Well tonight went exactly as I had thought it would. Tonight was the game sandwhiched between 3 dominant pitchers; Penny, Lowe, and Peavy. Tonight the Nats got to take their hacks against Mark Hendrickson. Listed at 6-9, he's nowhere near as imposing as his frame would lead you to believe...230 lbs. Man is a beanpole. And our hitters treated him as such. Z-man showing him no respect in the first blasting one, and I mean blasting it. You pretty much have to crush it to get it out of RFK. The bats never really stopped tonight, with excellent performances by D-Meat, Z-man, and of course GUZMANIA! We still don't get enough respect for calling that one. Eat it Nat-o-sphere, we didn't hop the bandwagon, we built it! Enough chest thumping though. Things we also saw tonight: Jesus is human (the bible told me so), Robert Fick is not a major leaguer, and its rediculous how these pitchers are just coming out of the ether to pitch good solid games for the Nationals. Tonights game ball goes to...Manny Acta. After taking two on the chin, Manny didn't let the team get down and they pounced on the opportunity to win a game. Now they go into the series with the Padres with a little momentum and possibly they can get to Peavy. We shall see...
I was there for all nine. This game doesn't deserve a recap.
No, my opinion hasn't changed. Chad Cordero isn't a major league closer, at least not on a good team. But we need to keep putting him out there so we can trade him by the deadline and get some value. Colome would be a low cost, and less stressful choice in the closer role.
In other Nats news, Jason Bergmann had an MRI on his throwing elbow, and had fluid drained today. Not looking like a speedy recovery. JPat and Shawn Hill are scheduled to throw bullpens this weekend and could potentially be back by mid-June. Jon Rauch appears to have lost his confidence, and no amount of tinkering with St. Claire has fixed it to this point. Here's hoping the vertically gifted setup man can get his schwerve back.
- When your team scores 12 runs, you shouldn't have to use 7 pitchers to get the win. Something is inherently wrong with that. I didn't see the whole game but Rauch appears to have lost some confidence (which may have something to do with Monday/That rediculous bandbox) and lost his location. Colome continues to show me skill, and nasty sliders.
- Games like this are why watching Church is so frustrating. 2 HR's and a 3 rbi double this game, and the next time, he'll be K'ing on a changeup or curve with two strikes. Consistency, my friend, is key.
- You know we're big Guzmania 2k7 supporters here, but he committed a boner tonight that should have gotten him benched. Broken bat grounder to short, which Alex Gonzalez bobbled twice, and the Guz was trotting to first, and barely beat the throw. Inexcusable when you are a last place team. Effort is mandatory.
- Simontacci was a worthwhile pickup. He's an arm, that wouldn't start on a good team, but has contributed well in limited innings. I like his makeup and he's valuable to this team with a dearth of starting pitching.
- Thank god I didn't have to watch Kearns wave at strikes all night.
- Mike Bacsik on the bump tomorrow, trying to win the first road series. After Cincy, on to beat up on a St. Louis team with major struggles. Let's keep pushing our way to .500.
Someone call FEMA, cause Cincy just got bombed. Well actually you probably don't want to call FEMA then, they'll just fuck everything up. Either way, we put a whooping on Cincinatti. I felt it in my bones that we were going to put a hurt on the Reds tonight. Mainly because they had someone starting that probably wouldn't even make the rotation in Washington, and that's saying something. Now as I'm typing this we're furiously walking runs in, so I'm stopping for now
- Jesus Colome can pitch. Credit Randy St. Claire with the reclamation project from the DRays.
- Ken Griffey is worth having on your fantasy team.
- I am slowly falling in love with Nook Logan. Initially, with the dumb name, the lack of power, and for vague reasons, I wasn't a fan. Normally don't like all glove, no bat players. However, Nook can hit righty, and has more than enough glove to make up for his bat from the left side.
-Matt Chico will be a solid number 4 starter for the Nationals, even when this team becomes a legitimate threat. His underutilized curve and moving fastball make him a tough guy to face, and we need more of those.
-Jim Bowden couldn't have looked more pleased with himself after FLop hit a grand slam, and had two doubles.
- Guzmania2k7 isn't as hot as it was before, but the man is 4 for 10 with RISP since his return, and we need that. And, he can flat out move.
- Kearns has some major issues right now, don't let that home run last night fool you.
What I am about to tell you is sad and embarrassing. I did what I've always made fun of, but I still have excuses, weak as they may be. I went to RFK with some friends Sunday for my birthday to see the last game of the "Battle of the Beltway" or whatever they've branded it as.
I fully expected a thrashing with Bowie starting, and as it was the Sunday game, I fully expected Tony Batista at third or first, and...well, I was going to name another scrub, but all our bench players are around the same skill level now that Josh Wilson is in Tampa Bay.
I digress, we got seats in 415 area, and it was in direct sunlight. We stayed until the 4th inning over there, but then we started to fuse with the plastic seats, so we moved into the shaded area. If you were there or watched the game, you know that aside from Nook Logan putting on a base running clinic, this game was a snooze. Bedard dominated our lineup from top to bottom, and the O's got to Bowie just enough to make it boring.
As one of my friends started to fall asleep, and the prospect of sitting in traffic after a unbearably boring game (a day after we made an emergency trip to Union Station on my birthday from Stafford) was not an pleasing prospect.
So we left.
I'm not proud.
We get to Springfield, and check the post game report, and found out we had a thrilling come from behind victory in 8th. AND Chief actually closed a game out. Crushing.
The call in show lambasted the people who left early, so we all felt 5 inches tall.
I have a learned a lesson, no matter what, you stay till the end. Even if you have to drive further than most people back home...you never know.
Oh, and I watched the game last night too. How can we be so unlucky? We get the bats going with authority, but Speigener can't keep the ball from leaving the park. And that homer off of Rauch was ridiculous. You saw where Schneider was asking for the ball, down and away, and Rauch didn't put it there...Maybe he needs a break, but we NEED SOLID LATE INNING RELIEVERS. When they falter, it's the most crushing thing to a ball club.
Well, for the however many there are of you readers who never comment, here are some pictures.
Bergmann on the DL...current ace of the staff...Simontacchi, then Chico, then who knows. This is going to be painful.
Update: Saturday's starter....Mike Bascik, of a 1-3 AAA record...and Sunday, Micah Bowie, who hasn't started since 1999. Allllrightttt.
Bergmann...out! Fire the strength coach like the Yankees did...this is absolutely ridiculous! We no have one starter this year who hasn't missed a start due to injury...MATT CHICO. I'm livid, this needs to stop.
A chance to win the second series in a row against a NL East team?
Matt Chico, you're up.
That's right, I'm in Florida on business. I flew in yesterday and boy are my arms tired. I had to do that one. Anyways, why didn't I realize that the minute after Bergmann's gem was over, we have been rendered teh suck by injuries. Now granted the pitchers we had weren't exactly going to wow anyone, even AAA teams. But they could give us quality starts none the less. Well its two days later and I'm reading things I just don't want to read. Like Billy Traber still existing, and Micah Bowie making a start. Can we just forfeit 7-0 like my softball league? Perhaps we can go with a 2 man rotation... I for one thing we should run a platoon at pitcher...no one but Simontacchi, Chico, or Bergmann is allowed to pitch more than an inning. That way, one person can't be completely to blame for all the runs. Oh but Chief still doesn't get to pitch to anyone in the 9th and perhaps the 8th either. I'm just bummed that we had a little confidence going and then we have to trot out Jerome Williams, Levale Speigner, and Micah Bowie out on the bump, I'm sad
Kyle is out of town for the week, so I will be manning the Report for the next couple of games solo.
Tonight's game features Jerome Williams returning from a short stint on the DL with an ankle sprain. Atlanta will be throwing Tim Hudson at our Nats, he of the sub 2.00 ERA. This game will be a good test of the spirit of this team. The Nats are on a 4 game win streak, including a home sweep of the Marlins, and the game 1 (near no-hitter) victory over the Braves. I wouldn't doubt that the Braves' bats will come alive tonight, even though Jerome has had a resurgence of late, and has shown he has some ability. Chipper Jones should be returning after thumb pain caused his late scratch in the last game.
My Prediction: Braves 6, Nats 2.
Guz-diction: 1-3, run.
Update: I am a genius, I needed to put money on this game. Almost got the trifecta with Guz.
I don't know what to say. That game was great to watch, and it was the first one I've seen since I've been home and graduated. This should mean I'll see every Nats game from here on out.
Bergmann was a stud, and until the pitch he gave up the bomb on, he had pitched nearly perfectly. Nothing meaty, was efficient, ball was live and had speed. The bats were still pretty silent, but our boy GUZMANIA2k7 continued his hot streak with 2 hits, including his second consecutive game with a triple.
He does however need some post game interview pointers. Sounds kinda nerdy, and needs work on his metaphors and cliches.
So, great great pitching, just enough hitting, and decent pen work. And we may have hurt a division rival's ace. So, A+ for tonight.
4 straight boys. Don't call it a comeback.
Cause we swept 'em! Did anyone go into this weekend believe we had a chance to sweep the Marl. Cause I sure didn't. I mean everyone knows the Marlins aren't going to win the World Series (although the years they shouldn't are the ones in which they somehow do), but still they're a quality club and we swept them. And the funny thing is that it shows just what we could have here in Washington. Three solid pitching performances, timely hitting, and more importantly hitting with power. The Nats of 2007 really haven't had any problems putting wood on the ball, there's just been no pop. But all the pieces worked together this weekend for a trio of quality wins. And I know you all saw Guz triple...don't lie, you were impressed. Bring on the Braves! I hope Langerhans hits a game winner in this series, beatin' em with their unwanted parts (which is normally what happens to the Nats)!
Someone serious needs to sponsor the call to the bullpen for the Nats. Cause it's pretty much Manny's favorite thing to do. Every game Manny punches that dial at least 5-6 times. It's clear to me that he puts much more emphasis on which arm you throw with than how good you throw with said arm. I can't find any other explanation for the reason why no one in the bullpen should ever expect to face more than one batter. Bowie will get a K, gets yanked, boom three singles in a row for the loss. I understand that you can keep guys in there for too long, but at least give them a chance. If we keep using every pitcher every game, we really are going to have no one left. Manny's getting on my nerves....
Let us know your thoughts on the re-design...or anything else, we're starved for comments! Also...
I know it doesn't look like it, but here at the Report we really are Nationals fans. We're just not fans who give a team a free pass to suck because the payroll is so low. There have been, and there are teams who have smaller payrolls than ours and are nowhere near this bad. Granted they have farm systems that weren't nuked by the owners but still. So while we spew this venom, know that we do it out of love.
Also, a list of moves made today
Cordero goes on the bereavement list
Winton Abreu and Tony Batista called up from Columbus
Josh Wilson designated for for assignment
JPatt and JWag(Juggs) on the DL
It's just unconscionable. I can't stand watching the Nats on TV because every 9th inning, I know Chief is more likely than not to blow it.
He doesn't throw hard.
He doesn't necessarily through strikes, because he has to be cute, because he has nothing to throw.
This blog will be officially in the "Get Cordero out of the 9th inning" camp forever. Don't care if he reels off 15 saves in a row. The man doesn't have the stuff to get it done. He fooled everyone once, and now the league is on to him. A lot of the fans are on to him.
Put Rauch in the 9th, stick Cordero in the 6th or 7th, where he knows he can't single handedly lose the game for us.
This is being written as Cordero lucked into 2 outs. Regardless of how it turns out, this team will rarely have a lead into the 9th, and when we do, we need to win those games. Cordero is not putting us in a position to do that. Let's give someone else a chance before we permanently crush this team's spirits.
Friday: 2:20 (Bergmann v Zambrano- The self described 2007 Cy Young Winner)
Saturday: 1:05 (J Patt v. Rich Hill)
Sunday: 2:20 (Shawn Hill aka Ace v Ted Lilly)
Well folks, since the bats have died in San Diego, this weekend could be bad. The pitching has been extremely solid for the past 3 starts, minus Chico's last outing. But Zambrano, who has the stuff, and Hill and Lilly who have come out on fire, could continue to stifle our bats over the weekend.
Other rainclouds on the horizon, my favorite former Nats, Soriano, has found his stroke and has decided to start earning his paycheck. He's raised his avg. to .320 and has his last 2 HRs in the past few games.
Church has to pick it back up, as his power has disappeared lately. Belliard continues to hit the ball, and will be a great asset off the bench when Guzmania! comes back.
Let's hope the pitching continues, and we start smackin the ball around the friendly confines.
Nats gettin' a little love from the media. Screw Rosenthal!
I was up late last night
It was half past ten
I was watching baseball tonight
Wouldn't be awake past eleven
When what to my wondering eyes would appear
But Ryan Langerhans, and the worst start of the year
I thought to myself, could this be true
Has Bowden done it again
Or could this just be a ruse
I went to the Nats site, for word of the trade
I came up empty handed
No word had been made
Alas it was true, Snelling now has to pack
As I thought to myself, the Bowden strikes back!
All poetry aside, I believe the deal to be an astute call by Bowden. Our bench has been woeful and while Snelling has played okay, I think he's really getting a pass because we're comparing him to the rest of our team and really just to his replacements. I know some people are going to bring up that Langerhans is 3/48 this season but it was not long ago that Langerhans was one of the hottest young stars in the game. Keep in mind that he's still only 27. I think that its possible that Langerhans re-kindles the flame here in Washington. And if he doesn't, he'll be no worse than Chris Snelling, cause no major league player continues to hit .063 for an entire season.
So I was going to do this earlier, but exam week is a crazy, crazy week.
This article does quite a number on our new ownership group, but as Kyle said, it was based mostly on interviews of former workers. And as we all know, spurned lovers/employees are sometimes less than reputable.
In case you didn't actually READ the link, it tells a tale of woe of an organization that has yet to find its feet, and along the way, has lost quite a few employees for asinine reasons, such as not paying per diems, not letting a worker ship packages via Fedex to FL, not paying Scouts....etc.
The section that seemed the most ridiculous to me was a pull quote stating that for a team who has a claimed commitment to its farm system, its strange that they would not hire the extra conditioning staff they had planned on because it was $30,000. For as much as concessions are, and tickets for a last place team, and the low low low payroll, I think cost cutting has gone about as far as it should. There comes a point where the ownership has to start paying out, and spending for things to start turning around.
If you're all about the Farm system, spend even more than you are now, because we are so far behind, that only the Draft can save us in 5-6 seasons. We don't have enough proven vets to get legitimate prospects at the deadline, so what you see if what you get.
Call me reactionary, but with an 9-18 record, I need some silver lining. This article was just another rain cloud.
Read this article.
I or Kyle will give you some analysis at some point tonight or tomorrow, but this is an eye opening article to say the least.