Saturday, May 8, 2010

Matt Chico, J. Max, and Game 30 with Florida

Just a few days ago, Nationals Journal posted an article about how Matt Chico had a long way back to the majors, how he had so many guys in front of him in the depth chart. I joked with a fellow co-worker the day that it came out that Lannan wouldn't make his next start that maybe Chico would get the start. We both had a good laugh about it.... Well, we probably shouldn't have been laughing.

Chico will get his first start in the majors today in 24 months against the Florida Marlins. No, that's not a typo. Two solid years, or at least it would have been on May 21st. In that time, he's had a ligament replaced in his elbow, gotten two years older, and has become sort of a running joke among die hard Nats observers. He barely looked passable this spring, resulting in his being sent to AA Harrisburg in April. But now he gets his shot. His last full season in DC, his rookie year, he was 7-9 with a 4.63 ERA. Now, you have to remember, at that time, the Nationals were a terrible ball club. There was no offense to speak of and Chico was a rookie. Maybe this is the opportunity Matt needs to figure himself out. But if I actually believed it, I wouldn't have laughed audibly when I heard he was starting today. Prove me wrong, Matt. Capitol Baseball will be there with my younger sister, so I'll be sure to snap pics of this momentous (hilarious?) moment in the Nats 2010 season.

Meanwhile, Justin Maxwell has been sent down to Syracuse yet again to create roster space for Chico, since Lannan won't be put on the DL. This has to be frustrating for the young Maxwell, who has been shipped around the farm and majors all year. Maxwell is batting below .200 although his OBP is aroun .350, the Nats are only playing him against lefties, and it should be quite a while before the Nats face another lefty as Mark Zuckerman reports. Until next time Justin.

The Nats today look to avoid another loss to the Marlins which would put them back down to .500 on the season and would create a guarantee for another series loss to the team. The Nats need a win today to keep their winning record that is getting fans to the park and not suffer another loss to an NL East team early on. To do that, Matt Chico is going to have to seriously outperform expectations. Until the post game recap, enjoy this beautiful Saturday in DC.

1 comment:

  1. And said co-worker was in Section 404 for this game!

    Matt Chico delivered his standard performance from 2007: 5 good innings, fell apart in the 6th, but held his own against an offense that's better than it's given credit for. He doesn't have the best stuff, but he gets by on guile and grit, sort of the starting pitcher equivalent of a Saul Rivera. Unfortunately for Chico, guile and 5 good innings no longer guarantee one a spot in the Nats rotation. Then again, a lot of guile and 7 good innings might. Look at Lannan.