Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nats who's hot-who's not 6/19

By Michael Huberman

Record: 3-4
Runs per game: 3.42
Opponent runs per game: 3.42
Batting average: .207
Batting average against: .258
Team ERA: 4.06


Anthony Rendon, 2B – 10-23/1 HR/2 XBH/3 R/1.176 OPS

Rendon’s reputation as a hitter was no secret, but his excellent numbers at the plate have to be one of the more encouraging developments for the Nationals this season. In addition to hitting his first career home run, a game-winner Saturday night in Cleveland, Rendon is 17-for-43 (.395) with six doubles and has reached base safely in 11 consecutive games since his return to the majors.

Stephen Strasburg, SP – 0-1/5 IP/1 ER/1.80 ERA/4 BB/4 SO

In his first start since being activated off the disabled list, Strasburg showed little rust. In five innings Strasburg gave up only one hit, and though he received the loss, Nationals fans had to breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of their ace dominating, including one stretch when he retired eight straight Indians’ hitters.

Ross Ohlendorf, SP – 1-0/1.50 ERA/6 IP/2 H/2 SO

The former intern at the United States Department of Agriculture endeared himself to Nationals fans by shepherding the team to a win in his emergency start in Colorado. The Princeton grad with the old school windup completely shut down a potent Rockies lineup, allowing only one run in six innings of two-hit ball. Whether Ohlendorf makes another start as a member of the Nationals remains to be seen, but for one night he made an outstanding impression.

Ian Desmond, SS – 8-24/1 HR/6 RBI/2 SB/.887 OPS

With Troy Tulowitzki on the shelf for 4-6 weeks, could Desmond slide in to take his place in the All-Star Game? San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford was second to Tulowitzki in voting, and Milwaukee’s Jean Segura has the best numbers, but Desmond should certainly be in the conversation. Among NL shortstops, he’s first in doubles (12), third in home runs (9), second in RBI (34), fifth in average (.282), and third in slugging (.471).

Ian Krol, RP – 0-0/3.2 IP/0.00 ERA/0 H/5 SO

The 22-year-old, who was the “player to be named later” in the Michael Morse trade, has been sensational during his brief Nationals career. In 6 2/3 innings, Krol has given up just one hit and no runs, while striking out eight, leading to an impressive 11.37 strikeouts per nine innings.


Jordan Zimmermann, SP – 0-0/5 IP/6 ER/10.80 ERA/8 H/2 HR

Zimmermann wasn’t sharp in his outing Saturday against the Indians, as he gave up six earned runs, including two home runs. But in the big picture, Zimmermann has still been terrific for the Nationals, as he’s allowed less than two earned runs in eight of his last ten starts.  

Adam LaRoche, 1B – 3-23/1 XBH/0 RBI/7 SO/.374 OPS

After putting up a .330/.416/.608 line in 97 at-bats in May, LaRoche has struggled mightily so far in June, to the tune of .235/.298/.314 in 51 at-bats. LaRoche started the month off hot, going 8-for-24 (.333), but in his last eight games, LaRoche is 4-for-27 (.148) with no extra-base hits and eight strikeouts.

Fernando Abad, RP – 0-2/6.00 ERA/2 IP/2 ER/6 H

Last week in this space we praised Abad for the 8 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings he pitched to start his career as a National.  Since then he’s lost twice, including Monday night in Philadelphia, and given up six hits and two earned runs in two innings.

Denard Span, CF – 1-24/0 XBH/0 R/1 SB/.115 OBP

A career .281/.353/.385 hitter, Span’s numbers (.252/.307/.344) are the lowest of his career through 65 games this season. The lack of power isn’t a surprise, but Span’s inability to frequently get on base has to be alarming for the Nationals, especially when you consider he’s seeing the most pitches per plate appearance (4.00) of his


A DC Wonk said...

From two threads ago:

D'Gourds said...

and I agree with you re: Davey. Baseball is a game of adjustments. He is not managing to his team's make up. Waiting around for a 3 run hr doesn't work with this team this year. Make an adjistment Davey!

Two points:

1. It's debatable, and it's been debated here, how well bunts actually work. Davey does know the stats on that

2. When Lombo _did_ bunt a few games back, many folks here went ballistic over it.

Which only proves that hindsight is 20-20, and if a game is lost, we'll look at anyone to blame.

karlkolchak said...

Is it just me, or does Rendon resemble a slightly smaller version of Morse in that picture? :)

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Team average .207 and we win 3 of 7. With a median average of .250 we woulf win 5 of 7.

They know the problem, fix it.

Section 222 said...

karlkolchak -- If he were rapping himself on the side of the batting helmet the resemblance would be even stronger.

phil dunton said...

Who's not hot: Hitting Coach Eckstein

karlkolchak said...

Who else isn't hot? Espinosa - 2 for 17 (.118 BA) with 10Ks at Syracuse. Oh Danny, get the shoulder FIXED already.

phil dunton said...

Rendon is not slightly smaller than Morse, he's about half Morse's size. Rendon is listed at 6'0" but I doubt he's more than 5'10". Morse is 6'5". Facially, the is a resemblance.

baseballswami said...

On twitter there are a lot of quotes from Davey. Mostly the usual bs quips about doing the things they are capable of, yadda, yadda. But, he did mention the stats and videos and how there is too much of it- they should just go hit! This is the very first time I have heard even an iota of disagreement with the approach to hitting . I truly hope Davey either slams the book shut or changes course.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Baseball is a game whose final outcomes are not decided by OPS or WAR, but who scores the most runs. -- very simple concept.

Baseball games ought to be managed like a game of chess -- measure your opponent, determine what kind of game you're in (slugfest or pitcher's dual) and adjust to that determination, step by step.

Some managers are better at this than the others. The greats can determine the type of game very early; others like Davey, don't ever seem to grasp it.

So, about the bunt, which Sabermatrics people hate. The bunt is used primarily to advance a runner (s) in order to score them; at other times it's used an offensive weapon : the bunt single. But the task of a manager in a tight game is to keep the baserunners advancing from one base to the next until that run scores. Couple of weeks ago, I watched Atlanta Gonzalez sac bunt in the second inning -- he got his run scored -- and the game ended up a 3-2 affair. The manager determined his strategy, carried out his tactics, and won the close one -- Just like a game of Chess.

This team needs to learn the concept of constantly advancing baserunners, either by the bunt, the carefully taken walk, the purposely place sac fly, a stolen base, hit and run, run and hit, double steals and hitting the other way to advance and even score runners. We don't seem to do that well. And we need to.

Fans who hate small ball, need to get over the fact that a bunt is a 'wasted out' and view it as a tactic to carry out the strategy of scoring at least one more run than your opponent. A manager should be constantly trying to figure how to get the runner from 1st to second, from second to third, and from third to home - to accomplish the ultimate goal: scoring more than your opponent. It doesn't matter how its done, but the goal is to 'keep the line on the basepaths moving."

Whether it's the 3 run homer or variations of small ball techniques, again, the goal is to advance runners. This we do not do; this we must do in order to win.

So let's set aside the Sabermetrics hatred of small ball and lets focus on the goal of the game - advance runners and score them.

After all, what is Sabermetrics? A compendium of wonderful new ways to measure performances. Only Sabermetrics like stock market charts, and like horseracing past performances, tell you exactly where you've been, but fail to tell you what is going to happen Today!

baseballswami said...

Karlkochak--- you should find the article on WaPo about Danny- I think by Rick Maese? Quite enlightening. Sorry I don't know how to link.

baseballswami said...

NatsFan---- Nice!!!!

NatsFanSinceStart said...

thanks Swami -- been meaning to lay that out for some time -- thought today was the day to do it!

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

When I watch Rendon swing I see Clemente and even DiMaggio. The way he throws his bat at the ball with controlled violence. He's a good one -- a great draft pick! Cant wait until he's teamed up with Harper -- everyone else will be getting more strikes to hit. I know we miss the power and batting avg of Morse, but Rendon just may alleviate that loss in a big hurry

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

To win one of. 2 things have to happen. Your hitters need to score more than the other teams'hitters or your pitcher's must give up less runs than the other teams' pitchers

baseballswami said...

I am hanging on until Rendon and Bryce play together. Dynamic Duo!!

Eric said...

Agreed 100% about small ball NatsFan. I also happen to feel baseball is the most exciting or maddening (depending on who's batting) during a small ball rally.

natsfan1a said...

Espinosa link.

baseballswami said...

Karlkochak--- you should find the article on WaPo about Danny- I think by Rick Maese? Quite enlightening. Sorry I don't know how to link.
June 19, 2013 2:17 PM

Section 222 said...

Here's the post about Danny's "new approach" from Nationals Journal. And here's Kilgore's new post about him being optioned, for those who haven't seen them yet.

Sorry, but I will never get over wasting an out in certain situations. You only get three outs in an inning, so you can't move a guy all the way from first to second to third to home while making outs.

As for sabermetrics only being good for telling you where you've been, not where you're going: Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it. Or something like that.

Section 222 said...

Oh 1a, you and your quick fingers are now owed (another) drink.

alexva said...

"Some managers are better at this than the others. The greats can determine the type of game very early; others like Davey, don't ever seem to grasp it"

now that's funny, I don't care who you are

NatsLady said...

So, Freddy Freeman is Buster Olney's latest crush (after the Cards, of course) and he's talking to Jason Stark about Freeman's approach. Stark says, Freeman doesn't like to take walks. Says he WILL take a walk, but he doesn't work the count trying to walk. Rather, he has confidence that he can hit ANY pitch, and when he gets what he wants he swings.

I wonder if there isn't a difference of opinion on hitting approach. When the Yanks were here last June, everyone (including me) was very impressed at how patient they were, how they worked the count, took walks, drove up the pitch count to get the starter out of the game for a lesser reliever. That sounds like the Jayson Werth approach. In fact, he stated he wants to get the starter out of there by the sixth inning and get to a middle reliever.

Werth's approach would work with an awful lot of teams, especially poorer teams with chancy bull pens. Also will work with non-Ace type pitchers.

Probably not the best approach with Cliff Lee, Kershaw etc. Because that approach means you are at 0-2 or 1-2 a lot, and are subject to their devastating "out" pitch. Also you have expand the zone, foul off pitches etc. and end up with weak ground balls or pop-ups.

Freeman's approach (which might be Davey's, I'm guessIng), however, only works if you have really good hitters who can pretty much hit anything in the zone and can use the entire field (i.e., wont be defeated by a shift). It's the rare line-up that has more than a couple of Freeman type hitters. :)

I'm just throwing that out there as a question, when we say the team has an "identity crisis"?

baseballswami said...

I fon't think one approach works for every pitcher, every game, every situation. I would like to see more individual thinking and adjusting.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Are they selling eat face t-shirts tomorrow with a silohuette of Jsyson Werth?

natsfan1a said...

I thank you, sir.

Section 222 said...

Oh 1a, you and your quick fingers are now owed (another) drink.
June 19, 2013 2:46 PM

Caps Fan said...

"You only get three outs in an inning, so you can't move a guy all the way from first to second to third to home while making outs."

Sure you can. Single. Stolen base. Sac bunt. Sac fly. One hit, one run, two outs.

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