Nationals Baseball: Inconclusive

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


ZNN got the results he wanted - a few runs given up and the win, but I guarantee he'd want to pitch better than that. The strikeout total was nice, especially given that David Wright accounted for 2 of the 6.  He was wilder than the Nats would like (3 walks and 104 pitches in 5 innings).  If you squint you can tell he was leaving pitches up more than down, and that's confirmed by the fact we see 4 GBs to 10 FBs.  So I'd say one good thing, two bad? I think anyone following the game would agree it could have been worse and against a team who has a guy hitting over .265 after the 1st three, or a team with a guy with an OPS above .640 in the bottom half of the lineup, it probably would have been. Seriously, I don't think a Met outfielder would make the Nats team even as a bench player. They started Jason Bay and he's been dead for 4 years.

So, I'm not enthused but because it all worked out, no verdict, wait until next time.

Also last night Morse decided he wasn;t 100% and wanted to get his hand looked at.  A perfectly reasonable request though I imagine if Strasburg made it people would be Dibbling up and calling him out. Who will get the starts? I imagine Davey will platoon Moore and Bernadina depending on the starter. Personally I'd start Bernadina every day for his defense, but Moore is probably the one fans want to see*. Either way a long injury to Morse would likely matter, so hope for a full recovery.

Tonight : Lannan! Lannan! Lannan! 

*I know you guys all love Moore, and as I said I think the power is totally real but let me make a comparison for you.
133 ABs  .293 / .352 / .504  36 Ks
138 ABs  .283 / .344 / .536  38 Ks
The second set of numbers are Tyler Moore's.  The first?  2007 Wily Mo Pena with the Nats.  I'm not saying Moore = Pena, but I'm saying there are good reasons he wasn't a top prospect coming into the season so temper your expectations if he plays more regularly, either now in place of Morse, or next season. 


Jeff Hayes said...

Good piece. But we are now 7.5 games over the Braves. I guess that doesn't matter as much, since we all agreed last week that the Division is (essentially) won!

Any thoughts on the Phillies push?

Zimmerman11 said...

ESPN (via moved the Nationals' postseason odds to 100% ... it's been at 99.9% for weeks now. I wonder what changed last night, since the Nats didn't actually clinch anything yet?

I'd LOVE to be able to bet those odds... I'll bet one dollar... If the Nats miss the postseason I get INFINITY!

Harper said...

Jeff - I know, what is this with Davey talking about magic numbers? Doesn't he know I called the playoffs months ago and the division last week?

Phillies run is something to keep an eye on but there's still a much better chance they don't make it than they do. Let them clear Milwuakee and another team (probably PIT) and then we'll start looking at it seriously.

Z11 - It just means that however they calculate the odds, the chance the Nats miss the playoffs dropped under 0.05%. They aren't going to show every decimal place. So you wouldn't get infinity, more like a few thousand.

Jeff Hayes said...

I exchanged emails with the people a while back. The percentages are based on computer simulations. They nearly continuously simulations of the remainder of the season to see what happens. They then look to see how many times each team makes the playoffs in each simulation. The higher the percentage equals the number of times they ran a simulation in which the team makes the playoffs.

The simulations take into effect more than just previous wins and losses. They also look at runs scored for and against, the strength of schedule of each team, pitchers, hitters, and fielders statistics, home stadiums, etc.

With the reduction of the number of remaining games and last night's outcomes, the input data changed and coolstandings must have found that every time they simulated the rest of the season, the Nats made the playoffs.

Harper said...

Jeff - looks like you are right based on their FAQ - the Nats would make the playoffs in each of their million runs. I don't like that - what are you teaching our kids about rounding Coolstandings! - but there you go.

Hoo said...

Pena also had about 1000 more MLB bats and was on the downside. I'd guess that Moore would improve on his rookie season numbers. So the comparison is scary only if you think Moore peaked his debut season. maybe he has, probably his BA has. But I'll settle for him as a 5th OF/PH.

Donald said...

For what it's worth, coolstandings now has the Phillies with a 3% chance for a WC. That's up from .1% not too long ago, but still a huge long-shot. If they pass Milwaukee and Pitt, as they almost certainly will IMO, they still have to pass LAD, and StL. I don't see them catching Atl.

Anonymous said...

So on the ZNN thing. I'm hoping Davey skips him for a start, maybe 2 before the end of the year. Leaving pitches up and the loss of control could simply be him hitting an innings wall since he's almost 20 IP (in his case, 4 starts) over last year. He could get as many as many as 4 more starts which would put him 20% above last year BEFORE the playoffs. Time for a well-timed blister or something.


Nattydread said...

Low blow on Tyler. Agree with Hoo -- Tyler's on an upward track and WMP was already washed up. So's not really a useful comparison.

Now please say something about Garcia.

Harper said...

Hoo - I'll grant you though that Pena was a known commodity at that point but on the downside? He had put up decent numbers the previous 3 years with no obvious trend and after a lousy start to 2007 finished strong. Plus he was 25.

I don't think Moore we'll collapse out of the league like Pena did, but you realize if Moore improves off of these numbers he's like an All-Star OF, right? I actually wouldn't be surprised if this was his best season and 5th OF/PH is where he lands. (which is fine for this team)

Donald - yeah all it would take is for PHI to cool down a bit and one of PIT/LA/STL to get a little hot and that will be that.

Chaos - They are stretching him out for 2013 an beyond so I doubt they'll skip a start. I'd expect quicker hooks though.

Harper said...

Nattydread - I'll say this - Moore's season reminds me more of Ian Desmond's first year (inexplicable AAA success followed by hot major league stint) than Pena's career. But Desmond was a year and a half younger so if it takes Moore two years to find it again, that's starting to hit the age barrier for your non-stars to start aging out.

Garcia has always been a great arm and should be a really good addition for this year. I wouldn't count on him past this one though - with his injury history - just pitch him until he breaks. Anti-Strasburg strategy

Zimmerman11 said...

Everyone notice how down the stretch EVERY SINGLE TEAM the Nats play is fighting for a WC? ATL, LAD, MIL, PHI, STL, PHI... That's some tough sledding right there!

Hopefully we'll just sweep ATL outta the playoffs this weekend and not have to worry about it too much!

Sorry, I know I'm delusional... Harper called this race a week ago.

Froggy said...

I'm with Z~11...I'm waiting until after the Atlanta series before I call anything.

Hopefully that yankees fan (Nats imposter) in NC didn't jinx us!

(smiley face with tongue in cheek)

Donald said...

While I intellectually agree that it's over, I'm sticking with my position that I'll wait until the first win in Atl. If the Nats get swept, it will narrow the gap by 3 and be a huge momentum boost for Atl. But if the Nats manage to win even 1 game, than the very best the Braves can do is to move 1 game closer. I don't think that does it for them. If we win more than 1 in Atl, then even the media will call the division for the Nats, I think.

Anonymous said...

I read a Rizzo comment in ST (or maybe even the Winter Meetings that he didn't like to extend a pitcher more than 20% year over year. Pitching ZNN every time out would put him well beyond that so I still hope they skip at least one start before the end of the season. As for Garcia, I can see how that motion wracks his arm but man, it's hard to pick up. His arm's moving 3 directions at once and the ball seems to have that same liveliness.


Mythical Monkey said...

Don't forget, Wily Mo Pena played the first half of 2008 with a torn labrum and rotator cuff before admitting as much and having surgery.

Of course, Tyler Moore could wind up with the same injury or even get hit by a bus, but that's not quite the same as saying that what happened to one guy's career will necessarily happen to the other's.

Lots of variables to take into account ...

Hoo said...

Harper: I think Moore's ceiling is something like Mark Reynolds, with maybe a worse k/bb ratio. Moore has sustained the pop.

Given his history, I don't see a huge regression except something in Ba. I think if he goes for .260 with a solid mid .500 slugging, he's a plus guy. And that tracks with what you'd expect. The first half of his numbers from AAA to the .300+ MLB are most likely unsustainable. But I'd much rather see Moore than Gomes.

Wouldn't you agree that Moore had a much better sustained minors track record than Dez?

Harper said...

Z11 / Froggy / Donald - It's OVA! You hear that! Over Over Over! Nats Sweep? Over! Braves sweep? Over! Focus on whether the Nats can get to 100 wins or not.

Chaos - maybe if they increase their lead on cincy for best record. Otherwise I still don't see it.

MM - Like I said - he's not Pena. I just feel like people are being overly positive about the kid. Of course, they are fans, that's what they do.

Moore - Mark Reynolds would be fine.

Desmond had a weird minor league career. They moved him up just because several time and he rewarded them with mediocre play at every level. Like he could adjust but would neve get the hang of it. So yeah, Moore definitely had the better minor league numbers but you have to think about Desmond's age too in the low 20s it's gotta make a difference. Hell your body is still possibly growing.

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