Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Moore makes most of rare start

USA Today Sports Images
Tyler Moore recorded two hits in a rare start last night.
MIAMI -- Tyler Moore has been an accomplished hitter his entire baseball career, in high school, in college, in the minors and last season as a rookie with the Nationals.

So it may sound surprising to hear that Moore admittedly began to doubt himself when he opened this season 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. It's not surprising to hear that those doubts led to some bad habits at the plate.

"Yeah, I'm sure you press a little too much," he said. "Sometimes I feel like I take two swings on one pitch. You press and you want to get a hit so bad, and most times it doesn't work out. The more you get to calm down, the more you square it up."

Imagine Moore's relief last night. Presented with his first opportunity to start a game this year, he delivered a pair of early hits, including a double, and drove in three runs to help spark the Nationals to an early lead and eventually a 10-3 victory over the Marlins.

It's not an easy thing to do, coming off the bench as a young player. Especially when nobody in the starting lineup needs regular days off.

Moore understands the situation. He's not going to start many games at first base in place of Adam LaRoche. And he's certainly not going to start many games in left field in place of Bryce Harper. But he had a smile on his face yesterday when he reported to the visitors clubhouse at Marlins Park and realized manager Davey Johnson was giving the slumping LaRoche a night off.

"I was a little surprised when I saw my name in the lineup today," he said. "But that's why Davey is so good of a manager. He's loyal to his players, he believes in them and he gave me an opportunity today. I was just glad to get the start and get some knocks out of the way."

Is it tough to stay both physically and mentally ready when you only get one at-bat every other day?

"Definitely," Moore said. "I think the hardest job is being a pinch-hitter. Every time you get a start, you try to value that. It just makes you calmer, because you're getting three at-bats. It makes you able to calm down. I was able to do that today and it paid off."

Moore will be back on the bench tonight, with LaRoche expected to return to the lineup against Marlins right-hander Alex Sanabia. He'll have to adjust back to life getting one at-bat in one key spot late in a game. But he believes that adjustment will be made easier by the simple fact he got to start last night and got a couple of hits in the process.

"Huge. Huge," he said. "Because now I can go back in my role and have confidence in doing it, instead of kind of wondering."

53 comments:

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

List of aggressive outs:

game 13: 2 (harper: 1st to 3rd, span: single to double)
game 11: 1 (span: 2nd to 3rd)
game 9: 1 (werth: 1st to 3rd)
game 7: 2 (harper: single to double, gio: single to double)

this does not include 3 CS, one each by Harper, Span, and Ramos (what?).

Anyone wants to look at list of aggressive runs created. I think section 222 had made a list for just Harper last season.

Glad to see Moore start. I wish he had started those two games ALR missed earlier in the season also.

Jeff Wang said...

The Ramos CS is a failed hit and run.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, great list and glad you mentioned because there has to be foresight of the situation before a baserunner decides to try advance to the next base.

While I have no problem with Span last night, the play by Harper was in the 1st inning and shortened that inning for the starter who was in trouble. The goal in all games and especially the 1st and 2nd games of series is getting starters out early and then tax their bullpen.

It's the same for Span on Saturday against Hudson when he got doubled off of 2nd base on Werth's liner and to quote Charlie "what was he thinking, what was he doing, where was he going".

There is time for aggressive baserunning and it has to be done situationally. Bryce's aggressiveness last night didn't cost the Nats the game but may have saved the starter throwing many more pitches hence he stayed in the game longer and the Marlins were possibly able to save 1 relief inning.

Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 said...

Do you all think that Zimm and Dettwiller are doing something Gio and Stras are not? From my observations, Zimm and Det are are pitching to their strengths. Since the start of the season Gio and Stras are trying to be pitchers they are not, which has led to fewer strikeouts and higher pitch counts. Both are strike throwers trying to be ground ball pitchers.

Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 said...

And congrats to Natslady for her blog being added to "OTHER NATS BLOGS" on the nats insider.

alexva said...

Moore's a good kid and a fine RH bat off the bench. but until he improves his plate discipline that will continue to be his role.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I am also glad the Nats turned on the jets last night and TyMo and Lombo got starts and contributed.

Once you take a team like the Marlins for granted, you get burned. They may look very AAA right now, but if one of their starters has an ace-like start, they could beat any team.

Nolasco is still a good starter and this kid Fernandez went toe-to-toe with Cole Hamels and they beat the Phillies over the weekend.

Doc said...

With his one game starting at 1B, TyMo is only 1 RBI behind ALR, the Nats' 5 Hole hitter in 10 games!

In past remarks, after the Beast trade, Rizzo considers Moore to have a set of skills similar to the departed Morse.

ALR has been hitting the ball, and it's not like he's been wiffing a lot. Just the same, there is someone sneaking up on him, and ready to pounce on 1B.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, agreed on Fernandez. Will we see him tomorrow? He pitched on April 13 and it looks like it's his turn.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Fernandez is pitching Thursday. Detwiler gets to face Nolasco. He pitches tough in Miami.

A DC Wonk said...

While I have no problem with Span last night, the play by Harper was in the 1st inning and shortened that inning for the starter who was in trouble.

Also, Harper violated the rule of "never make the first or last out at third base."

A DC Wonk said...

Do you all think that Zimm and Dettwiller are doing something Gio and Stras are not? From my observations, Zimm and Det are are pitching to their strengths. Since the start of the season Gio and Stras are trying to be pitchers they are not, which has led to fewer strikeouts and higher pitch counts. Both are strike throwers trying to be ground ball pitchers.

JZ is also trying to convert himself to more of a ground ball pitcher. His career K's per 9 IP is 7.3 -- this year it's 4.5

A DC Wonk said...

JZ has more wins than the entire Miami team.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

DC Wonk, correct!

That's one of the unwritten rules of baserunning and it's not the first time Harp has done that. It basically says that unless you absolutely believe you have the base you stay at 2nd and that throw beat Harp by a wide margin and he was called out on the unwritten rules of umpires (even though he beat the tag).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

A DC Wonk said...
JZ has more wins than the entire Miami team.


That's an interesting comparison and our old friend Tommy Milone is 3-0 also.

Ian Desmond remarked again after the game last night that he loves JZ's quick pace.

JaneB said...

I am so happy Tyler got a chance, and ran with it. Or HIT with it, as the case was. Go Mississippi Man! Great piece, Mark.

NatsLady said...

Thanks, Ghost. I will hold off on writing up a profile of Fernandez but his story and the Marlins' handling of him are certainly fascinating. Difference between a 1st round pick and a 32nd round pick, I guess. :)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Bryce is "0" for his last 13.

I noticed on Sunday he started to open up his swing which he does against lefties and then generally reverts back against a righty pitcher. With Maholm on Sunday he started his swing while pulling off of the ball and then of course last night he was still doing the same with the lefty starter but when he faced Maine as a righty reliever he was still doing it.

I read some comments last night that FP astutely mentioned that.

I hope Eck can quickly get him fixed. What I've noticed with Bryce is that he has troubles with lefties that don't come over the top.

I hope Bryce takes out his frustration tonight on the RHP Sanabia.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

that throw beat Harp by a wide margin and he was called out on the unwritten rules of umpires (even though he beat the tag).

Since you brought it up: The throw did indeed beat Harper by at least ten feet--FP said 3 steps--and even if he was under the tag (I'm not certain he was), I'm OK with that call. Maybe that's my glove hand talking, but obliging third basemen to get spiked on that play doesn't seem worth it. It's like the "vicinity" call on double plays. And over 162 games x 30 teams, if you make third basemen stay with the base for that tag, somebody is going to get badly hurt sooner or later.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, the Marlins surprised me with José Fernandez. 1st of all he is supposedly 20. He was a highly regarded pitcher in High School when they drafted him.

Here's what surprised me. They opened up the season with him on the roster instead of waiting for April 28th which would give them a Super 2 additional year of control.

I haven't seen him pitch much but I have heard he surprised the Phillies with his stuff.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...
It's like the "vicinity" call on double plays.


That's exactly right. I couldn't believe how many people made comments "but he beat the throw".

That's the unwritten rules on 2nd or 3rd base but it should never be the case at home in a MLB game (fine for High School and below) and it ticks me off when different umps will sometimes call someone out when the throw beats them by a wide margin at home....no no no, the catcher is wearing armour and needs to make the tag before the runner touches the plate, but that's just my opinion.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Ghost, do you suppose the Marlins don't worry about Super Two with Fernandez because they figure that will be somebody else's problem?

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

That's the unwritten rules on 2nd or 3rd base but it should never be the case at home in a MLB game

Or (IMHO) if the runner is going in headfirst, not spikes first.

NatsLady said...

Sec 3, even if it is, Fernandez loses trade value with one year less of team control. It's possible they send him down later in the season. They have created multiple problems for themselves, because if he's limited to, say, 140 innings, what do they do then? If they send him down or put him on the DL, that could open up a complaint.

NatsLady said...

It's not the Super 2, for that the Fish would have to wait until mid-June. It's the extra year of team control that they lose by bringing him up on April 1 instead of waiting, as the Nats did with Bryce.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

On the lighter side, the new Clint:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/04/16/lindsey-covert-becomes-new-nats-in-game-host/

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...
Ghost, do you suppose the Marlins don't worry about Super Two with Fernandez because they figure that will be somebody else's problem?


NatsLady answered it perfectly.

I always thought the Marlins were smarter on "control" and "cash" so it has to be they may have needed to field the best available to do that for the fans and with no regard to losing a year of eligibility but at least I thought they would wait for April 28th as the June Super 2 that saves you from the 4 years of arbitration is become a smaller consideration now.

This was a good compromise in the CBA to get this late April call-up as it gives the team 7 years of control while not impeding a Rookie to compete for ROY and get almost a full season in.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
It's possible they send him down later in the season. They have created multiple problems for themselves, because if he's limited to, say, 140 innings, what do they do then? If they send him down or put him on the DL, that could open up a complaint.


You hit the center of the target on that one. If you send him down unwarranted it could be an issue with a MLBPA complaint.

Fernandez, Nolasco and Slowey could win this team some games and the Marlins are still a better team then the Astros on paper.

If the Astros win more games than the Marlins, then Bo Porter is the better manager.

April 16, 2013 11:58 AM

Candide said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...On the lighter side, the new Clint:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/04/16/lindsey-covert-becomes-new-nats-in-game-host/


Well, she's certainly a lot better looking than Clint.

To my (male) eyes, anyway.

(Also young enough to be my daughter, which makes me a dirty old man, I guess...)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Candide, I'm guilty as charged myself.

Section 222 said...

Interesting discussions about the tag on Harper's ill advised try for 3rd. One thing that neither FP nor anyone else mentioned is that it seemed like the third baseman kept the tag on Harper's leg well after he hit the bag. It was a hard slide and it seems very likely that he came off the bag at least for a nanosecond, which would have made the call correct even if Harper initially slid under the tag.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Speaking of "glove hand talking", somebody posted this link yesterday, but it's good enough to post again.
Tony Gwynn Jr owns heckler

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sect222, here's the other thing with umpires, you don't want a reputation as a careless baserunner as umps have long memories and a good baserunner like Michael Bourn usually gets the benefit of the close call and on the other side Nyjer Morgan was usually called out on close calls.

You never want to take away a player's positive aggressiveness, you just want to be smart about taking extra bases.

Scooter said...

Hey, this is not on topic, but I'm behind, and I had to share the story.

My 7-year-old daughter watched a couple batters with me last night, as is her wont. She watches for a few seconds, then says, "Look at all those empty seats!"

My kid.

A DC Wonk said...

Well, she's certainly a lot better looking than Clint.

To my (male) eyes, anyway.

(Also young enough to be my daughter, which makes me a dirty old man, I guess...)


Yeah -- I was thinking similarly. Specifically: guys who are too full of sugar-energy-enthusaism (like Clint) feel like they're giving me diabetes. It doesn't bother me quite as much with those of the opposite gender.

And, sigh, yes, also put me in the group that can say: she's young enough to be my daughter.

A DC Wonk said...

Hey, this is not on topic, but I'm behind, and I had to share the story.

My 7-year-old daughter watched a couple batters with me last night, as is her wont. She watches for a few seconds, then says, "Look at all those empty seats!"

My kid.


Excellent! That's how they start!

As for my own story last night -- my daughter and I chucked that we noticed that when the ump made an emphatic strike call, we could hear the echo.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Scooter, the observations of young kids without any filter is always interesting to hear their POV.

My horror was all the cursing you could hear clear as could be.

SonnyG10 said...

Overly aggressive base running is what we're going to get from Bryce for a while until he learns to apply the aggression more selectively. Still its a small penalty we pay for all he does.

NCNatsie said...

Umpires shouldn't be allowed to have unwritten rules. An out is an out, a strike is a strike, etc. Call 'em as you see'em, umps. Anything else is corruption, pure and simple, and an affront to the integrity of the game.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, I can't take too much credit on the Fernandez analysis, I heard most of it on a podcast (sorry, can't remember which one...)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NCNatsie, those unwritten rules are for player protection in regards to the neighborhood play on turning a doubleplay and throws into 2nd and 3rd base that beat the runner by a "mile".

Then you have umps that widen strike zones on 3-2 counts but now that umps are judged more closely on balls/strikes I think they aren't giving away strikes as easily nowadays.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Ghost, I can't take too much credit on the Fernandez analysis, I heard most of it on a podcast (sorry, can't remember which one...)

April 16, 2013 1:22 PM


Well thanks for sharing. It was spot on.

A DC Wonk said...

Umpires shouldn't be allowed to have unwritten rules. An out is an out, a strike is a strike, etc. Call 'em as you see'em, umps. Anything else is corruption, pure and simple, and an affront to the integrity of the game.

Integrity of the game is when all the participants know what the rules are, and they are applied fairly.

When the throw beats you like it did Harper last night, you're often going to get called out. I'm sure Harper could tell, better than we could, that he slid under the tag. But neither he, nor anybody else, argued it.

Same thing, as Ghost wrote, with the "neighborhood" play at second. If it gets applied consistently, it's fair, and integrity is maintained.

Section 222 said...

I'm not too troubled by out calls like the one last night on Harper. And in fact, he very well may have been out, as I noted before.

On the other hand, the words "integrity" and "neighborhood play" should never appear in the same sentence, unless "integrity" is preceded by "lack of."

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

And then you have umps that will ring up a rookie every time when he starts to first on a full count without waiting for the call.

"You think that was outside? Wait til your next at-bat!"

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

"It might have been a ball yesterday. It might be a ball again tomorrow. But it is a strike today!"

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Deuces and all
Not taking a position, just asking, about the "integrity" thing: if that's the case, how do you feel about the whole "let the players police itself" thing, HBPs and so forth? Also not within the four corners of the rules.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

*themselves.

Let the game police ITself.

Section 222 said...

Sofa, to be honest, I can't think of a signal so-called "unwritten rule" that I like. And beanballs and self-policing crap is among the worst. Quentin should have been suspended for 50 games or until Greinke returns to the active roster, whichever comes sooner. Throwing intentionally at a batter should be punished severely, as should charging the mound. I'm just not old school I guess.

peric said...

It's probably not worth saying it BUT the Magnolia Muscle should BE in the lineup every single game unless he proves he shouldn't be. They need his bat more than they need Span in CF leading off. Honestly I think Lombo would be better if the could find a spot for his platoon bat.

Everything I have seen convinces me that Davey was right when he said they don't need anyone from outside period.

peric said...

If you think about it Oso Blanco might just win the ROY given he is a cstcher with a top staff and so far he hits like Posey.

Scott Margenau said...

Larry lead off ( gotta love FP)- Peric your boy is leading off. Batting 1000 so far :-)

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