Tag Archives: Houston Astros

Nationals Sign Fernando Abad

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Fernando wears his favorite shirt featuring the letters A&F. Which of course stands for Abad & Fernando.

The Nationals signed Fernando Abad to a minor league contract. Considering he put up a 1-11 record with a 5.10 ERA over the last three years playing for the Astros, this is Abad signing.

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NLDS Game 1: Moore’s Utopia

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“Ooo, they are cold!” (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Did the Nats win: Depends what you mean by win.

Was it fun to watch: When I wasn’t gouging my eyes out.

Visceral Emotion of the Game: Oh no oh no oh no oh no WAIT OH YEAH OH YEAH!!!

Sometimes things take a while to get going. It takes time for an oven to heat up, it takes time for me to muster up the courage to look at a picture of Tom Gorzelanny, and it takes time for the Nationals to realize that they should stop doing so poorly in the biggest game in this team’s history. But you know, that’s easy to forget to do. Despite getting out on top early on, the Nationals did not play at a major league level. They didn’t even play at a Houston Astros level.

This game was all about incompetence. 2 of the 3 lead changes were not thanks to impressive baseball skill, but rather miserable failure. Well, one of the failures was miserable. The other might have seemed like a silly thing to do, but in reality helped the more powerful group claim what they wanted. I would compare Pete Kozma’s error to appeasement towards the Nazis. It gave the Nats just a little, after which they took a lot. Now I don’t really like comparing the Nationals to the Nazis. But just like the Nazis, the Nationals don’t support smoking within their homeland, so there certainly are similarities.

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Bo Porter to Manage Houston Astros

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Ryan laughs as Bo tells him a funny joke. He would later find out that Bo wanting to manage Houston is all too real.

Bo Porter is a masochist. At least he must be, after accepting the job to manage the Houston Astros next season. The story was broken just minutes ago by Jon Morosi that Porter would be leaving the Nationals to take the vacant managerial post in 2013. Porter will be at the helm for a big transition, as the team moves to the AL. I can’t foresee much success there though. While most AL teams have a designated hitter, the Astros will be the first team without one. Not because they will lack the position, but they lack anyone who can actually make contact.

Losing Bo is tough. He’s been with the team for 2 full seasons, and has done so much in that time. Raising his arms. Twirling his arms. All those things! He’ll be hard to replace.

Luckily, Bo will stay with the team throughout the playoffs. I guess it’s nice to give him the chance to experience something that he’ll never come close to in his new post. Let’s win this though, if not for the city then for the man who has made many arm motions in his time at third base. “Go for Bo!” will be the rallying cry of this team as they go further into the playoffs. I hope the Secret Service don’t misconstrue that as a plan to try and kidnap the Obama’s dog.

Wait a second…I think I might have found the solution to our impending vacancy:

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Our new third base coach.

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NatsLive Large: Dierks Bentley Concert Overshadowed by Something of Quality

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Sadness overwhelms Kristina Akra. She just can’t stand people being so wasteful with food and drinks. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Final Score: Nationals 10, Brewers 4.

Dame of the Game:

Gio Gonzalez: Win, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 R (0 ER), 5 K. Speedy Gonzalez got to 20 wins faster than any pitcher in the bigs this season. We should start calling the stadium the “Mouse’s House” to honor that nickname and his accomplishment. It’d be a better nickname than calling it the “Rape Victim” after every time Sean Burnett pitches.

Shame of the Game:

Livan Hernandez: .2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 ER. Livan has fallen on hard times. Meaning that hard times was probably flattened.

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With the Nationals former single season wins leader in the house (well sort of, we had trouble fitting Livan through the door entirely), Gio further distanced himself from that old record by getting his 20th win on Saturday. This is a huge accomplishment. I mean 20 wins for an individual, or a team if you’re from Houston, is amazing. I hope he can get to 21 by the end of the season, and celebrate by recklessly drinking at bars. And then maybe even 22, and celebrate by realizing you don’t get to do anything new at 22 but age. Gio has been an amazing pickup for the Nats, and has given them some special moments in his time here. Hopefully he can bring them one last special moment, the one that really matters. You know what I’m talking about. Winning that big prestigious award, The Toothy, for best smile in baseball.

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2013 Schedule Announced

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The Pope will be back for a crucial late September series.

Teams across the league announced their preliminary 2013 schedules today. Here is the Nationals schedule. It’s a big change from past years thanks to the Astros’ move to the AL, since there will be an interleague game every day of the year. I don’t like it, it’s immoral. We can’t have this mixing of leagues taking over more than it has. What’s next? American League-Atlantic League exhibitions? That is just disgusting to imagine.

The Nats open at home vs. the Marlins on April 1st. A fitting date for the Marlins to come to town, given that the Marlins fooled the entire league into thinking they would contend so they could get a stadium. Hilarious!

Interleague comes to Washington in just the second week of the season as the White Sox will be here. Who will Obama root for? He’s been so confused in the past. I guess there’s always a chance he could be bi.

One of the coolest things in the schedule is a home-home series vs. the Orioles at the end of May. They play two in DC and then two in Baltimore. Could it be a rematch of the World Series? Hahaha. Wait, I forgot that’s not a joke I can make anymore. Yes, it quite possibly could.

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My Pilgrimage to Montreal

Almost every cultural group has historic sites that attract followers on a daily basis. The cult of Nationalsism is no different. The Nationals current form as a Washington team is relatively new, and has a very brief history.

But while the Washington team is new, the Washington franchise has a rich history that dates back to the 1960s. From 1969-2004, this franchise was known as the Montreal Expos. It is important we don’t forget where we came from, and what made the franchise the way it is now.

This past week, I took a trip to Montreal with a similar mindset to the many pilgrims to Mecca. After all, a trip to Montreal is one of the Five Pillars of Nationalsism, which are all noted below:

1. Kalima. The declaration of faith, professing that there is only one GM (Mike Rizzo) and that Davey Johnson is Rizzo’s manager.

2. Salat. All followers must pray five times a day while facing Nationals Park.

3. Zakat. The alms-giving, where all fans must give to Nationals charities.

4. Sawm. Fasting, which is especially hard cause Ben’s Chili Bowl is really tasty.

5. Hajj. The pilgrimage to Montreal.

I detail my experience below.

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Tasty Morsels: Homers Help Nats Chow Down on Houston

Lucas Harrell forgot his sled, and the fact that it wasn’t snowing, and the fact that he was supposed to be pitching. But he’s persistent. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Final Score: Nationals 5, Astros 0

Dame of the Game:

Michael Morse: 2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, K. Morse’s first home run was a tape measure shot, and I don’t mean everyone’s favorite drink where you grind up a tape measure and mix it with vodka.

Shame of the Game:

The Houston Astros franchise. It doesn’t get much more shameful than playing for them, or being otherwise employed by them, or hoping they’ll win.

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On Sunday night, the Astros probably lay in bed thinking “man, the only way this season could get worse is if we got swept by the Nationals.” Not just because such an outcome would be demoralizing, but also because literally the only result of a four game series that would actually cause the Astros’ winning percentage to go down significantly would be a sweep.

The Astros’ season just got worse.

It’s pretty sad. Beating the Astros is kinda like walking down the street and shoving children into oncoming traffic. Or assassinating someone who’s already hanging from a noose. Or setting a retirement home on fire. Or telling Tom Gorzelanny’s date that he has an STD. Just cruel. Continue reading

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Hitting the Gi-Spot: Gio Pleases Us All With Wood and Balls

Final Score: Nationals 4, Astros 3.

Dame of the Game:

Gio Gonzalez: Win, 9 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 3 ER, 7 K; 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Gio threw a 9 inning complete game AND hit a home run, both of which were firsts for him. He also smiled, which was probably his first since hitting the 5 billion smile mark.

Shame of the Game:

Armando Galarraga: Loss, 5 IP, 6 H, 6 BB, 3 ER, 5 K; 0-2. Galarraga was one out away from perfection again, in that he could’ve walked out the door before the game and not allowed any hits. Sadly for him, he chose to pitch.

(UPDATE) Honorary Shame of the Game:

Angel Hernandez: 9 innings umpired, several terrible calls made, K, -1 BB. The people demanded Angel’s head, so decapitate we must. I have no good explanation for his general horrible umpiring and odious choice to strike out Bryce Harper after he received six balls, other than maybe he took it upon himself to personally rectify the harm done to Galarraga by Jim Joyce two years ago by helping his line for this game look slightly less horrible.

If so, that’s really stupid, and I feel no more bad about the head thing.

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The Nationals are lucky that one of their starters is not only good on the mound, but with their bat as well. They’re also lucky that another one of their starters is good in both areas as well. Additionally, they are quite lucky that a third one of their starters can not only throw gems, but can also hit home runs. I think you see where I’m going with this. The entire Nationals rotation is a group of cyborgs who are perfectly modified to hit, pitch, and love with the same high level of success.

Ok, maybe you didn’t see where I was going with that.

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Great Black Shark: Bernadina Makes Deadliest Catch to Save Game

I’ll leave the image of razor-sharp teeth slicing through Astro flesh like a flaming knife through already-melted butter to your imagination. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Final Score: Nationals 3, Astros 2

Dame of the Game:

Roger Bernadina: 0-2, R, 2 BB, K, Game Saving Catch. Danny Espinosa had this thing locked up. All three RBIs, including a home run and a presumably game winning hit. But then, well, you know.

Shame of the Game:

Ryan Zimmerman: 0-5, 4 K. They call this a “golden sombrero,” but that seems racist to me. Why is it especially bad just because it’s Mexican? Why not call it a “Shimmering Chapeau” or a “Towering Top Hat”?

You might think it’s hypocritical of me to accuse something of being racist given the title of this post, but a) it’s too perfect, and b) actually that’s the only excuse I need.

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Let’s just skip to the end on this one, shall we. Sure, there were 11 and 5/6 innings of occasionally tense and mostly pretty boring baseball beforehand. Sure, Ross Detwiler and Danny Espinosa did “well.” Who cares. Aside from all the Ross Detwiler and Danny Espinosa stalkers out there, of course, of which I’m sure there are hundreds. For normal people, though, only one thing happened in this game worth caring about.

Baseball plays usually happen pretty fast. The buildup to plays tends to be very slow–lots of people staring at each other, people slapping and poking themselves, people waggling things, hopping up and down, shaking their heads furiously, chewing on something disgusting, adjusting their penises to the optimal Baseball Ready Penis Position. It’s all very dramatic and/or ridiculous, depending on your perspective. But usually after a pitch is thrown, you pretty much know the outcome right away. Thus, a viewer’s experience of a baseball play often has just two emotional states: Before and After.

The last play of yesterday’s game was an exception to this rule. For me, the 2-2 pitch from Tyler Clippard to Brett Wallace took me through a full five-step emotional journey. Here are those steps: Continue reading

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This Goes to Eleven: Nats Tap Spineless Astros for Win

Final Score: Nationals 5, Astros 4.

Dame of the Game:

Roger Bernadina: 1-1, 1 R. Bernadina scored the winning run in the 11th, running through Bo Porter’s stop sign. I hope we’ve all learned the lesson to never listen to Bo Porter ever again, and also to never listen to stop signs. Just go home as quick as you can and you’ll probably make it.

Shame of the Game:

Steve Pearce and Brian Bogusevic: 2 horrible errors on 1 horrible play. These two men botched two consecutive throws on a bunt in the 11th, allowing the Nats to take the lead. I guess you could say they threw the game. Ha ha ha. But seriously, if they did then that is a serious matter that should result in fines and/or bans.

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14 hits, 14 singles. Never have the Nationals experienced this since attending a strip club for the duration of 14 hit songs while being terrible tippers. But tonight the Nats experienced that combination of hits and singles again, only on the baseball field. Of course this time no strippers were involved. At least I hope so. Davey Johnson in that speedo is really a frightening sight.

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