Tony Two-bags Returns!

Anthony Rendon is starting to get the timing and flow of hitting back!  Today and yesterday he had great at-bats, he was grinding them out, seeing a lot of pitches!  He did the same today, patiently looking for a good pitch to hit and not swinging at bad ones.

Jason Werth and Willy Ramos are getting more good at bats now too.  The homer Ramos hit today was mammoth!

I’m puzzled however over why the team called up Trea Turner and they haven’t put him in the starting lineup at least once!  That is not good managing; the kid has been starting in the minors for most of the year and now he is in the Nats dugout, but only getting an at-bat here or there.  If that is all there are going to let him do, they should send him back to Syracuse where he can play every day and stay sharp.  Matt Williams ought to know better.

I hope Rendon stays at 3B.  He is way better there than Escobar.  Put him at 2B.

 

A Key Win

Remember the game of last night, August 4.  “Gritty” said the Wash. Post. I can’t think of a better adjective!  And a throwing error with 2 out in the 9th inning by Yunel Escobar almost blew it.  That likely happened because his heartbeat (and that of eveery National) was above 180 bpm:)

Unknown Unknown

Willy Ramos (the “Buffalo”) got the key RBI hit in the 8th inning, and Jason Werth’s alert base-running got the winning run across home plate.  For Jason, this game hopefully was the turning point where he started to play his normal leading role in the Nationals’ offense.  He has always been a stand-out base-runner, so I was not surprised at his ability to read what was going on in the D’backs’ outfield and score from 2B on a single.  His at-bats last night were epic J-Dub efforts where he forces the pitcher to throw 10 or more pitches every time he steps into the batter’s box!  For those of us who really know him, he increases his chances for a good result with each pitch:)  That got him a key base-knock in the 8th inning just before Ramos drove him in!

Strasburg’s “Achilles Heel”

I’ve mentioned this before, but we continue to see how Stephen Strasburg can become rattled and loose his focus when events occur during games (errors by his teammates for example, or a plate umpire with a strike zone not to Stephen’s liking).  Last night in the 3rd inning Jason Werth dropped a routine fly ball in foul territory that would have been the third out.  Right after that Stephen threw a fastball right across the middle of home plate to a good hitter, Marlon Byrd, who hit it for a 3-run homer.

Those were the only runs Strasburg gave up in his 6 or 7 inning stint, so he was able to settle himself down after the home run.  My point is these episodes seem to affect Stephen’s pitching more than they do most pitchers.  I’m sure the Nats coachs are trying to work with him to increase his ability to stay focused on “grinding” through opposing team’s lineups while tuning out adverse events that are not under Stephen’s control.

Interesting footnotes:

1.  Former Nat (a very popular one!) Mikey Morse (“The Beast”) hit the game winning home run as the Giants beat our nemesis, the Atlanta Braves.  That was the Braves 4th straight loss!

2.  Another former Nat, Steve Lombardozzi, hitting .292 for the Orioles was sent down to AAA in order to make room for star third baseman Manny Machado as he came back from injury to play yesterday for the first time in 2014.  There were other Orioles that in my opinion should have been sent down instead of Lombo.  Note to Mike Rizzo: Get Lombo BACK!