Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nats who's hot/who's not-7/3

Photo by USA Today
Record: 3-3
Runs per game: 5.3
Opponent runs per game: 3.8
Team ERA: 3.09

HOT:

Stephen Strasburg, SP - 0-0, 1.29 ERA, 2 ER, 9 H, 12 SO, 14.0 IP

Strasburg has seen the worst run support of any starter in the majors this season and it's not even that close. On Tuesday he turned in another fantastic start, but came away with a no decision. Against the Brewers he pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eight, lowering his season ERA to 2.24. That's the fifth best mark in the majors and should put Strasburg into prime position for his second All-Star selection, regardless of his record.

Gio Gonzalez, SP – 2-0, 1.35 ERA, 2 ER, 12 H, 11 SO, 13.1 IP

Gonzalez, much like Stephen Strasburg, has quietly recovered from an uncharacteristic start to the season. After sitting with a 4.20 ERA in mid-May, Gio has lowered that number all the way down to 3.09 which is on par with his previous two MLB seasons. He’s gone at least six innings with two earned runs or less in his last six outings, including two strong starts this past week. On Sunday Gonzalez had one of his best games of the year, pitching seven scoreless frames with just three hits allowed against the Mets.

Denard Span, CF – .345 BA, 10 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 2B

The Nats’ leadoff hitter is having a good run with hits in nine of his last ten games. With Bryce Harper back, Span is now setting the table for a pretty decent lineup and is being rewarded for it. The center fielder now has eight runs in his last nine outings, including three in the team’s 10-5 win against Milwaukee on Monday. The defense has been there all season, but Span’s bat coming around will be important for Washington as they look for more offense in the season’s second half.

Jayson Werth, RF – .250 BA, 7 H, 6 R, HR, 3 BB

Over the past week Werth has had some of his best games since joining the Nationals. On Sunday at New York he scored four runs, smacked a homer, and drew two walks. On Monday he knocked in five RBI for the first time since 2011 in Washington’s win over the Brewers. Werth’s season batting average is now up to .271 which is slightly higher than his career mark and a number the Nats will take any day from the veteran.

Fernando Abad, RP – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, H, BB, 3 SO, 2 G

Abad is now 17 games in to his 2013 season with the Nationals and still looking every bit as reliable game after game. What exactly was so wrong with this guy that Houston didn’t want him? Abad now holds a 1.15 ERA through 15 2/3 innings pitched and is one of the biggest reasons for the Nationals’ bullpen improvements this year. For a guy the Nats signed in November to a minor league deal, they have to be pleasantly surprised with what he’s produced thus far.

NOT:

Anthony Rendon, 2B - .241 BA, .577 OPS, 7 H, BB, 7 SO, 

Rendon is still hitting over .300 on the year, but has been in a cold stretch this past week. He has just four hits in his last 25 at-bats after entering the week with a .354 batting average. He’s now hitting in the seven hole with Werth heating up and will certainly benefit from Wilson Ramos’ return. All in all, Rendon’s slump has been brief and he still makes the Nats lineup much deeper and imposing than it was with Danny Espinosa.

Ross Detwiler, SP – 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1.600 WHIP

Detwiler completed his rocky June on Friday night with an uneven start against the Mets, but more importantly complained of back stiffness after the start. If he is in any sort of pain when on the mound, it might explain some things. Detwiler hasn’t recorded an out in the seventh inning since May 10 and sits 2-6 with a 4.13 ERA on the season. He was stellar early this year, but has really fallen off. Perhaps it’s due to injury, but a consistent Detwiler would really help Nats’ rotation in the second half as they try to make a run at the Braves.

Jordan Zimmerman, SP – 2-0, 4.50 ERA, 6 ER, 2 HR, 12 H, 13.0 IP

The standards have become so high for Zimmermann that this last week was one of the worst he’s had this season. For just the third time this year he allowed more than three earned runs, giving up four to the Brewers on Monday night. Zimmermann still came away with two wins in his last two starts, despite holding a 4.50 ERA combined. He is now tied with Max Scherzer for the MLB lead with 12 wins on the season, matching the career high he set last season. See, even when you try to criticize Zimmermann, you end up praising him.

Craig Stammen, RP – 3.1 IP, 10.80 ERA, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 G

After allowing just one run in his previous 10 1/3 innings, Stammen has surrendered four in his last 3 1/3. He has been one of the Nats’ most reliable pitchers this season up until recently, and there’s no reason to panic at this point. But it was interesting how Davey Johnson took him out on Monday night with a three-run lead, despite him allowing the Brewers to get a run closer. Whether Johnson saw something wrong with Stammen or not, the move worked out. Perhaps he will be careful with the reliever moving forward, but Stammen should be okay.

Tyler Moore 1B/OF - .143 BA, HR, R, 2 SO

Moore has just one hit since returning to the Nats from Triple-A Syracuse last week. Even though it was a home run, it was the only thing he’s done in his first seven at-bats in this most recent stint. Moore is now hitting just .157 on the season through 41 games, failing to bring the consistent pop off the bench he provided last season.

86 comments:

Eric said...

Should Werth's BA read .350, not .250?

And, wasn't his last 5-RBI game in 2009, not 2011?

Eric said...

PS - great to see Span in the hot list after he fared so poorly last night in the hallowed halls of the NI threads...

d'grviii 8 said...

Not hot: Storen.

karlkolchak said...

Detwiler/raw rookie about to give way to Haren again as 40% of the rotation is shaping up to potentially a real problem if this team thinks it is going to climb back into contention. I've never been that sold on Detwiler. If you place his career stats next to John Lannan's and cover up the names it's hard to tell much of difference:

ERA: 3.81, 4.04
WHIP: 1.366, 1.420
K/9: 4.7, 5.4
BB/9: 3.0, 3.3
H/9: 9.3, 9.4

Both pitchers have trouble pitching deep into games. Detwiler failed to complete 6 innings 13 times in 27 starts last year, while Lannan failed to complete 6 innings 15 times in 33 starts his last full year as a Nat in 2011.

When on, Detwiler is an effective 4/5 starter, but that's about all he is, and the Nats need him to step things up immediately as the margin for error in this season has disappeared.

Section 222 said...

Didn't look like Span fared poorly in the thread last night. Just one poster making the same point over and over and over again. Lots of folks defending him. Once again last night he showed his value in the field. He makes tough plays look easy. That's in contrast to the Shark who makes easy plays look spectacular.

Span is showing a lot of signs of life at the plate. That's good because his popups to left and grounders to second and first were getting old. I'd still be fine with batting him 8th. If he gets on the pitcher can bunt him over and put him in scoring position for Werth and Rendon to drive in.

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Yeah - I'm one of those fans that calls an ace an ace and a spade a spade... I had no issues with the paying fans expressing their dismay by booing the fact that yet another Nats pitcher can't hold a runner..

It seemingly takes a lot for Nats fans to boo becuz we don't do it often... It gets to a breaking point and seeing the Nats pitcher keep messing up on fundamentals, it's frustrating...

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Storen just had a bad game... His last outting on Friday (that I saw) against the Mets was absolutely superb...

Section 222 said...

Good to see Stras on the Who's Hot list. We all know that W-L records of starting pitchers are meaningless, but this really tells the tale:

JZnn -- ERA 2.46, WHIP 0.945, 12-3
Stras -- ERA 2.24, WHIP 1.037, 4-6

My goodness.

Exposremains said...

Rizzo said, we need harper back and everything will fixed itself. What's the excuse now? I see yesterday as the norm and the 2 precious days as an exception. Its also not fair to put all the pressure on Harper to fix the offense. Im sure he read all the comments from Rizzo and DJ and other players and feels like he has to carry the team. They need to trade for a bat and a pitcher. Storen still has a lot a value for a rebuilding team.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Not Hot: Chase's copy editor.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Last night was a big blow to my projections leading up to the All Star break as I had 7/2/13 penciled in as a Nats "W". Hard to believe the Nats squandered a great start by Stephen Strasburg like that.

For all those bashing Storen, the ump really screwed Storen and changed his strike zone but the single to leadoff the inning wasn't exactly a great pitch and the most important out for Storen is that 1st out. Once he put the fast runner on you could tell it was a recipe for disaster.

Why wasn't Krol or Abad immediately up in the bullpen and why wasn't Storen working on picking off Schafer with at least some throw overs to LaRoche.

Eric said...

>Rizzo said, we need harper back and everything will fixed itself. What's the excuse now?

Excuse for what? 23 runs over the last three games?

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Ghost - Why wasn't Krol or Abad immediately up in the bullpen and why wasn't Storen working on picking off Schafer with at least some throw overs to LaRoche.

======

This is where I was upset with Davey... Yeah, yeah I understand the Monday morning QBing thing but this has been a continual theme with Nats pitchers and blowing up....

Sometimes DJ, seemingly, waits too long and no he isn't perfect and won't always make the right choice but if we fans see that Drew can't locate any of his other pitches and seeing that the blue is all over the place... If we recognize these little nuisances, then why does DJ always seem a step late...

In no way am I bashing DJ... Just adding commentary...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sec222, JZim was 8-11 with a 3.18 ERA in 2011 and last year was 12-8 with a 2.95 ERA while Gio was 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA.

It comes down to luck, timing, and how that works with the Run Support. JZim had a 8 inning no decision this year with 0 earned and a loss for a 8 inning 1 earned game against the Padres and 1 loss giving up 2 earned.

MrsB loves the Nats said...

SS this year reminds me of JZimm from last year...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mrs B, in close games like last night you need double barrel going and mistake #1 was Logan Schafer is batting .050 against LH relievers. Why wasn't Abad doing a LOOGY to get out 1.

Why? That is Baseball 101. You bring in Storen then to face Weeks and the RH after him.

Davey played it to casually as he has too many times before. Drew hasn't been good at all against leadoff LH batters. I don't have the stats but overall LH hitting .344 off of him. Enough said.

JD said...


MRS. B,

DJ stayed with Storen over Krol and Abad because until proven otherwise in the long haul Storen is a better pitcher than either of these guys.

JD said...


Ghost,

I disagree about your 'casual' point. Davie consistently uses Storen and Clip as his set up men because he thinks that these 2 guys give him the best chance of winning game in game out.

I know you disagree with that approach but I don't think you can make a 'casual' argument.

JD said...


Ghost,

Oh, and if you bring a lefty in Schafer doesn't hit. They bring in Gomez and that's clearly a worse matchup than Storen vs. Schafer.

JD said...


And the same goes if you bring in a lefty against Francisco. They pinch hit with Gomez or LeCroy.

Section 222 said...

DJ stayed with Storen over Krol and Abad because until proven otherwise in the long haul Storen is a better pitcher than either of these guys.

Not against lefties. Not when he's laboring with men on base. Not when clearly doesn't have his best stuff or command.

I can certainly see giving Storen a shot at a light hitting lefty like Schafer with none out and no on one, but not with the game on the line once it's clear that he doesn't have his best stuff.

I don't think Davey is casual. He just has a "it's his game to win or lose" attitude way too often. Maybe Soriano deserves that respect. H-Rod didn't. And neither does Storen. Certainly not if he can't keep his head in the game enough to stop ridiculous steals like last night. And not if there is a well rested pen with some good options available to bail him out.

Don't forget, Krol has already gone 2 innings several times this year. He certainly could have been left in for the 9th after getting the final out in the 8th.

Section 222 said...

Good point on the righties on MIL's bench JD. But by the time Francisco comes up, I just think it was clear that Storen did not have his A-game.

d'grviii 8 said...

A situation of men on first and second with none out and a light hitting lefty up in the top of the eighth of a tied game is NOT a situation where the game is on the line. It just isn't.

Exposremains said...

Eric

First , its 23 runs over 2 games and zero in the other one.
Second, Harper was there for 2 of these games.
Third, you quote me without context, I said that they've been blanked so many times that I believe thats the norm. The blowouts are not.

Section 222 said...

d'grv -- I was talking about Shafer as a light hitting leftie, not Francisco, but I take your point. But were you watching last night? Storen was laboring, he was nibbling (or getting squeezed), he had already given up a sharp hit, allowed a guy to steal, and walked a batter. Yes, the game was on the line in that situation and he was clearly not the right pitcher to get out of that jam.

bowdenball said...

Exposremains said...

"I said that they've been blanked so many times that I believe thats the norm. The blowouts are not."

The Nats have been "blanked" fewer times than the team they trail by 7 games.


And your post very clearly implied that Rizzo was wrong when he said that everything will fix itself after Harper came back. Don't you think it's a little early to conclude that things haven't been fixed? They've averaged 5 runs a game since Harper returned. They're 1-1. Did you think they were gonna go 80-0 with him? If not, how can do you know that things haven't been fixed?

Eric said...

Going back to the last thread, the idea of Werth as a manager is intriguing, as I really think he inspires the people around him.

But, I have no idea what his capacity is as a strategic thinker...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

But, I have no idea what his capacity is as a strategic thinker...

In-game strategy does matter, but most of what an MLB manager does, Werth is probably already doing. The in-game stuff is secondary, and as has been famously noted, there's probably dozens of people in the stands on any given night who could manage a game as well.

Section 222 said...

I've said before that I don't find it plausible that Werth will be a player-manager or a manager. Not because he couldn't do the job and do it well, but because he is an extremely wealthy man with a young family and I don't he's going to find the grind of a baseball season very attractive once he can't play the game anymore.

Remember when Pudge was in his last year and lots of folks thought he'd make a great coach for the Nats? I didn't think that would ever happen either.

JD said...


Sec222,

I don't know about that. He had just retired Ramirez who is clearly a better hitter than Francisco and as I said if you bring in Krol for example they counter with Gomez. Davie prefers Storen to Francisco vs. Krol to Gomez ans so do I.

If you noticed lately DJ has been using Stammen in the 7th even though he has been less than effective. Against the Mets on Saturday he came in to relieve Jordan even though the Mets had a couple of lefties scheduled. Davie just has Stammen higher on the pecking order than the new lefties and he certainly trusts Storen more.

Eric said...

I think most in-game decisions are tactical and/or logistical. I meant strategy across multiple games, recognizing the kinds of hitters you have and what kind of batting approach is most likely to score you runs, how to organize the pen to handle a long stretch of games given the upcoming lineups, etc.

I have little doubt Werth could manage pitcher/hitter match ups and other in-game decisions quite well.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Just for the sake of discussion, this season, against LHP, CarGo's slash: .333/.387/.643

Eric said...

PS - I think the rubbermatch against the Mets illustrated vastly different bullpen strategies that guided specific in-game tactical choices. Clearly, Collins' bullpen strategy focuses on matchups, whereas Davey is more likely to let a reliever pitch a full inning. Now, that might be a product of the assets each has available, or it might be personal style. I don't have nearly enough history to formulate an opinion on that.

But, it gets at the point I'm getting at: would Werth--as a hypothetical manager--have a personal style or would he manage to his assets?

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Eric, I thought that's what you meant. I don't know how much he thinks about pitchers--I suspect he does--but the hitting approach and the rest, I am sure he does as a matter of course, as a mentor and team leader. I was thinking more of the personnel side, too--dealing with egos, knowing which arms to twist and which butts to kiss (Riggleman seemed to excel at kissing arms and twisting butts). I think he'd be a lot like Kirk Gibson.

A DC Wonk said...

Theophilus T. S. said...

Fans are entitled to a team that doesn't play like a Belushi-Akroyd prequel to The Bad News Bears before Tatum O'Neal...

....Don't tell me Desmond has driven in more runs than...

And don't tell me about Storen facing "game situations."...


Translation: listen to my rant, and don't you dare come back at me with facts!

Awesome!!

A DC Wonk said...

(Faraz Shaikh -- thanks for the shout out last thread!)

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I think one of Davey's best assets, historically, has been his ability to manage to his assets. Not everybody is good at that, as you point out. I think Joe Torre, for instance, might not be--he was well suited to that one team. I suspect a lot of less-than to only-modestly successful managers, like Ray Knight, for instance, just didn't get a chance to manage the team they were good for. Davey had the ability to manage anybody's team and finish no worse than second. I hope he still does.

Don said...

Odd that Kurt Suzuki, who is hitting .300 over his last 5 with some clutch ABs, did not make the Hot list. In related news, and potentially as evidence that the Nats REALLY do not want Kurt's option to kick-in, Kelly Shoppach has been inked to play C at Cuse.

A DC Wonk said...

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Storen just had a bad game... His last outting on Friday (that I saw) against the Mets was absolutely superb...

Yeah, but the pressure was different!

I mean, we had Strasburg going this game! (Oh, wait, Strasburg pitched that game, too)

But, it was tied last night! (Oh, wait, it was tied that night, too)

But it was the eighth inning last night! (Oh, wait, it was the 8th inning that game, too).

Ne'er mind. These facts are messing me up.

/sarcasm

A DC Wonk said...

Davey had the ability to manage anybody's team and finish no worse than second. I hope he still does.

I'd like to elaborate on that point, and try to refute (yet again) an old canard that he only knows how to manage in an old AL hope-for-three-run-homer way. People that say that really don't know what their talking about, and haven't been following Davey's career.

In fact, the real deal is that Davey looks at the strengths of his players, and fashions strategy out of what he has.

Exhibit A: when he went to the Reds in the early 90's, he saw a team with some fast players but not exploiting their speed: the Reds, the year before he got there, 1992, were 8th in the league in stealing (out of 12 back then).

He started managing during the '93 season, and got them to run a lot more. They were 4th in the league in SB's in '93, 3rd in '94, and led the league in SB's in '95.

Now let's take a look at the Nats. They are 13th in BA, 14th in OBP -- yet 11th in SLG, and 10th in HR's That means that, proportionally, they hit for more power and HR than other teams do, compared to singles.

Davey -- the original geek/stats-man surely is aware of that.

So, for a team with such a lousing BA, but decent power despite it -- it makes sense to bunt a bit less than other teams (although, has has been pointed out twice this morning already, the Nats have only two fewer bunts than the league average).

The point here is that Davey has a long history of adapting his strategies to the team he has.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD said...

Ghost,

Oh, and if you bring a lefty in Schafer doesn't hit. They bring in Gomez and that's clearly a worse matchup than Storen vs. Schafer.

July 03, 2013 12:07 PM


It's possible he does that but I think he waits because he had a short bench.

If Davey thinks that he has Krol who gets out everybody equally if you know what I mean.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Remember, 0-0 game top of the 8th, both managers are thinking it could go to extra innings and this is the top of the Brewers order and they have a 3 man bench and an extra large bullpen.

Storen is awful vs lefties. Have to get that 1st out.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

What is it this year with Storen and lefties and especially the light hitting lefties?

Schafer when he got his hit was batting almost Mendoza but like I said, I can't find an instance where he got pulled for a pinch hitter and in fact has faced lefty relievers 20 times this season and is 1 for 20 batting .050

I would have brought in Abad or gone with Krol for the full inning with Storen for the 9th or extras.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The Kelly Shopach signing is interesting. That's real good catcher depth now.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Not sure what Roenicke would have done, but in the 8th inning, it's pretty late already. With the Nats showing no inclination to score, I have to think that even with his bullpen, and on the road, one or two runs right there and take your chances might be a good plan. In fact, one or two would have been enough.

d'grviii 8 said...

Werth's contract is what will keep him from becoming a player-manager. Not the dollar amount of it, but the length. If Rizzo hired Werth as player-manager after Davey retires, he'd be stuck with him for four years no matter what. There would be no way to fire the manager if he's still going to be sitting in the dugout as a player. Maybe if this was the last year of Werth's contract it might happen. But otherwise, no way.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Shoppach used to hit lefties well enough, and maybe Davey would rather have him as a backup than Solano, in case Ramos gets hurt again, or they trade Suzuki.

Section 222 said...

Davey prefers Storen to Francisco vs. Krol to Gomez and so do I.

Actually, we don't know this because Davey didn't even have Krol warming. What if Ramirez had singled, scoring Shafer? By then Storen would have made 17 pitchers, with no outs to show for it. Would you have left Storen in then too out of fear of Gomez? Davey would have because he had no other option. That was the manager fail in my opinion.

Just for the sake of discussion, this season, against LHP, CarGo's slash: .333/.387/.643

I thought CarGo played for the Rockies, what does he have to do with this discussion? :-) Kidding. All I can counter with, just for discussion, is Storen's split against lefties after last night: .344/.397/.607. And that includes the many games in which he pitched well.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Does anybody know why Seattle cut him loose?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Isn't Roenicke related to Ian's sister as an uncle-in-law.

JD said...


Ghost,

I like Shopach but I wander what that means with Ramos return just around the corner. I mean it would make sense for next year if we are not picking up Suzuki's option.

I'm pretty sure the Nats aren't sold on either Solano or Leon even for a backup position.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Awwww, man, did I do that again??

Eric said...

"I was thinking more of the personnel side, too--dealing with egos, knowing which arms to twist and which butts to kiss (Riggleman seemed to excel at kissing arms and twisting butts). I think he'd be a lot like Kirk Gibson."

LMAO re: kissing arms and twisting butts!

I don't know how to interpret the Kirk Gibson comparison (because I know next to nothing about Kirk Gibson's style), but I do think Werth would excel at managing people, both players, managers, everyone. He seems to have a really good ability to take it light while taking no s***.

Interesting follow up insights into Davey's ability to adapt strategy to his assets, as opposed to trying to adapt his assets to a particular strategy. The former certainly seems like a better recipe for success. If you run out of mortar rounds, it's probably not very effective to simply start aiming your rifles over the walls.

Section 222 said...

I'm pretty sure the Nats aren't sold on either Solano or Leon even for a backup position.

If that's the case, I hope it's based on their offense not their ability to throw out runners. Johnny Bench himself would have a hard time with our pitching staff.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

No, I got the right one. Wrong nic, maybe. Oh well. The Sofa regrets the confuscation.

Section 222 said...

For a player, Werth seems to have had a outsized impact on roster decisions -- see., e.g., Nyjer Morgan (good), Matt Stairs (bad). He also laid down the law on Kobernus's green shoes right?

JD said...


222,

I don't know what to tell you. Storen and Clip are DJ's men for the 8th and I don't think he's inclined to change that any time soon.

Section 222 said...

sofa, carry on. Just poking you. After I thought about it for two secs, I didn't doubt you had the right stats.

Don said...

Rendon is not so much 4 for his last 25 as he is 4 for his last NINE.

Section 222 said...

JD, I know that. I'm questioning his judgment on that, that's all. That's what we do here. You made a really good case for why, even if he had had Krol ready, he might have stuck with Storen anyway. The problem is that wasn't the question. He was stuck with him no matter what-- even if Ramirez had hit a 3-run bomb on that 3-2 pitch. Given Storen's history of high pressure meltdowns, that's not good.

This is just from observation, and perhaps the numbers would tell a different story, but it seems to me that Clipp is much better at pitching out of jams of his own creation. Storen seems to be either on or off, and more likely to melt down when he gets in trouble. In other words, when he's good he's very very good, but when he is bad he is awful. Baseball as fairy tale.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I don't know how to interpret the Kirk Gibson comparison (because I know next to nothing about Kirk Gibson's style),

My favorite Gibson story probably informs most of my opinion on his style.

When the Dodgers signed him for 1988, they wanted a clubhouse leader with some authority, as they felt the '87 club had underachieved because of a lax clubhouse ethic, and Gibson was considered a no-BS personality.

In Spring Training, somebody put eyeblack on the inside of his cap, so that he had a big ring on his head when he took it off. Ha ha, big joke, lookit Capt. RA with the black mark! Gibson was furious, and stormed out of the camp that day. I read about it at the time and though, "OMG, is he ever in for it now! They're going to really let him have it."

Well, of course all he did was whip their asses into shape, win the MVP, and hit one of the most famous home runs of all time, on one leg.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Rendon is not so much 4 for his last 25 as he is 4 for his last NINE.

Indeed. Good point, Don.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Section222, Storen gives up hits this year to lefties at a pace of greater than 1 in 3 and almost 4 in 10 to put them on base via hit/walk.

I think if the lefty was batter #2 then you may go with Storen. You just want to avoid the lefty as the 1st batter for Storen.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Clearly, Drew is not getting LH out like you'd want in a would-be closer. Do you think it's his arsenal, i.e., he lacks the out pitch to LH, or his approach, his pitch selection? Or is he just still green in that way, and hasn't learned something he needs to know to get lefties?

Eric said...

Davey actually does seem to prioritize Clippard over Storen when lefties are due up, and I'm pretty sure he's outright said as much. Didn't he partly use Storen to close against the Mets (or maybe it was the DBacks?) because lefties were due up in the bottom of the 8th?

Sometimes I think these mystifying decisions of his are based on more than the specific game situation. Maybe it's something like with slumping batters where he feels the only way for Storen to improve against lefties is to pitch against lefties? Or, something to do with bullpen readiness for the rest of the series?

I will say, it seems as though Davey makes some of his stranger choices late during tie ball games.

Eric said...

I think I might kinda/sorta owe you a beer for my second paragraph, Sec. 3.

Eric said...

Funny story about Gibson, btw. I can see Werth's reaction being more along the lines of noogying everyone on the team with the eyeblacked hat rather than storming off, though ;).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sec3, he was fine his rookie year with lefties. He's bad this year. It's like NatsLady said, with lefties coming up you go with Clippard.

He went in on Schafer and left it over the plate. I think he doesn't like going in on lefties. Either you go in or pitch them away.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Let's face it, one of Rizzo's best moves was signing a closer. This team would be toast if they relied on what they had without Soriano.

Eric said...

Soriano was a solid pick up, no doubt.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Maybe it's like Davey said, and he just doesn't know how to not think.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

And speaking of Gibson's home run, off Eckersley--the next year, 1989, Eck pitched to something like 208 batters, and walked 3 of them. Who pitches all year long, and walks three guys??

"Throw strikes. Home plate don't move."

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Although, no disrespect to Satchel, strike zones do move.

Section 222 said...

Let's face it, one of Rizzo's best moves was signing a closer. This team would be toast if they relied on what they had without Soriano.

+1

Section 135 said...

Drew is leaving everything up this year. His slider is very inconsistent to where it breaks too much or has no feel for it. His control is way off. His velocity is down. He's behind in almost every count. His pitch to Francisco was right down the middle letter high. I would not be surprised if he was injured. All in all, these are bad traits for either a closer or someone you want pitching close games. Unfortunately his trade value is zippo so we are stuck with him(good thing we drafted him before Trout). But he should only face righties and should be pulled when it appears he is having an off-night.

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Sorry JD - started trying to clear stuff on the DVR.. But I still think Davey has to recognize the situation and go with situational pitchers... DJ alluded to once he got some lefties, he would be able to change it up right up... He has 2 really good ones with Krol and Abad.. He should have and could have pitched either of them for the one batter and then switch it up, especially since Storen isn't that great against lefties right now...

But we can agree to disagree....

Also Wonk - I see you got my point...

I actually think most of the moves Rizzo did this off season were right moves, with the exception of Haren... And letting Burnett/Gorzo go...

Really like the Span and Soriano signing...

natsfan1a said...

(Apologies if this has already been mentioned but I'm just catching up on reading posts and am way behind on reading comments.)

Speaking of Eckersley, Mike Harris had an interesting piece on relievers over on the Times site.

bowdenball said...

Section 135 said...

"Drew is leaving everything up this year. His slider is very inconsistent to where it breaks too much or has no feel for it. His control is way off. His velocity is down. He's behind in almost every count. His pitch to Francisco was right down the middle letter high. I would not be surprised if he was injured. All in all, these are bad traits for either a closer or someone you want pitching close games. Unfortunately his trade value is zippo so we are stuck with him(good thing we drafted him before Trout)."

Wow. It's amazing that with all those problems he was somehow able to limit the opponent to only three hits and two walks in his previous nine outing and maintain an xFIP of 3.53 on the season! Miraculous.

And the aside about Trout is really silly. Trout was drafted 25th overall- meaning 22 other teams in addition to the Nationals passed on him. And Drew has contributed more at the major league level than all but four or five of the 23 other guys taken before Trout, one of whom was also taken by the Nsts by the way. They had a great draft in 2009.

Finally, if you really think a goy with an xFIP of 3.53 and a K/BB ratio well over 3/1 in his worst major league season who is under club control for three more years has NO trade value ... I mean, when you make a comment like that you either have it out for the organization or the player or you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

His trade value is limited only because he's a reliever, but it's still FAR from zero.

natsfan1a said...

What does his religion have to do with it? Oh, nevermind.

Eric said...

>What does his religion have to do with it? Oh, nevermind.

lol! I saw this before reading bowden's post, got confused, read bowden's post, got to the line in question, almost posted something of my own, and then was like, "OH! Good one 1a!" :)

natsfan1a said...

hehe

bowdenball said...

Good one, natsfan! I had to read my post a couple times to catch it, but it was worth it for the laugh.

Scooter said...

I laffed too, but Evil Mark deleted my post.

:-(

natsfan1a said...

Would that be Zuckerman's Evil Twin, Scooter?

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I don't get it.

natsfan1a said...

sec3, try the next to last paragraph. :-)

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