Monday, March 31, 2008

Seen Any Good Games Lately?

Warning! Random Thoughts Ahead!

Stadium: Not bad! Definitely a more comfortable (and clean!) place to watch a ballgame. I like the open feel of it. You don't feel like you're stuck in a dirty, filthy concrete donut.

I ended up getting seats about 10 rows from the dugout, sitting amongst all sorts of Senators and other washington-type celebrities. The view, as you'd expect was incredible. Seats are narrow, though. I like the angle of the seats there, though. They're pitched enough so that people in front of you aren't in your way.

The crowd -- and it could be where I was sitting, of course -- didn't seem to have much life. Nobody was really into it, which was a bit disappointing. Even when Odalis Perez mowed through the first few batters, getting to 2-strike counts, the crowd barely reacted. That's disappointing.

How 'bout that Zimmerman, eh? It's funny, when he came up, the crowd actually came to life, for the first time since booing Bush. I turned to my friend -- being the cynic at heart -- and proclaimed the idiocy of the fans. Yeah, sure. We haven't had a baserunner since the first inning. Sure. Yeah, he'll hit a homerun. Idiots.

Isn't it amazing how the guy with the rubber chicken managed to get great seats behind the dugout again?

I counted about 3/4 plays at first that Nick Johnson made that I can't really imagine Dmitri making. I had a perfect view of the throws coming across the infield, and Guzman really made some poor throws. He ole'd a ball, but it seemed like there were a few funky bounces through the infield all game. The Braves SS, Escobar, made a few tremendous plays, showing off a good bit of range.

Kearns played RF terrifically last night. Not just the assist, but he got to a bunch of balls, including two or so that I thought might drop in. He's got a good way of making those things look routine. Milledge looked a little shaky out there at times, but he made all the plays he needed to.

Being at the game, we didn't obviously know about Dukes injury. I was a little confused, and trying to figure out what was going on, thinking that this was a continuation of Manny's one-run-lead strategy from last season. Defensive subs are very useful, but it seemed awfully odd to turn to them so early in the game!

Same respect, I thought (not knowing the injury) that brining in Rauch was a brilliant move. Cordero stinks against the Braves; even with the lesser Jones gone, there were still two batters who'd hit grand slams off him to win games in the lineup (and due up that inning).

So how 'bout that Jon Rauch as closer thing? How many people said he never blows games like Cordero, that he's more reliable? All closers blow games from time to time. It happens, especially when it's just a one-run lead. (The league save % in that situation is something like 70% -- it's no sure thing.)

It's hard to get much of a read on Odalis Perez. He didn't look terrible, but he didn't look especially sharp either. He's got a good way of working himself into jams. Whether he has a good season or not depends on his ability to escape them. As we saw last night, Manny's not going to give him too much rope to hang himself -- at least yet.

I liked the dance of moves Acta made when Cox went match-up in the 8th inning. With the pitchers' spot due up and a lefty on the mound, Aaron Boone was on deck. When Cox brought in the righty, Acta showed Young. But once Belliard made the second out, he sent up FLop instead... no sense wasting the big bat with two outs and nobody on. And if by some miracle, Lopez had got on, he's in a great position to try to take the extra base.

I haven't seen the replay, but I've heard some teeth-gnashing. Good call by the scorer on the PB? (I've seen enough of that guy's calls to just assume that it's wrong)

Ready for another game today? First pitch at 3:05!

  • And finally.... blind item guessing game time!

    Which curmudgeonly sportswriter was overheard (god bless the passive voice) ripping one of his coworkers, saying that this beloved columnist "has his head so far up the Nats' asses..."?


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