Friday, April 23, 2010

A Pitcher's Dual for One and An Epic Shutout for Another (rant included)

Yesterday did not disappoint for those who were looking for that pitcher's dual between Livan and Ubaldo. The Nationals (now 8-8; 4th in NL East) lost the game 2-0, and once again were unable to make the surge to 2 games over .500. With the loss last night, the Nats were hit with their first loss of the season when the starting pitcher pitched more than 5 innings (Hernandez went 8). That said, that means they're still 7-1 when the starter goes more than 5, so I'll take those odds.

As for the overall game and the starters, the Rockies never got a sustained rally in this last game of the series. Livan gave up two big flies to Miguel Olivo and the hot-hitting Ian Stewart, but there were no strong back-to-back hit RBI situations. Hernandez actually only gave up 2 hits other than the home runs. In any other game with this year's Nats offense, that would have been enough. It just so happens that Ubaldo Jimenez was on the mound for the other guys, and he looked remarkable once again.

Hernandez (with a still incredible 0.75 ERA) more than exceeded my expectations in a follow up to 2 spectacular games; he had as many K's as Jimenez did (5), and had more in last nights game than in his two other starts combined (4). But Jimenez, now 4-0 on the year and tied for the best in the NL with Roy Halladay, got the results. 7 1/3 innings of shutout, 5-hit baseball in the outing immediately after his no-hitter against Atlanta. My hat is off to Jimenez, who is now, statistically, among the best pitchers in baseball.

In other remarkable baseball news, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 20-0 in their day game yesterday at PNC Park. Yes, that's right: 20-0. This is the 5th largest shut out margin since 1900 and the worst loss in the Pirates 124 year history. This game was total annihilation by a Brewers team that lost its series with the Washington Nationals. While everyone has a bad day (see first inning of Nats/Brewers game on April 18), this is just the continuation of a depressing streak for the Pittsburgh faithful. It was bad enough that it has been 17, count em, 17 seasons since the Bucs have had a winning season. Now you have to add this to the pitiful display.

These stories of baseball incompetence have to make you wonder if at some point the league needs to intervene to correct the gross mismanagement of that ball club. Sorry Brewers fans, but the destruction of the Pirates last night had less to do with your talent, and more to do with the Pirates status as the bottom-feeders of the league for almost two decades.

Come back later tonight for a preview of Luis Atilano's MLB debut and game one of the Dodgers series with Nats tonight. As always, comments below are welcome!


  1. The Brewers beat the Pirates 20-0 and it doesn't reflect our talent?

    we have the BATS boy!
    braun-fielder 2012

  2. Matt, I agree. The Brewers have had some serious offensive slugfests. I even mentioned the one against the Nats on April 18th where they jumped out 10-0 on the Nats. They also let the Nats come back and the game ended 11-7. But if the game wasn't against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the score wouldn't have been 20-0. You're looking at one of the worst teams in baseball here. The Brewers obviously have a high powered offense this year, and that's to be expected when Braun and Fielder are your 3-4 hitters.