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Friday, April 17, 2009

Nats lose heartbreaker to Marlins in 10, 3-2, fall to 1-8.

Friday, April 17th was a gorgeous spring evening for baseball. Too bad I didn't have tickets, but I usually forgo Friday night games anyway because I have to be at work so darned early on Saturdays. And if there is a rain delay (or extra innings, as tonight's game had), it just increases my anxiety of being able to drag my butt out of bed Saturday morning in time to be at work when I need to.

Tonight's game might have been worth the effort, though. Starter John Lannan ("The Walrus", I call him) had a wonderful game, the bullpen was terrific, especially our new setup man, Joel Beimel, who ROCKS, and poor Joel Hanrahan blew his save with the home run he allowed.

Alberto "The A.G." Gonzalez might just be the most exciting player we have right now (I'm also thinking that he needs a better nickname. The joke was, he has the exact same name as a recent Attorney General, so perhaps we should just call him, 'Top Cop"? Heck, I dunno, I'm just spitballing here.) Don't get me wrong, I love Cristian "All-Star, 5 for 5" Guzman, but Gonzalez brings a lot to the table. I'm pretty happy with the Nats shortstop situation right now.

Manager Manny Acta got ejected for only the second time in his brief career, and at the moment (top of the 10th inning) I still don't quite know why, but I'm slightly bemused because I was there in Philadelphia when Acta got his first career ejection, two seasons ago, and there was no question why at the time. Funnily enough, John Lannan was also pitching that day (it was his Major League debut) and due no doubt to jitters, he hit two Phillies batters, Chase Utley (broke Utley's hand, too) and Ryan Howard, and umpire Hunter Wendlestead (sp?) tossed him and then tossed Acta, who came out to defend his player. Even MASN color commentator, Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, thought that Wendlestead made a bad decision there. And, oh, were the Philly fans in a heated lather over that! They were calling for Lannan's head.

My gosh, it's great to see some Nats offense. They didn't have a lot of runs tonight, but they sure had a lot of hits, 12 to be exact.

No, the Nats didn't win, but they played well against the team with the best record in baseball. They led most of the night and only made one error. If it weren't for that one hanging breaking ball from Hanrahan in the 9th, they would have pulled it out 2-1.

Yeah, I hate losing as much as the next fan, but there is losing and there is losing badly, and the Nats didn't lose this one badly. It gives me hope for tomorrow and Sunday. It's an encouraging loss, not a horrible, dispiriting, crushing loss.

If this team continues to compete like this, the victories will certainly come in due course.

And someday soon, they should be able to string two victories together. And won't that be grand?

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