I just looked at my post of June 26, after watching Stephen Strasburg give up 4 HRs in a very key game last night with the Braves. What I said is still how I think about this former phenom who cannot be trusted in important games with good opponents. In this case the Braves had just lost 8 in a row, so YES (!) they were due for a win.
About 2 months ago in another post here I ranked the Nats starters and placed Stras 4th in terms of overall effectiveness this year. It is still a toss-up between Stephen or Gio as to who has been the least effective in 2014. i could mention his ERA, lots of strikeouts, and other stats, but the bottom line remains,……if I were in matt williams’ position I would not use Strass in the playoffs.
Manager Matt brought in Drew Storen to relieve JZimm in the 7th yesterday. He ended up giving up 2 RBI hits to left-handed hitters that allowed the Mets to draw even with the Nats at 3-3. The game remained a tie until Bryce’s walk-off homer in the 13th.
As I watched this play out I was wondering why the manager didn’t put our new lefty reliever Matt Thornton in to face those guys in the 7th. Yes, I know the 7th is usually reserved for Storen, but managers need to be creative and Manager Matt has a new weapon now:)
The Nationals today acquired Matt Thornton from the Yankees. I’m not yet sure what this means for Jerry Blevins. Thornton is a big guy, 6’6″, with good numbers this year. The team has not yet said who they will move to make room on the 25-man roster, but Blake Treinin is my guess. They can return him to Syracuse. I will watch the 6:30pm pre-game show tonight to hopefully get more details.
The Nats didn’t get their top priority for the July 31 trade deadline, a lights out lefty specialist for the bull-pen. What they ended up with is an infielder who can field almost as good as Espinosa and may be able to hit slightly better than Danny or Kevin Frandsen. I’m not very impressed with these results, frankly. We are stuck with Jerry Blevins who has been virtually ineffective for a lomg time and Detwiler who doesn’t want to be in the bull-pen and has been inconsistent over the last 6 weeks or so.
This leaves me praying that Ryan Zimmerman will be back at least for the playoffs and hoping the starting pitchers won’t need help from anyone not named Storen, Clippard or Soriano. We clearly have a front office that doesn’t have the goal of competing with Oakland, LA (both Dodgers and Angels), St. Louis, or Detroit. OK, I’ve got it. Our goal is to just win the National League East, but not the playoffs.
So we bring up Stephen Souza, who looked very out of place in his earlier call-up, to maybe replace McLouth with his phoney injury. It would be wonderful if Souza could give Harper the incentive he has lacked so far to actually look like a major league hitter! I’ll hope for that.