Monday, May 18, 2009

Repeat Performance

"Every night the same scene repeats," said The African Queen. "Like watching a bad movie scene that never goes away."

Our Washington Nationals Bullpen had done it again. Down early, 3-0 to The Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington's offense unloaded for a five run bottom of the 5th inning. A stellar frame that found "The Guz" ACTUALLY DRAWING HIS FIRST WALK OF 2009. Nick Johnson hammering a towering three run homer to Section 237 near the Scoreboard Walk at Nationals Park and Ryan Zimmerman immediately following NJ with a Big Blast of his own--a home run into the Red Porch Seats in Left Center. The go ahead runs off The Pirates Ross Ohlendorf that put Washington's Ross Detwiler in the position of winning his first Major League Start.

A huge rally that had the small announced crowd of 14,549 standing and cheering on South Capitol Street.

At least until Our Bullpen took over the game.

Quickly, happiness turned to sorrow, claps to a smattering of boos.

Garrett Mock, Jesus Colome, Kip Wells, Joe Beimel & Joel Hanrahan would combine to give up nine runs over the next four innings. Only Beimel untouched for a score. Another demoralizing ending to yet another disappointing loss.

A Repeat Performance that's simply not worth rehashing. This one got ugly too. Our Bullpen again let a baseball game get out of hand. And Our Washington Nationals Offense couldn't do enough to surmount more bad pitching.

Final Score from a very quiet and nearly empty Nationals Park at the conclusion of this 3 Hour & 30 Minute Marathon--The Pittsburgh Pirates 12 and Our Washington Nationals 7. Our Batters again pounded the baseball. And again Our Relief Corp got pounded--letting their teammates and our fans down. Sohna was right--it is like watching a bad movie, over and over again. One of those late night horror flicks that come on TV in the middle of the night. Those that you find yourself compelled to watch but disappointed in that it only gives you insomnia.

While walking out of the park, this lady wearing a Pittsburgh Jacket said to The African Queen: "I feel sorry for The Nationals, five straight losses." All Sohna could do was hang her head. She was feeling pretty sorry for herself as well as Our Team.

Game Notes & Highlights

Ross Detwiler pitched admirably this evening in his first Major League Start. He was touched for a three runner homer off the bat of Pittsburgh's Craig Monroe in the top of the 3rd. A drive that JUST skimmed over the lower part of the centerfield wall--after grazing the higher partition. The end of Detwiler's only shakiness tonight. Monroe's homer coming directly after Ross hit The Pirates Centerfielder Nate McLouth with a pitch, just after Detwiler had picked off Freddy Sanchez at first base--only to see Nick Johnson drop the baseball trying to throw out Sanchez.

Other than that incident--Ross Detwiler was fairly solid. Even two errors in the same first inning by Cristian Guzman didn't faze him. Leaving the game with the lead after five full innings--Our New Number 48 gave up just four hits, WALKED NOBODY, and struck out six Pittsburgh Batters. You had to feel for Detwiler after the latest bullpen collapse. He had struggled over his past year of Minor League Ball--some called him a flop. But tonight, Ross Detwiler showed the ability many expected he could offer to Our Major League Squad. More experience needed, but after this evening--Ross finds his star having re-risen. The necessary steps taken to be considered for more Prime Time Duty in the very near future.

Too bad Our Washington Nationals Bullpen wasted another fine performance by a starter.

We don't think many on hand really noticed when Cristian Guzman walked in the bottom of the fifth. It took "The Guz" 120 At-Bats to get his first free pass this season. As it turns out an important walk because it extended the frame and allowed for Nick Johnson to unload on Ohlendorf with The Z-Man to follow with his blast to left center.

11 Hits, 7 runs scored by Washington. One of the best offenses in the league can't win a baseball game because defensively Washington can't hold a lead.

Pittsburgh Shortstop Jack Wilson had a terrific game this evening. Not only did he go 4 for 4 at the plate with one walk, two rbi and three runs scored--but he easily produced The Defensive Play of This Game. With two out in the bottom of the 4th, Ryan Zimmerman stroked a very hard grounder into the hole between 2nd and 3rd Base. Wilson, The Pirates Shortstop, ranged all the way over to his backside--fielded the baseball while his body was still moving toward the left field line. Yet, he had enough athletic ability to turn his body, throw off his right foot--while FALLING DOWN TO THE GROUND--and still made a perfect toss to Adam LaRoche at first base to retire Zimmerman and the side. IT WAS AN OUTSTANDING PLAY, well deserving of receiving a Standing Ovation from throughout Nationals Park.

Interestingly, The Pirates 3rd Base Coach is former Nationals 3rd Base Coach from 2006--Tony Beasley.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Pierogies made their second consecutive yearly appearance at Nationals Park tonight. During the 4th inning Presidents Race, all four came out running, two well ahead of Our Rushmores, but that giant cat returned again from down the right field line--tackled The Leading Pierogies--allowing Abe to take the Checkered Flag. Teddy also got into the act by knocking down the other two Pierogies.

Oh yeah--that 1924 World Series Flag flying high above The HDTV Scoreboard that continues to get loose on the pole? Fixed Again.

And finally--Without a doubt--one of the best sunsets in the short history of Nationals Park, Just terrific.

Tonight's InGame Photos--Evan Vucci (AP)
All Other Photos--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


CG said...

It is getting tougher and tougher for me to watch these games, with our closers ruining what is generally a decent performance by everyone else.

Ross Detwiler looked pretty good at there- he definitely exceeded my expectations. I know it is one game against the Pirates, but he gave me a little bit more hope for the future last night.

Jeremy said...

Maybe instead of having auditions for the MASN spots they should have open auditions for anybody who can throw the ball 60 feet and 6 inches from a raised mound with some modicum of accuracy.

phil dunn said...

During the game, Carpenter and Dibble talked about how the rapidly shrinking strike zone is turning baseball games into agonizing encounters. (Last nights game was nearly four hours.) They opined that starting pitchers have to throw so many more pitches because of the smaller strike zone and, as a result, they can't pitch more than 5 innings. This causes a great amount of over use of the bullpen, which may explain why bullpens are blowing up all over MLB.

On another note, I wasn't too excited when MASN chose Dibble as our color guy because I didn't care for him on X-M Radio. However, I have to say that I like him much better than Don Sutton. He adds a nice balance to the TV booth.

Sam R said...


Great picture of the sunset sky. When we looked at it last night Lexi said it looks like cotton candy....One of the few things last night that made us smile.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!