Does a such of thing as the cosmic law of sports balance exist? The Nats win four in a row, and then get smacked around like Bowden in South Beach. Now, if they had dropped one or two of those four, would this game have been closer? You tell me. . . .
The Nats gave up eighteen runs tonight---in RFK Stadium. Remember, RFK is a pitchers' park. Don't know about the numbers this season, but applying last year's park factors, normalizing for league average . . . the Nats surrendered 4,632 runs tonight. . . .
Pedro Astacio pitched five strong---really strong---innings on Monday. I'd get excited, but . . . you know. It's Pedro Astacio, little brother of Steve Ontiveros, brother-in-law of Butch Henry. They all run in the same circles . . . doctors offices, MRI machines, . . .
This goes against every GW Pride instinct I possess, but I'm thinking we've seen the best of Mike O'Connor. If you're laying odds on whether he'll finish below a five ERA, I'm not sure I want to touch that action. . . .
Keep in mind, of course, that I don't bet anyway. . . .
Well, I don't bet unless it involves whether the Nats' stolen base rate will be out of sight of league average, at any rate. . . .
A question that's been raised of late is what happens if Soriano is traded prior to the All-Star Game? Do the Nats still get a representative, or is that it? I don't actually know the answer to the question, although I'm assuming the Nats would be allowed a freebie, since every team must be represented, come hell or high water. See, e.g., Mark Redman. . . .
Not that it actually would happen (Soriano being dealt in the next week), but if it did, I'd imagine the token Nat would be . . . whom? Most likely, it would be Jose Vidro or---try not to laugh---Royce Clayton. (The NL has only two second basemen and two shortstops on its roster right now.) . . .
Amazing Damian Jackson fact: Even though it seems like the guy's everywhere, playing sort of regularly and doing so pretty badly unless he's miraculously saving himself from misplays in center or launching totally random homers, he's actually had only ninety-six at-bats. Seems impossible for me to believe, but it's true (coming into Wednesday's game). . . .
Speaking of Jackson, he and Marlon Anderson are on pace to receive about 400 at-bats between them. Tell me if that's progress. . . .
Speaking of Anderson, he had one of those out-of-body games while starting in center on Sunday. (This on the heels of a two-homer game recently.) Too bad he tweaked something or other legging out a triple. . . .
Did you know that, if we were to throw out Anderson's putrid April, the guy's slugging close to .550? It's true. And it's got nothing at all to do with the pinch-hitter extravaganza stuff from the offseason; he's batting .237 with one extra-base hit in the pinch. Basically, it's come from receiving an opportunity to play a little bit. . . .
I wouldn't give Anderson another 122 at-bats in the second half (though I did predict 200-250 at-bats during the winter), but he hasn't been awful. Rather, he's been pretty decent. . . .
God love Congress. It's one of the few places in the world where Hey, do me a solid + Not too subtle intimidation = Fun! So now the idea is to ask the FCC to make Comcast's proposed merger with some other company contingent on Comcast entering binding arbitration to settle the MASN dispute. Awesome! The company that's the subject of Comcast's merger? Adelphia, f/k/a Dirty Greeks. Double-awesome! . . .
Poor Bergmann. Poor Rivera. Poor Stanton (I guess). On nights like this, I'd imagine you miss a guy like John Wetteland, who could take your mind off of humiliation by doing helpful things like cracking jokes and trashing the bullpen area.