It seems only a moment ago the Nationals entered the season with hopes of a new day, with a new team, and a new chance. That optimism has been crushed however in the blink of a Manny Acta eye, as the Nats have jumped into last place with an opening series sweep handed to them by the Florida Marlins.
Wednesday's game started well enough. Daniel Cabrera pitched four great innings before allowing the wheels to come on in the 5th. The line-up for the first time all season got on the board early by scoring two in the first inning off a quality young pitcher in Chris Volstad. A 5th inning rally however would prove to provide the one blast Florida needed to move past the Nationals and sweep their opening series at home.
A solid effort from their bullpen, accompanied by the Nats inability to convert with runners on base down the stretch, let to the Marlins 6-4 victory.
Daniel Cabrera today was, for lack of a better word, Daniel Cabrera. For those of you who don't remember his antagonizing teasey years in Baltimore, you pretty much saw his entire career summed up into one game. Allow me to decipher: Cabrera takes the mound, everyone thinks ‘that kid can really throw,' he has moderate success early, gets pounded in the 4th, 5th, or 6th inning.
I'll be honest, a part of me believed in those first four innings that the Nats had found a gem and that D.C Cabrera was a new man in a new uniform...oops. The problem always has and always will be for Cabrera that when his stuff doesn't get batters out alone, he wont be able to do it as a pitcher. He simply throws.
Cabrera's final line: 6 IP 7 H 5 ER 2 BB 4 K
Line Up Shake Up
After losing two games in a row, badly, Nats manager Manny Acta decided to get his hands dirty and shake things up a bit. Missing from the line up was proclaimed centerfielder and leadoff hitter Lastings Milledge, first basemen Nick Johnson, and catcher Jesus Flores. Replacing the traditional starters were Josh Willingham, Lastings Milledge, and Wil Nieves.
The line up change seemed to work as the Nats got on the boar early, but whether or not it was the result of a roster shake up or just a better day isn't certain. It does however seem rather early for the Nats to be drastically changing their game plan and shaking things up in a desperate effort to not fall 0-3, which they did anyways. In reality, the move was probably just a result of Acta feeling pressure from the new management.
The ACTA WATCH is on folks...his clock is ticking....