Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Its Raining Runs

The Loud Clapping of Thunder was heard overhead for the first time tonight. There was hope, after all. Maybe, just maybe-luck would be on our side. Because at that point, Our Washington Nationals were already down 9-0, the bases were again loaded and The Detroit Tigers Brandon Inge was at the plate. Oh yeah-there was also just One Out.

"Do you think we can get a Rain Out? Please!!" I stated. The very next pitch my prayers were answered. Only the thunder clap that followed was the sound of that Wood Bat Thumping The Baseball, AGAIN--this time off a Levale Speigner fastball driven by Inge to right center scoring everyone. At that point, I realized it had been raining all night long--in the fashion of RUNS scored by The Detroit Tigers.

Our Washington Nationals got routed this evening. A Downright Colossal Beating. One of those nights YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO WIN. When The Tigers had finished off the ample onslaught this muggy night at RFK Stadium, the final score was 15-1. By the 7th inning, the announced crowed of 22,227 had been reduced to Friends & Family Size. Not many were left watching.

Jason Simontacchi got ROCKED for 10 runs--10 Earned Runs in just three innings of work. Its hard to believe his ERA only rose to 6.31. And, only Billy Traber was unscored upon among the four Nationals relievers that followed Simontacchi. This game was so far out of hand--The African Queen and I spent the final four innings talking and visiting with friends. Why not, the baseball game had little interest.

Unfortunately, I can't call this massacre "Forgettable". Because, if you witnessed this debacle--you will remember it. How could you not? Rarely do baseball games get SO FAR out of hand. At RFK Stadium tonight--The Clouds Surely Opened Up--It WAS RAINING RUNS--almost all at the hands of The Detroit Tigers.

Those Guys Can Hit!

Game Notes & Highlights:

For the second consecutive night, Marcus Thames reached the Upper Deck, this time to Section 445--fourth row. Surprisingly, this Home Run was also hit off the same Nats Pitcher as last nights clout to Section 443--Winston Abreu. Marcus HAMMERED THAT PITCH TONIGHT--the baseball's flight MAJESTIC.

In the bottom of the first, Detroit Tigers Starter Chad Durbin threw an outside fastball to the left handed swinging Cristian Guzman that "The Guz" fouled off behind the Nationals Third Base Dugout. The baseball bounced on the walkway directly in front of Section 320, caromed over my head and landed in the row right behind. So, I reached over and picked it up. In all the baseball games I have attended over the many years--this is only the second baseball I have ever retrieved. The First coming in 2005, when Vinny Castilla fouled one directly into my hands while Sohna and I were sitting in the Upper Deck behind First Base during a game against The Atlanta Braves.

During the 5th inning--regular Nats320 Reader and Commenter Eddie Cunningham stopped by to visit. He cracked The African Queen up when he mentioned to her that "She Owes Me" for not allowing me to watch last Saturday's Game at Toronto on TV because I had promised her that Saturday was Her Day. It was very funny. Eddie & I chatted in the tunnel just to the left of Section 320 for some time.

Later, in the 7th, another Nats320 Reader HJMcK came by to introduce himself, meet Sohna and talk for the very first time. . Initially, we all began talking in the seats-then HJMcK and I moved down to the Tunnel to continue the conversation. All while My Best Friend!! Screech came by for some fun. So, I introduced Screech to him. I lost track of the game for an inning as HJMcK told me he is also a Native Washingtonian and loves the fact that Our Washington Nationals relocating here gives all of us a TRUE HOMETOWN TEAM. I couldn't agree with him more. We had a fine chat. Hopefully, he will come back and see us soon.

Of course Little Abby was in attendance tonight in Section 320 with her parents Becky & Mike in tow (as always). Sohna, Mike & I got into this very long conversation covering various topics--the most interesting was finding out how many friends and colleagues we both knew either from my growing up in Alexandria, Virginia. Or, Mike working with or alongside these same folks over the years. Quite stunning actually.

Finally--Sitting in Section 320 tonight were a few Potomac Nationals Players. Apparently, they had just returned from a long roadtrip and had today off. So, a few of them stopped by RFK Stadium to see their Parent Club. I didn't recognize all of the players, but I had met Justin Maxwell in Viera during Our Spring Training Trip this past February. Maxwell is a talented young outfielder with Speed, A Throwing Arm & Power. Pretty Nice Tools that any Major League Team would covet.

Spotting Maxwell walking up the stairs--I took the opportunity to go over and speak with him briefly. Pleased to find out--he remembered Our Chat. The Former University of Maryland Star told me he has a Staph Infection, but will be cleared to play soon. Out of nowhere, Justin was having a fabulous early season run at Low A Ball Hagerstown before being promoted to Potomac last week. "Its all about confidence," he told me. "I understand what is expected of me. Before, this season--I was struggling. I didn't know the pitchers and what they could do. It hurt me. (Yet, you were injured also--SBF) "Yes, injuries set me back. Its amazing how much better you can do when you are not thinking about being hurt. Just play ball." (Have you had the opportunity to speak with Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden? Has he told you what the team expects from you? "Yes, we have talked briefly. I think they want to see what I can do when I am healthy. Which, despite this minor setback (The Infection), I am doing well. I'm looking forward to getting back to playing at Potomac."

Only for a few minutes did we speak-but I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with him.

Sohna and I send out our best to Robert Fick--who lost his mother this morning after a long illness.

PS--Do notice in the Scoreboard Picture at the top of the post--it reads that The Tigers are Batting in The Top of The 10th!! Knowing how much fun we have in Section 320 laughing at the consistent scoreboard mistakes for nearly three years now--I couldn't help but chuckle over this one. Can you imagine if an actual Major League Game went Extra Innings and one team scored 14 runs. That would be Fabulous to SEE!!

Also--speaking of Scoreboard mistakes--Our Washington Nationals were thanking Major Corporate Sponsors tonight for attending between innings on the Video Board in rightcenterfield. Every one of us in Section 320 cracked up when the electronic board read: EXXON MOBILE (Yes, that's right--EXXON MOBILE!!! With An "E" on the end) Let's only hope that EXXON MOBIL (No "E" on the end) does not want to be The New Stadium Naming Rights Sponsor. How can you miss something like that? EXXON MOBIL one of the largest cash cow organizations on the planet. Just flat out funny.

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Nick Wass


Edward J. Cunningham said...

I was at the game last night, but I arrived a little late and was not paying too much attention to it. Normally, that's an unpardonable sin, but in this case I consider myself lucky.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that these past 2 games against Detroit are simply a great hitting display by the Tigers, and not a sign that our pitching is starting to head south after several weeks of playing above their heads.

JayB said...

It is worth noting that the Tigers built this team and continue to build by drafting the best players (without regard to "signablity") and signed them. They seem to understand how to spend the money they saved from cost cutting at the MLB level......If Kasten and Jimbo needed a reminder of how to build a monster team, it was there to see last night.....Still waiting for the Nats to sign the best players but we know they did not draft the best....the Tigers did!

Anonymous said...

I would have to disagree with you about who had the best draft. The Nationals had a GREAT draft, picking up 4 first rounds talents in Dewilder, Burgess, Smoker, McGeary. I think the Nats will sign all of them expect McGeary. Still a great draft

Anonymous said...

Last nights game was particularly disappointing because the crowd was rowdy and WANTED to have a good time. There was just nothing to cheer about.

Something to note. This is a casual observation, but today followed the pattern. Each day I run through the MLB news on the SI website. The main MLB page there has never, to my knowledge, had a headline about a Nats win the day after a game (even after beating Johan). It seems as if pretty much every loss gets a headline. Is that coincidental, or is SI just doing what they can to make their pre-season prediction of the Nats being the worst team in history seem less ridiculous?

Anonymous said...

The Nationals should give all fans attending last night's pathetic game a full refund.

JayB said...

My point was the Tigers have several drafts now since 2003 low and in each they have been taken players that cheaper teams like the Nats have refused to draft because of cost. The Tigers have signed them and they are now pitching in the World Series.

I agree if the Nats sign their draft picks then this one was better than the last when the Lerner’s did NOT sign their 2nd Round Pick. (Black may well have been a bad pick and we are lucky not to have signed him, but the fact we did not make a good pick at #2 and sign him is the problem.

Tigers again drafted the best pitcher in the draft at the end of the 1st round....after the Nats passed due to costs again. Seems like players development would be a good place to drop some of the $30 + Million saved in salary OR centerfield could have been up graded....see Dodgers CF and Leadoff hitter....
J Pierre
LAD OF 70 285 39 80 9 3 0 14 95 13 21 23 7 .315 .333 .281

An Briosca Mor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SenatorNat said...

Minnesota Twins beat the Mets last night at Shea 9-0, proving that the Mets don't draft the right persons, don't spend enough money on players, should refund the money to all fans at Shea, and the World is Coming to an End. Or, they could have lost one of the 162 games they are playing this year during the 2007 regular season by a lot of runs, while they scored NONE. Nats scored one run, right?

Seriously, when the Cincinnati Reds reportedly watched the Bronx Bombers take batting practice in that infamous (1927?) World Series, the pucker factor reportedly doomed their competing...

Are the Tigers coming in to RFK, and scoring so quickly and easily that it looks like one of those old Barry Switzer coached Oklahoma football teams tuning up by playing UVA in the opener years ago, in the first two games, going to destroy the team now and forever. Doubtful.

For one thing, had D.Young's double occurred in the 9th inning of Monday night's game instead of his first at bat last night, then the series would be tied!

Ayala and Bergmann are the first two returning, and Williams and O'Connor following close behind.

Watson may be ready to compete in the Majors, and give the Nats a credible centerfielder for the Indians series.

And Young and Guzman are far from cooling off at the plate.

Meanwhile, Acta just keeps getting more comfortable at the helm.

And Bow-Bow drafted and signed John Lannan in 2005 draft, correct?

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

SenatorNat said...

Purists will want to point out that it was both the 1927 Pirates and the 1939 Reds who experienced suffer "pucker-shock" upon witnessing the Murder's Row of Yankees. Yet, the 1940 Reds then won over 100 games and the World Series, so perhaps these experiences can be either nullities or growing pains...(Add 2007 Cubs to the list of those willing to write checks without limits who are not exactly burning it up...)

JayB said...

And just where have spent all that money.....scouts do not cost $30+ million dollars....Just would like them to sign the best players they can draft. That is what they said this team had to do. Did not happen year at all. This year is better but we shall see if they sign the top players...Tigers do it each year and you can see the results.

Anonymous said...

umm...Going from a dismill scouting department to a first class one does cost alot of money. Think of this..one scout cost maybe 60-70k, times that by the 15 or so they brought in. Plus flight expensives and the D.R school they built and Smiley Gonzlaez and the other prospects. Plus, Barry Larkin and Mike Rizzo. Very Expensive. I say about 15-16 million for all that. And more is going to be put in this draft. JayB, go watch the O's if you want to see the same results as the Nats...only they overspend on their bullpen and the players don't wanna play. The Nats come in every day ready to play and won't quit...You'll see when Stan's plan works and you'll be jumping back on the Nationals bandwagon wanting a seat in the new stadium

JayB said...

Already got my deposit in.....Just hope I do not have to watch that hard working Lopez and Logan next year!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Clint....he is worth another $1.5 million right?

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Maybe a future column for SBF might be how differently the Nats play at RFK rather than on the road...