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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Swing. The. Bat.

The happy train keeps a-rolling! Woo hoo, choo choo and all that. Three in a row. Streak. Fans streamed out of Nationals Park happy last night, with a beach towel to boot. "That was fun," my wife said. Yeah, it was, I said, noting my "in the house" record had improved to an impressive 2-14.
Get your red on!

So pardon me for introducing a bit of angst to the love fest, but I have to get something off my chest.


Nothing nothing NOTHING makes me crazy crazy CRAZY like a called third strike. Didn't all our Little League coaches tell us you can't get a hit if you don't swing the bat? That seventh inning last night about sent me over the edge.

Two on, none out! Power core of the lineup coming to bat. Man, this is going to be good! Instead, Zimmerman looks at No. 3. We'll leave Dunn out of this discussion since he had no chance. Dukes looks at No. 3. Bard may strike out, I'm thinking, but no way he looks. He has to go down swinging. Nope. No. 3. Ai yi yi yi yi.


Manny says they have to get a little more aggressive in those situations. You think?

Section 309, Row F, Seat 1 is not a real good vantage point to make balls and strike calls. But none of the three looked remotely objectionable from there. Certainly not all three. A hitter has to go up there in that situation absolutely drooling. I can live with strikeouts when you're actually trying to, you know, HIT THE BALL.

But it had a happy ending so life is good for another day.

A few other thoughts:

*The Nationals either understand the new-world media scene or they're just trying to be really nice to us. MASN did an outstanding Bloggers Day last month. The Nats had a conference call for bloggers the day after the draft. Today, they've invited bloggers to be real media for an afternoon. They've set up sessions with Dunn, Zimmerman, Acta, Uncle Stan and Mike Rizzo among others. Unfortunately, I'm unable to make it thanks to other items cluttering up my schedule. I hope they do it again. In the meantime, make sure to check out all the other blogs later today and tomorrow (but don't ignore this one).

*The guy wearing Jesus Colome's uniform last night looked pretty darn good. Wing it, bring it, throw heat. A moment of concern, however, after the balk call. Let's make it clear that C.B. Bucknor is the worst umpire in the history of the world. That said, I have no clue if it was the right or wrong call. I didn't see anything and I don't have the benefit of replay. My concern was Colome walking toward him - good way to get a quick thumb from that hothead. Get back on the mound and throw more heat. Which he did, thankfully. (pretty nice night for the bullpen overall, by the way).

*I had no idea until last night they sold margaritas at the park. I wouldn't drink one on a dare but my wife loves those things. Trips to the park just got a lot more expensive. My wife, my daughter and my daughter's roommate spent sums I don't like to think about on those things last night. None had to drive. We're responsible around here. I made it through the night with one warm Blue Moon (and no orange) and a Coke Zero.

*How "this team this season" is it that the Nationals earlier scored five or more in 10 straight and lost nine and have now scored eight total in three games and won three? I love baseball.


An Briosca Mor said...

Let me add something that should have occurred last night before the collective failure to swing the bat.



Pat Listach should have waved Guzman in on Johnson's double earlier in the seventh. Talk about a need to be aggressive, there you are. Has Listach taken even one gamble with a baserunner yet this year? I can't recall one. He's the exact opposite of what Tim Tolman was last year. We don't need that, we need someone who's willing to risk it in a situation where there are no outs in the inning, the game is tied, and even if your runner is thrown out you've still got a man on second (or maybe even third) with one out and the big bats coming up.

If Listach had waved Guzman in and he'd been safe, there'd have been no need for extra innings or even for the later batters to take some swings. That run Guzman would have scored would have been enough to win the game.

Grow a sack, Listach. Take a chance sometime.

MikeHarris said...

In your overall sentiment, I agree completely. I do seem to recall him getting Josh Bard of all people nailed (though Bard may have actually been safe and the call was wrong).

As for the play last night, I'm torn. As it unfolded, I was up in the aisle waving him home. I like to do that, gives me a feeling of control.

I didn't have a good feel on where the ball was when he held him and I wasn't too upset at the hold because, hell, no outs and Zim, Dunn, Dukes coming up? One of them has to be able to lift a fly, right? Right? Yeah, well, we saw how that worked out.

But, again, I do agree with your overall point. Grow a sack. Even with the mini-streak, this team still hasn't won 20 games. Take chances.

An Briosca Mor said...

I'm plagiarizing the essence of my argument here from Dibble, who has been saying pretty much the same thing all year long. Except that he's never said "grow a sack." Not on the air, anyway.

And now that you mention it, I do remember the Bard play. Apparently the out call there had a deep and profound effect on Listach's fragile psyche.

MikeHarris said...

Funny. We're listening to one of those Dibble rants on the subject one night and my son turns to me and says, "He could have saved a lot of breath by just using three words."

Yep. Those three words. I think my son actually said "Grow a set" but the point is the same.

The guy in 2005 was the worst, in the other direction. I remember game in Philly where he got the pitcher nailed to end an inning - with Guillen coming up.

An Briosca Mor said...

I was using "grow a sack" to rhyme with Listach. One of those literary tactics of which I either forgot or never knew the name.

Dave Nichols said...

i suppose neither of you remember Lannan getting nailed at the plate by several feet a couple weeks ago?

personally, i believe in taking the safe play and taking your chances. an out on the basepaths is a crippler.

just my opinion.