Sunday, August 07, 2005

Forgive Us Padres, For We Have Stunk

The power of Christ compelled us -- to lose.

Three games and three losses to the woeful San Diego Padres means that the Washington Nationals are worthy of the woeful tag as well.

Jack Peavy exorcised the hitting spirit from the Nats' bats, pitching a complete game shutout.

Esteban Loaiza had an RFK mirage game; his performance looked better than it really was. Six innings and three runs usually isn't going to get it done in this stadium (and that's before accounting for the Krappy Kiddie Korps lineup).

This was about the time of the year that the Cy Young candidate of 2003 started coming back to earth; it appears that the same thing is happening this season. In his last two starts, he's given up five home runs at RFK.

And while he's never been a top strikeout pitcher, he's only K'd 11 batters in his last three starts. Is he fatiguing? Are the bats cathing up to him?

If he goes south, so will the team. Oh, wait! The team already has. Maybe he's joining them?

Regardless of the reason, he wins the Lame Duck, mostly for two key plays.

In the third inning he and Jamey Carroll reached to lead off the inning. Peavy, who actually had a finger injury, was on the ropes. Guzman looked like he was bunting, and the Padres catcher threw through to second to pick off Loaiza. Crushing.

Then in the 5th, Loaiza intentionally walked the 8th hitter to get to Peavy, putting runners on first and second. Loaiza quickly got ahead 0-2 before firing a ball. The next pitch was lined into centerfield for an RBI single. How can Loaiza let a pitcher get a hit after being ahead 0-2? That's pisspoor execution. (But I guess that's the story of this team's second half)

Another demoralizing one-run loss.

Frank had another WTF Senior Moment. In the top of the 7th, Ryan Drese allowed a leadoff single. The next batter was bunting. Drese got the count to 2-2, and Frank came out and gave him the hook mid-batter. I dunno. I'm sure there's some sort of explanation for it. Whatever the explanation, it's pretty clear that Frank hates pitchers.

Despite all his charity work, Preston Wilson wins a Lame Duck. The man with the leaden glove did his part to kill any Nats rallies that formed. In the first, with two on, he hit into a double play. In the eighth he struck out with Nick Johnson on first. (Don't forget the 0-2 he squeezed in between there)

Your Preston Wilson Non-Moralizing Fun Fact O' The Day: Mookie Wilson (AKA David Letterman's favorite Met) is both his uncle and stepfather.

Somehow Livan Hernandez allowed 12 hits in 5.2 innings. Even more amazing is that he only gave up four runs.

But the Lame Duck goes to Vinny Castilla for his season-worst performance. I'm not sure which is more stunning, that the Nationals had seven runners on base, or that Vinny stranded that many.

Second Inning, runner on second: struck out looking.
Third Inning, runners on first and second: fly to center
Fifth Inning, bases engorged: infield popup
Oh, he's not done!
Seventh Inning, runner on first: struck out swinging.

Vinny, as an effective player, is done. Despite the long homerun he hit in Saturday's game, the injury to his knee has rendered his already creaky bat completely impotent, and it has really cut down on his range at third. He still has those great hands, but he's having trouble getting to balls, and can't make the quick turns to get himself into ideal throwing position.

He's a liability.

It was a lost weekend. Unfortunately I've been typing that a lot.

After Monday's offday, they head to the road for thirteen games. Ten of the thirteen will have direct implication on our standings. The other three come against a Rockies team that already pantsed us in front of the entire class.

Isn't baseball wonderful sometimes?

No? Yeah, come to think of it, you're right.


  • On what other team in major league baseball could a guy like Cristian "Mendoza" Guzman get slotted in the 2-hole like he was yesterday? Thank you very much for your service Mr. Robinson, but I can't wait to get a new manager for next season.

    Did anyone catch that moonshot by Eric Young to left field yesterday? That looked like one of Frank Howard's old monster home runs from the 60s.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/08/2005 11:27 AM  

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