Sunday, July 13, 2008
Maybe it was the heat and humidity.
Maybe it was because today was Getaway Day for The Annual All-Star Break.
Maybe all the news surrounding Our Washington Nationals this week had finally taken it's toll.
Maybe there was just no juice left in the tank.
After injury after injury after injury. A series of losses followed by a few more. And the continuing sight of Our Washington Nationals playing shorthanded when their players are unable to go physically--today's game against The Houston Astros was the most LIFELESS game of the season.
Little energy shown on the field, even less in the stands. Fans spending most of this Sunday Afternoon trying to find protection from the BROILING SUN casting down upon New Nationals Park.
There was so little noise and excitement on South Capitol Street that when Paul LoDuca grounded out to Ty Wigginton at third base in the bottom of the fifth--the SOUNDS of Our Number 16 disgustedly yelling at himself in anger over failing--could be heard CLEARLY across the first base side of New Nationals Park. In Section 218, Sohna and I started laughing--wondering where was that type of passion from the remainder of Our Team?
Honestly, this game was just spiritless and when it ended--The African Queen and I slowly trudged our way out of New Nationals Park, looking forward to the Upcoming All-Star Break. We will never give up on Our Team, but left hoping a mini vacation away from watching Our Washington Nationals will help rejuvenate and bring life back to Washington's Baseball Team and Ourselves.
Yeah, we are disappointed and frustrated how the Inaugural Season at New Nationals Park has played out so far. But, that has not taken away from all the fun we have in and around the games on South Capitol Street. Having friends to share time with at each and every game--makes attending as exciting as ever. We only hope there will be more signs of life over the last two and one half months of this season. And that those injured players now on the Disabled List will all fully recover before Spring Training 2009, so all of us can truly find out if Our Washington Nationals of 2008 were better or worse than the product now struggling on the field of play before us.
Final Score from a Flat Sunday New Nationals Park--The Houston Astros 5 and Our Washington Nationals Zero.
And you can bet--Sohna and I will be back--as strong as ever on July 29th--to shout down THE WORST FANS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS--Those of The Philadelphia Phillies. I don't care how bad others feel Our Washington Nationals may be--but We Just Have To Beat The Phillies and their MOST OBNOXIOUS FANS. Nothing more pleasurable over the past three and one half years since Baseball's Return to Washington than putting The Phillies in their place.
Please, come join us protect Our House!!
Game Notes & Highlights
As the trading deadline approaches--I can only hope Our General Manager Jim Bowden finds a taker for Odalis Perez--today's starter. A now journeyman pitcher with no future in Washington. Never has he overly impressed me. Never does he pitch lights out. With all the issues surrounding player personnel injuries this season--I would be far more interested in seeing Tyler Clippard, Garrett Mock, maybe Shairon Martis starting for Our Washington Nationals in August and September. Really, we have NOTHING to lose.
And since I am on a roll here--the same goes for Wily Mo Pena. If Batting Coach Lenny Harris is publicly trashing him--then someone has got to go. Either Our Number 26 for continued failings, or Our Number 9 for not being able to work with Pena's problems. This statement goes for FLop too. Sorry Felipe Lopez, but I don't see enough effort from you.
Professionalism, that Ronnie Belliard continued to show this afternoon at New Nationals Park. In the top of the 7th inning, with Houston Pitcher Brandon Backe on first after a single--The Astros Kaz Matsui BLISTERS a grounder to the left of Our Number 10. Cool as always and mostly under control--Ronnie dove to his left--AND BEHIND HIMSELF--the baseball had already gone past him. Still, he was able to get his glove on the ball, recover and throw out Matsui at first base for The Defensive Play of This Game.
Houston's Darin Erstad also swiftly strode back to the centerfield wall in the bottom of the 7th on a blast by Pete Orr. Erstad, the only player in Major League History to win a Gold Glove as an Infielder and an Outfielder made a wonderful over the shoulder catch approaching the 412 FT. Sign in Dead Center off Our Number 4. At 34 years of age--on the downside of a good career--Erstad can still play this game. You gotta appreciate hustling guys like that.
There was a very strange play involving Erstad in the bottom of the second. With Ronnie Belliard on second, Kory Casto on first--Pete Orr drove a liner to dead centerfield. The Houston Centerfielder charged in and appeared to catch the baseball. Now, I don't have anyway of seeing a replay on this moment, but I am pretty sure Second Base Umpire Charlie Reliford signaled "OUT". Belliard trotted back to second seeing the call. Then, Umpire Reliford REVERSED HIS CALL which Belliard DID NOT SEE. Casto did and ran to second base. Both runners now occupying the same bag. Astros Second Baseman Kaz Matsui tagged both Our Number 10 and Our Number 5 before Casto was eventually called "OUT"--Orr safe at first base on a fielders choice--Ronnie remained at second.
The Umpire's original miss call--if that was it was--had caused the problem. Unfortunately, there was nothing more to be done to correct the situation. But I would like Our Manager Manny Acta to trot out there to get the final word from The Umpires over what just had transpired. Houston Manager Cecil Cooper had NO PROBLEM running out for an explanation.
Finally--I saw the comments from Ken Rosenthal stating Our Washington Nationals are interested in Matt Holliday of The Colorado Rockies. He's a fine player, good numbers--home and away. Giving up Chris Marrero and some other similar type players would be OK by me. But the thought of giving up Ryan Zimmerman for him--is out of the question. Maybe, Lastings Milledge. Can you imagine an outfield of Holliday, Elijah Dukes and Austin Kearns or Lastings Milledge. That would be a pretty solid outfield. Our Section 218 Seatmate, Jim and I discussed this rumor at length this afternoon.
PS-- GOOD LUCK "GUZ"--Represent Our Washington Nationals Proudly. Sohna and I will be cheering on Cristian Guzman wildly in The All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium this Tuesday Night. Hopefully, Our Number 15 will get a chance to play and produce. HE EARNED THE HONOR.
Today's InGame Photo--(AP) Pablo Martinez Monsivais