Friday, July 15, 2005

A Crisis Of Confidence

MIL 4, WAS 2

In the second inning of yesterday's game, it appeared the Preston Wilson trade was working out very well. Wilson took a 3-1 pitch and crushed it into the outfield seats for a solo home run in his first at bat as a National.

But except for another run on a walk, single and groundout, that's all the offense Washington could muster. And for the second time in his last two starts, the bullpen squandered another very strong performance by John Patterson. He struck out a career-high nine batters in six plus innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Gary Majewski was able to get out of a jam after relieving Ayala in the seventh, but allowed a two-run go-ahead double to Damian Miller in the eighth.

Some might be tempted to conclude from Wilson's homerun that this was a good trade for the Nats. I have little doubt that Wilson will play well and contribute to the team. But stepping back and viewing the whole picture, it's very apparent that the "malaise" of the Washington bats (as St. Barry described it) is only one of several problems. Washington has lost six of the last eight games. And in five of those losses, the bullpen gave up the go-ahead run.

Preston Wilson may prove to be a valuable member of the Nationals. But Mike Stanton is certainly not the answer to bullpen's problems. Given the struggles of the bullpen in addition to the offense, I still wonder if we wouldn't have been better off spending our trading assets on a workhorse arm for the pen.


Anonymous da kine said...

But are there any other proven setup men on the trading block over the next two weeks?

6:25 PM  

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