Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie : Ugh

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Quickie : Ugh

A lot of people will want to make that more than it was in the record book.  There’s no need. The Nats desperately need wins and last night in one swing a win turned into a loss. At this point any L is close to devastating, whether it was lost on the first swing of the night or the last.

What now?  Well by my goal setting the Nats need to beat. The Cardinals ya home. 3-1 or 4-0.  Anything less makes it likely they lost ground to someone and there is no room to take a couple steps back.

Ugh.

Notes

Soto is under .300!

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I realize there's some randomness to bullpens and they've had some injuries, but this bullpen has been ugly. Madson's closing and his ERA is now over 5. As much as I don't think managers have nearly as much influence as people say they do, it sure seems like every time the Nats hire a rookie manager, the bullpen implodes and there's rumblings about his inability to handle a bullpen. Could just be the result of losing, but I'm starting to think that the Martinez hiring, may have been the worst managerial hiring yet by the Lerners (let's be honest, Rizzo's hands are pretty much tied in hiring managers).

Dave said...

This team has to be one of the worst in Nats history as far as underperforming in relation to their talent. Martinez is only one piece of the mess this season. Football season could not have come at a better time.

PotomacFan said...

What should Martinez have done differently yesterday? Who should have pitched the 9th inning? In light of the injuries to Doo and Herrera, Madson is the default closer. Madson lost that game, not Davey Martinez. I would not be surprised at all to see Glover get a shot at being the closer until Herrera and/or Doo return. Why not?

Chas R said...

Yes, lots of folks will want to make more of this than it is, and lots of folks will want to blame Martinez. It's a terrible devastating loss and there should be concern as to how it might affect them in the Cardinals series, and for the rest of the remaining short season, but I don't see any correlation to Martinez' performance. This was simply again due to injuries and resulting under-performance.

Ole PBN said...

I’ll take a stab at criticizing Martinez: why didn’t Glover pitch the ninth? He threw 12 pitches in the 8th and could have easily handled one more inning. But honestly, we had a three run lead with a “should-be-reliable” reliever on the mound and couldn’t close. Winners close.

And Harper, I have to disagree about each loss being just as devastating whether it’s on the first swing or the last. Losing like we did last night, literally snatching the loss out of the jaws of victory, is as brutal as it gets. Especially with Max on the mound.

JE34 said...

@PBN: Glover was lifted for a pinch hitter at the top of the 9th, with the Nats clinging to 1-0 lead at the time.

Koda pitched well, although he got away with a couple meatballs to Javy Baez, one of which was a long, loud, near miss HR foul ball, after which Wieters made a wise trip to the mound. I wouldn't be surprised to see Koda close this week.

Johnny Callison said...

I don't agree with this new "players have to perform" line that seems to absolve managers of any and all mistakes. Earl Weaver always said you have to put guys into situations that are set up for them to succeed. Just heard on MLB's Sirius channel that the BP has been unhappy with communication with DM all along. I get that he's had to deal with an unusual number of injuries (some of which Rizzo should have anticipated--Stras and Zim get hurt most seasons; Zim he dealt with, Stras not so much) but he left a pitcher who clearly did not have it in the game after two HBPs. Inexcusable. I really think DM underreacts to situations and also hasn't gotten to the point where he's on top of what's happening in crucial situations. I get the feeling the game at this point is too fast for DM.

Everyone talks about the Nats' one-run game record as just a normal variation, a fluctuation. Really? Dusty wasn't the best, I totally get that, at understanding how to use statistical info to maximize production. In fact, sometimes he was terrible at it, and he seemed to lose it in post-season (some of that was dumb luck--Bartman; some is totally on him--Werth in 2017); but I have read that Dusty was GREAT at motivating guys, was good at getting the Nats off to good starts early in games, and also was able to take the heat off the team and put it on himself. DM doesn't seem to have the fire to lead a team. Did he manage in the minors or winter ball? Bench coach is very different from manager.

Dusty would have done better, I guarantee you, and then I would have been terrified to watch him in post-season. But I keep thinking that there was another option besides Dusty OR Davey Martinez. We could have hired someone experienced, but I get the Lerners just don't get what managers do, so they refuse to pay (while they pay 10M for Wieters!).

Ugh is exactly right--this game is like the Zimmerman game vs. SF or the Cardinals game that Gio blew, or last year's game 5. Just devastating.

billyhacker said...

Positive:
Kintzler's wasn't able to exact revenge in the Nats during the series.
Murphy and Zimm's bats
Koda

Negative:
Has Soto been solved by pitchers?
There are no uninjured experienced relievers in the bullpen.
According to Chelsea in Post - it was the first time in 40 years for a walk-off two out grand slam erasing a 3 run lead. With 2 strikes, was the win expectancy swing worse than the 2012 NLDS melt-down? yes, it was. ugh. Also, seemed like a pretty good pitch? Below the zone, 96 mph... tough.

Mr. T said...

I know Rizzo has had his successes. But dumping Kelly and Kintzler was so dumb. It seemed risky at the time, with Doo already on the DL and no timetable. There was no plan; Rizzo just hoped he would get lucky with the scrap heap (this is not 2015; Herrera and Greg Holland are not good). The best bullpen this team ever had was decimated, in part by injuries yes but also by stupidly tossing depth overboard with nothing to replace them in order to "send a message."

Jon Quimby said...

A lot of the comments (not all) seem like over-reaction to last night, while comments throughout the season have been under-reaction to the performance of the team. Oh joy - Zim and Murph are hitting. But where were they when we worked our way to 7 games behind the Phillies? DM has had trouble managing the pen, but last night didn't seem an example of that. Madsen loaded up the bases, but threw a good pitch that was undone by a better swing. The Solis issue the other night in a pressure situation was not smart.

I'm a little perplexed by the hate for shipping out Kintzler and Kelly who both seemed over paid and not far from replacement level. Did you really want Kintzler in there last night?! I thought the team was constructed nicely with Doo as closer and Koda as the heir and Madsen as the capable backup. With Koda back, Kintzler was no longer needed. Do you really think it would be smart to go out and get a fourth guy who can capably close at the expense of Soto (or any other decent prospect)? Who in the bullpen stepped up this year other than Doolittle? I don't expect everyone to overperform, but someone has to be better than expected to counter the guys who are worse than expected.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Madson was on the mound and he blew it, but, given the number of injuries the Nats have had, and given the rumblings of relievers being overworked, not to mention having to unnecessarily warm up, I don't think it's that big of a stretch to say that some of the reliever's struggles could be Martinez' fault. Also, if you look at the series as a whole, pitching Holland in a tie game on Friday was crazy-pants. Had that not happened, perhaps the Nats are going for the sweep and then it's a different conversation.

Finally, I think the Nats really miss Mike Maddux. Perhaps the worst part of the Dusty firing, was losing Maddux.

blovy8 said...

Mr. T is right, but last night would still have happened. My guess is that Martinez still feels like he has to establish that he "trusts" his players, so he often leaves pitchers in until they fail. If he has to still do that in the 118th game, it's fairly certain it will not happen this season.

I seem to remember Madson obliquely mentioning that he's not that good at closing, and is more comfortable earlier in the game. But the choices were fairly bad all around unless DM was willing to screw with everyone in the pen and say just be ready at all times, then blow through warming up pitchers who never get in the game. I guess he sort of does that already to an extent.

I have no confidence that anyone coming in to relieve Madson would have been a better matchup. The homer wasn't even on a strike. It's just DC baseball luck. See, Indians, Cleveland for other examples.

Froggy said...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think last night's game was Tough-Loss number 5 and No-Decision number 6 for Max this year.

Froggy said...

...wait, Max didn't get the loss, so that wouldn't be right. Right?

Mr. T said...

@Jon, I don't think he needs to trade for a closer, and of course I would never want Kelly or Kintzler pitching the ninth. I'm just saying that when you get rid of guys who are definitely better than replacement level (I don't have the #s but didn't Harper say Kelly was actually pretty good this year?), that creates a ripple effect and forces more innings and higher leverage situations on someone like Madson, who is not a spring chicken and is now apparently complaining about a back problem. Obviously he needs to perform and the failure last night was his (I don't buy that Davey should have taken him out with 2 outs and the bases loaded), but by dumping decent arms for nothing, the GM has made failures like last night's more likely.

Jon Quimby said...

@MrT You might be absolutely right that we now have guys who are less capable in important situations. Replacing Kintzler and Kelly with Glover and Suero doesn't seem to be what's doing that though. The problem is that Herrera, Kintzler and Madson have proven themselves incapable and Glover was unavailable until recently. That's not on Davey or Rizzo.

Fries said...

I'm still upset about last night even 14 hours after the fact. That was arguably the most deflating defeat I've ever watched outside the 3 notorious playoff losses, and I might argue it's still worse than last year's game 5 given how everything went down.

It seems no one wants to blame Davey, but we have to. Not for putting in Madson, but for not pulling him after 2 HBP. For not getting Miller ready after the first HBP. Every game is a playoff game now, and it was clear that Madson didn't have the control he normally has last night. A manager needs to be prepared to respond if things get out of hand, and things got out of hand in a relatively slow manner. It wasn't back to back pitches or anything like that.

The only thing I can say to defend Davey is that Madson did only have to get 1 more out, but when the tying run is on 1st and 2 batters have been hit, 1 more out isn't exactly a simple task. Put out the fire before it before it becomes more than a small flame, that's your job as a manager.

Jay said...

I do think if Martinez is warming them up and not counting that as use then he is partly to blame. The bullpen has completely blown up with injuries this year. Some of that is bad luck. Some of it may be over use. I remember when old paint-by-numbers Matt Williams was here that the second year (his last year) he was here that the bullpen really struggled. The bullpen really struggled down the stretch of his first year as well. I remember the general consensus is that Williams didn't pay attention to warming up. He'd have guys up and down multiple times during a game and then also wouldn't count it as a day of use if they didn't throw in the game. Dusty came along and did pay attention to this and the bullpen with not a lot of changes from the year before was better. The bullpen was awful Dusty's second year bc the Nats didn't get a closer. Also, the Nats did trade for Melancon Dusty's first year. Of course it could be that the Nats record is worse than expected and guys are complaining bc they aren't winning. Anyway, its almost over now. I am not convinced Dusty would have done better. However, I do think the advantage of going with an experienced manager - Girardi, Showalter, etc. that you eliminate the variable of whether the problem is the manager. Also, I agree that Lilliquist stinks. I'm not entirely sure that Kevin Long doesn't need to go as well.

Do you trade everyone away by the 8/31 deadline if this week goes as expected? Murphy is playing better. I don't think they will trade Harper though I don't think there is any way he stays.

This should be a very interesting offseason.

Anonymous said...

Doolittle and Herrera are injured. Madson is injured and ineffective. Bad luck? Or is this the result of accrued a strain debt from over use earlier in the season?

You can only strain arms so much in a particular time period. When you exceed recommended amounts, you effectively borrow from the future. You pay it back in the form of injuries and reduced effectiveness. The Nats overused their relievers earlier in the season, and now the strain debt needs to be repaid with interest.

The strain debt collector is more powerful than the IRS or a credit collection agency. It can't be trifled with.

Karl Kolchak said...

It simply astounds me that any serious Nats fan would continue to defend the guy who has taken a team that according to Boswell in March had 100-win potential and driven it straight into the ground. Injuries are no excuse--Dusty was down to his 11th string outfielder by this time last year. And that doesn't even take into account that most of the Nats' pitching injuries were directly due to Martinez having no clue how to manage a staff and overusing his best arms until all of them save Scherzer have broken down. The Kool Aid is not just old and warm, it has curdled.

Max David said...

I know the injuries have sucked this year, but Rizzo has to have some better SP depth. When 2 of your scheduled starters in a mid August series on the road against a team you are chasing are Tommy Milone & Jeremey Hellickson, you know you have problems.

JE34 said...

The Nats bullpen has 11 blown saves this year, which is 2nd best in the league. Bullpen has looked and felt bad, but they haven't had many meltdowns like last night, even with the injuries in the pen.

@KarlK: counting down to BxJaycobb bringing the hammer on the injury topic in 3....2....1....

W. Patterson said...

Apropos of nothing whatsoever, I've tickets to Nats vs Mets on 9/23. I was thinking when I got 'em that the game might mean something. Right now I think it might be me and the beer guy at the game.

On the bright side, the weather should be nice.

Oh, and if you want to catch some really good baseball, the LLWS playoffs are pretty darned entertaining. Make note and I'm sure you'll see some future big leaguers playing, some of which could probably get picked up by the Nats right after the LLWS.

Anonymous said...

"On the bright side, the weather should be nice"

And the tickets may be really affordable.

Dusty's Toothpick said...

ugh

Harper said...

D's T - best response

Huzzah! said...

Who is commentating tonight? Is this FP? His voice sounds strange

ssln said...

All loses are not created equal. Some rip your guts out. Last nights win turned loss after Max"s Cy Young winning type performance was just such a loss. It is hard to imagine that the team won't suffer a hangover in St Louis.
Win eleven in a row and prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Please fire Davey. Leaving in (or bringing in) Solis is fully on him

Kubla said...

Sad trombone

JE34 said...

good gravy

JE34 said...

The @bogcommenter twitter feed is not exactly chicken soup for a Nats fan's soul. And yet, as the bitterness takes hold, he is so funny that I cannot look away.

Max David said...

How long until we go “well this just isn’t our year??” Tomorrow?? Thursday?? After Labor Day?? Now??

Robot said...

Sammy Solis does not belong on a major league roster. Maybe the Padres. Definitely not one even marginally competing.

Anonymous said...

Yakety Sax: your new Nats theme song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnHmskwqCCQ

Kubla said...

@Karl

I want some of whatever Boswell was smoking when he looked at the ST roster this year and saw a 100-win team.


@Max David

Earlier in the season the rotation was pitching well and they were still not winning many games, and I figured the SP could only maintain that quality for so long. The offense was only getting worse and more injured. I actually had the thought, and may have even said out loud to the nearest, probably entirely uninterested party, "this isn't the Nat's year" when Kendrick went down for the season...so since May.

What makes it more sour is that things went wrong in least optimal way possible. Half the lineup either stunk or hadn't fully recovered from injuries at the exact time to tank the season while still not being able to get anything back before the trade deadline. Then they bounced back just enough. Bryce is not going to take a discount extension if he gets 35 HR and can lift his average over .240. Murphy is probably gone too. They'll go into 2019 with Zim as plan A at first, and neither Adams or Reynolds will be back. Gio might be able to get a legit contract somewhere else because his overall stats make him look like a decent 2-3 guy on most teams. It's possible this season's failures could bleed into 2019 and beyond.

Max David said...

After Rizzo completely botched the trade deadline maybe he can unload some of these guys by the waiver deadline. I know Milwaukee was interested in Gio, maybe they'll put in a claim, and I'll just be happy to get a picture of Bernie Brewer and the slide in return.
Some team will put in a claim for Murphy & Harper, maybe some of the relivers.

Anonymous said...

Time to sell, get what you can Rizzo and do everything you can to get below the Luxury Tax threshold. Also, if they're going to hire another rookie manager, do it now so you can try him out this season.

Jay said...

The most frustrating thing of all is that the Nats are wasting prime Scherzer. The guy is the best pitcher on the planet and the Lerners are content with being ok. Look at the Red Sox and the Yankees. They are great teams that just keep adding players. I don't want to hear any Boston and NY are big market team stuff. The Lerners are the richest owners in baseball. Oh well.

I'd actually resign Harper. Trade Eaton. The OF is Robles in CF, Soto in LF, and Harper in RF. They would still have money for other players if they are willing to spend it.

Anonymous said...

@Jay: I think it depends on what you can get for Robles and Eaton as to which you trade, IF and that's a big if, you re-sign Harper. Personally, I'd deal whichever one you can get more for. Bryce isn't MAT, but he's a serviceable CFer.

The Nats have spent money, the problem is that too much of it is going to guys who haven't contributed much of anything this year. Consider this, the Nats are spending $77.49M this year on Murphy, Stras, Zim, Wieters, Madson, Kelly and Benoit who have contributed a grand total of 2.7 WAR (1.5 of which belongs to Stras). If you subtract Stras' money, they've spent $59.16M on players who have contributed 1.2 WAR collectively. Also, two of those contracts (Zim and Wieters) are on the Lerners, not on Rizzo.

Ty Miller said...

The Nats have actually spent a ton of money:

Free agents include Scherzer, Wieters and Murphy.

They have traded farm system for talent including Eaton, Papelbon and Gonzalez.

They have resigned their top talent like R. Zimmerman and Strasburg while recognizing other free agents were ready to go down hill like J. Zimmerman and Desmond.