This doubleheader today messed with my plans of leaving Tennessee in time to drive home and watch the night game (which I am doing now). No XM in the car, what am I going to do about the afternoon game?
I do have a BlackBerry but I was also behind the wheel. I asked my wife to "watch" and tell me when something happened. She suggested where I could put the BlackBerry. Wow. They're small and all but I really don't think it would fit.
So I pressed the Nationals logo every 15 minutes for a quick score update and then put the phone down. Oprah would be proud of me.
I see it is 3-2 Rox after the top of the eighth. OK, that's doable. Hold them, Zimmerman ties it up in the ninth, Nats win in extras. I'm feeling good.
I check back later and it is 6-2 Rox. Hope is gone. And I said one single word out loud: Bruney.
No doubt in my mind that's who was responsible. I didn't have to look, though I did check to be sure once I got home. Sure enough.
Now I shouldn't have to say this every time I rip a player's performance. I do anyway. Nothing personal. I'm sure Brian Bruney is a fine guy. Actually, I'm not so sure. I have no idea He could be a jerk. He could be Mother Teresa. It doesn't matter in this case. This is a performance thing and Brian Bruney isn't getting people out.
Let's see here. He has a 7.64 ERA and he's walked TWENTY in 17.2 innings. No slide rule needed - that's better than one an inning. A fluke? Not really. Career-wise he's not THAT bad but he does have 173 walks in 239 innings. That's way too close to one an inning.
His ERA in 47 games with Arizona in 2005 was 7.43. He's done this before.
Is there any compelling evidence to suggest he won't continue to do this? No, there isn't. This is what Brian Bruney is, a reliever who walks a ton of people and then gets hit.
So back to the fishing. I think I played this game once before, maybe with the Nats starters. It's late and I'm tired so I won't go back and look. Anyway, it is a game drawn upon the BASS Masters fishermen, who have a limit of five fish a day. They try to catch five as quickly as they can and then spend the rest of the day working for bigger fish and tossing the little one's back.
There's currently seven "reliever fish" in the Nats' live well: Capps, Clippard, Burnett, Bruney, Walker, Batista and Slaten.
Capps and Clippard are our "lunkers," the big fish we're counting on to win us the prize. They stay. At this point, I'm also inclined to keep Burnett and Slaten (at least for now, until we learn more about him).
Odd as it feels to say this, I'd keep Batista for a while, too. Soft spot. Sue me. Heck, Jason Marquis is going to return eventually so someone will be needed to pitch innings 2-6.
Until I looked up at the TV, I was going to ask if Tyler Walker was still on the team. Either he is, or someone is wearing his uniform. I don't really care if he stays or goes.
This whole fishing thing is a ruse. I only want to get rid of one bass. As I noted earlier today, we're about out of early. Isn't there a Storen fish out there somewhere they can toss into that live well? Is there a reason to wait?
If there is, go down and get someone, please. As long as his name isn't Colome, Ayala, Kensing *** oh, this can so go on forever. You get my point.
Get someone else in there. Please. The comments from Jim Riggleman in the Nationals.com story indicate he's getting a bit tired of it, too. So there's hope. Please, Jim. There's bigger bass in the pond.