(All photos are credited to the account of Dr. W)
We at the NQ hope you are enjoying your Monday holiday. Of course, how enjoyable can it be when the Nationals lose 5-3 to the Miami Marlins? If it wasn’t for the amount of booze and barbecue sauce flowing freely around today then it might be downright unbearable.
But it happens. They can’t and won’t win them all. I can tell you the exact point this game went down the toilet. Bottom of the sixth, Jordan Zimmermann hangs a 3-1 pitch so Gigantor Stanton (or whatever they call him now) can put a two-run bomb over the wall setting off the giant Miami Skittle Machine.
I like Jordan Zimmermann. I do. But I can’t help shake the feeling he hung out with John Lannan and Livan Hernandez too much. Lack of run support aside, he seems that prototypical Nationals pitcher from 2008-2010 that have flashes of brilliance and some fine outings, but scattered a little too much in there are too many mistakes and outings you’d rather forget. Right now he sits in the third spot in the rotation and rightfully so because Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez are absolute freaks of nature, but I would not be against Zimmermann being moved down to the fourth or even fifth in line if the right pitcher were to step up. At least until he can figure to get his head on straight.
But that is ridiculous. It won’t happen and no one ever listens to me. But at least I have a Tyrannosaurus Rex on my blog. Not many can say that.
This Memorial Day weekend the NQ took a day off and went to Kings Dominion amusement park in Doswell, VA. We hit the water park, took in a few rides, checked out the babes and creepily followed anyone wearing something Nationals related. And trust me, there were a lot of people wearing Washington gear at Kings Dominion this weekend. Here are a couple photos of some of the fans we found. Enjoy.
So from my count, that is at least 10 Nationals fans walking around. Add those to the thousands that go to Nationals Park every game and I think you can safely say Chad Dukes is full of sh*t.
Dr. W, the NQ Apprentice, attended Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and took in Bryce Harper’s Washington debut while snapping a couple of nice shots of the young phenom and his blood brothers. The outcome of the game was miserable and it seems the (not so) shocking revelation that the Nationals offense is going to be a major problem from here on out seems to have really hit Natstown hard last night.
But Harper had an incredible throw from left field. Really. He gave a taste of the type of player he is going to evolve and grow into and it was wonderful. A couple of naysayers said it was nothing special since he didn’t actually get the out (replay showed he actually did) but that sort of thing hasn’t stopped everyone from talking about Armando Galarraga’s “no-hitter.” We all know he didn’t get the no-hit bid because of an umpire error– but yet we say he pitched a no-hitter technically anyway.
Alright. Too many words already. On to the photos. All credit goes to Dr. W.
Well, the NQ survives another St. Patrick’s Day. I hope yours went well. Ours was a little more on the down low this year than in years past. Not as much tomfoolery. It was just barrel of black beer after barrel of black beer. Shockingly the neighbors didn’t call the cops after we blasted the vuvuzela deep into the night.
The Nats played a St. Patrick’s Day Spring Training contest against the Florida Marlins to a 1-1 tie and they wore green hats doing it. It has to be the first time in three years the team got their “green on” for a St. Patrick’s game and I was upset the NQ couldn’t extend our Spring Training trip to catch it.
A lot of people bitched and whined about how ugly the green hats are, they see no point in them, etc. blah, blah, blah. Those people just don’t know how to have fun. I love the green hats and would love to see a green Nationals jersey for the occasion sometime in the future. I was disappointed in the selection of photos coming from the game. Either they were all taken from the side, too far away or I’m just tired of camera phones so we contacted the brilliant Cheryl Nichols over at District Sports Page and she graciously allowed us to use one of her photos from the game of Jordan Zimmermann.
Much better. Absolutely nothing wrong with the green hat. Not as hideous as some were making it out to be. Definitely not as ugly as–
Your Nationals Dispatch.
Bryce Harper Will Not Make It Past Florida’s Hot Gates – It was announced on Sunday that Nationals phenom Bryce Harper was cut from the main Spring Training squad and will be optioned to Triple-A Syracuse where he will learn to play center field and hit lefties. Though obviously a bit disappointed, Harper maintained a positive outlook on the decision and looks forward to being a “game changer” for the Nats in the future.
Absolutely correct decision, correct reaction, everything correct across the board. Harper is going to be a mega player for it and there is no need to start the FA clock a moment earlier. This news should greatly disappoint Yankee fans who will have to put their Harper jerseys on back order for another year.
Xavier Nady Was Brought In To Save Us All – The Nationals signed first baseman Xavier Nady to a minor league deal as insurance in case Michael Morse and/or Adam LaRoche can’t make a go of it on Opening Day due to languishing in lagging injuries.
Please God, let at least Morse return to some sort of health. A field that has both Xavier Nady and Mark DeRosa on might cause my mind to crumble and implode.
And From SB Nation D.C. – Me bitching about the amount of injuries the Nationals are sustaining this Spring, who the hell is responsible and what are they going to do if several of their starters aren’t there on Opening Day.
Answer: The hell that I know.
And that is Your Nationals Dispatch.
(Editor’s Note: I can’t tell you how giddy I am at finally having a National posted on this blog wearing something green on St. Patrick’s Day. It is like I can now scratch something off my blogging bucket list.)
The Nationals Inquisition is in Viera, FL. We left at roughly 6pm Tuesday night and arrived at Space Coast Stadium sometime in the 8am hour Wednesday. It was an insane piece of driving that I doubt will ever be matched. However it may have happened, it got us to Viera with plenty of time to spare before game time.
Usually we would have hit the minors camp as well, but today we got our barrings and will hang with the baby Nats on Thursday. We stuck around all morning for the AM workouts which saw majority of the players hitting the practice fields outside Space Coast Stadium. The only starters not accounted for was Ian Desmond (he started today so probably he was inside the stadium working out) and Jayson Werth.
Both the Nationals and defending champion St. Louis Cardinals fielded total scrub squads which was highly disappointing to those in attendance. Only one starter, Desmond, was in the line up. The game ended in a 3-3 tie after the Nationals rallied in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Usually a Spring Training game will go through a 10th inning before being called a tie, but the announcer over the loud speaker at the stadium said the inning was cancelled due to approaching inclement weather.
Whatever. It was almost insulting the home team using close to no starters on their home field. What? Werth doesn’t need his reps? Danny Espinosa wouldn’t benefit from a little extra fielding and batting time? Considering it took eight innings for the Nats to get three hits, the whole team might benefit from some extra playing time.
If you’ve been around this blog, you know how this works. The following are some highlights and lowlights of Wednesday’s Spring Training contest:
- Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson seemed to have acclimated really well. They were seen all morning joking around and talking with other players. The whole feeling in camp was a bit more lax than in year’s past which was full of confusion, worry and Stan Kasten.
- Michael Morse while stretching: “The pigs got us covered.” Bystanders looked at each other confused at first, but then we noticed several police vehicles parked themselves on the road near the stadium.
- Jordan Zimmermann came out strong and aggressive the first inning, but something changed the following innings and not for the good. He seemed to get a bit frustrated when he lead off the second inning by walking the batter, then having the batter steal and then hitting the next batter with a pitch. He seemed to be throwing the ball a little too much to the left of the plate.
- Matt Purke got hit around a bunch and gave up a solo home run, but it didn’t seem to rattle him and he didn’t seem to wallow in misery. He was pretty solid, but still needs work.
- I just can’t tell you how many people are pissed off about the line ups fielded today. It is like we are watching an away game for both teams. The Nationals aren’t hitting well at all which is concerning. They didn’t record their second hit of the game until the sixth inning.
- Solano and Flores need continued work throwing to second. Can’t get anybody out.
- Tyler Moore at first base had a nice snag after Tyler Clippard shattered a bat.
- Who the f**k is Jarrett Hoffpauir? Whoever he is, he finally got the Nats third hit of the game in the 8th.
- Drew Storen seemed a bit shaky and rusty putting on the first two hitters of the ninth inning on base with giving up a hit and a walk. However, strong defense bailed him out.
- Carlos Maldonado jacked a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. The blast was no question.
- Anthony Rendon has a helluva swing– just can’t connect. Yet.
Tomorrow is Space Day at Space Coast Stadium to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Space Center. They even changed the foul poles to honor KCS at the stadium. What is Space Day mean? I have no idea. But the Houston Astros are in town and I would like nothing more than the Nats to go Apollo 13 on their asses.
The Topps 2012 baseball cards were released Wednesday and the NQ got our grubby little hands on three of them. Pictured:
Nothing overly odd or wild about them except if you scratch them and then take a sniff they give off a unique and pungent odor.
It smells like playoffs.
Ah, the Fourth of July. America’s day. It is the day you can deck yourself out in the Americana Old Navy clothing line with no shame and endlessly blow things up with gunpowder and get away with it most of the time as long as that police helicopter can’t pin-point your position.
Of course, the most American thing you can do on Independence Day is attend a baseball game at one of the many fine ballpark establishments that litter our fair nation like an overly expensive fast food chain. Today the Nationals Inquisition took one in at–wait for it–Nationals Park. The Nationals took on the Chicago Cubs and beat said Cubbie Bears 5-4 on an 10th-inning walk-off wild pitch from Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol who is a side-arm throwing fireballer whose delivery makes you shake and laugh at the same time. The game winning run was scored by Jayson Werth who stole third to get in position to win the game.
That is Jayson Werth up there in the banner pic. It is unfortunately the only pic I got of him today and it was when he threw down his helmet in disgust at striking out with the bases loaded. He more than made up for it though going 1-for-3, gaining two RBIs, two walks and a steal. Still not hitting like he is meant to, but baby steps breaking out of a horrid slump and he did all this with an injured wrist on top of it all. An injured Laynce Nix also grinded it out in the game playing outfield and first base (his first time) and went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs and really being the Nationals only power threat. Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann lasted six-innings and it wasn’t his strongest performance giving up four runs on eight hits while striking out five. Zimmermann got flustered when two runs scored when Alfonso $oriano hit a routine fly ball to center and Roger Bernadina and Werth didn’t call it and just let it drop in. What followed was something out of the Three Stooges or two in this case. But Werth made up for it.
A win is a win, but we’ve got to be honest: the Nationals got some mad luck today– and Kerry Wood. If the Cubs weren’t such epic losers and didn’t make the mistakes they did, this game would have ended badly after the ninth. Speaking of the Cubs being epic sots, a big “WTF?” to the Cubs fan who held a strange sermon in the bathroom across from Section 226 during the third inning. He sat there washing his hands while two or three Nats fans stood against the wall in the bathroom listening to him rant about, “Yeah, we haven’t won anything in over 100 years, but we still have fans, we still sell out Wrigley– that is fan loyalty. Give the Yanks two years of bad baseball and watch them all disappear. They can’t even fill up that new stadium they have…”
Also, Nats: bad taste playing Ferris Bueller clips during the game. That film might be the best thing to come out of Chicago, but it is definitely pro-Cubs and we don’t want to give them or their fans any delusions of grandeur. Instead, might I suggest continuing with the Footloose theme and play the scene when Kevin Bacon is playing a game of chicken on a tractor moving at no-mph.
That scene always gets me jacked to the extreme.