Well, at least it wasn't a shutout.
The late Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach John McKay was once asked what he thought of his team's execution, and McKay memorably replied, "I'm all for it!"
As the Washington Nationals lost to the Detroit Tigers tonight 15-1, I began wondering if Nats manager Manny Acta might give a similar reply to the same question. The Tigers seemed to do no wrong and the Nats seemed to do nothing right.
Nats starter Jason Simontacchi ran into trouble early, giving up 3 runs in the 1st and 10 total on 10 hits, and walking 2, in 3 innings. He threw 78 pitches for 54 strikes (69%), an ungodly-high number for just over 3 innings work. Manager Manny Acta had to give Simontacchi the hook in the 4th and go into his bullpen. Levale Speigner, who had been an emergency starter for around a month was back in the bullpen and he couldn't manage to do any damage against the Tigers either, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits in his 2 innings. Billy Traber briefly halted the defensive hemorrhaging, with 2 shutout innings, but Ray King allowed a run in his inning and Winston Abreu allowed 2 runs in his inning.
The Nats managed only 6 hits all evening, mostly from the usual suspects: Cristian Guzman had 2, Dmitri Young had 2, Brian Schneider had 1 and Ryan Langerhans had 1.
Ryan Report: *NOTE - Not for those with sensitive constitutions!*
Church went 0 for 4, Zimmerman went 0 for 3, Langerhans went 1 for 4, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 0 for 3. Congratulations to Tigers starter Chad Durbin, reliever Wilfredo Ledezma, and Eulogio De La Cruz. You guys were brutal.
I don't even want to mention Detroit's Sean Casey and Brandon Inge, who accounted for 7 of the Tiger's 15 runs, so I won't.
The Detroit Tigers are, statistically, the best offensive team in the major leagues right now, and they put on a clinic tonight which should eliminate any doubts as to why this is true. I said it last night and I'll say it again tonight, there's no shame in losing to such a powerhouse team, but I was hoping that the Nats could at least put up a better fight, as they did in the previous night's exciting rally. Manny Acta claims that the Nats have to play perfect ball against such teams as these to win, but I'm not even certain that "perfection" would have been enough tonight.
I arrived late, as usual, coming straight from work and being trapped in a construction-made traffic jam on Rock Creek Parkway. When I pulled into the parking lot, the Nats were behind 3-0. When I got to the Main Gate, they were behind 7-0 (!!!!) No wonder Rico looked a little forlorn when I saw him. I said hello to Ellie upstairs and got myself some barbecue beef brisket from Capital Q Barbecue. Besides wanting some variety in my stadium diet, the ladies who were working the stand were cute and funny. I asked them how business was tonight and they said that they needed me to come back 10 more times! I laughed and vowed to do my best.
A terrible rain had been forecast all day, but it never materialized around D.C. It was 91 degrees, overcast, and humid as all get-out. I figured the baseballs would fly tonight, but they only flew for the Tigers. I got to chat with Kristen and Steph from 3 Girls with Heart, who are VERY glad that the Nats are starting to make "Heart" from Damn Yankees a staple of the 7th inning stretch. They are terrific fans, and fun to watch a Nats game with.
Despite the onfield massacre, I actually had a bit of luck tonight. I found a $10 bill on the ground (give me the serial numbers in correct sequence and it's yours) and I actually got to meet MASN color commentator (and Hall-of-Famer) Don Sutton. I introduced myself to him, and he was very nice to me. We chatted less about baseball and more about subjects such as our favorite steakhouse in the Coachella Valley. I didn't want to keep him too long, but I hope to chat with him again soon. A classy gentleman all the way. I'm very proud to have met his acquaintance.
It is inevitable that, at some point, every team takes a brutal beating and I think that the Nats were just due for theirs. It's just baseball karma, I think. I honestly don't remember another game in which they were just savaged by the opposition in this manner, and I hope that it doesn't happen again for a long, long time, but it's over now, and tomorrow is another day, and the Nats will try again. I'll be there hoping to see it happen.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Well, at least it wasn't a shutout.