Thursday, July 27, 2006

Six Pack O' Fun

Another beautiful day for a ballgame in what could be Alfonso Soriano's and Livan Hernandez' last starts at home as Nats. If it does work out that way, they both went out with a bang.

Livan Hernandez pitched effectively against the Giants' B-team, tossing up another quality start and seven more innings of three-run ball. When Micah Bowie came in to relieve in the eighth inning, I totalled up Livan's performance, and was stunned to see 0 walks. Not only that, but he struck out 5 batters. Both have been big problems for him this season. Whether it's the trade talk, improved defense behind him, or just another late-night movie (Little Man, perhaps? -- don't you love reading bad reviews?), he's pitching more like the Livan we had wanted at the beginning of the year. Too little too late for our playoff chances, but if it's good enough to get an arm or two (not to mention being free of his $7 million contract next year), it might not be completely worthless.

The crowd cheered Soriano, getting louder when he ripped another leadoff homer. Man, we're going to miss him. Trading him is like being grounded by your parents. It sucks at the time, but a few years later, you realize that, gee, maybe your parents were right. (if I'm not lazy, I'll have a post on that soon...)

I really like the way the offense looks now (anf if i'm not lazy, I'll have a post on that soon, too!) They almost all have excellent approaches at the plate, and they have as deep a 1-7 in the order as any team in the league. If this entire lineup returns (and if Schneider just approaches his career averages), that's a championship-quality offense. They hit for power. They hit for average. They have good plate discipline. They stink with the bases loaded, and can't get runners home from third to save their life, but.... That'll even out, right?

But, still, the pitching.... oy.

Six in a row is pretty incredible. I don't know if they can keep it up, especially with as much as they're relying on the offense, and with the changes looming on the horizon. But I'll take it! On to LA.