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Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Nationals Almost Came back near the end, But failed, they still lost 6-10; Vidro: "Worst year I have ever been involved"

Phillies take early 2-0 lead in first inning off of starting pitcher Tony Armas (with two out, and bases loaded, Burrell singled, driving in Rollins and Victorino), and eventually drive him from the game after 3.1 innings pitched giving up 5 runs (3 in the 4th) off of 8 hits (1 HR) and 1 walk (and 1 strike-out). Wagner pitched the rest of the 4th inning, and the fifth. He walked one batter, but gave up zero hits and runs, lowering his ERA to 4.80. Gryboski allowed the game to get out of reach when he took over the pitching duties in the sixth inning when he gave up 4 runs off of 4 hits. Gryboski’s ERA is now 14.29. Rivera pitched the seventh and allowed 1 more runner to score. Bergmann relieved Rivera and pitched the 8th and 9th innings. For a fifth starter, Bergmann sure is seeing a lot of time working out of the bullpen. Bergmann gave up 1 hit and 1 walk, but struck out three and allowed zero runs to score.

The Nationals pulled within one run when they scored a run (Soriano’s 42nd home-run) in the bottom of the third to make the score 2-1, but Armas, as mentioned, gave up three more runs in the fourth inning (2 run home-run by Lieberthal, double by Rollins which scored Nunez from second base), and the Nationals were never again so close to winning the game (they never lead, so you have to look for the closest score).

Nationals pulled within 2 runs after Zimmerman hits a triple (his 2nd) in the 5th inning (one of his 4 hits in the game, which also included a double (39th)), and both Castro and Soriano score. Score 3-5 when Gryboski entered the game. You need to look no further than the group of relievers that pitched in last night’s game to understand how bad the pitching has gotten at this point in the season. The game was winnable, in that there were 6 runs scored by the Nationals, but most of the pitchers should a distinct lack of major league pitching ability and this assessment includes Tony Armas. Of course, Wagner and Bergmann were good, but . . .. As I was saying, with the score 3-5, Gryboski entered the game in the top of the sixth and then gave up 4 runs (Nunez scored on throwing error by Johnson according to ESPN; Howard then hit a 3 run home-run). Game over 9-3? Might as well be, though the Nationals would score 3 more runs, those three runs would not have tied or won the game. Oh, and Rivera walked in a run in the 7th inning.

The Nationals rallyed in the 8th and ninth innings. Church singled in Vidro in the 8th, and in the ninth Zimmerman doubled in the to drive in Mateo, and Zimmerman scored off of Johnson’s ninth inning single. Kearns then doubled with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. With Johnson on third and Kearns on second, and with 2 outs, Vidro struck out. Three run home-run, Nationals would have been down by 1 run with 2 outs and with Church at the plate (or a PH). That scenario did not occur, and as mentioned Vidro struck out.

Vidro believes, with the exception of left fielder Alfonso Soriano and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, nobody has played up to their capabilities. Vidro thought the Nationals would be better than the team that went 81-81 last year, but they were 55-75 and in fifth place in the National League East entering Tuesday's action.
- Nationals.com article

and: "This has been the worst year I have ever been involved -- by far," - Vidro is quoted as saying in that article.

Cole Hamels (6-7, 4.79) vs. Ramon Ortiz (9-11, 5.38).

Oh, and the Nationals will start 2006 at home.

Somewhat annoying that I started writing this about 7 hours ago, but kept getting interrupted, and then a long break. Oh well.

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