Sunday, August 26, 2007


Every pitcher in the Major Leagues is talented. Some are very successful--some just get by. And many, just can't can't cut it, at all. The Margin for error in The Big Leagues is slight. Most Pitchers have similar stuff. The Difference many times comes down to command--and trust. Confidence in yourself--SAVVY. No one is successful, unless they have faith in themselves.

Today, Joel Hanrahan did not pitch with conviction for Our Washington Nationals. He was unsure. His mind wasn't loose. He was fearing making a mistake. All because, he well knew his best stuff was failing him. Without the gained experience of many Major League Baseball Starts--Joel Hanrahan was lost. Everyone could see it coming--Our Number 38 was going to get rocked. Which he did--leaving after just 2.2 innings--allowing 9 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks to The Colorado Rockies. Hopefully, a learning effort to be locked away and brought out again in the very near future.

Everyone can command presence with they are on top of the their game--everything flowing PERFECTLY. Respect comes, when you win while faltering--when you are IMPERFECT.

Some of The Best Pitchers in the Game--Roger Clemens, Tommy Glavine, Gregg Maddux, Pedro Martinez--the list goes on and on--have bad days also. But, their experience gives them a belief. A certain SAVVY, knowing they can still get batters out with the game on the line--even when that Cutting Fastball isn't sharp. Even, when that Slider isn't exactly falling off the table. That's why they are THE BEST. Clemens, Glavine, Maddux and Martinez are all well past their prime. Yet, all four are still successful--because their knowledge is far greater than the loss of their athletic abilities.

Talent which Joel Hanrahan may well harness and prosper with in the future. But, definitely not today. Defeats like this must be looked on as a learning experience. Even The Best got hammered early in their careers. If Our New Starter is going to be a solid Major League Starter--he's going to need to trust himself more. Don't nibble around the plate when you have no command, nor control. And, that also means depending on your fielders to assist you. Let them HELP YOU OUT.

Hanrahan was trying to be too precise this afternoon at Coors Field--fell behind in the count--lost confidence--and started laying the baseball in right over the plate. In that awful third inning-two were out before The Rockies even got a baserunner on board. Yet, Joel even worried about Elmer Dessens--The Colorado Pitcher. A inning killing walk to Dessens loaded the bases--a mistake that finally started the domino effect. A Double, Single and Home Run given up by Joel over the next three batters closed this game out. Hanrahan took a beating. Hopefully--a thumping in which he educated himself.

Failure is the name of game in baseball. Every Single Baseball Player suffers disappointments. But, even when you can't muster up your God Given Talents to the best of their abilities--you can still come out on top. That Confidence in the Imperfect Game separates the Good Ones from The Mediocre and, eventually--the also rans.

What kind of a player is Joel Hanrahan capable of being? Not sure. But, days like today--are the moments you find out. Our Number 38 failed this afternoon in Denver, when he wasn't PERFECT.

And made it worse--when, he didn't have the SAVVY--to rely on trust.

Final Score--The Colorado Rockies 10, Our Washington Nationals 5.

Game Notes & Highlights:

A three game sweep by The Rockies has put a serious damper on that fine start to this 10 Game Roadtrip. After winning three of four in Houston--Our Washington Nationals are facing a serious uphill battle to come back with a .500 or better record on this trip away from RFK Stadium. Now, on to Los Angeles to face the tough Dodgers and their fine pitching.

In the bottom of the second when Hanrahan was facing his first serious mess--The Rockies had bases loaded and two outs--two runs in, due to 4 walks and one single--when the dangerous Todd Helton popped a foul fly down the third base line near the stands. Ryan Zimmerman ran hard all the way to the tarp roller--dove across the tarp and caught the baseball to retire the side. A Rally Killing Play that would have been The Defensive Play of This Game, if not for Austin Kearns' nice run to the scoreboard wall and fence in right on a Brad Hawpe drive in the third. A Catch that resulted in Kearns face planting himself against the fence--still holding on to the baseball. An Excellent Catch. Although, little did anyone realize that play would be the final out before Hanrahan got himself into this game's changing--six run mess.

Zimmerman got Washington on the board with a solid home run to left in the first inning. His 21st Homer of 2007. Later, My Main Man!! Ryan Church attempted to get Our Team back in the game by launching his 11th Home Run of the season in the 7th. A Two Run Shot off Ramon Ortiz!!! Actually, I had no idea Ramon was pitching for The Rockies. Surprised to see him trot out--Not Shocked at the result.

A GOOD FEELING Our Washington Nationals must have felt when Austin Kearns delivered a two run, two out double to right, off Our Former Starter, to get Washington within four runs at 9-5 in the 8th inning. But, unfortunately, Colorado's Manager, Clint Hurdle, called on Matt Herges to shutdown the rally the rest of the way.

Since his return from the Disabled List--Jesus Colome has pitched effectively. This afternoon--another two innings of shutout relief work. Too bad he was lost for a good third of the season with that infection. When Jesus first went down he was arguably Our Best Reliever--maybe even a Most Valuable Player Candidate--for Washington (No Not The LEAGUE).

Wily Mo Pena having some real trouble of late with the off speed pitches. Everyone knows he can hammer a fastball. Now since The Pitchers have adjusted to him--time to see if Wily Mo has THE SAVVY to counter back. Whether Pena becomes a bonafide Major League Slugger--will depend on how well he adapts.

Finally, The Rockies Leftfielder Matt Holliday and their Rookie Shortstop Troy Tulowitski--both EXCELLENT YOUNG PLAYERS. You have to appreciate fine talent. Both of whom have what it takes to be All Star Players--for years to come.

Today's InGame Photos--(AP) Jack Dempsey


SenatorNat said...

WM Pena has had that problem for several years, obviously, not just of late: but, he is clearly worth seeing if he can adapt.

Guillen and Vidro are big part of the reason Seattle Mariners could go to the World Series this year at the rate they are playing. Vidro is consistent DH, batting .318 (he could always hit); more suprising is Guillen, bouncing back from terrible year (nagging injury)in 2006 to be hitting close to .300 with 25 home runs. He would have enabled Nats to win about 5 more games thus far this year, at least, had he stayed and played at this clip... "Jose, Jose, Jose," etc...

Out of all the young pitchers getting their try-outs for future Nationals' rotation, the only one who is a mortal lock, presuming health, is Shawn Hill. Lannan looks more promising than Hanrahan at this point. It will be important for Bergmann to finish the year strong to be installed as a number 3 or 4 for 2007; and Chico could still be the 5th starter next year, much improved due to his experience gained through 25 starts, hopefully.

Point is: Nats still need to go into free agency looking for a No. 2 and a No. 3 in my opinion for 2007. And, they need to be positioned to pay a king's ransom for Torii Hunter, and acquire two more decent hitters somehow. They should plan on spending $72 million, slightly more than 100% of current payroll.

If the team finishes 72-90, (going 14-17 for the balance of the season) -then aquiring players who can help the team win another 9 games in 2008 should not be an impossible task, when one considers that Fick, Jimenez, and Batista are not really major league quality reserves.

It is imperative that the team be competitive in the new park from the outset - the three year grace period at RFK having concluded. And $72 million is well under what the Orioles are spending - the Nationals should outspend them based on the 3 million they can expect the draw at the new park. That is - 3 million, unless they cheap-john the situation, and lose the chance to truly engineer a broad and enthusiastic fan base...

Finally, Roughrider Rides on Saturday, September 1!!! Bully, Bully, Bully!

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

paul said...

Guillen's away statistics with the Nats were worthy of an all-star's.

Sept. 1 mid-4th inning will indeed be huge. And this is coming from someone who is often reading the newspaper during the race!