Happy Memorial Day to all of you out in Natstown, especially to the individuals and families that have dedicated their lives to protecting our wonderful country. It would be cliché to say this if it weren't so true, but every one of the 300 million of us owe you a debt of gratitude for your selflessness in service. Now I try to tackle the big news of the weekend without losing my cool (see disclaimer at bottom for an explanation).
My initial idea for today's post was going to be about how the Nats were seeing Roy Oswalt before the Nats offer some prospects (Chris Marrero and Chris Duncan, anyone?) and an obscene amount of guaranteed money for the Astros ace behind closed doors. Because let's face it, the Nats need starting pitching. But Oswalt got tossed in the 3rd inning for showing his displeasure for the home plate umpire's strike zone a bit too excessively. In fairness to Oswalt, it did appear that he was squeezed on a pitch to Adam Dunn, who rocked a 3 RBI double to right center later in the at-bat. He may have had a legitimate gripe. But after his short and unimpressive 4 run outing before the ejection, I was panicked thinking of a new blog post idea. But thanks to a 9 run 7th inning in a blowout and Mike Rizzo's Strasburgeriffic news, my job was pretty much done for me.
In the afternoon holiday game, the Nats simply exploded offensively, scoring 14 runs over the Astros, with 9 of them coming in the 7th inning. The Nats haven't scored that many runs in one inning since the team returned to the District. They did it on the efforts of Ryan Zimmerman and... Nyjer Morgan? What?
Coming into Memorial Day, Tony Plush (he earned the name back after this outing) was 2 out of his last 23. He acknowledged he was swinging a bat of ice and he needed to fix it. Everyone that watched him play saw his desperation to recover, which was making him even worse and more frustrated. A vicious cycle. So Jim Riggleman, like Nostradamus, said, Let's try Nyjer batting 2nd behind Guzzie. Well, it resulted in a 3 for 4 day, plus a walk, and 4 runs scored for Nyjer in that 2nd spot. This may be a fairly permanent change for the Nats in the coming weeks. Why change a good thing?
And then: Gentleman Zimm. Zimmerman had an OBP of 1.000 today. Basically, that pretty much sums up Zimm's night. 2 walks, plus 2 hits, including a big fly that landed him 3 of his 4 RBI. The stats speak more loudly than I can at the moment.
Then there's the news. STEPHEN STRASBURG WILL START JUNE 8TH! I would make that flash and blink and stuff, but I mean, every sports organization on the planet has already broken that story, so I won't beat it to death. But he probably is the best pitcher ever, right Curt Schilling? Of course, the game sold out in about an hour. Most of the tickets probably went to Phillies fans because of Stan Kasten. Or maybe not, I'm just speculating.
As a note of disclaimer: I'm fully aware that this post is unusually sarcastic, but my brain is still trying to process a Flyers loss, putting them down 2-0 in the series against the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals after an incredibly dominating 3rd period performance. The frustration is working its way out in rancorous form. I'll get back on the wagon tomorrow with a legit post along the lines of "Seriously, why isn't Cristian Guzman the Nats every day 2nd baseman? I mean... really?!" Until then...