Since they combined for the play of the game highlight reel moment, non-Zimmerman home run variety, I figure it is an appropriate time to write about them.
I've been critical about Bard on the defensive side, not without reason. But he made two very nice plays last night. The tag after that throw from Dukes was well executed. Yeah, it's nothing special. A catcher ought to be able to do that. We've seen it not done before. The real gem, though, came in the ninth as the Nats tried to blow it in their rush to get to 100. He stretched hisself as far as he could to catch that horrible throw from Guzman. And unless MASN is somehow doctoring the replays, dude was out. X-mo is pretty interesting. Dude was out.
The umps also missed one on the sliding catch by Dukes earlier in the game. Umps need X-mo!
Here's my thing about Dukes - it appears the decision to send him out earlier this year actually worked. I have nothing really to back this up but a feeling. I sense he's a little bit of a different guy, on and off the field. He's playing better. He seems to be carrying himself better. Maybe the decision to get rid of his baby-sitter helped, too. Treat him like more of an adult and maybe, just maybe, he'll act like one?
I have no real idea if any of the above is correct. I could be talking about my can as usual. I do know at the time he was sent out, I was somewhat convinced we'd never see him again and I wasn't too worried about that. Now I'm back to kind of liking the idea of him being in right for a while. Unless, of course, future Hall of Famer Ian Desmond beats him out.
One more thing before I go. Thanks to "Wil Nieves" for pointing this out in the comments on my previous entry. Orlando Hudson said reports of him failing a physical for the Nats are wrong. He never took one. Didn't take one for the Dodgers either. I'd take him in D.C. next season.
OK, one more thing: Jordan Zimmermann is going to finish as this team's strikeout leader. He hasn't pitched in ages.