Thursday, August 12, 2010
Nearly Empty Again
Scott Olsen nearly got out of the very first inning with no runs scored last night at Nationals Park. Then, with two outs he allowed back-to-back singles to Dan Uggla and Cody Ross followed by a double to baseball's new "Mr. All World"--Mike Stanton--and The Florida Marlins had four runs up on the board against Our Washington Nationals before most everyone watching had sat down in their seats.
In the top of the second frame, Olsen nearly walked to the dugout still in this game after allowing just one more run added to The Fish's early tally. Many thanks to that "Nats Killer", Hanley Ramirez, having graced the premises again--going yard for what seems like the 100th time since Baseball Returned To Washington, D.C.
But then, that young "WonderBoy" Stanton, again, absolutely SMOKED a liner off Scott to the right of Ian Desmond. One of those hot potatoes that can take a head off. The baseball deflecting off Desmond's glove--not one, nor two, but three times as Ian batted the ball in the air trying to get it under control. Playing beach volleyball all by himself, Our Number 6 nearly made The Defensive Play Of This Game. A truly tremendous effort that went for naught as the baseball eventually found it's way to the outfield grass--resulting in Logan Morrison scoring Florida's 6th run and Scott Olsen scoring his shortest outing of the season--lasting just five outs. Miguel Batista replacing him and finishing Olsen's numbers for the evening by allowing Gaby Sanchez to plate Florida's 7th run moments later on a single by Donnie Murphy.
Trailing huge by a 7-1 count, Washington nearly got out of the top of the 3rd inning unscored upon by The Marlins--at least until Ryan Zimmerman made a nice defensive play on a backhand stab stopping a drive down the 3rd base line by Sanchez--only to see The Z-Man overhand loft the baseball so high to first base even Adam Dunn couldn't reach the errant toss. Logan Morrison scoring all the way from first on Zimmy's 12th error of 2010 for Florida's run number eight.
You getting the picture here? Our Washington Nationals coming up nearly empty again with their play on the field and the runs put on the scoreboard.
And two home runs by Ian Desmond and one by Adam Dunn weren't nearly enough to get Our Washington Nationals back into this game. Neither did it help that Mike Stanton, "Mr. Marvel", capped off this career night of his rookie season to jack out the longest hit baseball toward Center Field Plaza in the three year history of the South Capitol Street Ballpark. Stanton's launch off a Joel Peralta fastball in the top of the 7th inning took flight like no baseball stroked in the Nation's Capital since Washington played their home games at RFK Stadium.
A majestic flight that had nearly everyone watching, turning, and looking in awe. The baseball finally landing less than three feet from the walkway of Center Field Plaza behind section 106 and the yellow left field line foul pole. The only instrument that could stop it from hitting the concrete was a metal railing protecting the handicapped section at the rear of 106. That was as nearly a perfectly hit baseball as you may ever see. And it didn't matter that a Florida Marlin had hit it. As a baseball fan, you had to be mighty impressed.
And to think, this young man, a true five-tool player, is just 21 years old. Last evening at Nationals Park Mike Stanton went five for five at the plate, knocked in four runs while scoring two--nearly defeating D.C.'s Team all by himself. Another wipeout performed by The Fish on consecutive nights. Washington in such a big hole early thanks to an extremely poor start by Scott Olsen--that this game was nearly over 15 minutes after it had begun.
Final Score from Nationals Park where no one wearing a home uniform could do nearly enough to stop Mike Stanton's coming out party: The Florida Marlins 9 and Our Washington Nationals 5. Loss Number 65 of 2010 wasn't as close as the final tally appears. D.C.'s Team was dominated tonight by a slugger offense that can crush less than stellar pitching. For the second game in a row, Washington found themselves down by an 8-1 score. A deficit so large, 12 hits and five runs scored weren't nearly enough for Our Washington Nationals to get back into this game.
Nationals Park nearly empty again as the final out was recorded. But if you saw that Mike Stanton home run, you should remember that for a long, long time.
What a shot!!
Game Notes & Highlights
Scott Olsen stated after the game he felt fine and his velocity was good, but he sure couldn't control his pitches. He was absolutely whacked by Florida and he gave his Washington teammates little help last night on the mound. He's very inconsistent and last night's game didn't help in his effort to be a stabilizing force in D.C.'s rotation. 1.2 innings pitched, 8 hits allowed, two walks, seven runs--not good.
Miguel Batista performed his usual yeoman's job picking up Washington's bullpen by stepping to the mound and distancing the game. Batista hurling 4.1 innings of shutout ball. "Mr. Rubber Arm" doing this after throwing 28 pitches and 2/3rds of a inning on Tuesday night as well against The Marlins.
Ian Desmond's two homers in one game was a first in his Major League Career--numbers 8 and 9. Dunn's 31st hit to dead centerfield in the 5th off Chris Volstad keeps Our Number 44 in the home run lead in the National League. Ryan Zimmerman had three hits, so did Pudge Rodriguez.
You can't say enough about Florida's Mike Stanton. He showed last night all the ability every single scout in the country has been drooling about. It's just hard to believe in retrospect he was a 2nd Round, Number 12 Pick, in the 2007 Draft.
Trying to do too much, Desmond attempted another Defensive Play Of This Game in the top of the 8th when Logan Morrison ripped a liner off Joel Peralta's glove on the mound. The ball deflected to the 1st base side of 2nd base and Ian showed tremendous range to reach the baseball. But he also showed inexperience when Desmond truly had no play on Morrison at first but threw the baseball sidearm, awkwardly and off-balance to 1st base anyway. Washington's Rookie needs to learn there are times you must eat the ball, hold on to it and leave it at that. Instead, error number 27 of 2010 for Desmond found his toss going way off line, well past Adam Dunn and to the home dugout. No Marlins eventually scored on the mistake, but Ian Desmond needs to dial things back a little sometimes. He's got the talent. He's too overeager sometimes.
Although Desmond made two attempts last night for The Defensive Play Of This Game, that honor goes to Marlins' 3rd Baseman Donnie Murphy. In the bottom of the 5th--and it came at the expense of Ian. Our Number 6 laced a liner down the 3rd base line off Volstad. Murphy dove to his right--with the baseball already behind him--and trapped it in his glove. Face planting himself, Murphy quickly leaped back up, turned and threw a beautiful toss across the infield to retire Desmond. That play was worthy of Ryan Zimmerman's exploits--it was that good.
Sohna and I find it hard to see just any journeyman player being given uniform number 32. Kevin Mench is the latest to wear Chad Cordero's original Nats number. It would be nice to see 32 saved for a longer term, more deserving player.
George won The Presidents Race, edging Tom at the finish line.
And finally tonight--Thursday August 12th--for the final game of this three game set with The Marlins, The Stephen Strasburg Debut DVD will be handed out to the first 15,000 fans in attendance.
Last Night's In-Game Photos, Manuel Balce Ceneta (AP)
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