Many different tidbits
I've been wanting to post about a few things but was away this weekend.
As SuperNoVa stated, this really is a team we need to start taking seriously, and I feel bad in a way that my expectations have changed so much, and I don't want to take the fun out of it. I didn't see an inning of the Cubs series because I was away, but I kept checking for score updates and listened on XM here and there...and the whole time, I must have been expecting them to win every game. Because it wasn't a felling of "hey, I hope we get a win or two here." It was more like getting really pissed when the Cubs scored at all or when we didn't get a run in--and my only explanation for that is that I am in the mindset of (a) we are in a playoff hunt and we don't want to blow it, and (b) we should beat every team we play. I just cannot imagine thinking this way back in April.
OK--note here that the above was typed before today's game and the rest is typed after. In keeping with the mentality expressed above, I am pissed that we lost today. I mean, it is just one game, but we should win any game where we go into the 7th with a lead is my new mentality. By the way, SuperNova has now lost two straight games and I am considering banning him from our seats. DM and I put our undefeated status on the line tomorrow (Tues) night against Pedro. This is going to be a tough one.
I personally would have had a hard time letting Patterson start the 7th when he doesn't seem to do well over 100 pitches and I probably wouldn't have let Sunny go into the 9th, but I am letting all that go because (a) we did just play that insane game Sunday (although I don't think that number of appearances matters all that much as long as you don't work too hard in each one); (b) Frank has done a really good job managing the pitchers lately; and (c) as you may have noticed, I haven't been riding Frank all that hard lately. How can I? While I disagree with a bunch of his gametime strategy including the crazy obsession with bunting and batting a guy like Wil Cordero 6th, I feel that arguing with the success of a guy that has us at 50 wins when half our team is injured and our Vegas over/under to start the season was 68.5 wins total will simply make me look foolish. Not only would Frank win manager of the year if the vote was conducted today, it would surely be unanimous (take a look at the NL and name one other team that is "overachieving," the criteria usually used for manager of the year votes.
People have mentioned Chad Cordero for potential Cy Young candidacy. Let me say right now that is absurd. If you have starting pitchers that are dominating like Clemens and Willis, you vote for them. However, what I wouldn't find absurd if he kept up his pace, especially the one run saves, is a Chad Cordero for MVP candidacy. This is one of those rare cases where you could make a better argument for MVP over Cy Young for a guy--especially if the Nats make the playoffs and his competition is either out of the playoffs or a Cardinal (player, not pontiff).
As there have been many games lately of teams within the NL East playing each other, a real brain-teaser has come to mind: who do you root for when two division rivals play? When we played various games back in the day, especially ones involving elimination, my buddy Andy and I always had opposite strategies: My strategy was to weaken every opponent to have the maximum overall lead and then to pick off the weaklings one by one at the end. Andy would go for the weakest opponent and kill him off and then move on to the next weakest one. Therefore, if you go by my view, if the Marlins play the Braves, you root for the Marlins who are a couple games further back. If you go by Andy's theory, you root for the Braves, hoping the Marlins get so far back that they are out of contention and you only have to deal with the Braves. I'd be interested in hearing peoples' views on this.
Well, I think that's it for now. I have a Craig Biggio HBP-related post but I think I will save that for tomorrow and a separate space.