Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie - Super Max

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Quickie - Super Max

First impressions are huge. Max Scherzer is making a great one. He's arguably the best pitcher in the NL right now and along with Bryce Harper, he's a huge reason why the Nats are fighting for first and not fighting for .500 (though it's the NL East so that's a marginal difference)

While I'm not as big a fan of the Max contract as most, I was really glad he got an impressive win yesterday instead of another hard-luck loss because we were a couple of those away from "He's just another Strasburg!" "All we does it pitch well but doesn't win!" "Blah blah blah stupidity" We're still not definitely clear of that, especially if he ends up like 12-12 and the Nats miss the playoffs, but the further we can get away from that now, the less I have to worry about it. Let's focus on important things.

Game 60 ended the Nats 3rd 20 game stretch with an offense that was pitiful it made game 1-20 offense look like Murderer's Row. Ended up averaging 2.95 runs a game. But it seems to be turning around, after scoring 4 or more only 3 times in 18 games, they've done it the last 5.  Now of course the Brewer's pitching is garbage (worst non Rockies NL team) but hey, again, at least they are doing it. We'll really see with the next two opponents though. Tampa and Pittsburgh have staffs that have been very very good this year. Doesn't mean they should beat the Nats (they have some offensive issues) but can the Nats score or was this a Milwaukee reprieve?


Ian Desmond said...

Hi! While you were reading this I just wildly swung at another two strike slider in the dirt like it was a golf ball.

Why was I born so stupid?

JC said...

When we signed Scherzer last year, there was a lot of talk about why we were not giving JZ a similar offer. I think that over the past 3 months Max has demonstrated that he is on a different level then JZ. I am all in favor of judging players from a statistical point of view, but there is something awe inspiring about seeing Scherzer go into another gear when he needs to. The last time I saw this was with Bumgarner in game 7 last year. I am glad we have him.

Robot said...

I hate to detract from the awesome that was Max's outing yesterday, but can someone please do something about the situation with Desi? It's getting embarrassing

Anonymous said...

Desi is doing his best to lose the SS job... And the amount of uggla potential here is scary.

Harper said...

Ian Desmond - you weren't born this way, you were trained like this because in HS it worked and you were brought into an org that only valued taking pitches for speedy leadoff hitters back when you came to it and still prefers the swing away method. You are now too old to learn patience though so you better start hitting HRs when you do make contact.

JC - No one deserved Max's contract, not even Max. What's going to really decide who should get paid more is well... if there's a playoff implication... but after that how does longevity play out. I think Max has got 3 yrs in that arm tops. I like ZNN longer.

Robot - They are trying to rush Turner up by Sept if that makes you feel better.

Anon - Yes. Just as Zimm did at 1st and Werth in the OF. Sure their injured but they are also signed for a lot more $ and years. I guess I'm saying - spread the hate around!

SM said...

A Milwaukee reprieve.

Bjd1207 said...

How bout some props for Joe Ross turning in a great performance on Saturday? Was really impressed by how long he went and he definitely looks like he'll play at this level. For a question mark when he came in as part of the Turner deal, I'm real pumped by what I saw.

Anthony Rendon said...

Ross was great. Max was great.and Desi will be gone next year and complaining is pointless as he won't change.

I was shocked that the offense was fine without Bryce. Good sign!

JE34 said...

Mad Max was transcendentally awesome against a bad team,
Joe Ross was very good against a bad team,
Desi was as bad as he's been at the plate all year... against a bad team.

Our boys have 7 straight games against good teams starting tonight. Go!

Kenny B. said...

Man, that deal with the Padres is looking really, really good at the moment. It looked good at the time, too, but now it seems like it was prompted by Rizzo psychic magic.

It's really too bad about Desi. I used to like him a lot. But out with the old, and all that. As an NC State Alum, I'm pumped about Turner, and I really hope he can perform at the MLB level for reasons beyond just my Nats fandom.

For now, this team is Bryce and Max and some other guys.

John C. said...

Harper said:

Ian Desmond - you weren't born this way, you were trained like this because in HS it worked and you were brought into an org that only valued taking pitches for speedy leadoff hitters back when you came to it and still prefers the swing away method.

Actually, Jim Riggleman and the Nationals tried to get Desmond to be a patient slap hitter for years. Arguably they tried to make him a viable speedy leadoff hitter; unfortunately he kinda sucked at it. He still struck out a bunch, he just didn't hit for power or get on base. It's one of the reasons it took him nearly six years of wandering through the minor leagues before finally getting to the majors. His career minor league slugging of .388 set the table for his first couple MLB years and he was on the point of washing out of the majors. It wasn't until Davey said "eff that, you're a power hitter, just be you" that Desmond became a viable major leaguer, much less the impact guy he was clearly from 2012-13 and arguably in 2014.

The problem, of course, that if he no longer can hit for power and his baserunning is slowly fading with age, he goes back to the point of being a marginal major leaguer. The point being, though, I don't think that the Nationals failed to try to make Desmond a patient contact hitter, and I don't think that there's any reason to believe that Desmond didn't put his heart into it. It's quite possible that he just sucks at it. There's this idea that if a player can't do [x], it's because they don't want to or haven't tried hard enough. It's quite possible that they just don't have the right neurons/muscle coordination/overall attributes to do [x]. It's like giving me a paint brush and telling me to paint a Picasso. A lifetime of diligent work isn't going to make that happen.

Froggy said...

I always find it amusing when regular fans opine about how they 'like or dislike' a player's contract as if it is part of their mutual fund or investment portfolio.

That said, I feel bad that Desmond didn't take whatever he was offered as I can't help but feel that the whole FA thing has to be the monkey on his back.

What a way for The Last Expo to fade away.

Sirc said...

I remember back when it was reported that Desmond had been offered a long term contract and had turned down the contract, and thinking "Aw well, that's too bad."

I had a flat tire in Crystal City a few weeks back. I'm sure it was Desmond's fault.

K-Ray said...

I am now glad we aren't paying Desmond 18 million a year for 5 more years. I think that was around what the nationals offered after the two covered years.

Bjd1207 said...

Seriously is Trea Turner ready yet? Been our system for what 4 days? Call him up

John C. said...

Maybe we should let Turner have a minor league at bat in the Nationals' system - maybe two - before calling him up ;D