Nationals Baseball: Get the win and get out

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Get the win and get out


Strasburg didn't feel impressive. He allowed nine baserunners and had only 4 Ks over 6 innings, hardly anything to get excited about. The Nats offense was pretty dead for another day. Again pretty well shut down over the course of the first 6 innings, and needing some key mistakes by the Braves to get going enough to win the game.

But Strasburg didn't give up any XBH. The Nats did get the big hit when the Braves left the door open. And the Nats won the game. That's all that matters. No one is looking back and adjusting for "should have"s and preformances. A W is a W.


Now, the Nats face the Marlins who might be a decent offensive team with a core of Gordon, Yelich, and Stanton, but who probably can't pitch beyond Jose Fernandez. A sweep would be nice but 2 of 3 is enough. Let's get a fast start going. Doesn't look like the game is going to happen today though.

What would a fast start mean? Not too much but it's better than a slow one. How did the rest of the "window teams" start?

Last years team started slow (2-6, 7-13). The 2014 started fast (7-2) initially but then skidded back down to around .500.  2013 was very similar, also starting 7-2, also skidding back to .500, a game or two further down. 2012 was the only team to start super hot (14-4). 

It seems like these matter and well, they do, every win counts, but for the story of these seasons it isn't as clear as "fast start = win", "slow start = lose". Go through these seasons and you can see they are generally filled with ups and down and the divisions aren't really decided until August. Doesn't matter what the season opened like. Even the 2012 Nats, who started fast and never really slowed down, only started to look safe in early September because the Braves wouldn't go away (they'd win 94 games that year).

Basically all a fast start (or slow one) does is open the possiblity of your season being figured out early. But possibility doesn't mean likelihood. It's games in hand, little more. Still wouldn't you rather have those games in hand and open the possibility, however remote, of watching the rest of the NL East fade into the rearview by mid May?  So keep winning.
Anything else going on? Still waiting on Werth to get his first hit. MAT still knows how to swing and miss. I'm very interested to see the back end of the rotation have a go. Still a couple weeks before it's worth saying anything about individual players probably.


Bryceroni said...

When is the earliest time the nats would be willing to deal for another outfielder? Werth is going to get the benefit of the doubt for a while, but if he doesn't hit the nats have gotta look for reinforcements right?

The only in-house solution I can think of is bringing up trea Turner and putting Murphy in left field, and I'm not sure they really want to do that.

Enciende tu natitude said...

Harper, slow your roll! The game should still happen today...rain is clearing up as we speak and there are just some showers in the forecast later. I might be slightly biased as an OD ticket holder...but I think we're playing.

@Bryce - are you assuming an MAT flame out too? If Werth doesn't hit and/or gets injured, I'm hoping MAT can hold down LF (with Revere back at CF sooner than later).

Ollie said...

@Bryceroni Maybe they can flip positions for him and Zimmerman?

Miles Treacy said...

it's only been (2) games but dusty seems to really like rivero. curious if he sees a little chapman in him with the whole hard throwing lefty thing. i remember when dusty was hired there was some chatter that he runs pitchers into the ground but no hard evidence can support that. it's a little strange to me that on paper he's said he's still sorting out roles other than closer, but he uses rivero that much already? a bit strange but i guess i like the want to win every game approach as he seems to trust him i guess. curious to see how that plays out over the next few weeks.

SM said...

You're correct, of course: "Possibility doesn't mean likelihood."

Last year, while the Nats opened the season at 7-13, the Cards and the Royals each broke out at 14-6 after 20 games. Only the Mets were better at 15-5.

Over the next 142 games, Washington gained exactly 1 game on New York.

April didn't decide the race by any means. But if the Nationals needed any more reminders of how important every games is, even in April, the 2015 season was certainly it.

Robot said...

Fast start, slow start, whatever. A win in April is worth the same as a win in August. The team has 2 now. 93 to go. (Yeah, I've settled on 95 as the arbitrary target).

Werth is going to get a long leash because historically, it takes him a while to get going. Science willing, it will be soon - we really can't afford to have a hole in the field and at the plate.

Josh Higham said...

@Miles It's a legit concern given Dusty's history, but two games is way to few identify a trend. If Rivero's thrown 5ish innings before Monday I feel like it becomes hard to write off heavy use as an anomaly, but for now, maybe Dusty just had a feeling that Felipe had the Braves' number or something. Of course, if the offense gets going, we'll probably see less of him, because there will be fewer high-leverage situations.

I think Rivero is hot stuff, and I trust him more than most of the bullpen. Every win matters.

Old Man River said...

On the use of Rivero....

#1 - its been two games. Based on this logic we can assume that Rivero is going to pitch a TON, Nats are going 162-0, Bryce will hit 81 homers and Gio, Roark, or Ross will not start a single game. Lets calm down a little.

#2 - Dusty does like Rivero. As a new manager, would you not like a young, hard-throwing left (who he himself has aspirations to be a closer)? Opening Day, Felipe struggled a bit. It is commonplace for a manager to throw a pitcher right back out there after a tough outing, especially if he thinks his nerves were a factor.

As Josh said earlier, lets revisit after a week or two...

Also, why is Taylor leading off?

Clip&Store said...

How long do we give day?

Anonymous said...

Taylor leads off because Dusty loves him some Michael A. Taylor. His response yesterday to the question was, "I like everybody else where they are at. Besides, who else runs as fast as Michael A., who else hits it as far as Michael A.? We are lucky to have Michael A. Taylor... what does that "A" stand for anyway?"

Donald said...

I didn't see the interview, but the way F.P. relayed it made sense to me. It sounded like Baker said that he didn't like MAT leading off but he liked where everyone else was positioned in the line up so he didn't want to disrupt things if he didn't have to. Sounded like he was open to adjusting if MAT couldn't handle leading off, but he'd give it a shot before moving everyone around. I think that makes sense. If the Nats had another natural lead off guy it would be different, but if it's not MAT, it would be Werth? A guy who has zero hits? Or Rendon? A guy with pop who slots well in front of Harper? While I think Matt Williams would also have had MAT lead off in this situation, he'd have said it was because he was fast and end of story.

MattyIce said...

Clip&Store - I hope not. He looks absolutely hopeless out there. Maybe Dusty will put Danny out there once we call up Trea...He is off to a good start so far and he is not a statue.

Fries said...

I love MAT, he's got a lot of potential that if he learns plate discipline will make him the perfect leadoff hitter. but man was tonight bad for him. He needs to learn his role, and as a guy with wheels that should be to get on base, not hit homers