Nationals Baseball: Round 1 - Mets

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Round 1 - Mets

Nats lose. It was an interesting game. Let's walk through the pivotal moments.

Scherzer, for the 25th game in a row, didn't have his best stuff. He kept leaving the ball up and got pounded for it. However the Mets couldn't get anyone on base so the game remained close despite the three bombs and in the 4th John "He's good too!" Niese proved that he's probably peaked as a pitcher and blew up. After a couple of singles, he walks Desmond (always a bad sign) then gets hammered by noted Met-killer Wilson Ramos. After Taylor singles and Scherzer bunts him over you have your first potential managin' moment. Collins left in Niese to face Werth.  I probably would have tried it too, down only 1 run and in the bottom of the 4th, but I can see why you'd pull him too.

Werth doubles. Now here's a clearer "managin'" moment as Collins brings Carlos Torres in and double switches Kelly Johnson (who homered) out. The idea was right. The Nats had taken momentum and would fully have control if they could keep the Mets from scoring in the next half-inning. Scherzer might even start cruising staked to a lead. However the pitcher was due up. So a double switch makes sense... except why not bring in a better one inning reliever (rather than your long man) then pinch hit for him in the next inning? You have a better chance of getting out of the 4th with no more runs scored and you still get that bat in.  I suppose this saves an arm to be used later but in September your bullpen should be chock full of arms. Anyway it works out because Torres does get out of the inning unscathed and the double switch works exactly as planned. Mets score and while the Nats have the lead they don't feel in control. Game is still up in the air.

Now we get Matt's first and maybe only "managin'" moment. The Nats get a couple of guys on and with two outs the pitcher spot is due up. Scherzer could potentially have two more innings in him and if you think he could give you two more scoreless innings you might let him bat here. But he's given up a run in 3 of 5 innings and has been hit rather hard all game. Chances are pretty good he'll get into trouble and have to be pulled before the 7th is over. So you should just go ahead and pull him now. Yes, the bullpen is not good, but you can't assume failure. All you know is what you have in front of you and what you have is a struggling pitcher hanging onto a one-run lead and a chance to plate two more runs. But Matt lets Max hit. Max gets out. Max gives up a run in the Top of the 6th and Matt pulls him to start the 7th. (That would be his second "managin'" move - though a far lesser one - why pull him then?)

The pen chicanery that followed in the 7th? I don't really blame Matt for. He's trying to use what he's got and they are not coming through.  Treinen couldn't get two outs. Rivero couldn't get one. Janssen couldn't get one. Thornton got his one and him facing Cespedes isn't a bad idea actually. Thornton doesn't have big splits versus RHB and Cespedes, for whatever reason, doesn't hit LHP all that well. It was actually a pretty smart call. A smarter call though would have been probably pitching around Cespedes and letting Thornton take on Conforto who does have a big issue with LHP but I'm not jumping on MW for that. Rafael Martin for the 8th (and then 9th) was a curious move, kind of a surrender flag wave, but he did fine and it keeps other arms fresh.

There were no more important moments as the rest of the game went pretty quietly. Matty has had a distinct lack of urgency and once again that lack of a killer instinct came back to haunt him. This time it was trying to get one inning too many from Max instead of trying to put the Mets away. These games are playoff games. You have to play them for the W today with no thought about tomorrow. Let's see what happens tonight.


Notes

All we know after one loss is that the demise of the Mets is not imminent. Or better said for Mets fans, that win makes it very unlikely the Mets won't be in it at the end of the year. They'll be at least three games up coming out of the series and even if they were to somehow start to stumble against bad competition, it would probably take the Nats two weeks or so to get into first. That'd be great fot the Nats but remember that H2H to end the year works both ways. Even if the Mets completely crash they can still hold out hope if THEY are within three of the Nats by year's end. I think now that's a very safe bet.

I don't think the Nats HAVE to take the next 2. If they win one of two they are where I'd thought they'd be before the Braves series. 5 games out fighting to make up 2 games of ground in 3 weeks. They do have to win 1 though because making up 4 in 3 weeks... I just don't see it. I mean it's possible but we're now talking about a comeback that will be talked about for years. They happen but... I don't see it.

We don't have to talk about the WC2 as I thought we might. The Cubs swept their weekend series.

What is wrong with Max? We'll look at it more after the series. Some say overwork, but I'm a pitch guy, not an inning guy and by pitches he was worked harder in 2013 and 14. I think it's a change in approach more than anything. He's walking far fewer batters in 2015 throwing more pitches in the zone to do that. When you do that you have to be better at locating them and he hasn't been.  He's trying to hard not to miss out of the zone that he can only miss in the other direction - more in. Just a theory. 

94 comments:

Bryce Harper said...

We woulda won if you stayed in the stands, bros. What eves. If we miss the postseason, more time for my hacky sack league.

Bjd1207 said...

I'm not saying inning count is definitely the way to go, but if we have a penchant for precision, pitch count has always confused me. Maybe it gets closer, but I've always liked innings pitched (or maybe batters faced to get more exact) to just approximately measure something like "time spent on the mound"

Why don't warm-up pitches in the bullpen/on the mound count toward pitch count? If your answer is that those pitches don't have the pitcher going "full-throttle" then why ARE intentional walks included in pitch count? And what about those pitchers like Verlander a la 2011-2013 who seemed to cruise on 80% through the first 3 innings and then ratchet it up to 100% in the later innings?

As for the game, hugely disappointed in our bullpen. The strategy was clearly throw a bunch of crap at the wall over the course of the season and see what sticks, and literally NOTHING in middle relief has stuck. We've been over and over the faults in this strategy, especially for a supposedly title-contending team. This game was just one of many where the bullpen showed their true colors

vjwhitmore said...

To address the comment on fans leaving. It was primarily after the 7th, when fans saw their hopes dwindling (Zimmermann K's 3 pitches, Escobar groundout 1st pitch, Desmond K's).

Booyah Suckah! said...

BJD, I'll take this moment again to pound the table for the importance of Craig Stammen. That guy MADE our middle relief, especially when you have starters going short like we've had this year. Worst possible year I can think of to not have him.

I've always liked him and thought he was undervalued. Nothing I've seen this year has disabused me of that notion.

vjwhitmore said...

Additionally, as I posted late last week. Nats can not rely on Zimmerman being the primary source of big hits (he can be streaky at time, going stone cold). Yesterday some of the others stepped up, but when you have #2 Rendon going 0 for 4 with a walk & #3 Harper going 0 for 4 with a walk, that puts a lot of pressure to compensate for.

BDT said...

MW did ok on this one. His handling of Scherzer could be questioned, as you did, but his alternate options weren't good. So he gave Max a chance to save himself. Didn't work.

I don't think the use of Martin for two innings was a "white flag" at all. He was the most effective pitcher of the game!

WilyMoP said...

I think you're far too easy on Matt on this one:

1. It was obvious Scherzer didn't have it. He was missing spots all over the place. Get Clint in there and try for the big blow in the 5th. He didn't even have anyone warming up.
2. Why not Storen when things start going crazy in the 7th? Janssen has been getting roughed up lately.
3. Can't let Cespedes beat you. They let him 3 times.

vjwhitmore said...

The misjudgement of leaving Scherzer in to bat is that by PH for him you stand a greater chance of that hitter either tacking on more runs or plausible walking to load the bases for the top of the order to do so.
Especially since Scherzer was questionably laboring by this point.

Anonymous said...

Think we need to get behind not only Scherzer but the rest of the team..Williams is doing a great job and has his hand on the pulse of the team...Go Nats!!!

vjwhitmore said...

That's what they also said about the captain of the Titantic

Anonymous said...

can't throw our ace under the bus..we need to ride him and Bryce does have a point...the game was far from over and we have had big innings left and right this season...the Mets don't scare me at all and I can see them folding and believe they well...let's not second guess our manager who I forsee as a Manager Of The Year candidate...there's still plenty of time for the Nats to do great things...Go Nats!!

Booyah Suckah! said...

Manager of th... Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh, I see what you did there. Amazing. You, Sir, are hilarious. Well played, with the saying of the opposite of the thing that's true.

SM said...

It was an interesting game, and MW's "managin" moment may have been decisive, if not symbolic of the season.

I remember a long-ago Duke Snider interview in which he talked about the need--and opportunities--to put a team away in crucial moments. Duke was off, resting a sore arm or something, it was the third inning and Brooklyn loaded the bases. Brooklyn was leading by a couple of runs, but their pitcher was labouring. So the manager--might have been Charlie Dressen--had Duke pinch hit. Duke cleared the bases with a double, and their opponent never came close again. Duke went back to the bench and his day was done. It isn't so much that MW made the wrong decision, but that he doesn't seem to learn from them.

One other quick point on pitching in general. McCatty and MW have taken a lot of heat over the season--rightly so, mostly--but what about the catcher? Surely Ramos could have said something like, "Max isn't fooling anyone today. Be prepared to hook him." Anyone who's caught in anything but a beer league knows whether his pitcher has or hasn't effective stuff that day.

Steve said...

The wildly optimistic anon almost had me there, but the MOY comment was just too much...

We missed an opportunity, and we can sit here and armchair manage the game in hindsight (I would've PH for Scherzer there, but I'm an accountant and not a manager), the fact remains that the bullpen didn't get it done and our lineup didn't capitalize outside of one inning. At the same time, it's only one game, so as long as we can win tonight and/or tomorrow, we'll still be close enough to keep me interested for the rest of the season. I think last night was probably our best opportunity of the series, but Scherzer just does not give me the confidence that he did earlier in the season, and Harvey/DeGrom, while still great pitchers, also do not scare me as much as they did a month ago.

Anonymous said...

"even if they were to somehow start to stumble against bad competition"

That already started. The Mets were 4-5 against the Red Sox, Phillies, and Marlins.

I expect the Mets to keep losing against bad teams because their starting rotation was falling apart even before Harvey decided to shut himself down. The Mets starters going bad has put pressure on their awful middle relief, and they're struggling against everyone. We saw it with Niese and the Nats getting into the Mets middle relief early. The Mets bullpen held it together for once, but that doesn't change that facing the Mets middle relief is exactly what you want. The Met were lucky to win the game.

Yesterday's game confirmed that it's only a matter of time until the Nats are back on top. I saw in the Mets a team in trouble. They're nothing for the Nats to worry about. Whatever happens today and tomorrow, the Nats will keep beating bad teams and the Mets will keep struggling against everyone.

NatsVA said...

The bandwagon Mets fans in abundance yesterday coupled with Bryce's comment after the game about the fed up Nats fans leaving because they had better things to do than watch this underachieving team was just the cherry on top of this shit sundae of a season. Fire Matt.

FM said...

@Anonymous #3?

Say what you will about the Mets' pitching. Sure they gave up 5 runs yesterday. Thing is, they can also hit. 8 runs' worth on the same day.

WidlyOptomisticAnon said...

OMG! The Mets are terrible! They only won by 3 runs, we had them by the throats but like a snake that toys with it's prey, we let them win. Better to build up their confidence before we crush them like the cockroaches they are!
Don't worry fellow Nats fans, the Mets will lose every other series this season while the Nats will play 750 baseball the rest of the way!

Anonymous said...

On some level, I understand what MW was thinking yesterday. Scherzer is your "ace" and a two run lead with your ace should hopefully be enough. Plus the bullpen hasn't really got the job done when you've given them a chance. But man, when I looked across into the bullpen as Taylor came to bat and no one was even stretching, I just had to be frustrated that MW wasn't even thinking about pinch-hitting for Max. It's just such a complete lack of urgency. And even if Max was going to get through the sixth inning, he wasn't going to make it through 7. He was already over 80 pitches at that point (if I remember correctly). And then guys get up to start stretching in the top of the 6th!

Terry Collins might have over-managed a bit yesterday but at least you had the feeling he was trying to win the game. MW still gives the impression that he's playing the long game, "we'll catch them eventually" type of stuff. Be aggressive and if it blows up in your face at least it wouldn't be for a lack of trying. Then you can say to those upstairs, "I tried but my bullpen doesn't have the pieces to get it done." You are 4 (now 5) games back with a month to go. Win now or it won't matter if you win later. MW wasn't indefensible yesterday, but the philosophy doesn't fully match the reality of the Nats' current situation.

Rob Evans said...

LOLMets fans are a trip. Typical New Yorkers living under a rock until they see an opportunity to exploit something. Now that their team is winning (due mostly to the Nats choking), they want to puff their chests out and troll blog sites. What a pitiful existence they must have.

Froggy said...

The Slam Sandwich by Ramos was pretty glorious. But even after tacking on another run and taking 5-3 lead I felt impending doom due Scherzer just looking worn out and the thought of our anti-bullpen needing to shut down hot Mets batters for 4 more innings.

Anonymous said...

All I know is, I've barely seen Mets fans around over the past seven seasons the Mets have come to Nats Park. I know that most fanbases operate this way with the ebb and flow of their successful/unsuccessful teams, but don't act like you DC based Mets fans have been supporting your team through the bad years by coming to games. Because I haven't seen but a few of you in the stands since 2008 until yesterday.

vjwhitmore said...

It gets disheartening when you see 6th inn down 1-2-3 (13 pitches, fly out -fly out - strike out). 7th inn down 1-2-3 (9 pitches, strike out- ground out 1st pitch - strike out), 8th inn down 1-2-3 (8 pitches, ground out 1st pitch - strike out - strike out).
Then a glimmer of hope in the 9th (13 pitches, single- down 2-3-4, strike out- strike out - strike out).

What I also saw is instead of trying to build on a lead off single all tried to do too much.

blovy8 said...

Three things:
I certainly could be a homer about this but I didn't see a reason for the balk call, and that was big. If there was something odd to pick on, then he probably had it in his damned delivery the whole game as far as I could tell and they didn't call it then. You are allowed to spin to second. It's a really badly written rule anyway, worse than a check swing in terms of umpire control.
Robles quick pitch has really been effective against the nats, another example of not adjusting within ab's.
While it's hindsight, I think you have to pull a struggling starter in that situation. Not only do you have more relievers in the bullpen, you also have more hitters on the bench. Force better matchups.

Alan G. Ampolsk said...

Anon@9:09 - but that's exactly the MW problem. Rigid fixation on the plan, in this case the notion that Scherzer is the "ace." What makes him the ace? He's the ace because he came in a box marked "ace." It's circular logic. So we'll manage him the way we manage the ace as opposed to, you know, paying attention to how he's actually performing. The book on Max says he's good for 115 pitches. So he should be fresh at 89 even though he hasn't been fresh all day. And his job is to get us to the eight so that's what we'll have him do.

Like you, I was apoplectic after looking over to the bullpen and seeing... nothing. No one even stretching.

What's the opposite of "battlefield tactical improvisation"?

At least some of those fans who left, left out of disgust.

I didn't. I never leave early. Gotta protect my investment now that my ticket prices have been jacked up 40 percent. Thanks, Lerners! Any of my dollars going to to payroll? Maybe part of a new manager's salary?

Alan G. Ampolsk said...

Anon@9:31 - Actually, I've always seen a fair number of Mets fans at Nats Park - nothing quite like the Phillies home invasion days a few years ago, but still decent turnout. Thought it was surprisingly light yesterday - figured the holiday was to blame.

vjwhitmore said...

The balk call, yes, you are allowed to spin to 2nd, but he still had his foot ever so slightly touching the rubber, thus the balk... (mark that up to a mental mistake on the part of Scherzer).
99 times out of 100 it doesn't get called.

Kenny B. said...

Agree tha balk call was big. I was listening to the game because I refuse to pay for cable just to watch MASN, and C&D were pretty bothered about the call. In the end, it only really gave them one run, but it did change the feel of the game significantly. Who knows how it impacted the Mets hitters and Nats pitchers thereafter.

Either way though, that loss is on the starter and bullpen more than anyone else. When you score 5 runs with Max Scherzer on the mound, you are supposed to win. Pretty emblematic of the season. And I have an awful premonition that the 5-run inning was the last of the potent Nats offense we have seen in recent games. The shut out innings that followed feel like they will continue, especially as the team faces better pitchers. I anticipate a sweep, and the effective end of the season.

Prove me wrong boys.

vjwhitmore said...

I think we had become a bit over confident per the hitting. We had been very fortunate that our last series (the sweep of Atlanta and the batting practice pitching staff), made it look like the struggling offense was back clicking.

In most games lately we get 1 big inning and then the bats go silent.

Anonymous said...

look, all's I'm saying is we shouldn't be Monday morning quarterbacks and do nothing but rip jobs on our team...these guys are human and a lot of them read this stuff...I for one think they're all trying really hard...leaving in the 7th is a huge insult and Bryce was right to remark on it...he did it in a very civilized way and said it more as a comment than a complaint...let's show the Nats we're behind them...MW was a great player and now he's an excellent manager...no one had the injuries we did and despite that we're right there and I think they'll blow the doors off the Mets...so their fans outdid us yesterday, let's show them what we're made of today!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:27, everybody in the game is "trying really hard." This isn't pre school where trying your best matters. You want your fans to stay past the 7th? Don't go 0-4, Bryce.

Anonymous said...

again, why the rip job on Bryce??? he's certainly one of the greatest players in the game today despite the weak ohfer...of course he's trying hard not to mention his best but please lets not be like the Phillie Phans of yore who would boo Mike Schmidt if he struck out even though he hit 3 dingers in his previous 3 AB's...we need to get behind the Nats and not constantly rip them...Williams clearly knows what he's doing so let's show them and him some support!!!

vjwhitmore said...

the definition of insanity is to continually take the same actions yet expect a different result.

Rob Evans said...

".these guys are human and a lot of them read this stuff."

No offense to this wonderful blog because I love it, but if Bryce is reading this, I'll crap in my hat.

SM said...

@Rob Evans

Funniest thing I've read on this blog in a long time. Thanks.

Robot said...

As someone hoarse at work today after staying all nine innings, booing Mets fans and screaming at them to sit the fuck down, i didn't appreciate Bryce's comments. It does have to be tough seeing a fan exodus like that, though.

I still say fire 2014 Manager of the Year Matt Williams, but fact is, the bullpen is terrible and Max has been a disappointment since July.

Win the series. That was the plan on Monday morning. It hasn't changed.

Anonymous said...

yes, agreed...boo the heck out of those crummy Mets fans but the majority of our compatriots were exiting stage left...Bryce remarked it was "brutal" to see...what else could he say? I guess those exiting fans got their wish because the players certainly got the message but what we really need now is for the team to be unified and that would be greatly helped if we show them some signs of support. The Mets are a creaky building just waiting for the blow that will cause the whole rotten structure to crumble. Let's all wear our Nats hats tonight as a show of support and show those New Yorkers who we really are!! MW can manage this team to the post season and win!!! I can feel it!! Go Nats!!

Take It Down a Notch said...

Ok, eternally optimistic Anonymous: You're either trolling, or you are F.P. Santangelo.

Rob Evans said...

F.P. Santangelo is now trolling us on the blog lol!!!

VI said...

Most fans don't have unlimited entertainment budgets. Deciding to take the family to a Labor Day game might mean trading the opportunity for a future outing elsewhere. If Harper wants the fans to stay past the 7th inning then he and his teammates should give them reasons to stay. Arrogantly biting the hand that feeds you is plain stupid, and if I'm Rizzo I'm demanding he apologize.

This team has not performed well enough to expect more out of the fans, and Harper should show some class for once. Saving a few minutes getting up S. Capitol might even be a better use of time, and a chance to get a hot burger and a cold beer at the BBQ.

Robot said...

Meh. I get where he's coming from. It has to be discouraging to see your hometown support walking out with 1/3 of the game left. The problem with Harper's comment, in my view, is simply that it's dismissive to those who did stay and support the team. There are more tactful ways to get that message across.

Personally, as depressing as the relief pitching was, i don't understand the mass exodus. It was a three-run game. The team had already put five runs on the board, and had scored eight or more in three of their last four games (against the Braves, but still...). The game was far from over.

Anonymous said...

For heaven's sake the guy was being human...not arrogant in any way...he wasn't complaining just remarking how he felt bad and that it was "brutal" to see...he's telling you he got the message loud and clear...you think he wanted to take an awful ohfer with half the team in scoring position? He knows he was terrible...doesn't need us to point that out and I would venture to say no one felt worse than he did but this isn't helping...we need to pick them up when they're down and not grind them to dust. The Mets are beatable and don't scare me at all and I think MW can lead them to the promised land even with Werth in left

Froggy said...

Re the balk call, I brought this up as well yesterday as I just happened to be watching the batter through my binos and he raised his hand and asked for 'time' a second or two before the call and as Scherzer was bringing his glove to his belt. The second base umpire didnt see the call for time and only reacted to Scherzer's stutter step. Both home plate and 2b umps blew it IMO.

So instead of a routine FO to Werth the runner is on third and he scores. Huge play.

VI said...

Nats Have won 14% of games when trailing after the 6th inning. I don't have the enthusiasm to look up their record trailing by 3 after 6, but it wouldn't matter as there wouldn't be enough games to draw a conclusion.

Anonymous said...

“LOL. I guess I can see where you might get that impression, but it does give me a bit of a chuckle – the thought of me being a Met fan trolling the Nats’ site. You’re not the first person to call me “eternally optimistic.” It’s just my nature, I guess (you know, glass half full, etc). Bottom line, there is plenty of time left for the Nats to win the division. Harvey and Syndergaard have proven to be very hittable of late, and the Nats – yesterday’s interruption notwithstanding – have been on a tear. So, I choose to stick by my team.” you should try it

Max David said...

We just have to win the series. Sweeping would've been nice but we just had to win 2. That was the game we can lose. MUST win the other 2 nights. I know Scherzer has been absolute crap in August but Niese has gotten rocked by the Phillies & Rockies his last 2 starts. Pretty bad to lose that game, but still have a run in them, but has to start tonight.

Also, this game goes back to something I said last week: If they do make the playoffs, I don't really see them doing anything. Scherzer sucks, Stras couldn't handle the big time last year, ZNN has been down from last year, Gio is a basket case, Fister is now in long relief/mop up duty, so who else do we have that's gonna give us consistent outings in the playoffs (should we get there??)

VI said...

Hate to nit pick, but this is the age of the Internet. You can look stuff up! Harvey was "very hittable of late" must refer to giving up 3 runs in the 5th inning of his last start. Other than that he gave up 2 earned runs over the 32.1 innings he pitched in his last 5 starts.

Anonymous said...

"Re the balk call, I brought this up as well yesterday as I just happened to be watching the batter through my binos and he raised his hand and asked for 'time' a second or two before the call and as Scherzer was bringing his glove to his belt. The second base umpire didnt see the call for time and only reacted to Scherzer's stutter step. Both home plate and 2b umps blew it IMO. "

The Umpire never granted time, nor does he have to.

Anonymous said...

Look, no one panic..when the Nats make the playoffs I think we have the best pitching...Scherzer could make like Kershaw, he has it in him and Strassburg and Gonzalez equals a nice 1-2-3 punch. Just like we lost yesterday in the game you would have figured we'd win for sure, the opposite could happen tonight and the Dark Blight could be so shaken by this week's revelations that he's totally off his game so let's play 'em as they say...we, the fans need to get behind the team and not be outdone by a bunch of carpetbagging New Yawkers

Anonymous said...

The balk call was ridiculous in my book. You watch it in real-time (none of the slo-mo nonsense) and there's essentially nothing there. He made no move to the plate or to second. Yes there was a flutter, but I've seen pitchers spasm WAY more than that on a regular basis and get nothing. Ump was looking to call something

As for the Bryce thing, it's all a bunch of crap. Fans should get called out for leaving early, I don't understand why we vilify players when they call out the fan base for lack of support. Because people get insulted? That's silly. I know that it's your money and you can do what you want, but don't get upset when you're called out for lack of support.

Anonymous said...

Well unfortunately for you, your book isn't the one they play by.

Anonymous said...

"The window of five days after the World Series for the New York Mets to possibly re-sign Yoenis Cespedes will be waived by the player and his agent, Joel Sherman reports"

blovy8 said...

Bryce probably wouldn't know about this, but in fairness to those fans, they do stop serving beer after the 7th...

Fries said...

Zimm outta the lineup, that hurts

Unknown said...

Anywhere north of here fans would be booing before they left.

Richard Parker said...

Looks like round two to the the Nats unless the BP really blows it.

A couple of points: First, it makes no difference whether the Nats are within two or three games of the Braves going into the last series--they still need to win three to tie it up. Second, in any case it would mean we would have sweep four in a row (including the tie-breaker) to move on. To me this seems slmost more unlikely than coming back from seven down after this series. Realistically, the Nats need to be at least tied going into that last series, or no worse than one back (which would mean winning 3/4).

Anonymous said...

So it's official: our relievers are some of the SOFTEST pitchers in all of baseball. I think Papelbon needs to slap the hell out of these schmucks before they take the mound. They are an utter embarrassment. Nut up, and throw a strike.

JE34 said...

Worst bullpen ever?

Robot said...

How many games have been blown in the seventh this year?

Anonymous said...

We still blaming MW?? How about fire everyone in the so-called "bullpen." I can't believe what I'm witnessing guys. Even Bob and FP can't sugarcoat this...

Make these suckers pay Mets, please. Bunch of frauds.

JE34 said...

Season just ended, folks.

Fries said...

whole new level of incompetence. this is absolutely disgraceful. storen will never pitch in a high leverage game again, he's a clear basket case. rizzo needs to trade every single player in that bullpen for 2 solid relievers and fill in the rest with minor leaguers who could at least throw a damn strike

Richard Parker said...

Obviously I spoke too soon.

Robot said...

I hate baseball.

David said...

lolololololol bunting 3-1 lolololololloolllllllllllllllllll lmaooooooo great hitter in rendon 3-1 lets bunt lmao.

W. Patterson said...

I hear the fat lady singing.

David said...

that's the season boys. we'll get em next year.

Fries said...

I'm giddy with excitement about seeing MOY Matt Williams fired and Mike Rizzo put on the hot seat for doing NOTHING to reinforce this ballclub at the deadline. We didn't need a closer, we needed a bench bat and reliable bullpen arms. Goodbye season, hopefully next year we can keep our window open just a bit longer

Mets2015 said...

Wow, just wow.

Mattyice said...

Rizzo has deservedly received a lot of the credit for the good he has done with the Nats, but he definitely deserves blame for

1) hiring Williams - I don't blame him for tonight's horrible loss but he has made countless bad decisions over the past two years that have cost us some crucial games

2) trading for papelbon and not also trading away storen. If the Nats believed Storen wasnt mentally strong enough to pitch the ninth inning (Harper - I know you wrote about the need for the Nats to obtain an alternate closer after he blew the game against the Cards earlier this year and I agree 100%) then they needed to trade him away and bring in two strong relievers. Bringing in another closer and demoting Storen to a setup role instead served to make the bullpen worse because Storen's already fragile psyche was destroyed as evidenced by his inability to handle any sort of actual pressure. Rizzo either had to stick with Storen and bring in a setup man or get rid of Storen and bring in two quality relievers. I know my point has the benefit of hindsight, but the reasoning should have been the same then as it is now. Storen was pitching just as well as Papelbon so it makes little sense to bring someone in to take his place unless you dont have confidence in Storen's psyche and if you don't have confidence in his psyche then you have to get rid of him

Up until tonight's loss I was definitely in the glass half full group, but even if we do make the playoffs I dont see any chance of us doing much damage. Our bullpen is absolutely horrendous save for Papelbon who although he gave up the winning run tonight, appears to be mentally strong enough to move on

Froggy said...

Brutal.

It's the Mets destiny. They have a magic to them that we had in 2012.

Time to clean house starting with Rizzo and MW.

David said...

"even if we do make the playoffs" lol, better get that thought out of our minds right now. This Mets team is just too good. Actually watching them these past 2 nights, their lineup is elite. Went from being one of the worst to one of the best at the trade deadline. With their easy remaining schedule they will get to 93 wins pretty easily. We won't even have a sweat the last weekend series.

Max David said...

I'm not sure what I like LESS about the bunt:
Bunting in a 3-1 count with a guy, who, this year notwithstanding can hit the ball outta the ball park, AND should the bunt be successful they are intentionally walking Harper. Just be realistic here! Sure, you never want to put the winning run on base, but when the winning run is the front runner for the NL MVP and the guy behind him is a double play waiting to happen on a ground ball, that's the easy choice. Not even Terry Collins is stupid enough to pitch to Harper with 1st base open and the tying run on second.
Or the fact that since Familia throws so damn hard, the bunt was hard and Duda was able to force Werth at second. Double whammy there! You actually can't blame MW for the pitchers tonight since the entire bullpen was a disaster zone, but you can sure blame him for the Rendon bunt however!

VI said...

Tomorrow is the defining game. Strasburg, the one time next Bob Gibson, versus Jacob DeGrom, the converted SS who is rewriting the script on how you get an ace. A win, and the Nats stay on life support, a loss and it's another year of disappointment with too many pieces leaving or getting old to not have to think rebuild.

Anonymous said...

I'm not worried. As long as the Nats have the 6 h2h left...Oh wait?

Adam Von Blon said...

This game was a total microcosm of the Nationals past 3 years.

Not saying it cost us the game, that credit was earned by the bullpen, but why bunt?

1.) You're putting a runner in scoring position when down a run, that's not playing to win, that's playing not to lose (in a game the Nats needed to win,)

2.) Why take the bat out of your 2nd best hitter's hands in a 3-1 count? I know he was squared throughout the at-bat but adjustments should have been made.

3.) Even if you were determined to bunt and overlooked the above points, why wouldn't you pinch run for the guy on first with the 36-year-old legs? With expanded rosters, it's hard to believe you couldn't find anybody on the bench with quicker wheels? (granted most everyone would have been forced out with the bunt being hit so hard, but still)

dcsnakehead said...

Well that sucked. However if I were a Mets fan I wouldn't feel to good about 7 runs being let by Harvey. Their "comeback" was a joke. The Mets should be careful to get their hopes up. Beating up on the NL East means nothing.

Anonymous said...

dcsnake, all I hear is WAHHHHH WAHHH WAHHh! I love listening to sore losers talk.

Gene 99 said...

it was an interesting game? if i was a nats fan i'd be on a window ledge

dcsnakehead said...

Anon - Career high 7 ER for the Dark Knight and you guys come back with 6 walk gift from our shit show of a bullpen. That sounds like the making of a deep post season run.

Rob Evans said...

Bullpen is a complete dumpster fire. I've never seen grown men with such a lack of intestinal fortitude. How did Storen ever get the closer's job in the first place with that mental makeup? Embarrassing.

David said...

Wacha and Lynn just got blasted too, does that sound like the makings of a deep post season run as well?

David said...

Wacha and Lynn just got blasted too, does that sound like the makings of a deep post season run as well?

Jay said...

There's no way MW is back next year - right? I think Storen can now safely put his house up for sale. He's done in DC after this year. I agree that I still don't like the Papelbon trade. A couple of other thoughts.

1) at what point do the Lerners take some of the blame? They refuse to add payroll during the season. Thus, Rizzo has to make trades at the deadline that don't add payroll. It hurt us last year when we traded for Cabrera and this year when we traded for Papelbon.

2) Hopefully Rizzo learns from this year the bullpen arms do matter. He traded a LOOGY for a 5th outfielder and Clippard for a bad infielder with no range. I know Escobar is actually hittting this year, but if Rendon is healthy all year (which is what we were figuring when the trade was made) then do we really need Escobar? Make a trade or pick up a SS to replace Desmond this coming offseason not last. But we didn't want to spend $8 million on a set up guy. I'd bet that offer looks pretty good now after the last few nights.

3) MW has proven to me that as a manager he looks like a former player. He tries different things that seem smart - aka bunt in the 9th inning with tieing run on first, but he has no clue of when or where those things are appropriate. Rendon is one of the better hitters on the team. Plus even if he gets the bunt down and Werth is on second, they walk Harper, and then even if Nats get lucky and score the tieing run - who pitches after that?

4) Final point. Blake Treinen is officially the gas can man. He takes any game he enters and pours gas on the fire. I do fault MW in part for the bullpen last night. Putting Treinen in to start the 7th was essentially saying "he can give up a few runs but we have 6 runs to play with". Plus he brings in Rivero knowing Collins will bring in Uribe. I'd rather pitch to Kelly Johnson. At what point do you think to yourself that Storen doesn't have it? Let's see double, walk, walk, walk - tie game. The walks weren't all that close. Plus the walks take time. It wasn't like back to back to back first pitch swinging hits or something. Finally, Papelbon, the supposed only guy who can pitch in the bullpen, gave up the first pinch hit homerun of Niewenhuis' career. Fastball right down the middle.

The only good thing about all of this is maybe it gets MW out of town and hopefully it shuts the Nats up. They walk around like they are the greatest team since the 27 Yankees and they have won nothing. They pretty much were told they had no "marbles" last year by Tim Hudson and then went out and proved him right. They've made the playoffs 2 out of 4 years and won zero playoff series. The Nats are the team that is "fake tough" to quote Rizzo. Zimmerman can't play in one of the biggest games of the year bc he hurt an oblique swinging. Harper has done nothing in these games. Sherzer was horrible Monday night. Storen had his second hide the children, how did that just happen, complete meltdown on the mound in the last 4 years. Time for the Nats to wake up and shut up and take a hard look in the mirror. Unbelievable. It felt like that St Louis game 5 all over again. Wow.

Robot said...

Ummm...so...we're not statistically eliminated yet....so there's still hope, right?


Good God, that sucked

Robot said...

@Jay re: Escobar - Yunel has been one of the few consistent hitters on the team this year, and it was obvious another IF player was needed, so I'm not going to knock the trade there. Putting him at 3B, however, is indefensible

Jay said...

I'd agree on Escobar on both points. The point was more that they traded away Clippard. Also, don't forget that the Mets bullpen was a bit of mess prior to their trade for Clippard. Either way - oh well.

blovy8 said...

I think 2015 Clint Robinson is better than Zim with a bad oblique. It's another lefty in the lineup and he did go 2 for 3 with a walk - pretty sure Zim wouldn't have done better.

Janssen was supposed to replace Clippard and be the 2nd closer. They got two years of him for the price. Not saying that's a good thing, but I imagine that was the plan. Barrett probably would have been better without the bone chips. Thornton is ok.

I have no idea why Cole is in the bullpen if he's never going to be used. Seems like this would have a been a good game to let him get some more innings and try to throw fastballs past those guys like Zimmermann did.

Storen is the real mess now, although I really don't know why people are willing to let Papelbum off the hook. Nieuwenhuis?

Robot said...

Yeah, Papelbon blew it, too. I don't think Papelbon is getting off the hook, so much as its hard to keep track of everything that went wrong last night.

Mattyice said...

@Blovy8
Papelbon definitely deserves some blame for grooving a fastball right down the middle, but he has shown the ability to handle high pressure situations and he also doesn't look terrified on the mound.
Sadly, Storen really can't handle the pressure and we have all had to witness it in heartbreaking fashion over the past three years. I feel that I would have had the same terrified look and body language storen had last night if I was pitching, but I can't really throw and last played organized baseball around age 9.

ocw5000 said...

Papelbon did not walk three straight batters, did not multiple would-be wild pitches, does not have a history of melting down under pressure.

I'm still going to slam MW on the bullpen before Storen meltdown 3.0. How many times do we have to trot out Treinen and Rivero and Janssen in the 7th before we learn this doesn't work. ESPECIALLY after you've been trotting them out so much recently. Is Cole or Solis or Fister the better option? Maybe not, but you know pretty convincingly that a tired Treinen and Rivero won't be great. Guess you have to save those other guys in case the game goes to extras, because they're not 7th Inning Guys.

Same rigid thinking with the 3-1 bunt attempt. Yes, Rendon didn't execute. Yes, the bullpen imploded. When you repeatedly put players in more difficult / less strategic positions, it becomes harder for them to execute.

DCsnakehead said...

Good news for Harper is his blog posts are getting easier to prepare. He can just reprint last Wednesday column.

Headline - Broken

Opening paragraph: "I have nothing really new to say. The series is lost. The season grows ever closer to being the same."

JE34 said...

Maybe last night's game broke Harper. He might be questioning whether or not to continue this blog. Did the soulless automaton blow a fuse in the 7th inning last night?

Pull yourself together, so you can put us back together.

ocw5000 said...

Granted, tense games like this are more difficult positions, so pick your poison. And if he'd put Cole out there with a 7-1 lead and he gives up 4 runs, everyone's yelling WHERE'S THE URGENCY?!?! Still, the rigid thinking is that classic Blame-The-Execution approach. Our QB didn't execute (because they were in a dime defense since we never run the ball or run playaction). Our guys gotta make shots (doing 1-on-1 ISOs instead of Spursian ball movement)...