In perhaps our most challenging post yet, we look at the bright side from tonight's game. What positives can we glean from a 15-1 defeat?
1. It was not a shutout. Because that would have been embarrassing.
2. Billy Traber was almost untouchable. Two full innings, only two hits allowed, and no runs scored, dipping that ERA to 1.59.
3. Dmitri Young. Two doubles and an uptick in the batting average to .338. He's looking more and more like All- Star material.
4. Christian Guzman. Came out of a mini-slump by going 2 for 3, with the lone Nats RBI. Also made several nice plays in the field.
5. No errors. That's right, no errors.
6. They were not alone. The Blue Jays were also members of the Losing Double-Digits to Single-Digits club tonight.
7. Stability is still assured. Despite this loss and the recent mini-streak of losing, the Nationals will not have their manager fired tonight, tomorrow, or any time in the foreseeable future.
8. Games such as this have been rare. Remember when some thought that bad losses would be the norm all season? They were wrong. Perhaps tonight stings a little more because it's really the first loss if its kind this year. The lack of complete blowouts shows how much this team has exceeded expectations.
9. No fights. Despite several rough innings, nobody in the Nationals dugout threw a punch at a teammate.
10. The impending arrival of Brandon Watson. Though everyone obviously wishes it were under more favorable circumstances than Robert Fick going on bereavement leave following the death of his mother, we have 43-game-hitting-streak sensation Watson coming to town to fill an open roster spot. That's exciting.
11. Reality check. No, this isn't one of those "they've just been beating lesser teams" type of comments. It's just a slight reminder to fans, particularly, um, highly optimistic blogs, that there is a ways to go for this rebuilding team. It absolutely does not shake our faith in The Plan, it simply re-enforces that there will not be overnight results, and that teams like the Tigers are really, really good.
So there you go. That wasn't so hard, really.