Saturday, May 07, 2005

Exceeding expectations

So goes the season, so goes the West Coast swing, so goes last night

The Nats beat the crunk out of the Giants last night, 9-3, to make it three out of four on the current trip out west. To think that I feared this road trip could be our Waterloo. Me of little faith.

I would say that the Nats are a fun team to watch; however, while it may be true as an expression, as a literal truth it of course has scant applicability to me. Moreover, while I listen faithfully, I also chat a bit, too, and I seem to recall more about Pat O'Brien's personal troubles than last night's game.

Nevertheless, I know two things about these guys:

1) they are tough; and,
2) they adapt to change.

The two are interrelated though somewhat at odds, of course. For instance, the team is "tough," despite injuries depleting core players. As Mark Zuckerman's gamer in the WashTimes canvasses:

With reliever Joey Eischen and left fielder Terrmel Sledge already landing on the disabled list this week, the Nationals were forced to finish last night's game without the services of Jose Vidro (ankle) and Jose Guillen (elbow) -- the heart and soul of their lineup. [. . . ] With the Nationals' clubhouse now looking more like a M*A*S*H unit, it's a wonder manager Frank Robinson has been able to find nine healthy bodies to pencil into his lineup. Yet the more they get beat up, the more resolve the Nationals seem to show and the more unlikely heroes
seem to emerge.


I hope I don't sound Boswellian here, but this team is as competitively hardened as it is physically brittle.

And, hey, if the pitcher has a stinky night---

Routinely falling behind hitters, Ohka threw first-pitch balls to 13 of the 19 batters he faced. By the time he departed, he had thrown more balls (36) than strikes (35), plenty of those pitches coming during a torturous second inning in which the Giants' first four hitters reached base, two of them scoring.

---the Nats will simply adapt and thrive. Last night, it was Big Jon Rauch doing the heavy lifting. Rauch was somewhat shaky, but he stuck in there and---with the aid of some timely offense late---allowed Washington to win a game that it, by type, it shouldn't have.

I know that this isn't my most substantive post, but I have to relate that five weeks' observations of this team have reinforced something:

If they are not an easy team for me to watch (literally), they are certainly a wonderful team to appreciate.

Comments:
Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)
 
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