Nationals Baseball: Monday Super Quickie

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monday Super Quickie

The Nats did what they needed to vs the Reds. It didn't quite make up for the lousy start to the homestand so yes, it was another disappointing stand overall, but it got things going in the right direction for the first time really since the White Sox sweep. (taking 2 from the Marlins has to be a given)

Now it's time for the big show. Nats v Braves.  4 games.  Only the nightmare scenario of a Braves sweep is worth worrying about. 6.5 games is a lot to make up, even with 130+ games left. But 4.5 or less or a lead? Eh. So the sooner the Nats win 1 the sooner we can move on to just appreciating the fun of a big series in April/May.

Strasburg vs Teheran - Strasburg has been good but unlucky. Teheran is still getting his feet wet but finally pitched well last time.  I say Strasburg gives up 3 (1 unearned) over 7.  Nats score only three off Teheran but win late just so Strasburg can be kept from another win.

Gio vs Hudson.  Which Gio will show up? I've said before I like the Braves vs Gio, and since Hudson finally showed he could pitch a game vs the Nats and not have that game killing inning I'll say the Braves, though Gio could easily prove me wrong here.

ZNN vs Maholm.  Maholm was pitching over his head for a while.  Not anymore.  Is anyone pitching better than ZNN? Nope.  Nats win.

Haren vs Medlen.   Haren pitched better vs the Reds than he has all year, but it wasn't like it was great or anything. Medlen pitched poorly but I always bet against the single game (see Gio).  Gotta prove you are good... or stink.

So 2-2 with a lean toward 3-1 for the Nats if someone is to take 3.

Ok back to work!

26 comments:

Nattydread said...

Pitching is now in the park.

When will Adam Laroche show up? Has he had a precipitous fall into old age?

Froggy said...

I think 4 chances for 2 wins as well. Actually more like 3 chances for 2 unless a different Haren shows up.

Anyone but me thinking I told you so that we should have kept Morse at least until the AB trading deadline? You can't tell me Tracy and Moore are better replacements at 1B than he would have been.

Make my bad dreams go away LaRoche!

'...take on me...take me on....(voice trailing off)'...sigh

Donald said...

If the Braves sweep the Nats, I don't see them relinquishing the division lead all year. They walk away with it. If the Nats sweep, it might be similar though. We'd only be up 1.5 games, but the momentum would be there. If one team goes 3-1, it's almost as important as a sweep, though it probably means more if the Nats win 3 and close the gap to a half game. If the Braves win 3, they'll hold a 6-1 record against us with a 4.5 lead. That's not impossible to make up, but it sure doesn't have things moving in the right direction. I'd take a 2-2 split and I guess the Braves fans would too.

I totally agree that this first game is the most important. If they get beat up tonight, it just adds that much more pressure. I'm hoping for Strasburg to throw 7 scoreless innings while the Nats jump on Teheran early.

blovy8 said...

Provided the Nats don't have to face a pitcher they've never seen, I think things will be acceptable with 10 K's a game but with enough hits and homers sprinkled around to be competitive. Whatever the outcome, I predict the Braves will at least look worse.

That Zimmermann complete game was amazing. My liver thanks him, since a 2:08 game cuts about an hour of abuse out of the night.

Eric said...

We need to POUNCE tonight. The Braves crumbled in Detroit and their downtime between yesterday and today is much less pleasant than ours probably was. They finished late last night!

If we win, I think they might be kinda demoralized, and they don't seem to have the same claw-your-way-out grit that the Reds and the Cards have.

That said, it's hard to imagine the Braves going on a losing streak that lasts much beyond 4 games...

D28 said...

I can't believe I heard people boo Henry yesterday! Who boos players from their own team? Lets make him feel less confident! Even if someone is dissatisfied with his performance... why not encourage him at least?
Go NATS

Chinatown Express said...

D XXVIII: I noticed that too. I think it's the first time I've heard nats fans boo one of their own players. I never even heard that during the crappy days (which started in 2008 for me, so I missed whatever happened in RFK). I feel a little silly because I thought he had gotten it back together over his last few appearances. I've never, EVER seen a baseball player look so defeated. The guy looked like he was mentally already out of the big leagues.

Eric said...

I don't recall anyone booing at RFK, but I only saw maybe 1 - 3 games a season during that stretch.

I did see the crowd boo Clippard towards the end of last season. I think he had just given up a lead in the 8th or 9th...I forget which team it was.

Some dude near me stood up and started berating the crowd for booing their own team...

Mike said...

Still can't believe ZNN could have pitched a no-no Friday night. Still awesome, but SO CLOSE!!!

It's times like this where I look at our rotation and what all five can do when they're on (even Haren) and it's unbelievable. I feel like the ceiling is never too high for these guys.

Mike said...

Also, Harper, how do you solve a problem like SMHRod? This experiment has to be over soon, right?

RIGHT?! Saints be praised!!!

Eric said...

Re: HRod, I think if dude throws a single pitch over 95 mph before there are 2 outs, it's time to get someone up in the bullpen. When he keeps them at or below 95, he KILLS it out there and has an impressive outing.

D28 said...

I also remember some people booing Clippard last season after a walk in September, and I was just as appalled. Clipp is one of our favorite players!

My fiance thought Henry's eyes were red, and looked like he was crying -- I hope he gets it back together soon.

Zimmerman11 said...

H Rod would have to go an entire year at AAA w/o having a blowup outing again for me to trust him, and even THEN the pressure of the big leagues mean the "yips" could still recur at any time. Can he hit? Ankiel prolonged his career that way, maybe it's time for Oh Henry to hit the cages!

Kenny B. said...

LaRoche has to wake up soon. He HAS TO. He's a notorious slow starter, and tends to be streaky, so hopefulyy this ofer will be followed by prolonged glory. I backed the move to get rid of Morse and keep LaRoche, and I'm tired of being made to feel stupid for that. No one can be as bad as LaRoche is forever.

H-Rod was like this last year, where he was either pure lights out or throwing pitches that scare the spectators behind the plate. It always seems to be obvious from the very first pitch which HRod you're getting. Not sure what to do about that.

Now as to this Braves series, I think Strasburg is due for an amazing game. I say he pitches 7 innings of lights out with maybe 1 HR given up. Nats only score 2 or 3, so it stays close and Nats win.

After that, Gio spins another gem, Nats win 3-1. Then JZimm comes down to earth, but not too badly, Nats lose 4-3. Finally, Haren returns to awful 2013 form, but it doesn't matter because the Nats can't score in a 6-0 loss handled largely by Haren mop-up-job extraordinaire Craig Stammen.

Donald said...

Not quite as important as the end result is how the Nats win or lose in this series. I went back and checked and they only really have 1 come from behind win -- the 7-6 win over Cincinnati. They kind of had one against the Mets where they won 7-6 but in that one they jumped out to an early lead, lost it and then got it back.

So far this year, when they fall behind, they lose. I don't know how much that gets into their heads, but I'd love to see them stage a big come-back to win one of these games. On the flip side, it's almost better to get blown out than to have a decent lead that gets thrown away by the bullpen in the late innings. So how tonight's game goes could set the feel for the rest of the series.

My prediction, for what it's worth, is that the Nats split this series 2-2.

Anonymous said...

D28no disrespect to your fiancé, but she's wrong. HRod couldnt've been crying, because there's no crying in baseball.

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Section 222 said...

I'm pretty sure Werth was booed the year before last. My view is if you pay for a seat you can do whatever you want other than stand up in front me during the action.

PJ B said...

Harper,

Can you devote a blog post to the ill effects first batter walks have had on the Nats? Tonight's game seems like a microcosm of the season - 3 first batter walks lead to 3 runs. Also, except for ZMM, I constantly see first pitch ball one. These guys have serious stuff, where is their collective confidence? Why isnt the pitching coach in their ears?

Anonymous said...

Strasburg sucks. Demote his ass.

Anonymous said...

Do you have access to any fancy research tools or methodologies that will allow you to identify how many times a pitcher has suffered "forearm tightness" at any point during the course of a season and gone on to have a good season?

Unknown said...

Overlooked amongst all the poor starts and lack of hitting is the terrible defense and baserunning. The first two might come around, but the latter speaks to poor execution and is particularly disappointing. They're giving away a lot of opportunities in tight games and picking up Ls they could avoid.

Kenny B. said...

Only Strasburg could pitch 6 innings of 2-run ball (where one of the runs came on a bad call!), strikeout 8, and then be blamed for the loss when his offense left runs on the field through pure stupidity.

Every game I've watched has just been littered with mental errors, and almost as often with actual errors.

Froggy said...

Excuse time is over. We are stinking it up, period

Kenny B. said...

Agree with Froggy. Team stinks. They're not even fun to watch. They are playing badly in every phase of the game, and even the team itself doesn't look like they're having fun. They look worried and miserable.

I'm not going to call the season a bust yet, but they're deep in the woods, and it doesn't look like they have much of an idea of how to get out. In the meantime, I find them unpleasant to watch, so I won't.

Froggy said...

Morse: 98ab .245 8hr 12rbi .798ops 28k

Moore/Tracy/Rendon: 75ab .187 0hr 14rbi .518ops 27K's

Not a totally fair comparison as Morse doesn't play 3b. But, he can play first and pinch hit.

Other than the atrocious amount of throwing errors, and running errors, we have basically ZERO production from LaRoche, anyone subbing for him and any pinch hitter.

Yes, I am saying I told you so.