Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie - Panic !

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Quickie - Panic !

A 5.5 game lead. 16 games to go. That's a huge lead. Why does this inspire fear and trepidation in a fan base? Is it because of the dreaded "momentum"? Do you not remember all the way back... oh, 4 games ago, when the Nats swept the Mets and the Braves were swept by the Brewers? Momentum is only as good as your most recent game. All this sweep means is that the Braves have spent the past 6 games not moving any closer to first. I'll start looking over the Nats shoulder if the Braves can pull to 3.5 during this homestand.

Now if you want to feel a bit of worry because Morse is hurt and Danny is hurt, ok fine. But it shouldn't be "Oh no here goes the division!" worry. More like "What's this mean for the playoffs?" worry. I'm sure you've seen the numbers by now.  If the Nats finish the season horrendously, the Braves would still have to be good.  If the Nats finish the season around .500, the Braves would have to be phenomenal. Every single AL race is closer. Worrying about this is wasting energy.

Other things

ROY :  Wade Miley pitched a good game but lost.  Todd Frazier had a good weekend but sat the middle game because Dusty is going to drive the Reds to a first round exit. Bryce had a good weekend but didn't show any classic Bryce moments for the TV audience.  Still, advantage Bryce.  One more good series and I'd make him the favorite again.

MOY : Pirates have faded.  It's all Davey

CY : Gio did not have a good game. Watch Dickey tonight - if he has a good game vs Cliff Lee it's going to give him some separation on Gio.

HFA : Cincy spent the weekend losing 2 of 3 to Miami, still that closes a game and with the Nats taking on the Dodgers while the Reds get the Cubs, it's anyone's guess who takes this.

100-wins : This is where the sweep really matters.  This is a serious blow to 100 wins. 11-6 to finish out is still possible, but we're getting into pretty unlikely territory. 


Hoo said...

The Espinosa injury is pretty terrifying. B/c we're back to Lombo and DeRosa as the back-up. A bit better than earlier, but DeRosa on the playoff roster is a bit jarring.

Harper said...

Yeah - if he's out for a long time and Lombo takes his place you have a very ordinary 7-9. Not that that's unusual but the Nats line-up strength is depth rather than a particular player. This give the pitcher that "breather" territory they look for.

Also the defensive loss is big too.

Froggy said...

Can't believe DeRosa is still occupying any space on the pine for the Nats. He seems like a great guy, but is below the Mendoza line like all season at the plate and average at best in the field.

Ordinary anything won't cut it for the rest of the season let alone the playoffs.

If you had the Rizzo checkbook Harper, how do you fill the Espinoza / Morse holes?

blovy8 said...

They're being careful enough with Morse that he'll probably be back. Espy's thing is scarier. I'm pretty sure DeRosa had a shot to be on the postseason roster regardless, because they don't need 12 pitchers, and while his power is gone, he can grind a pinch atbat and there just aren't other guys who've played in the majors to put there unless they're allowed a switch from the 8/31 date. Lombo is a least a guy who isn't going to strikeout every game like the rest of the lineup pretty much will. I think he's just the type of pesky PITA hitter that can succeed in the postseason where nothing's expected of him a la Brian Doyle. Hell, he's a lot better'n Brian Doyle.

Mythical Monkey said...

I'm not panicking about the regular season. We get swept by the Dodgers, we'll talk again ...

The weekend did underscore, however, just how difficult starting the first two games of the Division series on the road can be. I'd hate for my first playoff ticket in DC to be an elimination game.

Harper said...

Froggy - the only explanation is Rizzo loves DeRosa. We all have our blind spots.

Checkbook? Is there anything that can be done at this point? The waiver period ends Aug 31st I think. Even if it didn't with the best record in the league no one is going to get to the Nats.

blovy8 - Yeah, I''m not worried about Morse playing. I think he could right now. It's not like he wasn't hitting before, just not hitting with power.

Brian Doyle pre-dates me (although he is awesome) how about a Mark Lemke?

MM - ugh. Shush boy.

Zimmerman11 said...

I want to go into a hole and come out on 10/3 and see how it all turns out. Wish the Fish would play the Bravos as tough as they do us.

Hoping the Phillies do some damage this weekend. I'd be happy if we could cut a deal... sweep the Braves now and we'll lie down for you the last weekend... how's that sound?

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