Sunday, August 28, 2005

White plight

Alright, so this one on Saturday didn't go quite as planned. St. Louis starter Jason Marquis, a late replacement for Mark Mulder, pitched a gem. Only base knocks by Marlon Byrd---who was just up from Triple-A---and Cristian Guzman---who doesn't ever hit---separated Marquis from a perfect game. Late in the game, tiny Cards' shortstop David Eckstein squared to bunt, pulled back, and then shot a homer over the left field fence. It was that kind of day . . .

. . . meh, I hate that expression---"that kind of day." Here, it's just a euphemism for "the Nats done got spanked." And they did, 6-0.

It was that kind of day for our White knight, Matt White. He looked fine the first time through the Cards' order, but a reasonable observer still might have been skeptical of the success, and MikeMidd nailed it at the Yudite chat: White got hammered the second time through the order. White surrendered three runs in the third inning, another in the fourth, and he was gonzo.

Literally gonzo, as it turned out; true to management's word to White prior to the game, he was sent back to New Orleans. The Nats purchased the contract of reliever Jason Bergmann to replace White.

[A word, for a moment, on Bergmann: for me, obviously, all Nats' minor leaguers are a bunch of stat lines. That includes Danny Rueckel, whose pitching I've tracked all season long and of whom I nevertheless consider myself a fan. But, among the non-Rueckel stat lines I noticed, Bergmann's was the one whose impressed me the most. I was happy for him when he got the call from Harrisburg to New Orleans, and I'm certainly wishing him the best when he makes his big league debut. Clearly, I'm in favor of whatever path to the majors is straightest for Baby Ruckles, but you'll bet I'll root on Bergmann the first time and every subsequent time he gets the ball.]

Okay, so it wasn't a "Mauro Gozzo-like" performance from Matt White; it was more of a "Scott Taylor-like" performance, I suppose. For those scoring at home, Taylor made three career starts, all between July 28 and August 7, 1995, for a Texas team that finished third in the AL West, just 4.5 games back. Taylor lost his debut (6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 HR) to the Red Sox. All told, Taylor pitched 15.2 innings for the Rangers, surrendering 25 hits and six homers, to the tune of a 9.39 ERA.

Taylor was actually credited with the victory in one of those games (he went 1-2), but truth be told: if it's him or Matt White, I'll take our White knight. He's a Nat, after all. Or at least he was.

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