Baseball Bias column! But not until 10 am. Are the Nats loveable losers or just losers? Click on the French Army to find out!
It was a good weekend for my sacred cows. Brendan Harris actually got a start on Saturday and wound up saving the game with a great catch -- a walk-off Web Gem, as Buster Olney called it. Sunday saw la vaca sagrada numero uno, Ryan Church, justify his presence by hitting two home runs -- he's third on the team!
Still, I can't take too much joy in finally winning a series. It's going to take a miracle for the Marlins not to be the worst team in the league, and Saturday's win was fraught with bad signs. Leaving aside John Patterson's brilliant, 13 strikeout performance, the Nats played like crap. Facing a 22-year-old pitcher with 20 innings of major league experience, the Nats could muster only two runs despite being spotted six walks by Scott Olsen and four more by the parade of AAAA-types issuing from the Florida bullpen. 10 walks and only 2 runs? It's easy when you manage only five hits and run into four outs on the bases. A pickoff, two failed steal attempts, and an out at the plate -- that's Nationals baseball. Make it your pastime!
So let's not break out the Martinelli's just yet. After an off day, we head to Philly to play a real team. 13 games in, and we've had exactly one (1) good starting pitching performance. Ryan Drese might be out for the duration, though the advantage of the end of our rotation is that you don't lose much when you lose one. Chad Cordero's save on Sunday was really his first good performance, and it remains to be seen how much he'll regress from 2005.
The good news: Frank actually said he'd try Brendan Harris at shortstop, and Royce Clayton -- yes, the Royce Clayton -- left Sunday's game with a left arm injury. So that's something I'm looking forward to, though Nationals pitchers probably don't share my enthusiasm. ¡Arriba las vacas!