Monday, April 26, 2010

Olsen, Clip, Capps & A Real Baseball Team (Game 19)

Sorry for the delay in post. I had a busy weekend of family and friends. Capitol Baseball did get to go to the Nats/Dodgers game on Sunday where the Nats got a good old 1-0 victory. When Scott Olsen entered the game, he got himself into an immediate jam and loaded the bases at the top of the first. After that, it was smooth sailing for Scotty (alliteration win).

Olsen threw 8 strikeouts, on lots of curve balls that made the Dodgers hitters look silly at times, in his 7 inning shutout win. The Nationals slim 1-0 victory did not come easy. Although Olsen pitched one of his best games in more than a season, two simply outstanding outfield catches may have saved the game. The Hammer had an amazing catch that saved what easily could have been an inside the park home run by the speedy Rafael Furcal if Willingham had missed that catch. Then Justin Maxwell, in his new found defensive prowess this season, had another huge catch, perhaps even more remarkable than Willingham's. James Loney was already on 2nd base and J. Max saved a guaranteed RBI and another runner in scoring position, which would have resulted in Capps' first blown save of the season.

Clippard looked as good as ever. He didn't disappoint in his outing, with a solid 1,2,3 inning in the 8th and adding a strikeout to his tally for 19 on the year. Hitters just can't seem to figure him out.

While Capitol Baseball was hoping to see that crazy Capps knuckleball that Adam Dunn spoke of on Friday night, it wasn't necessary. Matt pitched his brand of nervous closer baseball, see how many solid drives you could have with runners in scoring position without blowing the game. Well, Cappy didn't blow the game, he got the save (8 for 8 on the year), and the Nats got the win on 1 run in the 1st inning.

This early in the game offense that the Nationals have established has been simply fantastic. Exciting to watch. It's not always a come back win, and with the quality of our bullpen, Clippard and Capps in particular, even if the club is ahead by only 1 run, there is a sense in the stands that the team can hold the lead and get the win. That's what happens when your Washington Nationals are 10-9 and tied for 2nd place in the NL East with the Marlins and the Mets.

1 comment:

  1. I think that JMax has always had above average defense.

    For instance his UZR/150 for 2009 was a whopping 29.5. Granted its only a small sample size (36 games) but that shows that he was a well above average fielder. Which is far better than it was in 2007.

    He is, in essence, the prototypical Bowden Five-Tool Player.