Monday, April 02, 2007

At Least It's Baseball...

... if I hear one more person say that, they're getting punched in the nuts.

Opening Day. Gorgeous Weather. The kind of thing you dream about when sitting inside in mid-January. But then Mary Todd probably liked the play, too.

Patterson had nuttin'. He couldn't control the fastball, and it sailed wildly. He hardly threw his curve. I wasn't keeping track of pitches like I normally do, but I saw now more than 5-10 of them, most of them rolling harmlessly to the dirt (save one on the first pitch to Miguel Cabrera in an AB he'd later home in). And his slider? Yeesh. It just sorta rolled further and further outside every time he threw it, and the batters could just let it go for a ball.

Without any breaking or offspeed pitches, he was left with that fastball, which topped out at 90 MPH, but was mostly thrown at a Madduxian 88-89 MPH, far from the 92-94 range he was throwing when he was healthy in '05.

Three walks and two measly strikeouts? I realllly hope it's just rust. But the more I see, the less I'm convinced.

  • Outfield defense on both sides look shaky. There were a few "triples" in the game. I'm not sure if that was bad defense or a tough sky seeing as everyone was struggling.

  • Ryan Zimmerman got the love for his 2-4 day (conveniently ignoring the soul-crushing DP he hit into in the third), but Dmitri Young really was the hitting star, slapping doubles down both lines. It was awesome watching his chunky body grind gears to get up to speed. So amazing are his powers of acceleration that both times his batting helmet blew off Willie Mays style.

  • We saw not one, but two massive upper deck homers by the opposition, bring back fond memories of the Pedro Astacio rein of terror. The blast by Dan Uggla had to go 430 as it was hit just to the left of center.

  • It's hard not to be frustrated by the lack of offense, but when a good pitcher is throwing well, he's going to make your team look like it's not really trying.

    This goes doubly so for a team that leans so heavily to the left side. With Church, Snelling, Schneider and an impotent Lopez (versus lefties, .257/ .311/ .389), there are going to be some tough nights.

  • I'm sure that somewhere there's someone lecturing the fans for unfairly booing Guzman for not running out the grounder where he strained his hamstring. These same people weren't there to see him not running out the could've-been DP ball he hit in the third inning.

  • The image of Levale Speigner batting to lead off the fifth made my eye twitch a bit. A defensible move, I suppose. I'm just not sure you have to worry about blowing out the pen in the first game. What if Shawn Hill throws a CG tomorrow? (Yeah, I was laughing when I typed that) The only question I had about it was that with him on deck in the previous inning, the bullpen was warming. I know, I know... there was a rally going on in that situation. But Speigner as leadoff hitter practically ensures there wouldn't be a rally in the next.

    Regardless, it's a pleasure to only be able to quibble with a manager's strategic decision when it's basically a coin flip choice.

  • Buck says that Micah Bowie doesn't make it to June.

  • Screw you time:
    -- I didn't check it out in person, but if the Hard Time stand is gone, screw you.
    -- Screw you to Kasten/Aramark/Whoever for 1) raising beer prices 2) eliminating the one place that had cheap beer in the park.
    -- To the raised parking prices and the lack of direction resulting in me sitting in the @#$@#$@# parking lot for an hour after the game.
    -- Lots of other people were complaining about the return of the never-ending hotdog line.
    -- To Comcast for screwing up my internet last night and this morning. It's not like I'm paying you $45 a month or anything...

  • Ah, it's nice to be curmudgeonly again! All that being said, it was a pleasure being out there, seeing the team, and having a surprisingly full crowd. When they're excited and as involved as they were (at least to start the game), that's what enhances the 'fan experience', not the bread and circuses that line Lerner's pockets with more dough.

    Well... at least it's baseball!


    • No mention of the Nookster, or are you going to wait until the Nats release more information about it? (And what's the line on when I'm going to start bitching about the medical staff?)

      By Anonymous (other) Chris, at 4/02/2007 8:55 PM  

    • I was one of the long line for peanuts and beer. Had $40 tickets in the 400 section near home plate. Very few vendors in the stands there. Took us a hour to get out of the lot after the game and wound up leaving by some back gate by the river which fed us into a huge tie up on 8th SW. Guzman had one throw from the hole which was beaten by the batter at first. He didn't exactly gun it. Nook and Zim had nice catches on difficult plays. Hope Nook is okay, the pitchers look like they'll need his defense. Snelling got turned around on a liner which may have been catchable. Crowd got bored by lack of Nat's offense and started a ragged wave which petered out fairly quickly. Beautiful day, and the old house looked good dressed up. Could hardly read the lineups on the small black and white board in center field. Chuck Hinton looked like he's been in umpire's school for the last few years because he's put on so much weight! Dana

      By Anonymous Dana Gunnison, at 4/02/2007 9:04 PM  

    • At least its baseba....ow!

      By Blogger El Gran Color Naranja, at 4/02/2007 9:12 PM  

    • I sat in a nosebleed seat in Section 536, and couldn't see anything going on in left field. But the weather was beautiful, and it was real nice to see a good crowd on hand. But the damn lines! A couple friends who got nachos complained about really cold cheese and really hot peppers, and I had to walk around for half an hour trying to find a dipping dot stand and then wait in line. But overall, great to be back for another baseball season, although the game itself was pretty discouraging.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/02/2007 9:33 PM  

    • Come back Tuesday night, the lines will be SHORT.

      By Blogger Carl, at 4/02/2007 9:51 PM  

    • I'll be there!

      Unfortunately, they don't have anything worth eating anymore.

      Screw you, Stan! We want Hard Times!!!!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2007 9:53 PM  

    • you should have come to the tailgate ...

      By Anonymous littles, at 4/02/2007 9:57 PM  

    • Ordinarily I would agree that it's silly to worry about the bullpen on opening day, but with these guys I think I might make an exception.

      Holy smokes, is this team going to give up a lot of runs.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/02/2007 9:59 PM  

    • I intended to go to the tailgate, but the @#$@#$ parking attendants shuttled me down some side road/alley/parkway and I ended up parking in Waldorf, or so it seemed. I barely made it into the stadium for first pitch, and I only saw that when peering down a tunnel while on the way to my seat.

      (Well, that and the Howard Hughes-like streak of reclusiveness. I'm just like him, except for the fame, money and knocking up Kate Hepburn part. You don't even want to see the room in my apartment with all the jars...)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/02/2007 10:04 PM  

    • If the Nats are going to have as many injuries as runs, they're gonna have to find some more ballplayers. (But probably not too many...)

      By Blogger Steve, at 4/02/2007 10:31 PM  

    • So, pissed off in the 9th, I emailed what I guess what President Kasten's email, complained about the various concession fsckups (which were numerous in the 400/500 levels!) and actually got a response from him, so it'll be interesting what comes of my phone meeting with him on Thursday.

      By Anonymous Tom Bridge, at 4/02/2007 10:32 PM  

    • where are tailgate parties, and do they happen before every game? i would like to meet up with other hardcore fans.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/02/2007 10:36 PM  

    • Tom - we were in the 400s too - if you need more concession screw-up anecdotes for your phone interview, I'd be *more* than happy to oblige --

      I kept walking around muttering "What a disgrace!"

      (We're 20-game season ticket holders, fwiw..)

      By Anonymous Medley, at 4/02/2007 10:52 PM  

    • I wasn't there at opening day, but I intend to attend my first Nats game of '07 tomorrow. Sure, I would have preferred the Nats won the first game of the season and there were no opening day injuries, but this is only the first day!

      I don't care what all those self-anointed sports Cassandras are saying about the Nationals chances this season, I still believe that the Nationals can prove the naysayers wrong! I'm not saying that the Nats could make the playoffs this season (though I would be happy if they did), but if they win more games than they lose this season, I'll be happy.

      But no matter what happens this season remember, a bad day at the ballpark beats a good day at work.

      By Anonymous NatsGal, at 4/02/2007 11:34 PM  

    • I'd tell all the concession gripers to "siddown and watch the damn game," but with this team, that actually might be too much to ask.

      By Blogger Rocket1124, at 4/03/2007 6:48 AM  

    • It's not too much to ask that there be beer in a bar. It's not too much to ask that a coffee shop have coffee. It's not too much to ask that a baseball stadium be able to sell me a farking hotdog, mmkay?

      By Anonymous Tom Bridge, at 4/03/2007 7:53 AM  

    • I would love to just sit and watch the game -- but I had to spend 30-45 minutes looking for a halfway-functioning concession stand to get a simple hotdog and soda.

      Come on, now...

      By Anonymous Medley, at 4/03/2007 8:06 AM  

    • You guys are all understandbly upset. I just find it hard to care about that stuff when we sucked so hard on the field - which was the nature of my somewhat tongue in cheek comment.

      By Blogger Rocket1124, at 4/03/2007 9:28 AM  

    • At least it's baseball.

      By Anonymous Jeff Gannon, at 4/03/2007 10:11 AM  

    • My question is WHERE THE FUCK WAS THE KETTLE CORN???????????????????????????????

      NO kettle corn stands in the concourses in the 500 level, at least none that i saw walking around half the park in the 7thg inning when it was obvious the game was over. That's my favorite thing to eat at the game and i couldn't find it anywhere.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/03/2007 10:27 AM  

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