Yes, Saturday night hurt. The insults on top of what would already have been a horrific injury were myriad: a blown save, a home run over that cursedly deep center field wall, a sudden deficit, a promising ninth-inning rally brutally cut down before its time, and thousands of Cleveland Indians fans there to let us all know about it. What does a good manager do? Does he rip into his closer who gave up the monstrous home run, or his struggling reserve outfielder whose baserunning blunder squelched the last hopes of the team? No! He digs deep into his seemingly bottomless well of faith in his players and says, "I want to be in the same position [Sunday] with a two-run lead and my closer on the mound in the ninth inning."
Now, we have previously explored how 'Tism can affect the course of human events, and we seem to have more confirming evidence here. For what did ChairManny find in the ninth inning today? His closer on the mound in the ninth inning with a two-run lead. And as the theme of redemption rolls on this season, Chad Cordero delivered, even overcoming a brief scare caused by a wild throw on a would-be double play.
Thus the Nationals have a big series win against Cleveland, one badly needed after the, um, events of the Detroit series. Just when things were starting to look bleak again, with the team losing five of six and perhaps finally succumbing to the expectations that they be a pushover last-place team, 'Tism pulled them back. Bring on the squabbling Braves (yes, they claim to have made up, but our optimism towards our own teams is only matched by our pessimism towards others, so we don't believe it).
The impressive season debut of Brandon Watson should not be lost in all of this. He has now hit in three straight games since going 0-3 on June 20 against Detroit. Is he perhaps setting the table for an encore to his minor league hitting feats? Only 40 games left (and maybe 13 beyond that?) until we know for sure.