Sunday, July 25, 2010
Quirky is when it took the official scorer and the umpires nearly two innings for Our Washington Nationals to officially be awarded a run at Miller Park.
Ian Desmond lined into an inning ending double play in the top of the 5th thanks to a tremendous diving and over the shoulder catch by the 40-year old Jim Edmonds in centerfield. The Defensive Play of This Game that found Michael Morse running all the way from 1st base and never heading back to tag, while Josh Willingham tagged up from 3rd and scored. But for some reason, the scoreboard operator and official scorer didn't tally up the run--until the end of the 6th?
Quirky is when Washington calls up Collin Balester for, supposedly, just one game from AAA Syracuse to pitch in relief. Only to be forced to put him in the game against The Milwaukee Brewers in the third inning after J.D. Martin's bulging disc problem in his back recurs. Two batters later, Edmonds took Balester deep for a solo home run.
Quirky is when Alberto Gonzalez gets the start at first base in an attempt to give Adam Dunn a needed breather and night off. A position he has never played.
And things only got quirkier when Our Manager Jim Riggleman went with the following double switch in the bottom of the 5th: as Miguel Batista replaces Doug Slaten on the mound, Adam Kennedy comes into the game at second base, Cristian Guzman moves to shortstop from second and Ian Desmond (the starting shortstop) is removed. Why not just move "The Attorney General" to shortstop where he is more comfortable and put Kennedy at first where's he played backup all season?
Now that's quirky.
Quirky is also watching that gigantic banner hanging from the ceiling at Miller Park showing Trevor Hoffman, the sure to be Hall Of Famer Closer, now of the Brew Crew, counting his saves to a new record 600. Only thing is that Hoffman hasn't recorded a save since May 7th and isn't even Milwaukee's closer anymore.
How quirky to see Washington completely run out of position players attempting to score the tying and go ahead runs in the top of the 9th off The Brewers new closer John Axford. Adam Dunn pinch hit and knocked a bases loaded sacrifice fly to center that Ryan Zimmerman scored the game tying run on--thanks to a terrific slide home at the plate to get around the tag by the Z-Man.
Even quirkier to then watch Wil Nieves step to the plate as Washington's final hope to pull ahead and watch him stroke a liner to right, down the line that Milwaukee's Joe Inglett caught--but proceeded to throw a terrible toss home that ended a good 15 feet up the 3rd base line. Good enough to score the go ahead run, that is if Josh Willingham had run. Instead, Willingham hesitated and the inning was eventually lost when Alberto Gonzalez grounded out to second to end the frame moments later.
Quirky is also watching Drew Storen struggle on the mound in the bottom of the 9th, see him give up the game winning run on a double laced to left off the bat of All-Star Ryan Braun and realize Our Washington Nationals are fortunate to have Matt Capps still anchoring the back end of their bullpen. Despite the talk from some that Capps' value will never be higher, Matt's benefit in anchoring the back half of Washington's bullpen was never more apparent than last evening. Drew Storen needs a little more seasoning in the Big Leagues. Matt Capps being on the roster helps that development.
At one point during this game at Miller Park last night, Charlie Slowes said on WFED as "The Boys Of Summer" went to break: "We interrupt this broadcast to bring you total confusion." Charlie and Dave Jageler didn't really know the score as the 5th inning moved to the 6th. How quirky is that? Neither did the official scorer know for sure.
A total communications breakdown.
Final Score from Miller Park where oddities and strangeness ruled the night: The Milwaukee Brewers 4 and Our Washington Nationals 3. Loss number 56 in 98 games will go down as being just quirky, nothing seemed quite right all evening. The Baseball Gods were having their fun and The Brew Crew and D.C.'s Team were the focal point of that humor.
If you watched that game you know what we are talking about. There was something bizarre, unorthodox, unconventional, even wacky about the proceedings in Wisconsin last night. Everything was just a little off-kilter. Only in baseball can two teams play nearly two innings without anyone really knowing the actual score.
Only baseball can be so quirky.
Last Night's In Game Photos--Morry Gash (AP)