Nationals Baseball: A night to boo

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

A night to boo

Yesterday was supposed to be a moral reckoning for the Nationals fans. Logically Bryce Harper did nothing wrong. He played (mostly) hard in DC for 7 seasons, then grabbed the largest contract he could in free agency. 99% if us would do the same thing.  But fandom isn't supposed to be rational, and Bryce also always had a foot out the door and never quite connected with fans because of that. He turned down what could be taken as a fair contract and signed with a direct rival instead.  It was easy enough to turn "nothing wrong" into "Benedict Harper"

And so the Nats fans rained down the Boos with unexpected force, the "fake fan base filled with half-hearted transient fans" proving they could be just as crazily passionate as fans anywhere else.

And that should have been it. Boos. Bryce vs Max. A K or a hit and the game moves on.  But after the cathartic K in an otherwise shaky top half of the first things started to unravel. Trea took a pitch off the hand on a strange bunt attempt.  Max gave up a bomb and couldn't close out innings fast enough. Matt Adams tumbled over the railing. Max struck out Bryce again for another pop but rather than a rising crescendo it was a muted saving grace at that point.

In his third and final Max AB, Bryce would double, putting an end to hope of complete humiliation for Bryce. Then Max had to come out and the bullpen burned the park down. Suero and Grace were almost out of it. 2 on but 2 out. McCutchen walks to load the bases and the Nats face a do or die situation. Segura up, Bryce just missing out on the huge AB on deck. In hindsight it's clear Doolittle should have been brought in here. A hit blows the game open, likely losing it. It is time for a good reliever and frankly the Nats only have one of those right now. But Fake Davey stuck with Grace, Grace grooved on down the middle, and Segura cleared the bases. Bryce's follow-up single, scoring Segura was anti-climatic at that point. The game was pretty much lost as no one thought the Nats could score 7 in 4 AND the bullpen could hold the Phillies where they were.

But even then the indignities didn't end. With one last at bat against "We don't have a real long man so you are it" Hellickson, Bryce crushed a homer into deep right center putting an exclamation point on this disaster. The game could have hardly gone worse.

It's a game that you feel can send a team reeling, but as we've noted before this is more fiction than fact. The truth is win tonight and the season feels a lot better. Win tomorrow too and while the slow start isn't forgotten (Trea is still hurt) it's seen for a minor overcome able stumble. That's all it takes - two wins.


What to do about Trea?

Difo has to play SS right now. Dozier can't. Kendrick is still out and also can't.  Young Kieboom should be up even if unready because the Nats shouldn't try to carry Difo's bat for any longer than they have to.  Kieboom may be no good, but the Nats have to take that gamble and start this clock.

78 comments:

blovy8 said...

I agree about Kieboom, but I suspect it will be Sánchez. Maybe we’re lucky and Kendrick comes back for Adams if that was more than back spasms as it seemed. This is clearly going to be an ugly month.

Anonymous said...

Maybe in prior seasons with a less competitive division you'd have an argument that the Nats should roll with Difo/Sanchez instead of Kieboom. Not this year. If Kieboom is not up and at least splitting time with Difo by the weekend, the Nats are fools.

JWLumley said...

I'm probably overreacting, but this team does not look good at all. They looked listless last night. Perhaps that was because of the Turner injury, or the freezing cold, but it seems possible that they're depending on a number of guys who could be on their decline, and declines aren't always linear or gradual. You figure that it's possible that Zimmerman, Gomes, Dozier and Suzuki could all be on the decline and one or all of them could be sharp. Couple that with a bullpen that just looks awful and a manager who always seems to go the wrong guy and this could be an ugly season, especially since they play so many games against the East to start the year.

With Turner going down, I don't think Davey makes it to the end of the year and I expect a sell-off come July. Turner is a huge loss because the swing is probably 5 wins (4.5 for Trea -0.5 for Difo) If they can't re-sign Rendon by the middle of July, they should deal him. I think Rizzo's main issue is that he builds good, but not great teams. For example, instead of Realmuto, you get Gomes and Suzuki. Instead of Kimbrel, you get Rosenthal. Instead of spending $30M a year on Harper, you spend $30M on Strasburg (who seems to be in his own decline). Instead of swinging a deal for Yelich (who may or may not have been available) you deal for Eaton. None of these are bad moves and are better than the alternative of doing nothing, but they're not great moves either.

Anyway, I could be wrong, but I think this team is going to be the worst Nats team we've seen in a decade because the East is so tough, coupled with a horrendous bullpen, losing Turner and a decline from a number of guys.

G Cracka X said...

On the bright side, Dozier got a hit!

Robot said...

I was saying "Booryce"

Gr8day4Bsbll said...

On the Bryce issue, I was with the boo-birds last night and was giving it a rest later in the game, until he started waving at the crowd after a meaningless double, pumping his fists at us in RF, and the obnoxious bat flip after his HR. To me, he just proved that he belongs in Philly with the rest of the arrogant flip-you-off-for-nothing crowd. So he is now dead to me, and in future games I'll greet him with a yawn.

As for the SS issue, yes it should be Kieboom, but word this morning is that it'll be Sanchez because, according to Rizzo, "Kieboom isn't ready to play SS full time in MLB." Well, news flash, Mike -- neither are Difo or Sanchez... This season already feels like it's slipping away, particularly with a bullpen that has given up 14 runs in 8 innings and a lineup that can't hit... But as always, I'll go to the games anyway; irrational baseball fans are the only true baseball fans...

coolsny said...

@JWLumley

I agree with you. I think that Rizzo builds teams with "high ceilings" instead of "high floors." All of our teams the past five, six, seven years had "great potential," but significant risk of "crash and burn," and we saw a real mix of it. As the Nats staff themselves have admitted, last year we were an incredibly inefficient team, flashing talent at the wrong times, finishing well statistically (runs scored, etc) but with a middling record.

Additionally to your point about "listlessness" last night, I think that for the entirety of the Nats 2012-present teams, the Nats have suffered from a lack of enthusiasm and "heart." The Nats have, and have had, some cool customers, Exhibit A being Jayson Werth, as well as Zim, Stras, and even Rendon and Trea to a certain degree. The people who would purportedly have been "leaders" of the team have always seemed to have a laissez-faire attitude and a "its just baseball" mentality. Never a sense of urgency.

Just my thoughts from 30,000 feet.

JWLumley said...

@G Cracka X - Yes he got a hit, but was unable to make three tough plays in the field. I think he's going to be this year's Wieters who drags the team down, but they're unwilling to admit it and make a move. Granted they were tough, but defense is supposed to be part of his value and you'd expect him to make 1 or even 2 of the three. Instead 3 infield hits all in his direction.

Froggy said...

Dozier makes me miss Daniel Murphy.

Froggy said...

Fx finger = 4 weeks minimum. Ugh.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/04/trea-turner-broken-finger-nationals-injured-list.html

Jay said...

Martinez leaving Justin Miller in to face Harper with Sipp warmed up and ready. Why?? I don't know it just felt right I guess. Why is this guy the manager? It ended up working bc Miller got out of the inning after giving up a hit to Harper, but that doesn't make it a good move.

JWLumley said...

I think we can officially call the Trevor Rosenthal experiment a failure.

Jay said...

He had control issues in St Louis as their closer. They was before taking a year off for Tommy John surgery. Their bullpen is so bad.

W. Patterson said...

@JWLumley - I don't think it matters. The Nats' bullpen experiment is a failure, regardless. Granted they kept it exciting for several innings, but they appear to have forgotten that this isn't Little League and they're expected to play more than seven innings.

Jay said...

Sorry it was supposed to be - that was before taking a year off for TJ surgery. They need to bring him in in some low leverage situations and let him build up some confidence. The bullpen is an abomination, but it is made all the worse with a manager that has no idea what he is doing.

JWLumley said...

@W. Patterson - Yeah, it doesn't matter. This is going to be a bad team. The bullpen is really bad, subtract Turner for a few months and the wheels could come off fast. The starting pitching was supposed to be great, and so far Scherzer and Corbin have delivered, but Sanchez didn't look good, neither did Hellickson, albeit in relief and this team could be out of it by the end of the month.

SB said...

By no means trying to defend all of Davey's decisions, but what would you have him do? Miller is the only reliever not getting shellacked by everyone, so he leaves him in since Bryce isn't the tying run, and he works around the single. Every wild card or experiment in the pen has failed, so I'm not sure what else Davey is supposed to do there. At a certain point, you have to assume your players are going to make at least some of the plays they're expected to make.

I keep telling myself it's just a week into the season, but it's ugly, especially against the division.

Robot said...

In fairness to Davey, it's tough to put the right reliever in when all of them are terrible.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a reasoned comment courtesy of @SB.

Anonymous said...

. . . and @Robot, too.

Jay said...

I don't disagree. The bullpen is just awful. Why bat Dozier second though? Again, all of this adds up to a bad team. Bring Rosenthal in in a low leverage situation to build up confidence. Let him start off a clean inning. There are ways to help out struggling relievers. Burning through all of them until someone blows out an elbow or shoulder isn't a good way to do it.

coolsny said...

a walk off walk...ill take it.

cass said...

WALK-OFF WALK!!!

Now we know how to beat the Phillies.

JDBrew said...

If Rosenthal never records an out, will his incentives kick in? Maybe that’s the plan...

JDBrew said...

I mean right now technically his ERA is 0.

Anonymous said...

@JD - No, technically, it's infinity. The scoreboard at Nats Park showed it as 0.00, because I guess they don't have an infinity sign. Or they were just being kind.

Ole PBN said...

Rosenthal has 3 earned runs to go without recording an out to surpass Jeremy Guthrie atop the “Laughed Out of Baseball” list. Still, I think you could say Guthrie just had a really, really bad day. Rosenthal has had a terrible week lol.

Fellas, players like this.... just think about how hard they need to try to be THIS bad. At some point, you just have to laugh.

Johnny Callison said...

Harper called it when he wrote that Dozier and Rosenthal had high ceilings but low floors, so were risky signings. My preference before Rizzo signed Rosenthal was to get a cheap 2B (like Dietrich who signed for one year at 2M! I would have signed him for two or three years at that low rate, because then you have your replacement for Kendrick. Then take the money saved and go hard after Ottavino or some other real quality, less risky reliever. Dozier coming off a down year was an overpay, and Rosenthal coming off of TJ may have been, too.

Rizzo apparently thinks relievers are all completely unreliable and so just thinks "get enough of 'em" and a few will work out. He's not good at reading whether they are trending up or down. Heck, we HAD Greg Holland and let him go, and he signed for 3.25 for one year and has had two good outings already.

We'd be way better off with Holland, Ottavino, and Dietrich (or some other 2B) for the price of Dozier and Rosenthal. Now we have a very weak BP and it's way too early to start trading (and any sellers will know our vulnerability and up the price). Bring up Williams asap.

sirc said...

2-0 in one run games.

88 wins to go.

G Cracka X said...

Keep the heads up, lads. We're just 5 games into this thing. Yes, April games count just as much as September games, and sure the Nats could crash and burn (we do see some early warning signs), but for now there's also 157 games left to play.

BxJaycobb said...

@Gr8Day4Baseball: he wasn’t waving at the crowd. He waves at the Phillies dugout as a celebration thing when he does something good. He did it during first series in Atlanta. And he bat-flipped his whole time in DC. If any Nats fans were actually passionate enough to travel and take over RF in some NL East park, I assure you ...he would have waved at them. This is all imagined crap. The reality is Nats fans are like the least loud, passionate crowd in baseball, and Bryce is probably enjoying fans going nuts for him in a loud environment that isn’t either the home run derby or the playoffs. This stuff sounds like “jilted lover” stuff from Nats fans. It’s honestly just pathetic. We’re all sad we lost Harper to a rival and are now going to have to watch crappy Nats teams while Bryce is on a good team kicking our asses for years to come. So we’re angrily attacking him for nothing conduct. (See for example Boswell not liking bryce’s CLOTHES in latest column....and yes I’m being serious.) Everybody should be directing their anger at the Lerners for being cheap. And if you don’t think they’re cheap, witness them not signing kimbrel while the pen drags the season down the drain.
PS I could not be more angry about trea. I was really looking forward to seeing what he could do this year. Note by the way that every team in baseball (Acuña and Braves now) are signing their stars to team friendly extensions. Not the Nats! Lerners need cash flow! So you won’t see early smart extensions for Soto, Trea, Rendon (not early), or Robles! Why? The same reason we have Davey. Because the Lerners are cheap and refused to pay Dusty or even BUD BLACK, low balled the latter, ad we ended up with Davey who can’t manage at all. The boos should have been directed to the owner’s box. But unfortunately....Nats fans generally don’t know anything.

W. Patterson said...

Rumor has it that Rizzo tried to trade for David Robertson after yesterday's game. Seems he thinks that Robertson would fit right in with the Nats' bullpen. (Yeah, that's sarcasm.)

Made it out to the car in time to listen to the last inning. The Philly's know how Nats fans feel when our BP grenades the game. Liked the win, though.

blovy8 said...

You mean the Trea Turner who still doesn't know how to put his hands on a bat when he bunts? Not a good risk. I don't consider having the second highest payroll in baseball to be cheap, especially if the fanbase is as you say, tepid.

Jon Quimby said...

Bullpen looks terrible. Trea injury is not good. Everything else seems about as expected.

Right now, the Cubs, Yanks, Sox all have worse records. It's early folks, so calm down. The bullpen is the easiest thing to fix (Kimbrel is a FA for sakes..). Getting MAT and Howie back is important and is happening soon.

Nattydread said...

I'll take a gift walk-off anytime. Lots of positives in the game that the bullpen tried to give away.

Facing Philly's "ace", the Nats hit. Soto showed that he's back -- and made a decent play in the field to boot. Rendon made his extension case in the field and with bat. Zimmerman came through. Eaton is great leading off. Gomez connected.

Anibel Sanchez looked good as a #4, playing through serious pain. Grace, Miller and Doolittle did what was expected.

Importantly, the Phillies showed why they won't stay in first. Their fielding is poor and their overall pitching is worse than the Nats. Bryce will get frustrated in 2019.

Base running mistakes are still a problem, but guys learn.

coolsny said...

I find it funny that, after 7 years in the big leagues, people still believe Harper to be 2015 Harper. He is very good, and capable of huge streaks, and I wish we still had him on the Nats, but Philly pundits and folks across the league are acting as though this hot 5 game start is going to last with him...it never has except one year. I just went through fan graphs, and from 2013-2018 his wOBA for March/April has always been well over .400, sans 2014. He owns April. It will cool off. The Phillies will play the cubs and Harper will go into a two month slump.

Nats only concern needs to be shoring up the bullpen. Can they send Rosenthal down to AAA for a month? How about Victor Robles going down for a few weeks to work on baserunning when Michael A. gets healthy? What is going on with Joe Ross?

Mythra said...

I listened to the game from the UK, which was on mercifully at a decent time for me (The opener against the Phils started at 1:05am, by contrast).

I can't speak for other Nats fans, but I've heard it plenty loud at the stadium when I've been there. Nats fans are like Cards fans, in my opinion. Respectful and knowledgeable. And as someone who has been going to games since the opening at RFK, I object to those who would say we're not passionate about our team. Your opinion might differ, but you certainly haven't been watching the Nats games I've been to.

As for the selective memory about Harper, or the jilted lover talk, I'm sure there's some of that. But in the wake of the way Stras signed his extension, if Bryce wanted to be here still, he'd have found a way. I don't fault him for chasing the money, because 99.9% would. I think he's potentially a HOFer. But so is Soto. There's lots of time for both to play before we talk busts in the Hall or on the field. Anything can happen. I wish Robles was 4 OFer and 34 was in RF, but he's not and he went to a rival. Part of being a Nats fan is I get to root against Harper for many games for 10 seasons. Do I hate him? Nope. I'll leave that for Philly fans when he hits .190 for 2 weeks in July. Because outside his MVP season, he's always disappeared for a while when the weather gets hot or he starts stepping in the bucket towards first base.

And maybe I wish that was still our bucket, but it ain't.

And yeah, the Lerners are likely going to ruin the opportunity they have to make the Nats as popular as the Skins used to be in this town. At least there's the Caps (Says the 30+ season Red Wings fan).

Anonymous said...

Calling the Learners cheap is just plain silly and not backed up by any facts (unless you were in the room (to witness first hand what occurred). They made Bryce a fair offer, deferred money or not, it was fair. Especially so based on Bryce's previous 3 seasons performance. Factually Bryce is not in the top 5 players the games...why pay him like he is. That he is a media darling, fine. Let Philly pay for the glam image. It will be interesting to see if this years outfield out performs last years version.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the long post, but there are a few different threads I want to throw my two cents in on.

1. It's super early and could totally be nothing, but Soto has looked a little better in the field. That's awesome. Really really really early, but so far, so good.

2. It was super fun to win on a 3-walk-in-a-row meltdown like that. It's a good reminder that this is a difficult sport and a lot of the mistakes that really bother us when the Nats do them are problems for pretty much everyone.

3. When we're discussing crowd behavior, I think it's a real mistake to reduce fandom to loudness. Why would we be loud? We're not huddling through a 5 minute TV timeout in 30 degree weather. This is a cerebral game and it seems to me natural to orient that way as a fan. I'm with Mythra: to the extent that we're a good fanbase, it's because we are knowledgeable and respectful. There's work to be done on that score, but the last thing I want to do is start paddling in the other direction. There's frankly already too many loud, drunken oafs at games for my taste. (Can you imagine having to sit next to those "TRAITOR" bozos?) Between the 5-10% of the audience that are REAL SPORTS FANS and the strange jingoism that permeates about 35% of the promotional activities, I'd almost always rather be watching at home where I can replay anything I want and reasonably have an opinion about balls and strikes.

4. I do not care about the bat flip. If someone feels like celebrating, good for them. I do think it is weird to be so amped up after tacking on a couple of garbage runs like that. But he hit it really far, and that's got to feel good. So, whatever.

5. I too wish we signed Bryce, and don't blame him for leaving. But this was star crossed from the jump. Bryce's 2015 mega-year and then his injuries and slumps didn't provide a narrow enough band of possible values for Boras and ownership to work with. It's no one's fault; it's just the way it happened. After 2016 or 2017, extending Bryce would have required a contract like Trout just got (not that he would have claimed to be as good as Trout, but given that he was giving up more prime years and has a 10 WAR year on the books, I'm pretty sure that's what it would have taken.) Given the eventual market result, it's hard to say the Lerners were wrong to not pay 400+ for the rest of Harper's career.

And then, this offseason, we have 3 really good outfielders and it would have been hard to trade the worst of them (Eaton) for fair value, especially at the tail end of the offseason. We just weren't the team with the biggest need for Bryce. And given all that, it wasn't in the cards.

It is sad. He's got a coin flip's shot at the HOF. It would be amazing to be able to cheer for a player like that for his whole career. And I do really believe Bryce felt that too. But it was only one motivation among many for him, and it wasn't enough to get through the rest of it. So be it. We still have a lot of fun players to root for.

6. The Lerners aren't cheap, at least not by any reasonable standard of comparison among MLB owners. They've been spending around the cap for the last several years, and seem committed to spending around the cap going forward. You can make the case, and I would agree, that the rules of the game should be changed to incentivize more spending but given the current structure, it's just nuts to complain that Nats are only in the top 5 in payroll and not setting new records every year. Complain when they spend poorly, complain when they have weirdly inconsistent elasticity and sometimes pinch pennies which come back and bite us in the ass (eg Bud Black), but you can't complain that they don't give the team resources in general.

W. Patterson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JWLumley said...

Is Carter Kieboom ready to play 2B yet? I mean I know the Lerners understand economics, so Dozier's a sunk cost. Do what's best for the team from here on out and unless the straw hats are seeing something I'm not, Dozier was a bad signing. His bat looks slow, that's not typically fixed by a mechanical change.

Anonymous said...

Mythra and coolsny:

Victor Robles is a better player, right now, than Taylor will ever be.

Taylor, not Robles, is a 4th OF. Maybe Taylor should go to the minors to learn how to hit a breaking ball or better yet, learn the strike zone.

coolsny said...

@anon 2;10

hey you had the luxury of that beautiful solo homer today to pad this comment

Anonymous said...

@coolsny

Yes. Yes I did. But I'm not ashamed!

Ole PBN said...

In regards to our fan base, here's a better example: Nats fans are like golf fans. There.

Both knowledgeable and respectful (not loud). Calmly clap when they approve of the play on the field. If it gets too hot or cold, go to the concession and grab a cold or warm beverage and stay and chat with friends while keeping one eye on the game. If it gets late, we need to get home to beat the traffic. If we're getting crushed, all the more reason to see what the bar scene is like elsewhere, or just go home. Remember, this is game is not the event, its the people you're with and where you're going next that matters. We are knowledgeable and smart fans. After all, we have WONK on the back of some of our fan shirts!

Those that disagree with this, its quite alright. This is not who you are. We on this blog all share a common affinity who absolutely adore this team. Call us "die-hard," if you will. But don't get us confused with the masses. The bulk of our fan base see the Nats as a casual distraction from everyday lives. Fun, until something more fun comes along. And those that still think the Nats have a "passionate fan base" - go to another stadium and see for yourself what passionate looks like.

And... all this is not related to our team being good or bad. But any player that thinks this is the "mount rushmore of crowds to play in front of?" ... well, ignorance is bliss.

Anonymous said...

@Ole PBN - I think your last para touches on a really good point.

It would totally make sense if many or even most players want to play in front of a more demonstrative crowd. Bryce certainly seems to, and it's likely that in Philly he'll get his wish.

I just don't care, as a supporter of the franchise, to engage in that way. They get my carriage fees and my ad revenue and my occasional ticket prices and my time and attention more broadly (for whatever little that's worth), and I get to choose to react to the team's fortunes with the emotional intensity appropriate to good or bad things happening at the office and not good or bad news about a loved one's health.

Anonymous said...

Aa far as the Nationals fans go...I was at the epic 13 pitch at bat for Jason Worth during 2012. That moment was the loudest, sustained reaction I have ever witnessed at a sporting event. And I speak with some experience I was a cameraman for many NCAA basketball tournaments, MLB games all over the country, bowl games, NHL playoff games, rodeos, car races, lacrosse, and armwrestling. So please with the meek, mild DC fans...it's all a canard.

Jay said...

Harper did not want to go to Philly. Harper wanted the richest contract in the history of American sports. I believe Harper wanted to stay in DC but only if they paid him $330 million or more. If San Diego offered him 10/$300 like Manny he would or did say no. Supposedly the Dodgers offered him 4/$150 or $160 but he said no. He could have signed with LA and likely gotten an extension prior to the end of that 4 year contract, but he said no. Why? Bc he wanted $330 million or more. The funny part is Trout blew that out of the water in 3 weeks. However, Harper was the top and is still second. Everything else is wast motion, distraction, and spin. It wasn't a decision or a choice. Exactly one team offered him what he wanted. He took it. Even then, he gave up all of his opt outs to get it. If Tampa Bay had offered $330 million he would have went there.

Having written that, I do think Harper is worth what the Phillies signed him for. I think Mark Lerner is an idiot. The stupid "Letters from the desk of Mark Lerner" are proof of that imo.

blovy8 said...

Anonymous 9:32, I agree. This town can do that. RFK may no longer be an unsteady concrete wave form that is home to a team, but I believe that given the proper moments, Nats fans are capable of creating enough noise to shut announcers up and allow a big thing to happen without commentary, and isn't that enough?

BornInDC said...

I'm really tired of national sports media narrative that Washington is a "bad sports town." Like in most large cities in the US these days, fans come out to see and cheer a "winner". As others have pointed out above, back in the days when the Redskins were a regular playoff contender, RFK was notorious for shaking with the excitement from the fans in the upper deck. It was the one stadium where you could see the cameras shake when watching a game on TV broadcast from the stadium. However, the Redskins benefited from George Allen taking the team to the Super Bowl in his 2nd season with the Redskins and Joe Gibbs winning the Super Bowl during his second season with the Redskins

In contrast, the Nationals still haven't won a playoff series. At least post-2000, fans in virtually every big city follow and get excited about winners. For example, check out the Phillies' home attendance statistics for 2009-2018:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/246783/average-per-game-attendance-of-the-philadelphia-phillies/

I wonder why Phillies' attendance was so much higher from 2009-2012 than from 2013-2018?

For comparison, here is the Nationals' attendance statistics from 2009-2018:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/246813/average-per-game-attendance-of-the-washington-nationals/

And following a winner has been going on for a while in baseball. For example, check out the 1970 attendance for MLB:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1970-misc.shtml

The mighty Yankees were outdrawn by Montreal and 8 other teams including the Mets who drew better than double what the Yankees drew.

Also, the Senators, who were move to Texas after 1971, outdrew the Phillies 824,789 to 708,247.




Anonymous said...

Why call people idiots if you are not in the room to know the inner workings of the deal. Lerner is no idiot and Harper was not worth 330 million to the Nationals. They have two young talented outfielders that are getting a chance to play because Harper is gone. They have a starting pitcher that they would not have if Harper were retained. The thinking behind the decision makes eminent sense. The Nats project to be a better team this season than last. But all of it goes into a cocked hat if anyone of the pieces gets injured. Just like if Harper is injured the Nats dodged a bullet.

Zesusku said...

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Anonymous said...

Huh?

Johnny Callison said...

Bullpen had ONE good game. Saturday's game, Dave(y) brings in Miller for the THIRD straight game and he gets shelled. Miller had problems last year with overuse, but Dave(y) has learned nothing.

Meanwhile, saw a nice article on how the Nats got Sipp specifically for matchups with hitters like Cano. But the manager decided to leave in overused Miller against Cano (with Sipp already warm in the pen, inexcusably), AFTER Miller had just surrendered a home run to cut a two run lead to one. Boom, lead gone. Miller gave up another hit, got a DP, and THEN the manager brings in Sipp, who also gets rocked.

I don't know if it's JUST personnel (Rizzo offering decent money to Rosenthal with no track record post-TJ instead of going after Familia or Robertson or Ottavino, all established relievers who signed for around 10M, not much more than the hard to measure Rosenthal, and way, way more than Greg Holland whom we clearly could have kept) or if it's Martinez and his tendency to overuse, underuse, bring in too late, etc, but the BP as it is currently configured, is not working. I blame Rizzo for his BP philosophy and DM for inability to manage under pressure. I do NOT believe in DM; nor do I believe Rizzo is good at selecting BP talent.

Ole PBN said...

Ok, Dave. I've been reasonable with you. Let's review Saturday's game:

It's the bottom of the eight and Difo just came up big to put us up 5-3. This is where you can really screw your team out of a win, Dave. Pay attention. It is very, I repeat: VERY, important that our pen puts up a scoreless inning. So what do you decide to do? You take out Barraclough, who just threw a scoreless inning in the 7th on 16 pitches, and put in Miller. That's interesting, Dave. What happens? Miller gives up a bomb to Alonso. 5-4. Ok, you should pull Miller, that didn't work, Dave. Nope. Cano takes him deep. 5-5. Jesus. Take him out. Dave! No. Single. What are you doing Dave? Double play. Oh you think you're outta the woods now, Dave? It's tied up, DAVE! Now you put in Sipp to face a lefty. No Doolittle? Do you think you're smarter than everyone else, Dave!? You trying to win a tie-game later?! What is wrong with you, Dave!? Look. Calm down. We need a stop here. Conforto doubles, McNeil hit by a pitch. Sipp is livid at himself... just look at his body language...

Dave. Slow the game down. THIS IS THE GAME. RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOU. Broxton, a lefty is up. So is Sipp, but are you aware of what he just did with the last two leftys? Where the hell is Doolittle? Where the hell was Doolittle after Cano's HR? Where was Doolittle after Conforto's double? Dave, I want you to know that as soon as you let Sipp throw that first pitch to Broxton (a ball, I believe?), we lost the game. See that Dave? We didn't lose on Broxton's hit, or when we couldn't score in the 9th. We lost right here.

Dave. This was a bad one dude. You have to know that. If you think this was about "ahh just missed our chances/executions," we're screwed with you at the helm. All of this learning is what last year was for. We expect better, and the players deserve better. What a huge win this would have been, battling back like that... Screw you Dave. Screw you.

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike k said...

I'm here just to say that Nats need to do something about the pen. Like, now. I know it's only been 7 games, but it's been 7 historically bad games, and it's with a bullpen you already had to monitor to see whether they'd be acceptable or bad. Combo of the two = 7 is enough. Rizzo needs to do something now.

Can't blame Davey. If his 2 (Rosenthal - don't even bring in), 3 (Miller) and top non-closer lefty (Sipp) can't combine to get 3 outs without giving up 3 runs, that's not his fault. Doolittle can't pitch 2 inning saves every time there's a save situation going into the 8th.

Ole PBN said...

Apparently Scherzer was the first guy in the cage yesterday (day before his start), working on his hitting. He gets bases loaded rbi single today in the 2nd, and I can see he's talking to himself on first base/confirming with Bogar, "one out bases loaded. Ground ball, gotta go. Freeze on a line drive right? Am I tagging on a fly ball? How deep?"

You can say he's a pitcher and doesn't get on base much, so he actually needs to do this self-confirmation stuff and get validation from his coach. But I say, that this along with him being the first guy on his team to show up and work on his craft yesterday, says a lot about his commitment to improve an already impressive resume. The are so many, so so so many, players who don't operate this way. I think it's important to marvel at this guy because the rest of them are just normal. He isn't. But whats funny is a lot of what does, the extra cage work, the film studying for hours and hours, adding new pitches to his repertoire... all of that is a choice and is something he can control. It's effort.

I guess that's what separates guys like him from others. Just wish, for their sake, that some of the other guys knew that there is a lot they could do to improve their craft. Just put in the time (and I'm not talking about the weight room). Not a complaint, just an observation of a player I'm going to miss one day. I'm certainly enjoying it now.

Kubla said...

I wonder how much of the starters' ERA is due to inherited runners at this point.

JE34 said...

Doolittle needed in a game where the Nats led 12-1. Unbelievable. Can this pen get worse? I guess if Doo's arm falls off from pitching in every game.

No lead is safe.

JE34 said...

A game in which the Nats win and score 12, yet I am irritated. This team drives me crazy.

Max David said...

I would really like to now how the bullpen can be this consistently awful, only they could turn a 12-1 game into a nail biter??

And they shop for starters at Nordstorm's, pay an exuberant price for something they really don't need (see $140 million for Corbin. Nice thing but needed, especially at the price), yet dumpster dive & shop at the dollar store for relief arms. I've never seen an operation like it! I hope Rizzo & the Lerner's like their 75-80 win team, because with this collection of "throw shit at the wall and hope something sticks" that is exactly what they are....an average at best team. 2014-2018 an average team might've been good enough for the division, in this 2018 it's not good enough. Fix it...……………….NOW!!!!

Kubla said...

If everything had gone according to the plan, which is having SPs throw 8-9 innings every game, things would be just fine.

Max David said...

And I label Thursday's win as a "even a blind squirrel finds a nut" once in a while type game. Sure, on occasion they'll get lucky and the opponent won't do anything (i.e Thursday) but if they are counting on that happening more times then not through 162, they are severely mistaken and this is gonna be a helluva long summer.

Robot said...

Ole PBN - That's why Max is one of, if not THE, best in the game. He never stops trying to improve, to learn. He's never satisfied that he's "good enough." The talent at this level is incredible, but it's the work, the focus on the craft, the constant striving to learn ways to improve that set him apart.

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