Look at this clip. First you get E-Bone smacking a belt-high Homer Bailey meatball right up the middle. But look at the dugout when The AG comes in. Milledge, Acta, all high fives and smiles. Kearns even doesn't look constipated for a moment there. Look, I don't really believe in clubhouse chemistry for the most part, but I do think that the difference between 110 losses and 95 can be whether the team quits or not.
A few other observations after going to my first game at Nationals Park in a while:
- The AG walked twice tonight. Wanna guess the last time Guzman did that? April 18. That's 83 games and 378 PAs ago.
- The middle infield defense looks to be as advertised. Get Zimmy at 3rd, and it's going to be something. The AG made a couple plays on short hops and slow dribblers that required throws that Guzman probably can't make. Bonifacio snared two rockets in the 9th to end it. And there was a liner over his head (didn't note who hit it) that he leapt for--he didn't really have a shot, but dang that kid can jump out of the gym.
- Odalis, who I had predicted would continue his travels down the Felipe/Lo Duca low road of veteran melancholy, did the opposite. He seems to have gotten the picture that it's shape up or ship out. Mock and Clippard are right behind him. Hendo, who looked snazzy in his new Fire Jim Bowden tee, called it.
- Can't say the same for Kearns, who is still moping like his dog just died. Think he can get through waivers? Probably not, but we might as well try.
- Cordero in the pre-game radio interview said something to the effect of, "I want to stay. Other than this one incident, I've always been treated well. And I want to thank Omar Minaya and Frank Robinson." And... crickets. Ouch. He thanked Omar.
- It wasn't a true save situation, but Hanrahan closed the door on his first win. Congrats. But no more walks with 3-run leads, ok???
- Rivera finished the 8th when Perez ran out of gas. Is he the new set-up man? If so, it's about time as far as I'm concerned. Kid's a groundball machine, doesn't give walks, and doesn't give up homers. What's not to like with the game on the line?
- Loving the new Milledge at-bat music. Let's hope he can do like the song says. Tonight was not a bad start.
- SBF is right. The new hi-def TVs are pretty sweet.
- Casto looked much more natural at first tonight. Still too short to really be a first baseman, but he made at least two plays tonight that Lo Duca doesn't.
- Homer Bailey. What a waste of talent. Our guys will look a lot better if we could get someone to throw us fastballs right over the plate all night.
- Hate to be a killjoy, but 9 hits, 6 singles, and after Homer left it was: 000000 vs. Masset, Affeldt, and Weathers. Just sayin'.
- Separated at birth? Or is Warrick Dunn the latest two-sport athlete?