Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Call Of The Wild
As the sun set this evening, the sky overhead slowly turned from daylight to dusk. A bright orange glow reflected off the western sky. And, once that Sun finally eclipsed the horizon, the ever growing darker night soon followed--alongside an ever rising Gorgeous and Bright Full Moon over RFK Stadium's right field wall. Then, once that Moon reached its Zenith, the creepiness of the night ensued. The sounds that followed represented the Howling of Wolves Singing to that Pale Disk In the Sky. Yet, This "Call Of The Wild", this evening, was the noise of Our Washington Nationals singing the praises of The Los Angeles Dodgers Derek Lowe.
Throughout his 7 innings on the mound tonight, Lowe faced just 26 Washington Batters, all but five of them would go directly back to the home dugout. 3 would get hits, and two would walk. Derek was at his sinkerball/fastball throwing best--not a single Washington Nationals player reached second base tonight. At no time was RALLYTIME!! in effect--although MickNats and I attempted to get it started-TWICE. Never did Our Washington Nationals have a chance. No, this "CALL OF THE WILD" was the lamenting of Nats Batters, unable to get anything going.
As the Full Moon shined brightly in the night--Our Washington Nationals HOWLED IN DISGUST.
Were they ever beaten tonight. And, Derek Lowe not only did it to them on the mound, but at the plate as well. He walked twice, singled with two strikes, kept two--run scoring rallies going--and scored the final run of the evening for The Dodgers. If its possible to outshine a Full Moon--Derek Lowe did just that tonight against Our Washington Nationals.
A 5-0 beating. A game we were NEVER in. A game decided WELL before the ending.
This GAME was all about Pitching--Los Angeles Dodgers Pitching. It did not matter whether the game took place at RFK STADIUM or one of those Band Box Fields in Cincinnati or St.Louis--you have to get hits & walks in some sort of sequence to score runs. No way, Our Washington Nationals manufacture anything this May 30th, 2007. Even after Lowe left after his 7 Marvelous Innings--Washington could do nothing against his replacements. Two Journeymen Pitchers, Joe Beimel and Rudy Seanez (not many pitchers are more Journeyman than Seanez--10 MLB Teams over a 18 years career) combined to shut Our Nats the rest of the way.
Two Games against The Dodgers now--facing Brad Penny & Derek Lowe--Just 9 total hits, One Double--ZERO RUNS SCORED. Back to Back Shutouts. Their Best Pitching, rebuffing the Best we can throw at them. Wanna Bet The Dodgers are Howling tonight to that Full Moon? Its pretty hard to shutout an opponent two nights in a row--in the visiting ballpark. Maybe, The Los Angeles Dodgers are Wolves after all. Maybe those sounds heard the past two nights at RFK Stadium are the pitched cadence of The Hunter taking down its Prey. Did we EVER SUFFER A LOSS TONIGHT!!
"THE CALL OF THE WILD"--killing Our Washington Nationals.
Game Notes & Highlights:
Nats Starter Mike Bacsik pitched a decent ball game. He surrendered 4 of the Dodger Runs, but only two were earned. He was hurt badly by a routine ground ball error by "THE GUZ" in the 6th on Jeff Kent. Dodgers Catcher Russell Martin (one of the finest young catchers in this great game) followed with a Two Out, NO DOUBT, blast over the left centerfield wall--to make this game 4-0. The Dodgers had scored their only two earned runs, off Mike, in the previous 5th inning when Luis Gonzalez doubled on a liner to right, moved to third on a Martin grounder to FLop and scored on a well stroked double to right by Andre Ethier. Then, with two out--Bacsik would make the ultimate mistake--walking Lowe--which he paid for promptly--Rafael Furcol cashing in on opportunity with a sharp grounder to right that Felipe Lopez dove for but could not reach.
Bacsik would go 6 complete innings--gave up 6 hits, one walk over 74 pitches--48 for strikes. Mike didn't bowl anybody over--but he was competent. Since, Our Washington Nationals didn't score ANY RUNS for him--Number 37 had No Chance--ANYWAY.
In the top of the second with Luis Gonzalez on first with a single and one out--Russell Martin grounded sharply back to Bacsik on the mound--he twirled and threw to Guzman over second base--Cristian made a nice pivot and throw to first for an inning ending double play. It was The Defensive Play of This Game. Although, there was the sight of Dimitri Young LUNGING to his left--in foul territory on a Gonzalez grounder in the 8th, snaring the baseball--ruled JUST FOUL!! by First Base Umpire Jerry Crawford. The sight of seeing "THE BIG DOG" sprawled out along the turf--worth the price of admission. And, considering his fielding problems covering his position so far this season--maybe Umpire Crawford should have shown some heart. Sometimes, close is good enough. The score was 5-0 at the time-anyway. What a sight though!! In Section 320--We gave Dimitri a "10" for artistry and performance.
Tonight's Nemesis--Derek Lowe would go 7 innings, 3 hits, 2 walks over 113 pitches. But, showing how baffling he was tonight against Washington Hitters, only 64 of those pitches were for strikes. Nary a single hitter for Our Washington Nationals had any idea what Lowe was throwing to them.
Saul Rivera was FABULOUS in 1.1 innings of relief work tonight--striking out three. When he struck out Russell Martin, you could clearly see Martin asking Home Plate Umpire Chris Guccione what Saul had just thrown him. Our Catcher Brian Schneider just shook his head back and forth. Even under his mask--you knew Brian was laughing. Rivera had his finest going tonight. Too bad, it was wasted on a sure loss.
The Announced Crowd was 22,360--Yeah, Right. If there were 12,000 in attendance, I would be amazed. Yet, those that purchased tickets and didn't show up didn't miss much. Although, I am surprised at the low turnout. The Los Angeles Dodgers should have a good following--even on the East Coast.
Finally, this afternoon, I attended Our Manager Manny Acta's "Q & A" Session at ESPN Zone in Washington, DC. Although I will have more on this tomorrow--what turned ironic was Nats320 reader Oliver coming up to me and introducing himself at ESPN Zone. Recognizing his name, I thought he was Simon Oliver Lockwood--a regular commenter on the sight. This Oliver said no, but told me how much he enjoyed reading the various posts. We sat and talked during Manny's chat. Then, lo and behold, tonight--at RFK STADIUM, I was approached in Section 320 by the real SIMON OLIVER LOCKWOOD!! He came by to introduce himself to me--also. Really, what are the chances? We chatted for some time over the last few innings of the ballgame. As I told S.O.L. it was really ironic. In less than 9 hours--two Olivers, the first of whom I thought WAS Simon Oliver lockwood, mistakingly so. Yet, the second one was real. Just Odd. (Many Thanks to Miss Chatter for being kind enough to take the Photo of Manny & I)
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Nick Wass