Thursday, June 24, 2010

A bit of a slide

A lot has happened in Natstown since my last post. I went to the park for the Strasburg game against the White Sox last Friday. It was a great atmosphere. My wife and I made the drive in from Virginia in 1:20. We were able to make the drive home in 1:01. We watched Strasburg strike out 10 and get minimal run support for the no decision. Similar to last night where Strasburg struck out 9, got zero run support, and took his first career loss.

In other news, some good friends of mine just signed for an apartment within walking distance of the Center Field gate of Nats Park. I always thought it would be cool to live that close to a ballpark. In fact, I often joke to my wife that I will retire to a ballpark condo.

On the field the Nats bats are cold, cold, cold. I'm not gonna look it up, but I think it was something like 11 runs during the 6 game homestand. Not good. Especially when 3 of the games were against the Royals. The Nationals are now 3-7 over their last ten games and now 7 games below .500 with yesterday marking their 40th loss. Hopefully, they will rebound and set themselves up for a strong second half.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

All over the map

Phew. What a game. I watched the first two innings at a friend's house with our two extended families. Then we headed about 400 yards down the road to my parents house to catch innings 3,4,5, & 6 where Strasburg was clearly having trouble with his footing. Inning 6 wrapped up, where Storen performed beautifully to hold the game at 6-1, on my radio on the way home. I caught the 7th inning on the trusty Samsung back home. The 8th was back to the radio for a trip to the store. And I caught the 9th back on the Samsung at home. Whirlwind. With all that travel, I am guessing that I "missed" 2 or 3 outs of the entire game. I'm pretty impressed with that. As far as the game goes, I'm gonna let it sink in a little. I liked Dibble's reference that the bullpen was forming dinner plans in Detroit while Batista decided to blow up and Clippard had to come into the game. I was glad to see Strasburg get his second win. I'd say 8K's, 2 hits, 1 ER, and a W is a hell of a "bad start". His walk total of 5 was way too high, but his footing was clearly bothering him. One of the most impressive things about Strasburg so far is his ability to battle back from adversity be it home runs given up or a hole in his landing zone.
Strasburg takes the mound at 1:05 today. It's a good thing too because the Nats are in a slide against one of the worst teams in the American League. Well, aside from the Orioles that is. I have told a couple of peoople that they won't likely get the same "effect" from the game today because it's not at Nationals Park, and there isn't the mystery of the unknown. It will still be really exciting to see if Stras can continue to dominate the way he did in his debut, but it wouldn't be fair to expect a duplication of what he pulled off against the Pirates on the 8th.

I pretty much missed both of the last two games. Kearns went off on Friday night, and last night it was pretty much over before it began. The Indians top prospect, Carlos Santana, hit his first career home run. That's about all I needed to hear from sports radio, my phone, and Baseball tonight which I did catch last night at midnight.

Zimmerman is going to DH today, according to Mark Zuckerman. I'd rather have his gold glove in the field, but I'm sure a rest is needed and I'll take his bat if nothing else. Go Nats.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Change of plans

My plans got flipped upside down last night. I didn't get out of work until later than expected and by the time I got home I didn't have the energy to watch the game on DVR. I saw on my phone that the Nats got their first series sweep of the season. I've got the game on now, and will fast foreward to key parts.

I would like to point out that I'm seeing more Nats gear around my town. I've seen a lot of people casually wearing their curly W hats. I even saw two young ladies walking to their car yesterday afternoon and both were wearing Nationals jerseys (no name on the back variety).

I did get home in time last night to see Strasburg do the Top 10 list on Letterman. It was good to see the team get some national exposure on the Late Show. The list itself was a little hokey, but there was a sense of pride watching Strasburg appear on the show.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

DVR tonight, Ian Desmond

I'm working late tonight so I set the DVR for the Nats game tonight. I have got to be in a very small group of people who are recording this game. It's on MASN2 again with horrible quality. Yankees @ Baltimore keep getting the nod on MASN1. The quality on MASN2 is horrible. Oh well. When I get home from work I will probably catch an NBA finals update and then hit the DVR to see what is going on in Natstown. I had an idea on my jog today to do a breakdown over a period of time on certain players. It may become a regular thing on this blog. We will see. I got the idea to start with Ian Desmond because I was watching last night and it looked like he was using a different batting stance than he usually uses. I am not 100% sure if this is the case, but it just looked funny to me. I exchanged a few texts with a buddy of mine about how Cal Ripken used to switch his stance all the time. Many times he looked pretty rediculous, but hey, whatever works. So that's my update for today. I will miss the game live but hope to catch some on review via my DVR late night. Have a good one. Let's go series sweep.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What a night

What can I say about last night's Strasburg game that hasn't already been said? I won't even try. Today has been great. My mood has been excellent all day. One of my first thoughts early this morning is that the day feels like a Monday morning after a big Redskins victory. I've had a close friend who has been very critical of the Nats over the past few years make the change and say he's a Nats fan. The National media has been all over the Strasburg game, and the local media all of a sudden feels like they want to talk Nats and Strasburg. I guess that's part of the territory.

I asked a group of friends on email earlier today that I wonder if many of these new fans even know that there is a game tonight as well? As I'm typing right now, they are showing a "crowd shot" of Nationals Park at first pitch. It's overcast, and it looks like "fan base" night. "Fan Base" nights are what I call the nights that only the season ticket holders show up.

The next two starts for Strasburg look to be this Sunday in Cleveland, and then 5 days after that for his 2nd home start on the 18th against the White Sox. I will probably get tickets for the 18th.

A couple of random facts I've heard about Strasburg and the game last night. MASN2 drew a 7.1 local rating. Apparantly that is a better rating than any Capitals game this entire season including post season except for one. Also, the Nats increased revenue by $1.5million for his start. Strasburg set a franchise record for K's with 14. The previous record was 13 by John Patterson.

Things I noticed. It looked like Strasburg was throwing two different curve balls last night. He threw the big nasty hook, but then also seemed to be throwing more of a biter. Also, upon a second (and third and fourth) viewing of the 7th inning, I loved Dibble's reaction/call to the final strike. I can't do it justice in type, but he basically just yelled in excitement. And finally, my favorite pitch of the night was probably his 2nd to last pitch that he threw. It was that big nasty hook and all in one motion it looked like Pudge was so thrilled with the pitch that he caught the ball and side arm slinged it back to the mound all in one "hell yeah" motion.

All in all it was a great night. I will always remember watching this game with my wife and daughter. I will also remember getting multiple text messages from friends asking "what channel is the game on"? Verizon 001. Comcast 844. I sent that response many times.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Last Friday

I was at Nationals Park on Friday for their victory over the Reds. Yes, this was one of the potential Strasburg games. What a hot night. I did a lot more socializing at this game than I usually do, but I had a really good time. I split time between sections 101 and 309. I was pleasantly suprised with the seats in 309. I saw a lot of people keeping score. One loudmouth wanted to ruin the whole thing, but overall the atmosphere was excellent up there. Nice value seats with a great view. We stayed after the game and caught the Friday Night fireworks. They weren't as big as I imagined but it was a good time. The heat dominated the night as it never seemed to cool down. By the late innings you could smell the lovely Anacostia river steaming from section 101. Strasburg debuts day after the selection of Bryce Harper #1 overall in the 2010 1st year player draft. The future is bright.