Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Weekend Nats Update (Tuesday Edition)

Sometimes you bite the dog, sometimes the dog bites you.

The Nationals managed to salvage a win out of the St. Louis series on Sunday and then followed that with a controversial win yesterday at home against Atlanta to start their longest (13 games) homestand of the season and bring them back to one game over .500 (26-25) and within 2.5 games of division leading Florida (who comes to town this coming weekend). The offensive drought continues, however, as the team chalked up it's seventh consecutive game scoring three runs or fewer. Not a ton of chances for that scoring drought to end soon with us going up against tough pitching in these next couple of series, plus the fact that we're back at home...where we score significantly fewer runs than we do on the road (at least usually).

I watched the second half of yesterday's game and saw the controversial home run/foul ball on the television replays. I thought they were rather inconclusive and that the angle wasn't the greatest. Still...if the ball did hit the pole (and was therefore a HR), it hit it below the fence (IMO) and therefore there's no telling whether it was fair or foul. I think the umpire made the right decision - not just because I'm a Nats fan - in that he made a judgement based on caution. Technically speaking it didn't cost either team - Jordan still was at the plate and the Nats still had to retire him. True...he was quickly retired after that and the call cost the Braves a run. But, there's no guarantee that with a "closer" game in the 9th Cordero gives up that HR to Andruw Jones.

A good start (I suppose) if an inauspicious one for the Nats critical homestand. I wrote last week that they needed to break even in this series if they have any hope for staying in the division race. I stand by that. IMO, the Nats are not a team that's going to go on a tear and be able to make up an 8 or 10 game difference. If we can stay tight after this series, we don't face Atlanta and Florida again until the end of July. Moreover, we enter a stretch between now and then when we play a large number of home games as well as a large number of games against rather mediocre or subpar teams (Pirates, A's, Texas, Mets, Phillies, Rockies, Astros...all on-tap). And if we're in it at the end of July....then we can start thinking about what we need to do to make up additional ground - there are enough games against the division leaders in the last week of July through the end of the season to make up ground.

Anyway...my two cents.

An upate on the Guz is up next.

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