Nationals Baseball: NOW it's over

Monday, July 25, 2011

NOW it's over

  • 3 games under .500, a half game out of last place.
  • 7th in the Wild Card standings, closer to 2nd to last than first. (thanks Astros for being you!)
  • 2-4 against the not-so-soft underbelly of the NL.
  • A tearful Tom Boswell staring wistfully at his "Washington Nationals 2011 Wild Card Champions" macaroni poster. (unconfirmed)

I suppose there is still technically a chance. If the Nats were to go something like 39-20 (107 win pace) to end the season that could do it. That's not going to happen though. The best Nats fans can hope for right now is a solid couple weeks of play before the killer part of the 2nd half schedule kicks in. Maybe they can set themselves up still for a .500 season. It'll take some work though.

From August 12th through September 1st the Nats play PHI(a) - CIN - PHI - ARI - CIN(a) - ATL (a). While I've said a few times the good of the NL isn't that good (just like the bad isn't that bad... except for the Astros... who beat the Nats 2 out of 3) it's hard to see the Nats getting through that stretch at .500 or better.

Given that, it would be good if the Nats could get to the 12th with their heads above water. That means 10-6 in their next 16 games. Can they do it? Sure. Will they do it? You know what? I'll say yes. What the hell. It's a different team right? I'm sure it'll all collapse come late August but for now, let's say they can do it. They do have John Lannan right? The guy can win at least 3 of those all by himself.

Other notes:

Not to harp on a subject but Ian Desmond is officially the worst (qualified) hitter in the NL this year. (Alex Rios is worst in the majors, Ian 2nd, Dunn 3rd worst.)

Tom Gorzelanny has the exact same WHIP as John Lannan. He strikes out a bunch more. Why is he struggling and John Lannan dancing on a printout of his Fangraphs page? Slugging. Gorzo has given up 5 more homers and only one less XBH in 40 less innings pitched.

Since leaving Baltimore in 2004 here are JHJ's OPS+ : 82 - 36 -41 - 125 -85 -83 -104. I still think he'll crash a bit in the 2nd half, but looking at his career stats, what exactly happened in 2006 and 2007?

For all those thinking Danny can win the ROY - Freddie Freeman didn't get early mention because of a terrible April but he has put up a .303 / .362 / .506 line since May 4th. For a team that's going to make the playoffs. All the slick fielding in the world (and it is slick... and Freddie's is pretty terrible) isn't going to put Danny over that. Sorry. The new world we live in isn't THAT new.


T. Taylor Joo said...

I'm still waiting for a .500 season from the O's or the Nats for the last 10+ years....

calindc said...

When you play the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays for a third of the season, you're not going to see 81+ wins. I am a huge fan of the proposed re-re-re-alignment for this reason alone. This is coming from a born and raised Angels fan where we have completely benefited from this over the past 9 years.

Marquis pitched well in last night's loss. Gave up 3 runs (one should have been unearned, Flores dropped a sure out at home). He had some control issues but kept the Nats in the game. This will be the best week to trade him, especially with the weak SP market. Maybe they can sweeten the deal for Upton.

Anonymous said...

Do you ever leave a slightly positive blog post? Go to if you want to read real writing.

Wally said...

So, switching gears, would you sign Purke if it took $4m? (reasonable guess, given history and former #1 status).

Let me frame it in baseball platitudes: potential #1 starter, coming off statistically impressive but injury plagued year; not playing in Cape, and you have to rely solely on meds.

Do you roll the dice, or no?

Donald said...

I basically agree with you about Freddie Freeman and the ROY, but the fat lady hasn't sung that tune yet. Freeman needs to drop off a bit, maybe to around .280 and Espinosa needs to lift his average a bit. But the slick fielding helps. Also going for Espinosa is his pop from 2B. I'm not sure how the voters see things, but if he ends up with more HRs and RBIs than any rookie 2B ever, even if Freeman's got more, that should count for something, right?

calindc said...


If it's the same dice we used with Wang, heck yeah.


I felt the same way about this blog when I first saw it. I even left a nasty but similar comment. What can I say, it grew on me. It's not a negative blog (as I first thought), only realistic.

Harper said...

TTJ - next year. promise

cal - I'm not a huge fan but that's coming from the Yankee perspective so it's not worth much. I do think the Blue Jays, Os and Rays get a bad deal, I'm just not sure how to best fix it.

Can't see the Rays wanting Marquis but someone will.

Anon - Yes and agreed. Zuckerman is very good.

Wally - Yes, but I don't think it's a good bet. I do it because that's the philosophy I want as team owner. We gamble big. Take chances. Spend money.

He's not worth 4 million. Velocity issues because of shoulder problems? Yikes.

Donald - Homers is possible, needs 11 more on pace for 10, but RBIs ain't gonna happen (record is 114). What he's got to do is clearly beat out Freddie in homers and RBIs. Has the lead now but not by enough to overcome the average and playoffs. He's the 2nd best hitter on a playoff team. Remember Posey last year.

calindc #2 - What can I say? I take more of a "what's wrong - how to fix it" approach because that's what interests me. I'm not saying over and over "I believe in Espinosa and Ramos" like I say "I don't believe in Desmond", even though I believe it, because it doesn't light a fire in me as much.

Donald said...

I don't think this post was unduly negative -- just realistic. And it might not be the same person, but an Anon criticized you a few weeks ago for saying that the bullpen was going to come back to earth. Since then Coffey, Rodriguez and Mattheus have all had bad nights. Even Clippard gave up that tying home run.

DSK said...

Never positive? Harper? Whose preseason post was that the Nats could have one of the best pitching staffs in the NL next year?

Anon, we need to conserve our positive for the women who ask whether their dresses make them look fat.

DSK said...

Never positive? Harper? Whose preseason post was that the Nats could have one of the best pitching staffs in the NL next year?

Anon, we need to conserve our positive for the women who ask whether their dresses make them look fat.

Ollie said...

@Wally---Yes. Absolutely, he will be a top 5-10 pick next year barring injury. Getting a talent like that later in the draft would be a huge boon. It adds another potential future starting pitcher or trade chip.