Nationals Baseball: Lucky or Unlucky - 2017 version

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lucky or Unlucky - 2017 version

I've done posts like this before but it's always fun to try to look at a season impartially in regards to luck. Most fans percieve their teams as unlucky regardless of what happened during the season. The good is expected, the bad is not. But that's not the way it goes. I don't expect to find that the Nats were super-lucky or anything. This team was built to be good, but I do expect to see a lot of lucky in there because teams don't win 95+ games without some things going their way (or NOTHING going against them)

Lucky (Better than expected)  
Zimmerman bounces back like one of those balls you can buy for a quarter at the front of a grocery store - For a good chunk of the season Zimm was sort of a "best case" in terms of reasonable recovery.  From May 1st through August 30th Zimm hit .269 / .330 / .476 with 18 homers. Forecast that out for a whole year and .270 with 28 homers? It's almost 2013 pre-injury Zimm again!  That itseslf would have bordered on lucky. But what pushed it over the top was how he hit in the other two months. .325 with 7 homers in the last month. Best hitter in baseball in the first one. These were long stretches of baseball we didn't think we'd see again from Zimm. The Nats got two of them in the same year. There was a minor slump mid-year but there was no low that matched those highs.

Anthony Rendon better than ever - It could be reasoned that Rendon doing well as he ever had done was as expected. But Rendon did better than that.

MAT breaks out - 75 OPS+, 73 OPS+, 70 OPS+.  See a pattern? We all did and those first three years of MAT in the majors all spelled out the same thing - below average hitter. But an injury to Eaton meant they had to run with MAT and in what might of been his last chance to be a starter MAT broke out. Now, for the seaosn that actually only meant he hit around average. But given his fielding that turned a 4th OF into a starter.

Rolling straight 7s on the bench - That any one of Lind, Kendrick, Starter Difo, or Goodwin, would hit like they did isn't too much of a surprise. Difo maybe a little but it was a limited time frame. The fact that they all basically gave you what you would want is though.

Gio reborn - Gio was on a slow decline and even though he'd probably do better than he showed in 2016, putting up a Cy Young vote season was beyond expectations.

Unlucky (Worse than expected)
Adam Eaton misses most of season - pretty self-explanatory. Played 310 out of 324 games past two years. 28. Every team gets this kind of bad luck with a player it's the who and when that determines how bad that luck is and Eaton going out early is pretty bad bad luck.

Matt Wieters RIP - While it could be expected that Matt Wieters would continue a decline it was generally considered that he'd float along as a below average hitter for a few more years. With the exception of a month of great hitting in 2014 that was his MO. Usually a little below average, sometimes surprising with a little above average. And at only 31 going into this year there were still a couple more years before you were sure age would play a role. Instead Wieters was one of the worst hitting regulars in baseball

Trea Turner gets injured - I can't call his performance unlucky because we only got half a year from the kid so far. However, you don't expect your young SS to miss 40% of the year.

Bryce Harper gets injured - ok this is only a mild bit of bad luck because injuries are a thing for Bryce, but he had managed to play basically full seasons the last two years so it's reasonable to think as a very young guy he could put his early injury history behind him. Also the injury itself was a fluky slippery base step thing, as opposed to gotten by swinging the bat too hard or just running around the bases.

Rolling straight 12s on the bullpen - Bullpen swings are not unprecedented. And there was a lot of things last year that were question marks going into this year. Could Blake Treinen repeat? How was Glover's health? How was Kelley's health? Why was Joe Blanton left in FA for so long?  Were one of these guys going to rise into the closer role? Talk of "best bullpen ever" was ridiculous but you sit here and look at those 4 after 2016 and think - ok worst case 2 come out of this and if they find one more arm they are passable. Instead 0 came out of this and the bullpen needed to be fixed by trade.

As expected 
Daniel Murphy - overall on target
Jayson Werth - didn't hit well and injured?  That literally happened two years ago and he's 38. If this wasn't within your expectations I don't know what to tell you.
Jose Lobaton - he's not good.
Max Scherzer - he is good.
Stephen Strasburg - I could maybe put this in lucky but anyone watching him closely could see he had this type of season in him if he could get the big outs.
Back of the rotation fails - Ross ended last year not pitching well and hurt. The Nats traded away best SP prospects. No surprise here

Questions
Tanner Roark - I'm not sure what was a fair expectation for him. As a starter in 2014 and 2016 he was better than this year but those were only two seasons with a season of mediocre pitching in between. It was a different role yes, but at the very least it doesn't give us the 3 straight years of results we would like to lean on. I could see an argument either way.


Overall opinion 
It was a pretty even season luck wise. The Nats offensive performances cancelled out the injury issues and the bench play pushed them higher. The Nats starting pitching was a little better than expected with Gio more than overcoming Roark's inbetween year. However, you can't ignore how the pen crash hurt the first part of the year. This was a team built to win 90+ games. The luck balanced as you hope for a good team and the NL East parted and the Nats were able to run away and hide.

47 comments:

Jon Quimby said...

Luck plays a huge part in postseason play, which is infuriating when you lose and exhilarating when you win. Wieters ability to be terrible all year wasn't a problem, but the little league catcher in the playoffs cost us "big time". MAT having a better than expected season didn't really mean much, but him hitting extremely well in the playoffs was huge.

Josh Higham said...

I'd say the bits of luck that were most important this year were Bryce getting healthy just late enough not to have time to find his stroke before the playoffs and Max tweaking his hamstring just enough that he could only start once in the NLDS.

In the scope of the regular season those are incredibly trivial things. Small enough not even to be considered bad luck. As you pointed out, the team's net luck for the year was probably a wash or close to it. And September was arguably a lucky month, with Zimm hitting very well and Stras being the Stras we've anticipated for years. But the playoffs turn on small hinges. (See "Maddon, Genius of", 2017)

Ole PBN said...

^^ I agree. I think that if Taylor had not come up as big as he did in the playoffs, we might have been eliminated much earlier. So perhaps it's a wash with him and Wieters? I don't know. At this point I'd prefer to mentally stable/tough players on our roster, but the truth is I couldn't imagine a deeper roster than the one we had going into October this year. The problem was with Tanner pitching not like himself and Gio pulling his predictable pee-pants playoff routine (how could anyone be surprised), we essentially have two reliable starters in the postseason. Even if we managed to squeak out a series win against the Cubs, we would stand no chance against LA. Two studs and 3 duds isn't what Chicago or LA is working with, but we are. I'd sacrifice Gio's talent/regular season success and replace him with someone who has the stomach to pitch in meaningful games. RH or LH, it doesn't matter. I'd have preferred Lackey pitch for us over Gio and he didn't throw a pitch for Chicago against us, see my point?

In regards to the lineup, I have no solutions, other than with Eaton back it should be more consistent. Taylor has earned the right to start I feel and we could do a whole lot worse. His cost (cheap) and talent (moderate) is worth it compared to the inverse we've seen with Werth. Werth essentially gets replaced by Eaton leaving Wieters as our only weak link in the lineup. Anybody miss Wilson Ramos? I sure do. Anybody questioning why we didn't resign him? I was and still am.

dc rl said...

@PBN - Not sure how you *know* who the "mentally stable/tough" players are, except based on post hoc narrative. Based on performance in the crucible of the elimination games 4 and 5, I guess we have to conclude that Strasburg and MAT are the Nats' only tough, gritty, character guys with The Will To Win, and pretty much everyone else (including Max, Bryce, Zim, TTB) are choking dogs. But way back on, say, October 5, if I had a dollar for every internet comment I've ever read saying that Stras was soft, a wimp, a head case,etc, and MAT a deer in the headlights who'd never come thru in a pressure spot, I'd probably be able to buy out the Lerners.

Ole PBN said...

@ dc rl - The way the narrative goes is a pitcher like Gio maintains his reputation as a mentally fragile pitcher until he stops being one on the big stage (see Stras). Although, Stras had only one postseason start and it was decent enough to not warrant all the "choke artist" blurbs swirling around leading up to him being sick (and then not sick), but I digress. There are guys with plenty of data (Gio) whom we can find a more suitable replacement on the open market. Trea turner has not done that well in 10 postseason games, so you think I'd want to find a replacement for him as well? What's more difficult: finding a young, talented player of TT's caliber to play SS, or a #3 like Gio who wilts under pressure? I think by taking my point and stretching it so far to apply to the entire roster aside from two players, as you did, is a bit careless. I guess I could do the same and point out that your approach screams of "whatever happens happens, oh well" while refusing to offer a solution or a criticism. I'd rather not.

Nattydread said...

The season's luck was a wash. The post season? It would be nice to do an analysis of the breaks in the 5 game series and which way they went. Plenty of poor play to go around for both teams. Max's game 5 was incredibly unlucky. Hey --- I hope the Yankees get the Dodgers and kill them.

PotomacFan said...

Gio is a tough case. For $12 million, he is a better regular season pitcher than anyone that would be available on the market for under $18 million (and requiring a multi-year contract). That said, 2018 is Gio's last year, and he has proven that he does not pitch well in the playoffs. So, the Nats should be looking this winter, or at the trade deadline, for a long-term #3 pitcher.

In the "lucky" category: Fat Matt Albers. What a pleasant surprise.

The Dodgers are the better team, but I think the incredibly tough series with the Nats burned out the Cubs. But then, the Yankees had an even tougher series with Cleveland. So, once again, THE PLAYOFFS ARE UNPREDICTABLE. Good relief pitching is really important though.

blovy8 said...

The trouble with ponying up for a better #3 starter than Roark or Gio, is that it would cost you a lot. Either you decimate your farm or have to trade an important guy now on the team so that you aren't up against a 2nd year paying a tax on your payroll. Sometimes the pitcher with the guts to do it, can't execute or runs afoul of the baseball gods (through the action by little known or understood demon Weitzebub) like Scherzer. It's not exactly predictable. And one of your top 3 can get hurt, and there you are again, except with less to replace it probably since your money and talent went that way. In the case of Gio, his control has been off for about a month and his m.o. is high pitch counts, the bigger question would be why Roark never threw a pitch. There's probably something there not being said.

Jon Quimby said...

Getting shut out of 2 games of 5 is simply inexcusable for an offense with the potency of the Nats. It gives the pitching staff no room for error as they essentially had to win every game in which the Nats scored. Gio didn't play great, but I'm not sure why we would point to him for the playoff failure of the team.

~ Gio apolgist

Ole PBN said...

Jon, I agree. This loss should not be pinned on Gio. It absolutely is the offense, to your point of being shut out 2 of 5 games. However when we only send 2 starters to the hill that we can rely on - that's no good. I was completely comfortable with us trotting our lineup (aside from Werth) and they didn't perform. Not sure what more we could have done to put our offense in a better position than the way they played this year. But the pitching... we all had faith in Scherz, most trusted Stras... but who felt "great" about Gio? That's my point. Get someone else IMO

ssln said...

Okay,Ole PBN, since you are the resident general manager, why don't you tell us which free agents you would sign or which players you would trade for during the off season. Be sure to tell us how much you would pay the free agents and how it would fit into the overall budget that the Lerners impose on Rizzo.
It is easy to spout off when you are being nebulous. You see problems, good. Play general manager and show us how you are going to solve them.

Josh Higham said...

It's a really tricky thing. There are a handful of guys who could opt out of their current contracts that would be awesome to trot out as #3s but will cost a fortune (and the Nats already have two cost a fortune starters). There are a lot of innings eaters who are worse than Gio, but they aren't a whole lot better than dirt-cheap AJ Cole. There are in between guys who ought to command around Gio's salary. Assuming the Nats stay around the current budget, I don't know who you could possibly get that would be an upgrade over Gio without paying close to double his salary.

I very much doubt they'll re-sign him after this year, trusting Joe Ross, Fedde, and perhaps a lot of money not going to Bryce to bolster the rotation. But spending big this year to replace a guy who even if he's worse than his numbers is still an above average starter seems uneconomical. Gio was not good in the playoffs, but he gave 8 innings of 6 run ball, which hurts but certainly leaves a team in a position to compete if the offense gets any hits at all, as we saw in both his starts.

Gio in the playoffs is a problem but getting someone better could hurt the Nats more than it would help. If the bench is thin and there's no money for in-season upgrades, 2013 and 2015 can happen easily.

blovy8 said...

In four games against the Yankees, the mighty Houston Astros offense is hitting 158/254/220.

ssln said...

Josh Higham

Your analysis of the Gio situation is spot on. Even if he regresses a little, he is cheap for the production he gave us this year. He is not a real option in the post season, but maybe Tanner comes back as a bulldog next year.
If some people want to play GM on this site that is fine, but if you are going to do that you should be specific about who you are going to get, how much you are willing to pay and who you are willing to trade. If you actually do that rather than throwing out nebulous ideas, you will find out how hard it is to create a team within a budget.

G Cracka X said...

Why not tandem start Gio/Tanner in the playoffs? Give three innings to one of them, and then three innings to the other, forcing the other team to make a decision about what lineup to field?

A DS (assuming all starters healthy enough) could look like this:

G1 Tandem
G2 Stras
G3 Max
G4 Tandem (short rest, but that's fine since each guy only had max of 3IP)
G5 Stras w/ Max in relief

Not ideal, but I think that's better than spending tons of prospects/cash on a good starter.

Anonymous said...

ssln... other than criticizing others and rip our host Harper on a number of occasions, what do you bring to the table exactly? Offer pointless insight to a baseball club that you have and will always have zero influence on? Welcome to the club. Let's ease up there chief, we're all fans here...

JE34 said...

@ssln - if all fan concerns must be accompanied by substantive solutions, then there's no "valid" medium out there for you. You should really try not being a jackass in print.

I don't have specific budgetary and talent-based answers for the catching situation (for example). They're likely stuck handing $10M to our Game 5 Goat for next season. But please don't think that'll stop me from saying things like:

"Matt Wieters bat slows to the speed of every pitch, such that any pitcher in the majors can throw slow curveballs and he'll just gently loft them to an infielder like a senior citizen returning volleys during warm up for a tennis match at the Villages."

or

"Maybe we shouldn't have a 6'5" giant behind the plate, who admittedly calls a great game, but routinely pulls close pitches out of the zone, and has the range of a Kenmore when stopping anything off target."

@GCrackaX - I like the tandem idea. I thought that's what they would do with Gio at the first sign of trouble in G5... but perhaps Dusty had NLCS Game1 on his mind.

Josh Higham said...

Probably no need to pile on ssln quite this hard. It's frustrating to have someone shoot down all your ideas as being fanciful, but it's probably also frustrating to come to a blog known for its rational author and readers after a disappointing playoff exit hoping for some prognosis more practical than what the WaPo will offer and see pipe dreams floated around as if they could easily happen. We're all a little raw, probably.

MLBtraderumors suggested that going after Castillo or Lucroy in free agency or Realmuto in a trade could be worth the high cost in money or prospects if the Nats see 2018 as their last great chance at a title.

The deferred contracts are going to hurt the team more and more in the next few years, so it might be time to go all in for 2018 and commit to a rebuild starting in 2019 or 2020. I hate that idea, for the record, but it's a viable option.

Josh Higham said...

All raw, except for Harper, who I guess is probably feeling cautiously elated.

G Cracka X said...

@Josh I think that 2019 looks murky, but it may not be time to rebuild yet. To me, it depends on the state of the other teams in the division. The Nats will have Wieters, Murph, Harper, Gio, Madson, and Kelley all coming off of the books, so there could be some financial room to retool.

ssln said...

It is nice to see that I have stirred the pot on the blog. Anon asked what I bring to the table. A reasonable question. The answer might be a little rationality to an otherwise insane world. This is going to get me another round of criticism but I would suggest that you are looking at the small picture in your thoughts rather than the overriding issue facing the Nats in 2018.
The big issue is simply are you going to sign Bryce to the 400M long term deal or let him walk. Many of the comments seem to assume he is gone. I don't assume that the Nats won't try to resign him. The question is, and this is open to debate, is should the Nats offer him 40 plus million a year and will the Learners be willing to raise the budget. That is the starting point for constructing a team in 2018. If he is not coming back, then you construct the team one way. If he is coming back then you make entirely different decisions.
I would suggest that that is the starting point for discussions in the off season and hopefully Rizzo and the Learners recognize it. As for a replacement for Wieters, it is an interesting topic, once you decide the seminal issue.

G Cracka X said...

@ssln Fangraphs chat put Bryce returning at .5%. Obviously, no mortal knows for sure, and I agree that the Nats will make an offer. But unless something drastic happens, he's probably not returning. I think the Nats are already planning that way; its part of the reason why they traded for Eaton last off-season. So I think you construct the team assuming this is his last season, and if he happens to return, that's lagniappe.

PotomacFan said...

@ G Cracka X. "Lagniappe" -- that's the best SAT word ever for this blog! As for Bryce, we would all like to see him stay in DC, but $400 million is too much (if that is what he gets somewhere else). $300 million is too much for Stanton. Better to re-sign Rendon and sign another top-tier pitcher.

BornInDC said...

I think one of the better investments the Nats could make is to try to find a decent long reliever. That would not only help them during the season to avoid burning out the bullpen, but would also really help in the playoffs when a starter blows up, as Gio did in Game 5. With a 3 run lead and the way the Nats were hitting, they didn't need a shutdown starter to come in, just a workman-like long reliever like Craig Stammen used to be for the Nats.

blovy8 said...

I think the idea is to develop Sammy Solis into someone like Andrew MIller. I'm not buying it though.

I agree with the odds being against Harper coming back (maybe it's a wee bit more likely than that), the only way I think it could happen is if Boras accepted a lot of deferred money, the Nats accepted an opt out, there's a favorable MASN resolution, and new revenue from a ballpark name or something similar gets them to raise the budget. As it standds, we can't expect to see the Lerners competing with the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, and Red Sox for who can field the most expensive team. We're at the next tier with the Giants, Phillies, Mets, etc. It'll be interesting to see who lines up as his suitors, because right now the two biggest markets have their young RF stars in Judge and Puig, and someone is going to trade for Stanton and perhaps take away another possibility. Of course, while it wouldn't be optimal, they could have Harper play left or center. I don't see the Nats getting back the value for Harper that his production would give them in 2018, even in a rebuild or mutually beneficial swap to shore up weaknesses. Probably you would need a set of circumstances like Victor Robles being brought up to play for a several weeks due to an injury to Taylor or Eaton, destroying the league, and those two performing at well above average level. The logical course would be the let him play, groom Robles as his replacement, and hope Soto pushes for AB's in 2019, giving you the depth to move Taylor or Eaton to 4th of.

Rendon is the key guy this offseason, but they oculd think about a low-ball offer to Roark too.

JE34 said...

Dusty is out.

Jon Quimby said...

To me, this is the biggest signal that Bryce is gone. I think rebuild starts now.

Jay said...

Holy Crap!!!! I don't agree that Bryce is automatically gone. I think the opposite. I think they want someone with a track record in the playoffs and want to win now. Dusty is great in the regular season. Dusty has only been to 1 WS. He overused pitchers in general and starting pitchers in particular. He failed to make any meaningful moves with the batting order with the season on the line. To quote one of the baseball writers from twitter - Every manager in the playoffs is managing like his pants are on fire, Dusty is managing like it is a 3 game series in San Diego in June. I'm sad, but not horribly disappointed. Now the big question is who do they get. If they are smart they already have someone lined up.

Sammy Kent said...

This is horsehockey. BOOOOOOOO to the Lerners and Rizzo. Disgraceful.

PotomacFan said...

There is NO way they have someone lined up. Rizzo wanted to keep Dusty, and he would be the one looking at candidates. And when have the Nats ever lined up a new manager in advance? So now they have to find someone who will take $2 million per year, with a maximum two-year contract. OMG, it better not be Cal Ripken.

I can almost guarantee that there will be a small parade of potential managers before someone is selected. And even then, if the salary is not high enough, the person selected may ultimately decide not to take the job. Not that that has ever happened.

I'm sad that Dusty is gone. The Lerners did not treat him well. But I do think the Nats need someone more tactical. It's absolutely correct to say that you cannot blame Dusty for the inability of his hitters to get on base. But then, when you throw Jayson Werth out there for all 5 games, and fail to pinch hit for Matt Wieters, you are putting the team in a position to fail.

Nattydread said...

Very sad to see Dusty go. Bad timing. It would have been much more classy to wait until after the World Series.

Disagreed with lots of decisions he made when playing against the Cubs. Poor line-up management, poor tactical decisions. Poor use of Kendrick, Roark and others... Werth!

But you can't really lay the blame on him for the results of the series. There were no bats. There were too many player mistakes.

To expect that we're going to get a better manager than Dusty? Lets see what happens. I'll miss the guy who smoked joints with Jimi Hendrix.

Froggy said...

Baker put all his chips on Werth and it came up snake eyes.

If Werth catches the flyball Scherzer's inning is over and he gets out of it with only 1 or 2 runs scored.

Regardless, he should have subbed Kind or Kendrick afterwards.

JE34 said...

Dusty is undeniably a cool guy, hip deep in awesome stories of his journey. And he's a great regular season manager.

blovy8 said...

Have to agree with PotomacFan, the Nats are going to get what they pay for in a manager unless they are willing to hire a talented young coach who will work cheap and is ready for the chance - and that risk is hard to imagine with the 2018 roster appearing to be so solid. But outside the box, as it were, they could learn on the job and still win the division with just a bit of roster tweaking.

Dave said...

Meh...Dusty reminded me of a crazy old man. He was not going to suddenly start managing any differently than ever before during the post season (if they get there). I do not think he had the advantage against any manager he would have faced if they were able to move on in the playoffs.

Froggy said...

I agree with Natty Dread re Dusty. But the Lerner's decision to not keep Dusty (and what, spend $2mm for another 95 win season and a likely postseason berth?) pretty much convinces me that they won't spend $400mm on keeping Harper as well.

Froggy said...

My vote is for a young guy like Alex Cora.

G Cracka X said...

Can anyone point to an available manager who is objectively better than Dusty Baker?

blovy8 said...

G - I guess if he’s really willing to manage again, LaRussa, but that’s probably less likely than Harper getting his 400 million here.

notBobby said...

To me it seems there are several issues which the Nets will have to overcome.

The Lerners now cemented reputation for underpaying managers and treating them like flotsam. Why would another established manager want to take over the job?

Waiting so many days and then letting go to Cali before CALLING him to fire him. It is just disrespectful. See flotsam comment above.

Rizzo almost definitely wanted to keep Baker. I think the delay in not getting a new contract was Rizzo trying to talk Lerners out of not resigning Baker. At what point does Rizzo say that he loves his time with the Nats but wants an ownership that doesn't undercut him?

Nats waited and now several clubs have started manager searches. Is the only face saving move overpaying for Farrell to keep him from tv for a season?

Those are just the top of mind things...

G Cracka X said...

"This isn't to say that he is a bad manager. Despite the outsized importance that bullpen decisions acquire in the postseason, we found that they only tend to be worth a win or so over the full season. How a skipper manages his players' egos and clubhouse chemistry is likely to be much more important than the fiddling he does with a lineup or the pitcher he calls on to get critical outs. And he excels in those soft skills: He is famous for maintaining a relaxed, jovial clubhouse, and it shows in the outstanding performance of his players."
- Rob Arthur, 538

Who is Rob referring to?










Joe Maddon, the three time manager of the year. I changed the personal references to pronouns to illustrate that this paragraph could easily apply to Dusty Baker. Who is going to come in and maintain a better clubhouse, and show faith in his players, and develop young talent like MAT better than Baker?

Nattydread said...

Gotta wonder when Rizzo starts looking for his next gig. Agree with notBobby that this was a Lerner decision, not a Rizzo decision.

BxJaycobb said...

At in game tactics? Anybody besides Ausmus. At keeping clubhouse functional, nobody.

BxJaycobb said...

Sorry. I don’t really understand why the manager gets zero blame for the series. He has lost 10 straight clinch games. That’s....a lot to be a coincidence. He made multiple moves that were inexplicable on their face and may well have been the difference in the series.
1. Why did he play Werth. Every person on this blog didn’t understand it.
2. Why did he bring in solis? Solis’s disastrous performance should never have occurred and contributed directly to loss of 2 games. For gods sakes Rizzo pulled off those moves so the 7th could be Kintzler, 8 Madson, 9 Doolittle etc....and then Dusty yanks Max in 7th and brings in a guy with a 5 ERA? I guarantee you Rizzo was smacking his head. Then he did it in game 5 and the run was the difference!
3. Why didn’t he pinch hit for weiters but then double switch him out? What?
4. Is it too much to ask of a coaching staff to make Lobaton and every other baserunner on 1st base aware that Contreras is going to pick him off? That was embarrassing. And not just for Lobaton. For Lopes, Dusty, and every coach who shouldn’t told him to be standing on the bag.
5. Sorry but the Stras thing was pathetic and humiliating. It’s not a fireable offense but Dusty has misspoken like 100 times and at a certain point it makes you look imprecise. Remember when he called Bryce “Royce” for like 3 months. That makes you seem dotty and out of it. It’s not shocking to me that that same person also doesn’t have much attention to detail in giant games.
6. He routinely would leave pitchers in meaningless games WAY WAY too long for no reason except to “help them get the win.” Im sure the pitchers appreciate that kind of crap but it’s nonsense. Wearing out arms so you can gather outdated statistics. By the end of the year Gio looked absolutely spent and gassed. Scherzer has lost velocity and was fighting injuries. Out freshest pitcher (Stras due to time on DL) was also the best. Not a coincidence.
7. Lineup construction was ridiculous. Like. The subject of national media laughing at us.
Look. None of these things one their own are huge deals and a reason to fire a manager. But I really disagree with this idea that “WHO COULD BE BETTER THAN DUSTY!?” Uh...at in game tactics, attention to detail, finding a competitive edge, being strategic and smart? Almost anybody would be better. Of course there’s a risk to clubhouse morale I guess, but that loose fun happy clubhouse sure didn’t play loose. I’ll try my hand at somebody else. I feel like Nats fans have this sense of dread that only dusty can keep people from choking each other in the dugout. That’s nonsense in my view, even if he’s good at keeping folks on an even keel in regular season.

Froggy said...

I wonder how deep Harper went into the bottle after the Yankees lost last night.

Misery loves company, but at least the Yankees went to game 7 of the ALCS.

Jay said...

I have to agree with pretty much everything Bx wrote about Dusty being a great guy but a questionable manager. That has been the knock on him since the SF days. Bos wrote that if Dusty won a WS he was a lock for the hall of fame. The reason he isn't a lock is bc of the postseason. Also, everywhere he has been he has been let go at the first possible chance. Cinci and the Giants. I would have brought him back but I don't think it was an unthinkable move by any means.

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