After a long weekend in which golf courses around the greater Big Bend area were subject to brutalization not witnessed since Jean van de Velde took to the 18th at Carnoustie, I have to say that it is great to be back in the saddle. Well, at least in terms of focusing back on baseball. And today was a bit of a big day around MLB, with the non-waiver trade deadline coming and passing at 4pm today, with nary a move coming from DC. Although there has been a lot of smoke emanating from the nation’s capital in recent weeks regarding possible trades involving the Nationals, Washington sat pat today, with team owner Mark Lerner announcing that, “We’re going all the way with what we’ve got in this room.”
It goes without saying that I am not privy to what possible deals were or were not being discussed by Nats management today and in recent days and weeks. But if I were to entertain the notion that all of the rumored deals had a grain of truth attached to them, then I still have to say that I’m glad the Nationals are closing with the boys who brought them this far. Sure, would it have been nice to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia for a bucket of balls? Naturally. But the likelihood of prying Salty from the Red Sox on the cheap rates somewhere up there with me prying Gisele Bündchen from Tom Brady. Probably not going to happen. In a town where constantly acting, know-it-all nanny staters have come to regulate the flow of water in toilets, it is refreshing to see it recognized that sometimes, doing nothing is the best course of action. This is the team, after all, that has the best record in baseball coming into tonight. Still sounds like pretty goods odds to me.
Well, after serving the past few days as Exhibit 2,563,862,914 in the “There really is no cure for the common cold” case, I see I come back to a Nats’ baseball landscape pockmarked the last three days with all sorts of explosions and implosions. First, let’s start with the good. Scratch that. The great.
Bryce Harper went and crushed his first ball out of the park last night. Lookie below.
Oh, and because everyone in Washington does things in excess, he went and did it again today. Finally, profligacy in DC I can support!
But then there has been the little matter of an imploding pitching staff. While I love the guy’s arm, I can’t say that I’m totally shocked by Henry Rodriguez’s trip to the wild side. The nation’s capital knows the deal. Like electing Marion Barry as your mayor, you know at some point when the lights come on, there is going to be some crazy stuff going down. Stephen Strasburg’s struggles today though? Man, that’s just crazy talk.
Game ball(s): Harper. Did you watch the kid’s home run? Yeah, he is going to be special.
Goat(s): Strasburg. Against the Padres of all teams? I almost hope you have a raging gambling problem that explains this afternoon’s clunker.
Bryce Harper is still only 19: Sean Burnett. Haven’t said much about Sean this season, because quite frankly, he hasn’t been used a whole heck of a lot. But even with sporadic use, he is once again proving to be quite the valuable commodity out of the bullpen, no more importantly than last night when he bailed out H-Rod to preserve the victory.
Current Record: 22-14