Sleep-deprived but Happy!

I really thought the Nats would lose yesterday’s last game with the D’backs but Mikey came through:)  And the game helped us all try to stop obsessing about Strassburg.

I have thought for a long time that the team should cut their losses and deal “Sensitive Stephen.”  He is the biggest “head case” I’ve seen in the last 70 years or so.  His mechanics are off and he’s so fixated on that he is spending too much time (in the middle of games) thinking about it rather than just pitching.

I hope Jay-Dub is finally moving his batting towards his personal comfort zone.  He had some good swings yesterday.

The nats will have more trouble in San Diego that they did in Phoenix:)

Here is the Opening Day Lineup

Uggla starts at 2B, T-Mo in LF, Taylor in CF.  I’m really holding my nose on Taylor since he can’t hit ML pitching.

The bench on opening day is: Lobaton, Espi, Dekker, Johnson, Robinson.

The above are just my guesses; the team has not announced these.

I am very disappointed about this, but it’s just the opening day lineup.  Werth could be in the lineup very soon after that.  Rendon and Span will take weeks if not months.  I am almost shocked that Ian Stewart has apparently not made the cut, judging by his name not having been mentioned in print for at least 2 weeks:)

So both the offense and defense will be weak, and the bull-pen will be close to a total F_______-up.

You saw it HERE!!!

Today I’d like to be Michael Taylor’s Father!

What an inspiring game last night! In his first big-league game Taylor really made an impression: two hits, including a home run, and he looked very good in Right Field too, making a good throw from the deep corner to 2B, preventing the batter from stretching a single into a double. And after the game he was refreshingly humble in dealing with the media. I first mentioned how good Mike looked in Spring Training in an early blogpost on March 1. After ST he made the jump from A to AA. He did so well there he jumped to AAA 2-3 weeks ago, and then up to the parent team the day before yesterday. That’s quite an elevator ride!

Doug Fister, the nats true ACE, also inspired last night! And Asdrubal Cabrera is steadily raising his batting average; it’s at .286 now.

The Nats can likely get to the playoffs without RZimm, and Werth may see limited playing time while his shoulder heals (or NOT), but they need both of their clutch hitters/players in the playoffs!

Read the Boswell article in today’s Post if you haven’t already!

No, I’m Not In Bed With Las Vegas!

Michael Taylor in centerfield. Photo courtesy of Curly W, the official blog of the Washington Nationals.

Michael Taylor in centerfield. Photo courtesy of Curly W, the official blog of the Washington Nationals.

I noticed recently that Las Vegas has the Gnats (ooops, I meant Nats) winning 88.5 games this year. This seems right in line with my own guesstimate of 88-92 wins in my initial post. Everything will have to go right, I think, for them to reach 92 wins–no major injuries; the bullpen performs better than it did last year; Espinosa learns how to hit major-league pitching; Harper and LaRoach improve against lefties; and all the pitchers finally learn how to hold runners on base.

That last point is a real sore-point with me (as a former pitcher in college and semi-pro who LOVED picking sleeping base-runners off). Since early January I’ve been participating in indoor baseball practice with about 30-40 local players and I was chatting this week with our infield coach (who is a former professional minor-league player who is about 30 years old) and the conversation went like this: I asked him what he thought about how bad the Nats pitchers are at holding runners. He reacted by rolling his eyes, then told me he had played with a few of the very Nats pitchers I was referencing. And after he muttered a few choice, unmentionable, epithets I got the clear impression he was as annoyed about this as I was!

It was wonderful to watch parts of the first Nats Spring Training game yesterday!  Not much to say other than that. But one thing really made an impression on me. I had had no idea what all the chatter about Michael Taylor was about, and now I KNOW. His triple, to win the game in the 9th inning, let me know in dramatic fashion that this is a player to keep an eye on!  Taylor will likely be playing this year with AAA Syracuse, but he may be making an appearance with the big boys in September.