Saturday, June 5, 2010

Game Diary, 6/5, vs Cincinnati

Blogger Day at the Park. Pictures and analysis to follow tomorrow.

7:05: And the first boo of the game goes to... Joe West! And they haven't played anything off his album yet.

7:08: E-5... let's hope this isn't a pattern.

7:12: Wait, Joey Votto is Canadian? This explains that whole anxiety thing last year. He responds by smacking a double down the line... Cabrera scores the unearned run.

7:17: Wil makes a nifty catch along the dugout rail, minimizing the damage. Atilano could be in for a long night if he can't keep the ball low.

7:21: Guzman hustles down the line, denying Cabrera of a great first out... these are the types of plays he HAS to make to stay in the lineup.

7:22: Plush pops up a bunt, nearly makes it a twin killing, then slams a couple water bottles in the dugout... not sure how to interpret this development.

7:27: Nats strand two as Hammer rips a full count fastball a little too deep to center. Listach held Guzman on Dunn's rip to the corner, despite a poor throw toward second by Jay Bruce. Could have been tied, but the Nats go conservative early.

7:34: Textbook 6T-3 double play turned by Desmond. The guy has range.

7:40: Bernadina wastes a lead off single by trying to steal against Hernandez, on a fastball, no less. Desmond singles on the next pitch.

7:43: Mike Leake went straight to the Reds after being drafted last season... he leads off this inning, batting .381. Now he is batting .409.

7:50: Wait... is Billy Hatcher the Reds' first base coach?

7:55: Flippin Pizza may be the new kid on the concourse, but Nyjer brings back Slice Down the Line for a standing double... he hasn't had many of those this season and seems to feed off his own success, and drown in failures.

7:57: Press box doesn't give the best view for ball/strike judgments.

7:59: Storms looming... stay tuned.

8:18: Back from the production room... Teddy did not win.

8:19: And Mike Leake is now hitting .435... the "hitting pitcher" philosophy is a debate for another time.

8:21: Leake scores on a meatball blistered by Cabrera. Atilano has escaped unscathed up until now, but Votto is likely to come up with a RISP.

8:25: Don't understand the pick off posturing... get the second out at the plate!

8:28: Clutch effort rebounding to retire Phillips weakly and Votto swinging.

8:30: Looks like they filled out to 28K or so. Even the Presidential (the seats, not the vodka) looks populated.

8:31: Ugh... Slappy with another weak infield ground out, followed by some good work by Votto on a foul pop. Very impatient right now, and actually surprised Atilano hit given the quick hook some of the pitchers have been shown

8:32: 5 pitch inning.

8:34: Of course Zim makes that play... of course.

8:36: Even at second base, it appears Guzman just doesn't move as well to his left as he does his right. There must be a stat for this.

8:41: Epic at bat here by Bruce... must be the tenth pitch.

8:42: A beauty to end the inning, strike out-throw out on the five hundredth pitch of the at bat. Great job by Wil sticking with the play despite nearly getting decapitated by the previous foul tip with the runner going.

8:45: And the last four batters have seen six pitches.

8:49: Willingham comes up to "Your Love"... good things can only follow.

8:50: Pat Listach gets an ovation for flashing some of his defensive prowess from days of yore.

8:53: Bernadina takes three straight borderline pitches... the box is in shock Joe West didn't ring him up just for the sake of ringing him up.

8:54: The sixth pitch destroys his bat, but Votto mishandles the ball as ash falls to the earth around him. Zim scores from second. This is Desmond's bread and butter... but he chases to out of the zone and grounds out weakly to third.

8:58: 2-1 in the seventh... in other words, Nationals Baseball!

8:58: Absolutely stunned Atilano is still in the game. 107 pitches and counting... Leake on deck.

9:02: Hernandez down again. 78 strikes on 112 pitches. Huge effort from the rookie. And he retire Leake on a well struck to second. Arguably one of the three best starting performances this year, Livo's shutout and Olsen's near no-no withstanding. (Final count- 114 pitches, 80 strikes)

9:05: One of the dugout dancing girls just bitch-slapped another... highlight of the night.

9:07: Attendance listed at 23K... I was a little off.

9:07: I know Willie was brought in to face the righty, but Morse was crushing the ball in BP. Doesn't that play into the decision making?

9:10: Errant throw between innings clocked a fan in the first row... medical staff on the scene.

9:12: Cabrera absolutely crushes a ball to left-center, second hanger he has seen tonight.

9:14: Long conference to get Burnett warm to face Votto.

9:16: More posturing toward the runner at second. Are the Reds known for stealing third?

9:18: Phillips puts a two-strike pitch up the middle... not Walker's finest hour.

9:20: Burnett comes out of the pen to Whitesnake. Last season, "Here I Go Again" would be taken in completely different context regarding the bullpen.

9:23: Phillips dead to rights at third base trying to take two on the wild pitch, but Desmond called for baseline interference? I didn't see any contact or attempt to impede the runner... Riggleman gets tossed arguing the play. Votto completes the disaster by drawing a full count walk from 0-2.

9:28: Desmond comes home instead of turning two. With Scott Rolen hitting and Phillips on third, the play was to concede the run and turn two. Phillips destroys Nieves at the plate with a forearm shimmy and he loses the ball. Phillips shows everyone up after the play and will likely see a ball in the back tomorrow.

9:31: Single, 5-1. Not a storybook finish right now, as the error count is at three again.

9:41: Old-ass Arthur Rhodes in to work Morgan and Dunn around Zimmerman... 0.39 ERA on the season.

9:44: Predictably, the inning starts K-BB. It's up to Dunn to extend this one.... not even close on the slider, though. 1-2.

9:46: GIDP... no chance to be saved by the Hammer.

9:48: Is there any excuse for this game to be pushing three hours?

9:51: Slick move from Billy Hatcher, dissing the kids fighting over the foul ball and flipping it elsewhere.

9:53: Zim sticks with it and makes a good throw... nice to see his focus late in a mostly over game.

9:54: And there is the plunking!! Apparently Joe West did see Phillips trash talking and knew it was coming, because the ejection was immediate. He has now tossed 4 Nats in two games... what are the chances Wil moves for a pitchout on a fastball down the middle?

9:56: Slaten in to face Votto... I think the Nats are getting ready for tomorrow, as the bullpen is getting thin.

9:57: "And Miguel Batista was ejected from the game... for those who didn't notice." The Nats won't be supporting Joe West's upcoming tour.

10:01: Always a fielding adventure with Adam Dunn.

10:09: Two-out single by Desmond. No pitch hitter for Nieves, which is a little short-sighted. Kennedy should hit for him, then Morse for the pitcher. A rally is unlikely, but much less likely with Nieves taking cuts. I know they don't want Burke to get into the game, but how likely was that scenario?

10:11: Strikeout, game over. Three games this week of three errors. Apparently they do come in threes.

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