April 19, 2006 [LINK]

Now that's more like it!

Ryan Zimmerman got 3 RBIs on two doubles, and Ryan Church hit a grand slam to put icing on the cake in the ninth inning last night, as the Nationals trounced the Phillies, 10-3. That makes it three wins in a row. One of the pleasant surprises was the clutch hitting of reserve player Daryle Ward, subbing for Jose Guillen in right field. Frank Robinson took a gamble that Ward's batting would count more than his fielding abilities, since he is not too fast, and it paid off, thankfully. See MLB.com. Zimmerman was playing for the U.Va. Cavaliers just one year ago, and is adapting to the sudden ascension into the big leagues with remarkable poise. He is only batting .222 so far, but I have seen nothing to cast doubt on the sky-high expectations baseball experts have of him.

But this is not:

Just as the Nats are getting into something resembling a groove, their general manager Jim Bowden was arrested for drunk driving in Miami Beach on Saturday night. His face was scratched in an altercation with his girlfriend, who was also arrested. "That's gotta hurt!" It's not exactly the kind of behavior you expect someone who wants to impress the new owners, or who is trying to instill discipline in a team full of restless players. See Washington Post.

The Wright stuff

One of the main reasons why the Mets are doing so well this year is David Wright, who is beginning his second full year in the majors. Born and raised in Virginia, he was batting .375 before today, eleventh highest in the majors and just ahead of Washington's Jose Vidro. In today's game against the Braves, however, he was charged with three errors, two of which were very hard hit balls and therefore questionable calls. Until today, he had a 1.000 fielding percentage. Anyway, the Braves took two out of three games at Shea Stadium and pulled to within three games of the Mets in the NL East.