Losing to the Nationals with Smoltz on the mound wasn’t even the strangest thing about last night, nor was being shut out by the infamous Nationals pitching staff. The strangest part about last night was Heap striking out and Frenchy following with a two-out walk. What is going on here. The worst thing about this is that I’m sure it’s convinced Frenchy that walking=bad, and that we won’t see him taking a free ride again for awhile.
I really can’t believe that we’re suffering through Langerhans starting more often than Diaz again this year. What in God’s name could be the possible reason for this? Stick Diaz in there for awhile, and if he makes errors and costs us runs with his less-spectacular defense, keep the platoon. But I think he’s at least earned the chance to lose that position. Starting Langerhans is like an act of submission to the other team’s pitcher. He senses weakness and becomes dominant, even when he’s some no-name, double-digit ERA bastard from the Nationals.
Maybe last night was just part of the Braves’ charity work for the year. Along with low-income inner city families and terminally ill children, we’re also lending a hand to emotionally distraught major league ballclubs. Or maybe the Nats won because of Manny Acta’s much-talked-about team meeting after Wednesday’s game. I wonder what it takes to inspire the Nationals to shut-out victory — did Acta promise to buy them all hookers after the win? Probably not — the Nationals can’t afford hookers. Ice cream sandwiches? Either way, this is the difference an encouraging manager can make — Frank Robinson would just have promised that he wouldn’t personally punch all of them in the face after the game.
Heap’s explanation is simpler: