Nationals Baseball: Discomforting

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


The Nats got blown out last night.  It happens. But everything around that blowout was worse than the loss itself and it'd be really nice to get a win today to erase the bad feelings from last night. 

First off - Strasburg pitched horribly.  If any starter pitches bad that's bad (yes, my logic skills are still amazing) but if Strasburg pitches bad that's REALLY bad because Strasburg is the horse the Nats have hitched their wagon to for the next window+.  He's supposed to be an ace through the next few years and if he's not even good that crashes the plans that the Nats have. Of course, one data point and all but that was such a terrible start you can't help but give it more weight. 

Second - Strasburg may be hurt. I'm going to say he probably isn't - or at least wasn't hurt particularly more going into or coming out of last night*. He says he wasn't. Davey says he wasn't. Nobody stopped him from keeping on pitching even though he was obviously off. He didn't SEEM hurt to me. Instead he seemed... uncomfortable. There wasn't wincing. There wasn't a change in delivery motion. He seemed to be working out a muscle kink in video down into the tunnel we were able to see.  I'll give him and the team the benefit of the doubt for a game. 

Third - The Nats tried to "Was there a problem?" the whole thing away with an attitude that reminds me of those missed playoffs years. The biggest issue to Davey Martinez seemed not to be that Stras was working a muscle (and the Nats didn't know about it? What kind of damn training staff is this? What the hell is going on with inter team communication?) but that WE KNOW he was working a muscle.  Same with Stras - he seemed more bothered by being filmed in the tunnel than throwing meatballs. 

I get the privacy thing but come on. He essentially closed the door to his house to hide, then walked in front of the bay window.  You DO have privacy just walk another 10 damn feet.  

Luis Avilan also looked particularly bad - not that important as one of the last arms in the pen. While Hernan Perez - with his EIGHTH outing ever - did the job. Unless someone else pitched last night that makes Perez the leader in the clubhouse for position player pitching. 

Let's get out on the field quick and get this game over with and get out the door. The further away from this the better for the Nats

*I maintain that Stras' 2019 workload - 245 IP 20-25% more than he ever did in a year - could easily have hurt his arm.  I'm hoping the lack of any work last year gave his arm (and Max and Corbin) time to recover. Since he looked great the first time out it's not something definitely bothering him right now


Ryan said...

That was the worst I've seen him pitch, I really can't think of his last horrible game like that. Having said that, he looked as good as ever in his previous start. Maybe he just slept weird or has lingering symptoms from the vaccine, if he got it. I agree he didn't look hurt, but he looked as uncomfortable as possible out there. Have to hope for the best with him, because if he's 2019 Strasburg, then they have a chance this year, but if he's 2020 then they're done and it's only April 14th.

Andrew said...

I got the J&J vaccine recently and the day after felt like I had the flu--achy, off balance, terrible headache. Then the next day I was fine. So it's at least possible that's all it was.

139 said...

I'll throw onto the vaccine excuse too. I got the JnJ on a Sunday afternoon and slept for ~20 hours over Monday. I went on one 30 minute walk with my dogs and got so nauseated I had to lay down upon my return - and then fell asleep. I was a little sluggish Tuesday morning, but mostly fine by the evening.

No clue if he got the shot, but I couldn't have even attended a game that Monday. That burst of effort to throw like he does combatting fatigue and any other side effects...who knows.

But yeah, that game was bad. Stras was bad.

billyhacker said...

Offense wasn't great either which isn't helping my hope that they will be a better than average offense. The vaccine does seem to have big performance impacts in half of recipients (me included), so the offense might get that excuse too.

Nattydread said...

It could be the beginning of a career crisis, it could be a blip, it could be the after-effect of an inoculation. I'll give Stras one bad game this year and not worry about it yet. Yet.

We won the minimum single game Harper wanted and have a chance to take a series headed home. That's gotta be the focus now.

Ross needs to step up now.

Kevin Rusch said...

Maybe it was some embarrassing "got Ben-Gay on my nuts again" thing where he was in a lot of not-injury pain, or had an impacted toenail or something that's truly transitory, or his marriage is on the rocks and he's pissed about his ex.

Anyway, I know I'll feel better if they rattle off a few wins, but jeez. Oh, and if they DFA'd a bat in Lucroy that appears halfway-decent in favor of hanging on to Avilan, I'm not excited. Apparently Avila is better suited to the bullpen than hitting anyway.

Jon Quimby said...

I agree that the focus of the Nats should be on a very troubling outing, BUT.. if the rules say that once you're in the tunnel you are off-limits to the cameras then it's a big deal that this contract was broken. As Martinez stated, "... it's in black and white".

Stras said that he actually was trying to locate the fastball and was taking something off to try to help with that process. I assume this means that he wasn't able to just let it fly and instead was unable to locate and was doing everything he could to find it.

Maybe I'm gullible, but I believe both of them. Cards filming/showing the tunnel is actually a pretty big deal and Stras just had a stinker of a game. Stras has stinkers sometimes but this was even worse because the bullpen let all 3 inherited runners in and then stunk even worse.

Cautiously Pessimistic said...

Yeah Stras was struggling to locate, Davey left him in too long, but let's not pretend that this was all Stras's fault. The offense was anemic yet again and the bullpen got lit up like a Christmas Tree.

I'm thinking Stras might have a minor injury that is throwing off his mechanics, hence not being able to let it rip and still locate. If he got the vaccine, maybe that's it, but I doubt the Nats would've been stupid enough to give the vaccine to their SP the next day given at least 1 in 5 people have side effects.

I write this at the end of the 3rd with Ross pitching pretty lights out, let's hope this keeps up the rest of the game and into the rest of the season. I've missed 2015-16 Ross

Anonymous said...

Well the Nats took 3 from the Cards. Who would have thought that the game they lost was when Stras pitched and the 2 they won were pitched by Fedde and Ross. Fedde actually pitched decently for him and Ross pitched great. Ross looked great in both outings again LA (albeit w/o Bellinger and Betts) and St. Louis. It appears although it's early that Ross finally has turned the corner and that he is a bonafide MLB starting pitched with the ability of being a 3-4 starter on the staff. Our offense seems a little anemic especially our power hitting and the top of the lineup seems a little sluggish with Robles and Turner not hitting much. I am not worried about Turner, but Robles appears a little lost. Zim, Harrison and Gomes have been great so far as well as Soto, but like to see more power from Soto. Way to early to tell about Bell and Schwaber. Let's hope we can take 3 of 4 from AZ.

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