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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Nats rally from early defecit yet fall to Cards 8-6 OR Speigner sputters, sinks sluggers in soaker

This was the one matchup I was truly concerned about this weekend, the Nats Leval Speigner vs.the Cardinals Brad Thompson. Thomson had a pretty good record, and an ERA in the 4.0's and Speigner, well, his was in the 6.0's and he hadn't established himself as a starter.

I hate it when my worst suspicions are confirmed.

The Nats lost to the Cards 8-6, after Speigner put them in a deep hole, 8-1, and despite a brief rally where the Nats managed to get 5 more runs, and a yeoman outing from the bullpen which held the Cards scoreless after the 4th inning.

Having worked a very physical 10-hours on my feet, I was pretty exhausted and my legs, knees and feet were barking at me, so I ate a quick dinner and collapsed to watch the game. Between my full stomach and my non-existent energy level, I was in bed before 9:00, trying to maintain a level of interest in a game that I thought might be too far out of reach. The Nats did their best to provide some compelling baseball, and I did make it to the 9th inning, but once those tarps came out, and Nats Access came on, I was done for, off to the Land of Nod.

I never saw the last 1/3 of the top of the 9th inning, but apparently I didn't miss much besides Jesus Flores battling mightily to get a run in. Surprisingly, after over 100 minutes of rain delay, Cardinals Manager Tony Larussa opted to keep closer Jason Isringhausen in to try and complete the job, which he did successfully, darn it.

Ryan Report: Church went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Zimmerman also went 2 for 5, Langerhans went 1 for 1 with an RBI, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI.

I'm very concerned about this team. The bullpen last night of Traber, Abreau, and King did a great job of keeping the Nats in the game, but I fear that the pen is going to be overworked. Saul Rivera and Jon Rauch are already showing signs of being overworked, so at least they got last night off. The trouble lies in their increasingly-depleted starting rotation. Manager Manny Acta seems pretty certain that Speigner can no longer endure a starters role, and he has 5 more days (with the holiday tomorrow) to fill that spot. It seems unlikely that Shawn Hill, Jason Bergmann, or John Patterson will be back from the disabled list in time, and it would appear that there are mo more arms in the bullpen to take over a starting spot. There are 6 pitchers who are on the 40-man roster, who are not active and not on the disabled list, and I know nothing about most of them or what their individual status is.

I was somewhat upset that the Nationals, and several other major league teams won't be playing tomorrow, Memorial Day, a major holiday. It seemed to me that this was also the case last year as well, and it defies explanation. With millions of baseball fans having a three-day weekend, including millions of children, it just seems ludicrous that MLB wouldn't take advantage of that opportunity to rake in a fortune with nice afternoon games, the way baseball was intended to be played. No, instead, the next opportunity to see the Nats play after today is a home game on Tuesday evening, when they will be lucky to draw even 20,000 fans, since it is a schoolnight. It's a world gone mad, I tells ya.

However, with the Nats needing some rest, especially the bullpen, with a 7 game homestand looming, it probably makes sense, but I still don't like it.


Pop Cultured said...

nice blog, though the nats are terrible...good luck the rest of the way...

Joe Riley said...

Well, they no longer have the worst record in baseball, but over the last few weeks, as Dan Steinberg showed
today in his "DC Sports Bog", the Nats are right in the middle of the pack, playing "mediocre" ball, not "historically bad" ball.

I appreciate your comments, but as I've said, true love knows no box score, and these Nats are still a lot of fun to watch.

Pop Cultured said...

grabbed another win...maybe this is the turning point...

Song of the moment - Celebrating the longest homestand of the season

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