Tonight kicks off the last series of the season for the Nationals and I was hopefully optimistic we could take the series against the Philles, preferably with a winning sweep. My memory was convincing me the Nats haved fared relatively well against their phoes, but that recent series at RFK kept stabbing at my conscious. So rather than trust my memory, I decided to actually check the record over the last two seasons. My memory was definitely stuck remembering 2006. Nationals played the Phillies 19 games and won 10 of those. This season, the teams have met 15 times and the Nats have only won 5 of those games. Thinking positively, if they are a team of equal or better skill than last season as the current record seems to bear out, then they should sweep the Phillies to at least get close to the .500ish they held against them the prior season (when the Phillies were also in a play-off hunt and that long-rain-delayed game brought me one of my best fan experiences). So I decided to delve even deeper and look at who the starting pitchers were in the games the Nats won and who started during the losses, then tallied them up. The only starting pitchers who started more winning games than losing were Tony Armas, Billy Traber, Pedro Astacio, and John Lannan. Start Lannan!!111!!! (if only to see the looks on fans faces when he takes the mound). The pitchers with even records are Shawn Hill, Tim Redding, and Joel Hanrahan. What does that potentially mean? Probably nothing! But it was an interesting exercise. I keep waffling on whether or not we can take them and sweep the series or lose it. I mean, there’s the theory of balances and the pendulum has to swing back to the Nats side, right? And these meaningless stats are hopeful:
When WASHINGTON team played as a road team – During a night game – 40-37
When WASHINGTON team Played as road team as a Underdog – During a night game – During the month of September – 42-36
Of course, those were the only two winning stats out of a list of 50 random team stats. So uh, I guess it’s still inconclusive. We’ll just have to watch and see! I’m half tempted to check Stubhub for tickets to Sunday’s game and blow off lighthouse duties so I can see the last game of the season, but my responsibilities win out. Sigh. Sometimes being a grown-up stinks.
P.S. Baseball 101 clips will be on Nats Access TOMORROW when it airs at 4:30 PM on MASN
So I was perusing my wide-ranging topics of RSS feeds this morning. A black and white photography blog I follow that typically doesn’t even have a whisper of sports content took me by surprise.
And please check me into Bellevue where they have a special wing set up for Mets fans. It√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s called the, √¢‚Ç¨≈ìOMG Not Again Wing.√¢‚Ç¨¬ù […] Throw in the towel. Just stop playing. Forfeit the the last 4 games. Too much psychic pain is being inflicted on us mere mortals.
While I do feel bad for *some* seemingly perfectly nice Mets fans (yes, I’ve met a few), WOOOOOOO!!!! As the game appeared to be heading into the tank (which I was ok with – one loss in the series?), I decided to catch up on some book research. I sat on my couch with lighthouse books spread out around me and the game on the tv, in theory in the background. The books slipped to the floor as the Nats stormed back (go Church!) and captivated my full attention. So much for getting some work done! Sweeeep!
I’m going to gloss over the reason Luis Ayala closed in Chief’s stead last night because I have a strong aversion to that topic! Interesting, though. Nerves? Bad food? Eeesh. How do you wash and disinfect a glove? But wow, Ayala plowed right through the Mets’ power batters! Must be the pink-hat power taking hold!
Three more games left in the season to face the Phillies and the Nationals have now beat their record from last year without the players from last year (covered extensively elsewhere, so no need to rehash). I’d like to see newly anointed minor league pitcher of the year, John Lannan, given one more chance to pitch. Against the Phillies. Because I’m that evil.
I try to keep this a family blog, so… Um wow. That looked to be a laughable blowout win against the Mets for the second night in a row. While stressful all night even with a sizable lead, it *really* became unbearable in the bottom of the 9th. I’m speechless trying to find suitable (appropriate) words, so um… that is all. Nats win 10-9
Happy birthday Jay-Berg and congrats on your win (and two hits)!
Ok, ok, I can’t leave well enough alone. I know people sometimes criticize me for being a “homer” (no hanging quotes there, Sam!). Honestly, Bergmann didn’t appear to have his best stuff and had a hard time finding the strike zone. Still, the offense really lifted the team throughout the first 8 innings and the defense did a respectable job (that double play was awesome). But it nearly wasn’t enough to win the game. I never felt comfortable as an observing fan even with a seven run lead. Considering the large lead, I predicted Colome would pitch the 8th and Schroder the 9th and the outcome with those two seemed as gleeful as the dismal expressions on Mets fans’ faces as the cameras panned over them. But then Colome returned to pitch the 9th, and the game was nearly lost there. Then the Chief came in and I swear, none of his pitches met Schneider’s glove without picking up some memento dirt along the way. Rauch came in and I started making penance vows to redeem myself for the pleasure felt during the previous camera pans of the stands. I guess I have to stick to it as Jon Rauch pulled it off and the Nationals ended up winning by one run. Whew.
Now, can Mike Bacsik starting in Shawn Hill’s place (good luck with the surgery) beat a rookie tomorrow for the sweep??
Nationals win their 70th game of the season 13-4 against the hot Mets, matching my prediction of a 70 win season. That probably means they’re going to surpass my prediction, but pride in the team’s accomplishments surpasses pride in my own prognostication, so I’m okay with that. How proud am I that the big RBI hitters tonight were (#13) Robert Fick and Ronnie Belliard?! (and Austin Kearns and Ryan Langerhans, of course)! Saul Rivera managed to squeak out of a bases loaded threat without allowing the Mets to get too close to threatening the Nats’ lead.
Wow, with no more home games, I’m not sure I remember how to do a gamer without photography.
In other news, Shawn Hill has been shut down for the season, slated to have the same nerve impingement surgery that Patterson had, and then surgery on his non-throwing shoulder later. That sure explains his last two out-of-character starts. My fingers are crossed that he also will be in fine form come spring training. Speaking of spring training, my thoughts have already wandered to visualizing trips down to Viera in 5-6 months.
Ah yes, the last baseball game to be played at RFK passed yesterday between bookends of the last Natosphere tailgate in RFK’s Lot 8 (cheers!). Mr. Chatter and I arrived early to make sure we got our usual spot and the lot was relatively empty at the time, but filled in quickly. Many thanks to Joe for the rum that provided the last ingredient for my (now famous?) pitchers of Mojitos! And the bubbly for the post-game mimosas where I could drown my sorrows over not winning a “jersey off their backs” again. I don’t know why I get my hopes up for that stuff (but huge congrats to JW for her Langerhans jersey!)! NBC 4 was roaming Lot 8 just as we were about to pack it in and head into the stadium, so there was a group shot of us on the news last night. Cool stuff! He also interviewed me, but that part was cut – I guess I didn’t show enough emotional angst over losing the tailgating next season. I’m too giddy looking forward to better food options, views of the game from the concourse, cup holders, and all that good stuff! I mean sure, I’ll definitely miss hanging out in my chair sipping beer listening to the pre-game radio show and knowing it’s time to head in when the fireworks go off. Plus, it’s been nice parking in the same general area for every game and having visitors stop by because they know we’re there. Yet, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’m sure we’ll figure something out for next season (I’m telling ya – a boat is going to be the way to go!).
[Nats Win Last Baseball Game at RFK Photoset]
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