I didn't get to watch the game yesterday, but I did follow the first 4 innings online and listened to the rest on Radio.
Let me start off by saying that the radio guys were pretty awful. I was listening to XM but it was the Nationals' home broadcast. I just didn't feel they added anything to the game, and they were clearly more old-school baseball guys who loved to throw around old adages than anyone who respected new thinking and stats and the like. And they clearly shied away from criticizing anything Nats related.
Which ties in here to a couple of what I thought were HIGHLY questionable calls made by Frank Robinson yesterday (and a highly questionable quote as stated by the radio guys).
1) Maybe this didn't come from Frank, but I would guess it did. While the steal attempt is usually a bad move, often when you have a guy on first and two outs and a bad count, you try to steal figuring that even if you get out, you are saving the batter who can start fresh next inning with an 0-0 count. However, what were the Nats thinking trying to steal Guzman with Loaiza up in the 7th? You want to make sure Loaiza can bat again in the 8th? It doesn't make any sense. The only even potential argument would be if you planned on pinch hitting for Loaiza anyway in the 8th and you had someone on your bench who could actually hit (which we don't--I brought up at the game the other day that I couldn't remember/think of a single bench weaker than the one we have right now). Anyway, that clearly wasn't in Frank's mind because of...
2) Why did Loaiza pitch the 9th? He had just gotten out of a rough inning where he had over 20 pitches, his pitch count had reached 100, and according to those that were watching, he looked tired. His last outing against the Mets, he had 4 really rough innings where he had to work to get out of jams, and Frank didn't pinch hit for him, letting him pitch the 5th--where he promptly gave up a lead-off homer (no one at the bar I was at knew buck seyz or I would have had an easy win there). Here, Frank leaves him in to pitch the 9th, and he gives up the leadoff homer again. I brought this up to friends a couple of days ago--Frank is very loyal to these old school mentalities of--you let your pitcher go 5 for the chance at the win, you bring your best pitchers in at specific times when you have the lead, not based on the situation, you give your starter a chance to win even if he is tired, you bat a guy like Cristian Guzamn second, etc. That just isn't the way to win ball games and it is going to cost you a few games a year.
3) Some proof of this is a quote the announcers read of Frank's last night. When asked whether he was concerned that Schneider is batting around .200, Frank answered (I'm paraphrasing, but attempting to remember it exactly) "No, he'll go in ups and downs, but it doesn't matter. His job is to catch our pitchers and call ball games. If he gets even a single hit in a game, that's a bonus, but I'm not going to worry if he doesn't." Well, it is true that a catcher catches. But if you are going to have the mentality that your #7 hitter isn't supposed to hit, then you clearly don't care about your #8 hitter, and #9 is the pitcher...not sure we can win too many games if you are willing to have a black hole from a third of your lineup. Especially when the other 6 guys aren't murderer's row.
4) It's funny how the announcers went out of their way not to be critical at certain points. If they meant it, it's even funnier. After the attempted steal with Loaiza up, one of the announcers said "I'm not sure you want to try to steal with your pitcher up and 2 outs. We don't want Loaiza starting off the next inning." The other announcer then countered: "That's what makes Frank Robinson so good. He does things when you least expect them." Let me tell you. When I'm driving, I least expect someone to dive in front of my car. It doesn't make it a smart move.
They also tried to make it seem very exciting that the Nats were going to be in a bunch of scoreless games like yesterday--the old "I'd rather see a 1-0 game than a 12-10 game." I actually tend to agree with that statement some of the time. But unfortunately, if you have a bunch of 0-0 games late in the game, that probably means you are winning half and losing half and the non 0-0 games, you are losing 5-0, making for a pretty bad overall record. We just can't keep hoping to win 2-1 and 3-1 games.
Ok, I had another thought but I lost it, so I'll just post it later if I remember. 11-11, so I can't complain too much anyway!
Final thought: Random digs at Cristian Guzman...at least I'm not the only one.