Nationals Baseball: .235

Wednesday, May 04, 2011



That's the highest batting average anyone in the Nats starting lineup ended the night with yesterday.


Last year 73 National Leaguers qualified for the batting title. 71 hit .236 or better. In 2009 no qualifier hit less than .240.


Four of last night's starters were batting .219 or under. Livan Hernandez's lifetime batting average is .221.

Ok you say. It's not about batting average though! It's about OBP and SLG! True - those are better stats, but you can't just not get hits. You need to get hits! It's not "walkandslugball", it's "hitsball"! It's great that you can walk, but if you don't get hits too you probably aren't getting on base enough. And it's great that you can slug the ball, but if you aren't getting a lot of hits then those big ones are coming too few and far between.

How bad is it? If we ignore Ramos (and that's not being unfair, his early split time keeps him from being a current qualifier), Ian Desmond leads the team in BA (.235 - 70th in the NL) and slugging (.408 - 49th), Jayson Werth leads the team in OBP (.322).

Plug a .235 / .322 / .408 line into the ol' Harpermatic.... you get 2009 Brandon Inge. If you Frankenstiened together the BEST possible offense you could from the guys with enough at bats on the Nationals to qualify for the league leaders, picking and choosing the guy that hit the best, and the guy that got on the base the most, and the guy that slugged the hardest -you get 2009 Brandon Inge. Victor's not screaming "He's alive!" for that, more like "What a waste of time!" 2009 Brandon Inge would be revered by this team. The would build graven gold statues of him riding a calf. All 13 female Nationals fans would name their sons "Charles Brandon". The team would invite former NC State player Kenny Inge to perform the works of playwright William Inge.

Only two more months of this, right?

(to be fair to the optimists, you have to believe that Jayson Werth is going to bat better. To be fair to everyone else find me anyone else in the lineup that you can say that about? An injured Adam LaRoche is your best bet.)


Hoo said...

Morse will hit better. You gotta believe.

But runs aren't important as important as character and defense.

Section 220 said...

True, and we lead the league in Character Average, with a robust .310.

Harper said...

Hoo/Anon - I'll have something on Morse tomorrow or Friday. It doesn't necessarily look good for Mike, but it doesn't seem to be the curveball issue you note. So... hooray?

I still say let him play out at least May, if not up until the All-Star break, just so when the team demotes him they can feel they gave him a fair chance. Last thing this team needs is to sit him now for say Bernadina and then have Bernadina hit .200 for a month so they pull the trigger again and put Morse back in.

Hoo / Sec 220 - How David Eckstien remains unemployed by this team is insane. He's a .400 Character guy easy. Plus it's the one stat that goes up as you age!

Hoo said...

I'm desperately hoping for Morse as I picked him to do well in pre-season (and I don't suppose I could say it's a Nix misspelling).

Morse's ABs have looked pretty bad so far..and of course LaRoche is looking up at him.

Sec314 said...

I was SURE that with Ankiel out, Nix would be given a start in CF. But maybe his character average is below the Mendoza line or its equivalent or something.

Hoo said...

Sure, Nix is adding more runs than Ankiel at the plate, but Nix doesn't have the cannon arm so he gives them back in the field!

I like shifting Hairston/Morse around. Give Morse Abs at left or 1st/3rd. Nix needs to get more Abs preferably at Ankiel's expense. But if not his, maybe at Hairston/s or LaRoche?

Harper said...

sec 314 - and the pitcher is a righty. It makes no sense unless you see it as Riggleman does. Hairston was the other CF option. Nix is the back-up corner OF. There is not even a question here.

Hoo - little know fact - Ankiel has saved 422 runs with his rocket arm.

Nix is hitting and this team needs offense so he should play against nearly every righty they face. There's no point to playing Ankiel or Hairston over him.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced LaRoche and/or Werth are Kearsing it--hiding health issues. Don't think that shoulder is working too well for Adam and I think Kilgore mentioned werth spends most post games icing his knee.

Forgive me if I have no faith in our training staff, but it's happened too much for me to think this is just a slump.

Hoo said...

Harper: I'd sense some sarcasm in your 422 run stat, but seeing how you're an ESPN Sweetspotter no doubt you're subtly plugging the current top story on

"Rick Ankiel strikes gold with his arm"

Anonymous said...

On the bright side, the Nats are only down 2.5 more games than the Caps right now.

Anonymous said...

You sound like the most miserable person, why dont you find a building and jump off it. We are 2 games under 500 without zimmerman, strasburg, harper, or hitting. So it can only get better.

Harper said...

Anon #1 : Agree. LaRoche isn't this bad and he isn't that old. He's average. If this continues on it has to be injury related.

Hoo : Exactly. His final arm "saving" stats are 422 runs, 18 lives, 2,018 dollars, and 23 minutes.

Anon #2 : Even brighter the Nats are still in it this season. (we'll see after the road trip ends - but still in it right now)

Anon #3 : Both Strasburg and Harper are doubtful to have much impact on 2011. ZNN will miss half the season. Everyone agrees 2012 does look "better" but lets not ignore 2011 just yet. It's May.