What is it with Washington's pitching?
Talk about schizophrenic-- Esteban "Steve" Loaiza pitches a 6-0 no-hitter into the 5th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates, only to collapse faster than a cameraman following Kenny Rogers.
Then it was Hector Carrasco's turn to fumble on the mound. Then it was Luis "I Can't Believe Frank's Pitching Him Again" Ayala's turn to scare the home fans.
The oft-abused Ayala is on pace to make over *one hundred* appearances in relief this season. As my buddy Brian puts it, if we're lucky, we may get to go to the game where Ayala's arm flies off and sails across the plate while still clutching the ball. Of course, I'm calling it now, the ball will definitely be outside.
Seriously, Frank Robinson needs to find a way to give his pitchers a break, because right now he's treating his bullpen like Zed treats his gimps.
Frank, could you please stop going medieval on your pitchers?
Incredibly, the Nationals still defeated the Pirates by a score of 7-5, earning another sweep at home. Only this time, instead of dominant pitching the Nats needed the breathing room provided by a rare offensive explosion. Plenty of hits and runs, and not one but two (2!) home runs, one by Brian Schneider and another shot by Vinny Castilla, this one a boomer into the RFK Mezzanine.
A win is a win is a win, and I'll take it.
But wow, these guys really make their fans sweat.
RFK Notes: Wil "Wifebeater" Cordero played first base again for the injured Nick Johnson, and he even managed to hit a double today, doubling (!) his abysmal batting average. While that's certainly progress, I argued early with Brian that I still couldn't understand why Frank Robinson would bat the .031 hitter *sixth* in the order, above not only the pitcher but also the decent Brian Schneider and the awful-yet-better-than-Cordero Cristian Guzman. Brian defended the order, maintaining that the slumping Cordero represented more of a threat than even Schneider.
Next inning, Schneider hits his home run.
End of debate.
As thankful as I am to the Washington, D.C. government for delivering the Nationals here, they've dependably screwed up just about everything else in the process.
Today's example? The traffic into RFK was backed up all the way out onto I-295 today. While at 37,361 fans the game was well-attended, there was no obvious excuse for the backup. As we drove onto the RFK access road, we learned the reason for the delay: the city was taking the time, in the middle of the day, during a baseball game, to patch up potholes in the access road, reducing the road from its-already-too-narrow two lanes to a dreadfully-insufficient single lane.
Uh, guys? The Nats are going on a road trip tomorrow. If you insist on doing the work during the day, you could always wait for the stadium to be empty instead of a day where THIRTY-SEVEN THOUSAND PEOPLE are going to use the road..
Third. World. Country.