It just goes to show that sometimes in the baseball jungle a Bulldog can stare down a Tiger.
Davey: "Zim was spectacular". Ryan Zimmerman turns around and smiles. Uh, no Ryan, the other Zim.
I'm most impressed by what LaRoche had to say from what he was hearing from Tigers batters. Other than Prince's double and Cabrera's RBI shot through the infield, most of the hits were bleeders, bloopers and doinks.
Yea, Ghost, I loved hearing about what the Tigers hitters were saying to LaRoche re Zimnn. What better compliment can you have! Go Zimnn, you da mann!!!
Let's up the ante:This was the sixth best win -- but it was against the team with the best BA in the majors (.283 as a team!!) most runs per game of any team (more than Colorado).
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/05/09/should-stephen-strasburg-have-a-personal-catcher/Eric, here you go from your earlier discussion from Davey's thoughts and Cat's thoughts on personal catchers.Strasburg is very cerebral, I don't buy for a second that he doesn't know the stats and Kilgore misses the boat on sample sizes because you can go back to 2012 and prior with Ramos and piece together a lot more history than 3 games with Ramos this year as well as last season with Suzuki for 2 more months of results.I will also say JZim and Suzuki didn't click at all last year and right from Spring Training they got on the same page. Part of it was learning these NL batters. JZim had near no-hit stuff against both Atlanta and Cincy. Last night he was good enough to take down the Tigers but the difference this time is the Nats scored 3 off of Anibal and that's been no easy task for the Nats.
Here's the thing about Clip's walks last night.(1) After he got to 3-2 on Dirks, who is batting .344 over the last couple of weeks, Suzuki made a mound visit. I'm pretty sure he said, don't give this guy anything good, get the next one.(2) After he got to 3-2 on Peralta, also hitting over .300, and his pitch count is getting up there, Cat comes to the mound. The question is, battle this guy who could foul off a bunch, or go for the next guy?(3) Avila is a .186 hitter.You may not like the walks. I don't. But given the situation Clip was in, where he only needs one out, this is the equivalent of IBBs, especially the second one. Are you sure?Consider: after it was 2-2 to Dirks, Dirks fouled three off, then a ball, then another foul, and then ball 4.As for Peralta -- again it got to 2-2, then two balls.OTOH -- it's possible what you said is true. "Don't give him anything good to hit" is not incompatible with strikes and foulsIn fact -- if I remember right (anyone wanna check?) the pitch-tracker showed that out of ten pitches to Dirks **all ten** were out of the strike zone! (do I remember that right?)
Wonk, good stat and all the more special.
(oh, and, again, if I remember right -- was the swinging strike three to Avila _also_ out of the strike zone?)
Dirks can't beat you but putting Dirks and Peralta on base sure can. It was getting eerily familiar to what Storen did in Game 5 with all the nibbling.Alex Avila was a Silver Slugger and an All-Star 2 years ago and no matter what he is hitting he can send one into the Nats bullpen.It worked out but you can't give in to Dirks with a 2 run lead and nobody on base. Clip has to have enough confidence in his own stuff.
Wonk, I'm sorry, I didn't understand your comment. I didn't mean Clip started out intending to walk Dirks or Peralta. But he wasn't going to give either of them, especially Peralta, anything good--so, yes, he was mostly high out of the zone. Definition of "not giving the guy anything good." When he got into the bad count against Peralta and his pitch count was up there, I figure Cat said, look Avila is a catcher, a .186 hitter. Don't give Peralta anything he can hit out of the park. Just get to Avila and then reach back and make sure you get out of the inning.
Intersting observation from my 18-year old daughter (dubbed Wonkling by someone on NI)Recall -- the only things she knows about baseball are from seeing the games on TV. She doesn't read about the team, won't listen to a game on the radio, doesn't check stats (she only uses Internet for email and facebook). So, e.g., she never heard of the Tigers until this week.So, we're watching, and at some point in the fourth inning or so, she says, "hey: our top three pitchers are 27, 37, and 47!"I said "huh?"She said, "c'mon dad, you know Gio is #47"Oh -- _that's_ what she meant!(BTW, she's starting to come around on Haren -- previous to last week's start, she equated Haren with bad-Lannen and bad HRod. She also has yet to learn patience over the course of a season, but at least she has a newbie's excuse. She's now "reconsidering" Haren ;-).
Hold the presses, the MASN Pitch track was not accurate. Clippard threw pitch #10 to Dirks as the only ball in the zone and it was a perfectly placed strike and he didn't get the call on a 3-2 pitch.Check this out:http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation_io.php-pitchSel=461325&game=gid_2013_05_08_detmlb_wasmlb_1&batterX=60&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gif
Of course Avila is a major-league hitter, and of course he could put one in the stands. But unless you want to bring Storen into the game, you go with the odds. You can pitch to Peralta after the 3-2 count or you see if you can get Avila.
Well, then I take that back about Dirks. Actually, if I recall FP and Carp did a "Where was that???" on the walk, and started complaining that Clip didn't get the call. Then they looked at pitch track, and showed it on TV, and said the ump was right. That's even more aggravating!
But, if I'm reading the chart correctly, Clip got two called strikes that were outside the zone. However, that #10 is indeed lovely.
NatsLady -- I hear what you're saying. Makes sense. It made more sense after I started writing the post, and when I remembered (I *think* correctly?) that at bat with 10 consecutive pitches out of the strike zone. It's just that it's pretty rare to put the tying run on base. Peralta's good, but he's not Fielder-Cabrera-Hunter good. OTOH, yeah, Avila is sub-mendoze. OTOOH, Avila's a lifetime .256 hitter.
NatsLady, yah, that was surprising!I'm blown away because I thought he struck out Dirks also as did everyone else but the UMP! and the MASN pitch track showed it 2 ball widths outside. Kudos to Clippard!
BTW, I don't care what Avila is batting this year just like LaRoche, Zimmerman, and Espinosa who are all struggling at the plate. Those guys have all had better ABs recently.The 2 games before last night, Avila was 3-9 with a double and 3 RBIs. If Avila in that situation rips a double with the speed at 1st, he ties up the game.
For me, this is the money portion of Kilgore's story on personal catchers:"Manager Davey Johnson has employed a personal catchers before – Chad Kreuter for Chan Ho Park, with the Dodgers – but did not see the need to do the same for any Nationals starter. He also felt using a personal catcher could undermine a potential offensive advantage against a specific opposing starter.“I really think both those guys, Suzuki and Ramos, are very well-prepared going over scouting reports,” Johnson said. “They’ve caught everybody. And I’ve talked to McCatty about, is there a pitcher preference? By and large, his reply was, ‘No, they like throwing to both of them.’ So, I’m not going there.”Said McCatty: “I think that’s a bad thing to get into, myself. You got to learn how to pitch. You got to learn what to do yourself. You can’t sit there and rely on what one guys calls. Yeah, you want to feel comfortable with everybody. But the better question would be to Stephen, ‘Does one do something that the other one doesn’t?’ But I watch both of them. I don’t sit back and really look at those numbers that hard.”"I'll take that over analysis of a small sample size, which, it should be noted, includes Stras running out of gas before he was shut down last season. No one can blame Suzuki for that.
Tyler Moore wasn't hitting great either and delivered the killer blow to the Pirates with that 3 run HR.A shame Clip didn't get that 3rd strike call against Dirks but this goes back to Game 5 in the 9th inning. Our relievers have to be aggressive when tying and winning runs aren't in the box.Clip kept nibbling and the fish weren't biting until he got Avila on that high heat. It definitely could have had a much different outcome and we wouldn't be smiling today. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.
In other news, the Nats just passed all major league clubs in the average per-game increase in attendance. They are now averaging 31,994 for 17 games, which is 6,577 more per game than last year at 17 games in.
A couple young boys with their dad were a section over last night and they purposely stood up and tucked their shirts in for the last out. They were BEAMING.You sure that wasn't me and Sofa, NN? Oh wait, you said young boys. Definitely not me and Sofa. :-)
I'm surprised Dirks didn't swing at #10. After #3 and #4 were called strikes, Dirks started protecting. All four of his fouls were on balls out of the zone. That was a pretty lucky take on Dirks' part--or he didn't want to reach for the ONLY pitch in the sequence that was borderline low.
I don't like personal catchers. Guys get injured--especially catchers--and a pitcher has to be able to work with the other guy. Our guys are both good.However, I'd be willing to make an exception for Stras if it helps him get back on track.
Ghost, going back to your list in the last thread, #1 and #2 were straight up mistakes, but:"Trust me, I love getting the W's but this team still isn't turning in crisp games but I do like they are now finding a way to win and exploiting the other teams mistakes."I agree, but they are getting much crisper. The overall trajectory is a good one."3) RZim plays a ball off of his right-side and the ball scoots past him. Didn't position himself in front of the ball. That runner scored."I think that was just a legit hit right there. I don't think Zim could've done much about it, especially with that rocket-hop."4) Tyler Clippard walks 2 batters in 1 inning of work after getting Cabrera/Fielder"Just saw the pitch track on that...WOW. "Kudos to Clippard!" indeed! Still, this is a salient point: "Our relievers have to be aggressive when tying and winning runs aren't in the box.""5) Team batted 1-5 with RISP"Does this include Harper's sac fly and the other sac fly (Espi?) that led to LaRoche going home on the throwing error? They weren't hits, but it's still getting the job done with RISP.
Er, and re: Clippard, I actually did think he did a great job on those batters that led to walks (despite the outcome), but your point about "when tying and winning runs aren't in the box" is a good one.Agreed, NatsLady, about personal catchers. I like that Davey has tried to steer away from it, but I have no doubt he will change course if it's clearly necessary.
I'm with Ghost on this one. I'd be shocked if Suzuki said anything to Clip that suggested he should do anything but get Dirks out, or that McCatty suggested Clip should nibble against Peralta. You don't put the tying run at the plate, and you certainly don't put the tying run on base. If the batter were Miggy or Prince, things might be different. Good thing he got Avila or we might have seen V-Mart with the bases juiced, or the go ahead run on base. What a freaking great game that was.
I need to set my DVR, is game on masn or Masn 2 today?
"What a freaking great game that was."FTW. It was truly outstanding, warts and all. I really love that we would've won even without the dead ball gimme.Interesting article about Stras/catchers, Ghost, thanks for sharing.
Section 222, I'm not picking on you but I don't understand your point on this personal catcher stuff and kind of wish you did some analysis because the sections you copied are inconsistent with the truth.Davey has a faulty memory if Chan-Ho had a personal catcher as Davey has repeatedly said he doesn't do that.I'm not buying the sincerity in Davey saying "a personal catcher could undermine a potential offensive advantage against a specific opposing starter." How can you say that if you continue alternating catchers? Was Suzuki the better matchup against Anibal Sanchez last night?Wilson Ramos KILLS Anibal Sanchez in a sample size of 4 games: .385/.467/.462/.928 but in Wilson's career he has only faced 1 other pitcher more times than Anibal Sanchez!By Davey's own words, it should have been Ramos as the better matchup in there for offensive reasons. Suzuki had never faced Sanchez until last night.Clearly Stephen Strasburg wants a personal catcher although he didn't come right out and say it. His best man at his wedding was his only catcher in College where he had all that success. Ramos catches him very well and could be his guy.
"Section 222 said... I'm with Ghost on this one."Isn't that special, but darn it, I have to agree. You don't but the winning run in the batter's box. That's what sunk the Nats in October.
So working from home today and watching the replay of last's nights game, getting to see angles and pitch track which I didn't have in person last night.FP made a good comment about the field, the Diamond dry was causing some minor issues (he thought the error by ALR was impacted by it - but by no means an excuse). Also said that when DSPAN stumbled on the triple that the diamond dry probably caused that.My friend that I share the tickets with was about to kill Clipp, he was so mad about the long inning that he wanted HRod to come in. I was yelling at him to shut up. Clipp came through he had to eat his words. Made me happyWork is interfering with me going to today's game. Sigh, thankfully, I can exchange the ticket.
It will definitely be interesting to see how the catchers are used as we get further away from Ramos' return from the DL.To your point, though, Harpo, I have increasingly little doubt that there's a bit of daylight between what Davey says publicly and the strategic decisions he actually makes.
Quit making excuses for Clippard, y'all. The fact is, he's on a downward slope and is not the pitcher he used to be. If you watched the replay of the Phillies game from this time last year that MASN showed the night of the rainout, it would be patently obvious. The Clippard who pitched the 1-2-3 with 2 Ks 10th inning that night is not the Clippard we're seeing now. His tricky delivery and lack of command on his fastball aren't fooling anyone. If a fastball is out of the zone, they take it and if he gets it over they foul it off and prolong the AB. Sooner or later, they hit him or he walks them. It's a recipe for disaster. Seeing Clippard coming in with the game on the line is just as much of a heart-stopping moment of trepidation as an ordinary ground ball to Zimmerman is.
Well, 222, we're going to disagree on this. If Clip had "challenged" Peralta and he'd sent it out of the park, we'd all be wondering why he didn't unintentionally-intentionally walk him and get to the .186 hitter. (And yes, I don't care that much what Avila was doing two years ago). Something like wondering why Davey didn't walk Kozma. There's a difference between "nibbling" and "pitching around" a guy.Davey sent Clip out there to get Miggy and Fielder. He could have sent Storen. Maybe there was a bit of a mental letdown after Clip got the big ones, and he went to a 2-0 count on Dirks. That may have been how he got in trouble--but once he got in trouble he "dug down" (as he himself said) and got out of it. He wasn't efficient (he often isn't, that's why he's not a starter), but he was effective.
Oh and Wonk. love the Wonkling stories! They are great.
There are only two kinds of pitchers who rate a personal catcher. Knuckleballers and divas. Strasburg isn't the former, and I don't think he wants to become known as the latter.
NatsLady, a couple of years ago the standard excuse for Lannan was that "he battled out there." It appears that's now going to be the standard excuse for Clippard.
Yeah, we had this discussion last year. Clip had a really rough spring in 2012, then he went on the amazing run in May and June. Bad July, great August, bad September. He just seems to be streaky, not washed up. Nothing wrong with his velocity.
Dominats, by the logic of your post about Clippard, half our pitching staff (both starters and relievers) is on a downward slope.NatsLady, while I initially agreed with you, I think it's telling that Davey got on the horn to the bullpen and that Storen was up and hot well before Clippard finished the inning. Still, I don't think the dude is washed up."Davey sent Clip out there to get Miggy and Fielder. He could have sent Storen. Maybe there was a bit of a mental letdown after Clip got the big ones, and he went to a 2-0 count on Dirks."As I recall, JZimm kinda did the same thing at one point: smoked Cabrera and Fielder, then gave up two hits (or maybe one was a walk?) before ending the inning with Avila.
Sorry if I flipped that on ya, NatsLady, had to make an edit and there's no button for that ;).
As we all know the Nats success against Anibal Sanchez has been very limited. In fact prior to yesterday's game, only Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond were the only 2 Nats batters with an OBP over .350 against him.It was very surprising with all the days off that Wilson Ramos wasn't catching yesterday which does as the poster at 11:44AM make mention of is contrary to what Davey had just said in his discussion with Kilgore.Ramos overall can get into a real groove offensively and that is what Davey needs to take advantage of by playing him some more games back to back and even if Davey claims he doesn't believe in personal catchers should really think more about what will get Strasburg into the best position to win games.Read what Strasburg said in the article and also understand some of his being politcally correct.
MicheleS said:"So working from home today and watching the replay of last's nights game, getting to see angles and pitch track which I didn't have in person last night."Working from home and watching a baseball game? Please tell me this isn't an example of my federal tax dollars "at work".
Eric, a "little daylight" is generous. Learned that after about two press conferences...
Yes, Davey had Storen up--and he said Clip was on his last batter. Clip was over 30 pitches and we've seen these battles before, and if he'd pulled Clip mid-inning or even in the middle of an at-bat, so be it. Davey is playing to win, not to soothe his pitchers' egos. Davey trusts Clip, but he's got a backup plan, and not afraid to use it. I like that in a manager.
Y'know, I read an interesting article in the Orlando Sentinal recently about Davey, and it raises this very interesting point (by way of a TERRIBLE run on sentence ;)):"Johnson used his math-degree background during his early playing days with the Baltimore Orioles to create computer programs to generate lineup suggestions to his manager Earl Weaver based on the percentage-baseball theories of mathematician Earnshaw Cook."I think one of two things are going on when Davey makes seemingly irrational or otherwise bizarre decisions:1) He's experimenting because it's still early and we're still in it. I think the catchers since Ramos' return and the bullpen so far this season reflect this a lot.2) He bases his decisions on very deep statistical analyses that reveal things that might be nigh impossible to understand on the surface.
>Eric, a "little daylight" is generous. Learned that after about two press conferences...Yes, yes it is ;). I think it all goes back to the first part of that famous Yogi Berra quip: "baseball is 90% mental..."
"NatsLady said... Well, 222, we're going to disagree on this. If Clip had "challenged" Peralta and he'd sent it out of the park, we'd all be wondering why he didn't unintentionally-intentionally walk him and get to the .186 hitter. (And yes, I don't care that much what Avila was doing two years ago)."What you need to understand is that Avila 2 years ago hit 19 HRs and was a Silver Slugger and he's not a banjo hitter.He played through several injuries last year and will probably hit 20 to 25 HRs this year if he stays healthy.In fact only Bryce Harper on the Nats has hit more HRs than him this year.You don't pitch around Peralta to put the winning run in the batters box. You have after Dirks with everything you got because he can't beat you and that was the first mistake with all that nibbling to put him in a position to walk on several outside pitches.
Clip kept nibbling and the fish weren't biting until he got Avila on that high heat.Was he nibbling? Or was he just having trouble getting his fastball over the plate?Dominats wrote:Quit making excuses for Clippard, y'all. The fact is, he's on a downward slopeAlrighty, then. Just the facts:Clip has appeared in 14 games, and has given up zero runs in 11 of them. He has given up zero hits in 9 of them.(Although last night he needed 34 pitches to get the inning over -- his last two appearances (May 4 & 5, at Pittsburgh) he needed 11 and 9 pitches, respectively.)He's 28.Hard to see a downward slope there . . .
NatsLady is way off base on her thinking with Peralta but doesn't seem inclined to listen to the many people that don't believe she is right. The chance was much higher for Avila parking a ball in the RF seats than Peralta given more recent stats. Based on Peralta's stats RH/RH for the last season in a large enough sample size, he homers off of RH pitchers only 1.7% of at bats.Peralta can't beat you, he can worse case tie the game. Avila can beat you. Dirks couldn't do much. Needed to pitch in the zone and be aggressive against Dirks. Partial blame on Suzuki he was setting up outside on everything. A good fastball off the plate inside would have helped and then you paint a ball inside the zone on the outside with the fastball.
"doesn't seem inclined to listen to the many people that don't believe she is right."Smarter people than me just invented a new phrase to describe this phenomenon: difference of opinion.BRILLIANT!
No research needed on this one. It's just my opinion. "Personal catchers" are a bad idea for many reasons, most of which have already been stated or alluded to:1. Catchers get hurt, and need rest. If you get used to Ramos and he goes down again, you're stuck with Zuki as the No. 1. Better to pitch to him every other start now.2. If Davey wants to divide the work between his catchers to save both of their legs, he should have the flexibility to go with a matchup he likes. That doesn't mean always using the catcher with the better splits against that day's opposing pitcher. It means balancing that info with other factors, and using the catcher you think is best for that night. 3. Pitchers are responsible for their own outings. Don't set up excuses or psychological expectations. Now, if Davey says to himself, "JZnn pitched a great game with Zuki behind the dish last time out, so I want to tinker with the order to line them up again, that's fine. That's different than saying, "Ramos is Stras's personal catcher, regardless of other factors." Those who assert things like "Zuki and JZnn were never on the same page last year" or "Stras and JZnn prefer Ramos, Gio prefers Zuki, and the others are indifferent," haven't provided a shred of evidence for their assertions, and I just don't believe it.
Section 222, it has nothing to do with your opinion. You took from that entire article that Kilgore wrote a few paragraphs that very much contradict what Davey Johnson has been saying.Ramos has been the Nats best hitter against Anibal Sanchez. Nobody is a close 2nd and you copied that one statement to support your position which just isn't factual.
"Eric said... "doesn't seem inclined to listen to the many people that don't believe she is right."Smarter people than me just invented a new phrase to describe this phenomenon: difference of opinion.BRILLIANT!"It's the Ghost of Steve M. in Rule #1 where he always has to be right and no different from NatsLady as she is never wrong. Thats the problem here as shown by Section 222, he always has to be right. I'm wrong quite a bit.Me, I don't like personal servitude. Suzuki can catch for Davey if he wants to. The problem is the inconsistencies of what Davey says and what Davey does.Ramos should have been the catcher yesterday according to Davey's line of thinking: "a personal catcher could undermine a potential offensive advantage against a specific opposing starter."I'm challenging Davey by all of his comments and again I don't care who catches for whom. Part of Strasburg's problem is that he has a giant ego and is a Diva and that's what all this is about and we all know Strasburg isn't going to change.
"It's the Ghost of Steve M. in Rule #1 where he always has to be right and no different from NatsLady as she is never wrong. Thats the problem here as shown by Section 222, he always has to be right. I'm wrong quite a bit."Even if that's true, who cares? Are we competing to win something? "The problem is the inconsistencies of what Davey says and what Davey does."This doesn't bother me unless he jerking around the actual team. There are many signs suggesting that's not the case.
Eric, they're competing to win something. As you read forward, someone's pounding on their chest they beat Mark Zuckerman to a post on attendance.You will never hear me say I'm right but then again if you never give an opinion or say anything of substance like 1/2 the people here then they can only be accused of poor grammar.Too many posts on the weather and ticket policy and another post by Section 222 about the 20,000 STH.
"Eric, they're competing to win something. As you read forward, someone's pounding on their chest they beat Mark Zuckerman to a post on attendance."So it bothers you that, in your view, people are competing to bragging rights? Why? Again, who cares?
You will never hear me say I'm right but then again if you never give an opinion or say anything of substance like 1/2 the people here then they can only be accused of poor grammar.But then they can't compete for the Best Grammar in a Nats Blog Post award. We can't allow that.
Aww, who am I kidding? I'll never beat 1a for that award. It's really a contest for second place.