Monday, June 11, 2012

Wrapping up a wild weekend

US Presswire photo
Head trainer Lee Kuntz tends to a banged-up Jesus Flores on Sunday.
BOSTON -- Some leftover thoughts from a big weekend for the Nationals at Fenway Park...

-- Jesus Flores is taking an absolute pounding behind the plate right now, but he's managing to keep himself together enough to keep starting behind the plate.

This weekend alone, Flores was done in by pitches in the dirt, curveballs that were supposed to be fastballs and foul tips, including one late during Sunday's game that caught him square on his right hand. He went down in a heap and stayed down for a while as head trainer Lee Kuntz and manager Davey Johnson emerged from the dugout to check on him.

Flores and Kuntz were initially worried he had broken a finger, but the sting began to wear off after a minute or two.

"Boy, he got it bad," Johnson said. "It was black and blue when I went out there, and miraculously he could stay in the game. You hate to, in that kind of game, change catchers. He knows the hitters. He knows what to call. It was a gutty move on his part to be able to stay in the game."

Flores has now started 18 of 25 games since Wilson Ramos tore his ACL and was lost for the season ... and that includes a three-day stretch in Miami when he wasn't available due to a minor hamstring strain.

Flores, who hasn't played this much since early in 2009 (before his career was derailed by a major shoulder injury), insists he can handle the workload. Johnson might want to consider giving him a few more days off along the way, though, to ensure his best catcher still has something left in the tank come September ... or beyond.

-- Speaking of guys getting a lot of work, Tyler Clippard on Sunday recorded his third save in as many days and appeared in his fifth game in six days. That's the first time this season the right-hander has pitched this much, but he insisted it was no big deal.

"I felt good," he said. "It's a little sore, but it's normal soreness. After I got through the month of April, I've been feeling really good. There was no problem today."

Clippard needed 25 pitches to get through a harrowing bottom of the ninth in which none of the four Red Sox batters he faced put the ball in play (he walked one and struck out three). That was easily the most pitches he's thrown since taking over closer duties three weeks ago, during which time he's gone 8-for-8 in save situations.

Will Johnson need to turn to someone else tonight in Toronto if the Nationals hold a slim lead in the ninth?

"[Bullpen coach] Jimmy Lett said we might have to put him in sneakers tomorrow," the manager said. "He threw the heck out of the ball. I'm going to wait until he comes to me."

-- Danny Espinosa's night-and-day batting splits only turned more dramatic over the weekend. Against Boston's left-handed pitchers, he went 4-for-6 with four doubles and two walks. Against Boston's right-handers, he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Espinosa is now hitting .381 with a .480 on-base percentage and 1.194 OPS against left-handers, among the best offensive numbers in baseball. Against right-handers, he's hitting .188 with a .268 on-base percentage and a .556 OPS, among the worst offensive numbers in baseball.

-- Your Bizarro World fact of the morning: If the playoffs began today, the NL East champion Nationals would face the NL Central champion Pirates in the NLDS.

100 comments:

NatsFanChris said...

woooooo hooooooo

MicheleS said...

To start the Toronto series:

Toronto Star

Griffin has a nice piece on Bryce (yea, get used to it, his names sells stuff)

jcj5y said...

When the Nats pulled off a sweep in Atlanta, they promptly got swept in Miami the next series. Here's hoping they learned from that and are ready to face a tough Toronto team over the next three days.

JaneB said...

I get that Espi can't pick up right handed pitching if he bats right, simply because he's never seen it, as a life-long switch hitter (and thank you to whomever 'splained me). So what is the theory about why he is so, so, so much better against lefties than righties? I'd love to understand that.

If we need to give Clip a break tonight the obvious best way would be to be so far out ahead that he isn't needed. But that doesn't seem to happen much. So far. It could. But in the meantime, I guess the plan is to put out Lidge? I get that. AND I hope Davey keep a short leash on him. I'd rather see Burnett out there, frankly. I know Stammen isn't likely to be in the mix, but he's another I don't worry about when I see him out there. HRod made me avert my eyes, and Lidge now makes me peek between my fingers too often.

Finally, to echo NatsJack from an earlier thread, how cool that the PIRATES are the bet team in Pennsylvania.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Davey has everyone except for Gorzo and Clip tonight. Burnett can close. That should not be a problem. Getting runs off a dominant pitcher will be the problem. Of course, the Jays have to score off EJax, too, which is their problem.

Could be a good one, if EJax is at his best. Hope Solano is calling the game. .JFlo needs a break.

Are our guys good, or what?

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Davey has everyone except for Gorzo and Clip tonight. Burnett can close. That should not be a problem. Getting runs off a dominant pitcher will be the problem. Of course, the Jays have to score off EJax, too, which is their problem.

Could be a good one, if EJax is at his best. Hope Solano is calling the game. .JFlo needs a break.

Are our guys good, or what?

#4 said...

Unless he's hurt, Flores almost has to start tonight. If he doesn't he'll probably only catch once in the series. They have a day game on Wednesday. I doubt either catcher would go back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Anyone hear any rumors on Leon's progress in Viera? Soltano has promise but needs a lot more seasoning in Syracuse. I would feel comfortable w/ Leon being able to spell Flores every 4-5 days, and Soltano a phone call away. The current situation makes me very uneasy and probably concerns Johnson more than he lets on.

T-Nats said...

I live in Toronto and am a huge Nats fan (well, Expos fan-turned-Nats fan). I've been waiting for the Nats to come up here for about 5 years now, I'm attending the three-game set... Can't wait for the Nats to pound the Jays!

Go Nats!

Doc said...

MicheleS, thanks for the thread to the Toronto Star article on The Kid.

I especially liked the quote from RZim who noted that rookiedom is over-rated, and Harper could have been learning in the Bigs as early as last year.

If you can contribute, why not learn in the majors. That also seems to be Davey's approach--and it's working both for Harper and the Nats.

NatsLady said...

Got new-posted on this.

Fangraphs interview with Mike Rizzo

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-washington-nationals-gm-mike-rizzo/

SonnyG10 said...

Nice link to the Toronto Star MicheleS. I enjoyed reading Griffin's piece.

NatsLady said...

So we play another team over .500 (31-29)? Can we bring that down to say 31-32? Oh, wait, if we do that we'll be accused of feasting on the "easy" schedule. Go for two of three, that'll be fine.

Except--I don't want ANY of our pitchers to lose!!! Nope, gotta sweep.

JD said...

I really think that the catching situation will have to be addressed from the outside. Solano, Leon, Maldonado are not the answer if we are to make the playoffs. The Red Sox have young Ryan Lavernway on his way up; I bet we can get Shopach from them. It may cost us Eury Perez or Bernadina but I consider catching depth as an absolute necessity.

MicheleS said...

JD.. the Boston blog boards were willing to trade us Salty or Shoppach as long as we gave them Stras or Gio (they were kidding, or at least I hope they were).

I do think we will be okay with JFLO as catcher WHEN we make the playoffs. You forget all the off days in the playoffs. I don't think there would ever be a time where he played more than 2 days in a row.

SonnyG10 said...

Good link to Rizzo article, NatsLady. I enjoyed reading it.

NatsLady said...

Ken Rosenthal on Mike Trout and Harper as All-Stars -- he votes "yes."

angels-mike-trout-nationals-bryce-harper-belong-on-All-Star-Game-rosters

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/angels-mike-trout-nationals-bryce-harper-belong-on-All-Star-Game-rosters-061112

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The starters of the All Star game are sometimes a popularity contest, but usually the fans get it close to right, and what they miss, the All Star Manager needs to get right. The last pick is left to this Final Fan Vote.

After all that is done, there are always an All Star snub or 2. I was lobbying last year for Michael Morse at this time. Since the Nats were only going to get 1 player in, it was Tyler Clippard.

Clearly, Gio and Stras should be All Stars. Possibly Clippard and Stammen. I think the Nats best position player has been Bryce Harper and then Ian Desmond followed by Adam LaRoche.

Still about 3 weeks to get more data in. JZim is the 14th or 15th best pitcher in the NL depending on which stats you use. What happens if JZim has 3 to 4 great starts to finish out the month?

Drew said...

Jesus needs a Solano pause.

Carrying over from the last thread, the All-Star game is starting to take on a bit more relevance for the Nats. You never know when you might need that home-field advantage.

All-Star games aren't always boring. I have said that if I could have attended one game in my lifetime, it would have been the 1971 ASG in Detroit, when Reggie went light tower on Dock Ellis.

The game featured 21 future Hall of Famers, plus Weaver, Sparky and Alston on the coaching staffs.

There was a separate galaxy of stars in addition to the HOFers. Vida, Hondo, Boog, Lolich, Sudden Sam, Rose, Oliva, Bobby Bonds, Cuellar. Gracious. What a game!

NatsLady said...

Analysis of free agents.

• Adam LaRoche: Almost never is a mutual option triggered. One side feels like the money is too much or not enough. LaRoche has been worth plenty more than the $10 million his option calls for. Stock report: Way up.

• Edwin Jackson: Always healthy, walks are down, Ks are up – the sort of guy who almost certainly should get a multiyear deal. Stock report: Up

Here is the full article.

2012 Free Agents

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/10-degrees--josh-hamilton-is-this-fall-s-prize-free-agent.html

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Ken Rosenthal on Mike Trout and Harper as All-Stars -- he votes "yes."

angels-mike-trout-nationals-bryce-harper-belong-on-All-Star-Game-rosters

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/angels-mike-trout-nationals-bryce-harper-belong-on-All-Star-Game-rosters-061112

June 11, 2012 11:12 AM


Surprised to see Rosenthal take up for Bryce Harper and his comparison to the entire Padres team is very true. Nicely thought out piece. Those of us that have seen Bryce play every day know how special he is.

Hopefully Bryce keeps doing what he is doing so its a no-brainer by July 1st.

JD said...

MichelleS,

Flores won't make it to the playoffs if he has to catch almost every day and every time you give him a day off you are using a minor leaguer in your lineup and behind the plate. I think it makes too much sense for both Boston and the Nats for something not to happen.

JD said...

Steve,

Stammen all star? not so much. For now I think our all stars are: Gio,SS and Clip.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, its tough for me to get too excited long-term about Edwin Jackson due to his 1 year deal.

All metrics so far point to EJax being a Top 20 pitcher in the NL. He has his flaws such as his pickoff move and shaky 1st innings, but when he gets going, he has been a great addition to the team.

I think McCatty has done a great job with EJax.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, don't you think EJax should be extended? Unless the Nats get Greinke, why wouldn't they extend Jackson for at least 3/$15? You know he probably wants 5/$15, and I wouldn't go that high. But he might also want to stop wandering around and stay with a good team and a good coach.

NatsLady said...

I like Stammen, and when he's good, he's very good but he has some bad outings, like about one in every three or four. Fortunately, he shows something to Davey and Cat and they take him out fast. Not an All-Star. Maybe next year.

NatsLady said...

I'd put Burnett in for All-Star before Stammen (but not before Clip).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD said...
Steve,

Stammen all star? not so much. For now I think our all stars are: Gio,SS and Clip.


No, Stammen won't be an All Star but he shouldn't be forgotten in naming who the Nats best players have been this year so far.

Nats Starters in order Gio, Stras, JZim, EJax
Nats Relievers in order Clip, Stammen, Burnett
Nats Position players in order BHarp, Desi, LaRoche
Nats Bench players in order Tracy, Bernadina

All are worthy of acknowledgement and the reason this team is in 1st place and only a few are All Star worthy. Then you look at all the quirky plays that have contributed to wins in Top Plays where Ankiel, Werth, Ramos, and yes, even Nady have shown up.

JD said...

NatsLady,

If we can get EJax at 3/15 I'd do it. Greinke and Hammels will make stupid money this off season and you can't go that high on a no.4 starter but 3 years should get us to little Gio and just about when SS and big Gio and JZimm will start making crazy money.

JamesFan said...

Jesus Flores is the real deal and a gamer. I don't think that it is a given that Ramos has the job when he gets back. Hope Leon returns soon to give Flores some relief.

EJax is the component that makes this rotation sensational rather than just excellent. Extend him. I take EJax over Grienke any day.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Can I add to that the RH Danny Espinosa while throwing out his evil twin the LH Danny Espinosa?

Batter's eye and hamate bone my a**

sjm308 said...

Ghost - add me to the list of those excited about EJax.It's always easy for me to spend the Lerner's money but I am in for at least the 3 year deal and would think long and hard about 5. This would give us 4 top starters for several more years and might be a key to keeping both JZ and SS if they see this kind of dominance. It also solidifies the rotation and makes spring training more of a prep then a competition as I feel strongly Detwiler will step into the 5th spot. This also lets us keep our young pitchers down & developing.

Go Nats!!!

JD said...

Stammen was lights out for the 1st 6 weeks; no doubt. Lately he has had the knack of walking the 1st batter he faces which is really maddening.

Burnett- I don't recall more than 1 or 2 shaky appearances all year.

I am really pumped about Storen coming back; imagine every one else's roles get eased one level.(possible exception of Clip).

erocks33 said...

I don't want to get too ahead of myself and start worrying/lobbying for ASG considerations since we still have quite a number of tough games/series to go before then. But I do agree that as of right now, Burnett should deserve some more love around here and throughout the NL. What he's been doing for the past year (since he changed his stance on the pitching rubber) is nothing short of phenomenal!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, no doubt Stammen's stock has fallen some from an amazing start. Yep, his 1 batter faced with a walk last week wasn't great.

I am trying to stay fair and looking at the full season not the last week.

Craig's intensity doesn't appear the same the past 2 weeks. Just my opinion, I think when he didn't get the "closer" and it was given to Clip that Craig changed. Again, just my read on it.

Doc said...

Thanks NatsLady, for the article in Fangraphs with Rizzo.

From his past comments over the years, it didn't appear that Rizzo was that enthralled with sabermetrics. The Fangraphs article suggests otherwise---maybe Davey's influence??

JD said...

JamesFan,

I don't really agree with you re Flores. Ramos is a much better hitter and has the stronger arm. Flores is a bit more solid behind the plate and at catching the baseball on throws from the outfield. Flores is an average major league catcher but I don't like his odds of staying healthy if he has to catch every day.

Leon is really at least a year away; the best you can say about him is that he has potential. I really think we need at least a veteran backup to get through this year.

NatsLady said...

I'm sure this was mentioned in the game thread, but watching the replay this morning--

Davey on the double-steal when Flo was batting after his finger got hit was BRILLIANT. The NESN announcers were very, very impressed. Shows bunt so no one is covering 3B, gets the batters to the next bases (Desi and TyMO if I recall), then I'm sure Davey says, "Take your whiff and sit down," so Flores doesn't have to hit or run.

NatsLady said...

Commentary on the Pirates from Joe Sheehan:

"Last year's Mariners team was one of the worst OBP teams in memory, posting the worst full-season OBP in 35 years. The 2012 Pirates have a team OBP a full 13 points below what the Mariners did last year. The 2012 Pirates have the second-lowest team OBP in MLB history, and until a few days ago, were actually below those 1963 Mets for worst ever. As mentioned, to run a sub.-290 OBP generally requires specific circumstances; the Pirates aren't playing with a huge strike zone or pitchers coming down from a mountain or throwing a balata ball. They just, and I'm sorry, suck at the single most important skill in the game: getting on base."

NatsLady said...

Ted Leonsis on the Nats:

Boswell says it best

http://www.tedstake.com/2012/06/11/boswell-says-it-best/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

The Fox said...

Michele thanks for the link you too Nats Lady. You guys are better than ESPN.

Jane, most likely Espi is not see the ball as well. There may be a hitch in his swing but if I had to guess the league has found something he can't hit left handed. Also he is a natural right handed hitter being right handed.

I also agree with JD I think it is very likely that Rizzo picks up a back-up catcher. They may give one of the kids a chance but getting someone that becomes familiar with our pitching staff is very important. Jesus may be the least replaceable person on the team right now.

The Blue Jays are a good team and they can score runs in bunches. You could argue that they are the second best club in the AL East because they have the second best run differential. They are 3rd in HRs in the AL with 2 guys having 17 and 2 more having 9. Also I don't know how many of our players have played in SkyDome.

sjm308 said...

I am probably way in the minority on this but I really don't give a damn who does or does not make the All-Star game. What is important to me is that we keep winning series and stay right where we are in the standings.

I can't see them not taking Stras or Gio but if that is it, then so be it. If I was working PR for baseball, Harper and the kid from LA would also be locks but its not a big deal. What is a big deal is that we are playing some of the best baseball in the major leagues and that is what I want to see continue.

Go Nats & I am adding my thanks for the links to MichelleS & Natslady

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, I am with you on the catcher situation. Its a lot more difficult than it looks. Ramos is the superior play caller and Flores has greatly improved and you can see it with the production of the starting pitching.

When Ramos makes his first All Star game, I am sure he will give special thanks to Pudge who gave him some great mentoring.

NatsLady said...

This Brandon Morrow (RHP) no slouch. Ejax has plenty of experience with the Toronto hitters, but I think he is a better pitcher now.

Pose of the Cobra said...

I don't think that it is a given that Ramos has the job when he gets back.

He's going to have to avoid packing on the pounds while he's laid up with the knee surgery. He was already too heavy when he went down. The Nats should station someone with Ramos 24/7, and every time he loads up his plate they should take at least half of it and force-feed it to Detwiler.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I can see Rizzo trading for a backup catcher, but they aren't getting one in exchange for a fifth outfielder. Bernadina plus Burnett, maybe.

The Fox said...

Wow Nats Lady I had to look up balata ball and I got the story below.

Everyday I lean something new about baseball.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1119464/index.htm

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Pose, that is hilarious. The problem with Ram-moose was he lost a lot of weight after the kidnapping and his Mama gave him too much TLC. Supposedly he was only 5 pounds heavier than last year although it certainly looked like more.

Maybe we send Mrs. Ramos to feed Detwiler?

A DC Wonk said...

NatsLady said...

Fangraphs interview with Mike Rizzo


Thanks. FWIW, I just added a comment there.

JD said...

JamesFan,

I don't really agree with you re Flores. Ramos is a much better hitter and has the stronger arm.


_Is_ Ramos a better hitter? I don't think we'll know that till a couple more months, imho. Ramos is pretty darn good -- lifetime BA of .269, and he's only 24. One expects 24 year olds to get better.

Flores, since the day he became a regular, is hitting .262 (which includes the current 0-for-10 streak he's in).

So, I think the jury's still out, imho.

But, no matter -- we have Flores as the starter for all of 2012, at which point it ought to be obvious if Flores is better or not (or similar) to Ramos.

imho . . .

A DC Wonk said...

Davey on the double-steal when Flo was batting after his finger got hit was BRILLIANT. The NESN announcers were very, very impressed. Shows bunt so no one is covering 3B, gets the batters to the next bases (Desi and TyMO if I recall), then I'm sure Davey says, "Take your whiff and sit down," so Flores doesn't have to hit or run.

Wow -- nice insight.

But let me just change the very last sentence to: "take your whiff and sit down, because I know with your hand, you probably can't swing well right now anyway."

And _that's_ what made it so brilliant!

(Or, am I over-thinking it).

NatsLady said...

sjm, partly I don't care because it is an "exhibition." I think when we talk All-Star selections we are rating our players as if we were "objective" outsiders and that's a fun exercise. I wouldn't mind at all if they just gave the players a mid-season break.

They have new rules this year in the CBA that selected players have to attend except for pitchers who pitched the previous Sunday, players on the DL, and some other demonstrably reasonable excuse.

I think it's actually fun to see players out of their element, making double-plays with unfamiliar partners, etc. I had many laughs when Hunter Pence "rescued" Clip last year and he won the game. With the pitchers, you are not seeing much that you don't see any way but,

I would like to see an outfield of McCutchen, Ethier, and Bourn, an infield of Votto, Altuve (?), Desi and Chase Headley (he's gotta be the Padre who goes--right?). And if Trout and Harper go--Yes, as long as no one gets injured, to me the ASG is more fun than dead air for five days...

NatsLady said...

Wonk, no you aren't overthinking it, that's exactly what Davey did say--if not out loud, then to himself. Hitting the ball stings, so why do it if you don't need to?... I love how his mind works... I was slow to get on the Davey-train, but he's one smart fellow.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

From Boz "Just as the Nats’ profile is skyrocketing, the argument between the Nationals and Peter Angelos’s MASN network over the value of Washington’s cable TV rights has met yet another delay. The sport’s revenue fairness committee has delayed giving its opinion of the fair market value of the Nats’ TV rights until July 1.

Talk about luck. The longer the haggling, the more likely the value of the Nats rights will jump. The 2012 payment is $29 million. The reset figure the Nats seek is $108 million per year for five seasons. Nats to MASN: Keep stalling, the price goes up."


$108 million????!!!! If that is the case, how rich has Angelos been getting off of the Washington area TV rights from 2005 to 2012? That is 8 years of massive revenue and probably the last 3 paying well below market.

When are the Baltimore people going to take that man to task and figure out that he has been pocketing massive amounts of cash instead of reinvesting most of it back into that team?

They were in a position to grossly overpay some Free Agent pitchers and they wouldn't do it. Tampa has proven that the Yankee dragon can be slayed. If I was an Orioles fan, I would have to re-think dumping Angelos and coming down I295 to the real deal in Washington.

Of course Angelos isn't going to sell the Orioles because MASN is making him richer than he ever was before.

The Fox said...

Soul Possession

I don't think a back up catcher will cost you 2 starting players. Most teams that can afford to give up a back up catcher would rather have minor league players anyway. The back up catcher may be an old veteran like Wil Nieves who I think is backing up in Colorado. Defense and play calling is what Rizzo will mostly be looking for.

Now people on this board might not be happy with the minor league players they give up but that's my guess on what might happen. All speculation JD brought up the point and I happened to agree.

Got to go, thanks for all the info today hope to be back after the win.

MicheleS said...

Rosenthal will be on ESPN980 at 1:15 talking Bryce and the AS Game.

JamesFan said...

I don't want to criticize Ramos too much because he is 24 and has potential. However, he is not the defensive catcher Flores is. He lets a lot more balls get past him and is much more agile behind the plate. Frankly, I thought he should have caught a lot of the Henry Rod. pitches in his meltdown. I don't know the numbers, but I suspect he is at least as good in throwing out runners this season. Handling pitchers, I don't think we give up anything with Flores. Hitting? Agreed, the jury is still out. Right now, Flores has a huge amount of defensive pressure on him. He is a one-man band with baseball's best pitching staff.

JamesFan said...

Much more agile should be "much less agile"

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, the "Davey train". I like that. Its kind of like the bandwagon. Its certainly moving. You could see it during Thursday's game. The stadium is sold-out this weekend. Attendance is ready to hit new levels of bandwagon fandom.

The amazing part is all the neutral fans that travel here on their summer trips that are making Washington DC a must-see stop this summer to see Bryce Harper and possibly Strasburg.

Its a shame the stadium district isn't a better destination spot to stay after the game. Verizon has that entire Penn Quarters area to accomodate hundreds after each game and thats a small fraction of the 19,000 attendees.

This weekend, the Nats will have 42,000 per game and nowhere to go in the stadium district after the game except back to where they came from.

jeffwx said...

Maldonado should be available by the weekend.
Sandy Leon in 3 weeks.
Solano is a good backup.
If we can stay healthy at catcher for a couple of weeks, we'll be ok.

MicheleS said...

Slightly off topic:

My Natitude is getting worse: I may break down and buy another jersey (BAM BAM) and I bought a new car this weekend - it's RED and already has a Curly W on it (and will not be defaced by the Cubs license plate holder). I should just sign my check over to the Lerners. (I am already debating about going the O's Series and my try to go to the entire TB series)

jeffwx said...

Ghost, at long last, we have Justin's but it won't hold 42k. We need more post game festivity locations.

MicheleS said...

Jeffwx.. I love me some Justin's!!!! Supposedly the folks that do Church Key will be opening a place somewhere on the water front.

jeffwx said...

Sweeet...I love Church Key.
I would love Justin's if I could get in after the game, but it is usually packed. This Justin guy was pretty smart.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

James Fan, do you ever check stats? The stats are clear that Flores has had more Wild Pitches on his watch than Ramos by a wide margin. 3.7% vs. 5.0%.

Further fact, Davey and McCatty chose Ramos as the starter and that sits as the best proof of who they saw as the better player.

Third point that won't come to light, cetain pitchers requested Ramos to handle them on their starts. Davey says he doesn't like to have "favorite" battery mates.

Be happy that the Nats had a capable backup in Flores instead of knocking down a young man who faces an uncertain future because of his knee injury.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

jeffwx said...
Ghost, at long last, we have Justin's but it won't hold 42k. We need more post game festivity locations.

June 11, 2012 1:06 PM


Please do tell. Never heard of Justins. Where is it?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS said...
Rosenthal will be on ESPN980 at 1:15 talking Bryce and the AS Game.

June 11, 2012 12:56 PM


Thanks. Call in # is 712-432-1980

MicheleS said...

Ghost:

http://www.justinscafe.com/

Good food and good beer and even better - Great Prices!!

MicheleS said...

One more actual link:

Boz's Chat

Go about halfway down and look for the Question labeled "The Franchise". Some good insight into our phenom. Plus the entire chat is pretty much about the Nats

Section 222 said...

So following Strasburg's start on Wednesday (which is a day game), there are three games and two off days in the next five days. If Davey keeps the rotation as is, Strasburg will have two extra days rest before he starts again a full week later. If he were not on an innings limit, this would be a tailor made situation for our No. 5 to miss a start in order to maximize our No. 1-4's appearances.

I'm not going to predict that this will happen, or argue that it should. But it's an interesting scheduling quirk and it will be revealing to see how it plays out.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Interesting back/forth with Loverro and Ken Rosenthal. After Rosenthal finishes and hangs up, Loverro quickly turncoats and says he doesn't think Bryce Harper will be on the squad.

Look at the NL stats and figure they put on the All Star squad the top 10 outfielders.

The locks are Kemp, CarGo, Braun, Beltran, McCutcheon, Stanton, Melky, and Bourn.

Then you have Harper, Fowler, Pagan, Prado, Pierre, Jay, Abreu, Bruce, Aoki that all look worthy.

Harper rands 11th in wRC+, 10th in wOBA, 12th in SLG, and 11th in OPS.

This isn't talking about putting Harper in there because he doesn't deserve it, its putting Harper in there because he's earned it.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, thanks for the Justin's link. I didn't know the name and had actually been there once. Its nice but very small. They need about 10 more places like that. My personal preference is a Buffalo Wild Wings type of joint with multiple TV screens and beer, wings and nachos.

Eugene in Oregon said...

MLB will do everything it can to ensure that both Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are on their respective all-star teams. Whether it's via the 'final five' (or whatever they call it) vote or as a manager's selection, the marketing potential is just too good to resist.

JamesFan said...

I'm not tearing Ramos down. He's 24 and has great potential. I also think Flores is a hero for what he is doing as a singular player with the best staff in baseball, and I think that he is a more capable guy right now behind the plate. I don't know the stats you use. I can say a couple of things for sure, however: Ramos this year was not agile on balls in the dirt, he often turns his glove wrong, he doesn't block balls very well and the staff has not shown any decline in dealing with hitters with Flores starting. No, don't kick a guy when he is down (in the long-run, Ramos may well be a better catcher); but also, give a guy some credit when he is up. Think what the situation would be like without Flores.

Section 222 said...

Boz is overdosing on the KoolAid today, and it's a beautiful thing to watch. First his column, then his chat answer about Harper.

I love the anecdote about Tyler Moore. Had anyone noticed that as it took place? I'm a softie for stuff like that.

efowl4 said...

My Natitude is boiling... all I can think about is getting home in time for the game on MLBtv (NoVa Transplant in NYC). I think it is fun to talk about All Stars, but truth be told I am more concerned with Zimm returning to All Star form than who makes the team.

With that being said it would be fun to see the Manchild in HR Derby.

Also love seeing Ted's Take and what appears to be his genuine respect and fandom when it comes to the Nats.

GFNYG! (think that is right)

Pose of the Cobra said...

Its a shame the stadium district isn't a better destination spot to stay after the game.

Why? Metro closes so early (and runs trains so infrequently on weekends) that anyone who would go to a watering hole after a game would have to leave shortly anyway to catch the last train home. You of course aren't suggesting this as a way to put more drunk drivers on the road?

Section 222 said...

Well played Cobra.

I just noticed at the end of Boz's chat that he'll be at the U.S. Open this weekend so will miss the Nats-Yanks series. Poor guy. Hee hee hee. I'll be there Friday and Saturday, and I can't wait!

jeffwx said...

Trains run thru 3 AM on weekends. I've had no problems commuting on metro on weekends.
But I grew on the un-airconditioned, overcrowded subways of NY in the 70's when the city went bankrupt.

Now in Baltimore, on the otherhand, where watering holes are plentiful and metro isn't....another reason to stay away from Angelos Field.

jeffwx said...

Pose, maybe we should outlaw all alcohol at the stadium ???

CN said...

ESPN has projected the Cubs as winning the Soler primaries:
http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/8038299/source-chicago-cubs-win-jorge-soler-bidding

They're still on the hook for 2.5+ years of Soriano for $14M/yr.

Pose of the Cobra said...

Section 222 said...
So following Strasburg's start on Wednesday (which is a day game), there are three games and two off days in the next five days. If Davey keeps the rotation as is, Strasburg will have two extra days rest before he starts again a full week later. If he were not on an innings limit, this would be a tailor made situation for our No. 5 to miss a start in order to maximize our No. 1-4's appearances.


Don't overthink things. An even more extreme situation occurred recently with a Thursday off, rainout on Friday and then the next Monday off. There was no tinkering with the rotation then, and there won't be now. It's pretty clear they intend to keep them all pitching in the same order no matter what, without skipping anyone's turn. And why should they? They're already trying to fit six starters into five slots.

jeffwx said...

222, you are very brave...Philly fans are harmless compared to a drunken, unhappy Yankee fan...You don't root against their mom or their team without incident. Beer pouring and fist pumping may get ugly.
Be careful, this weekend is the big leagues for fans. I'll be there Friday, but will check my surroundings.

CN said...

...and Bernie gets rewarded with another start... in CF:
Lombo 7
Harper 9
Zimmerman 5
LaRoche 3
Morse DH
Ian Desmond 6
Espinosa 4
Bernadina 8
Flores 2
*Jackson 1

CN said...

line up per Kilgore

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

All I can say heal Jesus heal He took a beating for sure. I hope he can get the night off he has earned it.

Now beat the damn Jays.

Pose of the Cobra said...

jeffwx said...
Pose, maybe we should outlaw all alcohol at the stadium ???


There's a reason last call is in the seventh inning. That's also a big part of why beer prices are so high - to discourage overconsumption. Establishments outside the stadium would not have the same restrictions, which is why there needs to be a solid non-driving option available. Metro, with its early weeknight closing and sparse service on weekends (even though it theoretically is open late) is not enough. Although the way this will probably end up playing out is with Metro being forced (against its will, of course) to improve its service once there is more nightlife around the Navy Yard - and that will be good for all fans, not just those who hang around after the games.

Section 222 said...

It's pretty clear they intend to keep them all pitching in the same order no matter what, without skipping anyone's turn. And why should they? They're already trying to fit six starters into five slots.

Um, to give the team the best chance to win the most games? Or would you say that they should pitch all five starters in the playoffs even though with off days, you can often get away with using just three? If you skip Wang next Tuesday vs. the Rays, Stras has one extra day's rest and everyone else is on regular rest, and we have our top 3 pitchers face the league leading Rays. Since no one is going on short rest, then you aren't hurting anything. (Although, there's a theory that Wang's sinker isn't as good if he has lots of rest, so there's that. But Davey could have Wang pitch out of the bullpen for a few innings on his regularly scheduled day and just send Stras out for five or six innings.)

Don't overthink things.

Why the heck not? :-) What else is there to do as the clock clicks down to the next first pitch?

jeffwx said...

Pose, Agreed...unfortunately, there are many parts of our urban areas( eg: Georgetown, Camden Yards) where there are alcoholic establishments and lots of driving.

I know I needed more than 2 innings to sober up so not sure how effective the 7th inning last call is.

There does appear to night life on the horizon for the Nats park area albeit coming slow:

http://www.dcyards.com/

NatsLady said...

Ok, no Stras in San Diego, no Gio in Miami--Davey doesn't tinker with rotation, I got that. What about Wang vs. the Yankees? That is some serious motivation!

jeffwx said...

And they don't just sell beer at the stadiums anymore. Serious alcohol is available.

jeffwx said...

Supposedly, the following establishments are to open near the stadium:

New restaurants in the Capitol Riverfront:
Brewery by Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Buzz Bakery
Kruba Thai and Sushi
Huey’s 24-hour Diner
Potbelly
Be Right Burger
Willy’s Brew and ‘Que Sportsbar
Austin Grill Express
Canal Park Tavern
• Osteria Morini Italian restaurant by NYC chef
Michael White (opens 2013)
• Harris Teeter grocery store under construction
(opens late 2013/early 2014)
• Fitness Club and Hair Salon (opens late 2013/early 2014)

Walk off the stadium buzz ar the fitness club.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

And they don't just sell beer at the stadiums anymore. Serious alcohol is available.

Alcohol is alcohol. Doesn't matter.

JD said...

sec 222,

I think the extra days off are built in to the thinking. Teams don't normally skip starters this early in the year and they are trying to get CMW going so I don't think you want him to be idle for 10 days.

hiramhover said...

JamesFan

We all agree it's great Flores has stepped in and stepped up, but the stats don't back up your knock on Ramos--that he "lets a lot more balls get past him." Ramos had the misfortune to catch HRod a lot more than Flores did, so maybe that could skew the perception.

But if you take their numbers for all pitchers, and combine WPs and PBs to remove any dickering about how a particular pitch got scored:

Ramos: 2 PB and 8 WP in 216-2/3 inn.
Flores: 2 PB and 13 WP in 261-1/3 inn.

So:

Ramos had a WP or PB every 21-2/3 inn.
Flores has a WP or PB every 17-1/3 inn.

Not a huge difference--25% or so--but clearly in Ramos' favor. Take HRod out, and Ramos' #s would look even better.

You can find the #s on pretty much any baseball stat website--fangraphs, etc.

jeffwx said...

Sofa, true enough...
However, I would get drunk quicker on vodka than on beers...would lead me to the same place, however.

Pose of the Cobra said...

Um, to give the team the best chance to win the most games? Or would you say that they should pitch all five starters in the playoffs even though with off days, you can often get away with using just three? If you skip Wang next Tuesday vs. the Rays, Stras has one extra day's rest and everyone else is on regular rest, and we have our top 3 pitchers face the league leading Rays.

Different rules apply in the playoffs. But the playoffs are a long way off. Right now, if you tinker with the rotation to maximize your chances of winning today or tomorrow, you could easily be jeopardizing your chances of winning later in the season. Remember, all wins count the same. History has shown that starting pitchers perform best when kept on a regular schedule. If you skip Wang now just because you have the opportunity, you may end up finding that you can't count on him later in the season when you need him just as much or more than you do now. Keep in mind he hasn't even had the chance to settle into his routine yet, and already you want to start monkeying with it. That won't help.

jeffwx said...

The bottom line I'm trying to make is that I'm a fan of developing the area around the stadium. As Pose says, Metro will be forced to provide better service as the Park district becomes as lively as the area around Camden Yards, for instance.

Pose of the Cobra said...

I'm a giggly drunk. Is that because I don't drink the serious alcohol?

Pose of the Cobra said...

Supposedly, the following establishments are to open near the stadium:

New restaurants in the Capitol Riverfront:
Brewery by Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Buzz Bakery
Kruba Thai and Sushi
Huey’s 24-hour Diner
Potbelly
Be Right Burger
Willy’s Brew and ‘Que Sportsbar
Austin Grill Express
Canal Park Tavern


None of these until after the season is over, apparently.

jeffwx said...

No...You can get drunk on any alcoholic beverage regardless of its alcohol content...It affects different people's behavior differently. Never met a giggly drunk...sounds serious.

And Potbelly is open...no alcohol served.

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