Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nats who's hot/who's not-5/8

Photo by USA Today

By Michael Huberman
CSNwashington.com

After winning Wednesday and Thursday to split their series against the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals took two of three against a tough Pittsburgh Pirates squad to complete their road trip at 4-3. With a scheduled day off Monday, and rain cancelling their Tuesday matchup against the Detroit Tigers, the Nationals will finally play on Wednesday when Jordan Zimmermann faces off against longtime Nationals nemesis Anibal Sanchez. Here’s a look at five players who were hot, and five players who were not over the past week. 


HOT: 

Jordan Zimmermann, SP – 1-0/0.00 ERA/8 IP/8 SO /0.25 WHIP
Through five weeks, Zimmermann’s been a mainstay on the list thanks in part to his 5-1 start to the 2013 season. For obvious reasons, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez get a lion’s share of the attention, but right now Zimmermann is staking his claim as one of the best pitchers in baseball. Zimmermann is also shutting down the best teams, as evidenced by his 17 scoreless innings against Atlanta and Cincinnati.


Dan Haren, SP – 1-0/1.13 ERA/8 IP/4 H/4 SO
After giving up 12 earned runs and 26 hits in his first three starts, it looked like the Nationals may have overpaid for the 32-year-old when they signed him to a $13 million dollar contract this offseason. But in his last three starts, Haren has won twice and given up just six runs over 19 innings, highlighted by his gem May 2 against Atlanta, when he threw eight innings and gave up just one run on four hits.

Adam LaRoche, 1B – 5-14/2 2B/6 BB/.524 OBP/.500 SLG
LaRoche enjoyed a nice weekend in Pittsburgh against his former team, going 4-for-7 with five walks against the Pirates. But LaRoche’s most surprising contribution was when he nabbed the seventh stolen base of his career, as the Nationals perfectly executed a double steal allowing Ryan Zimmerman to score the go-ahead run in Saturday’s 5-4 win. Looks like that one-on-one with Chipper Jones may have helped.

Rafael Soriano, RP – 0-0/3 SV/4 IP/2 SO/0.75 WHIP
Soriano’s hot streak continues, as he saved games in three of his four appearances this past week. His inconsistent start certainly seems like a thing of the past, as he’s now thrown ten straight innings without giving up a run.

Ryan Zimmerman, 3B – 2-10/5 R/3 BB/.429 OBP
Zimmerman had only two hits in the weekend series against the Pirates, so his appearance on the “Hot” list gives you an idea of the rough week Nationals’ hitters had. But Zimmerman showed little rust coming off the DL, highlighted by his performance Saturday when he went 1-for-2 with three runs, two walks, a triple, and a stolen base. On the down side, Zimmerman did make his fifth error of the season, though it didn’t end up costing the Nationals any runs.

NOT:

Bryce Harper, OF – 2-16/0 XBH/4 SO/.125 SLG
Harper’s name won’t appear in this space very often, but he’s just 3-for-26 in his last eight games with one extra-base hit and seven strikeouts. Harper was also ejected Sunday, though by now it’s safe to say it was John Hirschbeck who was looking for trouble. Even with the rough week, Harper still ranks third in the National League in homers (9), fourth in slugging percentage (.633), and fourth in OPS (1.033).

Roger Bernadina, OF – 2-11/0 XBH/4 SO/.182 SLG
Bernadina’s value comes from his speed and defense, but right now his struggles at the plate are overshadowing both. He’s started the season just 3-for-29 (.103) with 11 strikeouts, and he’s yet to record an extra-base hit. It’s a small sample size but Bernadina’s also currently rather unlucky, as his evidenced by his .167 batting average on balls in play, way off from his career .300 BABIP.

Stephen Lombardozzi, IF – 2-10/0 XBH/.273 OBP/.200 SLG
With Danny Espinosa showing some signs of life at the plate, Lombardozzi could be seeing fewer spot starts in the near future. We looked at Lombardozzi’s struggles in this space last week, and they continued this week when he went 1-for-8 in two starts against Atlanta (though he did knock in the Nationals first run in their 3-1 win on Thursday).

Ross Detwiler, SP – 0-1/5.40 ERA/5 IP/6 H/5 SO
Detwiler got off to a fantastic start to the season, giving up four earned runs in his first 26 innings. However in his last two starts, both losses, Detwiler has given up six earned runs and 17 hits in ten innings. But on the whole Detwiler has been very good, carrying an excellent 2.50 ERA through his first six starts. 

Tyler Moore, OF/1B – 2-14//1 HR/.188 OBP/.357 SLG
Moore had an up-and-down weekend against the Pirates. First the good, as Moore’s sacrifice fly brought home the Nationals go-ahead run on Saturday, and his three-run homer gave the Nationals a four-run cushion in their 6-2 win on Sunday. But he also struck out six times, including twice with the bases loaded on Saturday. On the year Moore is putting up just a .179/.214/.359 slash line.

35 comments:

Eric said...

This new post brought to you by Zack Cozart's homer against the Braves, bottom of the 3rd, 2 out. 1 - 0 Reds.

Woo!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Uggla, ugly.

Eric said...

Bummer.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Both Uptons are on the bench.

Section 222 said...

But Zimmerman showed little rust coming off the DL

That's being overly charitable. He was pretty darn rusty on Friday with that golden sombero. But he does seem to have shaken it off. Hopefully he's ready to heat up, and not get too many routine chances while he's getting his arm into shape.

SCNatsFan said...

Take note ballplayers, this is how you should act.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/matt-kemp-gives-fan-autograph-then-hat-jersey-163847462.html

Harpo said...

"SCNatsFan said...

Take note ballplayers, this is how you should act."

While that is great to see, you are only getting a small moment in the life of Matt Kemp. There was a film crew taping that with Kemp so I did see it. What does Kemp do with the other few hours a day when a camera crew isn't around.

Along those lines and not the same situation however the way some celebrities like to think they are doing great charity work, I don't get too excited about Oprah giving away cars provided by a car company as an advertising promotion. That's not phianthropy although Oprah would like you to believe that as would Harpo Entertainment.

Many players do random acts of kindness that are done far outside of the cameras and never mentioned in the media.

Faraz Shaikh said...

What a guy! I root for this guy to start doing well again.

SCNatsFan said...

Harpo it might have been a sound bite, might have been to look great on reality TV, might be because he kicked his dog that morning but it still made the guys day. Kudos to the ex Spo Wallach for giving the fan his ear.

bowdenball said...

One player who doesn't need any notes on how to interact with fans is Ian Desmond. I've never seen a player in any major sport as fan-friendly as Desmond He goes above and beyond all the time, cameras or not. We're very lucky to have him.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, root for him after the Nats series ;)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

bowdenball, I agree about Desmond. He's amazing. Doesn't get enough credit and does it when people aren't around to film him doing so much more than signing autographs. He now has that charity he also does. He much give 10 to 20 minutes a day to greet people and probably a lot more away from the stadium. Way under-rated.

Dan Uggla just hit his 2nd HR.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Section 222 said...
The obvious ones being Harper and JZnn?

May 08, 2013 1:39 PM
Sec. 3, My Sofa said...
Deuces, yes, that's who I had in mind.


I picked Harper, JZim and Desmond for the All Stars on the pre-season prediction list and hoping Desmond picks it up to get into the discussion and Harper and JZim stay on the Hot List.

http://www.natsinsider.com/2013/04/2013-media-predictions.html

Section 222 said...

I picked Harper, JZnn, and Desi preseason as well. Unfortunately, I also picked Stras and ALR. :-)

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

Sec222, that is funny. I think Stras could still put it together. He will get at least 10 more starts before Bochy names his pitchers.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Not a double-switch, JUpton replaces Gattis in the 7th.

Section 222 said...

Sure hope so Ghost. But I'll be fine with JZnn representing our rotation at the ASG. He deserves it.

Hey, the suns out downtown. JZnn vs. ASanchez tonight. Woo hoo!!

3on2out said...

Harpo, your cynic is showing. The article in the LA Times made it clear that Kemp did NOT know he was being taped. The segment was recorded on someone's smartphone. Hardly a "camera" crew. From the Times: "Kemp didn't know anybody was watching. When he reached the figure in the hooded blue sweatshirt sitting motionless in the front row, he thought the encounter would be quick and forgettable."

Section 222 said...

Ghost, I notice you're not as confident about ALR. Yeah, me either.

SCNatsFan said...

Wow Halladay out for the year shoulder surgery

Ivan Tuski said...

Boycott concessions until the nats change their rainout policy

Dominats Vobiscum said...

LaRoche couldn't make the All Star team last year when he had the hottest start of his career. There's no way he's going to make it this year coming off his slowest start ever.

Eric said...

Ugg...Braves grand slam. 7 - 1, top of the 8th.

Steady Eddie said...

Ugh. Two Reds relievers melt down, Juan Francisco grannie gives Barves 7-1 lead in the 8th.

So it would really help to get a win tonight.

Eric said...

Yup.

Section 222 said...

Yup, ALR isn't going to make the ASG. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict that now. Neither will Espi, or Zim.

Faraz Shaikh said...

SCNatsFan, on their site it says roy is hopeful about pitching later in the season.

Faraz Shaikh said...

GoSM, that was the plan. Wish him well against everyone except Nats.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sect222 @ 2:43, yah, ALR would have to hit .450 for the next 6 weeks and put on a bunch of XBH and still wouldn't ve guaranteed a ASG spot.

SCNatsFan said...

Faraz the article read said he was hopeful to pitch... next year. Wonder what the truth is, not that it matters to us. Couldn't happen to a nicer team.

baseballswami said...

I I like it when our players get chosen because of the recognition and respect. But I sometimes think it's better for our team if they get some R and R. The ASG is so far away. Who knows what players will be hot? Mostly a personality contest and a reflection of the teams with huge fan bases. I am cynical about the process. Someday I would love to watch two teams that are truly made up of the very best players.

baseballswami said...

ATL reliever just gave up a home run. Yes, it's still a blow out, but is this a trend?

Section 222 said...

Ghost, if ALR hits .450 for the next 6 weeks with lots of XBH, I'll bet Bochey would pick him. One good thing is that managers want to win these games so their time will have home field advantage in the WS. So they're looking to fill their rosters with good, hot players if they can.

But even if ALR's slow start is over, he won't hit that well.

sjm308 said...

Not thinking LaRoche has a chance no matter how well he does with that slow start but the NL lost a bunch of great firstbasemen in the past few years. I guess Votto is the lock. I don't look at stats that much but except for A. Gonzalez and Todd Helton there really aren't many "name" players. I do agree that as well as he hit last year, to not be named says a great deal. Freeman and Craig are about the only others I can pull out of my limited memory.

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