- First off, we're out of starting pitchers. Early in the year, our depth of servicable starters was one of the few advantages the team had. What happened? Injuries, for one thing. Jon Rauch missed most of the year, and Zach Day broke his wrist. Worse than that, though, was the destructive combination of Frank Robinson's crankiness and Jim Bowden's carelessness. Frank's never gotten along with his pitchers, going all the way back to 1975. Tomo Ohka was jerked around, insulted, and traded when he didn't like it. Same with Zach Day. Some of the blame has to go to Bowden, the guy who actually pulled the trigger on the trades, but if Frank can't get the most out of his players, he's simply not doing his job. Bodes, meanwhile, painted himself into a corner with his roster moves and gave up Sunny Kim in exchange for nothing. And when I say "nothing," I don't mean, "a bad player," I mean actually, literally nothing. That's the same package we got earlier in the year for Claudio Vargas, by the way.
- Our emergency starter, John Halama, was yanked in the first inning after giving up the Fox News First Run of the Game. Frank's quick hook has worked in the past, but the bullpen was worn out and proceeded to surrender a further nine runs, none of which merited sponsorship. Of course, Frank proceeded to insult Halama after the game, which I'm sure Tom Boswell just ate up. Grit!
- Finally we come to our beloved Teutonic third baseman, Ryan "Dutch" Zimmerman. Bodes brought Dutch up to the majors when rosters expanded, and Frank sat his rookie ass on the bench and kept him there, explaining that it wouldn't be "fair" to Vinny Castilla to use the better, healthier player. Vinny's not pulling his weight (and is a few boxes of doughnuts and a week-long slump away from not hitting it), but hey, he's a veteran, you know? You got to do right by the vets, playoffs be damned. You don't see Bobby Cox using a lot of rookies . . . forget that, Frank won two MVPs, what the hell did you ever do? Anyway, Dutch finally got a start last night. At shorstop, which he has next to no experience playing. Frank decided it would be best for the young fellow to make his first major league start at a difficult position that he doesn't play. Surprising no one, he made two errors, and Vinny's washed-up ass contributed nothing before being pinch hit for.
Meanwhile, scroll to the bottom of this and check out the graphic depiction of the dualistic nature of the Nationals' bullpen. Without Stanton, there could be no Cordero.
And Cristian Guzman won an award.
Update! I am now able to display the above mentioned depiction thanks to teh magic of teh internet.