Saturday, September 15, 2007
Usually, When Our Washington Nationals play a rained delayed game that heads deep into the night--the outcome has ALWAYS been worth the wait. Fireworks and Fun Galore. Until, this late night--early morning. Section 320 responded, as always. It fact--We were ROCKING. Unfortunately, Our Players--Were Not. The rain started coming down just as Batting Practice ended for The Atlanta Braves. And, it didn't stop. Not one time, through the longest game played since Baseball Returned to Our Nation's Capital--did the wet stuff cease.
This Game Was Ugly.
Awful Field Conditions. Really--what a quagmire. The Infield so wet it was DANGEROUS. Was it really that important to potentially injure someone with two more days of baseball to play against Atlanta?
Foul, because "The Chief Cardiologist" returned in the 9th to blow his 9th save of 2007. Chad Cordero was aiming the ball. His Nemesis--The Braves--walked all over him. When "The Chief" started slamming the ball back into his glove retrieving the baseball from his catcher--he's unnerved--and lost. It also didn't help that Chipper Jones knocked in the game tying run on a slash down the right field line. A two base hit that Chipper has consistently rapped against Washington. Yet, why do Our Washington Nationals ALWAYS position themselves for Jones to hit away to the opposite field. Austin Kearns playing so far over into right center--Pete Orr scored easily from first base.
Frightful because Wily Mo Pena is NOT A GOOD OUTFIELDER. Missed two balls, just over his head that a decent glove would have caught. Both costly. There might have been a third--but I would have to see the replay.
Bad Looking because Our Manager Manny Acta got out managed late. He ran out of position players. Too many substitutions with the game still close. And, why--with the bases loaded, one out in the bottom of 9th--game tied--did Tony Batista pinch hit for the lefthanded swinging Ryan Langerhans against the righthanded throwing Rafael Soriano? Coming off the bench cold in a rainy affair--no way Tony's ready. And, he wasn't, striking out badly on three pitches.
Frustrating--because Jesus Flores followed, now with two outs--and actually MOVED OUT OF THE WAY OF AN INSIDE FASTBALL. A Soriano pitch that Flores should have taken for the team. A GAME WINNING HIT BY PITCH!! Yet, he made every effort to avoid the ball. What was he thinking? Scott, John and I WENT NUTS!!! Of course--Flores flied out to center to end the threat.
Loathsome because all the lineup changes left Nook Logan, Robert Fick and FLop hitting back, to back, to back. During the 8th, 10th & 12th innings--this trio stepped to the plate--and provided just one walk (Fick)--ABSOLUTELY NO OFFENSE. Dmitri Young and Justin Maxwell had already been taken out.
And finally--got downright grisly--when Jesus Colome (The Human Rain Delay for his very deliberate style on the mound) stepped out of the bullpen for the 13th inning--and allowed the game deciding three runs. Again--since his return from surgery and the Disabled List--Our Number 43 has not been good.
A Five Hour 13 Minute Marathon that lasted 13 innings. A dejecting 8-5--wet and very soggy loss.
If all of us in Section 320 are going to wait out any baseball game until that very last moment (like we always do)--one that does not end until 12:30AM--We don't want to go home dejected. Yet, we all did this morning. Yeah, this one was a stinker.
Game Notes & Highlights:
Despite a 32 pitch first inning from Matt Chico--allowing three runs--he settled down nicely and actually pitched a decent six innings. Nothing great, nothing awful. But, as BangTheDrumNatly mentioned--"Our Starter In Training" is sort of like Chad Cordero--played out over six innings, instead of just one. Always heart palpitating--never are you fully confident the job can be done.
Ryan Zimmerman SMOKED a first pitch fastball off Tyler Yates in the bottom of the seventh. A liner to right that JUST made it over the wall for a Two Run Homer, also scoring Ronnie Belliard who had singled in front of him. At that time--the go ahead and winning runs making the score 5-3 Washington. That shot--I am pretty sure is only Ryan's second homer to the opposite field at RFK Stadium. And, his first--directly to right. To get that pitch over the wall--"Z" had to get ALL OF THAT.
Our Number 11's 24th Homer of 2007 gives him 87 RBI for the year.
In the top of the 8th--Washington up by two--Big Jon Rauch had all but struck out Andruw Jones on a checked swing. An over ruled call by First Base Umpire Tim Tschida that directly led to Jones doubling over Pena's head (should have been caught). Matt Diaz followed with a two out blooper to center--between Belliard and Nook Logan. A game changing moment that got worse, when Chad Cordero came on in the 9th--allowing a sharp single off his own foot to Edgar Renteria and the Blown Save double to Chipper Jones to tie this ballgame. You talk about a pissed off Home Crowd. Just about every single Nationals Fan raising their arms in disgust over this play.
So--if Justin Maxwell is going to start once or twice--why is he being replaced by NOOK LOGAN? Defensively--Logan may have slightly more range--but "J-MAX" has the hitting tools. Its September--Our Washington Nationals have little to play for. Why was Justin taken out late? Is not the sole reason he is here--is to learn. I think we know what Nook can, and can not do.
There were TWO PRESIDENTS RACES TONIGHT/THIS MORNING. The Usual one in the middle of the 4th. And, the second in the middle of the 13th. Abe Lincoln won both events. But, TEDDY--YES TEDDY!!--ran hard both times--finishing second. In fact, during the early morning jaunt--Teddy led most of the way. Those few hundreds still on hard--responded with its loudest cheers during the extra innings played.
Finally--for the final 10 Home Games at RFK--Our Washington Nationals are wearing a commemorative patch on their right jersey sleeve. The 1962-2007 RFK Salute Artwork. The Team Store was selling them this evening--along with a Special Pennant and Baseball.
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Pablo Martinez Monsivais