You make the call……..
The Nationals were 3-14 vs. Florida last season. With today’s win over Washington, the Marlins completed the sweep and continued their mastery over the Nats. At least the final score of today’s game was closer than the first two — 6-4. And at least Nationals starter Daniel Cabrera lasted longer than 3 innings (he pitched through the 6th), and he got through his first start with an ERA in the single digits (7.50). Who’d have thought that Cabrera would be the pitcher with the “best” (least awful?) ERA after the first three games?
Emilio Bonifacio continued to show his former team that trading him was a mistake. He finished the series with 8 hits in 14 at bats, 4 RBI, 6 runs scored, a .667 batting average, and 4 stolen bases. Conversely, the two players obtained by the Nationals in that trade have not been impressive. Scott Olsen stunk yesterday, and in today’s game, Josh Willingham was was 0-3 with two walks and a strikeout, and he stranded 5 baserunners.
Oh yeah, that trade has worked out just great for Washington!
The Nationals have been outscored by the Marlins 20-9 in their first two games of the season. Former Nationals infielder Emilio Bonifacio is 6-10 against his former team, 4 4 RBI, 4 runs scored, and a batting average of .600. Conversely, tonight’s starter for the Nats — Scott Olsen, who was part of the trade that sent Bonifacio to Florida — didn’t have quite as good a time against his former team. In just 3 innings of work, he allowed 8 earned runs off of 8 hits, including 2 home runs. He also had 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. At least Olsen’s performance may make John Lannan feel a bit better…Lannan gave up “only” 6 runs in 3 innings yesterday.
I’m trying not to freak out too much after these first two games. Maybe this is some kind of reverse karma, as compared to last season. The Nationals started off with three straight wins — the first against Atlanta, the second and third against Philadelphia — and dreams of a team that actually might be a contender for the pennant danced in the heads of Nats fans everywhere. And then everything fell apart and the season went into the toilet. So maybe the reverse will happen this year…maybe things will turn around dramatically after these first couple of games. Maybe? I hope so!
I forgot to mention this over the weekend. I had to take my Holland lop rabbit to the vet on Saturday morning.
He needed to get his claws trimmed. While we were waiting for our turn with the technician, a man was paying the bill for his dogs’ vet visit. He had two dogs — a yellow lab and a golden retriever — and the dogs’ names were Wrigley and Fenway!
I could be wrong about this…but I have a feeling that the dogs’ daddy is a baseball fan. LOL
*cough* *sniffle* *groan*
Not only am I trying to deal with my teams’ two losses yesterday, but I’m also fighting off a cold. I definitely need to work on feeling better ASAP, so I’m completely healthy by the Nats’ home opener next Monday.
Orioles 10, Yankees 5
CC Sabathia was horrible in his official debut in pinstripes, giving up 6 runs (all earned) in just a little over 4 innings of play. He didn’t give up any home runs, but he didn’t strike anyone out either, and he surrendered 5 walks. The two wild pitches in the first inning were a preview of things to come.
Teixeira was 0-4 in his official Yankees debut. He also left 5 runners on base. And he was booed unmercifully by Oriole fans, who were angry because Tex chose to sign with New York instead of Baltimore. If he keeps having 0-4 games, he’d better get used to being booed.
Derek Jeter may not be the 24 year old phenom that he once was…but at least he got off to a decent start by getting 3 hits in 5 at bats.
Two players who were sorely missed last year hit home runs in this game – Jorge Posada hit a solo HR in the 6th inning, and Hideki Matsui hit a 2-run HR in the 7th inning.
There was an interesting bit of irony in 8th inning, when Johnny Damon nearly robbed Cesar Izturis of a home run. The play could have been ruled fan interference because, as the replay clearly showed, a fan hit Damon’s glove as he attempted to make the catch. Damon didn’t protest very much, presumably because the ball was over the wall, but he did momentarily gesture in the direction of the fan while looking towards the umpires. Although this was just opening day and not a playoff game, it reminded me of the Jeffrey Maier play at Yankee Stadium during the 1996 ALDS. Definitely ironic, since the Yankees opponent in that game was the Baltimore Orioles.
The game was sold out and drew a crowd of 48,607, which is the largest opening day crowd in Oriole Park history. How many of you think the crowd was so big because Baltimore fans are so excited about their Orioles? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Raise your hand if you think the crowd was so big because of all the Yankees fans wanting to see Sabathia’s official debut in pinstripes!
To bad those fans had to leave the game disappointed.
Marlins 12, Nationals 6
John Lannan’s first opening day start of his career was anything but memorable. Unable to throw strikes, he only lasted 3 innings, giving up 6 earned runs, including 2 home runs. He also had one strikeout. At least he didn’t walk anyone…he didn’t have time for that, since he was too busy giving up runs!
Adam Dunn was 2-4 in his official Nationals debut, with a 3-run HR in the 6th inning. He had 4 RBI in the game and scored twice. His performance was one of the few highlights of the game for the Nats. Cristian Guzman was also 2-4 and scored 2 runs, while striking out once.
Ronnie Belliard had an error in the first inning (when is Anderson Hernandez coming off the DL?), and Lastings Milledge proved once again that he is not a center fielder, nor, apparently, is he a competent leadoff hitter. Emilio Bonifacio, who was thought to become a fixture at second base for the Nationals before being traded to the Marlins last fall, was 4-5 with a home run and 2 RBI against his former team. He also stole 3 bases. Bonifacio’s inside-the-park home run should/could have been caught but instead sailed over Milledge’s head.
Other than Dunn’s home run, the only other even remotely positive things I can say about this first game are (1) the Nationals didn’t give up after being down 6-0 (last year, they probably would have given up), and (2) no one got hurt.
CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira were both decidedly less than impressive in their official Yankees debuts. Adam Dunn’s official debut for the Nationals was much better, even though it didn’t help his team to win the game. At least CC’s ERA (12.46) wasn’t as high as Nats’ starter John Lannan’s (18.00), which wasn’t as high as Yankees reliever Brian Bruney’s (54.00)