Friday, September 08, 2006
JUST UGLY!! We can be really Terrible Sometimes!!
Wow!! I didn't get the chance to see the game live, but I had the chance to replay the game on MLB.com on my computer and that 8th inning was MURDEROUS!!
Having fought back from a 5 to 2 deficit with some clutch hitting from pinch hitter Austin Kearns and then Brian Schneider to tie the game at 5, Washington totally feel apart by butchering 4 plays, all with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th inning.
I am sure Frank Robinson was at his fuming best!!
Setting the scene--Troy Tulowtzki had singled leading off the inning and stole second base with one out. Ryan Wagner would then intentionally walk Jeff Salazar to get to Rockies Pitcher Manny Corpas. Colorado would counter with VINNY CASTILLA to pinch hit. Vinny flying out to center for out number 2--THEN THE FLOODGATES OPENED!!
Jamey Carroll stepped to the plate, and once again, Carroll proved why he's such a valuable/versitile player--Frank Robinson clearly stating, after the game, that it was a mistake for the Nationals to get rid of Jamey (I am sure that set well with JIMBO). We have all known this for some time--Bowden will never fess up to his blunder in selling off Jamey.
On a full count, Carroll would top a ball right above Wagner's head, Ryan should have had it, but it rimmed off his glove, falling behind the mound, Tulowitzki was running all the way with 2 outs, Felipe Lopez came charging in, fielded the ball--then PANIC set in, seeing Tulowitki nearing home plate. FLop rushed the transfer of the ball from glove to hand and WHIFFED on the throw. 6-5 Rockies. On the very next pitch, Todd Helton would line a grounder down the right field line, Nick Johnson making a fine play on the ball--only that Ryan Wagner FORGOT TO RUN TO THE BAG!! Johnson picked up some speed trying to beat the diving Helton to the bag, Wagner running into Nick. It was an awful looking play. Helton safe, Salzar scores and its 7-5 Colorado. You just know Frank was ready to pound something!!
Garrett Atkins follows with a grounder into the shortstop hole, FLop really didn't have a play, Johnson coming off the bag to retrieve the attempt to throw out Atkins. He was safe, Carroll scores. 8-5 Rockies. Wagner still in the game. But, really hadn't pitched bad, just didn't execute his fielding--destroying this effort on the mound.
Good hitting Matt Holiday was up next and he hit a routine ground ball to Jose Vidro's left, Vidro dives for the ball--AND IT GOES UNDER HIS ARMPIT!! How is that possible!! Vidro had the same problems last home stand. The man with no range, kills us again. Helton Scores. 9-5.
Frank would then take Wagner out, and bring on Felix Rodriguez, last seen late spring before some odd injury kept him on the 60 Day DL until yesterday. Brad Hawpe would greet Felix by ripping a liner to right, Defensive Replacement, George Lombard reached up to snare ball, AND IT WENT RIGHT PAST HIS HEAD, Atkins scoring on the error, and Holliday, trying to score all the way from first was thrown out at home by Vidro on a relay to Schneider.
So--with 2 outs, and 4 brutal defensive gaffs, The Nats gave away a winnable game!! Frank must have had steam coming out of his ears after that inning.
Final score 10-5. Jamey Carroll goes 3 for 5, scores 2, knocks in 2 runs (but he's not a useful player according to Jimbo). Rockies once again take us to the cleaners taking away any momentum from the latest Nats win streak.
Nick Johnson did set a career high with his 20th Home Run of the season.
Ryan Church had a nice game with 2 hits, 1 RBI and a nice running catch, filling in for Austin Kearns, only able to pinch hit with an injured groin. (This is why Lombard was in the game during the 8th inning--and it was costly!!)
Wagner made 2 huge mental mistakes. FLop tends to freak out when there is pressure fielding a ball (remember last home stand when Jimmy Rollins was stealing second and FLop whiffed on Brandon Harper's perfect throw to second)--it really bothers me. Lombard will not play any significant role for the Nats, at least now they should know why George is a journeyman player. He's looked feable in his 3 at bats since his recall. Obviously has fielding issues. Jason Begmann was not too good as tonight's starter. Not sure if he will ever be any more than an emergency starter. He's decent at times, but never over more than a few innings at a time. Vidro's range is just KILLING ME!! These are all marks of a mediocre team.
Beltran Perez, once again had a good outing, striking out 2 and getting out of a small jam in the 6th, helping Washington get back into the game. Brett Campbell made his Major League Debut, going 1.1 scoreless innings. But, with both of these guys, MLB hitters haven't really seen them yet, and don't know what to expect. Lets wait to see how they do over a longer period of time. They are promising though.
I am glad I missed this one. As exciting as he has been at times, since joining the team last week, Nook Logan, to me, is not the answer in centerfield. He can fly, both in the field and on the bases, but that speed doesn't help on the bases if Nook has problem getting on base. Unless he can change his hitting style, he shouldn't be around next season. Of course, I could be wrong with Jimbo's penchant for "TOOLSY" outfielders.
Washington had played well over their last 10 games, hopefully making a pushed toward respectibility by the end of the fast approaching 2006 season. This one will give them NO RESPECT!!