Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tonight, Our Washington Nationals Won a Series against The Baltimore Orioles:
Because--They DID NOT give up when their bullpen lost the lead--TWICE.
Because--Matt Chico continues to emerge as a serious Major League Starter.
Because--Our Manager Manny Acta, outwardly, shows no sign of panic, even when most every other MLB Manager would.
Because--Early in the game, with runners on 2nd and 3rd with No Outs in the 2nd--Ryan Church and Brian Schneider were able to score both runners playing small ball--grounding to the right side of the infield.
Because--Ryan Langerhans hammered out a solid Home Run to Dead Center at Camden Yards, not moments after Byron Kerr on MASN interviewed Langerhans' Father watching the game in Baltimore.
Because--Our Washington Nationals got lucky when Corey Patterson tried to make an ill advised diving catch on a Ryan Zimmerman drive to center in the 6th. Patterson missed and Ryan ended up on third with a triple. Our Number 11 scoring a vital 4th run of the game on a single by Austin Kearns.
Because--After Our Bullpen effort by Jesus Colome, Ray King and Jon Rauch gave up three consecutive hits scoring three Baltimore Runs and giving The Orioles the lead in the bottom of the 7th--Our Washington Nationals turned the tables on The O's Bullpen immediately scoring two runs in the top of the 8th. Life can be sweet sometimes, mear moments after you want to kill someone.
Because--In that decisive top of the 8th with FLop on second and Zimmerman on first with two outs--Kearns again delivered with a CLUTCH single just under Shortstop Miguel Cabrera's glove for the game tying single. And, My Main Man!! Ryan Church, with an ugly swing, mostly fooled, was able to muscle a grounder up the middle to the second base side, scoring "Z" with the night's sixth run. Both runs scored off My Favorite Underarm/Sidearm Pitcher Of All Time--Chad Bradford.
Because--"The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game" facing the Heart of The Orioles Lineup could not record the final out of the game. Aubrey Huff and Jay Payton knocking two out, two strike, check swing singles to tie the ballgame at six apiece--sending this game to extra innings.
Because Our Washington Nationals DID NOT GIVE UP!! After most any other team would have quit.
Because although Our Bullpen faltered badly tonight--The Orioles Bullpen is downright terrible.
Because with two out in the top of the 11th, Robert Fick (YES, ROBERT FICK) bloops a single just over Miguel Tejada's head that should have been caught to retire the side. But, Tejada thought Leftfielder Jay Payton was going to catch it. Shades of Our Washington Nationals that confusion.
Because Ryan Langerhans followed with a TERRIFIC 9 pitch walk after being down 0-2 to Orioles Closer Chris Ray.
Because "The Guz" followed with a bases loading walk.
Because FLop, after bitching and arguing over a bad strike call by Home Plate Umpire Bill Miller, decided to seek revenge and hammered a hard hit Ray inside pitch down the right field line that Baltimore First Baseman Kevin Millar could not reach. All three runners scored with the baseball rattling into the right field corner, giving Washington its third come from behind lead of the evening. A play that included a CHORUS of YELLS AND SCREAMS by Nats Fans Celebrating Our Fortune in The Home of The Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards. There might not have been many fans left, but those Washington Fans still in attendance were mighty loud, and mighty proud.
Because Saul Rivera wasn't fooling around in the bottom of the 11th. Saul retired The Baltimore Orioles in order to preserve a nice 9-6 extra innings victory.
Because in Baseball anything can happen, at any time.
Because this was one of those frustratingly, satisfying victories.
Because this was a win that could easily have been lost.
Because Curly "W" Number 28 gave Our Washington Nationals their fourth consecutive road series win.
Because RIGHT NOW, I want to see a SERIES SWEEP tomorrow night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
And All This, Because Our 2007 Version Washington Nationals have some Heart.
Game Notes & Highlights:
As happens so often in baseball, Matt Chico was deserving of a win tonight. Getting through 2 outs in the 7th, ahead by two when leaving--Our Number 47 saw his bullpen implode and give Baltimore the lead. Matt threw 75 of his 112 pitches for strikes and continues to cut down on issuing free passes. This evening only one walk, scattering 8 hits. Slowly, Matt Chico is becoming a decent pitcher, although he still has a long way to go.
Ryan Zimmerman despite scoring two runs had a difficult night this evening. In the first, he fielded Brian Roberts leadoff grounder to his right, then, with plenty of time--promptly threw the baseball so far over Tony Batista's head at First Base, there was no way Batista could catch the ball. 11 errors for "Z" this year, almost all on throws. His footwork at times, not good when setting himself. Later, Zimmerman would ground out to Tejada at shortstop, only to see Miguel throw the ball away. With Zimmerman well past first and the play basically dead, Ryan for some reason, flinched toward second base with Kevin Millar standing a few feet in front of him with the ball. Millar tagged out Zimmerman. The frustrating look on Ryan's face said it all. Was he EVER PISSED AT HIMSELF.
Late in the game tonight, once again MASN's audio on The Nationals Broadcast was unacceptable. The Crowd noise was significantly higher than announcers Bob Carpenter and Ray Knight. They were difficult to hear. So, I turned over to MASN2 where Jim Palmer came up with a couple of doozies on The Orioles Broadcast. Its interesting how Gary Thorne and Palmer always refer to Our Nationals as WASHINGTON. Yet, Carpenter and Knight always call Baltimore, The Orioles.
Anyway--with Chad Cordero on the mound in the 9th--Palmer speaking about Chad: "I can't understand how a pitcher with no velocity has been as successful as he's been. Its really amazing." Gary Thorne replying: "I agree."
Then, just a few moments later when it appeared that Washington was going to win this game in regulation, Palmer said:
"If Washington wins tonight and takes the series, it will be their fourth consecutive road series wins. That's remarkable for a team that's really suppose to be terrible."
I couldn't help but laugh. Palmer's honesty and bluntness was a marked contrast to the smoozing over The Orioles on the MASN Nationals Broadcast. A difference between night and day. Clearly odd this MASN TV DEAL.
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Nick Wass