Monday, July 10, 2006

Fourteen Down, Thirteen To Go

Now covering the last two weeks...

It was a fortnight of streaks. The Nats started out dropping four in a row before rallying to take 4/5 from teams from Florida, the home of senior citizens and prisoners. Then, when things finally looked up, the Padres steamrolled us, and Khalil Greene retriggered my PTSD from the horror of 9/17.

BPGers might be looking at the standings and seeing that we're "only" 9 games out of the Wild Card -- just three more than the Yankees -- but that ignores the 43 teams between us and the current leaders, LA. We're done. Stick the fork in us.

Worse, since the high-water mark of 7/3 last year, only two teams have fewer wins than the Nats' total of 68: The Pirates and the Royals. Really, this is the chase we should be looking at. If the season ended today, the Nats would get the fourth overall draft pick. The Cubs are three games 'ahead' (root for a sweep next week!) and Pittsburgh is easily obtainable, just 8 games 'ahead'. We can be #1!!!! Yay!

Nats Record: 5-8
Overall: 38-52, last place in the NL East. (Do you realize that Atlanta's only 1 game out of second?)
Runs Scored: 61 (4.7/G), 407 overall (14/16 NL Teams)
Runs Allowed: 8feckin4 (6.5/G) They allowed 9 or more three times, including 18 in a completely forgettable game. 470 overall (14/16 NL Teams). So much for the pitcher's park.
Expected Record: 39-51. When you pitch and hit as crappy as the Nats do, it's going to be this ugly.

What's Good?
1) Ryan Zimmerman! I guess his slump's over. In the midst of a 12-game hitting streak, he's hit for power (5 doubles, 2 homers), driven in runs (12), walked (6), stolen bases (2), scored runs (11), and saved animals from burning buildings (3).

2) Alfonso Soriano! Keep hittin' 'em. You know you want to play for a winner! He had slumped all of June before getting hot and cranking out 3 homers. He walked six times, but three were intentional (See, Royce Clayton's good for something!)

3) Ramon Ortiz! He pitched three times over the stretch and got hung with two losses, even as he had a 3 ERA. He's not great, but when you stack him up to the next of the dreck..... Quietly he's become effective. Effective enough to trade? I hope!

What's Bad?
1) Pitching, Pitching, Pitching! 8 of the 14 pitchers who lobbed balls towards the plate trudged to the shower with an ERA over 5. The chief culprit was the long ball: 20 in just 13 games. Or maybe it was the 41 walks. Or the 10 HBP. You get the picture. Only 2 starters got a win.

2) Royce Clayton! The official whipping boy of Capitol Punishment stunk up the yard, as usual, hitting .264/ .273/ .321 with an impressive 1/9 BB/K ratio. He also chipped in with a team-leading 4 GIDP. And then there were the errors. Why does he exist again?

3) Brian Guillen/Jose Scheider. One of them hit .214/ .283/ .405. The other hit .216/ .286/ .324. Does it really matter who was who?

Game O' The Week
No, it's not this one. Nor this. It's most definitely not this.

How about the two walk-offs. The first was Nick Johnson's game-winning homer, the other Ryan Zimmerman's ground single. Both games, strangely, were started by Livan. I was there for the last one, and what impressed me the most (perhaps frustrated was the best word) was the 12 walks. Good that they were walking (even as Joe Girardi passed out IBBs like he was Frank), but bad in that no one could drive a feckin' run home. Still, considering Livan's suckiness, a win's a win, even if it took two key errors to get the job done.

MVP Award
It's hard to look past Ryan Zimmerman's 20 hits and 12 RBI.

Cy Young Award
Ramon Ortiz is the only one deserving of being listed here, even if he wasn't all that good.

LVP Award
Royce, Brian, or Guillen. Take your pick. You know which way I'd lean. coughroycecough

Joe Horgan Eischen Award
There were three members of the double digit club. Livan allowed 10 runs. O'Connor allowed 10. And Bergmann(nn) allowed 11. Ouch.

2 Comments:

  • I hope Ryan uses the break to finish that cure for cancer he's been working on.

    By Anonymous Rich from Richmond, at 7/11/2006 10:00 AM  

  • Go National League.

    Remember, it counts!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/11/2006 4:54 PM  

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