Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Few Quick Thoughts On A Great Game

Woo! A win! We only need to win every game between now and Saturday the 26th -- the 6th game of our next road trip -- and we're back at .500!!!

  • Today's game was a combo of two factors:

    1) The bats HAD to wake up at one point or another -- although the increasingly terrible Bob Carpenter's ridiculous assertion that Lenny Harris was the difference was laughable.

    2) The Marlins have a terrible infield defense. Think about how many of those hits we had were 10-hoppers through the infield.

  • Be excited about the hits, but realize that our biggest weakness was still on display yesterday: zero power. 15 hits and they only managed 6 runs? When you don't ever hit homers, and even doubles are a relatively rare occurrence, it takes three hits to score a run. More often than not, when we're playing a crisper defense, that's not going to happen.

  • Don't let Nook Logan's 2-4 fool you. He grounded into two double plays. The final hit he had was the only "solid" hit he had, a line-drive flare over the second baseman on a hanger.

  • Anything we get out of Cristian Guzman is gravy at this point. He had a decent night with the bat, and the difference in his swing is refreshing. Two things though: 1) His beard scares me; 2) What happened to that 15 pounds he supposedly lost?

  • Shawn Hill has been complaining of forearm pain all year, so seeing him leave with an injury -- elbow problems -- isn't surprising. He fell in love with his slurve -- it breaks larger like a curve, but runs more horizontal like a curve; what is it? -- and threw that many more times than I'm used to seeing. Breaking pitches put the most stress on arms. I wonder if the number he threw contributed to the pain?

    They didn't find any obvious structural damage, but he's going in for an MRI to get a better look. With a little luck, it's just a spot of tendinitis. Although with his Patterson-like arm history...

  • Brian Schneider continues to sputter to life. I'm glad to see that, because he's a better player than he's shown over the last two years. A good defensive catcher who hits .260, slugs 10-15 homers and takes a walk is a pretty valuable thing. Still, I'd like to see more PT for Flores against some tough lefties -- Does Olsen qualify?

    He was robbed of a homer late in the game, when Reggie Abercrombie leaped up and over the fence to snare one of his flies. After the ball fell into the glove, Abercrombie snapped the glove back towards fair territory to ensure it wasn't a homer, but, in the process, smacked the glove against the fence, spiking the ball down to the ground. At least Schneider got a double out of it.

  • Ronnie Belliard cannot play first base. Short, stubby legs, and a small demeanor mean he can't stretch enough to get an extra split second on close throws, and also hinder him from reaching those high and wide throws while keeping the foot on the beg. He was charged with an error on a drop, and missed a play or two that a better 1B -- do the Nats really have one? -- might've gotten.

    Supposedly Nick Johnson took some grounders at first. Get healthy!

  • Ryan Church looked a little shaky on a few plays in left. He was replaced late in the game by Ryan Langerhans, who looked anything but shaky on a terrific diving catch deep to the gap in left-center, that would've scored two runs had it fallen in.

  • Lots to be excited about. But lots of expectations that should be tempered, too.

    As we've learned time and time again, you're never as bad as you look when you're losing, and you're never as good as you look when you're winning.

    Still, for one night, we looked dammmmmn purty.

  • Want more? Check out the What to Read section on the right. Recaps Galore!

  • 6 Comments:

    • Great game, best 45 bucks I ever spent in my life. It's amazing what can happen when a team can string some hits together in the same inning.
      Guzman is a hippo. He looks just like he did two years ago, but he's still pretty quick. I'd love to see what he could do if he actually got his ass in shape.
      Can I get a witness on Langerhans' catch??? Hallelujah, we're on Sportcenter for a good reason! Why is he not starting in center?? Is Nook really that much better offensively? I think that Logan is the one who should be a late-inning defense/pinch runner kind of guy.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 5/12/2007 11:41 AM  

    • We went to the game and stuck around after at the players lot. Hill was one of the last to come out, and after saying good night to 30 or so family members, he actually came over to the half dozen of us an dtalked with us and signed for us. he said it was a little "twinge" and he was sore but the team wanted to shut him down for a couple weeks to get it calmed down. he said tests (he didn't say MRI) showed nothing structural, just inflammation. hope last night's diagnosis is correct. he's a glimmer in another dull summer.

      btw, i wonder what the aliens did with the real Cristian Guzman???

      By Blogger Dave, at 5/12/2007 1:05 PM  

    • Anything we get out of Cristian Guzman is gravy at this point.

      Most of what goes into Guzman looks to be gravy at this point.


      What happened to that 15 pounds [Guzman] supposedly lost?

      They were distributed among Ray King and Dmitri Young.

      ***

      Fun win against the strikeout leaders. First time Marlins were shut out, which is nice.

      Scott Olsen was not crisp two starts ago at the Mets and was passable his last time out against the Braves. He has slowly been lowering his ERA since peaking over 7 on April 20. I'm thinking it was more a combination of him tiring in his later innings last night combined with the Marlins defense as you pointed out. They did make 3 errors after all.

      I doubt the Nats bats are warming up all at once. I leave Nook as an example.

      By Blogger Bote Man, at 5/12/2007 1:55 PM  

    • Was there as well and have never been as depressed with a win. Seeing our best pitcher walk off with a no hitter isn't fair. With that said I think if we can ever win 2 in a row it is tonight. Nolasco isn't exactly Scott Olsen. And Scot Olsen isn't exactly...well you get the point.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/12/2007 6:04 PM  

    • Is Nook really that much better offensively?

      I don't think he's better at all. Logan:

      MLB: .270/.319/.347
      MiLB: .261/.325/.334

      Langerhans:

      MLB: .254/.347/.399
      MiLB: .265/.355/.414

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/12/2007 8:15 PM  

    • the increasingly terrible Bob Carpenter's ridiculous assertion that Lenny Harris was the difference was laughable.

      In three years the nats have had three broadcast teams.

      1) Mel Proctor and Ron Darling. As a native washingtonian, Mel Proctor had been the O's TV pbp man as long as my family had cable, until HTS ditched him for the regrettable Michael Reghi. He was welcome. And then, there was Darling. He ranged from comical boobery to terrified silence, and is now playing for the Mets' broadcast the same job Ray Knight has with MASN.

      2) Bob Carpenter and Tom Paciorek. My introduction to the dead-boring Carpenter, and the affable Paciorek. His awful Ray Romano impersonation aside, Paciorek was the most personable of the Nats' color men. Admittedly, many of his stories often seemed to turn into tommy lasorda stories.

      3) Carpenter and Don Sutton. Sutton, always the weak link on the old TBS Braves team, has infected today's broadcasts with his officious and humorless style. This is a reflection of Peter Angelos' deliberate attempt to downgrade the viewing experience, while the Orioles get the Top-5 pbp Gary Thorne and a parade of Ex O's.

      If they could just get Proctor and Paciorek back, I'd be happy.

      Sorry to do this rant in a comment, but I don't have enough material for my own blog.

      By Anonymous c. lavagetto, at 5/14/2007 12:12 PM  

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