Nationals Baseball: Game 7 - Watch it!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Game 7 - Watch it!

We can talk Nats tomorrow.

Also Maddon was not wrong in the Chapman usage. This is really driving me crazy but the idea that somehow pitching a relief pitcher in two straight games is setting him up to fail, or the fact a day off isn't enough to recover from a particularly long relief session is wrong. At least I think so, well actually I know so for the former, and I think so for the latter.

So bringing him out in the 7th when an errant pitch could have brought the Indians within two and the heart of their line-up coming? Makes sense. Pitching him in the 8th because you already got him up and it's still the heart? Makes sense. Pitching him in the 9th because you didn't have someone ready because you were still going to pitch him in the 9th if it was a 5 run game and the HR came late?

OK that was pretty dumb, but it was only a few pitches!

Anyway - go great game!

30 comments:

Fries said...

Gotta like the pitching matchup tonight. Hendricks vs Kluber. Winner of this game is the team that gets to the bullpen first, and even then it's not certain. I'd love to see 7 innings each of Hendricks vs Kluber and then 2 innings of Miller vs Chapman. I'm all for a war of attrition where a single mistake can cost you the whole shebang. Keeps everybody on edge

But go Cubbies, I'm tired of this #WINdians nonsense

Chas R said...

Should be a great game!

Harper I saw all your tweets about the nonsense around the Chapman move. Some people on Twitter were ridiculously over the top in their criticism of Maddon.

Anonymous said...

I'm backing Cleveland. Cubs fans are bad enough as the lovable losers, I am terrified what would happen to them if they win. There is a significant chance they could actually be worse than Philly fans...

PotomacFan said...

The fans of all winning teams are pretty obnoxious. However, there is just no way the Cubs fans could be worse than the Phillies fans.

DezoPenguin said...

It's entirely possible that toxic sludge brought to life as a shambling horror the size of the Empire State Building marching through downtown Philadelphia...would just be mistaken for a season-ticket holder on his way to a Phillies game.

Fans aside, Hendricks has been lights-out all postseason, but the Cubs offense goes on life support whenever he comes near. He's already been the starter when his team ends on the wrong end of two 1-0 games this postseason. Whatever the outcome, there's going to be capital-N Narratives written.

Also, speaking of narratives, if the Cubs win the series, it's entirely possible that Chapman gets the MVP (and if Cleveland wins Miller's still in play though Kluber is more likely). Whatever happens, the decision by Showalter to not use Britton in the WC game has driven the storylines of these games to an astonishing degree. I mean, a *middle reliever* was the ALCS MVP (okay, he's also arguably the best relief pitcher in all of baseball, was used well and hard and pitched brilliantly, but the very concept of that happening is completely outside the box)!

John C. said...

Well, there is precedent on the "Cubs fans becoming insufferable." My BIL is an Orioles fan, but he hates Red Sox fans even more than Yankee fans. The reason he gives is that they are both obnoxious and root for big payroll teams, but the Yankee fans at least acknowledge these truths. Red Sox fans seem to cling to the idea that they are plucky underdogs that everyone should feel sympathy for - while filling other team's stadium with loud, obnoxious bandwagon fans. It's the Red Sox Nation's lack of self awareness of their own privileged, big market/big payroll status that drives my BIL nuts. Cubs fans already have that idea - "hey, we're built from within (except for our big $$ pitching staff, Zobrist & Heyward)." I can easily see it getting worse with a WS title. Really, Cleveland was already the clear underdog in terms of talent (and especially payroll) even before suffering stacks of injuries.

I'm mostly rooting for a great game, but if I had to choose I hope the Cubs win anyway. I like Kluber, and Kipnis just seems like the kind of player that it would be a pleasure to root for. But not just the name, but that cartoon caricature logo in the 21st Century? I can't root for that. YMMV.

Robot said...

Go Tribe!

@John C - Agree with everything you said. Cubs are like #5 in payroll and one of the biggest markets in the country.

I'd like to see Napoli totally dominate tonight, convince Cleveland to drop Chief Wahoo and go back to being the Naps

Anonymous said...

It seems the number of teams--and their fans--to loathe is only growing.

Are there any who deserve our love?

Fries said...

@Anon 9:11

I love every team that's playing the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals,...

okay maybe you're right, there's nobody. Maybe the Toledo Mud Hens?

NotBobby said...

@9:11 Anon and Fries

Who can really dislike the Brewers? I mean, they make beer.

Anonymous 9:11 said...

Maybe only defunct or relocated teams from the Majors, or Federal and Negro League teams.

You know, like the St. Louis Browns, Walter Johnson's Senators, Newark Peppers, maybe the Montreal Expos, and any team Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell played for.

Fries said...

@NotBobby

Excellent point. Don't forget the sausages either!

Froggy said...

Looking back to your 'World Series' blog post on 25 October, it looks like I'm the only one who predicted Cubs in 7 games.

Go Cubbies!

Harper said...

Go Cubs - kill the narrative.

Josh Higham said...

On Maddon - I think it's a little bizarre that everyone and their dog says something like, "these two managers are some of the best every at making outside-the-box decisions that make big differences! What a fun series this will be!" but as soon as Maddon makes an outside-the-box decision about how to use Chapman, all the armchair managers (including the broadcasters) are huge advocates for the unwritten rules and status quo.

Anonymous said...

My issue with the Chapman usage was the fact that they were up quite a bit. Yeah you can argue you don't want to bring him in one batter or one pitch too late, but now he's gassed for game 7. Just look at his pitching tonight, he was missing spots left and right (well, down and in). He may have missed those spots anyway, but all the arguments from last night were validated tonight

Robot said...

A sign of the endtimes?

Nattydread said...

No player is perfect. Maddon was trying to squeeze too much out of Chapman and he broke. At the worst time! Cubs are really lucky to have gotten away with that win. If Maddon hadn't used him with a fat lead in game 6: a) Cubs probably still would have won game 6 easily and b) he would have had his usual shutdown stuff in game 7.

Hind sight is 20/20 and the Cubs still won. Meh.

Anonymous said...

Harper~
What do you mean "kill the narrative"?

DezoPenguin said...

I'd call that the best possible outcome from my POV. The game was incredible, Chapman choked in the clutch (probably from being out of gas, but I don't care about that; I just dislike the DV issues), and the Cubs won anyway (my 73-year-old mother is a lifelong Cubs fan).

And now we can proceed to our regularly scheduled offseason roster analysis!

Ole PBN said...

I'd call it the best game ever. Although I don't think you can beat Luis Gonzalez off Rivera in the 9th back in '01. I'd say a lot of this had to do with the narrative involving both teams, having not won in so long. No matter the winner - of course it would come down to such an epic finish. That's why baseball is the greatest of games... don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Harper said...

Anon @ 6:20 AM - Means we don't have to hear about how the Cubs haven't won for XXX years anymore. In events that I don't have a clear rooting interest for I generally root for the tired, overplayed stories to die. For example in NBA I've rooted for Lakers to win in 2009 to kill off "Can Kobe win without Shaq" talk, Miami to not win in Lebron's first year to kill off "Will this be the greatest dynasty ever" talk, Miami to win in year after that to kill off "when will they win" talk, and Lebron to win in Cleveland to kill off "can he bring a title back / Believeland". Or how I rooted for Peyton to win another Super Bowl to kill off the "yeah but he's only got one ring" talk.

So right now things I'm rooting for include Patriots losing early in playoffs to kill off "Revenge on Goodell" talk, probably rooting for Warriors to not win (and then win next year) for the same Heat reasons above.

PotomacFan said...

Well, I love Joe Maddon, but I think he completely and totally over-managed the Cubs and was fortunate to win (because the Cubs have superior talent, not all of it homegrown). Seriously, using Chapman in Game 6? Not leaving in Hendricks in Game 7? WTF, Hendricks was nearly unhittable. What is it about the new managing style for the World Series that you cannot let a pitcher get past the 5th inning. It's not like Lester is demonstrably better than Hendricks. And Lester is a freaking disaster for the defense.

Francona just didn't have the horses on his pitching staff, having lost 2 of his 5 starters. Kluber didn't have it last night. Andrew Miller didn't have it last night. Who can blame them: they were already heavily used. (For that matter, the unnecessarily over-worked Chapman did not have it either.)

Jay said...

I agree on both points. I think Maddon way over-managed. Goes to show why the playoffs are so unpredictable. I am curious to see if this post season has any lasting effects on the future playoffs. At the beginning of the playoffs everyone was heavily using 1-2 bullpen guys and over using closers. Obviously, that is not a strategy for the regular season. However, by game 7, Kluber, Miller, Chapman, and even Allen to a lesser degree seemed to be gassed. The 3 days rest thing probably bit the Indians in games 5 and 6 as well. It may have even caught up to Kershaw on regular rest in the last game of the NLCS. Anyway, we'll see.

I do think the Nats offense has a long way to go until it's World Series ready. Oh well.

DezoPenguin said...

Heyman, then the team itself reported that Nats picked up Gio's option. Obvious decision did not take long to make.

mike k said...

^ I'm actually a little disappointed, I thought the Nats could've/should've used that money elsewhere. Especially if he triggers the vesting option for 2018. Though a trade could be in the works.

Josh Higham said...

@mike k I think Rizzo would love to deal some package of mid-grade major leaguers (Gio, Espi, and the like) and fringy propects to fill holes. I wouldn't be surprised to see Gio shipped out as part of a trade for an outfielder, as long as Rizzo can find a #4 type lefty either in free agency or another trade. I think Gio's trade value is OK in spite of last year not being good because a) he is remarkably durable, b) he has a wonderful curveball, and c) somebody is gonna believe they can help him work through his in-game stress problem better than the Nats have.

DezoPenguin said...

I think we as Nats fans get spoiled by the general quality of our starting pitching these past five years. Gio is a 2.9 fWAR pitcher (his FIP and xFIP are 3.76/3.80 and his K/9 8.68, so his ERA definitely represents underperformance) who's basically never unhealthy signed for $12M. That's not something to complain about--it's 44th in all of baseball among starters in fWAR!



Plan A is pretty clearly for him to be our #5 starter (and only lefty). If Rizzo thinks Giolito/Lopez/Voth/Cole need more time (or in the case of Cole, are as good as they're going to get), then that's a pretty darned good plan. And if Rizzo thinks the kids are ready to step in, then there are about 26 other teams who'd be glad to have that as their #5 (off the top of my head...the Mets, Blue Jays, Cubs, and Indians have better top-to-bottom rotations). In a league where Ian Kennedy gets 5/$70M, then heck yeah you pick up Gio's option, because he'll almost certainly be better-than-average for us, or bring back the trade return appropriate for a better-than-average pitcher on a reasonable deal with effectively two years of control in a year when Jeremy Hellickson is the second-best starting pitching FA.

PotomacFan said...

Thank you, Dezo Penguin. Your analysis is spot on. Gio may drive us crazy, but he is better than we think, and better than average, and in the current market, an absolute bargain at $12 million per year.

Josh Higham said...

I also agree. Gio the ace would be a disaster. Gio the 5th starter is a wonderful pitcher to have. Assuming the other starters are at least mostly healthy (so, not Stras and Ross out at the same time) the back of the rotation is remarkably steady. A lot of teams have to deal with a revolving door 5th starter even if everyone is healthy, which is why there aren't a whole lot of starters with enough starts/innings to compare Gio to. Sure, he's one of the worst who starts 30+ a year, but he is so much better than if we, for example, had to watch Giolito/Cole/Lopez every 5th day for the entire year as Plan A.