Thursday, May 22, 2008

Positives Amid a 12-2 Loss

From my post in Connecticut, I can only discern vague, Internet-aided "play-by-play" goings on at Nationals Park, and wherever else our future division-winning team plays. Last night, Yahoo! told me those goings on did not go well, with the Nats losing to the team from the city with 100 losing seasons by ten runs.

Even with the undesirable outcome of this game, let’s not give into (Philly-like) despair and, most of all, let’s not allow any random Philadelphia fan (if any have ceased filling message boards with fire-the-Flyers comments and left their homes) gloat over us and ruin recent positive developments.

Those developments, of course, revolve around the Nationals evolving dominating starting pitching rotation. Jason Bergmann: yet to give up a run since returning, more motivated than ever apparently, from the minors. John Lannan, he of the prescient DCO HOF induction last summer, has been similarly spectacular the last month (looking past that unpleasant business vs. the Pirates on May 2). Tim Redding: also finishing off a fine month (also excluding one dud of a start, his vs. Florida on May 9). Put those three together, get Shawn Hill back healthy, add in the wondrously adequate Odalis Perez, and you’ve got a fine starting rotation, one destined to not turn over a hundred times like last season, and one to hold the fort until the eventual busting out of the batting order.

That batting order did have some, um, issues last night knocking in runs (23 lonely baserunners left stranded), but simply getting hits isn’t the issue anymore. Lastings Milledge: another two-hit game! Jesus Flores: 3-for-4 and making the case that a full year playing in the majors is more beneficial to his development than a full year playing in Harrisonburg. Elijah Dukes: the former Most Dangerous One-Hit Player in the majors is now the Most Dangerous Two-Hit Player in the majors. Ryan Zimmerman: sniffing .260, to go up from there.

So step 1, hitting and reaching base, is complete. Getting those runners home will surely soon follow. Let us, then, focus on these positive developments, and not wallow in what could otherwise be a soul-and-city-crushing loss.

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