PDA

View Full Version : Kearns, Nats Caught in the Headlights



pedro
04-07-2007, 06:24 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/06/AR2007040602110_pf.html

Kearns, Nats Caught in the Headlights
Diamondbacks 7, Nationals 1

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 7, 2007; E01

There can be times over the course of a season when nearly every play -- an odd hop or a ball in the wind, a bad instinct or a poor read -- seeks out and finds one particular player. That man is stripped in front of an entire stadium, exposed to the fans and a television audience to boot, nowhere to turn, unable to hide.

Meet Austin Kearns last night. Check the box score, and he's a bit player in the Washington Nationals' hideous 7-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Nationals' fourth in five games to open the season. The eye-popping numbers there were provided by Diamondbacks right-hander Micah Owings, who made his major league debut with five innings of one-hit ball and was helped by a two-out, three-run homer from Arizona center fielder Chris Young off Jerome Williams in the top of the sixth.

The Nationals entered the ninth with only that one hit on the board, failed to get a hit in six at-bats with runners in scoring position -- making them 0 for 19 in the first two games of this series -- and committed their seventh error in five games.

"It was pretty bad offensively," Kearns said. "You got one hit going to the ninth, and no runs, that's unacceptable. We can't have that."

Kearns? Statistically, a quiet 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout. On a painfully chilly night in front of 19,234 bundled-up zealots at RFK Stadium, nothing that jumps off the page. Just don't tell Kearns that.

"Sometimes you have those days where it just seems like you're right in the middle of things," he said. "Sometimes they're good. Sometimes they're bad. Tonight, it wasn't a good one."

Standing in front of his locker, he immediately ticked off the list: "A play up against the wall. A dumb base-running play. A low liner that was in the lights that I tried to stay with."

Where to start? Entering the fourth inning, Williams was already in uncharted territory for Washington. No Nationals starter through the first turn in the rotation had pitched two scoreless innings to open a game, yet Williams set down the first 10 men he faced.

"He kept us in the game," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "He threw strikes, got on the mound. He wasn't walking around. That's what we need."

But when Alberto Callaspo finally got the Diamondbacks' first hit, a bouncing ball into left field, Williams fell victim to his defense. Ronnie Belliard took the throw at second but failed to realize Callaspo was racing to the bag. Belliard didn't apply what would have been an easy tag out.

With two outs, that set up Kearns's first wild ride. Williams made what he said was one of only two mistakes on the night, grooving a fastball to Chad Tracy that the Arizona third baseman sent high to right. Kearns, who has a reputation as a smart defender, raced to the corner. Still on the run, he jumped, slammed into the wall, and the ball caromed away -- an RBI triple.

"I definitely thought it was a ball I should've caught," Kearns said.

When Zimmerman followed with his second error of the season, Arizona led 2-0. Kearns kept it there in the fifth, gunning down Arizona catcher Miguel Montero at the plate.

"It didn't help us score any," he said.

Other than Ryan Church's way-too-little, way-too-late solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, nothing helped in that regard. The Nationals' best chance came in the fifth, still down by two. With the bases loaded on two walks and a hit batter, Owings faced Zimmerman for the first time since the pitcher was at Georgia Tech and the hitter at the University of Virginia.

"He's gotten a lot better," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman was looking for an off-speed pitch, and Owings started him instead with an 89-mph fastball, taken for a strike. The next fastball came in at 93, and Zimmerman fouled it back. And, in an 0-2 hole in a key spot in a game, Zimmerman couldn't lay off Owings's next offering -- an 88-mph, chest-high fastball that he simply swung through.

"It was a bad pitch for me to swing at," Zimmerman said.

That chance gone by, Young hit his three-run bomb off Williams in the sixth. "Fastball down the middle, and he teed off on it," Williams said. "That's my fault."

So Kearns tried to create something in the sixth. Down 5-0, Kearns was on third after a walk, a wild pitch and a groundout. Brian Schneider hit a grounder to Tracy. Kearns danced off the base.

"I thought I could sneak a run in there . . . and ended up looking like an idiot out there," he said. He got caught up in a rundown, an easy mark.

"Maybe some guys [are] trying to do too much, like with his base running," Manager Manny Acta said. "We're down by five runs."

What could be left? In the eighth, a low liner off the bat of Conor Jackson sunk as Kearns charged, glancing off his body for an RBI single. He did all he could, picking his grass-stained body up off the ground, turning and walking back to his spot in right, the glare of the lights shining down on him the entire way.

RedsManRick
04-07-2007, 09:56 PM
Everything I've heard & read makes me think Manny Acta is the second coming of Davey Johnson. This is just a guy who gets it. Period.

westofyou
04-07-2007, 10:06 PM
Everything I've heard & read makes me think Manny Acta is the second coming of Davey Johnson. This is just a guy who gets it. Period.

Hopefully he'll survive the beatings.

Over 200 PA's for the Nats this season and only one has occurred when they held the lead, plus they are already -24 in runs after (almost) 6 games

Chip R
04-07-2007, 10:06 PM
Everything I've heard & read makes me think Manny Acta is the second coming of Davey Johnson. This is just a guy who gets it. Period.


Acta isn't even going to be the second coming of Tom Runnels unless he gets some pitching.

RFS62
04-07-2007, 11:35 PM
They're as doomed as doomed can be.

http://sctv.org/characters/edgrimley/edgrimley.jpg

RedsManRick
04-08-2007, 12:18 AM
Managers don't get fired when sucky teams lose. The get fired when they lose despite having a decent team. Any owner/GM who expects Acta to win more than 60 games with this bunch is delusional.... then again, JB isn't the most rational guy.

RFS62
04-08-2007, 12:28 AM
Yeah, but sometimes they're the fall guys when the GM who assembled the team goes scott free.

MartyFan
04-08-2007, 01:18 AM
The ownership of the Nats likes Manny...this season is to hang Bowden out there and remove him from his post...he left the organization behind the 8 ball by doing and not doing things last season to bring in draft picks...so mmy thought is that the ownership is going to let Bowden OWN this season and then replace him with a real GM.

If I was one of his advisor's I would be kissing up with the Reds F.O.

I think this will bring Larkin back to Cincy as well as Jose Rijo.

MrCinatit
04-08-2007, 01:19 AM
I think this will bring Larkin back to Cincy as well as Jose Rijo.

One can only hope. Those two do not belong there...they belong here.

REDREAD
04-09-2007, 11:14 AM
The ownership of the Nats likes Manny...this season is to hang Bowden out there and remove him from his post...he left the organization behind the 8 ball by doing and not doing things last season to bring in draft picks...so mmy thought is that the ownership is going to let Bowden OWN this season and then replace him with a real GM.
.

Actually, if the Nats wanted to let Bowden go, they could've just not renewed him after last season.
They really don't need a reason to fire him. It happens all the time.
Doesn't it seem a bit silly to think the Nationals owners got together and said "Let's cut the payroll to the bone and stink this season just so we have a reason to fire Bowden".

The Nationals decided to punt this season and spend a lot of money on building the farm. They would've likely done that strategy no matter who the GM was.

Maybe Bowden will not be renewed after this season, but logic says that if they already wanted to get rid of him, they would not have brought him back this year.

westofyou
04-09-2007, 11:26 AM
6 games into the season and the Nationals have held the lead only once, after the last at bat win they had in game 3.

No team in MLB history has never held the lead as little as the Nationals in the first week of the season. Once attrition hits that bullpen The Great Peshtigo Fire will look tame in comparison.

BRM
04-09-2007, 11:37 AM
We know the Nats have a terrible pitching staff but do they have the ability to be historically bad?

registerthis
04-09-2007, 11:50 AM
We know the Nats have a terrible pitching staff but do they have the ability to be historically bad?

I think so.

Not only do they have a deplorable pitching staff, but the offense is sorely lacking as well. This isn't a team that's built for anything. The Nationals are counting on Austin Kearns and Ryan Zimmerman to provide the bulk of the team's offense--that should send up red flags from here to the moon. Arguably their greatest offensive trheat--Nick Johnson--is on the shelf until at least June, and there's no guarantee that he'll come back with any degree of success.

meanwhile, you've got guys like Nook Logan, Christian Guzman, Ronnie Belliard and other assorted characters playing at key positions on your team.

I don't think there's any doubt that this team has sprinted out of the gates on their way towards a 100+ loss season. That's a virtual certainty. But considering the division they play in, and the fact that there's no help to speak of on the horizon in th efarm system...this team could be approcahing levels of suckitude not witnessed since 1962.

westofyou
04-09-2007, 11:52 AM
We know the Nats have a terrible pitching staff but do they have the ability to be historically bad?

Probably, right now they are pace to surrender 1215 runs and score 486.

Of course that won't happen, but even if they add 200 runs to the scoring at the expense of the runs allowed it will still be

686/1015

Here are the worst runs allowed in a season


SEASON
MODERN (1900-)

RSAA displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RUNS YEAR R RSAA
1 Phillies 1930 1199 -174
2 Tigers 1996 1103 -231
3 Browns 1936 1064 -104
4 A's 1936 1045 -129
5 Phillies 1929 1036 -105
6 Browns 1939 1035 -170
7 Rockies 1999 1028 -2
8 Browns 1937 1023 -176
9 A's 1939 1022 -167
10 Braves 1911 1021 -193
11 Phillies 1923 1008 -68
12 Rangers 2000 974 -60
13 Royals 2006 971 -123
14 Rangers 2003 969 -108
15 Rangers 2001 968 -197

BRM
04-09-2007, 12:01 PM
So, they are on pace to surrender the most runs in history. That's a special group there. They will probably improve somewhat but they appear to be a lock to finish in the top 15 (or bottom 15 if you look at it that way) of all time.

REDREAD
04-09-2007, 01:25 PM
So, they are on pace to surrender the most runs in history. That's a special group there. They will probably improve somewhat but they appear to be a lock to finish in the top 15 (or bottom 15 if you look at it that way) of all time.


No doubt, they will be historically bad this year. That's obvious.

Chip R
04-09-2007, 01:50 PM
Are they really going to have that stadium ready by next year?

registerthis
04-09-2007, 02:02 PM
Are they really going to have that stadium ready by next year?

I think so, the D.C> government really wants it built. It's going up pretty fast.

Chip R
04-09-2007, 02:40 PM
I think so, the D.C> government really wants it built. It's going up pretty fast.


Wow! I thought, what with all the red tape they have there it would be delayed at some point. Maybe they need to work on The Banks.

registerthis
04-09-2007, 02:49 PM
Here's a picture of it taken last week:

http://www.jdland.com/dc/images/halfn-30-6-200704-3.jpg

RedsManRick
04-09-2007, 03:00 PM
Imagine where they'd be without Kearns and Lopez and with Bray, Majewski, and Harris.

Harris or Ronnie Belliard as their starting 2B. Alex Escobar or Nook Logan in CF with Church in RF.

The Nats are basically where the Devil Rays were 5-6 years ago.

cumberlandreds
04-09-2007, 03:13 PM
The Nats are truly awful and will lose well over 100 games this season. On a side note the home run Kearns hit Saturday night was a gift. It actually hit foul against some structure and hit back against the foul pole. The umpire ruled a home run while the replay clearly showed it hit foul first. I feel bad for Kearns and Lopez because it is going to be a looooooooong season for them.

cincrazy
04-11-2007, 12:34 AM
The 2007 Washington Nationals will make the 1962 New York Mets look like the 1998 New York Yankees.

RedFanAlways1966
04-11-2007, 08:49 AM
I feel bad for Kearns and Lopez because it is going to be a looooooooong season for them.

On the bright side... at least AK and his daddy will not have to stress themselves out over those boo-birds in Cincinnati. All that booing hurts a man's feelings. Some ballplayers are sensitive. They have sensitive nerves that can be hurt with a boo or two. I can relate b/c I am a sensitive fan with feelings. This post is making think of poor AK and his daddy while AK was getting booed in Cincy... I think I need a kleenex b/c I am ready to cry.

:devil:

KronoRed
04-11-2007, 12:41 PM
Here's a picture of it taken last week:

http://www.jdland.com/dc/images/halfn-30-6-200704-3.jpg

Nice progress since I last saw pics

Redsland
04-11-2007, 01:10 PM
I think I can see the hole the players are going to want to crawl into.

:)

BRM
04-11-2007, 01:17 PM
I think I can see the hole the players are going to want to crawl into.

:)

Nah, Bowden will build a winning pitching staff there. That's his specialty, isn't it? ;)

westofyou
04-11-2007, 01:19 PM
The Nationals had been so bad that their starting rotation — 0-7 with a 6.52 ERA — had not pitched with a lead all season. They'd scored fewer runs than anyone in baseball but the Seattle Mariners, who had played three fewer games. And they'd been outhomered by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez 6-4.

registerthis
04-11-2007, 04:27 PM
The Nationals had been so bad that their starting rotation 0-7 with a 6.52 ERA had not pitched with a lead all season.

Shoot, I'll do you one better than that. The Nats are so awful, they haven't BATTED with the lead all season. (Their one win was a walk-off single by Young in the 9th).

To add insult to injury, in last night's game vs. the Braves they failed to get a runner past second base. Really, words can't describe how awful this team is. And lest anyone think otherwise, they are playing right about their capabilities.

Dracodave
04-11-2007, 04:38 PM
Well...Kearns, Lopez..it was nice having you contribute to the Reds. Sorry you're on a sinking ship this year..atleast with Zimmerman you're in good company..

RedsFan75
04-12-2007, 10:13 AM
I'd wager that Bray, Majewski, and Harris are kinda happy to have been traded away.

westofyou
04-12-2007, 10:55 AM
.239/.308/.348/.655


"We are not in a slump," Page said of his Washington Nationals. After Wednesday's 8-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves, Page's lineup had scored nine runs in its last six games.

"It's getting magnified because it's the start of the season,"



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/11/AR2007041102340.html

westofyou
04-12-2007, 11:09 AM
Acta pledged that the Nationals would play better defense. Yet entering play Wednesday, the club had the most errors (10) and the worst fielding percentage (.967) in baseball. They made their 11th error Wednesday.

Acta pointed out that six of the errors came from players who either aren't supposed to be regulars or are playing at a position they wouldn't be in without injuries.

Deja Vu over in DC.. I see a lot of the 2003 Reds and more in this team, it's going to be interesting to see them eventually measured against the 88 O's

After 9 games 1988


Team Name G W RS RA

Baltimore Orioles 0 9 14 62

Washington 1 8 21 61

lollipopcurve
04-12-2007, 11:17 AM
Could they actually have the worst team ERA in the league at the end of the year, playing in RFK?

BRM
04-12-2007, 11:24 AM
"We are not in a slump," Page said of his Washington Nationals.


He's right. It's not a slump. They are just terrible.

registerthis
04-12-2007, 11:36 AM
:barf:

Gonna be a long season out here, I can tell you that. By far, the worst team I have ever seen.

texasdave
04-12-2007, 11:59 AM
One other amazingly awful stat out of Washington. They have trailed at some point in the game by the score of 4-0 in 8 out of 9 games. In the other game they only trailed 3-0 before scoring a lone run. :cry:

Reds Nd2
04-12-2007, 12:03 PM
Deja Vu over in DC.. I see a lot of the 2003 Reds and more in this team, it's going to be interesting to see them eventually measured against the 88 O's

After 9 games 1988


Team Name G W RS RA

Baltimore Orioles 0 9 14 62

Washington 1 8 21 61

After 8 games 1889 (http://http://www.retrosheet.org/)

Team Name W L RS RA

Cleveland Spiders 1 7 25 77
The Spiders record of 134 losses could be surpassed this season.

westofyou
04-12-2007, 12:04 PM
After 8 games 1889 (http://http://www.retrosheet.org/)

Team Name W L RS RA

Cleveland Spiders 1 7 25 77
The Spiders record of 134 losses could be surpassed this season.

Yeah, but that was syndicate ball and that is just different.

Reds Nd2
04-12-2007, 12:13 PM
They still managed to put the suck in "teh suck" though.

KronoRed
04-12-2007, 12:25 PM
They got contracted too ;)

Redsland
04-12-2007, 12:41 PM
I'd wager that Bray, Majewski, and Harris are kinda happy to have been traded away.
What about Clayton? ;)