Nationals Baseball: Hot streaks + ? = 2014 WS Champs

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hot streaks + ? = 2014 WS Champs

Did you know that in this recent 22-7 run the Nats are 8-3 in 1 run games? Grit, Talent and Luck all have to collide to make runs like this happen (note: contains trace amounts of grit).

While we all don our Pirates hats for at least one day, let's take a moment to remind ourselves of something.

The period of time before the Nats got hot counts too. 

This means you can't assume Span is going to hit over .300, that Werth is going to be an MVP candidate, or that Tanner Roark is the next great pitcher just because it looked that way for a month and a half. Wait till the season is over review the whole thing and then make conclusions. Don't stop there. Look at the last few seasons. Make smart comments based on all the data you have, not gut reactions based on what you've seen in front of you recently.

When Span hit .235 / .279 /.337 in June? Counts. When Zimm hit 4 homeruns in over a quarter of the season? Counts. The fact that Werth and Ramos will have played about 200 and 100 games over the past 2 years? Counts. That Roark put up an over 4.00 ERA in 2011&2012? Counts.

Those aren't the only things that matter. They might not even be the most important things in evaluating these guys, but these things can't be dismissed. If everything followed on even the whole year before the Nats would be drinking champagne right now. But LaRoche did collapse a bit as his lifetime stats would have suggested. And Gio and ZNN did drift back toward more expected performances after Cy Young caliber 2012s. And Stammen and Mattheus did have off years as one might expect from guys pitching relatively small amounts of innings with only a couple of years in the majors to look at. And injury risks like Werth and Ramos and Detwiler and Haren did have issues as you might expect.

There are reasons to feel good that the Nats can be back in the playoffs next year, but the sense of giddy optimism because they went on a hot streak for 40 games? Let's control ourselves

Anyway back to your regularly scheduled desperate figuring out how the Nats could still make the playoffs this year. Tonight : Continue beating Marlins. Hope Pirates beat Reds.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are family. Go Pirates (at least against the Reds).

I hope Rizzo can make the cold calculations that are needed to evaluate the needs for next year. At least there aren't many players left from his Arizona days left to bring to DC. In the end I don't think the Nats are a 99 win team, but I do think they are better than .500.

Chaz R said...

C'mon Harper, I'm trying to stay in the "Don't Stop Believin'" mode. Can you share a little optimism, please? I just renewed our season plan for 2014 for chrissakes! :-)

Carl said...

The counter-argument, though, is that the offensive turn-around came shortly after the hitting coach change. A lot of people were skeptical at the time, but somehow or other Schu seems to have made a difference. Maybe they really were taking too much BP and wearing themselves out before games. If you give that any credence, then maybe the offense we've seen the last six weeks is the "real" offense we can expect in 2014?

cass said...

Don't go down that road, Carl. Last year, the Nats had an awful offense the first half as well. They did not firing the hitting coach, but somehow the bats caught fire then, too.

Maybe Schu has something to do with it, but not a large part. Cause the Nats good hitting last year didn't carry over to this year even with the same players and same hitting coach. And there are many, many, many other examples. There's no real evidence that I'm aware of that a hitting coach makes much of a difference. Players like Zimm will tell you that, even.

Yeah, Span credits Schu and may be he helped him out, but there's no way to know that'll carry over. The smart guys who have looked at many factors (and they try all kinds of stuff) have not found that hitting coaches are a good predictor. Or a predictor at all.

cass said...

And let's go on hoping for that double miracle now. There's pretty much no path to the postseason that doesn't involve sweeps by the Pirates and Nats this weekend.

Hoo said...

Zim just about always has a streak like this. The difference is it's been over 2.5 weeks instead of 6 weeks. It's that streak that makes him a real + hitter at 3rd, so yes the weak first quarter count. But overall, he's producing exactly what you expect, which is a huge relief given his contract. He suddenly becomes the 2nd best hitting 3rd baseman again, and maybe in-line for a third silver slugger.

The Nats season is that too many guys slumped at the same time for too long. And then the've exploded but a little late.

Not too mention wasted performances by 2nd base, horrific Haren and a stupid bullpen setup.

Kenny B. said...

My condensed take on this season:

Team is still good, but flaws have been exposed and need addressing.

Also, Haren is done.

Donald said...

I know we've talked about this before, but there aren't that many changes that Rizzo can make in the off-season. They're pretty much locked into most of their position players. I wouldn't mind seeing a change at 1B, but I don't think it'll happen. So it's probably the bench and the 4-5 starters, though I'd be surprised if at least one of those starters didn't come from the current list of candidates on the roster.

What makes me a bit more optimistic about next year is the lower expectations. I think it'll be more fun to watch when anything less than a 10 game lead is a disappointment.

Froggy said...

Usually postmortems are done after the patient dies, not while he is clinging to a 1.4% chance of life. I do wish you would have at least waited say, until the END of the season or once we are mathematically eliminated before posting this kill-joy column Harper. I mean c'mon dude, way to rally the troops.

Wally said...

Does anyone know how to mess with the WAR stats to do some 'what if' stuff? Specifically I was wondering what Zim's season looks like from a WAR perspective if he wasn't -14.7 defensive WAR, and more like his recent past of neutral to slightly positive (not going back to the hugely positive defensive days). Also, is there any way to parse defensive WAR into 1st half/2d half?

If he is actually past his throwing problems (and it feels better to my eye, although I doubt it is ever good again), it seems like he'd be pushing Desi for team lead: ~5 WAR with just neutral defensive stats. But I don't know if I am reading it correctly.

Chaz R said...

I'm with you Froggy... c'mon guys... we have 6 months to debate (more) what went wrong this year.

We need Ramos and Span to get hot again if we are going to get this sweep, and Harper to keep his HR swing.

Nats now have 5 players that have hit 20 or more HRs! That's awesome.

Harper said...

Froggy, Chaz - You guys started it! (well not YOU GUYS). This is not a post-mortem just a reaction to the people who are already saying that 2014 looks good because of how this season is ending. I don't want to talk about the end of the year - but if these clowns are I'm gonna say something too.

Donald said...

Right-o, Chaz. While there's only a 1% chance of making the play-offs right now, the odds of the Nats sweeping the Fish and the Pirates sweeping the Reds isn't quite so steep. If that could only happen, we'd be 2 back with 6 to go and Reds would be getting very nervous.

Chaz R said...

Got it Harper.

That's right Donald!

Ya know, if we just had 5 more games in the win column right now, it would be a totally different situation. Think of that post All Star break skid and the all those close games they lost to the Dodgers, Pirates, and Braves. If we just had five of those reversed...

Carl said...

Oh, I could totally write a "Top 10 games the Nats probably should have won" column right now.

The Sport Resort said...

Hey we have have a sports blog called the sport resort and I recently wrote an article about the Nats. I would love to write one for your blog if you'd be so kind

akın sürmeneli said...

2004 yılından beri sex shop ve erotik shop sektöründe faliyet gösteren firmamızda her çeşit seks shop ürününü ve geciktirici, sertleştirici ilaç markalarını bulabilir ve kapıda ödeme seçeneği ile nakit yada k.kartı ile ödeme yaparak alabilirsiniz.