Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Opening Day — My Thoughts on the Game

Here are my thoughts on the actual game as opposed to the hoopla and just the plain joy of being back at Nats Park.

It was not the most outstanding of performances. Even though there were outstanding performance.

I think I’ll deal with the bad stuff first. The error where no one wanted to catch the ball. Ian Desmond and Dan Uggla went after a ball but well neither of them caught it. A catch would have ended in the inning instead it lead to two unearned runs.

The blow by blow from the Post:
“Embarrassing,” Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond called the fact that the popup hit by Mets third baseman David Wright with a man on first and two outs landed on the ground and not in a glove. The ball hit off Desmond’s glove and fell to the ground, sending runners to second and third.

“I feel like one of those little leaguers,” Desmond said after watching a replay. Neither Desmond nor second baseman Dan Uggla made the play Monday afternoon, and it turned a two-out walk into an unearned run and, eventually, a one-run lead into a one-run deficit when Lucas Duda followed it with a line drive single to right.

“I wasn’t loud enough. I gotta be louder in that situation,” Uggla said. “He’s the shortstop. If he doesn’t hear anything or see anybody underneath it or anything like that, he’s gotta go after it. That’s him being aggressive, and that’s what makes him an awesome player. That’s a situation where I’ve got to be louder, and let him know I’m camped underneath.”
You could say that was the ball game and it sort of was. Except for the fact the Nats had runners on first and second with no outs and were not able to score anyone. That was the bottom of the first inning. A hit or two and the Nats would have had a run or two. It would have been a very different ball game. So in the fourth inning when Harper hits his home run at the very least it would have been 2-0 or maybe even 3-0. Bottom of the sixth two men on again and inning ends with Ramos striking out. Another opportunity that slipped by.

In too many cases the one error is looked at as the reason a team in this case the Nationals lost the game. If the ball had been the caught the inning is over. New York doesn’t get its two runs. If everything else stayed the same at the end of nine innings it would have been tied 1-1. But alas that’s not what happened.

Enough of the not so good.

Now on to the good stuff. And there was good stuff.

The most important good stuff is the boys are back playing. It was exciting to be in the park. It was exciting to see everyone on the field. It was exciting. Now on to actual good stuff

Max Scherzer was great. He retired 17 batters in a row. He was not good but great. Very impressive indeed. I’m not sure I can say he is well worth the money but if he continues to pitch this way he certainly will be worth it.

I think Ryan Zimmerman will be really good at first base. He made some really impressive stops. There was one little bobble but of little concern. He looked very comfortable there.

More good stuff Michael Taylor. A couple of impressive catches in center. Yes he did miss one but he came oh so close to it. He looks very comfortable in the lead off position

Final good stuff is Bryce Harper. He hit a home run. Made several key catches. Made a tremendous throw to second base. In all a really good day for him.

Oh and one more thing Washington, DC will be getting the 2018 All Star Game.

The bottom line is that some sloppy play cost the Nats the game. But on balance not a terrible day to be at a ball game. It was after all opening day.

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