Thursday, July 21, 2005

Crap The Bed The JOSE Way

Last night's game wasn't the stinkfest that Monday's was. Still, the Nationals found even more new ways to not score runs, and gave the Rockies their first road series win of the year. Yeah, it's that bad.

Livan pitched about as badly as a starter can while yielding just three runs. Four HBP will tend to do that.

The baserunning was abyssmal, as usual.

The Nationals led off the game with three line-drive hits, yet managed to score only one run.

Jose Vidro hit an RBI double and tried advancing to third when the throw to the infield rolled towards no-man's land. The third baseman started towards it, leaving the bag open. Vidro broke for third, but arrived at the area of the ball about the same time as the fielder. A quick tag later and Vidro could continue his jaunt towards third base much more slowly as he walked back to the dugout.

Brad Wilkerson made the next dumb decision of the game. After lining a base hit, he was caught off first on Jose Guillen's bloop towards right field. It was one of those tough plays that force the 1B to make a tough over-the-shoulder catch as he's running away from the infield, but it was pretty clear that Todd Helton, a Gold Glove first baseman was getting to it.

Wilkerson had run 7/8 of the way towards second base, stopped, turned and watched Helton and froze. He didn't really start making a move back until the ball was practically in Helton's glove.

I know he didn't want to get forced out at second had the ball dropped in, but he completely misread the ball. Wilkerson has proven to be a pretty pisspoor baserunner all season. This was just par for the course.

But the Lame Duck was the guy who got the unfortunate DP listed to his name, Jose Guillen.

Jose took an ofer in four ABs, failing to come through in the clutch in two huge situations.

In the sixth, after Brad Wilkerson doubled, he had a chance to drive him in. Instead, each time he swung, he corkscrewed himself into the ground like he was one of the Gas House Gorillas. The result: a demoralizing strikeout.

In the eighth, the same situation arose. He had a runner on second with a chance to be the game-breaker. Again he failed, hitting a fly to center.

Jose talks a good game, but there've been many instances where he's failed to deliver.

In the 4th inning, he hit a grounder to short. As per his usual, he lolligagged towards first. Relaford's throw was wild. Upon seeing that, Jose decided that it'd be a good time to run. He made it to second. But, had he been running and with RFK's HUGE foul territory, there was a pretty good chance he could've ended up on third with just one out in the inning.

That drives me nutty. He doesn't have to run like he's Ichiro on a routine grounder, but don't half-ass it like that.

It might've cost the team a run against Milwaukee when he didn't run a DP ball out hard, and it might've cost a run here last night. You can't be certain in either case.

But you can be certain that it hurts the team, when they're showing they have no margin for error.

  • WTF Frank Senior Moment

    Two candidates tonight!

    1) Why would you hit Gary Bennett for Brian Schneider in the 9th? Bennett's a lousy hitter, even with the platoon advantage. Schneider doesn't hit lefties especially well, but he's been seeing the ball really well lately, hence his rise to 5th in the batting order.

    The results were predictable, and Ryan Church's lefty-on-lefty action later in the inning just increased the fury.

    2) With Jamey Carroll working a leadoff walk in the 8th inning, WHY WOULD YOU BUNT JOSE VIDRO?????????!?!??

    The guy has been the team's lone good hitter over the last month. He's a doubles machine. He had the platoon advantage.

    And following him was the recently non-hitting Brad Wilkerson and the choking-under-pressure Jose Guillen. That's not a good choice, Frank.

  • Last night's loss was demoralizing. And the Livan BS after the game just grinded entire blocks of salt into the wound.

    We're not getting the one big hit at exactly the right time that we did earlier in the season. Our luck has changed.

    But the wonderful thing about luck is that it is, by its very nature, fluky. There's nothing to say that our luck can't turn, and that those hits won't start dropping in.

    I keep saying it, but I firmly believe it. You're never as good as you look when you're winning. And the converse is true: you're never as bad as you look when you're losing.

    We've looked wretched the last few nights. This team is better than that.

    They just need to start playing like it.

    Nats Blog answers the musical question: What Would Tom Petty Sing?


    • The idea of a hobbling Jose Vidro bunting for a hit is kinda funny! ;)

      He bunted it towards third, and it wasn't a straight sac in the sense that he tried hiding it til the last minute, but I'm almost positive (given his speed and given Frank's obsession) that it was called from the dugout.

      So I think your second theory is closer to the truth! :)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 7/21/2005 11:13 AM  

    • Svrluga says Wilkerson got caught in a H&R and lost the ball ... still dumb, but excusably dumb.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/21/2005 11:37 AM  

    • I'm not positive it was a hit and run. Maybe it was, but it didn't really look like it. Of course with Wilk's crappy baserunning instincts maybe he had a late jump.

      I wonder of Barry assumed he lost the ball or if he asked him about it. It certainly looked like Wilk had time to pick it up. Like I said, he actually had stoppped and turned, watching the general area of where the ball was.

      If it was a HNR (I'll have to check the replay later) then poo on Frank.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 7/21/2005 11:40 AM  

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