Tuesday, April 26, 2005

This team drives me nuts...

...and I absolutely love it.

Time to Bench Guzzy

Last night was frustrating. Zach Day starts the game with a 1-2-3 first inning, and I started to get pretty confident. Then of course it starts to fall apart. After a walk and a single, David Bell hits a tailor made double play ball with one out, but Vidro messes up his footwork turning the DP at second and throws it away, allowing a run to score. 1-0 Phils.

Then Day intentionally walks Lieberthal to get to Lidle, the pitcher - a by-the-book move.

But these by-the-book moves only frickin work if you can get the next guy out! Day fricking gives up a RBI single to the damn pitcher! 2-0 Phillies.

Day still can't find the plate in the third inning, giving up a pair of singles and a walk to help Philly add another run. 3-0.

In the bottom of the third, Guzman singles and Wilky drives him in. Nice work, perhaps we're getting something going. 3-1 Phils.

But in the top of the fourth, Day walks the frickin pitcher! A DP gets us out of it, fortunately.

In the sixth inning, still trailing 3-1, Day walks the leadoff hitter. Then Guzman, who must have realized he had already made a good play today by scoring a run, boots an easy double-play ball.

So it's Phillies on 1st and 2nd with one out. Lidle comes up to sacrifice them over. And Day can't throw a strike. Frustrated, Frankie yanks him with a 2-0 count to the pitcher. One of the first Frankie moves that I thought was perfect. Carrasco doesn't pick us up though - allowing a hit to drive in those two runners. 5-1 Phils.

Now I'm pissed. Day couldn't find the strike zone, and Guzzy made a bonehead play in the field. But if it wasn't for that, we'd be in this game!

In the bottom of the sixth, Schneider triples in two runs. 5-3 Phils. I can feel the mojo start to work.

Top 7th, Jon "Too Tall" Rauch gets a 1-2-3 inning. Where has this guy been hiding? Oh, that's right, the minors - while hacks like Ohka get to start in the bigs.

Bottom 8th - Vidro triples and Guillen SAC-flies him in to score. 5-4 Phils. I can feel it. I can taste it.

Still trailing 5-4, 2 outs in the ninth and Billy Wagner is pitching. Suddenly, it doesn't look so good. But then Brad "Cut to the Chase" Wilkerson and Nick "da Stick" Johnson single - putting runners at the corners. Now I can taste it again. But of course, the next guy flies out to end the game. A 5-4 loss.

Typical roller-coaster Nats.

I'm still not sure who gets the blame. But for once, it wasn't Frankie. He put out the correct lineup, pulled Day at the right point, and double-switched Guzman to the bench. All correct moves.

But our starters just have to start throwing some darn strikes. Especially guys like Day who rely on movement and placement, not velocity.

And for a while now, Guzman hasn't been hitting, but he's been fielding. Last night he got a hit, but he booted a fielding chance that might have literally cost us the game. Memo to Guzman: You have to execute all parts of the game correctly if you want to be a big leaguer!

Today is another day.

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