Monday, May 16, 2005

A Byrd In Our Hand Is Worth Two That Are Bush

After watching Marlon Byrd rip another line drive, this one off the base of the wall in deep left center, I realized we never gave Jim Bowden his credit. Despite everyone in the organization from GM to NatPack running Inning-Endy down, he somehow found a sucker willing to not only take Endy, but to give us something that might actually be useful (Here's the Inquirers exhaustive look at Marlon).

Perhaps Bodes dangled a shiny new middle reliever in front of Ed Wade's sparkling eyes, or perhaps Dallas Green, Philly's resident assclown, convinced the organization that Byrd was a failure and that I.E. Chavez was the next Curt Flood. Either way, Jim Bowden deserves credit for turning the crappy ground-ball-spanking sow's ear, into a beautiful shiny, line-drive hitting silk purse.

Our Silk Byrd made a wonderful entrance too. Three hits. Three runs driven in. And most important to him, I'm sure, a Majority Whip.

He got some solid competition from the Senor Statesman, Vinny Castilla, who had his first home run since 1988, and chipped in two other hits. His constant on-base presence allowed Byrd to drive in all those runs. On an ordinary night, Vinny would've walked away with his team-leading fifth award, but it's not every day that Silk Byrd is spraying line drives either.

Tony Armas, TA2, pitched very well. He had one rough inning, but handled Milwaukee's bats pretty easily. And, most importanly, Frank didn't leave him in one too many batters this time. He started to lose command, just a little bit, during the last inning. But, he escaped.

Gary Majewski relieved, loaded the bases with the assist of a Jose Guillen error, and promptly got out of the jam.

Did anyone else think that Jose Guillen shouldn't have have been charged with an error? It was a catchable ball, but he ranged far to his right, reached out and had to make a leaning backhanded catch at full stride. Yeah, he had the ball in his glove for a second, but it was far from a can of corn. Compare that to the Jamey Carroll 'double' during the previous inning, when Russell Branyan ole'd a hard-hit groundball into foul territory. I could see a single and an error, but not a straight double. Tough call. A hometown call, no doubt.

WTF Frank Senior Moment
A Day after Nats Blog looked at Frank's Sac fetish (read it, it's good!), Frank had Jamey Carroll bunt Brad Wilkerson to second. Despite having a platoon advantage. Despite Jamey batting .340 or so. Despite Jamey having saved himself for his marriage. What kind of message is that to the kids, Frank? Who's going to want to wait out their natural hormonal urges if all that's going to get them is a bunch of SACs? I know I definitely don't want to be bunting on my wedding night, Frank! I'm gonna swing for the fences with all my might! Let Jamey swing away. He waited. He's a big boy now.

Homestand Goal:
Homestand Record:

We're getting there!

Tomorrow, it's Wes Obermueller (who?) versus Claudio Vargas (who?) Ask around your office. I bet 95% of them couldn't identify which pitcher with which team. (And that's not necessarily a bad thing!)

If things hold up, John Hirschbeck (famous spittee and lawyer threatener) will be behind the plate. Despite his infamy, Hirschbeck has the widest strike zone this side of Eric Gregg's fat ass.

The over/under on Wilkerson Ks starts at 3.5. Gentlemen, place your bets.


  • Quite a few sketchy official scoring calls.

    (1) Brady Clark's leadoff double. Guzman clearly had a play on it (though Byrd should have called him off).
    (2) Nick Johnson's single off of Spivey's glove. Spivey was completely upright and simply let it tick off his glove.
    (3) The aformentioned double by Carroll. Single and an error at best.

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/17/2005 8:05 AM  

  • Pick offs don't count as caught stealings if they're made when he's diving back to the bag.

    That's the fourth time he's been thrown out in those sorts of situations, though.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/17/2005 9:33 AM  

  • After some of those calls, like Brian pointed out, I always wait for the scoring. The official scorer is definitely a rookie!

    I dutifully make a notation indicating my opposition to the call though ;)

    There are two separate calls on the PO play. If he breaks for the bag, it's a PO + CS (or even SB).

    If he's diving back to the bag, it's just a PO, no CS.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/17/2005 9:47 AM  

  • I actually wrote "G" for gift next to the hit in cases like Clark, NJ, and Carroll. And in cases like Guillen, I marked "J" for judgement

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/17/2005 9:52 AM  

  • I didn't think the Clark 'double' was an error. It was a catchable ball, but a tough play for Guillen. I don't think you could've charged him an error for it.

    But, I would agree with you, I think Byrd should've had it.

    But, what can you expect. It's his first time in left, probably.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/17/2005 9:54 AM  

  • Read something in the recap on Yahoo Sports( in which Byrd said he was coming in, thought he had the ball, realized that he and Guzman were heading towards it together and that to make the sliding catch he was worried he'd have to flatten Guzman - and that he knew that the last thing this team needs would be another injury.

    Interesting, he's still feeling out RF, made an interesting decision there, not the best, but hey, glad he didn't take out Guz and send another guy off injured.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/17/2005 10:05 AM  

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