back in March.
1. Luis Atilano better not get sent out. Not now anyway. He's earned a chance to stay in the rotation and last night, even if it was his second loss, was probably his best game. Eighty strikes in 114 pitches? Are you kidding me? Even My Son The Braves Fan has noticed. "They're not really thinking of sending Atilano out, are they?" he asked via text. I can't imagine. As I watch Craig Stammen struggle through a first inning again, I think I have the right answer. Or try the relief thing with him and send someone out of the bullpen.
My friend Hendo gets to sit in the main part of the press box. I snuck over for a brief visit (don't tell anyone) and he's also on the Atilano train. I said I thought he was, for today anyway, the Nats' second-best starter. Hendo thinks I may be one spot too low.
Of course, I couldn't have said this in March because I was oblivious to Atilano's existence. But you get my point.
(Late edit - Shocker, Stammen looks pretty good now that it isn't the first. I still say bullpen).
2. I hope Miguel Batista sticks around. That he seems like a terrific guy is a small part of the reason because I like quality people in uniform. He's a better, more versatile pitcher than I would have guessed. You need a guy like that. You can't have studs in all 25 slots but a reliable guy who can start, long relieve, situational relieve and - big key - plunk someone when needed is an asset. The Nats' bullpen is so much better than it was a year ago it isn't funny. It still has some problems. Batista isn't one of them.
Hey, speaking of Stammen, my mind has gone blank again. Who was the pitcher - Balester maybe? - who had similar first inning issues a while back? They made him warm up longer and created a mindset that he was actually in the second inning when the game began. It worked, too. For a while.
An old mind is a terrible thing.
Is it Tuesday yet?