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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Nats lose to Mets 5-0 in rain-shortened series final OR Nats series win hopes Flushing down drain.

For those of you readers who aren't particularly religious, I offer up today's Nats/Mets game at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens as proof that there IS a God, and that he is merciful. The Almighty Himself was obviously watching the game and decided that He'd had enough.

The Nats were down 5-0 and had given up 10 runs in just 5 innings when the rain, which had started a few innings earlier, got bad enough to halt play. After an hour and a half delay, the game, which had qualified to be a complete game, was called. Someone obviously wanted to put the Nationals, and their fans, out of their misery.

(Of course, I'D like to think that the Nats were JUST warming up and were about to really take it to the Mets again, so the umpire's decision to call the game seems rather rash to me.)

For those of you who are curious as to how these things work, here are the official MLB rules which proscribe how a called game is handled:

(a) A regulation game consists of nine innings, unless extended because of a tie score, or shortened (1) because the home team needs none of its half of the ninth inning or only a fraction of it, or (2) because the umpire calls the game. EXCEPTION: National Association leagues may adopt a rule providing that one or both games of a doubleheader shall be seven innings in length. In such games, any of these rules applying to the ninth inning shall apply to the seventh inning.
(b) If the score is tied after nine completed innings play shall continue until (1) the visiting team has scored more total runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning, or (2) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning.
(c) If a game is called, it is a regulation game:
(1) If five innings have been completed;
(2) If the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings;
(3) If the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score.
(d) If a regulation game is called with the score tied, it shall become a suspended game. See Rule 4.12.
(e) If a game is called before it has become a regulation game, the umpire shall declare it “No Game.”
(f) Rain checks will not be honored for any regulation or suspended game which has progressed to or beyond a point of play described in 4.10(c)

(I don't see the words "mercy rule" in there anywhere, but perhaps it doesn't need to be.)

Truth be told, I was plenty concerned about this game. Nationals starter Billy Traber hasn't exactly been dominating anyone this season, and Dmitri Young, the Nats All-Star and biggest offensive weapon, was sitting this game out. I kind of felt as though the Nats were bringing a knife to a gunfight. Mets starter John Maine, who was 11-5 going into this game, is a genuine threat on the mound, and he took his best stuff to the Nats early. The Nats only managed to get one measly hit against Maine, by Ronnie Belliard. Maine, for his part, struck out 5 Nats batters and lowered his E.R.A. to 2.92.

In ugly contrast, Traber lasted only 3.2 innings and gave up 5 runs on 8 hits, including a 3-run homer, striking out 3 but walking 2. Reliever Chris Schroeder only faced 4 batters and allowed 2 hits.

Ryan Report: Oh, please.

So, 2 games to 2: Like kissing your sister, or worse? I take a moral victory out of this weekend, the Nats could have done a whole lot worse, and I'm certain that Mets fans everywhere believe that the Mets SHOULD have won 3 of 4, if not 4 of 4, but the Mets have not been without their own troubles, including losing 2B Jose Valentin for the season to injury. The Nats also were spared having to face Tom Glavin, whose will be looking for his 300th win on his next start.

So the Nats get an early departure from New York and Monday off. They now come home to begin a 6-game series against the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals, two teams that the Nats had some success against earlier in the season. More reason to give a fan hope.


bosoxgo said...

Face it the nats wont win anything this year and we shouldve traded away Dmitri and Ron even if we didnt get much for them. With that being said they did good this weekend and maybe theyll do good the rest of the way if they call up some more young guys.

Oh and I made a new nats blog called 'its nats time' its not real big but if you want check it out.

Joe Riley said...

I'm fully aware that they won't win anything this year, thanks. I kind of had that feeling before the season began, and the rash of injuries did nothing to bolster my confidence for 2007.

They're still a lot of fun to watch, though. There's more to a Nats game (especially a home game)for me than just the "W" or "L".

I couldn't disagree with you more about Belliard and Young. The Nats are better with them than without them. I have to imagine that Jim Bowden wasn't offered anything substantial for them, or else he might have traded them.

I couldn't find your blog, sorry. Link, maybe?

bosoxgo said...

Haha, yea sorry I know you are but I always hope for my teams to win before the year and for some reason it happens most of the time. I'm a jets fan and they went 10-6 last year after they were terrible the year before.

Yeah I love watching them to even when they lose but its not as fun when you live up north like me and can only maybe go see 1 series a year.

Your right about the trading part with Belliard and Young but I think they still would've given the nats an extra draft pick. And even if they didn't the nats just lost a chance to get a young corner outfielder/2nd baseman for the next 2 years, plus Young's terrible in left field I remember watching him with the reds, he doesn't run fast enough to play the outfield.

thats the link to my blog, I know its not much yet but I plan to make it as good as I can.

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