Last night’s game was exciting and was baseball at its best. Baseball’s unpredictability is one of the main reasons we love the game. I was happy to see StEvIE pitch the game of his life. And now Mikey Taylor, the hitting hero, is leading the team with his .273 batting average. The Nats showed heart and character (2 qualities that have been in short supply recently).
The after-game interview with StEviE made me laugh when he was asked about the ridiculous media circus (created by the media solely to sell their BS). He basically said “what circus, I ignored it.” And so did his teammates, according to other interviews. Glad to see the Nats being so grounded in reality.
Tonight’s game 5 will be “must see!”
Stephen Strassburg says he is sick, due to mold exposure, and can’t pitch today. The media and fans have gone ballistic. We know Strass is fragile and many call him a head case. I think there is some truth there. But it is what it is, and Tanner Roark will pitch today and it’s do or die. Both Gio and Max will be ready to come in from the bullpen. So lets fasten our seatbelts!
Max Scherzer is on the mound today and nobody (including Max) knows if he will be able to throw more than 5-10 pitches. And THAT explains the fortunes of the Washington Nationals in this post-season, in 25 words or less:)))
I am a “baseball lifer” and am still playing the game we love. Therefore I too have encountered “hamstring problems.” Solving them can take as long as several months; Max is trying to pitch today only 10 days or so after “tweaking” his hamstring! If Max can’t pitch his usual 7 strong innings, the Nats have almost no chance of getting past the Chicago Cubbies to the National League Championship series of the 2017 playoffs.
The game begins at 4pm; enjoy it:))
Some say the essence of insanity is to keep doing something, and failing endlessly, while keeping doing it the same way rather than looking for a better way. Well That is what the Nats keep doing every time they let Gio Gonzales pitch on his still-scheduled day! The team has lost the last six of Gio’s starts, going back to mid-May. I don’t think they should bring up Lucas Giolito yet. He’s not ready, and he is on an innings limit too. They could bring up a starter from Syracuse, or switch places with Yusmeiro Petit. That could not be any worse than letting Gio start again. Just saying……….
Last night’s win was wonderful! Especially after being swept by the lowly Phillies.
But we now see that the offensive woes of 2014 onward are still in the lineup. Indeed two of the pitchers are hitting better than 4 of the starting position players! Can anyone name the pitchers? The team batting average with runners in scoring position is .225; that is BAD!
So far the defense and starting pitching is doing very well. The bullpen is getting the job done this far, but I don’t think that will continue over the course of the full season.
I predict the Mets will pass the Nats in the coming week and never look back. I was about to predict again that the Marlins will have a better season than the Nats. But now with Dee Gordon gone for 80 games, the Nats might just hold onto second place.
We can now add Cespedes to the list of excellent players (Hayward, Phillips, Chapman, etc) who have spurned lucrative offers from the Nats. The Lerners and Mikey-Boy Rizzo know that unless they can tweak the bull-pen (Dump Paps and pry Andrew Miller from the Yankees) and also the starting rotation (replace Gio with someone better), they will be lucky to finish the 2016 season ahead of the Marlins, but behind the Metropolitans of Gotham.
You read it here!
One way to look at the Nationals right now would be to count how many of the projected 25-man roster are looking like they will have “a good 2016 season.” I count two: Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer. That’s it. The rest all have some questions.
Their two biggest needs are a closer and a center-fielder who can bat lead-off. Obviously they should do whatever it takes to dump Papelbon, even if it means paying him to leave. Then they should liberate Drew Storen so he can try to regain where his career was (29 saves) when Mike Rizzo stuck a knife in his back.
It appears they might be able to pry Andrew Miller away from the Yankees, though it would cost a lot. And they might do the same with Brett Gardiner. Even if they just rented Brett for one year, he plays the game with passion, has speed and a good glove in CF, and knows how to get on base and create some havoc:) I doubt Gardiner would cost too much either.
One can hit and the other can play defense:) Now if Rizzo would just convince the Lerners that the Nats don’t need a cancer in the clubhouse! Dumping Paps would help bring the fans back……………….Just saying……..
The Nats could still be looking for a CF not named Spann or Taylor who can hit leadoff. Several good ones are still available: Fowler, Blackmon, Gardiner for starters.
As currently constituted, the Nats will end up fighting the Marlins for second place in the NL East. They will not be a playoff contender. Sorry Scherzer, you signed with the wrong team, unfortunately.
As I was driving home listening to MLB radio, they said Brandon Phillips had tweeted them the following: “513 to 202.” Those are the area codes of Cincinnati and Wash, DC. That was about 9;30pm. When I got home I checked some of the baseball web sites and at 10pm, Ken Rosenthal (who is almost always right on this kind of news) reported that Phillips was signing with the Nats. I have no details yet, and it’s past my bed-time:)
Update as of 10am, Saturday, Dec. 19: the deal is pausing as the three parties deal with what is likely a last-minute demand for more from Brandon Phillips. I’m staying g on top of this.
Update as of 5pm Saturday, same date. The deal is off. Nat’s said take our offer as is. Phillips said no trade. That’s all she wrote.
Changing the subject, It’s clear to me Papelbon is killing Rizzo’s ability to attract the best players (such as Hayward and Zobrist). The Nats should buy out his contract and cut him loose.
Ok, here is the latest. The Nats are talking with the Reds about 2B Phillips! This would be a good choice. He has been an RBI machine and one of the best 2B guys in the NL for several years. The Reds are in SELL mode for sure and I doubt the price for Brandon will be very high. But the Lerners have already offered $200M for Heyward, so what the hey.
My other two acquisition choices if I were Rizzo are:
Andrew Miller for closer
Brett Gardiner for a lead-off CF.
All three are available for the right deal.
You saw it here:)