Monday, September 05, 2005

The Disco Ducks

By popular request, I'm weeding through the boxscores and awarding Whips and Ducks for the games I missed while traipsing through Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.

8/19 1-0 loss to the Mets. A hard-luck Duck to Brian Schneider and his 0-3. But the award goes to him mostly for the 4 stolen bases he allowed.

8/20 9-8 loss to the Mets in 10. I actually saw the SportsCenter highlights of this one, and the Duck goes to Cristian Guzman, who did a perfect impersonation of Piltdown Man as the game-losing grounder rolled past him.

8/21 7-4 win over the Mets. They smacked Kris Benson around the way his wife probably does. Ryan Church (whatever happened to him?) gets the Whip with two hits and two walks. Somehow, Jose Vidro (whatever happened to him?) left six runners on.

8/23 6-2 loss to the Reds. Duck to Tony Armas (whatever happened to him?) who gave up four runs in just three innings. I think he left because of injury? What's most amazing about that start, is that he actually had a rather economical 50 pitches. Typically, he's over 100 by that point. ;)

8/24 a 5-3 win over the Reds. Whip to John Patterson, everyone's favorite mascara-wearing pitcher. Ignore the 9th inning, and it was an amazing start. Throw in the ninth, and it was still pretty damn good. 117 pitches and pitching into the 9th? John-John seems to be learning!

a 5-3 loss to the Reds (man I'm glad I turned in my tickets for that one!). Duck to Livan, who didn't pitch horribly, but from whom the Nationals need more than 6 innings and four runs. Yep, I grade on a curve with the 'ace'.

8/26 a stunning 4-1 over the Cardinals. He only went seven innings, but Esteban Loaiza gets the Whip. He struck out seven, allowed just three hits, and did what more Nats pitchers need to do: get their own damn RBIs. And hey, whadya know? Another pick-off of Brad Wilkerson! (Anyone doing a pick-off versus homer meter?)

8/27 a not-so stunning 6-0 loss to the Cards. When Cristian Guzman gets one of your team's two hits, you know you're not doing well. Someone (or something) called Matt White got the start and stunk, but really, did we expect a shutout? Instead, I'll pick someone randomly from the offense... say... Nick Johnson! Congrats! His 0-3 barely edges out Preston Wilson's 0-3, solely because of the platoon advantage.

8/28 a repetitive 6-0 loss to the Cardinals. John Halama started, but didn't pitch toooo shabbily -- certainly no worse than Armas or Ryan Drese (does anyone else get a chill when they type that name?) But Preston Wilson's 0-3 with two strikeouts -- I think I felt the breeze in Zion Canyon -- seal the Duck.

8/30 3-2 win over the Braves. Who or what is Jason Bergmann? When John Patterson came down with 'stomach cramps' (wink, wink -- probably mascara poisoning), Bergmann stepped in, and pitched what appeared to be two tortuous innings of relief, getting out of two bases-loaded jams. This won't be popular (assuming anyone's actually reading this), but I'm giving it to Chad Cordero. He's had his yips with the Braves, but he came in and nailed down a one-run save. Consider it makeup for other Whips he probably should've won.

8/31 5-3 loss to the Braves and a 4-3 win. The Duck goes to Esteban Loaiza and his craptastic start. The Whip goes to Brad Wilkerson for his two hits and mad scramble around the bases on a wild throw during his steal attempt.

9/1 an 8-7 loss to the Braves. This is the only actual game I got to see (if seeing three batters during the Nats' big rally counts as 'seeing' a game). The Duck goes to Tony Armas, who's still giving up earned runs somewhere. Man, he's stunk.

9/2 a 7-1 loss to the Phillies. John Halama brought his shovel out to the mound and started digging. By the time he was done, there was a six-run hole, big enough for this team to crawl in and die. Thanks, John! He'll enjoy his first Duck.

9/3 a 5-4 win over the Phillies in 12. Chad Cordero coughed up a three-run lead the way my cat coughs up her Friskies. Both are big gooey messes. But, in showing the stupidity of the blown save stat and how it doesn't guarantee the loss, Preston Wilson came through later in the game with the game-winning hit. Mascara Boy John Patterson, who seemed to be over his 'stomach cramps', pitched into the 8th inning, allowing just one run. That's a Whip-winning performance to me, even if the freakin' rulebook won't give him the win.

9/4 a 6-1 win over the Phillies. Two in a row! Who knew? Esteban Loaiza did John Patterson one better. He pitche eight full innings, allowing the same solo earned run, but chipped in 11 strikeouts. The team backed him up with a pair of three-run homers (!?), and they cruised easily.

Wow, I missed a lot of games. But the funny thing is that even though I've grown to love this team, it wasn't that hard to just step away for a few days. But with scenes like this, I think I can be excused!