The 2012 Nats playoff performance was way better than that of the 2014 Nats! The players who performed up to their ability this time were few: Harper, Rendon, Strass, JZimm, Fister, Cabrera, Blevins and —are you ready—-Soriano. 8 out of 25. Maybe we should bring Davey Johnson back. The Giants didn’t play much better than the Nats either.
Matt Williams cost them game 2, by removing JZimm when he was one out away from a victory! And bad defence played a major role in the losses of games 1 and 4. But the biggest problem was the near lack of any offense.. And most of the Nats played with little EMOTION! They often looked like robots. Maybe that is partly a reflection of William’s managerial style; he rarely shows ANY emotion. He tried explaining why he took JZimm out in the 9th inning of game 2 by saying that was his game plan he put together before the game even started! One wonders if he has any “feel” for how the game is flowing or how his players are feeling. JZimm had thrown 8 and 2/3 innings of a three-hit shutout and was looking strongly in control of what he was doing!
Nope, the Nats/Giants playoffs were not fun to watch. I find myself looking forward to watching the Orioles/Royals playoff series. Both teams are playing exciting baseball as if they really want to get to the World Series.
According to whom? Well, how about yours truly and little Tommy Boswell?
The Nats 14-inning winner Wed. night made me a believer, and apparently I’m not the only one. Boswell is the best BASEBALL analyst I have ever encountered. And rather than writing a long article explaining why I finally do think the Nats have a chance to get to the World Series, I encourage readers to google his article in today’s Wash. Post.
For starters, Manager Matt used 26 players in that watershed game, and did NOT MAKE even ONE Mistake. Some might quibble about bringing Soriano in for the 9th inning, or leaving him in a couple of batters too long, but he is the closer we are stuck with for better or worse.
Second, all the Nats are peaking at the right time in a long-tough season. And all the new players are doing what they have been hired to do. Even Strass!
Enjoy the rest of a great season!
Rafael Soriano, since coming to the Nats, has saved 89% of his “save chances.” That happens to be the lifetime average for Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer ever! Tom Boswell’s article in today’s Washington Post makes a strong case that Soriano ought to be on the all-star team this year. His other numbers are VERY good, but personally I wouldn’t fall on my sword over getting him on the AS team.
Watching Yu Darvish pitch on Sunday must have been like watching Michaelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. I was mezmerized, not able to take my eyes off the TV screen. He has been called “the shape-shifting ace,” an apt description. The Nats Greg Dobbs uttered “What can you say?” Adam Kilgore said (Wash. Post of June 2) “He can be a flame thrower, tactician, or snake charmer, all in the same at-bat.” After blazing a 95-mph fastball by Adam Laroche, he left Adam frozen (and struck out) by a 59-mph curveball. Denard Spann (hitting over .400 in his last 29 games) was the only Nat with any success in the game, as Texas won 2-0.
Other Notes: The Nats bullpen was ranked number one in baseball as of May 29. And Soriano, Storen and Barrett are three of the top seven relief pitchers in all of MLB, with ERAs below 1.00.