Thursday, August 25, 2005
Coup d' toe
Lots of interesting stuff from Rocket Bill:
---> Ryan Church, Official Sacred Cow of the Yudites, signed up for a second tour of duty on the 15-day disabled list. The cause? A "fractured right pinkie toe."
Is that a real injury?
I guess it is, because it must hurt like Hades for Church to miss two-to-three weeks as a result. How do you treat a "fractured right pinkie toe"? Church isolates a problem:
You can't put a cast on it.
Yeah, I guess that would prove difficult . . .
---> The Matt White Era begins on Saturday.
Wait---who is Matt White, and why does he deserve an era named after him? I can't answer the latter question, as I am not an historian. Concerning the former, White is a lefty with an 8-5 record and a nice ERA at New Orleans. He's not currently on the Nats' 40-man roster, but two Ghost Men are, and one of them can easily be traded out to make room.
But just who is Matt White? Why, he's the possessor of a 22.24 career MLB ERA. That mark was compiled in just six outings a couple of years ago, however, so I'm sure it's just the sample size speaking.
The Saturday start is only against the St. Louis Cardinals; hey, no pressure on White to keep it close!
---> Rocket Bill reports that Tony Armas, Jr., is . . . Tony Armas, Jr. That is to say he's hampered by something, and the Nats are hopeful TA2 can overcome it.
It's his shoulder now, which caused him to leave his last start early (but not before being beaten to a bloody pulp). That's good in the sense it's not something borderline embarrassing like dehydration; it's bad in the sense that he's had shoulder problems in the past.
I predict TA2 is good for at least two or three strong innings on Sunday.
---> Big Rocket Bill scoop of the day:
Expect the Nationals to make some moves by the end of the week. Don't be surprised if third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is called up to the big leagues on Sunday.
Brian at the Yudite chat tonight broke the news that Zimmerman played third base for Harrisburg on Thursday. Our resident Farm Commissioner, Brian just yesterday noted that Nats' suits are comfortable with Dutch's progress at shortstop.
Could the plans have changed?
Jim Bowden? Change plans? Never!
---> Finally, a couple of did-ya-knows from Rocket Bill. File 'em under "pathetic stats":
1. Nats' right fielders (mainly, Jose Guillen) have driven in 70 runs this season. That's pretty good. Last year, Expos' right fielders drove in 66 runs for the entire season; that's pretty bad.
2. Gary Bennett is hitting .303 (10-for-33) in his last 12 games. Is that even worth noting? Well, if you're a .247 career hitter with a lifetime 66 OPS+, I guess it is.
The Nats' performance in their loss to the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon, the rubber match of a three-game set the Nats rather needed to win or sweep, was probably most typified by the word "malaise." I'll have to qualify it this way, because I neither saw nor heard the game. But, just judging by the GameTracker---which can be very expressive at times---the Nats had nuthin'. The Yudite chatters who were watching weren't the least bit impressed, either.
¡LIVAN! is mired in a horrible rut---or, shall I say, malaise---and whether that's because of injury or overuse, or injury as a result of overuse, is fairly immaterial right now. He's not right. He wanted to shut it down last month, and we called him impulsive and crazy. Maybe the guy really is hurting. I suppose we've established that by now.
Anyway, St. Barry cuts to the heart of the matter of the Reds series:
[T]he schedule now gets more difficult. The next seven games are against the NL's two best teams, three at home against the St. Louis Cardinals, then a four-game series at Atlanta next week. Those seven games will determine whether the Nationals are even within striking distance when the Phillies arrive for three games the following weekend.
At the 45-game mark, I noted somewhere that the Nats needed to go 27-18 the rest of the way to feel at least somewhat safe for at least a one-game wild card playoff. That would have gotten the guys to 89 wins.
What do the Nats need now? 23-12.
You tell me.