Thursday, September 08, 2005

Four score and then eight more

If Wednesday night's match-up against the Florida Marlins truly was a must-win game, the Washington Nationals posted the worst such performance since the Battle of Actium. On the bright side, at least Frank Robinson, unlike Mark Antony, actually noticed that his bullpen fleet was set on fire and thus annihilated.

Not much to say about this one, friends. The "kitchen sink" strategy did not envision the garbage disposal getting clogged, I suppose. Truth be told, twelve runs later, I'm running out of metaphors. More performances like this one, and even I won't fall prey to the abusive cycle to which Nationalz recently referred. Something positive? Outside of Rick Short homering, you tell me.

St. Barry's gamer displays what one might consider a mystified response to Robinson's ultra-quick hook of purported starter John Halama. In one night, Robinson has progressed from "Tony La Russa's 1993 experiment with short starting stints" to "trying that experiment while on speed." Halama lasted but two-thirds of an inning tonight. I'm sure he looked like crap, and we're near the end of the line here, so I'm not going to second guess a move I couldn't evaluate with my own eyes.

Speaking of St. Barry and the starting pitching, my criticism of him Wednesday morning was either premature or ill-considered; at any rate, he's providing a fuller picture of our mournful lack of depth now:

But the last two nights -- in which the Nationals started one rookie, Darrell Rasner, and one journeyman, Halama, in the heat of a playoff chase -- have served as a stark reminder of all the pitching the Nationals have traded away or lost to waivers. Zach Day, Tomo Ohka, Claudio Vargas and Sun Woo Kim all struggled with Washington. But in these lean days, when the only healthy body they have in return for those four is outfielder Preston Wilson, having even one back would be considered a bonus.

Now we're a "Jim Bowden didn't need to waive Vargas because he still had an option year" reference away from pretty much the complete tune.


Frank Robinson wants a four-man rotation; on the other hand, Randy St. Claire doesn't.

Robinson has hand, Randy. And he's gonna use it.


We in the so-called Natosphere make light of Jose Guillen's apparent (actual?) instability. I think I called him a misanthrope earlier in the season; if so, I'm sure I meant it in the best way possible. Anyway, we give him a hard time, but underneath all that Crazy, he seems to have Genuinely Good Heart. From Svrluga's notes column (linked above):

Right fielder Jose Guillen said he is prepared to make donations to victims of Hurricane Katrina based on his performance for the rest of the season. He said he would give $1,000 for every home run he hits, $200 per RBI and his entire playoff share to evacuees.

Guillen also stated that he would like to host a meal for evacuees being housed at the D.C. Armony. Recall that he earlier donated money to injured veterans of the Iraqi war.

This also seems like a good time to mention that Jamey Carroll was named the Nats' '05 Roberto Clemente Award nominee. Somehow, he beat out Preston Wilson for the award, which honors community service. Rocket Bill chronicles Carroll's good deeds.

So, on this night in which the Nats played like misfits, let us remember that they are really winners. Well, off the field, at least.

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