Nationals Baseball: Sweeping Disorder

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sweeping Disorder

Yay!  More "sweep" jokes. Don't get a chance to do that alot when you blog about this team.  (Maybe next year though).  Was this a Phillies team running on full cylinders? No. Did the Nats miss Halladay and get Blanton? Yep. But a Phillies lineup resting a guy here or there is still pretty decent and those starters they have aren't rolling over because it's year's end.   Still an accomplishment. 

Just in case you were wondering the sweep keeps the dream of .500 alive but just 2 losses ends it.  Can the Nats go 5-1 or 6-0 to end the year?  Sure.  My feeling is that they'll be out of contention by the time we meet again on Monday. (of course I predicted the Braves and not the Cardinals as the WC so I'm biased.)

Other Notes:

Ian Desmond hasn't slowed down a bit in September.  (.284 / .308 / .443).   That OBP is still remarkably terrible but you aren't looking for Desmond to be a stud at this point (at least I hope you aren't).  You are looking for him to hold his own in the lineup.  Since Mid-July he has been, with a decent average and ok pop.

Remember the Type B FA gamble that we all assumed was the reason to A) trade for Jonny Gomes  b) not trade Laynce Nix?  Yeah that's been a terrible move.  Gomes has hit terribly since being regulated to pinch-hitter duties in late August (.154 / .281 / .192) and has played himself down to the border between Type Bs and nothings.  Even if he made Type B, offering him arbitration looks like making a bad move worse. Laynce has hit  poorly since the All-Star break (.204 / .274 / .359) and hasn't had an XBH in three weeks. He's got virtually no chance at ending up as a Type B. THIS IS WHY YOU TRADE A GUY LIKE NIX. (older guy outperforming what their plethora of historical stats would have you believe they should do). They are outperforming so you sell high on whatever you can get.  By keeping him you not only do you not get some random young lottery-ticket of a player that you might get lucky on, but you also hurt your team as the guy plays through his likely decline.  It's lose-lose.  It's looking very much like Rizzo came up empty on pretty much every OF move this year (hell even Morse was only a beast while he was playing first, for whatever reason)


bdrube said...

I will never understand why they just didn't let Bernadina play every day during the second half. Yes, Bernie's future is likely as a 4th outfielder, but better him getting the playing time as a young guy who is still learning than Nix and Gomes.

Donald said...

While being over .500 would be great, I have more modest hopes -- 79 wins. There's a certain symmetry to going from 59 wins to 69 wins to 79 wins. And they only need to go 3-3 to reach that.

Skippy said...

Seasonal records: Phillies 10-8, Mets 10-8, Braves 7-8, Marlins 5-10. Still have a chance to play the Braves to .500 or better. Unfortunately, like last year, we just can't beat the fish.

Harper said...

bdrube - because the Nationals hate closure on any OF position. That's why they asked Werth to hit the way he has (shhh that's a secret!)

Donald - then 89, then 99 Best team ever in 2015! Break the game in 2020!

Skippy - 45-77 all-time v Marlins. Nats made them mad taking 10 of the 18 in 2007. Since then Nats are 19-49 vs them. Not the worst of either time period though - when you're a lousy team you get dominated (Orioles, Pirates)

Anonymous said...

Harper, on a serious note why do you blog for this team if you always have something bad to say about them?

Anonymous said...

And we didnt get Blanton, we got Lee, Oswalt, Worley, and Kendrick.

DezoPenguin said...

If the since-mid-July version of Desmond was believable as his actual level of production, I'd not be worried; SS isn't really a great source of offense (well, unless you're Colorado). Unfortunately, I don't believe that, and it's costing us a chance to find out if Lombardozzi has anything to offer and if Espi can actually handle SS on the major league level.

Minor gripe at best, though. I'm just going to enjoy the winning. Whatever else you can say about this year's team, it's much better than last year's and feels like it's actually going somewhere positive.

As for trading Nix...the problem is that, even when he was overvalued, a guy who any reasonable watcher views as a 4th outfielder wasn't going to bring much back. The problem is that he and Gomes have both *sucked*. Call it the Curse of the Nationals OF, since it afflicts Werth generally and got Morse early in the season (heck, look at Nyjer this year versus last year and you can add him to the list of victims...).

Harper said...

Anon - I actually went back and did an "audit" of my posts when someone else claimed I was overly negative because I thought I had been. But I really haven't. It's a team below .500 so there should be about as many positive comments as negatives and that's about what it works out to in the long run. One thing I will cop to is an difficulty at presenting something as positive and then leaving it be. I do have a strong tendency to couch everything positive with not a negative comment but something grounding. I don't have necessarily the same habit of presenting a silver lining with a negative comment (though I do do that often - just not as uniformly)

Dezo - I think neither the pre or post July is the real Desmond. The 2011 Desmond is repeatable - the question is if that's what you want.

but what about... Soriano! That's right. That guy killed in the OF for the Nats. And... that's about it, right? Guillen? (actually I just looked it up. Dunn's OF year was good at the plate. Willingham of course. Dukes had a great 2008. Church had a couple good years too)