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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 0; Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 1; Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 3: I Was Getting Set to Declare The Blue Jays a Juggernaut But Then They Lost One

A noble effort by Kevin Pillar, who we all like, but this rattled around for a triple
The Blue Jays continue to be extremely .500, like just as .500 as it gets. This is both literally true, in that they stand at this very moment of composition a pleasingly symmetrical 16-16, but also in the broader sense that this is all they are or ever could be. I do not mean this as a slight but instead a sympathetic expression of human solidarity.  

R. A. Dickey very much took the loss yesterday, and while we are all of us sophisticates who recognize that there are few statistics as misleading as pitcher wins and pitcher losses, it occurred to me that Dickey pretty much has to be leading the league in losses at this point, because, I mean, yikes so far, right? However, while Dickey's account now stands at a lowly 1-4, it turns out there are like three dudes who have lost five, so it's not yet as bad as it could be, or indeed definitely will be in the fullness of time.

But while Dickey is merely in the running for the league lead in pitcher losses, he is far ahead of the field in Honorary Word-Hoards, to which we add today sāmwīs, which our pal J. R. Clark Hall defines as "stupid, dull, foolish" in his Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, and sure, yeah, definitely,  but it is worth keeping in mind that literally it is more like "half-wise" or "semi-wise," like, for example, this lil fella right here:


this is by Mohaddeseh Taheri (on deviant art here)
And while I am not here to tell you how to feel I think it is probably important to love him.

KS

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-two

Seems strange to say, but Nats win was secondary in this post. They won again, fulfilling the sweep of the Braves, moving to two games above .500 as they hit the skies to begin a seven-game west coast road trip against the D-backs and Padres. Bryce Harper hit no HRs yesterday (meaning only 6 in his past 4 games) but he did get another RBI, and he's smashed his way up to .300, despite being walked as often as possible (which I'm sure will only get worse now after this past week). But we get to another 16-game increment of the season, which means we are now 20% done with this 2015 affair of baseball. Where is this team? Can we evaluate them fairly?
Surely the first 20% of the season is the most meaningless, and yet, it establishes direction. But perhaps you don't want too much direction too early on, ya know? Through 32 games, this Nats team has been shaky as fuck, but then solid as fuck. They've struggled to score more than a single run, but they've also smashed like Little League teams at times. Pitching staff has not seemed to find its collective rhythm just yet, but it hasn't betrayed its promise either. In fact, that's pretty much the analysis of this entire team at this point - not necessarily in their rhythm, but they haven't betrayed the preseason promise yet. There's 80% of the season left to fulfill or fail. This team is above .500, which - and this is ridiculous to say at this point - means if the season ended today, they'd be a wild card play-off team.
The National League at this point is broken into three-tiers, with a trio at the top well above .500, a trio at the bottom well below .500, and with the majority in the middle-tier of being within 3 games of .500. This is nine teams, including the Nats, who at this point sit on the high end of the middle-tier, but one series sweep puts you at the bottom of that middle-tier again. Both the Diamondbacks and Padres are also in this middle-pack, so the next week of west coast games for the Nats is going to test their direction, and their ability to fulfill promise by moving from middle to upper-tier. They can seize this motherfuckin' destiny by the dick and throw it to the ground and fuck it silly, or they can piddle around middle-of-the-pack, like most teams always do. That is the nature of baseball. But I am hopeful the virile young emotions of a Bryce Harper will give the rest of the team a hard-on to fulfill their destiny and fuck this baseball season up like it wants to be fucked.
Nats are 17-15.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty-one

So, finally back to .500, now the Nationals on Saturday were allowed the strange notion of going into a game, thinking, "Hey, we could actually go above .500." This has only happened two other games this season thus far, and one of those was opening day. Doug Fister (lol) gave a solid start, and midway through this nice Saturday in DC, Nats were up 6-1, looking like they could maybe idle their way into the above-.500 column for the first time in 2015.
But then fuck, nothing is ever easy with these guys. The fuckin' wheels came off Fister and the defense, partially in the 7th, more so in the 8th, and by the time the Nats got off the field to bat in the bottom of the 8th, 6-1 had become 6-6, and this had all the hallmarks of yet another classic Nationals collapse, of which they have earned a reputation both in the individual games as well as the larger sense. Shit looked fucked. All this talent (allegedly) brought together, under the guise of winning at least a World Series, perhaps more. But what of the year they shut Strasborg down? But what of the crumble of severe nature against the Cardinals two years ago? Is this team shook, at a deep psychic level, and unable to achieve? No runs in 8th, or top of 9th, game still hung in that 6-6 balance, so easy to assume, "Fuck, here we go into extra innings, where things will get ugly in some bizarre snakebitten way."
Except there is a man on, with one out, and up to the plate steps The Ultimate Harper - a young man, perhaps a God in a Farmboy's Body, who embodies that potential more than anything else in a Nationals uniform. He could be this generation's Barry Bonds (minus the controversy hopefully) or he could just be another power hitter amongst a thousand. A fanbase drunk off alcohol and sunshine but also sobered by the harsh reality of Washington sports fandom, specific to this team but also the overall glut of quality successes for an American city this size, hung in the balance, wondering would they happily go home and get drunker and fuck and make babies to name Bryce, or would it be another failure in a long line of failures and they'd go home and do Mother's Day shit tomorrow and then go back to work on Monday and life would just go on, no glory no dopamine sports release just on and on with boring mundane life, but not forever, because we all fuckin' die in the end.
Then BAMM - Bryce jacks one that was gone the moment wood struck ball, and not only was the game's tie untied, but all that heavy emotional weight hovering over the stadium with all those individuals, feeling these psychic pressures and perhaps being forced to face their own post-industrial somewhat meaningless mortality - it dissipated in the moment. Single HR ball to end game, inject dopamine into thousands of brains, lift collective spirits, and (momentarily) avoid the sometimes depressing nature of suffering life the way humans have it. That is the Ultimate Harper's power.
Not only this, but for the first time this season of much hyped promise, the Nats were above .500. They were a winning team. The stumbles and struggles and strangely sore elbows and whatever elses - none of it stopped them from still being a winning team. This walk-off HR was another "moment", and in these "moments", momentum is gained. Not physical momentum you can measure with scientific devices in laboratory settings, but that unexplainable yet undeniable metaphysical momentum. This is a team that is gaining momentum, hopefully enough to sustain their movement deep into October.
Nats were 16-15.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirty

On Friday night passed, the Nationals of Washington, District of Columbia, began a three-game weekend series with the Brave Warriors of Atlanta, Georgia, who have long been the standard-bearer of quality NL East standard, though current situation may be an aberration from that. And this has continued to be a season of wondering, "Will these Nats score a fuckin' run or not?" so of course they fell behind 2-0 early on, Gio Gonazalez being Gio out there (which is unpredictable, sometimes shaky, but all-in-all hard not to like). However in the 4th, they got one back. Then in 6th, TWO RUN BLAST by The Ultimate Harper gave the Nats the lead. Would it hold? Or would they fuck it up? Bear in mind, this was a team trying to reach .500 for only the second time this season, and the previous time initiated a 6-game losing streak.
Well, I'm glad to say it held. They added a cushion run in the 7th, and then in the 8th they blasted for 5 runs led off by a 3-run homer by The Ultimate Harper (giving him 5 HRs in his last two games at that point), and shit man they coasted through the top of the 9th to get back to .500. BACK TO FUCKING .500.
Nats were 15-15.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Blue Jays Week that Was: It Sure Was

A dinger dung
So the Blue Jays took two out of three at home against the Yankees as part of a 4-3 week that I did not attend to but in passingest of ways but that I respect. The Blue Jays remain a game under .500, which is right where one would expect them to be as they close in on thirty games played this season, because they are plainly not good, but nor are they particularly bad; they are, like so many of us in our working day, just getting through it. I hope that they have rewarding personal lives and projects and hobbies to sustain them, although I worry that their line of work to a certain extent precludes at least some of that.

Although I have skipped over the particulars of the week that was, I do not wish to skip over The R. A. Dickey Honorary Old English Word-Hoard (brought to you in part by the J. R. Clark Hall Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, always), but instead point you to the particulars of līc, which survives into contemporary English as "lich" with the same sense of a body, a corpse, but which, in Old English, appears in all kinds of sikk compounds, like līcbeorg ("coffin, sarcophagus"), līcburg ("cemetary"), līchamian ("to clothe with flesh"), līchamian ("body, carnal, physical, material"), līchryre ("bodily decay, death"), līcsang ("dirge"), līcrest ("sepulchre, tomb"), līcstow ("place of burial"), līcðrōwere ("leper"), which is really good, and also līcpytt ("grave"), which is kind of my favourite I think. 

KS



Thursday, May 7, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-nine

Yesterday was an afternoon businessman's special matinee, and The Ultimate Harper came to play. I had just written about being dialed-in, how he didn't seem to be dialed-in, and we'd just come off a questionable Strasborg performance the day before. There will always be questions regarding Strasborg/Harper because both were allegedly once-a-decade prospects (who were both hyped as once-in-a-lifetime talents), and they came back-to-back to this team. Well, yesterday Harper went 3-for-3 his first three times at the plate - 3 home runs that is. And sure, there's tons of players who probably have a hot day and get 3 HRs (well, maybe not a ton), but the fact after just fretting over whether he had dialed-in capability, he came out dialed the fuck in, it gave me excitement. That's all fucking baseball is anyways - a long boring slog through the slow decline of America, but with random chance bursts of excitement that may you think, "Hey, maybe 100 years ago ain't so bad!" But then we'll all die under the weight of our own greed and failure.
Nats are 14-15.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-eight

So Strasborg left the game very early due to fucked upness in his pitching arm (again). Pitchers of today's standards are put through body motions probably not sustainable so ultimately it becomes a battle of attrition. Luckily the Nats are loaded (on paper at least) at P, but the fact The Guy who was going to change the game forever has not really changed the game forever is always a bummer. At this point (still early in his career? idk) it'd be nice to see Strasborg remain healthy enough to be that wily ass guy towards the upper middle of the rotation, who eats up six innings every fuckin' time, and leaves the team in position to not lose - maybe not win, but at least not lose. I worry about that guy, although Nats are sending him to chiropractor not legit "let's do expensive shit" doctor so who knows? Maybe this is much ado about nothing.
I did catch the highlights on the 10 o'clock news sports, and holy shit I had no idea Ichiro Suzuki still played baseball, nor that he played for the Marlins. A massive thing like BASEBALL is full of so many fuckin' crazy life stories like that - weird little Pete Rose of Japan comes to America, becomes star, and now is playing in Miami? What the fuck does Ichiro Suzuki do in his free time in Miami? Does he like the beach? Go to art galleries? Perhaps he does coke with big-assed whores? WHO KNOWS?
Oh, the Nats lost because Strasborg's chinked armor arm gave up two runs in his three innings, and offense has gone back to OFF switch, so 2-1 was the final.
Nats are 13-15.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-seven

Natty Bohs scrapped out a 6-4 win in opener of home series against the Miami Florida of Hispaniola Marlins, and how can one complain? I mean, sure Jayson Werth continues to be lackluster at the plate, and the Ultimate Harper is getting walked a lot and not completely dialed-in when not walked. I imagine that's fucked up trying to stay dialed-in when nobody will pitch at you. It is easy to be like "fuck Barry Bonds" because well, fuck Barry Bonds, but when he was chemically dialed-in, he was also intuitively dialed-in as well, and even though he would get walked a ton, he was still fucking smashing when somebody would not be pitching around him. Fucking smashing. One of the sad effects of the chemically-enhanced era is we (people) are fucking stupid fuckfaces for the most part, and will be indignant about the PEDs and pretend all that happened was entirely dependent upon the chemical enhancement. But motherfuckers were still dialed-in to universal magnetics. Nobody else was being Barry Bonds. He was one-of-a-kind, albeit magnified by enhancement.
I guess what I'm saying is, The Ultimate Harper is young. There's gotta be some weird ass synthetic amphetaroid that's undetectable by modern testing that he could be injecting into his blood and start smashing big-time. Let's get this party fuckin' started. Anyways...
Nats are 13-14.

Monday, May 4, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-six

Jayson Werth, batting a solid .159 thus far, somehow finagled himself on base and was knocked in by Ryan Zimmerman in the top of the 1st yesterday. This was the only run the Nationals scored ALL FUCKING LONG ASS SUNDAY LAST OF SERIES GAME. Luckily, Doug Fister (& the bullpen) scattered 5 hits for 0 runs, and for the second day in a row, the Nationals pulled off a 1-0 victory on the road against division leading team. (I don't know that for sure, I'm just making assumptions to be honest. I've yet to even look at standings this season. It just turned May. Looking at standings is at the very least a June thing, and not really something you fret over until halfway through July at the earliest.) So we start the week (lol "we") with a home series against the Marlins. DARE THIS TEAM GET BACK TO .500, WHERE THEY'VE ONLY BEEN ONE DAY OTHER THAN OPENING DAY ALL SEASON?
Nats are 12-14.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-five

Gio actually went 7 innings without giving up a run, looking like the ol' Gio of lovable yore. Bullpen didn't fuck up either, so one run from iron-poor offense (although through use of wooden bats) was all that was needed. Perhaps at some point this team will get to where they are scoring 8 runs and giving up none. Wouldn't that be nice?
Nats were 11-14.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-four

I guess Friday night was supposed to be a masterful pitching showdown between Maximum Scherzer and Matt Harvey (rematch of opening day actually). Together, they each went 7 innings, "scattering" (lol) 5 hits, except the Mets got a single run thanks to Michael Cuddyer's solo HR in the 4th. Nats bullpen gave up three more runs in the 8th, and offense was gone after 34 runs in three days, so Nats lost 4-0 (or 0-4 if we do this like soccer).
Nats were 10-14.

Friday, May 1, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-three

Motherfuckers scored 8 runs last night. The Ultimate Harper went 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and seems to have powered up like Shinobi (whenever they don't walk him). So these dudes scored 34 runs in 3 games, after I was like "lolol no offense ever", they shifted into Tecmo Baseball mode. Good. Keep that shit going through the weekend.
Nats are 10-13.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-two

OMG the Nats scored 13 runs two nights in a row. Have they decided to be offensive? What the fuck? This makes no sense. They SMASHED the Braves, and sure I could scan the box score and be like "Yes, Ugly Danny Uggla was at it again" or "The Ultimate Harper" but honestly they just smashed those fuckers the Atlien Braves, which is a thing I just typed but damn, space natives is some serious shit actually, and now my excitement over the Nationals winning is lost to space native conspiracies and how that might relate to uprising of the people in relations to oh I don't know current events, and maybe the Nationals *won* because they are from DC and there is a sneaky shit, sneaky business snakeman lizard shit connecting DC and Baltimore, especially via the baseballs, and I don't know man this could all be a fucking conspiracy a massive fucking conspiracy to keep people suppressed and half-blind or at least looking at the wrong fucking thing and ignoring the important shit, like me, writing bullshit about baseball. Wtf?
Nats are 9-13.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blue Jays 11, Red Sox 8; Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1: One Losing Streak Ends, Another Begins, Which is Like The Seasons

Josh Donaldson: A Guy Who is Working Out
Tuesday dingerzzz from Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista -- take that, four-game losing streak! Ho ho! -- then today R. A. Dickey pitched and so defeat. What else might one even say.

But not so fast! It is time once again for The R. A. Dickey Honorary Old English Word-Hoard of which we have together grown so fond! Today let us consider heoru, which means "sword," like kind of a lot of other Old English words do actually, but this one shows up in a bunch of compounds that I like, usually meaning not sword, exactly, but just, like, really, really bad, like for example heoruwolf, which Clark Hall has as "bloodthirsty wolf," or heoruhocit, "savagely barbed," heorugrimm, which just means, like, extra grim, like playing a baseball game in front of literally zero people because of protests and riots and curfews stemming from state violence that have shut down the city but for some reason there is still a baseball game but not for the people in that city haha!  

Your Toronto Blue Jays are 10-12 or whatever.

KS

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty-one

So with Maximum Scherzer having strained his self last week batting, which of course ensued a P interview melee of to DH or not to DH, where an AL dude like Scherzer is like "lol I'm cool not hitting ever" but then that Madison Bumgardner fucker (pure baseball name) is like "lol he's a bitch, pitchers should have to hit always, and also fight tigers but with baseballs, and also tradition yall, without tradition, we are nothing but monkeys." So with all that having happened the young AJ Cole, hot prospect for the future, got the call up (or geographically actually down) from Syracuse to pitch for the night. PROMISING PROSPECT TAKES THE BUMP TO TURN AROUND LOSING STREAK. Unfortunately my man gave up 9 runs in 2 complete innings, and hit the showers early in terms of innings but was it really all that early in terms of time? It takes a while to score 9 runs in the modern game.
So the team that can't score for shit was getting bombed, actually down 10 to 2 going into the 5th fucking inning, seemingly insurmountable odds for this fucking pack. And yet, led by the wacky "stoked" ugliness that is Dan Uggla, they started chipping away at it. They got 4 back in the 5th, but kept giving up spot runs here or there. Went into the 7th down 11 to 6, but got 3 more back. Went into the 9th down 12 to 10, and scored another 3, to seal a coming back from EIGHT RUNS DOWN to actually win this fucker. And even more miraculously, it didn't come unraveled in the bottom of the 9th, as Drew Storen held on. Uggla ended up going 3-for-5, with 5 RBIs, but most importantly got the 3-run homer in the 9th that saved the game. All in all, it was a great comeback, but when you have to outscore 12 runs to end a six-game losing streak, it's hard to want to break out the champagne. Nonetheless, a win.
Nats are 8-13.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twenty

Nats opened a road series at Atlanta, and my dead father was always a Braves fan, plus my grandma watched them in her trailer back when cable TV became a thing in the American Experience of the 1980s and TBS played all the Braves games. She even got Baseball Digest briefly. In retrospect, that's weird as fuck my old ass grandma living in a trailer getting Baseball Digest. What the fuck? Anyways, I am not a Braves fan, though I have always tacitly respected them because they won the NL East like 39 out of 42 times it felt like, and their model was basically what the Nationals have tried to emulate - strong motherfuckin' pitching rotation, backed up by some piecemeal dudes who knock in some runs to counter-balance that shit. It is not quite clicking for the Nats like that though, and sure you can't just be like "okay, we've got the best motherfuckin' pitching rotation ever!" because it's not like signing dudes and it magically happens. But the Nats seemed to think they had magically gotten close what with all the Maximum Scherzers and Doug Fisters (lol) and Strasborgs and Gios and the pitching Zimmermann guy (I think he's the one with the extra "n"). But it ain't happening yet.
Yesterday's game was more of the same - other team consistently smacking up the P. I mean, Fister wasn't horrible by box score's look, but he gave up 5 runs total, which also ain't good, even if he did scatter them. A pitching staff that is scattering 8 runs and 13 hits over 9 innings isn't building a foundation for the success. But that's doubled-up by the more of the same on offense - 5 hits total, and only one from the top four in the line-up (though The Ultimate Harper was walked twice, as is becoming commonplace, because fuck man nobody else is doing shit so just walk him all the time I guess). So it's another loss, and now a six-game losing streak, which is leading me to again - for the second time - question whether "Rise to Glory" remains appropriate. I know, I know - it's still early, not even May, but Friday is May, and there is a lack of clicking going on here and by now - one month into the season, you'd hope for at least a little bit of fucking clicking going on.
Nats are 7-13.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 2; Rays 5, Blue Jays 1; Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5: So That's Four Losses in a Row For Your Last-Place Toronto Blue Jays

whooooooooooooof
Well the Blue Jays have been terrible but at least Jose Reyes is on the DL! 

Also, Ricky Romero, who as you will perhaps recall was once a boss, has been quietly released by the Blue Jays after having everything utterly fall apart completely and forever (professionally, I mean; I know nothing of his inner world). This is a saddening reminder of the fleeting nature of all earthly glory. I will label this post with all of the Ricky Romero tags that have accompanied Ricky Romero baseball feelings lo these many intermittent years of them.

R.I.P. The Blue Jays Tenure of Ricky Romero Who Had A Nice Curve Ball For A While That We All Liked 


forever young
KS

Monday, April 27, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game nineteen

Nats got four hits, scored two run. Caveman Jayson Werth is in third slot batting .191. Lead-off chump Denard Span is .240. No fucking offense happening, so you could have space pitchers who dominate multiple planets but no runs means fuck yo. Other end of dugout field positions was Marlines, who smashered 14 hits in Sunday matinee, with four runs to sweep Nationals series. Lead-off dude for Marlins went 4-for-5 yesterday, yet didn't get an RBI nor score a run. So he was going apeshit, and yet had nothing to do with any runs directly, although the psychological destruction of opposing pitchers and weakening their will to resist your offensive advances as a team could certainly be construed as a direction action, no? Gio got knocked up again, and the once indomitable and futuristically inspiraing One-Two tandem of Strasburg/Gio is looking lost a little. Not necessarily shot, but psyche's questioning things, existential crisis of sorts, which affects baseballers more than most other sports because baseballers be standing around a lot of time with too much thinking and shit going on. Long DC histories of lack of run support, lack of offense can damage pitching psyche - "Am I wasting my life? Is all this physical energy being expended for anything of substance? Is this all for just simple dollar bills in form of paycheck? What am I doing here?" Another hit, as man in red hat ponders these questions, another runner in scoring position, another early exit from that little cocaine bump of a pitcher's mound. Life is temporary but god losing streaks will feel like forever.
Nats are 7-12.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game eighteen

Wow man, Stephon Cyborg is not the world dominator, is he? Against the stupid Marlins he gave up a pair of runs in the 4th, a pair in the 6th, and the Nationals have forgot how to score runs again. Then some scrub Rafael Martin got rocked to double it up to 8-0 in the 8th (gotta play 8s on the pick 3 tonight!), and fuck man, THEY GOT TO .500 AND HAD A "MOMENT" BUT HAVE NOT FUCKING WON A SINGLE GAME SINCE. THAT STUPID FUCKING HEADFIRST SLIDE BY YUNEL ESCOBAR. FUCK FUCK FUCK.
Nats are 7-11.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game seventeen

Technically, we are 10% of the way through the season, which seems a good standard checkpoint to see if this Nationals team truly is Rising to Glory. Well, thus far there is promise but not a lot of glory. But fuck man, it's only April, so all you really have to do at this point is promise to be glorious.
According to my google news reader, it looks as though the Nats opened a road series in spacious Florida against the Marlins with a 2-3 loss. I put it that way like it was a soccer score. I wish we got soccer on free TV and it was good soccer and I could go fight people over soccer. There are no baseball hooligans, not since the Baseball Furies, and they were just a gimmick in a movie anyways. Like the Nationals could lose every game forever, and I wouldn't be mad enough to fight somebody over baseball. It's just not a fight-worthy sport, which is exactly what makes bench clearing brawls so interesting. Whatever.
Nats are 7-10.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game sixteen

The Cardinals won the rubber tramp stamp game because they are the Cardinals and I hate them.
Nats were 7-9.

Blue Jays 4, Orioles 2; Blue Jays 7, Orioles 6; Rays 12, Blue Jays 3: Where Do The Days Go

The light in Tampa: arguably worse than the light in the closed dome?
Haha woah ok yeah Blue Jays baseball, right? It has been being played, certainly! These hockey playoffs show no sign of relent, though, and a man has but a finite amount of time, I am sure you will agree, to devote to sport, to sport-feeling, and, most relevant to our conversation here I am sure you will agree once more, to sport-feeling blogging. To recap in brief, then: the Blue Jays finished well against the Orioles, and then got walloped to the extremium against the Rays last night. Foremost among those walloped was surely R. A. Dickey, who stunk, which I say without animosity but instead as the barest statement of fact, of stink-fact. Poor guy. 

Let us all be enriched, however, by the R. A. Dickey Honorary Old English Word-Hoard, which visits upon us dægcandel, "day-candle," and so "sun." Isn't that a nice one? A kenning! Which is like a super-compressed metaphor, a kind of riddling circumlocution! The term derives from the Old Norse verb kenna, "to know," and it is totally a way of knowing things, so there you go.

Hey Devon Travis is hitting like .375 with 5 home runs so far. 

KS   










Thursday, April 23, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game fifteen

5-5 tie early on, plodding towards the end, then Cards get a pair in the last two innings to win 7-5. I hate the Cardinals, mostly because it feels like their fans are made up of two distinct groups - Bob Costas and the Ferguson Police Department. It's like the two-party system essentially, straight out the middle of America. One party is sanctimonious self-important know-it-all assholes, and the other party is xenophobic selfish racist assholes. Most good-hearted folks are not invited to either party. The Cardinals are essentially the most American set of baseball team fans you could have, so I guess it makes sense they'd win every game in DC being well you know what I'm saying. Or maybe you don't. Maybe you're one of them too. Fuck.
Nats are 7-8.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 6: Jose Bautista vs. The Haters Still

E5 looking like a cool cool killer in this
Because the world is stupid, not everybody loves Jose Bautista openly and fearlessly, and so on occasion people are going to throw behind Jose Bautista; we know this because we have seen this. For the second time in this still-young season, though, Joseph Batstista has answered this demonstrably self-loathing hateration (in that hating in hating Jose Baustista you are obviously hating part of yourself, and probably one of the better parts of yourself, actually) by launching the shit out of a dinger in that selfsame at bat. That is how you do it, Jose Bautista; that is how you fvkkn do it.

Also Mark Buehrle, just getting out there, hucking it in, let's hear it for that guy. And E5.

KS

NATS RISE TO GLORY game fourteen

A stupidly long baseball season is full of all sorts of moments, and some of those moments are brighter than others, which accumulate into a mental checklist of "moments". Those "moments" are in turn sorted through when a team actually makes a true and living Rise to Glory, for essential Moments. Thus in all the mundane minutes, you acquire:

moments < "moments" < Moments = Glory.

Last night's game against the Cardinals ended with what I will arbitrarily and with the self-important confidence of an internet person declare the Nationals first "moment" of this season. It was about what you'd expect from a Nationals/Cardinals game - plodding, crafty, threats never being realized. Don't forget this is the Cardinals franchise that not only defeated the Nats in the playoffs two years ago but punked them psychically and broke their spirit, which honestly they've never overcome yet in playoffs. It is a psychic albatross they will still have to cleanse themselves of. But it's a tie game going into extra innings, one of those 1-1 games that to a non-fan you'd go, "One to one? Fuck that." But if you like to sit around drinking cough syrup for leisure and listening to games on internet radio, it was classic baseballing. Top of the tenth, no runs (naturally). Bottom of tenth, two outs, and on comes Yunel Escobar, Cuban emigre to the U.S. to play the baseball, not long after Cuban/U.S. relations thawed for the first time in like half a century. First pitch, Escobar jacks over the fence for walk-off HR victory. The team of course is waiting to mob him at home plate as he rounds, as Cardinals pitcher sheepishly wanders off field, and instead of traditional leaping stomp of home for bearhugs from professional friends all around, Escobar slides headfirst into home, immediately mobbed by smiling faces raining Gatorade splashes in every direction. It was a "moment". It was a very small early season slice of psychic confidence against the team that punked them previously in long-term life. It was the Nationals first time reaching .500 this season. It was hopefully the first "moment" building towards even better Moments.
Nats are 7-7.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Braves 5, Blue Jays 2: Lots of Actual Blue Jays Lately Though

Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnn get there
A tough start for non-actual blue jay Daniel Norris yesterday, and also a tough start to the season for actual blue jays, too: despite a truly mighty thaw the last ten days or so, there is still plenty of snow and ice on the ground here, which is less than ideal for most birds, I am sure you will agree. Birds are tough, though, like way tougher than people; for example, take the toughest human you can even think of, and then think about whether that person could survive a hard winter as well as a humble chickadee and the answer is obviously no, people are not as tough, or good, as chickadees. The last couple days I have seen several blue jays in the yard, and I am strongly in favour of actual blue jays, despite their somewhat bullying nature at the feeder, and their call that is almost completely indistinguishable from the sound of a clothesline pulley scraping against its housing or whatever (not a diss). We have a some branches down as a sort of roosting area, or something, mainly for the mourning doves, but tonight this neat little blue jay (not that little I guess) was hopping up and cracking seeds against it, and it was, in short, a delight.

The lesser human Blue Jays are now 6-7 and may never get back to .500 all year.

KS   

NATS RISE TO GLORY game thirteen

Stephon Cyborg looked good, and The Ultimate Harper got as many walks as at-bats, and though his average is lackluster thus far early in this season that doesn't really count yet, Ryan Zimmerman was clocking some RBIs this weekend against the Phillies, including 2 yesterday, which was all they needed. Top three of the line-up scored all four runs. That's good offensive foundation. I build my offensive baseball philosophy on line-up pyramid, split into thirds. Top of the line-up should score a thousand runs, because they are your fast sneaky fuckers who always get on base then when no one is looking are standing on third like "What? Can I brush the dirt off my knees ump?" Then your middle of the line-up are the brutes and psychic forces like what that Beast Mode dude was a few years ago for the Nats and The Ultimate Harper probably could be better than any other baseball dork specimen currently active. That part of the line-up should just durr-smash in half a thousand runs to complement the top of the line-up. Then your bottom third is your leftovers, but they pick scraps up because the other side's pitching is demoralized and forgets to pay attention in adderall baseball ways. So though they don't score as many runs nor run up the averages and stats as much, the bottom third is essentially the part that destroys the opponent psyche. Shit like pitchers getting stand-up doubles. So perhaps the top-third is coming on, and the pitching will have run support, and these Nats truly will Rise to Glory. Or perhaps the Phillies fucking suck. Shrug emoticon.
Nats are 6-7.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game twelve

Sigh. Saturday game was no win and Phillies broke a six-game losing streak. The Ultimate Harper smashed another HR though, obviously channeled into universal magnetics and feeling the voices of the elders advise him on what's coming from the mount. He also is starting to get walked a lot according to box scores. Mufuckas afraid of The Ultimate Harper. Too much uncontrolled raw animal manliness in there. It can be dangerous. Look at how it turned into demons that consumed Jorsh Hamilton. Look at how Barrett Bonds sacrificed his own morality to enhance his ability to achieve such a physical status upon earth. The Ultimate Harper is young. He worries me, not so much that I'm afraid he won't be a universal force in a stupid earth man game, but I don't know, he seems tailor made by the Baseball Evil Gods to end up signing a ridiculously high dollar contract to play for the Yankees, and have his universal force obscured by the glaring lights of such a thing.
Of note in this game is Jonathan Papelbon got the save for the Phillies, and I didn't see it, only read it, but I have always thought Papelbon's mouth looked like an anus, and I tend to laugh at dudes with mouths like anuses. What sort of life leads you to that look? What genetics and psychologies combine to clench lips into eternal pucker of shit existence? People are weird looking. Granted, about three times a week, I slip into brain mode of Oscar Zeta Acosta and Hunter S Thompson in the bar in Las Vegas where everybody looks like alien lizards and it's hard to handle that shit. Actually just yesterday, my family was on a short road jaunt, and I stopped at the Sheetz for a large cup of what is considered coffee (proud aficionado of gas station coffee right here, bruh), and everybody started looking like lizards and it was very unsettling and I'm not sure how people exist without freaking out to be honest. Anyways, Nats lost, with reaching .500 for the first time this season on the line.
Nats are (were) 5-7.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game eleven

This past Friday night, Max Scherzer was a beast. I was wandering around and got to catch a little of the game on AM radio in my shitty truck which has almost 200K miles & will explode any day now, which in my humble opinion is the only way to truly enjoy America's past time. In my head I started referring to him as Maximum Scherzer, so I am going to pretend that is his real name now. But Maximum Scherzer was in beast mode. Also of note is the Ultimate Harper (aka Bryce Harper), who smashed a 3-run homer in the first inning, giving Maximum Scherzer a comfortable cushion to be like, "lol lemme do pitcher shit that sportswriter assholes will say 'scattered X hits' about later." So he did.
Nats are (were) 5-6.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Braves 8, Blue Jays 7; Blue Jays 6, Braves 5 (F/10): These Really Seem Like Excellent Games I am Missing

I really think photography has finally advanced far enough to truly capture how shitty the light is in there with the roof closed
An 8-7 game with five home runs? A 6-5 extra-inning win with a walk-off home run from everybody's new buddy (in that he is not Brett Lawrie and also extra reasons) Josh Donaldson? These games sound super great! I only caught the bottom of the ninth last night after hockey, but did see Dioner Navarro for a minute and got to think about how I like that he is stout as fvkk, so it's not like I got nothing from the game, because that felt like something, but my thoughts were elsewhere throughout the evening, clearly. And then this afternoon it was really lovely out, and there was a hipster craft show nearby and the crafters are these really interesting talented stylish earnest people and it's not just the crafts (although it is the crafts) and not even snax (although it is the snax) but it is just the feeling you get in there while you're eating a cupcake and sipping a hand-pressed fizzy lemonade and maybe getting a dishtowel, you know? The university radio station has a booth there with these volunteers that could not have less information about any subject than the amount they have about the one they are ostensibly there for; it is wonderful. So I did not catch any of this game but I saw the Donaldson walk-off and it looked like a great time for everybody!

Also it is worth noting, I think, that R. A. Dickey did totally alright again today, and even if he hadn't he would still by his mere presence have provided us with an opportunity for another peek into the R. A. Dickey Honorary Old English Word-Hoard, which I am sure you will agree is more than enough, especially when you see how sikk it is to think about the word galdor, which means "sound, song, incantation, spell, enchantment" (all definitions today from J. R. Clark Hall's Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary as that is the one that is on the couch at present), and maybe just get a little quiet about the idea that song and spell are held so closely together in galdor, right? You get a bunch of really good compounds out of this one, too, like galdorcræft ("occult art, incantation, magic" and also my band name so hands off), galdorcræftiga ("wizard"), galdorcwide ("incantation"), galdorgalend ("enchanter"), galdorgalere ("wizard"), galdorleoð ("incantation"), galdorsang ("incantation"), galdorword ("magic word"), galdre ("wizard, magician"), and galdricge ("enchantress"). I mean, my god.

KS

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blue Jays 12, Rays 7; Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: It's Just That Hockey Playoffs

The light really is flat in there with the roof closed isn't it.
I am in favour of both Mark Beuhrle and games where Jose Bautista hits a dinger (or dingerz) so I find no joy in having not watched that one and not even having had it on the radio for even like a minute, but the hockey playoffs started, and we got oven-based snacks for that, and also a new kind of ginger ale that I am enjoying tremendously, so it was just extremely not a baseball night, you know? And last night I just wanted to read Chaucer (try it, you might like it!). 

Also, if I may be frank with you for a moment, even though the Rays got all interesting for a while and then receded to not being that interesting again I guess, I have never really cared about baseball games that the Rays were playing. This is nonsense, but it is how I feel about the Rays. I don't like their uniforms and their ballpark is dumb and I don't like how the Blue Jays play them a lot but never really play the Tigers and although that has nothing to do with the Rays I have always kind of held that against them? Also Jonah Keri's book about them was, on the level of the prose itself, just the absolute shits, if you will forgive my plain speaking on the matter.

Up next we have the Braves, and thoughts turn, of course, to the 1992 World Series which meant a pretty staggering amount more than the 1993 one even if the Joe Carter moment is obviously the singular moment from those years but should it be or should it be when Roberto Alomar homered off Eckersly in 92 in Oakland and put his arms up the second he hit it even though it ended up being kind of a squeaker just over the fence in right like how did Robbie know he had gotten enough of it how did he *know* and yet he *knew* and now he is in the Hall of Fame and should have gone in the first year except he spit on an umpire once which is an inappropriate thing to have done but also a fully human act that was long since forgiven by the man spat upon and so who are we to sit in judgement of Roberto Alomar who are we to deny him his propers.

In closing, if you haven't seen the Pillar catch, it was really good, and is here.  

Oh yeah also Jose Reyes got hurt lol.

KS  

NATS RISE TO GLORY game ten

Check this out - I didn't even have to look the game up because the chick from high school posted on her FB "Another curly W" with the W as the Washington hat. So I know they won. That's modern news bruh - somebody shares a dumb picture on social media & you're straight.
So Nats previously won 1 out of 3 each series, but open this what I'm assuming is a 4-game set with a win. They haven't impressed, at least not on paper (lol like I been looking at the paper), and yet they are 4-6. That's the fucked up thing nobody ever tells you openly about baseball - it's this giant long marathon of being barely better than everybody else's mediocre. That's all. Nobody wins 120 games. Barely above mediocre. Essentially it's a big long slogging heroin nod through the regular season, try to stay barely above mediocre or perhaps even slightly better, get into the playoffs, and then shift into over-thinking retard chess mode of baseball playoffs, plus get lucky, and win. Then you have achieved glory. So despite a less than impressive first two weeks, these Washington Nationals are right on schedule, if you ask me. (Fuck you if you don't ask me. Uppity fucker.)
Nats are 4-6.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NATS RISE TO GLORY game nine

Some nights, it all comes together. For the Washington Nationals, that means they were actually able to score some runs AND their defense didn't decide to bail out in celebration. They salvaged not being swept by the Red Sox, and have maintained their steady pace of winning one-game of every series so far this year. They get to return home and play the Phillies. The cherry blossoms are in bloom in DC, and there's a killer collection of Mingering Mike's artwork at the Smithsonian art museum. Mingering Mike is a dude who made imaginary album covers for imaginary music, and it's all pretty amazing stuff. One thing that sucks about professional sports is the industrialization of finding and developing talent has been built so heavily off of metrics and colonial philosophies to this point that there's little chance of weird idiot savants incubating anonymously somewhere on earth, who develop like space magnetic curveballs or weird shit like that. It's a shame. The world is too fucking small sometimes.
Nats are 3-6.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game eight

A little late but mostly because I actually barely followed this game from the other night where Stephen Cyborg was bitchy, then the Nats looked like they could win but then they forgot to play defense, which is kind of a big problem if you have trouble scoring runs. I guess they figured they had scored a bunch of runs so they didn't need to play defense, thus the Red Sox got like 3 unearned runs and ended up winning 8-7 or some shit like that I don't know, it was two days ago and I don't feel like looking it up again, and honestly the internet only gives you new shit to hijack your brain from more important deeper matters. It is superficial news constantly. I literally just clicked an article about Kelly Clarkson. Why the fuck did I do that? Why would I give a fuck about Kelly Clarkson and her weight gain? All the poetry of a couple thousand years is at my fingertips, and I just spent about 17 seconds briefly scanning a fucking Kelly Clarkson article at Huffington Post. What the fuck?
Nats are 2-6.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: I Stopped Watching At An Appropriate Time

Above: the entire Skydome crowd for the second home game of the season
When I put this one on, it was already 2-2, and then the stream err ahhhh I mean the signal on my errrrr cable package wuuuhhhhhh wasn't working out so well so I moved on to iller matters for the remainder of the evening (not a euphemism). Later, when I learned the Blue Jays lost 3-2, I felt very good about my decision. And tonight they are already down 5-0 in the third! This home-stand is really shaping up guys!
KS