Tuesday, September 04, 2007

22 Down, 4 To Go

The clock ticks to September and the Nats follow the familiar script: lose, lose, lose, win! Yay! We're still good! The resiliency of this team is incredible. Or maybe, if you're feeling less charitable, the depth of interchangeable mediocrity means today's lousy performance is tomorrow's narrow win? Regardless, it works against the bad teams. Against the better, we're good enough to win 1/3. But good luck getting very far with a .333 winning percentage.

Nats Record: 2-4
Overall: 61-77, a 72-90 pace. Today, the Nats would have the 6th draft pick. They're 4 games 'behind' Tampa Bay and one game ahead of Florida for the worst record in the NL.

Runs Scored: 24 (4/game); 547 overall, last in the NL by almost forty runs. FORTY RUNS! If you tacked on 200 runs, they still wouldn't be in first place. I know that RFK is a pitcher's park, but...

Runs Allowed: 24 (4/game); 646 overall, 8th in the NL. (I don't think they've been higher than 8th all year). It's easy to say that the pitching's fine. But that ignores RFK's influence. And it also ignores another key stat that someone condescending brought to my attention. They suck where it matters the most: 14/16 in starter's ERA. Thank God for Florida. (note: applies only for baseball)

Expected Record: 69-93, an improvement of one 'win' over last time. They're on pace for 72 wins, so Pythagoras isn't lying. Too badly.

What's Good?
(all stats thru Sunday)

1) Dmitri Young! Like clockwork, the fat man strikes the ball then waddles around the bases. He's done so well this year that a .333/.400/ .556 line seems routine, which might be a surprise as large as his waistband.

2) Matt Chico! Yeah, it was just one start. And he still didn't strike out anyone. And he allowed another farkin' homer. But when you look down and see 7 IP and 1 BB, you'll take it, especially from him.

3) Chad Cordero! 4 scoreless innings pitched, and you still get people kvetching about a leadoff walk. He's not the best reliever. He's not the worst closer. And he's probably going to be overpaid relative to his talent next year. But he's a keeper. (at least til someone offers us something better than Humber)

What's Bad?

1) Felipe Lopez' empty batting average. You look at Felipe's week, and you think he had a good one. He hit .280 after all. Then you look and see 1 walk and 1 XBH and 0 RBI (5 R tho!). He didn't do anything but slap the occasional signal and make outs 69% of the time. That reminds me of...

2) Nook Logan's empty batting average. Mr. Empty Batting Average himself had a mostly empty week. He batted .240 with 1 triple and 1 walk. That ain't gonna cut it, as he made an out 73% of the time.

3) Shawn Hill. Let's just call it a bad day, k? In fairness, one of his 7 runs was unearned.

Game O' The Week

I guess it'd have to be Ryan Zimmerman's (hohum) walkoff winner. (Bonus audio: Hear Bob Carpenter experience puberty all over again.)

Weekly Awards

MVP: Jesus Flores! The guy only had 10 ABs, but he had hits in 5 of them, including a homer and a double. (The team is now 17-15 in his starts, so stick your mythical "pitchcalling" up your ass, "Snyder"!!!)

Cy Young: Chad Cordero's bullpen-leading 4 scoreless innings edge out the 7-and-done Chico.

LVP: Teh Nook! If he's hitting like that, there's no excuse for any horsehide ever hitting the lawn.

Joe Horgan Award: Luis Ayala managed to blow two separate leads in the most frustrating game (of which there are many candidates) game of the year.

Weekly Whips:
8/27: Dmitri had one of the team's 3 homers, but that wasn't enough.
8/29: Dmitri had two more hits and another double. That too wasn't enough.
8/29: Do you take Logan's 3 RBI or Church's 4 hits? I'll take the hits.
8/31: The seventh straight loss was a total team effort. So why not Kearns' homer and walk?
9/1: MLB.com's headline says "Flores The Hitting Hero" and who am I to argue with the good folks there?
9/2: Do you go with the quality start or the GWRBI, even if the GWRBI was the guy's only hit of the day? I'll take the quality start.

What's Ahead:
I bet the Nats will win at least one game against the Marlins. After the next two, they travel to Atlanta to face the slumping Braves. The Braves are still on the fringes of contention, and are hoping a steady dose of Mike Bacsik cures what ails 'em. The series against ATL entirely depends on who goes. If it's Hudson and Smoltz, it's likely going to be a long series (while admitting they've handled Old Man Smoltz this year). If it's Joey Devine, Charlie Liebrandt and Sid Hudson, the Nats have a chance to tamp the shovel on their graves.

With one in the bank, 2-4 seems like a low-ball, doesn't it?


  • I have felt a great felling of sadness watching Young fall from the BA lead to four behind it. Then I realized how crazy it was to feel anything but great we have a guy who can hit in the .330s. It is so easy to take him for granted.

    Off-topic, if there is some thought of us really signing Dunn, we should really be hoping to finish worse than cincy, right? Because if we sign him, they get our draft pick if worse than us, a middle round one if not, right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/04/2007 5:20 PM  

  • not quite. Dunn is a multi-step process.

    First, the Reds have a 1-year $13 million option on him. If they exercise it, the Nats would have to trade for him.

    If they decline it, he becomes a free agent.

    If the Reds offer arbitration (which they almost certainly would), Dunn would be a Type A FA.

    As we saw with Soriano, if you lose a Type A Free Agent, you get the signing team's first-round pick and another first rounder from the sandwich round before the second round begins.

    The exception, as we saw with the Cubs signing Soriano, and as we'd see with the Nats potentially signing Dunn, is that the teams with the 15 worst records DO NOT give up their first pick, just their second.

    So to sign Dunn as a FA, the Nats would lose 1 second round pick. Is he worth that? Likely.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 9/04/2007 5:24 PM  

  • Anyone else getting a black screen on MASN2?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/04/2007 8:10 PM  

  • It's 9:55 pm and the game just ended....

    Wonder what this Flores-loving site will be focused on tomorrow?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/04/2007 9:57 PM  

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