Sunday, May 16, 2010


UPDATE--Washington has officially designated Brian Bruney for assignment and will officially purchase Drew Storen's Contract from AAA Syracuse on Monday. Storen will be in uniform on Monday night in St. Louis.

When the rumors started to swirl a little before 4PM Eastern Time this afternoon stating Drew Storen was being promoted to The Major Leagues, the first thought which came to mind was that Our General Manager wants to maintain the momentum. Few expected Our Washington Nationals to be playing above .500 six weeks into the 2010 season and less imaged the current crop of 25 on D.C.'s Roster could get this particular team, this far up the standings.

The final results so far have people as excited about Baseball In D.C. than just about any time since the Inaugural Season of 2005.

But as a group, Mike Rizzo knows this team has deficiencies that need to be addressed.

Mr. Rizzo understanding today that his manager can not send his top reliever's--Tyler Clippard & Matt Capps--out there every single day without throwing their arms off. Clippard & Capps need dependable help alongside. And when those two thoroughbreds are not available to pitch--Jim Riggleman's Team can't be blowing five runs leads--as happened earlier this week at Citi Field. For some time, Washington really hasn't been able to send Brian Bruney into any close game--as Bruney's inability to pitch effectively in the clutch has cost his teammates many times so far this young season on the scoreboard.

So in order to maintain the momentum, Our Bullpen needed an upgrade. Remember, there is nothing more demoralizing than losing any lead late because of a bullpen failure. They are the most difficult losses to take as every player feels the victory is already at hand. Hopefully, Mike Rizzo's decision today to promote Drew Storen to Washington's Big League Roster will give Jim Riggleman a more solid 1-2-3 punch out of the bullpen. And the ability to move Storen around to where he's most needed on any given day.

No one can do it all.

Good depth counts and the addition of Drew Storen to a Nationals Uniform today is a welcome sight.

And while we are on the subject of momentum--forward movement came to a halt at Coors Field over the past two days when Our Washington Nationals lost the last three games of a four game series against The Colorado Rockies. The last two losses by one run apiece. And in each case, The Rockies executed when it mattered most--and Our Washington Nationals did not.

Colorado scored the winning run Saturday night when--after Ian Desmond made a spectacular play across the middle of the diamond to retrieve a high hopping baseball--he threw a one hopper right into Adam Dunn's glove at first base for what appeared to be the inning ending out. Only to see Dunn drop it. If you are going to win and maintain momentum--that out has to be recorded.

Today, with Scott Olsen at the plate, Washington needed to place down a simple bunt with runners on 1st & 2nd and nobody out in a tie ball game in the 7th inning. Olsen struck out. And when The Rockies found themselves in the exact same situation in the bottom of the 8th (thanks to a Clippard allowed lead off walk)--Dexter Fowler laid down the perfect bunt. The game winning run scored moments later.

There are really few differences between Our Washington Nationals and The Colorado Rockies--they are pretty evenly matched teams. They really are. But the biggest contrast between the two squads is that The Rox have done it many times before in the clutch. Our Washington Nationals have not--and need to learn how to.

And that comes from playing experience in games that matter.

Most any team can play exciting ball and most any team can keep themselves in every game. But with the game on the line--perfect execution is always necessary to maintain any momentum. Our Washington Nationals did not execute the little things over the past two days in Denver. And they lost because of it. Washington hasn't played bad, but they are capable of better. Hopefully, the excitement of an exciting young rookie joining up with Our Team in St. Louis this evening, as reported, will shift that momentum back in the upward direction.

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William Neilson Jr. said...

We need the talent upgrade BADLY

Our SP has been generally terrible this year. We will turn downwards record-wise if our SP doesn't turn around

paul said...

Nice analysis, and nice to have you back. Isn't it also nice to have a so-so team looking at a possible run rather than an uncompetitive one with no immediate signs of improvement as we had last spring?