Hey, this Washington Nationals Club is Good. I haven't paid much attention to them before this series. I must say, their pitching has been outstanding thus far.
Before tonight's game, they found themselves statistically first in the National League in team ERA (2.20), strikeouts (169), Team Shutouts (3), Saves (8), Earned Runs allowed (43), HR/9 (0.2), SO/9 (8.6). Though their hitting isn’t bad, it’s the pitching that has paced this team to an NL best 14-5 start. Paced by starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg (2-0. 1.08), Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 1.52), Ross Detwiler (2-0, 0.56), Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.16) and Jordan Zimmerman (1-1, 1.33). All five starters are off and running this April.
Additionally, going into tonight's game, the Washington club was tied with the Phils and Dodgers for the least amount of errors (10) committed.
The stellar pitching can’t keep up. Their numbers are off the charts, but so far, the Nats are the story of the National League. What many followers of the game are saying is that they are off to this start due to easy scheduling, (something we have heard quite a bit of around these parts). The Nats have played the Cubs (3), Mets (3), Padres (3), Reds (4), Astros (4) and Marlins (2). Not all slouches, that's for sure and as so many are quick to forget, good teams beat up on the lessor competition. It'll be exciting to see the Nationals competing deep into the season. They'll have their hands full in the tough N.L. East.
Washington outfielder Jayson Werth will always be a favorite of mine. His Dodger contributions in 2004 will not be forgotten and Jayson was a big part of that. One of DePodesta's best acquisitions during his short tenure as Dodger G.M. I'll never forget in San Francisco when Werth caught the last out in a crucial pennant stretch victory there, and how he turned and waived good bye to the Gint faithful that had been heckling him all game following the catch. We should have never released that guy.
During tonight's game, I couldn't help but notice this shot on television.
Do you spot the anomaly? What's wrong with this picture? Yeah, who can miss that ugly blemish on the right side of the pitcure?
Why in the world would a fool in a Giants cap show up at a Dodgers/Nationals game? I simply don't get it. I admit that I attend my fair share of Giants games here in San Francisco. Even going sometimes when the Dodgers aren't in town. On those days, I wouldn't dream of showing up with a Dodgers cap on. I'd simply be asking for a night of discomfort and constant badgering. This guy must have one of those types of personalities that loves confrontation.
Tonight's 3-2 Dodger victory was a relief when you consider that the bullpen had taken the loss in two consecutive 9th inning finishes against a fine Atlanta team. As much as many have been critical of Javy Guerra lately, who can complain about the grit and courage of that young man? He took a line drive off the face and he continued on. That was quite amazing regardless of the outcome. Guerra finished the inning with Bud Selig's name permanently imprinted on his right cheek and continued to give it his all. I sincerely hope that fans will cut him some slack. Guerra earned a purple heart for that performance alone.
A few final observations. That foul ball down the right field line hit by Washington's Danny Espinosa with one out in the ninth inning was literally 1 inch from hitting the foul pole to tie it up. Perhaps the fans were instrumental in keeping it from hitting the pole. Chalk up a win the the fans down the right field line.
I wouldn't be surprised if Chad Tracy has a broken wrist. Jansen's 96 MPH fastball hit him flush on the bone. The sound of it was painful. I hope to be wrong, but it didn't look good for Chad.
One last point. Vin Scully refused to criticize home plate umpire Angel Hernandez's call at the plate in the 8th inning when Tony Gwynn was ruled out at the plate, and Vin had it right. There was no way that Hernandez could see Gwynn's hand slip onto the plate before Jesus Flores' tag was applied. Hernandez's angle was screened and he only saw an awesome blockage of the plate. Gwynn may have been safe, but it is understandable how Angel Hernandez could miss that call.
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