Sunday, July 09, 2006


Nats320 As befitting of a mediocre to bad team, our Washington Nationals could not hold a 7-1 lead in the 6th inning and a 9-6 lead in the 9th. The true disappointing part was that the let down came from 2 of the so called younger players the Nats are looking to build on. Gary Majewski came in with one out and one on in the sixth and could only retire one more hitter while allowing Jon Rauch's inherited runner to score and giving up 3 more himself. Mike Stanton was able to put his finger in the dyke and got the Nationals to the 8th leading 7-5. Inexplicibly, Frank Robinson decided to send Chad Cordero out for a two inning save. And, as MickNats shrewdly pointed out, "Frank brought in The Chief one inning too early and left him out there one inning too long." Chief gave up a leadoff double to Josh Barfield, and after PH Bowen K's, Dave Roberts triples to right center to score Barfield. 7-6 Nats. But, Cordero was able to strikeout Cameron and Giles to retire the side. In the bottom of the 8th, Alex Escobar (4-4 today, 2 runs scored and a 3 run homer) would double to right when Giles misplayed the line drive and would move to 3rd on Clayton's sac bunt. And Brian Schneider, on a 2-2 count sent a fly ball just over the right field wall, that Brian Giles made a nice attempt and just missed over the fence for a 9-6 Nats lead and everything looked good. But, in the 9th, Chief just didn't have it. Josh Bard doubles to left center on a line drive that Escobar froze on and it went directly over his head. Adrian Gonzalez doubles off the wall in left center that Escobar hesitated on but almost climbed the wall to retrieve, but it fell off his glove. Scoring Bard. Khalil Greene, NATS KILLER, comes up and on a full count, drills a NO DOUBT Shot over the left field wall to tie up the game 9-9. Cordero gets the next 2 hitters and Mike Piazza comes up to PH for Cassidy, the Padres pitcher. On a 0-1 Count, Chief serves up a lob right in over the heart of the plate and Piazza clubs it into the Mezzanine level of left field. YOU COULD HEAR A PINDROP AT RFK. IT WAS THAT QUIET!! 10-9 Padres. We went meekly in the bottom half to end it. And, the announced crowd of 22,000 (could not have been more than 14,000) headed silently for the exits.

This was an awful loss on so many levels. John Patterson started and had elbow problems again and was taken out after one inning. You can bet, he might not pitch again this season. Majewski and Cordero were just terrible, TERRIBLE. They do not trust their stuff and continually get behind in the counts. And, get killed!! Jose Guillen, continues to try to do too much. Twice, The Padres Intentionally walked Nick Johnson to get to Guillen---Who struck out and grounded into a double play.

One good spot was Alex Escobar. He has hit safely in all 6 games played for the Nationals this season. His 3 run homer in the 5th, was a rocket. But, his outfield play can be disarming at times. In the first inning he did not come in on a looping liner that could have been caught but loaded up the bases for the Padres. He misplayed Bards liner in the 9th and then n Adrian Gonzalez's double off the left center field wall, Escobar looked sheepish about climbing the wall. He tore his right knee for the Indians back in 2001 in the same situation and was out for 4 years. He looked gunshy. Frank made a comment about this after the game blaming Escobar for putting the Chief in trouble. But it really was just as much Cordero's fault.

Frank also gets the blame for this one. Rauch was pitching effectively. There is no game for 5 days due to the All Star Break. Everyone is available as far as I am concerned. Yet, Frank takes out Rauch, Majewski loses it, and as usual Frank waits until the inning gets out of hand, before making a change. And the Chief coming in for the 8th was just plain stupid. You have plenty of other arms available. Why use the one guy who never can give you 2 solid innings consistently. Come on Frank!! ALL HANDS ON DECK!!

38-52 at the All Star Break, last place and, most likely, not able to get out of the cellar by the end of the year. And, most of our trade bait players are not playing well enough to get anything. GREAT!!

No comments: