Monday, July 17, 2006
Felipe Come ON!! Armas You're Killing ME!
I am sorry to say that Felipe Lopez is becoming my new whipping boy. In tonight's 4-2 loss to the Marlins, Felipe had 2 errors, the second one a routine ground ball that he booted that ended up costing the Nats huge in the bottom of the 4th when the Marlins scored 3 runs on a double, 3 singles, one walk and the Lopez error. Felipe did hit a no doubt about it home run to right in the top of the 4th off Ricky Nolasco, but more than put Washington in the hole with his bad fielding and throwing. He just does not look comfortable. Also, he plays with absolutely NO EMOTION!! On each of his errors, his expression doesn't change. When he left 17 runners on base over the first 3 games he played for the Nats, he did not seem upset with his inability to hit in the clutch. I find him very disturbing to watch. Alot of Nats fans did not care for Royce Clayton, but he was fairly steady for Washington this year and, more times than not, made the routine plays. Lopez has trouble with those routine plays.
Another disturbing sign is Tony Armas Jr's inability to trust his stuff. The man can reach the mid-90's, but he nibbles way too much around the plate. Tonight, Tony labored through 5 slow innings of 92 pitches, 56 for strikes. In the key bottom of the 4th, Armas had a chance to get out of a jam, despite Lopez's error by only giving up 1 run. But, with 2 outs and Marlins on 1st and 2nd, Armas nibbled around the plate on weak hitting Reggie Abercrombie and walked him to load the bases. If Armas just fires away with his best slider over the plate, Reggie would not have hit it. Then, nervous now, not finding the plate, Tony gives up a single to pitcher Nolasco to score 2, putting the Nats in the hole they could not recover. It very frustrating to watch a talented pitcher not be able to pitch. If he had confidence, he would be an above average starter.
The play of Lopez and Armas tonight is typical of why the Nationals are not a good team. NO CONFIDENCE!! NONE!!