Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In A Nutshell


Sohna tells me that she doesn't want to hear anyone complaining about Chad Cordero anymore. Apparently, Joel Hanrahan walked one serious tightrope to close out The Los Angeles Dodgers tonight at New Nationals Park. And Ryan Zimmerman, despite one error, played a pretty terrific game in the field at third base, maybe his best defensive effort in some time. The African Queen says Our Number 11's catlike reflexes were back--he just needs to start hitting with power.

And Oh Yeah!! She also says Lastings Milledge continues to blast the ball all over and out of the park. He hit his team leading 13th Home Run of the season. "The Guz" also added three hits and EVEN DOVE FOR A BALL IN THE FIELD!!

Collin Balester got the win. Our Number 38 his 5th save of the season. And Washington FINALLY beat Derek Lowe. Finally, on the sixth try.

In A Nutshell--that's what Sohna called me about in Denver to report late this evening. Final Score from New Nationals Park, Our Washington Nationals 2 and The Los Angeles Dodgers 1.

All on the very same day--Austin Kearns was placed on the Disabled list with a foot injury--from August 3rd? While Elijah Dukes will return tomorrow from his latest stint on rehab.

Finally, Instant Replay for Home Runs--starting Thursday. I am all for it--as long as it doesn't take a significant time to review and delay the games.

26 comments:

janet said...

I'm with Sohna. If Chad is "Cardiac Cordero", Joel is "Heart Attack Hanrahan". I think it's part of the job description of closers to be more comfortable walking a tightrope than anybody watching them.

But I'm glad Joel got it done, and that the Nats kept it together through a couple of calls that went against them. After talking about games destroyed by one mental mistake, and the "of course" moments, last night was sweet!

Andrew said...

I thought Joel was not given any help by the umpire on some close ones. If he keeps doing what he is doing, he will start to get the close calls from the umps.

He was popping Flore's mitt with some major heat! I saw a few at 98 MPH.

This was huge for Joel as most of his saves he had some 3 run and 2 run leads. To preserve a 1 run lead in a 2-1 game vs. a quality lineup like the Dodgers is tremendous.

It was also big for Joel to do it against his former team.

BTW, did you all see what Rauch did again on Monday? 3 hits and a walkoff 2 run homer in the 9th as he took the loss against THE PADRES!

Jeremy said...

SBF, you missed one of the more entertaining President's Races in a while. Teddy came out with a blue skullcap and fake dreds (obviously a la Manny Ramirez). Teddy raced out to an early lead then he casually jogged, shook some hands, mugged for the cameras, and finished in his typical fourth place. Whereafter Jerome (our P.A. guy) goes, "that's just Teddy being Teddy." The President's Race sometimes wears thin on me, but last night was golden.

An Briosca Mor said...

I thought Joel was not given any help by the umpire on some close ones.

You must have been watching from the stands then, because the 9000 of us watching on MASN (actually in HD for once) saw him throw a lot of balls that were over the plate but clearly low. I don't recall them running their pitch track on any of his pitches, so I don't think there were any that he got a bad call on from the ump. Sutton was speculating that Hanrahan was trying too hard to stay down in the zone and missing low. He actually appeared to benefit a few times from batters swinging at pitches that were clearly balls and fouling them off. Overall, despite the save I would not really call this an encouraging performance from Hanrahan. His stuff was there, as they say, but he had no command at all last night.

Andrew said...

ABM - My persepective was from the 3rd base side so what looks close in my eyes obviously wan't correct if you say they missed.

Last year in RFK during a Phillies series Jamie Moyer came out of the dugout and sat in the stands before the stadium opened. We talked for a long time and I asked him what his favorite pitch was. He said a strike. I chuckled, and said no, it is a ball out of the zone that the batter swung at for a strike and helped you out. He liked that and said he has been asked that same question about "favorite pitch" for so long and never got that response. So much for Moyer but a good parallel back to Joel.

You basically echoed how this game works some time. ABM said...He actually appeared to benefit a few times from batters swinging at pitches that were clearly balls and fouling them off.

As Joel's confidence builds, I think you will see more "quality" strikes.

SBF and I have talked about Joel's confidence. Last week I was with the team in Philly and Joel and I spent some time together after the games so when we went golfing Monday I told him that my advice to him about "confidence" must have worked for his 2 inning save on Thursday. I got a big smile. Again, in all seriousness, being a "closer" has a lot to do with confidence if you have some good stuff. Joel can throw the heat. Joel has a slider. Every once in a while you may get something off-speed.

We also talked about Brad Lidge who throws hard and has a great slider which he developed over time.

This is all a work in progress. A good win last night.

An Briosca Mor said...

Well, while I say Hanrahan's performance last night wasn't encouraging, I do have to admit it was much improved over my most vivid memory of him from earlier this season, when he came in against the Marlins in relief of O'Connor with the bases loaded and the count at 2-0 on the batter. His first pitch was wild, scoring the runner from third. His next pitch was ball four to reload the bases, which were immediately cleared by the next batter hitting a grand slam. I would imagine his confidence probably bottomed out after that outing! Even though he did throw a lot of balls last night in his attempt to get a low strike, there was only one ball that got away from Flores and fortunately that one came with the bases empty. I may yet have to retire my nickname for Hanrahan, which is The Wild Irishman. (In my other life, I play Irish music, and there are several great tunes by that name. But it's not something you want in a pitcher.) I'm rooting for the guy, though. Hope he sticks around long enough for me to get his name on a jersey.

Dave Nichols said...

when you have stuff like Hanrahan, you can get away with a little more. but the Dodgers are one of the more free-swinging teams in the league.

i think it's a little direspectful to Cordero though to simply dismiss him, much like the GM did on the radio. especially considering he lost his job due to injury, not ineffectiveness.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you have changed your tune since your June post about Cordero.

http://nats320.blogspot.com/2008/06/this-really-bothers-me.html

Screech's Best Friend said...

Mr. Anonymous you are always entertaining. I have no idea what your point is, but how you can possible read anything different from the story you linked to what was written last night, just once agains proves your comments are base less. Sohna and I want Chad Cordero back. He's been a great team player and nothing that has occurred lately has changed that fact. Read whatever you want into what you perceive--because you are incorrect.

And again we have a player injured--weeks ago--now only going on the disabled list. This is a continuing problem all year. Something that needs to be addressed at the end of this season.

Andrew said...

Dave Nichols said...

i think it's a little direspectful to Cordero though to simply dismiss him, much like the GM did on the radio. especially considering he lost his job due to injury, not ineffectiveness.


Where was anyone disrespectful to The Chief on this Post?

Also, does Chad want to come back here? Let's face it, Joel is our Closer now which certainly doesn't mean he is guaranteed that spot for next season.

I for one would love The Chief to come back as we have a depleted bullpen. I hope and pray that Chad is doing well rehabbing and comes back strong, and would want to come back to play for our Nats.

Anonymous said...

I was just directed to your site for the first time from a Yahoo blog that I saw yesterday. From an outsider, I think that someone could read into today's post as if your wife didn't care about Chad because of the first statement.

"Sohna tells me that she doesn't want to hear anyone complaining about Chad Cordero anymore."

Dave Nichols said...

"Sohna tells me that she doesn't want to hear anyone complaining about Chad Cordero anymore."

Andrew, I think it's a little disrespectful, especially from a blog that is tirelessly positive, to kick a guy when he's down, especially since three weeks ago (or whatever it was) they defended him against the actions of the GM, only to do much the same thing now that Hanrahan is having some success.

I think Hanrahan certainly has the tools and make-up to be a quality closer, but I am also of the opinion closers grow on trees and jsut about anyone with skill and opportunity could do the job.

Best,
Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball

Andrew said...

Dave - It is how you read into this:

"Sohna tells me that she doesn't want to hear anyone complaining about Chad Cordero anymore."

I know how much Sohna likes The Chief so again, I read the same thing as "not a problem" as it was a compliment to Chad who would make his save appearances sometimes into a nail biter and then pull it out in the end. It's the life of the closer. The good ones get the "Save" and the "W".

Wasn't it Don Stanhouse with the O's that got the nickname Two Pack because Earl Weaver would smoke 2 packs of cigarettes when he went in to close?

Dave Nichols said...

Well Andrew, if the comment was made in the spirit "I don't want to hear anyone complaining about how Cordero seems to put men on base but still get the job done becuase Hanrahan did the same thing last night", then I somewhat understand your defense, though i still think it's a back-handed and strained compliment.

i wasn't the only one confused with how the sentiment was expressed, though.

Best,
Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball

An Briosca Mor said...

And again we have a player injured--weeks ago--now only going on the disabled list. This is a continuing problem all year. Something that needs to be addressed at the end of this season.

Well, yes there has been a continuing problem, but this Kearns injury is not an example of it. The problem has been players who are injured and sitting on the bench for up to a week or longer before going on the DL retroactively, thus leaving the team to play shorthanded all that time. In this case, though, Kearns was playing hurt for the whole time, and as soon as he admitted (or was forced to admit) that he was injured, he went right to the DL. They were able to make it retroactive one day only because the previous day was an off day.

I have said all along and still believe that the whole playing short/DL brouhaha this season is greatly exacerbated by the unusually high number of injuries the team has suffered this year. Each one, if looked at on a case-by-case basis, can be viewed as a judgment call "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Rarely do injuries manifest themselves in their full severity immediately. It usually takes a day or two or three to know what you're dealing with, and if you DL the player every time he has to miss a game, then you run the risk of having the opposite problem of perfectly healthy players languishing on the DL until their 15 days are up.

People talk about this as if there is some deficiency in the Nats' trainers and medical staff, as if they are totally incompetent. It's true they may have blown a diagnosis here or there. Every doctor does. Don't kid yourself that they don't. But I bet if you picked any night at random during the season, you'd find several teams playing a man short because someone is too hurt to play but not hurt enough to go on the DL. It just seems to be a crisis with the Nationals because (a) we all pay more attention to them than to other teams, and (b) for whatever reason, the Nationals have had an unusually large number of players get hurt this year.

Andrew said...

Dave Nichols said...
Well Andrew, if the comment was made in the spirit "I don't want to hear anyone complaining about how Cordero seems to put men on base but still get the job done becuase Hanrahan did the same thing last night", then I somewhat understand your defense, though i still think it's a back-handed and strained compliment.

i wasn't the only one confused with how the sentiment was expressed, though.


Dave, I would read it that way too but take no offense because this is the life of the Closer. Janet said it well, If Chad is "Cardiac Cordero", Joel is "Heart Attack Hanrahan".

I lived through Armando Benitez when he was with the O's doing this and worse and then he became an All Star in his 10th season and the following season too. I think he is with the Blue Jays now which is probably his 7th or 8th team he's been with.

Let's face it, Chad never had over powering stuff but he got the job done so you had to respect that. His stats back that up. He is a team player and an all-around good guy and fan favorite.

The African Queen said...

It seems to me that some people just don’t understand simple English.

When I said to SBF that I don’t want to hear people complain about Chad Cordero anymore, that was meant as RECOGNITION and RESPECT for the
difficult job he has as our Closer. I remember so many of you complaining about CHAD and calling for him to be traded.

Well, I was never one of those people.

I love my CHIEF CARDIOLOGIST…palpitating heart and all! And yes I gave him that name from the old Section 320 days when I use to say that he
gives me a heart attack and then revives me with a successful save.

So to put it plainly here is what I said, I DON”T WANT TO HEAR ANYONE BITCH ABOUT CHAD CORDERO ANYMORE. Perhaps that is simply not enough for you to understand that there is no disrespect here! I hope that our Washington Nationals will sign MY CHIEF CARDIOLOGIST and THE MOST THRILLING CLOSER IN THE GAME TO A LONG TERM CONTRACT.

Unfortunately, some feel they have to make an issue out of nothing--which is EXACTLY what someone in this commentary is trying to do here. make something out of nothing. Sadly, and over a player I truly love.

Dave Nichols said...

I don't understand your defensiveness Sohna. The way it was put originally, your sentiment was confusing. Andrew cleared it up. You don't have to get all worked up over it.

Jeez guys, please lighten up a little.

Best,
Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball

SenatorNat said...

Hey - watch the language our dear African Queen or that meanie SBF shall censor you! Obviously meant with luv and as a joke for both of you.

Joel and Chad are good friends and I think that may actually help get Cordero to look seriously at signing a fair deal 9base and incentive-laden) for 2009 in D.C. - Kasten probably realizes that the fan base (1.5 million strong) like Mr. Flat-Brim and that Hanrahan as set-up guy next year with a healthy Cordero would be good all the way around. And that would sit well with the two relievers.

Dukes back up - could be very exciting down the stretch should Milledge, Dukes, Zimmerman, Flores all get hot together, and it may just happen.

Ballester secured his spot as number 3 in the rotation for 2009, me thinks. Hill-Lannan-Ballester-Redding-Zimmermann is my guess as to the brass thinking, at this point. Bergmann is never the fair-haired boy - sort of the pitching version of Church it seems...

Trust in African Queen's Plain Speaking. All Special.

Andrew said...

Trust in African Queen's Plain Speaking. All Special.

I second that!!!!

For anyone questioning the where-abouts of the AQ for tonight's game, she will be sitting with me most of the game in my Suite as my guest of honor.

I will be serving her gourmet hot dogs with her choice of toppings and chicken sandwiches and if she gets there early enough----SUSHI. Yes, sushi. A specialty of Centerplate catering. Approximately 30 pieces wonderfully arranged for $192!!!!

Ahh, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and sushi, and Budweiser!

SBF--we will miss you!

An Briosca Mor said...

Before the season, they were saying that sushi among other delicacies would be available to the average fan at carts located on the main concourse. It never happened, just like the "visiting team specialties" at Taste of the Majors never happened either. The Nats' PR machine was not the only one that let us down on the preseason predictions. So did Centerplate - although maybe they came through with these things in the suites and clubs, where I've never been.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Did you know that your Kasten interview was referenced in the Yahoo Sports Blog?

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Nationals-drawing-lower-ratings-than-my-college-?urn=mlb,103547

Screech's Best Friend said...

ABM--The Executive Chef for Centerplate at Nationals Park left his job before mid-season, for personal reasons. Some of the adventurous ideas at the ballpark, unfortunately, died upon his leaving. This particular person was pushing the agenda. Something that has been less of a concern now since Centerplate is possibly up for sale. Just stating the facts. Not making a point. It is the truth.

An Briosca Mor said...

SBF, thanks for the explanation. I had been wondering why despite all the preseason promises Centerplate had not delivered on so many of them. (Although to tell the truth, I'm not sure I'd be willing to buy sushi from a cart in a ballpark concourse even if they did have it. Maybe if the cart vendor was Japanese I might.) I do have to give some kudos though to Centerplate for at least increasing the variety of food over what was at RFK. Imagine how depressing this season would have been for me if my only meal choices for 20 games were Dominic's sausage or Stan's favorite brisket, as was the case last year. And some of the food at Nationals Park is actually very good, although there are stands that have slipped in quality from where they were at the beginning of the season. Boardwalk Fries for one. You'll never catch me there again.

Anonymous said...

We all love Chad Cordero, but the sad reality is that shelf life of a closer is pretty short unless you're Mariano, Joe Nathan or Trevor Hoffman.

Chad's done a lot of good, but it's Joel's time now. It's unknown if Chad will even return to what he was.

Just don't get too attached to your players.

Andrew said...

Back to an old topic, this was in ESPN about Bergmann's year with the bat.

I know we have discussed how he has hurt his own cause by not getting down Sac. bunts.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=baker/080828&sportCat=mlb&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos2


GREAT GAME TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!