Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Can't complain. Can't complain at all.

You can't help but feel good about this team. Despite all the holes, despite all the crap that they've been through, and despite a brutal opening road trip, the Nats are coming home to 56,000 screaming fans tomorrow night with a 5-4 record.

Monday night, many naysayers were leaving this team for dead. After a 11-2 shellacking, it was said they couldn't pitch, they couldn't hit, they had a terrible manager. And you can make arguments that all of the above is true.

But it's a loooooooooooooooooooong season. Washington so far has been a football town. A 3-4 record is cause for concern with the Redskins. But in baseball, it's no big deal. Why? Because there are 155 more games to play!

And the Nats proved how true that is the last two games. Last night they grind out a comeback win in the ninth inning. Today, despite a weak start by Ohka, they actually string together some key hits and score some runs! Now, the Nats will play 13 of the next 16 in front of thousands of fans rooting for them - something they're not used to.

Suddenly, it all looks a little better, doesn't it?

This is not one of those "We're just happy to have a team" posts. I am happy to have a team, but I also want them to win. I'm as frustrated as anyone when they screw up. But I also know that it's a looooong season. And a .500 record would be a huge accomplishment anyways.

Speaking of screwing up, what in the world is up with F-Robby!?

He takes out Ohka after six innings. That's the right decision. But he puts in Ayala - a questionable decision. And on top of that, he doesn't insert Ayala with a double switch! Stupid move. So in the top of the 8th, with Ayala's spot up second in the batting order, F-Robby's hand is forced, and he sends Ayala to the plate - essentially locking him in to pitching the eighth. If he had double-switched, he could have waited until the end of the half-inning to make the decision on whether to send Ayala back out.

Ayala was not pitching well and was lucky to get out of the eighth with only one run.

Lucky for us, Jose Guillen drills a dinger, Sledgehammer drives in three, and Wilky knocks one in - giving the Nats a 7 run lead. At this point, why in the sweet holy name of Frank Howard do you send Chad "Chief" Cordero out to pitch the ninth!? He pitched last night, including waiting through a rain delay! You are traveling today and you don't have a day off tomorrow. You may need Cordero to be fresher later. Eischen should have been the one to pitch the entire ninth. Hopefully Frank had realized that when he yanked Cordero.

With that said, let's get ready for the party at RFK tomorrow night!


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