Saturday, August 27, 2011

Game 131: Nats at Reds

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler faces Mike Leake tonight at Great American Ball Park.
It's been more than five years since the Nationals made Chris Marrero the 15th overall pick in the country. Tonight, the now-23-year-old first baseman will make his major-league debut at last, recalled from Class AAA Syracuse to take the roster spot that opened when Ryan Mattheus (shoulder) went on the 15-day DL.

Marrero, who hit .300 with 14 homers, 69 RBI and an .825 OPS at Syracuse, will be in the Nats' lineup tonight, batting seventh. That means Michael Morse moves back to left field for the first time since June 29. Look for Morse to get plenty of playing time out there through the rest of the season, because the Nats plan for him to open 2012 in left field with Adam LaRoche (or possibly Marrero) at first base.

The other domino effect of Marrero's arrival is that Jayson Werth will start in center field tonight for the first time this season, with Laynce Nix in right field. Ross Detwiler is on the mound, looking to continue his recent upward trend. He'll be opposed by right-hander Mike Leake, whom the Nats roughed up for six runs at Nationals Park 11 days ago.

As you know, I'm not on this road trip. Back here in D.C., hunkered down for the storm and taking care of Mrs. Z and soon-to-be Baby Z. Enjoy the game, and please stay safe everyone!...

NATIONALS at REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN, MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (62-68)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Laynce Nix
1B Chris Marrero
C Wilson Ramos
P Ross Detwiler

REDS (65-66)
2B Brandon Phillips
LF Dave Sappelt
1B Joey Votto
RF Jay Bruce
3B Miguel Cairo
CF Drew Stubbs
SS Edgar Renteria
C Ryan Hanigan
P Mike Leake

180 comments:

Steve M. said...

Werth back in the 2 hole! Welcome to the Nats Chris Marerro!

BinM said...

Hmmm... The CF/RF combo of Werth / Nix suprises me; Against a RH, I'd have thought that Ankiel / Werth was the way to go, but what do I know?

Gonat said...

Insert the new CF for 2012 and that is probably the Opening Day lineup against a LH pitcher.

SteveM, he put Werth in the 2 hole like you had in your lineup last week!

baseballswami said...

I can see Werth in CF since he can cover more ground than the hobbled Nix or the less-experienced Morse. I would still rather see Werth in right and Bernie in center, though. Any idea why Ankiel has not played 3 games in a row? Interested to see Christ Marero! I will take up the cause of Bernie like the fish fans did with the "free lomo" campaign.. FREE BERNIE!!!!!

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, Mr. Z. Take good care of Mrs. Z and soon-to-be baby Z.

Go, Det! Go, NATS!!

Wait. I thought Strasburg was the Messiah? (Just kidding ya, Swami. ;-))

Interested to see Christ Marero!

jd said...

I like this lineup a lot. I have been pushing for Werth close to the top of the lineup because he sees a lot of pitches, takes walks and is generally a good OBP guy. I like Werth at center only because this puts Ankiel on the bench. If there was a way to also put Nix on the bench i'd be all for that too. Finally I like that they are putting Marrero in the 7 hole because this is as low pressure in the lineup as you can be which is exactly how they should handle this.

I was very strongly against Desmond at leadoff due to his miniscule OBP but I must admit that whatever Davey has been telling him is being absorbed and implemented. Desmond has been a good player since the move to leadoff.

Lastly; I disagree with losing a 1 run game without having used your top available reliever. The old tired philosophy is to never use your closer unless you are in the lead. I disagree with that philosophy.

BinM said...

Additionally, inserting Marrero @1B creates a probable gap in range between 1B & 2B; Moving Werth to CF between Morse in LF and Nix in RF could compound the gap as both players are sub-par moving laterally & possess only average arms. Look for a few doubles into the gaps from the Reds tonight, as Werth runs his legs off backing them up.

jd said...

BinM,

Clearly this is not a great defensive alignment but I'm ready to say "s**ew the defense, score some runs baby".

phil dunn said...

Neither Gomes or Nix are defensive upgrades over Morse in LF. I was impressed with Marrero in Viera, both in the field and with the bat. Rizzo should have brought him up at mid-season because this move improves the weak offense.

Anonymous said...

Further, if Marrero delivers, Laroche can be used as trade bait next spring.

SBrent said...

Good luck and congrats to the family Z!

Gonat said...

phil dunn said...
Neither Gomes or Nix are defensive upgrades over Morse in LF. I was impressed with Marrero in Viera, both in the field and with the bat. Rizzo should have brought him up at mid-season because this move improves the weak offense.

August 27, 2011 4:47 PM
Anonymous said...
Further, if Marrero delivers, Laroche can be used as trade bait next spring.

August 27, 2011 4:50 PM
_______________________________

Agree with both of you except the Nats need to sell high on LaRoche which would be seeing if he is healthy and raking first. They made the mistake of trading Willingham too quickly and sold way low.

JaneB said...

Welcome Chris! So many people have been pulling for you, and I'm looking forward to seeing you.

May the actual hurricane passing through DC be mirrored in the play of our Nats: blow through that Reds line up, Ross! And may extra winds pick up the balls we hit and take 'em outta the park!

GYFNG!

jd said...

Gonat

'Agree with both of you except the Nats need to sell high on LaRoche which would be seeing if he is healthy and raking first. They made the mistake of trading Willingham too quickly and sold way low'

This is only true if someone else was offering something higher and believe me you are not getting bopkes for Laroche whether or not he rakes next year. He was a free agent last year and there was no big lineup of potential suitors; now 1 year and 1 injury later you think you are getting something for him?

baseballswami said...

Wow -- I need to spell check natsfan1a! I do want to see him play, but not that much. Must be this big low pressure system moving through. I still have power and hope it lasts for the game tonight. And - I hope it is entertaining and action packed. Come on guys, take our minds off this storm!

Gonat said...

jd, if LaRoche is fully recovered he will get about or more than what the Orioles got with Derek Lee.

jd said...

Every move the Nats make from here on out should be to augment the team when it's actually in a realistic contending position meaning when Strasburg and JZimm can throw over 200 innings; when Harper and Rendon are up and when Cole ,Meyer and Goodwin are right around the corner. We are talking about 1 more year; that's all.

It's reasonable to upgrade the current roster to keep improving the team record but not at the cost of stifling the future.

Grandstander said...

Hunkered down here and might have to head out to the bar to watch the game if the power goes. Best wishes for all who are affected by the hurricane.

Really iffy about this lineup. From an offensive perspective, it's awesome. Defensively... Werth played 21 games at CF last season, so he should be ok, but it's always hard to move from where you play on a daily basis. Morse wasn't great when he played LF consistently, I'd expect some growing pains as he readjusts out there. Marrero is in his first game in the bigs, wouldn't be surprised if nerves got to him a couple times.

Add to that, our defense hasn't been exactly sparkling before all these adjustments. Hopefully we can bring enough lumber to mitigate the leather.

That being said, there is a big concern with Detwiler on the mound. While his 2.61 ERA is amazing, he brings a 4.54 FIP with it, which is wretched. You could cry small sample, but his career FIP is 4.39. That's a huge differential and cause for concern considering the defense taking the field.

He's been hot though, so let's hope for the best. We need a stopper tonight!

BinM said...

@Phil Dunn 4:47 - Gomes is better defensively going to either side than Nix, and slightly better going to his left than Morse. Nix is much like Willngham in the OF, a single plane defender (in-out).

Davey is clearly going for best possible offensive lineup tonight, defense be damned. I hope he's right.

waddu eye no said...

i'll bet mark doesn't name baby z "irene."

gyfng
(and gyfzg, too)

Anonymous said...

@BinM
Well, considering last night's atrocity with RISP, he's probably right.

NatsLady said...

"In their last four games, all losses, the Nats are 2-for-42 with runners in scoring position. If the Nats simply matched their season batting average of .241 (next-to-last in the N.L.) over those 42 at bats, they would have produced 10 hits."

--National News Network

natsfan1a said...

That thought occurred to me as well, waddu. However, I seem to recall Mark saying at one point that baby z is projected to be a boy, so I'm thinking that Irene wouldn't be in the running regardless. Ruben, maybe.

natsfan1a said...

Or would that be "Rubin"? Bad joke, anyway.

NatsLady said...

Stras warming up in Syracuse. Not raining there.

natsfan1a said...

P-Nats rained out at the Keys, but a double-header tomorrow evidently.

waddu eye no said...

speaking of stras, just got some tix from a friend for 9/6. hope that's the date for the second coming.

listen to stras live :
http://player.streamtheworld.com/_players/citadel/?sid=2981&nid=2920

Mickey Vernon said...

Don't get mw wrong NatsLady, natsfan1a and JaneB. I love my wife, but a woman who not only likes, but undertands and has interesting insights into baseball is a rare experience for me, and I'm really glad you're here to lighten up and inform this blog. Also, your enthusiasm and optimism is a great antidote for all the neganonanativity.

BinM said...

One would hope that when DJ goes to the bullpen tonight, he stays inside roles: If the call is needed before the fifth, go with Gorzo and let him go two-three+ IP, with HRod in reserve to start an inning.

If we get to the 7th with a lead, go with Coffey / Clippard / Storen. If we're getting pounded by the 7th, go with HRod / Balester & let them take the punishment, I suppose.

baseballswami said...

Just a thought - I have heard that Rizzo likes to get "high character" guys - but listening to Clip just now made me realize how many of our guys seem to be very bright. He and Storen are both very articulate, Storen went to Stanford, Zim, UVA - no dummies there.

Anonymous said...

Mickey Vernon -- there are more of us lurking :)

NatsLady said...

Easy 1-2-3 first for Stras.

baseballswami said...

NatsLady - are you there? If not, how are you following the game?

NatsLady said...

Reds feed shows the pitch track. Zim never swung at a strike.

MicheleS said...

Thank God for the Nats! I am so tireuof Irene coverage! Hope Chris has a great night!

NatsLady said...

I am here. Watching Stras on MiLB.TV

baseballswami said...

Thought you were in syracuse!

gonatsgo said...

MicheleS -- amen! So glad my power is still on.

Grandstander said...

Welcome to the bigs Chris! Calm down soon please.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no - -what a way for Marrero to start!

NatsLady said...

Syracuse got a run, but I was watching the Nats. Marrero gets an error and then Marrero doesn't cover 1st? Thank goodness for Espi.

baseballswami said...

ooooooooh, noooooooo. Detweiler really uncorked that one with a guy on third!

Anonymous said...

Take a deep breath, guys.

NatsLady said...

Stras hit 95 on the gun. Struck out the 1st guy but he fouled off about 6 pitches.

baseballswami said...

Keep the updates going NatsLady.

NatsLady said...

Hit 96 and struck out the next guy.

NatsLady said...

Struck out the next guy on 3 pitches. 2nd pitch was 86 MPH curve or change (sorry, couldn't identify which).

waddu eye no said...

6 batters, 4 K's. come home strasburg!

NatsLady said...

They don't show the pitch count but Charlie and Dave said he threw 35 pitches so far, 26 strikes, and Sharkadina got the RBI in the first.

Anonymous said...

The Nats have a way of making every opposing pitcher look like Cy Young. They have had only about two or three games this year when they have shown significant offense. Yet, Rick Eckstein still hangs on.

NatsLady said...

Des, sorry, not thinking again, didn't know Stubbs is fast??????

baseballswami said...

I miss Sharkadina!!!

SCNatsFan said...

This team just has the look of guys who have already packed it in for the season. Going to make it painful to watch the last 1/4 of the season.

Wonder what Johnson's excuse for Desi will be this time.

NatsLady said...

1-2-3 inning, all ground balls. Looks better than Detwiler by a lot.

waddu eye no said...

41 pitches/ 32 strikes. 3 perfect inngs

bups said...

Stras may pitch lights out when he comes up but, like Jordan Zimmerman, he won't win any games because the offense won't get him any runs.

NatsLady said...

The Syracuse announcer said the pitch I thought was a curve was a fastball, well, then, that ball had some heavy sink, let me tell you.

Sharkadina's RBI was a solo homer.

Grandstander said...

LOL at Carp's call on that fly ball. How has he been our PBP guy for so long?

NatsLady said...

Ramos!! Guess he hasn't packed it in.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Ramos!

Grandstander said...

Ramos just killed that ball. Guy is keyed in right now.

NatsLady said...

What did Carp say? I had the Syracuse announcers on.

RickH said...

Hmmm ... I thought you weren't supposed to swing at the first pitch. Way to go Ramos!

jeffwx said...

Well..it could be fun to see the boys from the farm playing ( Stras, Lombardozzi, Milone,..) playing in September. Who else do you think we'll see ?

Another Sept. callup

Anonymous said...

When Stubbs stole 3rd, it looked to me like Ramos did not throw because Zimmerman was asleep and not moving to cover the bag. Stubbs beat Zimmerman to the bag.

Anonymous said...

And now Jayson Werth gets into the action!

NatsLady said...

2 more strikeouts and a ground ball. Nothing has left the infield.

bups said...

The high point of this season was the day Riggleman quit when the Nationals were two games above .500. That was when he was using a lineup that had the pitcher batting 8th. For some reason, that scheme worked well and the team scored runs. When Johnson took over, he went back to the pitcher batting 9th and the offense has been in a funk ever since.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm sorry, Chris, you can go back to the Minors now.

jeffwx said...

Well maybe the Marrero experiment needs another year

Anonymous said...

NatsLady, short pop fly into right down the line. Carp thought it would drop and said something like 'only hope is that this falls foul'. Nix easily got under it and caught it 10 feet in fair territory.
sunderland

NatsLady said...

Wow, that throw was terrible. Marrero must have some case of nerves. And Zimm hold up his hands for Morse to throw to third, should he have have thrown home?

SCNatsFan said...

This is just embarassing.

Desi misses the line drive. The grounder goes under Zims glove. Didn't look like a great throw but Desi just flinches.

Embarassing. Sad part is I bet no one on the team is.

jeffwx said...

Oh well...what should be runner on third and two outs turns into bases loaded and no outs with one run in.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

I hate to judge this guy after just three innings, but Chris Marrero seems to be a guy who was born to be a Nat. Just what we need: another free-swinging, big strikeout guy who commits two errors in three innings. Haven't we done the Adam Dunn thing before?

What, exactly, does this guy bring to the party?

I'm listening...

NatsLady said...

I could almost feel sorry for Detwiler (except he contributed...)

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, Ross!

NatsLady said...

ground ball, easy pop fly to left, strikeout. 5 perfect innings, 7 strikeouts, that's probably it for him. Stammen warming in the bullpen. Stras looked great.

RickH said...

Wow. Half a game and Marrero's already not ready for the majors. Remember when Morse couldn't hit in April? I guess he should have been sent down, huh?

jeffwx said...

Well if the National League takes up the DH rule, Marrero could be the guy

baseballswami said...

I know it's been mentioned ad nauseum - but this is not a team that is playing well, and , in fact, just seems to be regressing. Seeing what people have for next year is not an excuse. Those of you who just love Davey Johnson, please tell me what positive results you see in this team that he has brought to the game. If he is such a great teacher and coach, what player on this team is showing any improvement under him - what is this team doing that shows any improvement under him? 2 players hit homeruns in the small park - ok. What else? I shudder at the thought of him being in control of Strasburg.

Grandstander said...

It's the guys first game in the majors. I think we can lay off him. I can't even imagine his nerves right now. Jeez.

Grandstander said...

Hey! There you go, buddy! Grats to Chris Marrero on his first hit.

Bryan Scrafford said...

Well, his defense might not have gone well so far, but congrats Chris Marrero on getting your first big league hit.

NatsLady said...

'Cuse pitching coach says Stras is going back out to get up to his pitch count. And he does.

Anonymous said...

Espinosa needs to sit for awhile. Time to bring Lombardozzi up.

Bryan Scrafford said...

Strasburg pitched 5 innings, had 7Ks, and gave up no runs on 58 pitches (44 stikes)

waddu eye no said...

grandstander - ditto.
plus - he got his first hit

here comes stras again

SCNatsFan said...

baseballswami, I agree. I've seen the team regress under Johnson; even if you argue we haven't then we sure haven't improved and Johnson has Zim every night.

Right now with this team showing as little heart as it does - and lets be clear, there is absolutely no heart on this team - if you are Zim why in God's name do you not bolt for greener pastures?

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Great points, swami. Uncle Davey seems to be thinking he's managing the 1966 Orioles and Frank and Boog will come through with three-run homers. This Marerro thing is a great example. Just what we need; another big swinging, no defense guy. Desi has totally regressed defensively. Nix just seems beat up. Neither catcher can field a throw from the outfield and apply a tax properly. Our batters continue to swing at bad pitches. We throw to wrong bases, continue to give away outs and make fundamental mistakes galore.

Nobody else has the guts to say it so I will:

The game has passed Davey by.

Bryan Scrafford said...

I take that back, NatsLady is right, Strasburg's going back out.

NatsLady said...

ooops, Stras gives up two singles, they take him out at exactly 65 pitches and poor Craig Stammen comes in with 2 on. Stras could take a loss if Stammen lets his runners score.

Anonymous said...

Hey, sad Nats fans! Don't be sad, be GLAD! Football season starts REAL soon so we can quickly forget how da Nats' once promising season disintegrated into another "march" to last place.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

apply a tag, not tax.

Grover Norquist would never stand for that.

jeffwx said...

Swami

Riggs pitched Kimball three days in a row, then he went on the DL...Davey knows how to handle a pitching staff. He's probably still trying to play steroid baseball in a post juice world.

Anonymous said...

Davey Johnson could go 9 games under .500 tonight and Boswell wants the Nats to bring him bach next year.

NatsLady said...

I'm not worried about Davey handling Stras. I'm more worried about Davey handling Desmond.

Joe said...

How can you judge the 23 year old Marrero during his first one game????? Even after he got a hit!!! Easy now...

NatsLady said...

Stammen just blew the save. Game tied with bases loaded, 1 out. This is my last report.

NatsLady said...

Joe--I agree. Let the kid be, he's probably a bundle of nerves. Just finished watching AAA Syracuse, it is NOT the same as MLB, not even close.

baseballswami said...

jeffwx - I beg to differ -one of the things Davey has done horribly is handle the pitchers. As much as it disappoints me , I know Rizzo will bring him back - he never admits he is wrong. One of the things I have notice the most is the defense. At one point we were very high up in mlb in defense and you could see how tight they played and took pride in it. The defensive play has become very sloppy. The pitching has suffered from it.

waddu eye no said...

next year:
charlie, dave, and nats lady?
FP and nats lady?

Whynat said...

I'm with Swami. I'm missing the first part of the season when we strived to play fundamentally sound, clean baseball. Didn't always win, but always competitive.

What style of ball are we trying to play now?

gonatsgo said...

Agreed on Marrero - he'll probably be fine. At least he has an excuse for making a couple of errors. We have seen that he can hit. What do you all think of his fielding in general? I was worried about Morse back in left field but he really made a nice play!

baseballswami said...

Whynat - that's where I was trying to go , but thanks for saying it better. It wasn't just the defense, either -remember when this team could manufacture a run out of thin air. That never happens anymore - we just wait around for home runs. Anyway - back to the game - I just hate it when Morse and Zim are ice - cold. Brrrr.

Eric said...

Sunshine with the idiotic take of the night; judging Marrero's defense three innings into his MLB career. He's probably a little nervous dude. Oh and by the way he has made 5 errors in Syracuse this year.

djohncox said...

Sweep here we come. No winning karma on this team now. I hope we can pull this out but we are going in the wrong direction.

NatsLady said...

Good inning for Detwiler, finally. No strange stuff happening.

Anonymous said...

I think Marrero is setting down now. Now for some bats!!!

Anonymous said...

Settling down...

Anonymous said...

masn seems to be having trouble keeping the game on the air.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

I think Marrero can get the hat trick at first base.

NatsLady said...

Let me tell you why I am so hard on Desi. It's because he is so talented and not living up to his talent. I have students like that.

Desi's a hard worker, I'm sure. You don't make those doubleplays and great throws without reps, reps, reps. But he doesn't THINK about the game, he doesn't observe who he's playing against, game situations, etc. Desi could be an MVP on a winning team but he WON'T be unless he gets that "extra 2%" that comes from knowing who is at bat (when he's fielding) and who is pitching (when he's batting).

Someone asked why people have more patience with Henry than Des. Well, first of all, the problems they face are vastly different. Desi's problems are mental. He KNOWS how to field, he KNOWS how to bat, and he knows how to be patient, as he has shown in getting walks as a leadoff. He's infinitely frustrating to observers because he's so talented.

Henry's problems are more complicated. Henry needs to learn his own strength and his own body. The more he gets out there, the better he will be. I have a feeling Henry will listen to advice and benefit from it. But his body and his mind don't always do what he wants them to do. But he has the right idea in his brain and it's more a matter of executing. That's just a feeling.

Ian Desmond knows his body well and what it can do. His problem: he doesn't use his BRAIN to guide it as well as he should. (I would bet he "zones out" in video sessions about opposing teams.)

Henry knows (or at least understands) what he needs to do, but can't yet manage his massive talent.

Gonat said...

Well so much for Ross Detwiler looking really sharp tonight. He was decent. Ball up in the zone too much. Defense was sloppy. A darn shame when finally the Nats had the lead at 2-1 for a 1/2 inning.

NatsLady said...

Boy, is it easy to hate Joe West.

Anonymous said...

I say we keep LaRoche. Yep.

baseballswami said...

This pitcher has an epic 'stache. Yep - that's what I am down to watching now. That's the entertainment value. Maybe what this team needs is a good brawl or something. Something very Nyger-like.

gonatsgo said...

" and he takes that one right down the middle" -- our new team motto?

NatsLady said...

Swami, here ya go for entertainment--MPH pitching.

Anonymous said...

No accountability on this team since Davey. Swinging at 3-0. Watching balls go right down the middle. Just awful. Did I fail to mention Marrero SUCKS. Thank goodness its almost football season. The NATS ARE OVER!!!!!

baseballswami said...

lol NatsLady -- Jordan's last start tomorrow - kind of sad. And against Cueto again and with our anemic offense. He has really been victimized by a lack off offense this year. I think he is going to be awesome next year.I hope I have power tomorrow so I can watch. Hrod got an out!!! Maybe he will be good henry tonight.

NatsLady said...

See, nice play by Des and Marrero. Very athletic, fun to watch!

Anonymous said...

AH Yes. I new I wouldn't have to read to long to find someone (Eric 8;45pm) to make an excuse for another lousy Nats player. I guess he's just learning. Learning = loosing. "send him back down"

Gonat said...

Some nice scoops on bouncers by Marrero. Henry was helped by his defense.

NatsLady said...

oooooooooo, BEAUTIFUL pitch by Henry to get the strikeout. Ya gotta love it, cause there ain't much else to love.

baseballswami said...

Wow - MPHROd with a 1-2-3- inning and some nice D by Desi and the new guy.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Great points, Nats Lady, about Desi and his talents. I'm still aboard the Desi train, but he's running out of stops. I still think the Nats make a run at Reyes in the offseason, but I don't think Uncle Teddy writes the check.

Anonymous said...

Henry can't pitch in pressure. Comes in for a 4 run deficit and looks comfortable. I wonder how much NERVES play into his game.

baseballswami said...

Great facial hair match up with werth and the pitcher - I know, I am obsessed with facial hair tonight. It's keeping me distracted from the lack of offense.

NatsLady said...

Anon 9:30. Agree. That's why I didn't mind Davey putting Henry in the other night. Nerves are VERY real, don't kid yourself.

Anonymous said...

Zim has really lost his touch - hope it's very temporary.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with Ryan Zimmerman? He is swinging out of his shoes.

Anonymous said...

Is this a great big strike zone right now?

Anonymous said...

Great job Danny and Michael!

baseballswami said...

Nice to see Morse go deep. Can you imagine if anyone had been on base for these homeruns? And Danny bunting for a base hit - nice.

NatsLady said...

Nice to see stupid stuff by the other team.

Section 222 said...

From your lips to Uncle Teddy's ears, Sunshine. Getting Reyes would be an unbelievable coup. I'd almost rather have that guy than Pujols.

baseballswami said...

And the porn 'stache guy is gone. Former nat on the mound. Get hot, Nats, get hot. Turn this sucker around!

Anonymous said...

Really, really weird strike zone.

Anonymous said...

DRAT!!!!!

NatsLady said...

I dunno about Reyes--gets hurt a lot. Would rather fix Desi.

Drew8 said...

Speaking of ugly games (aside from the Gorse Hackage)...

Asheville is going positively Irene on Hagerstown -- putting up 21 runs on 23 hits through 7.

They tattooed Robbie Ray for 7 earned in 3.1 innings pitched.

Anonymous said...

Earthquakes, hurricanes, gorse hacking - what a week.

Wally said...

The team is in a bad stretch, no doubt. It isn't fun to watch, but it happens to all teams and when it happens, the team seems bleak. I think that is what we are going through. And I am one of those that likes Davey for this team. He hasn't had them humming along, certainly, but for me, bottom line, is that the team overachieved in the first half, especially pitching, and was going to regress regardless of the manager. He plays the best guys, which is job 1 for a manager (and not something Riggs did consistently). I really don't think that the game has passed him by. He is still a very intelligent guy, and baseball doesn't change with the pace of football (and to the extent it does evolve, it is more about which players to acquire - younger, speedier guys). We need better players, including bullpen guys.

Re: Desi, NatsLady makes some good points that are hard to argue with. I have always liked him but he is gettng to the point where I question whether he will ever put it all together consistently. I wonder if the Nats go after Phillips instead of Reyes. Cheaper, not quite as good (but good nonetheless) and durable.

baseballswami said...

When was the last time we saw Drew Storen - Monday? He will need to pitch sometime soon.

Section 222 said...

I agree that Reyes has injury problems, but even a fixed Desi (and what are the chances of that, to be honest) won't be anywhere near the force that Reyes is. .336/.377/.507 this year. Yikes! More than solves our leadoff hitter problem.

Eric said...

Signing an aging, inconsistent, injury prone and extremely expensive Reyes would most likely be a disaster.

Whynat said...

Speaking of Nyjer-like entertainment value. Glad to see him on the cover of SI with a nice feature story. He fits in with a fun loving Brew Crew.

joNAThan said...

Can't give Reyes a long term deal, his game is based on speed and his hamstrings are constantly an issue. If he had a better track record with health, I'd make an offer.

baseballswami said...

I am in the "desi can be fixed' category. But can our offense be fixed? 5 game losing streak with the braves coming up. Scary.

Anonymous8 said...

Worst stretch of the year. Cueto tomorrow, the ERA leader in the NL. Great!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Reyes solves at least three problems:
1. Leadoff hitter with speed.
2. Consistent fielding shortstop.
3. Makes Desi the utilty guy and first right-handed pinch-hitter.

But if he prevents any more games like tonight, I say he's well worth it. This was a disaster.

baseballswami said...

Reyes is great when he is healthy but doesn't seem to be able to stay that way. But maybe that will make him a bargain, or some teams won't want to take the risk. Zimm,Espi,Desi,and LaRoche could be a really great defensive infield ( if we still care about being a defensive team?). If Morse and Werth provide pop along with our centerfielder to be name later - that could work. Especially if Flores and Ramos continue to power-hit. We can dream.

JaneB said...

Love Reyes, and I don't think he is a solution for us.

I'm not blaming Davey, but we WERE playing better ball, defensively, under Riggleman. Sounds like the guys weren't happy in the clubhouse, with Riggs, but the results were better. Davey is stressing different things. MacLaren is gone, too. I disagree with Boswell that we should keep Davey. I want someone younger, and more in touch with baseball today.

gonatsgo said...

I wonder sometimes about this whole coaching staff. Davey inherited Porter, McCatty and Eckstein, brought in the others. Porter especially seemed to have more autonomy under Riggs. McClaren seemed to be really good. I know Corrales is an old pro but wonder if he is worth anything other than agreeing with Davey about how baseball was better in the old days. Johnson does not strike me as the kind of person that delegates or allows people other than him to run anything on their own. Does McCatty have input into all these crazy pitching decisions? Not a very cohesive group in there.

Anonymous said...

This team is simply a joke. Headed back for LAST PLACE AGAIN!

baseballswami said...

Anon 10:36 - I am so afraid that you are right. I had such high hopes for this season and there have been times where I really thought we could do .500 and 3rd or 4th place. Maybe we can get on another better streak but the last month looks tough.We definitely need to get off of this bad streak and turn things around.

Gonat said...

JaneB said...
Love Reyes, and I don't think he is a solution for us.

I'm not blaming Davey, but we WERE playing better ball, defensively, under Riggleman. Sounds like the guys weren't happy in the clubhouse, with Riggs, but the results were better. Davey is stressing different things. MacLaren is gone, too. I disagree with Boswell that we should keep Davey. I want someone younger, and more in touch with baseball today.

August 27, 2011 10:18 PM

______________________________

Riggleman didn't have a healthy Zim and was stuck with a healthy lousy Matt Stairs.

Here is the BIG difference I see, Davey doesn't play aggressive which gets these guys into the game and the adrenalaine flowing. The other observation is Davey has left his starters in 1 pitch too many, too many times.

By the way Baseballswami, I'm not buying what Anon @10:36 is selling.

baseballswami said...

Gonat -- would rather have you be right. It's hard to feel positive after these last 5 games.

flynnie said...

Counting the cost : Michael Morse looked angry. All he's done is provide plus defense and contend for the NL batting title, and now he's been moved away from 1st, a position he clearly enjoyed and that satisfied his shortstop's need to be in every play. Eckstein was shown giving him a pep talk in the dugout - something he's never needed before. [A shout-out to the superb MASN production crew that has never misses this stuff-remember Manny and Elijah Dukes just about coming to blows for all to see?] He responded with a titanic upper deck blast in the 8th off LeCure, who had struck out Cora, Desmond (7th) Werth and Zimm (8th).

Marrero's errors led to 3 unearned runs, but the booted double play in the 4th cost two outs that would've prevented a 4th run. So the final score is 6-3. Take away these 4 runs and Nats Win!!!

Middle fielders (catcher, ss, 2d, center) hate to be moved from their natural positions because they want to be in on every play. The move to first worked for Morse because it satisfied his shortstop's desire to be in on every play and let him use his fielding skills. He's 4th in the running for the batting crown, and management has just crushed him. Yes, he homered, but it was out of anger. That happy, boyish natural is gone, and has been ever since he was told of the move. That's a shame.

Jeeves said...

Defensively, Marrero had a good spring--actually very good. He had a good year at triple A. I think the kid should be given the benefit of the doubt, not judged by the first ball hit to him in the big leagues. Heck, it wasn't so long ago that Morris made two errors in one game, and he hardly ever makes an error.
Good and fair analysis of Desi, Natslady. I'm a big fan, but he's got a couple of issues to deal with. Regarding Reyes--obviously he is terrific this year, but as I have him on two of my fantasy teams, that darn hammy is killing me. And I wonder what Reyes stats were in his second year in the Bigs. (I'll look them up in a second). I believe he played second his first year and was mediocre at best.

Anonymous said...

I am buying what Anom 10:36 is saying. They stink on ice.

Drew8 said...

The good news is that the Nats have now scored 500 runs.

The bad news is that ranks 27th out of 30 teams.

The Nats' fielding percentage of .982 ranks 20th out of the 30 teams.

All of which is a shame, because their 3.67 ERA ranks 8th out of 30 teams.

If they could hit it and catch it they wouldn't be 62-69.

NatsLady said...

Nationals fielding and rank in MLB

March/April 2.3 9th
May 0.0 13th
June -3.0 21st
July -2.6 21st
August -0.3 18th

Full Season -3.6 17th

(from Fangraphs.com)
http://www.fangraphs.com/teams.aspx?pos=all&lg=all&stats=bat&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=

It seems to me had reasonable fielding when LaRoche and RZimm were here. With Zimm back and in good form (August) fielding is improved. Still the Nats were never tops or close to it in fielding, the Diamondbacks and Red Sox are the top teams consistently.

Gonat said...

http://www.masnsports.com/byron_kerr/2011/08/peacock-singled-out-by-the-sporting-news-as-next-in-line.html

Good article on Brad Peacock. Heck, we need some good news today.

NatsLady said...

The stats show that Michael Morse is the worst fielding 1st baseman in MLB, he ranks below Adam Dunn.

Fielding for qualified 1b (37 people):

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

On the other hand, for the limited time he played, Adam LaRoche is ranked 10th of all 72 first baseman (a much larger group, obviously).

You'll find Morse ranked 3rd from last, above only poor Chris Marrero and someone named John Bowker of the Pirates (who played 19 games.)

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=n&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

NatsLady said...

The thing is, Morse doesn't make errors, but he doesn't get to balls either.

Charlie and Dave, in their comments on the bunt yesterday that Espi ended up fielding at first (very close call but out), Morse doesn't charge balls, he stays near the base. So when Marrero charged the bunt, it took the other fielders by surprise.

IMO, that's a good type of surprise. I'm sorry if Morse is upset at not playing first base. But he was going to the outfield when LaRoche came back anyway. I hope he will be a "pro" and still give his best.

NatsLady said...

@Gonat: in summary, yes, the Nats were playing (marginally) better defensive ball when Riggs was here. Probably because we had better corner infielders. Hairston and Cora are fine fielders but they are not RZimm. And Morse is NOT Adam LaRoche.

Gonat said...

Drew8 said...
The good news is that the Nats have now scored 500 runs.

The bad news is that ranks 27th out of 30 teams.

The Nats' fielding percentage of .982 ranks 20th out of the 30 teams.

All of which is a shame, because their 3.67 ERA ranks 8th out of 30 teams.

If they could hit it and catch it they wouldn't be 62-69.

August 28, 2011 7:49 AM
_______________________________


We were having a similar discussion yesterday in comparison to the Braves.

Team ERA isn't a great indicator when you have such a poor bullpen and you are trying to evaluate your starters.

If somehow you can pull starter ERA and neutralize seperately the Earned Runs scored from Inherited runners you will find the Nats starters I think are #3 only behind Philadelphia and the San Fran Giants.

Unfortunately runs scored by the offense can't be sugar coated nor can the defense.

My only thoughts on the offense is fairly obvious, not enough clutch hits and the #1 and #2 batters don't get on base at a high enough % to give the #3 and #4 enough legitimate RBI opportunities.

NatsLady said...

I'm not that fond of fielding percentage as a defensive metric because it doesn't measure range. In other words, a fielder like Desi or RZimm gets to more balls, and therefore has more chances (and more chances to make errors) than some other fielders. This is not to excuse Desi, of course.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Gonat -- would rather have you be right. It's hard to feel positive after these last 5 games.

August 27, 2011 11:43 PM
____________________________

I know. You figure you have to go 3-2 in those games. Bad time for Ryan Zimmerman to go ICE COLD and Davey needs to subscribe to the Sparky Anderson theory on pulling pitchers.

Look, Riggleman wasn't perfect on yanking his starters either but Riggleman was better at winning the 1 run games. Davey has shut down the aggressive play of the team. He said it himself when he first got here and did a "rare" suicide squeeze. Riggleman would play for the "one" run so in the Thursday game if you got that 1 run and a 4-3 lead you then bring in Storen and close out that game.

Hindsight is great so Tuesday and Wednesday you think you have a shot if you pull your starters a batter earlier or an inning earlier that you could win those games.

NatsLady said...

Gonat-- I'm not sure what you mean by shutting down the "aggressive" game. I'm seeing bunts and attempted steals, it's just not working. He put Desi in the leadoff slot exactly so Desi could get on base and use his speed.

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
I'm not that fond of fielding percentage as a defensive metric because it doesn't measure range. In other words, a fielder like Desi or RZimm gets to more balls, and therefore has more chances (and more chances to make errors) than some other fielders. This is not to excuse Desi, of course.

August 28, 2011 9:38 AM
___________________________

Agreed. I think team UZR is a better metric and if there is a ERC (Component ERA) for starters that would be another good metric, and then team OBP and team clutch for the offense.

The good news is over an entire season you begin to pinpoint your weaknesses.

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
Gonat-- I'm not sure what you mean by shutting down the "aggressive" game. I'm seeing bunts and attempted steals, it's just not working. He put Desi in the leadoff slot exactly so Desi could get on base and use his speed.

August 28, 2011 9:44 AM
_____________________________

Steals are way down, thats a fact. Bunt hits, suicide squeezes, hit & runs, going 1st to 3rd on hits. We all know how Riggles hated his commercial Small Ball/Smart Ball but that is what worked with this team. When Riggleman left team pythagorean also matched to the team W/L so it wasn't like there was an excess of luck.

Davey has certainly had some bad luck.

NatsLady said...

Yes, and I would have used UZR but they don't have splits for it, and the question was regarding whether the Nats' defense had deteriorated from earlier in the year.

NatsLady said...

Here is a long article on one-run games with lots of links.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ten-things-about-one-run-games/

Here are the 2011 one-run game winners (you can have a lot of fun on fangraphs and baseball reference when it's raining.)

http://www.baseball-reference.com/games/situational.cgi?from=2011&to=2011&0=2&1=3&rsgtlt=gt&rs=5&ragtlt=gt&ra=5&2=6&trgtlt=lt&tr=100&3=9&mvgtlt=eq&mv=1&4=10&owlsgtlt=gt&owls=.500&sortby=WP&teams=team&years=each&submit=Run+Situation

Gonat said...

In today's baseball, the GM defines the team and it is the Managers job to win with what you have. Not even the Yankees have a perfect team. The Nationals lack balance. They are close, yet far. The strength has been in the starting pitching who have had to work on low run support, lack of clutch hitting and a poor bullpen behind the starters. These are areas that have to improve for 2012.

Joe Posnanski described Sparky Anderson and his other nickname of "Captain Hook" for his history of relying on a strong bullpen. Posnanski writes that Sparky felt pitchers were disposable, that if they weren’t getting outs, then it was his job as manager to find someone who would. In 1975, he went 45 straight games without allowing a pitcher to complete a game, a record in those days — the nightly hooks were so shocking that people in Cincinnati booed Sparky even though the Reds were leading the division by 10 games. “If you want to stay in the game, it’s like dance steps, boys,” Sparky would say. “You need to play the song in your head like a waltz — one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three. Play it like that, and I’ll just sit right here in the dugout and enjoy it. But you start going one-two-three … four … five … well, we’ll see you later.”

Davey can't be "Captain Hook" because the bullpen is so poor, Davey has stuck with his starters longer which hasn't worked either. You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't.

Gonat said...

8/28 lineup:
Desmond SS,
Werth RF,
Ankiel CF,
Morse LF,
Espinosa 2B,
Nix 1B,
Flores C,
Cora 3B,
Zimmermann P

Chris Marrero doesn't get to start against Johnny Cueto.

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JaneB said...

Nix at first instead of Morse? I don't get it. Put Nix in the outfield where he has LOTS more experience. I know they are holding first for Marrero/LaRoche and so want to keep Morse in left to "remember" how to play there. But I want to win at least one darn game. And I think Morse at first gives us a getter chance...even if he is low in tne rankings at first.

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