Monday, September 11, 2006

Something Something Down, Three (Wow, Only Three?) To Go

The season's winding down, and it really stunned me when I realize that there are only three weeks left. It's been a trying season, but it's somewhat depresessing that there are only a handful of games left. I'm sure the players are relieved that it's almost over -- as well as the beat writers -- but for now, I guess I'll have to enjoy what I have, even if the interest is waning. Three weeks left, and plenty of time to enjoy the way Soriano attacks the zone, Nick Johnson's eye, Jose Vidro's line drives, and Ryan Zimmerman's drive for the Rookie of the Year award -- perhaps the only thing left to play for.

All stats since 8/21, the last time I did one of these things....

Record: 7-12
Overall Record: 61-82, fifth worst in baseball -- only four losses behind 3rd!
Runs Scored: 93 (4.9/g) That's a pace that would make them first were they able to keep it up over a full season. They're at 663 total for the year, which is good for 10th.
Runs Allowed: 132 (6.9/g) No, that's not a misprint. The 2003 Detroit Tigers are considered to have one of the worst pitching staffs of all time. They only allowed 5.7 runs per game. I wanna cry now.

What's Good?
1) Austin Kearns! He was a one-man wrecking crew for a few of those games, and is finally hitting like the player the Nats thought they were getting when they traded a broken-down Gary Majewski. He led the team in homers and RBIs, putting up an incredible .279/ .416/ .607 line.

2) Nick Johnson! Bad defense aside, .333/ .486/ .614 is .333/ .486/ .614!

3) Alfonso Soriano! He's hitting fine, another 5 homers and a .576 slugging percentage, but what was impressive was his 9/9 SB rate. With the pressure on, he's not getting caught.

4) Ryan Church! .367/ .486/ .667! Not bad at all, eh? So what's the complaint now? Oh, his defense. On a team that has below average defense at left, short, second, first and catcher, who's fault is it? Yep, it's Church's. Funny, a certain beat writer notes his deficiency now, but I've somehow managed to miss all the accounts of Church's misplays in the field prior to this. I've argued before that the team needs a flycatcher in center. Nuke Logan fits that bill, but his bat is pathetic, even if he did manage to stumble into a .290/ .343/ .484 with the team.

What's Bad?
1) Jose Vidro! The newest whipping boy can't field. And he certainly didn't hit, even if he had a few key RBI in the rare Nats win over the fortnightplus. .222/ .236/ .296

2) Bernie Castro! The idiot questioner who asked the already linked mailbag of a certain beat writer needs to look at Mr. Castro's line: .156/ .229/ .188. If he's a major league second baseman, I'm Mr. Popular.

3) Starting Pitching! Bergmann: 5.66; Armas: 7.94; Astacio: 9.53; Traber 10.12. That's not a small sample size either. That's a combined 14 starts of pitiful baseball.

Game O' The Week
Well, I missed most of them on my summer sojurn, but I imagine that it'd be hard to beat Ramon Ortiz' near no-no, eh? Not only did he come close, but his 8th-inning homer nearly blew the non-existent roof off the ol' dump.

MVP Award
Congrats to Austin Kearns! With a hot stretch, he's up to .246/ .377/ .417 as a Nat, which is perfectly acceptable for a Gold Glove RFer. And we know there's room for improvement.

Cy Young Award
{null} I guess Ortiz gets it on the virtue of that start and being the one starter with a sub-5.00 ERA.

LVP Award
Vidro, Vidro, Vidro. Is there anything he does do well?

Joe Horgan Award
Despite giving up 2 fewer runs (in the same amount of innings) than Pedro Astacio, Tony Armas wins it for his mind-blowing 14 strikeouts -- a nearly 8/game pace.

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