Saturday, May 24, 2008
As you rounded third base tonight after your Home Run in the bottom of the fifth--your very first at New Nationals Park--you pretended to take a football handoff from Third Base Coach Tim Tolman. Then, after you crossed home plate--and pointed to the sky--you proceeded to move your way to Our Washington Nationals Dugout. Whereupon--you proceeded to FLAP YOUR WINGS IN GREAT JOY.
Now that was a Home Run Trot for the Memory Banks.
But, did you know Our Washington Nationals were still tailing at the time, now 3-1 to The Milwaukee Brewers?
I have to give you credit--your bravado is beyond reproach. But were those antics really that necessary at THAT PARTICULAR POINT IN TONIGHT'S GAME? We were LOSING. We were not ahead, nor did your home run decide this ball game. There were four more innings waiting to be played.
As I mentioned after your first home run in Philadelphia--you can salute, dance and prance all you want. Better than anyone out there--you must realize that very next pitch coming your way--may well be fired right at your head. As long as you are willing to take that chance and understand the risks--that's fine with me.
But, there are times where you really must contain yourself. Your Home Run Trot tonight was really not necessary under the circumstances. Our Washington Nationals were in the middle of a contested game--Our Team, Your Team, was behind and eventually lost to The Milwaukee Brewers 5-2.
Confidence you no doubt have. Please--think about how you handle yourself.
Baseball is a team game. A competition closely associated with individual accomplishments. One goes hand in hand with the other. They are inseparable. Yet, you must learn to control your emotions at times on the field. If you don't--your actions may well come back to haunt you and Our Washington Nationals in the future.
Dear Lastings--there is a time and place for all of that rejoicing in the game. Celebrating a fine effort on the field by one's self is understandable. But let's be clear--your resultant revelry should not have been displayed during THAT Home Run Trot. There is a better time and place for "The Football Handoff" and "Flapping The Wings".
Game Notes & Highlights
This was a very strange game. Each starter and the two subsequent relievers that followed for each team--did not pitch overly well. Only Solomon Torres from Milwaukee and Charlie Manning--making his Major League Debut for Washington--were effective. John Lannan was excellent over the first three innings--but eventually faltered and allowed a two out, one strike, home run to Corey Hart in the 4th. A turn of events that found Our Number 31 leaving this game early--after five innings and 86 pitches and three runs allowed. Relieved by Joel Hanrahan and Jesus Colome--Washington's Bullpen only extended Milwaukee's lead. Each reliever allowing one run apiece. Hanrahan allowing J.J. Hardy to score on a Jason Kendall double into the left field corner. The fourth run of the night for Milwaukee--where you could argue that Wily Mo Pena could have retrieved the ball sooner--in time for Ryan Zimmerman to make a better relay throw to the plate. "The Human Rain Delay" allowed a NO DOUBT HOME RUN to left center to Mike Cameron in the 8th.
Unexpectedly, this affair was extended and ended in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 9th, when The Brewers Bill Hall committed two errors and threw away a sure GAME ENDING 5-4-3 Double Play grounder off the bat of Wily Mo Pena. New life that brought hope to the Nats Faithful still on hand. A chance to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Unfortunately, that dream died, rather quickly, when Elijah Dukes struck out swinging and Pinch Hitter Aaron Boone--Struck Out LOOKING to end this ball game. A final out call by Home Plate Umpire Paul Emmel that Our Number 8 DID NOT AGREE WITH. Was Aaron EVER PISSED!!
Washington's only other score also came in the 5th. Elijah Dukes singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a RIPPED liner to right over Corey Hart's head for an RBI Double.
Otherwise--not much special about game Number 50 of the 2008 Season.
The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation had their monthly Saturday Night Auction to benefit their Initiatives and Projects. This evening--A Chad Cordero Signed Jersey was available, along with a signed Lastings Milledge Bat, Austin Kearns Opening Night at Nationals Park Cap & Matt Chico signed baseball. Also, for $25, grab bags which consisted of autographed baseballs from members of Our Washington Nationals.
The Milwaukee Racing Sausages again did not post up. And Our Racing Presidents made fun of them.
Tomorrow (Sunday)--Lastings Milledge, Jon Rauch, Jesus Flores and Ryan Langerhans will sign autographs for fans beginning at 12:15 PM--look at the picture provided to see their Section Assignments at New Nationals Park. Signature Sundays--these days are being called by Our Washington Nationals.
Finally--I did ask Usher Coach about what he said to Nick Johnson--and the response he received during last night's playing of "Sweet Caroline" during a Milwaukee Pitching Change. Coach says he looked at Nick Johnson and asked how his torn tendon in his wrist is doing? NJ said GREAT!! That answer apparently led Johnson and Aaron Boone to begin laughing--for some reason. OK.
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Pablo Martinez Monsivais
All Other Photos (Nats320) All Rights Reserved