Friday, April 28, 2006

Cardinals, O'Connor

One stinkin' play was all it took. It's probably not as memorable as Cristian Guzman's mudball from last season, but Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning error was all it took to deflate the Nats' chances.

Mike O'Connor, who looked like he needs to go back to Degrassi when the game was over, pitched decently. Jitters led him to walk David Eckstein, but he made quick work of Hector Luna and the unstoppable Albert Pujols. He got Juan Encarnacion to hit a slow bouncer to third. Zimmerman got in excellent position, set himself with plenty of time, and just threw the ball in the dirt. E-5. It's a play that Nick Johnson could've (perhaps should've) made, but, regardless, the throw was inexcusable.

If he makes that throw, Cardinal O'Connor's out of the first inning, unscathed. As it was, Jim Edmonds was up. He threw him a fastball in a good location (up and in, at the corner) and Edmonds just jumped on it. It wasn't a bad pitch. He just got beat by a borderline-Hall-of-Famer. That happens. 3-0, and you knew that Nats were done. (VIDEO)

For his fielding butchery, as well as for the ohfer he took, Ryan Zimmerman wins another Lame Duck.

  • Jose Vidro hit into another double play. I'm getting sick of those, and I'm worried that it's just going to encourage frank to hit-and-run more.

  • Poor Juan Encarnacion (Encarnarcion to you former radio listeners). With the bases loaded, he hit a flare that dropped into left field. Great hit, right? Nope! The runner on third went back to the bag to tag as if it were a SF. When it dropped in, he was left flat footed, and Jose Guillen fired the ball to the plate for the force play. No RBI for Encarnacion, and not even a hit. Since there was a force in effect, he hit into a 150-foot fielder's choice, on the VERY rare 9-2 putout! (Ignore that the runner was probably safe!)

  • Alfonso Soriano butchered a few more plays in left. On the first, right after the Edmonds shot, he tried fielding a liner to left, completely misread it, then dived after it, missing it. The ball went for a triple. He needs to stop diving for balls like that. It's much better to just knock the thing down, and hold the runner to a single. It didn't cost the team anything, but it has in the past and will in the future.

    The other was laughably selected as one of the top plays of the game at MLB. Here's the video of him butchering another ball, resulting in an awkward sliding catch. At least he made the play, right?

  • It's been alleged (yeah, passive voice) that Frank Robinson was caught napping in the dugout. I've got my spies working on it. If I find pics, you'll have 'em!


    • I was watching the game on Fox Sports Net and the announcers were talking about Frank falling asleep, laughing that even hall of famers need their rest. It showed Frank sitting on his chair, breathing slowly and appearing to have his eyes closed.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/28/2006 10:02 AM  

    • Unfortunately MLB.TV has the MASN feed. If you have it, and you load up last night's game to 2:15:50, you can see a reclining Frank with his eyes close for a few beats before he something jolts him awake.

      I'll have to get a screen grab tonight!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/28/2006 10:35 AM  

    • Mediocrity,
      then narcolepsy... someone
      get Frank a pillow

      By Blogger MDT, at 4/28/2006 10:47 AM  

    • The way he manages he doesn't deserve one! ;)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/28/2006 10:48 AM  

    • Okay...this was a tad silly, I think. Zimmerman's first error of the year. (Johnson should have snagged it.) I know you're isolating the action to a single game, so previous plays of brilliance can't be discussed. (See how I just did that?) Regardless, what about the walks, the lame bats, etc? I think Cards scored six runs, right? Harsh.

      By Blogger Jim H, at 4/29/2006 12:51 AM  

    • Well, who had a worse game? It's completely limited to one-game peformances. If Zimmerman had made that play, the Nats have a much better chance of winning -- who knows if the bullpen would've melted down later?

      Yeah, Johnson probably should've caught it, but Zimmerman shouldn't have put him in the place. It wasn't a tough throw. He had a ton of time, and just threw it away -- just like he did in last night's game, too.

      Who would you pick?

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/29/2006 7:54 AM  

    • Ummm...

      Mike O'Connor?

      a) Walked first guy he faced.
      If O'Connor gets Eckstein out, he's out of the inning before the Zimmerman error. (Only fair to point this out, as you're accusing Zimmerman of extending the inning. O'Connor did it first. Or is there a C.P. rule that says a pitcher walking the leadoff batter is okay, but the first error of the year from a player that plays every day is unacceptable?)

      b)I think it was O'Connor who then gave up a three run home run to Jim Edmunds, not Zimmerman.

      Just my opinion. I think O'Connor was more directly responsible for this loss than Zimmerman.

      By Blogger Jim H, at 4/29/2006 7:19 PM  

    • We'll have to agree to disagree then. I can see an argument for O'Connor, but a freakin' A-ball pitcher making his first start against the Cardinals, goes 5 innings without giving up an earned run? He VASTLY exceeded expectations.

      The 'first error of the season' crap is a strawman. I don't care if he had played 4,300 games in his career without making one. It's a game-by-game thing.

      You're not Ryan's dad, are you? ;)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/29/2006 8:07 PM  

    • Chris...

      Zimmerman was charged with an error when they should have been out of the inning already. O'Connor gave up three unearned runs. But he did give them up. Zimmerman didn't throw the pitches. And the error didn't result directly in a run scoring.

      I'd be willing to concede his being "a freakin' A-ball pitcher making his first start against the Cardinals" as a mitigating factor, but then you've insisted on isolation to the game. Same rules need apply as you did to my "first error of the season" argument.

      Oh...and we needn't limit the discussion. Mr. Majewski would be a candidate in my mind as up the three runs in 1 stellar inning of work to let the game get away. I'm just sayin'. be it. You're right. We'll need to disagree. Tit-for-tat will just bore everyone. This is your realm and your show. I disagree with your characterization. But I appreciate your responding and continue to make this blog a daily must read.

      And nope...I ain't Ryan's dad. ;)

      By Blogger Jim H, at 4/29/2006 11:18 PM  

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