Nationals Baseball: WIN

Thursday, April 15, 2021


 And that bad feeling? Gone. See. That's the beauty of baseball - always a chance to make you feel better (or worse) just 24 hours later. 

Ross looked great (although Cardinal fans will tell you they had questions about their offense coming into the season - which really makes yesterday a yikes) which given his first start makes you think that maybe the back of the rotation will hold. The pen was good. Zimm hit a homer. Some guys didn't hit, but other guys did which is what you expect in a deep lineup. Just what the Nats wanted

In the end the Nats do manage to go 2-4 and we won't worry about the how. Targets hit. Now comes a test at home. 3-1 vs ARI and 2-1 vs STL would be 5-2. That's the goal.  After this next series we'll take a look at all the hitters and relievers.


Merrill Kelly vs Patrick Corbin - big game for the Corbin as he looked so bad in his rushed outing. However the bar isn't high. Anything ok will be viewed as him settling down. Like 5 runs in 6 innings? That'd probably be accepted this outing. Kelly you may not know. He's a mediocre starter the Nats should hit. 

Taylor Widener vs Max - Third point for Max. Will it be good like the last one or bad like the first one? Widener was a low end prospect a couple years ago. He's like a Fedde or Ross. Certainly capable of a good start but you wouldn't necessarily bet on it until you see a few.  

Luke Weaver vs Erick Fedde - I'd say Fedde was a minor shock last time given his really good performance. We'll see. I'm not sold or really even browsing at this point.  Weaver had a good 2017 and 2019 and a good start to 2021.  Maybe he's a Saberhagen*. 

Bumgarner vs Strasburg - the Main Event but with the caveat that Strasburg just might have had the worst start of his career, and one-upping that Bumgarner hasn't been good since joining the D-backs. 

Anything can happen here - the only thing I go in expecting is the Nats will score on Merrill Kelly tonight. (which means they'll get shut out or something).  

*Saberhagen's start for his career had ERA+ of 115 143 102 136 106 180 118 135 101. That's an average of 108 in even years and 149 in odd years.


Anonymous said...

Time to sweep. That is all.

JW said...

I watch/listen to a good bit of Diamondbacks baseball. After my son was born, I decided I needed a West Coast team to pull for as well because I wasn't catching a whole lot of games with a 7pm first pitch. 3-1 should absolutely be the expectation for the Nats if they are actually a good team, particularly as the D-backs will be without Ketel Marte and the Nats won't have to face Zac Gallen who is pretty much the "ace" of the staff (although I think he will probably develop into a legitimate ace so the quotation marks are probably unnecessary).

The D-backs offense is not particularly good, especially without Marte, but had a hot weekend against Cincinnati which has boosted some of the numbers. Escobar and Peralta are the guys they really need to perform. Escobar has been hot the past 7 days or so, but was awful last year, awful in the spring, and awful in the first two series of the season. They moved him to second and put Asdrubal at 3rd. Asdrubal is hitting somewhere in between 2019 and 2020 for the Nats, but 2020 is more likely to be the end result there. Walker is on the DL and is an ok hitting 1B. Carson Kelly has started the year hot, but nothing in his history suggests he can hit that well. Calhoun is coming off knee surgery and didn't hit well in 2020. The rest of the bats the Nats are likely to see -- Locastro, Pavin Smith, VanMeter, Josh Rojas, Vogt -- are all pretty below average. Josh Rojas has actually played himself out of the lineup almost in the first two weeks of 2021 he's been so bad.

Pitching. Kelly was really pretty good to start 2020. But got hurt before then end of 2020 and then has not looked great in Spring or his first few starts. He's a control guy though, not someone with great stuff. Good pitch mix when he can hit his spots. D-backs hope its just rust, but Corbin should be heavily favored in that matchup. Widener I think is more Joe Ross than Eric Fedde, but yes hasn't proven that he's more than AAAA level consistently yet. Right now, he's probably a two pitch pitcher with hopes of developing a third. I think he's probably a major league pitcher but his ceiling looks to be a 4 or 5. Luke Weaver is a big question mark. Good start in 2019, got injured, was pretty poor in 2020, but has looked ok so far this season. Last time out against the Reds he was great, but not clear if the Reds are any good at all offensively. Mad Bum is what the Nats are praying Strasburg doesn't turn into. Great pitcher coming up, but SF appears to have traded his arm for a couple of rings. That contract looks like an absolute nightmare for a mid-market team. He was so, so bad in 2020 and has looked just as bad in Spring and thus far 2021. The bullpen is not great. Lots of young AAA arms and some re-treads. Two big bullpen offseason signings are on IL.

Overall, I'm hoping for a split, but I think 3-1 is what the Nats should be shooting for.

Cautiously Pessimistic said...

Gotta agree with everyone that 3-1 is the goal, but I wouldn't call it the expectation. Not with the uncertainty of Max/Stras/Corbin and how the offense has been performing. If we see Schwarber and Bell start to step it up, Juan start to hit the ball out, and Turner break out of his funk, I like the Nats chances at 3-1. But for now I just don't think this team is much better than the DBacks at all

Chas R said...

That was a really good game. They played well. Let's hope that continues!

Egonadon said...

When do we start to panic about Corbin?