I have nothing really new to say. The series is lost. The season grows ever closer to being the same.
Matt Williams repeats the same mistakes over and over again. I can sit here and guess once more at what he was probably thinking. How he wasn't crazy (well until Janssen came in in the 9th), how these weren't terrible decisions, just bad ones, etc. etc. The same stuff I've been doing for the past few weeks. But what's the point? When someone makes a mistake, however minor, you hope they learn from it. Matt Williams isn't learning.
It's not even to the point where these things are happening infrequently so you can maybe understand why he would stick to his guns. These things are happening day in and day out. Pitchers are disappointing necessitating early hooks that never come. Crucial situations are happening in the back half of games crying out for expanded roles for your two back end relievers which they never get. The Nats are playing close games more often that not, meaning each at bat should be carefully considered, but they never are.
Behind the fact that he keeps making these mistakes is the realization that no one must be telling him otherwise. Matt Williams isn't a maverick. I don't see him outright rejecting help from his coaches. I expect he tows the line with the GM. Why isn't someone grabbing him by both shoulders, shaking wildly and saying "Stop saving Papelbon for save situations that never come" But why should we be surprised that the team isn't doing this? The Nats are in fact only highlighting his weaknesses by limiting their September call-ups. It's a mess from the top down. This is what makes the comeback potential of this team, even when healthy, limited. They have to win on talent alone, because nothing else is going to give them a boost. No trades, no hot hands, no smart managing.
The Nats may still pull off a miracle. You work backward. They need to be within 3 of the Mets by that last series. There's 20 games between that and the first Mets series. Picking up 4 games is, very unlikely, but not insane. To do that they need to be within 7 coming out of the first Mets series. That means you could even get to the Labor Day series 10 games back and hold out hope. That's a little bit into "every last thing must go right" territory for me. I prefer 5-6 out coming out of the LD series, and 8 games coming in, which gives a loss or two of wiggle room (but really - just a loss or two). But if you want to write off the team because of Williams and everything else... I can't tell you that's insane either. Missing the playoffs is the safer bet for sure.
If that inanity wasn't enough in comes "Joe Ross should be shutdown" talk. If he's going to get injured, he's going to get injured, be it this year or next, unless you are planning to pitch him 100 innings for the rest of his career. If you want to shut him down because he looked lost and you think Fister gives the Nats a better chance next time around, fine. If you want to shut him down to protect his arm then brush up on your Washington Nationals history.
Bryce Harper was walked for the 100th time last night. The next closest Nat has 33. THIRTY-THREE! That's another point in the 1000 points of darkness that have covered this season in eternal night. The injuries took away all the other walk threats in the Nats line-up.
I promise you Trea Turner will get a hit. I won't promise you Trea Turner will be a good major leaguer next year. Would I bet on him being at least usable, like slightly below average or better? Yeah, I'd bet on that. Would I promise you though? No. Not next year.
Drew Storen stinks (hitting a guy 1-2? come on man) but since you were probably watching the Nats broadcast, I'll let you in on something the Cardinals TV broadcast picked up on immediately, and Storen explained post-game. Lobaton was shouting to Storen "Three Three Three". Why? Don't know. But I do know as a pitcher in that situation you trust your catcher. Storen can't see what's going on behind him. The runner on 2nd could have tripped. Rendon could be way late covering first. Lobaton has to tell him where to go.