Those of you who are casual fans of the game probably spend most of your time watching a ballgame thinking about the obvious parts of the sport. You know, things such as balls, strikes, hits, runs. Some of the most savvy fans go even further, worrying about stats such as earned run average, on base percentage, perhaps even the walks hits per innings pitched. While those things are important, I'd like to focus on something even more subtle about the game, 3rd base coaching errors.
I'm being completely honest here when I think we (baseball society in general) should start keeping track of bonehead decisions of base coaches. No doubt, the Nationals would be near the league lead in that category. Case in point has been the current series with the Astros. Both nights, Tim Tolman has shown a complete lack of faith in the team and sent runners home on shallow singles with 2 outs, only to have both runners thrown out by a country mile. Last night's was particularly disheartening as Cristian Guzman would have been up to the plate, arguably our best and most clutch hitter at the moment. But nope, Tolman evidently thought Wily Mo Pena grew some wheels over the winter...he didn't. The only coherent thought that could have been going through Tolman's head at that point was that he knew the throw was going to beat WMP to the plate, but WMP is what you might call a "hoss" and if he blows up the catcher at the plate, there's a good chance he ends up safe. Well Brad Ausmus sniffed out Tolman's devious plans and sidestepped the oncoming Pena and tagged him on the leg...feet from the plate.
Another inning ending out at home, another loss for the Nats, another reason I should be coaching 3rd base!
We're back from a nice long vacation. It's amazing how actually having work to do absolutely kills my blogging time.
Finally went to my first game at the new park over the weekend. Unfortunately, I was forced to watch Matt Chico. Guz was nasty, you may have seen me in the upper deck pointing to the back of my jersey constantly. Seriously, that man is Atlas right now for our team. I can't see a combination of Flop and Belliard doing nearly as well.
Speaking of which, Mr. Lopez himself is having his best year as a National. Perhaps not being a starter for the first few weeks actually did make a change in his approach to the game.
Nick Johnson got two days in a row off this week. I understand that his hitting has been pretty woeful but he's still the team leader in OBP (a much more telling statistic than AVG) by .40 points over Flop. Well, that's unless we include Wil Nieves.
This three catcher thing is killing me by the way. Just pick two, the bullpen would appreciate it. And please pick Nieves and the winner of the coin toss. I really don't care who it is out of Estrada or BloDuca. Neither of them can throw people out at second (except for Prince Fielder...maybe). Neither are spectacular with the bat. Neither can run. I think you get the gist of where I'm going.
So taking stock so far, we're still in the NL East basement by 2 games but we're only 4 out of first, so things aren't looking too bad at this point. We're still not scoring that many runs but its getting better. I no longer call "game over!" when the other team scores 2.
Well that's all for now. Is that meat I smell?