Nationals Baseball: What happens

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What happens

What happens if Bryce is BRYCE again?
What happens if Daniel Murphy matches last year?
What happens if Trea Turner has no sophomore slump?

Answer. It almost doesn't matter what anyone else does.

In the past week Bryce is hittin... I'll make you wait for that.

In the past week  Daniel Murphy has been hitting .296 / .321 / .593. It's not quite what he did last year but it's probably like 2 base hits off. (and he's .348 / .348 / .696 in the past 5 games)

In the past week Trea Turner is hitting .458 / .480 / .958.  It's way over what he'll end up with but a natural rebound from his slow start to put his yearly stats more in line with last year (.342 / .370 / .567 last year - .326 / .341 / .628 this year) It also makes you think what a crazy player he would be in a spacious pitchers park or at Coors field.

In the past week Bryce is hitting .526 / .640 / .842. I guess you could be disappointed that he's only hit one homer but Jesus, I just typed he's getting on base almost 2/3rds of the time.

In those last 6 games the Nats have scored 43 runs, or over 7 a game. These three have scored 22 of the runs and driven in 27 of them. They are an offensive juggernaut.

Oh how are the rest of the Nats doing over the same time?
Eaton OPS .656 (this is like Michael Taylor last year), Lobaton .599, Rendon .598, Werth .583, Wieters .397, Taylor (12PA) .083

They can almost do it all by themselves. I say almost because you might have noticed that I left out one guy. Ryan Zimmerman. He's hitting .381 / .458 / .857 during the past week. That's what puts it all over the top.

If Bryce is BRYCE, if Murphy is 2016 Murphy, if Trea is 2016 Trea you have three MVP worthy bats on the same team. If one of them is hot and one is just doing about what they should, that might be enough with the vagaries of who else is randomly hitting in the rest of the lineup to be a decent offense. If these three are going at the same time, and just one other guy is hot, they can bludgeon a team into submission. Right now it's Zimm. Next week it could be Rendon. Maybe Werth here and there. If these three all hit their max potential it's hard to see a better offense in the majors.  

So in short - don't get injured.


Carl said...

Much as I don't want Bryce to leave after next season, and as much as I expect him to leave and play for the Yankees: can you imagine if he played half his games at Coors Field? Seriously, he could hit .400.

michaelmatheke said...

Is there anything indicating that they are just beating up on weak pitching?

Robot said...

@Carl - I like where your mind is, but then I'd have to move to Denver because there's no way I'd pass up the opportunity to see a player hit 100 home runs in a single season.

sirc said...

Did clipstor&save already replace his handle? If not I have a suggestion:


As in, loving what Eaton and Turner bring as a one two punch, in whichever order.


cass said...

I wouldn't put too much focus on games that take place in Colorado, but yeah, the basic point is true.

We also knew, coming into the season, that we have three players who have put up MVP or near-MVP seasons in the last three years (don't forget how good Rendon has shown he can be), and Turner who did the same in a small sample last year. That's half of our starting position players. This lineup, if healthy, was a pretty good bet to be dynamite. They just need to remain healthy - unfortunately, our lineup also has a pretty bad recent injury history as well.

Sort of worry about the Coors Effect taking it's toll this weekend, but we have a good lead on the Mets already, at least.

Dusty's Toothpick said...

I joke with my wife and say I'm going to watch my "show" aka Nats games and lately it has been all laughs. I am seriously laughing at how good this team has been. Bryce Harper is an animal right now.....I mean getting thrown out at home just shows you where his head is at. He feels like and can do whatever he wants right now. Love this....don't want April to end.

Nattydread said...

I remember some strands of discussion on this blog last year about Ryan Zimmerman's career being over. Injuries, age catching up with him, or his just not having it any more. Though I fundamentally disagreed with the line of reasoning at the time, I kept quiet because there was no data to back up what was basically my blind fanboy hope that Ryan would return to form and earn his contract extension. I also had faith that Rizzo and Co would not blindly invest in Zimm if they didn't see a few more years of performance --- and that they probably have better data than the downward trending stats that Harper was presenting.

So does this return to form by Zimmerman refute Harper's prediction of Z's downfall? And if not, how much more data do we need before Harper officially gets back on the Z-bandwagon? I want him to be Come Back Player of the Year.

Bjd1207 said...

@Nattydread - Harper himself set May 1 as the deadline when he'd really evaluate any changes like that. So I'm sure it's coming, and he may be (natty)dreading it :)

But those of you who have been around awhile will remember me as a Zimmerman mark from way back. I picked him to have his bounceback year last year and was reminded how stupid that was for each successive week of the season.

So similar to you, this time I've tried to just keep my mouth shut and enjoy. Zimmerman has always and will always be my favorite baseball player to ever grace the earth. There is nothing I remember more fondly in my baseball watching then going to a Nats game with my high school bros fully expecting a loss, getting loaded in the stands, and only paying attention to Zimmerman (on both sides of the ball).

Keep it up Zimm

Froggy said...

I was a fanboy of Zimmerman last year and continued it into this season. The fact that he is healthy is huge obviously, but I think he is seeing different pitches now that he is sandwiched between Bryce and Murphy in the 4 hole. Zimmerman is so far the NL Comeback Player of The Year.

~ Harper are we getting close to enough SS for some heat maps to confirm or deny this hypothesis?

Bjd1207 said...

Also I forgot to mention, this may be my favorite Harper post in my 5+ years of reading regularly. After years of us begging for a legit offense, we've got a front row seat

Anonymous said...

Most optimistic Harper post of all time methinks. I know he's just stewing for there to be some nits to pick....

I mean, even the pen didn't blow up last night.

Kenny B. said...

So much jinx in this post...

There's no way any of them can keep this up. They're all just the product of a ton of luck and going against bad pitching. They're bums destined to come back to earth at any moment and finish their careers bouncing between AAA fill-ins and stopgap big league solutions for rebuilding teams.

There. That should hold it for a couple more games.

John C. said...

Well, there was some statistical basis to think that Zim wasn't done last year - his exit velocity. He was smoking the ball. Last year he led the Nats and finished #14 in all of MLB in exit velocity. This year Zim ... is leading the Nats and is currently #14 in all of MLB. The difference is that last year Zim's average launch angle was 7.6 degrees, and this year it is 13.4. Add in the fact that, even with his previous 7.6 launch angle Zim was horribly unlucky last year in the results on the fly balls that he did hit, and his fiery start seems to be a combination of three things:

(1) change in approach (launch angle);
(2) positive regression on results - his weirdly lousy results last year were unlikely to continue; and
(3) good luck, since I don't think he's going to sustain a BABIP of .438 (career .311) or a HR/FB% of 34.8 (career 13.8).

(1) and (2) should keep Zim from completely falling back to Earth even when (3) normalizes.

In three and a half weeks, Zim's 1.3 WAR (both fWAR and rWAR) is already his best season by WAR since 2013!

Robot said...

I agree with Kenny. Zim is a geriatric chump whose arm will likely detach the next time he swings too hard. Werth is a literal bum who is totally washed up and needs to just go and retire in the subterranean gnome-caves that are his domain. Bryce? "Overhyped" is all the comes to mind for me. Also, "pathetic." He and that Turner kid are getting lucky feasting on bad pitching in the Rockies. This team is destined for a miserable crash!

Anonymous said...

The Washington Nationals are FAKE NEWS! SAD!

G Cracka X said...

Hitters are getting a Coors Field benefit the past few games, but the quality is obviously there. By the way, writing this comment from an airplane (free Wifi). Great blog!

JE34 said...

I admit I thought Zim was done last year, and am overjoyed to be wrong. I still hate Coors Field though.

It's kinda sad to see one or two guys really struggling at Coors, while the rest are largely on a big ol hit parade. Poor MAT. He had consecutive three-pitch Ks last night, looking totally overmatched... that far off Good-Lord-nothing-is-working look in his eyes on the way back to the dugout.

Looking forward to them returning home for games April 28th to 34th. Who says April has to end?

Kenny B. said...

You guys, the Mets are in last place. I think I still hate the Phillies more, but after those obnoxious Mets fans started showing up on these threads in 2015, it is quite nice to watch them drowning in misery.

Froggy said...

I felt kinda bad for the Rockies after Bryce hit that 451' bomb...


Flapjack said...

It amazes me that with all of the great years Zimm has given this town, a couple of injury plagued campaigns would make folks forget that he, too, is a star.

Mythra said...

I have eaten crow on this board before and will gladly do so regarding Zimm. I was one who thought he'd had too many injuries (See David Wright of NYM) to return to this level of play. I am glad to see it, because I saw him spend his prime years on those 100 loss teams, with nothing yet to show for it. And my comments were lamenting his body letting him down.

My previous statements about him being done were coming from a place of support, because he gave his best years to this team and town. I wanted Zimm to get a ring if he was going to ride off into the sunset last season. I am glad he is proving me wrong and having a great year.

I recommend salt and a little oi, oregano, basil and thyme for that crow.

BxJaycobb said...

1. Was this post written before the Nats scored 16 more runs (complete with Bryce homer, murphy homer, and 3 more Turner hits)? I assume it was, since Harper said we scored like 43 runs in 6 games or something, and I thought to myself "isn't it 43 in 3 games." Enjoy it folks. You will never follow a team the rest of your lives and watch it average 14 runs over 3 days.
In other news.
2. I'm sure there is no way to measure this, but I was thinking to myself not only how good the offense is....but how insanely top-heavy it is. The top half of the lineup (Eaton-Turner-Bryce-Zim-Murphy) is like the most potent 1-5 hitters in history....then the bottom half is incredibly anemic. Rendon has been utterly punchless, Wieters has been bad since the first week, ditto Werth. But listen....complaining right now is beyond idiotic. Just breathe it in. (In particular, enjoy the Mets Harvey literally complained that he wasn't physically prepared to start!)

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