This Opponent Sucks, and Why That’s Bad: Sox-Nats Gamer I

If you're a Washington Nationals fan, do you laugh or cry? Or do you write inaccurate, unoriginal sob stories about how hypocritical the Boston Red Sox are? 

If I were a Nats fan, I'd be laughing because even though my team only has 20 wins this year, 10 percent of them are against the New York Yankees. This is one thing Soxfans and Natsfans have in common. We both find this hilarious.

Unfortunately, it's now the Red Sox' turn to face Washington, and this truly is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, this should easily be the Sox' fifth straight series win, if not a sweep. On the other, it's a tremendous embarrassment if it's not.

The Sox don't have to sweep the Nationals. The worst club in baseball has a .299 winning percentage — right between one win every three games and one in every four. If they win a game against the Sox out of these three, I won't worry. Law of averages, right?

The best way not to worry about this is winning Game 1, when Brad Penny — whose fastball has averaged better than 95 mph in each of his last two starts (both with zero earned runs allowed) — faces John Lannan, who shut down the Yanks in his last start.

Unknown lefty, no book on him, decent ERA despite mediocre peripherals, dominates the first time through a batting order (.207/.287/.267 against)? Ugh. Better win the next two, boys.

Comment away!

123 comments… add one

  • I am going to be highly pissed off if we don’t win this series, especially with Dice-K on the DL. Julian Tavarez on WRKO pre-game show… hoping for something odd to come out of his mouth.

    rootbeerfloat June 23, 2009, 6:41 pm
  • Steven at FJB should be taken out and maimed for that post. And everyone who commented on it should be maimed as well.

    I miss Hoolian.

    And I went to the dentist today. No cavities. Let’s hope the same can be said the the Red Sox offense tonight. No cavities.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 6:48 pm
  • Unknown lefty, no book on him, decent ERA despite mediocre peripherals
    Sounds like a no-hitter in the making. Go go gadget reverse-jinx!
    And yeah, I miss Jools so very much. I hope we get to see him.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:02 pm
  • Julian was disappointingly normal on the pregame show but there’s o telling what will happen during the game…

    rootbeerfloat June 23, 2009, 7:05 pm
  • Ugh I gotta listen to the Nationals broadcasters. Sigh.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:08 pm
  • These guys are just wrong.
    “Youkilis finished 2nd in the MVP race last year to teammate Pedroia”
    Nope, he was third behind Morneau.
    “Youkilis leads the AL in OBP at .444″
    Nope, Mauer leads at .475.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:11 pm
  • Wow, there are like 90% Sox fans there. This place is louder than Fenway.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:13 pm
  • Can we just get rid of Lugo now?

    rootbeerfloat June 23, 2009, 7:15 pm
  • GODDAMNIT DREW. Ball down the right-field wall, Drew takes his sweet time and the runner scores from first. Sigh.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:20 pm
  • It’s a good looking park, first time I have seen it. Glad we have 37,000 Red Sox fans there.

    LocklandSF June 23, 2009, 7:20 pm
  • More horrible announcing:
    “Penny used to be a huge strikeout pitcher. We all remember his appearance in the 2007 All Star Game, where he was fanning batters left and right.”
    Actually in 2007 he had zero strikeouts. In 2006 he had 3 though.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:21 pm
  • Jason motherf*cking Bay. I love you so f*cking much!

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:26 pm
  • Bay! 1-1.

    Hudson June 23, 2009, 7:27 pm
  • Cut the man a check the size of Texas

    LocklandSF June 23, 2009, 7:28 pm
  • phenom david price giving up 6 in the first to philly.

    sf rod June 23, 2009, 7:30 pm
  • And it all started on an error by Longoria. Couldn’t happen to a better guy.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:31 pm
  • Huh, Brad Penny was complaining because Lannan screwed up the rosin bag.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:37 pm
  • Phi 6, TB 0, top 2.
    Price gets whalopped in the 1st

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 7:38 pm
  • Price has thrown 49 pitches through 2.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 7:45 pm
  • OH MY GOD! HOLY CRAP! Did anyone else see that Nick Green play? Holy potatoes!

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:54 pm
  • Please tell me someone else was watching that. Wow.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:55 pm
  • Nick Green just made a play that’s better than anything I have seen in a long time. Wow. Just wow.

    LocklandSF June 23, 2009, 7:56 pm
  • For those of you not watching: there was a bouncing grounder up the middle, with the runner going. Green grabs it, tags the runner in his face, half-flips over him like he’s in the goddamn circus, lands on his feet, and fires to first to complete the double play.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 7:57 pm
  • I’m still amazed.

    LocklandSF June 23, 2009, 7:59 pm
  • I’m listening on the radio, then missed the replay on the MLB network.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 8:00 pm
  • Ath and I are not blowing this out of proportion, I promise. It was SICK!

    LocklandSF June 23, 2009, 8:01 pm
  • Ellsbury! Misses a homer by two feet, and THEN almost makes it an in-the-park homer. Wisely stops at third though, 2-1 Sox.
    I’m praying that the Green web gem will be put up on Gameday.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:01 pm
  • Lockland isn’t kidding. This thing was like a Derek Jeter wet dream.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:06 pm
  • Come on. When could Jeter ever make a play like that? EVER?

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 8:08 pm
  • Ath, check out Bay’s homer on Gameday. It’s actually Tek.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 8:09 pm
  • And it’s not a homer.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 8:10 pm
  • I know Jeter could never do that–that’s why it’s a Jeter WET DREAM!
    What did gameday say, IBM? Right now it correctly shows that it was Jason Bay.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:14 pm
  • Mine still has Tek. …
    Phi 10, TB 0, bot 4
    Atl 3, NYY 0, bot 3, there goes Wang

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 8:15 pm
  • I’m talking about the video highlights on Gameday.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 8:16 pm
  • Crap, wild pitch and it’s a tie game.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:17 pm
  • Bad pitch, bad effort by Tek to make it worse. Just stabbed at it, lazy.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:18 pm
  • Just checking in and here’s the Brad Penny I always expect to see. If he can keep go 5 IP and have the Sox be only 1 or 2 back after that, I’ll be…not angry.

    stuck working June 23, 2009, 8:19 pm
  • HAH I see what you mean now IBM. The video replay just shows Varitek’s at-bat after the Bay homer.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:21 pm
  • Oh my god, he swung at that pitch SO much. Replay shows it. Thankfully he K’s on the next one.
    Lucky to only give up one run there. Penny hitting 97.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:25 pm
  • Crap, JD.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:29 pm
  • Pedro to second on a wild pitch. Youk, get him home!

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:31 pm
  • Youk!!! Single plates Pedro. 3-2 us.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:32 pm
  • Bay pops out to center, Youk still at first.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:33 pm
  • Niiiiice.
    Hey Bay, do something fearsome.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:33 pm
  • Mikey rattles one past the SS, another hit. 10 baserunners for the Sox thru 4.2, only three runs. Two on, two out.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:34 pm
  • Nice work, Toast! First pitch swinging, taps to the SS. Lame.
    Tek’s line is really horrid. Those 10 homers are lipstick on a pig, basically.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:36 pm
  • Sorry, second pitch. Still, the lipstick comment stands.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:37 pm
  • Okay, does anyone have experience cooking tilapia fillets? I baked them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees like the directions said, and they’re still very raw in the center, and not flaky at all. Yes I let them dethaw. What gives? I had to cook them an extra 8 minutes.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:40 pm
  • Nice play, Lowell! Good inning for Penny – 1-2-3.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:41 pm
  • I don’t care what the errors say, Lowell/Green make some great plays.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:42 pm
  • I love Ellsbury’s swing since April.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:45 pm
  • Steals 2nd easily, tags up on the fly out. Bring him in Brad Penny!

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:46 pm
  • squeeze?

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:46 pm
  • Two quick strikes. I would have liked to see a squeeze there, with his speed.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:47 pm
  • Bah.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:47 pm
  • That stunk.

    SF June 23, 2009, 8:48 pm
  • Robot sighting! John Kerry in the house.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:50 pm
  • Getting that run in would have made me feel way better about this game, especially since it was the 2nd time Ellsbury made it to 3rd.

    stuck working June 23, 2009, 8:50 pm
  • Han Ram just hit a slam for the fish.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 8:51 pm
  • Hanley is like that super hot girlfriend who got away. You’re happy where you are now, but you really, REALLY wish she was still around.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:55 pm
  • I dunno, Ath, I’m pretty happy with the, uh, two guys we settled down with in Beckett and Lowell. And I’ve seen enough _Big Love_ to know three can be more trouble than it’s worth…

    stuck working June 23, 2009, 8:57 pm
  • Brad Penny gives up a hit. 106 pitches. His curveballs are missing horribly.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 8:58 pm
  • Sure enough, there goes the lead.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 9:01 pm
  • There goes Penny, and I’m off to watch Deadliest Catch.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 9:02 pm
  • Well, as much as I hate seeing Penny pitch, he wasn’t awful. Just mediocre. So I have to be…not angry.

    stuck working June 23, 2009, 9:03 pm
  • I might argue that Tito waited a bit long, but it was the bottom of the order, and Penny started the inning well. Tough call.
    Penny was barely mediocre tonight, just too erratic.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:08 pm
  • JD looks putrid tonight.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:10 pm
  • LEATHERFACE TIME BABY!

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 9:10 pm
  • Youk reaches on a bad error from Zimmerman. Excellent play by the 2nd baseman to back it up, saving the base.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:14 pm
  • Ooh, Bay loops one over the SS, Youk hustles to third and is safe, Bay goes to second on the throw. Very aggressive, it paid off.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:17 pm
  • Great play by Youk to get to third.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 9:17 pm
  • Lowell gets the IBB, Tek coming up.
    PINCH HIT PAPI.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:18 pm
  • I know he won’t PH Papi, by the way. But Tek stinks.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:19 pm
  • Ta-garbage time with the Orc! Joolian has the bases loaded with Tek at the plate, one out. C’mon, see-saw, put this one back in our column…

    Hudson June 23, 2009, 9:19 pm
  • Tek does the job. Sac fly.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:21 pm
  • [Yanx down 3-0, TB down 10-1, Tor up 6-4, all in the 7th…]

    Hudson June 23, 2009, 9:21 pm
  • Yes — Tek sak [sic] fly makes it 4-3 Sox…
    JT being pulled.

    Hudson June 23, 2009, 9:23 pm
  • Phil Hughes, best pitching prospect EVAH, is in for bridge/not-quite-mop-up duty in Atlanta. Well played, Yankees.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:24 pm
  • Nicely, Jacoby’s OBP is tipping .360, nearly.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:24 pm
  • Need the bullpen to do some shutdown. They’ve seemed a tad shakier of late, but I am not sure if that is just perception, and not reality.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:27 pm
  • Jacoby walks, on four times tonight! Bases plugged. Green can help his bullpen here.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:27 pm
  • papi in the on deck circle.

    sf rod June 23, 2009, 9:28 pm
  • Frak. Green loops one that Harris tracks on a sprint coming in, nice catch. Three more left on base, for a total of 10 thru seven innings. Not the best showing against a horrid team.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:29 pm
  • Bad Manny. Leadoff walk? Come on, really? Dumbass.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:33 pm
  • Quick escape!

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:40 pm
  • More men on base to strand!

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:48 pm
  • I bet Youk and/or Bay get something done here…

    stuck working June 23, 2009, 9:50 pm
  • Loaded again. Bay coming up. Another pitching change.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:52 pm
  • Yanks go down in Georgia.

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:58 pm
  • Bay!!! Knocks in two with a single, and it is 6-3!

    SF June 23, 2009, 9:58 pm
  • Ah, faith rewarded. Though it was as much faith in the badness of the Nats’ bullpen as in the goodness of Youk and Bay.

    stuck working June 23, 2009, 10:00 pm
  • Varitek drives in another!

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 10:01 pm
  • Tek gets in on the action with a single! 7-3 Sox.

    SF June 23, 2009, 10:02 pm
  • Quite a good piece of hitting by Tek there.

    SF June 23, 2009, 10:02 pm
  • Wow, what a night for Jacoby! Second triple of the game, on base FIVE times, 9-3 Sox.

    SF June 23, 2009, 10:03 pm
  • Second triple for JElls, this one is becoming a laugher (9-3).

    Hudson June 23, 2009, 10:03 pm
  • The Nats announcers were dissing the Yankees about hitting with bases loaded. Said they try too hard to go for the grand slam when a single would have done.

    Digit June 23, 2009, 10:04 pm
  • Greenie! 10-3 now, Nick singles in Jacoby.
    So much for complaining about stranded runners.

    SF June 23, 2009, 10:05 pm
  • Green makes it 10-3.
    Sox feasting on this Nats pen.

    Hudson June 23, 2009, 10:05 pm
  • Amazing that Ellsbury was on base 5 times — and on third 3 times — and that was the first run he scored.

    stuck working June 23, 2009, 10:06 pm
  • Jacoby OPSing 1.001 in June, through 56 at-bats. Not a shabby month for the kid.

    SF June 23, 2009, 10:06 pm
  • Yanks w/ 11 lobs tonight.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:08 pm
  • Finally saw Green’s double play on MLB Network. Amazing, and he made it look so nonchalant.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:12 pm
  • 10 ofthe Red Sox 15 hits were to Dunn. Coincidence?

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:14 pm
  • Glad you saw it IBM! Still upset that gameday didn’t save it.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 10:15 pm
  • We needed a laugher.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:15 pm
  • Toronto wins to move into a second-place tie with NYY.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:18 pm
  • >10 ofthe Red Sox 15 hits were to Dunn. Coincidence?
    That’s just cause everyone was out in front of Lannan’s ridiculously slow fastball.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 10:19 pm
  • just looked at the yanks box score. posada went 0-4 with 4 k’s. ouch. makes the 2-3-4 combo of swisher, teixeira, and a-rods combined 0-12 not look so bad.

    sf rod June 23, 2009, 10:20 pm
  • Pedey 3-6, Bay 4-5, Ells 4-4. Good night with the sticks.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:21 pm
  • Why do you guys link to Dirt Dogs?
    Ack.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:22 pm
  • Joel Hanrahan is from my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:23 pm
  • David Ortiz BA: .213
    Alex Rodriguez BA: .213
    Yeah, A-Rod’s OBP is a lot higher, but Ortiz is the one trending up! Good times, good times.

    Micah-SF June 23, 2009, 10:25 pm
  • Think we can get three outs before we give up 9 runs?

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:26 pm
  • I’m surprised NYY just decided that Doubleplay-Rod should have at least 1 day off a week. Seems like something they should have determined weeks ago.

    Bard to finish; Dusty Brown to make his ML debut.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:28 pm
  • micah- a-rods at .207
    dusty browns major league debut.

    sf rod June 23, 2009, 10:29 pm
  • Oh, silly me, I was looking at a stats page that hadn’t updated yet. Awesome.

    Micah-SF June 23, 2009, 10:36 pm
  • Ballgame.

    Atheose June 23, 2009, 10:38 pm
  • Bard makes it an adventure, but Sox win to grow lead to 5 over NYY, Tor.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 23, 2009, 10:39 pm
  • lohud is burning…..and i brought the marshmellows.

    sf rod June 24, 2009, 12:25 am
  • Forget lohud, sf rod and just check out our YF neighboring thread here. krueg was on fire today.

    stuck working June 24, 2009, 12:48 am
  • By the way, Coco to have season-ending shoulder surgery. Feel really bad for him, but that trade is looking better and better.
    We love you Theo!

    Atheose June 24, 2009, 7:51 am
  • “Yes I let them dethaw. What gives? I had to cook them an extra 8 minutes.”
    that’s the problem – dethawing is actually freezing them again! :)
    Breaded talapia = very good!
    oh, and that play by Nick Green – awesome.

    dw (sf) June 24, 2009, 9:24 am

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