Thursday, June 23, 2005

Mission Accomplished

A 5-4 win equals a 5-4 road trip. The Nationals took on the two best teams in the American League West on their own turf and battled them to a draw. Then, against a suprisingly decent Pirates team, they took the series, sending them home with a winning road trip to continue the momentum of the last home stand. More important, the Nationals remain in first place, three games up on the Philadelphia Phillies. But, you knew all that.

Yesterday was the Jose Guillen show as he put on another power-hitting clinic. He had four hits, including two homeruns in his first two at bats. But, what else are you going to expect when El Loco Bate faces one of his former teams?

Intrepid reporters at Distinguished Senators got their trusty abacuses (abacaii?) out and did the computin' for us.

In short, he wrecks the hell out of the ball when he's angry (and facing former teams). The rest of the time, he's just a mild-mannered, league-average corner outfielder. (To see how dramatic it is, you'll have to click over to DS yourself!)

Our own Dr. Jeckyl wins another Majority Whip.

  • Hector Carrasco deserves consideration. He relieved an ineffective-effective-ineffective John Patterson with 1 out and the bases loaded. Two outs later, he walked off the field with no runs in and those bases still loaded.

    The Nationals scored the go-ahead run that next inning, giving him the win. To cement his awesomeness, he chipped in another scoreless inning in the 8th, saving Luis Ayala from another day of arm abuse.

  • Patterson was complaining of lower back pain. He pitched like it was still hurting him early in the game, giving up three homers. He had only given up one on the season (a Grand Slam to Moises Alou way back in San Francsico). That's been one of the secrets of his success, and was a pretty good indication that things weren't right early with him.

    I'm assuming he needed time for his back to get loose, or a way to temporarily alter his delivery to get through it. Because the old JPIII returned, pitching very well until the aforementioned bases-loaded jam.

  • Vinny Castilla sat out with what Frank Robinson termed a 'tired bat'. That seems about right! Vinny has been in a free fall lately. Nats Blog has the Helen-Thomas-ugly results in graphical form.

    Castilla's clearly not the player he once was. Despite the Coors effect, he was still a very good player, especially when you factor his defense into the equation.

    Other than a few throws, his defense has been constantly steady and occasionally spectacular.

    For the moment, Jamey Carroll has been spelling him at third. But, you've gotta wonder whether that's an upgrade. Carroll's defense probably isn't as good, and as bad as Vinny's bat has been, at least there's the potential for an extra-base hit, which there isn't with Carroll up there.

    Maybe this is a position that Bowden will be targeting for a trade. Despite being under contract for next season, Vinny won't be making a ton of money. It wouldn't cripple the team to have to bench him or cut him.

    But, as always, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

  • 5 Comments:

    • Re: Guillen -- Need I play the universal stathead playbook? "Sample size!!!"

      ;-)

      By Blogger Basil, at 6/23/2005 9:04 AM  

    • You know where you can stick your sample size? ;)

      Yes, that's part of it. As is park factor.

      But, this is also where the psychological factor probably DOES come into play.

      The effect may not be as pronounced as Ryan's numbers, but I'm pretty sure it does exist.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/23/2005 9:06 AM  

    • Eh. I just thought it was a Fun Fact. I'm not drawing any conclusions.

      By Blogger Ryan, at 6/23/2005 11:11 AM  

    • Well, I was just being a jerk. Maybe it does mean something, even if by definition it can't right now.

      By Blogger Basil, at 6/23/2005 4:04 PM  

    • Why are you so condescending, Basil? Oh wait, I guess you already answered that.

      By Blogger Ryan, at 6/23/2005 5:28 PM  

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