Nationals Baseball: I SAID KEEP ON TRUCKIN

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

I SAID KEEP ON TRUCKIN

Like this guy

Look at him truck!

Nats lost, Mets won. Nats lose another game of ground. I can't say it doesn't matter, because it does, but I can say it happened. It'll happen again. Get over it. Win series.

As for the actual game. Yeah, it was another Matt Williams "Ok I can see what you were trying to do" special. After a standard Gio performance the Nats grabbed the lead on the Zimm homer (the offense does look much better in the past week or two... if anyone cares). In came Casey Janssen. This is no surprise, as he's been designated the 7th inning guy. Someone had to be, I guess.

Reynolds starts off with a very typical single and then Moss follows with a broken bat slow roller. He should have been out. Zimm probably shouldn't have broke on it (if it was too fast and too far out for him to reach, it was too fast and too far out for him to go) but he did leaving Rendon to Janssen as the only option. However, Janssen was slowed by the broken bat looping over his head and wasn't able to beat Moss to the bag. So goes 2015. Still Janssen pretty much got the results he wanted two times and followed it up with a 3rd GB that got a double play. So you can understand why he gets to pitch to Carpenter. He walks him on four pitches. This is where it gets dicey.

Janssen still has only really had one bad at bat. Him facing Piscotty is reasonable, even if Piscotty has been hot, because the majority of scenarios (out, walk, single) here still leave the Nats with a lead to protect and two outs. In a normal situation only warming Rivero to face Heyward would make sense. But the Nats are at a point where they can't afford any lost games. Every game is a playoff game. With that mindset you have to realize that if Piscotty gets on in any way, it's a real tough call to let Janssen face Peralta. That would be 4 guys getting on base in 5 PAs, and even if they were fluky his pitch count would likely be over 20 for the inning. The smart call is to get Storen warming too. If Piscotty gets on, sorry Casey, but we can't take any chances.

Piscotty did get on, with the Nats playing to take away doubles and the lead, they gave up a single on a soft liner. Janssen, not Storen, faced Peralta and even though his hit wasn't impressive, it did the job and the Nats ended up giving up the lead once again with their best pitchers remaining on the sidelines. Rivero would come on to face Heyward, and Heyward would hit a ball that the statue that is Jayson Werth couldn't be rolled to fast enough by park employees. Over his head, two runs in, game over.

Matt Williams, despite being skewered and roasted today really didn't do anything WRONG. Janssen was getting the types of hits he wanted. You could argue he didn't give up a hard hit ball all night. But even though it wasn't OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING WRONG to leave Janssen in, it wasn't the best option either. Storen was. This team needs the best option out there and Williams isn't giving them that. (Which in turns makes Williams himself not the best option either)

Williams is plagued not only by some sort of unearthly ability to pick the wrong arm and the wrong time, but by his own lack of urgency. Perhaps it's an overconfidence in the team, god knows Rizzo feeds that beat. Perhaps it's just his nature. But at this juncture every game is urgent. You can't worry about who's going to hold the lead in the 8th, you have to have all hands on deck to hold it in the 7th. You can't worry about who's going to be available for the next game, you have to burn through all your arms this one if need be. Stop playing as if it's May. 

64 comments:

cass said...

Last night was awful. I thought the game was won when Jansen got the double play ball. Oops.

This whole pennant race thing is excruciating. And yet I hope it continues. Would at least be nice to be within 6 by next week so that the Mets series matters. Doesn't seem likely though as Bartolo Colon is apparently Walter Johnson or something.

The problem with our bullpen is that it's filled with decent guys not terrible or great guys. If it was terrible guys, you'd just replace them like the Mets did. If it was great guys, you wouldn't lose. This is the whole Nats team in a nutshell. Wasting a comeback like last night was just painful.

I mean, you talk about Matt Williams' mistakes, but Matheny was even worse with the whole lefties-only bullpen debacle that led up to Zimm's homer. They basically gave away the game and we gave it right back. They didn't even seem like they were trying to win.

Anonymous said...

ITS OVER

Anonymous said...

What is Harper going to do with that sized up ring he had made in March? HAHA

Mattyice said...

I think you are spot on, Harper. Last night was not solely on MW - Jansen really needs to get that third out - but at some point it would be awesome if MW showed just a little sense of urgency.
What are your thoughts on keeping Werth in left field after we took the lead in the top of the 7th? Obviously if Span wasn't injured everyone would be rightly upset about Taylor not being subbed in as a defensive replacement, but wouldn't Espinosa be a better option out there? (I know he was a pinch hitter in the top of the inning and then we executed a double switch in the bottom half to bring in Turner and Jansen so I guess Williams would have to pull of a triple switch, if such a thing even exists, and that may be way beyond his ability).

Anonymous said...

Are we really kidding ourselves?? Guys, the Nats are from DC. DC!! Next to to Cleveland, is there a worse sports city? Possibly Atlanta?? If the St. Louis Cardinals team that we played last night - from management to the minors - moved to our city, they would be floundering as well. Something about this city. Perhaps its an heir of entitlement? I don't like this teams attitude (ahem, their Natitude), I don't like Bob & FP, I don't like their organizational structure, I don't like their textbook manager, and I sure as hell don't like green eggs and ham...

But like I said - we could be doing everything right, and still not achieve our lofty goals. As go the Redskins, so goes the rest of the sports teams in DC. I'm 28 years old and firmly believe that I will not witness a championship parade on Pennsylvania Avenue in my lifetime. Looks like its time to move :(

Robot said...

1) No one thought the Nats would sweep the Cardinals. It would have been nice, but that is unrealistic. Win the series is the plan. It just got harder, but it's still possible. Win tonight.

2) We can't trust anyone in the BP not named Storen or Papelbon. That makes MW's job a lot harder. But...

3) MW still has no idea how to manage a bullpen. His decision-making is terrible when the season is NOT on the line. When it is on the line, he takes it to a whole new level of incompetence. Last night was just another example of what we learned in NLDS game 4 last year.

Robot said...

@Anon 7:25 - I don't want to start another FP digression, because science knows there are enough of them in these comment sections, but i won't sit silently by:

FP IS AWESOME

Harper said...

cass - I know. Simple goal of not having that Labor Day series feel meaningless is what we're hanging onto right now. (even though a G1 loss in that series probably does the same thing)

Anon - Eh if you think it's over today, you probably should have thought it was over yesterday. At this point it's all pretty much crazy scenarios anyway.

Anon - Melt it down, shape it into a blade, start stabbing teammates.

Mattyice - He's hitting so you keep him in. The game wasn't out of hand yet. It's not ideal but Werth is only coming out in the 9th or in games that feel decided.

Anon - At least wait until Kevin Durant sign with the Knicks before you move

Anonymous said...

Dear god I would KILL for a manager whose life goal wasn't to ever show any emotion whatsoever. Forget about a sense of urgency, I just want ole PBN to sense ANYTHING. There's something to be said for clubhouse demeanor and MW is clearly not a manager capable of putting a fire under anyone's butts except his own hot seat. Sure you don't want someone who is impulsive, but you do need someone capable of empathy

Just an example, between pegging balls of socks at Gio's head, I kept asking why no one was walking out to the mound to talk to Gio during the 4th while he was giving himself his own monologue. Call a timeout, send mccatty out there and calm the guy down. Took 3 consecutive RBI singles before that happened, and oh, look at that, Gio turns it around.

We can talk all we want about bullpen management and situational intelligence, but what I really want is a manager who doesn't try to impersonate a brick wall and can read a player

John C. said...

I thought Gio's performance was good yesterday; if that's a "standard Gio performance" I take it every time. Yes, he gave up three runs in one inning. But if you're going to cut Janssen slack for getting decent batted ball results you have to do the same for Gio. He gave up: a perfectly placed chopper by Heyward that doesn't even reach the infield dirt; a fly ball by Molina to RF that Harper took a bad route on (fooled by the swing?) and couldn't keep in his glove on a sliding attempt; and a ground ball past a diving Rendon (which brings up the "why is Rendon not at 3b and Espinosa not at 2b?" conversation, but that's another time). The Reynolds single was the only ball that was well struck. But then with the game coming down around him, three runs in, two on and one out on the road against the best team in baseball Gio not only stopped the bleeding, he retired the last eight batters he faced to keep the Nationals in the game. FWIW he showed a mental toughness that he doesn't generally get credit for.

Whatever one thinks of not replacing Werth for defense, I don't think there's a LF on the roster who makes a play on Heyward's double. I'm not sure there are three left fielders in MLB who make that play.

Clip&Store said...

And there is your 2014 manager of the year folks!

I'm so glad I'm at my last semester of college. Been much easier to keep myself busy from watching this train wreck of a season. If it's a consolation to anyone, my intramural softball team lost in the championship last year but made some off-season acquisitions including a new bat.

Chaz R said...

I agree with the lack of sense of urgency, but I don't think it has anything to do with MW's attitude. It's just his very conservative management style. Not only did he leave his best pitchers on the bench, he left his best defenders on the bench when defense should have been the priority. Danny and denDekker should have been in the field after taking the lead. Does denDekker get either of those balls hit to JW? Maybe not, but he certainly has a much better chance. Rendon needed to be at 3B and Danny at 2B as well.

They still have a very good chance of winning tonight. Joe Cool has looked good lately and Cards have a rookie lefty pitching. Tomorrow, let's hope Max can be MAX again, and we also have a chance for a curly W.

Harper said...

Anon - if you are going to act like you are asleep at least have the decency to really do it like Frank did.

John C - I guess you could say it was Gio's standard good performance, hwere "standard bad" is 5IP 8H 3BB, 5R. It was fine. I'll take that vs the Cards every time. But Shhhh don't tell Boz a starter wasn't to blame.

I rewatched it. I think Taylor makes that play if he's in LF. I don't know every LF in baseball off the top of my head but I'd expect about 1/3 to make it. Werth had a slow first step, ran slow and past it and still was arguably in leaping territory on it (though he didn't - nor would I suggest that he should have since he ran past it I don't see how that would have worked out)

Anonymous said...

Harper - Why was Storen the right call? Why not Papelbon for four outs with storen behind him? I get the usage part, but the rest...

Max David said...

With Wacha pitching on Wednesday (Matheny really should push him back to Friday for the Pirates series because those games are more important, but this isn't the Cards blog) getting a series win looks like it'll be a tough go. Hopefully, we get another good start from Ross. Really can't afford to get swept.

Anonymous said...

If I hear WIN THE SERIES, one more time................ITS OVER people, we are cooked

Froggy said...

John C. To answer your question, I think Carlos Gonzalez makes that play in left. But sadly that opportunity has passed by.

As far as the dump MW bandwagon (which I've been on since last year) I'm all for it, but what about McCatty? I mean is MW not getting advice on pen usage or is he just getting bad advice and following it? Would one of you former / current ballplayers share some insight on the manager / coaches dynamic that goes on during a game please?

Anonymous said...

The season is as finished as RG3 and 13's Redskins career.

Fries said...

@Froggy

I had the same question. I mean everyone saw the dynamic between Matheny and his pitching coach in the 7th last night, so clearly on other teams the pitching coach is putting in his 2 cents, but it seems like McCatty doesn't ever say anything to MW. I may just not be looking though

Anonymous said...

yea, you fickle Nats fans say the season is over today until you get to 5.5 back again sometime this week and start going "6 h2hm LOLMets, we got this in the bag. Blahblahblahblah"

Kenny B. said...

Well, FWIW, the Nats at least stayed in it for most of the season. The Redskins have now taken to blowing it before the season even starts. Whenever I become concerned about organizational incompetence, I just remember the perpetual tire fire in Landover that some people are convinced is a football team.

Darnell E said...

Not over yet coming from a mets fan

ocw5000 said...

I remember a piece in the WaPo before MW's first spring training. He had mapped out every activity of every day through Opening Day. At the time I thought "Great! He's so organized!" but in hindsight, this perfectly describes his managerial style, and explains why the Nats will never win a playoff series with him managing. He goes into every game, every inning, every matchup with a preconceived plan, and when circumstances dictate he deviate from the plan, he's totally lost. I don't think this is something he will ever be able to overcome, no matter how many leads are lost in the 7th inning with our B-team relievers while our A-team relievers spit seeds in the bullpen.

My favorite move last night was PH Espinosa for Gonzalez. When the inning ended on an Escobar K, MW put Janssen in the 9 slot, effectively wasting Espinosa. Then, when he had to pull Janssen for Rivero, he double-switches to put Turner at 2B so that the P spot would come up last in the ensuing order. Why not double-switch Espinosa to start the inning?! Nothing changed in the order while the bullpen was imploding! Now you can't use Turner to pinch-run for Robinson if he gets on later! It's like MW had a post-it note in his office that said "pitch Janssen if leading in 7th" and then after everything fell apart, he thought he'd try something he'd seen on TV that one time so it looked like he knew what he was doing.

Anonymous said...

@Froggy, @Fries

Having played my whole life and in college as well - I'll take a stab at your question.

I don't think I could ever coach baseball. It is too frustrating. We all know its a game of failure, but think about that for a second. We as fans cling to every inning, every at bat, every moment of the season - especially now. Its what fans do. We are allowed and right to freak out, along with the media. MW is the only one who can't. When was the last time you ever saw a postgame presser where a baseball manager pulls a Dennis Green, or a Mike Singletary, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB5-yJM3vJc and goes on a tirade because he wants "winners?"

The baseball is a different game. You cannot WILL yourself to win an at-bat. Harper doesn't hit homeruns because he simply "wants" them more than the next guy. Its about controlling your emotions, repeating your mechanics, getting in a "zen" state of mind with your craft. The manager is supposed to be someone who can foster that environment.

But MW is not doing his job very well. I believe he is too rigid for this group. I also believe that this group of players lacks personality - they take themselves too seriously. And when you lose, you get self-conscious, lose confidence, and start swinging like Ian Desmond, start talking to yourself like Gio, and start acting like a tough guy to compensate for it like Strasburg and Storen. I hear a lot of you guys clamouring for Francona. The same guy who got canned over the whole beer and fried chicken incident? And what exactly has he done in Cleveland? No, he was perfect for a Red Sox team that was fun, loose, and had a great time playing the game. You could see it on their faces every game. So if we are not a loose group of guys, then I don't think Francona will make much of a difference. Bottom line, MW isn't the problem - but he certainly doesn't help. It's the personality of this group of players that is our greatest weakness

We do need a new manager, and I don't believe Werth is the right "leader" for this team, if we even need one. He takes himself too seriously and it trickles down to everyone else. When you play like that and lose...well then the losing gets more contagious that winning will ever be.

Harper said...

C&S - Imagine all the free time you'll have to watch next year's 85 win team.

Chaz R - Joe Cool has looked good lately but Cardinals are a real offense. LA, SF, CHC they all owned Joe. Did well vs SD and PIT (once). This is kind of a tone setter game for him and me, going into next year (after this I don't think he can face a good offensive team)

Anon #1 - Papelbon would have been fine too but it's been established he will cry if he doesn't get to finish games

Anon - WIN THE SERIES

Froggy/Fries - I've wondered this as well. We don't get much reporting on intercoach communication which might be telling with a rookie skipper

Anon #2 - You say that then they don't work a trade and Cousins breaks his leg in the last preseason game

Anon #3 - More like depressed Nats fans. Season isn't OVER until they are like 11 games back. Effectively if they can get out of Labor Day series 5-6 games back you can still dream since there's that 3 game H2H to end year. That's what we're shooting for. Get to LD series no worse than 8 games back (that would be the absolute limit) get out no worse than 6 back. (Still those are like 5% type odds from there on)

Kenny B - I'd wonder if the Dolphins and Marlins have a similar dynamic then I realize someone would have to pay attn to the Marlins.

Darnell E - Nope! Closer every day. You'd put big $ on the Mets, but not yet.

ocw - eh you gotta PH for Gonzo in 7th... well unless you double switch him to end the 6th. But that's advanced managing. We're still getting MW to pass introductory class.

Anon #3 - thanks for that. I think part of the tenor change was Scherzer struggling. When he was going well he was a guy who could keep things light, but once he started struggling he may have became too focused on that. Though honestly I tend to leave it to the beat guys to tell me how a clubhouse is. All we can do from out here is guess.

Rob Evans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Evans said...

I literally tried to choke my TV last night in the 7th. MW has to go, if for no other reason than my sanity lol

Rob Evans said...

"FP IS AWESOME"

I second that. I like "home town" guy doing the local broadcast. Can't stand Sunday Night Baseball, who, regardless of who's playing, devolve into a discussion about the Red Sox and Yankees

Steve said...

This might be splitting hairs, but I was scratching my head as to why it wasn't Thorton coming in instead of Rivero... was Thorton not available? Was there something in the splits, or in the FB/GB/SO stats? Rivero had done well up in his prior few appearances, but seems like Thornton was supposed to be the more reliable lefty in the bullpen... I'm probably just missing some page in MW's book, and if Rivero had struck out Hayward we'd all be praising him for at least bringing in a lefty, but still...

a m s said...

Stop that train, MW is on
My nats, they are tanking right now

ocw5000 said...

I meant, yes PH for Gonzo in the 7th but leave Espi in to play 2B once Escobar ends the inning instead of burning Espi and then using Turner in the bottom to do the same thing. Agreed that the double-switch is like vector calculus to MW.

W. Patterson said...

I shut the TV off when the Cards tied it up in the 7th and shut off the light. If I were asked, I'd have said that someone would hit the ball to left over JW's head. Describing him as a statue is spot on.

...and yes, I'll continue to watch. They may have problems but they're still my local team and that's way better than being stuck with an American League team 40 miles up the road.

blovy8 said...

I agree Steve, if you're not using Rivero for Carpenter why have him warming up instead of Thornton? I otherwise agree with Harper's assessment. My guts just assumed more of Storen would have been bad against St. Louis, so match up in the 7th and hope for some more offense to keep Rosenthal out. Then Werth and Rendon go ahead and hit a little against Rosenthal and try to give me hope that Harper and Zim can do something. Bastards.

One thing this game did - I've finally used to them not making big plays. When Harper dropped that ball I knew they would say the play was impossible instead of just difficult - it was in his mitt and came out. I expected Werth to be six feet in the wrong direction toward the wall on a line drive that competent outfielders would catch. Sure, I was also prepared for Gio's "fielding" to be hilarious.

Zim better stop throwing the ball as well as he did on that bunt, or it'll all be for naught.

Walter Smythe said...

FP is a twerp. I miss Dibble.

Anonymous said...

As long as the Nats are within 6 games of the Mets in the loss column, they control their own destiny.

We knew going into this series that the Nats were facing the best team in their home while the Mets were at home facing one of the worst teams. We knew the comeback run would begin in earnest with the soft schedule that's the rest of the season beginning on Thursday when the Braves come to town.

Frustrating loss, but it was not unexpected. It doesn't change the map for winning the division.

VI said...

"Home town guy" and "Homer" are very different. The "Home town guy" knows more about the team than anyone not on the team and weaves unique analyses, anecdotes, and insights into the broadcasts. He talks to the players, coaches, front office and beat writers, and creates an informed intimacy with the audience.

The "Homer" (aka FP) openly roots for umpires to blow calls in favor of his team, recites ridiculous metrics to build up his players (lifetime 1 for 3, he kills this pitcher), invents juvenile nicknames and catch phrases, lives in an alternate world (we're killing the Brewers and they have pennant contending talent on this team), is a shill for MASN ratings and the Nats, and puts himself in the spotlight whenever possible. Of course, in this case this is the only job he can get, so he might not think he has a choice. Angelos (MASN owner) did run Jon Miller out of Baltimore for being too good at his job and refusing to prostitute himself for ratings.

Zimmerman11 said...

Have to respect Williams a bit here... you know he's heard and read and read again the idea that he shouldn't lose games with his best pitchers left on the bench, but he's holding to his convictions. I like someone who stubbornly refuses to change their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence. It's comforting.

Alan G. Ampolsk said...

Anon@9:01 - thanks for that! That's what I've been trying to get at but haven't articulated nearly as well. There's a chemistry issue with this team. It's not that they lack fire or slack off (maybe the opposite - they press when they shouldn't). The problem is the tightness and the solemnity. I look at the Giants and the Pirates and I see teams that, whether they succeed or not, have come together... and are easy to like. I look at the Nats and I see a bunch of introverts stewing, then imploding.

Re: Zen... and I say this as a Zen practitioner - Zen does not equal rigid, tightly controlled calm. Showalter and Maddon come a lot closer to Zen than MW does.

Speculation: does anyone think Scherzer's downturn has any connection to his losing his all-star start? Cf. rigidity, above.

For those who dislike FP, and I'm one of them, the cure is to listen to Phil Wood a lot. FP's a pro by comparison.

Liking Ray Knight more and more - able to tell it like it is, 'til they zap him with those MASN electrodes they've got attached to him and he snaps back to the party line.

Envying the Mets their TV broadcast team.

Rob Evans said...

No way Ray Knight is better than FP. I almost had to turn off the TV last night because of him. The man never pauses to take a breath. It's amazing he doesn't pass out!

Alan G. Ampolsk said...

@Rob Evans - yes, but that's the excitement: the conflict between truth-telling Ray and MASN-programmed RAY that plays out in his increasingly bizarre facial expressions (which you can read to get a quick handle on how distressing things are, like a living emoji). And the core element of suspense - when will the tension become too great, and he just spontaneously combusts on air?

That's the kind of thing that keeps me watching!

"Yes, I know Ray Knight just burned to the ground but we can't focus on that, we've got to prepare for tomorrow."

Bryceroni said...

I see francona being a manager that could change the tenor of the clubhouse and bring some of that "having fun playing the game" that is totally missing.

Also, haven't seen anyone mention rendon getting thrown out in the 9th. Made me want to punch a baby, but it was probably on him because even werth knew he would have gotten thrown out at 3rd.

vjwhitmore said...

I can't believe that none have even spoken about how stupid it was for Rendon to get picked off in the 9th. Instead of having 2 on with 0 outs, now have runner at 2nd with 1 out and still trailing by 3 runs... Especially since you have both Harper & Zimmermann due up.

vjwhitmore said...

It's the little mental lapses (players & staff) that will cost this team to Postseason.
Even had the LV betting odds back to a 12% chance of making the Postseason, today back under 7% chance.

Jay said...

This reminds me so much of last year. Losing to the Giants with Aaron Barrett on the hill. No Strasburg. No Clippard or Storen. No Soriano. MW is a clueless now as he was then. There are two problems now. One - it will take an unbelievably talented team with paint-by-numbers bullpen for MW to ever win in the postseason. Two - Rizzo will never fire MW bc MW is HIS guy. He even used him as an example when Davey Johnson was there. The quote was something about a player in the locker room to police the other players. He said something like, "in Arizona we had Matt Williams to stuff a guy in the locker". It is so painfully obvious that MW is in way over his head.

Anonymous said...

The Mets really do have a great TV Broadcast team. I'll give them that. Probably the best in baseball.

vjwhitmore said...

If Nats lose tonight & tomorrow (8.5 out), even if they only split the 2 (7.5 out 7 in the loss column) then it is really out of their hands. They will have to hope to sweep the Mets in both H2H and then get help from other quarters...

Anonymous said...

Anyone who watches METS coverage gets a kick out of GARY, KEITH N RON....These dudes have a blast win lose or draw....Keith is so unprofessional its Classic

blovy8 said...

You got your Storen acting with "urgency" tonight, are you satisfied do with how he handled it?

Mattyice said...

Top of the ninth, tie game, and Williams has Jansen warming up??? Didn't he throw about 100 pitches last night and let up four runs?

Does MW have money on the Mets winning the NL East??

blovy8 said...

Just creates another question - why can't you use your closer in a tie game?

JE34 said...

Add 3 more to his tally. Hey that's baseball!

This team deserves to lose. ARGH.

Anonymous said...

I know our bullpen was taxed because Ross only made it three innings, but how on earth can you let Jansen blow the game two nights in a row??? Why did we trade for Papelbon? Is Rizzo firing MW right now???

Credit for the loss also has to go to Storen who clearly cant handle the big game and Escobar for his failure to catch a throw his way...just venting a little bit...ahhhhh

Froggy said...

You have got to be shitting me! Jansen of the 85mp fastball serves it up.

Froggy said...

And on a night where Mets lose in a football score 14-8 we cant hold on to a 5-3 lead.

It's just not meant to be folks....

Anonymous said...

Give Papelbon to the Mets because we don't need him. And I'd rather have Manny Acta, I'm completely serious, give him a call and see if he can steer is rudderless ship. I'm so fed up with this team it's not even funny. Screw you Nats. Screw you DC.

Froggy said...

You have got to be shitting me! Jansen of the 85mp fastball serves it up.

Bryceroni said...

MW fired tomorrow. Please. PLEASE!

Fries said...

I'm fine with the choice in Casey, but after four straight balls to pham on 0-2, you KNOW he's going to attempt a fastball down the middle and moss sat on it. Casey dug his own grave there after two quick outs

Max David said...

Unfreakingbelievable

Mattyice said...

After lying awake in bed for a couple of hours last night after last night's debacle I came to the conclusion that we really need to give Rizzo some blame for our current predicament. I believe the Nets traded for Papelbon because they didn't have confidence that storen would not choke in a big game. If that's the case, then they should have known that moving him out of the closers role would really mess up his already weak psyche.
I think that move was at best a slight and upgrade but more realistically actually a downgrade that might end up just as responsible for our lost season as mw's inability to manage.

WiredHK said...

I think our bullpen would have more success if they walked a tee up to the plate, sat a ball there, and dropped back to play middle infield defense. It's mind numbing to watch this train wreck of a staff....

Froggy said...

I got news for you Matt Williams, losing through horrible bullpen management is NOT "baseball"

But when you get fired tomorrow, next week, next month...well, "that's baseball".

Anonymous said...

Win the seri...oh wait

Anonymous said...

Not sure if people saw this, but MW actually told reporters that he didn't use Papelbon in the ninth because the game was tied and "we want him closing games out": https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/nationals-bullpen-implodes-again-as-cardinals-rally-for-8-5-win/2015/09/02/17b6af98-50f3-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html

What about after Janssen gives up the double and the walk and is closing in on 50 pitches in two nights? At that point, you still don't think of using Paps because a loss when you need every win is better than using Paps when he can't get his precious save?

MW's memoir can be called "The Power of Rigid Thinking"