Tony Two-bags Returns!

Anthony Rendon is starting to get the timing and flow of hitting back!  Today and yesterday he had great at-bats, he was grinding them out, seeing a lot of pitches!  He did the same today, patiently looking for a good pitch to hit and not swinging at bad ones.

Jason Werth and Willy Ramos are getting more good at bats now too.  The homer Ramos hit today was mammoth!

I’m puzzled however over why the team called up Trea Turner and they haven’t put him in the starting lineup at least once!  That is not good managing; the kid has been starting in the minors for most of the year and now he is in the Nats dugout, but only getting an at-bat here or there.  If that is all there are going to let him do, they should send him back to Syracuse where he can play every day and stay sharp.  Matt Williams ought to know better.

I hope Rendon stays at 3B.  He is way better there than Escobar.  Put him at 2B.

 

Ripped the Shirt Off Fister’s Back!

Most of you have already heard how “Mr. ME” (otherwise known as Jonathan Papelbon) made another demand; this latest selfish act was getting Doug Fister’s number, which Doug has had since he became a pro player.  Last night Fister was the starting (and winning) pitcher and he has a new number-33- I think it was.

Meanwhile The Philadelphia newspapers were full of stories about how glad that city is to see the last of Papel-jerk.  I tried to import one here, but had to give up after 30 minutes.

Mike Rizzo likes to brag about how much he and the owners value “character” when they evaluate potential new players.  Sadly, that is clearly not the case, if it ever was.

 

The Much Maligned Bull-pen is Coming Together!

They lost the two most dependable relievers from last year:  Clip and Stammen, so the pen took much of April to sort out new roles.  Add to that the team’s bringing in 5 guys who had never thrown a pitch in the majors!

Last night, after Strass left the game after only 3 innings, the pen threw 6 shut-out innings.  Sammy Solis efficiently breezed through 3 innings while allowing only one batter to reach base.  Whatever pitch he throws seems to miss bats with regularity.

Thornton, Barrett and Treinen completed the game with no runners crossing home-plate.  Thornton does seem to be having some command issues, but has still been pretty effective.

Drew Storen, since August of 2013, has simply been the BEST relief pitcher in the National League!  See Boswell’s article in today’s POST.

 

Hockey Anybody?

Before 2012, when the Nats first got to the post-season, i had been watching more hockey than baseball.  Tonight, after the Nats fourth error, I switched to the Capitals game seven showdown with the Islanders.  Just after that the caps scored the winning goal, so they are going to the next round of playoffs.

The Nationals are now playing their worst baseball since 2011.  And something is not right with Doug Fister, and apparently this goes all the way back to the start of Spring Training.  His normal fastball used to be at 88-91 mph.  Now it is around 85 mph.  The offense, defense and bull-pen are mediocre this year.

 

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.

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!!!

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.