7/29/07 And It’s A Hard, And It’s A Hard, It’s A Hard, And It’s A Hard, And It’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall. – Bob Dylan
Dark clouds loom above Shea Stadium as well as DC Daily today, as the Washington Nationals begin both the finale of their four game series with the NL Leading New York Mets, and coincidentally enter into what could possibly be the final forty-eight hours in the DC career of the Flat-Brimmed Closer Chad Cordero.
According to the Newark Star-Ledger and DC Daily’s other arch-nemesis, Baseball writer Dan Graziano, the Nationals are asking for last night’s starter Mike Pelfrey in return for the Flat-Brimmed Closer, the Chief, Chad Cordero.
Nationals GM Jim Bowden surprised many by signing rather than trading Ronnie Belliard and Dmitiri Young, and we here at DC Daily hope that trend continues when it comes to Cordero and Gigantic Set-Up Man Jon Rauch. Why break up the best bullpen in baseball?
Mr Graziano alternatively, lists GM Bowden in his “Weekly Bottom Three” wondering why the GM signed Belliard and DY and likening the signings to Bowden’s “choking” at last year’s Trade Deadline by failing to bring a return on All-Star outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who signed with the Cubs for ridiculous money.
I really have never heard any rumors of what the Nationals were being offered in return for their two top hitters, but it must not have been overwhelming or I believe they would have been dealt.
The two pitchers dealing this afternoon will be Mets ace John Maine and the Nationals converted reliever left hander Billy Traber. After Maine completes a quick scoreless first, Traber gives up a leadoff double to Jose Reyes, who finds the gap in left and is seemingly standing at second before the ball hits the grass. Lasting Milledge is up next and the Mets are up early as Milledge lines to center to easily score Reyes from second. 1-0 Mets.
Traber gets David Wright swinging at a nasty fastball. Milledge runs and gets caught by a mile. Don’t run on Brian Schneider, that’s the last time I tell you. Traber gets through the first with limited damage. 1-0 Mets.
John Maine blows away Tony Batista with a high fastball to start the second, and goes on to retire the side for his second scoreless. They’re playing in the rain now as Traber takes the mound for the bottom of the second. Traber gets the first two out before Mets catcher Ramon Castro drives one just out of the reach of the diving Ryan Langerhans in right. Traber issues Ruben Gotay the intentionals so he can face the hard-hitting John Maine, who goes down swinging. 1-0 Mets after two.
Maine freezes Felipe Lopez with a two-strike change and gets his fourth K of the day to end the top of the third. Jose Reyes doubles down the line in left to start the bottom of the third off Traber. Milledge pops out to left. Reyes steals third. (Schneider?) David Wright lines to left and drops it right in front of Ryan Church. Reyes scores. 2-0 Mets. Wright steals second. (Wright?) Delgado grounds out. Moises Alou goes down swinging. 2-0 Mets after three.
Maine has only allowed one hit through four as they seem to be rushing this game to get through the necessary four and half to make it official with the Mets leading. Maine’s through four and I bet the Mets are swinging when they come up.
Poor Traber’s getting soaked, and now he’s getting hammered. Damian Easley singles to left to start the inning, and Ramon Castro destroys a fastball, driving it to deep center and GONE! 4-0 Mets.
Traber walks Lastings Milledge to put two on with two out in front of Wright. Manny Acta, Nationals Manager has seen enough. Chris Schroder comes on gives up an RBI single to David Wright. 5-0 Mets after four. Maine gets Logan swinging to end the top of the fifth.
Schroder slips on the mound as he pitches in the fifth and…They bring out the tarp…and they never come back…
Nationals now 45-60.