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On Scherzer, Harper, Janssen and 9 straight series won

May 28, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

AP

It has turned into a broken record, but never has a broken record sounded so sweet to Washington baseball fans. The Nationals won another series Wednesday night, their ninth straight series won, matching a franchise record.

And what a series it was, a tense, compelling, 3-day event at Wrigley Field that saw the Nats win 2-1, the Cubs win 3-2 and then the Nats finish it off with a 3-0 win that felt much closer than the final score appeared.

It’s rare that a baseball series sees all the big-name stars rise to the occasion, but it happened in this one. Kris Bryant homered twice. So did Bryce Harper. Max Scherzer and Jon Lester engaged in a fantastic pitchers’ duel. Addison Russell provided a walk-off hit for Chicago.

Here’s what stood out from Wednesday night’s Nationals victory…

MAX SCHERZER IS EVEN BETTER THAN YOU THOUGHT HE’D BE
You knew the Nationals were getting one of the better pitchers in baseball when they gave him $210 million in January, a hard-throwing strikeout artist with a Cy Young Award on his mantel. But you probably didn’t appreciate just how good of a pitcher he was.

You do now. Scherzer has exceeded the loftiest expectations, and Wednesday night’s performance was among his best to date. Over seven brilliant, scoreless innings, he scattered four singles, a double and a walk while striking out 13.

Only two other pitchers in Nationals history have struck out 13 batters in a game: Stephen Strasburg (who fanned 14 in his MLB debut, then notched 13 K’s on two other occasions) and John Patterson (who did it in 2005 and again in 2006).

Overall, Scherzer is now 6-3 with a 1.51 ERA, 85 strikeouts and 10 walks in 10 starts. How good is that? Well, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three pitchers in modern history have ever posted an ERA that low with that many strikeouts in their first 10 starts of a season: Pedro Martinez (1997 and 2000) and Randy Johnson (2000). That’s some elite company.

And yet the numbers only tell part of the story, because Scherzer has stood out not only for the end results he has produced but the manner in which he has produced those results. Plain and simple, the guy knows how to pitch. Wednesday was a fantastic example of that, with Scherzer throwing 93-94 mph early on, then suddenly ramping it up to 97-98 mph to notch several of his strikeouts.

BRYCE HARPER HIT ANOTHER OPPOSITE-FIELD HOMER (HO-HUM)
Yeah, yeah, we’ve seen plenty of these now. What’s the big deal anymore? The big deal is that he continues to do it.

The overall power numbers are bordering on the insane. Harper now has 18 homers in 47 games (that’s a 62-homer pace, for the arithmetically challenged) and 13 homers in May. How good is that? Well, Harper how out-homered both the Phillies and Braves so far this month, and he only trails the White Sox, Royals and Padres by three.

Not a large enough sample for you? OK, let’s go back a ways, all the way back to Aug. 25, 2014. That’s 81 games ago, counting the postseason. Harper’s totals during those 81 games: 27 homers, 54 RBI, 53 walks, a .314 batting average, .423 on-base percentage, .657 slugging percentage and 1.080 OPS.

But let’s get back to Wednesday’s homer, an opposite-field shot off Lester. That was Harper’s seventh opposite-field homer of the season. How many is that? Well, among the proven, major-league sluggers who haven’t hit seven total homers this year (to all sides of the field) are David Ortiz, Adam Jones, Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria and Matt Holliday.

Mercy.

CASEY JANSSEN PROVED HE KNOWS HOW TO PITCH
If you had been wondered why the Nationals went out and got Janssen over the winter, this was your first real opportunity to find out.

Given the ball with two on, nobody out and Bryant at the plate in the eighth inning of a 2-run game, the veteran reliever took the mound and put on a clinic. Janssen got Bryant to popup, made a fantastic play on Dexter Fowler’s bunt to the right of the mound and got Starlin Castro to ground out to short.

Janssen did all this with an 88-mph fastball. How? By locating it. He threw eight of his 12 pitches for strikes, but more importantly he threw 10 of those 12 pitches below the belt.

That’s called pitching, and that’s why the Nationals have been anticipating Janssen’s delayed debut for some time.

133 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. laddieblahblah - May 28, 2015 at 6:26 AM

    Way to come back from a self-created debacle. It helps when you have Max start, Janssen relieve, and Storen to close. Plus a clean game from the D. Oh, yeah, that guy Harper, and Danny the dingerman

    Who would have thought on opening day that Espinosa would have more HRs than Zim, Werth, and Desmond after 2 months – and Danny’s a bench guy! And you can say the same thing about Denard the dingerman, who was on the DL for much of April!

    The old power guys, Ryan, Werth and Desmond, are not doing it any more. The Nats need Rendon back. Harper cannot keep this up (can he?). I believe Ryan took an oh-fer for the Chicago series. Harper is doing what he is doing with no protection, at all.

    Somebody else needs to step up, and MW has to find someone who can protect the best hitter in baseball.

    SS is up next. The Nats must not think there is anything physically wrong, otherwise they would not send him out there Friday night. He needs to locate, and he would probably benefit from Lobaton behind the late, instead of Ramos. His last win, in San Diego, was called by Lobaton. Still wondering why he grooved a couple of FBs on 2-strike counts in his last start, called by Ramos, instead of wasting at least one pitch with a breaker, or change-up.

    • thelatencn - May 28, 2015 at 7:02 AM

      I don’t get the negatiavity on Ryan, Werth and Desmond. Especialaly Desmond who went 3 for 5 with two doubles last night and is hitting .333 over the past week. How is that evidence he’s “not doing it anymore?” Ryan Z is among the leaque leaders in RBI’s. He’d probably have even more if Harper didn’t continually clear the bases in front of him. Werth is on the DL, so there’s that, but it seems to me a bit of an overreach to call him finished until he has a chance to come back.

      I do agree that Lobaton should catch Strasburg, and have previously noted the success of that combination, going back to last year.

      • laddieblahblah - May 28, 2015 at 7:17 AM

        Facts are neither negative nor positive, they are just the facts. If you believe that the relatively low power numbers for Zim and Desmond reflect negatively on them, then that is your belief. You might just as readily assign a positive connotation to the unexpectedly better power performances from Span and Espinsoa as reflecting positively on them.

        Why was your own takeaway so negative regarding Zim’s and Ian’s numbers instead of being positive towards Span’s and Espinosa’s? The facts don’t care, either way, and they can change at any time.

        Frankly, I am delighted that Espinosa is so successful this year. He is 11 for 26 from the right side. I am not surprised by Desmond’s performance this year, but I am surprised that Zim has yet to break out.

        Werth, of course, has been injured, so his power numbers are not good, nor are his offensive stats, in general.

        Do you believe the facts should be ignored because you don’t like them? OK. Ignore them. I don’t.

    • thelatencn - May 28, 2015 at 7:02 AM

      I don’t get the negatiavity on Ryan, Werth and Desmond. Especialaly Desmond who went 3 for 5 with two doubles last night and is hitting .333 over the past week. How is that evidence he’s “not doing it anymore?” Ryan Z is among the leaque leaders in RBI’s. He’d probably have even more if Harper didn’t continually clear the bases in front of him. Werth is on the DL, so there’s that, but it seems to me a bit of an overreach to call him finished until he has a chance to come back.

      I do agree that Lobaton should catch Strasburg, and have previously noted the success of that combination, going back to last year.

    • Hiram Hover - May 28, 2015 at 8:01 AM

      Fwiw, I also read your “the old power guys … are not doing it any more” comment as unduly negative, in that it seems to imply not just that those players are underperforming this season (a fact) but that they won’t do it again (an interpretation/prediction). But maybe that’s not what you meant to imply.

      Anyway, I certainly agree the Nats are lucky that Harper’s hot streak has coincided with the absence and/or underperformance of other key offensive players. And yes, Span, Espi, and I would add Esco (with BA/OBP) are also helping fill the gap on offense.

      Harper will cool off at some point, and hopefully some of those missing/underperforming players will be ready to step up by then.

      • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        HH wrote:

        Fwiw, I also read your “the old power guys … are not doing it any more” comment as unduly negative,

        laddie wrote:

        Facts are neither negative nor positive, they are just the facts

        I think Ian is getting short shrift here, too. While he has 4 HR’s, he also has 16 doubles, which is 5 more than anybody else on the Nats (one away from the NL lead), giving him more XBH than anyone on the team (other than Babe Ru–, I mean, Bryce Harper). He has the 4th highest SLG on the team.

        He is way too streaky — but right now on a good stread. 12 game hitting streak where he’s hitting .347 (and 6 doubles and 2 HR).

        He’s getting it done pretty much like he did last year — same BA, fewer HR’s but more doubles.

      • Hiram Hover - May 28, 2015 at 9:41 AM

        wonk

        Ian has definitely heated up the last couple of weeks, and I hope he keeps it up–tho as you say, he is streaky, and he’s probably just as likely to follow up with a cold streak.

        Still, I think you’re giving him too much credit when you say he’s getting it done pretty much like last year. Ian’s wRC+ on the season is still 96–in other words, a bit worse than a league average hitter, and certainly below his 108 last year. And his ISO is .150, after averaging more than .185 for the last 3 years.

      • Hiram Hover - May 28, 2015 at 9:41 AM

        wonk

        Ian has definitely heated up the last couple of weeks, and I hope he keeps it up–tho as you say, he is streaky, and he’s probably just as likely to follow up with a cold streak.

        Still, I think you’re giving him too much credit when you say he’s getting it done pretty much like last year. Ian’s wRC+ on the season is still 96–in other words, a bit worse than a league average hitter, and certainly below his 108 last year. And his ISO is .150, after averaging more than .185 for the last 3 years.

      • Hiram Hover - May 28, 2015 at 9:43 AM

        Wow – I think that is the first time I can remember double posting here – and I would swear I only clicked the button once.

        I promise it wasn’t because I thought it was a comment so nice it needed saying twice….

    • jd - May 28, 2015 at 9:56 AM

      Doesn’t what you describe pretty much debunk the entire protection theory?

  2. unterp - May 28, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    JANSSEN, impressive!

  3. ehay2k - May 28, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    Janssen is fun to watch. That was a really tough situation last night and he didnt flinch, he made plays. I loved the bounce on the throw to Zimm, which looked intentional. If Jannsen can keep this up, Rizzo will have so many feathers in his cap the Nats will have to tie him down on windy days for fear of him flying away!
    About Harper: Shhhhhhh. Just enjoy the ride for now. Soon he will be walking more and more.

    Whither Ramos? He went from Hot to Ice Cold in a week. Are teams pitching him differently? Maybe he should borrow Desi’s bat, because the most maligned Nat in April is now putting on a bit of a show. OK, he had that bad throw in the second game, but his bat is hot.

    Espi homered, from the right side. What are we going to do with him when Rendon returns? Talk about a good problem to have.

    Stras? (All I can type about him.)

    • homeparkdc - May 28, 2015 at 7:21 AM

      Janssen’s hobby is skydiving – probably the calculated and tenacious kind

  4. bluejeener - May 28, 2015 at 7:03 AM

    So did I miss it, or did we already have Scherz-mas?

  5. scmargenau - May 28, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    So….

    – 9 series wins
    – drew leads league with 16 saves
    – harp leads in homers
    – desi leads in errors (doh!)

    • ehay2k - May 28, 2015 at 7:20 AM

      Desi is also 4th in the NL in doubles. Credit where credit is due.

      • natsjackinfl - May 28, 2015 at 8:19 AM

        And with a whopping 14 RBI, he’s probably 2 or 3 runs over how many unearned runs his helped the opposition to score.

      • ehay2k - May 28, 2015 at 8:22 AM

        He is 5 over. But you can’t blame a guy for not having anyone on when he doubles, or for TOOTBLANS ahead of him.

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 8:53 AM

        Desi could have many more RBI if he were a bit better at executing with men on.

        That said, there’s been a striking contrast between Desi’s recent success and the continued lack of props around here.

  6. Doc - May 28, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    Janssen proves that location is a pitcher’s best friend. SS could learn something from Scherz and Jansen, all he has to do is watch and do. He may have better stuff than both of them.

    Nice to see Harps hit HRs the old fashioned way. Best HR show since before the steroid a**hole players.

    Nelson Cruz? I still think that he has some of his pre-suspension bad stuff rattling around in his phony old body!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 8:18 AM

      I agree with you on Nelson Cruz. It’s not adding up. Got popped for PEDs in 2013 and then somehow got better in 2014 while going clean and now is tied with Harp for HRs in 2015.

  7. virginiascopist - May 28, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    Love Casey on the Mound (as opposed to Casey at the Bat). On the bunt where he made the great play to throw out Fowler at first, who was supposed to be backing up Zimm? F.P. said Espi was covering second and Harper was in no-doubles position.

    • ehay2k - May 28, 2015 at 7:50 AM

      Stras? Lol

    • Toot D. Blan - May 28, 2015 at 8:43 AM

      And Ramos needed to stay at the plate because there was a runner at second who would have come all the way around to score if he’d left to back up the play at first. Realistically, there was no one available to back up that play. It happens.

  8. edshelton2013 - May 28, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    laddie:
    Agree that we need Rendon back asap. Smart teams will pitch around Harper until Zimm gets hot (.227/,286) and Ramos shows some power.
    FP mentioned that the Cubs series felt like the playoffs. Great pitching, low-scoring games: 2-1, 3-2, 3-0. Reminiscent of the Giants series where we lost 3 of 4 nail-biters. The only negative in this series was the RISP. Last night was 0-8 and 1-22 (?) for the series. That can’t happen.

    • Steady Eddie - May 28, 2015 at 9:03 AM

      “That can’t happen.”

      You know, it does have something to do with the opposing team’s pitching. The Cubs were 1-13 with RISP in the series, their only “1” coming against Grace after Desi’s Tuesday night miscue. They were 0-1 RISP on Monday — yes, exactly one AB with RISP, which is far worse because it means they weren’t even getting themselves scoring chances.

      Same thing when we took 3/4 against the Mets earlier this month, where we went 2/3 in the last 3 games by scoring s total of 2 runs. Both against the Cubs and Mets, RISP has something to do with the pitching we faced. Mets and Cubs pitching staffs rank 2nd and 3rd in the NL for both WHIP and BAA. To face those staffs on the road and win, consistently, 5/7 is the important thing, not the secondary statistics. It means we beat the best pitching teams at their own game.

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 9:17 AM

        +1, both series you mentioned featured some truly incredible baseball.

      • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:32 AM

        You know, it does have something to do with the opposing team’s pitching. The Cubs were 1-13 with RISP in the series, their only “1” coming against Grace after Desi’s Tuesday night miscue

        Nunh-uh. When we fail at RISP it’s cause we have a bad approach to the plate and Schu doesn’t know what he’s doing. When they fail at RISP it’s because our pitchers are clutch city! 😉

        [Cubs] were 0-1 RISP on Monday — yes, exactly one AB with RISP, which is far worse because it means they weren’t even getting themselves scoring chances.

        Bingo! Always better to go 1-8 in RISP than 0-1 !

        That said, it is a tiny bit disconcerting to go through a series where we score 7 runs — on 6 solo HR’s and an error!

        On the other hand — ya’ just gotta do whatever it takes for the win!

      • therealjohnc - May 28, 2015 at 10:23 AM

        Between the two teams it was ten runs scored in three games on eight solo home runs and two runs directly resulting from errors. Craziness.

        If you’d have told me that the Nats & Cubs were going to play with the wind blowing out at Wrigley for this series, I would have guessed an average of 8-10 runs per game for the series, not a total of ten runs!

  9. natsfan1a - May 28, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    Morning happy game results emails are the best! Will make time to watch the recording at some point after taking care of work and other action items.

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:34 AM

      Enjoy. It really did seem a bit like a playoff game/atmosphere. It seemed like Scherzer was pitching off the stretch an awful lot — and at each time, he needed to crank it up a notch. Which he did. And (without giving too much away), he threw a lot of pitches at 97 in the last two innings — hitting 98 once. (I had no idea he could do that!)

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 9:49 AM

        I think he hit 98 twice, both for swinging Ks. Ray Knight was hilarious when he was reviewing all of the strike three swings during the post game.

      • natsfan1a - May 28, 2015 at 4:51 PM

        Thanks, finally got around to speed-watching it. Holy Scherzer, can that guy pitch!

  10. natsdial8 - May 28, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    Ok our Nats in a good place right now with contributions from all over the roster .

  11. rayvil01 - May 28, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Nice series win. Was reading the Chicago papers this morning. The pitchforks are out for Starlin Castro. “Second most errors in the National League.” Didn’t notice it during the broadcast but there was a lot of ink about how they were booing him. He may have saved their bacon the night before by stopping Span’s single from getting through. That early run may have negated some of the late-inning theatrics. Didn’t take them long to forget it. Parallel Universe.

    Maddon: “”The takeaway is we can play with these guys,” They need to focus on the Cardinals.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM

      I thought the backhand ball that rolled up on him on the Uggla grounder was a hit. The other one knuckled in a strange way and was an error but he didn’t lose the game for them.

      The Cubs can play with the Nats as they kept it close, but I still contend that we haven’t seen anything until Rendon returns and MW can re-tool this lineup.

    • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 9:02 AM

      The Cubs are already scary…hard to imagine what they might be like in a year or two.

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:35 AM

      Maddon: “”The takeaway is we can play with these guys,”

      Awesome!

      It’s nice to see a good team try to measure themselves by how well they play against the Nationals!

      Refreshing!!

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 9:49 AM

        That’s great!

  12. natsdial8 - May 28, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Minor FP dig here he went out of his way to praise Z’s “pick” late in game saving 2 runs on and on . It actually was a very routine fielding play by Z and definately not a pick as such . The ball bounced way in front of Z making it a routine one hopper. Credit the pitcher with a very good defensive play.

    • Hiram Hover - May 28, 2015 at 8:51 AM

      I think Carp used the word “pick” first, but yeah.

      They wanted to give Zim the credit as a new 1B and (former?) FOF, but just as much credit goes to Janssen. He couldn’t get much on the throw from his knees, and so bounced the ball–it was thigh high by the time it reached Zim, making it pretty easy on his end.

    • therealjohnc - May 28, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      It was a “pick” and it wasn’t a “very routine fielding play.” None of that is claiming that it was the type of play that only a gold glove worthy makes. Anytime the ball bounces it introduces uncertainty that can eat up a first baseman (and we’ve all seen it happen, even occasionally to good ones). In degree of difficulty maybe a 6 on a 10 point scale. It’s OK to credit the pitcher with a very good defensive play while also acknowledging a good job by Zim to finish the play.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:05 AM

        I posted above that Ryan Zimmerman is 2nd in 1st baseman UZR and last night’s play was key by both Janssen and RZim. Credit to both and somehow that play didn’t make top defensive plays.

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 9:13 AM

        Probably didn’t make it because it was a little clumsy looking, but it was pretty freaking stellar. Janssen’s presence of mind to bounce the throw (assuming it was intentional; it certainly appeared to be) was very impressive. That was one of my favorite relief performances ever.

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:37 AM

      Ehhh . . . I don’t think it was so routine. No bounce to 1b is totally routine. Especially one that has a lot of mustard on it (coming from a pitcher) who is significantly closer than most throws from the infield.

  13. rayvil01 - May 28, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    Way, way, way off-topic, but I have a question about the end of the Cardinals game last night. I went over to MLB Network and they showed the end of it live. Cardinals have the bases loaded in a tie game with one out, bottom of the ninth. Guy hits a chopper to third with the infield in. Throw comes home to get the force. Then the catcher wheels to throw to first for the double play and is on the mound side of home plate a good three or four feet in. Cardinals runner takes out his back leg, ball sails into right field, winning run comes home.

    Everyone on MLB thought it was a “clean play” but seemed a bit surprised that interference wasn’t called given, “…how the rules are today.” I get the no-call. But, I don’t understand that when compared to the “neighborhood play” call we had at 2B with Sherzer 15 or more feet shy of the bag. They’re going to save the Second Baseman. But, they’re going to let a guy take out the back of the leg of the Catcher, right in the Achilles area? That’s not congruent. That Catcher was in much more danger than a 2B on a standard double play.

    • Toot D. Blan - May 28, 2015 at 8:59 AM

      Was there ever any explanation after the game about what was going on with the non-challenge of that neighborhood play? I don’t recall one. In MW’s postgame interview, the beat writers stuck to their usual M.O. of asking questions designed to elicit vanilla answers that would plug right into the holes of the stories they’d already written. “What did you think of Scherzer? What did you think of Janssen? yada yada yada” Hard-hitting baseball reporters. Not!

      • therealjohnc - May 28, 2015 at 9:29 AM

        The “neighborhood play” at second base is exempt from challenge. You can like it or hate it, but there it is:

        “Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following calls will not be subject to review:
        1.The Umpire’s judgment that a runner is clearly out on a force play at second base under circumstances in which the defensive player may or may not have touched second base in his attempt to complete a double play and avoid a collision with the runner.”

        Source: http://m.mlb.com/official_rules/replay_review.

        As I understand it, the rationale for the exemption is player safety.

      • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:38 AM

        “Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following calls will not be subject to review:
        1.The Umpire’s judgment that a runner is clearly out on a force play at second base under circumstances in which the defensive player may or may not have touched second base in his attempt to complete a double play and avoid a collision with the runner.”

        But I disagree, kinda, with the call / application of this rule.

        FP made a good point. He said that if he was off the base to avoid a collision, that’s one thing. But he was off the base because of a lousy throw! That’s something else entirely, according to FP. Makes sense to me.

      • Hiram Hover - May 28, 2015 at 9:47 AM

        Agree with wonk here – there is a bit more of that rule john quoted:

        “All other elements of the call shall be subject to review, including whether the fielder caught the ball, had control of the ball, was drawn off the bag, or tagged the runner.”

      • therealjohnc - May 28, 2015 at 10:31 AM

        I missed FP’s comment asserting that the neighborhood play was a result of the throw – as HH notes, whether the fielder is drawn off the bag is subject to review. What is murky is the line between “drawn off by the throw” and to “avoid a collision with the runner.” If the umpire concludes that (for example) a fielder went out to the ball instead of holding the bag and stretching like a first baseman, and that movement was in order to avoid a collision with the runner and to complete a double play, I don’t think that would be subject to review.

        When the fielder vacates the base under these circumstances, the only way it would be subject to review, IMHO, is if the review determined that the throw was so bad that there is no possible way that the fielder could have caught the ball and completed the force play. That’s a hard standard to meet.

      • letswin3 - May 28, 2015 at 1:06 PM

        Yeah, why should a MI be protected from injury on the “in the neighborhood” (and the Sherzer slide was nowhere near the MI), while a catcher can get a career ending knee or ankle injury in the Cardinals example above? I’m somewhat convinced that MW went out to challenge and was reminded of the “old school” notion that MI’s need protection through the use of “in the neighborhood”, upon which, MW (an “old school” guy) simply capitulated. I didn’t like it at the time, and I still don’t like it … someone needs to challenge that call, regardless of the 99% likelihood that the challenge will be ruled against, if only to force a more serious conversation about the rule and it’s implementation.

    • homeparkdc - May 28, 2015 at 9:02 AM

      In another article, Bourjos admitted he was trying to break up a DP.
      This has the video and the MLB rule:

      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25197830/watch-cards-win-on-throwing-error-after-bourjos-clips-catcher

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:29 AM

      It’s coming up next on ESPN. It’s a legal play.

      • rayvil01 - May 28, 2015 at 9:52 AM

        Ok. It’s “legal.” But, I was a Catcher and it makes me cringe seeing a guy slide into the Catcher’s Achilles area like that. Considering how much protection they gave Catchers with the Buster Posey rule, you would think they’d outlaw that.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 10:03 AM

        They would have to outlaw that play to make it illegal. Same rules apply to taking out a middle infielder on a doubleplay as you have to be able to slide to the base which the Cardinals player could as it appeared.

        Dangerous for sure as the catcher couldn’t see it coming. Tough way to lose a game.

      • rayvil01 - May 28, 2015 at 10:09 AM

        Seems like the Posey rule has forced nearly all of the slides into foul ground. That made the fair-side slide stand out all the more.

        It’s not a play you see often, thankfully.

    • tcostant - May 28, 2015 at 10:12 AM

      I didn’t see the play, but as long as the runner can touch the base (or home), than the play is clean. That’s baseball

      • tcostant - May 28, 2015 at 10:39 AM

        I just watched (thanks for posting the link). No doubt that this is a clean play, as the runner slide and touched home plate.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        You all know probably know that i had no problem with that play. More than that, I thought it was a very good play by the runner.

  14. Toot D. Blan - May 28, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    Speaking of backing up, yesterday the 4 seamheads of the world were claiming that Ramos should have been backing up first base on Desmond’s errant DP throw that ended up costing us the game. But last night we saw a doppelganger of that play when Castro made an errant throw to first on the DP grounder hit by Zimmerman. Cubs catcher Ross was nowhere to be seen backing up first on that play. So either the 4 seamheads are wrong about that being the catcher’s responsibility, or there are a lot of MLB catchers not doing their job right.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:12 AM

      Catcher’s backing up throws down to 1st rarely happens any more because most dugouts have netting and the balls usually don’t go out on those angles but we sure saw it happen. You’ll see a fresh legs catcher do it occassionally but just don’t see it much anymore. People who brought that up are just trying to deflect blame.

      On a different note, MW is sure pushing hard on Ramos to play 6 of 7 games. I think he could give Lobaton 2 games a week.

      • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:40 AM

        MW is sure pushing hard on Ramos to play 6 of 7 games. I think he could give Lobaton 2 games a week.

        Or at least SS’s game Friday night!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:43 AM

        Just catching Strasburg is a mental toll. Why not try it plus it gives the Buffalo 2 days off, but doubtful it happens.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2015 at 11:51 AM

        I think that every situation is different, starting with the catcher himself. I will never forget the first time that I saw Thurman Munson play a game and was stunned with how often he did it. I agree with Steve that it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Posey was another one that almost always did it, at least earlier in his career Young catchers are coached to do it. The way I got the thread last night was whose responsibility is it to back up 1st and my answer was that it was the catcher’s, but as I said, every situation, and catcher, is different. A Wilson Ramos isn’t going to do it very often. He can’t.

        What do you mean by “the four seamheads of the world?”

    • Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2015 at 12:23 PM

      Actually your question was:Shouldn’t it be the pitcher’s responsibility to back up first base on a double play ball?
      My answer was, “In a word,Toot, No. It’s part of the catcher’s job.”

      It would be very rare indeed when a pitcher could back up a throw to 1st.

      Why is it, if anybody’s job, the catcher’s? As said, it isn’t done as much as in the past. But it’s never been the pitcher’s job to back up double play balls to first that I have ever seen.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2015 at 12:39 PM

        At least not on a 6-4-3.

  15. TimDz - May 28, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    Had a discussion with a coworker about the Nats and their present run of games. He was focused on the Nats getting “hot” at the wrong time and how they cannot get hot when it “counts.”

    I countered with the fact that this is not so much a hot streak but a team that is playing consistently good baseball. Yes, there have been some duds in there (and there will continue to be some as the season goes along), but I noted that, if the Nats continue to play like this and win more series than they lose (they will lose series and will even get swept….), they will be hard to beat in October.

    He (my coworker) wasn’t swayed by my rationale….

    • therealjohnc - May 28, 2015 at 8:57 AM

      Negatives are going to stay negative, there is no argument that you can make that will sway a negative from his/her dug in position. So don’t try. Ignore them, and enjoy the season.

    • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      I think predicting how the Nats will do in October is as “easy” as predicting when they will have a hot or cold streak.

      The one thing I will say is that there are pretty real signs that we still have room for improvement, as Zim, Werth, Rendon, and Stras have yet to play and/or hit their stride. And, we’ve already had stretches of total dominance. Kind of amazing.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:19 AM

        If the playoffs were tomorrow, Strasburg would be in the bullpen and your starters would be Scherz, JZim, Roark, Gio. Clearly that’s not what you would want but this team will be better than last year’s team when everyone is back and healthy.

        Need Rendon back as his contributions to this team will be a huge boost. Overall offense/defense I will take RZim over LaRoche. For the time being, a LF platoon isn’t a bad thing as Werth was awful on both offense/defense.

    • rayvil01 - May 28, 2015 at 9:12 AM

      It all “counts.” Baseball is 26-weeks of 6 days a week. The post-season is a complete small-sample crap shoot.

      A spell of good play is never “wasted.” Good play builds confidence. There are few things more important in sports than confidence.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:36 AM

      TimDz, you’re smart and your co-worker doesn’t get it.

      If the Nats didn’t get hot when they did, the Mets would have a huge lead in the NL East. Both the Wiz and Caps got hot at the end, how did it work out for those teams?

      You get hot, stay hot, and most of all improve. Still hard to believe the Nats are doing all this without Rendon who was the Nats team MVP and #5 in the NL! When you’re missing the 5th best player and 4th best position player in the NL, you know that this team can get even better. The bullpen is trying to come up with a formula and an identity. Strasburg has been awful. This team can still improve and get hotter.

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:43 AM

      He was focused on the Nats getting “hot” at the wrong time and how they cannot get hot when it “counts.”

      Silly. For a number of reasons:

      1. Bad teams can’t get hot at all for this long of a time. A mediocre team, possibly.
      2. This “hot streak” is being done without Fister, Rendon, Werth, or an effective Strasburg.
      3. Is it better _not_ to be hot now?
      4. If he thinks it’s better to be hot in September — well, the Nats _were_ hot in Sept in both 2012 and 2014. In fact, last year the Nats were hot in June, July, Aug, and Sept (if I remember correctly). They ran into the Giants buzz-saw, but we all know that a 5-game series is a crap shoot.

      • tcostant - May 28, 2015 at 10:43 AM

        You never know. I watched the 1984 Tigers start the season 35-5 and never look back and coast to an easy wire to wire division win. And then they won the World Series.

        No team was hotter than the Rockies in 2007 and while they got to the World Series, they lost (I think they were swept).

        Every team is different.

  16. Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    ESPN aired a piece with Lester on his 1 mistake pitch to Harper. As he said, he made a mistake in location and Harper didn’t miss it. He was supposed to keep it low and didn’t get it there.

    Nice to see the Nats getting lots of air time on Sportscenter. Desi on Scherzer “The guy is an animal”.

  17. scnatsfan - May 28, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Still really impressed with the play Janssen made on the bunt

  18. Theophilus T.S. - May 28, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    Right now the Nats are surviving on pitching and, for the most part, one or two hitters. At least two-thirds of their offense this season has been packed into a stretch of 18 games. Given their tendency toward outbreaks of egregious base-running and defense there is plenty of reason not to slide into over-confidence. Strasburg’s start on Friday will have me chewing my fingernails down to the knuckles before the Star-Spangled Banner and, with that joke of a ball park the streak of series victories could be in jeopardy. (Anybody pay attention to the odds on a day-to-day basis?) (I was out of town, out of the reach of the Internet, over the weekend so I didn’t realize how awful the last Strasburg game was until I read Boswell’s article this morning.)

    Is that enough negativity for you? All in all I’m optimistic. I see a division title and, likely, three pitchers who can be counted on in a short playoff series. But it looks like there are going to be a lot of ugly games. NatsJack vented a couple of days ago about inconsistent players and players who make jughead mistakes. I’m with that. This team needs to dedicate itself to playing smart baseball.

    • jd - May 28, 2015 at 9:48 AM

      Theo,

      Except that the Reds really stink. I like you am never optimistic any more when Stras starts. Until and unless he reverts back to at least last year’s form there’s always potential for disaster.

      I don’t think the offense is in as much dire straits as people seem to suggest. Span has been good all year, Escobar also, Desmond heated up just as Ramos cooled down. and Zim has been hitting in some bad luck lately. We’re also getting some pretty good contributions for Espinosa so all in all I think we are fine.

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:52 AM

      Or, what you are describing are many areas where this team — after an awful start, and is tied for the second most victories in the NL — can still improve.

      And here are more areas we can improve:

      – getting Fister back
      – getting SS on track (or replacing him with Roark if he can’t)
      – getting Rendon back
      – getting Werth back (and on track)

      So, yeah, there are weaknesses now. But, given all that, Nats are 5th in ERA, and while they are 7th in BA, they are 4th on OBP, and 1st in runs scored per game, and have good players waiting to rejoin the team.

      • jd - May 28, 2015 at 9:56 AM

        Wonk,

        Exactly. I think once we got past the rough patch it has become quite clear that we are easily in the elite of the NL.

      • tcostant - May 28, 2015 at 10:44 AM

        Would add, more power from Rzimm, Ramos and Desi.

  19. Eric - May 28, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Going back to Steady Eddie’s point re: our somewhat paltry offense the past week+, I think it’s worth noting who we’ve faced during that stretch (at least as far as the starters):

    3 runs – Warren
    2 runs – O’Sullivan
    1 runs – Hamels
    4 runs – Harang
    2 runs – Wada
    1 runs – Kendricks
    3 runs – Lester

    It would be more concerning if they were all Warren or O’Sullivan caliber, but we’ve run into some pretty good pitchers lately.

    I do agree with those saying it would be nice to get back to manufacturing runs (which, iirc, we were doing quite well during the early portion of this stretch of phenomenal baseball).

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 9:54 AM

      + 16 !

      (figure it out 😉 )

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM

        Got it!

    • masterfishkeeper - May 28, 2015 at 10:33 AM

      At least this should put to the rest the usual complaint that the Nats can’t beat good pitchers.

  20. jd - May 28, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    I think the Cubs are about to be really good. I think they will fight it out with the Giants, Mets and Pirates for one of the wild card spots. I believe that Castro is Epstein’s ace in the hole. I am pretty sure that they would prefer to move Russel to short and bring up Baez but they want to maximize Castro’s value. Before the season started I thought we are an excellent match with the cubs for a trade of a starter for one of their infielders. Given the progress of Diffo and Turner, the acquisition of Escobar and the resurgence of Espinosa not to mention the fact that we can’t afford to trade a starter at this point I think a trade between these teams is unlikely.

    I think the Cubs will push hard to get a Hummels or a Cueto but I think teams out of the running would push for Russel or Baez instead of Castro. Should be interesting.

    • tcostant - May 28, 2015 at 10:46 AM

      The Mets are good trading partner there. Saw that in the NY Post a while ago, the Mets have lots of good pitching and need a SS.

  21. TimDz - May 28, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    I get the feeling that Harper will put at least one ball into the Ohio River this weekend….

    On this past series…..I must say that it was fun to watch. Yes there were frustrations (TOOTBLAN city in game two), but there were great defensive plays by both teams and the two young studs (Misters Harper and Bryant) didn’t disppoint. The Cubs infield will be a monster for years to come I believe and (being born in Chicago) I do hope their fans are rewarded with a World Series win…just not this year…I want to see a parade down South Capital Street this October…

  22. alexva6 - May 28, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    the more I see Scherzer the more I think $210M is about right!

  23. Eugene in Oregon - May 28, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Okay, I know folks like to break down particular situations and games and complain that the Nats didn’t score enough because they failed to move runners along, etc., etc., but just to be clear: The Nats lead the league in runs/game, with 4.66. Maybe I’m missing something, but to me that’s a positive.

    • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 10:06 AM

      Eugene, they have failed to mount historic rallies against some top shelf pitchers over the last week+, and have won merely 3 out of 5 such games. This is unacceptable!

      • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:10 AM

        You’re cherry picking. If you add in the entire season, they’ve lost over 40% of their games! Doubly unacceptable! 😉

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 10:12 AM

        Buncha slackers!

      • nataddicted - May 28, 2015 at 2:21 PM

        Lollygagers!

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:08 AM

      Yes — you’re missing my comment above at 9:52.

      If you want to owe me a beer . . 😉

  24. adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    OK, so, given that I don’t have unlimited time to be a baseball fan, some of the things I do are:

    a. pretty much ignore baseball from Nov thru February
    b. don’t pay attention to teams outside the NL East so much until we play them

    So, can anyone give a quick summary as to why the Reds are bad this year (and last) as compared to 2012 and 2013, when they won 97 and 90 games respectively?

    • TimDz - May 28, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      This may give you some insights, especially if you look at the “notes” at the bottom of the page…

      http://www.redreporter.com/2015/5/27/8671137/rockies-reds-mike-leake

      Add to that the fact that their manager is a bit on the wacky side….

      • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:50 AM

        Thanks. That’s a bit of a start.

        Here’s a really naive question: who have been their biggest acquisitions/departures since that great 2012-13 run (and is that part of the story, here?)

      • Hiram Hover - May 28, 2015 at 11:05 AM

        In 2012, a lot of their success owed to their rotation: their top 5 accounted for 161 (!) of their 162 games, and collectively, they had the 4th best ERA in the NL.

        Today, Cueto and Leake are the only 2 left.

        Latos – traded to Miami this off-season
        Arroyo – left for AZ last year (TJ,, last summer)
        Bailey – just had TJ this month

      • ITGSOT - May 28, 2015 at 11:32 AM

        And their interim manager in waiting is one James “We’re a long way from Caddies, Toto” Riggleman.

  25. Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    “@Chelsea_Janes: Max Scherzer, who had one hit over the last five seasons combined, is second among pitchers with five hits. Had 12 last season in Arizona.”

    Is she aware Scherzer played last season in Detroit? He did play for Arizona before Detroit I’m sure is what she’s referring to.

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      Perhaps restricted by 140 chars? (I wasn’t up for counting). Or maybe she sloppily missed a word?

      She would have been correct if she had written “Had 12 in his last season in Arizona”

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 28, 2015 at 10:33 AM

        That’s how I read it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 28, 2015 at 10:39 AM

        That’s what I figured she meant but her analysis recently has been flawed in making points like the whole Bryant HBP on Tuesday. It’s fine and she’s young and so is Chase Hughes and I don’t see him making as many fielding errors. 😉

    • ITGSOT - May 28, 2015 at 11:33 AM

      Just another typo. Move on.

    • Section 222 - May 29, 2015 at 2:36 AM

      Before dumping on Chelsea do some research. He had 1 hit in five years in Detroit (17 ABs). His last season in Az he had 12. Her tweet was perfectly understandable and accurate. It’s a tweet. Need to give her benefit of doubt.

  26. adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Best stat I heard last night from either the TV guys or radio guys (I checked, it’s true)

    Max Scherzer is batting .200
    MLB is batting .199 against Max Scherzer.

    !!!!

    • nats128 - May 28, 2015 at 11:10 AM

      They mentioned that near the end of the broadcast and it was great.

  27. adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    More Scherzer (I can’t get enough this morning 😉 )

    1st in pitching WAR 4th in ERA (but 1st in FIP), 2nd in WHIP, 1st in IP, 1st in K’s, 2nd in K/BB

    More Nats:

    According to B-R: Scherzer is 1st in pitching WAR, but in overall WAR is 2d. Because Harper is 1st in overall WAR!

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      and one more:

      how do we all feel about Scherzer going in game one, and ready to go in game 5 if needed.

      (OK, I know, I’m really ahead of myself now, but . . . . a fan can dream, right?)

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        I would feel super pumped!

  28. Eric - May 28, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    Great post from Harper Gordek that takes a little dive into what Bryce is doing and where he could go from here (for better or worse, and “worse” is nothing to sneeze at!):

  29. nats128 - May 28, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    106.7 gave 10 minutes to open the Grant & Danny show with who has a better chance of winning a year end award Scherzer for CY or Bryce for MVP.

    They finished the segment and then shifted to the NBA finals but before they did there message was to let everyone know they talk about baseball. Grant in the HR discussion had to discuss that 50 HRs is possible for Harper as “his” Orioles guys Davis and Cruz were near those numbers the last 2 years. That’s part of the problem, Grant is a orange lover and cant ever seem to give the Nats there full compliments and Danny just doesnt seem to care enough to be a Nats homer.

    Outside of the times they do interviews with Rizzo or MW or players its tough to listen to. They did that 4 hour straight of Nats talk during the 10 game win streak last year for the last 2 games of the streak and it was such a bandwagon move.

    Even ESPN is making the Nats there baseball lede becuz Bryce Harper is must see TV but our own local guys clearly shot down that there is NO WAY that Bryce will hit 60 HRs and while they are historically correct that it most likely wont happen, be a homer and go with it while he is ahead of that pace.

    • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      From Gordek’s post (linked above):

      “Let’s have some fun with pacing.

      If he hits HRs like he has the season so far (18HR/47g pace) he’ll hit 62.
      If he hits HRs like he has since that little barrage ended (7HR/16g) he’ll hit 68
      If he hits HRs like he has since that little barrage started (13HR/19g, hey – I said we’re having fun) – he’ll hit 97

      If he played the rest of this season like last year – which he hit .273 and had his worst power numbers of his career he would end the season hitting .290 with 33 homers.”

      Amazing stuff.

      PS – I can’t stand 106.7 unless Charlie and Dave are presiding.

      • Eric - May 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM

        PS – the “little barrage” he references is the 6-homers-in-3-games stretch back in early May.

      • nats128 - May 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM

        I just posted that! I owe you one!

    • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      How to change that? Send lots of emails complaining? To whom?

      (I rarely listen because it seems like often 60% of the airtime is commercials; and because they go on stupid rants about stupid stuff, so I don’t even know enough to complain)

      • nats128 - May 28, 2015 at 11:05 AM

        I listen at work and love all the DC sports teams pro & college but they seem to cover more fantasy sports and sports in general and Redskins and I think they do that becuz DC is such a melting pot of fans from all over the country so they can debate the FIFA bribery thing or Lebron James and the football player who beat his wife but Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer are clearly big news as witnessed by FOX1 and ESPN and MLB Network coverage and even on the negative side they all cover the Strasburg issues.

        I dont get what 106.7 doesnt get about it. They have unprecedented access that no other radio station has and they dont capitalize on it. I know Im not the 1st person who has brought that up.

      • adcwonk - May 28, 2015 at 11:12 AM

        I think sometimes the “bigwigs” *think* that there’s more interest in the ‘Skins than there actually is. I heard a medium segment on how big a deal it is, or not, that DeSean Jackson didn’t attend OTA’s.

        Really? Fans want to hear that more than Harper/Scherzer or Ian/SS or . . . ?

      • nats128 - May 28, 2015 at 11:16 AM

        They want to hear about how big a tool DJax is but not for 2 hours. If they educate the DC fans in general about the historic season a guy in DC is having, may be they get excited about it.

        Go into DC and poll the general population and they will only know he got thrown out of a baseball game. How many can tell you he is in Ruthian territory?

    • nats128 - May 28, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      Grant & Danny and the rest of the fools at 106.7 should read the newest Nats Baseball Blogspot

      http://natsbaseball.blogspot.com/2015/05/dont-end-may.html

    • Bruxtun - May 28, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      The fact that they have to constantly remind us that they do actually talk about baseball tells you a lot about the state of affairs with 106.7. They always blame their listeners for them “having” to talk about football. They love it though, I can tell. I also remember them only jumping on the Nats at the very end of the win streak last year. I remembered it as being just in time for only the last winning game though.

      Those two talk about what they are eating for lunch more often than they tall about baseball. It’s a shame because their interview with Rizzo was pretty darn good. If I want baseball analysis, I turn towards the internet, not those guys.

      • nats128 - May 28, 2015 at 11:08 AM

        105.7 there sister station in B’More talks about all sports in general and there baseball team in good coverage and the Ravens but they dont overdose you on Ravens coverage.

        Why was Desean Jackson going to the Cavs basketball game and skipping optional team workouts worthy of hours long discussions?

      • Bruxtun - May 28, 2015 at 11:18 AM

        Exactly, 128. Pretty sure I heard that being talked about in the morning, during lunch when I was in the car, and on my drive home from work.

  30. NatsLady - May 28, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Yes, I pay attention to the odds on a daily basis (FWIW). Here is fangraphs, which has the Nats at 97.7% to make the playoffs, and 19.3% to win the WS (the best chance of any team). They are projected for 96 wins.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/coolstandings.aspx

    Here is Vegas.
    The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to hold down the top odds to win the World Series at the online sportsbooks with the month of May coming to a close, with the Washington Nationals moving into a co-favorite position on that list.

    At Bovada the Dodgers and Nationals are listed as the 13/2 co-favorites on the World Series odds, with the Kansas City Royals a step back of them at 15/2 odds, and the St. Louis Cardinals sitting at 17/2 odds to win the title.

    The Detroit Tigers have then slipped to 9/1 odds to win the World Series, with the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants both holding down 12/1 odds, and the New York Yankees pegged at 16/1 to win the championship at the sportsbook.

    Bovada then has the Houston Astros set with a line of 18/1 to win the World Series, followed by the New York Mets at 20/1, and the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners at 22/1. The Boston Red Sox have fallen to 25/1.

    ODDS TO WIN 2015 WORLD SERIES AT BOVADA AS OF MAY 25
    Los Angeles Dodgers 13/2
    Washington Nationals 13/2
    Kansas City Royals 15/2
    St. Louis Cardinals 17/2
    Detroit Tigers 9/1
    Chicago Cubs 12/1
    San Francisco Giants 12/1
    New York Yankees 16/1
    Houston Astros 18/1
    New York Mets 20/1
    Los Angeles Angels 22/1
    Seattle Mariners 22/1
    Boston Red Sox 25/1
    San Diego Padres 25/1
    Pittsburgh Pirates 28/1
    Tampa Bay Rays 33/1
    Baltimore Orioles 40/1
    Chicago White Sox 40/1
    Toronto Blue Jays 40/1
    Cleveland Indians 50/1
    Minnesota Twins 50/1
    Oakland Athletics 66/1
    Atlanta Braves 100/1
    Cincinnati Reds 100/1
    Miami Marlins 100/1
    Arizona Diamondbacks 150/1
    Milwaukee Brewers 300/1
    Philadelphia Phillies 300/1
    Texas Rangers 300/1
    Colorado Rockies 500/1

    http://www.oddsshark.com/mlb/mlb-odds-world-series-futures

  31. tcostant - May 28, 2015 at 11:07 AM

    Just love the John Patterson note, always loved watching him pitch, he even sighed my hat on a rehab start in the P-Nats. Ever once in a while, I wonder what he could have been if he was not injuried.

  32. zmunchkin - May 28, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    WRT the comments above about RZ, he has always been a player who is better in July, August, Sept. Check out his career splits by month:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=zimmery01&year=Career&t=b

    If that trend continues . . . . . 🙂 

  33. coop202 - May 28, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Mlbtraderumors mentioned Alejandro de aza who was dfa by bmore assuming the o’s pick up the majority of his remaining guaranteed contract. Wouldn’t protest that as a short term plan

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