Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Love His Enthusiasm!!
The Fist Pump.
The Right Hand Slamming Into His Glove.
The High Five With Jesus Flores after it was all over.
Julian Tavarez shows his emotions on his sleeves.
I Love That!!
That and The Curly "W" Being Put In The Books!!!
Many thanks to Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler for the descriptions because this was a Radio Only Night listening to baseball involving Our Washington Nationals. You see, there was this 100th Day Thing involving The President Of The United States being on HIS job today. And with President Obama's Prime Time Press Conference from The East Room of The White House this evening--not exactly much free time for baseball. But it didn't keep me from checking in from time to time on WFED 1500 AM.
Good thing I did, because Washington played one of their better games this April. They didn't let a cheap home run off the bat of Shane Victorino in the bottom of the first inning get them down (Even Jags called that round tripper a Citizens Bank Park Special). They didn't let the five walks allowed by their pitching kill them. And they didn't let The Philadelphia Phillies take advantage of any of their miscues.
Our Washington Nationals shut Philly down each and every time the game was on the line. No, it wasn't the prettiest of games as The Boys Of Summer described--but it was effective. Scott Olsen started and pitched well. Garrett Mock came to Olsen's rescue in the 6th--retiring Pedro Felix with two outs and two Phillies on base. Garrett then finishing the 7th as well. Kip Wells struggled in the setup role but survived in the 8th. And was followed by Julian Tavarez--throwing strikes, getting outs and recording his first save of 2009--then celebrating openly on the field with his teammates.
Yeah, just love it when players are into the game.
Considering how rough this latest road trip to New York and Philadelphia was for Washington--ANY VICTORY IS WORTH REJOICING OVER!! And it's enjoyable to know that Tavarez was fired up, ready to play and was laying it all out on the field of play.
Effort which Ryan Zimmerman continues to give--tonight setting a Washington Team Record with his 6th inning leadoff double. A recorded safe hit now in 18 straight games. A High Mark that also became the winning run when Elijah Dukes singled up the middle two batters later with Washington's second run of this game. A night that found DC's offense getting just enough runs, and some insurance, to close out The Defending Champions.
Every single Washington starter reached base tonight via a hit or walk. Anderson Hernandez with three hits. Elijah Dukes with two. Dukes plating his 13 RBI of the season. Zimmerman his 14th--when he walked with the bases loaded in the 3rd scoring Hernandez.
Refreshing to know that "The Guz" is back manning shortstop and giving his usual hustling and steady play. Being on the Disabled List these past 15 days proved Cristian Guzman's worth to Our Washington Nationals. He may not have the best range at shortstop, but he makes the defensive plays on most anything he gets to. Far more comforting than what was on display while Our Number 15 was unable to perform.
In fact, this was a Veteran Night at Citizens Bank Park for Washington. Except for Garrett Mock, every single player put out on the field by Our Manager Manny Acta has been in The Big Leagues for at least two full seasons--most over four. Looking to end the latest skid in the standings--Manny went with experience. Leadership from those who have been there before.
No one played scared and when Shane Victorino was fooled and struck out on Tavarez's last off speed pitch of this game, the subsequent celebration set off by Julian was the culmination of a struggling ball club attempting to find their roots again and realizing they can play baseball--of The Major League Variety--if they just don't beat themselves again and again.
Final Score from Citizens Bank Park, where the hot bats of The Philadelphia Phillies were cooled off by dropping temperatures and a good performance by DC's Team--Our Washington Nationals 4 and Philly 1 in a solidly played game. Curly "W" Number 5 of 2009 finishing the brutal early schedule of 20 straight games against National League East Rivals to begin the season. Four weeks of baseball passed that now finally finds Washington playing someone else. The St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros coming to Nationals Park beginning tomorrow night (April 30th) to begin a new six-game homestand.
Hopefully, Julian Tavarez's High Octane Spirit will continue to rub off on all his new teammates. Because, I could go for his Fist Pump, Hand Slamming Into His Glove and High Fiving with Jesus Flores for many games to come. Enthusiasm. There is nothing better than watching players that you just know LOVE TO PLAY THE GAME.
Laying it all out on the line--effort which Our Washington Nationals need to do more of.
Game Notes & Highlights
Scott Olsen became the first non-rookie starter for Washington to earn a victory in 2009. Charlie & Dave mentioned on the broadcast that Our Number 19's pitch selection was excellent. He was throwing strikes, working fast and not messing around. Olsen struck out six and is beginning to look like the decent starter he was for The Florida Marlins. He even picked off the speedy Jimmy Rollins in the first inning.
Except for Victorino's Homer, The Phillies Powerful Lineup got no other extra base hits this evening--just six singles.
Finally, sort of surprised to see that Jason Bergmann was sent down to AAA Syracuse when Our Washington Nationals traded Minor League Pitcher Kyle Gunderson to The Florida Marlins today for Pitcher Logan Kensing. Personally, I don't know much about Kensing, right now he's just another arm in an ever restocking bullpen. But what exactly has Jason Bergmann done to NOT get a chance when Saul Rivera hasn't exactly done any better, probably worse? I understand that Joel Hanrahan is out of options and Washington is not willing to lose him right now. But if Saul was struggling before and was only saved from demotion because Joe Beimel was injured--how does Rivera now stay on the 25-Man Roster, when he hasn't resurrected his pitching game yet?
Yeah, I know--that you know, we are all for Bergmann getting a decent shot. I just find the roster move strange and wonder if something else might be in the works via a trade. By not sending Rivera down, Washington has saved Saul's last option year.
Tonight's InGame Photo--H Rumph Jr. (AP)