Friday, April 13, 2007
Bases Loaded, no outs--Top of The Second. Double Play Rally Killing Grounder by Brian Schneider (Yeah, The Nats scored a run on the play, but the damage was done).
Top Of The 5th--Schneider Single, Chris Snelling Walk, Still No Outs. John Patterson comes up and CAN NOT LAY DOWN A BUNT!
Patterson Strikes Out, Felipe Lopez Walk, Bases Loaded, again--Ronnie Belliard Double Play Rally Killer.
Top of The 6th--Two Outs-- Austin Kearns Single, Ryan Church Single, Schneider Walk, Bases Loaded once Again--Chris Snelling grounds back to the pitcher to kill the rally.
What's with not being able to get runners home from third? The Mets get ONE RUNNER in scoring position, and he scores EASILY!! Sometimes Our Washington Nationals make the game more difficult than it should be, or is.
Despite all this, Our Washington Nationals take a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. John Patterson has hung in there. By far, his best outing of the season. Leading off the 6th, The Mets Jose Reyes walks and with his speed, he can basically just trot to second, as Washington can not throw out his steal attempt. Sure enough, Reyes steals second on a Pitch Out. After retiring Paul LoDuca on a pop up, an interesting decision by Washington. John Patterson has only thrown 76 pitches. JP has been decent, but not great. Yet, Manny Acta decides to take John out of the game.
I got the distinct impression the goal tonight was to make sure John Patterson SHOULD NOT GET SADDLED WITH A LOSS. A decision made for the long term good of the club. To let Patterson leave on a positive note. Not necessarily to win tonight. John's leaving this game was a deciding factor. Number 22 was a better choice to attempt to finish out the inning. And, as it turned out, Micah Bowie would allow a game tying single by Carlos Delgado to tie this one up 2-2.
And, when Ryan Wagner gave up a two out single up the middle to My Favorite, Julio Franco (Julio is the only player still playing Major League Baseball older than I, that's always a good feeling) in the 7th, this one was over. Billy Wagner was coming on to close this one out for New York. Which he did, throwing one flame throwing pitch after another. Billy Wagner would be interesting to bat against. Just to see if I could get the bat around in time. That man throws HARD.
Tonight's 3-2 loss was frustrating. Our Washington Nationals were given every opportunity to put this one out of reach. Once again, not getting the key hit with the game on the line. Not scoring any runs with the Bases Loaded, a sure sign of a team that can not consistently pull out the close ones. Patterson pitched well enough to win. But, was not even given the opportunity to see if he could get out of a minor jam in the 6th. Unless JP is injured, why not keep him in the game?
I understand that we are trying to build a team for the future. But, please let me see Our Starting Pitcher work his way out of a mini-jam. If you don't, pitchers like Patterson will never develop properly. If we were a contending team, this would be one of those games you look back on, pondering just how you lost it, later in the season.
Game Notes & Highlights:
Ronnie Belliard again made a couple of nice plays in the field tonight. Yet, his range is not too good. Better than Jose Vidro, but not by much.
Ryan Church has learned to cut down on his swing and protect the plate. For the first time in memory, he's slapping singles to the opposite field, by thinking at the plate. Not just looking for The Long Ball. That's a good sign.
Ryan Zimmerman, on the other hand is struggling mightily. A rough start and no one around him consistently protecting him in the batting order is just killing him. Zimmerman looks totally uncomfortable at the plate. That's saddening.
Felipe Lopez, trying to do too much at the top of the batting order, is not taking good swings or making good decisions at the plate. Relax FLop.
The African Queen and I were discussing tonight, how much better Our Washington Nationals would be if Nick Johnson and Cristian Guzman were in the everyday lineup. With FLop at second, we would be a better fielding team. Boy, do I miss Nick Johnson. And, amazingly would rather see "The Guz" at short.
Chris Snelling just cracks me up. He had two hits and an RBI tonight. Due to his knee brace on his left leg, he can not run too fast, yet he gives his all in the field. Dives for balls he can't rightfully get to, and makes good throws to the bases on hits to the outfield. "Yoda" hustles and I appreciate his efforts, tremendously.
PS--Sorry for the short post, I have been up since early AM and its been a long day in Television News.
Game Photos: AP-Julie Jacobson