Saturday, September 20, 2008

This One Is All About The Numbers

Our Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres played for 5 Hours Tonight beginning on September 19th, 2008.

For 14 Innings they competed.

48 Players would partake in the game.

18 of which took the ball on the mound.

125 Batters stepped to the plate.

526 Pitches were thrown.


And Ryan Zimmerman was Zero for Seven in the batter's box. Not one single hit.

There were Two Seventh Inning Stretches.

There were Two GEICO Presidents Races.

Two Tee-Shirt Tosses.

And 28,600 in attendance to witness--at least some of it.

All on a cool early fall chill in the air evening that required a sweater, if not a jacket, by time this marathon ended.

But not before Washington rapped out 10 hits and a REMARKABLE 12 Walks--and only scored six runs.

Even more amazing was San Diego slapping out 20 Hits. Yes, 20 Hits, managing 7 walks, and still they could not take control of this game until Friday Night became Saturday Morning.

On and on and on they played, neither team taking full advantage of the other. Each leaving 15 runners in scoring position.

A game no one seemed able to win. Did each have plenty of chances.

Finally, it came down to who was left in Washington's Bullpen--Fresh. That person became Levale Speigner. And when Our Number 37 was sent out for his second inning of relief in the 14th--this long and enduring affair quickly ended. Thanks to 4 hits, two walks and one hit by pitch allowed. The Padres would send 10 batters to the plate and San Diego would Batter Speigner for five runs. Our Manager Manny Acta deciding to let Speigner finish what harm he began and not waste any more arms out of his bullpen.

Just like that--this game was over.

The Time was 12:36AM and the date was now September 20, 2008.

A calendar day had passed and Our Washington Nationals had lost--Number 96 of 2008.

Final Score from a "Friends & Family Affair" as the Midnight Hour Struck--The San Diego Padres 11 and Our Washington Nationals 6 in 14 very tiring innings. Yes, this one was all about The Numbers. And yes, you can bet on the very fact that The African Queen and I were two of those that lasted until the very final out. We did not leave early.

Game Notes & Highlights

Collin Balester would go five innings and give up 5 runs and 2 Home Runs. He wasn't overly sharp. Although, Our Bullpen was able to keep The Padres off the board and give Washington the chance to comeback and win--at least until the pivotal 14th frame. Sadly, Washington simply continued to fail with runners in scoring position throughout the evening.

Emilio Bonifacio and Roger Bernadina both were close to being stars of the game before failing late with runners in scoring position tonight--but these youngsters also did some nice work at the plate and on the bases most all evening. Bonifacio with three walks, one with the bases loaded, two RBI and a fine game in the field at second base. Bernadina with three hits, one RBI and one nice tag up from third to score on Our Number 7's short fly to leftfield in the 6th. Both have the raw skills, both need to develop more--but at least for one night--they showed promise of what they can deliver if they continue improving their skills.

San Diego ran on Lastings Milledge's arm all night. One good example: Edgar Gonzalez for The Padres singled up the middle to short left center. Then, with the ball IN FRONT of Milledge--still was able to race to second base for a double in the top of the 12th. Our Washington Nationals need to work on this issue. More and more teams are going to continue to put pressure on Lastings' Arm--because they know now they can run on him.

Also--speaking of Milledge--I have not seen the replay, but in the 6th inning from my angle it sure looked like Our Number 44 misplayed a deep fly ball off the right centerfield wall hit by Chase Headley. It looked like Milledge miss-timed his jump to catch the ball. If he did, he needs to continue to work on his defensive skills as well.

To his credit--Lastings did have three hits and a run scored this evening.

Collin Balester had a wonderful full count bases loaded seeing eye single that just worked its way through the right side of the infield in the 4th. Important because his first career RBI tied this game up at four and set up Bonifacio's bases loaded RBI walk as the very next hitter for Washington.

There was plenty of action before this game began as well. The only thing we missed out on--due to running out of time--was the Adopt A Pet Promotion outside The Center Field Gates. Our Washington Nationals, in partnership with The Washington Humane Society had Dogs and Cats looking for New Homes on site--waiting for your love. If you are interested and did not have the opportunity to see the animals this evening--click on the link above for full details.

Our Manager Manny Acta made a Team Store Appearance to promote his impACTA Kids Foundation. Foundation Tee-Shirts and Polos are now available for sale at New Nationals Park. All proceeds go towards Manny's effort to help deserving and needy Kids in Washington, DC and his Native Dominican Republic.

A few Players for Our Washington Nationals greeted fans at the gates while handing out tonight's Giveaway Item--a camouflaged Curly "W" Floppy Hat. Elijah Dukes, John Lannan, Tim Redding, Shairon Martis, Alberto Gonzalez, Anderson Hernandez, Levale Speigner and Jesus Flores were all spotted at entrances around New Nationals Park.

Apparently, over the last six home games, various players will appear before most games to greet fans for about 15 to 20 minutes--approximately 45 to 50 minutes before game start.

In Club Level tonight--Chateau St. Jean Wines were being tasted in Presidents Club, Diamond Club and Stars & Stripes Club. The Cabernet was quite the excellent full bodied wine. Their lighter Pinot Noir had a nice finish to it. Sohna and I enjoy the Red Wines, much more so than Whites.

Finally--George won both President Races this evening. In the 14th inning event--GW ran virtually uncontested. Teddy, Abe and Tom all stopped running along the outfield warning track and slowly walked back to the centerfield gate--conceding to George the victory.

PS--Here a couple of pictures from Today's ESPN Zone Jim Bowden/Mike Rizzo Appearance. A full transcript coming later.

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Luis M. Alvarez
All Other Photos--Nats320 (All Rights Reserved)


Anonymous said...

Looks like by club level you mean "Presidents Club" level... Are you really buying your seats SBF?

Anonymous said...

Anon woke up at 4:46AM to write his trash....I hope you delete his Post.

I think he went 4 days without his SBF bashing. Is that a new record?

Anonymous said...

wine tasting was in presidents club and stars and strips club, the original post is correct. there was even an email sent to club members about the event which anonymous must not have received

Anonymous said...

SBF was seen on TV in the Front row of the President Suites....not that I care.....Much more interested in just what a poor job Acta did in managing all year but last night, he clearly did not care at all. How many times are you going to let Casto prove he is not a MLB player? How many times does Acta need to see Milledge exposed for the weak (very) arm and not a single ball hawk instinct CF?

Acta has run his course with this losing team. We need a leader who is not just phoning in a line up card and sitting on his hands for the rest of the night.


An Briosca Mor said...

In the old saying You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still just a pig, JayB would be the one firing the person applying the lipstick, even though it's the pig that's the problem.

JayB is nothing but a Manny Acta hater. His comments should be ignored. Not deleted, of course, because he has every right to make them. Just ignored.

And as to JayB's question How many times are you going to let Casto prove he is not a MLB player? the answer is once. Now. Because if you don't let him prove whether he is or is not a major league player during this season which is all about players proving that, then doubt will remain into future seasons that do matter, and he (and players like him) will still be hanging around, clogging up the organization. Better to weed out those players now rather than later. Manny Acta and Jim Bowden, unlike JayB, know that it takes a good deal of playing time for a player to answer the question of whether or not he's a major leaguer. Way more than a game or a month. That's why Manny Acta and Jim Bowden are in the jobs they're in, and JayB sits sniping from the sidelines.

Anderson Hernandez, Alberto Gonzales and Emilio Bonifacio, like Casto, are also being given the time to show whether or not they are major league players. And I'm glad for that, because one or more of them might turn out to be players we can use as we build for the future.

JayB said...

Oh Please, get off you high horse and open your eyes.
Casto has had years in the Minor Leagues and several turns in the Bigs and too many AB's this year. He is in because he is cheap not because some GM somewhere thinks he could be a "a player we can use as we build for the future". The others are players, Casto has no MLB future, and your contention that Jimbo and Acta are playing him because still think he does is laughable. He is playing because he is cheap and Jimbo wasted his budget this year on stop gap players who he had to cut already.
Take a stand SBF… you see any future for Casto on a “winning team”, not a Nats team that is about to lose 100? Do you need any more time in CF to Milledge? It seems ABM's super smart GM is now seeing what we saw in April. Milledge hurts the team in CF and you can not win with his weak arm and poor defense. Best case Lastings is traded for Pitching.

An Briosca Mor said...

JayB, perhaps you should open your eyes. (Having you open your steel trap of a mind is probably too much to ask.) You slam Acta for playing Casto last night. I'm not defending Casto, I'm defending Acta against yet more disrespect from you on his qualifications as a manager and a leader. In a year in which three players who have started at 1B (Young, Johnson, Belliard) have gone down to injury and another who probably never should have played there in the first place (LoDuca) is gone, who does Acta have left to choose from at first when he fills out his nightly lineup card? Answer: Boone, Casto, maybe Langerhans. Acta's choice of Casto once in a while at the end of a season which will result in over 100 losses is not an indictment of Acta's leadership or will to win. Let Casto play, and if he's really not a major leaguer he'll dig his own grave. If he sits on the bench, though, someone in the organization might still think he has a shot at it and bring him back next year. Manny Acta is just playing the hand he is dealt, and not doing a bad job of it. Get off his back and show him some respect.

JayB said...

Acta is paint by the numbers, connect the dots, poor excuse for a manager. He knows that Casto can not help and he knows Milledge is not a CFer. He is just mailing it in and not making waves because he knows nobody else would have over promoted him to this level. That is not leadership. Yes Jimbo is more responsible for the mess at 1B and with time he will pay for it I am sure, but Acta could be doing more to force the issue. Last night it was clear Casto did not need 7 AB and 4 K's with 6 Runners left on base and several AB that cost the game. Acta should at least try to win a game, that is what leaders do.

An Briosca Mor said...

So, JayB, I guess Acta is paint by the numbers, connect the dots, poor excuse for a manager too for letting that Zimmerman guy go 0 for 7 last night, with multiple runners left on base and several AB that cost the game, eh? From your convoluted logic, that is what would follow.

JayB said...


You are a classic, and clueless. Only you who cares so much about arguing could be blinded and thus confuse Zimmerman and Casto. Oh well, I hope someday your ticket money will pay for a GM and Manager who can get it done.

Anonymous said...

Section 209 said...
wine tasting was in presidents club and stars and strips club, the original post is correct. there was even an email sent to club members about the event which anonymous must not have received

10:34 AM
I am a "club member" and I must not be on an email list any more. I am probably missing a lot of emails I guess.

Anonymous said...

I think Manny has done a much better job of managing since August 1st.

Manny has been handicapped by not having a true 1st baseman.

It is fairly clear in my mind who "will not" be on this team next year and who "shouldn't" be on the team as these are mutually exclusive.

I don't sign the paychecks and unfortunately the Nats are contractually STUCKED with many expensive players that will hamper this team for another year in 2009 unless something occurs via trade or some of these players finally live up to their potential.

Anonymous said...

Casto is this team's best defensive option at 1B and he needs at bats to decide if he is going to stay with this team or to allow other teams see him for trade purposes. So who do you thinks makes this type of decision to play Cory, Manny or Jim?
At this point of the season with the all call ups and the need to start making decisions for next year's club has a major affect on who Manny plays everyday. These are not Manny decisions.

JayB said...

Trade Casto.....good all kill me.....what could you get for him? He will be a minor league free agent soon and out of baseball in two years. I have nothing against him; he plays hard, but at this level (except for Nats) much more talent and some pop in your bat. Casto has a Slugging % of under .300 in about 150 ABs.......other than the Nats, who would want that.....Only Acta and Jimbo still need more time to evaluate this player.

An Briosca Mor said...

I have nothing against him; he plays hard, but at this level (except for Nats) much more talent and some pop in your bat

Yes, JayB, we know you have nothing against Casto. It's Manny Acta you're running the vendetta against, just as you have practically since the day he was hired. The anti-Casto comments are just your tool du jour to attack Manny Acta. We all can see that, which is why I said earlier that your comments should just be ignored. When it comes to Acta, you are obviously an Army of One against him. Even Tom Boswell, who normally seems to have less of a clue than even you do, cited three assts on this team that other organizations would want. Zimmerman, Kasten....and Acta. I go with Boswell on this one, for a change.

JayB said...

You can take comfort with being with Boz if you like but as little baseball as he has watched this season should give you pause.

I do think Acta was hired over his experience level and skill. He was OK with no expectations last year only because he seemed to have enough pride to bench Lopez a few times as well as others for not working hard; this year no pride at all.

He is the manager of record on what often has been called the embarrassment that is the Nationals by many people inside the game. You know the steady stream of quotes from unnamed sources but all I have to do is watch in person and on TV over 140 games to know Acta has hurt the team more than helped this season.

Once Bowden is fired and IF the Lerners are forced to spend equal to the revenue they take in, it will be interesting to see if Acta starts trying to win. He had no experience when he was hired and we all know he was hired because he was very cheap. Maybe by 2012 when the plan is ready he and Casto will be ready to win.

An Briosca Mor said...

Okay, JayB. You're such an astute judge of managerial talent, and you've studied Acta's every move and noted every mistake of his over the two years he's been here. So name the manager who would have done a better job and produced more wins over the past two years. Salary is no object, but it has to be someone who was available for both of those years (i.e. not managing another club), and there can be absolutely no changes in players or injury status at all. This is the manager, not the GM. He works with what he's given.

Name the guy, and also cite ten specific games where your guy would have done something different to change a loss into a win, and also what you would have had him do differently. Have at it.

That should keep you busy for a while, and when you're done you'll have shown us how to turn a 135-189 team over two years into a 145-179 team. Whoop de do.

JayB said...

I would have gone with Joe G or Lou P but as I recall both laughed at the Nats when they heard the plan and salary.

Problem is not the record so much as the acceptance of losing. Lou would have never accepted the whole Lopez stuff. Joe would not have let the team walk out to their positions at the start of an inning. Only Acta has let this team become the laughing stock of baseball........are you watching this tonight?

An Briosca Mor said...

Problem is not the record so much as the acceptance of losing.

Oh, okay. I see. It's okay to lose, but if you do lose you'd better not accept it. So when will the ceremony be where Manny accepts the losses from this year? I'm a season ticket holder, so I expect to be invited. Will Manny be giving his acceptance speech in English or Spanish? When the Padres and Mariners hold the ceremonies where they accept their losses, will their managers be no-shows, thereby gaining your approval, JayB?

And Joe Garagiola for manager? At 82, wouldn't you say he's a bit old for the job? Although I'll give you this much. With all his NBC experience plus with English being his native language, Joe G would probably do better than Manny Acta in the press conferences. Probably in the losing acceptance speech too.