Monday, June 13, 2005

So Sue Me

Coming off the roadtrip from hell, I went out on a limb and predicted an 8-5 homestand -- a nice conservative number that would've righted what seemed like a sinking ship.

Well, after 12 wins and one measly loss (which we could've won with a break or two), not only is the ship righted, it's already steaming past the Cape of Good Hope.

More important than our steamrolling of the American League West, was the manhandling of NL East competition. When you take 6 of 7 from the team that is the best on paper, and the team that's won the division every year since about 1954, it's a good sign -- another of those mile markers we're starting to see on this long journey. It's as telling as our initial road trip's success against our divisional opponents where we battled them to a draw on their home turfs.

But, now it gets tougher. The Nationals make another west-coast swing, for just three games against Anaheim. (Yes, Anaheim, Arte) After, they play three in Texas, where they should be used to the heat, and then three against the surprisingly hot Pirates, who are at .500 for the first time in ages.

The Angels and Rangers should be a tough matchup. They're both at the top of the division in a dogfight, just like us. Both series feature triumphant returns of not-so-favored sons.

In Anaheim, Jose Guillen returns to face the team that gave up on him in the heat of a pennant race. I don't imagine he'll get a warm reaction; it wouldn't surprise me to see him get thrown at a few times in this series.

In Texas, Ryan Drese returns to the team that just waived him. Although he had a fight with catcher Rod Barajas, the Rangers were hoping to keep him. He just got caught in a roster crunch in the heat of a pennant race. His departure certainly features less acrimony than Guillen's.

With nine games on the road, lots of travel, and some tough competition, it has the potential to be another difficult road trip.

When I take the NATS #1! foam finger off, we were pretty damn lucky to have won ten in a row. Each game, we got ONE big hit exactly when we needed it. No more and no less.

Although we're starting to believe that this team will always find a way to win, just think back two weeks. The ship was tilting hard to port. And, not to completely piddle in the punchbowl, but there has been one other team to win 10 games this year: The New York Yankees.

Is there anyone who'd trade positions with them?

We're going to need a little more than luck on this road trip. Some offense sure would be nice, especially because our pitching is FAR less dominant on the road.

Alright, it's prediction time.

We take three of six from the Angels and Rangers, then two of three from the Pirates. That's 5-4. I'm not sure if that'll be enough to still have first place in our graps when we come back, but we'll be in striking distance in the worst-case scenario.

Thoughts?

7 Comments:

  • I like the 5-4 number. It's not conservative, it's a goal. It means winning at least two series (even I don't see a sweep at PNC). Above is ecstatic, below is upsetting, the 5-4 # is a solid accomplishment.

    By Blogger D, at 6/13/2005 2:09 PM  

  • Truth-be-told, the prediction was made with the foam finger still on. I'm thinking we come to earth and go 4-5.

    But happy thoughts rule the day today! Wee! Look, it's a bunny!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/13/2005 2:10 PM  

  • Hmmm... I think I've been reading it wrong. I've been thinking about it less as your prediction, and more like "What record would the Nats need to call this stand/trip a reasonable success." 4-5 may be a better prediction, but 5-4 is the success line.

    By Blogger D, at 6/13/2005 2:47 PM  

  • It's sort of the both. It's an optimistic projection, I guess. What COULD the team do.

    These are tough matchups, but they're games we can win.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/13/2005 3:16 PM  

  • If the Nats had today off, and didn't start the Anaheim series until tomorrow, I'd be a little more optimistic. As it stands, I think you have to pencil in "L's" tonight and Wednesday (when Drese pitches). Then, after a day off, I like the chances of taking 2 out of 3 in Texas. And 2 out of 3 at Pittsburgh is a must.

    So, in my book, success = 5-4

    By Blogger Sec. 210, at 6/13/2005 4:40 PM  

  • I like the way you think. (Even if I'm jealous of your seats!)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/13/2005 4:54 PM  

  • I'd have to say 5-4, also. That's a baseline goal, but I also think it is a realistic projection. Sure, the Angels and Rangers aren't going to curl up and die, but the Nats are hot and rolling with the momentum.

    By Anonymous da kine, at 6/13/2005 7:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home