1) The Nats are exactly where they should be. We talked about it last Monday. If they were going to lose a series in April (and the Nats ARE going to lose some series) then this was where it was most likely to happen. The Reds are basically as good as the Nats (we can quibble about that) and they were at home. They should win two. The Nats should lose. That's the way these things work. Would we have preferred two well played close losses? Sure, but those L's count the same as the ones the Nats did get.
Do we have to worry about the pen? Nah. Do we have to worry about Haren? Well... let's just keep a eye out on his next start.
I had the Nats pegged at 4-2 at this point. They are 4-2. I had them going 4-2 in this little homestand. Let's see if they can do it. That'll keep them up with the Braves.
2) Speaking of Haren, after months of saying these stats don't matter* they finally do and dammit if we want to make something of it. Except we can't. Here are a couple months from last year
.300 / .330 / .490
.239 / .302 / .389
The former was the best month of the year for the "disappointing" Danny Espinosa. The latter was the worst month (well maybe June) for lineup leader Adam LaRoche. Anyone can have a good or bad stretch, even as long as an entire month.
Now, the first month of data to start a season IS more meaningful than picking a random month from last year, because that first month, when it's all we have, might be trying to tell us something. But at the same time we don't know if it will until we see more data.
Until Memorial Day we are composing our concerns and hopes.
There is very little we can definitively say right now. Even with a Dan Haren type start, one certainly isn't enough to make judgements. I would say 2 or 3 starts like that still leave room for "maybe it's just a fluke", and that's an extreme case. What about LaRoche hitting .200 with 3 homers in April? Or Bryce hitting .380 with 9? Flukes?
April and May is data collecting time. It's sending out 1000 surveys by mail and watching them trickle in. You want to take a look at the early data but maybe there is something about early responders that skews the data. Are they all shut-ins who have nothing better to do than answer mail quickly? It's possible. That's why you have to wait until you get more surveys back to say anything. That's why we have to wait until we see more games played before we can say anything.
So no craziness ok?
*Yes, there has been a minor correlation between
ST power and regular season power found but you know what? You don't
know who the hell it's actually going to turn out to work for. It's
great info for pulling together 5 guys in a fantasy squad, not so much
for guessing how your team will do in the real world