Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Overshadowed Effort

Josh Willingham can be excused for his misplayed fielding error tonight at AT&T Park in the bottom of 5th inning--his first error in two seasons of Major League Baseball. It happens.

But Daniel Cabrera is not excused for walking four straight batters after Willinghams' miscue. Neither is Logan Kensing for walking the first San Francisco Giant he faced upon relieving Cabrera. The five unearned runs scored by The Giants were the game changing results this excruciating evening. The sum total of the most painful inning watched all season long involving Our Washington Nationals.

Really, it was hard to watch. And sad too because it clouded an otherwise terrific offensive night at the plate by Ryan Zimmerman. Even outweighing a tremendous 9th inning comeback attempt by Washington's Batting Order.

D-Cab going 4.2 innings, giving up 8 runs, three earned--8 hits, 6 walks while throwing one wild pitch.

Logan Kensing--1/3rd inning pitched--two hits allowed, one walk and two more earned runs. His ERA now 13.14.

Even Joel Hanrahan gave up one run on three hits in his sole frame pitched.

Washington can't compete if Our Pitchers don't give our now potent offense the opportunity to feel like their hard work is paying off. At some point Our Batters are going to be discouraged. Downcast over the very fact that no matter how well they play, it's mostly all for naught.

That crestfallen belief that you are always running uphill and getting nowhere. Slamming 15 Hits, 4 Home Runs and Scoring 7 Runs with nothing to show for it can be pretty discouraging.

Tonight in China Basin--despite all that offensive support--Our Washington Nationals played a baseball game they really had no chance to win. A Beat-Down mostly of their own doing. Thanks to more poor pitching and one key defensive mistake self-guiding the damage and putting this affair out of reach early in The City By The Bay--despite fighting back until the very last out was recorded.

Final Score from Gorgeous AT&T Park, where one awfully pitched 5th inning by Washington included an error, intentional walk, walk, walk, walk & walk--all in order--ruining the night. And there is no excuse for that. The San Francisco Giants 11 and Our Washington Nationals 7 in just an ugly game.

Sadly, completely overshadowing the effort put forth by Ryan Zimmerman--who added to his now 29 Consecutive Games Hitting Streak with a single off Randy Johnson in the top of first. Then, powered out his 7th homer to left center in the 6th also off The Big Unit. And finished off another fine night at the plate with a clean single to center in the 8th and another three run homer in the 9th. A fabulous Four for Five evening, with four RBI and two runs scored. The Z-Man never gives up. Now batting .364 for the season. Clearly becoming A Great Young Star--arguably the best third baseman in The National League--no matter what The New Yorkers' want to proclaim about The Mets David Wright.

Tonight's InGame Photos--Paul Margot (AP)


NatsGuy said...

There has got to be big changes today. This cannot be allowed to go on anymore.

Anonymous said...

Manny Acta has to get a clue....How can you kill your own team so early in the game. What was he surprised that Logan K was worse than DCab? Did it catch him by surprise that Logan K had nothing? Come on, if Acta had any sense he would know that in the 5th inning with the score less than 10 runs against, the Nats were still in the game. With this team you need to bring in your stopper Wells.....that was the game right there....we all knew it....Acta must think outside the box with this Bull Pen.....instead Acta still paints by the numbers.....yes the Pitching is the real problem but a Manager who keeps putting the same people out there to fail in the same situation is definition of POOR MANAGING.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Who was the genius who let Daniel Cabrera make our starting roster from spring training?

Stephen said...

Our club need some pitching -- should have signed another FA or two in the off-season. But, the Nats need to replace Cabrera, maybe give him 1 or 2 more chances, but Kensing needs to go now. He's lost out there.

I guess it's pretty clear pitching is going to be the focus of the upcoming draft. Hopefully, some of those highly touted young arms down on the farm will be ready soon. A 5-6 record in games where you score 5 or more runs is unacceptable. Even worse, even a 9-2 record in those games would have put the Nats in the mix at 14-16. Now, they are just in the cellar. A top-notch hitting team is going to waste.

Andrew Lang said...

Cabrera, Kensing, and Cintron are the changes I think need to occur--QUICKLY--!!!

This team is certainly a work in progress and WOW are they exciting. As bad as the defense is at times, they are also making some great plays and so many are making the ESPN Web Gems. Kearns throwing out a runner at home, Guzy starting amazing double plays, Zim diving for balls.

The offense is exciting too as they can strike at any time.

I stayed up until 1AM because I thought the Nats might pull it out even though they were behind by 7 runs going into the 9th...and they were darn close with the game ending last night with 2 on base and 4 runs behind and the closer having to come in for relief to snuff out the rally.

Last year, if the Nats were behind by 4 runs towards the end of the game you could've turned off the TV.

John R. said...

I have become mesmerized by Zimmerman's streak. What a sense of relief I felt when he got that first inning hit yesterday. After that, I could go about the rest of my night and relax. Sure, the team did lose, but Zimmerman is giving me something to hope for every night.

29 Games. Wow! Unless my math is wrong, game 57 would be June 11 at home against Cincy. I know it's still a long way to go, but I do believe this streak is attainable for ZIm. I may not believe in this team, but I do believe in Zimmerman. So, buy your 6/11 tickets now before the prices hit the roof!

phil dunn said...

Rizzo needs to be proactive and show the door to Cabrera and Kensing. Signing Cabrera was a gamble which I thought was worth taking but I was wrong. Bringing Kensing in, based upon his performance with the Marlins, was an act of desperation. It's time to cut our losses on these two pitchers.

Jim H said...

The key challenge here is that the Nats really can't get solid pitching except by trading some of that offensive fire power. That is, unless some of the youngsters they have are able to produce. We've not yet seen that on any kind of consistent basis.

They can keep rotating guys through, but any sort of known quantities are going to cost us a cog or two in the offensive wheel that we now enjoy watching.


At least it's a catch. ;)

SenatorNat said...

The last two games, as SBF's apt description and commentary highlights, is a summary of the good, the bad, and the ugly for Nats. Not since 1959-60 Senators have we seen a line-up this potent at the plate. All regular starters are meeting or exceeding expectations. Very pleasant surprise in Anderson Hernandez at bat and in the field. Guz, Johnson, Dunn, and of course, the Franchise, off to terrific, perhaps record-setting starts. Dukes now slumping a bit, but clearly valuable at the plate and in the field. Flores fast becoming a sparkplug and a leader. Johnson and Guz injury prone guys, so this is as good as its going to be, which is why squandering it with lame pitching and erratic defense is doubly frustrating.

Very big problem in the field wherever you put Dunn, worse than I anticipated. Guz has small range at short, but overtime, the shortstop position is not going to keep generating 10 errors for every 30 games - 6 went to Gonzalez, who is a good fielder, and 1 to Cintron, who must be cut immediately, as he is useless, as said! The defense has produced over 30 errors, but the real errors are the 12 or more wild pitches, 8 from D.Cabrera thus far, with half or more with runners on third! Cabrera's inability to pitch in the major leagues is abudently clear - he puts his fielders to sleep, producing mistakes in the field, batters his catchers as they try to salvage his in the dirt sliders, and threatens to kill batters. He absolutely must go.

More serious problem may be Scott Olsen, who appears to have lost 5-6 mph on his fastball, and is shying away from using it - he was no good in Spring Training either, and I suspect Marlins disposed on him as having topped out at young age. How does a team replace 40% of its starting rotation? Crisis situation. Must sign Pedro Martinez, me thinks...Crisis calls for extreme measures. $5-6 million for him worth it for marketing and to show commitment.

Relief pitching needs to apply to Treasury's troubled assists programs according to pundits at the Examiner - would be funny, but it is just pathetic. Stopgap guys like LoganK here for cups of coffee need to be let go sooner rather than later. Very serious issue with Hanrahan, as he cannot get anyone out - they are hitting the ball way too hard and way too often regardless of which inning or the situation. He may not make it.

Nats need to bring up Bergmann, Rivera, McDougal, activate Colome and option out Mock (release LoganK, Cabrera, Citron). They need to bring up Stammon (sp?) and sign PMartinez. Olsen may go to bullpen or even be released - I suspect he is shot.

Draft: obviously must draft and sign Strasburg, and probably should seek permission to draft and sign Aaron Crowe. Paramount need to draft two players who can pitch immediately, if feasible.

Acta is not the longterm guy to manage - too doctinaire - like General McKiernan, doesn't seem to have the creativity and instincts for tough assignment, despite being decent man and proficient. No manager can pitch of course. But they can light a fire under folks.

Trust in 30 something. And wouldn't that be something!!

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Know how fans came up with the witty nicknames "FLop" and"PloD"? Someone came up with another winner for Daniel Cabrera---"DC Cab".