Nationals Baseball: Tuesday Quickie - Almost there

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Tuesday Quickie - Almost there

Super quick today but here's the deal for me (we each have our own guidelines) for me if the Braves can't pick up a game in the next two days, I'm calling it. Which means, conversely, if the Nats gain a game tonight, I'm calling it. That's where I am right now.

Also tonight is Kershaw.  What do the Nats do? Do they

1) Start Bryce, start LaRoche - playoff baseball preview?
2) Start Bryce, sit LaRoche - arguably makes the most sense given splits
3) Sit Bryce, start LaRoche - what they've been doing most of the year. At the same time, it's the dumbest choice
4) Sit Bryce, sit LaRoche - hey, at least they are consistent and Kershaw is a hell of a pitcher.

I'd go
1 -> 4 -> 2 -> 3 in terms of most sense to least but like above, you may feel differently.

Nats are hitting their stride at just the right time... except for the relief pitching but hey, there's still a month!

26 comments:

Eric said...

I like #1 option, too, except that LaRoche seems to be hurt...

Harper said...

If he's good start him. If it's at all questionable - good time to give him a day off.

Carl said...

Yeah, if his back is acting up, go ahead and sit LaRoche. I'd rather he be ready for the playoffs.

Nats + Braves' opponents remaining winning percentage for the Nats to win the East, as of this morning: .380. Worst team in the NL is now at .399. I like their chances.

JWLumley said...

Personally, I'd like to see option #5. Play them both, but flip flop them in the order. (Obviously won't happen since LaRoche is hurt). LaRoche has pretty much been pretty bad against lefties.

Still, given Kevin Frandsen's inability to hit with anything resembling power. I'd love to somehow see Souza playing first base today.

JWLumley said...

I have seen several places, including FoxSports, mention that the Nats aren't that great against the NL East and so they should have some concern over who they're playing down the stretch. This should pretty much tell you everything you need to know about the lack of statistical knowledge in the media. Obviously, they don't understand SSS, things like hit sequencing, injury effect on clubs etc. etc. Good teams usually beat bad teams, sometimes they don't due to randomness, but played out over enough games the good team will beat the bad team unless the bad team has some kind of advantage that makes them uniquely capable of beating the good team. "Ownage" is not real. It's much more likely that the Nats will help their record against the NL East reflect their overall record by running through teams like the Philthies, Marlins and Barves.

WiredHK said...

I agree with JWLumley, and am hoping Williams has the courage to do that when the playoffs roll around. I'm also tired of Ramos GIDP'ing every single Harper single for the past two weeks (same with ALR for Werth/Rendon). I love Ramos, but I think I'd prefer Harper followed by Desi in the order to mitigate that.

Let's let Ramos and ALR play the "all or nothing" game with each other and keep our speed free on the bases. :)

JWLumley said...

Yeah, the Ramos GIDP thing is getting kind of old. Perhaps have Harper run more if nothing else. Sure, he might get thrown out, but there's probably equal chance there'll be a GIDP and if he's successful, he's in scoring position. If it was me, I'd hit Ramos behind a lower OBP guy like Desmond. Less likely to be standing on 1B when Ramos comes up.

Kevin Rusch said...

You know, if you're going to make the playoffs, which looks likely at this point, I really think that you need everyone as fresh as possible. That means liberal days off for the starters, and getting as many ABs for the subs as possible. So sit all the guys with nagging injuries (ALR, Werth, Harper, who else?) at every plausible opportunity. Even if it means pinch-hitting for them later.

Anonymous said...

It is frustrating to see Ramos hit into GIDPs. The one thing that would really be nice is to get Zimmerman back and hitting fifth, bumping Desmond down to seventh. That being said, they're playing pretty well now.

Lu said...

I thought I read that LaRoche had already been ruled out to start and was day to day with 'back tightness'

Nick said...

Laroche isn't playing tonight, but Bryce needs to. I'd rather have Harper in there than Frandsen, who pretty much stinks

JWLumley said...

@Nick But, but, F.P. says that Frandsen is a grinder, a gamery gritty veteran. You know the kind of guy who'll give you a "professional at bat". Frandsen is a utility infielder miscast as a backup first basemen and outfielder. I understood keep Souza in the minors to get regular PA's, but now that that's over there's no reason Frandsen should ever play OF or 1B, even T-Mo at least has the ability to hit the ball out of the park.

Jay said...

If you don't start Tyler Moore now then why is he even on the team? We already lost a game because Frandsen was too short at first base (haha). Seriously though - Moore is a first baseman. Frandsen is a utility guy. Play Moore.

Also, sitting Harper tonight would be very tone deaf to me. He's finally getting hot and starting to hit. Sitting him in place of Hairston is moronic. Is that what we are going to do in the playoffs? Sit Harper? If that's the master plan, then the Nats deserve to lose.

blovy8 said...

Hairston is 9 for 25 against Kershaw, so if you were going to sit Harper or Span any time soon, it would not be a terrible game to choose to do it. Werth is 9 for 27 with a couple of homers, so at least somebody can hit the guy in the lineup. I agree that Moore probably should get a start but we know he probably won't and he's just around as a big guy off the bench if someone gets beaned.

I'm not forgetting that the Nats merely took down the weakest of the Dodgers' current starting staff. Kershaw is a wee big tougher, but they did hit King Felix pretty well, so who can say? Maybe they are having better at bats.

The DP's as a result of ground balls from Ramos don't bother me as much as how he's swinging at pitchers' pitches to do that. I think it's been a month since he took a walk. Still, the power is coming back, I just hope the eye comes back too.

cass said...

25 AB samples are meaningless.

Zimmerman11 said...

Do you think they're peaking at the right time offensively? Hot streaks generally don't last two months... right? I'm afraid the bats might go cold at the wrong time... still excited to see Fister V Kershaw tonight. Will be interesting to see how we do against another elite starter. Dodger's rotation isn't as deep as Nationals, but it is probably a little better 1-3, right?

blovy8 said...

25 at bats have more meaning than that comment, Cass.

Harper said...

Hairston is 9 for 25 vs Kershaw, which you can take or leave, but a lot of that was before he was KERSHAW. 2 for last 8 with 4 Ks. Also no indication that he kills Kershaw like he does Hamels. 1 XBH and that was in 2009. Given all that... I leave it. If Bryce is gonna start vs Kershaw in the playoffs. He should start tonight.

blovy8 said...

I did make the caveat that you'd have to be of the mind to rest a lefty outfielder against a guy who will likely give them trouble, but by small sample reasoning one start against Kershaw for Harper wouldn't make much difference either even if he was HARPER against KERSHAW. They don't need to play these guys every day, and as useless as Hairston normally is, you ought to try to get something out of the guy, maybe a single or two is worth a win.

Nick said...

@JWLumley, there is no reason Frandsen should see the field, period. Here's to Souza taking his at bats!

cass said...

Stay classy, blovy8.

And it's Span and LaRoche who are out tonight while Bryce gets to live his dream and play Center tonight.

Donald said...

Speaking of relief pitching, it will be interesting to see how the playoff roster shakes out. Soriano, Clippard, Storen and Stammen are locks. But Thorton now seems like he'll be there too. If they go with a four man rotation, then then fifth starter would probably be in the pen as well. So that's 6 out of 7 slots. You've got Barrett, Trienen, Detwiler, Blevins and Cedeno all vying for the final spot. Since I don't think they will put Gio in the pen, I'm assuming they'll want another lefty. But with Blevin's loogy-ness and Detwiler's head-casey-ness who knows. We may get some clues based on how Barrett and Cedeno are used over the next month.

BooyahSuckah! said...

Well, after last night, at least maybe we can finally put the "Bryce Harper can't hit lefties" thing to rest. He's the ONLY lefty to hit a home run off Kershaw all season. ALL SEASON.

That is all.

JWLumley said...

The Nats lost, meh, Kershaw's really good. Harper is heating up and the farther he gets from the hand injury the better he seems to be getting. That was a bomb last night and Kershaw was out at third, methinks, not sure what Anthony Rendon was thinking. Still, really highlights when they miss Zim, against a good lefty he adds a lot of value. Also, why are Souza and Moore even there? If Moore doesn't play last night, when do you play him and while the Hairston start is much more defensible, I'd much rather see the upside that Souza brings.

cass said...

I can't help thinking Nats-Dodgers would make a great NLCS matchup. Though very tough for us with Kershaw going multiple times.

WiredHK said...

The focus (if the next week goes well for the Nats) should really shift to having the best record in the NL. I strongly prefer we not face LAD or StL in the NLDS. It's just asking for trouble. Let's let those two play an epic series against each other while we deal w/ Pitt/Mil/Atl first.