Nationals Baseball: A fizzling candle at both ends

Thursday, April 08, 2021

A fizzling candle at both ends

The Nats lost both ends of a double header yesterday.  It's not as rare as you think - basically these things work as expected with splits happening about 50% of the time, the other 50% of the times sweep. But still we feel a split is the normal outcome and thus a sweep against our team feels especially bad. 

Game 1 was a roller coaster early. Max Fried looked bad (which is bad news for the Braves) but Erick Fedde was worse (which is kind of neutral news for the Nats - they don't need Fedde) and after a flurry of runs and a 6-5 start the game became normal. The Braves would tack on one more off an unusually wild Suero in the last inning (7th YUK) which was necessary because Will Smith (which is bad news for the Braves) was bad again but managed to hold the damage to one run. So somehow while the Braves got the win I'd feel worse about this game than I were if I was a Nats fan. Your expected #1 starter and closer both stunk again. That's more important than a depth starter and the 4th man out of the pen. 

Game 2 was a bit of good news / bad news. The good news, honestly really good news, is that Strasburg looked like Strasburg. With Max scuffling, the other guys out, and his own injury concerns Strasburg throwing an ace outing was exactly what the Nats needed.  Unfortunately it ended up wasted when Rainey blew it in the 9th with a homer by Pablo Sandoval which somehow makes it hurt less because we all love overweight players for some reason. But it's true! The bad news is the line-up couldn't manage more than a couple hits (no, I'm not counting Strasburg's in here) off an emergency starter. The bottom of the line-up didn't hit, and really hasn't hit overall - it's just been timely here and there. That's ok though because none of Stevenson, Perez, Barrera, or Garcia need to. They are merely space fillers. 

So what do we take away from the first series? It's hard to say. On Twitter I boiled it down to "Don't get COVID dummies" This isn't the full team and thus it isn't representative of what we'll see all year. Starter wise we take a closer look at Max's next start, a softer look at Strasburg's. The bullpen overall wasn't super but again - no Hand or Harris so even if this pen is a bit of an issue it still doesn't mean the back end in crucial times will be. The usual starters - Robles, Soto, Turner, Castro, Zimm - all seemed fine, but three games. Anyone can look like anything in three games so we'll see the next three and then see what to look for going forward.

On to LA and watching a team put up a banner in a more usual fashion.


Anonymous said...

Ugh. Double ugh. There is really no excuse for losing either of those games, other than that the Braves are trying too. It was so clear Fedde didn't have about replace him with Voth? And then that ground ball by Soto off the pitcher's foot that lost us an out and a run? Painful.

My big takeaway from the game is now whatever trade value Fedde had might be completely gone. The guy can't get major leaguers out.

Anonymous said...

In IMO neither Fedde and Voth are NOT MLB capable starters, even as #4-5. Perhaps as long relievers and spot starters when there is an injury or a twin bill, so I would say keep 1 of the 2 and cut the other one loose. Fedde has had multiple opportunities and just has not gotten the job done. I know he was a #1 pick and clubs do not like to give up on #1's, but I think that it is not going to happen. Both Voth and he are out of options, so 1 of the 2 would have to go. I would say, cut Fedde and keep Voth. The verdict is still out on Ross, but he was out all last season so let's see how he does in 21 as a #5. Hopefully either/both Rutledge and/or Cavalli would be #3-#5 starters in 22.

Cautiously Pessimistic said...

Game 2 I can't complain about. Pitching was solid (even Rainey got more unlucky than anything with a few of the calls) and you had Zimm sitting so literally half your hitters were nobodies. Game 1, though, hurt. I agree that in a 7-inning game, Davey gave Fedde WAY to long a leash. And the unlucky bounce off Fried? Ugh. Really easily could've won both, but should've won Game 1

Mainelaker said...

Rainey is a concern; he was throwing 94 and straight; he used to get up around 100. Has he revovered from his "forearm strain"? He didn't pitch much in the spring.

Anonymous said...

"Your expected #1 starter and closer both stunk again."

What's this "again"? Fried had a great start on Opening Day.