Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gameday!

Just one week ago, the Nats were hoping to smack the Phillies around, giving them a two-game sweep and potentially ending the managerial career of Chuck Manuel.

They promptly went out and lost.

And now the Phillies have used the Nats as a trampoline, springing themselves onward to the path of respectability. The Phillies knocked the Nats around in the first two games, and now are on the verge of knocking us deep down to the bowels of patheticness.

The Nats send their 'ace', Shawn Hill, to the mound. The Phillies counter with their ace, Cole Hamels. Only their ace doesn't really need scare quotes.

Svrlgblg has the lineup, and it's a bit scary.

Josh Wilson gets the start, playing shortstop and leading off. My initial reaction was... well... I don't remember; I picked myself up off the floor after having apparently passed out.

But there's a bit of sense to it. Felipe Lopez does need the occasional day off. And Lopez is pretty poor against left-handed pitching. Given that, Wilson might not be a huge dropoff. I do have some concerns about defense, though. The last time Wilson got a start, it was also in a Shawn Hill start, and Wilson fielded the ball as if the Germans were rolling grenades towards him. With as crappy as the defense has been, that might be something to watch -- of course, Felipe Lopez isn't going to make anyone think of Luis Aparacio...

Michael Restovich starts in left. While I think that they're screwing around Chris Snelling a bit, this is a move that makes sense. Hamels is an especially tough lefty -- but the de fact two off days for Snelling makes the decision to start Fick yesterday even more curious.

My real objection is at catcher. Dayish game after a night game, and Brian Schneider -- you might remember him from such groundouts as the 6-3 and the 5-3 -- gets another start while Jesus Flores, who bats righty!!!, sits and rots on the bench.

Schneider's clearly not as bad as he's shown, but at a certain point, they need to give Flores some consistent playing time, and matching him up against a lefty, given Schneider's strengths and weaknesses, would make sense.

Oh well. We'll see how they do!

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