Thursday, September 04, 2008
Spring Training Game
No, Sohna and I did not watch a single snap from The Washington Redskins Game Season Opener tonight in The Meadowlands.
As you would expect, we listened to Charlie & Dave on 3WT with the sound down while viewing MASN--as Our Washington Nationals played The Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Unfortunately, this affair was much like watching a Spring Training Game. Rookie Pitcher, Rookie Catcher--both making their first Big League Starts for Washington. Even featuring a Major League Debut for The Braves starter--James Parr. In fact, as this particular game played out in Atlanta before a rather sparse crowd of 18,708--Our Manager Manny Acta went to the mound to replace one Rookie Pitcher with yet another rookie, then another and then one more, before finally sending an almost new Rookie Thrower to pitch for the 8th inning--in the name of the now returning to the Major League Roster, Lavale Speigner. The sign of the times when Our Washington Nationals are building for the future.
As are The Braves. The only difference was these two teams were not playing in Viera or at Disney World in Florida, in March.
Really, this 4th Day of September became Tryout Night. An All-Comers Meet that had more to do with Our Future (and The Braves as well) then The Present for the team that calls The Nation's Capital it's very home.
There were many questions to be answered this evening in Atlanta.
Would Shairon Martis be overwhelmed in his Major League Debut?
Would his battery mate and long time Potomac, Harrisburg and Columbus Catcher, Luke Montz, be able to give comfort and confidence to Martis' First Start as a Big Leaguer?
Would making the decision to prepare for 2009 and beyond--affect Our Washington Nationals hot run late into this now very long season?
For a few innings, Our New Number 51 tossed a fairly decent game, then Martis began to unwind and lose control. Five walks total, four hits and two runs allowed. Shairon had lost his gas by the fifth inning and in doing so--lost his command as well. Eventually, this game. With Collin Balester out of this scheduled start with a glut strain--this was an evening where Our Washington Nationals needed to be firing on all Offensive Cylinders. Parading so many inexperienced youngsters to the field of play, a player like Shairon Martis needed all the help he could get--to get through his First Game for Washington.
As it turned out, Martis got little support.
Washington laid a Goose Egg--placing a Zero in the run column for the 21st time in 2008. Five hits total on an evening they barely threatened. The Braves' Parr managing six innings before leaving with a two run lead--handed over to his more experienced bullpen. Veterans like Julian Taverez and Mike Gonzalez, whom soldiered home a win for The Atlanta Braves against a very quiet Washington Lineup.
Final Score from Turner Field where at least Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler made the night fun with some Good Humor over the airwaves using Parr's Name in Golf Analogies--and bringing the house down with their hilarious commentary over The Wall Scoreboard in Left Field using The Florida Marlins Color Scheme--The Atlanta Braves 2 and Our Washington Nationals Zero.
Loss Number 87 of 2008 truly had the feeling of a Spring Training Game.
PS--Charlie and Dave had Sohna and I rolling over their commentary concerning The Braves Pitcher James Parr. Charlie wanting to see a liner back to the box--hoping to have the opportunity to say if a ball went over Parr's Head: "Shot Over Parr!!" and if the baseball went through The Atlanta Starter's Legs: "Shot Under Parr!!" It was quite funny. Jageler's chuckles adding to the fun. Then, Dave noticed that the Wall Scoreboard in left was using The Florida Marlins Colors instead of Our Washington Nationals. After joking about the mistake and going to a commercial--Dave Jageler announced he had gone over to the Control Booth and "set the alarm clock off!!" to the employees in charge--cracking Charlie Slowes up. Charlie replying--"Was Anybody Home? Did you tell them these are The Washington Nationals!!"
Dave replied: "I think they got the message. We should see a change by the next inning." Which did occur soon after. Funny, Funny Stuff from two of the best broadcasters in the business. Charlie and Dave really do make every game enjoyable--no matter the outcome. Sohna and I are going to miss those two over the upcoming winter break.
On another note--Ronnie Belliard had three hits, the last of which was gained by running out--hard--an infield single to Braves Shortstop Omar Infante. Our Number 10 pulled up lame, hurting his right groin muscle and was immediately removed from the game in the 7th--replaced by Kory Casto. "The Ballplayer" now examined and listed officially with 2008's most disliked phrase: "Day-To-Day" Which makes me wonder--Will Ronnie Belliard return this season?
Tonight's InGame Photo--(AP) John Amis