Monday, April 16, 2007

Thanks, Jobu

Chris Snelling's radness and the public's awareness thereof continue to grow unabated. Barry Svrluga posted on his day off, which indicates that he's getting a little too into this whole blogging thing. The signs are all there: pleas for more comments and an unseemly interest in his own ranking within "teh community." Things may look bad for Svrluga's sanity, but good for us -- dude's a hell of a blogger, and if being behind the United blog prompts him to keep the content coming, then we -- the Nats fans -- win.

So anyway, Svrluga mentions a completely awesome play that Snelling pulled off in our win against the Mets on Saturday, when he conned overrated pretty boy David Wright into handing us a run.
With two outs in the fourth inning, Brian Schneider was on third and Snelling on second when Felipe Lopez hit a grounder to Mets third baseman David Wright. Snelling began running from second, and Wright kind of double-pumped the ball as he got it out of his glove. Lopez, hitting left-handed, was scooting down the line.

So Snelling thought to himself, "Oh, we can get a run here." He had taken off toward Wright, and Wright decided against throwing the ball across the infield, instead opting to tag out Snelling. "I was trying to get in a run-down," Snelling said, a hugely heads-up play. If Wright throws out Lopez at first, the run Schneider would score from third wouldn't count -- even if he crossed the plate before the out was recorded -- because it's a force play at first. But if Snelling gets tagged out -- not a force because runners were on second and third only -- the run would count if Schneider crossed the plate before Wright put the tag on Snelling.

So Snelling retreated toward second. Wright ran him down. "I didn't think I was in a run-down long enough," Snelling said. But he was. Schneider crossed the plate just before Wright put the tag on, and the Nationals went up 3-1.

I'm a smart guy, and that's too much for me to figure out. And I'm talking days later in the comfort of my den while I sit at my blogging desk in my smoking jacket and cravat holding a glass of cognac between my index and middle fingers -- I can't imagine figuring that all out in the microseconds Snelling had.


Above: This is what me contemplating Chris Snelling's baserunning would look like if I were a squirrel. Big ups to the master squirrel posers at Sugar Bush Squirrel. Please note the tiny bottle of Remy Martin to the right.

On the other end of the mind meets baseball spectrum is Chris Snelling's on base percentage. Needham notes that Snelling's OBP is impressive, especially when put up against his uninspiring batting average. But here's the thing: he's not walking all that often; he's getting on by letting pitches fly into his body. It's a simple, direct solution to the problem of not wasting outs. If I may engage in a little national stereotyping, it's an essentially Australian way of getting on base -- the baseball equivalent of making movies, making songs, and foightin' 'round the world.

Tonight's game - the last thing I was expecting. There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball, another 12 in Japan, and a couple hundred more in Division I college ball, and the Nats are the last one that I would have thought could have toughed out as crappy a start as Matt Chico had tonight. Five innings, five walks, no strikeouts? That's a recipe for a blowout unless you have both skill and luck on your side, and the Nationals have been lacking in both.

Tonight it hinged, as always, on the fat guys. Ronnie Belliard dropped another one, but he did have a hit and a run, and Da Meathook made it a definite fat guy night with three hits, two doubles, and two driven in. When Jobu lets the fat guys contribute that much and lets the rookie starter get by unpunished with that kind of pitching line, it's pretty hopeless for the other team.

3 comments:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

I didn't know Anibal was a wingback man.

the nationals enquirer said...

Another sign Svrluga's getting sucked into the blogging thing: He apologizes when he doesn't post -- that's a classic sign right there of a blogger with a nasty habit...

Ryan said...

I'd say we should organize an intervention, but I don't think anyone wants him to stop.