quick thoughts from tonight
I was at the game tonight and I have to say that it was probably in the top 3 regular season games I have been at in terms of roller coaster of emotions. And there is no doubt in my mind, as if there was before, what a huge Nats fan I have become based on how strong and how often those emotions turned.
Managerially, this game was pretty bad on all sides. But what this game was a great exhibit of is the idea, followed by far too few teams, that you should not save your "closer" for a closing situation. With two outs and bases loaded in the 8th and Majewski being pummelled, I think you HAVE to go to Cordero--what is 4 outs compared to 3?
Then Cox suffers from the same bad call by not bringing in his closer (if they even have one), but worse....I can understand intentionally walking Byrd to load the bases with 1 out. Personally, I wouldn't have done it, but it is an arguable call. But why would you bring in Grybowski to issue that walk? Why wouldn't you let Kolb throw those 4 pitches? I think it is bad enough loading the bases intentionally for a fresh pitcher whom you have no idea if he will be cold, but you exacerbate the problem if the first thing you have the guy do is throw 4 pitches out of the strike zone on purpose. As Bennett stepped to the plate, I said "that's about the surest thing you can do to make your pitcher fall behind in the count." Sure enough, Grybowski quickly went to 2-0 on Bennett. And at 2-1, I said "ok, this is where you pick one pitch and one zone--anything else you let go, but if it is there, you drive the heck out of the ball." I guess Bennett got just what he was looking for and the Nats get the win.
Two small items of note: 1) the Nats are now 11-0 in games at least one member of Nats Blog attends, really approaching statistical significance; 2) Frank got a double switch right, moving Wilkerson to first in the 9th, leaving Church in the outfield and moving the pitcher's spot to fourth.