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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Young, Padres victimize Nats 3-0 OR Mayday! Mayday! on May Day.

A co-worker of mine, a lifelong student of baseball, told me yesterday that he thought that the Padres Chris Young was an even better pitcher than the highly-touted Jake Peavy, who pitched the previous night. I had no reason to doubt him, and it turns out that he was very prophetic. Young threw 106 pitches in 8 innings and only gave up 3 hits to the Nats. He had 8 strikeouts and only walked 3. The Nats lost 3-0.

Over the last couple of week, the Nats have played better in the sense that they've "been in" pretty much every game, by which I mean that they haven't been blown out as they tended to be during those first two weeks, with scores such as 6-1. As a fan, these recent losses are easier for me to take. Sure, I know, an "L" is still an "L", I've said that before, but the fact that they've been playing teams tough and kept themselves within a run or two of a win is encouraging. They've been playing better defense, and seem to be making fewer errors. The starting pitching has been better, the only thing they really need to get going is runs.

Shawn Hill pitched another good game last night, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs. If only he got more run support.

Which Nat had the best night with the bat? Brian Schneider, who went 2 for 3 (raising his batting average from an anemic .184 to a Mendoza-like .203 - hey, it's still early) and then Austin Kearns who went 1 for 4.

Ryan Report: Church 0-4, Zimmerman 0-3. Yikes. Congratulations, Chris Young.

Well, I'm hoping that we've seen the Padres two best starting pitchers, and that Matt Chico can pitch a good game tonight vs. Clay Hensley.

One thing I'd like to mention is how gorgeous I think that San Diego's Petco Park is. That is really some beauty of a ballpark. One of the most fun features is this gigantic sandbox for kids to play in. MASN's Debbi Taylor did a quick feature on it and I thought that it looked delightful. I'm hoping that our new ballpark will have such family and kid-friendly features that visiting broadcast teams will say, "Hey, look what the Nationals have done here!"

It's too bad that the Nats don't play a day game here, as I understand that, due to the way the park heats up so greatly during the day, the ball really carries better than during the night games there.

The Nats had a fun visit to the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, CVN-76, autographing hats and jerseys and showing their appreciation and support for the Marines, sailors and airmen of that mighty vessel. Nice to see them doing this. It's nice enough when it's in our own community, as when they visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but when they do it in other cities, it really makes me proud. Whatever their record, now or ever, they strive to be an organization that does decent things and gives back. Staying classy in San Diego, indeed.

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