So, WordPress was kind enough to inform me after last night’s post that the next musing would be number 100. Despite the fact that even Larry David is impressed, it is still even more humbling to learn on this momentous occasion that the Nationals have come bearing gifts:
Thank goodness. I would have hated to have to continue to waste so much of my rage on just the Nationals’ fifth starter when there are so many more things worthy of vitriol. But before I turn my guns, I can’t let this nugget from Adam Kilgore’s article go by without comment:
Wang will work closely with pitching coach Steve McCatty while pitching as a reliever. Wang has been rushing through his delivery, which causes his arm to drag behind his body and prevents him from getting his hand on top of the ball. The result is a fastball that lacks its trademark sink and instead moves wildly across the plate.
The glitch has made Wang ineffective.
Yeah. And McDonald’s poor customer service is because they rush through everything too. I’d be quite surprised if Wang is still hanging around the bullpen when H-Rod and Storen return from the disabled list.
To finish off this party in style, I have to say that amid all the furor over the Joel Peralta pine tar incident, and whether Davey Johnson broke another one of baseball’s unwritten rules or not by outing him,* something simple seems to have been lost. Shouldn’t Peralta have known that of all managers and all teams who might be aware of his shenanigans, it would be Davey and the Nationals? And perhaps with that light bulb flickering on, you’d lay off your cheating ways for a few games? I don’t know what does and does not go over well in major league clubhouses, but I do know that even Forrest Gump knows that stupid is as stupid does.
*A concept which I have to say is completely anathema to an auditor such as myself.
So, I can’t say I’m a die-hard follower of the MLB draft but I did tune in last night to catch who the Nationals took in the first round. And I found it fascinating to discover that apparently, the Nationals may really belong to a frequent Tommy John Surgery Club. With the 16th pick in the MLB draft, Washington snagged right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito from Harvard-Westlake High in Studio City, California. The good news is that by all accounts, the kid is blessed with overall #1 talent, buoyed by an electric 100 mph fastball. The not-so-good news is that Lucas has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
From Adam Kilgore’s Nationals Journal piece today comes the money quote:
He (Giolito) said he had been assured his UCL strain would most likely not lead to Tommy John surgery, about which, “I was 100 percent relieved.”
Most likely not lead to Tommy John surgery. Sounds about as convincing as when I say a third doughnut most likely won’t lead to any further weight gain.
Oh, and I should probably also throw out there that Lucas may opt for UCLA over the Nationals, especially if the team can’t meet his asking price. Given the recommended slot signing bonuses and overall draft spending cap, there is yet another mine in the way of a successful pairing of pitcher and team. I guess given the position the Nationals were in, these risks were worth taking on. To make it all work, though, the team better be prepared to punch another hole in the Tommy John Surgery Club card, and an expensive one at that.
So Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted yesterday that it sounded to him that Davey Johnson was going to give Roger Bernadina an extended shot at laying claim to left field. I don’t know how this latest chance will go for Roger, but at least we can say that the man is a good listener.
Just hours removed from Davey’s proclamation, Bernadina posted the type of game which has raised Nats fans hopes before, going 2 for 5, with a homer, three RBI and a stolen base in Washington’s 7-3 victory over Cincinnati. And the best thing is that the Nationals got out of the gates quickly, posting all seven of their runs in the first four innings. Though the Reds would threaten multiple times to get back into the game, they came up short when it mattered most, going 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
Game ball(s): Two homers in two nights plus the added sparkles against the Reds nets it for Bernadina.
Goat(s): Mike Leake of the Reds had a brutal start and the Reds couldn’t hit with men in scoring position. But I’m curious as to the fall-out from Bryce Harper’s Bam-Bam moment. I’m guessing it is just the case of a very competitive player having a bit of misfortune in taking out his frustrations at the end of a tough night. Still, Harper is only 19 so it is always worth watching how he handles adversity, which will be most telling of his maturation as a big leaguer.
Bryce Harper is still only 19: Danny Espinosa. I’ve been tough on Danny, and for good reason. So it was nice to see him launch one out of Great American Ball Park. Maybe that bandbox is just the place to get his bat going.
Current Record: 20-12