Monday, June 29, 2009

Almost Comical

The water/perspiration free flowing over and down Scott Olsen's cap on the mound tonight at recently renamed (AGAIN!!) Land Shark Stadium (and if there was ever a good reason to dislike Naming Rights--this is the ballpark to use as Exhibit A) was funny to watch--almost comical. It reminded me of those cartoons or comic pages where the artist drew drips of water running off a face to best describe a hearty effort taking place. Someone trying as hard as they possibly could to succeed.

Our Starting Pitcher this evening in South Florida was drenched thanks to a misting rain and sweat. The water so heavy on the brim of his Blue Curly "W" Cap you could clearly see the various shades of Navy Blue soaking wet near his hat's edge. Rings of water drowning the fabric.

Whenever Our Number 19 looked into Wil Nieves for the sign--Scott put his pitching glove directly in front of his face--his customary setup position. And in doing so probably drenched his glove well before Olsen retired from the mound after seven very strong innings. His water logged cap very funny and entertaining to watch--just like the amusing performance Olsen demonstrated on the mound against The Fish. Clearly, after giving up two runs on six hits and walking no one--this southpaw went to Washington's Clubhouse tonight knowing he pitched his finest game of 2009. One in which was his first start in The Big Leagues after six full weeks spent on the disabled list.

Scott Olsen dominated at times--at one point retiring 12 in row before allowing a two out single in the 7th.

Too bad his counterpart tonight, former Florida Marlins' teammate Ricky Nolasco, was equally as hot while throwing one inning better. A full eight frames, allowing just two runs, on just four hits and also walking no one. Nolasco retiring the final 13 Washington Batters he faced. Together, both pitchers had combined to retire 25 of the final 26 consecutive batters faced.

Scott Olsen & Ricky Nolasco were no laughing matters this evening.

Too bad the comic relief soon followed.

As has happened most all season, Our Manager Manny Acta hands Scott's game over to our struggling bullpen. A tie ball game that was soon no fun to watch at all. Just three batters into the bottom of the 8th, The Florida Marlins scored what turned out to be the game winning run off Ron Villone. Four batters after that not too amusing moment, Julian Tavarez walked in The Marlins' insurance run.

Another excellent start by a Washington pitcher wasted. The African Queen and I chuckling over the consistency.

As quickly as this game was turned over to Our Bullpen, Our Washington Nationals had been defeated again for the 7th consecutive time this season by The Fish. And Emilio Bonificio was once again a catalyst. Mediocre against most every other team in baseball, Our Former 2nd Baseman Of The Future--plays like a Hall Of Famer against DC. A triple which became the game tying run in the bottom of the 3rd, followed by the game winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 8th.

Final Score from that stadium where The Miami Dolphins play NFL Football now on it's 6th Name Change--The Florida Marlins 4 and Our Washington Nationals 2 in an affair rained delayed by 37 minutes. Another defeat so similar to the many others that have come before this night in 2009. Strong starting pitching giving way to a weak bullpen. And our offense struggling to score runs with the game on the line. Only Ryan Zimmerman's 13th Home Run Of The Season and Josh Willingham's continued hot bat (two hits, one run scored) doing any real damage this evening in hot & humid, and sometimes raining, South Florida.

The very sight of Scott Olsen's Cap Brim streaming water--almost comical.

Watching a game from a ballpark named Land Shark Stadium--almost comical.

Being beaten by Emilio Bonifacio again--almost comical.

Losing for the 52 time in 74 Games--not funny at all.

PS--Land Shark Stadium previous titles: Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin (note no "s") Stadium and now Land Shark Stadium (partnership between Miami Dolphins New Owner Stephen Ross with Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville & Land Shark Lager Beer).

PPS--Official Attendance Tonight, 10,623. If there were actually 2000 folks on hand, that would be a comical surprise.

Tonight's InGame Photos--Lynne Sladky


SenatorNat said...

Tavarez got into one of those gutter ball deals where he just could not groove the ball - he wasn't afraid to throw it over the plate - he just could not do it: I have been pleasantly surprised by his fire - after his JLo remark, I figured him for a guy who truly was there for the money only. His run walked in did not make a difference. Villone's a good guy too but his velocity is off and his ball too often goes perfectly straight as he nears 40 years old...

Olsen was sensational - back from the dead, but hopefully, his performance was not a dead cat bounce. He lowered his ERA to 6.56!
Marlins do not lose to Nats, ever, but the games are consistently competitive.
Willingham is turning it up now that he is healthy, back from the family death, and playing daily. Looks like he could finish very strong. Still a little uncertain in the field. Dukes lined out to center - good pinch-hitting for a guy who has been pulling off the ball for weeks - he hit it on the screws, which, with a maple bat, means that the centerfielder might have been a fatality!

Dunn going after a ball into the left field corner gave me time to read War and Peace. My wife and I divorced and remarried. Yet there were no inside the park home-runs at Slipped On a Pop-Top Park!!

If Nats lose 114 games this year, they can improve by 12 next year and still lose the same number as 2008 - and still have the best young budding pitching staff in baseball since the Atlanta Braves in 1994!!!!!

It took Manny about a week to decide to put Harris at lead-off, since he had a "nagging feeling" that something had to be done to shake up the order. Making Kearns bat sans pants was considered, but rejected, apparently. We love Manny, and want him to stay, but he makes Adlai Stevenson look like a decision-maker! (Circa 1959 Go-Go Sox reference point.)

Camden Yards invaded by Red Sox Nation - my daughter going there tonight as a guest of part of the D.C. Red Sox nation contingent. Have we lost all sense of decency? Tell us, "life-long Red Sox fans" all about Frank Malzone and Pumpsie Green and Russ Nixon, and his brother, and all the bums that played there in front of 8,000 fans per night at fabulous Fenway Park...Tell us anything about baseball actually...I'll let you take Tony and Billy C for $100. as starters...(And look for Fast Eddie's limo in Charm City, trying to relive the highlight of his Nats CFO three years!)

Trust in the Green Eyed Monster Jealousy. Not a pretty sight. All a work in progress.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Hanrahan for Burnett - almost comical!

Tom said...

How do you think baseball hats get those white salt stains? Didn't that happen to you playing summer baseball in No VA?? Oh, you were just an infielder and just stood around. LOL

Now you know why the pitchers are so important. Pitchers and catchers do all the heavy lifting in baseball. All the other players are only "playing the game".

SenatorNat said...

Two of the Nats young mainstays for the future - key building blocks - the young four-tooled centerfielder - and the overpowering right-handed stopper now put out for disposal, picked up by the Pirates for two stop-gap players: Njyer Morgan, light-hitting left fielder, and Sean Burnett, lefty reliever workhorse. The other shoe dropping is undoubtedly Nick Johnson to Mets, probably announced this week, with Morgan playing left, Dukes in center, and Willingham in right, and Dunn at first for remainder of season. Or - Morgan tried in center, with Dukes in right, and Willingham in left. At times, Willingham will play first to spell Dunn, or if Dunn is worse risk at first than in left.

Morgan reminds me of Nook Logan obtained from the Tigers - maybe it is his first name - maybe his speed and no power. He is hitting well lately and burned the Nats here, but so does everyone, really. Predict that he will produce O.K. at top of the order, akin to Willie Harris. So - it is Storen team has penciled in for long-time closer, and Justin Maxwell for future centerfielder: bet is neither works out. Hope that I am wrong. Fine by me that Milledge is gone, but do not be surprised if he becomes an All-Star with Pittsburgh. Morgan on the other hand is what he is - average player with some speed. As I wrote yesterday, Nats now trading underwear with other "small market" teams.

Trust in Lastings not for long. And Morgan - but no long ball. All about the same...Except for Kearns, who is not in the game.

SenatorNat said...

On reflection, once Milledge passes physical, Morgan most certainly will lead-off and play centerfield, and hopefully, avoid the Nats' centerfielder jinx, dating back to Chavez; Byrd; Church; Watson; Logan; Milledge. He can bring his goalie glove perhaps...

Kearns slated to be a throw-in in the upcoming Johnson trade, me guesses. I predict Nats get a prospect for Johnson, probably middle-infielder and a right-handed reliever.

Trust in Riz - everything tastes better on a Riz. All fancy.