Nationals Baseball: Did their job

Friday, April 21, 2017

Did their job

Going into Phillies/Braves, I thought 4-2 was the goal, 3-3 the floor, so 5-1 is a very nice little run here. I also thought the Mets would do no worse than 3-3, turns out they could. They went 1-5 in the same time frame and what was a 1.5 game deficit for the Nats is now a 2.5 game lead. (With the Marlins between them)

This makes the weekend series that much easier. You are playing a good team away from home in a three game set. Just don't get swept. That's it. Low bar? Possibly but if you play .500 ball against playoff teams, matching series wins at home and series losses away, you are easily a playoff team because you'll be doing much better than that in the 100+ games against teams that miss the playoffs. So go 1-2 here and 2-1 in the series after the jaunt to Colorado and you're on track.

The Mets come into the series hobbled. Cespedes & Duda, are likely out for the series and d'Arnaud is banged up and probably coming off the bench for a couple games.  They have more injuries but Flores isn't as impactful and the way the pitching lines up the Mets lack of the 5th starter doesn't matter.

The match-ups are as follows: Roark vs deGrom, Gio vs Harvey, Scherzer vs Wheeler. I'm a little curious about the Scherzer start because of all his pitches thrown last time, but it's more a reflex based on his ST injury than pitch count. 116 is a number Scherzer hit in about a third of his starts last year.

The story of last night's game was really the closer debut of Shawn Kelley, who started out strong, then almost blew it, before closing the door. All the luck to you Mr. Kelley. While I just said a couple days ago Treinen needed to stay in the role, the whole premise of that was essentially two straight quick failures would make things worse. So there's a simple solution to that potential issue. Don't fail Kelley. Be dominant.

Ok beat the Mets tonight and the rest is gravy to me.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

C/mon Harper, not even a little gloating of your prediction that in one game the Nats could have the best record (which they do in the NL, and 3rd best in baseball behind the O's and Stro's)!?!?!

mike k said...

I may have been too busy to comment on the last couple of posts, but don't think for a second you'd be able to slip this one by me, Harper: "Those eight games Treinen has pitched in? The Nats are 7-1 in them." Please. In other news, the Nationals win 100% of their home games where they don't bat in the ninth inning.

He wasn't "small sample size" bad. He was horendously bad in all aspects of the game. I think people would understand that makes him an exception, and even if Kelley puts up similar ERA/save% numbers, he'll get more time and people won't be clamoring for Treinen again.

Very happy the Nats go into this series with a healthy lead. I'll be at all three - look for me on TV, I'll be the one in the National's hat.

Josh Higham said...

Could you please wear a "MIKE K" name tag so we have some certainty?

mike k said...

And have you guys actually notice me? No thanks.

G Cracka X said...

Tough schedule coming up. @Mets, @ROX, then Mets, DBacks, @Phillies, then H&H with the league-leading Os (who seem to dominate the Nats). I expect some regression from the Nats, but hope I'm wrong

Bjd1207 said...

Can we get like a logo or something for this blog that Mike K can rep at Citi? I want those Anon trolls from the past 2 years to know we're there

section 406 said...

I went to bed last night thinking things were good in Nats world, but then it occurred to me that they need more pitching. The rotation is great -- Gio looks like 2012 again, and Ross was good too, so I'm pleased there. But you can't expect all 162 games to go even 6 innings, let alone 7. Kelley's not bad, but even if Glover and Treinen pitch better in not-closing roles, then what? Maybe they could turn Fedde into a reliever for a while, but that leaves them w/o a 6th starter. I dunno - too many things can go wrong.

Dusty's Toothpick said...

I was talking to my boss and was telling him how the Braves would be a thorn in our side this season......I guess I was wrong or is this still a team that could be sneaky annoying? Inciarte, Freeman, Phillips are no chumps....

Josh Higham said...

@Bjd, maybe a nice poster with the snappy words "This Harper Gordek blog reader hates Anonymous #LGM trolls"

BxJaycobb said...

Section 406: this is why I've been lobbying to replace enny Romero with AJ Cole as a long man. I think the role could work decently for him and he could be a possible stammen type. He's got the stuff for velo to play up and be effective.

Anonymous said...

Well said Harper. Also happy for you with the Yankees playing so well.

JE34 said...

Treinen needs lower leverage situations. Enny Romero needs zero-leverage situations, like when the Nats are up 10 against the Braves.

Mike K needs to bring a sign to Citi Field that reads:
"WHOseanders and Whatsiglories?"

Josh Higham said...

JE34 That's the answer.

Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued that Dusty is resting Zimmerman and Wieters against the Mets for the first game. With Difo, Heisey, Lind and Lobaton playing, maybe Dusty sees the opportunity for it because of the Mets recent injuries. I suppose if you take game one with 4 replacement players, that's gotta boost your confidence factor, right??

Mythra said...

Dusty likes getting the bench guys in on the must-wins, so when they PH in those games that have lots of pressure, the guys are ready. Also, I would prefer that Dusty keep Zim at a constant, simmering boil and not an explosive April followed by a DL stint. Same goes for Murphy and Werth this season. Weiters has been a horse, but get him a day off now and then. He's not a Buffalo, after all.

DeGrom pushed back to Saturday with neck stiffness, so Harvey tonight. Get to him early and all the pressure is on the Mets.

BxJaycobb said...

Come on man. Why couldn't Dusty have rested everybody against the braves last night so they were rested for....u know...the threat for the division. Is he incapable of strategic thinking? I see no rationale for this. If we lose this game like 2-1 it's on him.

Mike k said...

I forgot my hat.

BxJaycobb said...

What a game by Bryce. He basically won the game by himself tonight. Amazing stat: Bryce has had 14 PAs vs lefties this year and has made one out

Anonymous said...

Note that I am posting today under the Anon moniker, to protest some of the whiney remarks about "trolls". I would venture that most who read this section rarely comment, and when they do comment, they do so anonymously out of convenience rather than some nefarious urge to lurk. Some folks pipe up only when they have something to say. Commenters who feel unbound by this constraint should, at the very least, recognize that fact and dispense with the name calling.

Oh, and good column, Harper! As for the lack of depth, eh. Which team has great depth?



Josh Higham said...

I don't think any of us have a problem with anonymous commenters in general, but whenever the Nats have struggled in the last 3ish years, at least, the comment sections are full of anonymous posts along the lines of "Wow the Nats suck, go Mets!" and those are deeply annoying to fans who are already in the depths of despair. I feel zero remorse for criticizing them.

Richard Parker said...

What's the difference between someone commenting as "anonymous' or someone just making up a name. It's irrelevant. Trolls will be trolls. It's easy to sniff the out.

G Cracka X said...

Enny one catch the game today?

BxJaycobb said...

Not gonna lie. Enny has my attention with the last two games. It's probably just a fluke, but it can't be ignored that he MIGHT have figured out a way to throw strikes consistently.

Nattydread said...

The Mets are in shambles. Nice to see the Nats taking advantage of the disarray.

JDBrew said...

I have to say I was a bit upset when I saw Romero in the 8th to protect a slim lead. And more so in the 9th. But then I realized I had fallen into the closer mindset trap. Everyone talks about the defined roles of set-up and closer and I had started to believe them. Then I realized that I had begun to forget my true belief: IT DOESN'T MATTER....none of that crap. You need 3 outs an inning, 6th, 8th, or 9th it only matters to have your best guys there when you need them there. Romero faced nobody frightening, and was pitching well. Why have a problem with that. While I don't believe that suddenly Baker will throw baseball convention out the window, it does give me hope that he won't be so rigidly conventional as many managers in the game have become.

Froggy said...

JD Brew ~ I hope Dusty is taking a page out of Francona's book on bullpen management and letting go of the 'closer' trap as well.

I've always thought the more important role is the setup man anyway. Bring back the Fireman of the 70's and 80's!

Dave said...

Sweeping those turds never gets old.