Nationals Baseball: What is that weird curly shape you are writing in that book?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What is that weird curly shape you are writing in that book?

I was going to tear Boz apart for the nonsense he spouted during his chat but that didn't seem appropriate today. The win last night was so crazy and wild and desperately needed that it felt like a playoff victory. Why bring the mood down?

Wins like last night are tough on us soulless automatons because I know what's coming the minute the last out is made. Stories and tweets and comments about how this is a season-changing event, about how the Nats are going to turn around the year because of the magic of a game like last night. In other words classic narratives that are at best unprovable and at worst complete malarkey. It's the way our minds think. There is a big event. Things happen after it. Therefore the big event was the trigger.  Was it really?  Don't you remember all the times you said/thought something similar and it proved to be nothing? Who cares!

Usually then I kind of hope for a few losses to wash that nonsense out of our systems but the Nats really can't afford a few losses right now, so I'll just have to suck it up. The Nats will very likely go on a nice run now. I wouldn't be surprised if they were at .500 by game 40. But it's not because of one win. It's because they are a very good team who you expect to win more than they lose.

The most important thing was the win. This is why we were worried and not panicking. Today the Nats are 7 games out, a point where I'd still favor the Nats to take the NL East. Not by much, but by something. And that points out something else - when you had the Nats winning the East at the beginning of the year it wasn't a YES/NO type thing, it was a percentage thing. Let's say 95% certainty. This slow start has knocked it down a lot, let's say 60%. 60% is pretty good though!  And if we pass that personal midpoint I mentioned yesterday? All that means is the odds drop below 50% for you but 45%? 40%? Those aren't bad odds.  Barring a second 20 games like the first, the Nats are in the NL East hunt for a while. Maybe not as favorites if things don't swing back soon, but in there.

So even panic wouldn't be PANIC!!!, not this early in the season, not unless the Nats are drifting 12, 13 games or more behind the leader.

27 comments:

jesterboo said...

F*ck Yeah!

-Bryce Harper

Anonymous said...

Hey Harp...just wondering if your opinion about DFAing Uggla changed after last night?

Zimmerman11 said...

I think there could be a problem with this dramatic win last night... everyone goes back to thinking "yeah, we're really good" and stops thinking "WTF is going on? We need to fix this thing right now!". And forgets that they're 7 games out...

Whatever... sweep the Mets 4 games and let's stop talking doom and gloom :)

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern re: last night's win is that Uggla just bought himself an extra few months before he gets DFA'ed now.

Anthony Rendon said...

I would like to thank jw lumley and Bjd for span hitting and Kenny B for jinxing the game.

We're overreacting but we were overreacting the last few days so O well.

Harper said...

Anon - nope. In fact I think it would be a great thing if he "Costanza'd" it and walked away leaving everyone wanting more. It ain't getting higher than that and he's likely not going to be playing after this year (my estimate)

But hey keep proving me wrong, Uggla.

Z11 - Could happen but really if they aren't just focused on the game in front of them Matt Williams is not doing his job.

Anon - eh. I want him gone but the truth is they are stuck in limbo until Rendon is healthy. No good internal replacements. Tough to make move for external ones. Uggla may be a bad choice, but a bad choice among a lot of bad choices.

Froggy said...

Hilarious that the highest paid Brave won the game for us last night. Poetic justice. Maybe Uggla and Danny said F*ck it nobody else believes we should be playing except us and are going to take charge. I'd love to see that kind of gritty, feel good story play out for sure. Today's game will give us a better idea for sure.

Kenny B. said...

@Anthony Rendon: You're welcome for the reverse jinx. Now get yourself freaking healthy so we can forget about jinxes and other such things. Also, tell the organization you refuse to play second base.

G Cracka X said...

Any read the AJC article from Spring Training about Dan Uggla? Here's the link: http://furtherreview.blog.ajc.com/2015/03/25/will-uggla-further-torment-braves/

Prophetic...

Anonymous said...

I normally avoid this blog as it depressed me with soulless statistical drivel about how players are number on a stat sheet, reversion to the mean, yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes players are humans, not stats, and just maybe, some humans have an innate capacity to "rise" to the occasion. Uggla is a case in point. Statistics would suggest the probability of him hitting his 3 HR of the last 2 seasons in that particular at bat were incredibly low. Yet, somehow, here we are.

P.S. I have a minor in statistics... I understand their use, it just takes so much of the fun and emotion out of the game sometimes.

JWLumley said...

@TonyTwoBags You're welcome, glad Span took the time to read my rant and use it as fuel to motivate him. Hope he keeps proving me wrong along with Ugglatude. As for Espinosa, I really like his AB's, I know the average isn't there yet, but Danny doesn't need to hit .300 to be very valuable. Ugglatude on the other hand, needs to have a .900+ OPS.

Who cares about all the fail in these narratives, just enjoy the win. Really and truly one of the greatest games I've ever seen. And for those of you who turned it off, Harper hit one about 500 kajillion feet that was just foul down the right field line. That kid needs to go see Barry Bonds and start having some heart to hearts about hitting, but only hitting and not media relations or how to be a good person. Bonds used to be able to keep those balls fair better than anyone I've ever seen. If Harper keeps up this pace as far as walks, you could see him morphing into Bonds circa 2001 - 2004, or rather the most dominant offensive player in the history of baseball.

JWLumley said...

@Anon I for one, will no longer respond to any Anons, if I can't even distinguish one from another there's no point in discourse. So I'm not taking the bait on your soulless argument Besides, what many people call statistics is rather econometrics and moves into game theory, all of which uses statistics heavily, but they're just the tool used, not the process itself.

JWLumley said...

Also, fellow nerds, this is a good day. BP has released a new stat called DRA (Deserved Run Average).

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=26195

Just in case anyone wants to come be a soulless automaton with me.

Seriously, I'm not a robot.

Harper said...

Anon - I've often said that things like momentum, clutch hitting, are probably real. We just can't reliably measure them. So when a decision is to be made "going with the best option on paper" should trump "going with the gut" Once the decision is made though, we all get on the same page - root for the best thing for the team.

If hearing about stats takes away from your enjoyment of the game then you have no obligation to listen. We all (presumably) follow baseball for the fun of it. Enjoy it however you want. I'm not sure why coming here and saying this site depresses you is what you want to do but hey- if that makes you happy do that too. No skin off my nose.

Anthony Rendon said...

Kenny B
I would but my knee feels differently about that. Also I don't want to sound like a conceited fool.
Jw
For Danny to start I think he needs to hit at least .250 to be valuable. Also if Mookie Betts doesn't exist and that bomb is fair we are saying MVP right now.(about Bryce)

Anthony Rendon said...

Harper
Jose Valverde?

For those interested Uggla was paid $78,348.77 by the braves last night. The nats paid $3,132.72.

G Cracka X said...

That game last night was like a reverse of the 2012 Nats-Braves game that the Nats were winning 9-0 with Stras on the mound. Speaking of Danny Espinosa, he hit a homer off Craig Kimbrel to tie the game at 10, but the Nats still ended up losing

John C. said...

I'm not a big believer in temporal causation (B followed A, therefore A caused B!). We'll see in the coming weeks and months how the season turns out. It's fair to allow the optimists a bit of run, though, because God knows the pessimists have been known to seize on one event and predict DOOM.

I will say that for a team that has no guts, heart, courage or leadership the Nats did an amazing job of impersonating such a team last night. Great game to watch, I'm glad I didn't turn it off!

Oh, and one Uggla note: his bat was great last night, but his glove sucked. Part of the reason that the Braves built such a big lead was that their grounders kept finding holes - a lot of which were over and around the statute of Uggla standing near second base. He also fielded one ground ball with his chest, but it was hit sharply enough for him to get the FC instead of the error (although no GIDP, even though the ball was tailor made for it).

JWLumley said...

@John C Totally agree both that we pessimists can seize on one event and go nuts, but also that Uggla's glove and lack of range were on full display. As I said, that glove would require about a .900+ OPS to be valuable, either that or Nats pitchers will need to strike more people out.

I'm not a robot and some of that sushi, does not look like sushi.

JWLumley said...

[Insert name here, today it's Jose Valverde] - Rizzo loved him when he was in Arizona and is taking a flier on him

JWLumley said...

Sammy Solis and Michael Taylor called up. Looking at career numbers, Reed Johnson is actually an excellent pinch hitter, more of a loss than I originally thought.

Also, this robot thing is out of control today.

Anonymous said...

it's important to note that the previous Anon has a minor in statistics, thereby giving his opinion some gravitas. Again - he has a minor in statistics, folks! He knows what he's talking about!

Zimmerman11 said...

Lumberg beat me to it... Nats call up Taylor and Solis... Harper... keep it up, Rizzo is listening!!! Johnson doesn't tear up his calf, and Uggla doesn't hit a GW HR, he might have been DFA'd like you asked.

Again, Rizzo is reading... keep talking sense! Especially taht part about if the team isn't focused on the game at hand, then MW isn't doing his job...

Solis is probably a trade showcase callup, let the speculation begin! Unless it's trade speculation made necessary by Anthony Rendon's continued absence.

Matt said...

Anyone else think it's strange that the soulless automaton is anti-robot?

(Kidding, kidding, please keep keeping the spambots off here.)

Richard Parker said...

Anybody want to do a calculation on how much the Braves have paid Uggla for every RBI and run he's produced in this series?

Robot said...

On Tuesday morning, I moved my Jayson Werth garden gnome from its perch on my bookshelf to my desk. Since then, the Nats have won two games, scoring 26 runs and overcoming a 9-1 deficit. Just sayin'...

Shane said...

I want to believe, but I've got to wait to see what they do over the next four games against the Mets. I don't think it's garden gnome placement, I think it's if I turn the game off! I did something to where I am not allowed to watch any good play this year . . . but don't move the gnome just in case.