Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Out of Sync

Whole Sale Changes, New Faces, and the same result.

A New Starting Pitcher, A Fresh Start, and the same result.

A Close Game, which Our Washington Nationals could not score key runs, and the same result.

And, with the game on the line, Milwaukee's Prince Fielder hit a three run homer, giving all us the same result.

When this one was over, that same result, a 6-4 loss to The Milwaukee Brewers was pretty much expected.

Losing our 7th game in a row, Our Washington Nationals are 9-24 for the season. There is a good possibility after starting this season 1-8, then going 8-9 over their next 17 games, Our Nats may well bookend that mediocre stretch with another horrendous 1-8 roadtrip, ending tomorrow afternoon in Milwaukee.

Our Washington Nationals are clashing. No cohesive parts. Its difficult to win when your team can't put it all together. Yeah, you can call up Jason Simontacchi. You can call up Winston Abreu. And, you can call up "All or Nothing" Tony Batista. But, in our case, nothing seems to be able to help right now. Our Washington Nationals have too many broken parts. Currently, they are Out of Sync. They are not a team. They are a conglomeration of indifferent parts.

That's disappointing.

Our Washington Nationals just don't make much sense. Its always the same when you are losing. Roster moves to wake up your team. Fresh Pitchers on the mound. An attempt to restart the season, get a new outlook. Yeah, Jason Simontacchi pitched well until he stumbled in the 6th, giving up a double, single, then the game deciding Home Run to Prince Fielder. But, he still floundered, pitching just well enough to lose. Our hitters left 12 runners on base again, never getting the key hit.

Yeah, Winston Abreu was LIGHTS OUT, at least for two hitters, confirming that Jose Rijo knew what he was talking about. At least, until Number 63 gave up an rocket shot home run to J.J. Hardy in the bottom of the 8th. Winston with the COOL WRAP AROUND EYEGLASSES at least LOOKED INTIMIDATING. Abreu was called on by Our Manager Manny Acta in the bottom of the 7th--getting Tony Graffanino to fly out to center, Rickie Weeks to strike out on a checked swing to kill a Brewers Rally--Before giving up the Big Fly in the 8th.

Except for Felipe Lopez's Leadoff Home Run in the first inning, there wasn't much else to say about this game once Fielder hit his three run homer off Simontacchi. A pitch that just got away from Jason, Prince Hammering it over the wall in right.

Nook Logan continues to show he's not much of an offensive threat. Batting lefthanded, Nook can't come up expecting to bunt for a base hit each and every at-bat. Its a waste, especially batting 8th in the lineup and the pitcher next up. Really, its like two automatic outs at the bottom of the order. Ryan Langerhans can provide a far better stick and effort than Logan.

Game Notes & Highlights

In the bottom of the 5th, Gabe Gross hit a hot grounder to the left of Ryan Zimmerman. "Z" dove and gloved the ball on the short hop. Quickly getting to his feet and tossing the ball to first, the throw was well off line, toward the right field line. Tonight's first baseman Robert Fick came off the bag stretching to catch the ball. Clearly off the bag during the catch, First Base Umpire Ed Rapuano called Gross OUT!!! I started laughing so hard, The African Queen told me to be quiet. Yeah, like the Umpires in Milwaukee are going to change the ruling. It was THE TERRIBLE CALL OF THE NIGHT.

In the Bottom of the 2nd, Johnnie Estrada doubled in Bill Hall for The Brewers first run of the evening. With No Outs and Simontacchi in a hole, Jason whirled and threw to Cristian Guzman at second, catching the napping Estrada for an easy out. It was The DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THE GAME.

Fick made two baserunning errors tonight. In the bottom of the second with Schneider on second with a single and Robert on first with a walk, Nook Logan could not bunt with Simontacchi behind him. Logan knocked a broken bat grounder to Rickie Weeks at second. With the fast moving Logan racing to first, all Fick had to do was stop in the baseline, giving Nook just enough time to make it to first, killing the double play. Instead, Number 13 ran right into Weeks, Richie quickly throwing to first for a two out rally killer.

Then in the 4th, Fick blooped a single past Milwaukee's second basemen Weeks, only to see Robert try to stretch it into a double. He may well have been safe, if only he stayed on the bag. Robert's Momentum carried him past the bag where J.J. Hardy tagged him out to end the inning.

Brian Schneider threw out his 4 attempted steal in the last 5 tries, tossing out Rickie Weeks on a nice throw in the bottom of the 3rd inning.

It should be a huge concern that Ryan Wagner has stated his right rotator cuff problem is similar to the pain he felt in 2005. That season, Ryan missed most of the year. Not a good sign.

Finally, before tonight's game, The Milwaukee Brewers offered Two Free Tickets to a future Brewers Home Game for any male fan attending that participated in a Free Prostate Cancer Screening Outside Miller Park. Good for them. Its a generous cause.

Tonight's In Game Photos--(AP) Morry Gash


Mark L. said...

I think you are letting yourself get too bummed out about this team. It was constructed to be one of the worst professional clubs in recent history. Pick small enjoyable aspects and try to ignore the rest. The Nats will probably lose over 100 games but the Lerners already knew this was going to happen. Next year will see a new stadium and some major free agent additions. It wouldn't be a DC team if it wasn't simultaneously frustrating and embarrassing. Take a deep breath and look forward to next year.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for articulating some of my frustrations with these Nats.

Where is the sense of TEAM? Did Bowden construct this disaster or is Acta failing in strategy? Can patience win out and see this group become cohesive as the season rolls along?

Watching the Nats, I have no clue what their gameplan is to score runs as a 9-man lineup. It seems to be "swing away and pray."

At least in 2005 and 2006, the Nats had an identity. This group looks lost.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you own the logical and appropriately patient perspective.

But losing sucks.

I could care less about 2008 right now. I want a win.

And even when I think about 2008, why are we playing guys like Robert Fick? Play guys with a future and let them sink or swim.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Mark: I am not bummed out. In fact, I enjoy attending each home game and watching the rest on TV. But, it also important to realize some things are not going well and point those out. There have been a few games where basic execution would have given Our Washington Nationals a win. I am not expecting miracles, but the showing of basic skills a necessity. I would never be upset about any type of baseball in Washington. Thanks for the comment.

JayB said...

I am bummed.

I might be short sighted but could someone explain to me why we could not have had the roster spots taken by Young, Fick, Tony B.,etc filled with true contributors.

The only down side would be cost. Nats are not spending the profit on anything anyway and scouts do not cost $30 million.

Yes, we would have to pay for a better player, but how would his hurt the plan. No we would not win the divison but we could keep moral higher and have some leadership that can help win some games.

If it was not for the NATS, Fick, Young and Tony would all be out of baseball.