Sunday, May 08, 2005

Two For The Road

I go away for 24 hours and all hell breaks loose! (Not that that's a bad thing)

The good news, is that I can confirm that Z104 comes in crystal clear 99% of the way to Charlottesville. My trusty automobile was making the slow, steady climb up into the Blue Ridge when they exploded in the 9th inning to tie the game, then to take the lead. And the radio came in the entire way, except for a brief time I was on the far side of the mountains.

Strangely, it comes in better on Skyline Drive than it does in Alexandria.

The story of that game, to me, is not the offensive outburst. It's not Ryan Church's game-winning double. It's not Jamey Carroll's 3-hit splurge. Or even the team's 14 hits.

The Washington Nationals walked eleven times.

Eleven.

Nick Johnson had three. And Endy Chavez, who started but found himself on the bench by the middle of the game had one of the most beautiful lines any baseball player could ever have:
0 - 1- 0
Zero ABs, One run, Zero hits. He walked twice.

Obviously SF's pitching had more to do with that than the Nats' batters, but it's definitely a good sign. When you combine walks with this team's ability to string two or three hits together, you'll get some big innings from time to time.

The Majority Whip winner though, was Mr. Church. Four hits and four runs knocked in are going to do it nine times out of ten. That one of those hits was the game-winning bases-clearing double makes the choice even easier.

Frank managed uncharacteristically proactive. He didn't wait for John Patterson to lose the game. And he gave Zach Day just enough rope to hang himself. He also shuffled players around from position to position, something he's been hesitant to do before despite some of our players' versatility. Bully for you, Frank!

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The night before, Jon Rauch bailed the team out, coming in to pitch three shutout innings after Tomo Ohka reverted to his kamikaze-pitch-throwing ways. Rauch wasn't perfect, but he didn't allow any hits, and ate up some innings, sparing our bullpen from being taxed too much.

Rauch's innings bought time until the bats got it going late. A 5-run eighth inning put me to bed, and put the Giants in late-night grave.

Brad Wilkerson was the Majority Whip, going 3-4 with a walk. He scored two of the team's runs. His walk came with the bases loaded (the best time to walk!)

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Road Trip Stats:
Record: 4-1; 4 games left
Goal: 4-5

Despite the injuries, could things be going any better?