Tuesday, May 3, 2016

NATS (18-7) BETTER THAN ROYALS TONIGHT

 Edinson Volquez 
 (of flat brim fame) reunites 
 with Dusty Baker 

 Gio kept it scattered but 
 smothered, two-run 1st - Nats win 

Monday, May 2, 2016

NATS (17-7) BETTER THAN CARDINALS YESTERDAY

 Maximum Scherzer 
 back to maximized effect, 
 plus offense firing 

 after swept by Phillies, 
 Nats sweep godless Cardinals 

NATS (16-7) BETTER THAN CARDINALS TWO DAYS AGO

 Joe Ross's blister 
 seems to have subsided, so 
 Nats dominated 

 has this Joe Ross dude become 
 defacto Nats spinal cord? 

NATS (15-7) BETTER THAN CARDINALS THREE DAYS AGO

 after shakey 1st, 
 Strasborg finagled his way 
 through seven innings 

 scrappy road win powered by 
 4-run 4th to end April 

NATS (14-7) WORSE THAN PHILLIES FOUR DAYS AGO

 not just a sweep by 
 divisional rivals, but 
 painful, ugly sweep 

 last two games - six hits combined 
 for zero runs; still early though 

NATS (14-6) WORSE THAN PHILLIES FIVE DAYS AGO

 offensive goose eggs, 
 two measley ass hits the whole 
 game - the fuck is this? 

 Harper gonna be walking 
 more than prime-time Barry Bonds 

NATS (14-5) WORSE THAN PHILLIES SIX DAYS AGO

 Maximum Scherzer 
 had minimal first inning, 
 never overcame 

 who cares though, since the Flyers 
 caught Stanely Cup piledrivers? 

Monday, April 25, 2016

NATS (14-4) BETTER THAN TWINS TODAY

 Harper batted in 
 tying run, bottom of ninth, 
 then forever came 

 bottom of sixteenth inning, 
 walk-off homer, game over 

NATS (13-4) BETTER THAN TWINS YESTERDAY

 April interleague 
 baseball is as exciting 
 as shit even gets 

 do Twins still have that dumbass 
 catcher Maury Povich dude? 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

NATS (11-4) WORSE THAN MARLINS JUST NOW

 Thursday afternoon 
 matinee fly-away game, 
 vacant Miami 

 hard to really give a fuck - 
 let's get to the airport, bros 

NATS (11-3) BETTER THAN MARLINS YESTERDAY

 unexpected ace 
 of early season Joe Ross 
 pulled early - uh oh 

 pitching hand callous became 
 blister but the Nats still won 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

NATS (10-3) BETTER THAN MARLINS

 another grand slam 
 by the Ultimate Harper - 
 channeled energies 

 Strasborg (plus bullpen) kept it 
 zero on the other side 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NATS (9-3) WORSE THAN MARLINS YESTERDAY

 honestly sort of 
 halfway happy they're on a 
 two-game losing streak 

 it's only fucking April; 
 don't be peaking too early 

Monday, April 18, 2016

NATS (9-2) WORSE THAN PHILLIES YESTERDAY

 top of tenth inning 
 homer by Bryce Harper should 
 have sealed series sweep 

 but here comes ol' Papelbon 
 who of course fucked it all up 

NATS (9-1) BETTER THAN PHILLIES TWO DAYS AGO

 Maximum Scherzer 
 displayed maximum sport nerd 
 statistic value 

 Ultimate Harper blasted 
 another homer; the Nats romped 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

NATS (8-1) WAY BETTER THAN PHILLIES LAST NIGHT

 Harper homered, five 
 top of first inning runs scored, 
 game over quickly 

 Joe Ross the team ace thus far? 
 I didn't see that shit coming 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

NATS (6-1) BETTER THAN BRAVES TONIGHT

 Strasborg had got sick, 
 so Tanner Roark threw seven 
 scoreless innings, bruh 

 Tanner Roark is only kid 
 from Bad News Bears to make pros 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

NATS (5-1) BETTER THAN BRAVES YESTERDAY

 Ultimate Harper 
 knocked in both Nats runs bottom 
 of the 8th inning 

 an amazing player who 
 will look stupid in pinstripes 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

NATS (2-1) WORSE THAN MARLINS JUST NOW

 home opener - didn't 
 catch even a minutiae 
 because soooooo boring 

 but congratulations to 
 pretend Miami Marlins 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NATS (2-0) BETTER THAN BRAVES TODAY

 first week of baseball 
 is staggered bullshit hodgepodge 
 of opening days 

 three-day two-game series wraps 
 up - NATS ARE UNDEFEATED! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Well, This is Something Else - Mets Clinch 2015 National League Pennant (Part One)

I just scrolled (and scrolled and scrolled and scrolled) through pages of solid gold work from KS and Raven Mack to see the last time that I've contributed to Baseball Feelings, and I'm not proud to have to say that it was back in July of 2013 when I last wrote some Baseball Feelings about the All Star Game being held at Citi Field.  A shameful absence to be sure, but not nearly as shameful as the timing of the return, even I can admit.  

I hope you'll forgive my 'bandwagoning' of this post.  Rest assured, since July 2013, I have had floods of Baseball Feelings, but not enough to warrant an entire post...usually a Tweet or a text to a friend would sate my craving but this, well, this is something else.  

At that time of my last post, the Mets had put up their customary "better than expected" first half, and all fans were expecting a traditional second-half decline, but there was reason for optimism back then in 2013, in the person of Matt Harvey, who did this to the best hitter in baseball during the aforementioned All-Star Game.  


The future looked bright...for about a month.  In August, word got out that Matt Harvey would need Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2014, and all of the optimism was gone. 2014 had always been targeted as a realistic contention date, with the emergence of all the young pitching in the Mets' pipeline, but after Harvey's injury, it seemed that meaningful games would take a backseat to lining up the young staff again.  

2014 was seen as a placeholder year, walking in place waiting for all the pieces to come together, but then storming out of nowhere came this man: 

Jacob deGrom throws gem for Mets in MLB debut

Jacob DeGrom's debut didn't even register as a blip on the radar for Mets fans, who had just seen Harvey's two years ago, Zack Wheeler's in 2013, and were anxiously awaiting Noah Syndergaard's, and as debuts go, it was pretty good, but oh so very Mets.  7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER and the loss in a 1-0 decision to the Yankees.  Start by start, people got more excited for DeGrom, until he was winning Rookie of the Year, Syndergaard was being portrayed as immature and not ready for the bigs, and Mets fans were dreaming big of a rotation of Harvey, DeGrom and Wheeler until, well....

I had joked, when Harvey was shut down for his Tommy John surgery in 2013 that it might not be a bad idea for Wheeler to get his.  If 2014 was going to be a lost season anyway, may as well get it out of the way.  Early in spring training this year, word came out that Wheeler would need the procedure and the dreams of a rotation where Wheeler, once seen as the jewel prospect of the San Francisco Giants - who know a thing or two about pitching prospects - was the third or forth best pitcher had to be put on hold just before the grand plan was set to be put in motion.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blue Jays 6, Rangers 3: Righteous Conquest, Like Henry V Riding into The Battle of The Hornburg Atop, Like, Rainbow Dash

José's got a really big team, and they need some really big rings, etc ps think about how Drake must feel 
Like so many of us (arguably most?), I listened to several innings of Game 5 sitting in a car parked in the lot of a church of which I am not now nor have ever been a congregant; around the time José Bautista ripped a double down the line to drive in Ben Revere, I went for chicken. This kept my streak of doing all kinds of other things while these games have been going on very much intact: Thanksgiving weekend, and so pumpkin pies to make (they came out tremendously, and kind of tasted like ginger snaps, thank you for your interest), and many feastings to partake of, and so just lots of checking in, you know? If you follow it on your phone it feels a lot like Baseball Mogul, except you don't have Carlos Delgado and Tony Fernandez both signed to deals that are literally killing you and you have literally died from them in your game. 

I legit felt like the Blue Jays were probably finished after Price pitched not-so-hotly in Game 1, and said as much in this very place of Feelings, and didn't feel a whole lot better about things as Game 2 unfolded over the course of pretty much forever, but actually during what I think all would agree was an impressively unobtrusive and considerate portion of a Thanksgiving dinner conversation, a brother-in-law and I managed to convince each other that the way the pitching lined up, there was every reason for guarded optimism that the Blue Jays could get it back to Toronto for Game 5, and then, coin flip, right? At its heart this line of reasoning was probably at least fairly dumb, a subtle variation of my self-deluding (but handy!) Game Six At Home theory of playoff hockey, which is when the team you like is getting creamed, but you convince yourself that all they need to do is get it to Game Six At Home, win that one, and then anything can happen in a seventh game, right? And usually does, haha! (Note that this never works.) I also have a micro version of this macro argument, which is when the other team scores first (any sport, doesn't matter), you are just like, well, we knew we were going to have to score one, so this is of hardly any import at all, old fruit. (This never works either, and my old friend Matty denounces all of it as "loser talk," which it self-evidently is, yes.) And yet! We had ourselves/each other pretty much sold on it.

There was much discussion, and rightly so, about whether or not John Gibbons was being prudent or in fact a dink when he brought David Price out of the bullpen with a big lead and shut R. A. Dickey down early in Game 4, but given the way Price pitched in Game 1, I wasn't overly eager to see him in Game 5, and felt much better with the idea of Stroman getting the start, so I am without complaint (everyone is without complaint now, of course, but I started that way, and so have felt a greater measure of peace). I was pleased to see on Twitter that Stoeten shared this view; I was displeased to see he got sick and couldn't go to Game 5 and chose to give up his ticket, which is brutal, but I will remind you here that I went to games with food poisoning and scored several innings from the bathroom in the 500s listening on my slim radio with nothing other than my 2003 perfect attendance record on the line, which also meant an autographed Vernon Wells baseball and an on-field presentation on the line, and so kind of everything on the line, actually, and so I now renounce the way this sentence began, and just want us to think about poor Stoeten here (Drunk Jays Fans forever, obviously). 

IN SHORT we were just getting home when E5 hit the home run that tied it in the sixth and Mike Wilner on the radio just started hollering indistinctly. I have watched the clips of everything now, and I think they confirm that, maybe weirdly, the crowd reaction to the E5 home run to tie it was even bigger than José's to go ahead? I know this sounds strange, especially given all that, like, transpired, but go check and see. Perhaps emotional exhaustion and terror are factors here?

About all the stuff that happened: Russell Martin winging it off (Big League) Choo, while insane, should totally have been a live ball, obviously, and Dale Scott blew it when he waved it dead, which made everybody stop, not that they would have had a play anyway, so really who cares,and Dale Scott has since admitted he messed it up, so what do you want? The mere anarchy that was unloosed upon the world, mostly in the 500s, actually made me really anxious as it unfolded, because it can get really bad up there even without blown calls in decisive playoff games. In truth, any time there were like 35k+ people in the SkyDome I disliked the feel up there pretty severely: the angle of the seating is so severe that the one-row-up advantage in blows being visited upon on those below is pronounced, and people get wrecked, and all it takes to get it started is one person to throw something, another person to say hey don't throw things, and then everything becomes terrible for everybody. All of this was uncomfortable. 

The bottom of the seventh is not a thing I am probably even really able to fully dig at present, and who can say when, if ever, I will be able to openly and honestly and truly dig it, but let me just say for now that we should all probably feel as terrible for Elvis Andrus as we do exultant and swept away in José Bautista's apex glory. That reliever, Dyson, just seems like a dick, so who cares that much, except that we have probably all been dicks and so should probably be more charitable than I have just been, but poor Elvis Andrus: that's as bad as that could have gone for him, and given the reviews and stuff, it unfolded over the course of a while, and was just punishing.   

The Bautista home run itself seemed then, and seems now, and will probably continue well into the future to seem to be, Just The Thing To Do. José was asked right after the game about Joe Carter's home run, and you can see why, but right away he was like no, that was the World Series, and it was a walk-off, and that's just a completely and totally other sort of thing, and he's right about that for sure, but given the insane emotional pitch at which that hour-long yeah it was pretty much an hour long seventh inning was played, in a game where the Blue Jays could be eliminated (not so in 1993 Game Six, you will recall), this was more cathartic, although not in the fullest original sense of "cleansing" or "purifying" because it didn't make me feel less gross about people having to physically shield their tiny children from shit hurled down from the 500s (however even before this particular episode I would have strongly advised against bringing tiny kids to games when the place is going to be full: a Junior Jays Saturday where kids line up behind section 129 to run the bases is one thing; this is quite another).

Hey one thing I will say on the subject of the bat flip, which is a thing people are talking about like it was An Issue for Takes (and obviously this is not a forum for Takes but for Feelings, which are radically and crucially different), is that I am super glad I am not part of any conversation where one's position on bat flips stands as a proxy for their politix, particularly in the context of Amerikkka, because that is the most tedious possible thing a person could want to talk about after that home run and yet such talk is rampant. I guess I can understand reporters asking players dumb questions to get dumb answers to write their dumb stories (the only daily beat team sports reporter I ever kind of half-knew was of the view that every reporter hates standing there asking idiotic questions and every player just holds them in complete and unfailingly contempt, and I believe every part of this very strongly), but it is not undumb because it is their job; maybe their job is dumb (many are; I have had some). If that is a thing you do for fun, I don't get it, but that's OK too probably. Anyway, please know that your efforts to corrupt and attaint this by making it emblematic of Whatever Your Shit Is will ultimately fail and all that will remain is the sikkest dinger of the age.      

To conclude, Jerry Howarth was really happy on the radio, and I am pretty sure Joe Siddall (Jerry Howarth's non-Mike-Wilner little buddy) was crying on air after Osuna got the last out. And hey George Bell threw out the first pitch! Remember when he came back to Toronto for the 1991 All-Star Game as a Cub and everybody hated him? I didn't understand why!

OK, Blue Jays,


KS

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 3: R.I.P. 2015 Toronto Blue Jays, Probably

let's remember the good times
So, since we last Felt, the Blue Jays traded for essentially All of The Guys, won pretty much All of The Games, and now return to the postseason for the first time since, like, yore-days, and it has been unusually great. But how much has really changed in those many intervening years? I don't mean broadly, nor do I mean in any particular except my own, when I say: not that much, I guess? As was very much the case in 1992/93, I am reading a lot of Tolkien and playing a lot of metal these days, you know? Of course, all that I do and am now, or whatever, is pretty heavily inflected by an unmistakable DadWave ethos, so that's different, but really on the whole it is not that there is all kinds of new stuff, so much as a lot of the same kinds of things, just DadWaved up significantly. And that carries over into this baseball watching, too, in that I remember very clearly the dads of several of these players. What makes that part of things more striking still is that I don't just remember Prince Fielder's dad as a fat old guy (I mean no disrespect), but I remember Delino DeShields' dad as a young man, like a young man, and here is his son now.  

Glancing through old scorekeeping books,as one does at reflective times such as these, I see that while I have attended something like 215 Blue Jays games, the dome was as full as it was yesterday for only maybe like a half-dozen of them. I really never liked it when it was that full, and indeed I read on Twitter about a fight that broke out in a bathroom yesterday (after one guy kept daring another guy to touch his dick), which is exactly the kind of unlikable thing I unliked about the dome when it was super full, but I bet that on the whole it was pretty killer to be there yesterday, excepting all of the baseball things that happened, like David Price's dreary start, Bautista leaving the game with a hamstring issue of some kind, or Josh Donaldson felled by a(n inadvertent, surely) boma ye knee. This is not, nor it cannot come to good, right? Bautista and Donaldson are both back in the lineup today (unlike poor old Adrian Beltre, who looks to have a million things wrong with him), and Marcus Stroman is on the hill today, so how bad can it be, except what if it's really bad and then the Blue Jays are down two games in a five-game series after their first two postseason games at home in twenty two years? It's Cole Hamels for the Rangers, who, as I recall, can be really good. 

But even if this is pretty much it, and the Blue Jays don't even get out of this round (maybe not this weekend, even), I did see people on their break at Sobey's playing catch outside on the grass yesterday, and just totally firing it in there, so this excellent half-summer of everybody (really, it seems like everybody) enjoying baseball here, at least a little, has been really nice, and I look forward to it being really nice again when it happens when I am 58. None of our current cats will be around then, so let's enjoy their company as much as we are able, and also, to a lesser extent, some baseball games.

KS





Monday, June 15, 2015

As We Had Anticipated, The Blue Jays Have Won Eleven In A Row

ride the lightning, Jose Reyes; you *ride* it
As I got in the car after judo, and put the game on the radio, as is my wont in such circumstances, Jose Reyes was just bringing to a close a six-run, bat-around fourth inning against the (admittedly pretty lowly) Boston Red Sox, and Mike Wilner, relieving an ailing Jerry Howarth (don't worry, it's not serious) on commentary, kind of couldn't believe it. Nor should he have: because, I mean, what is even happening? A team-best (don't say "franchise," just listen to yourself when you say things like that) eleven straight wins, including some pretty choicely massive rallies and walk-offs, to vault the Blue Jays all the way from the AL East basement to . . . ok just to third but still this is really something would you not agree that it is something. Imagine if this had happened once the hockey playoffs had ended! All kinds of extra people would have noticed! And actually the Blackhawks could end it tonight, and Jose Bautista has homered off the Mets' Noah Snydergaard (remember him?), so if these trends continue this could prove to be one HECK of a summer of Blue Jays baseball, friends. 

(Again please note the Blue Jays are only at third still.)

KS

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Toronto Blue Jays Have Gone 7-13 Since I Declared Them To Be "just as .500 as it gets" So Definitely Keep Listening To Things I Think And Say

look how sad Ezequiel Carrera looks here even though he has just scored; it is because he has been blessed/cursed with the second sight and knows the bullpen will fail him
Were I inclined to optimism regarding this 2015 Toronto Blue Jays baseball season, which I extremely am not, I would be sure to point out that although the Blue Jays are bad, so too is the rest of the once-not-even-a-little-bad American League East: see, for example, the division leading Yankees and Rays, who, both at 26-25, are not exactly tearing it up. The Orioles are, like the Blue Jays, below .500, too, and the Red Sox are even worse. So, one could totally be like "it's all still winnable! and they're only like 3.5 out of the wild card!" and that would be mathematically true, but it would not reflect the lived emotional reality of putting games on the radio and knowing nothing but misery and blight. It is remarkable that Jerry Howarth is able to keep his spirits up as much as he does. Or maybe not: I heard Jerry Howarth be a little bit cutting one time, years ago, in an interview on the Sunday morning CBC radio show with Micheal Enright, when he spoke about J.P. Ricciardi (who should probably never be forgiven), but other than that I am not sure he has given voice to a dark thought in decades, at least not publicly. And that certainly continues this season, but rather than be buoyed by his joy, I have felt instead that it only reveals my own utter lack of it (as it relates to baseball, please don't worry, I am very well); indeed, it draws an ever-starker contrast between our baseball Weltanschauungs, which have perhaps never been so far apart. 

Anyway, the Washington Nationals are up next (hey Raven), which should be about enjoying Bryce Harper, but will instead, for me, be about how there aren't Expos and haven't been for years and so while this should be about presence it will inevitably be about absence, as I am baseball forlorn a little bit.  

KS 

NATS RISE TO GLORY game fifty

(lolol look at this fucking thing, it is an anthropomorphic
baseball with a weird hipster mustache, wtf?)

Tanner Roark did well enough in spot start which I guess may become more regular with Strasburg out, but left the game after 6 innings to hand it off to the bullpen as game was 2-2, and Matt Williams was like, "Bullpen's been good, so fuck it, let's do this." Here is where things perhaps went wrong though:
Aaron Barrett faced 3 batters. gave up 2 hits, and was eventually charged with 2 runs. He was pulled.
Matt Grace (remember like last week when I was like, "hey, Grace is doing okay"?) faced 5 batters, gave up 3 hits plus 2 walks, and was eventually charged with 4 runs.
Taylor Hill stopped the bleeding at that point and took this shit home at least, but all the Nats could muster in terms of offense was the 2 runs at top 7th, which gave Williams the hope to pull Roark in the first place. (Those 2 runs knocked in by Michael Taylor single - stepping into his new daily role nicely.)
Thus, the Nats - who had been the hottest thing in baseball - were sweeped by the Cincinnati Reds. But today is a new day, and Nationals have come home to open June against the most un-American team in all of Major League Baseball - the Blue Jays of Canadia. I am hopeful that there is a rebound, and also that Yunel Escobar makes Blue Jays fans cry.
Nats are 28-22.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-nine

(the original Charlie Hustle)

Gio Gonzalez was in off-mode on Saturday in his on/off style of pitching. It's hard not to feel like he is psychically attached to Stephen Strasburg somewhat, being they were ONE-TWO there for a spell early on in Nationals franchise hope for the future, so you have to imagine Strasburg getting DL-ed that morning weighed heavily on Gio's psyche. Nonetheless, even after giving up 4 runs and coming out the game in the 6th, Gio was still on track to get the W. But the Reds bombadiered their way to 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, and secured a victory, which also secured a series win, which also I'm not sure I remember the last time the Nats not winning a series with a team, like seriously it might be since the first month but I'm not gonna go double-check because I'm not Elias Stats Bureau, just some dude sitting at his desk at work BLOGGING about BASEBALL.
Bryce Harper has been homerless in this series thus far, and I think my brain had planned comparisons between Harper and Pete Rose, not because I think Harper will be the greatest hitter in history but ultimately shamed from the game and shunned forever, but because Harper also has that weird super-competitive perhaps slightly-weird Charlie Hustle mentality where he perhaps overdoes certain things most baseball players would be like, "bro, take it easy." Personally, I feel this is a good nonsense mentality to instill on a baseball team, even though vets might be haters, the dudes that come up under such a nonsense Charlie Hustle mentality take to that as to what is right. For example, Michael Taylor gets full-time gig while Caveman Werth is out (on the DL, again), and Taylor busted a HR in this game. Taylor has been busting homers. Taylor has looked solid as fuck at times, like the type of solid you can think, "wow, there's a lot of young dudes who are potentially awesome on this team" and it makes you feel like there's an actual hope for not just now but forever (lolol).
I don't think you could be Pete Rose level Charlie Hustle in today's game though. People are weakened by their over-education of mind, which tells wild heart to "shut the fuck up, you don't *know* what you're suggesting" all too often. Though Bryce Harper probably doesn't read these words, I put it out there as universal intention of words spoken as if they meant something & would be received by subject - STAY WILD YOUNG BRYCE HARPER, MAINTAIN YOUR FEROCITY OF SPIRIT, DON'T LET THESE EGGHEAD BITCHES SLOW YOU DOWN, BE A TRUE DIAMOND KING.
Anyways, Nats were 28-21.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-eight

(remember after last Strasborg start when I said "I bet he goes
another week or two then is put on the DL"?
well I should've wrote "I bet he pitches
19 no-hitters in a row")

Stephon Strasborg only lasted 16 pitches on Friday night's opener of 3-game series in Cincinnati. He left game after walking a dude, shrugging to the dugout, then the trainer came out and ushered him off the field, with "neck tightness". Next morning, Strasborg went on the DL (again), and man, this dude is starting to become a DL master.
The Reds ended up winning the game, even though they'd lost 10 of 11 heading into it, but being it's 48 games, rather than expound upon the game in particular, let's revisit our 10% incremental check-ins with season, as we are now 30% done with this long ass endless perhaps painful even baseball season of Roman calendar year 2015. Nats got hot as fuck this 10% of the season, and hopefully it is a sign of more to come and not just an early season spurt that gives us false hopes for dominance after earlier false worries of failure, which all sort of speaks to just how long and fucking goddamn a baseball season is because you can worry and get excited about a lot of ultimately completely meaningless bullshit along the way. But Nats moved to first in the NL East during this increment of the season, so now it becomes an incremental task of maintaining that position. Slowly. Through humid ass DC summers. Go-go music. Chubby chicks in sundresses, shoulder tattoos faded but suggesting a reckless outlaw personality that just does not give a fuck, which perhaps suggests fuck. I don't know. I am more concerned with the beauty of the feminine than the particulars of the baseballs to be honest. This happens.
Nats were 28-20.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-seven

(Bryce Harper rookie card)

Nats went into the rubber tramp stamp game at Wrigley yesterday flirting with a 2-game losing streak. (lolol that is where we are, where losing two in a row is notable.) [also are you supposed to cap the first "l" in "lolol" if it opens a sentence? what about in the bracketed follow-up questions?] However, Max "Maximum" Scherzer was pitching and you know what? He's pretty fuckin' awesome. 5 hits over 7 innings with no runs allowed awesome. And you know what else? Matt Grace is turning into the pretty solid set-up dude leading into certified closer Matt Storen (who got his 16th save already).
You know what else happened? Bryce Harper totally hit another fucking home run. He's on pace (according to my desktop calculator) for like 62, but he also didn't really hit any at the beginning of the season. Basically he's gonna hit a thousand I bet.
Nats are 28-19.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-six

(actual incident of goat curse initiation, which has
forever doomed Cubs baseball, as it should because
who the fuck doesn't allow goats into baseball
games? assholes, that's who)

PAID ZERO ATTENTION TO THIS TBH, BUT PICTURE ABOVE WILL ALWAYS BE IMPORTANT BECAUSE CHIVOS ARE NATURE'S PRESIDENTS BECAUSE THEY ARE NATURAL LEADERS & MAYBE ALL THAT STUPID IVY WOULDN'T COVER THE OUTFIELD WALL IF THEY HAD ALLOWED GOATS, KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING? JORDAN ZIMMERMANN AKA J-ZIMM HAD SOLID OUTING BUT LOOKS LIKE (according to boxscore) BULLPEN LET US DOWN, ALTHOUGH LOOK BRYCE HARPER HIT ANOTHER DINGER (as did Denard Span) WHICH MEANS HOLY FUCK MAN BRYCE HARPER IS FUCKING CRUSHING IT. AT THIS SPACE HE WILL HIT A THOUSAND HOMERUNS & EVENTUALLY HE WILL COME THE PLATE & RATHER THAN INTENTIONALLY WALK HIM THE OPPOSING PITCHER WILL JUST INTENTIONALLY THROW THE BALL OVER THE OUTFIELD WALL & BRYCE HARPER WILL RUN FULL-SPEED AROUND ALL FOUR BASES THEN THROUGH THE STADIUM HIGH-FIVING EVERY CHILD IN ATTENDANCE CREATING A NEW BREED OF SPIRIT WARRIORS THAT WILL ONE DAY FILL ALL OUR LIVES WITH IMMENSE JOY AND WONDER AND PURE SPIRIT THAT MAKES GETTING OUT OF BED WHEN THE ALARM BLOOP BLOOPS NOT A STRUGGLE AT ALL BUT A MOTHERFUCKIN' WONDER, LIKE A LIFETIME OF VACATION DAYS, FOREVER, AS WE ALL HAVE DREAMED IT COULD BE FROM TIME TO TIME.
Nats are 27-19.

Monday, May 25, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-five

(image searches like this is how we fix our broke shit in 2015)

Saturday morning, rode an hour away w/ 16 year old daughter to do some DMV shit on a new *used* ride we just bought, and to set up bank account for the kid as she's in community college & got mad money from her various hustles. My shitty '94 Toyota truck did fine, despite some strange behavior this past week, but then when we left the bank, nothing - no click, no RUHRUHRUH, nothing. I figured battery, so took it out and walked A FUCKING MILE carrying the battery to the Advance, with my daughter walking along too. It gave us a chance to vibe on Main Street Farmville, Virginia, and in situations like this I usually think to myself, "What would I do if I was in Nigeria?" You walk the fuckin' fucked-up battery and find a new one.
Well, the battery tested fine, so we walked it back, with me figuring, "It has to be the starter." My wife was on her way, and after I partially *jacked* the front end up enough to squeeze underneath with the tire jack resting on a brick I keep in the back of the truck because you never know when you'll need a random brick (like now), I got the starter off, eventually. Years ago I would have cussed and broke things and beaten the vehicle with my boot, but I am proud to say I am in a calm enough place in life that I can, with some finagling, get the starter off a shitty old truck in a small parking lot beside the fucking bank on a Saturday when necessary. The starter tested both good and bad at the store (I don't know man) so I figured it had to be the culprit. Got it back on way quicker than taking it off, but it still didn't start. So I gave up. Wife was there & I left the fuckin' truck there, mad at it, but got it towed later this weekend.
Today in fact, after finding a chill ass tow truck dude who took $20 cash to tow it, and he talked shit about the other tow truck guy in town, who usually would've towed my shit for being left in that bank parking lot overnight, but I got lucky because that dude had to go to Raleigh or some shit. But got the truck to a shop, where I will be American and not Nigerian, and let some other dude figure the shit out (which makes me feel like a cuckold tbh).
Of course you can figure out I am driving the new *used* car to do all this, which is a 2001 Volvo S80, with shitty factory stereo, or at least you have to use a cassette adapter to run the ipod which makes the ipod sound like a thousand mosquitoes are angry at any treble sound. I let my 16 yo daughter do some driving as she has learner's, and she didn't wreck into a thing or go off the road too far, although she gunned it turning into our driveway and got pine needles all in my open window all over me but we had a good laugh. But it was also first local pool day, so the family went up there, and all the hoochie mamas were out overfilling their bikinis, and kids were being kids including dickhead redneck teen boys throwing girls into the deep end, but I did some diving with the little ones so that the dickhead teens wouldn't begrudge the little ones diving instead of the older kids doing their stupid fucking rover game.
And yet I just wanted to come home, as it had been a long weekend full of broken shit trifles and also responsible crap like bank accounts and DMVs, so I just wanted to chill the fuck out. My 16 yo rode home with me, and the treble mosquito ipod adapter was too much. But luckily it was baseball game time, so I flipped it to the FM station and listened the Nats and Cubs on actual radio - a slow, mundane, meandering linguistic experience like codeine molasses but drug-free entirely. My daughter was like "ugh, hashtag boring" because she is 16 and actually says "hashtag" before other things, and I briefly thought about explaining the perfect American-ness of riding slowly down the hill into our town while the radio played a baseball game, windows down, just being people living lives, similar to how I was explaining that type of shit when we were carrying the battery down some shit town's Main Street two days earlier. But you can't explain everything all the time, and sometimes you just have to let shit soak in and maybe it leaves a stain and maybe it doesn't, but you did what you could without forcing it. So I didn't force it.
Apparently I had just missed Wilson Ramos' go-ahead homer, and the Cubs briefly threatened while we were driving home as slow as I could go, so slow the honeysuckle smell made you think it was growing into the car as we crept at 30 mph (20 in these Blue Ridge foothill curves), but the Nats held. I came home and sliced up zucchini and yellow squash for cooking in the oven, along with some asparagus I had forgotten we bought last week, and heard the rest of the game out inside, and of course the Nats won and of course my truck is still broke and of course I go back to work after a three-day weekend tomorrow and of course my kid could give half a fuck about baseball but it is life man, we all are living it, and that's all you can fucking ask from any day because without that, you are dead. Literally, dead.
Nats are 27-18.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-four

(the day before this start, Gio kicked it with
Little Leaguers - Gio's for the childrens)

When Gio is on, it is so fun to be excited about. He is, as they say, the best, the type of guy you hope grows to be an old, kooky fucker in your team's baseball uniform, like a Bartolo Colon. He Gio'd his way thru nearly 7 innings, giving up only a single run. Meanwhile, Bryce Harper got an RBI in the 4th to even back with that allowed run by Gio, then got another RBI in the 7th, plus scored a Ryan Zimmerman doubling right behind him, which put the game away at 4-1. The fact these fucked-up Nats are able to win so many low-scoring games is not lost on me - the casual fan with paranoid worries who expects the worst to eventually take over.
Nats were 26-18.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-three

(I feel like Strasborg's arm should be like this, plz)

Another Stephon Strasborg start ended in a smackering-around of Senor Strasburg, who got waxed for 4 in the 3rd, and gave up another 2 in the 4th before getting yanked before the end of the inning. He's really not looking good at all, and it has the feel of Matt Williams letting him take some knocks to prove to Strasburg himself he's not up-to-par, and then here in a week or two we're gonna see ol' Strasburg hit the DL for something or another - maybe not a season ender, in fact I doubt that's the case at all, but definitely a respite, then maybe a Triple-A rehab start or some shit like that. Pitchers (and baseball players) are so fucked up and psychological that you can't just pull the dude like that without letting him realize to himself he's probably fucked up, but in a soft-gloved way so that he's not overwhelmed with horrible psyche piledrivers of "I'm fucked up, perhaps forever?" I don't know, if you had told me that in a 5-man rotation Strasburg would be - by far - the weakest link, I wouldn't have seen that shit coming. And yet, that's exactly where we are currently.
Nats were 25-18.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-two

(tbh Max Scherzer & his crazy heterochromia eyes
kinda freak me out)

Friday night game opening a series against the divisional rival Phillies of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maximum Scherzer (pictured above) maximized himself yet again. The Ultimate Harper homered again (16 & counting). Drew Storen saved a close game again (13 & counting). The Nats won, 2-1.
Nats were 25-17.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-one

(would've preferred a pic of Matt Williams HIGH-larious
sweeping of his cleats across home plate, which was very
Billy Martin-esque, but hey, this is a nice action shot
of dickhead ump throwing dork gang sign)

Yesterday I found out there's a FM radio station the next county over (meaning receivable at my home) that carries Nats radio, which means I can sit outside at the picnic table and probably listen to games watching fireflies and shit like that. But I didn't get around to it in time yesterday night, was too busy harvesting red clover flowers for the ol' lady's herbal witchcraft shit. I tune into that shit though, and start picking wherever I hear bees, because that means it's the bomb ass flowers, while also leaving plenty for the bees, because those motherfuckers got more important shit to do with red clover flowers than I do.
Anyways, I did get inside and catch an update on the game RIGHT AS BRYCE HARPER WAS HORRIBLY EJECTED. Seriously, people upon the social medias were flipping out, so I cut on the radio real quick (the station worked!) and the radio dudes likewise were flipping out. Now understand Nationals radio, as with all home team broadcasts, probably are just ever so slightly biased, but what I took away from the situation is umpire Marvin Hudson is a huge dick who has always been a huge dick and everybody hates him and he is jealous of every man who has an actual functioning penis, so he threw Harper out to make all the children who came to see him play cry.
Of course, Matt Williams came out and got tossed too. This happened like a week ago. They ended up winning that game, so of course they ended up winning this game. Denard Span had an RBI single in the 7th that put the Nats on top, and they held that shit. But you know who is having a Harper-esque week of solid goodness? Ian Desmond, who hit his second homer of the stretch last night in the 1st inning. Also, at one point I remember being like, "WHERE IS THE OFFENSE?" but then suddenly you look, after this amazing hot stretch, and Span and Harper and Wilson Ramos and Yunel Escobar are all stroking well over .300.
And after giving up 2 to open the game, Jordan Zimmermann was again a tricky, conniving bastard on the mound. In a starting rotation of a pair of hired guns (Maximum Scherzer and Doug Fister) as well as fan favorite pair from before (Stephon Strasborg and Gio Gonzales), he might actually be considered the perfect 3rd dude glue that helps hold it all together. Like I don't ever remember thinking angrily "Fuck Jordan Zimmermann" at any point in my tacit support of these Nats. And usually I am like "fuck everybody".
Nats are 24-17, and alone atop the NL East.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty

(rabid celebration of another "moment")

Yesterday, the Yankees came to DC. As any ol' asshole anywhere on earth probably knows, they are the most famous and successful baseball team there is. The Nats are hoping to get to their first ever World Series. Their First Ever. That's a big psychic disparity. However, due to recent run of hot-stepping, both Nats and Yankees came into this game with equal records of 22-17, for first of quick 2-game test series (perhaps preview of things to come?)
Game started well, as bottom of 1st both Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper went deep on solo blasts, putting the homeboys up 2-0. (Harper's 15th of the year, if you were like "holy fuck how many HRs has that dude hit already?"). But then Gio Gonzalez got a little too Gio-ey there in the middle of the boxscore, and ALL OF A SUDDEN the Nats were down 6-2. "Classic Nats defeat, ride out the rest of the game, play again tomorrow" crossed my mind as I paid attention through a robot device. This ragtag bullpen took over though, and a stokey lil offense got 3 back on the bottom of the 5th, and then Wilson Ramos (perhaps I have failed to mention how much I love Wilson Ramos... this seems shameful on my part, and I will attend to this briefly) tied it up with his own solo blast in 6th.
Let us be clear - pitchers are their own instruments, who do what they do. But Wilson Ramos has developed into the competent as fuck yet chill type catcher who is able to successfully navigate these moody instruments, and make solid shit happen regularly. (Don't forget how shitty Strasborg has been, and yet he's 3-4.) Let us never forget when Ramos was a young hot possibility for the future and he was abducted briefly in his home nation-state of Venezuela, but was released and talked of how his abductors laughed at his pain, "but whatever, I am alive so let's see what the fuck happens now, why don't we?" (That is a paraphrase.)
The last trimester of this game was nothing - no runs, so the game hung tied at 6 moving into BONUS INNINGS! Bonus innings suck, because they feel twice as slow, twice as molasses-y, and when the other team does shit, it makes you feel hopeless as a home team. At least when at home you can just end it, and be done, and those are wonderful moments (which sometimes become "moments"). Nats bullpen held the Yankees at bay, and bottom of the 10th. Yunel Escobar got on-base, setting up The Ultimate Harper PERHAPS BLASTING THIS ONE INTO GRAND FINALE, but it was not to be, as he was outed. Up comes Ryan Zimmerman, who is none too shabby a ball player, and as I've mentioned before about as close to being a Matt Williams as a 2015 player could probably be, and well, though he faced a late inning specialist from the Yankees who according to a news tidbit I just read had only allowed 3 hits in 70 batters faced, Zimm jacked a fastball beyond this particular game's ability to continue itself, and came around the bases with a glorious jumping stomp of the home plate, and the Nats were better than the most famous and successful team in baseball history. They beat them tonight, they also went one up on them in standings, and even more importantly - due to the Mets losing - were tied for first in the NL East for the first time this season. Another "moment" with both immediate and larger psychic implications. I would be lying if I said I wasn't starting to become intoxicated by this team of Nationals. I would also be lying if I didn't admit I hate the fucking Yankees and wish not only ill upon their current team but I wish we could somehow burn all heritage of their greatness from our collective memories and wipe them from existence so that they are instead like the Houston Astros or maybe worse. But I am a vengeful and angry-souled man.
Nats are 23-17.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-nine

(this is what I had hoped Stephon Strasborg would have
come back as after his robot arm surgery)

Sunday closed out the four-game series with the Fathers in San Diego, and our damaged hero Stephon Strasborg took the mound, having had a rough and rocky couple of outings, and actually not that wonderful a season. He stumbled his way through four more rough and rocky innings, gave up 2 runs, Nats offense caught fire and gave him 3 back in the 5th, then 4 more in the 6th, but that was all he could do. In bottom of 6th, shit started coming undone quickly for Strasborg (yet again), and he was yanked after two outless batters was setting up a potential Fathers comeback.
Sigh... oh Strasborg of the number one overall pick whom Tony Gwynn said was perhaps the greatest ever, what has happened? I mean, it's hard to be all over his ass, as he still won this game to move to 3-4, so it's not like he's a dumpster fire. But this is not what we had planned (by "we" I mean stupid people who attach emotional well-being to how good the Nationals do as a fan, who are prone to speculation and prognostication not necessarily too deeply attached to reality).
However, on the other end of things, top of the 7th, score already 7-3 in Nats favor, The Ultimate Harper smashed his 14th HR of the year, with two-on, and just straight up put a bow on this game to be like, "Fuck y'all, Fathers; we're gonna chill our way through 9 more outs then catch a first-class flight the fuck back east." And that is what they did.
Coming into this west coast swing, I had said some shit about, "Hey, will these guys solidify themselves as high mediocre, or perhaps make a step towards being the upper crust of this professional baseball of 2015?" Obviously the season is still very young (lolol it's not even Memorial Day), but they are starting to look like the type of team that is able to fuck-up but still handle themselves into the W column. Perhaps I'd even suggest to you (Kendall) that they could possibly be flirting with being the best team in baseball. But time will have to pan that one out, no?
Nats were 22-17.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-eight

(apparently at some point Cirque du Soleil did the opening pitch
for a Padres game)

Ken Shamrock, branded as the Most Dangerous Man on Earth, threw out the mostly ceremonial first pitch in Saturday's Padres/Nats game, which led me to wonder, "Why is Ken Shamrock throwing out the first pitch in San Diego?" I guess he's got some sort of fight against fellow famous but perhaps not relevant mixed martial artistry fighter Kimbo Slice, so it was probably just hype and ballyhoo for that. But it got me thinking about opening pitches, and why the fuck do they get all these weird obscure celebrities to do them, and what's the fucking connection even?
Well, when you figure there's 30 teams with 81 home games, that's over 2400 ceremonial first pitches per season (not counting playoffs), which is a fuckin' shitload of ceremony. Like I'm not sure we even have enough qualified human beings in America to conduct that much ceremony. Mostly though, it made me wonder how come I've never thrown out a ceremonial first pitch. I mean, I've been doing this fucking baseball feelings Nats Rise to Glory sporadically for like a month now. Somebody should've fucking contacted me. This new media digital revolution is starting to feel like bullshit.
Ken Shamrock's dangerousness did not translate to the Padres though, as Maximum Scherzer controlled the show (4 hits over 7 scoreless innings) and The Ultimate Harper (2-for-3, no HRs though) was one of there whom had scored in the top of the 1st, which just set the fucking table for the Padres to suffer a long, slow, meticulous, Saturday defeat. Baseball is so fucking boring, but also psychological, so these long lulls of psychic crushing are funny, because I'm sure during the course of the game there were multiple ebbs-and-flows of energy, where Padres faithful became excited, as SHIT WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE, but it never did, and at the end of the night, they just sat there for fucking ever to watch their team suck. The Fathers (always lol) did manage to squeeze a token run in the bottom of the 9th, to at least reward the stubborn assholes who stayed until the final out because they probably paid way more money than they had planned to go out on a beautiful Saturday to watch a shitty baseball game not turn out in a positive way for them personally. That money could've done a lot of other things. Fucking Fathers.
Nats were 21-17.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-seven

The Friday night game of last weekend's series against the Padres was a rare moment of both potential aspects of Nats domination clicking at once. The offense was thick, up 7-0 before the third inning was over, and cruising to a smashing 10-0 win. The Ultimate Harper got his 13th homer. But on the bump (that is a goofy played-out sportswriter term for the pitcher's mound, sometimes even I use it without thinking, showing how we are all weakened by our shared existences, but hopefully perhaps strengthened as well - at least that is my hope), Jordan Zimmermann (the extra "n" is not really for anything, it's just how he was taught to spell his name, probably by his familial elders) was a hit-scattering, non-run-allowing motherfucker out there. Nats pitching staff has such potential that sometimes I fantasize of them collectively pitching like a month's straight of scoreless innings. But that is crazy thinking, I know.
Important non-important note though, is this was Nats 20th victory. You have to assume any team that wins the World Series is going to win more than 100 games, but probably not 120 (unless they are amazing). So every 20-games is a sort of psychic tic-mark to that goal. Most decent teams will probably fall off after the 80-game mark, and not make it to 100. Shitty teams (or even low-mediocre ones) don't even make it to 80. And even if you don't win the World Series, if you make it to 100 wins, you are probably going to be around VERY LATE in the season to get to that point. Thus, in my own little world of casual baseball dorkage, I consider this random Friday night victory an important first landmark along the road of five landmarks towards an actual true & living Rise to Glory. Thanks for listening.
Nats were 20-17.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-six

(a Tim McCarver scorecard from somewhere I found online,
not the shining example of artistic beauty I would want to share
but hey, we are extremely limited with what is available
in terms of handcrafted arts on the internet)

I guess it is perhaps time for me to catch up on some baseball feelings though to be honest, I didn't have much over the weekend. I was preoccupied with a rich & full real life. But before abandoning pretending anybody cared for a few days, while daydreaming at work (where I do all my daydreaming, which is both hopeful but sad), I was thinking about old school keeping score in actual scorebook, and how I used to love doing that shit as a kid, and would take on THE IMMENSE CHALLENGE of keeping book for the All-Star game, which if you know anything about keeping a scorebook (and how limited your space is, and how ridiculous the All-Star rosters & substitutions are), you know that's stupid thinking. But I tried.
I am not sure all the complicated stat shit we have nowadays would have existed in straight "some guy keeping book" scorekeeping days, all the WHIP and WAR and other shit that seems like nonsense to me BECAUSE IT WASN'T ON A FUCKIN' BASEBALL CARD WHEN I WAS 12. Like you think back to those stats, and slugging percentage was complicated enough because you had to perform multiple functions to get there. So whoever had to actually punch calculator buttons was like, "Okay, I'll do slugging percentage for you fuckers, but only like once a week, okay?" But then pitchers wanted stats too, so somebody came up with the ERA and that pretty much killed shit for statisticians for decades. It wasn't until everybody had pocket computers that we went buckwild with the numbers and spreadsheet functions and sabermetrics and shit like that.
Still though, there is a weird ancient beauty in hand-written scorebook pages, especially if dudes were into it, and cultivated that talent over years. (Or ladies - I do not mean to assume only dudes did it, because I learned keeping book from my mom, who did that shit with such grace and accuracy in our little league that she was the go-to scorekeeper for all All-Star traveling teams for like six or seven years in a row.) I imagine somewhere some artsy-brained dork has compiled amazing scorebook pages from yesteryear. I actually am seriously contemplating buying a scorebook to keep book for imaginary games of chaos teams from deep inside my own ever-expanding heart. "Why would you do that?" the more saber-metrically inclined mind might ask, Who are you to judge what brings joy to another human being? Life is short, you should expand your positive chemical charge to the biosphere as much as possible.
Anyways, the Padres won the opener to this west coast road series, perhaps with their left pant legs pulled up, I do not know. And I bet somewhere in that sea of onlookers, some kid or some old dude or one of those weird yet unmistakably beautiful baseball obsessive ladies kept a wonderfully perfect scorebook of the game, only for themselves, that none of us will see ever.
Nats were 19-17.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-five

LET US DISCUSS THE EFFECTS OF UNIVERSAL SPIRIT WARRIORS UPON TEAM SPORT, AS IN THIS THE ULTIMATE HARPER I HAVE SPOKE OF FONDLY, YET ALSO VERY CLEAR THAT WERE HE TO BE ON SOME OTHER FRANCHISE I WOULD PROBABLY BE A LITERAL PLAYER HATER. THE ULTIMATE HARPER TRANSCENDS STANDARD BEISBOL POWER STRUCTURES OF THE INDIVIDUAL. OPPOSING DUDES WHO STAND UPON DIRT HUMP TO FLING BALL FOR OTHER TEAM ARE THOUGHTFULLY ALREADY WORKING AROUND THIS WARRIOR, ATTEMPTING TO DISSECT TEAM WITHOUT HAVING TO CUT INTO ACTUAL BRYCE MEAT.
IN 7TH INNING OF TIED UP 5-5 GAME, THERE IS DISPUTE AT HOME PLATE ABOUT BRYCE HARPER CHECK SWING STRIKEOUT, WHICH OF COURSE D-BACKS ARE LIKE "YUSS!" BECAUSE THE ULTIMATE HARPER IS NEGATED FOR ANOTHER INSTANCE. ARGUMENTS ENSUE BECAUSE THIS IS BEISBOL & SHIT LIKE THAT HAPPENS, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE UNIVERSAL MAGNETICS OF SPIRIT WARRIOR ARE SNUFFED PERHAPS ARBITRARILY, SO SPIRITS FLARE. MATT WILLIAMS - EVER THE NOBLE FIGUREHEAD OF THIS NATS TEAM, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AS COACH TBH, HE EMBODIES THE CHILL NAVIGATION OF RIDICULOUS COLLECTION OF HUMANS BEING THAT IS NECESSARY FOR SUCCESSFUL MANAGERING - COMES OUT AND HELPS ARGUE. UMPIRE IS LIKE "THIS IS LAST GAME OF THIS SERIES, WE ARE TIED UP LATE IN GAME OF RUBBER STAMP, FUCK THIS OKAY GUYS?" & TOSSES BOTH HARPER AND WILLIAMS AND IT IS STILL TIED AND IF YOU ARE CASUAL BYSTANDER YOU ARE LIKE, "WOW THERE IS NO MORE HARPER IN THIS GAME, & THE NATS NOW HAVE LOST THEIR MANAGER. BUT THIS IS MEANINGLESS MID-MAY BASEBALL... WHY THE HYPE?"
BECAUSE SPIRIT WARRIORS ARE HYPE. A YOUNG MICHAEL TAYLOR (who is actually a year older than Bryce Harper) IS INSERTED INTO RF TO TAKE HARPER'S SPACE BUT NOT REPLACE. THE RIGHT FIELD GRASS, WELL MANAGED AND CARED FOR, IS COATED IN MAGNETIC STARSHINE AURA OF HARPER, AS IS THAT SPOT IN BATTING ORDER. THERE IS NOTHING TAYLOR CAN REALLY DO BUT PLAY HIS POSITION, EXCEPT HE IS SOAKING UP ALL THAT STARSHINE. NOT MANUFACTURED SPORTS "STAR" SHINE BUT LITERAL FROM DEEP IN THE GALAXY ACTUAL STAR SHINE THAT HEATS STONE DEEP WITHIN THE EARTH AND POWERS SPRING BLOSSOMS AND HELPED VIKINGS NAVIGATE THEIR WAY ACROSS AN UNCHARTED EARTH. MOTHERFUCKIN' STAR SHINE.
TAYLOR SOAKS THIS UP THROUGHOUT THE 7TH, AND THEN 8TH INNING, AND THOUGH THE D-BACKS GET A RUN UP TO MAKE 6-5, THE NATS GO INTO THE 9TH WITHOUT THEIR MANAGER AND WITHOUT THEIR SPIRIT WARRIOR OF NOTE AND WITH PERHAPS ANGER AND PESSIMISM TOWARD HOME PLATE UMPIRE'S LARGER INTENTIONS WITHIN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THIS GAME. AND YET IT IS BEISBOL SO IT PLAYS OUT. MEN GET ON BASE, ONE BY ONE, UNTIL MICHAEL TAYLOR GETS HIS FIRST PLATE APPEARANCE OF THE EVENING, IN THE ULTIMATE HARPER'S SPOT THE FIRST TIME IT HAS COME UP IN THE ROTATION SINCE THE EJECTION EARLIER. PERHAPS PEOPLE INNOCENTLY ONLOOKING THOUGHT TO THEMSELVES, "Wow, bases loaded, down by 1 in the top of the 9th... this would be perfect to see Harper actually batting."
BUT TAYLOR HAD BEEN SOAKING UP THAT JUICE ALL ALONG. PERHAPS HE KNEW, PERHAPS HE DIDN'T. YOU CAN'T REALLY "KNOW" LIKE IN SCIENTIFIC COGNIZANT SENSE ABOUT THINGS LIKE THIS. BUT TAYLOR IS STANDING THERE AGAINST AN ADDISON REED WHO I HAVE SEEN BASEBALL FRIENDS ONLINE DISPLAY DISLIKE FOR IN RECENT WEEKS, AND THERE IS NOTHING TAYLOR COULD DO EXCEPT ACCEPT HIS ROLE IN THIS LARGER MANIFESTATION OF GLORIOUS POWER. A PSYCHE-CRUSHING (FOR THE D-BACKS) GRAND SLAM IN 9TH INNING WAS INEVITABLE, AND TAYLOR WAS THE CONDUIT FOR THIS TESLA COIL STRIKE OF ENERGETICS. IT WAS SUDDENLY VERY MUCH OBVIOUSLY A NATIONALS WIN, THOUGH THEY PLAYED OUT THE REST OF THE INNING, FOR THE D-BACKS IT WAS LIKE CONTINUING WITH COITUS POST-ORGASM, PRETENDING YOU COULD PLEASE YOUR PARTNER WITH A SEMI-FLACCID MEMBER. IT WAS ESSENTIALLY GAME OVER, AND ALSO A TESTIMONIAL TO THE LARGER POWERS AT PLAY WITH THIS 2015 WASHINGTON NATIONALS TEAM, THAT PERHAPS TRULY ARE EXPERIENCING A RISE TO GLORY.
Nats are 19-16.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-four

In a walking around moment of delusion yesterday, the thought swam through my mind, "What if they won every game for the entire rest of the year?" about the Nats, going 147-15, destroying all competition forever. So of course I knew immediately that meant they'd lose, which they did last night. Strasborg got blasted, finally getting the hook in the 4th inning after having given up 8 runs already. Something's up with that dude. Matt Williams was like, "Well, he felt good, like his body wasn't fucked up so that's a positive, and we just let him keep throwing shit until it was too ugly to take any more," almost as if they're just gonna gun this fucker a little bit and see if the engine will actually hold. I hope it's just working out further kinks, getting a good groove, because if there was ever a weirdo pitcher type who had to be mentologically in the right spot, it'd be Strasborg. But what if something's amiss inside that dude's arm? Or head? Or both? Maybe even heart? Fuck man, whatever, baseball ain't a one-dude game.
So the D-backs, having jumped out to a 10-2 lead, cruised to a 14-6 win, but Bryce Harper got another HR. Also Ugly Danny Uggla got in the second half of the game, going for 1-for-2, with an RBI. He's quietly becoming my bench hero, even though there's absolutely no reason to like him as he's just your normal ass middle infielder white guy playing Major League Baseball. Whatever. I don't have to explain myself to you; you're just the fuckin' internet, spying on my goddamned brain thoughts.
Nats are 18-16.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-three

Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Williams side-five 
each other, thinking "We are essentially the exact same person"

OMG! I actually followed this game because it was at a convenient time for me to waste a tiny portion of my life on baseball following, and holy fuck man, I had just written some nonsense about "Will these separate themselves from middle-tier or remain firmly entrenched within it, like everybody else?" as the D-backs are also middle-tier, when the Nats came out hard, up 10 to 0 after 2 innings. Like what the fuck man, you have flown across the country, perhaps tired, playing a game that is late at night by your east coast standards, but you smash the fuck out of the fuckers from jump, have Maximum Scherzer on the mound controlling the mic like Fidel Castro, so you coast. You fuckin' sit back and ride out the next two-plus hours, maintain that lead (which they were smart enough keep double digits throughout), and just fuckin' max. Scherzer, who comically injured himself slightly a few weeks ago being a weak ass AL-pitcher trying to hit, even started out 2-for-3, and scored a run. Is there nothing more ridiculously pleasing than seeing a goofy-assed P out there on the base path in his goofy fucking arm-warmer jacket, running around the bases? (I do not know if Maximum Scherzer was actually wearing one of these jackets, because I was listening to the game, not watching, as was the way of my elders, but there can be no doubt about the truth to what I say regardless if it applied to Scherzer's run or not.) And though Bryce Harper got no dingers, he did get another RBI, and now sits atop the league leaderboard in that capacity. This team suddenly feels like a lot of fun, and that they may have a ridiculous barn-storming stomp through the western division before coming home next week.
Mostly though, I am glad there are characters developing - a full variety of guys, like goofy superstar kid (Harper), strange pitching ace (Scherzer), perhaps strange pitching ace made even stranger due to lack of certified ace status (Strasborg), cavemen stoner locker room light heart (Werth), stokey old schooler who basically is exact younger replica version of manager to help instill managerial desires in locker room (R. Zimmerman), utilitarian dude off bench sometimes catalyzing incredible charges (Uggla), plus the odd assortment of Gio Gonzalezes and Yunel Escobars and Wilson Ramoses (who is having a solid fucking season) and so on and so forth, with actual depth and prospects still prospecting one or two levels below, and fuck man, it is an exciting time to barely care about baseball, there is no doubt.
Nats are 18-15.