Monday, April 29, 2013

State of the Nats-4/29

Photo by USA Today

Team Record: 13-12 (6-6)

N.L. East Standings

Offensive Game of the Week: Bryce Harper 4/27 vs. Reds – 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB

Pitching Line of the Week: Jordan Zimmerman 4/26 vs. Reds – 9 IP, 0 ER, H, BB, 4 SO, 91 pitches (59 strikes)

Top Storylines

Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos injuries - The Nats have two key guys rehabbing from hamstring injuries and both are set to return this week. Ramos will be with the Nats Monday night in Atlanta while Zimmerman is headed to Single-A Potomac for a rehab assignment on Tuesday and Wednesday with a Friday return in sight. Both players will help Washington's offense tremendously when they return, despite admirable efforts by their backups in recent games.

Adam LaRoche struggling - The Nats' first baseman is amid a 0-for-26 stretch with 13 strikeouts. He is currently a major hole in the team's lineup and Atlanta is a tough matchup coming up. His progress through the next four-game series will be interesting, especially as the calendar turns to May. At some point he needs to come around or Davey Johnson will be forced to make even more changes to the lineup.

Jordan Zimmermann’s first month - Where would the Nats' starting rotation be without Zimmermann this season? He leads the staff with four wins with just eight earned runs in 36 innings pitched. He is their most consistent pitcher lasting at least six innings in four of his five starts and has allowed three earned runs or less in each outing.

Anthony Rendon’s first MLB stint - Rendon has flashed his potential both at the plate and in the field, but there is no question the Nats are looking forward to Zimmerman's return. Once he gets back, Rendon is expected to head right back to the minor leagues and could be there for a while as the team wants him to get more seasoned. What will prompt the Nats to bring him up again? It would seem that unless the Nats see another injury to Zimmerman, or maybe another infielder, we may not see Rendon until much later this season. 

Quote of the Week

Denard Span on Bryce Harper:

“Special. No question he’s an unbelievable talent. I compare it to 2009 when I was teammates with Joe Mauer, watching him win the MVP. Every day he was doing something to help us win, whether it was calling a good game or coming through with a big hit. For the first month, that’s what I’ve seen out of Bryce.”

Tweet of the Week

Gio Gonzalez went to the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night and saw a bunch of celebrities. Pictured in his photo collage are Ed Helms, Stanley from The Office, the guy who sang 'Gangnam Style,' the dude from Duck Dynasty plus some blonde woman, the President of the United States, and Gerard Butler. Butler looks very interested as you can see.

Road Ahead

Mon. – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Strasburg)
Tue. - 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Gonzalez)
Wed. – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Zimmermann)
Thu. – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Haren)
Fri. – 7:05 p.m. at Pittsburgh Pirates (Detwiler)
Sat. – 4:05 p.m. at Pittsburgh Pirates (Strasburg)
Sun. – 1:35 p.m. at Pittsburgh Pirates (Gonzalez)


Faraz Shaikh said...

Haha at Butler's picture.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I feel bad for Harper. He's getting little protection in the lineup and he's the 20 year old kid overcompensating for the entire infield that aren't getting it done.

Do you realize how well the Houston Astros infield is doing? Altuve 2B .327/.375/.426/.801,
Marwin Gonzalez SS .300/.344/.517/.860, Matt Dominguez 3B .262/.311/.333/.644, and Carlos Pena 1B .205/.320/.337/.657

And by the way, the Houston Astros infield only has 6 errors all season.

If you had the Nats pitchers, Nats outfield, Nats catchers, and the Houston Astros infield, you have a very good team.

Rizzo and Davey are very fortunate that the starting pitchers, catchers and outfielders and Ian Desmond have kept this team at a record better than the Astros.

Ian Desmond SS .295/.313/.516/.829, Ryan Zimmerman 3B .226/.311/.358/.670, Danny Espinosa 2B .178/.221/.356/.577, Adam LaRoche 1B .135/.210/.270/.480

Nats infield errors are at 19 right now.

Eric said...

I like the idea of LaRoche in front of Ramos tonight...last anyone saw of Ramos, he was a threat, and it might get LaRoche something real to hit. If the Teheran is off his game, maybe Adam'll finally get served the meatball he needs so badly...

My prediction for the line up:

Espi (for some reason, I feel like this is where he should be hitting)

A DC Wonk said...

What's even worse is Cingrani pitched to LaRoche in a couple of ABs like "here it is, let's see if you can hit it" and LaRoche couldn't.

Nobody was hitting Cingrani yesterday. Eleven K's in six innings ain't chopped liver. He made Harper look pretty foolish, too.

TimDz said...

I saw the replay of ALR's strike out and his dropping of the bat, but I didn't see it live...

The replay looked as if it was a good bit outside....did pitch-track have it as a strike or ball...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Wonk, some of the right-handed batters had decent hacks and at-bats on Cingrani. He certainly ate up the lefties. He pitched well, no doubt about it.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I didn't think he was that great. we had chances against him a lot of them but everyone made blunders from runners to coaches to hitters.

Hope we get Porter back for 3B duties.

Rabbit34 said...

Eric....I like the idea of LaRoche in front of the water cooler all night. He would definately help the Nationals more if he were in Potomac than Washington. He has wasted all this time and hurt the team when he could have been practicing hitting in A.

Anna Peregrina said...

Butler and Gio -- separated at birth?

Eric said...

<<< insert my canned response about how he helped keep the game from getting out of hand last night >>>

Would've been nice if he were the game's hero on both sides of the plate, instead of one our guys who failed with RISP.

Les_in_NC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Les_in_NC said...

[I]the dude from Duck Dynasty plus some blonde woman[/I]

Was this meant to be a joke? That is Willie's (from Duck Dynasty) wife.

NatsLady said...

It makes no sense for LaRoche to go to Potomac and "practice" against A ball pitchers. That's no better than batting practice and maybe worse. He's not a rookie just learning his stroke or getting to see different types of pitches (which he wouldn't see much of in A-ball anyway.)

If he's hurt then he needs to come out. If he's slumping then he needs to stay in, keep his D sharp and work his way out of the slump.

baseballswami said...

More hugs from Drake.

A DC Wonk said...

Faraz Shaikh said...

I didn't think he was that great.

11 K's and only 2 hits in six innings.

You've got a high standard!

EmDash said...

Yeah, Cingrani very much tired at the end - sending him out for the extra inning, when his pitch count was so high as a rookie with few career starts when he was so clearly gassed, was borderline managerial malpractice - but he was very, very sharp for the rest of the game. No way to know if the league will figure him out or not, but Detwiler's got pretty much the same pitching strategy and he's had a fair amount of success.

UNTERP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

He was looking a little ragged in his second to last inning, but seemed much better in his last. Odd.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Wonk, I thought we made some solid contact off of him and his K totals including ALR's Ks who is in a terrible slump right now. I wouldn't give him much credit for that right now. besides 110 pitches for six inning isn't great.

natsfan1a said...

'scuse me if this was already mentioned, but ESPN debuts an hour-long film on Harper ("Bryce Begins") at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday (hat tip Sports Bog).

Joe Seamhead said...

NatsLady @2:22,, the "voice of reason" post of the past 24hours, IMHO.
Ghost, I was out for a while, but from the earlier blog, you can't seriously believe ALR, would have been able to stretch for either of Rendon's errant throws yesterday and still record the out, whether his back is hurt, or not. There is nobody who could have gotten either of them and stayed on the bag.If it had been Ryan throwing either of those throws everyone would have been howling.We have to agree to disagree on how important his play has been defensively.

natsfan1a said...

MASN update from the Bos chat:

Thomas Boswell :

Anything Selig does to Loria is merited. BTW, apparently the Nats-MASN dispute has now gone to "the commissioner's office" for the next stage of Whatever-It-Is. Commissioner's Office = Bud. He was presiding when this mess happened. He needs to man up and get a resolution before he leaves at the end of 2014. If it's a good deal, then both sides will hate it.
– April 29, 2013 11:26 AM

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

Is it a bad sign that I had to look up Duck Dynasty, "Stanley from The Office"/Leslie David Baker, and Gerard Butler?

natsfan1a said...

If so, then I'm in trouble as well.

Scooter said...

I didn't even bother looking them up, as I didn't much care. Ed Helms, same.

And who the heck is Leslie David Baker? Is that the "some blonde woman"?

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