Sunday, April 17, 2005

Seven And Seven Or Two For Three

The Seventh is the magic inning, I guess! For the second straight night, they made life difficult for anyone trying to keep score -- there's a lot of black ink on my scorecard and some overlapped innings! But, that's a damn good thing when it's your team!

Nick Johnson had the big hit of the game, the tie-making triple to left center in the 7th. What's the deal with this team and triples? Have you ever seen more? We're leading the league with 7. Houston is second with 6, and they play in a park that literally allows twice as many triples as average. No other team has more than 3.

But, two of the biggest hits of the game, came off the bat of today's Majority Whip winner, Jose Vidro. Any time you get two hits an inning, you're going to be a candidate! He got the hit that started the rally, and he drove in two more with the bases loaded after the always-dubious intentional walk to Brad Wilkerson and the highly-improbable bases-loaded walk to Cristian Guzman (YAY!).

Earlier, Vidro chipped in a Sac Fly to the rag-armed Luis Gonzalez, which had cut the 'Backs' lead to 3-1. Number 3 finished two-for-three and wins his second MWA! (I'm sure he'll put that on his mantle next to his Silver Slugger award.)

Today's WTF Frank Senior Moment:
(I might as well make it a regular feature!)
Frank had coaxed 6 acceptable innings from Esteban Loaiza, but at a cost of 106 pitches and three runs. Loaiza didn't necessarily look like he was tired, and he had been getting results, but he's not a Curt Schilling-type horse. Take your six innings and 106 pitches and be happy, Frank.

But nope! That's not the way Earl Weaver did it in '72, so that's not the way Big Frank's going to do it.

After Brian Schneider hit a deep fly ball to center, up stepped the sore-armed Loaiza to take his hacks. You probably heard me bellowing from left field about the stupidity of Frank and wondering why he was leaving the ol' guy in.

Of course, what happens? Yep, an infield hit! (That's gotta be at least 5 IF hits for our pitchers so far!) It worked out, for the moment, but was still the wrong decision.

Loaiza came out to start the 7th and quickly got into trouble. Two batters, and he was headed for the showers.

Frank's done that a few times -- let his pitchers hit before pulling them early the next inning. I know our relievers have had three (?) ABs already this year, which is bizarre. (Still no double switches either!)

Other Random Too-Long Ramblings

I almost went with Joe Horgan as the Whip today. After Loaiza allowed the first two batters to reach (the second on his second dumb throwing decision of the game), Horgan came in to face Luis Gonzalez with runners at the corners. He got Gonzo to hit a low flare towards the middle of the diamond that (in a heads-up play) Guzman let bounce. He picked it up on the short hop, checked the runner at third, stepped on second, and fired to first -- a double play. A great job of clutch pitching there by Horgan!

Strangely, Frank brought the hook and TJ Tucker got Glaus to fly to right. (Why Frank didn't IBB Glaus and have the lefty go after Shawn Green and Chad Tracy, I'll never know, but it worked.)

--Glaus hit another towering flyball today, his third of the series that was caught against the wall. In one of those things you don't see unless you're at the game, after Glaus rounded first, he saw the ball was caught and he threw his arms up in frustration as if to say, "What the hell do I have to do to hit one out of this park?"

--I was glad to see Luis Ayala out there in the 9th. He had a rough outing last night, and it was nice to see Frank throw him righ back out there in a close, but not razor-thin game, to help him get some confidence back. I imagine the loud ovation of the crowd helped boost his spirits a bit.

--NJ, before he was the 7th inning hero, grounded into two DPs in his first two at-bats. As you know, I've got a big mancrush on NJ, and was pulling like hell for him. (Thank god for some pretty crappy outfield defenders!)

--The Nats OF defense was pretty crappy today too. JJ Davis turned a single into a double early in the game, and there were some balls in the gaps that were catchable -- or at least should have had an outfielder closer to them. Wilkerson's not a centerfielder, but with a lefty on the mound, I'll learn to live with it. (But, Davis really needs to start hitting!)

--Some lady brought a broom and was waving it around trying to get the crowd into a sweep chant. The RFK Gestapo quickly swooped in and confiscated the toy before someone's eye got poked out. But the fans didn't give in without a fight, booing the hell out of the Grinchtastic guards. And before too long, starting with a "We Want The Broom" chant.

--And, in case you missed it, the Nats mascot made its/his/her debut today, Screech. If you haven't seen it, imagine Slapshot in his younger days, with a much fatter head. He actually looks a lot more like Woodsy the Owl, just white.


  • Guzman back in the #2 hole? I almost had an embolism.

    By Blogger Brian, at 4/18/2005 7:48 AM  

  • Yeah, I screamed at that one when the lineup was introduced. And how many times do you see the leadoff hitter intentionally walked? That was bizarre.

    But... Guzman does sorta hit lefties better than righties. (How could you tell though, I suppose!)

    Hopefully Jim Bowden pulled Frank aside after the game and beat his ass.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/18/2005 9:31 AM  

  • Speaking of Glaus hitting shots, did anyone get a distance on Gonzalez's bomb Saturday night? That thing cleared the wall easily maybe twenty feet to the right of dead center in right-center. That was a no-doubter.

    By Blogger Basil, at 4/18/2005 9:37 AM  

  • Security took away a broom? Hell, there were at least three brooms in our neighborhood and no hassles. Weird.

    By Blogger Carl, at 4/18/2005 9:51 AM  

  • Gonzo's HR was more of a line drive. A Crushed line drive, but Glaus' shots have been these towering fly balls that probably would've hit the roof in Montreal!

    As far as the broom... security's hit and miss. They came down once to tell me to take my binoculars off the ledge and three innings later to yell at my friend for having his feet up.

    I don't know if the person was being obnoxious or if security just happened to catch it. Nazis.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/18/2005 9:53 AM  

  • One thing I have noticed is how slow Vidro has been to react to groundballs. It looks like he's running in slow-mo. Those knees aren't fully recovered yet.

    By Blogger Brian, at 4/18/2005 9:55 AM  

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