Friday, April 28, 2006

Cardinals, O'Connor

One stinkin' play was all it took. It's probably not as memorable as Cristian Guzman's mudball from last season, but Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning error was all it took to deflate the Nats' chances.

Mike O'Connor, who looked like he needs to go back to Degrassi when the game was over, pitched decently. Jitters led him to walk David Eckstein, but he made quick work of Hector Luna and the unstoppable Albert Pujols. He got Juan Encarnacion to hit a slow bouncer to third. Zimmerman got in excellent position, set himself with plenty of time, and just threw the ball in the dirt. E-5. It's a play that Nick Johnson could've (perhaps should've) made, but, regardless, the throw was inexcusable.

If he makes that throw, Cardinal O'Connor's out of the first inning, unscathed. As it was, Jim Edmonds was up. He threw him a fastball in a good location (up and in, at the corner) and Edmonds just jumped on it. It wasn't a bad pitch. He just got beat by a borderline-Hall-of-Famer. That happens. 3-0, and you knew that Nats were done. (VIDEO)

For his fielding butchery, as well as for the ohfer he took, Ryan Zimmerman wins another Lame Duck.

  • Jose Vidro hit into another double play. I'm getting sick of those, and I'm worried that it's just going to encourage frank to hit-and-run more.

  • Poor Juan Encarnacion (Encarnarcion to you former radio listeners). With the bases loaded, he hit a flare that dropped into left field. Great hit, right? Nope! The runner on third went back to the bag to tag as if it were a SF. When it dropped in, he was left flat footed, and Jose Guillen fired the ball to the plate for the force play. No RBI for Encarnacion, and not even a hit. Since there was a force in effect, he hit into a 150-foot fielder's choice, on the VERY rare 9-2 putout! (Ignore that the runner was probably safe!)

  • Alfonso Soriano butchered a few more plays in left. On the first, right after the Edmonds shot, he tried fielding a liner to left, completely misread it, then dived after it, missing it. The ball went for a triple. He needs to stop diving for balls like that. It's much better to just knock the thing down, and hold the runner to a single. It didn't cost the team anything, but it has in the past and will in the future.

    The other was laughably selected as one of the top plays of the game at MLB. Here's the video of him butchering another ball, resulting in an awkward sliding catch. At least he made the play, right?

  • It's been alleged (yeah, passive voice) that Frank Robinson was caught napping in the dugout. I've got my spies working on it. If I find pics, you'll have 'em!

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