Sunday, September 11, 2005

Anytime You're Feelin' Low; Just Remember That Ant

I fortunately had to work today (damn conferences), but hopped in the car in time to hear Dave Shea give the recap of today's sham of a game; I'm glad I didn't pay to see that.

Chad Cordero earns a deserved Lame Duck for the performance. He didn't have an easy job, and he pitched like it.

I said this to my friend at the game the other day, but Cordero and RFK are a match made in heaven. He gives up a TON of long flyballs. Part of the reason he's done so well is that many of them have been run down by the outfielders (thanks to our gigundous outfield dimensions). If he had pitched in a ballpark the size of a linen closet (ala Philly), he'd have been a mess.

Saturday's game was dreadful. Livan Hernandez, despite getting zero run support, gets the Lame Duck. You can live with a homer to Andruw Jones (opposite field!?). But Brian McCann? Livan looked like he was pitching around Langerhans when he walked. He quickly fell behind 2-0 to McCann, and I thought he might be pitching around him to go after the pitcher. Nope. The fat fastball found the bullpen, and the game was over.

Friday's game had all the magic of June. For a night, I kinda remembered what it was like to follow a winning team, and the crowd responded the way they used to; the stands bounced, shaking off two months worth of rust.

Other than Chad Cordero, the Nationals most valuable reliever has been Dan Kolb. Jose Guillen ripped him for the game-winning double, earning Jose the Majority Whip.

Earlier in the game, he had hit a high fly ball caught right in front of the wall. He gestured angrily all the way back to the dugout, where he threw a mini tantrum, slamming his helmet and putting his bat back into the rack as if it were Scioscia's face. He paced back and forth in the dugout like a consitpated tiger. Not surprisingly, his teammates kept their distance.

That probably explains his reaction on the winning hit. He pumped his fists furiously, did the two-handed point to the dugout (as if he were an Australian Rules Football ref on speed), and reacted, in general, as if he had just won the World Series.

It was nice to see the outpouring of joy. We certainly felt it in the stands.

Unfortunately, I think that might be one of the last times we feel that pure feeling this year.


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