Wednesday, June 10, 2009
He's Got Our Back
"You have no integrity!! None!!" yelled Our Washington Nationals Batting Coach Rick Eckstein. If there was ever going to be a rumble at a baseball game--this is Our Guy!! Was he EVER HOT!! And it was great to watch.
Lost in last night's Draft Party was a terrible ending to yet another loss by Our Washington Nationals. Down by one with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, Home Plate Umpire Andy Fletcher called Austin Kearns out on strike three on a pitch by The Cincinnati Reds Francisco Cordero so low it crossed home plate near Austin's ankles.
Kearns got hot. Our Manager Manny Acta got hot. Ryan Zimmerman got hot. Adam Dunn. But nobody forced the issue more than Rick Eckstein. Screaming at the top of his lungs--Our Batting Coach was giving it to Fletcher--and rightfully so. With the game now over, Rick wasn't going to let Umpire Fletcher or Crew Chief Tim McClelland walk away without fault.
In the post game comments, Manny stated: "I thought it was a really bad call," Acta said. "It was very, very low and uncalled for."
But Eckstein wasn't taking it anymore. Easily, the highlight of the game. If The African Queen and I ever get into a fight like that, we want Rick Eckstein on our side because we will know--he's got our back.
Final Score from Nationals Park where most of the excitement this evening played out in The Media Room next to The Presidents Club--The Cincinnati Reds 3 and Our Washington Nationals 2--another day in which the latest rain delay again squelched the gathered crowd to "Friends & Family" status. Team President Stan Kasten asking The African Queen and I whether we have kept track of the number of rain delays Washington has sat through at Nationals Park over the course of April, May & June? We didn't know, for sure. But last night was the 32nd Scheduled Game on South Capitol Street this season. Figuring multiple stoppages in many games--32 total rain delays would not be far off the mark. And clearly, it's assisted in driving away even more fans from attending. 16,274 the official paid attendance, but there couldn't have been but a few thousand actually on hand watching.
Game Notes & Highlights
Also mostly unnoticed last evening was a rather strong outing by Ross Detwiler. Walks kill and it proved again costly in the 5th when Our Number 48 allowed two free passes (including one to Reds Pitcher Johnny Cueto) before giving up what turned out to be the game winning hit. A two out, full count double down the rightfield line to Former Montreal Expos Top Prospect Brandon Phillips. A two run scoring game changer giving The Cincinnati Reds a 3-1 advantage, slimmed to one in the 8th on Cristian Guzman's 2nd Home Run of 2009. In fact, Washington's only other run in this rain delayed affair was stroked by Elijah Dukes. A one-handed swing that catapulted a Cueto pitch into the visitor's bullpen in left during the bottom of the 4th.
Detwiler would finish six complete while striking out six. Allowing five hits and those three costly walks, Ross pitched with confidence and looks more and more like the quality young talent which Washington originally picked Number 1 in the 2007 Entry Draft. He's made a fine comeback since his early demotion to Minor League Camp at Spring Training--sent down because Our Number 48 appeared completely out of sync and lost.
Tonight's InGame Photos--Manuel Balce Ceneta (AP)