Seriously. It was funny for a while. Ha ha. We should be better. Not sure what's going on! Ha ha. And hell, we can let the whole "there goes the division" thing slide, since if Atlanta wins 100 games that would have been tough to catch even with the Nats hitting on all cylinders. But now, now you're messing with the playoffs. Now you are allowing those morons who don't know baseball and who at the beginning of the year predicted that the Nats would win like 80 games because of such valid reasons like "What have the Nats won?" and "they are getting too full of themselves", you're letting these idiots have their day in the sun.
First off, it may be time to put Dan Haren out of his misery. We went over this in the comments yesterday but Dan Haren's problem is age and that's not a problem you solve. He's lost velocity on his fastball from almost 92 in 2007 to barely over 89 now. This was fine in 2011 when he threw a devastating cutter. Now though, be it because of the injury, age again, or something else, that pitch is nothing special. He now has an arsenal of below average pitches. When he can locate he can overcome their mediocrity but make a mistake and he gets pounded. This means as soon as he gets tired he gets hit and at this age he gets tired fast. A .196 / .208 / .304 line in the first inning balloons to a .327 / .339 / .655 line by the second. What does it mean when the team's opposing PITCHERS are hitting .353 / .421 / .471 against you?
Yes, Haren has no walks and an average number of Ks which indicates some level of command but guys are teeing off on his mistakes. If he's on, fine, but he has to be on all the time or they will crush these slow fastballs and flat curves. I'll take a longer look at the fancy stats and pitch stuff but this is what I see.
What about this road trip? 3 at Colorado, 3 at Cleveland, 3 at Phillies. Three middle of the road team. If the Nats truly are a .500 team and nothing better than 3-6 or 4-5 is the expecation level for a trip like this. If they are something more then they have to come out of this set with a winning record. For their sake I'll go 1-2 vs the Rockies, 2-1 vs Cleveland, and 2-1 vs Phillies for a 5-4 record. They almost got the 4-2 from the little homestand (3-2 with a rainout) so that set us up for believing they could do this.
H-Rod for Ian Dickson is hysterical. I mean it's funny because even though I've said numerous times that H-Rod shouldn't be in this pen, it's still a terrible deal. H-Rod is worth more than Ian Dickson. H-Rod is a borderline major leaguer. Dickson is failing in A ball for god's sake. Would H-Rod ever get it? Is he useful for any good team that doesn't have 5-6 dependable arms ahead of him in a well-constructed bullpen? Not right now, no. But still he's a "stick it in AAA" kind of player, that you maybe call up in Sept one year and he goes on a run and you quickly deal for something that's not crap. This deal strikes me as more of a tantrum than a trade. After weeks of "You want him out? Well I want him in! He's going to be great! You'll see!" Rizzo finally yelled "Fine! He IS terrible." and threw his toy to the ground.