Tagged: Nationals Park

Bombs Bursting in Air

At first, I thought it was a bit strange that I was enjoying my two for one Egg McMuffins at the start of a Nationals game.  Now that I’ve woken up from a post-game nap and it is still not even 5 o’clock, all I have to say is God bless 11am starts and God bless America!

Twenty minutes into today’s game against the San Francisco Giants, while I was still flying high on the cheesy goodness of the Egg McMuffins, I wasn’t feeling as high on the Nats chances as they quickly fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first.  But then the bombs started flying out of Nationals Park and Edwin Jackson settled down, and the Nats roared to a 9-4 victory.  Now, the only thing left to settle on this glorious day is whether I can double-down on the nap.  Dare I?

Game ball(s):  Ryan Zimmerman.  Leaving everyone to wonder why he didn’t take the cortisone shot on Opening Day, Ryan went 2 for 5 with a homer and 3 RBIs and his third inning double missed being a home run by this much (imagine really tiny font).

Goat(s):  Madison Bumgarner and I.  After Bumgarner’s dominant one-hit shutout last time out, I have to confess that for a moment I thought he was in line for an easy win for my fantasy team.  The shower cannot be hot enough!

Bryce Harper is still only 19:  Bryce Harper.  Now that baseball has taken care of Chipper Jones, it is time to re-double the efforts to send Bryce to Kansas City.  You can help send the kid to the All-Star game by voting here.

Current Record:  47-32

The Road Ahead

Tonight, the Nationals begin a nine-game road trip that will take them to Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Miami.  Sitting a game and half back of Atlanta, I can’t help but feel that this string of games away from Nationals Park will be quite telling of the team’s prospects for taking the NL East crown.  Even after they return home, they still have to finish their 15 straight games against NL East foes, squaring off against Atlanta (again) and New York.  However, for a squad that has been decidedly better at home (15-8) than on the road (9-9), the Nats are going to have to first have to show that they can win big games on the road.  Anything less than five wins has to be seen as a harbinger of tougher days ahead in the race to the top of the division.

Hail, Hail Victory

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It may have taken
over five hours. And yeah, they had to endure two rain delays, including one
that dropped hail (yes, hail) on the field at Nationals Park. But it was all
worth it, as the Washington Nationals found their way into the victory column
for the first time this season, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-3 this afternoon.

Watching the
Nationals today, it is refreshing to see a team that is much sounder on defense
(and capable of making more plays), and able to gut out tough innings with the
bullpen. After tying the Pirates (argh, we’re terrible) with the most errors in
baseball last season (an absurd 127), two consecutive error-free games to start
the season is a relative treat to watch.

One thing I’m
interested in going forward is how the Nationals will handle the ninth inning.
Today, manager Jim Riggleman went with the left-hander, Sean Burnett, to get
the last out in the bottom of the 8th (lefty Freddie Freeman was up) and to
close out the ninth. Drew Storen, the once, and still presumed future closer,
was used to get two outs in the eight, and in the process, managed to cough up
a home run to Alex Gonzalez. As I said in my season preview, it is critical for
the franchise’s future that the Nationals get Storen right and back to nailing
down games at the end. For now, it remains a work in progress.

So, first things
first: The Nationals go for the series win tomorrow!

Game 2 Natties

Game Ball: Rick Ankiel. We got the better of the 2
true outcomes today. And a tip of the cap to Jim Riggleman for calling a
suicide squeeze with Ankiel the at-bat after he hits a home run. Crafty call
leading to a nice insurance run.

Goat: Tommy Hanson, Braves. The young ace
didn’t locate his pitches well and the results showed. And yes, Chad Gaudin, I
took note that you somehow continue to be employed based on illusory stuff that
never translates to quality results (career ERA of 4.61/career xFIP of 4.64).
Nice first pitch home run surrendered to Dan Uggla.

Bryce Harper is a ways off: Tyler Clippard, throwing gas, getting 5
big outs in the middle innings. 

Current Record: 1-1