Thursday, July 28, 2005

Baby Steps



Well, we lost another one-run game. I'm almost numb to it now. OK, I am numb. I have to be numb to it.

Earlier in the glorious month of June, the Nats found themselves behind late in games a lot. But back then, the Nats would string together a few hits, move a few runners along and voila! Nats win!

This week, the Nats lost three one run games against the Braves, in spite of great efforts. Livan was fantastic on Monday, but the Nationals walked in the winning run in extra innings. Loaiza was decent yesterday, but a few bonehead plays in the field by the Nats - and the Braves win.

Today was a little different. Ryan Drese was pretty darn bad. He was lucky to have only given up four runs.

But the Nationals battled back. In the fifth, after Nick Johnson led off with a sweet double, Carlos Baerga hit a bases-loaded pinch-hit single to score a run. A little flash of the Nats we love. Of course, the Nats left them loaded, but the mini-rally was a decent start.

In the sixth, the Nats kept battling. Vidro led off with a great double, and Guillen singled him in. Two successive hard hit balls cut the lead in half. Another quick flash. Johnson singled to move Guillen into scoring position, and things looked even better. Unfortunately, it was only a small little flash, as Vinny bunted into a fielder's choice; Preston struck out, and Schneider tapped out.

After Jeff "Where the hell did he come from?" Francouer hit his second dinger to make it 5-2, Vidro made it a one run game by blasting a two run dinger.

In the eighth, the Nats started another mini-rally, getting consecutive two-out hits. Unfortunately, Ryan Church struck out to end the inning in a pinch hit appearance. The ump called him out on a check swing, and maybe I'm biased, but I thought he held up.

Say what you want about his personality and his temper, but Guillen definitely notices that we aren't playing well.

"It's not acceptable to get swept," Guillen said. "We are playing like a Double-A team. This is ridiculous."

Guillen also longed for the golden days of May and June.

"Look at the fire we had in the first half. Everybody was fired up in the dugout and in the clubhouse. ... Look at all the fun we were having. Everybody was jumping around, taking their shirts off. I think maybe everybody was satisfied with the first half. It's going to be a big disappointment for the fans and the coaching staff and the front office if we keep playing like this."

Frank also saw a better effort: "The effort was there today, I told them that after the game. If we could come up with that every time then we'll be okay."

We lost for the fourth time in a row. We're 5-16 since the Fourth of July.

But I think there are signs of life. The Nats made two comeback attempts, but ultimately fell short. Those two little mini-comebacks showed flashes of the Nats we love. The team also sounded really pissed.

I think that shows promise of the team getting back to the Nats of that glorious June which now seems to have been a lifetime ago.

3 Comments:

Anonymous da kine said...

I always like to stay positive, but I seriously think it isn't that the team is lacking, but rather their fundamentals are off. Look at how many hard-earned runners were left on base. They battled back from a 5-2 deficit, but left cats at third like that was no big deal. Fire them up, no doubt, but something needs to happen quickly for this team to stay in the race.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous da kine said...

That should say "lacking heart" in the first sentence to make any sense.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

This isn't a team that should be favored to win anything. But they're also capable of a lot more than they've shown in July. If they play up to their potential, maybe they still miss the playoffs. But they way they've played in July isn't the best they can do.

8:26 AM  

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