Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Game 21: Cardinals at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals today.
Davey Johnson said last night he planned to make some lineup changes for today's series finale against the Cardinals. So what are those changes? Well, Tyler Moore is at first base instead of Adam LaRoche, and Jhonatan Solano is catching instead of Kurt Suzuki.

Not exactly a major shakeup, but Johnson said that had more to do with today's matchup, with Jaime Garcia on the mound for St. Louis. He didn't want to bench Danny Espinosa and Anthony Rendon and deny them a chance to bat against a left-hander. LaRoche and Suzuki will likely be back in the lineup tomorrow against the Reds.

Stephen Strasburg gets the start, looking to snap his string of losses at three. The Nationals would love to get a quality, and long outing out of their ace, who has been plagued by high pitch counts more than he would prefer.

It's a beautiful afternoon for baseball. If you're stuck in the office, never fear. I've got plenty of updates right here...

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees, Wind 14 mph out to LF
NATIONALS (10-10)
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
1B Tyler Moore
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Anthony Rendon
C Jhonatan Solano
RHP Stephen Strasburg

CARDINALS (12-8)
3B Matt Carpenter
1B Allen Craig
LF Matt Holliday
RF Carlos Beltran
C Yadier Molina
2B Daniel Descalso
CF Shane Robinson
SS Pete Kozma
LHP Jaime Garcia

UMPIRES
HP Jim Joyce (cc)
1B Jeff Nelson
2B Jim Wolf
3B Cory Blaser

1:08 p.m. — We are underway on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon in the District. Stephen Strasburg starts off Matt Carpenter with a 93 mph fastball for ball one.

1:21 p.m. — That did not go well. The Cardinals roughed up Strasburg for three runs in the top of the first. It wasn't entirely his fault; he gave up a couple of duck-snorts and also was victimized by Anthony Rendon's second error in four games. But Strasburg also fell behind nearly every hitter, seemed to be overthrowing his fastball and labored considerably during a long top of the first. It's 3-0 St. Louis as Jaime Garcia takes the mound.

1:28 p.m. — And Garcia retires the side on 11 pitches, forcing Strasburg back to the mound very quickly. This one isn't exactly off to a rousing start from the Nats' perspective.

1:36 p.m. — The top of the second was better for Strasburg, though still not a work of art. He again fell behind hitters, then gave up a two-out double to Matt Carpenter. Thankfully, Carpenter's over-aggressiveness on the bases helped the Nats. He rounded second too far, and thanks to a heads-up play by Tyler Moore (who trailed him from first base), the Nats were able to tag him out on a 9-6-3 double play and end the top of the second.

1:47 p.m. — Ian Desmond is trying WAY too hard to make something happen offensively ... but he got away with it in the bottom of the second. Desmond beat out a bunt, then stole second even though he was picked off by a mile. Anthony Rendon, meanwhile, struck out to end the inning, stranding Desmond on third. Rendon is now 1-for-12 with five strikeouts to begin his big-league career. Still 3-0 Cards after two.

1:53 p.m. — A much-needed 1-2-3 third inning for Strasburg. He's at 52 pitches through three.

1:58 p.m. — Only one hit for the Nats through three, but in their defense, they've legitimately hit a bunch of balls hard so far today. They just seem to keep hitting them right at someone. Daniel Descalso robbed Jhonatan Solano of his first hit of the season. And Jaime Garcia showed cat-like reflexes to rob Denard Span of a single up the middle. Still 3-0 after three.

2:05 p.m. — Strasburg getting much better as this game progresses. He's retired six in a row and needed only 11 pitches to retire the side in the fourth. He's actually getting ahead of hitters, which makes a load of difference. Sixty-three total pitches through four.

2:21 p.m. — Nine in a row retired by Strasburg, who has righted his ship quite nicely. As for that Nats lineup ... oy. Still 3-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth.

2:29 p.m. — If you've lost track — and I don't blame you if you have — the Nats have now scored two total runs over their last 33 offensive innings. Now, I'm no baseball expert, but it seems it would be kind of tough to win ballgames like that.

2:36 p.m. — Considering how that first inning went for him, pretty amazing to think that Strasburg is through the sixth on 87 pitches. He's due to lead off, though, with the Nats down 3-0. Interesting call for Davey ... but he'll let Stephen hit for himself. I suppose you could argue he's still a bigger threat at the plate than the guys currently on the bench.

2:56 p.m. — Well, at least they're on the board at last. Strasburg led off the sixth with a base hit up the middle (naturally). Span followed with his own single to center. Then Werth and Harper advanced everyone a base with groundballs. That brought Strasburg home and kept the rally alive. Moore drew a walk, knocking Garcia out of the game. But Desmond struck out on a 3-2 breaking ball outside from reliever Joe Kelly, then nearly threw his bat all the way to the dugout in frustration. So it's 3-1 St. Louis as we move to the seventh.

3:05 p.m. — A 1-2-3 seventh for Strasburg, who certainly did his job today after the ragged first inning. His final line will read: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 110 pitches.

3:19 p.m. — A great chance for the Nats in the bottom of the seventh, with runners on the corners and one out. Steve Lombardozzi came up to pinch-hit and worked the count to 3-0, then 3-2. And then ... disaster. Lombardozzi struck out. Worse, Solano was running on the pitch and was thrown out trying to steal second, a killer double play to end the inning. You know, Davey has been saying he worries his guys are trying too hard to do something to snap out of the slump. Having the catcher run on a 3-2 pitch with one out might just be a sign of the manager trying to do too much. Still 3-1 after seven.

3:37 p.m. — And the Cardinals tack on an insurance run in the eighth off Drew Storen, who was victimized by some soft singles but also didn't help himself with poor execution on a rundown play. Instead of running Jon Jay all the way back to third base, he allowed Jay to prolong the play and allowed two runners to take an extra base. That ultimately allowed a run to score on a high chopper to short. So it's now 4-1, with the Nats down to their final six outs.

3:48 p.m. — The good news: Werth homered in the eighth. The bad news: Nobody was on base at the time, so the deficit remained two runs. Even worse: After Harper walked, Davey sent up Adam LaRoche to pinch-hit for Moore. LaRoche struck out on three pitches, making him 0 for his last 11 with eight strikeouts, including five in a row. Even more worse: Desmond then struck out on three pitches, ending the inning. It remains 4-2 and the Nats are down to their last three outs.

3:57 p.m. — Onto the bottom of the ninth. Espinosa, Rendon and Solano against Edward Mujica, down two runs. Tough challenge.

4:03 p.m. — It's over. 4-2 loss. They've lose four in a row, nine of 12. And they're under .500 for the first time since the final day of the 2011 season.

237 comments:

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Sam said...

Woo. What a shakeup.

Seriously, though, I think Moore should get more PAs against lefties, even if Span has to sit every once in a while

Doc said...

GoooooooooooTyMo and Onion!!!!

MicheleS said...

I wish I was at the game.. sigh, stuck in the office, so Charlie and Dave for me (and Mark's updates).

SonnyG10 said...

Get to see how TyMo protects Harp. Should please peric, yes?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

TyMo, now is your chance. Rendon in the 7 spot. Time to rake young men!

Theophilus T. S. said...

Was looking at the previous post/comments after ignoring the Nats for nearly 24 hours -- something I'm getting better at.

Not that it means anything to anyone but me but I think I made the first prophecy (yesterday) of Rendon at 2B if he is hitting consistently by the time Z'man returns.

As crumby as the rest of the BO has become, if Rendon starts to hit respectably -- not spectacularly -- I don't see how he doesn't stay up the rest of the season. I don't necessarily see that as a good thing but with five out of eight position players waving pussywillows in the batter's box, you have to take what you get.

natsfan1a said...

I can't be there, either, but hope to catch some of the game on tv.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Detwiler has run into some tough luck and JZim had the similar fate in his last start losing 2-0.

Should Davey employ some early small ball to get some runs on the board or stay the course and keep playing for crooked numbers?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Theophilus T. S. said...

Not that it means anything to anyone but me but I think I made the first prophecy (yesterday) of Rendon at 2B if he is hitting consistently by the time Z'man returns.


Sorry, I said that to Peric last year and again in Spring Training a few times. Most keep telling me No because of his multiple ankle injuries.

He's only played 2 games this year at 2nd.

Welcome aboard to the idea though.

Rich P. said...

"Not that it means anything to anyone but me but I think I made the first prophecy (yesterday) of Rendon at 2B if he is hitting consistently by the time Z'man returns."

Rizzo just said on 106.7 that Rendon will go down as soon as Zim is back because he needs more ABs in the minors. He's not ready yet. And Rizzo also spent a good deal of time defending Espinosa. Davey Johnson is also on board with the plan to send Rendon back down. So your dream of Rendon at second ain't happening - unless someone else gets hurt, of course.

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

Every time I see Espinosa's name in the lineup I get angry until I realize that Davey is likely giving him his chance to play himself out of the lineup. Lombo may not have some of the talent of Espinosa, but he deserves to be in there. Period.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I'm hearing Orioles phenom Dylan Bundy is headed to visit Dr. Andrews. Never a good connection unless its to play golf.

Eric said...

IMO the last thing we need is a possible hole in the right infield to match the holes in the left infield. Ditching Espi right now to address a team-wide slump would be a huge mistake.

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

Rich P-If you believe anything that either one of those guys say to the media, you really were born yesterday. Davey's not going to watch Espi flail away up there much longer.

Eric said...

He watched him flail away quite a bit last year, including in October...what's changed?

Faraz Shaikh said...

yeah, hope Bundy is OK. He is an exciting prospect to watch. Don't want him to waste a year like our prospects did.

Faraz Shaikh said...

last night's defense by Danny should convince others that Danny at 2B is too good to be replaced. good presence of mind and neat throws!

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

Saw that Ghost. Starting to think preemptive Tommy John might be the wave of the future. Just wait until somebody invents the bionic or robotic arm...the scandals that await!!!

Eric said...

Agreed 1000% Faraz!

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

Eric-Their record for one. They also have a better hitter in Rendon needing a position, which they did not have last year. How long do you suggest they keep a guy who is 21 for his last 145 in the lineup???

Eric said...

I dunno, maybe for as long as he's fielding 1000 and reliably playing both lead and supporting roles in ridiculous double plays?

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

Espinosa also only has 7 RBI in his last 50 games. I can live with the low average, but right now he brings nothing to the table offensively, and good defense at 2B is not going to win you many games. The guy still has potential, but as Earl Weaver said, "all that potential is going to get me fired!"

Eric said...

lol, that's a good line.

If our lineup (under normal circumstances) were just mediocre, I might agree with you. But, when our lineup is on, I think good D at 2nd absolutely can win games. Espi played a huge roll in keeping us in the game last night and was far from the only reason why we didn't capitalize on the opportunity. If everyone in our lineup except Espi were even at half capacity, we definitely could've won.

baseballswami said...

Lombo seriously needs to find some dirty pictures of someone or get a new agent.Got a phone call early this morning offering tickets, but just could not see a way to swing it. So - it's a lunch time check in for me and following the game on my itty bitty phone.Time for Stras to step up. Time for the offense to open their eyes when they swing.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Alphabet Soup Erik said...
Espinosa also only has 7 RBI in his last 50 games. I can live with the low average, but right now he brings nothing to the table offensively, and good defense at 2B is not going to win you many games. The guy still has potential, but as Earl Weaver said, "all that potential is going to get me fired!"

April 24, 2013 12:56 PM


It's all great points but some he gets a pass on due to his shoulder injury and this is a new year.

My problem is his hits are coming in low leverage situations not with men in base, game on the line situations but then again neither is LaRoche and lately Werth.

Solo HRs are fine but you score as many runs and actually have more impact with a double with a runner on 2nd.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Yes, Danny made a great scoop which was the tough part and somehow it pops out of his glove. Bad luck for sure and tough start on unlucky BABIP and the drop by Espi.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Very weak tag....

Lipty P said...

we should see Stas pouting soon

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

If Det, JZim and Gio can watch that K on that changeup their outings will be much better and more efficient.

Nothing better than a fastball pitcher that can place a great changeup.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Strasburg is not getting a lot of luck on these bloop hits....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Need a 2 seamer doubleplay here.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Stras already screwed on the strike zone.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I thought Jim Joyce had a wide strike zone.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Was that a semi-intentional walk?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Solano goes out to tell Strasburg to get this guy out.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

These are all garbage hits....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I mentioned with the effort by Span up against the wall on Monday that this lack of making "tougher" plays has really cost the Nats.

That play by Espi is just more of this horrific string. The whole game changes as you can see by one non-play.

Strasburg has every right to be pissed. All flairs and bloop hits except the missile in front of Stras.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

In tennis, when you opponent has three consecutive shots tick the back line, you know you aren't necessarily doing anything wrong, but in baseball, pitchers seem to get blamed for bloops that barely land fair....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Absolutely, Ghost.

I would rather be lucky than good.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Why does Zimmerman keep trying to make that play at 2nd?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

And the nightmare inning continues.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Has anyone been impressed with Rendon yet?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

That's the way a ball is thrown from 3rd to 1st. I haven't seen that since Vinny Castilla played 3rd.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...
Has anyone been impressed with Rendon yet?

April 24, 2013 1:21 PM


Yes, with what he's done in the AFL and Sping Training.

I just think the game is playing very fast for him now. He took a deep breath and made a nice doubleplay there.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I am shocked that they only got 3 runs.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Unfortunately, this game seems over after a very, very long first half of the first....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Strasburg got tagged with 3 earned runs. It must be a rule that if a pitcher gives up a hit and the hitter advances, then the run is earned, but it felt like an unearned run....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The unlucky BABIP is the worse I can remember. When will the Nats get some lucky breaks?

mick said...

This is almost surreal. There could be something the SI curse.

My point about Espi batting only right handed is that his success batting right handed speaks for itself, he does not have to be a switch hitter.

I want to see how Stras responds the rest of the way today. If he pouts and quits like he did the last 2 outings, the Nats 2013 season is in serious jeopardy. As a fan and a coach, to see a team come out and play like this against a team that they should be fired up to play (AT HOME!!!) after last October is very depressing. Nats Park is drawing some serious attendance and the level of play in just the past week could erase all the enthusiasm this city has developed. This is not a playoff team and I hate to say this is not a good team right now.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Our half of the first lasted about 3 minutes.... I hate to say it, but I think our guys want this over as soon as possible. This is starting to look like the Reds' season in 1971, the year they actually had a losing record.....

mick said...

Ghost, good teams make their breaks, we are not a good team right now. I do not know why????

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Any guesses to what time the game ends today? I am guessing around 3:15 with no more scoring.

mick said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...
Our half of the first lasted about 3 minutes.... I hate to say it, but I think our guys want this over as soon as possible. This is starting to look like the Reds' season in 1971, the year they actually had a losing record.....


BINGO, thsi what i was saying on the last post that rising teams 99% of the time take a step back 1-2 years after they first taste success. To add to your Reds, in 1972 they bounced back, won the NL and lost in 7 to the A's in the WS. The Reds also had a young manager named Sparky Andersen

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I honestly have trouble seeing how we could possibly get the four runs needed to tie the score...

EmDash said...

Oh boy, I go to lunch and bad things happen...

Fair to say the Strasburg pitch-to-contact experiment is a bit of a failure at this point, I'd think?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick said...
Ghost, good teams make their breaks, we are not a good team right now. I do not know why????


I can point to every loss about 2 key plays that turned the games other than those blowout losses.

Espi not securing that ball in the 1st changed Strasburg's rhythm.

In Haren's start, it was the non-play by Span that scored 2 runs as he slowed up at the warning track.

In yesterday, it was LaRoche's inability to make contact.

On Sunday it was Werth swinging 3-0 and GIDP.

That's making your own breaks.

phil dunton said...

Grandpa said he was going to juggle the lineup today. So where is Lombardozzi and Bernardina.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Pitching to contact is garbage unless you are sinkerball pitcher with a great defense or play in a huge park....

EmDash said...

Bernadina probably would not jump-start the offense.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Matt Carpenter is a stupid .....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

How many hits does the Shark even have this year? I doubt very many....

Scott Margenau said...

Espi messed that up. He's no gamer.

mick said...

phil dunton

I am just baffled at the whole Lombo issue. Every time this kid plays he does something good, he hits, he makes a key play, this is where I really get pissed at Davey. Hell, he had one of the few solid hits last night!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Also about Espi, he is a good defender but he has made some awful relay throws on potential doubleplays and that drop in the 1st don't show up in the stats as they aren't errors.

Span again has a chance right there to catch a tough one and he doesn't. Luck!!!!! Carpenter tripped around 2nd base and is thrown out by an alert Desi!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

How can Span catch that with his glove turned the wrong way?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

The problem is that they are counting on 20 homers from Espinosa, which is why they let Morse go.

Rizzo should have just left things alone. Harper was fine in centerfield. Did Willie Mays get tired in center? I don't understand the whole thing.

Exposremains said...

I was hoping it would never come to this but I've lost confidence in Strasburg. He's no where the pitcher he use to be before TJ surgery.Whatever he was doing before the surgery he needs to go back to that, if that's possible physically.

EmDash said...

I don't have a problem with pitch-to-contact when it's someone like Zimmermann or Detwiler who lives or die by the fastball. But Stras and Gio are not that kind of pitcher, and trying to force them to be throws them off.

I'm not watching this game (at work), but Stras has also been trying to rush to the plate too much in previous starts and it doesn't help his rhythm. Have to assume that's part of the effort to throw off base-stealers, but, well. Not having as many base runners tends to lead to better results.

mick said...

phil dunton if grandpa does not start getting in their faces, maybe there is a manager out there that will. This team needs a Billy Martin type of manager, Billy was great working with young players and he was about tough love. Espi and ALR would have been sitting on the pine a week ago if Martin was managing and he would have had a heart to heart talk with Stras after the first time he sulked in the dugout.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

No pitcher maintains that initial dominance. Look at Vida Blue and Dwight Gooden. The league figures you out some and then the very, very good pitchers win 17 games a year or so with a good team.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Look at that! Desi you kills Garcia gets them good!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Kozma is a ..... I guess he thinks he is supposed to get every single call just like last October....

mick said...

and if Nats do not turn this around now and in the future, I am grateful for the one year in my life a DC team made post season and for Charlie Slowes HR call.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Desi is picked off and the Nats catch another break. Desi beat that throw.

Now they need RH Espi to get that double!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Law of averages says Espy gets a hit....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Desi beat the tag I should have said.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Our outfielders would have run into each other....

Candide said...

Moore, Espinosa, Rendon, and Strasburg. Four under-.200 bats in the Nats lineup.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Yeah, it gets hot in Washington, but it gets even hotter in St. Louis....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

You guys promise that Rendon is actually good? He is no Harper.

phil dunton said...

Mick, I feel you pain. Off of what I have seen this year, I can only conclude that last year might have been a fluke.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

If I were Stras, I wouldn't let anyone on the team touch the ball if I could help it....

Exposremains said...

Strasburg used too throw 98 and top at 100. Now, 95 tops at 98. big difference

Candide said...

Strasburg's batting average is higher than Rendon's, Moore's, and Espinosa's.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

You don't think he can hit 100 anymore? If that is true, then you are right, but he keeps saying he is trying to mimic Verlander....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Rendon looks like he has never even held a bat before and he looks mediocre in the field. He must be overwhelmed, whereas a younger Harper relished being a big leaguer from the beginning....

EmDash said...

I think he's said that he's trying to start off slower in velocity and build up over the game in pressure situations. I don't know enough to know if that's the optimal strategy or not.

Scott Margenau said...

I'm
Done with span. Inboard with Peric now. Bryce to CF

Exposremains said...

No, I don't think he can. Verlander throws harder than Stras.

Exposremains said...

Strasburg had also much better command back then. Remember, all those hitter bailing out when he would throw a curve.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Strausburg used to be a good hitter and I have a sinking feeling that the brass told him to stop trying so hard at the bat, which is garbage.... Poor me, I can't stand on base for five minutes and the idiotic television announcers feed this stuff....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

This game was over on the second pitch when Espy dropped the ball on the tag....

EmDash said...

...who would you get to replace Span out there, though? Tyler Moore? That weakens two defensive positions, still. And Tyler hasn't shown all that much at the plate yet either, if we're judging by the small sample size of at-bats that is this season.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Span again has a chance right there to catch a tough one and he doesn't.

Ghost, do you suppose Span is maybe a bit wall-shy? I don't know, but seeing as he is one hard landing from playing golf full-time, it wouldn't surprise me. What do you think?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Did you guys know that Lannan took a 50% pay cut to go to the Phillies? What did the Nats have against that guy?

Haren=$13 million

Lannan=$2.5 million

Exposremains said...

I'm not saying that Strasburg can't be absolutely dominant again but he hasn't been since the surgery.

NG said...

The numbers on Strasburg don't lie. He's now thrown over 1,500 fastballs since his return from the surgery and he has not once hit 100 MPH.

http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=10131&position=P&pitch=FA

His average fastball velocity is down exactly 2 MPH since before the surgery. It's not about "saving it for the right time." It's just not there anymore. That doesn't mean he can't still be a very good, or even elite, pitcher with the stuff he has now. But, it pains me to say it, he is not the pitcher he was before the surgery.

baseballswami said...

Ok -- I am on a break and it's more of the same day after day.Are we ever going to score another run? What in tarnation is going on with this team? Why, oh why am I hearing that Espi disrespects his boss, plays terribly, has a sore wrist and yet plays over Lombo, who does every single thing asked of him? I am just so confused right now.Anyone else? Is this a bad dream? Who the heck are those guys on the field? At this point, three run lead in the first and I have zero confidence in any kind of rally or comeback. It just feels over. Is Stras a head case? Can he dig out? Will Gio be the same tomorrow? This is just a nightmare.

Faraz Shaikh said...

exposremains, to counter your feeling about SS's dominance. Just look at his numbers in 2010 and from 2011 onwards. Just go to BBref and compare his stats.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Strasburg hasn't hit 100 since the surgery? How about 99? He is still leading the league in ave. fastball I thought....

baseballswami said...

I thought so, too - but that might be an average based on every pitch ever thrown in the majors. Not just this season. JZ and Det seem to be going up in velocity.

Faraz Shaikh said...

You are right William. he is. I saw that over at FG, not so long ago. if I find it, I will post the link here.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Well, if Strasburg's velocity is down, he's not alone.

Several Aces working with reduced velocity in 2013

Exposremains said...

Faraz

The numbers are certainly similar some of the peripherals were better then. He has regressed a bit I would say. The confidence seems musch worst.At this point,I would hope that with experience he would be better than in 2010.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

And then there's this:

"The fastball is under attack. Or that might be your assumption if you look at radar gun readings at Major League Baseball parks across the country. Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Jered Weaver and Felix Hernandez are just some of the names who have seen their fastball velocity fall off a significant degree this season. Likewise, the flukey happening of all these star pitchers losing speed on their fastball simultaneously has been fascinating."

read more...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

We need to look at shifting some guys out of position.

I have been trying to like Span, but lately, he doesn't make plays in the outfield and he hits languidly to the right side. His career stats are mediocre and I am not sure that he was any sort of upgrade over Morse/Moore in Left and Harper in center. Rizzo ou tthought himself on this one. You don't have to have a "lead-off" hitter. I would have batted Harper first to get him extra at-bats.

Faraz Shaikh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EmDash said...

Strasburg still has the highest-average velocity in baseball for a starter, so I doubt that's the problem. His command's been a little off and he's nibbling.

Exposremains said...

Bob and FP are trying to keep everything fluffy and light but it's starting to sound a bit fake.

Faraz Shaikh said...

FB velocity over 2011-2013 for starting pitchers

EmDash said...

I'm not watching because I'm at work - are the Nationals hitters making good contact and being robbed, or is it mostly weak grounders?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

This game may be over before 3 o'clock. The Nats are just going through the motions at bat. I have seen so many poor at bats by them lately. Just stand there and work the count and act like you aren't trying to get the game over as quickly as possible.....

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think mark tweeted that solid contact but right at someone.

mick said...

phil dunton

This could be dej vu, 1969 Senators 86-76, Ted Williams manager of the year, Hondo top 3 in homers and RBI's, Ken McMullen, along with Darrell Knowels and Hondo were AL all stars. Bosman led AL in ERA was 14-5, Casey Cox was 12-7, Knowles 9-2 in relief. Joe Coleman won 12 and was a rising and future great pitcher. Del Unser a rising star as well. Lee Maye batted 280 and was 34 years old. Mike Epstein hit 30 homers and Eddie Brinkman (future All star short stop raised his BA 70 plus points). I can go on with the other positives in 1969, but those were significant, leading Sporting News (the SI and ESPN at the time) to project the Senators competing with the Orioles for the East Division, winning 90 games and finishing no worse than second place!

In 1970 (this was 1 year before the stupid Denny McClain trade in 1971) the Nats keep the team intact except for one move that affected I believe the club house, they traded All Star 3rd baseman Ken McMullen in April 1970 for 22 yr old Aurilio Rodriguez of the Cal Angels. This trade in the long run would have made sense if the Bob Short (BIGGEST DUMB ASS IN DC HISTORY) did not deal him the next year as part of the McClain trade. The Senators also had one of the best farm systems in place in Denver and I could go on all day about the future all stars that came out of Denver.

In trading McMullen like Morse, the Senators lost a club house presence. What is weird is that Rendon looks exactly like Aurilio Rodriguez in 1970 and about the same age and they play the same position! Lee Maye hit less than 230 in 1970, Brinkman slumped and both Epstein and Howard took a step back and the manager began to platoon them rather than playing them both. Bosman actually went 16-12 and improved, Joe Coleman only won 8 games and was part of the McClain deal in 1971 and Joe ends up winning 21 in Detroit! The Senators brought up some future prospects that ended up being very good in the future, but they were not quite ready in 1970. So what happens, they win only 63 games that season after winning 86 the year before with basically the same team.! They had both vets and youth just like the Nats today do and look what happen to them.

What we have to hope is that Rizzo does not flip out and do something impulsive like what Short did in 1971. There are too many similarities I see right now.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

And for 2013 alone ...

Strasburg is #1, Nats have 3 in top 13.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...
Span again has a chance right there to catch a tough one and he doesn't.
================
Ghost, do you suppose Span is maybe a bit wall-shy? I don't know, but seeing as he is one hard landing from playing golf full-time, it wouldn't surprise me. What do you think?


Yes, absolutely. That was such a poor attempt and his glove was turned the wrong way. As I mentioned on Monday he slowed once he got on the warning track.

Jayson Werth also had wall reluctance except I noticed in big games he attacked the wall.

Maybe Span picks his spots to go daredevil.

My suggestion is to sprint all out to the spot and then get horizontal up against the wall. Torii Hunter he isn't from what I've seen so far.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

OK, that was about six inches inside. Not exactly Danny's fault there, but he really doesn't need that right now.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Dave Cameron has a neat article on Strasburg over at FG+ about his pitching strategy so far this year. he needs to go back to what worked before.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

You have to be kidding me. Jim Joyce loses his vision once again. Instead of 1 on and no outs, its nobody on and 1 out.

Sheldon Pais said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler it is quite obvious this is the first few times you have been on this site, please post less nonsense and read a little bit more, your points are a little redundant and dumbfounded

Scott Margenau said...

Rendon remind anyone of Ralph Machio?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

OK, Shel, since you are such a cool guy and alpha male type....

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Actually, WODL has been around for a long time. As for his content, well, YMMV.

EmDash said...

Thanks, Faraz.

Span had a wall-banging catch in New York over the weekend, if I recall, and looked a little shaky getting up. And has had concussion issues. Being a little wall-shy is probably a result of that.

Rendon's bat does not seem ready at present, but. Small sample size.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Crazy stat of the day in a small sample size. The Nats are 5-0 in games that Wilson Ramos started and finished and the only loss Ramos appeared in was the game he pulled his hammy.

His control and pace of the games is a lot like Solano in this game. Stras is now in a nice swift pace.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

And you might want to check on the usage of the word dumbfounded, Shellie....

Sheldon Pais said...

what a kind observation. just pointing it out, your 15 comments on this post are either not true, short sighted, or you are just trying to troll the page...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

And stop harshing our remorseful buzz for our Nats....

mick said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler is a regular here the past several seasons

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Thanks, mick, and Shellie, no more attention for you from me, you go get some from your caretaker....

Sheldon Pais said...

okay thanks lawyer fella

mick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Stras has really battled when he had reason to pout, perhaps.....

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Getting back to FB Velocity, MLB, 2013
top five, and a few others...

rank. name, team, Innings, Velocity

1. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals 24.1 95.6
2. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs 26.2 95.1
3. Matt Harvey, Mets 29.0 94.6
4. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals 27.0 93.7
5. Derek Holland, Rangers 27.2 93.5
7. Justin Verlander, Tigers 25.1 93.2
12. Shelby Miller, Cardinals 25.0 92.7
13. Ross Detwiler, Nationals 26.0 92.6

mick said...

Stras is doing what I hoped he would after the 1st, this is positive!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

EmDash said...
Thanks, Faraz.

Span had a wall-banging catch in New York over the weekend, if I recall, and looked a little shaky getting up. And has had concussion issues. Being a little wall-shy is probably a result of that.


That's a real good point but I hate to say it that the reason Rizzo wanted Bryce out of CF was the reason that its much more physical.

The ball in this game was difficult regardless but he needs to make that catch on Monday. That's what he is here for. I just felt Bernadina makes that catch.

baseballswami said...

Meanwhile back at the game.... We need to do something to make this fun. How about a wager? Guess the inning and game during which the Nats will score their next run. We can think of a nice prize! And we really , really need Zim and Ramos------and Lombo, Lombo, Lombo.

Scott Margenau said...

Ok Stras looks unreal. He's def settled after that unlucky first.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

This is just one of those days at the ballpark.

If we were lucky last year, it is interesting because the Orioles had a pythogorean lucky year like none other. We would have been rather a team that deserved its record but had a bunch of career years at once. The 1969 Nats were a bit different in that they had a poor run differential that year. Our run differential last year indicated 97 wins.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Pitcher can get a hit. The guys that are paid to hit can't. Go figure.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler is a regular here the past several seasons

Mick, I'll have a Yeungling. Thanks.

Scott Margenau said...

Go Stras!

LOMBO!! I agree get him in and we may come back.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Nats and O's are both playing at home but at the same time. Has anyone ever tried to see both teams on the same day--And yes, the O's would be the secondary attraction by far.....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Okay, here we go.....

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Seriously, Clipp--rally pants??

Oh, OK...rolling 'em up here, boss.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Walter Johnson was an excellent hitter. He hit over .400 one year and had some big hits in 24 and 25....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Scott Margenau said...
Ok Stras looks unreal. He's def settled after that unlucky first.

April 24, 2013 2:37 PM


Like I said in my blurb about Ramos that Strasburg and most pitchers like rhythm. Solano calls a game like Ramos. Methodical and into cadence.

I go back to the comment that NatsJack made last month about Suzuki. He is slower and as Strasburg said he "over-thinks".

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Way to advance the runners....

baseballswami said...

Ok- isn't it reasonable early in the season that some pitcher would have a bad game or inning against us?? When are these odds going to even out? Love how Carp calls these guys the big boppers. Really? Since when?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Finally got a run in!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Damn. Okay, it is up to Moore....

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Now there's an aspect of BABIP you don't hear about much. Werth hits a dribbler up the 1st base line, certainly not what he was trying to do. If he hits that ball hard, it's a 3-5-3 double play.
Instead, it's a productive out and leads to a run. Go figure.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

FP owes me a drink!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Moore, Moore, Moore, how do you like it, how do you like it, Moore, Moore, Moore........

We will take that walk!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

OK, I'm glad the rally pants are working, don't get me wrong. I just don't think I want this to become a Thing.

EmDash said...

I like Suzuki (Gio needs him more, with a lot more sliding blocks needed), but he tends to stab a bit on borderline pitches and that can cost a few calls.

In terms of the team's performance last year, Pythagorean record (the run differential) had the team last year at 94 wins, still enough to win the division. (The Braves' would've been at 90 wins.)

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Yeah, La Roche's strike-outs are especially bad when first base is open, and Morse's were too, for that matter. You knew any ground ball by those two would be a dp if there was a runner on first.....

Rabbit34 said...

So, is Jamie Garcia on a roll too? If he isn't, or any pitcher for that matter, they will be after they face the Nats! This team is really getting to be funny. It charts out like the stock market. I must have been in the desert too long. I thought I saw a 1 for the Nats. Nah, must have been a mistake. Am I dumping on them? Darn right. .500 now with a ?

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

For that matter, Tyler Moore runs like a first baseman, as well.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

But Zimmerman doesn't run that bad and he is a 3B/1B....

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

I don't believe Ryan has ever played a game at first. Not yet, anyhow.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Man.... After all that, one lousy run. At least if we can get a guy on now, we still have a chance....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I was kind of joking about Ryan at 1b since some have already proclaimed that to be his throne. Hey, if Ryan can hit there and not have to throw, what the hell. Both Moore and ALR are in a surreal funk at bat....

baseballswami said...

Seriously- I know we are playing badly but it does seem that there is also no luck. Two hits and a walk and we had to give up two outs for one run. Icky.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

We may seriously need to platoon at first....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Barefoot is out....

baseballswami said...

And I repeat-- Lombo, Lombo, Lombo.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

You do see some heart out there.....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

98 mpg twice today....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

William, shake it up and see who gets hot. Throwing guys batting that far under Mendoza out there when you have other options just doesn't make much sense so I agree with you.

For all we know, LaRoche's back is real bad.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

It is a hardship going to the ballpark. I have Masn, 106.7 and the ESPN gamecast going here....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Pete Rose moved to 3rd base for the Reds in 1975 so George Foster could start in left field. Rose didn't moan and whine. He wanted the best bats in the line up.....

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

For all we know, LaRoche's back is real bad.

If he is having back spasms from the cool weather, it wouldn't surprise me. (I *know* I am, and it can really tie you up, and take days to calm down.)

Tcostant said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...
We may seriously need to platoon at first....

Me: Don't discount that, Davey last year was going to platoon ALR but he started so hot, it just didn't happen.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Give Pete enough greenies and he would catch.

baseballswami said...

A late game rally against a reliever could be a real boost. But then, I have been saying that every day. Maybe we need to have some kind if anti- curse ceremony fir the Nats bats.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I will say what I've said for the last 2 weeks, this Nats pitcher deserved a better fate than this.

Strasburg didn't get the play on the 1st batter which led to 3 runs. That's the difference right now.

What would be nice is to make that a moot point and have the offense do something big to takeover the game.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Rendon hitting 0.77 so he is due....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Zimmerman and Det should be undefeated....

Scott Margenau said...

Moore/ double. Good at bat walk, great play there at first. Pretty solid so far

baseballswami said...

Goooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!!!!!!! N

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

So who bats next?

EmDash said...

For anyone saying Stras can't pitch through adversity and that makes him not a true ace - today's a pretty good counterexample, I'd say?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Cebolla!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Come on, Lombo, hit a homer.....

Section 222 said...

Davey sends up Lombo in this situation, instead of Tracy or ALR. He must really want to win this game.

Scott Margenau said...

Lets go Lombo!!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Okay....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Why?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

You have to get a run there!

baseballswami said...

That's it. Baseball officially sucks. Lombo, I stuck my fan neck out for you.

Scott Margenau said...

Ugh. That sux

Tcostant said...

OMG - Fist and third and one out and not only does Lombo not get the run in from third, he strikes out while a catcher is running; for a stikem out/ throw him our double play. Oach!

EmDash said...

Play-by-play says Solano (!) was caught stealing. Which, wow. Failed hit and run?

Secret wasian man said...

Davey has tried everything and everybody. There is no savior for this team. And he is not coming. The season is over.

Steady Eddie said...

To those of you watching on TV, did that called strike one to Lombo look as outside as it did on Gameday?

Having said that, and recognizing that it should be bases loaded and one out, I have to apply the Nook Logan test to whomever gave the steal (or hit-and-run) sign to an at-best very average runner like Solano against Molina. (of course, Lombo was also confused if he felt he had to swing at a ball four pitch so far outside to "protect" Solano.)

EmDash said...

Statistics show that a hit and run is a bad idea in the overwhelming majority of cases, honestly. Don't understand that call, especially with a slow-running catcher as the runner.

Secret wasian man said...

Davey has no confidence in this teams hitting. And why should he? So he is trying hit and runs..... Probably a dumb play but Davey is very frustrated.

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