Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie : Vacay Day

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Quickie : Vacay Day

Dusty is the best!

Well outside of his constant failure in the playoffs but we'll talk about that in hushed tones until we get to the playoffs when we'll make a reference to it in an article thinking that we might jinx the team if we make a big deal about it.

Is this, 54-36 at break Nats team, the best Nats team ever? Is it better than that Expos team?

Maybe!  No!

The "wins at the break" thing is a desperate attempt to wipe the non-Nationals records hanging around* but the Expos had played three fewer games at the break. So they were better. Doubt it? To match their "Oh no! Strike!" record the current Nats team would have to go 20-4 after the break.  Good luck with all that.

They are ahead of the other Nats teams. 2012 - 49-34 at break. 2014 - 51-42 at break. but both those teams killed it after the break. the 2012 team went on a 24-7 run and went 49-30 after the break. the 2014 team had a 10 game winning streak and finished the year 17-5, going 45-24 after the break. Those are both 100+ win paces for like 40% of a season. It'll be tough to do.

But it's not impossible. I'm not ruling it out. Who wants to take bets?


Other Notes :
We've said before Healthy Nats are much better than Injured Mets.  I kind of find it hard to believe that the Mets will get much healthier or that they will make any big moves so tomorrow we'll take that long awaited look at the Marlins.


*Part of me thinks this was a big part of re-signing Ryan Zimmerman.  

27 comments:

NotBobby said...

looking forward to the Marlins post.

i took a quick look at the 2nd half schedule and it looks to be really tough coming out of the break. i would not be surprised to see a bit of a slip during this time, but hopefully making it back up at the end of the schedule

AllStar Break,
Pirates, Dodgers, Padres (easy)

@Indians, @Giants, @Dbacks (easy but on the road to west coast, so not as easy)

Giants, Indians, Braves (easy)

next day @Rockies (hard turnaround), next day @ Braves (hard turnaround)

then it gets easier with only Orioles and Pirates series really looking tough

Nat fans may be screaming after all star break because there could be some tough series there for a couple weeks but the back of the schedule is very soft so everything should be good.

Bjd1207 said...

@NotBobby - Giants and Indians are both tops of their Divisions, that road trip and subsequent homestand will not be easy. That's what I'm looking at as the test of the early 2nd half. After that, then it's a feast of sub-.500 teams (mostly braves, phillies, rockies) with occasional interruptions from the Orioles and Mets.

Get through this tough early stretch and we should be in very good shape

NotBobby said...

completely agree.

Fries said...

Looking at the schedule leading up to the home and home with the O's, if the Nats can pull off 20 wins (in 33 games) I'll be ecstatic, but I'll be content with 16 (just under .500) with a lot of tough back and forth travel on top of the tougher teams (Giants/Indians/Dodgers with Kershaw back).

NotBobby said...

Fries - i came to the same count as you. I would be looking for 16 and anything above is doing really well (depending on how pitching matchup fall).

Kenny B. said...

Biggest issue is Nats' health, but you can't really do a post on that, since you can't predict who will be hurt. Personally, I predict one more Strasburg stint out of the rotation for a small issue before the end of the season, but he always seems to come off the DL really strong, so I almost look forward to his departure and return.

Hopefully Ross comes back strong too, because although we're kind of mocking Boz for his Dusty propaganda, Dusty's use of Roark to close out a critical game before the break was something ol' PBN would be unlikely to do. It says to me that Dusty would never watch the season end because of mandatory use of the "eighth inning guy"(tm). Thus, a glut of starting pitchers means better playoff chances. I'm counting yesterday as one more in the WAMW column.

In the meantime, let's all just be happy for a few days while our 6-game lead is sure to be preserved.

The Mets Rotation said...

Oooooooowwwww! Our arms feel like they're being eaten by fire ants!!!

theNATural said...

I'll be watching how the Nats play against the division leaders coming out of ASB. We dropped those 4 in Chitown when the Cubs were playing their best, now SF is on fire and the Nats will play 4 in their house. Similar with the Indians. Can we win a few of those games? Would be great to see the Nats prove beat the really good teams.

It won't happen now, but a month ago the majority of this blog would have have happily traded Espi for a bag of balls. Curious what his trade value is now...

WiredHK said...

@Kenny - totally agree about your Dusty comments, you won't find any mocking from me. I'm really encouraged by the way he actually manages a game and the ebb/flow of the season. He isn't afraid to move the order around and I think his treatment of the players and overall credibility lets him make moves without any sulking or complaints. Dusty seems wired to do whatever he deems necessary to achieve success - whether it's the small moment or the bigger picture. A manager may not make much difference overall, but if they do, this is how they do it...

Anonymous said...

FWAAH, as long as they don't become cocky and play with focus they can beat any team. When we played them in NLDS, it was only Bryce playing against SF Giants, we are much better now. Go Nats!

BxJaycobb said...

Espinosa may be a perfect trade chip this offseason, with Turner ready (and Espi delivering possibly his best season to date, Rizzo would be selling super high).

Anonymous said...

BxJaycobb: Baseball being strange, things can go south very quickly. If you bank on TT and he goes down with injury, you have no backups at SS. SS is most critical position after catcher. I would not trade Espi under any condition. He can play 2B, 3B and SS. Who knows he is a late bloomer and hits 20-25 HRs from here on.

BxJaycobb said...

All signs...like ALL signs point to Espinosa having a fluke career year. and u have TT (who has more positional flexibility actually if he can play CF) and u get a backup like Drew type if he goes down. He's a really solid piece, but if you can get a great prospect or something else for him, very quality trade trip. Selling high is impossible if whenever somebody is playing great u assume they're going to keep playing that well. A month ago we all assumed you couldn't get ANYTHING for danny.

BxJaycobb said...

Anon: and frankly it's much more likely Danny has a second half more similar to April-May than June.

theNATural said...

Sell high. If we're in 'win now' mode, we're not too interested in prospects (we have that in TT). Add a quality arm to the pen, or what about a bat that can replace hot-hitting Espi's offensive numbers ongoing?

Which teams might be looking for a SS?

Fries said...

My problem with the sell high mentality in this context is that I don't think any GM in baseball would be dumb enough to dish out more than an slightly below average bat for Danny. Everyone here would agree (except 9:32 Anon) that Espi is due for a regression. Probably every GM is also going to think that. I don't think selling high is going to get the Nats anything in return worth more than just riding out Danny's hot streak right now.

mike k said...

I agree with trading Espinosa in the offseason (depending on offers of course), but no way you do it now. You're trying to compete and he's having a career year. You "pay" the chance that he'll be cold in the second half and you missed out on an opportunity. And you wouldn't get much for just half a season of production, anyway. MAYBE a bullpen arm, but most teams looking to sell those don't want just 1.5 years of team control of someone who's had .5 good years since 2011. And no way do you get a bat that can replace what he's been doing.

But there's also no way I don't shop him once the season is over. He'd be under team control for only one more year, and while it'd be nice to have that quality backup for the rookie they'd be starting, if you can get something that can help you more than one year of a high-quality backup, I'd make that move. Just note that Drew IIRC isn't under contract next year, so you'd have to go out and get someone else.

mike k said...

Just note I said shop him, not necessarily trade him. Having Espinosa next year, even if he regresses, gives real value to a team wanting to compete who a) is an NL team, so there's pinch hit opportunities, b) is starting a rookie, and c) has 2 injury risks in the IF.

Dmitri Young said...

Danny's obviously a flawed player but there are a lot of flawed middle infielders starting around the league. If you look back through seasons in which Danny got at least 300 PAs, among others players at his position with at least 300 PAs he was tied for 8th in WAR in 2011, 5th in 2012, DNQ 2013, 20th in 2014 in 364 PAs, 16th in 2015, and is 7th right now. I get that's not stellar but it seems to me that the criticism of him in DC does not account the relative ineffectiveness of league average MIs.

Alex Freeman said...

I guess everyone in this blog just hates Espinosa. Look I wanted him gone and TT to take his spot before June just like everyone else here did, but now he's turned into a very very good SS. Could've even been an all-star in my mind. So if your goal is to win a World Series this year (which it should be for the Nats), then no way you trade a guy with 30 HR pop for a prospect or two down the road. If the argument for putting TT in Espinosa's spot a month ago was that we should be trying to win now, then the same argument should apply for NOT trading Espinosa

Anonymous said...

I think the trade question also needs to address his role next year. Danny does NOT like to sit on the bench and has been borderline cantankerous when forced to do so. If you aren't going to start him and TT is your SS next year, then I think you are better off getting whatever trade value you can out of him this off-season.

Alternatively, if Zimmerman can't clear his head/eyes/shoulder etc., then moving Murphy to 1st and TT to 2nd might be something to consider, with Zimm as your super sub/pinch hitter.

Zimmerman11 said...

Post ASB we have a rough three weeks...
PIT,LAD,SD,CLE(2),SF(4),AZ,SF,CLE(2)

Good news is we're at home for most of those (14 of 23)...and AZ and SD supposedly stink.

Travel is decidedly easier after that in the second half with just one oddball trip out to CO before everything else is confined to the east coast... and we have 12 games left against ATL

I'm pumped. Hope the Mets don't go on a tear after the break. Hold the lead 'til August and then ride BRYCE! through the summer.

G Cracka X said...

Hats off to Ian Desmond, who is 4th in Fangraphs WAR among hitters.

Sammy Kent said...

I hate the All Star break. It's good for the players to get some time off in the middle of the season, but I really haven't enjoyed the game since free agency got players jumping leagues, and I'd rather just watch the Nationals.

In this week of summer doldrums I guess everybody starts thinking about the trade deadline. I still wish there was some way to package Papelbum for Aroldis Chapman, but I don't see it happening. If I were the GM I'd be shopping Stephen Drew for a reliever/spot starter for Joe/Gio/Stras. Giolito ain't it, not yet anyway.

@ Alex Freeman: to be sure, not everyone on this blog hates Danny Espinosa. I have been a huge Danny fan for years, just because of his superior defense. I am delighted beyond measure that he has had this fabulous couple of months at the plate, but even if he wasn't I'd be for keeping him, cantankerous or not. Frankly I trust Dusty to know how to deal with cantankerous players much better than Matty ever did.

Josh Higham said...

The real reason Bryce doesn't want to be in the home run derby: Giancarlo Stanton.

Anonymous said...

Nats made the Mets go from hot to not very quickly.

Zimmerman11 said...

SFG WS Champs 2010,2012,2014... guess we gotta wait 'til 2017 :(