Nationals Baseball: Well that went well

Friday, April 06, 2018

Well that went well

Don't panic. I repeat don't panic.

OK Eaton tweaked something BUT they took a quick look at it and said that there is no damage, so he should be back in a few days

OK the second straight Nats' ace put up a mediocre game BUT neither of the games were worrisome or terrible. They left the Nats with a chance to win which is where you want your ace's bad games to be.

OK the Nats dropped another game to fall to 4-3 and 1.5 games behind the Mets BUT it's game 7 dammit. The Nats win the next two (easily could happen) and they are 6-3 with a half game lead on the Mets and you aren't worried at all anymore.

OK Miguel Montero looks terrible BUT he's the back-up catcher. You can count the teams with good back-up catchers on one hand. 

OK the guys you worried about in Spring, Ryan for sitting out and MAT for getting hurt, are doing poorly BUT it's been a week. Sure it's not what you want to see but before you decide that something is really up here can we give them at least two weeks of games?


The Nats have started playoff years not great. Just last year as the Nats worked through their bullpen issues they started 6-5 and looked up at the Mets in the standings. And in 2014 they started 41-38 and were tied with Atlanta before popping the clutch and telling the NL East to eat their dust. We have a long way to go to be worried for real. We can point out differences but let's stick to the script. No worrying unless the Mets sweep and the Braves take 2 of 3, ok? We can revisit after the homestand.

It's early in the year even for "early in the year" talk. Take the AL East. Boston is 6-1, Tampa 1-6. You could say "oh Tampa is in trouble". But let's say Tampa goes 3-0 this weekend and Boston 1-2.  7-3 vs 4-6 you don't think much about. Right now, when a single weekend can flip even the most extreme cases, you have to hold off and let the season mature just a little bit more. By next weekend we might be able to start to say some things. For now you should still be in "Baseball is back!" enjoyment mode.

Of course it would help if the Nats' play cooperated with that enjoyment mode but it's still baseball after a long, cold (not over yet!) winter.

23 comments:

Chas R said...

All I can say is it's good to be an Astros fan too.

Ole PBN said...

I have to say, I'm pleased/impressed with how the Nats are prepared for injuries on the offensive side of the ball. To be able to withstand injuries to your staring C, 2B, and LF is what good teams prepare for. Of course if you go 0-3 during that stretch, I'm less impressed. But you're right, it's still very early.

I just wish we were as prepared in the SP department. If any of our 4 goes down, we are in trouble. I guess you can't have depth in both areas... asking for way to much.

Anonymous said...

I like how the blog mentions where the Nats were last year and to not panic. The only problem is, that was last year and this is this year. The Mets look good, REAL good. If they stay healthy they are going to give the Nats a hard time all season. This isn't the same Mets team of past years. There is a different vibe on their team this year. They are playing loose, and the pressure to be the top dog in the NL East is not on them. They are a team that thrives on being the under dog. They have a new manager who seems to be pushing all the right buttons at the moment, a rotation which a lot of good arms, and an underrated bullpen. In case you had not guessed it, yes, I am a Mets fan. I know its early, but damn it sure felt good to send you guys a message yesterday.

Ole PBN said...

@Anon 7:51. Last year was last year, and this year is still this year. And you're still posting anonymously. Its hard to take anything you say seriously.

Any thoughts about platooning Goodwin and Taylor? Taylor boasts a career 32% K rate (atrocious). Not that Goodwin is better (26%), but I'd enjoy a change from the Espinosa-like feeling when MAT steps up to the plate.

Fries said...

@Ole PBN - I think the way Goodwin is being used is appropriate right now. MAT needs some time to get his eye back after not getting many cuts in ST. 3 weeks from now, if things aren't improving, then you consider a Goodwin platoon.

Everyone is preaching doom and gloom, but Scherzer's and Stras's starts really weren't that bad (Stras's you could argue was actually pretty good). Neither of them were locating their breaking stuff very well, but their fastballs were at their best and outside a few mistake pitches (and a balk for Stras/botched grounder for Max), both pitchers would have gone 6-7 innings with 2-3 runs allowed. Not their best starts, but by no means terrible.

PotomacFan said...

Any ideas for how to protect Bryce in the line-up? Zimmerman hitting clean-up is not working. Yesterday, DeGrom walked Harper with no outs and men on first and second base. DeGrom threw mostly off-speed stuff, nibbling at the corners. So the Nats loaded the bases, and up to the plate came Zimmerman, who hits a soft fly ball to RF, Kendrick smokes a line drive that the SS has to reach up to catch, and Trea Turner strikes out (and gets thrown out of the game, arguing like a fool). One, two and three are really strong, 4 - 9 not so much.

Daniel Murphy: get well soon.

Bill Karim said...

I'm also a Mets fan who checks in here from time to time, just to see the rival perspective. I will agree that the Mets DO look better this year...theres more veterans, the bullpen is deeper...so theres plebty to like there.

But also, Harper does a very good job here, and I think he's spot on from the Nats perspective: don't panic. That roster is as talented as it's ever been. One thing I'll say is that there were certain performances last year that will be hard to duplicate, like Gio, Zimmerman and Goodwin for example. But its also safe to say that Harper is having another Bonds like season, and you guys are also.gonna get Murphy back. They should still have plenty imo

ElChupinazo said...

While I agree that the Mets look better, it's hard not to when the low, low bar to clear is "being managed by anyone but Terry Collins." But it's still the LolMets, and at least two of their starting pitchers are still made of glass. We'll just have to see what happens.

What's more concerning to me is that it's two games in a row of the Nats looking lost at the plate, save for Eaton and (all of a sudden) Rendon. Degrom will do that to you, but Folty? I know it's just way too early in general to make anything of anything, but they look more like a July team going through the inevitable doldrums than a team that started 4-0 and looks to get over the playoff hump.

I know, I know. Too early! I'm basically just shouting into the void. But it feels good to have something to shout about finally!

Bill Karim said...

It it were me, id have Eaton, Turner, Harper, then Rendon cleanup

Robot said...

Harvey and Thor's arms haven't fallen off after a week. Hardly a cause for alarm.

I'm shocked we were able to find a catcher worse than Wieters, so congratulations there, Rizzo.

It's really early in the season. Max and Stras will lose games from time to time. Not panicking.

...

Seriously, not panicking. Maybe fidgeting nervously, a bit, though...

Dusty's Toothpick said...

Yeah, I'm not liking the vibe right now. I am very worried about this start. The Nats are heavy favorites to win the WS and I feel like if any organization would be that heavily favored to win and just blow it would be a DC sports team. I need some wins, and no more AJ cole!!!! Losing is contagious

Froggy said...

Montero might be the backup catcher, but as a veteran catcher he called a pretty terrible game. Bases loaded, full count fastball to Bruce as example. A veteran calls for a junk pitch here as the possible outcomes are clearly better: swing and miss, ground ball, pop-up, or walks one run in. Grooving a cement mixer to a fastball hitter was just plain stupid.

Bill Karim said...

Who, I would not call you guys heavy favorites to win WS. WS contenders, sure. Definitely not favorites, like the Astros and Yankees and Indians

Natsochist said...

No panic, but damn is it frustrating to pay out the nose to attend opening day and watch the team basically say, "Fuck it; it's cold out. I don't feel like playing today."

Seven of eight batters struck out beginning with Trea's ejection AB yesterday, and most of them were on three pitches. They mailed it in after the Bruce GS, and as a fan who sat through that weather, it pissed me off mightily.

Oh well. On to the next one. Nats' payment for mailing it in during "cold" weather yesterday is snow tomorrow!

BxJaycobb said...

Harper: I think one legitimate basis for worry is that IF the Mets are healthy, the Nats are not going to run away from them. I think the Mets have better relief depth AND better starting pitching depth (again, assuming similar health). And the Nats have a better lineup, but not by a ton if Rosario develops and Cespedes and Conforto stay healthy. Yes. Assuming health is a large step to take for the Mets. But do the Nats have more talent on their roster than the mets? Maybe, but not that much more in my opinion. Their 3-5 starters are more talented, their middle relief is way more talented, and their C, LF, and CF are more talented (with a possible wash at 1B, depending on health of respective vets). I’m not worried about the Braves. But the Mets absolutely could win the division, and do so without any terrible Nats injury luck. IMO all they need is GOOD injury luck on their side.

JE34 said...

Trea's winter ski mask makes me think he wasn't sad to get tossed. He needs a scarf and mittens to complete the ensemble. I like to think Don Baylor rotates 360 degrees in his grave every time Trea dons the winter gear.

Stupid human emotions. I'm as guilty as anyone of feelings and "vibes" and whatnot after the Nats lose 3 straight. Thank goodness for our soulless automaton.

All that said... a catcher has to be pretty bad to make us wish for Matt Wieters. He handles pitchers and calls games well, sure... but remember last year those were the ONLY things he did well.

Anonymous said...

Friday quiz: Would you rather Nats win division and have home field for NLDS or be Wild Card, win Wild Card game and not have home field? I will take the sweet moment of advancing in the post-season even if no home field.

Nats Fan in Chicago said...

I wouldn't count winning the wild card game as "advancing", same way that I don't view winning the First Four games in the NCAA tournament as "advancing". It's a play-in game, and doesn't get you over the hump of disappointment from prior years NLDS losses.

Also, while the play the past few days has been underwhelming to say the least, look at the records of the presumed preseason favorites in each division - the Astros are the only ones living up to the billing, the Yankees are even with the Nats at 4-3, the Cubs are at .500, and the Dodgers and Indians have struggled more. Yes competition varies, but lets give them at least 2-3 weeks before we start sounding the panic alarm.

Doug S said...

Completely agree. The Mets are only one season removed from back to back postseason appearances and are likely better managed than under Collins. They will be formidable competition.

Stephen said...

Sounds like someone is bitter their team hasn’t gotten off to the start they had hoped for. Womp. And here, I won’t post anonymous just for you. Come at me bro. I’m here all season long.

Ole PBN said...

So Rendon got ejected for... what exactly? The thing I hate most about this wonderful game is this ultimate arrogant power held by some of these umpires. What accountability do they ever have to answer for. The whole charade off kicking dirt while the umpire just stands there and waits for the player or manager to leave is laughable. Carry on Marty Foster! So glad you kept that game under control! Almost got out of hand there for a second. Scary bat flips and all... dude probably thought Rendon tried to throw it at him...

Stephen said...

On another note it sure was a great day to be a Mets fan, am I right?! Look, if it was the other way around, you’d be happy, but for once things break the Mets way. Baseball is a funny sport. You just gotta swallow the loss (and series loss tee hee) and move on. You’ll have more chances this season.

Josh Higham said...

One thing that should not be ignored about the Mets is that they have a new medical staff. Underlying fragility gives me some hope they won't be healthy all year, but we shouldn't assume the same kind of reckless mismanagement of injuries. 3.5 games is not a ton, and if the two teams play to projections for the rest of the year, the Nats still win the division easily, but there's legitimate cause for concern.