Tagged: Washington Nationals

Expert League Update: Nats Bullpen Causes Loss, Pain




/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;

kolb watercooler.jpg

Is there anything more frustrating in baseball than a
consistently wretched bullpen?  My first
year of law school, the guy who lived in the apartment beneath mine was a huge
Braves fan and never missed a game.  Once
he found out I was a fan of both baseball and watching people suffer, he invited
me to join the Dan Kolb Experience. 


Every time the Braves had a lead in the late stages of the
game, this guy (let’s call him Mad Cat) called or e-mailed me to let me know
Kolb was about to come in.  I’d then come
down to his apartment, where it was curtains up.  I’d watch in delighted horror as Kolb and Mad
Cat both experienced complete and utter meltdowns each and every night.  It was amazing.  No lead was safe, no situation was
unscrewupable (is too a word).


As Kolb blew game after game, Mad Cat would shift between
coping mechanisms.  Some nights he’d yell
and scream.  Other nights he’d quietly
stew and rub his temples.  My favorite
nights occurred when he would just mutter super bitter sarcastic comments after
every pitch.  My least favorite nights
were when he’d glance back and forth from the TV to the sword that hung on the
wall, lost in his own J.D. from “Scrubs” fantasy world.  Every night, one thing was clear though —
Dan Kolb was ruining his life.  And I was
delighted to watch it happen.


ultimate warrior cleaning house.jpg

Nearly five years later, my chickens are coming home to
roost.  The Nationals just finished an
epic series with the Marlins, blowing all three games in the ninth inning at
home.  I don’t know the last time a home team
lost the lead in the ninth in every game of a series, but I’m guessing Kolb was
involved (if not, he’s got to be extremely jealous right now).  I do know that the Nationals desperately
needed a win and losing in such spectacular fashion three straight nights puts
them in danger of squandering the goodwill they gained with their fan base
after the Adam Dunn signing.  They apparently
know this, as after the game, The Nats cleaned house like they were the
Ultimate Warrior rushing into the ring on “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”  The last boo hadn’t even finished echoing
through the stadium before Saul Rivera (last night’s losing pitcher who managed
to turn a 4-3 lead into a 7-4 deficit in the blink of a fan’s tearful eye) and two
other relievers were either sent down or designated for assignment.


So why am I writing about this in a fantasy baseball
blog?  Well one because writing is my
coping mechanism and while the Nats have put their fans through a lot since
returning to the nation’s capital, this series marked a new low and served as a perfect microcosm
for the team.  They constantly get their
fans hopes up, whether it be through an early lead or a roster full of young
talent, but so far they seemingly always find a way to crush their fans faith and
if I don’t vent for a few paragraphs here, I’ll find it hard to tune into the
game tonight.  I can’t let that happen,
the season is too young.  To quote Robert
want to believe.”


But way more relevantly, I had injury added to insult as I
entered the weekend leading my Expert League matchup by two in the saves
category.  While many fantasy owners were
hurt by owning Joel Hanrahan, I faced the opposite problem, as I was playing
against Matt Lindstrom.  If the Nats
could have closed out any of those games, Lindstrom would have been left in the
bullpen and my lead would have been safe. 
But instead, by the time the dust had settled on Sunday, I had watched
on in horror as my opponent rode Lindstrom to tie me for the week.  While I still managed to win the matchup
5-4-1, after the roller coaster ride the Nats had put me through, I felt like I
had been sucker punched and I knew that somewhere, Mad Cat was laughing.