Tagged: Nationals

Strasburg Signs, Cards Beat Dodgers Again, Tomko Beats Former Team

Strasburg is signed, the Yanks were kept scoreless by their former comrad, and the Cards continue to dominate the Dodgers, MLB’s best team.  Here we go…

Yesterday I talked about the whole Strasburg situation.  Well, he’s finally signed; it took until 11:58 Monday night to get it done.  Another Scott Boras guy, Strasburg was drafted number one by the Nats and is expected to be the start of a reformation in the nation’s capital.

Here’s a comment I got on my post from yesterday by Julia from Julia’s Rants:

“Dillon- Jacoby Ellsbury has to be near the top of your list as well.  Many a wall wear scares from him.  And Strasburg?  Sadly another case of his devil of an agent trying to extort money from teams.”

Julia put it right on the money.  Boras has the reputation of extorting money from teams trying to sign his clients.  He definitely gets his clients money but he is not like much by other players, teams, and fans because of how he does it.  For the Nationals, they are probably ecstatic that they were able to sign Strasburg.  Boras took it down to the last minute until Strasburg told him to get it done because of his wanting to play.  It’s done now and you can expect to see Strasburg in the nation’s capital next spring.

Hey, Yankee fans!  Remember this guy.  Yeah.  It’s Brett Tomko.  He kind of played for us this year until we released him in July because he wasn’t performing to the level of success that we needed him to.  Yeah, him.  Well, he’s on the Athletics now and he just shut us out yesterday.  What a shame.

The Yankees were held to seven hits and were walked twice.  Tomko was definitely on his game for the first five innings of the game before he was taken out.  And even after he was relieved, the Yankees were still baffled by the Athletics’ pitching.  They just couldn’t get it done.  After Tomko came out, they only got two more hits.  That’s terrible.  How could this happen against the A’s of all teams?  Well, at least we can say AJ Burnett and Derek Jeter had really really good games.

Burnett went a complete game (8 innings) of STELLAR work.  He only allowed six hits, one less than the Yankees had as a team.  He struck out five and walked two.  Not a bad performance.  In fact, it’s a very good performance.  This would be the kind of performance we would assume came in a Yankee victory.  But unfortunately the Yankee bats were held quiet.  But not Derek Jeter.

Jeter went 3-4 with three singles.  He didn’t do much more than that but at least he was able to have some success agaisnt the Oakland pitching.  Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher both hit doubles, their only hits of the game.  Jorge Posada and Ramiro Pena both hit singles as well.  The Yankees still have a seven game lead on the Red Sox in the AL East.

Chris Carpenter was dealing last night against the Dodgers.  He went eight innings of work giving up only five hits and a walk.  He struck out eight.  He only gave up two runs on the game which is a good sign as for his run control goes.  The offense also helped out.  It took until the end of the game to pull ahead but it happened eventually and Carpenter was still on the mound to record the win.  Pujols homered in the fourth to tie the game at one apiece.  Then in the seventh, Rick Ankiel sent a bomb to deep right center to go ahead 3-2.  The Cards kept the lead with Trevor Miller and Ryan Franklin who combined to pitch the ninth.  The Dodgers seem to have no answer for the Cards this season.  They could be a deadly foe for the Dodgers in the playoffs as the Cards may have the top of the Central division come the end of the season.  Who knows, maybe the Cards will out play the MLB’s best team.

-Dillon

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Will Strasburg Sign?; The Art of the Catch at the  Wall

The San Diego State phenom that has taken the baseball world by storm has until tonight to sign a contract with the team that drafted him.  The Washington Nationals, the worst team in the MLB for the past two years were lucky enough to have the chance to pick Strasburg in the draft but if they can’t sign him, they can just say good bye to their hopes and dreams of having any chance next year.

The situation with Strasburg is a big one.  Pretty much a do or die for the Nats.  Sort of…  If the Nats can’t sign him, they will not have the star pitcher they were hoping to have next year, since it is thought that Strasburg would glide through the minors and join the team next season.  Strasburg could be the start of a new and reformed Washington Nationals club.

The Nats do have a few guys that are pretty talented on offense.  The pitching isn’t that great but they get through the season.  Strasburg could take that pitching staff to a whole new level and put them back among the “not the worst” staffs in the league.  But the thing is, he has to sign to be able to play with them.

My dad and I were having a conversation about this topic yesterday and we both agreed (this rarely happens when talking about sports) that Strasburg should just sign with the team that drafted him if he really wants to play baseball.  He got drafted by the worst team in the league because he was the best player in the draft.  The worst team has the first pick and that’s just how it works.  Some players don’t sign with the teams that draft them just because they are not one of the better teams in the league.  But the thing is, if you want to play, you have to sign.  You may never get picked by the team you want to play for but that’s not your decision.

A bad team is bad for a while because they do not have the talentto keep up with the rest of the teams and their minor league teams aren’t producing the good young talent that will make them good in the future.  After a while, the farm systems start shaping up with some of the better players since they get a lot of high draft picks.  Strasburg is one of them that the Nationals, a bad team, has drafted.  He should just sign if he gets a good enough deal to compensate for his draft place.  JUST SIGN THE FRIGGEN DEAL!

Tony Gwynn, Strasburg’s manager at San Diego State, keeps saying that Strasburg just wants to play and that he is a baseball player.  If he wants to play so badly, then just give him a deal that he is worthy of and he will most likely sign it.

I hate how draftees take so long to sign contracts.  Especially the high draft picks.  They think just because they are the highest of the draft picks that they deserve a contract that some veterans aren’t getting.  They aren’t even rookies in the league yet.  When you get drafted, you sign with the team that took you in the draft, play in the minors for a while, then get your chance in the Majors.  Some get a chance quicker than others but most guys eventually get their chance.  When you get to the Majors, you play for the team that picked you for so many years until your contract runs out.  Strasburg should play with the Nats until his contract runs out (assuming he signs one).  Then when it runs out, you should consider signing a new one or maybe signing one with a different team.  That’s how the MLB works.  It’s always changing.  Some teams are good for a while, then they go bad because they lose their talent and the talent in the farm systems.

I know that if I was in the baseball draft and I got picked anywhere, I would be ecstatic and would sign right away.  I mean seriously.  The money a lot of baseball players get is more than an average person gets doing some non-athletic job.

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Now to another topic.  The art of catching a ball at the wall.  Now, it happens a lot in baseball.  But only so many guys can pull it off.  It requires concentration, talent, and ability to actually catch the ball while hitting the wall.  My favorite player, Curtis Granderson, happens to be an expert at it.

Now, this catch is probably the craziest catch I’ve ever seen.  He’s practically falling over the wall.  It was an amazing catch and I think some of you may be able to see why I like him so much.

Granderson made another great catch yesterday as he snagged a ball while hitting the wall in the Tigers’ game against the Kansas City Royals.  He robbed a Royals’ batter who ripped a ball to straight away center.  He hit the wall hard after making the catch but was able to hold on and was able to run off the field.  Thank goodness I would hate to see him get hurt.

Aaron Rowand is another of the great “at the wall defenders.”  That’s what I call them at least.  He has made many great and spectacular catches at the wall, including robbing a few home runs in his time.  This year, Rowand made a game saving rob at the wall to save a no hitter for the Giants’ Jonathon Sanchez.  It was a key catch and he made it.  He has been considered one of the best center fielders in the MLB for the past many years.  I forget what year it was but when he was with the Phillies he made a nasty catch while running into the wall and banged up his nose and all that.  It must have hurt a ton but he did make the catch.  That just shows you his will to make the play.

Torii Hunter is another one of those great center fielders that has made a few amazing catches in his time.  Currently with the Angels, he has already made many amazing catches since coming from the Minnesota Twins where he made even more spectacular, top ten worthy catchs.  One of his most famous was in an All Star Game in which he robbed Barry Bonds of a home run.  That was great.

There are so many great “at the wall defenders” that I can’t name them all, but these three are tops on my list and I wouldn’t change it at all for another few years before some new faces come into my perspective.  But this is my favorite baseball moment.  When an outfielder makes a rob at the wall.  Whether it is a home run rob or just an extra base hit rob.  It’s all great in my mind.

-Dillon

Thoughts From 7/19/09

Top Thoughts:

  • Yankees Gain Two Games on Red Sox
  • Mets Have Serious Injury Problems
  • The Nats Suck
  • Halladay is a Stud
  • It is Possible to Have One Really Bad Game and Then Be STELLAR the Next Day

So Here we go on my thoughts from July 19th, 2009.

The Yankees have been absolutely phenominal lately.  They just finished a sweep of the Tigers to continue this hot streak of fantastic play.  Everyone is contributing and as a fan, it is great to watch.  It’s a thrill.  CC’s performance from yesterday was thrilling to see.  Finally he has come up in a huge spot and performed the way we need him to (not just so we get our money’s worth I might add).  It was a true pitchers duel.  CC and Verlander, the Tigers’ ace, was just a sight for sore eyes.  And to see CC come out on top it was just great.  So, with teh Yankees winning and playing extremely well, the question is, what have the Red Sox been doing.  Well, thanks to the Blue Jays and Roy Halladay, the Red Sox have failed to top the Jays in two consecutive days.  This is STELLAR news for the Yankees because this means we have gained two games on the Red Sox at the top of the AL East.

So, the Blue Jays owe most of their success to Roy Halladay this season.  His season on the mound has so far earned him an All Star Starting position, a huge spot in the trading market, and has just improved and improved on an already phenominal career.  His performance against the Red Sox today proved that he is the best pitcher in the AL and possibly the entire MLB.  Now, that’s saying something.  Against the Sox, he through a complete game, had seven K’s and only gave up six hits and a run.  He was totally STELLAR!  He will surely win the Cy Young in the AL at the end of the season, assuming he continues to dominate the way he has so far.

The Mets have injury problems!  It’s as simple as that.  They have lost key guys on both offense and in the pitching staff.  Starters, relievers, powerhouses, and pretty much every other type of guy they have lost so far this season.  The injury I think is probably the biggest for this Mets team is Carlos Beltran.  This guy was one of the biggest offensive performers on this team (and that’s saying something considering he shares the lineup with the likes of David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Delgado).  He was also a very solid outfielder.  Jose Reyes was the spark of the Mets offense.  He got on base, ran (or at least made the pitcher worry about him running), and got into scoring position quickly giving the rest of the lineup to drive him in.  There would be a great chance of that considering the guys I said earlier are in the middle of the lineup behind Reyes.  JJ Putz in the bullpen was supposed to be the shutdown set up guy that would lead the way to K Rod.  It was said that once the Mets got to Putz in the eighth, the game was over.  Putz, then K Rod, then, well, the game is over.  They won’t have any chance with what they have now.  Although the guys replacing the big time stars are doing pretty well, the guys that they have lost are extremely important and will cost this team dramatically.

The Nats Suck!  Seriously.  THEY ARE 26 GAMES BACK!  26!  Can you get any worse?  The pitching is dreadful.  The offense has a few guys that can put up some good stats but there is no chemistry.  There is no flow.  Zimmerman, Dunn, Dukes, maybe a few other guys here and there can have a good spurt but overall, they are terrible.  I really can’t muster up anything else to say about them.  They SUCK!

Yesterday, Yunel Escobar had a terrible game.  Missing signs, having a tough game at the plate and in the field, and just didn’t have his head together for the game.  Today, he kicked off the Braves-Mets game in the second with a solo shot to left.  When the final out was recorded, Escobar had gone 3-4 with a homer, 4 RBI, and a run scored.  This just proves my point that you can have a terrible day one day and thrive the next.  Most of you won’t know about my ongoing battle with my friend that has had some pretty bad stretches of baseball in which he has said that he won’t do better the next day.  Well, I hope he reads this because this story proves my point 100%.

Well, that’s all for today.

-Dillon

Thriller…

Yesterday, I was helping my mom get dinner set and my sister came into the room saying she got a text about MJ being dead.  We both said we heard something about it but nothing had said he was dead yet, he was just at the hospital.  Later in the day, we new it was official that he was dead and my sister said, “I wonder how he died.”  My mom then went on to explain how it was cardiac arrest.  Then my sister said, “It was probably plastic arrest.”  Now if you knew my sister, you would have expected her to say something like that.

I turned on the radio this morning to listen to some tunes but all I hear is talk about MJ.  I changed the station a few times and all I was hearing was MJ this, MJ that.  I was kind of annoyed at how big of a deal this all was.  Ughhhh!  Well, not all was lost in the attempt to find something to listen to.  I eventually found a station talking about baseball and I figured that was about as good as it was going to get.  So I layed back and listened to them talk about the Nats’ victory over the Red Sox and the Yankees’ win over the Braves.  I heard about Lowe having started the season off on a roll and has recently been terrible.  After a while of listening, I was just turning it off when I heard the radio host say, “So, did you hear about Michael Jackson?”

So, back to the Yankees.  I can’t believe they actually won two straight.  We’ve been in a little bit of a slump lately.  Not that we haven’t been losing every game but we have been winning and it hasn’t been that exciting.  So, maybe with the upcoming series against the Mets, we may be able to make things a little more exciting.  Maybe Luis Castillo will have another one of those last second brain farts.  I wonder if he learned how to catch the ball yet. 

Maybe someone will hit a walk off bomb.  Maybe someone will make a STELLAR defensive dive in the field for the out.  Who knows.  Anything at this point will be more exciting.

On other news, I can’t believe the Nats destroyed the Red Sox like that.  I mean c’mon.  The Red Sox are better than that… I think.  The Nats beat us too.  But we didn’t lose that badly.  So to all of you who say the Red Sox are just so much better than the Yankees… ha!

The Subway series part two starts this weekend and hopefully the Yanks can take a couple from the Mets and the Braves can take a couple from the Red Sox.  We need it right now.  I’m starting to lose track of what is happening because nothing exciting has happened.  That brings me back to the exciting part of this post.  Things need to be exciting for people to pay attention.  Especially me.  I have payed more attention to Burn Notice and NCIS on t.v. lately than the Yankees.  A little excitement would be nice.

Go Yanks.  Go Braves.

-Dillon

What To Do On An Off Day

Hmmmmm… what to do on an off day?  That’s the question for me today.  There aren’t many over the course of the year, but there are a few here and there.  And today’s one of them.  So what should I do?  The Yanks aren’t playing.  In fact, there are only two games scheduled for today.  The Angels and Giants face off in Frisco, and the Tribe and Brew Crew face off in “bugville.”  That’s Cleveland for any of you unfamiliar with the Yankees’ and Joba Chamberlain’s situation in Cleveland last year.  So that’s it.  No more baseball other than that until tomorrow.  So the question still remains, what should I do?  I know. 

I’m going to analyze how bad the Nationals are.  Why not.  It shouldn’t be that hard.  So I’m going to start with this.  Their pitching. 

 

It’s horrific.  Their best starting pitcher is probably Shairon Martis, who at  5-1 has a 5.06 ERA.  It’s terrible.  And that’s just the start of things.  He has the most wins on the team.  Ron Villone has a .96 ERA and has appeared in 22 games.  That is the best reliever they’ve got.  He has at least been somewhat good.  The next lowest ERA on the team for someone that has pitched in at least 10 games is 3.51 from John Lannan who is their number one starter.  The guy with the highest ERA is Logan Kensing who has an ERA at 13.40.  Everything is going wrong for the Nats on the pitching side.  They have very little upside and way too much downside.

 

The offense has some upside to it.  A ton more than the pitching does.  To start, you’ve got Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn.  Two top offensive guys in the league.  But after them, you’ve got some other guys who are either young with some potentioal or other guys who just haven’t hit it huge in the bigs.  Some of those players are Elijah Dukes, a potentially very good player.  He hasn’t hit it big yet but I think he will sometime soon.  Also, Nick Johnson, Christian Guzman, and Austin Kearns are some guys that are good players, but they aren’t good enough to take the Nats to bigger places.  Obviously this is true or else it would have happened the last couple years.

The defense is alright.  They don’t have any gold glove contenders.  They don’t have anyone that makes great defensive highlights day in and day out.  They just don’t have any spark on defense and that is why they aren’t noticed defensively.  They don’t have guys that dive out for catches in the outfield and they don’t have guys that make “Top 10” worthy double plays.  They aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great either.

So overall, the Nats suck.  The Yanks should have their way with them and should come out with a swwep.  Now, I’m not the kind of guy to underestimate a team.  The Nats are a really bad team.  But they still can’t be underestimated.  Their offense does have some spark so if our pitching is not top notch, they could build a lead up.  So I am expecting at least two out of three games won for the Yanks but the sweep would be perfect as well.  We need this sweep to keep going and keep pace with the Red Sox who are in first.

CC is going tomorrow against Shairon Martis.  It should be a pretty good matchup as our ace goes agaisnt their ace (as far as I see it).  So hopefully we can take advantage of the not so good pitching.  Offense- you need to score runs.

Let’s go Yanks.

-Dillon

So The Yanks Lost To The Red Sox Again…

I really don’t know what else to talk about anymore.  The pitching was all right, the offense scored a little.  And the bullpen wasn’t terrible.  It all adds up but the Red Sox were just little better in every one of those stats than we were.  It’s that simple.

CC took the bump and was really good through seven innings.  He came back out for the eighth and wasn’t able to get a guy out.  He left three possible runs on base that came back to bite him in the butt.  He finished the game with four earned runs, including the three in the eighth inning.  He must have ran out of juice.  Brad Penny on the other side was also very good.  He pitched well in a six inning effort giving up six hits, a walk, but no runs.  Manny Delcarmen gave up three runs in the seventh inning after coming in for Penny.  He was then relieved by Takashi Saito who finished up the inning and saved what was left of Delcarmen’s professionalism.  The Yanks had the lead but CC would give it back up in the eighth.

So overall, the pitching wasn’t terrible.  It was STELLAR through the seven innings.  But in the eighth it crumbled to pieces.  The Sox’ pitching was also very good.  It was tough to lose one in which there was such good pitching. 

The offense was able to score some runs, but it took until the seventh to get it going.  We couldn’t get anything off Penny who only allowed six hits and a walk.  Manny Delcarmen was kinder to us and gave us three.  That was all we’d get though and that is a little disappointing.  Here are my top performers for the day.

  • Alex Rodriguez: 1-3, 2 RBI
  • Francisco Cervelli: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 Run
  • Melky Cabrera: 2-4, 1 Run
  • Hideki Matsui: 2-3
  • Derek Jeter: 2-5
  • CC Sabathia: 1 ER through seven.  AFter that, he’s not on this list

IT was another tough loss to the Red Sox and I am very disappointed.  Maybe we’ll get ’em next time.  We’ve got interleague play coming up and maybe we can score some more and have good pitching against our opponents (Mets, Marlins, Nats, Braves).

-Dillon

Hey We Do Know How To Score Runs

The Yankees-Red Sox series is pretty much the only thing on my mind among everything else baseball.  Obviously it is because I am a Yankee fan and we are in the middle of a season series with our rivals.  It’s great.  I’m sure every other Yankee fan blogger out there is talking about the same things I am.  It’s just how things go.  If your team is in a rivalry series, you are going to write about it.  So here we go.

Chien Ming Wang did exactly what I assumed he would do when he took the bump last night.  He sucked.  He was the second Yankee pitcher in a row to be chased before the third inning.  Tuesday night, it was AJ, and last night, Wang was chased as well.  In Wang’s 2.2 innings pitched, he gave up four runs on six hits and three walks.  He gave up one homer to Mike Lowell.  Bottom line… he was aweful.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox sent Tim Wakefield to the mound, who has been having a very good season.  At 7-3 before the game, he showed how good of a season he has been having.  He went 6 innings only giving up 8 hits, three runs, and had two strikeouts.  I wish those were the kind of stats we could have from the Yanks pitching.  But yeah right.  Wang was terrible. 

As far as the offense goes, they were fine.  They did score last night which made me happy.  They only scored five runs so they didn’t do that great.  They are definitely capable of more than that.  The pitching is what ruined it for us.  They were unable to hold the Red Sox offense to a few runs or fewer.  They gave up too many early runs and we were out of it by the time we made our comeback.  We only lost by one run but hey… you can’t always expect a comeback from the offense.  It’s a two way road.  The offense does their job and the pitching staff does their job.  That’s how it rolls.

We had our big offensive performers last night as did the Red Sox.  For us it was obviously Mark Teixeira… when has it not in the recent past.  He went 4-5 with a homer and two runs.  Johnny Damon hit a homer as his only hit on the night, but at least that’s something.  Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui also had good nights at the plate.  Matsui went 2-3 with a run scored and Posada went 2-5 with run scored and an RBI.  Robby Cano also pitched in with a RBI despite going hitless for the game.

The pitching… well they were so bad I’m not going to talk about them any more.  Except Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves.  Kudos to you guys.  But Wang and Hughes.  You guys sucked.  A thumbs down from Simon for you guys.

So I’m really disappointed about how we haven’t been able to get a win against the Red Sox yet this season.  If we could get one win, that would STELLAR.  So far, it hasn’t looked good so I am not expecting anything good from the Yanks in game three of the series.  We do have CC going to the mound for us.  He is going against Brad Penny who hasn’t been very consistent this season.  He has been alright but maybe we can get something from him.  But again, I’m not expecting anything good today.

So we start up interleague action again after the series with the Red Sox.  We head back home to host our cross town National League rivals.  The Mets.  They are having a decent season so far and can’t be underestimated.  Johan Santana has been lights out this season.  Too bad he hasn’t gotten a ton of run support.  But he’s great.  We play him and the Mets for three.  Then we have a day off before facing the Nats at home for three.  We go right into a three game series with the Marlins after the Nats’ series.  Then we have the Braves for three after a day off following the Marlins series.  We finish everything off against the Mets again in Citi Field.  So that’s the near future.  Maybe we can get some wins against our interleague opponents because we obviously can’t get any against the stupid Red Sox.

Go Yanks.  Maybe we’ll get a win.  Possibly.  Actually, probably not.  I’m being really pessimistic right now aren’t I.

-Dillon