Sunday, May 13, 2007

1:42 a.m. Zimmerman Sends 'Em Home Happy! -- I don't imagine there were two many folks left in the stands at RFK, after two separate rain-delays, totalling over three hours. Me? Well, let's put it this way. Zimmerman should be paying me to drive to New York. On a Saturday afternoon, almost a year ago, I was listening on my XM radio, in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on the NJ Turnpike, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a a game-winning home run of the walk-off variety, against the New York Yankees. Another Saturday, and I was headed to my ancestral hunting grounds in New York, for Mother's Day. I looked forward to listening to the Nats' game on the way up to New York. I listened to the first four plus innings, until the rains hit RFK, and play was stopped. I checked in before bed to hear if the game was still going on. It turned out the teams were about to resume play, following the second rain delay, with the Marlins holding a 3-2 lead in the 9th inning.

Nook Logan was on first base, when Dmitri Young delivered one of the Nats' few successful pinch-hits this year. The Nats' pinch-hitting has been so bad that it's almost inconceivable that the hitters being replaced, including the pitchers, would have done as badly. Even with Young's clutch single, you can count the number of pinch-hits with your fingers on one hand. Still, Young's effort had to be applauded. It's a shame so few were left to applaud. Logan took third on the play. Felipe Lopez then singled to right field, to tie up the game. After Cristian Guzman struck out, Ryan Zimmerman came to bat with two outs, and the bases full.

This was the second time the Nats had loaded the bases during the game. Their track record with the bases loaded has been almost as bad as their pinch-hitting average. Three hits in thirty-one chances coming into the game, for a batting average of just over .090, with the sacks full. In the fourth inning, Austin Kearns flied out, on a 3-2 pitch, with the bases loaded, to continue the Nats' incredible ineptitude in such situations. In the ninth inning, early this morning, Zimmerman had the chance to exorcise the demons that produced all those missed opportunities.

Mysteriously, the Marlins brought in Jorge Julio to face Zimmerman. As I've written before, bringing in Julio with the game on the line, is almost akin to throwing in the towel, in a boxing match. Watching Julio pitch in the 9th inning, can make Nats' fans grateful we have Chad Cordero. Even when he's struggling, Cordero has a 50/50 chance of succeeding. Julio has maybe a one-in-ten chance, and that's only if the other team helps him out, with some bad at-bats.

After a high and tight fastball that got Zimmerman's attention, the Nats' young star drove the next pitch over the wall in left-center field, for a game-ending grand slam. That's two Saturday trips to New York for me, and two walk-off homers for Ryan Zimmerman. If the Nats, or Zimmerman, are interested in contracting me to make this a regular gig, they can reach me at

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