First CB Bucknor has a terrible game behind the plate for the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves game to start the week. One could say he’s had a terrible career behind the plate. It’s often that the MLB front office will use the excuse that "anyone could have a bad day." But a couple days later and CB is back to calling balls and strikes for the Rays and Astros where CB became the story yet again for his bad calls. What’s frustrating as a fan is that there is no recourse for us when an umpire ruins a game. When we buy a ticket the teams are announced, the starting pitcher is usually known, and the lineups are given a couple hours before the game. But no one looks to see who the home plate umpire is going to be. That’s listed in the box score maybe but MLB or ESPN aren’t going out of there way to let you know who the officiating crew is pregame. As a fan the officiating crew should make no difference because they’re all supposed to be the ones who get it right. So we can walk with our money if the team stinks or the day’s pitcher is awful, or we want to protest the games because we don’t like a trade that the GM made. But there’s no recourse for us, the fan, when MLB continuously puts in a no good umpire. Just let the computers call balls and strikes. MLB can talk all they want about giving tools to make the umpires better, but if they’re still going to get obvious stuff continuously wrong then it’s time to give it over to the geeks.
But I digress and the week gets worse. Daniel Murphey actually went three games last week without a hit and actually sat for a game in Atlanta which is devastating for the Nats chances. On Tuesday the Nat’s lost their closer when Treinen couldn’t lock down a save opportunity. The lower body injuries continued to plague the team as Werth had to come out of Wednesday’s game due to a groin injury. On Thursday Kelley gave up a hit and a walk in the 9th before narrowly securing the Save in a tight 1-Run game. On Friday the Nats opened up a series with the Mets (who are already phoning in excuses that the team has a lot of injuries). In the 7th inning Tanner Roark gave up a hit to Pitcher Zack Wheeler, who came in as an offensive replacement because of a short bench, and then Roark gave up two more walks before he was pulled. That Nats ended up taking the game into extras and Trea Turner had to win the game with a go ahead walk, of all things. On Saturday and Sunday an overworked Shawn Kelley had to sit for Koda Glover to come on for the Save. They might as well just make Glover the closer meaning the Nats would have had to replace two Closers in the same week. Also, Trea Turner has now ground into 3 double plays, (one last week) meanwhile the rest of his career before now he only grounded into 1 double play.
Despite this terrible week, the Nats went 6-0. Two sweeps and no loses. They did all this on the road against division foes. I could have brought up Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman his 6 Home Runs last week while Murphy hits a towering Grand Slam to open up the first inning on Sunday. I could talk about Gio taking a No-no into the 6th inning or Stephen Strasburg putting up 10 K’s. I could tell you how the Nats have actually worked out their bullpen whoas of just a few day ago or how the lineup is doing so well that Dusty Baker feels comfortable putting Zimm in the Cleanup position to create a true L/R/L/R lineup. I could have told you what a Wonderful, Awesome, Really good week it has been. But what fun is that?
Game Highlights – I’m not going to do a short breakdown of each game today. I’m actually in Disney right now so I’m going to forgo this for a couple extra minutes resting. Maybe I’ll come back and edic this part for posterity. As far as looking ahead I have to question who schedules an 8PM Sunday night game before a team has to travel out west? Probably a TV thing or they let CB Buckner screw up schedules in the off season. Colorado should be fun for some offence and then Friday at home against the division rival Mets again.