free html hit counter 05-05-10 Sinko de Mayo « MissChatter : The Chatter Files

05-05-10 Sinko de Mayo

Posted on May 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

[ Photoset ] Cinco de Mayo ended with a 10th inning loss to the Braves after shaky starting pitching from Luis Atilano and missed opportunities. The bright spots featured an Ian Desmond solo home run and Josh Willingham pinch hit two-run single. My jaw dropped when Pudge Rodriguez perfectly executed a hit and run, scoring Adam Kennedy from 2nd. The Nationals and Braves entered the top of the 9th tied 6-6 and broke away from the usual “Clip ‘N Save” combo of Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps, instead choosing Capps to contain the tie. He did with a perfect 9th, but gave up the winning run in his second inning of work in the 10th, sealing the 7-6 loss. I’m not sure that’s how I would have managed that, but of course that’s easy to say from my seat in the stands.

Through the 2nd inning, Atilano had thrown more balls than strikes, showing poor command. Maybe he had a case of the jitters due to his parents being in the park? I’m guessing based on the scoreboard later in the game. He did settle a bit as far as his b/k ratio, but the end result wasn’t pretty. Still, fans cheered when Riggleman gave him the hook. Is that one of those unwritten baseball rules? Because it did seem like cheers, not jeers of relief that he was leaving the mound. I understand being polite, but cheering after the starter gave up 6 runs in less than 6 innings seems a little off.

The view of that Pudge/Kennedy hit ‘n run was kind of funny through the narrow field of my camera viewfinder. I saw Kennedy take off and assumed he was stealing until I saw the ball and Pudge’s head go by. And wow, it worked! I had high hopes for this game and despite still being early in the season, kept my eyes on the Phillies game on the out of town scoreboard. See if the Nats had won and the Phillies had lost… well nevermind, it didn’t work out that way and it is still early.

Despite the best hitters due to enter the batter’s box in the bottom of the 9th (Zimmerman, Dunn, Rodriguez), was anyone sure the Nats would score a walk-off there? No, therefore, I would still have brought in Clippard to hold the tie and then bring in Capps for the 10th (if necessary). Without Clip ‘N Save, the win didn’t happen, or maybe I’m just stuck one what’s been a winning combination so far. I understand still wanting your closer to hold the tie in the 9th for just that scenario. Unfortunately, Matt Capps lost his perfect record with last night’s loss. I guess it had to happen sometime.

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