Thursday, May 31

Game Report from May 30th

So I finally got to RFK for my first game (yeah, I know; I didn't live in DC before now). As games go, it wasn't terribly exciting from my perspective; I really only got into the game once a group of Dodger fans 3 sections over started making a lot of noise in the top of the 9th. I don't have a problem with making noise when you're the away team - it's a great opportunity to be a prick, since ....well, everyone expects it of you - but don't wait until the 9th to cheer your team on to victory. If you're gonna be that guy, you can't be that guy only at the end of the game - you've got to be that guy from the beginning. Otherwise you're an effective bandwagoneer, and there's no fun in that.

Anyway, I'm going to handle this in the stupidest way I know how: the mock interview.

What'd you think of RFK?
It seemed to be pretty plainly designed as a football stadium. That's not a bad thing, really - it was just slightly disorienting at first. The crowds weren't too bad, and I can't really speak to the facilities or the concessions, as I didn't use either of them.

How'd the game look early?
I figured the Nats had a shot; Bascik did a good job through the first couple of innings and Derek Lowe was going to three-ball counts on almost everyone in the first two innings. Church got CS on what I think was a botched hit-and-run - Lowe threw it near Schneider's feet. Lowe was missing low and away on righties big-time through the first couple of innings, and I figured he'd compensate by throwing mid-in on righties.

And yet that didn't happen. Why?
Lowe found his groove somewhere around Nook's first AB (and, while we're at it: no balls hit out of the infield tonight for the Nookster, although Garciaparra made a good play his first AB to rob him of a double). He rattled off 11 straight ground balls or strikeouts (one of those was FLop's single through the middle).

It's frustrating watching a groundball pitcher when he's on. He'll make the opposition look foolish if he's a great groundballer - or just ineffective if he's okay at what he does. Lowe falls into the latter camp, and even though he was racking up the pitch count (brought on by many three-ball counts), he still had plenty left in the tank. That was the case here.

Meanwhile, Bascik was giving up line drives left and right. The two runs scored in the 5th were definitely legit; both Gonzo and Ethier had well-hit balls, and ....for the love of god, don't walk the pitcher. Why do the guys who suck (Pierre, the pitchers) scare the Nats?

When did it go to hell?
Thanks go to Cristian Guzman and Ray King for that.

Guzmania? Booted an easy ground ball. I was actually explaining the concept of unearned runs to my girlfriend when she asked, "So if Russell Martin hits a HR both runs are unearned, right?" ... and sure enough, that happened about a minute later. (Sadly, this was not a mojo-changing experience, but it was funny.) He also lucked the hell out with both his hits; I thought the first one should've been an error (booted grounder by Abreu + bad throw) and the second one was cheese - but the Starcraft "OMG 4 POOL" kind of way.

Ray King? 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 ER. The walk? To the pitcher. Of course. Saul Rivera allowed Lowe to score.

...that about covers it.