Sunday, August 9, 2009


I'm sure I will post a picture of the Big Donkey at some point, but here are the highlights of Saturday's American baseball contest at Nationals Park on the Anacostia.

* Nyjer Morgan made several routine outs in center field. These are only routine for Nyjer Morgan, as most other Nats outfielders would need a rocket up their ass just t get to the ball, only to have it glance off the end of their glove for a triple.

* Willie Harris' triple. The triple is almost always the most exciting play in baseball. Even if there is no play at third, there is always the anticipation there could be.

* Alberto Gonzalez making to great defensive plays to keep the Backs off the board in the 5th. Either those get in for would result in a run and up comes Reynolds for a chance to break the game open. Ryan Zimmerman played typically stellar D as well.

* The eighth inning starting at 8:50... wow!

* Each time Chris Young stepped into the batter's box, I called for the strikeout. I was one game ending pitch from being 4 for 4. The Golden Sombrero was lurking for Young, easily the most overmatched hitter getting regular plate appearances now.

* Josh Willingham not being close on any of the first four pitches Haren offered him, prompting me to note that maybe it wouldn't be his night... CRACK!!

* Hit a 380 foot fly ball to center, prompting me to note that it was about as far as he is going to hit the ball. He responded later with a 400 foot home run to right-center. Well played, Mr. Bard. Foiled again.

* Garrett Mock was about 4 feet from six shutout innings of four hit ball. The defense helped, and the Backs, outside of Drew, Reynolds, and Montero, are a AAA lineup, but Mock needed a boost like this. It was like the International League for him!

* It is strange watching them battle back in games and hold on with stellar defense. It is amazing how one or two personnel moves can improve attitude and morale this much. The problem with their spring roster was that there wasn't a "leader" on the team. No vocal presence. If there is nobody to point a finger when something goes wrong, or something has to get accomplished, everybody is going to sit back and watch the ship sink. The team brings in Nyjer Morgan, who never stops talking, things start to get done. The team lets Manny Acta and his stoic in-game expression go, and guys start getting to balls they weren't.

For the record, it is Goddamn near impossible to generate a winning streak of any kind sending out four rookie pitchers. A seven game streak reflects upon 25 guys doing their best to beat the other 25 guys night in and out. That and Josh Willingham is the second best hitter in the NL right now... well, maybe third.

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