Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Time for an offensive breakthrough?

Associated Press photo
Jayson Werth is now hitting .221 after last night's 0-for-4 performance.
Over their last 17 innings, spanning two days, the Nationals have scored six runs. Here's how those six runs have crossed the plate:

1. Groundout
2. Bases-loaded walk
3. Wild pitch
4. Fielder's choice
5. Throwing error
6. Infield single

Not exactly the traditional method of scoring, even if those six runs have been good enough to produce back-to-back wins over the Cubs.

It's not like the Nationals don't get themselves opportunities to score runs in more conventional fashion. They had 11 at-bats last night with runners in scoring position. They just only managed two hits in those situations.

"We're just, I think we're looking for too much, or not looking for our pitch and driving it," manager Davey Johnson said. "I like the hitters in our lineup. It's not like they're slouches. They're good hitters, but we just haven't done what we're capable of."

There is some truth to what Johnson says. Ryan Zimmerman (despite his .234 average and .697 OPS) is no slouch. Ian Desmond, prior to this season, was a .270 hitter with a .724 OPS over 175 big-league games. He's not as bad as his current .215 average and pathetic .554 OPS suggest.

And, of course, there's Jayson Werth, who after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and double play last night is hitting a scant .221 with a .703 OPS (145 points below his career number entering this season).

Werth can only go up from here, right?

"I think he's bottomed out," Johnson said last night in one of several refreshingly frank quotes. "I thought he was in a good frame of mind the last three or four days. I think he's comfortable. I think early in the year he was playing mentor a little more than he needed to with some of the young guys, but he's a heck of a ballplayer and I know he's going to start doing the things he's capable of."

Look, nobody's going to suggest the Nationals are suddenly going to put together the best lineup in baseball. But we really shouldn't expect things to stay at this ridiculously low level for the entire season.

Zimmerman, who admittedly feels like he's going through spring training still after spending more than two months on the DL, is going to start hitting. Werth simply has to be better than this.

Get those two cornerstones going just a bit, and the Nationals' lineup starts looking a lot more productive.

"I'd love for us to break out, but it's almost like there's a little pressure blanket on us and we can't quite get it off us," Johnson said. "But I'm a positive manager. I always think good things are coming. We're winning ballgames when we're not running on all cylinders, but it makes it interesting."

89 comments:

Paul said...

Just make it through the break at .500, let these guys take a few days off to let to wounds heal and mentally recuperate, and we should be good to go.

Malachi Martin said...

Werth could use a good hair cut. The Charles Manson look has got to go.

The Humanity said...

I am worried about what's going to happen on Jayson Werth bobblehead night. A mass decapitation is not going to be pretty. He better break out before then.

P. Cole said...

Why does Jayson HaynesWerth continue to be penciled in the starting lineup each day? If he's not producing, why not put someone else in who can help the team and give him a day off?

If he were making the league minimum or league average, would he still be starting everyday?

JaneB said...

Werth GOT a new haircut. And changed his music.

What worries me is the vibe in the stand when he comes up. It feels like when Stairs comes up -- groans and people positive he won't get a hit. That energy doesn't help. I guess being positive, at the START of the season, that he WOULD get a hit didn't help much. But this vibe isn't useful. We could all see him seeing the ball better, and relaxing. The same way your dog or a small kid feels you tense up around something, even if you don't say it. Imagine that times, like, 18,000 people. It can't feel good (I will say my math has subtracted the people who actually don't want him to get a hit, or at least tries to allow for that).
GYFNG!

UNTERP.NAT said...

P. Cole said...

That's the 126 million dollar qustion. His hand eye coordination is lost and I believe he's done...

JaneB said...

What I forgot to say was, thanks Mark, for putting this situation ins such stark terms. Yikes!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

The Humanity said...
I am worried about what's going to happen on Jayson Werth bobblehead night. A mass decapitation is not going to be pretty.
___________________________

We've been watching him pull his head off the ball all year; pulling his head off the bobble could be just the thing we need. Hey, it beats using a live rooster.

P. Cole said...

I'm sure Bryce Harper could recommend a good ophthalmologist. Seriously, he needs his eyes checked.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

We spent five months of 2005 hearing "Don't worry, Cristian Guzman can't possibly hit under .200 for the season." And he didn't. But it was Labor Day before he turned it around, and parts of the fan base (such as it was) never really forgave him.
This could be a really long seven years.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

"That's the 126 million dollar qustion. His hand eye coordination is lost and I believe he's done..."

How do you "lose" hand-eye coordination? I can see someone's vision getting worse, but how does a healthy athlete in his early 30s lose coordination, absent some serious health issues?

MicheleS said...

UNTERP...

What happened to you? You have gone all negative on us! Drink some spiked kookaid and you will feel much better!

MicheleS said...

Sec3..

I don't think it's the hand/eye. I think it's the hip that is bothering him and the ASG break will help that out.

P. Cole said...

Guzman also had vision problems and after they were addressed he hit over .300 and was an All Star.

HaynesWerth's defense is also suspect, especially on balls hit to the wall, which probably also has to do with his eyesight.

m20832 said...

I know this has been said, but have you seen the close up in HD of Jayson at the plate? He squints his eyes as the ball is coming in. Every time! I'm no optometrist, but before I started wearing glasses way back when, I used to squint at the teacher's writing on the blackboard. Got my eyes checked, started wearing glasses to correct my vision and I could see that writing on the blackboard!
Please DJ, get his eyes checked!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

P.Cole, that's true, AND the fans never really took to him anyway, despite that. I always liked the guy, but anyone reading the blogs these past few years knows how that story played out. Of course, 100-loss seasons didn't help, but still. If they finish a game under .500, or g-d forbid just miss out on the wild card, with Werth hitting .225? It's going to be a really long next six years. Expensive and long. Maybe not so long for Rizzo...

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's painfull watching Werth at the plate. He even approaches the batters box with trepidation, almost like "do I have to?"

The indecision lasts through he entire at bat. I can't remeber the last time he actually "barrelled " one up.

Richard said...

We should create a What's Wrong With Werth list. So far we've got: (1) his hand eye coordination is lost and he's done (wow!, an old guy at 32); and (2) he's lost his eye sight (let's see, when we were kids we heard our eyesight would be negatively affected by too much ... er, never mind). My personal favorite is the absence of his beard. He was doing better, I think, with a beard. No hair, no hit. Hey, the Giants' Wilson has done okay this his.

Anonymous said...

In the end its about developing guys like Espinosa, Harper, Rendon, perhaps Goodwin. In the grand scheme of things Werth really doesn't matter. He was paid to make a point. The point was made and we should see Rizzo reap the benefits of that this off season. They need to build a championship pitching rotation.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

But other teams manage. The Giants left Zito off their playoff roster last year.

Anonymous said...

I heard rizzo on the radio this week saying that all of the guys get a through eye exam as part of their physical. Cross that off the list and start grasping at other desperate straws.

Grandstander said...

Some other facts about this homestand:

- Only 1 game with more than 2 XBHs (the 10-2 laugher we lost)

- 55 runners LOB, never less than 8/game.

- 3.2 runs/game

- 46 Ks - an average of 7.7/game

Record? 4-2.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

SO, he needs to
get Lasik
take up juggling
quit shaving
be cocky, even when he's getting beat
cash the checks

and squaring one up a couple of times a week would be nice, too.

Bowdenball said...

P. Cole-

As terrible as he's been this year, he still has a positive Wins Above Replacement figure.

So if you want to know why he's still in the lineup every day, it's because even the terrible Jayson Werth we've seen so far has been better than the average replacement player. It can't get much simpler than that.

I assume part of the reason they play him is also that they expect better, based on the last four years of his career. Which is the right thing to do. A team that started making lineup decisions based on three months of data rather than four years of data would be a very stupid team.

Finally, stop with the "HaynesWerth" stuff. Haynesworth showed no interest in putting forth effort to play better or fit in better with the team, nor did he show any interest in his teammates and the team's performance, nor did he ever seem disappointed or apologetic about his performance after signing a huge deal. Werth is pretty much the exact opposite.

erocks33 said...

I like Werth and I think he'll snap out of it soon (or let's say I pray that he snaps out of it).

One thing that I can't stand to hear from my friends and some on this site is saying that he's already a bust (really? 3 months into a 7 year deal?) and that he only hit in Philly because he was surrounded by better hitters there. Poppycock! For the most part, Werth batted 5th in that lineup, BEHIND the better hitters (Howard, Utley, Rollins, Victorino). The majority of the time, he was hitting IN FRONT of guys like Ibanez, Ruiz, Schneider, Greg Dobbs, Juan Castro, Wilson Valdez and so on. Not exactly the '27 Yankees.

I think he's been pressing too much, trying to prove that he is worth all that money (especially once Zim went down). It's just going to take a little while for him to get back to being comfortable batting in the #5 slot (where he should be for the rest of the season!).

Wally said...

Sec 3 could be right about it being a long seven years. There is a strange dynamic in sports that happens when someone signs a large contract, especially an outsider. Fans start to resent the contract, as if we pay it directly, and forget whether they like having the ballplayer on the team. The ballplayer picks up on that, and often there is a vicious cycle where the player seems to struggle in response. There is an element of happiness by complaining that someone isn't earning his contract. It seems, anyway.

This is more understandable to me when the contract itself causes other problems - a rise in ticket prices, the inability to sign other guys, etc. But we have none of that here. Werth's contract was certainly on overpay, and he is playing worse than we expected, even when acknowledging the overpay. But prices haven't gone up because of it. It didn't stop Rizzo from offering Greinke a $100m extension. The most that can be worried about is some point in the future the contract may cause some concessions in other contracts. Maybe. We'll see.

I think that we should forget about what a guy who signs a $126m contract is supposed to do. It doesn't matter. Would you rather have Ankiel-Nix-Bernadina in the OF, or Werth in place of one of them. I go with Werth.

erocks33 said...

I'm also not worried about Zim. If you look back, he's pretty much right on par with how he started his first three seasons (2006-08). In fact, the numbers are eerily similar, based on the first 30 games or so (126-130 PA):

2006 - 130 PA/115 AB:
.235/.315/.374 ... 4 HR / 17 RBI / 30 SO

2007 - 126 PA/117 AB:
.231/.286/.316 ... 1 HR / 8 RBI / 17 SO

2008 - 130 PA/120 AB:
.225/.262/.350 ... 3 HR / 13 RBI / 23 SO

2011 - 128 PA/111 AB:
.234/.328/.369 ... 3 HR / 13 RBI / 22 SO

Not exactly MVP-type numbers there. But remember, he finished each of those three seasons strong to the tune of:

2006 - .287/.351/.471 ... 20 HR / 110 RBI
2007 - .266/.330/.458 ... 24 HR / 91 RBI
2008 - .283/.333/.442 ... 14 HR / 51 RBI
(only played in 106 games in '08 due to injury)

SCNatsFan said...

NatsJack, I so agree; every swing Werth seems to take is a defensive swing, not trying to drive the ball, and his swing on low pitches or pitches outside is so poor. To me it looks like he arrives at the plate hoping for a walk, trying to foul off pitches until they miss on 4 (well, more then 4 as he's going to chase out of the zone). CHanging his haircut, music and beard won't change a damn thing, the guy needs to have some confidence in himself which, to an armchair observer like me, is clearly lacking. Does the booing make it worse? Probably, but we can cheer for him all we want and right now it won't get his average over .250

greg said...

what wally said. even if you *DID* want to replace him, you'd be replacing him with someone out of ankiel/bixler/hairston (when he's off the DL). and all of those guys are hitting worse and none of them have any real upside potential or career numbers that suggest they're going to get better, whereas werth does (regardless of whether he's making $20+m or the minimum).

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Werth seems to be a take-charge kind of guy, generally, which is consistent with DJ's quote ("I think early in the year he was playing mentor a little more than he needed to with some of the young guys.") and other things. That's hard to do when the young guys see you going 0-4 night after night, watching meatballs go by and waving at curves away like you're shooing flies off the dog.
So there's probably a lot of pressure he puts on himself, there, which can't be helping.

BarneyBear said...

God - reading the comments on here is depressing. I really thought that this site had a higher calibre of commenters - genuinely knowledgeable people who understood the game of baseball and its nuances.

Instead, there's just a chunk of moaning minnies whose sole purpose in life seems to be to bleat about how half empty their glass is. I bet you think the Grinch stole Xmas too.

Criticise by all means, but stay constructive. And if you can't do that; disappear to another site.

(Yes, Werth ain't playing well. And I've seen 3 of the last 4 games in full, as well as regular chunks through the rest of the season so far). But for crying out loud - this team is winning when it didn't previously. Get behind them - including Werth.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Umm, barney, what page are you reading? You think *this* is negative? Great Googeley-Moogely.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

For what it's worth, here's my theories on Werth:

1. He was so protected in the Phils lineup, he always got great pitches to hit.
2. Because of that, he rarely got to a two-strike count.
3. Now when he has two strikes, he seems to just freeze. I can't count the number of fastballs down the middle this guy has taken for called third strikes.
4. To his credit, the booing doesn't seem to bother him. After all, this guy played in Philly. And besides, 18,000 Nats fans mildly booing doesn't hold a candle to merely one section of of Philly fans' wrath.
5. The contract, naturally, does not help. He's a lightning rod for everything fans hate about ballplayers, so it's natural he's going to get toasted.
6. Solution? Davey, or Rizzo, or somebody, has to tell this guy he doesn't have to be a combination of Mantle-Aaron-A Rod-Pujols for us. He just needs to be Jayson Werth: .260 BA, 25 HRs, 75 RBIs. With his defense, speed (the guy is an amazing baserunner) and clubhouse presence (He was the guy, after all, that early in the season properly noted that "two games is not a winning streak), he has enough intangibles to carry us with those numbers.

But, Jayson, please, quit taking those fastballs down the middle. There is no Ryan Howard hitting behind you.

Water23 said...

We seem to be having the same discussion lack of offense since the beginning of the year. In looking over the roster, the two spots where we can improve are CF and SS (we are locked in at RF for 7 years) so with the trading deadline coming does Rizzo make a move? It seems, Bourn is the kinda of defensive CF with a good off and base stealing. He would be a very nice addition and is only 28. Getting him makes sense but what is the expected cost?
The Astros are going into rebuild mode and need some good minor leaguers. So - Desi and one or two minor leaguers. Peacock, Millone, Detweiler, Solis other?

Don't want to empty the system but players like Bourn are tough to come by.

The

Bowdenball said...

erocks, great post. I knew Zimm had some slow starts in the past, but the similarities are striking. I wasn't particularly worried about him before, but I'm less worried about him now. Thanks.

DFL said...

As for centerfield, I just noticed that Chris Coughlan of the Marlins was optioned to the minors a few days ago. Coughlan is a versatile player and was the NL Rookie-of-the-Year only two seasons ago. A Desmond for Coughlan trade doesn't make sense- Hanley Ramirez is in the way- but perhaps someone like Marrero could be dangled as bait. With Morse and LaRoche at first, Marrero has little future with the Nats.

UNTERP.NAT said...

Sec 3, My Sofa...

How do you "lose" hand-eye coordination? I can see someone's vision getting worse, but how does a healthy athlete in his early 30s lose coordination, absent some serious health issues?

It's not really a health issue per se. It's the ability of the eyes to perceive movement to the hands. In baseball for a hitter, it's the difference between Ted Williams and everyone else. The better the hand eye coordination, the better you chance to hit a baseball, fastball, breaking ball, change up, whatever. Looking at Werth's swing, it appears to me his coordination is lost. It doesn't take but a hair to lose you coordination. Now, if it's because he's using Ian Desmond's contact lens and vice versa, that's another issue. But the way he is swinging he is six inches (for exaggeration sake) off every pitch...

UNTERP.NAT said...

This is what Werth needs, see site:

http://www.sportseyesite.com/dataSITE.dpod

UNTERP.NAT said...

Eye–hand coordination

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye-hand_coordination

Anomynous said...

I'm all for going after Bourn, but Rizzo can't offer up Peacock. Other than Detweiler (obviously) in that group he's closest to MLB ready and has the biggest upside. Stras, Zimm, Peacock, Lannan and (mystery free agent SP) could be an incredible rotation for a long time.

UNTERP.NAT said...

your chance, your coordination: sorry...

suderlbun said...

I lost my hand eye coordination, I think it was last Wednesday. I thought I saw it out back, near the hammock, but when I tried to pick it up I kept just missing it. at lest it dosnt efect my typng.

N. Cognito said...

Should Werth continue this horrid hitting throuought the season, he will become the FIRST player in MLB history to have a really bad year.

N. Cognito said...

suderlbun said...
"I lost my hand eye coordination, I think it was last Wednesday. I thought I saw it out back, near the hammock, but when I tried to pick it up I kept just missing it. at lest it dosnt efect my typng."

I cam back from business travel last Thursday and found someone's hand eye coordination under our bed. My wife said she had no idea where it came from.

N. Cognito said...

UNTERP.NAT said...
"It's not really a health issue per se. It's the ability..."

We know what it is. What makes you an expert on it and whether or not Werth has lost his?

UNTERP.NAT said...

N. Cognito said...

LOL.

Having a bad year is normal as things go in sports, but he is moving or has moved past prime. Fact is, you can lose your sports abilities quite quickly. Look at Rick Ankiel, pitcher one inning, gone the next. It happens...

Anonymous said...

If they finish a game under .500, or g-d forbid just miss out on the wild card, with Werth hitting .225? It's going to be a really long next six years. Expensive and long. Maybe not so long for Rizzo...

The Cubs have wasted a lot more on ex-Nats (two in their outfield) and received less in return.

There's always the DL. They can send Werth there to get his eyes checked, heal a bit from his various injuries, get fresh perspective. That's something JimBo never did. He kept trotting them out there.

In the end that's why Davey Johnson said he isn't worried about Werth. Why worry they have plenty of offensive production its the RISP part that is missing. They have more than replaced Dunn and Willingham in the line up at this point. They now need to just get the FOF past healing from his injury and back into the groove. That should be enough.

Besides perhaps you were one of the guys who was all over Austin Kearns? Right? And he played the same position? Right? And he had a legitimate injury. He also came back and did a pretty decent job for the Indians for a lot less than the Nats were paying him.

Let's be a bit more patient with Werth shall we? Everyone knew (including Rizzo and ownership) that he wasn't worth what they were going to pay him. And we knew the real purpose behind it, to convince FA players and their agents that the Nats were legit and intent on building a championship caliber organization.

So far so good at least as far as rebuilding the farm system and developing prospects. There's room for improvement ... but there is tangible progress.

This isn't the JimBo leather pants and his Joy riding Segway. These ARE NOT wasted years of bungling. This IS NOT a reign of error.

UNTERP.NAT said...

N. Cognito said...

UNTERP.NAT said...
"It's not really a health issue per se. It's the ability..."

We know what it is. What makes you an expert on it and whether or not Werth has lost his?


Making observations doesn't make me an expert, neither does it mean that I am right, but it could be an explanation. Have you ever swung a bat? It's all hand eye coordination and sight. Athletes don't necessarily lose sight, especially in baseball, they lose hand eye coordination. Do you have to be an expert to understand this?

BobcatG said...

I lost my job. I mean, I didn't lose, I know where it is! It's just, now, when I go there, there's some other guy doing it.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Maybe it's just me, but I don't recall ever hearing of anyone losing (eye-hand) coordination, without some other issue being involved--age, injury, disease, something. And it doesn't seem to be affecting his defense.

Bowdenball said...

Unterp-

Laughing at what N.Cognito said and then making the exact same mistake he's busting your chops about by saying that he's "past his prime" without saying anything to justify your assumption is, well, I don't know if "ironic" is the right word. Maybe "silly"?

Werth might be past his prime and experiencing a huge drop off like you say. He might also be past his prime but slowly declining, as is the case with the vast majority of other major league baseball players throughout history, and the first half of this season might be an anomoly and the rest of his career will follow that pattern. Or he might be experiencing a dip before he returns to 2009 and 2010 levels, given his outstanding fitness regimen and relative lack of wear and tear. Or he might be devastated by the cancellation of "Hannah Montana" and unable to focus on baseball.

None of us know anything, other than what he's doing on the field and what he says to the media. Maybe he's like Ankiel, maybe he's like Hank Aaron. We don't know anything other than he's having a bad year and he's at an age when players generally start to drop off a bit ... but that dropoff us almost always gradual, not sudden.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I did lose my girlfriend. I didn't lose her lose her--I knew where she was.

UNTERP.NAT said...

Bowdenball said...

Hey, I could be boring or I could say what everyone else says. It's the road you take that makes all the difference. Paraphrase of Robert Frost. How's that?

Yogi Berra said...

In baseball, you don't know nothing.

UNTERP.NAT said...

"It's like deja-vu, all over again."
- Yogi Berra

UNTERP.NAT said...

"You can see a lot by observing."
- Yogi Berra

Mark'd said...

A wise man once said SOMETIMES it is better to be lucky than good. Yesterday would be that case although the Cubs had their chances and luck on Monday.

Adam Dunn said...

"Should Werth continue this horrid hitting throuought the season, he will become the FIRST player in MLB history to have a really bad year."

I beg to differ with you.

SCNatsFan said...

Mark'd the Nats hit an awful lot of balls hard yesterday that found the Cubbies gloves; if anyone was unlucky yesterday it was the Nats, although their 2B threw the Nats a run and Aramis overplayed the ground ball for another.

UNTERP.NAT said...

Adam Dunn said...

There is a mosquito that is indigenous to the Washington area that causes a break down in the nervous system that follows with a loss in hand eye coordination that might have bitten you and Werth...

Nats1924 said...

Werth will come around.

His numbers won't reflect last year due to this slump, batting pretty much everywhere in the lineup and not having the likes of RHoward in front of him.

And unlike a player like a Dunn, Werth is still helping out on the base paths and in the field.

nats nats nats!!! ...lets go dubs!

Choosing to Stay Annonymous said...

OK, so all agree? We DL Werth for diminished hand eye coordination?

UNTERP.NAT said...

Choosing to Stay Annonymous said...

OK, so all agree? We DL Werth for diminished hand eye coordination?


LOL!

Sunderland said...

Maybe with Werth it's his bat speed.
Maybe he needs a faster bat. An import. With GPS to track the bat directly to the ball. And ABS so he can check swing on breaking pitches. And cup holders, cause that would be cool.

I need a new topic....

UNTERP.NAT said...

I know you guys are busting my chops and I'm laughing like hell, but it's even worse, because I'm serious, and it makes me laugh more...

Joe Seamhead said...

Gee, around the first of May many of you wee throwing in the towel with Mike, "Well, It WasOnly Spring Training" Morse"mi said then that he has always been a streaky hitter and that he would get hot. Jason Werth will also get hot again. The "Jason Hayneswerth" line was clever, but let it go.Comparing him to that worthless piece of dog doo from the Redskins is not just insulting and unfair, but also is showing a shallow understanding of the game of baseball. Werth is out there hustling, encouraging his teammates, and wants to play every inning, everyday. Those are two things that Skins' fans could never credit Haynesworth with. Jason's in a prolonged slump that's eating him alive. I have all the confidence in the world that he'll come out of it. GYFNG!!!

LoveDaNats said...

Jayson Werth!

You WILL hit tonight!


.....there

Anonymous said...

Zimm, Desi, and Ramos need to stand closer to the plate. They're all unable to reach the outside black with a normal stroke.Is Epstein blind, or is this his hitting advice, I wonder?

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I feel it in my bones 2 hits for Werth tonight. )I feel a K too though),

The Joker said...

I wanna see Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and the other slumpers doing more jumping jacks, trunk twisters, push-ups, leg lifters, bicycles and bull-in-the-ring before games.

Mickey Vernon said...

I saw my first Nats (Senators) game in 1945. This team, with all its faults, which are many, is way better than any of its predecessors in DC, except for the team Calvin Griffith moved to Minnesota. Such a long perspective makes me a lot less criticial and a lot more patient than I would be without it. Go Nats!

Grandstander said...

New topic?

Just saw on MLB Network that the FO is looking for Strasburg to make a minor league rehab start in mid-August.

Woooooooooooooooo Baby!

Unkyd said...

2:49..... Maybe Epstein IS the Answer.....

Steve M. said...

You have to love how the Nats find creative ways to win and last night I thought would be a Nats blow-out with the way that 1st inning went. Still, a Kardiac Kids win seems to be what the fans love. A heart pounder until the end.

Davey seems quickly acclamated to what he has in his bullpen. He has used them much more effectively although you still should only want Clip for 1 full inning and use HRod and Full Pot for partial innings.

Like I suggested several months ago, Detwiler is the versatile guy in the 'pen. Only remember, if you use him for long relief, you lose him for a few days. I think he is your perfect 7th or 8th inning guy to be used strategically with Clippard. When you play the Phillies, you use him in the late innings when you have Ryan Howard, Utley and Ibanez coming up and that may be the time to use him for 2 innings.

From someone elses suggestion, Davey Johnson didn't take long to figure out who he had in AA and AAA and wanted Detwiler. Whether or not that option was open to Riggleman, who knows.

If I were the manager, I would spend less time pissing and moaning about my contract and more time on over-achieving by fielding the best team I could get out there. Davey has already gotten more use out of Stairs in his 1st week than Riggleman got out of him the rest of the season.

Let's see what Davey can do with Werth who is pivotal for the 2nd half push. One thing I can tell you about Werth is that he works his butt off. The results aren't there. My observations have been he pulls his left leg towards the outside of the batters box opening himself up and flailing on outside pitches. He can hit and will hit. He just needs to settle into a groove. Luckily Davey pushed him back to the 5 hole and maybe he needs to settle into the 6th hole. I hate to hear any of "our" guys being boo'd as he is trying hard. Just hoping for him to get into a groove and get going.

Desmond seemed to take some good cuts yesterday and hit into some bad luck. Both he and Bernadina could have had 3 hits yesterday.

Big Cat said...

Desmond needs to close his stance to parallel and move 3-4 inches closer to the plate.

Werth needs to have his eyes checked

I have heard thru a fairly reliable source that Harpers contract stipulates that he has to have a certain number of big league ab's this year. Anybody else heard about this? How about you NatsJack?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Big Cat.... You will not see Harper in a Nats uniform this season. ST was the only promise they gave him.

waddu eye no said...

casey stengel:
there comes a time in every man's life, and i've had quite a few of them

Steve M. said...

Big Cat, I agree with NatsJack that there were no promises but there is the smallest chance based on merit he would be called up in September. You have to wonder if Bryce Harper puts up numbers at Harrisburg like he did in May at Hagerstown, then I think he would earn a September callup. Still, Rizzo has plenty of reasons not to call him up.

The reason I could see it if it was earned by outstanding Harrisburg numbers and the Nats are fighting for a playoff spot and the Nats think he could help the team while being a part of the playoff push, -but- it comes with risks as the scouts have a way of finding the weak spots quickly. Harper would look good like Espinosa did last September for a few games, and then go cold when the scouts find the weaknesses IMO.

September callups don't have a lot of time for adjustments as you saw with Danny. Luckily, Espinosa made adjustments this year. This is why I think Rizzo would be reluctant. Still a lot to learn for an 18 year old phenom.

NatStat said...

If that's true about Harper's contract, Big Cat, then Rizzo's frequent claims that Oppo Boppo won't see the white lines in a MLB park this season are some more of his ongoing FO BS!

Man can this guy lie!

HypAnon said...

We do spend a lot of time discussing the mote in Werth's eye, don't we? I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Harper's callup won't be based solely on stats. He needs to cut down on the eye makeup and kisses to the pitcher, and they do not want to start his arb clock any sooner than necessary.

ehay2k said...

Epstein? ROFL. Let's replace him with Horseshack! Or bring back Mr. Kotter.

Look, Werth is hitting VERY poorly. it's not a question of BABIP either, because I agree with others that he just seems to take a LOT of strikes right down broadway.

I thought I read somewhere that he actually is not working with Rick Eckstein, but has his own batting coach, perhaps even Matt Stairs? If that is the case, that needs to change. Not to bring up the past, but if Riggleman tried to change that and was not able to (no support from management, Riggs would argue) then you can bet DJ would not be deterred.

At any rate, the All Star break will help everyone heal a bit, especially mentally. BTW - I absolutely LOVED the stars on Clippard's cap and jersey last night. That is so very cool to see.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

NatStat said...


and people wonder why blogs lack credibility.

Tim said...

... And the good news is:

We're STILL winning and a game above .500.

Typically, we'll get some hitting when the pitching starts to falter.

GYFNG!

natsfan1a said...

Yogi Berra: "In baseball, you don't know nothing."

And I also liked seeing the stars on Clip's cap and jersey.

N. Cognito said...

UNTERP.NAT said...
"Making observations doesn't make me an expert, neither does it mean that I am right"

Then instead of declarative statements such as "His hand eye coordination is lost," put forth a supposition or a theoretical statement.

I would agree that he could have lost his hand eye coordination, but there could be a number of reasons he's having a bad year. Personal problems (family illness, etc.) can very easily cause these same performance problems.

For whatever reason, he's having a seriously sucky season.

Unkyd said...

Re: Epstein.... This former Senators Great, hero of my childhood, is a hitting guru, and the comment above, just got me thinking, that's all... Google "rotational hitting".... He was "certified" by Ted Williams...

Michael Peter Epstein (born April 4, 1943 in the Bronx, New York), nicknamed SuperJew, is a former Major League Baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and California Angels from 1966–1974.[1][2][3]

The first baseman was noted as a strong power hitter who did not hit for a high batting average, though he walked (and was hit by pitches) so often that he finished with a respectable career .359 on base percentage.

a simple desultory phillipic said...

He's so unhep, when you say "Dylan"
He thinks yer talking about Dylan THOMAS
(whoever he was).
The man ain't got no culcha.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said... Harper's callup won't be based solely on stats. He needs to cut down on the eye makeup and kisses to the pitcher, and they do not want to start his arb clock any sooner than necessary.

July 6, 2011 3:55 PM


I don't think a September callup affects the Arb clock or Super 2.

Any experts out there on this?

Mark Z.?

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