Nationals Baseball: Baseball Still Lives!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Baseball Still Lives!

 The Marlins are a taxi squad. The Cardinals are down and making up their games will be hard.  Players are still not getting it (see Plesac and Cleavinger in Cleveland) but for one more week baseball survives. 

 How are the Nats doing? Meh. With Soto grounded by a false positive the Nats offense floundered. They were 13th in runs scored in the NL and that's including last night.  The Nats pitching is better (6th) but are dealing with some worrisome injuries.  Strasburg just pitched for the first time and struggled not to deep into the game.  Scherzer has had some issues going only one inning last game. Doolittle, key 8th inning set-up guy looks injured as his FB speed is way down.  Will Harris is on the DL, Hudson and Sanchez are off to slow starts...

Ok that all sounds terrible but this is a championship caliber squad so even with all these issues they are at 5-7, two games off of my .500 needed record.  Work it out and the Nats are basically one game off the last spot in the playoffs. 

Pitching is a bit limited for stat perusing but what about hitting? The most concerning thing for the Nats is that Turner and Robles aren't hitting. These are the guys to set-up around Soto (who no one doubts) and neither seems to be the player the Nats expect them to be at the plate. Kieboom, arguably the last band member here, is slumping after an ok start and has 11Ks in only 26 PAs.  Maybe Rizzo can always piece together offenses around Soto. Right now AsCab and Castro are doing well and Howie seems still like Howie to me. But that's a lot to ask on a budget and if the pitching slips a little the hitting needs to be better than average.  Right now the pitching has slipped, the hitting is below average and the Nats aren't even in the expanded playoffs. 

But again - early! End of August will be the first real marker in the road for this short season.The big thing right now is Scherzer's start tonight.  Would love to see a standard Max start. 

The rest of the NL East... The Mets are struggling thanks to some very impt opt outs. The Phillies are hitting and not pitching as kind of expected. The Braves are good but not so good you think they can't fall back. The Marlins are a fluke - though in a short season flukes matter. It's not a bad spot for the Nats. I'd hazard to say every other division would be tougher.  Man the NL East dogfight of good team I expected before last year just really fell flat 

 Beat the Mets - keep them down and get you up and then take it from there. 


Cautiously Pessimistic said...

Turner worries me. He's always had a big looping swing, but it seems like this year he's not seeing the ball well and his hands are slower, so that big looping swing does absolutely nothing for him unless he barrels it. It's a throwaway season whether they make the playoffs or not (in my opinion), so I think Turner needs to consider retooling that swing a bit to be more compact and attack the pitch. Learn a thing or two from his best bud Tony Two Bags. His power may take a dip, but his real value is speed, so slapping the ball into the gap for a double over and over is more than enough value.

Robles is still struggling with pitch recognition, though he doesn't look quite as lost as he did earlier. He got screwed by the umps widening the zone a few times this weekend, but otherwise it seems that he's laying off the outside pitches. Still needs to attack the pitches in the zone more, it seems like he's up there playing defense and is just trying to put ball to bat and hope he can run out whatever soft contact he makes. Which could work if he wasn't popping it up or hitting grounders right at people

Cautiously Pessimistic said...

We should critique Turner and Robles more often

Nattydread said...

On the positive side.

Starlin Castro seems to be the real thing, another great Rizzo pick-up. Teamed with Cabrera who appears to be a serious late bloomer and Kendrick, the infield bats look to weather the loss of Rendon.

If anything, the bullpen is much deeper than last year's train wreck, even with a disabled Doolittle and a sidelined Harris. Tanner Rainey has a future.

Scherzer and Strasburg have mileage issues. But Scherzer's return to form is encouraging. Corbin is holding down his starts. Sanchez? Not sure.

Thanks for reminding Turner and Robles that they need to shape up. When Robles looks bad, he looks bad. Not like the old MAT, though. Give the man time in the 9 spot.

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Jimmy said...

I'm just going to say it. Juan Soto is good at baseball.