Nationals Baseball: Quick

Thursday, August 20, 2015


See! Not that hard! A game gained already!

Also please please please I'm asking very nicely before I get mad, don't take these games in Colorado, in the high altitude and against pretty awful pitching, as an indication of anything in itself. Maybe it will get the bats on track. That would be great. But we'll find that out when the Nats get back home. You can score 30 runs in Colorado and it's meaningless. Don't act like the Nats offense or any particular player is "back" because of a few good nights here.

Is Rendon, who missed the last two games, not 100%? Probably. Does that mean we see Turner, who tried out second the other day, up in the majors soon? Possibly.   Probably because sitting Rendon, who wasn't slumping as badly as Werth and actually offers other things to the team, doesn't quite make sense. Possibly because Espinosa has been playing pretty well and you don't bring up Turner unless you are going to play him. You don't start the clock for insurance.

Strasburg! Wooo! Apparently he had to suck all the pitching skill out of the rest of the rotation to do it, but he certainly looks back.

No Storen in the 8th... interesting. If you aren't going to use him in the 8th though... why not just trade him?


Bryceroni said...

At this point I don't think anything means anything. All that matters is the W.

And just to throw this out there, (fire MW) I hated betting werth leadoff at the beginning of this series, but it has paid off and you can kinda squint and see a rationale.

Werth historically is a good/great obp guy.
Coors field + bad pitching
More abs try to kick start

Ps: have loved hearing all the nats fans getting loud on the radio last two games, but let's go nats sounds so much like let's go mets. We need a better, more unique team chant.

Bjd1207 said...

Storen mighta just been one of those "not available tonight" things that MW talks about. Don't think missing one appearance is enough to say he's booted from the 8th inning role

SM said...

The most revealing aspect of last night's game? Intentionally walking Taylor to pitch to Ramos.

cass said...

I think what happened with Storen was two things:

1. The game was tied when Jansen started warming up. Williams went with stability over the proper guy for the inning situation as determined by role. I'd be likely to believe this with anyone but Matt Williams.

2. Storen got clobbered twice by Colorado. No reason to tempt fate.

I'd say it's really a mix of 1 and 2. You have Jansen warming up cause the game might go to extras so why not move everyone's roles back an inning. Then the Nats take the lead and Williams decides not to go to Storen cause, well, Storen didn't do so great against Rockies hitters last time.

I was fine with the move. More than I can say of most of Williams' decisions.


I would have liked Werth leading off when he first came back before he had a month of sucking under his belt. Always made sense cause we'd guess his wrist injury would sap power and he did well in the role in 2012. Thing is, he was 33 in 2012.

Clint Robinson's hit a lot better than Werth, though. There's a good argument for starting him over Werth, as we've gone over before. The question is the probability that Werth starts hitting well again. How far do you go chasing unicorns?

Benching Rendon seems really odd. I don't know what's wrong with him, though. He should not be this bad. He has never in his life played badly as far as I know. Either injured or a good player. The same was true of Strasburg and, well, we actually knew he was injured to start the year - they admitted he was playing on an injury. The same is probably true of Rendon but I have no way of knowing.

If the team is really giving up on Rendon that's scary. On the other hand, the team must win now. This is the time you do anything you have to in order to win.

The NATural said...

What Nats really need is another "Uggla game" to lift the spirits and bring on a loooong winning streak.

...Sorry Harper. Couldn't resist.

Storen. I'm getting tired of his leash being so short. Everyone blows a lead now and then. Why is this guy apparently held to a higher standard? Please stop messing with his head and let him pitch the 8th with consistency.

Froggy said...

Storen for Carlos Gonzalez.

Do you make that trade?

I do.

Anonymous said...

Rookie Syndergaard has hit a wall. Word is Harvey's getting skipped. The Mets bullpen has collapsed. The Mets just-okay hitting only works if the pitching is airtight. The Mets scared me for a moment, but right now, I'm feeling good about the Nats chances.

WiredHK said...

We left 12 men on base last night and Stras looked very good, the win should have been a tick easier than it ended up being but it felt good, nonetheless. Escobar's base running had me pulling my hair out, though, that's for sure. For those who think Stras is, aheam, a soulless automaton devoid of emotion, I hope they witnessed his reaction to the big Werth triple. If we're not counting the hitting during a series in Col (very fair), we can at least assign strong value to holding the Rockies offense (prodigious) down like he did last night -- that was good to see.

Rendon is still hurt, it's the only explanation. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go on the DL again here shortly. I think I caught Williams on with the Junkies two days ago and they asked him about improving team speed with the September call-ups. He said something to the effect of us being hurt by Span still being out and "Anthony's leg" being the way it is. Have to assume that meant he isn't doing well....

W. Patterson said...

Ah, the fickle fans. A loss or two (or six) and it's the end of the world. A couple of curly W's and the light at the end of the tunnel brightens.

I didn't get to watch the whole game but 12 men left on? How in the hell can that happen with a professional baseball team?

JE34 said...

@W.Patterson - pitchers and Ramoses hitting... that's how you get 12 guys left on. They accounted for more than half the total (they each made a 3rd out with bases loaded).

There were also some hits and walks that occurred with 2 out and nobody on. That pads the LOB number as well.

Timely hitting has been a problem all season, noted here for months. Not scoring with men on 2nd and 3rd and no outs - that was particularly heinous. Thankfully they got a timely one from Werth.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, we gain one game in the standings for the first time in weeks and a bunch of you are getting cocky.

Bryceroni said...

Froggy: I don't make that trade... If I'm the Rockies.

W. Patterson: its a pennant chase! Get that W or /wrists! Also, baseball is weird and stuff happens. 12 men left on is nowhere near the most astonishing thing this season. I'd vote for anything bartolo colon has done with a bat in his hands.

Anonymous said...

Let's see if Max can fix his recent problems tonight. If he could return to his pre-all star break form, we'd have a reason to expect a win when two of our starters take the mound, regardless of the offense, which only looks good against terrible pitching. As nice as last night's win was, don't overlook that Bumgarner truly humbled the Nats on Sunday. They had no chance against him.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Anyone who wouldn't trade the loser Storen for CarGo in a nanosecond is completely insane.

WiredHK said...

Let's just be clear (to those chaffed at any optimism here) -- as Harper says, the offense in Col doesn't really mean anything. The wins don't even mean much (Col is terrible). But, we need to win now against everyone, and so, the wins matter a little (or, if you prefer, avoiding more losses matters a little). A sweep would help if we want this to turn around. Some folks will remain overly optimistic until the end, that's ok, too. That's how they roll and their POVs don't have to affect yours (nor will it impact how this plays out at all). The reality is the Nats have dug a big hole late in the year and it will take an amazing run to make the playoffs.

But, relax - a few people being positive after a few wins won't upset the Karmic Nats Universe in any way. You can be just as negative as you perceive others are positive and it won't impact the team either. It's just an internet blog discussion to pass lunch hours.

Rob Evans said...

@WiredHK - well said. I don't know about you but I'm here all day, not just lunch :-)

Ollie said...

Yeah I tend to take a rosy view about Rizzo's ability to con other teams into bad trades but even I find the idea of Storen for CarGo straight up to be laughable. The Nats have made him damaged goods and even then he wouldn't come close to equaling the production of an All-Star, power-hitting centerfielder who also hits for solid average (except this year).

W. Patterson said...

Thanks, JE34. That we got guys on base is a good thing. And I've seen our problems getting 'em home all year. It was just the number that got me.

My comment about the after-win posts vs the after-loss posts was just an observation, not that anybody was upsetting the Karmic Nats Universe.

WiredHK said...

I hear ya, W. Patterson. My comment was more in response to the earlier Anon post about people being "cocky" after a few wins vs your smaller observation. I personally lean negative more often than not -- but I like the optimists, too. Keeps me grounded from being too down on things. :)

And Rob -- ok, fine -- me too. Dammit.

Froggy said...

Ollie, aren't the Rox trying to unload CarGo and his salary? I know its dreaming but, besides would you rather have Werth, MAT, an injured Span and Robinson providing a patchwork in LF and CF, or C. Gonzalez in the mix?

Bryceroni said...

Ollie cargo is not a dead weight contract, he costs 37 million over the next 2 years. Last year through the all-star break this year were bad and injury plagued, but his track record is good and he has raked recently. By my eyeball probably a 2-3 war player going forward with potential to do more.

Basically, he won't pull a monster package but he's worth more than a salary dump.

Bryceroni said...

Ollie froggy same thing lol

Sammy Kent said...

Why is there such a double standard? Why do the guys that are paid less but perform better gather splinters while the million dollar boys get a dozen chances to screw up? Why is Bryce Harper benched for not running out a ground ball when he's hurt, but Wilson Ramos can loaf on the bases and cost runs with his poor defense night after night? We have enough middle infielders to raise a barn, but the guy that strikes out five times a game and makes 20+ errors never sits. Where else does an average speed outfielder go from batting .250 to .190 and get promoted to the leadoff spot?

Ray Knight asked rhetorically last night are the guys on the bench better players than the regular starters, and answered no, they aren't. Which misses the point entirely. It shouldn't matter who is the better player. It should only matter who is PLAYING better. Is a .270 hitting Jayson Werth better than a .270 hitting Clint Robinson? Probably, yes. Is a .195 hitting Jayson Werth better than a .270 hitting Clint Robinson? Hell no. Does anybody seriously want to compare Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond?

Zimmerman11 said...

12 games COL, MIL, SD, MIA (hopefully still lacking a Giancarlos)... and what 5 weeks left? Uh, yeah we BETTER win like 10 of 12 and HOPE that's enough. The Mets schedule in September is as easy/easier than ours.

Zimmerman11 said...

The good news being I don't see Kershaw, Greinke, Bumgarner, etc in the starting pitcher matchups until we get back to NYM.

JE34 said...

@Sammy Kent - managers and GMs will always give more chances to those who have performed in the past over those who have not. Their reasons will vary: egotistical GMs will be slow to admit mistakes... managers who are former players will be slow to declare a veteran guy "done" and will recall their own experiences in "playing their way out" of a slump, saying meaningless things like, "That's baseball."

I believe that Ian Desmond earns his playing time by scalding the ball off bad pitchers -- and good gravy, has he ever been doing that in Colorado. In general, he's played better lately. Problem is... average-to-good pitchers give him a steady diet of sliders down and away, and he piles up the Ks as he tries to pull the ball like he did last night. Why coaches cannot help him with this is beyond me. I expect him to play all 3 games vs STL at the end of the month, and I expect him to play poorly, because those guys are good and smart (much as I hate to say it). Until then, Desi will probably do well vs MIL, SD, and MIA. He deserves to play against those guys.

Werth has just played two good games, so he will continue to play, and until he calficies a little more, he'll make MW think himself a genius for the move to leadoff. If Werth reverts to what he's done all year, we will probably see Werth sit more when Span returns, especially b/c Robinson isn't very good in the OF.

Thank goodness for Danny, though. With Rendon's issues -- gotta be hurt, right? -- we'd be screwed without him. Not that Danny has been awesome (still lots of Ks), but he's been better than Tony Two Bags, and is now getting the playing time as a result.

Fries said...

2 on, nobody out, you bring in Treinen in a tie ball game late???? He's 50-50 on stranding inherited runners, this is when you bring in Storen dammit!

Froggy said...

Man, if we can't win those games with our 'ace' on the mound in Coors field, then I don't see the Nats doing so well the rest of the season. I know we have been beating up on Desmond all year, but I'm sorry, Ramos is a lumbering, gaping hole in the line up. Meanwhile Reyes, Gonzalez and Arenado owned our pitching.

Although the quote has been mis-atributed to Einstein, it still holds true: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The current Nats line-up will not be any different than it has been for the last 120 games. I think the Lerners and Rizzo have already given up on the season...or they are insane.

PS: anyone besides me find it hilarious how the Nationals are pushing for season plan holders to renew their seats already for 2016? Talk about rubbing salt in your bleeding wallet.

Robot said...

Treinen and failnin', amirite?

WiredHK said...

Leaving Max in to start the 7th was a poor move (again with the SPs going too long) given that his PC was high, we're in Col (fatigue a factor later in games for our SPs) and he was set to face two straight very good LHBs at the top of the order. I'm unsure why Thornton or Rivero didn't simply start the inning. Then, given how it played out, I was ok with Treinen facing Arenado there (we needed a K, though an argument surely is there to get Storen in at this moment, too), but leaving him in to face the LHB (Paulsen), given Treinen's horrendous splits vs LHBs and the fact we had Thornton just sitting there was inexplicably bad.

I'm not sure why Williams has such a hard time understanding (or following through) when and where the game is on the line -- but 2 on, 1 out in the 7th of a tie ballgame? Yeah that's pretty much game on the line time. He must have sensed it when he had 3 different pitchers in the first 3 batters of the inning, but why go that far and then stop managing in the middle of the critical juncture and revert to just hoping Treinen bucks his numbers??

This is what bothers me most about his bullpen usage and SP management. He is almost 2 full years in, and still looks lost at managing late game pitching match-ups. Frustrating.