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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nats "Dodge" sweep, crush L.A. 11-4 OR Young lions? No, just Young and Ryans!

There's a perfectly good reason why the Washington Nationals snapped out of a 2-game losing streak against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sure, they lost 10-0 Tuesday night, and 5-0 Wednesday night (their only two consecutive shutout games of the season), so one might think that they were due today.

No, I'm convinced it's because I wasn't there, as I said that I would be.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I'm pretty upset, though. This is what I get for trying to be a dedicated employee. My boss didn't show up until 7:00, and I was buried under a load of work that I had to get off of my desk this evening, as it was all time-sensitive. Oh sure, my boss says, go to the game then come back and finish it afterwards (!!!) Yeah, says I, that doesn't really work for me. I go to the games so that I can relax with a beer and some food and forget about work, and then go home afterwards. I'm not very effective at doing my work after I've just been to a Nats game. My head isn't into it, it's difficult to concentrate and get back into a work rhythm. No, I had to get my work done and be done with it. Damn it all.

Because tonight the Nationals showcased their resilience once again, and stunned the Dodgers by winning 11-4. The Nats had 14 hits, more than they've had the past two nights combined. The bats simply came alive in the 86 degree weather, another great night for baseball. And I missed it, damn it all.

Nats erstwhile-starter Micah Bowie made the most of his start tonight, throwing 78 pitches for 48 strikes (62%) in 5.1 innings. He allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 2. He got the win, too. And I didn't see it. Damn it all.

Who had the hot bats for the Nats? Who DIDN'T? Dmitri Young went 4 for 4, with an RBI, raising his batting average to .309 for the season, but for the month of May, he was hitting .352 going into tonight's game, now he's probably more like .400-something. Cristian Guzman went 3 for 4. Brian Schneider only went 1 for 5, but he had 2 RBI's. A few other guys had hits, too...

Ryan Report: Now THIS is more like it! Church went 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 RBI's off of his 8th inning homerun. Zimmerman went 2 for 4 with a walk and 4 RBI's, including 2 off of his 1st inning homerun. Langerhans went 0 for 1, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 1 for 4 with 2 RBI's. And I wasn't there to see ANY of it.

Damn it all.

I DID manage to follow the game a little bit on my computer at work, both reveling and bemoaning the Nationals fate as they built up a 6-1 lead. I left just before 9:00, and managed to listen to Charlie Slowes on the radio. When I got home, the score was 6-4, so there was some drama afoot. Both Charlie Slowes on the radio and Bob and Don on MASN mentioned that celebrity game show host and announcer Pat Sajak was attending the game with his family (Bob Carpenter made the funny remark that Sajak had heard that Nomar Garciapara was in the game, and he has so many vowels in his name, so Sajak was drawn here by that - ha!) I didn't realize that Sajak owned a couple of Maryland radio stations, including WNAV in Annapolis, nor did I realize that he and his family lived in Severna Park, Maryland part of the year. On T.V., he had a little mini-interview with MASN's Byron Kerr and exchanged playful jibes with Don Sutton, whom he knows from Los Angeles. It always seems odd to see celebrities here in town whom you associate with New York or Los Angeles. Like Dr. Phil, or Bo Derek, two celebrities I've noticed have gone to Nats games over the last two years. Tom Hanks was here last year, too, I think (or was it 2005?) and I seem to remember a strange exchange where he was in a suite which obviously had the game on TV and the announcer made some silly remark about the Tom Hanks movie, "Joe versus the Volcano"and Tom Hanks suddenly looked up, either surprised or annoyed at the remark (Hanks was wearing sunglasses, so it was difficult to tell) and the announcer later apologized. You just never know who you will see at a Nationals game, I guess. Not me tonight, though. Damn it all.

So here we are, with 1/3 of the season in the books, and where do the Nationals stand? They are on pace for 66 wins and 96 losses, only 5 games off of last season's results, but they were hampered by an awful first two weeks, and I don't think that they'll be in that position again. Unless disaster strikes and they just completely tank, which I can't see happening. All they have to do is keep doing what they're doing and let Nick Johnson return, Luis Ayala and the injured starters, Shawn Hill, Jason Bergmann, John Patterson and Jerome Williams. The Nats went 13-15 for the month of May, after going 9-17 in April. I see no reason why they won't improve in June. It won't be a cakewalk, though. The two best teams the Nationals will play are Cleveland and Detroit, whom they host in interleague action, and they are both two tough teams. I'm not so concerned with the Braves, because I think the Nats will play them tough, they know them too well, but of course they begin the month against the Padres, who gave the Nats such trouble in the beginning of May.

Only 21 more days of spring, folks. Summer is beckoning. I'm looking forward to it.


kristen23 said...

I feel your pain! I had to miss it too.

Joe Riley said...

I'm just finishing watching the game (I record each one so I don't miss anything) and it's killing me all over again.

The conflict is terrible. I'm thrilled that they won, but I'm still so P.O'd that I wasn't there to see it! Aargh! And it isn't just eating my tickets either, that's only a small part of it. I LOVE being there, win or lose. After attending two blowouts, I was due - the Dodgers OWED ME a game like this! Double Aargh!

Steph2853 said...

I feel your pain Joe, the 3 girls with heart missed the game too! We will be there all weekend so maybe we will see ya. :)

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