Monday, April 24, 2006

Three Down, Twenty-Four To Go

The Nats went 3-2 in an abbreviated week, thanks to a rainout and an off-day. The week was marked by the return of the Nats' offense, including two 10-spots hung on the woeful Phillies pitching staff. Of course, it would've been nice if they could've banked a few of those for last night's one-run performance!

Nats Record: 3-2
Overall: 7-11, fourth place
Runs Scored: 88 (9/16)
Runs Allowed: 98 (9/16)

What's Good?
1: The offense! Three Nats slugged over .800 on the week. Four batted over .400. They slugged nine homers in those five games.

2: Tony Armas. He snuck in two starts, and pitched great in both, even if he didn't look his sharpest. He went 12.1 innings with an ERA just above two, and finished with just under 6 K/9. But the best part is that he's finally pitching quickly! Last year, a Tony Armas start was as dull and lifeless as one of my paragraphs. This year, he bounces up to the mound and fires sliders like he's parked at a meter.

3: Billy Traber. He's not going to win a Cy Young this year, but he looked competent enough to be a capable fourth/fifth starter, something this team has desparately needed.

What's Bad?
1: Brian Schneider. His defense finally seems like it's getting there, but his offense is still slumbering like it's Mid-January. He batted a miserable .222/ .364/ .278 , but more importantly, failed to come through in a few key spots.

2: The baserunning. This team continues to run into outs, especially as a result of the dreaded hit-and-run. The team stole three bases last week, but was also thrown out thrice. (Two of those steals came on one double-steal on a 3-2 count) Oy!

3: The bullpen. No single reliever had horrid numbers this week, but collectively, they didn't get the job done. Majewski yakked it last night; Stanton and Eischen a few nights before.

Game O' The Week
Friday night's game had it all. If you're a fan of pitching, you had the prospect of a John-John pitching matchup, on which only Mr. Patterson delivered. And if you're a long-ball lovin' chick, you had Mr. Soriano's three looooong bombs. (Take that, Vidro!). Throw in a bullpen failure, and a late-inning rally, and the game had a little bit of everything -- but most importantly, a Curly W!

MVP
Soriano had the flash, but Nick Johnson was the burning ember, hitting .435/ .480/ .826 in those five games, and led the team with six runs scored.

Cy Young
Despite Tony Armas' lower ERA, John Patterson wins this one for his 8 strikeout performance. If either he or Nick Johnson had figured out how to touch first base, he's taking a shutout into the ninth.

LVP
He might play excellent defense, but his offense stinks right now. Hopefully this'll be the last LVP for Brian Schneider.

Joe Horgan Award
Livan Hernandez was buried by an ensuing bullpen meltdown but the portly pitcher's tatertastic tosses mashed the Nats' chances against the Phillies, in a game they should've won. Three more homers gives him 72 allowed on the year, and mean he's on pace to allow 4,237 homers by the end of the season. (note: numbers enhanced for dramatic effect)

6 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger MDT, at 4/24/2006 3:38 PM  

  • Update: Royce Clayton
    just now filing taxes,
    mailing Christmas cards


    I need to start double-checking these before I post them.

    By Blogger MDT, at 4/24/2006 3:39 PM  

  • While I generally agree that the hit-and-run as used by FRobo is a big mess, Sunday night's game with Clayton's two outs was a case of using the hit-and-run reasonably. Clayton is batting in the seven hole - what are the odds that Schneider and the pitcher can score him? Nil. Sending Clayton increases those odds to next to nil.

    Seriously.

    By Anonymous A wary fan, at 4/24/2006 3:55 PM  

  • Would you believe that I argued EXACTLY that today at Yuda's site?

    I was thinking about turning that into a post, but I agree with you.

    Clayton's fast enough to steal. And Schneider usually puts the bat on the ball, and with his slump, perhaps forcing him to concentrate, and with fielders moving was a good play.

    Sometimes you can make the wrong decision and not have it work out. And sometimes you can make the right one and it doesn't work. This was right... at least the reward was high enough for the risk.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/24/2006 3:58 PM  

  • That's what I get for not scanning the entire Natosphere.

    I noticed that you avoided getting an easy yuck about the schedule magnets coming on September 18 as well. You could have a Customer Service Gaffe Of The Week section as well.

    By Anonymous A wary fan, at 4/24/2006 4:13 PM  

  • It's understandable. I have a hard enough time keeping up myself!

    If I wanted to chronicle every feckup with this team -- from PR to sales to on-field strategy -- I'd need to make this a full-time job! ;)

    Check out ballpark guys. There's a thread on the schedules there. The team handed them out at sales stands, apparently because the workers to hand them out never showed up. (I guess prisons don't do work release on Sunday?)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/24/2006 4:15 PM  

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