Wednesday, September 26, 2007
That Was Sweet!!
"Everybody Clap Your Hands!!"---Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap.
A Standard Chant at Shea Stadium In Queens.
Tonight, a cheer that only celebrated--Our Washington Nationals.
Down Early 5-0, Washington fought back, like they always do. Never has Our 2007 Version EVER given up. And tonight, they put some serious damage into The New York Mets and their playoff hopes. What a comeback!! Our Team has guts. The Stomach to handle, not only The Mets, but their Fans--in one of the toughest venues to play in American Sport.
And, My Main Man!! got the party started. When Ryan Church is seeing and hitting the baseball well--Our Number 19 is stroking base hits to the opposite field. This evening--a first at-bat single to left. Then, Washington's first scores of the evening when he laser beamed a Philip Humber pitch to right for his 15th Home Run. A Two Run Homer that got Washington back into this game in the 4th. An eventual come from behind victory that Ryan put away, for good, with a blistering two run double to the gap, to left, for the decisive final two runs of this ballgame. Insurance gathered against one of the finest and hardest throwing Closers in the Game--Billy Wagner. Even a flamethrower that can reach 100 MPH on his fastball--has bad nights.
Thinking off the top of my head--My Main Man!! has ALWAYS hit well at Shea Stadium. In fact, I would imagine its his finest hitting venue in any stadium (.400 in 2007). Time and time again--Ryan Church has been the difference in games of Our Washington Nationals played in Queens. As the 2007 Season winds down--Our Number 19 has heated up. Benched, when Wily Mo Pena was acquired on August 17th--Ryan didn't whine about it. Being proud, like most players, I am sure he was hurting inside. Never does ANY BASEBALL PLAYER wish to lose his starting role. Yet, Church completely changed his focus--and over the past six weeks--has played HIS FINEST BASEBALL OF THE SEASON.
Power that has developed into a threat. Since September 1--My Main Main!! has hit at a .384 clip, with 6 doubles, 4 Home Runs and 17 RBI in JUST 39 AT-BATS!! That's producing. That's some serious slugging. For the 2007 campaign--Ryan Church now with 15 Homers and 70 RBI's. Decent numbers for a player that has lost nearly 100 or more At-Bats since Pena arrived in DC. Nook Logan can sit down the rest of the way, as far as I am concerned. Its one thing to make a nice play every once in a while, and providing no offense. Its better when you have a threat at the plate.
At a time many were ready to give up on My Main Man!!--He has turned his season around. Come Sunday--no one can say he's not been productive. Career Highs in Home Runs & RBI's--43 Doubles. Statistics that can't be complained about for a batter with less than 500 At-Bats. Could he have done better, Sure. Could he have not swung at so many pitches in the dirt--Sure. But, as the season has progressed--Ryan Church as shown better plate discipline. He's cutting down on his strikeouts. He's being more selective. Our Number 19 has become a Professional Hitter.
With his back against the wall--and many doubting him--Ryan Church has come back strong. Tantalizing Talent for years, My Main Man!! seems to have finally found his groove.
A resurrection that was significant during Washington's Rousing Victory this evening and now completed three game sweep of The Floundering New York Mets. A 9-6 Win that found Our Team--celebrating as if they had made the playoffs. Although The Post Season has been long lost--Our Washington Nationals have not quit. Our Manager Manny Acta will not let them. They are far from the best team--but they are an exciting team. An interesting team to watch. You never quite know what to expect from them.
Is not that what entertainment is all about?
Yes, Our Washington Nationals are Fun to Watch.
One of these days--They are going to be a Rousing Successful Team.
Its just going to take some more time.
In the meantime--Curly "W" Number 72 was a reminder of how much fun winning can be--when it counts the most. Beating A First Place Team--that is living and dying on each and every victory--or loss. Our Washington Nationals put a serious damper in the Post Season Hopes of The New York Mets the past three days. Tonight--New York lost confidence. Sure, we have nothing at stake--but its quite satisfying to make New Yorkers Suffer.
A feeling I can only hope to re-live this weekend at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Nothing like Sweeping New York. Nothing like Knocking The Phillies out of the playoffs. The Game is STILL ON--with just three games to play. Game Number 159 of 2007 was sweet. Hopefully, Games 160 through 162 will provide just as much delightment.
My Main Man!! Ryan Church led the way tonight on the field. While Our Manager Manny Acta--shepherded Our Team to Unexpected Victory--once again. If Manny Acta does not get serious consideration for Manager Of The Year--Baseball Writers--those very same who claimed Washington would be "Worst Team of All Time"--truly don't know what they are writing about. Because Our Washington Nationals are one of the BETTER STORIES of the Entire 2007 Season.
Everybody Clap Your Hands!! Its only fitting--tonight.
Game Notes and Highlights:
Before tonight's fine comeback--these were my original thoughts. Beliefs which still stand.
Why was Mike Bascik given the start tonight against The New York Mets?
Why, after Our Washington Nationals have OFFICIALLY exceeded all expectations with 71 Wins in 2007?
Why, when everyone knows Washington is still looking to determine Core Players for the future?
Is not September the opportunity to find out what younger players truly possess?
To me, a decision to Start Our Number 37 makes no sense.
Does Mike Bascik have a future with Our Washington Nationals? Probably not.
Does Ross Detwiler have a future with Our Washington Nationals? Definitely.
So, why--with just four games left in the 2007 Baseball Season--does Detwiler not get a start?
Will that hurt his progress? Hamper Him? Destroy his promising future?
No, I don't think so.
So, Why Did Ross Detwiler Get A Call Up to The Parent Club?
2008 and Beyond--belongs to Ross Detwiler. Not to Mike Bascik.
So, Why? Mike Bascik?
Ryan Zimmerman continues to become The Finest Fielding Third Baseman in the Game. Tonight two stops. None better than his effort in the bottom of the second. The Mets Paul LoDuca ripped a grounder down the line--PAST ZIMMERMAN. Yet, using every bit of his 6'4" Frame and a quick first step--Our Number 11 dove and grabbed the baseball--that was behind him. And, still made a clean throw to first base to retire LoDuca. "Z" really is a great player and again proved himself with The Defensive Play of This Game. What will he be like--when Our Washington Nationals become a more rounded team. MVP Candidate--most likely. Birthday Boy turns 23 on Friday. Hard to believe Ryan Zimmerman is that young. Franchise Player for years to come.
During the Key 5 Run 5th Inning--the entire top of the lineup got into the act. After Ryan Langerhans reached on a pinch hit lead off walk (for Joel Hanrahan)--Flop singled, Ronnie Belliard doubled, scoring Langerhans. Zimmerman singled scoring Felipe Lopez with the 4th run. Austin Kearns followed with a single up the middle scoring Belliard and Wily Mo Pena laced a two strike off speed pitch from sidewinding Joe Smith into the gap in left--giving Washington the unlikely 7-6 lead. RALLYTIME!! that found Team Owner Mark Lerner, Our General Manager Jim Bowden and their staffs--rising in unison--to cheer on Our Team. Sitting in the special box to the right of Our Washington Nationals 3rd Base Dugout--Management was whooping it up--while Our Team was Whipping The Mets.
Its nice to see Owners and Top Club Officials sitting among the masses. Most other ballclubs Management Staff sit separated from their fans. Yeah, they claim they are working for you--but that doesn't mean they necessarily want to see or talk to you. Nothing could be farther from the truth with Our Washington Nationals. Even at Shea Stadium--this past Monday Night--I talked with a handful of Team Officials. Never has Our Team shied away from their fans. Accessibility that I find very responsible.
Chris Schroder, Jonathan Abaladejo, Saul Rivera, Big Jon Rauch and Luis Ayala combining for 5 shutout relief innings tonight. Mike Bascik allowed three Home Runs. Nothing Cheap and he was hammered. Joel Hanrahan continued to struggle with command--replacing Our Number 37 in the 3rd inning. Although Hanrahan was awarded the victory--his bullpen teammates efforted this win. There comes a time when any one individual should not be rewarded with a victory in the stat column. Tonight, was one of those evenings. The Five Pitchers that finished this game for Washington--were all more deserving.
Finally, Three Games, 32 Runs--Three Victories. How is it that Our Washington Nationals can beat The New York Mets consistently in New York--but perform so terribly at RFK STADIUM? Whatever it is--its too bad 2008 is The Final Season of Baseball at Shea Stadium. Because Our Washington Nationals need to play there more often--when they are struggling for victories.
More Wins than 2006. 2007 has been a Very Good Year for Our Washington Nationals. A Fine Effort. Thanks to the help of many--Our Team--is a Real Team. Thats why they are fun to watch.
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Kathy Willens.