Sunday, July 12, 2009


Despite attention being diverted, I was able to watch most of today's game at Minute Maid Park and felt compelled to write something. Thanks to many for their kind words to Sohna and I over the past few days. Your overtures, both private & public, are very much appreciated.

When Tyler Clippard fell off the mound and balked while attempting to intentionally walk Hunter Pence in the bottom of the 8th inning today at Minute Maid Park, the very sight of Lance Berkman trotting home from 3rd base with The Houston Astros 5th and final run this Sunday afternoon was the microcosm of all that has plagued Our Washington Nationals this 2009 Season.

Playing the odds, loading the bases to set up a force out--A Good Baseball Decision--DC's Team could not manage that small feat successfully.

Again today, a bottom of the 1st throwing error by Alberto Gonzalez led directly to The Houston Astros only run--of the unearned variety--until the bottom of the 7th.

Again today, three singles in the 5th by Washington didn't produce a run for Our Team.

Again today, Washington loaded up the bases twice with just one out AND DID NOT SCORE. Gonzalez popping out (ahead in the count 2-0 by the way) with Anderson Hernandez grounding out to second to end the 6th.

Again today, Ryan Zimmerman swinging at ball four--popping out in the 7th--followed by Adam Dunn being thrown out by Miguel Tejada on a hard hit ball up the middle--ending the latest DC & Final Rally this day when Houston overshifted to the right--as most every team in The Majors does--for the usually always pulling the ball Dunn. Even when Adam hit the baseball where they usually ain't playing--an out was recorded.

Again today, a very quality start by Jordan Zimmermann was supplanted by more suspect play.

And when Jordan really needed those runs behind him on the scoreboard--Our Number 27 couldn't hold the one run disadvantage when JZ appeared to lose focus upon hitting Geoff Blum with a looping curveball leading off the bottom of the 7th. Then was tortured by a multiple hop grounder right up the middle that Anderson Hernandez could not knock down. Finally seeing Zimmermann succumbed when, of all hitters for The Astros lineup, Kaz Matsui got around on J-Zimms 92 MPH heater and popped it over the wall in right--one row back--for a three run homer that decided this affair. Houston up 4-0.

Jordan Zimmermann pitched so well today, firing fastball after fastball, but he could not depend on his teammates stationed behind to give him the necessary scores he needed to stay in this game. Too bad because J-Zimm deserved better today--as have many Washington starters before.
It also didn't help when Adam Dunn sort of gave up of a lofting fly ball down the left line in the bottom of the 8th by Carlos Lee--that fell FAIR and good enough for a ground rule double when the baseball bounced over the wall and into the stands. This play coming moments before Clippard fell off the mound with his run scoring balk.

No, Our Bullpen did not blow the game today. They were spared the agony. But Loss Number 61 was like so many that have come beforehand. Mistakes in the field leading to additional opposing batters receiving their extra swings. Poor clutch hitting at the plate leaving runner after runner on base--stranded by Washington.

That microcosm, now known as Loss Number 61 in 87 games played in 2009, was typical of much that has come well before this getaway affair end. The final game competed as The 2009 All-Star Break commences. The disappointing fashion in which Our Washington Nationals tend to lose--needs to be addressed. You can't stroke 11 hits, garner four walks, leave 13 runners in scoring position while batting 1-11 with the game on the line. A tight 1-0 affair which Our Team should have commandeered this hot and humid day in Houston, Texas. Instead, lost 5-0 despite a fine performance on the mound by Jordan Zimmermann.

A three-day break required. The time to clear some heads. And when Our Washington Nationals return to the field on this Thursday Night, July 16th, to face Alfonso Soriano and The Chicago Cubs--they better be more focused, more alert, attentive to the game situation at hand--at all times. You don't need to knock the ball out of the park during every At-Bat. And no one needs to over extend themselves in the field.

Just realize what's developing in front of you.

No doubt, in our minds, The African Queen and I have not given up. Neither we doubt, have our Our Die-Hard Fans. Nor should Our Washington Nationals. There are 75 games still remaining to be played this championship season and DC's Team needs to make the most out of them--giving hope and forward progress to the grueling first half of 2009 just witnessed and, thankfully, completed.

Today's InGame Photos--Pat Sullivan (AP)

1 comment:

Staci said...

Thought of y'all when I read this story in the Houston Chronicle this morning-

Not that the Nationals proclaim their players are Saints...(well, bob carpenter would be a notable exception - I believe he does!ha) but DC enjoys the fabulous Lindsay Czarniac (sp?) and Debbie (MASN) is awesome as well....I'm sure they would be disappointed. in BOTH the Astros intern and the member of the Nationals team...