Saturday, May 29, 2010


The definition of quandary: "a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do; dilemma."

Perfectly defines Nyjer Morgan and outfield walls of late? Doesn't it?

Again tonight, Our Washington Nationals centerfielder rushed to the left-centerfield wall at Petco Park attempting to track down a blast off the bat of The San Diego Padres Nick Hundley in the bottom of the 4th. Nyjer appeared to get there in time, then jumped up, and watched the ball completely miss his glove and land to his side and carom back toward the infield. Hundley ended up with a triple and scored The Friars' fourth run moments later.

Morgan's misplay wasn't the deciding moment in tonight's latest loss--that came in the very first frame when Washington's newly recalled pitcher, J.D. Martin, allowed a two out, three run homer to Hundley. But Morgan's continuing uncertain defensive play was the most worrisome on an evening of disappointments for D.C.'s Team because this exact same fielding miscue now has happened to Nyjer for the fourth time in less than two weeks. Two of which ended up being inside-the-park home runs. In fact, if Josh Willingham hadn't tracked down the Hundley smacked ball tonight--this one might have been the third.

Perplexing, because in 2009, virtually nothing got past Our Number 1 defensively after he came over from Pittsburgh in that mid-season trade. Now in 2010, Nyjer has consistently missed most everything hit close to the outfield walls. A most puzzling development because, in baseball, defense up the middle is key to winning consistently. And Nyjer Morgan has been the surprising weak link this season.

Has he somehow become afraid of hitting the wall? Has he lost his confidence?

Nyjer Morgan's continuing struggles the most bewildering aspect of Washington's otherwise uplifting season.

Final Score from Petco Park where superb pitching by The Friars, combined with D.C.'s Team's less than stellar play doomed defeat: The San Diego Padres 4 and Our Washington Nationals 2. Mat Latos, Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams & Heath Bell combined on the mound for San Diego to shutdown Washington's offense most all evening. A key Adam Kennedy two out error in the bottom of the 1st directly led to Hundley's three run home run off Martin. But Nyjer Morgan's troubling play has formed doubt.

He's been tentative, indecisive, almost hesitant to make plays.

Nyjer Morgan truly has become a quandary: "a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do."

A dilemma that needs to be solved--and quickly.

Tonight's In-Game Photo, Denis Poroy (AP)


Edward J. Cunningham said...

I've been one of Nyjer's biggest defenders, but if his hitting slump continues the Nats can't afford him at leadoff and if he keeps making mistakes in the outfield, then he becomes a liability. Nyjer is not like Adam Dunn who simply CAN'T play in the outfield---we know he can do better than this. But maybe the Nats need to consider sending him down to Syracuse to work on his hitting and fielding.

Anonymous said...

Unless they make a move of some kind, I don't see what they are going to do with Nyjer Morgan outside of continue to run him out there. Perhaps you consider moving him out of the leadoff spot if this goes on past say the Reds series on 6/6. I'd give him some time off against lefties but this team doesn't have a right handed OF (besides Morse, whom I don't trust defensively). I would like Rizzo to make a little move for somebody's AAAA right handed replacement OF who is acceptable defensively and has good splits as an insurance policy for some of Bernadina's and Morgan's at bats. Got to believe we'll see Willie Harris the lineup today for getaway day given both Nyjer's and Bernadina's recent struggles.