Lack of clutch plays continue to plague Nationals

After enduring a tougher than anticipated extended West Coast road trip where the Nationals finished up 4-6 on the 10 game swing, coming home to the Eastern Time Zone and completing arguably the toughest part of their schedule for the season, this team is in need of a jolt of energy. Collectively, this team has not hit or fielded the way a playoff contender should and after the 1/3rd mark of the season, this must change and in a hurry.

@ San Francisco Giants – May 20th – 23

In quite possiibly the biggest litmus test of the young season, The Nats had to travel to the picturesque AT&T Park to face the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants shorthanded in the starting rotation as Ross Detweiler missed his scheduled start on Monday with back spasms.  That proved to be a bad omen as Left-handed reliever Zack Duke lasted just 3 1/3 innings in the spot start as the Nats were shut out for the 6th time this season, this time 8-0 . Duke allowed four runs and seven hits in his first start of the year. In Wednesday’s matchup, the team wasted another sterling effort from Stephen Strasburg, who has come out of the slight slump from earlier this year striking out seven and allowing only  five hits in 7 innings. He retired 14 of the final 15 batters — six on strikeouts — and never allowed a runner past first in his last five innings yet the bullpen blew the lead in the 9th as Raphael Soriano blew the save on a defensive gaffe by Bryce Harper let a catchable ball fall bracing for impact of the wall where he was no where near.  Call it being shell shocked from his horrific crash last week.  Yunesky Maya (who was finally designated for assignment by the team on Friday) ended the game by giving up a massive two run homer to Pablo Sandoval completing the Giant comeback, with the 4-2 win.  In the 3rd game of the series, Bryce Harper had his hand in all of the winning plays in a 2-1 victory in 10 innings.  He made the game saving diving grab in the 8th inning and had 2 huge hits including his 12th HR of the season and a 1 out double in the 10th while scoring the winning run on Ian Desmond’s RBI single.

Home vs Philadelphia Phillies  May 25-25

Finally home and able to sleep in the comforts of their respective beds, The archrival Philadelphia Phillies and their sickening fans invade Nats Park for a 3 game set.  In the 1st game Jordan Zimmermann continued what has become his breakout season with another sterling performance in becoming the 1st 8 game winner in the National League giving up only 2 runs which actually RAISED his ERA to 1.71 in a 5-2 win.  Raphael Soriano saved his 2nd consecutive game to give him 14 for the season.  In Saturday’s game, Dan Haren pitched well enough to win, but Drew Storen’s inconsistencies appeared again as he surrendered the losing runs in the 8th inning as Philly defeated the Nats by the count of 5-3.  Drew’s ineffectiveness is most certainly a mental block that he, as a young pitcher, must overcome for this team to really reach maximum effectiveness.

Player of the Week

Ryan Zimmerman – 6 Hits, 1 HR, 4 RBIs and NO ERRORS

 

Next Week’s Schedule

A weird schedule quirk as the Battle of the Beltway commences with 2 games at Nats Park then 2 games at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.  After those games, a 3 games set at the 1st place Atlanta Braves.

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Gilbert Arenas….

"For the Good Times...."

I know it had to be done….I know that after the Gun Incident that this day was coming.  It happened, I understand WHY…doesnt mean I am happy with it.  I guess for the future for the franchise its a good thing woo woo woo but f*ck that! Right now, TODAY, the best basketball player that has ever  laced it up for the Bullets/Wizards franchise  in over 30 years is finally an Ex-Wizard.  The move makes me feel bad in my stomach, because the outsiders only see what’s good for the basketball team (and honestly, that’s the #1 goal) BUT being a Lifetime Washingtonian, and more importantly a lifetime INNER CITY Washingtonian, this cuts deep, man.

Being a lifelong fan of Washington sports teams, its like a bad relationship.  You stay around, through all of the good (very little) and all of the bad (LOTS of it) for awesome fan moments…and for my sake, NO one player brought as many awesome fan moments for any of our franchises than Gilbert Arenas did before the unfortunate circumstances of injuries and stupidity (the gun charge) but I’m not going to dwell on that.  I’m only going to dwell on the good times and there were plenty.

As we watch tonight’s game (I’m typing this as I watch the pregame show) your going to see more than half of the Verizon Center cheer for the opposing Miami Heat. Do I blame them? ABSOLUTELY NOT because this franchise has not given the fans a reason to cheer. At one point Gilbert DID THAT for us. Sold out crowds and genuine excitement throughout the city…there was actually a point where you could HONESTLY put Gilbert and his stats/clutch play alongside with the Kobe’s, DWade’s and LeBron’s of the world and it wasn’t looked down upon as just being fans. Gilbert SINGLEHANDEDLY resurrected “Clippers East” into Must-See-TV. The term DAGGER by Steve Buckhantz was made popular BECAUSE of Gil!

Back to the Inner City Fan aspect for a moment, I am a PROUD product of SE Washington DC. Being that I tend to see things a little differently than most fans/media etc…a different POV.  Ive sat on the sidelines of Barry Farms basketball courts of the Goodman League every summer and have seen the best of the best ball in “The Gates” and there was no one player that drew as much excitement/cheers than Mr Arenas.  Ive seen that man come down “The Gates” alone, while there are people from this town scared to step FOOT in, he would come down, sign EVERY autograph, pose for EVERY picture, give out hundreds of free tennis shoes/jerseys/toys for the underprivileged youth without fanfare.  The only time you saw major media down there was to see him AFTER he was injured.  The same man also took in a young man into his home as an adopted son when the boy lost his whole family in a fire.  A man who gave his money to schools throughout the area with his “Gilbert Scores for Schools” initiative plus COUNTLESS of other ventures that go unreported….and its all gone to the waste side because all people want to remember is the gun incident, and that is so sad to me. He did so much MORE and SHOULD be acknowledged for such.

Personally and selfishly, I wanted him to stay a Wizard and a WASHINGTONIAN because I wanted him to redeem himself ala Michael Vick.  He deserves his 2nd chance, he’s going to get it now in Orlando with a chance to REALLY compete for the NBA Title so I’m happy for that. He was once the most beloved sports figure here since Joe Gibbs….in hindsight, the Redskins WISH they had an athlete that could connect with the fans the way Gilbert did with us, that’s probably why there is a slight discord with the Team in Ashburn.  For all the faults, people always LIKED Gil and somehow could see through all of it and see a genuinely nice guy…I’ll miss you Gil and I’m not the only one who will either!

AGENT ZERO FOREVER!!!!!

USA blows the money vs Brazil in Confederations Cup Final

I havent blogged in months and I do apologize, I will be updating this blog MUCH more frequently from now on!!

So I finally decide to watch a soccer game that wasnt in the World Cup (even my girl said WTF are you watching??), the Confederation Cup Final pitting the good ole USA vs juggernaut Brazil. Now Im not hardly a soccer expert but if its a championship game, I can get into it, so early on, the US jump out to a 2-0 lead playing GREAT soccer and go into halftime with a 2-0 lead. Im thinking now “They are going to just hunker down and play great defense and actually WIN this thing”, boy was I wrong. Brazil just played SO well in the 2nd half, it was like Men amongst Boys. Our goalie Tim Howard could only do so much, it SHOULD have been at least 5-2….Im pissed off because I wasted 2 hours of a Sunday Afternoon watching this. Thats cool tho, because Gilbert Arenas should be making a guest apperance down Barry Farms @ the Goodman League tonite so that should be pretty damn cool.