Monday, April 6, 2009

Still Feeling Optimistic?

It was a miserable opener, but what's most depressing is that the things that went wrong today were mostly things you can expect to keep going wrong. Your 2009 Washington Nationals in a nutshell:
  • Dunn drove in four with the bat but gave back two with his glove.
  • John Lannan isn't an Opening Day starter
  • Milledge struck out twice and swung at the first pitch to lead off the game. Not what you want in a lead-off man.
  • Milledge misplayed a triple into an inside-the-park home run (I heard it on the radio, but that's what it sounded like).
  • Our bullpen is awful awful awful. (Bergmann? Mock?)
Some things that I didn't expect:
  • Josh Bard gets to pinch hit while Willingham and Dukes sit?
  • Yeah, it's just one game, but Emilio Bonifacio gave us an up-close reminder that young players can get better sometimes. But the guy we got for him helped us a lot, so it's ok.
But hey--look on the bright side. Felipe Lopez hit two homers in his D'Backs debut. Yeah, that's the same number he hit for us last year. But I know you're really rooting for him, so that should make you feel better.

Well, try this. We released Jose Castillo and Gustavo Chacin. That does make me feel a little better, actually.


Rob B said...

They're shitty again.

Steven said...

Positively scatological, no doubt.

Rob B said...

Well I guess we knew what was to be expected with Dunn and L-Millz. They both didn't get back quick enough on balls that should have been caught. Dolphin Stadium has a huge outfield, but if your job is to play OF you should already be aware of that pre-game.
Lannan just couldn't hit the corners today. Not good for a 'control pitcher'. The ump called a really tight strike zone all day.
I would really like to see Dukes starting in center and NJ moved ahead of Dunn in the lineup

phil dunton said...

I never felt optimistic about this team--they suck.It is going to be a long and painful season. This is just a continuation of last year. Dunn is a butcher in left field; Milledge is no center fielder and certainly not a lead off hitter. I have to admit that this sad sack team fits right into the DC sports scene.

Steven said...

I'm trying to settle on a derisive nickname. I'm down to the Gnats, the Nots, and the Scats. What do you think?

phil dunton said...

You said--Milledge misplayed a triple into an inside-the-park home run (I heard it on the radio, but that's what it sounded like.

If you were watching the game on TV, you would have said--Milledge misplayed a long but catchable fly out into an inside-the-park home run.

An Briosca Mor said...

If you were watching on TV, you might have said "Gee. Maybe Willie Mays might have caught that ball." So Lastings isn't Willie Mays. We already knew that.

Steven said...

I think ABM is becoming a Milledge defender!

phil dunton said...

Lastings Milledge isn't even Nook Logan.

An Briosca Mor said...

I'm a Milledge non-detractor, willing to give him a chance over the long term. In this crowd, I suppose that makes me a Milledge defender. But it's a long season, let's see how it plays out. In his one AB today, Dukes sure looked lost at the plate, didn't he? And Kearns was okay. So how about a Willingham start tomorrow? Let's find out what we've got here.

Anonymous said...

I know it's early and it's hard to really get too positive after a beatdown like that, but, I think the whole team stepped it up huge while at the plate.

I saw alot of them grinding it out and didn't see them chase too many breaking balls out of the zone (except that horrible Dukes strikeout).

Maybe this new hitting coach really is doing some good.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
e poc said...

I'm definitely a Milledge defender, but if you'll take my opinion as credible I'll give it: if he was a better defender, he might have made the play, but he definitely didn't do anything poorly. His jump may have been a touch slow and his route was just the tiniest bit off, but mostly what happened was that he was playing shallow because Bonifacio has no power and the guy hit it over his head. No big deal. Honestly, if that one play is indicative of how much he's improved going back on balls, he might actually be a decent cf this year. He covered about 150 feet in 4 seconds going almost straight back and almost made the play. I'd be quite curious to hear why anyone thinks he played that poorly or should have come up with it.

Also, yeah, Dunn can hit but can't field; we have no pitching; Milledge and Guzman definitely shouldn't be 1-2; we knew all that already. This isn't a winning team. We knew that too. I don't see any reason to be less optimistic today than I was yesterday.

Cheryl Nichols said...

Yes, still feeling optimistic. It is just one game. There were some positive things today and it is a long season. We are not going to win 162 games so there will be lots of losses. Every team will have lots of losses. We can't freak out over each one. Hopefully we'll learn from each loss and make improvements and move on.

I'm not going to give up on my beloved Nats. Michael J. Fox isn't the only incurable optimist!!

Lannan had a bad outing. That was unexpected. He is our best starting pitcher on the roster and deserved to start opening day. It was his first time pitching against Marlins. As Chico mentioned on April 1, "Random, possibly surprising trivia: John Lannan has never faced the Marlins. Never. The Nats and Marlins played 18 times last year, but somehow, the guy who started 31 games for Washington never took a turn in the rotation. Lannan started five games against the Mets, four against the Phillies, three against the Braves. Finally, he faces Florida on April 6."

Doug said...

It's pretty funny how everybody overreacts to the first game of the season...I remember thinking last year that the Nats would be a 500 team if not make a wild card run after Zimmerman's walk off (and I wasn't alone).

Steven said...

Well Doug it was pretty bad.