Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Acta on the hot seat?


Nats' Acta: How safe?

The Nationals demonstrated their offensive potential Monday night, but their absurdly inadequate bullpen blew an 11-7 lead to the Phillies by allowing six runs in the eighth inning.

The result: A 13-11 loss that dropped the team's record to 4-14 and did little to enhance the job security of manager Manny Acta.

Acting general manager Mike Rizzo probably will not dump Acta quickly — Rizzo, who was not always with the major-league club in his previous role as assistant GM, needs more time to form a judgment. He also recognizes that Acta is dealing with a dysfunctional roster — the handiwork of the previous GM, Jim Bowden.

Still, the Nats' fundamental play is dismal, and scouts routinely question Acta's decision-making. Acta blundered when he failed to penalize outfielder Lastings Milledge for showing up late on Opening Day. And if the Nationals continue to look inept, ownership might want change simply for change's sake.

Say this for the Nats: With the return of Nick Johnson and arrival of Adam Dunn, they at least work counts. The team entered Monday's play ranked third in the NL in pitches per plate appearance and fourth in OBP.


I have to agree; some of our team fundamentals are really lacking. I can't find team errors but we have to be close to the worst fielding team right now. But you can't really put much on Acta in regards to their injuries (most of their middle infield depth getting hurt at the same time) or their bullpen weaknesses.

Do you think Acta gets canned?

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how Acta can be blamed with the pitching staff that's on the field. I hate how coaches/managers can get axed for ineptitude on the ice/field and for GM inadequacies.

    What is someone else going to come in and magically work these kids into aces? That's rediculous. He's got them hitting and playing solid offensive baseball, I can tell you that.

    Hanrahan came in last year and was I guess you could say ADEQUATE in the closers role, but most of his outings were anything but automatic. Seemingly he's in that role because the Nats don't have anyone else after Chief left.

    I said it the 2nd week of the season when I couldn't understand why Chollie seemingly quit in that first Nats win of the year as if the Phils could have kept it a two-run game, anything was possible against the back end of the Nats bullpen. As evident last night.

    As for defense -- you have Adam Dunn who missed a ball at the wall last night (Pedro Feliz's routine fly ball which somehow ended up at the ball in CBP) which (among several other things) helped contribute to Philly's comeback.

    But you should know what you are getting with Dunn right? A 40 HR hitter with defensive liabilities.

    I watched a similar player in Pat Burrell last year in Philly (although with less HR's); another player that had to be removed in the late innings for defense. Dunn also, however, hit a HR last night but muffed that fly ball which cost the Nats. Then, in the top of the 9th, because he was removed for defensive purposes, was not available with a runner on first and two outs to hit w/ a chance to tie the game. I like that the Phils don't have to mess around with that stuff this year with Ibanez in left instead of Burrell.

    The Rollins bloop double, you had the SS playing up the middle nearly behind second base. Earlier in the night, that played out huge as Utley hit a screaming liner up the middle but the SS was right there to gobble it up. Had he been playing in the normal SS spot, that's a hit for Utley.

    You pull these shifts on the Phils good hitters, it's bound to play out the other way sometimes too.

    My point being is the Nats have to do what they can with the roster they have. But if you score 11 runs on five homers, there is NO WAY you should lose the game. And I think last night is not the last night you are going to see gamed end like this for the Nats.

    Not that the Phils bullpen is any better... But that's another blog for another day.