Oh Well ....
[September 27th] -- That the Nationals lost to the Phillies in 14 innings doesn't bother me. Philadelphia is trying to make it to the playoffs for the first time in thirteen years, and the Nationals are going to finish last in the NL East for the second consecutive year. The win is meaningless. But a few things about the game did cause me some angst:
1. The Phillies fans were in control of RFK most of the night. For the last eight innings, ESPN's cameras focused not on the many empty seats but rather the group of Phillies fans cheering and booing with every pitch. It made it seem like the Phillies have more fans and better fans. Not once did the announcers bother to mention that all of the Nats' fans have to go home and go to bed, while the Phillies fans took a few days off and came to D.C. to watch their team. They could sleep in.
2. The Nationals had the opportunity to make all those Phillies' fans cry on National television. After Jimmy Rollins two-run triple in the top of the 14th, they knew, I mean, they knew that they had the game wrapped up. The Nationals then loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with no one out, yet were able to only score a single run. I love to see people from Philadelphia cry.
3. Frank Robinson mis-managed the game. I'm not one to take a swing at Frank; I really like the guy. But because of a lot of player moves in the middle innings, he was out of position players for much of the extra innings. In the 14th, he used Beltran Perez as a pinch-hitter. That Perez got a hit is immaterial -- he shouldn't have been there. Phillies' manager Charley Manuel did a much better job of managing his resources.
That said, there were some positives to come out of the loss. Ryan Zimmerman hit his 20th homerun, drove in two more runs, and got on base five of the six times he came to the plate. With a stat-line of .287-20-109, he has to be the frontrunner for the rookie-of-the-year award. I really thought he had to get that 20th bomb to win it, and he did. Charley Slowes interviewed Tim Kirkjen (It's late and I'm too tired to look up the correct spelling of his name), who said he believes that Zimmerman is the best rookie in the NL this year (though stopped short of predicting that he'd win the award).
I'm beginning to like the speed aspect of this team. In some inning (geez, there were sooo many), Nick Logan was on first base with one out when Ryan Church hit a ball right at first baseman Ryan Howard. Easy double play? Nope. Logan was running on the pitch, making it impossible for Howard to turn the twin killing. Brian Schneider than lined a ball to right field, scoring Nook. Without his speed, the Nats don't score the run. I hope Jim Bowden can keep the speed-burners on the team next year.
I'm staring at the test-pattern on my local tv channel, so I'm guessing it must be very very late or very very early. I think that's enough for tonight.
Nice image today, Farid. Wowsa!