Thursday, April 12, 2012

Game 7: Reds at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nationals Park is all set for its first regular-season game of the season.
It's a beautiful day for the ballgame. And it just so happens there's a ballgame being played in the nation's capital this afternoon. How fortuitous.

After opening the season 4-2 in Chicago and New York, the Nationals finally enjoy their home opener today, hosting the Reds at Nationals Park. There will be plenty of pomp and circumstance, and plenty of rousing ovations for Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos (among others). But there's also some not-so-happy news to report on the injury front...

Michael Morse has re-aggravated the lat strain that first cropped up more than a month ago. According to Mike Rizzo, the Nats' cleanup hitter will be in "total shutdown mode" for six weeks, at which point he'll be re-evaluated and resume baseball activities. Plenty more on Morse coming shortly in a separate article.

In the meantime, enjoy today's game and please check back of lots of updates throughout...

CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside D.C. area), MLB.tv
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WHFS (1580 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 56 degrees, Wind 14 mph out to RF
NATIONALS (4-2)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
LF Xavier Nady
CF Roger Bernadina
C Wilson Ramos
P Gio Gonzalez

REDS (3-3)
CF Drew Stubbs
SS Zack Cozart
1B Joey Votto
3B Scott Rolen
RF Jay Bruce
LF Ryan Ludwick
2B Wilson Valdez
C Devin Mesoraco
P Mat Latos

UMPIRES
HP Mike Everitt, 1B Paul Schrieber, 2B Tim Welke (cc), 3B Lax Diaz
12:55 p.m. -- OK, they've introduced all the players. They've unfurled a giant American flag over the outfield. The Quantico Marine Corps Band has performed "The Star-Spangled Banner." It's just about time to play ball...

1:09 p.m. -- And with a strike from Gio Gonzalez to Drew Stubbs, we are officially underway.

1:14 p.m. -- Well that was considerably better than Gonzalez's first inning at Wrigley Field on Saturday. Retired the side on 15 pitches, striking out both Stubbs and Joey Votto. Nice way to get the afternoon started.

1:26 p.m. -- Impressive plate appearance from Danny Espinosa, battling his way through an 11-pitch at-bat to draw a one-out walk off Latos. But the wind held up Ryan Zimmerman's drive to left field, and Adam LaRoche's weaker flyball ended the first inning without a run crossing the plate.

1:34 p.m. -- More good stuff from Gonzalez in the top of the second. Though he allowed a one-out double to Jay Bruce, the left-hander shattered Ryan Ludwick's bat and then got Wilson Valdez to ground out to end the inning. Thirty-two pitches through two scoreless for Gio.

1:48 p.m. -- Three scoreless innings in the books for Gonzalez. He's been much better, and much more efficient, today than he was at Wrigley. He's thrown 42 pitches and has three strikeouts already. Would've gotten through that inning at only 39 pitches had Zimmerman not booted Stubbs' grounder and then thrown the ball away for a two-base error.

2:00 p.m. -- Ian Desmond with a two-out single up the middle for the Nats' first hit of the afternoon, but Espinosa surprisingly grounds out on the first pitch he sees to end the third. It's still scoreless.

2:15 p.m. -- A chance for the Nats to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth after LaRoche singled and Nady drew a two-out walk. But Bernadina's hard line drive was unfortunately aimed directly at left fielder Ludwick, so that's the end of that. It's still 0-0 through four.

2:23 p.m. -- Beautiful curveball from Gio to catch Latos looking to end the top of the fifth. He also got some help from Zimmerman, who made a brilliant, all-out diving catch of Ludwick's line drive to his left. Definite "Web Gem" there from Zim. This game is halfway complete now, and there has yet to be a run scored.

2:45 p.m. -- The Nats are on the board, and the man responsible once again is Adam LaRoche. Big two-out, two-run single to right-center for the man who leads the team with eight RBI in six-plus games. Oh, and we can't forget about Gio Gonzalez's first career hit to ignite the rally. Got a huge ovation for it. It's 2-0 Nationals through five.

2:55 p.m. -- Make it six scoreless innings for Gonzalez now, as he records strikeouts No. 5 and 6 to end that inning. Combined with Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiler and a little bit of Edwin Jackson, Nationals starters now haven't given up a run over their last 18 innings. Impressive.

3:05 p.m. -- What a home debut for Gio. Seven scoreless innings. Two hits. Seven strikeouts. (And a single to boot.) He's at 97 pitches, so he's done for the day. It's 2-0 at the seventh-inning stretch. And if you were wondering whatever happened to John "Blues Traveler" Popper, he just played "God Bless America" on the harmonica here.

3:15 p.m. -- Tyler Clippard on to pitch the top of the eighth. A nice ovation for the All-Star setup man, who has been entrusted with a 2-0 lead.

3:28 p.m. -- And Clippard does what he does best: Pitch out of a jam. After Wilson Valdez led off with a double just past Zimmerman, Clip never let him advance past second base. Got Devin Mesoraco to popout, then struck out both Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs. We go to the bottom of the eighth.

3:37 p.m. -- OK, here we go. Brad Lidge protecting a 2-0 lead in the ninth. It'll be Cozart, Votto and Rolen for the Reds.

3:52 p.m. -- Oh dear. We've got our first blown save of the year. Lidge walks Votto with one out, gives up a double to Rolen, then intentionally walks Bruce to load the bases. And then Ryan Ludwick slipped a base hit past Zimmerman at third base, bringing home two runs. It's 2-2 and the Nats will have to attempt to win this one in walk-off fashion now.

4:02 p.m. -- Great chance to win it: Bases loaded, one out, infield and outfield drawn in. And Danny Espinosa ... grounds into a 1-2-3 double play. Absolute killer. We go to extra innings.

4:07 p.m. -- Craig Stammen strikes out the side. Wow. We go to the bottom of the 10th, and look who's leading off. It's Ryan Zimmerman, Mr. Walk-off himself, set to face Alfredo Simon.

4:21 p.m. -- Walk-off wild pitch! Zimmerman scores from third as Simon's pitch gets away from the catcher. Nats win 3-2, and yes folks, they're now 5-2 and all alone in first place in the NL East.

146 comments:

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I notice the flagship station is missing again. 1 game so far this week.

erocks33 said...

Re-posting ...

Just got to the Parking Lot. Really amped up for today's game!! I'll be roaming around the stadium wearing my #9 Lenny Harris jersey (yeah that's right - I'm not ashamed to wear it). Let's go Gio!!

Les in NC said...

I wish I could be at the game! But alas, alack, it will be a while before I will be able to make it to DC to see the boys play.

At any rate, I would like to see a good game, and win or lose, I want Teddy to win his race today!! Let's go ahead a get rid of this losing schtick. He needs to go on a winning streak to pump up Jason Werth and the others who are also tired of it.

My 2 cents....

natsfan1a said...

Go, GIO!! Go, NATS!! Go, INSIDERS!!

NatsBrat said...

Nice to see JFlo do so well yesterday--on base 5 times!

Hope Davey keeps giving him game times, even with Ramo playing regualarly.

Jimmy said...

These injuries are such a bummer. Our closer, our clean up hitter. Ouch. But! We opened the season taking back to back road series without them. That's huge - and I don't care how we did it. We did it.

If we can hang in there in the meantime, scratching out road wins and taking care of business at home, there is some serious potential here. To think, with the re-addition of Storen and Morse, and possibly even Harper, we are looking at a really strong squad sometime after the All Star Break. A strong finish with *actual meaning* is a distinct possibility.

Positively Half St. said...

Man oh man, baseball players are some kind of fragile, aren't they? Some of the people we wanted to see most are the ones who are out at various levels.

Whining aside, though, it will be amazing if the team stays above water until Morse, Storen and Wang all return. I guess that injuries to people like David Wright, Utley and Howard, and even nagging leg issues for Giancarlo Stanton need to be kept in mind. If the NL East is affected relatively equally, we could still have an exciting race on our hands.

Go Gio!!!

David said...

the more I think about it, the more I think Rizzo really meant Corey Brown as his "guy" in syracuse.

UnkyD said...

Repost:

This is Brown's opportunity. If he rakes for two more weeks, make him the starter, in CF. Time to fish, or cut bait, because if he doesn't make a case, on the big club, for consideration as a starter next year, he'll no longer be a prospect. I'm loving the guy...


And I'll just pat Rizzo on the back, for NOT giving Mikey a longer extension. I love him, but while he's not quite Nick, there's no denying the injury issues...

And the Flagship is on the air!!!

Candide said...

They're doing fireworks again?

ehay2k said...

I am so disappointed that I cannot be there. But I have the pre-game on, muted, in the background. We may be 4 and 2, but as far as I am concerned, the season starts today!!!

James Brown is introducing the players. Funny line about Davey being a lucky guy. Was hard to tell if DJ was lucky because he has a beautiful wife, or because JB met her.

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Gonat said...

David said...
the more I think about it, the more I think Rizzo really meant Corey Brown as his "guy" in syracuse.

April 12, 2012 12:08 PM
______________________________

I would think! Not only a really good player but a really good kid.

Arlington BigFish said...

James Brown is there?? Is he going to honor us with "I Feel Good" before the game starts? Or maybe "Papa's Got a Brand-New Bag."?

Schumatrix said...

I'll be there on Sunday afternoon! Hopefully they get off to a great start on this homestand!

Arlington BigFish said...

Realizing, of course, that he'd have to rise from the grave to do so ;-)

UnkyD said...

Barkeep!! A round of the KookAid, for all my Imaginary Friends!!!
(best thing about KookAid? It's imaginary, and as such, in endless supply!)

GYFNGOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO!!!!!!!!!

Gonat said...

Play ball! Gonat(s)

UnkyD said...

Bottoms Up!!! (I think there's a little on your chin, there. 1A......

MADE YOU LOOK!!!!!)

Doggone it!!! I Feel Good!!!

Gonat said...

Umpire fell asleep but Gio comes back with the 3-2 fastball K

Candide said...

GoGoGio!

Anonymous said...

i go to the Nats website and the radio affliate's listings... none of the listings are streaming the game!

is anyone listening to the game on the radio?? if so, where?

thanks, ejs1111 in Frederick

ehay2k said...

Nice at bat by Espi. Taking all those pitches makes up for Desi's aggressiveness.

UnkyD said...

ejs1111: try 820AM, in Frederick

SFNats said...

This is more like the Gio we loved in Oakland. He's got it going today.

Anonymous said...

no streaming, this is terrible...NATS poor PR


Lipty,

SCNatsFan said...

Watching the game via a pirated feed. I feel like such a rebel.

Candide said...

Desi works the count, gets a hit, Espi then swings at the first pitch.

UnkyD said...

Where are you, Lipty?

Gonat said...

Anon @ 1:46, what do you mean no Streaming?

Anonymous said...

the more I think about it, the more I think Rizzo really meant Corey Brown as his "guy" in syracuse.

Thankfully Damon went to Manny Acta's team. Now to just get rid of the silliness involving the old angels in the outfield.

If they aren't going for Prince Fielder (who made sense) they aren't going for guys who are closing in on AL DH mode.

Anonymous8 said...

MLB blacks out streaming video within the team's geography. That's a MLB rule, not a Nats rule. You can get streaming audio.

Anonymous said...

N Cap ST, NE

Lity,

Anonymous said...

where is the streaming audio,,,,1500 & 1580 arent streaming online or via tunein radio

Anonymous said...

I was listening to charlie and dave on 106.5 -- isn't the game on there?

Candide said...

ZIMM!

UnkyD said...

106.7 and 1500 are both coming in in my car, in Rockville, Lipty...

UnkyD said...

And, of course, the AtBat app on my iPhone.... $20! Listen to any game, live...

jeffwx said...

listening thru mlb.com on my computer (but signed up...It costs 19.95 for audio for all MLB teams).

Anonymous said...

im at work, cant stream online, sorri for confusion


Lipty,

jeffwx said...

Gio for hitting instructer

UnkyD said...

Do ya just LOVE Gio Gonzales?!?!?!

jeffwx said...

Ian is en fuego

SCNatsFan said...

Love the expression on Gio's face

SFNats said...

Damn

RickH said...

ALR!!!

Candide said...

About time we got a hit with the bases loaded. PFB!

Gonat said...

To all the Desi and Adam LaRoche haters, I am loving this!

natsfan1a said...

Yay,GIO!!

SFNats said...

LaRoche comes through again! Where are all the "LaWhiff" people now?

natsfan1a said...

Don't tell me what happened. I'm a little behind and had rewound, so I just saw Gio's hit. :-)

natsfan1a said...

btw, was listening to 1500 on radio while driving back from lunch (where I drank coke, not Kook-aid, and did not spill any - um, wait a sec - yeah, I'm clean) on my chin or elsewhere. :-)

spike94wl said...

I get the feeling Mark left the press box since we just scored. :)

Gonat said...

Gio doesn't get the strike 3 call so he throws another K on 3-2

natsfan1a said...

Oh la la - La Roche!

natsfan1a said...

Yes, yes, I do. :-)


Do ya just LOVE Gio Gonzales?!?!?!

natsfan1a said...

LeCure for what? Okay, I think I'm caught up now.

RickH said...

What an outing from Gio! Welcome to Washington, young man!!!

UnkyD said...

I'll tell you what's PFB..... Our OBP, at the top of the order... Was there a more pressing concern, prior to last week? Getting it done, at the 1&2!!!!

Welcome back, 1A....

A DC Wonk said...

What's the most fundamental thing a pitching staff *must* do well in order to have a chance at pitching well?

Throw strikes.

I'm not at a place where I can check this, but the Nat's pitching has got to be, thus far, among the top in the league in terms of throwing strikes and walking so few.

Yesterday, Mets had 15 K's and 4 BB's.

I see today, at this moment so far, 7 K's and 0 BB's.

Just sayin' . . .

UnkyD said...

.... And, WELCOME TO NATS TOWN, GIO
GONZALES!!!!!!!! Wow....,just WOW..,,

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, Unk, and thanks to Insiders at the game for the rousing Giovation. Hope it's the first of many. :-)

ehay2k said...

Not looking at stats, but I recall no walks for Gio, correct? Very nice outing.

And I know it's early, but we are not looking at Matt Stares this year, and the bench is clearly improved over the bench last year.

Leadoff is working, even if still a bit free swinging. And the number 2 guy - I think the Pod People got Espi - this is a different guy at the plate. It's the middle of the order that is not delivering.

Not a lot to naysay here. It's like negAnon repellant.

jeeves said...

Desi is the one who, practically every game, gets things going, but still gets the least credit. I'll never get it. The Nats would likely have two fewer wins without him this year.

Candide said...

Hindenburg Monday... LOL, I'm liking F.P more all the time.

natsfan1a said...

F.P. is funny and works well with Bob, imo. I enjoy his insights into the game.

UnkyD said...

Right with you, Jeeves! Right now, no complaints re: Desi's approach, whatsoever. I imagine though, that as his bat has the inevitable cool spells, wr'll have to grit our teeth a little, if he doesn't take just a few mor balls... He's definitely who I want there, though... No doubt.

David said...

I like FP. It's sunshine Mr. PC Bob that kind of gets on my nerves. He's too nice.

UnkyD said...

(incidentally, Jeeves.... Is your handle, in fact, a Wodehouse reference?)

Anonymous said...

I think they are just very good together and I enjoy listening to them. Having heard some others during spring training I appreciate them even more.

Anonymous said...

Desi is the one who, practically every game, gets things going, but still gets the least credit. I'll never get it. The Nats would likely have two fewer wins without him this year.

He's hot now but the dearth of walks for the type of hitter he is and where is he hitting in the lineup is still a concern. Espinosa's BA might look worse but he is taking those walks.

How much you want to bet Espinosa looks a lot better come June?

jeeves said...

Actually, it is UnkyD. Tend to date myself.

natsfan1a said...

Double up the old guy. :-)

natsfan1a said...

er, meaning the batter, of course. :-)

natsfan1a said...

uh-oh, go to plan B.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, Mark, and keep saying ... I'm sitting here wondering when Davey promotes Mattheus to the closer role and moves LIdge back to setup behind Clippard. Its going to happen sooner or later ... but of course you'll never say that ...

SFNats said...

Yikes

Gonat said...

Zimmerman gets a double play ball and goes down to his knees. Thats a shame.

natsfan1a said...

Stinks for Gio.

RickH said...

Man!

natsfan1a said...

Okay, walkoff time.

SFNats said...

Yep. Tough break for Gio. He pitched a gem.

Mick said...

Zim and Lidge owe Gio and fans an apology. Worse game I have ever seen Zim play, obviously his head is not in the game today.

SCNatsFan said...

God if your a reliever and walk a guy you should be hung after the game. Lidge knows that.

Anonymous8 said...

Time for a hero to step up for a Walk Off

Gonat said...

WILSON RAMOS

rmoore446 said...

This is Zim's worst day fielding I can remember. And I don't understand why Davey didn't have him guarding the line on the Rolen hit.

Anonymous said...

The closers, Lidge & H-Rod, aren't cutting it. This was supposed to be a team strength but without Storen it has become the achilles heel.

Anonymous said...

The closers, Lidge & H-Rod, aren't cutting it. This was supposed to be a team strength but without Storen it has become the achilles heel.

No, HRod has been extremely effective if inconsistent ... but not like last year. Mattheus is the only guy on the staff that equals Storen's talent relative to the closer's role. Its just one of those case where he has to be ready for the pressure. I think he can handle it. Lidge is well past his prime clearly ... and they guy is coming off of serious shoulder surgery. He shouldn't be in the back of the bullpen.

Gonat said...

Ian Desmond ready to PARTY!!!!

Candide said...

Okay, let's see a walkoff BB!

Anonymous said...

we lose I blame zimmerman. Make a freggin play and we are victorious

natsfan1a said...

Par-tay, Ian!

Candide said...

@#$%!!

Mick said...

Danny your a DOG bow wow, no hustle at all

natsfa1a said...

Dang. Oh, well. Free baseball.

Anonymous said...

wow!!!! Just awful. Just strikeout. This is why this team will never challenge for a pennant. UGHHHHH

Mick said...

this would be a very bad loss, Danny looked like a LOSER running down he base path. This is where I wish Davey has some Billy Martin in him, Billy would boot Danny in the ass for a lack of hustle

Gonat said...

rmoore446 said...
This is Zim's worst day fielding I can remember. And I don't understand why Davey didn't have him guarding the line on the Rolen hit.

April 12, 2012 3:55 PM
__________________________

One error, 2 mis-fielding plays and 1 Web Gem and 0-4 batting. Still time for Zim to be a hero.

Mick said...

I can't blame Davey, however, I hope he sees that he should have gone either 8th and 9th with Clip or 8th with Gio and 9th with Clip.

Dave said...

I'd rather have a man on second than bases loaded with this team.

SCNatsFan said...

If Desmond or Werth hit into that DP they are cruxified.

Anonymous said...

Nats goats today=Zimmerman, Lidge & Espinosa.

Anonymous said...

wow!!!! Just awful. Just strikeout. This is why this team will never challenge for a pennant. UGHHHHH

This is the way its going to be all year especially with Morse out until at least June ... you'll just have to wait for the young ex-prospects to develop their hitting. Ramos appears to finally be waking up and picking up where he left off last year. With Flores looks like we are getting plenty of offense from the catching spot. Amazing given what the recent past looked like ... IRod had become a pathetic GIDP threat and Nieves ... please ....

This is a vast improvement ... things are percolating you'll just have to be patient ... but it will come.

rmoore446 said...

One thing hasn't changed, this team can break your heart. Our dependable third baseman turns goat and with the bases loaded with one out, we can't get a fly ball to win it.

Anonymous said...

We can pay anybody low money to blow plays at 3rd. I love Zimm but this guy is jsut m=not doing anything. La Roche is all we have.

natsfan1a said...

Stammen to Reds hitters: go sit in the truck.

baseballswami said...

I miss Drew :(

Anonymous said...

Zimm too strike out here. BLAHHH

Anonymous said...

Did someone just post that ( gulp) Adam LaRoche is all we have? If you had told me that someone would say that just a few weeks ago I would have thought you were smoking something.

UnkyD said...

Attaboy, Stammen.....

Make it quick, Zim... The Ungrateful Bastards are all over you butt...(unbelievable)

Mick said...

we learn a lot in bottom of 10th, we have 3rd, clean up and 5th batters coming up at HOME against a shaky bullpen, if we do not win it here we suck, plain and simple. In fact, the Reds bullpen is so bad, that the next 3 games the Nats should have advantage. We will no how good or over rated are pitching is by this series

UnkyD said...

No fair...

natsfan1a said...

That, or HBP.

Candide said...

Time for Werth to shut everyone up, at least for a little while...

ehay2k said...

I need to hear an explanation as to why Zimm was not guarding the line in the ninth, especially wittph a man on base.

Hanging On said...

Zimmerman's "Ole" style of fielding the ball is embarrassing. Little league stuff like he's scared of the ball. I still don't trust his throws either. Over rated fielder! A couple highlight plays mixed with really bad fundamantals.

Gonat said...

Craig Stammen with a near immaculate inning. 10 pitches, 3 K's. He's no Jordan Zimmermann

natsfan1a said...

Atta way, Jayson!

Candide said...

That's exactly the swing that got Werth a DP ball yesterday.

Gonat said...

Werth comes through with a little poke. Who wants to be the Nats extra innings star?

rmoore446 said...

Come on Nady! Be the hero!!

Anonymous said...

Ryan Zimmerman is destined for 1st base. His mechanics have gone to sh*t

Anonymous said...

hanging on I agree. Its frustating

Gonat said...

Come on SHARK

Anonymous said...

steal home. hahaha We cant hit a lick. Is Matt Stairs available?

Candide said...

YES!

Gonat said...

WP WalkOff by Zim

natsfan1a said...

WP-off. I'll take it. In the words of my esteemed colleague, MicheleS - let me get the wording just right - I believe it's WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Anonymous said...

hahahahhahaha UGLY! but in the correct column. THE W COLUMN HAHAHA

rmoore446 said...

Our best offense seems to be walks and wild pitches

Mick said...

weird game, thank God Reds pitcher is an idiot throwing a split finger fast ball.

UnkyD said...

No goats, when you win, Neggys!!!!!'

BooYah!!!!!

TimDz said...

OK....a win is a win...

natsfan1a said...

Gio was so cute, bouncing around in the dugout and cheering them on, despite the no decision.

Candide said...

When you look at tomorrow's newspapers, they will show that the Nats have sole possession of first place.

Anonymous said...

I am Neggy. But just like the Skins Im always there or watching on TV.. World Series anyone???

Candide said...

On the replay, it looks like Bernie's first reaction was to try to hold Zimm up on the wild pitch.

Gonat said...

KARDIAC KIDS

UnkyD said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We will SO take it!!!! Don't go anywhere, Neggys... I can't wait to hear how bad this 5-2 team is!

(wow...this KookAid is pleasant stuff!!!)

Anonymous said...

Nats can not keep being this lucky, this is the softest part of the schedule....the hitters NEED to ManUP and stop choking when the game is on the line....we clearly are not ready for primetime. Werth is right by saying its gonna take ALL season for this team to figure it out.

Lipty,

SFNats said...

Wow. Just wow. This team always seems to find a way to win. It isn't always pretty, and sometimes it's downright frustrating to watch. But they keep fighting and don't give up.

UnkyD said...

Long ride home... Tap at'cha later...

WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

natsfan1a said...

Just don't overindulge, Unk, or you'll hate yourself in the morning. :-)

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

B-complex vitamins, Unky D. Trust me on this one. Eat something and take a B vitamin.

JaneB said...

How fun to readthecomments and re-live the game. SOme other observations:
The crowd would have cheered for Wilson for five minutes but the PA announcer stepped on the cheers to make it same for him as for everyone. And that actually was the right thing to do.

The guys from 106.7 pinkie swore with me that they would be doing more baseball in the mornings and that their station would cover more Nats than anyone else. We should hold them to it.

Gio Gonzalez makes me beam. It was cool to see Latos pitch -- he did this thing with the ball behind his leg I've never seen before. What struck me about Gio is how he planted that right leg when we kicked and threw. Most guys use that (downstage? Closest to the batter?) leg in way that looks like it keeps the momentum form making them from fall over when they throw, Gio uses it in a different way -- almost like a hinge he comes up over. I don't know how else to explain it because (as is obvious now) I don't know a thing about pitching. Maybe someone who DOES know can explain what he's doing and why it looks so different.

Maybe ZImm was in a post-engagement haze.

Yesterday I was saying, "Clipp should always be the set up man -- too valuable to lose there." Today I am saying, "Clipp should get a shot at being closer till Drew comes back." Even though, if he IS great at it, that would make for an awkward back half of the season.

But it leads me to wonder what does DJ see in Clipp that makes him say he can't be a closer?

I love baseball, and all my Imaginary Friends. Thank you Mark for keeping the lights on, and your reporting coming.

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