Nationals Baseball: Odds and Ends

Monday, July 19, 2010

Odds and Ends

The "Strasburg Effect" revisited : I noted after the Royals game that maybe Strasburg wasn't going to be able to sell-out every game by his mere presence. While some balked at the idea, it was proven again last Friday as only ~35,000 showed up to watch the Giants face Strasburg. Trot out any excuse you like, but it seems like there seems to be a casual cap of "only" 10 to 15 thousand. What does it mean? Nothing really. He's awesome and people come to see him. I'll still check to see how/if interest fades, but my guess is with Strasburg facing an early end to his season due to innings limits, that we'll see the interest level reamin steady through the season.

Also of note, If he is really bringing in 10-15K more fans a game that's around let's say 65K people in the seats that wouldn't have been otherwise. At say... $25 a pop that's over 1.5 million dollars for the Lerners. Good players are good investments.

The Nats are better (at least than last year)! : Federal Baseball asked themselves if the Nats were really better this year. The answer, of course, was yes (the Nats are 40-51 this season, 26-65 last year) and the reason was better pitching. Not having one of the worst bullpens of all time and adding a stud pitcher really does help. Of course last year was a train wreck. Are the Nats better than all those other dead years? Let's just see record wise.

Through 91 games
2010: 40-51
2009: 26-65
2008: 34-57
2007: 37-54
2006: 38-53

Obviously better than last year, and not in much danger of being passed by 2008 (they had a crushingly bad July and would lose #70 before winning #40... ouch). 2006 might hold on for a bit but their single digit win August makes it hard for them to keep pace. Nope it's down to 2010 vs 2007. 2007 will make a little run here soon getting to 51-60 before sputtering through the rest of the season to finish with 73 wins. Can 2010 pass that modest goal?

Shutouts : Yeah it stinks to get shut out back to back, but let's not forget the cable-era standard for getting shutout - the 2008 Washington Nationals. They got shut out 21 times, the most in 33 years. How bad was it? The team leader in RBI had only 61... and it was Lastings Milledge.

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