Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Two For Tuesday

Coming into this series, I figured we'd have a legitimate chance of sweeping this series. The Reds were reeling; we had Loaiza and Livan going; The Reds stink. Everything looked favorable.

Instead, the Reds are on the verge of sweeping the Nats, intensifying our imminent tailspin, which will only get worse with nothing but Cards, Braves and Marlins on the schedule for the next two weeks.

The game began with an ex-Yankee prospect on the mound, and it ended with an ex-Yankee prospect knocking the winning run in.

The Nationals left 17 baserunners on, and their slugging average continues to plummet. This team just doesn't have any power right now. Four spots have no power at all: second, short, catcher, pitcher.

That'd be fine if the traditional power spots were slugging, but Nick Johnson's more of a Mark Grace hitter; Jose Guillen is injured; and Vinny Castilla, who has hit well, is not really a middle-of-the-order slugger anymore.

The team just doesn't get that one big hit.

Essentially, this is a singles-hitting offense. When you combine that with a dearth of plate patience (ie walks) and no power, it's going to create those types of maddening innings.

Essentially, the team needs three hits in an inning to score a run -- they're not going to walk to get on base, and they're rarely going to drive someone in with a double or a homer.

And, when you throw in the two nearly automatic outs of Guzman and the pitcher into the equation, the Nationals need the right batters to come up in the right sequence, with luck on their side, to come away with a run.

When the lineup and hits are out of synch, such as they were last night, it's going to get ugly. And stay ugly.

Since we need someone to blame, how about Cristian Guzman? He was 0-4, and left four men on base. I'm sure there won't be too many complaints.

And, since I forgot to award a Lame Duck for Monday's loss, let's make it a twofer. Jose Guillen probably deserved that one, but it's hard to argue with Guzman's 'results.'

Hopefully, he won't make it three in three games this afternoon.


  • Unfortunately, Schneider falls into "automatic out" territory lately as well. And, so much for the Ryan Church getting a chance vs. lefties experiment. Who knows, if Byrd is in there the whole game maybe we score some runs in those situations and win.

    How about a WTF Frank Senior Moment for sending Majewski up to hit with Blanco still on the bench? Desperation moves like letting your pitcher bat in a late-inning situation should be reserved for when you're actually desperate, i.e. out of position players.

    By Blogger Carl, at 5/25/2005 9:42 AM  

  • You have to give Church a good 3-4 games versus lefties to see if he's really going to be able to hit them. I don't care how bad these two at bats were, he's been sheidled from lefties all year long of course he's going to look uncomfortable at the plate at first.

    Even healthy Guillen is still a question mark (only two good years). A .450 SLG, which is ok but not great, wouldn't surprise me. What about dropping Wilkerson down to third, while Byrd (or Church) leads off? He is a doubles machine.

    By Blogger Harper, at 5/25/2005 10:04 AM  

  • The Church against lefty thing is infuriating. Claussen isn't an especially tough lefty, but he's more in the mold of a pitcher who'd be tough on left-handed batters.

    In the meantime, Church has been sat against Milton, Reuter, et al -- none of whom are a particularly tough challenge on LH hitters.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/25/2005 10:10 AM  

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