Nationals Baseball: SHOWDOWN

Monday, September 07, 2015

SHOWDOWN

The Nats are playing as well as they have since being the best team in baseball back in May. They've gone 13-6, won five in a row and five out of six series. The only series they lost was to the best team in the majors and they were in each game. They've only picked up a half-game in total but their continued great play means they were able to stay close to the Mets when NY surged and get back those games when the Mets cooled off.  And the Mets have cooled off going 4-5 in their last 9 and losing series to both Boston and the Marlins.

Everyone on the Nats is hitting. Literally.  Wilson Ramos in the past two weeks is putting up a .279 / .289 / .442 line. That's totally acceptable. He's the worst Nats starter at the plate over that time.

Zimm is slugging .898 and has a remarkable 24 RBI over that time. How's he driving in that many runs? Bryce's .607 OBP over that time has something to do with it I bet. The starters still haven't really put it together but the relief pitching, if you can believe it, has been very good. I mean, if you aren't "third closer" Casey Janssen that is. Everyone has an ERA under 2.08 (yes, Storen too - remember his bad inning was caused by Lobaton telling him to go to third, him winging it, and Escobar missing it) 

How are the Mets doing? Pretty good, considering. Granderson, Uribe, and Cuddyer are struggling in the past week but the rest of the team is still hitting well. Their starters as a whole are doing better than the Nats but Niese is way off and Sydergaard is scuffling. deGrom could be doing better too. The Mets also have a handful of middle relievers who are getting hit hard. 

The Nats are peaking at just the right time but you're only as good as your next starter. Tonight it's Scherzer vs Niese. Nats have the advantage. This is an important game because the Mets will have the edge Harvey v ZNN and will have it again with deGrom vs Strasburg since we don't know if Stras will really pitch and how healthy he'll be when he does. 

As long as the Mets don't sweep the Nats, they'll have a chance heading out of this series*. But don't get swept isn't the goal. The goal remains the same. Win the series. 

*I'd say this 
Mets sweep, Nats 7 out: season effectively over
Mets take 2, Nats 5 out: Mets have full control, a lot of scoreboard watching trying to catch-up to at least 3 games out. 
Nats take 2, Nats 3 out: Both team have some control since Mets will have division lead but Nats will be in "last series sweep" distance. Mets will be fighting to take Nats out before last series. Nats will be fighting to get into better position so sweep not needed. 
Nats sweep, Nats 1 out: Nats have all the momentum. Only outcome that may end up with the Nats expected to overtake Mets for division but it would be closer than you think since Mets schedule is just as easy as Nats and they have HFA for the last series. 

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe we are finally beating up on the bad teams.... Maybe we have some hope

SM said...

Did you really post this at 5:46 am? That's a he-man hour!

So . . . 4 games out on Labour Day. (The extra "u" is part of our Canadian charm.) That's all you can hope for if you're a baseball fan.

Somewhere, in some ethereal tunnel, Earl Weaver is sneaking a quick but satisfying smoke.

Kenny B. said...

Hoping for a series win. That will keep the last month of the season interesting, which is more than I expected coming into September.

David said...

Started Max on Draftkings today, he can SMD. There is no way we are going to overtake this division if he keeps pitching this poorly. We need him to be an ace.

Robot said...

I CAN HAZ NU MANIJER NOW?

WiredHK said...

Wildly pessimistic. :(

Anonymous said...

LGM LGM LGM......VAMOS CONIO

Mets2015 said...

What a game! This series is going to be nuts.

Sam said...

can we fire matt williams now please

Ben said...

When the game is on the line you definitely want to lose with your 4th (though maybe like 11th) best reliever on the mound and max at the plate, you have to keep storen fresh for the Marlins series and Clint fresh for another decade in the minors.

Anonymous said...

200 Million Dollars for this?? HEY MAX wake up.... Mets hitters owned him today, UNREAL

Fries said...

Why oh why did Max come up to bat with men on 2nd and 3rd. You've got the lead, sure, but Max was pitching like absolute crap today and you knew he had MAYBE an inning left. Get Fister up in the pen and pinch hit with the pinch hit king of den Dekker and maybe you get the win today. Other than that, I really can't fault ole PBN, he played the matchups after that and lost, that's all you can ask

Mets2015 said...

Chelsea Janes ‏@chelsea_janes 22m22 minutes ago
Harper on the atmosphere/fans: "Well, they left in the 7th, so that was pretty brutal.."

Ouch. Way to throw your fanbase under the bus.

Ben said...

Yeah bringing in K master and groundball specialist Janssen is a great move ... Wait he sucks at both those things! Well uhh blah blah blah stuff the about the "book" and grit and blah blah blah blah.

Bryceroni said...

I was prepared to scorch ole PBN, but the nats didn't play well pitching and defense. 5 runs is fine, but the mets scored 8 so they win...

Anonymous said...

Max's game was disappointing, but it was an affordable setback. Chopping down the Mets lead to 4 games meant the Nats came into this series with an extra game to control their own destiny with the H2H. The loss just means the Nats are back on pace.

The big positive is the Mets starters continue to fall apart. Niese was just as hittable as expected. He's done. We can count on Niese bleeding more games for the Mets. Confirming Niese will give games to us the rest of the way does a lot to make up for one loss.

Another positive is we got into the Mets middle relief early who usually can't protect leads for one inning, let alone 5. They got lucky this time. I'm confident next time with the same process, our line-up abuses them.

A win is preferred to a loss, of course, but we could afford this one. More importantly, there were positives to take away from it going forward.

David said...

Really? I felt this is the one they couldn't afford to lose with Harvey and deGrom next line. Nats were -180 to win today. Losing games when you are a 67% favorite to win is brutal.

Ryan said...

Yeah, though if we can't rely on Max for at least a quality start then we'd be toast in the playoffs anyways, so if we keep losing because our ace is shitting the bed it's hard to feel like we even deserve to be there

Froggy said...

I thought PBN did a good job today. Managed things situationally as well as he could...until Jansen stunk it up.

Regardless, the key moments (other than 3 jacks by the Mets) were the non-balk, ball call. The batter had stepped out and asked for time IMO.

And that godawful, no range statue playing 3b! Escobar might be a good hitter but he has no business playing a hot corner.

Anonymous said...

Lets get them tomorrow.

Myself said...

I know it's fashionable to blame Matt Williams, but if you're paying Scherzer $200 million and he's going up against Niese, then he has to win that game. And maybe MW should've pinch hit for Scherzer in the fifth, but when the Nats went to the bullpen the next inning, the Mets beat them up anyway. The truth may be the Nats can't stop the Mets, that the time to beat the Mets was in the first four months in the season. By letting the Mets hang around, they let the Mets turn themselves into a team the Nats cannot defeat.

Drugger said...

Awesome game!!!

Ken said...

Matt--please put Werth somewhere, anywhere but left field. That's two missed fly balls in a week. Taylor in left, Werth in right, Harper center!

Robot said...

Yeah, as easy as it is to scapegoat MW (and much of it deserved from earlier this season),the fact is that the bullpen is totally unreliable. There's not a single arm other that Drew and Papelbon, that i would trust in a close game. That's a huge problem