Thursday, August 18, 2005

One Down, One To Lose

Game one is in the books, and Surprise! It's another one-run loss. I thought we went over this? The Nats need to blow their opponents out to avoid those one-runners!

If only it were that easy.

If someone who wasn't a baseball fan watched that game, they'd never be a fan. It confirmed all the worst stereotypes of the game. Despite only being about three hours long, it felt like it took about six. It took almost two hours to play the first four innings, and there were pitching changes out the wazzoo.

Tony Armas was less than sharp. In five innings he gave up two runs, be he allowed five hits and six (!) walks, throwing 95 pitches in the process. Man, he just doesn't have it.

Vincente Padilla wasn't that much better, but he walked fewer and got through another inning, earning his ugliest win of the year.

The Lame Duck, though, goes to Jose Vidro. He started off well, ripping a double, but after that, he left a bunch of runners on, and couldn't come through like a leader needs to. He left the bases loaded in the second, after Cristian Guzman had the game's only RBI. In the 7th, when they were trailing by one, he left Brad Wilkerson hanging at second.

If he comes through in either of those situations, it's probably a different game.

  • The turning point came in that second inning. Cristian Guzman came up with the bases loaded and nobody out. The slow Vinny Castilla was on second, as Guzmans medium speed grounder rolled up the middle.

    Kenny Lofton came in to field the ball, and the third base coach held Vinny.

    That seemed like the wrong move.

    First, Lofton doesn't have a strong arm. He's probably average at best, and there's no guarantee he would've thrown all the way home in that situation either. It seems to me that, unless it was clearly a strike, they would've cut the throw off, to try and keep the runners from advancing.

    Second, Tony Armas was due up next. Armas is a really poor hitter, even for a pitcher. With him on deck, it seems like you'd force the issue, because you know Armas won't get the job done for you.

    Either way, it's purely academic. Castilla held. Armas struck out. Wilkerson popped to left, and Jose Vidro grounded out. Inning over. One run in.

    Add it up, and it's another one-run loss.

    But they have another chance in just 2.5 hours. Hoo boy. I can hardly contain myself. zzzzz.


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