Monday, April 21, 2008

The Way We Was: Week 3

Seen any good movies lately? Got any recommendations for a nice strong drink? Does Giant charge if you want to take an extra paper bag home? What's the best way of measuring for proper eye hole height?

They're actually a game behind last year's soul-crushing pace, as if that were possible. Fool me once...

A 1-5 record in the week isn't anything to get excited about. But just keep in mind that 3 runs separates us from our current miserable state and a 16-game losing streak. But at least they're making money.

    Record: 1-5, 5-14 overall, 6-13 Pythagorean
    Offense: .191/ .288/ .278
    Most Similar Batter: Last year's Todd Walker, the one who retired in embarrassment.
    Pitching: .260/ .344/ .447, 4.58 ERA
    Most Similar Opposing Batter: Adam Laroche and his 60+ extra-base hits.

    1) Odalis Perez, 2 GS, 1.50 ERA. With 7 walks in 12 innings, the ERA isn't sustainable, but he's been good enough to win twice, but with this team, that means 0-1 for the week.

    2) John Lannan, 1.50 ERA, 11K, 0 BB. What a game that was, definitely one of the most impressive outings a Nats pitcher has had this year. He's now had 2 good outings, one bad one. This is the only one with a solid K/BB rate, so the jury's out. Just as you can't judge a team by their 3-0 start, you can't judge a pitcher by his best outing.

    3) Felipe Lopez (.385/ .467/ .462), led the team in Batting, On-base and second in slugging. One of the two bats to do anything this week, Lopez took a step forward to earning back his second-base job. He wasn't steady in the field, but it seems like he's showing a bit more range there than the almost immobile Belliard. Errors or range? I want both, dammit!

    1) The Pen. Colome was decent. Rauch didn't allow a run. Cordero survived and still hasn't allowed a run -- who knew 74 was so effective? King: 1 IP, 3 H. Hanrahan: Yuck. Rivera: Eventually rubber bands stop snapping back too. Ayala: 8+ BB/9.

    Here's the funny thing. Manny is overthinking his bullpen. Sure, the back-end has pitched like crap, but he's spazzing out over Cordero's injury, taking away one of his biggest weapons, Rauch. The strength of Rauch is his ability to throw just about every day. Yet, because Manny's reserving him for the leads that never comes, he's not getting used. He's on pace for just 68 games, down about 20 games from his pace of the last few seasons. And he's on pace for about 65 innings, about 25 or so fewer than his last few seasons.

    Is holding Rauch back for leads that never really come really worth losing 20 games and 25 innings of his pitching? It seems -- and I might just be pulling this out of my butt -- that Manny used Cordero much more liberally last year, not always holding him for the 3-run lead, but bringing him in to tie games home and away. Rauch -- despite some shaky performances early, perhaps because of his wife's pregnancy -- is the team's best reliever, yet he's not pitching. Seems like getting him more innings would be one way of improving the pen's performance, no?

    2) Ryan Zimmerman, .192/ .214/ .231. Nope. Nothing's wrong, Ryan. Keep doing what you're doing. It'll all work out. (In fairness, his last two games or so, it did seem like he was having slightly better ABs, even if the results weren't necessarily there)

    3) Wily Mo Pena, .136/ .174/ .136 and some of the worst OF defense we've seen since Preston Wilson was hobbling around the outfield like his britches were full of poop.

    Aren't you glad that Jimbo rushed him back from rehab now? You don't see that stupid prick crowing about how the team scores one more run per game with him in the lineup instead of Church, do you?

    MVP: Nick Johnson, 7 BB and 7 RBI. Good enough.
    Cy Young: John Lannan
    LVP: Zimmerman!!!
    Joe Horgan: Saul's 11.25 ERA sure ain't purty

    4/15: Duck -- Austin Kearns, GIDP? No way!
    4/16: Duck -- Ryan Zimmerman. If a runner needed stranding, he did.
    4/17: Duck -- Austin Kearns, 1 hit and a CS. Sigh. No DP though!
    4/18: Whip -- Nick Johnson! What's it called when your runners come all the way home and tough the plate again?
    4/19: Duck -- Ryan Zimmerman. #3 hitter? More like #2. (Yes, I'm a child)
    4/20: Duck -- Saul Rivera. Sure, Milledge should've caught the ball, but crap happens in the sun sometimes. That doesn't excuse the Hanrahan-like implosion that followed.


    Last week, I was willing to count it as a good week if the team's train didn't derail. With the Braves first (Smoltz and Hudson!?), then the Mets and Cubs coming to town, avoiding a 9-game losing streak would be this week's moral victory.

    Got a paper bag you can let me borrow?


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