Archive for the ‘Bob Carpenter’ Category

Nats Boot The Ball, Drop St. Louis Series Opener

Friday, April 18th, 2014

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In his post game press conferences, Nationals skipper Matt Williams sometimes appears as a barely controlled caldera — like Yellowstone, he seems always on the verge of exploding, particularly after a loss. So it was on Thursday night, after his Washington Nationals dropped a sloppily played error-filled game to the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-0.

The loss led to a short post game team meeting, at which Williams spoke — but he said the message he conveyed would not be made public. “That’s for me and my team.” he said. “I seem very upset? I’m just not answering that question. That’s for me and my team, and nobody else’s business. Regarding the game, it was probably the worst one we played.”

Williams had plenty to be upset about. The first play of the game featured a booted ball by shortstop Ian Desmond, which was followed by starter Taylor Jordan’s inability to dig a squiggler off the bat of Kolten Wong out of his glove. The play was scored as a single, but it was an error — and suddenly the Cardinals, with the fans still filing into the ballpark, were threatening.

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That’s twenty errors in Washington’s first sixteen games, and this from a team whose manager prizes defense. “The first ball of the game, you boot it, that doesn’t set the tone,” Desmond said of his performance. “If I ever want to be the captain of this team — and I do — I’m going to have to be better than that.”

St. Louis, meanwhile, played flawlessly behind the two hit pitching of righty Adam Wainwright. Wainwright kept the Nationals off the bases and off the board, depending on an attack from Matt Holliday (2-3 with two RBIs), Matt Adams (1-4 with three RBIs) and Jhonny Peralta (who was 2-5).

We’ll keep grinding away at it,” Williams said. “We will go out there tomorrow and we’ll certainly take a full [batting practice], full grounders. It is scheduled to be extra work for the pitchers tomorrow. It’s part of the schedule. … We do it all the time. What to make of [the bad defense]? I don’t know.”

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: There was an odd semi-takedown of MASN broadcasters Bob Carpenter and F.P Santangelo on the Sporting News website last week. Headlined “Nationals broadcasters let cliches, homerism get in the way . . .” the article purported to show how amateurish and boorish the two are . . .

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Haren Cages The Cubs

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

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Dan Haren provided six innings of five hit baseball and his teammates sprayed fourteen hits against half-a-dozen Cubs pitchers — and the Washington Nationals went on to win at Wrigley Field in Chicago, 4-2. It was Haren’s fifth successive solid outing, accounting for his eighth win of the year.

Haren has been a Nationals’ hero of late: he’s proven to be one of the starting staff’s most consistent stoppers over the last month, and just three days ago he entered a game against the Braves to preserve a fifteen inning win. “As the game progressed, my stuff got better and better,” Haren said of his Tuesday victory. “My cutter was real good; I worked it in on lefties a lot.”

The Nationals scored early on Chicago starter Chris Rusin, with Ryan Zimmerman’s first inning double scoring Ian Desmond. Washington tacked on another run in the sixth inning and two more in the 9th. Six Nationals’ hitters had two hits on the night, with Denard Span and Ian Desmond providing two ninth inning insurance runs.

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Drew Storen continued to impress in his late-season reincarnation. Storen entered the game in the seventh inning and induced a ground out from Starlin Castro, a fly out from Darnell McDonald and another grounder from Junior Lake. This was Storen’s fourth appearance in five days and he’s been nearly flawless.

Rafael Soriano entered in the 9th inning to notch his 32nd save on the year, but once again he failed to shut down the opposing club. Soriano, who’s been rocky in his previous three outings, gave up a home run to Chicago’s Donnie Murphy, who entered the game with only six round trippers on the year.

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Commentators and baseball pundits continue to chew over why San Diego would ever trade uber-youngster Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs. The latest is MASN play-by-play guru Bob Carpenter, who commented during Tuesday’s game that Rizzo has proven to be Chicago’s most potent offensive threat . . .

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Steady Stammen Stifles Reds In 11

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

This is a game that should have gone into the books as a win in the 8th, and then again in the 9th, but it took the Washington Nationals, and five home runs, to down the Cincinnati Reds in 11 innings at the Great American Bandbox Ballpark, 7-6.

This was a game of firsts for the Nationals in 2013: the first solid start for lefty youngster Ross Detwiler, the first home run for Ian Desmond (in the 11th with nobody on), the first blown late lead for the team during the season — and the first blown save for fireballer and veteran save artist Rafael Soriano.

Soriano’s blown save was the result of a home run from Cincy slugger Shin-Soo Choo, followed by a triple from Joey Votto — and a wild pitch that brought Votto home. Soriano’s so-so outing knotted the score at five, with the Nationals reeling from the unexpected Cincinnati rally.

But the Nationals fought back in extra innings. The Nationals got back on the board in the top of the 11th with a home run from Ian Desmond (whose inexplicable boot at shortstop in the 8th could have cost the Nationals the win), followed by a long shot to center from Wilson Ramos. The Ramos dinger was his second of the game.

But the real hero of the nail biter might well have been Craig Stammen, whose mound presence seemed to calm the Nationals. Stammen entered the game in the 10th and pitched two innings of two hit, one run ball — picking up his first win of the season. Stammen’s two seam fastball and late-moving slider stifled Reds’ hitters, allowing the Nats to ring up their fourth win of the season.

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: We love Carp and F.P of course, but F.P. is so unapologetically in the bag for Ian Desmond that, well, it makes ya think that ‘ol Frank Paul is channeling his glory days as an Expos infielder . . .

When Desmond launched a grounder into the 18th row behind first base in the 4th inning (“what the hell was that,” Nats Nation yelled, as one), F.P. told us that he does this early in the season — and that he’ll get on track. Well, we’re sure that’s right, or at least we sure as hell hope so . . .

Then MASN interviewed Desmond in the postgame and implied his 11th inning homer made the difference in the game, when it absolutely did — and didn’t. The final score was 7-6 and according to our book the winning home run in the 7-6 game was launched by (let’s see, we’re checking) Wilson Ramos . . .

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Cubs Down Nats, Detwiler 4-2

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The word around the Nationals’ clubhouse is that Jayson Werth, struggling through a season-long slump, is finally starting to hit. The Nationals’ everyday right fielder — and headline off-season free agent acquistion — is hitting .306 in his last thirteen games. Indeed, Werth showed some pop at the plate on Wednesday night, sending a typical short-stroke liner into Wrigley Field’s left field bleachers for his fourteenth dinger. But Werth’s home run wasn’t enough to beat the Cubs, who took advantage of their own long ball to down the Nationals, 4-2.

The game’s non-story was Ross Detwiler, the team’s constant experiment on the mound, who pitched (in skipper Davey Johnson’s phrase), “just okay.” Lefty Detwiler gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings of work, the biggest knocks against him coming on long balls from catcher Geovany Soto and journeyman Reed Johnson. Detwiler running buddy Collin Balester (they’re both familiar with how to get from Syracuse to Washington — and back), was less than mediocre in an inning of relief: Balester gave up a home run to Alfonso Soriano to put the game out of reach.

And so it is that the Nationals’ search for more pitching among a group of yesteryear’s youngsters (Detwiler, Balester, Garrett Mock, Shairon Martis, J.D. Martin and Craig Stammen), continues, but without the kind of premium (“he’s a keeper”) results. With the next round of young arms waiting in the wings (Tom Milone and Brad Peacock — and perhaps one or two others), Nationals’ fans are starting to clamor for some new faces, and wondering how long it will be before Rizzo, Johnson & Company run out of patience.

Taliban Rob?

Monday, August 16th, 2010

That leash you see dragging on the ground behind Rob Dibble? That’s the leash his wife has on him. And that collar? She put it there too. Listen, we don’t know anything about Rob Dibble (not a damn thing, honest), but the droogs who write for this blog (and just for the record, here weall males — are) have a sense about these things. And our sense is that we’ve heard just enough from Rob Dibble himself during his MASN broadcasts to conclude that his wife (a teacher, he says), knows him well enough to understand his irritating little foibles. And (we’re also sure — based on our own experience) to endlessly and grindingly try to correct them. So when “Taliban Rob” lowered the boom on some female Nats fans the other night during a MASN game broadcast (“Those ladies right behind there, they haven’t stopped talking the whole game”), our hunch (and believe us, we oughta know), was that Mrs. Dibble probably lowered the boom on him. She wasn’t alone.

Dan Steinberg leaped on Dibble about his comments, which included one of those in-game graphics — where Dibble circled the women and noted that “they have some conversation going on. Right here. There must be a sale tomorrow going on here or something . . . Their husbands are going man, don’t bring your wife next time.” Ugh. Steinberg seemed to relish Dibble’s gaffe (all of four days ago now), and touched on it again this morning, when he noted that Dibble had issued an apology. Of course, as Mrs. Dibble will surely tell her chagrined husband, that is certainly not the end of it. She’d be right: Nationals Fangirls are all revved up about Dib’s comments (or “fired up,” as the case may be), issuing a broadside about Dibble’s “sexist, misogynistic” ideas. We’re fans of Nationals Fangirls (we actually read them, and regularly) and can’t take issue with them, except for their added, unnecessary and interesting (as in “it’s interesting they would commit the same gaffe”) comment that maybe Dib’s wife “helped feed the stereotype.” And then, one of the fangirls added this: ” . . . but perhaps I shouldn’t say that. I’m sure she’s very pretty.” Ah yeah, now we get it: pretty women can’t think. Groooowwwwww, phtttt.

Listen, we’re not exactly drum beating fans of Rob Dibble (we find his endless talk of how “these guys have to learn they’re competing for jobs” pretty tiresome), but maybe (just maybe) it’s time for a little perspective. Dibble issued an apology and it sounds to us like he was sincere. Then too, Rob Dibble’s repetition of a common stereotype hardly makes him a scimitar wielding Taliban leader; frankly, it’s a stretch to say he’s “misogynistic” — a crime that ought to denote something a  bit more loutish than the rather banal opinion that women go shopping. Rob Dibble as Mullah Omar? C’mon. But really (really) what we’re most afraid of is that the Dib’s gaffe will send the Nats’ front office into a search for a more appropriate but far more nauseating voice. Like Don “I Love America The Beautiful” Sutton or Ron “where the hell am I” Darling.

And there’s this. For all of his faults, Dibble beats the daylights out of the ever popular Steve Czaban and sidekick Andy Pollin, who make book on saying that men who don’t weigh 350 pounds and play left tackle “wear skirts” — a phrase that’s more offensive than anything Dibble has ever, ever said. No one has ever complained about them, perhaps because they do it so often if confirms their lack of even a minimal middlebrow intelligence (“this quote is from George Bernard Shaw, ever heard of him?” Pollin once asked “the Czabe” — and guess what . . . ). Then too, unlike Czabe and the crew (who sound like they actually hate baseball — and want the Nats to fail), Dibble not only knows about the game he’s covering, he actually once played it.

Apology accepted.