Comments on the Game Yesterday

All the Nats weakpoints were on display in this poor effort yesterday.  Hitting with runners in scoring position: one for eleven.  The team is ranked 20th I think on this important stat.  Bull-pen sucks!  Running in one rookie from AAA after another for his first ever MLB game, for a supposed WS contender—-simply pathetic.  Blame this one on Rizzo.  Defense?  Good enough maybe for AAA.

All of the above has been commented on here since early spring training.

Let’s hear it again:  Why did the team go after Sherzer when their biggest need was clutch hitting?  Good hitters were available during the winter.

First Walk-off of 2015!

When I first heard the Nats had traded for Yunel Escobar I did a little research and was not very impressed with what I found.  But after the first two weeks of the season, I can see what a tough out he is in the batter’s box:).  He is what we call a “contact hitter, ” or someone who rarely swings and misses.  Manager Matt had Yunel batting leadoff for about the first 10 games for exactly that reason.  It is possible that watching Escober hit is rubbing off on his team-mates, like Bryce Harper.  Thus far Harper is working pitchers for more walks than usual (for him).  Last night Escobar pounced on a fastball in the 10th inning and stroked a home-run to win the game!

Over the most recent 8 games the Nats are hitting over .300 with runners in scoring position.

The Nats are close to having Anthony Rendon play in some minor-league games.  That means he might be back in the Nats lineup within a coule of weeks.

Poor Hitting With Runners in Scoring Position (RISP)

As I previously predicted the Nats are hurting on offense, and this has been a problem since the start of 2013.  So far they have hit 5 for 30 with runners in scoring position, one of the lowest marks in baseball thus far.  We all know injuries to key hitters (and the trade of LaRoach) have not helped.  But teams that hope to get into the post-season have to produce runs when opportunity knocks.  The fact that this has been a glaring problem for the Nats since early 2013 makes me wonder about the team’s hitting philosophy as well as their choices of hitting coaches.

They are averaging just over 2 runs per game, and that includes un-earned runs.  That is pathetic.

Here is the Opening Day Lineup

Uggla starts at 2B, T-Mo in LF, Taylor in CF.  I’m really holding my nose on Taylor since he can’t hit ML pitching.

The bench on opening day is: Lobaton, Espi, Dekker, Johnson, Robinson.

The above are just my guesses; the team has not announced these.

I am very disappointed about this, but it’s just the opening day lineup.  Werth could be in the lineup very soon after that.  Rendon and Span will take weeks if not months.  I am almost shocked that Ian Stewart has apparently not made the cut, judging by his name not having been mentioned in print for at least 2 weeks:)

So both the offense and defense will be weak, and the bull-pen will be close to a total F_______-up.

You saw it HERE!!!

The Marlins?

As MLK once said, “I have a dream.”  Well, I had one last night and it wasn’t pretty:)

The Marlins ended up winning the NL East!  By only 2 games, mind you, but what a shock.  Actually I’ve had the thought in the back of my head for a couple of weeks, but refused to acknowledge it.  What happened?  The Nats offense and bull-pen ended up being the problems I predicted. Take a look at the BP’s collective ERA today, March 30.  Look at how the offense has been performing.  Yes, It’s only spring training, I know.

I think I know where Bryce Harper’s ring will be, come October:)

BTW—Tom Boswell’s article in the POST today is another gem.

Offense and Bullpen Suck!

Yesterday I mentioned my concern about the lack of offense, no stranger to the 2014 Gnats.

Today it’s the Pen I’m commenting on; it has been terrible in Spring Training.  You out there who have been following ST results know very well what I’m talking about.  Good starting pitching is important, but with a weak offense and a shakey pen, the Nats are set to lose a lot of games after the first 6-7 innings.

Yoiu heard it here.  nuf said.

 

Color Me Concerned

As we get closer to opening day, The Nats are now without their 4 best hitters from last year.  Span, Rendon, and Werth will not be able to play in the opener.  Laroach has been traded.  So their already suspect offense, could slide to “mediocre” at least for part of April.

Rendon worries me most, because knee ligaments can be very hard to rehabilitate.  I suspect the team may be withholding the full story on Anthony’s injury.

Further, I would put Tony Gwynn in CF until Span returns.  Michael Taylor is just not ready for major league pitching.  Ian Stewart and Clint (?) Robinson have really impressed me in Spring Training.

I am still spending huge amounts of time with moving to Gaithersburg, so have been unable to say much since the start of ST.

Spring Training Comments

In case anyone was wondering, I am still alive:)  I’m extremely busy with trying to sell my house, however.  Hoping to move across town to Gaithersburg, Md, closer to my grandkids.

I have been keeping an eye on the Nationals.  I am not nearly as “all in” that they are a lock to get to the World Series as the media appears to be!  The reasons for my scepticism revolve around the following:

  1. their poor post-season results in recent years;
  2. I am not convinced their offense is as good as most appear to expect;
  3. their new bull-pen has yet to prove itself as post-season-ready.
  4. the makeup of the bench is not at all clear this early in Spring-Training.

Having said that, I do think they will win 90-94 games and the division title.  The starting pitching will be awesome, Ryan Zimmerman will be fine at first-base, Rendon will be the star that we all expect, Cabrera at 2B will be average, Harper will be no better than many other average corner-outfield sluggers, Desi will continue to be one of the very best shortstops in the game.

 

 

Scherzer Revisited, Again

Here is yet one more better move than the Scherzer signing:  Cole Hammels is still out there.  Every staff of starting pitchers should have at least one lefty, right?  They could have acquired Hamels for significantly less than $210M, then traded Gio, the weak-link of the rotation.  With the money saved they might have acquired a top second-baseman, like Ben Zobrist, or at least one who is better than “The Danny,”  and isn’t a clubhouse liability.