Monday, May 21, 2007

7 Down, Some More To Go

Well, that went better than expected... results wise, at least. Another week, another set of pitcher's injuries, as we're about one more bad week from seeing if Ryan Church can give us six strong innings on the mound. The Nats went 4-3 this week, finishing up 7-3 on a homestand, probably the high-water mark of the season. It felt good, and I actually got excited about a game or two for the first time this season. I guess the losing hadn't numbed everything.

Nats Record: 4-3
Overall: 16-28, but 30/30 in baseball, .5 behind the Royals, who were just as hot as the Nats.
Expected Record: 54-108, a 3 win 'improvement' over last week, and 10 wins over the last two weeks.
Runs Scored: 24 (3.4/g); 142 overall, last in the NL -- one behind the Cardinals and 29 behind the next team. We're winning, but the offense still sucks chrome off a tailpipe.
Runs Allowed: 25 (3.6/g); tied for 11th, up 3 spots from last week. It's been quite good lately, but remember 1) offense is down throughout the league and 2) we still play in an extreme pitcher's park.

What's Good?
1) Nook! A .333 BA, a double, a triple, and three steals? This might be the best week of his career!
2) Chad Cordero! It's amazing what having a clear head will do for a player. Four innings, one hit, three Ks, no runs.
3) Southpaws! Let's hear it for those crazy, genetic anomalies! Traber: 1.69 ERA; Bacsik: 0.00 ERA; Chico: 4.50 ERA; Bowie: 3.38 ERA; King: 2.28 ERA; Tommy John: too many to count.

What's Bad?
1) The infield. Batting averages: Zimmerman .222; Lopez .200; Guzman .250; Fick .100; Schneider .056. They combined for just 8 XBH.
2) Austin Kearns. .087 BA, and 8 Ks. He looked truly lost.
3) Jerome Williams. Oy. The less said, the better.

Game O' The Week
I guess that Nook's adventures on Sunday take the cake, huh? Missed the rally? Here ya go. Have a small-ball fetish? Here's some hot video for ya.

Wanna know how good Zimmerman is at third? Listen to Bob Carpenter nonchalant this play, then watch the replay and see how far Zimmerman ranged to get the ball, and watch the athletic play he had to make to fire the ball across his body to first. Just great defense, and Carpenter made it seem like a routine play... which it is to Zimmerman.

Weekly Awards
MVP: Dmitri Young. The old guy can't play defense, but when you bat .500 and slug .800, who cares?

Cy Young: Jason Bergmann. His near no-no and resulting 8 IP with 10Ks will probably be the pitching highlight of the season. Get well soon!

LVP: Austin Kearns or Brian Schneider. Take your pick. Sum them up, and they have a .506 OPS, which would make Guzman blush.

Joe Horgan Award: Oh, Jerome. Don't get well soon.

Weekly Whips:
5/14: It wasn't a no-no, but we'll remember Bergmann's start anyway.
5/15: Nobody deserves it. How 'bout Cordero just for not falling off the mound?
5/16: Ryan Church had the big hit, but none of it would've mattered if Ryan Zimmerman didn't do what he did.
5/17: Felipe Lopez missed a cycle by about 400 feet.
5/18: Dmitri Young's big homer got them back into the game.
5/19: Mike Bacsik, who endorses, gave us 6 improbably shutout innings.
5/20: All hail Teh Nook!

What's Ahead?
On the road again! They start out with four in Jim Bowden's old haunt, Cincinnati. It's reunion time for 3/4 of the team. Former Reds affiliated with the Nats: Bowden, Rijo, Boone, Larkin from the front office; Dmitri Young, Felipe Lopez, Austin Kearns, Ryan Wagner from the roster; D'Angelo Jimenez, Brandon Larson, Brandon Watson from the minors.

With the specter of the Majewski grievance hanging over the team, and the Reds in a freefall -- they're just a game ahead of us in the standings, it should be an interesting four games. If our patchwork pitching can hold up, who knows. I'm just not counting on it.

Then it's off to St. Louis to face a team that's as pitiful offensively as we are. You'll be able to hear the joy in Bob Carpenter's voice, no doubt. Did you know he used to work for St. Louis? Yeah, who'dve guessed?


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