NO ANNOUCEMENT WAS EVER MADE UNTIL HE TROTTED ONTO THE FIELD IN THE 8TH.) Livan had thrown 115 pitches to this point. Frank was trying to get him to the 9th, with everyone throwing over the past 12 hours. Abreu slams a 0-1 offering (hot smash) that Vidro, instead of putting his body infront of, turns and trys to backhand it. The ball plays him and it glances off is glove and rolls to his right about 3 feet. He retrieves it and throws to first, Abreu beats it by a step. Everyone complained, but he was definitely safe. Livan was pissed. Burrell comes up, and just like last night, with the Phillies down one, SLAMS THE FIRST PITCH DEEP TO LEFT FIELD AND IT SLAMS OFF THE CHEVY FIRST SIGN AND ITS 3-2 PHILLIES!! Last night he hits a 2 run homer off the foul pole to put the Phillies up 8-7. Alot of Phillies fans went crazy!. Frank takes out Livan at 118 pitches. Hernandez was pissed at himself, as he walked off the field, fans clapped but he shook his head and pointed to himself, taking blame. Classy ACT!! Stanton comes in and Strikes out Howard, making him look bad. And Frank begins to overmanage and replaces Stanton with Rauch. Rauch has not been good lately, and it got worse. Rowand comes up and hits a grounder shot right at Z and in true Z form, when its hit at him, he has problems, it goes right under his glove, through his legs for an error. Bell smashes a single to right. Rowand to 3rd. David Delucci PH's for Coste and on a 3-2 count, after fouling off 3 pitches hammers an opposite field ball to the warning track in left field. Soriano runs back to his left, but he hesitates not knowing exactly where the ball and wall are, and jumps up, thinking he is at the wall, and misses the ball badly, a sure out for most outfielders. Everyone scores and Delucci stops at 2nd. Soriano totally misplays the ball and it was costly. 5-2 Phillies. After Abraham Nunez grounds out to Vidro, moving Delucci to 3rd. Rollins comes up and stokes a double down the right field line scoring Delucci and just killing about any chance of the Nats coming back. 6-2 Phils. Rauch finally k's Utley looking to end the despressing inning. We go quietly in the 8th. Jose Guillen adds to the fun by making the 3rd out by swinging AT THE VERY FIRST PITCH THE MORON HAS SEEN IN THE MAJORS IN 2 WEEKS!! Some things just never change. Rauch stays in for the 9th and gets the Phillies big 3, Abreu, Burrell and Howard easily. Big Thanks Wookie. Flash Gordon comes on to close it in the 9th for the Phillies. Schneider, obviously wanting to go home, swings at the very first pitch, it goes right to Howard for the first out. Byrd K's badly on junk. And Robert Fick, he of the game winning hit just 15 hours ago, K's BADLY to end the game!! 6-2 Phillies. Bad Pitching, Bad Defense in 1 inning kills us. JUST KILLED US!! And Vidro has to have the worst average with runners in scoring position in the National League. I am going to look this up tomorrow. He's terrible in the clutch. Just terrible.
On a good note, I took my baseball I have been trying to get the entire team to sign to the game and stood by the dugout. I had 10 players already, but added NICK JOHNSON and The CHIEF today. Chief also autographed his Bobblehead Box for me!!
On a side note, it was reported in all the press about Damian Jackson yelling at the fans the other night and how Frank was very pissed and its way he is sitting right now. Last night, he came on to bunt and failed miserably again when Frank was running out of players in the 12th. Apparently, after the game, Jackson told the media, he has trouble bunting because he is NOT A REGULAR PLAYER AND DOES NOT HAVE THE CHANCE TO BUNT OFTEN! FRANK ROBINSON apparently was LIVID about this comment and told Jackson AND THE MEDIA that he is a PROFESSIONAL PLAYER. A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER ALL HIS LIFE. HE COMES TO THE PARK EVERYDAY. WHAT'S KEEPING HIM FROM PRACTICING GOOD FORM. THE GAME LASTS ABOUT 3 HOURS, YOU CAN PRACTICE ANYTIME YOU WANT!! Its apparent that Frank is a pissed at him as I am. Maybe we can release him when the Lerners's offically take over.
We drop back into 4th as Atlanta beat Houston. But we have a chance to win the series again tomorrow. Intriguing matchup. Phillies PHENON, Corey Hamels against Shawn HILL.