Nationals Baseball: Tick Tick Tick

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Tick Tick Tick

36-19.

34-20.

These are the paces the Mets and Marlins would have to play to catch a Nats team that goes .500 over the course of the last 54 games.

The Nats could possibly pull that off. They've played roughly .500, maybe even a couple games under, for a couple of long-ish stretches. But they've always bounced back and over 54 games their worst stretch this year is 29-25. It would have to be a disappointing finish to say the least. The Marlins have peaked with a 32-22 streak this year - close to what they need but not quite there. The Mets over 55 games 32 wins as well, a little further off a 36 win pace.

You can see why I'm enthused and also why I can't call it just yet. I'm enthused because for the Nats to lose the East would take them playing the worst they have all year over such a long stretch and one of the team's chasing them playing the best they have over the same time frame. That's not very likely. At the same time it is a third of the season that remains and that's a long time for things to happen that can derail a season. And while the Nats have to play the worst they have and the other teams have to play the best they have, the paces aren't that far off the worst and best they've done so far. It's not likely, but it's just possible enough that you can't write it off. Yet.

What would it take to write it off? If the Nats can gain a couple more games over the next 5 games (SF, CLE) then that might be enough. At that point you are asking the Nats to go .500 over 50 games, where they play 13 vs ATL, 7 vs PHI, and 4 vs ARI. That's almost half against some of the bottom feeders of the NL. So while Baltimore has maintained its status and Colorado has streaked to become a decent match-up it would still be hard for me to envision the Nats going .500 over that time frame. If they do better than .500 and are starting with 9 games in hand? I'm sorry but now you are asking the Mets or Marlins to have historic finishes.

We're getting close people. But not yet.

31 comments:

Froggy said...

True, IF you use the season as a whole the Nats would have to tank and the Marlins would need to go on a tear. But IF you break it up in small bites and the Marlins just play 1 game better a week (starting tiday of course) they could find themselves tied going into the seasons final series H2H.

Resist Harper. Resist!*

*at least until the Nats are 7-8 games up

Froggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

MEET THE METS, MEET THE METS, STEP RIGHT UP AND STICK A FORK IN THE METS!!!! IT'S OVER!

LetsGoNats said...

I feel like the fact the Nats have the second highest run differential by far has been underplayed. More ink has been spent on the Indians and Rangers because of their trades at the deadline but the Nats didn't need a trade they were and are the second best team in baseball by a wide margin. Yes they had some blown saves and they made a trade that should help there but they were and are still the second best team in baseball. Yes they have to beat the best team in order to make the world series but you never know what will happen in the playoffs.

Basically what I am trying to say is yes there is still a chance they don't win the NL East but all signs are pointing towards it especially considering they are the second best team in baseball.

Just seem to be flying under the radar some.

Mythra said...

7 and 8.5 up over the Fish and Mets is getting close to Cubs territory (9 over the Cards.)

This makes the Bruce trade by the Mets all the more puzzling. It doesn't really make them better in 2017 and would take a historic run like last year to get into the WC.

Not calling it for the Nats, but it is starting to resemble the train rolling downhill. It is going to be hard to stop the Nats making the postseason, and only they can stop the momentum with untimely injury or slumps.

Also, I really liked what I saw in Difo and Turner is up to stay. I get the feeling Difo might play his way onto the bench if he continues to hit and field well, or at least make a push for a 2017 roster spot and lots of September games to give Murphy's or Zim's bodies a rest down the stretch.

Anonymous said...

Cespedes just went on the DL, and will likely be on there for a while. I'm calling it: the Mets are toast. No Harvey, no Murphy, no Cespedes, and no repeat of their crazy run late last year. Sorry Mets fans! (Not sorry)

The Marlins on the other hand, I'm not ready to bury quite yet. From top to bottom they're a better team than this version of the Mets. They should have beaten the Cubs yesterday; that epic meltdown has to be a tough pill to swallow and could lead to a major hangover. We'll see.

JE34 said...

No calling anything at least until you start to see the words "magic number" bandied about in the papers. Please!

Jay said...

The Nats are who we thought they were. I agree with LetsGoNats. The Nats are the second best team in baseball. They could go into a prolonged slump. They did lose 7 in a row when their bullpen was struggling some. I've watched most of the games this year. The only team that was better than the Nats based on the eyeball test was maybe the Cubs.

SF - we beat their number 2-3 starters. They beat our AAA guy. We still almost won that one and BP ran out of gas both Saturday and Sunday. That should be better now with Melancon settled in as closer. Cleveland -should have won both games - papelbum struck. StL - we swept them in StL. Pitt almost swept them without Murphy out of the break. LA - again some bullpen issues when the 'bum was on the DL. This team has flown under the radar all year. I don't think that is a bad thing.

Doesn't mean they'll do anything in the playoffs. Again look at last year. KC almost lost to Houston. According to some Texas politicians they did (oops). Murphy goes on tear and Mets end up in WS. I'm just looking forward to the playoffs again. Should be fun.

NotBobby said...

@JE34 - Nats Magic number at 47...if my math is correct.

Anonymous said...

Hey Harper, I'm a die hard Nats fan and I was watching Mets Yankees last night.
You have to tell me how in the world Severino has the numbers he has? He was one of the most impressive pitchers I have seen this year.

Mythra said...

Kershaw to the 60-day DL. While it sucks to see a great player like that out for an injury, it does have to improve Stras's case for the Cy Young, assuming he keeps pushing to 20+ wins, right?

That'd be pretty nice if he and Murphy are in the hunt for MVP and Cy Young.

Harper said...

Anon @ 10;32 - He has great stuff but here is his IP at each level coming into this year
A+ : 20.2
AA : 63.0
AAA : 61.1

some guys can progress like that - most can't. He's learning on the job.

Ole PBN said...

This might be for another post, but what are the odds the Nats resign Wilson Ramos?

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/08/wilson-ramos-extension-no-talks-nationals.html#comments

Nats haven't approached him regarding an extension yet. I would argue that the only guy I'd rather have behind the dish is Lucroy (for obvious reasons), Posey (duh), and maybe Christian Vaszquez (solely because of arm/defense). How do the Nats expect to upgrade at this position if we don't get keep him in D.C.? Especially with no one in the pipeline.

Donald said...

Don't. Effing. Call. It.

Ever!

NotBobby said...

Interesting article on BRYCE

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-thing-about-bryce-harpers-2015/

Makes you think twice about the huge contract people want Rizzo to give him. I am still on board with keeping Bryce long term but the article makes a good argument that BRYCE was a one off thing.

JE34 said...

Speaking of which:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-bryce-harper-has-gone-from-great-to-good/

JE34 said...

I wish fivethirtyeight could publish stats on where Bryce's front foot landed on swings in 2015 vs 2016.

Sammy Kent said...

The Wolfpack better be taking some extra batting practice, because they're going to get a lot of playing time. Who the heck made this crazy schedule?????

They had a get-out-of-town early game on Wednesday, off Thursday, then a homestand with three against San Francisco, off Monday, two against the Indians, another off day, then three against the Braves, NO OFF DAY, but go immediately on the road to Coors Field for the first of a nine game road trip with NO off days anywhere in it, back to Nats Park for five, back on the road for five with one off day between series, and finally back home for a ten game homestand with no off days.

From Friday August 12 through Wednesday September 14, the Nats will have exactly ONE off day, on September 1, on the road between the Philly and New York series. That's 33 games in 34 days. From August 12 through the 31st they get no breaks, 20 straight game days despite having to play in five different ball parks. How mad is that??????

Bjd1207 said...

@Sammy Kent - Yea I was thinking just the same thing. We had like 2 off days in the first week after the all star break. And in the first half it was like this too (frequent off days in the beginning, then a long stretch with nothing). Hope we get a better draw next year

Also not sure if JWLumley still reads here at all, or if anyone even remembers. But here's an update on the guy we traded to get Denard Span, basically looking at a ceiling of middle-relief:

Meyer has a first-round pedigree. Drafted by the Nationals 23rd overall back in 2011, he was seen as a bit more of a project than the typical college arm because of wildness. He was traded to Minnesota for Denard Span in November of 2012, a watershed moment in the history of the Minnesota Twins, as they shifted their franchises strange obsession with pitchability prospects toward high octane howitzers.

Meyer will touch 98 mph and sits 94-96 while flashing a plus slider. He has always been wild and continues to be, even at age 26, and even the most generous of evaluators has given up hope that he can become a starter. The stuff will play in relief, and may even be worthy of high-leverage situations if Meyer can put things together, but the combination of his wildness and the shoulder fatigue that has held him out since April make him a extremely risky.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/twins-and-angels-swap-throwers-meyer-and-busenitz/

Ric said...

@Froggy, "... and if the Marlins just play 1 game better a week they could find themselves tied going into the seasons final series H2H."

For any team to win one game more a week for 54 games than they did the preceding 108 games would be historical. Seriously, that is a huge jump; do the math. It is going from playing .528 (Miami current win percentage) to .695 ball.

Bjd1207 said...

@Ric - I think he meant 1 game better than us. Basically they need to gain a game/week on us in order to catch us in time. So it would be depending on our winning percentage, if we suck then they can gain a game per week without historic winning percentages

Froggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Froggy said...

Yes, that is what I meant... 1 game a week better than the Nats.

7 games is a lot to make up and I don't think the Fish have the pitching to do it. I was just being 'devil's advocate' cautious about the possibility. I'm waiting to see how we sit after the Giants, Indians and Braves series and if it is 8 or more games I'll feel more comfortable about jumping on Harper's band wagon and calling it.

...and forking out a small fortune for post season tickets!

Anonymous said...

Mets fan here. I'm calling it for the Nats. Put it in the books. It's over. Stop worrying about losing the division and start worrying why Bryce Sucks so bad

Anonymous said...

Magic number is 48 before results of tonight's games between Nats and Giants and Marlins and Rockies.

BornInDC said...

JE34:

"I wish fivethirtyeight could publish stats on where Bryce's front foot landed on swings in 2015 vs 2016."

Your "wish" illustrates what I think is one of the limitations of pure statistical analysis vs. what a fan (or manager or general manager or commentator) who sees a player every day sees or a video analysis of a player's swing shows. The Nats commentators and the fans who watch at home can see there is something wrong Bryce's swing this year with him bailing on pitches. The loss of power is an unexpected result of this fact.

For somewhat similar reasons, I wonder what statistical analysis will make of Daniel Murphy's 2016 and his big jump in power and batting average. For those of us who what him every day, we can see this year he seems to be able to square up balls on a regular basis and also be able to place balls in play where he wants them on the field of play. I wonder how this fact will be shown in the statistical analysis of his season.

Perhaps the most emblematic swing of his whole season was the home run hit hit in June against the Mets that was so inside that virtually no other hitter could have hit it fair. Not only did FP note this about the HR, but I saw an analysis of the HR on MLB Tonight that reached a similar conclusion, i.e., that Murphy just seems to have extraordinary hand-eye coordination, even for a major leaguer, this year that allow him to get his hands inside the pitch to keep it fair and still get enough arm extension to square it up with power. How is something like this captured in statistical analysis? Sure you can see in the status he's able to hit pitches inside, but the amazing thing is that he is able to do so even though he has a stance that crowds the plate, something an observer sees but I'm not sure the stats show, similarly to your hypothetical "Where Bryce's foot lands stat" vs. the statistical analysis that Bryce has lost power this year.

NotBobby said...

So Zim is on DL now with Goodwin getting the call-up. The question is who Dusty will be starting at first. Will Murphy be the first baseman? If so will TT be playing 2b? Is that why Goodwin was called up? Or was he just the best bat and they dont plan on starting him and CRob will be at first?

Unless they want TT out of center i would rather they leave him there to stay comfortable rather than moving him around...

Froggy said...

Hypothetical question...

Now that he has (as of next Friday) an unconditional release from the Yankees, would (should?) the Nats take A-Rod as a bench player?

Would the Lerners / Rizzo like to see him reach 701 homers in a Nats uniform?

NotBobby said...

@Froggy

They would if he showed something is in the tank. He hasn't shown that this season. And he is a special advisor, not sure what the rules are on grabbing someone in a non-playing role from another club. ..

Anonymous said...

I'M CALLING IT! NATS TO WIN NL EAST!

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