Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

I won't say this is moving along ...

... because it's get-away day, and we don't do that kind of thing, because it's a jinx and all that. (Did anyone notice the Washburn-Joe Blanton game between Seattle and Oakland yesterday? Two complete games. Jose Guillen hit one of two solo homers off Blanton for a 2-0 Seattle win that took -- 1 hour, 47 minutes.)

So we're entering the bottom of the fifth. Shawn Hill needed 42 pitches to get through the first four innings. The game is not yet an hour old. Hill's sinker is working. I just told someone here that I am falling in love with that pitch. Can you fall in love with a pitch? If you can, I am. It can start in on the hands and then just catch the inside part of the plate, making it all but unhittable. He has allowed two fly balls thus far, and two singles, and the Nationals just turned their second 4-5-3 double play against Ryan Howard in a week, all because Ryan Zimmerman could be Cal Ripken Jr., the way he jumps so gracefully.

The other side: Cole Hamels. Oh, for a young pitcher like this in your organization. Yes, he allowed a solo homer to Dmitri Young. Yes, Austin Kearns was about two feet shy of another one. But he's still only allowed one run through five innings, and all his pitches are above average. Curveball is devastating at times.

Hill just allowed his third single. One out in the bottom of the fifth, Nationals 1, Phillies 0.

And somewhere, far away, Tony Armas Jr. is stepping off the rubber, taking a deep breath, checking the runner, and stepping off again.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 26, 2007; 3:58 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hamels and Hill on the hill
Next: Forgot to mention ...

Comments

Did you see Armas' line today? Five innings, one run, 113 pitches!?

Posted by: Chris | April 26, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"And somewhere, far away, Tony Armas Jr. is stepping off the rubber, taking a deep breath, checking the runner, and stepping off again."

That is an instant classic Barry!

Chris, that line for Armas is crazy. Only he could perform such a feat!


Posted by: Eric | April 26, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Imagine what we could do with error-free baseball and an outing like Hill seems to have every start... and some hits (or bases-loaded walks).

RE: Armas, the best reason to have Armas on your team is that you sell more concessions at a four hour game.

Posted by: Wigi | April 26, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"the best reason to have Armas on your team is that you sell more concessions at a four hour game."

If you can even find the concessions!!!11!!!11!!!1!LernersRcheep!!11!

Posted by: Obvious Retort | April 26, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

... it's the middle of the seventh, so I thought I'd take a stretch from ... work. Today's game marks exactly 15% of the 162-game season. Up until now, we've been riding a lot on the notion that "it's early", "have patience", "wait til we get hot", etc.

... well 15% of the year is gone; Johnny patt has yet to win or even have a decent outing; one Ryan out of two is hitting; the top eight positions have an average of .262, and right now we're pinning more hopes than we should on Guzman's return.

... from where I sit, it doesn't look real good. All along, I've tried to be placated by "this is our building year, and we'll lose a lot of games", but today, even tho' my Canuck home boy Shawn is doing it again, I'm down in the dumps.

... I want more wins, and I want 'em now.

Posted by: david f watts | April 26, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"If you can even find the concessions!!!11!!!11!!!1!LernersRcheep!!11!"

More time to find them...

Plus, if you go at the top of the inning, you can be sure that you wom't miss more than a batter or two.

Posted by: Wigi | April 26, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Bottom of the 8th and Shawn Hill is still IN?!? Only 90 pitches?!?
Can I actually exhale for once?

Posted by: NatsNut | April 26, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Into the ninth inning, ahead by three... Leave Hill in, or go to your closer?

If Manny wasn't bald, he'd be grey.

Posted by: What to do?? | April 26, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

They put the Chief in, and I'd better start holding my breath again.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 26, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

If this outing isn't a gem, it's at least a cubic zirconia. 4H (three singles), 1BB, 1HBP, only 5 baserunners in 8 IP (and 2 double-play balls to boot).

And they're keeping him out there for the chance at the complete game, so we don't have to worry about Cordero coughing this one up.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 26, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Scratch that. Another BB, and in comes the Chief. Uh oh.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 26, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Dang it, why couldn't Hill have struck Victorino out? Now it's heart-attack time...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 26, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Phillies TV feed just showed a stat that shows four of the bottom five pitchers in strike percentage are Nats... Cordero being one of them.

Posted by: Wigi | April 26, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

So Fick misses Howard's liner. The Phillies' announcers on XM said it should have been caught.

Some defensive substitution.

Church takes a home run away from Utley and Burrell takes Chad to the track.

What a nightmare?

Posted by: C'ville Nat | April 26, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

CHAD CORDERO YOU STOP THIS NONSENSE RIGHT THIS MINUTE, YOUNG MAN. YOU GET UP THERE AND END THIS GAME, NOW!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 26, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Um - this is scary!!

Anyone got a defibrillator?

Posted by: DE | April 26, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Way to go NatsNut...all the Chief needed was some prodding!

Posted by: DE | April 26, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Thats the way to do it Chief. Another Curly W. I was guessing it would take the Nats 40 games to get to 10 wins. Maybe it'll only be 30!

Posted by: the cheat | April 26, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Would you call that a save?

I would... the same way you call catching a piece of dropped, antique china at your showlaces a save.

Posted by: Wigi | April 26, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Phew!

Guess we can store away the defib for another game...

Now if only Patterson could pitch like that again...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 26, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Two warning track shots and a line drive double - yikes! At least, he was painting the corners at 93, and he went after Helms for the last out.

Posted by: Whoa | April 26, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Barry, forget falling in love with Hill's sinker.

I've fallen in love with Shawn Hill.

Does anyone have a forwarding address? I want to send Shawn a Vermont Teddy Bear and a dozen long-stemmed roses.

Posted by: Brian | April 26, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Brian: Don't forget the chocolates! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | April 26, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Me, too. I was listening to the radio and saying, "OMG I love you, Shawn Hill."

---

Barry, forget falling in love with Hill's sinker.

I've fallen in love with Shawn Hill.

Does anyone have a forwarding address? I want to send Shawn a Vermont Teddy Bear and a dozen long-stemmed roses.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 26, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Forget the address, does anyone have a phone number?

Posted by: My love for Shawn Hill is practically boundless | April 26, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut for pitching coach!

Posted by: cmc in Iowa | April 26, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

... it's over and it's a win. That's one; I want a lot more. Thank God for Shawn Hill. (God is a Canadian anyway.)

... anyone care to explain to this old Canuck curmudgeon, what the hell is a Vermont Teddy Bear?

Posted by: david f watts | April 26, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

According to the post-game radio talk show, Hill's birthday is this Saturday. Gift ideas welcome ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 26, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

To: David F Watts
From: Wigi
RE: Vermont Teddy Bear

A Vermont Teddy Bear is what you send your girlfriend on the Tuesday before your anniversary when your buddies call and invite you on a three-day fishing trip this weekend.

(which is just one of their possible uses... a very versatile gift)

It is a mail-order/internet company that sends overpriced, adorable teddy bears to your family and friends as gifts. It is the Internet version of flowers and candy.

Posted by: Wigi | April 26, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Customizeable teddy bears. awesome gifts. don't leave home without it.

http://www.vermonteddybear.com/

Posted by: SF fan | April 26, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree that losing Ramon Ortiz does hurt the most. Personalities in the clubhouse aside, I also miss Livan Hernandez' reliability. It would be a much better team if they both were still on the roster. Hill, Livan, Ortiz, Patterson and Simontacchi would be a pretty good starting rotation.

Posted by: randycop39 | April 27, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Talking of game speed, it's worth noting that a six-run game -- in which six pitchers were used -- managed to get played in under two and a half hours.

MLB has got to do something about this stepping up, stepping down, stepping in, stepping out, scratching self, and other Hargrovian tactics. Pitchers who habitually delay games should get automatic ball calls. Batters who habitually delay games should get automatic strike calls. (Managers who habitually delay games with pitching changes are probably best dealt with in another rant.)

Kudos to Hill, Hamels, et al. for spinning a tight, exciting contest.

Posted by: Hendo | April 27, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I think in the teens, '20s, and '30s the strike zone was armpits to knees rather than bottom of the fly to the knees. Let's get back to that and games will routinely be done in a snappy 2 hours - which is how it should be.

Posted by: 6th and D | April 27, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

... thanx for the heads-up Wigi. My anniversary is on Tuesday - May 1, International Communism Day, yay! - and my wife wants to go out to dinner and a movie. I, on the other hand, want to stay home and watch a playoff game on TV while following the Nats on GameDay. Can I get a Teddy Bear delivered to New Brunswick Canada in time, do you think?

Posted by: david f watts | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey Hendu - did you see any of Wednesday night's O's v. Sox game? Lugo tried too late to get time called and, assuming he'd get it, stepped out of the batters box. The ump didn't grant it and Cabrera threw a rope of a fast ball down the middle for a strike. Then Lugo complained to the ump and the ump signaled to Cabrera to throw when ready...another strike down the middle.

Not automatic strike calls, but it was nice to see the effort by the ump to keep the game moving...

Posted by: DE | April 27, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Right on, DE. I didn't see the game but a couple of news pieces mentioned umpire Angel Hernandez -- may his tribe increase!

(Devil's advocate question: with his "control," is Cabrera is the kind of guy you want to be hurrying up?)

Posted by: Hendo | April 27, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Why are we complaining about games going too long??? To me, at the prices you pay for a game, I'd want the game to go on as long as possible. If I pay $50 for a ticket and the game goes less than 2 hours, I just paid more than $25/hour for the game. Now, if the game goes 3 hours, I've paid $16.67. If the game goes extra innings, it's now at least $5 an inning and keeps going down with each additional inning. Free baseball is good baseball because not much comes free any more.

On a side note, heard a rumor that some MLB teams were considering charging fans in "foul ball prone" seats an additional "insurance" fee and that there was the consideration for fans to return the balls or be charged a $1 authentication fee that the ball was used in a game. Any truth to these rumors or can I finally tell the blow hard down the hall that he's wrong?

Posted by: Fast Games | April 27, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

If you go to a sports bar for dinner, you can watch the playoffs. That doesn't help with GameDay, though (or, more importantly perhaps, with marital harmony) ;)

---

... thanx for the heads-up Wigi. My anniversary is on Tuesday - May 1, International Communism Day, yay! - and my wife wants to go out to dinner and a movie. I, on the other hand, want to stay home and watch a playoff game on TV while following the Nats on GameDay.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 27, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If the game goes long because of extra innings or good at-bats, that's satisfying and I'm getting my money's worth. If the game goes long because batters have to adjust their gloves or whatever (or pitchers have to circumnavigate the mound) between every pitch, that's boring and not so good a value.

I don't think MLB is at risk of too many two-hour games. Two and a half hours or so seems about right. To go routinely over three hours is a bit much.

Posted by: Hendo | April 27, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Wives are immune to Vermont Teddy Bears charms... all it does is make them wonder what you're up to.

A typical MLB game is too long when you watch it on TV (way too long on the Internet, though you can surf at the same time)... but in person, it's not so bad, if you have someone with you that can hold a conversation... that's one of the great advantages of baseball... you can watch the game and get to know someone at the same time, but you don't really do that in the living room when you're watching on TV.

Posted by: Wigi | April 27, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone tailgated this year? They're saying the lots only open 2 hours before the game rather than 3. Can anyone verify that? (the guy also says they've always only been 2 hours, and I *KNOW* that's not true.)

Posted by: tailgating | April 27, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Wigi,

... first of all, there'll be no T Bears this year. Too late now, and anyway if I'd checked out the Nats schedule, I'd have realized the Tuesday game is a late night affair in SD. So no problem there. (I can always tape the hockey game if it promises to be any good.)

... but I want to take issue with you about watching baseball games on the internet. Au contraire I say, to the idea that it's boring. To my way of thinking it's just about the only game that DOES lend itself well to the kind of pace the 'net provides. E a c h p i t c h is readily assessible and there's plenty of time to pore over the possibilities of the next pitch while weighing the pros and cons of the last one. I mean that's a major part of baseball - its lack of pace, which thereby enables the fan to delve in as deeply as possible. The game within the game is a hidden gem to the novice, and a long-standing wonder to the aged fan.

... anyone who claims baseball is boring is more so.

Posted by: david f watts | April 27, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

You know, it's like the nationals administration went down a checklist of ways to piss off the suckers..er.. season ticket owners who re-upped...
100 losses? check.
little-league fielding? check.
cold food? check.
late tickets? check.
higher concession prices? check.
small concession sizes? check.
higher parking? check.
grouchier ushers? check.
come get your stupid mp3 player? check.

is there *any* reason to think the new park isn't going to be twice as expensive for even less service? "hell, these fools will pay for whatever we tell them to."

When they channel Bob Short, where will they go? Indianapolis? Portland?

Posted by: NotRenewing | April 27, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

David:

I watch almost every Nats game on the Internet... I am in Alaska, and while we do have pretty good baseball here... its not the Nats...

The only problem I have is the tendency to check my mail or do something else between pitches... and it doesn't suit itself to watching with someone else. I've had the MLB.TV package for three years, and it is totally worth it to me... My brother is a Nats fan, and I am way better informed than he is, cause I watch almost every game.

I am totally with you about the game though. I believe it was the author of "Moneyball", Michael Lewis that made the point that every game is a soap opera... and that is totally true.

Posted by: Wigi | April 27, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

David F. Watts *The game within the game is a hidden gem to the novice, and a long-standing wonder to the aged fan*
Nicely put. I've only very recently (um, about 3 years and 13 days ago) moved past the novice stage and I'm still discovering the hidden gem/game within the game. Wow. Wish I'd known all these years.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Correction: 2 years and 13 days ago.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

It's your loss.

Posted by: DON'TRENEW | April 27, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Btw, just got in a fight with another (supposed) nats fan at the game who has apparently decided to heckle schneider the whole game. No joke- the guy's MOM jumped in and told me to leave her son alone and the guy's at least 30!

Posted by: jennx | April 27, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, what's the best way to discourage the booing and heckling of YOUR OWN TEAM in this town? I SO don't want us to be a yankees/cubs/mets/redsox (name your Alpha Hotel) crowd, but don't want to be the Alpha Hotel myself in my section. I have to see these guys for at least 18 more games.
Suggestion?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I just got home and saw the score. WaHOOOO, we scored in the first inning!!!!! GoNats!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 27, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

nats win! nats win! THANK YOU chad!

Posted by: gretchen | April 27, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Anon- to discourage hecklers, if they are rational/sober, politely reason with them. You do have to know more than they do for this to work well. If they are not rational/sober, the hotfoot is a longstanding baseball tradition.

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | April 28, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Heckling the home team: the traditional answer to offensive speech is more -- and louder -- speech.

Posted by: Earl Warren | April 28, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

That was a good game. The Chief actually did his job without loading the bases.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 28, 2007 3:19 AM | Report abuse

Re hecklers: The world is full of miserable people. Some of them live in Washington (or visit Washington) and buy tickets to ball games. I'll still take DC over Philly any day.

Posted by: Hendo | April 28, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Umpiring revisited:

Larry Vanover's strike zone gets a lot of criticism, but it seems to me that it's better to call a reasonably sized strike zone and risk being criticized for it than to "play it safe" by having a microscopic strike zone. What's wanting is not consistency on Vanover's part so much as consistency around the league in general.

And Vanover followed in Angel Hernandez' newly trod footsteps by not reflexively granting Carlos Beltran time out just because Beltran put his hand up. Good for you, Blue.

If the functions of an umpire are (1) to call balls and strikes conscientiously and (2) to keep the game moving, Vanover seems to have done his job last night.

Posted by: Hendo | April 28, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night. First game I've been to this season where we took the lead and never gave it up. It kept all but the drunkest of Mets fans appropriately quieted.

After Kearns' homer and Young's double I have to say that I loved the Presidential race. And I really thought I'd get to see Beltran get tossed when he continued to argue.

Last night my buddy and I walked up and bought tickets at the gate. We bought the cheapest tickets that were available ($9 for a premium game). We sat in our seats (sec 450-something) about 30 minutes before the first pitch. About two minutes later an usher came over demanding we show him our tickets.

Listen, if I'm going to try to sneak down to better seats I'm not going to sneak into a $9 seat ... I'm going to sneak into a >$35 seat. What is the problem with these ushers?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 28, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company