Stras pitched very well yesterday, lowering his era to 3.42. Though he gave up 2 runs in the first inning, he shut down the Dodgers after that into the 8th inning. meanwhile his teammates, including Wilson Ramos—back from the DL, took a lead they would not relinquish. Grinding through adversity has not been his strong suit, but Stras is improving on that. Tom Boswell has a great article (again) in today’s Post on this. He compares Stras with Clayton Kershaw.
Meanwhile, the guy who played 2B for the Orioles yesterday has a batting average 70 points below that of Steve Lombardozzi, and it is Lombo who has been sent down to AAA! Go figure.
The game on April 17 was the Nats worst since before they got hot in August 2013. I could see from their body language that by the fifth inning they had given up. Starting pitching was supposed to be a team strong point, but it certainly hasn’t been this year. The starters’ ERA is near the bottom in all of baseball. The Nats are losing the first two innings by a huge margin as their pitchers try to get comfortable with their pitches and feel for the release-point. Manager Matt Williams stressed defense during Spring Training, but the team has more errors than any team in baseball right now. He also emphasized aggressive base-running, and the Nats have only stolen one base thus far and their star third-baseman Ryan Zimmerman ran himself right onto the DL with a broken finger. Adam Laroche has been thrown out at home three times already. One wonders what the third-base coach is smoking when he keeps waving the slowest guy on the team towards home! In 17 games I have stopped counting the base-running miscues.
After the game, knowing the manager had called a team meeting right after the last out, he was then asked by a sportswriter what they had discussed. “That’s for me and my team to know” was his red-faced response.
I rest my case.