Monday, April 28, 2008

The Way We Was: Week 4

All things considered, it was a pretty good week. Four and three is always a good week, I suppose. You do that every week, and you've got ninety or so wins. For a team that was taking on water like the inside of Screech's costume on an August afternoon, 4-3 is terrific. For a team that faced John Smoltz, Tim Hudson, Carlos Zambrano, Johan and Santana -- not to mention Ryan Dempster, Ollie Perez and Ted Lilly, none of whom are slouches -- it was a sensational week.

  • STATS
    Record: 4-3; 9-17 overall; Pythag, 9-17
    Offense: .257/ .338/ .335, 28 runs.
    Most Similar Batter: 2005 Damian Jackson, just without speed. Probably the same level of defense, though!
    Pitching: .269/ .353/ .372, 28 runs
    Most Similar Bater: Jose Cruz Jr, 2006.

  • WHAT'S GOOD?
    1) Wil Nieves!!!! (.500/ .529/ .688). The best part of his homer might not be the result, but the sheer joy you can see on the guy's face.

    2) Felipe Lopez, sorta!!! .250/ .323/ .393 isn't going to win any awards, but if he hits that for the full year, you won't be toooo disappointed. More importantly, there's this. One other thing... is it just me, or have you noticed far fewer groundballs sneaking through that right side? (Your sample size alarm should be blaring, but the ERA before he won the job on 4/18 was 4.63. Since, it's been 4.43)

    3) John Lannan's Big Brass Balls!!! 14 scoreless innings... just try to ignore the 7/7 K/BB ratio! Here's what I like about the kid. Fifth inning, and things fall apart. Working on a no-no, he allows back-to-back singles to the bottom of the order. With Ted Lilly readying to bunt, the runners take off and Wil Nieves can't throw them out with his head up his ass, putting runners on 2/3 with nobody out. Frustrating play, and an easy one for the pitcher to lose focus on.

    With the corners pulled in, Reid Johnson hits a sharp grounder to NJ and it pops out of his glove. The runners hold, but Johnny doesn't think to cover first base, not moving til it's too late, leaving Johnson & Johnson into a foot race to the bag. Johnson wins. No, the other Johnson. Bases loaded, one out and Lannan's mistake in not covering probably cost him an out. You could see the frustration on his face; he was yelling to himself.

    St. Claire ran out immediately, calmed him down, told him to focus on the task at hand and that one pitch could get him out of the inning.

    With the game potentially crumbling around him, one pitch was all he needed. He focused, got the sharp grounder, and got out of the inning.

    We've seen pitchers melt down in that situation. Johnny didn't. What he lakes in stuff, he makes up for with those balls!

  • WHAT'S BAD
    1) Austin Kearns: .120/ .185/ .120. Ouch. Hard to defend him, but at least he plays defense. Somewhat interestingly, in the last three/four games or so, he's showing signs of life. He was robbed of a hard hit at least twice. And he's starting to drive the ball a bit more. Sometimes you can have good results with bad outcomes. That doesn't win ballgames though!

    2) Wily Mo Pena: .238/ .304/ .238. Like Kearns, just without that pesky defense. He had a big hit yesterday, but he gave away a few more with his glove. Unless he's slugging .580, he's going to be a liability on the field.

    3) Jesus Colome: Four innings, Four runs. I cannot stand watching this guy pitch. He's allll over the place with his control, but the worst part is how S...l.......o.......w..........l.......y he pitches. When each AB takes nine pitches and each pitch takes three minutes, it makes for a dreadfully long game, especially when he's mostly being used in mopup roles, ie: "get the farkin' game over so I can get home already" time!


  • AWARDS
    MVP -- Wil Nieves!!!
    Cy Young -- John Lannan!!! (They're the greatest twosome since Proctor and Darling!)
    LVP -- Kearnsy. Please for God's sake get a hit before they bench you for Dukes.
    Joe Horgan Award -- Matt Chico. Yegods he blows.

  • WHIPS AND DUCKS
    4/21: Duck to Chico for burying 'em early
    4/22: Whip to Lannan for being totally awesome
    4/23: Duck to Zimmerman for the o-fer with an E
    4/24: Whip to FLop for pulling that game out of his ass!
    4/25: Whip to Nieves for pulling that game out of his ass!!!
    4/26: Duck to Chico for sucking as per his usual
    4/27: Whip to Lannan for warming my heart in the cold! Seriously, why the feck didn't I bring a jacket???

  • WHAT'S AHEAD?
    Atlanta and the Pirates. Glavine comes off the DL, and hopefully we'll retire him as we were close to doing last time we faced him! Then we get Jair "Dy-No-Mite" Jurrjens, who's actually been quite sharp. (I remember rumors of interest for him... was that in a deal for Cordero, or was that in the Soriano sweepstakes?)

    After that, it's the Pirates. Sure, they're better than they've been, but they're the feckin' Pirates! If we don't take two out of three, well, we might suck. (OK, we do anyway, but let me dream a little!)

    We sweep all six games, and we're within sniffing distance of .500! Woooo! Stay the course, Nats!!!

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