Final Score: Orioles 2, Nationals 1
Dame of the Game:
Ross Detwiler: 5 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K. Detwiler reclaimed his rotation spot from Chien-Ming Wang with a flourish. Wang was was upset at his demotion, but kept himself upbeat with that most comforting of thoughts, “at least I’m not John Lannan.”
Shame of the Game:
Sean Burnett: .1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, Blown Save, Loss. See below.
I’ve always hated Sean Burnett. Once upon a time, it seemed that he would somehow ruin every Nationals game I attended. Everything would be going well, the Nats seeming like they might actually win a game (back when that didn’t happen so often). They’d be tied or have a lead going in to the 7th or 8th. Then in would come Burnett, and we’d all go home unhappy.
There was a phrase that we creators of The Zimmerman(n) Telegram used, back in those halcyon days before the Telegram even existed (who can even fathom such a time now?). That phrase was “Sean Burnett is going to fuck the house.” We said it every time he came in to pitch. And then one to several batters later, the house was fucked. Sometimes just fucked a little bit, just enough to give us a taste. Sometimes fucked irrevocably and beyond repair. Every time Sean Burnett entered a game, we all lost a little bit of our innocence.
That’s why when we profiled him at the beginning of the season, we were not excited about Sean Burnett.
But then we had a problem. Sean Burnett started doing well. For much of this season, he has been not just effective but spectacular as the Nationals primary lefty out of the bullpen. In his first 26 innings coming into Sunday’s game, Burnett had given up just 3 runs and had a K/BB ratio upwards of 4. These events were deeply disturbing to my most fundamental beliefs about the world. If I couldn’t count on Sean Burnett to fuck the house, what could I count on?
Every time he pitched, my hatred bubbled up inside me, ready to erupt in an exultant shower of righteous fury. Yet it would always be quenched, forced down into a deeper, darker part of me, biding its time.
In the 8th inning of the series finale with the Orioles on Sunday, the time finally came. Six outs away from shutting out Baltimore and taking the series, Davey Johnson went to a man he thought he could trust to get out the heart of the Oriole lineup. That man was Sean Burnett, and he was ready to fuck.
Please don’t, said the house, quaking in terror at the sight of Burnett’s engorged member. You’ve been so nice to me the whole year. Why must you do it now. But Burnett was far beyond the point of listening to reason. He gave up a single to Adam Jones. No no no, said the house, I don’t want it. Sean Burnett wanted it. He needed it. And with one climactic fastball down the middle to Matt Wieters, Sean Burnett’s sexual and lack of blown saves frustration was relieved.
The house was fucked.
I still hate Sean Burnett.