On the heels of a start that saw the underrated right-hander toss just 5 2/3 innings, one of his shortest outings of the season so far, Jordan Zimmermann was primed to start one of the most important games of his fledgling career. For Zimmermann and his teammates, the game was to be the first true test of their youthful lineup’s ability to perform in a pennant race down the stretch.
Anyone who watched or read about the first of the three-game series that is currently taking place in D.C. between the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals already knows how Zimmermann fared. His words, however, hold more weight than any that I could possibly muster, so it is he that should do the talking.
It seemed that more than a few fans in the Washington Metropolitan Area, and to a larger extent the baseball community as a whole, were surprised by the performance of Washington Nationals 19-year-old rookie Bryce Harper this weekend.
In case you missed it, Harper went 4-for-8 through the weekend set with a triple, two home runs and four RBIs – an effort that helped the Nationals take two of three from the New York Mets and extend their lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East to five games. His efforts also put him in elite company, joining Tony Conigliaro, Mel Ott, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mickey Mantle as the top home run hitters at 19 years of age. As if that were not impressive enough, his sixth triple ranks first among teenagers with at least 12 home runs.
Patrick McDermott – Getty Images
It would be less than honest to say that I am not surprised. In fact, I am shocked. I am shocked that anyone is surprised with Harper’s performance because to be surprised is to undermine his talent. What Harper did this weekend was not surprising. He did nothing less than what is expected of him. Continue reading →
Let me begin today by welcoming you all to Bizarro World. Here in Bizarro World, up is down, left is right, Superman is grotesque and speaks in opposites and the Washington Nationals sit atop the National League East on the final day of the All-Star break with a record of 49-34, the best mark in the NL and the third best in all of baseball. Unsurprisingly, the team is creating quite a buzz in media outlets everywhere. What is surprising, however, is how little attention the Pittsburgh Pirates seem to be garnering. The Pirates lead the NL Central with a record of 48-37, good for second place in the NL and number four overall. The last time the Pirates held first place this late in the year was 1992, which also happens to be the last time they reached the postseason. So what gives? Continue reading →
It is July 9, 2012 – sort of midsummer, which can mean a few different things. Perhaps most importantly, it means miserable weather. If you are in the Washington Metropolitan Area, rejoice, for Satan has finally packed up and left town, taking with him his record-high 105 degree temperatures. Inevitably, he will return because apparently karma exists, knows that I have a hate-hate relationship with scorching summer heat and believes that I did something worthy of suffering. If you are a baseball fan, and I have to assume that you are because I am sure you didn’t come just to hear me complain about a tired topic, then today means something else entirely. It means it’s almost time for the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Continue reading →