What kind of sick sadist puts Daryle Ward in right field? His profile says he's 240 lbs, but that was obviously before he put his other foot on the scale. Given a choice, I think I'd rather have J.J. Davis out there. Look, we've been over this before. Sure, Daryle's listed as a 1B/OF, and he did fine on the one ball hit right at him. But watching him try to play anything tailing away from him (complete with half-assed 2 inch leap) brings back unkind memories of Carlos Baerga at 2B.
What, did Marlon Byrd disappear into the Springfield Mystery Spot? And take Marlon Anderson with him? At least Frank was awake enough to keep it from happening again, moving Ryan Church to right and putting Byrd in CF next inning. Ward's misadventures in the field spoiled a gutsy outing by rookie lefty Mike O'Connor, who pitched 6 effective innings despite taking a wicked line drive directly off his throwing shoulder (earning him Cap'n Hook's temporary admiration.)
Other than that, the less said about this game, the better. The wheels came off in the 7th inning when FRodo was brought in to give up his traditional 3 runs on 6 hits, and by the time Joey Eischen made his 8th inning appearance, you knew the Nats were just mailing this one in. At least Fonzie's 14th dinger (trade bait, baby!) broke up the shutout. And the crowd was definitely running about 70-30 Nationals, which was gratifying to see.
Daryle Ward does his best large immovable object impression in the outfield and Felix Rodriguez finishes the job out of the bullpen. So who's the scapegoat for this game? Ryan Church, of course!
It's like deja vu all over again. Ryan is gone, off to Harrisburg to try and get his groove back. In his place we get Alex Escobar, the crown jewel of the Jerry Owens trade.
Alex is having himself a nice little season in Double-A ball (at the age of 27!) and is fragile and easily injured, so he fits right in with our other OFs. For comparative purposes only, here's Escobar's career MLB line:
- 92 Games; 301 AB; .229 avg./.309 OBP/.369 SLG; 39 R; 9 HR; 34 RBI; 3 SB
And now, Ryan Church:
- 155 Games; 396 AB; .258 avg./.337 OBP/.432 SLG; 55R; 14 HR; 59 RBI; 6 SB
Granted, Ryan isn't exactly lighting the world on fire but anybody who looks at this team and identifies Church as the most pressing problem, and Alex Escobar as the solution needs to have his drinking-before-lunch privileges revoked.
Fire Bowden! (Robinson too!)