June 4, 2006

Of Brays, Brooms and Bang Zooms

Well, that's alright then. Maybe it was a 3-game sweep of the current front-runner for worst team in the National League, but it was a 3-game sweep all the same. These are the Milwaukee Brewers who were the fashionable dark horse pick to win the NL wildcard? But... but... they suck! Even without Nicky, Dutch and the Byrd in the starting lineup the Nationals managed 8 runs, including two homers by Alfonso "$15 M/year sounds reasonable" Soriano, giving him 21 in two months. With Albert Pujols on the shelf, guess who's the active NL leader in HRs and slugging percentage?

Fonzie's two dingers overshadowed another fine performance by Tony Armas, who gave up 1 run on 2 hits over 6 innings to corral his sixth win of the year. All season long Nats fans, including yours truly, have (justifably) bemoaned the team's lack of pitching depth. But really, have you seen what some other teams have been tossing out there on the mound in the past few weeks?
Fernando Nieve, Eude Brito, Dana Eveland?! These guys make "Irish Mike" O'Connor seem like a household name. If J-Patt comes back in anything like his pre-injury form, and Pedro Astacio comes back at all, the Nats might be in the rare position of having too much major league-ready starting pitching. But that's getting way ahead of ourselves. First things first:

Welcome aboard,
Bill Bray! The Nat's hotly-anticipated rookie lefty appeared in two games this weekend, pitching 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief. Sure, he didn't have to do too much Saturday night, throwing one pitch before Brian Schneider gunned down a would-be base stealer to end the inning. But hey, it was good enough to earn Billy his first major league win. And he followed it up with a 1-2-3 ninth inning this afternoon, so I think we'll keep him. Also making a cameo appearance in today's game: Brendan Harris, who managed to score two runs despite going hitless, and gave Dutch a much deserved break at the hot corner. Now if only we could find some playing time for Larry Broadway...

Housekeeping Notes: It's been a good long while since I fiddled with the Nats Triple Play sidebar, and things were starting to go a little stale over there. For example, Banks of the Anacostia, which has apparently decided to take a break until that new Anacostia-side stadium is ready, has been removed. In its place I've added Thurdl Sports, home of the NIH (Nationals Institute of Health.) NIH provides one-stop shopping for all your Nats injury news, and Lord knows there's plenty of it. Having Thurdl on board means I don't have to mention Santiago Ramirez's trip to the DL ever again.

Reappearing on the sidebar is the Gameday Chat. I took it down a few months ago when it was briefly on hiatus for retooling, and neglected to ever put it up again. If you're looking for an excuse to waste hours of your time (and your boss's money) talking Nats baseball, current events, technology, and really anything else you want, Gameday Chat is the place for you.

As always, if anyone out there knows of anything we've missed that I ought to have linked to, feel free to drop it into a comment and we'll take a look at it. As Triple Play approaches its 1-year anniversary of unnecessary, redundant Nats commentary I'm more convinced than ever that we are part of the best internet fanbase in baseball.


Bote Man said...

Not necessarily unnecessary nor redundant. Have you noticed a big blank space at Capitol Punishment from the normally prolific C. Needham? When the Nats are firing on more cylinders than previously it's getting tougher for him to find as much to complain about, although things are far from rosy.

But if Pujols can pull up lame, then I don't feel so bad about looking at our roster on mlb.com and seeing "60-DL" after the majority of pitchers. Hopefully they can actually recover instead of being rushed back only to injure themselves again.

p.s. While retooling, I wouldn't mind if you made these comments stay in the same window instead of popping up a separate one, but you know how I am that way. Call me Yuda, Jr.

Chris Needham said...

Weather Mike? Is that you?

There's usually a big blank space on the weekend.

Then there was the matter of the vacation.

I'll be sure to time it better next year.

Nate said...

You were gone Needham? I didn't notice. ;)

BM, I'll see what can be done about the comment format.