Monday, June 20, 2005

We're Sorry Boz!

We never should've doubted the Dean of Washington Baseball Writers (Post-Povich edition). Tom Boswell, in his typically grumpy, sometimes-coherent weekly chat ripped Nats fans recently for booing the execrable Cristian Guzman.

Our friends at OMG! took a few deserved hacks at Boz with the all style and humor this blog isn't known for.

In short, Boz said that Guzman would come around; booing was bush league; and Guzman was a good hitter for a shortstop.

OMG took those point-by-point and dismantled Boz. Or so I thought.

Cristian Guzman ruined OMG!'s thesis and is definitely having the last laugh. Tonight, he wins his first Majority Whip -- Two hits, a double and a triple; two runs; two RBI. Throw in two double plays, and he had a solid all-around game.

Over the last few weeks, I've repeatedly mentioned how Guzman was finally starting to hit the ball hard. Even though he was still making outs, he was at least lining out, instead of hitting his patented first-pitch groundout.

Well, those hits are starting to drop in -- or in the case of the last week, hit the wall or fall over it.

Cristian Guzman is now hitting .212/ ~.243 / .303.

While that still sucks, Guzman had bottomed out with a .451 OPS on May 31. Since the calendar flipped to June, he's been on a tear, raising his OPS nearly 100 points.

For the month, he's hitting .288/ .302/ .481, which is about the best-case we would've expected at the beginning of the year. It's a shame it took him so long to show that kind of promise.

He's working on a 6-game hitting streak and failed to get a hit in just six games this month. He's still not walking (just once this month), but he's taking a few pitches, showing a little more patience, and slapping the occasional extra-base hit.

While he's not going to get his seasonal numbers up to where they should be, if he can continue to hit at roughly the same pace he has, he won't be the complete offensive drain he was the first two months of the season.

So, Boz, you were right. We were wrong. We'll never doubt you again.

(At least until you write your next homercentric statistically blind, fanboy-baiting pablum.)

  • On a normal night, Jose Guillen would've been the whip. He ripped two homers --solo, as usual as he's only hit 4 non-solo homers. But Guzman was not to be denied, and Guillen grounded into a DP in the 9th, with a chance to put the game completely out of reach.

  • ┬íLivan! won his 10th game with another of his non-descript outing. Were it not for another bad throw by the Dorian Gray of the infield, Vinny Castilla, Livan would've escaped with just two runs. Vinny's error yielded two more runs and turned a laugher into, well, it wasn't quite a nail-biter, but it wasn't a complete yawner either. [ed. Call Boz and get more -er game description cliches]

  • Road Trip Record:
    4-3
    Road Trip Goal:
    5-4

    All we need is one more.

    There are two games left and we're in first place by three games.

    The Nats'll be coming home with the lead regardless.

    They'll have six games at home against the Jays and Pirates before running a 10-game gauntlet heading into the All-Star break against three wannabe contenders: NYM, PHI, CHI.

    But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    Let's enjoy the moment.

    And enjoy another Nats win.

    BANG! ZOOM! Indeed!
  • 16 Comments:

    • Uhh, Chris -- we're 4-3 thus far, not 4-4. Unless you've perfected time travel and know we're going to lose tomorrow night.

      By Blogger Yuda, at 6/20/2005 11:25 PM  

    • i think you meant to write the road trip record is now 4-3 and they are up by three games-over the second place phillies- after tonight

      By Blogger wolff, at 6/20/2005 11:25 PM  

    • We should not rule out the possibility that Chris indeed has perfected time travel. He seems the enterprising young man, and he knows where to get the cool bomber jackets.

      By Blogger Basil, at 6/21/2005 7:53 AM  

    • Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nit pickers always! :)

      I intentionally put that in there to see who was the most anal retentive among you all. No surprise that Yuda wins. :P

      Yeah... intentional.... that's it!

      And Basil's partially right. I CAN get you some pretty nifty faux leather bomber jackets, but I'm working on a perpetual motion machine, not a time machine.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/21/2005 8:21 AM  

    • It better obey the laws of thermodynamics!

      By Blogger Rocket1124, at 6/21/2005 9:16 AM  

    • You're too quick to surrender, Chris - I'm not yet convinced that Guzman is "back" ... if he keeps this up for the next few weeks I'll admit I was wrong but not until then ...

      [For the record, Cristian - I'm constantly apologizing (just ask my wife) - so feel free to make me eat my words.]

      By Anonymous DMCj, at 6/21/2005 9:24 AM  

    • Hey! I hope that's a royal "we".

      I'm not sorry, yet. It'll take more than a good 10 game stretch to convince me he's not awful. He already had one this year. It'll take a better year than he's ever had to convince me Cristian is "VERY GOOD" like Boz said.

      By Blogger El Gran Color Naranja, at 6/21/2005 9:54 AM  

    • I'm not convinced that he's 'back' per se, but I think it's not completely unreasonable to expect something like .260/ .300/ .375 from here on out.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/21/2005 10:08 AM  

    • Its not exactly related but its a questions for a Nats fanatic. Rumors going around lately on some of the sports shows and rumor mills that several nationalsplayers have told palyers on other teams (and quite a few on the Angels) and allegedly some sports reports that there have been Jose Guillen incidents in the club house, best they could figure was atleast three of them. Have you heard anything about this?

      By Blogger the Pirate, at 6/21/2005 10:31 AM  

    • I haven't heard of any incidents this year. If it was in the presence of the media, I'm sure someone would've alluded to it.

      I have heard about stuff in previous years though.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/21/2005 10:33 AM  

    • A lot of the stuff that happened with the Guillen and the Angels has never come out in the media although some sports guys who have good relationships have off the record stories of clubhouse incidents. But still they won't go on record about it (esp. Scioscia), but we do know that Scioscia never got in to a fist fight with Guillen because Jose was never taken to the hospital. I'll see if they cite any print sources, but I would tend to believe the rumors on past experience.

      By Blogger the Pirate, at 6/21/2005 10:46 AM  

    • At what point is Guzman worthy of the "Guuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzz" chant? I have tried to initiate it to no avail.

      By Anonymous Conaway, at 6/21/2005 12:04 PM  

    • When he's batting Carlos Baerga's weight -- not in Kilos, either.

      We don't need the guy to be a superstar. We just need him to not be a complete sinkhole.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/21/2005 12:06 PM  

    • Agreed. I'll get it going at .240.

      By Anonymous Conaway, at 6/21/2005 12:24 PM  

    • I'll agree the Nats don't need Guzman to be anything more than a slightly below average NL shortstop, but I can't understand cheering or praising him for that.

      If there's a transition from general booing to not booing to general cheering, the cutoff for general cheering is higher than .240.

      By Blogger El Gran Color Naranja, at 6/21/2005 12:56 PM  

    • If he gets 3 or more hits in the next two games, I may bring a sign on friday night that says GUUZ not BOOS.

      By Anonymous Eric, at 6/21/2005 1:37 PM  

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