Thursday, July 30, 2009

Falling Asleep

After three long and exhaustive days at work, I literally fell asleep within moments of the conclusion of last night's game from Miller Park, much like how Our Washington Nationals slumbered through the last half of a very winnable game.

Four to nothing lead.

Four to two lead.

Four to three lead.

Eventually, four to five disadvantage.

Garrett Mock did not pitch well again. He couldn't hold a lead. Tyler Clippard, he of the fabulous four inning relief stint during last Saturday night's 13-1 victory over The San Diego Padres, looked like nothing comparable last tonight.

Mock couldn't command his pitches. Clippard was all over the place and eventually gave up the go-ahead two run homer to Pinch Hitter Casey McGehee. Our Washington Nationals gave one away tonight at Miller Park. The Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of young pitchers not having the confidence to finish innings. Garrett Mock still doesn't trust his stuff. Talent that wavers when the slightest disadvantage goes against them. Clippard's bad outing was surprising considering how well he had pitched of late--especially after inducing a nice double play grounder upon inheriting Garrett's runners on 1st & 3rd with nobody out in the bottom of the 6th.

Washington's top of their batting order played well--the first five hitters--Nyjer Morgan, Cristian Guzman, Josh Willingham, Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Johnson all combined for nine hits, three runs and all five runs batted in last night. Nyjer made a beautiful scamper from 1st to 3rd on a wild pitch in the top of the 8th with one out--yet DC's Team still couldn't get him home with what at that time would have been the game tying 6th score.

Our Washington Nationals slumbered through the last half of this affair. Their effort wasn't enough especially when Ronnie Belliard struggled mightily going 0-5 while leaving six runners left on base in his At-Bats.

No, Our Washington Nationals didn't play the sharp baseball seen over the past nine days--instead they sort of reverted to a team seen earlier this season--the one that is unable to close out an opponent. They fell asleep, just like I did.

Final Score from Miller Park where DC's Team still has the chance to take their third series of the past eight days this afternoon in Wisconsin--The Milwaukee Brewers 7 and Our Washington Nationals 5 in nine frustrating innings. The Brewers' Manny Parra had "ZERO" reasons to expect to get an personal victory tonight. Parra was terrible and yet Washington couldn't take advantage of his poor pitch selection and execution tonight and close this one out early.

Mock really didn't help himself. Expecting to win five in a row, instead Our Washington Nationals were defeated for the 69th time in 101 Games played this season.

PS--Nice effort by Nyjer Morgan on the video replay home run ruled triple by the umpiring crew in the bottom of the third. Morgan almost made a spectacular catch on Ryan Braun's drive. He thought he should have caught it and was pissed at himself for not keeping the baseball in his glove. That's an attitude we can appreciate. Morgan doesn't give in on anything seen so far.


Anonymous said...

@NATS320...Garrett Mock did not pitch well again. He couldn't hold a lead. Tyler Clippard, he of the fabulous four inning relief stint during last Saturday night's 13-1 victory over The San Diego Padres, looked like nothing comparable last tonight...Mock couldn't command his pitches.

JUST GO BACK TO LAST FRIDAY'S LOSS AND YOU HAVE YOUR ANSWER. Mock has been given the opportunity. Read what Chico Harlan wrote today, "Mock has yet to impress, at least outside of the International League. Since returning from Class AAA Syracuse, he has made three starts. His totals: 13 2/3 innings, 25 hits, 16 runs, 11 earned runs, 7.24 ERA. Opponents are hitting .403 against him. For his career, Mock has now made six starts. Only once has he completed six innings."

And this was written here last Friday:

Anonymous said...
Nats 320 wrote...Garrett Mock really hasn't looked good in either of his starts since returning from AAA Syracuse. He did pick San Diego Shortstop, Everth Cabrera, off 1st base to end the top of the 5th, but that was just about his only high point. Nine hits, one walk and one throwing error resulted in five runs allowed (three earned) in just 5.1 innings. Mock didn't seem to be fooling many Padre hitters tonight.

Anon Comment...I agree with your observation. Mock has been said to be a AAAA pitcher which is too good for AAA and not good enough for MLB.

He is taking up space in my opinion while Martis would give the Nationals a better chance of winning.

His own error sure didn't help his effort and his fastball is average and we haven't seen this great fastball that was written about.

His stuff may fool the guys in AAA and will not at the MLB level even against probably the easiest matchup he would get vs. the Padres.

The question is, how many more starts does he get or do you do him a favor and do what the team did with Langerhans?

2:17 PM

The end result could have been worse for Mock if not for stellar defense behind him. Rizzo and the braintrust need to make a tough decision or is it an easy decision with Jordan Zimmermann coming off the DL in Mid-August or do you do something immediately?

Averaging almost 2 hits per inning and tiring your bullpen is what the Nats looked like earlier this year. I feel sorry for GMock and his family as this has to be tough on them.

We saw this with Jason Bergmann although Bergy finally looks comfortable in his role.

The other big difference with all the starters is the improved defense behind them so the excuse for many of the starters has always been, Well the defense.....

Anonymous said...

I have very few criticisms of Jim Riggleman except to create a lineup with Belliard and Kearns back-to-back is like the Mendoza twins. Heck, the pitcher out hit these guys.

How demoralizing to a starting pitcher to see that, and for young Garrett Mock to have that in the lineup SHEESH.

So my bigger question is, why isn't Dukes back here so you have a backup outfielder (other than Kearns) from the right side of the plate as you have Willie Harris from the left side. I am so happy for Kearns walk-off hit but don't confuse that with consistency.

The name of this game is winning and nobody in the fan base would blame the Nats for sending Kearns or Belliard walking.

SenatorNat said...

Two comments:

New York-New Jersey 1 nearly made the defensive play of the year for the Nats - he did save the home run. Then, as he has done ad nauseum this year, Bard let a sinker go "through the 5 hole" permitting the runner to score from third regardless. Bard is a liability behind the plate, a good hitter who cannot run, and who should be relegated to pinch-hitting duties and Sunday get-away games. Nieves is a far superior defensive catcher, and hits well enough, especially in the clutch. Acta and Riggles have reversed the two's playing time to the detriment of the team.

Secondly, Joe Torre recently alluded to the problem MLB is facing of "losing athleticism" since African Americans now constitute only 8% of the rosters. (The Dodgers lead the majors with eight and have an abundance of athletes, leading the NL West.) This is so true - look at Dukes and Morgan on the Nationals - they lend so much in terms of sheer athleticism to the equation. If this is racial profiling, so be it. I grew up in love with Willie Mays - number 24 still is my lucky number. There is nothing so breathtaking as Morgan racing like Jerry Rice to snare a ball, or accelerating last night around second, motoring to third. Say Hey - Nyjer!

In 2006, John Thompson had a great live conversation with then Twins star centerfielder Torii Hunter on 980-TEAM, who has devoted himself to working to attract young AAs to baseball. Hunter sounded like he would have loved to come to play for the Nationals in 2007 and beyond, in large measure to assert his cause in the Nation's Capital. Of course, the Lerners never made a serious move for him, despite Soriano's departure making such a move a natural...I will not hesitate to profile the Lerners - Bethesda businessmen!! (I hail from Bethesda, but am the author of "Growing Up Poor in Bethesda!")

Trust in the cycles of sports. And an African American from America's West whose first love was hockey! All Nieves between the pipes...

Anonymous said...

Garrett Mock is the same pitcher he was in April and May. His is afraid to put the ball over the plate to major league hitters.

His problem is not physical. His brain will not allow his body to put the ball where it needs to be put because he is afraid of what will happen. Looking at his hits to innings pitched, his brain is probably right.

He doesn't have this problem in AAA because he doesn't have to throw quality pitches to get those rejects and never weres out.

Unless he has some kind of epiphany, he has already established that he is not a major league pitcher. He will not pitch ahead and he is too hitable.

Anonymous said...

SenatorNat - Idiotic. What does this have to do with the Nationals and anything else. I don't know what Joe Torre said, but what you are saying in my opinion is racist. To say 1 race is better athletes is like the biggots saying the other race is smarter.

Watching Ryan Braun who leads his team in stolen bases and batting average and #2 in HRs, does that make him a better athlete than Cameron and Fielder?

Ichiro Suzuki having the hits record to say Asians are better than all other races????

paul said...

Who are these people?