Nationals Baseball: WIN GODDAMMIT WIN

Thursday, October 12, 2017

WIN GODDAMMIT WIN

In 2012 the Washington Nationals informed the sporting world that Stephen Strasburg, the youngest and most talented of their three aces, would not be pitching in the playoffs. It was an understandable  precautionary measure designed to keep their most important pitching piece healthy for the remainder of his time with the team. But in protecting his arm, the team left his reputation open to attack. Over the next 5 years, that reputation would face many slings and arrows, both fair and unfair, until it was left in tatters and the narrative was set. Strasburg was a player who would never live up to his potential because he was too fragile. He was too fragile physically and too fragile mentally.

But last night Strasburg, put an end to the attacks, repaired the reputation, and destroyed the narrative. Last night Strasburg delivered a masterful performance facing poor conditions both internal and external when his team needed him most. Last night, Strasburg became the star he had never quite managed to be seen as before.

I'm not sure exactly when the narrative took hold for good. My guess is early in 2013. Strasburg's first two years were a shooting comet, spectacular but fleeting because of the TJ surgery he would need. 2012 was a year for recovery but the Nats management messed up. They didn't expect the NL East title and the playoffs so they didn't keep Strasburg limited early in the year. When it came to the end they had no choice, really. Allowing Strasburg to pitch down the stretch and in the playoffs would have opened him up to up to 70 more innings than they had planned for, or the possibility of a random infuriating stoppage during the playoffs.

Even though stopping him made sense the fans would only accept it if Strasburg then reached his potential and/or the Nationals won in the playoffs soon after. Neither of those things happened. In 2013 Strasburg had a rough start, had another minor injury midseason, and couldn't get wins. The team that was supposed to bounce back into the playoffs with a stud pitcher leading the way was instead being left in the dust by Atlanta with Strasburg sitting at 5-9. No matter that he was actually pitching well. Now the shutdown looked like it was for nothing. No playoffs, no ace.

2014 would be better but by this time it was clear that the generational pitching talent was not Strasburg but Clayton Kershaw putting up sub 2.00 ERAs and going 21-3 in LA. At the same time Jordan Zimmermann, his own teammate, was pitching just as well and more importantly, winning games. A strong playoff performance could have helped but the Nats offense died on the vine and there would be no opportunities for a defining run. 2015 was the nail in the coffin as Strasburg would miss a couple months and the team would again miss the playoffs that they were sure they were going to make before the season started.

It wasn't just the performance, nor was it just the emergence of Kershaw, but it was also Strasburg's penchant for giving reasons for his poor performances. These were not meant to be complete explanations for his rough outings but fair responses to the questions raised. Why didn't he have great command of my curve? It was too humid and he was sweating a lot. Why did he give up those big early runs? Well it's cold out and it took a while to warm up. These are fair statements but fans don't see reasons, they see excuses.

In the end, Strasburg became seen as the guy who wasn't the best pitcher in baseball, who might not be the best pitcher on his own team, who made excuses for everything, and couldn't stay healthy despite having a whole playoff series ruined for his sake. Of course that is all nonsense. Well not the "wasn't the best pitcher in baseball" part, that was true, but he was a very very good pitcher, close to great if not there for 4 years. He was a guy who if not for some niggling injuries here and there (he averaged about 170 IP per season) would have been a Top 10, maybe a Top 5 pitcher in baseball over that time frame.  But enough fans couldn't see that that his performances became a joyless slog into nitpickery as opposed to a fun watch. The struggle for Strasburg's baseball reputation seemed to be eternal.

That is until yesterday. 24 hours ago it looked like these negative fans would have the ultimate validation and that narrative would be set in stone. Strasburg wasn't pitching. He was coming up small again. He could never live this down, skipping out on a elimination game, when he still had the strength to get up out of bed and come down to the park. But that didn't happen and now we live in a world where Strasburg can be enjoyed again. Strasmas is saved.


Other notes

We can talk about the "how" he came to start later. It is its own long post. No, I still don't buy the official story being fed out there, what seemed like nonsense yesterday still seems like nonsense today but why have that argument before a Game 5 (and probably not the day after either - because we'll be recapping at the very least)? There's time later.

To wit though- the Nats who HAD to name Tanner Roark starter Tuesday afternoon, did not name a starter after last night's game (or by this time this morning) I think it'll be Gio. Why go with Tanner? I don't see the reasoning.

Did MAT come into his own last night? Ehhhh I mean that was a carrying flyball that just got over into the net. Tyler Moore got a big hit in a series, remember? MAT is much better than Moore, but next season is going to define his future far more than that one swing. The question of course is where he will play... and it's a good one. For the offseason.

The Nats as a whole swung the bat a lot better last night it seemed. A lot more line drives, if not base hits. Still everybody but MAT (and 2-2 Lind) is below .200 in their batting averages. Wieters is a big fat 0. Does Dusty do anything different? Lind for Werth is an obvious move versus the righty Hendricks but can he do it? He did (finally) pull Werth for defense last night, however it was after what would likely be his last AB of the game. I'm not sure it happens otherwise. Maybe in 9th. If you do put Lind in - well he's not better than Werth in the field. Prepare for that.

Going along with the above the Nats still need help to score. A wild pitch and an error helped bring in the first run. A trio of walks were needed to load the bases for the grandslam, two of them may have involved a total of one ball thrown in the zone combined.



It's time for more narratives to die. It's time for the Nats offense to perform big in the playoffs. It's time for the Nats to win a division series.

WIN GODDAMMIT WIN.

144 comments:

BxJaycobb said...

Harper. Re MAT. Sure next season is important. You're also underplaying that homer. He hit a ball into a gale that went out opposite field. Even Maddon was like "that's impressive he hit one out opposite field through the wind." He hit it 107 mph ext velocity. That's not a fly ball. He's also been hitting the ball hard the whole series---including many of his outs (rocket grounder at Bryant, rocket straight at Jay in CF). He's been excellent. Doesn't guarantee future. But the time for poo-poo-ing MAT is over.

Robot said...

Michael K Taylor had a lucky swing, no way hec repeats that tonight. And that Bryce kid looks out of his depth; I don't think he's playoff material.

Murphy, too. No way he breaks out of that rut tonight.

BxJaycobb said...

Re tonight. I think you start Gio. But I think you give Max as many middle innings as you possible can. If you can use him to get to Doolittle for 1 or maybe even 2 innings, do it. Figure out NLCS when you have to. I don't want to see Roark in relief that much. He's never been good in relief. Ever.

blovy8 said...

The only thing I would dispute is the Taylor comment. That is a moment that won't soon be forgotten. The wind was fierce, wall scraper or not, that ball had to be killed and after they left so many guys on base, HE became the man that came through. His reputation for being a good clutch hitter is now probably as strong as the reverse was for Strasburg until last night. The Cubs defense is weird; they seem to make as many good plays as bad ones. It's sort of like the Nats offense, where they don't string enough bad plays together to have is hurt them too much somehow. Maybe that changes tonight too.

blovy8 said...

Meaning, the October 2017 Cubs don't screw up enough to give up runs, while the October 2017 Nats can't hit often enough to get runs from that.

Natsochist said...

Harper - I actually say start Roark. Go with this as the plan:

Roark - Get through the lineup twice if you can. Pull if trouble rears its head.
Gio - Screw with Maddon's lineup. Throw your lefty after he's optimized for a Righty. Once through the lineup, plus whatever else he can give you.
Law Firm - Replace Madson with Max if needed.

R for (probably) 3-5 innings, L for 2-3 innings, then bullpen aces plus Max if needed.

Maddon tries to optimize enough that he could be left hung out to dry late in the game. Use his "I can outsmart anyone" thought process against him.

mike k said...

I'm nervous. I can't have the Nats lose their fourth opening playoff series in a row when all my friends are Yankee fans and they made it to the ALCS in their first try (of their current roster formation). Nats bats still look awful. Minus one swing they scored one run, and that's with a ton of gifted walks and an error.

I like Natsochist's plan, but I'm not sure I want Roark out there in an elimination game. Then again, we know he's a better starter than reliever, so if you're gonna need him, might as well start him. And he did pitch great in the WBC, which I assume is a high pressure situation.

Carl said...

Yeah, I had a similar thought to Natsochist. The reason to start Roark would be to do some R-L-R stuff with him, Gio, and Max or whoever.

BornInDC said...

Natsochist,

I saw or heard a similar proposal last night. Basically, you think of the game as a Gio start, but you start Roark to force Maddon take his left-handed hitters out of the game early, burning up his bench and his options, when Roark is replaced with Gio.

If Gio can handle it, is sure makes sense to me.

Mr. T said...

I like the Natsochist's plan, especially replacing Madsen with Max. Maybe even leave Max out there for the 9th if he's dealing. Or maybe Max 7, Kintzler 8 and Doo 9. Regardless, Dusty has options--and Maddon doesn't. He has to pray Hendricks is on his game, because there's no one else. (Except maybe Quintana?) If the Natbats finally wake up, and chase Hendricks early...

Harper said...

Bx - Yeah I'm probably underselling it - but still that MAT had power isn't a surprise.

Blovy8 - ok but why doesn't that hold for a Moore? (or any other number of playoff series)

As for the plan - I don't know. The Cubs have a lot of flexibility so it's hard to outflank them any way you look at it. I think I like L-R better because you force late inning "L-L" decisions which usually have bigger splits than "R-R" ones. (would be helpful though if the Nats had a killer lefty)

Mike k - WBC was a long time ago

PotomacFan said...

Gio likes his schedule. And you would never want to bring him in during the middle of an inning with runners on base (he is too likely to walk someone). So, I think Gio should start.

Tanner is equally mediocre as a starter or reliever. I'd prefer that he not pitch at all (and I'm a big fan of his), but if he must pitch, it should be in relief. Not that it matters, but Tanner would have to pitch Game 1 or 2 of the NLCS if we get there.

Nats have the following effective bullpen arms available: Max, Fat Matt, Kintzler and Doolittle. Madson is overworked and has been ineffective (he wasn't very good last night). Those 4 relievers can provide 5 innings of work. Gio just has to get past the 4th inning -- which he can do.

Anyone willing to bet that Dusty will (1) sit Werth (PLEASE!), (2) move Werth back to 6th (or lower), and/or (3) move MAT up to 2nd or 6th. The last should be the easiest -- MAT deserves a promotion.

And finally, did anyone else go nuts when Dusty let Wieters hit for himself in the 8th, instead of using Lind? It worked out, but still ....

Unknown said...

Im concerned Dusty will use Madson in a high leverage spot after he has been used too much, à la DJ in 2012 with Storen... I want Gio (4), a combo of Albers and Max for the middle innings, then Kintzler for the 8th and Doo for the 9th. Ill be there in the left field stands watching it all unfold... GO NATS!!

Anonymous said...

the only Carl Jr. that people will be seeing in LA this weekend will be of the fast food variety.

Hilarious for a guy with a 20 ERA to keep running his mouth. Fly the L tonight

Positively Half St. said...

I can't stand when people still bring up Strasburg and 2012. The Nats didn't loes because no Stras. They coughed up a 6-0 lead in the bullpen, and Storen could have saved it, anyway. Stras is still pitching and dominating, but Harvey looks done for the Mets after they did with him what the Nats refused to do.

For the psyche of all of DC and Northern VA, the Nats simply have to win tonight. It will be devastating if they do not. If they get to the NLCS, it will almost feel like they are playing with house money.

BxJaycobb said...

To me, the only advantage I see with roark is Cubs haven't seen him super recently. They just faced Gio.

BxJaycobb said...

I would object that. Yes they coughed up a 6-0 lead but Gio coughed up half of it. And Stras (would've been the No. 1, not Gio) would have been pitching game 5 instead of him. So would Stras have pitched as poorly as Gio with a 6-0 lead? Dunno. But it definitely wasn't irrelevant.

DezoPenguin said...

The plus with MAT is, ultimately, he was a quality player this year. In 4 1/2 months or so, he put up 3.1 fWAR, with sparkling CF defense and a 105 wRC+. Moreover, he has continued to play well in the playoffs, even as others were disappearing around him. If this is who he is, if Rizzo and Baker think he will continue to be this guy, then it means the Nats can go into 2018 with an Eaton (who in a corner suddenly becomes a major defensive plus)-Taylor-Harper OF, with Robles and Goodwin as the bench, and no need to go fishing to replace Werth. That's huge for the offseason plans.

Now he just needs to play well tonight, along with everybody else. If we win, his HR will likely become an iconic moment along with Stras's great start.

Ben S said...

Great post as always, Harp. I was enraged with some of the decisions made yesterday. First and foremost, sending an old, washed-up, not-doing-nothin Werth to the top of the order. He then promptly struck out looking with the bases loaded. Part of me thinks they pitched around Trea to get to him. SAD.

Second, although this worked out, having the righty Madson pitch to the only force of nature on the Cubs up 5 runs with runners on 1st and 2nd. The only thing that gets the Cubs back in to the game, IMO, is a three run shot / grand slam. WHY THE HECK IS A RIGHTY PITCHING TO RIZZO??? I'd rather walk the bases loaded then pitch a righty to him, as he's 4 for 4 with RISP and just a beast. Not having Oliver pitch to Rizzo was dumbfounding. We got out of it, but it seemed like a huge mistake, and could have easily ended terribly.

I love Dusty as a person, but he is losing my trust as a manager. So soft. Not willing to take out players who aren't coming through. Throw in Zimm's pick off at 1st, and this was the most enraging playoff win I can remember. MAT bailed us out.

KW said...

MAT bailed us out . . . because Dusty is his manager. Dusty's confidence in him is the key to everything.

Do I trust Taylor longer term? Not really. Although he's done more to improve his swing than Danny ever did, he still struck out 31.7% this season. Regression is inevitable. I'm for selling high on him this offseason.

However, right now, he's a hero, and one whose confidence may be peaking at a convenient time.

Harper said...

Ben S - the Madson to Rizzo match-up was killing me but I think Dusty was risking a few runs against getting Madson to feel good again.

Mr. T said...

@Ben S, as a sentient human, I agree with you on Werth. But you can't blame Dusty for letting Madson face Rizzo. They had a five run lead. Yes, a 3-run HR would be scary but Madson has been one of the best relievers in baseball all year, against everybody. He's not overmatched against Rizzo. Taking him out there would have really been giving in to fear.

Anonymous said...

Hey Harper, congrats on the Yankee win!!

cass said...

Start Max. Let him throw two innings. He can do all his normal pregame stuff. Don't announce anything about innings limits - keep the Cubs guessing.

After two innings, bring in Gio for a regular start. Then when he gets into trouble or after a couple times through the lineup, go to Roark or another righty. End with Doolittle.

Let them burn their players. Don't let them get favorable matchups.

Also, start Lind in place of Werth. Just do it. Werth will still be available off the bench.

G. said...

Are you a Nats fan...or a HATER?

G. said...

The Nats should CRUSH Hendrix this second time facing him this series...scoring early and often.

Start Roark...followed by Gio, then turn the game over to the Law Firm of KMD.

Would only use Max as a last resort if the game is inn the line in the late innings or goes to xtras...but will otherwise need him ready to start Game 1 of the NLCS Saturday in LA.

G. said...

I don't see Baker making any changes for Game 5...as yesterday's lineup has been the team's most productive all season.

Turner being able to get on base as leadoff is the key.
Werth is at his best at #2, and wouldn't want to change Taylor's spot in the order at this point...as he has had the team's best ABs in the 8th position.

Counting on the 3 thru 6 batters to come thru BIG for the Nats.

My prediction : 8 - 3 for the home team.

BxJaycobb said...

Dezo. Yeah, I don't expect MAT to be as good offensively going forward given his K %. But even if he is a slightly below average hitter, his defense makes him worth it.
@Harper. You know what? I like the idea of using Max either to start the game or to end the game.

G. said...

Werth WILL start...and he WILL lead the Nats to Victory against the Cubs...
(Ol' Jedi Mind Trick :)

GYFNG!!!

G. said...

#NATTITUDE

Sammy Kent said...

Two lucky, barely clearing the fence eighth inning dingers have us in game 5. I'm satisfied with Gio taking the mound tonight because it doesn't matter who pitches. The Nats still aren't hitting for squat. My gosh, we've had two no-hitters taken into the sixth or seventh inning and lost both games. And in one of them the dang Cubs had four errors before they had their first baserunner.

The Cubs IMHO at their best are not nearly as good as the Nats at their best, but they are generally playing better in this series, especially at clutch moments. Or more accurately the Nationals are just stomping on their own weewees at clutch moments. With all the men the Nats have left on base and the Cubs' defensive lapses this series should have been three and done.

Like 2012 and 2016 we have game 5 at home. I still hear Ray Knight saying last year "There's no way Max Scherzer loses game 5 at home." Guess what? Max Scherzer lost game 5 at home. I was in the stadium in 2012 when Jayson Werth walked off the Cards in the bottom of the ninth to force game 5, and still vividly re-live that agonizing Friday night debacle when Storen blew a 7-5 lead in the top of the ninth. That game still makes me want to vomit. Just praying and hoping we can catch a break or two tonight and THEN cash in on them.

Anonymous said...

Gio is starting game 5

Fries said...

@Sammy

While I agree the Nats aren't hitting, neither are the Cubs. They've got a .159 BA as a team through the first four games. Yeah they're .272 with RISP. Take out Rizzo, though, and they're .090 with RISP. I don't call that clutch.

As much as it pains me to say it, the Nats just need to keep doing what they've been doing. Shutdown pitching and lucky breaks at the plate. That's postseason baseball. Nats just need to hope Hendricks' FB doesn't have as much movement tonight as it did in Game 1. If he's throwing a flat, mid-80s FB like he was at the beginning of the year, the heart of the order will be all over it.

JE34 said...

Sammy Kent, you need a hug. Ride the high when the high comes... no need to dredge up the lows. Take a moment to bask in the glow of the Cub fans streaming onto Waveland Avenue before the game was over. Unless you're doing the Robot-esque reverse jinx? If so, carry on.

@PotomacFan - I had the exact same reaction about Wieters hitting in the 8th. Thankfully he did not swing, as that is the key for him to reach base right now. Thankfully he is calling good games, even if he pulls the occasional pitch out of the strike zone.

Jay said...

The Nats need their stars to play like stars. If Turner, Harper, Murphy, Zim, and Rendon play close to their ability then they can be fine. Their bullpen is better than it has ever been, evidenced by last night. Years ago Clippard gives up 3 runs in the 8th. We're still ahead, but it's a much different 9th inning. I credit Madsen for not giving in facing Rizzo.

If I had to pick, I'd pick the Cubs. Hendricks is the exact kind of guy the Nats don't hit well. However, he can be hit. Hopefully, tonight is the night for the Nats.

JE34 said...

What I would run out there tonight:

Turner
Murphy
Zimmerman
Harper
Rendon
Lind
Wieters
Taylor
Gio

Kevin Rusch said...

Yeah, i'm not gonna say MAT is going to Cooperstown or anything, but this season he's demonstrated that he's definitely adequate, and as others have pointed out, he's the only one on the whole team hitting at all.
I'd lead him off tonight, with Kendrick in left and Werth and Lind available as PH.

I agree that Roark once through the order and Gio to mess with the bench, then Max and the lawyers.

blovy8 said...

You remember the 2012 Moore hit, right Harper? So does everyone else - but it's not a homer. It's why he stuck around so long, and why he gets applause even when he's on a nemesis like the Braves.

blovy8 said...

Is there a reason to think the Nats will adjust to Hendricks properly?

Chris said...

I know this is jumping the gun a bit but, IF the Nats do somehow pull off the W tonight and Gio, Tanner and Scherzer all pitch say 2+ innings apiece, who would be able to start gm 1 of the NLCS?

Anonymous said...

Please sit Werth tonight. Please!

blovy8 said...

I like Wieters more in the eight spot (knowing Lobaton getting a start is impossible) even if you can't bunt him over, big deal, he's not getting on base unless the pitcher screws up, so why even consider letting them walk Rendon or whoever is at six more easily? He will take his walk, and Taylor likes to swing it too much.

blovy8 said...

of course, late in the game with the pinch hitter imminent, Taylor gets the nod, so perhaps a game like the one tonight, with maybe one AB by Gio, it should matter less.

Anonymous said...

same lineup as game 4 with werth in there in 2 hole. Actually might be good strategy cause he can work some counts and try to help get into cubs bullpen

Anonymous said...

Of course, no one unravels quite like Gio does. Why were we all fooled so easily?

Robot said...

Deep breath, everyone. Inning 1 was merely *almost* a disaster

G Cracka X said...

@Robot Agreed. Only down 1 is not bad considering the circumstances

G Cracka X said...

Anyone have stats on how Gio performs in cold weather games? Wondering if that is having an impact

G Cracka X said...

Murph ties it!!!!

G Cracka X said...

MICHAEL A TAYLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BxJ, holla back!

G Cracka X said...

Werth got a double! Silence the critics for a moment

Robot said...

That Wieters bunt wss glorious and MAT comes through AGAIN!

Robot said...

I'm really not feeling this Gio guy tonight

G Cracka X said...

@Robot Agreed

G Cracka X said...

Albers takes care of the 4th. Scherzer next?

G Cracka X said...

Another hit for Werth!

G Cracka X said...

Ugh

G Cracka X said...

More ugh

Anonymous said...

@Cracka

Unfortunately it's the slow start Max (though the usual slow start is a solo HR), and all we'll get is the slow start unless he goes for way more than the expected 2 innings. Gio should have gotten the hook sooner since he was having obvious command problems, and I'd blame it on that and reliance on the long ball, but Max will get tagged with the L if they don't come back.

G Cracka X said...

Unbelievable

JE34 said...

I would cut Wieters right now. Get your crap and GET OUT.

G Cracka X said...

The four words on every DC Sports fans mind right now: 'Here we go again'

W. Patterson said...

Heck, coulda left Gio in and got the same results.

G Cracka X said...

@W. Patterson true

Robot said...

Agreed, JE34. And punch him in the nuts, just for good measure.

G Cracka X said...

Anybody wish we could rewind to the 1st inning and see what would have happened if Tanner had started the game?

Kubla said...

I'm really dreading Cubs fans becoming the equivalent of Red Sox fans.

Robot said...

Unfuckingbelievable

JE34 said...

Werth: get your crap, and GET OUT.

NotBobby said...

i just want to go to bed, but, it is a car wreck that i can't stop watching. Werth is a horrible fielder - horrible. He should not be in the game. he is done. i wonder if he even gets a guaranteed contract next season from anyone. i know he is a very proud person and does not want to go out this way.
Wieters is a TERRIBLE receiver. maybe he calls a great game? but as a receiver and a hitter he is a minus. the bunt was amazing, but...

Lou said...

That's the worst part. Cubs haven't even hit much hard. Two wild pitches and Weiters cost four runs

G Cracka X said...

Every regular has a hit tonight except Zim

JE34 said...

Zobrist was out on strikes... terrible call by the ump. The Werth mistake would not have happened. ROBOT UMPS.

NotBobby said...

please pinch run for Werth!!!!

G Cracka X said...

Werth gets a walk.

Robot said...

I'd do a much better job. That call was atrocious.

Robot said...

Robles has already (inexplicably) been in the game...Difo, maybe?

G Cracka X said...

Who would you use? Difo and Robles are already out

NotBobby said...

Goodwin.

NotBobby said...

Couldn't understand the Robles pinch hit for that exact reason. he is needed for pinch running and defensive replacement.

G Cracka X said...

@NotBobby agreed. Robles would have scored

G Cracka X said...

Every regular has now reached base

NotBobby said...

well that worked out well. PHEW. Now Murph needs to show everyone his line drive stroke!

G Cracka X said...

Way to go, Murph!

G Cracka X said...

Too bad Wieters couldn't get the hit there. Coulda tied it.

Anonymous said...

Kendrick, Difo? I'd even take Lind vs. LHP over Weiters. Dammit man

NotBobby said...

not been a good night for Dusty

JE34 said...

Dusty has to go. Solis, twice?

G Cracka X said...

Lobaton in

JE34 said...

NOW he pulls Wieters. ARRRRGGGGHHHH Dusty!

G Cracka X said...

Should Rendon had thrown home instead?

Lou said...

Wieters cost 4 runs tonight on D. Never seen that from a catcher before

Fries said...

@GCX

No, not when the ball's hit that hard. There was a very real chance of getting the DP. I'm just still fuming over the interference on Wieters and how that wasn't called. That EXACT situation is listed in the rules.

Ole PBN said...

G Cracka X: Totally agree on the ball 4 call to Zobrist. That was blatantly strike 3. Would have saved that inning. The broadcast booth didn't even bring that up! Just acted like it didn't happen or missed it entirely. Glad someone else saw that, thought I was crazy.

G Cracka X said...

@Fries agreed on interference. The ball is supposed to be dead

NotBobby said...

Radio crew were all over it. Also went crazy over Winter not holing the ball for a second and getting Schwarber at second. Said he threw too quick and gave Schwarber the option of getting back to first.

G Cracka X said...

Nats now have 12 hits!

NotBobby said...

Diaz is a horrible umpire! That one worked to our favor but sheesh!

NotBobby said...

become a legend Harper. Do this. PLEASE DEAR GOD

G Cracka X said...

Werth reaches for the fourth time tonight! Who would have predicted it??

G Cracka X said...

cmon Bryce!

G Cracka X said...

Bryce bryce baby!!

G Cracka X said...

Another pitching change

Robot said...

Okay, Murph has homered once tonight but that was just some Lucky Charms shit or something. No way he gets another tonight. Same with that Michael K Taylor guy. He's done. He should just move underground and become one of Werth's gnome people. And Rendon? Pffft! Is he even a baseball player? More like Ren-DONE, amirite?

G Cracka X said...

The ol' Robot reverse curse! Hope it works

NotBobby said...

I see a pinch hit double for Lind in the 8th. MAKE IT HAPPEN

G Cracka X said...

@NotBobby that would be awesome

NotBobby said...

here it comes

NotBobby said...

DOUBLE Lind. Not double-play...

G Cracka X said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
G Cracka X said...

bummer

Robot said...

Why, Lind, WHY?!?

NotBobby said...

I LOVE YOU MAT

G Cracka X said...

1 run game

G Cracka X said...

Lobaton with a base hit!

NotBobby said...

No. No Loby. No.

NotBobby said...

NOOOOOOOOOO

NotBobby said...

Doooooo please keep it one run and let the top of the order win it.

Hope he din't have too long to get ready for ninth.

G Cracka X said...

Everyone wanted Wieters out

Anonymous said...

Fuck you Rizzo! Anthony, not Mike.

Lou said...

Unless they had an angle we didn't, I don't see how that's an overturn

Ole PBN said...

I don't think that pickoff was clear conclusive evidence required to overturn the call on the field. Pretty unreal that they actually reversed the call. Oh, anyone else starting hate Rizzo juuuuuust a little bit?

G Cracka X said...

Turner walks, then Werth hits a home run to win it, right?

Ole PBN said...

Lane has been hit in the head one too many times tonight. Strike zone is all over the place...

G Cracka X said...

Bottom of the 9th, here we go. Be a hero!

NotBobby said...

i need BRYCE, not Bryce, and certainly not bryce

W. Patterson said...

Werth strikes out. I'm shocked.

G Cracka X said...

On to 2018

Anonymous said...

Nats win 8-7!!!! Oh...wait....they didn't call interference on the dropped third strike? Fuck this

JE34 said...

Down one run... Werth and Bryce swinging for fences. Need baserunners, not one-swing-heroes. Infuriating.

Mike Rizzo: Please go get John Farrell.

JE34 said...

Nats got completely ripped off twice by the umps - once on the field with the bat-to-Wieters-head, and once in NY by replay.

I hope the Dodgers win each game by 10.

Dave said...

Perpetual losers. They let the sham MLB enter into the mix to put their dishonest stamp on it. F the league. Way too many players did not show up. Again.

Ole PBN said...

Meet the new Nats, same as the old Nats. Just painful. We are not able to get it done this time of year. Just incapable. Does not matter the opponent. I feel utterly helpless rooting for this bunch. I have no solutions. No missed calls. No substitutions that shouldn't have happened. I'm at a loss for words.

JE34 said...

Well there's always football season. Wait - I'm a Bills fan. CRAP.

Ole PBN said...

No. You know what? I'm watching the recap and we were sloppy as hell. Wieters can't block, Wieters can't throw, Werth can't catch, Lobaton is a fool on the bases. Gio cracks again. I want fresh faces in here.

Robot said...

You're kidding, right, PBN? Why did Robles pinch hit when he did and not run for Werth later in the game? Why did Kendrick not play at all? What the fucking fuck went on in that fifth inning? Bad zone all game! This was mistakes top to bottom

Dave said...

Werth is gone. Eaton plays in left next year. Weiters and Loboton are a different story. We are sort of screwed at catcher. The f'ing hamstring problem made a mess of the rotation.

G. said...

Why does Hendley send Turner to home plate in the 1st inning I sharp hit ball to Baez?
Why does Dusty not stick with Albers longer...?
Why is Roark "pitched around"?
What is the reason for Sammy Solis' existence?
Why does Wieters throw errant ball to first resulting in another run for the Cubs.
Why did Werth drop line drive ball hit to LF (another run scores)?
Why was Lobaton so far off 1B to allow himself to be thrown out.
Why did the Nats lose?

Why ask Why...?!?

Froggy said...

It's ironic that the umps can review a bang bang play at 5000 frames a second in hyper slow motion and remove the human element for any play. But on the other hand we are subjected to TOTALLY inconsistent non-reviewable human element bullshit behind the plate all game long.

If they are gonna take out the human element everywhere else but behind the plate then it's time for a hollagram robot strike zone calling pitches.

Sammy Kent said...

This series should have never gone past game 3. As much as they all tried to say otherwise, this team was so emotionally invested in winning the division that when they did it, they shut it down....figuring-- wrongly-- they could turn it back on for the post-season. Game 5s or Game 7s are the ultimate crap shoot. The only way to keep from losing a series finale is to not have to play it at all. The best opportunity the Nats have had by far to win the World Series, and they still can't get out of round one. I hope they are all happy. This is on their shoulders just as surely as the bats they carried to the plate.....and on Dusty for sticking stubbornly with a lineup that couldn't hit the water with a paddle. What the heck did we carry 25 men on the roster for?

Ole PBN said...

Because if our guys could have just executed ONE more time than they did, this game wouldn't have been close. We had the bases loaded twice and only got one run out of it. Our lack of execution left zero room for error. Not a winning formula. What I mean is that I don't feel ripped off by the umps or by Dusty. I feel ripped off by the players who helped us win 97 games this year, yet somehow couldn't get it together at a time when it matters most. Execution, plain and simple.

JE34 said...

Piggy backing on PBN's point here... as much as I hate Anthony Rizzo now, he knows how to approach an important at-bat. He chokes up and puts the ball in play, and fouls off good pitches in order to pressure the pitcher into mistakes. He plays the game as part of a team he trusts, not trying to do everything in one big swing all the time.

Nats hitters were dumb in their approaches at several important moments. The old Sun Tsu line - if your enemy is defeating itself, do not interfere (or something like that). The Cubs pen was having major control issues, and the Nats let the off the hook when it counted. This points to coaching.

--Wieters with bases loaded, with pitchers struggling with control, hacks at first pitch. Dumb approach, results in fly out to right, inning over.
--Lind with 2 on, with pitchers struggling with control, hacks at first pitch. Dumb approach, results in a dagger of a double play.

Then you have Werth and Harper at the very end... not thinking "get on base at all costs", but instead thinking "my time to blast one." Pitchers have a much easier time with the latter than the former.

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