It took 8 games, but the Nationals finally won one. What’s important is the way they did it. They scored lots of runs, which is nice to see – this team can hit. I have no doubt that they won’t finish with anything near those horrendous numbers they had last season. 4 HRs, including one from Willingham that was some important insurance, and one by the old attorney general, really demonstrated that this team is going to have much more power than the 2008 version. And if Gonzalez can ever hit, that guy is a serious asset. He is a great fielder and can really play anywhere in the infield. Nick Johnson was hitting in the 2 hole, which people may find curious. I don’t want to make too much of a deal of the batting order, but he’s a great line drive hitter, not a real power threat like some guys, and gets on base alot. Speed isn’t there, but I think he actually fits well into this role. I’m really impressed with his ability to hit already, considering he’s only had about 100 regular season ABs since the end of 2006.
The Real Story
The more important thing, though, was obviously the pitching. Not only was this the first win, it was the first quality start! And Martis definitely pitched a great game. He made it into the 7th inning, and only gave up 2 ERs. Every time he got into any trouble, he worked his way out of it with minimal damage. He only had 1 K, but keeping the team to 2 BBs helps make that less painful. He’ll hopefully learn to locate a bit better on 2 strike counts (he’s 22) to get more Ks, but he understands that if he can get people to hit the pitches he wants, they’ll be outs. You’d like to see those Ks come up eventually, but right now you just gotta be happy to get a QS. And of course, a Win. Beimel looked great in the bullpen as well, back when the game was still close, as did Hinckley. In a close game, it seems that this team has at least 3 or 4 guys that can rely on. It is worth noting that Hanrahan also had a 1-2-3 inning, albeit when the game was pretty much out of reach.
Rocking the Red
In case you were thinking something looked different, I changed the logo up top. Nothing major, just switched the reds and the blues everywhere. Well everywhere except the seams on the baseball. That would look weird. I think it makes the sight a little more vibrant looking, and seems to go with this team, and the DC sports areas, leaning more towards associating themselves with the color red. If you want the old logo back, it’s easy enough, let me know!