Nationals Baseball: Placeholder

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I'm all busy with work and stuff but figured you kids would like a fresh place to discuss things like why the Nats bullpen can't get anyone out.  Why the Nats offense keeps scoring late runs to win these games the bullpen blows.  What shirt you are wearing to the NLDS home opener.

Really this is how I see things is this

The comebacks are fun but of spotty meaning.  You love a never say die attitude and more importantly you love a win but this is more a function of timing and having a good offense.

The relief pitching is worrisome but not that much. Not yet anyway. Almost. If you accept up and down times you need to ride out the downs

The starting pitching is so good.  Ok Gio can be rough but the last bad nonGio start was two weeks ago.  This is why the Nats win. Not because of 9th inning heroics but because the starter set them up to win from innings 1-7.


Jimmy said...

Roark, how about that guy. 7 scoreless are you kidding me? I have never seen someone who looked so hittable just absolutely dominate teams the way he does, it's simply the best story of the year.

Anonymous said...

Harper, I was hitting the refresh button until you posted...

NLDS garb: I'll either don the navy "That's A Clown Question Bro #34" t-shirt or purchase a Rendon jersey. Might be time to invest in some Rendon.

John C. said...

I'm too superstitious to start planning my playoff wardrobe in August, but I am marveling at the fact that the two of the best records in MLB are in the mid-Atlantic. That's a pretty cool thing.

Anonymous said...

I was hesitant to buy a Roark jersey before spring training, even though he fast became my favorite player last season, so I went with the Werth jersey instead. Now it's time to go all Roark up in here.

JWLumley said...

Run til they tag you shirt, definitely.

Also, saw a stat that the Nats have only given up 10 ER over their 9 game winning streak. Pretty remarkable.

I'm mildly concerned about the bullpen, but look at Soriano he looked outstanding last night. I'm still worried that Matt Williams doesn't understand how often each guy needs to be used to stay sharp and how much is too much. Look at Blevins, he went from pitching every day, to seeing his picture on a milk carton.

Either way, this is fun to watch. Contrary to popular belief, I do enjoy watching the Nationals and even root for Denard Span and Matt Williams to do well.

David Cope said...

Love this blog. Great "pre post season" question about the garb. Keep up the good work. Hopefully the Nats will too.

JWLumley said...

@John C I don't think it's cool that the Orioles have a good record, I would much prefer that the Orioles had a horrible record that coincided with laughable 1st round picks.

WiredHK said...

I saw Zuckerman's tweet last night that the SPs have given up 10 ERs during this 9 game win streak. That is sick stuff - though granted it hasn't been against the most potent offenses in the world (Pitt without Cutch was a nice break). You win a LOT of games on that kind of run from those guys.

Clip looks like he has joined Soriano on one of those weird awful streaks -- which ideally will go away in the next week or so. Still, I don't see these as much more than market corrections - both guys' stats were insanely good for the year and had to come back closer to earth eventually.

But, my kingdom for some 5-6 run wins! There, I had to complain about something. I'm a DC sports fan, after all.

BooyahSuckah! said...

Clayton Kershaw. Felix Hernandez. Adam Wainwright. Cole Hamels.

Tanner Roark.

The only five pitchers this season to have at 10 starts of at least 7 innings pitched and one or fewer earned runs given up.

Just gonna leave that there.

Bjd1207 said...

@JW - Lol at the Span comment

@The Rest - I don't think Clippard's can be defined as a 'rough patch' yet. He had no homers for 50 games and just gave up 1 in back to back games. He had a walk and a bomb, not exactly a break-down

cass said...

1. Reversion to the mean.
2. Reversion to the mean.
3. Strasburg jersey if he pitches, naturally, and maybe something new otherwise. I was wearing the grey 2012 NL East Champions shirt at the game in Atlanta where the Nats beat the Braves at 2:30 AM, so that one might have some luck to it.

If the Nats get double-swept by the Braves but play even with them the rest of the way, they'll still win the division. That's a comforting thought.

Zimmerman11 said...

What to wear to the NLDS!!! You are too much Harper... but I might entertain that talk after the holiday :)

But there is a number 11 jersey in the closet hoping to be relevant in the post season.

Zimmerman11 said...

The odds of collapse go way down after this brutal stretch... look at the pitchers we're facing the next two weeks!

Miley (7-9)

Hudson (8-9)

Lincecum (10-8)

Vogelsong (7-8)

Burnett (6-14)

Hamels (7-6)

Kendrick (5-11)

Young (12-6)

Iwakuma (12-6)

Elias (9-10)

Hernandez (7-9)

Kershaw (14-3)

Haren (10-10)

That is a tough run of games with a run out to the west coast before returning home and playing NL East games the rest of the way. This 9 game streak makes is a lot less scary now there is some cushion between us and ATL... and I have started thinking more about home field advantage... but we could easily LOSE 6 in a row or 8 of 10 between now and the end of the year.

DezoPenguin said...

Wait, what? Kershaw's the best pitcher in baseball and Iwakuma is legitimately ace-grade, but the rest of that list is hardly overwhelming (Hamels is very good, though on a rough stretch lately, Hudson is solid, and Young has been...producing surprisingly good results at Safeco?). Of those 13, I'd only take 4 of them (the above-listed except Young) over anyone in the current Nats rotation, and Hudson-Gio is a really close call.

Mind you, that's not saying the games will be easy, but that's because the Giants, Mariners, and Dodgers are good baseball teams. But we got a lot more good luck than bad on that pitching draw: we miss Bumgarner, Hernandez, and Greinke (and Ryu, who's hurt).

Anonymous said...

Stat I'm too lazy to look up: Nat's record against teams UNDER .500 vs. teams OVER .500.

Gut feel is that DC is overwhelmingly dominant against the first group and has a losing record against the later. Nats just don't lose to bad teams, as this current streak bears out.

Anonymous said...

The Nationals only have losing records this year against two NL teams - the Braves and the Cardinals. They've won more than they've lost against SF, LA, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee.

Against the AL, things aren't so rosy, with losing series to Oakland (sweep), LA, and Baltimore (might as well have been a sweep).

All told it seems like a decent showing to me, especially given that good teams are good and bad teams are, well, bad. Everybody does better against the bad teams.

Zimmerman11 said...

whoops... Roberto Hernandez, not Felix... :O) that is MUCH better

hudson seemingly has our number... hamels and burnett are filthy

young and iwakuma are good... and YES those guys pitch in pitcher friendly parks... and yes our rotation is very, very good.

My point was this west coast swing is still ahead with series against some very good teams... things can go south in a hurry so lets not count our chickens...

BUT let's celebrate on Labor Day if we're anywhere near 7 games up on ATL!!!

Kenny B. said...

Keep in mind also that IIRC, a lot of those losses to "good teams" came early in the season when the Nats' lineup was not full strength, and Frandsen, McLouth, and Espinosa were every day players.

The Cards/Braves thing has to just be weird, random variation that happens to fit into an existing narrative. Look at so many of the games against Atlanta, and they're 1-run or extra-inning affairs. The teams may be evenly matched, with the Braves just being the luckier club lately. The Nats are better than the Cards this year by all accounts, but the Cards have just caught the Nats at bad times.

Bullpen will be fine. Awesome that they can hit a rough patch and still be pulled through by timely hitting. Bullpen is blowing games and we're still winning, so that's awesome. Kind of like how star players can have down years and the team is still good. You like to see success when you should be failing.

I've got a Strasburg jersey that is one of the 1924 throwbacks the team wore against SF in 2012. Haven't washed it since the last time the team moved into first. That might be my go to for the NLDS, along with a 1950s-era Senators cap I got when I visited the Hall of Fame in 2012. I'm a real sucker for throwback stuff. Why don't the Nats do more throwbacks?! Honestly, I would thoroughly enjoy an Expos throwback game. Washington has a weird and complicated baseball history that involves an inescapable association with Quebec, and we should just own that weirdness and do all kinds of odd throwbacks to various iterations of the Senators, Nationals, and Expos.

Kenny B. said...

Also: Tanner. Freaking. Roark. Ride this wave through October, my boy! Why is he not the biggest baseball story outside of Mo'ne Davis?

Anonymous said...

First off its crazy how we lost so many of these games early in the season. I think we actually lost 7 straight extra innings games and many were at home. And to think Gio Gonzalez is the weak link on the team makes me think our problems arent that big. Go Nats!!!!

DezoPenguin said...

@Kenny B:

Expos throwbacks would be awesome, seeing as how I'm a Nationals fan now entirely because I'd been an Expos fan since 1979 and I wasn't going to quit rooting for my team just because it changed ownership, city, country, and name!

Super Homer said...

Shorter Harper:

"I'm all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic."

"The Nats relievers blowing leads are neither a relief nor are they blowing games."

Son of Rusty Staub said...

Expos throwbacks great idea -

Son of Rusty Staub said...

Expos throwbacks great idea -

Jay said...

Don't look now but Zach Walters continues to do his thing in Cleveland. He's DH'ing and today was 1 for 3. You guessed it 2 strikeouts and 1 solo HR. He's hitting .211.

Here's hoping for #10 tonight.

JWLumley said...

I love his defense and I think he could be an everyday big league SS if he switched to just hitting right handed, but Espinosa needs to go to AAA and come back up when rosters expand? Let Frandsen serve as the utility infielder, I'd bet Rendon could play SS in a pinch. He does everything else. Poor Danny, he seems to have BJ Upton-itis.

Kenny B. said...

Espinosa has talked about becoming a righty-only hitter, but said he wants to make the switch (pun intended) in the offseason if he decides to do it. I hope he does because I like him as a player and think it could make him a much better hitter. Hell, it's worth a shot.

Also, are you kidding me with these walk-offs?! I am in complete disbelief!

Zimmerman11 said...


That is all.

Shane said...

Expo throwbacks would be great this year, 20 years since '94 and all. Here hoping for number 11 tomorrow!

Zimmerman11 said...

I do have a Guerrero Jersey... i'll definitely bring it out of retirement for teh postseason.