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


Anonymous said...

It is becoming quite obvious that the Nat's offense is even worse than the pitching.

JayB said...

The last two games have been better baseball defensively and on the mound (still too many walks for my taste). Fun to watch at least.

Boswell in his "chat" at WP finaly was able to explain Stan's motivations for his extreme version of a rebuilding PLAN. His ego according to Boz is the driving factor. I missed that in his sound bites.

I now relize what has made me so frustrated, my perception that he was not understanding the risks of the PLAN.

Stan is really just saying I do not care what the FAN thinks and the extreme approach is needed in order to feed his ego and top is ATL effort.

In order to do that NATS NEED to be the WOREST team in BASEBALL to get the #1 pick. No fan concern is going to get in the way of this ego according to BOZ.

NOW I get it! Warning Will Robinson...

tadcranky said...

I agree with Boz on the Big Ego thing. My thinking has been that just because someone labels something "The Plan," and he had some measure of success, that may or may not be overly credited to him, with another team, doesn't mean that "The Plan," will be successful. Heck, every GM in baseball has a plan, they just don't trumpet it like a used car salesman. Stan's on thin ice, and I think it would have been wiser to hedge his bets a little, perhaps by spending some of the difference between this year's and last year's payroll on some players.

JayB said...

Thinking back on the many MLB quality Managers turned down the job (some even refusing to be interviewed for) Manny's Job?

It seems Joe G., Terry P, Lou P, and more I'm sure, understood just how extreme Stan wanted to take this PLAN and they wanted NO PART of it......or The Learners are just so cheap that only the youngest, first DR, no expirence etc.....guy would sign on for their price?

Either way that reality is a far cry from the load we season ticket holder have been fed! "Oh we are going to compete, do whatever it takes, challenge for the top in 2007....just you trust us"

Chris Needham said...

That's a short post???

Screech's Best Friend said...

Chris: Yes, by my normal standards, I guess. When you are tired, its hard to think straight sometimes ( am chuckling while I write this).

JayB said...

Snelling had another bad throw last night to 3rd. Rayes was not tagging from 2nd but Snelling pulled Zim off the base by about 10 yards on a throw from mid left field.....Just calling as I see them

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate SBF's game reports. Often more illuminating than the WP and much more amusing. As a transplanted Australian, who has fallen hard for baseball, I obviously have high hopes for Chris Snelling. Baseball in my youth was a popular winter game for cricket players who wanted to keep their skills up. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks.

ondigo said...

In todays WaPo, Patterson said he was starting to tighten up due to the cold. Knowing that, I can agree with the decision to take him out when they did. Let's keep him healthy now and work his way out of those mini-jams later in the season when the weather isn't so extreme.

I still can't help but think that we lost this game on walks, AGAIN. As much as Our Washington Nationals' lousy hitting, the number of walks is what is killing us.

(BTW, SBF, I love the way you capitalize "Our Washington Nationals". It was the first thing that tipped me off that you were the kind of blogger I wanted to keep reading.)

RallyTime Richard said...


but not as frustrating as not getting runners into scoring position in the first place. if you can get them there, eventually you will get them home.

Nick Johnson would certainly help to protect Zim.