Thursday, April 05, 2007

A "Good" Loss

Despite the results, there were some things to like about tonight's game.

  • The bullpen was tremendous, especially Micah Bowie who bailed out the starter, giving the Nats 2.1 quality innings. I know it's just two appearances, but Jesus Colome looks like he could be a find. He's throwing strikes, which has always been his problem. If he keeps it up, the Nats have a solid arm in the middle innings.

    Manny Acta seems to handle a pen pretty well. It's a bit different than Frank. Frank would work a reliever for one inning, but with more frequency. Acta seems to get more innings out of his guys, pitching them less frequently.

    Of course, saying that, Rauch pitched very effectively for the third game in a row, although he had thrown only 25 pitches -- basically, the equiv. of one long outing.

  • The team had some pretty good ABs, and the doubles they sprayed were indicative of that.

    Dmitri Young had one of those doubles, flipping off his helmet to help with the aerodynamics as he styled around to second. He also ripped a homer deep to the right-center gap. That was the first really hard hit ball he's had. The doubles he's had have mostly been grounders pulled down either line. He's hit them hard, but it's not like he's driving the balls to the gap there. He hasn't been terrible with the glove either, and he's only failed to make one play that he should've in the three games I've watched.

    Ronnie Belliard, who has bigger breasts than me, seems to hit an awful lot of weak fly balls and flares. Some have dropped in, which have made his performances look better than it has really been.

  • They continued to show plate patience.

    It seems silly to say that when they walked only twice, and struck out seven times. But they worked the counts, getting into favorable counts a number of times. As a whole, they weren't flailing around as terribly as they seemed to be doing in the first two games.

    They had a difficult time early in the game against Edgar Gonzalez, who was a strike-throwing machine. He had three pitches working early, and was nailing in the inside and outside corners consistently, and the Nats had little chance. As he tired, he got sloppier with his pitches and started missing his spots, and that's when they took advantage, getting many more opportunities in the third inning and beyond.

  • On the other side was the terrible, terrible Jason Bergmann (Who was much better in Smultronst√§llet)

    His fastball is passable. He throws hard, and it's got a bit of zip to it. He just doesn't seem to have command of it, leaving it up and over the plate far too often.

    His breaking pitches are terrible. They're not crisp, and they sort of roll up to the plate, either falling harmlessly way out of the zone or, worse, flopping over the heart of it.

    Tonight, it was mostly the former, as he walked just a hair under a third of the batters he faced -- 6 walks in total.

    The Nats have an offday on Monday. I wonder if they'll try to skip his spot in the order the next time through and, in the meantime, option him down while recalling Saul Rivera to give them an extra dependable arm in the bullpen.

  • The games we're going to win this year are going to be just like this. Our offense isn't going to blow anyone out, even without Guzman or Logan. So they need strong relief pitching to hold the team in the game.

    Three games and all, but we're almost at the point where we need to consider going the tandem starters route, like they do in the lower levels of the minors. Essentially, with Bowie cleaning up Bergmann's mess tonight, that's what we had. Add 'em together, and our duo gave us 6 innings with 4 runs. On this team, we'll take that out of a 'starter'!

  • I didn't feel down about this loss... certainly not the way I was taking losses last year. That's good for my sanity.

  • Oh, and a hearty congratulations to the 16,017 fans at the game, who appear to have set a new low for attendance.


    • I was actually at the game today, and it was freezing. With the wind-chill the temp must have been below freezing, and even with a sweatshirt and a jacket I was shuddering the whole time. I complained about long lines on Monday, and so did some other people... But no worries, the line was nonexistant today and it took me about 30 seconds to get my nachos. Also the metro was relatively empty, so besides the weather I must say I enjoyed this game more. And Dimitri Young making a dive for a gounder and getting it! You don't see that every day.

      By Blogger Andrew, at 4/05/2007 11:39 PM  

    • We know Andrew's a sucker! I've got tickets for Sunday's game. Given the forecast, I'd probably skip it were it not iLivan!'s return.

      The Young play was interesting. He had actually fielded the ball and more or less fell over to stop his momentum. It's always entertaining when a fat guy flops around!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/05/2007 11:43 PM  

    • I think I'd rather get blown out than leave 11 on in a one-run loss. I saw Bergmann in Florida, and he was in control and mowing down Tigers. Maybe he was just a little nervous today (one can hope).

      By Blogger paulkp, at 4/05/2007 11:48 PM  

    • If that's the case, he's been nervous in basically every other game he's pitched. ;)

      Sometimes players just suck.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/05/2007 11:49 PM  

    • WHERE THE FUCK WAS THE HOT CHOCOLATE?????????????????????????????????????

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/06/2007 5:07 AM  

    • "Where the fuck was the hot chocolate?" I'd like to know too. I froze my ass off. What do you expect from Aramark and Kasten? Kasten is great at lip service, he says all the right things, but he can't deliver.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/06/2007 7:29 AM  

    • I'm starting to really like this team. They're showing that they are scrappy and won't give up, even in the late innings. I'm also not surprised at the low attendance last night. I love the Nats, but not enough to sit for three hours in 30 degree wind, unless it was the postseason of course...

      By Anonymous NatsVA, at 4/06/2007 9:10 AM  

    • Honestly, I'd pin about 85% (maybe more) of the where-the-hell-are-the-hot-dog-buns-and- hot-chocolate woes on the combination of:
      1. An obsolete stadium (inadequate space for modern concessions), and
      2. Mostly on Aramark. They set the prices, they hire the (frequently surly, undertrained, unpleasant) workers. They're essentially a monopoly, and they operate as such.

      Kasten's not wholly innocent, but I wouldn't wish Aramark on anyone, especially Nats fans.

      By Blogger SR, at 4/06/2007 9:55 AM  

    • Chris - Jacobson has your answer about skipping Bergmann

      "The Nationals' starting rotation won't change due to Monday's off day. Acta said rookie left-hander Matt Chico will pitch Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves on five days rest followed by Jason Bergmann and Jerome Williams"


      By Blogger Brian, at 4/06/2007 10:26 AM  

    • Regarding the lousy concessions, the scum always rises so Kasten shares the blame. He seemed to have Aramark in control last July when the Lerners were trying to make a good initial impression. The sad truth is that the owners have written off the 2007 season wrongly concluding that the lemming fans will flock to RFK regardless of an inferior product just to have priority seating in the new stadium. It won't work.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/06/2007 10:32 AM  

    • What was worse about last night's game? Jason Bergman's outing? Leaving 11 men stranded in a 1 run game? Or those gawdawful Arizona unis?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/06/2007 10:58 AM  

    • I had some hot chocoloate. Two bucks for a tiny styrofoam cup full of tepid water with a little sprinkling of chocolate. You were better off without it.

      And as far as plate patience goes, "K"ory Casto needs to get some if he's to stay in the two-hole. Three strike outs in five plate appearances. (puting the K back in "K"ory).

      jeez i hope it warms up before i go to my next game April 16.

      By Blogger sc in dc, at 4/06/2007 11:02 AM  

    • This comment has been removed by the author.

      By Blogger Natsfan74, at 4/06/2007 11:09 AM  

    • I'm not ready to give up on Casto yet, but I would rather see Snelling in Left Field tonight. Casto had 2 great opportunities, with a man on base and 2 outs, to just continue an inning and get to Zimmerman/Kearns/Young.

      He came through in a similar position on Wednesday, but even that was a lucky hop (albeit on a very hard hit ball).

      By Blogger Natsfan74, at 4/06/2007 11:09 AM  

    • Actually, it was 19,000+ fans, according to the scoreboard ;-)

      The hot chocolate was on the south-side of the Team Store. Hopefully it will be there tonight, tomorrow and Sunday as well.

      By Blogger Crash, at 4/06/2007 2:49 PM  

    • No, the big screen TV said 16,000+.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/06/2007 3:30 PM  

    • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/22/2009 10:56 PM  

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