Fish Fly, Nats Cry, Winning Streak Goes Bye-Bye
Ohhhh. Oh the pain .. oh the pain ~ ~ ~ ~
The display on my XM Satellite radio does not lie. There, in bright amber letters floating in a sea of black, the truth is displayed: FLA 9 WAS 4.
I didn't need the score displayed to tell me that the boys didn't do so well. Words and phrases like "off the mitt" and "misplayed" and "another 3-2 count" and "throw goes into center field" and "that ball will reach the gap" floated through my den all night. Ohka couldn't find his rhythm, and Dontrelle never lost his.
There were some highlights. Jose Vidro launched a home run to finally end the shutout. Pretty much every starter got at least one hit. Well, every starter not named Christian Guzman that is.
A concern for the Nationals is not this single loss at the hands of the Marlins and Dontrelle Willis. The concern lies in the blossoming of Willis as a premier pitcher. If Dontrelle regains, or even surpasses what he showed in that stellar rookie season two years ago, then The Nats can expect more of these type of nights as the season progresses. And the Last thing the Marlins needed [from our perspective] is another trustworthy pitcher.
You might think this strange, but I think Paul Lo Duca is the MVP of the Marlins. The Dodger players and fans are still mad at the trade that sent Lo Duca to the Marlins last year. He's a winner that makes everyone around him better. His leadership skills, combined with his defensive skills and offensive prowess, makes the Marlins a force in the NL East. Are they THE force in the division? Never count the Braves out, but I'm beginning to think that Florida might have the right mix to make a run for the pennant in 2005.
The crowd was smaller than we'd hoped, a little over 25,000 on this Monday evening. The play on the field? Well, not exactly stuff for the highlight reel. To their credit, the boys fought back in the 9th inning again. They only scored a single run but they loaded the bases with nobody out before a double play by Brian Schneider blew up the rally.
We'll start another winning streak tomorrow.