Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Double-Barrel Buckshot

ATL 3, WSH 2 (10 innings)

Grasping at straws

I don't know what to do anymore. It's not like we played particularly well tonight, but we did do enough that we could have and should have won. I mean Livan was outstanding; he threw 105 pitches in eight innings, allowing five hits and one run. His only mistake pitch was drilled for a homer.

The offense wasn't impressive, but it strung together enough consecutive hits to get two runs, which should have been enough with Livan on the mound throwing as well as he was. Nick Johnson was awfully quiet in his first game back, but I think that's to be expected as he adjusts to big league pitching.

Bringing in Cordero in the ninth was probably the right move, despite Livan's fairly low pitch count. Chief hasn't worked very often lately, and keeping him sharp is a priority. Unfortunately, he wasn't sharp, allowing a run in three pitches to three different batters. It's tempting to get mad at him, but since it's only his fourth blown save (and only the second where we eventually lost), I think we can give him a pass.

Ayala continues to infuriate though. He comes in in the 10th with two men on - hits the first batter and walks the second on four pitches, forcing in the winning run. I mean, COME ON! After "balk-off" and "walk" off losses, it's just a matter of time before we lose a game on a catcher's interference ruling.

The worst part is not that we lost, or that we lost first place. It's that we lost a game in pathetic fashion, despite playing well enough to win. That cannot be good for the psyche of the team, which is in the middle of an ungodly slump.

If I were Frank (and thank God, I'm not) I would re-enact that classic scene from Bull Durham. Call all the players into the showers. Throw a load of bats in there, and call them lollygaggers. It's a simple game, after all. You throw the ball; you hit the ball; you catch the ball. Tell them to show up at six in the morning to work on fundamentals. Namely, being patient at the plate and not swinging from your heels trying to hit a six-run homer. Also, it might be good to work on throwing some strikes.

What's our record? 55-45?

How'd we ever win 55?


Blogger Yuda said...

It's a miracle.

11:32 PM  

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