Monday, August 5, 2013

State of the Nats - 8/5

Photo by USA Today
Team Record: 54-57 (20-21)

N.L. East Standings

Wild Card Standings

Offensive Game of the Week: Bryce Harper 8/2 at Brewers - 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, R

Pitching Line of the Week: Dan Haren 8/3 at Brewers - 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 SO, 102 pitches, 70 strikes

Top Storylines

Braves in town - The Nats and Braves haven't played each other since June 2, but will now face off in six of their next 12 games. The first series brings the Braves to town who are riding a ten game winning streak. The Nationals, conversely, have lost three of their last five and are 6-10 since the All-Star break. If Washington has any chance in catching up with Atlanta in the NL East, they will need to make a strong statement in this series. The Braves have had their number this season, winning seven of the ten matchups and outscoring the Nats 40-20 overall. But fortunately for the Nats they will have Strasburg, Gio, and Zimmermann pitching.

Wild Card more realistic? - It was perhaps inevitable that either the Nationals or Braves would get hot and change the dynamic of the division with one streak, the Nats just hoped it would be them. Atlanta has now surged to a 12.5 game lead in the NL East and is essentially running away with it. The Nationals may now be looking at the NL Wild Card spot as a more realistic avenue to the postseason as they are 6.5 games back from the Reds and just behind the Diamondbacks who are currently the first team out. In a season as frustrating as it has been for the Nats, they would certainly take a wild card ticket to the playoffs, even if it means a potential one-and-done scenario.

Jayson Werth's health - Werth has carried over his offensive surge from July into August, but is now starting to wear down physically with a variety of injuries. He left Saturday's game with a tweaked groin, and was then hit by two pitches on Sunday in a run of bad luck. Werth now has a bruised right hand - that showed no damage on an x-ray - and bruised ribs. The Nats can ill afford to lose the veteran right fielder who is now hitting a cool .317 on the season. Over the last 30 days he's batted .395 with seven home runs, 15 RBI, and 13 walks. Werth has been by far their best player since the beginning of July and will certainly be needed if any sort of run is made.

Quote of the Week

Bryce Harper after the Nats were swept in a two game series in Detroit:

"You've got to have heart right now. You've got to play as a family, and everybody's got to want it, starting with the manager on down to everybody...

"We play the Braves nine games. This [thing] ain't over. I really don't think it's over. So we've just got to keep going, keep grinding and turn into the family that we were last year...

"It all starts with having good camaraderie in the clubhouse, having an upbeat clubhouse every single day, having an upbeat manager and staff every single day, no matter what. We could be 10 games up, but we've got two more months. We've got two more months of baseball. And if we play like we're capable, we will win this and we will do it. I know that for a fact, because we've got a great team, a great organization and we have guys on this team that are unbelievable."

Tweet of the Week

Ian Desmond pokes a little fun at the MLB trade deadline drama of last week:

Road Ahead

Mon. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Atlanta Braves (Strasburg)
Tue. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Atlanta Braves (Gonzalez)
Wed. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Atlanta Braves (Zimmermann)
Thu. – OFF
Fri. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Haren)
Sat. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Jordan)
Sun. – 5:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Strasburg)


Chevy Chase Bob said...

Big Week!

Chevy Chase Bob said...

Big Week!

SonnyG10 said...

Let's win tonight and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

A DC Wonk said...

How much longer does TyJo have? And who replaces him at that point?

alexva said...

hard to say, that's up to DaJo and MiZo

Theophilus T. S. said...

I would guess Jordan has one start more, possibly two depending how the next one goes. By then, Ohlendorf should (?) be back from the DL. Or Karns, who's just taking up space on the 40-man right now. He's pitched fewer innings than Jordan but (A) he's 25; (B) his medical history is different; (C) he's been pitching deeper at H'burg recently. So I doubt if he has any relevant pith limit. After Ohlendorf and Karns, then some waiver guy TBD.

Theophilus T. S. said...

"pitch limit"

SCNatsFan said...

Not to be overly pessemistic but I think Jordan has 3 starts left, and after then I don't think who pitches won't matter much. I hope I'm wrong but hard to see a big streak in this team right ow.

NatsLady said...

Ran the stats Not a single category where the Nats are ranked higher than Atlanta, not one. Offense, Defense, Starters, Bullpen.

Gonna have to do this on grit, luck, and Strasburg's no-hitter. :)

Injuries and Rankings - Nats/Atlanta

Roberto Fenili said...

What's to worry NatsLady about the categories.

They’re good, I don’t think they’re better than us. Yhey’re a good ballclub, they have talent. They’re hot right now, but it all evens out.

A DC Wonk said...

NatsLady -- what about age? We're a younger team, no? (he asks, while grasping at sraws)

As far as SP goes -- would Stammen be a better choice than, say, Karns?

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

alexva said...
hard to say, that's up to DaJo and MiZo


RaleighNat said...

I really think the focus is on the wild card...with a sweep we get to 9.5 back. We need to win (we really needed to win yesterday) to catch the reds and dbacks...that's the path. To do that, the team is going to have to do something it hasn't done all year - play up to their potential (which IMO is very, very good).

sjm308 said...

Wonk - even though Stammen has not been what I would call a stopper this year, I can't see them moving him back to a starter. First, it opens another hole in the bullpen. Second, I am pretty sure the routine for starting is not something you just jump into. If Ohlendorf is not ready I think they have to go get either Karns or dare I say this, Maya (ouch ouch ouch) from the minors. The other option I did hear that makes sense is to skip Taylor Jordan's next start (off day on Thursday) which gives us almost another week for either Ross to heal. If Taylor has two starts left, its almost Sept 1 and then every pitcher on the 40 man can come and play with the big boys. I realize they won't do that but those are my thoughts.

Go Nats!!

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