Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hippity Hoppity Losing's On Its Way

Another game, another loss. What more can we expect?

What's amazing about the team at this point is how they're losing. For the most part, they're not kicking the ball all over the park. They're not really making mental errors (sure, there've been a few, but they're not infecting the team). They're getting hits. They're drawing walks. They've even hit for a smidge of occasional power.

But when you sum up the parts, what do ya have? A pretty crappy team.

They remind me of what would happen if MLB had a European soccer style system of promotion and relegation. The Nationals are playing as if they were the International League (AAA) Champion. They've got lots of talent, and they're playing well. They just don't have the talent to compete, and they're being throughly outperformed in every facet of the game.

Today's game was a perfect example. They didn't really do anything wrong. (Here's where the peanut gallery will gnash their teeth and point to the throwing error early in the game, which the terribly incompetent official scorer ruled as an error on Ryan Zimmerman!?!?)

Shawn Hill pitched well, for the most part. He made one mistake when he left a pitch high, that Orlando Hudson (playing the part of Miguel Cabrera) slammed into the right-field gap.

They hit well, for the most part. Sure, they couldn't get the big hit, but they strung together a few, and were patient enough off Livan to get a few walks. But isn't that what a AAA team would do?

They fielded well, for the most part. Ryan Church battled a few balls, but he made some tough running catches on a few balls that were tailing from him. Felipe Lopez made a number of crisp throws from short, looking better there than he did all last year. Jesus Flores allowed (well, really it was the pitcher's fault) a stolen base, but unleashed an absolute rocket of a throw, a low missile which would've decapitated any worm unlucky enough to poke its head out.

Add it up and it's another loss. Oh well.

Nationals Enquirer has taken to calling the team the NAAAts. It really seems appropriate.

  • Jesus Flores impressed me. Not only did he fire off that rocket, but I really liked his approach at the plate. He was very patient with Livan and was able to foul off some of his slop, working deep in the count in both his plate appearances, walking once and smacking a hard hit ball to center in the other.

  • Man, it was cold out there today. I didn't brave any of the night games, but I can't imagine how nutty you'd have to have been to stick through those.


    • I was just that nutty to attend the night games. I'm still thawing out. I still had fun, though.

      By Blogger Joe Riley, at 4/09/2007 1:24 AM  

    • I've been going with "Nots" in my FischFry blog, though I've joined in the chorus saying there are too many AAA players to really call this a major league team.

      Actually, I had planned a t-shirt campaign for this weekend, calling them the "Naughts" -- but then they went ahead and won a game....

      By Blogger Fisch, at 4/09/2007 1:43 AM  

    • Call me nuts, but I'm not ready to wave the white flag yet. 0-for-30 with RISP on a series is going to have a lot of people concluding the talent just isn't there. I think it's a slump - the team knew they were going to struggle, the starters (except Hill), have gotten them deep in a hole every time, and they're pressing too much. If you add in just 2 or 3 hits, they win yesterday, and if you make it 6-for-30, they probably have a chance to split the series, and then we're 3-4, and everybody's saying "Hey, maybe we're not terrible!"

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/09/2007 4:49 AM  

    • This team is dogass. How long 'till football season? Should the 'Skins stay put at the #6 pick or trade down to acquire more depth?
      What do you guys think?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/09/2007 8:07 AM  

    • Anonymous -- I'm with you. Dumb Farking Luck has had its hand in most of our losses. You're right, eventually they'll get those big hits, and eventually they'll win those games.

      But that's not going to change the fact that this team isn't very talented all around. Zimmerman, when you look around at the depth at 3B in the league, is above average, but far from the best. And the guy surrounding him are league average or worse.

      Then the pitching.... could it be worse than we thought? Patterson's going to have a big say in that one way or another.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/09/2007 8:37 AM  

    • Did you guys see that the Yankees rotation has been even worse so far than the Nats? None of their starters has yet made it past the 5th inning. And I don't yet see anyone claiming they'll lose 130 games.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/09/2007 9:13 AM  

    • Yes, because the Yankees have the same amount of talent as the Nats. If it wasn't for that pesky starting rotation, we could be the favorites!

      Is there any Yankee position player that you wouldn't take over what the Nats have?

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/09/2007 9:14 AM  

    • Looking even more on the bright side, at least they didn't fall behind 4-0 this time!

      With eight upcoming games against the Braves and Mets, we definitely need to graps onto whatever straws present themselves.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/09/2007 10:02 AM  

    • Was the game on TV yesterday? I have direct TV and I could not find it. The Orioles were on MASN, channel 626. How is MASN going to work it when Nats and Orioles games are on at the same time? Just wing it?

      By Blogger Mac G, at 4/09/2007 11:16 AM  

    • When they're on at the same time, they create MASN2. go to and there's a doohickey at the top that'll tell you what channel that is.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/09/2007 11:17 AM  

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