Doin' It Natty Style
This was just a good ol' fashioned Nationals' win. I don't know how else to put it. Livan did his best Iron-Man imitation out there, working in and out of trouble - sometimes on purpose! In the fifth inning, with Ledee on second and one out, he pitches around Nakamura and walks him. Perez, the pitcher, sacrifices the runners to second and third - two out. Livo pitches around Izturis to load the bases, because he'd "rather face Hee Seop Choi." You have got to LOVE a man with that kind of confidence in himself. And that's the same reason I had no problem with letting him pitch the ninth.
Another "Nats-theme" showed up again tonight. An offensive explosion in the seventh. Vidro gets on with a sweet piece of hitting. Castilla drives him in, despite Vidro's best efforts to run slower than molasses! Nick "da Stick" stayed on fire, and the ancient Jeffrey Hammonds even got a hit! Some iffy defense from the Dodgers helped us get some additional runs.
Guzman sucked at the plate, but he flashed the leather again. With a guy on second, he ranged waaay to his right to snag a grounder and one hopped a bullet to first to get the runner and likely prevent a big inning.
Vinny made a dandy play in the eighth, likely saving another big inning. He snagged a rocket hit down the line, whirled and just barely got the runner at second to end the threat.
The best thing about this team is they seem to have short memories. Tuesday's loss was a game we flat out should have won. Stupid-ass plays cost us the game. But they came out last night and just ground out a win. Impressive stuff by this team.
And here's where I have to give Frankie credit. I hated the fact that two outfielders were called up to replace an outfielder and a pitcher. So when I saw Chavez and Hammonds in the lineup, I was ready to throw in the towel. But Chavez didn't do too badly - he was fairly patient and focused on making contact. He even drove in a run! Hammonds had himself two hits as well. Good job by Frankie to give them a look last night.
Sitting Wilky was the right thing to do tonight. He's still likely our best player, despite his struggles. Hopefully he knows he just needed some rest. Seeing the guys win a good game without him should take some of the burden off his shoulders and allow him to relax.
2-1 to start the Western road trip. Splitting the next six games gives the Nats a winning record on the Western swing, which is all we can ask for.