Nationals Baseball: 100 Nats

Friday, September 15, 2017

100 Nats

The Nats have had very good teams, great teams really. The 2016 Nats won 95 games. In 2014 it was 96. And in 2012 the Nats won 98 games. But the Nats have never won 100. The franchise hasn't won 100 (The Expos peaked at 95 in 1979, though they were on a 105 win pace in 1the strike year 1994) . The city hasn't won 100 games (The 1933 Senators won 99 games, granted in a 154 schedule time period)  Can the Nats do it?

They were probably in their best position to do it a week ago after taking the 2nd game from the Phillies. At that point, with 21 games to go then had to merely go 13-8. That's a 100 game pace but hey, you want to get to 100 right? But since then they've gone 2-3 and now they stand at 89 wins with 16 games to go. That means the Nats need to finish 11-5. That's ... tough.

The good news is they will be the favored team in each series. Win each one and you go 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 3-1 or 11-5. Just enough to do it. Have the Nats gone 11-5 this year? Yep. Several times. They had a better run than that in April (peaking at 13-3), and continued that play into early May. They again did it May into June, again in July, again in August and August into September. It's completely doable with the talent on this team.

The bad news is the talent on this team may not all be playing. Even if you ignore Bryce being out as a difference maker the Nats will be resting guys and letting call-ups get at bats for the next two weeks. An optimal line-up trying hard may be able to do it. A sub-optimal line-up playing to get to the end of the year healthy? Probably not. 

I'd like to see it happen but call me if the Nats go 4-2 over the next two series.

Side Note #2 :
The Nats currently have a 21 game lead in the division. If you think that's special, you're right. Leads this big happen once a decade or so. The last time someone won their division by 20+ games was the 2008 Angels who finished 21 games better than the Rangers. If the Nats get another game in the standings you'll have to go back to the 1998 Yankees who won their division by 22 games (where second place won 92!). The records, which the Nats will be hard pressed to beat are 30 games by the 1995 Indians* (in 144 games!) and the NL Record of 27.5 games by the 1902 Pirates. However I think that's it. I think if the Nats finish more than 22 games ahead of the Marlins (or Braves) they'll have the 3rd greatest division lead of all-time.


*Braves also won their division by 21 in 144 games. 

22 comments:

Kevin Rusch said...

I know it doesn't fit the benchmark, but the 2012 nats did win 100 games, if you count the 2 in the playoffs.

Chas R said...

I still think 2012 was the year we should have gone all the way. This year too- IMO, the two best Nats team were 2012 and 2017.

Separately, WTH happened to the Marlins??!! They were in the WC mix and just seem to have folded the last few weeks.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Marlins is we swept them twice in a week and a half.

KO said...

The marlins were also benefiting from an easy schedule then the tougher part of their schedule caught up to them

Harper said...

KR - yeah yeah. Well then the 1923 Senators...

Chas R - there's a "which is the best Nats team ever" post coming but closer to the end of the year.

Chas R/Anon/KO - I thinkthe Marlins just happened to hit a hot streak right when people where coming out of the "trade deadline" mentality and moving into the "playoff scenarios". They were kind of making themselves a story so we paid more attention to a team that had to go on a crazy run to reach .500 then we probably would have at another time.

Anonymous said...

An interest topic of study and conversation would be whether the recent NL East is perhaps the worst division in the history of the game.

I know bad divisions aren't unusual, but it seems like this one has been embarrassingly bad for three or four years running now.

Josh Higham said...

Anon,

That is an interesting question. I think Harper addressed it tangentially in the last couple of weeks and the answer was no, based on the records of the second, third, fourth, and last place teams in a single year. As you suggestd, I'd be interested to know how the 2014-2017 NL East stacks up to other 4 year stretches for bad divisions (or 2015-2017 compared to 3 year stretches). The sustained awfulness of the teams not in DC and New York is remarkable, and the rapid descent of the Mets from excellent to awful with basically all the same players is also remarkable.

That research sounds like a chore, so I'm not gonna do it, but maybe, Harper, you could look into that for our benefit in the offseason?

Jay said...

Victor Robles is fast. That is all.

Harper said...

JH - I'm fairly sure that in the 6 division era - the 1995-1999 AL Central is the worst. Only one team other than the division winner over .500 in 5 seasons. However maybe it doesn't have the same lows?

Anagramsci said...

Early 1980s AL West was pretty dismal, after the Billy Martin A's collapsed. Take a look at AL West 1983 and 1984

Anonymous said...

Harper. I know you are more a numbers guy. but how much do you factor in a mix of veterans and young players. I feel that Edwin Jackson has a coachesque factor for the pitching staff. I know there is no measure for clubhouse effect but i think he is one of those guys. Werth as well for the offense.

Froggy said...

Someone needs to tell Rizzo that a 50 percent Bryce is better than the Werth we will have for the rest of the season.

Jay said...

I think they are hoping they can win some games down the stretch, but the total focus is on the playoffs. Why else do you start Jackson and Cole in these first two games against LA. Jackson gave up as many runs as he got outs. The bullpen looked better, but it's hard to say anything for certain for either side when it's a 7 run lead. The only things I can say for certain out of that game - Jackson is still capable of being quite bad (see his last two starts), Werth looks really old now, Wieters - I don't even know what to say, he can't hit, he doesn't frame well, he doesn't block balls in the dirt well, he doesn't throw guys out. I guess summed up as he is a bad catcher.

Dusty's Toothpick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dusty's Toothpick said...

Put in HOOWWWIIIEEEEEE!!! PLESE!! Make Jayson Werth a player coach!!!

PotomacFan said...

Just to be fair: Howie missed one the other night -- a fly ball nicked off his glove for an undeserved double.

That said: I agree that Howie should be playing instead of Jayson, and that Jayson looks TERRIBLE. And I also know that it's not going to happen, at least not in Game 1.

And now for an off-topic pet peeve: official scorers of the world: when an outfielder does not catch a fly ball, that should be an error. For the life of me, I don't know why outfielders are held to a different standard than infielders.

Ole PBN said...

Just have to say, that ball that Werth hit down the line was awfully close and I think it was a fair ball. In my mind, the biggest reason the call was upheld was because the umpires wouldn't have known how to place the runners, making their job difficult so it was easier to just say "foul."

Either way, we'll lose games in October because of our poor situational hitting. Guys go up to the plate with one idea in mind: "get a good pitch and drive it somewhere." No matter what the situation; runner on first, runner on first and second and 1 out, doesn't matter. They don't change their approach and it's infuriating. When I look at the box score for every game, win or lose, blowout or close game, I scroll straight down to Team RISP: 1-9. Always. That's going to be out kryptonite in the postseason, and I haven't seen any signs of changing it as a team in 5 years. Very frustrating.

Richard Parker said...

Should Stras start game one any series? He seems ready and able and hungry.

Richard Parker said...

Yes, Schertzer is the obvious choice, but Strasbourg provides incentives and competition among out top two.

Richard Parker said...

*our

JE34 said...

@PBN - in general, I agree with your situational hitting comment as it is a chronic problem with most of the team. I think Murphy, Kendrick, and Rendon do well when runners need to be moved up, need a ball in play, etc.

I wish we could see Robles get more of an audition for postseason roster time.

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