Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nats who's hot/who's not - 8/21

Photo by USA Today
By Steve Roney

The Nationals' past week, at a glance:

Record: 3-4
Team slash: .269/.343/.377
Team ERA: 4.28
Runs per game: 3.6
Opponent runs per game: 4.9
Opponent slash: .227/.292/.438


Dan Haren, SP/RP: 1-0/1 SV/1.38 ERA/0.85 WHIP/13 IP/11 K

Nobody on the Nationals, or in the majors in general, is as hot as is Haren right now. Whether it's a result of mechanics, being truly healthy (my colleague Mark Zuckerman noted that his ERA since returning from the DL is 2.16), or just getting his head screwed on right, he has been truly dominant all month. On top of his microscopic August ERA (1.33), he also pitched in during the 15-inning marathon against Atlanta, recording his first career save.

Ryan Zimmerman, 3B: 8-27/1 HR/3 RBI/.387 OBP/.943 OPS

We all figured he would, but Zimmerman has begun to hit his way out of his recent slump. Barring a scorching finish, his season numbers won't be all that impressive, but he has raised his average back to a respectable .270, muscling up on the ball, and getting on base like a machine -- like he always has. Imagine if he'd hit this way all year.

Jayson Werth, OF: 10-27/2 XBH/4 RBI/.496 OBP/.913 OPS

What is there left to say about Werth, except "please, please play this way next season"? Hot doesn't fully describe him -- he's hit .400 for nearly two full months now, and his OPS since June 4 is 1.018. Again, while it's important to appreciate how incredibly he's hitting, it's hard not to see the manifest proof of his talent and think of what might be had he -- and Zimmerman, and Harper, and LaRoche, and Desmond, et al -- all gotten hot earlier, or for at least an extended stretch. 


Rafael Soriano, CL: 0-1/2 SV/2 BL SV/15.75 ERA/2.25 WHIP/4 IP/4 K

Whatever is afflicting the Beltway's closers, one thing's for sure -- games are much more exciting when you have no idea what to expect from your supposed stopper. Though Baltimore's Jim Johnson leads the majors in blown saves, Soriano made up some ground in that race to the bottom by blowing two in the past week. The emphatic untucker gave up at least one run in all four appearances this week, and yielded a homer in each of the past three. Opposing batters have hit like Hall of Famers against him, to the tune of a .368 average and an OPS of 1.271.

Jordan Zimmermann, SP: 1-1/6.75 ERA/1.42 WHIP/12 IP/7 K

Zimmermann began his week with a great start, holding the Giants to one run over seven innings, but ended it in disastrous fashion. He was tattooed by the Cubs, who have all but been declawed for much of the season, for perhaps the worst start of his career: five innings, three homers, eight earned runs. He's been averaging one truly horrible start per month since May -- hopefully this was him getting it out of his system for August.

Adam LaRoche, 1B: 4-21/1 HR/3 RBI/.320 OBP/.653 OPS

LaRoche's up-and-down season continues, though even when he's down he manages to flash some power, drive in some runs, and get on base. Anyone still pining for Michael Morse really shouldn't be, but it is troubling to note that LaRoche has hit just .180 since July 8. 


phil dunton said...

No matter how you slice it, Ryan Zimmerman has had a very disappointing season.

baseballswami said...

Anyone else hearing the shark signed with Philly?

baseballswami said...

And as for ALR-- play Tyler Moore.

hiramhover said...

Generous of you to call ALR's season "up and down"--after an "up" period in May-June, it's been pretty much down and downer.

Nats106 said...

Soriano should be banned from untucking if he EVER gives up a run in a save situation. Automatic 5 game suspension for untucking. And specially for him, death penalty for parking violaions.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Yep, Shark is a bleeping Phoolie

RC said...

In beanball news, Jason Heyward hit in the the face/jaw by a pitch. Spitting up blood. Looked horrible.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

RC, Heyward walked off the field with no help.

baseballswami said...

But he did look very dazed. Hate to see that happen to anyone. But for those of you who believe in plunking and retaliating? That is what can happen.

SonnyG10 said...

First I've heard of this plunking. Accidental or on purpose?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Accidental lefty lefty. The sound was a direct hit. He did get up.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Note to Freddi, this hitting batters can name someone. Their plunking of Bryce created bad Karma.

Pilchard said...

The Nats have 6 games left against the Phils. Have no doubt that Bernadina will play well against the Nats.

Kirbs said...

I think Zimms issue has been his shoulder

baseballswami said...

Kirbs-- I think you are correct. Major surgery plus inactive on regular workouts during recovery. When he showed up at ST, he was maybe at two months and not throwing. At the end of ST he tried like heck to ramp it up but had not thrown normally in over a year. He has really tried, but that shoulder was not ready to do what he was asking of it. Maybe with full off season it comes back, maybe it never does.

DaveBinMD said...

Considering how well RZimm can zip the ball to first in warm-ups, I think the problem is a little above his shoulder.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I agree with Dave. He throws great in warm-ups. That is what Davey alluded to for his concern that it could be mental.

It's the drop off in bat speed which you hope comes back. The mental block getting him to play up so close makes the hot corner tougher to react because of the split second lost. His UZR and Range ratings are worst in the Majors.

Rizzo has a tough decision for the off-season

Theophilus T. S. said...

Stop making excuses for Zimmerman. And since when is .270 "respectable" for a person with his alleged talent (and future contract obligations)?

baseballswami said...

You guys are a tough crowd. I think they give him the off season to get right unless they know for sure it's structural. You know, after all he has meant to this organization and all. I say he comes out in Spring Training looking every inch the former gold glover.

SonnyG10 said...

baseballswami said...
You guys are a tough crowd. I think they give him the off season to get right unless they know for sure it's structural. You know, after all he has meant to this organization and all. I say he comes out in Spring Training looking every inch the former gold glover.
August 21, 2013 3:49 PM

My heart votes with you on this, swami.

TexNat said...

I'm still pining for Morse---as a back up. He is having a worst case scenario type of year, but he is still OPSing over 800 against lefties. It would have made a whole bunch more sense to keep him on board for this year at $7 million than it did to acquire Dejesus for $6.50 for next year to play a similar role.

Theophilus T. S. said...

" I say he comes out in Spring Training looking every inch the former gold glover."

One of his problems is he came to this Spring Training looking every inch like Miguel Cabrera, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

Then Johnson let the veterans loaf thru ST. Golf in the afternoon for everybody. I don't recall a year in which the regulars played less once the exhibition season started. Are we going to blame that on the long bus rides? I'm not sure it resulted in poor conditioning but it didn't get people in shape either -- and the mental sharpness has been missing from the start.

Steady Eddie said...

Texnat -- while a part of me agrees re Morse, I'm not sure it would have made sense for the team to do that even for the short run. Remember that he's in his walk year, and a big part of him would have had the right to be and likely would have been royally pissed at being used as a backup in the one year of his career he earned to showcase himself for a big contract. So it may not even have worked out in the short term, that is, this season.

That's entirely apart from his being injured in Seattle for most of this season, and not coming back productively. Whether he would have gotten injured here, and thus mess up his chances for a big year like 2011, playing as a backup is totally speculative.

But the broader point is that it was not in the Nats' long term interest either -- in drawing or re-signing FAs -- to get the rep as a team that would keep a guy as a backup in the one potential big walk year of his career.

Post a Comment