Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Little Things Matter

Odalis Perez fails to cover first base on a hard smash to Nick Johnson at first base.

Perez allows a two out, two strike, two RBI Single to The Houston Astros Pitcher--Roy Oswalt--in the bottom of the 4th.

Mike O'Connor doesn't realize the situation at hand when Roy Oswalt slams a liner right back to the box with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out. A liner that Our Number 54 freezes on, and fails to pull off an easy double play to end the inning--with every Houston runner well off their respective bases.

Third Base Coach Tim Tolman sends Wily Mo Pena home from second base--with two outs--in the top of the 7th on a single up the middle by Felipe Lopez. A stroked hit that is quickly picked up by The Houston Astros Centerfielder Michael Bourn. A decision by Tolman that results in Wily Mo being gunned down at home--EASILY--in a tie ballgame. Unless it's the the 8th or 9th--why risk such a move? Especially with the hotting hitting "Guz" next?

Joel Hanrahan walks the very first hitter he faces in the bottom of the 7th. Velocity is one thing--control is far more important. Our Number 38 has quite the arm--but no command at times.

Then--Hanrahan walks the leadoff hitter in the crucial bottom of the 9th. Moments later--Hanrahan fails to throw out Kaz Matsui--leaning on a steal attempt. An advance to scoring position that sets up Carlos Lee's single to center when Jesus Colome replaces Joel. A relief effort directly leading to The Houston Astros victory over Our Washington Nationals 4-3.

This was a fundamentally poor game played by DC's Team which erased a fine performance by Ryan Zimmerman. "Z" slamming two home runs and providing all three RBI's tonight for Washington. A hopeful turnaround performance by Our Franchise Player. A nice sight to see after an otherwise glum team performance.

Unfortunately, other than Ryan Zimmerman--not much good about this ball game tonight.

The Little Things Matter and Our Washington Nationals failed to execute those skills this evening. Practiced precision that leads to winning any Major League Ball Game.

Tonight's InGame Photo--(AP) Dave Einsel


Sean Hogan said...

Hey SBF, sorry to bother you, but I'm trying to break into the Nats blogosphere. I met you (along with my roommate, Mike) at a Nats-Braves game earlier this season, and wanted to see if anyone could add my blog to your sidebar, if you find it worthy. My blog is called DC Sports Plus and it's link is

Here is my best blog entry so far, entitled "Who is the manliest player on the Nationals"--

Thanks a lot, and hope to see you at some more games!!


Anonymous said...

You are just noticing the lack of fundamentals? This team has lacked fundamentals from the first day of the season -- from the coaching to the players.

(1) Our outfielders routinely read the ball poorly when it is coming off the bat. That could be taught, but it hasn't been taught yet.

(2) The only players on our team that can bunt are pitchers and Nieves. Every single player should have the capability to bunt. And, since we insist on benching Nieves in favor of lesser quality catchers, we rarely even get a chance to see him bunt.

(3) Our pitchers are slow in their windup, and Lo Duca and Estrada are slow to get the ball out of their gloves on a steal. Is there any wonder we have allowed 24 runners to steal this season?

(4) Routine grounders missed in the infield.

(5) Absent-minded playing that suggests players do not have their head in the game. (e.g. O'Connor on the line drive you mention)

(6) Tolman will send anyone home under any circumstances. Seriously. In the event that our players learn to bunt, I wouldn't be shocked to see Tolman start waving the batter home before he even makes it to first base. Does he not read scouting reports? He seems to have absolutely no grasp whatsoever of the throwing capabilities of some outfielders.

(7) With only few exceptions, batters have no discipline at the plate. They swing at first pitchers every at-bat. Case in point, a FIVE pitch save by Houston on Tuesday night. Five pitches. WTF?

The good news is that if we could get a centerfielder, leftfielder, second baseman, catcher, a few pitchers, and a new third base coach, this team wouldn't be half bad!

An Briosca Mor said...

Tim Tolman is to third base coaching as Bob Carpenter is to calling the play. You can announce the outcome ahead of time all you want, but all that's going to prove most of the time is how big a fool you are.

Could we perhaps have Tolman and Carpenter switch roles some day and see how that turns out? Couldn't be any worse, that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

Tim Tolman should be fired. He is the worst third base coach in the history of baseball. Further, Manny Acta should be shown the door. He is far to passive as a manager. These fat, out of shape, lazy players that dominate the Nats roster need a manager with some fire in his belly.

Anonymous said...

The Lastings Milledge trade is looking worse by the day. Ryan Church is hitting a ton with the Mets, now that he has gotten away from Bowden, and the departure of Schneider left a huge gap behind whom plate. It is quite obvious that Lo Duca is washed up and Lasting Milledge was highly overrated as a prospect. He is a disaster in centerfield and has a very weak stick. Milledge is so pathetic that he makes Ryan Langerhans look look like an all star.

SenatorNat said...

Today's blog and commentary is so on point and accurate that I hesitate to add anything - as it would merely be redundant. But, I feel the need to vent a bit.

One theme is overcompensation. By that, I mean that Manny Acta is overcompensating for his initial disposition and the knock on him as a very young minor league manager as a Latin Hothead. And he has stifled himself far too much with both umpires and players to appear more mature than his age, losing some of his natural fire. Last year, at the start, Tolman hesitated to send someone home, even should the ball be lost in tall outfield grass and the opposing catcher dropping dead from a heart attack. This year, as said, he waves anyone and everyone around - overcompensation.

Overcompensation: paying LoDuca and Estrada a total of $6 million is turning out to be relatively too much. Nats brass needs to bite the bullet, and go with Nieves every day to settle pitching and defense, and keep players heads in the game, and use Estrada as back-up for now. LoDuca needs to be put on DL, like Joe Gibbs used to do it - hurt or not, he is believable playing the part of an injured player...

This is not a Frank Robinson team - long on hustle, short on raw ability. It is a Jim Bowden team - long on potential power, short on keen play. Look at the Reds, and you can see the Nationals...

Trust in Kasten. All Good.