Saturday, April 05, 2008

What Am I Missing?

I missed today's game, thankfully, but this is what I see:

Bottom 8, Nats just pulled to within 2 and Jesus Colome comes back out for his second inning of work.

Two outs before the inevitable walk.

LaRussa pinch-hits for his starting pitcher, bringing in left-handed slugger Chris Duncan. Duncan walks. Two on, two out.

Up comes switch-hitter Cesar Izturis, and Acta brings in left-handed specialist Ray King. Walk. Three on, two out.

PB, run scores.

King gets the left-handed Skippy Schumaker out. Inning over, run in.

Two questions.
1) Why would Acta not bring in the left-handed king to face the left-handed power threat, Duncan, especially if he's going to just bring him in a batter later.
2) Why would Acta continue to bring his left-handed specialist to face a would-be right-handed batter, despite almost no evidence that The Whopper can get them out?

Am I missing something? What's the rationale behind that series of decisions?

6 Comments:

  • I love Manny as a person, but his moves can be questioned. Besides this King-Colome quandry, there's his continual resistance to bunting -- ever. I don't mean in the first inning. He never bunts. This team is not hitting in the clutch, and really isn't hitting overall. Yet, nobody ever tries to drag one or drop one down -- if for no other reason than to bring the infielders in a step or two.

    As for King and Colome, both of 'em can go to Columbus as far as I'm concerned. Useless. One or two more outings like this for King, and Mike Stanton will be completing his Nats' trifecta. Cut Colome, and use Hanrahan as your fireballer for an out or two.

    By Anonymous Friend of STAN, at 4/05/2008 9:01 PM  

  • If you missed today's game, you missed seeing that MASN has responded to your complaint from the other day about the colors on the men on base graphic - by importing the graphic from their Orioles broadcasts. Bases are white when empty, orange when occupied. I guess MASN is even cheaper than the Lerners. They couldn't even spring for the full color set in their graphics package. Thank you, MASN!

    And could MASN standard definition suck any more than it does? Chico turns his head one way and he has about a five day growth, he turns his head the other way and he's clean shaven. Boy, am I glad I didn't go down to the park for the Open House to see that picture quality on the big screen. Watching the loss wouldn't have been any fun either.

    By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 4/05/2008 10:20 PM  

  • Those orange baserunners really piss me off. Really.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/05/2008 10:24 PM  

  • At the time Colome came out, the Nats were still 3 runs behind and their offense had been off all day. They had little luck against Isringhausen (sp?) yesterday, so Manny probably thought the chances of a rally were slim. I know those of us on chat today pretty much had called the game at that point.

    That said, there are two main problems (well, one is a problem, the other is nice) driving the past two losses.

    First, there is the reliever problem. Having two useless pieces like Colome and King as part of your 7 reliever package severely limits Manny's options, and not having Cordero (HR propensity and all) reduces the number of relievers decently capable of stopping runs. Even though Schroeder is up, he's still not as effective as Chad was, which means that Rauch also has to be used more selectively. The injury really had something of a domino effect.

    Second, I think Manny's still trying to get used to this whole rally thing. Last year, the Nats couldn't buy a run. This year, even if we go down 2-3, we're coming right back the next inning and going down fighting until the end. Manny probably hasn't adjusted strategically to the fact that our games really aren't over until they're over anymore and the bullpen is probably a symptom of this. Same thing with him using a bunch of relievers for an inning a piece to constantly pinch hit in a few games.

    Another problem is that really, even though we're getting beat, we're leaving tons of cash on the table. We have failed to convert five bases-loaded situations in the past 3 games. It's great that we've had 5 bases-loaded situations in the past 3 games, sure, but we're also not getting timely hitting. Largely, this is a symptom of Dukes and Pena being DL'd, which has had an effect on our lineup similar to Cordero on the bullpen.

    Bottom line: Solve the injuries and I think we'll see fewer of these losses.

    By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 4/06/2008 12:16 AM  

  • Michael, I agree with you. I was thinking that it was great to have baserunners to strand, especially after watching the 2nd-8th innings of opening day, where they had NONE, and still won. Considering the hit the depth chart has already taken, and that it's the first week, the Nats are doing some things to be optimistic about. Still don't walk enough, but I don't see that changing with the personnel, despite Nick doing his job there. Dukes might help in that area.

    I'm not suprised it's taking Chico some time to adjust to the windup. Lannan is better right now anyway. The way it was handled - the better pitcher is now up and no one's complaining about loyalty or hurt feelings.

    By Blogger Bellylard, at 4/07/2008 11:37 AM  

  • By Blogger wwwwww, at 10/26/2009 8:39 PM  

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