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The Baseball Show: A rough start to the second half

Jul 27, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

There was a lot to talk about on this week’s episode of The Baseball Show, as the Nationals just lost a four-game series at the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 2015 trade deadline is also quickly approaching, as the Nats have stumbled out of the gate in the second half of the season.

There is also a clip below that looks at Ian Desmond’s recent resurgence, as Mark, Joe Orsulak and Brent Harris examine whether Desmond has turned his season around.

Breaking down the Nats’ series loss to the Pirates:

Nats stumble out of gate in second half:

Looking at Max Scherzer’s impact so far:

Time for Nats to make a trade?

What do the Nats need heading into the trade deadline?

Has Ian Desmond turned his season around?

  1. nats128 - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    Matt Purke got hammered in his 1st start in AA Harrisburg. 9 runs, 6 earned, over 3 innings.

  2. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    So here is my take from yesterday: Michael A is simply going to be star. Young Joe, I was very impressed wiih again as I see a young Jim Palmer in him.

    I am geting sick of Ramos who looks more like an oaf at the plate and predicatable with his half ass dp balls he hits. I saw the stat on Lobaton that Nats are 59-41 when he starts. Yes, he lacks the HR power Ramos has, but frankly, I have doubts on Ramos as cather on a cahmpionship team, he is more of an oaf than buffalo and his DP in the 7th and his inability to havea clue on hitting a slider is simply pathetic!!!

    • jd - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:58 AM

      No sense getting all worked up mick. Ramos is your catcher (and he’s an above average catcher) at least until Pedro Severino graduates to the show in a year or 2.

      • micksback1 - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:01 PM

        I know, I’m just ticked off, I think I would still rather see Lobaton in post season and I hear you about Pedro!!!

      • nats128 - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:19 PM

        When you watch a team every day you get a false sense for what reality is. Ramos is not the doubleplay guy you think he is. Credit to the pitcher as he needed the doubleplay and got it. He got Harper to roll over a grounder in a similar situation the next inning. There is a reason why Gerrit Cole is considered one of the best pitchers in baseball.

      • jd - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:37 PM



    • jd - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:13 PM


      Lobaton’s numbers are worse than Ramos across the board both offensively and defensively. I think people forget that slow players who hit the ball hard hit into a lot of double plays (Ryan Zimmerman?). It’s frustrating but it’s not unusual. Also the guy pitching for the Pirates yesterday is a damn good pitcher.

      • nats128 - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:33 PM

        Lets go with facts. Here’s your Doubleplay leaders to put this to rest. Ramos isn’t even in the top 3 of position players but lets not let facts get in the way of fiction. Team average is 2.35%.

        Name AB GDP GDP %

        Anthony Rendon 74 5 6.76%
        Reed Johnson 18 1 5.56%
        Ryan Zimmerman  211 10 4.74%
        Yunel Escobar 332 13 3.92%
        Wilson Ramos 292 10 3.42%
        Dan Uggla 108 3 2.78%
        Jose Lobaton 80 2 2.50%
        Clint Robinson 182 4 2.20%
        Denard Span 237 5 2.11%
        Jayson Werth  101 2 1.98%
        Bryce Harper* 309 6 1.94%
        Danny Espinosa 296 5 1.69%
        Ian Desmond 356 4 1.12%
        Tyler Moore 139 1 0.72%
        Michael Taylor 275 1 0.36%
        Matt den Dekker* 49 0 0.00%
        Wilmer Difo 8 0 0.00%
        Emmanuel Burriss 3 0 0.00%

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:09 PM


        That’s a good start, but you really need to take into account how many chances he had to GIDP, given the situation with men on base and outs. (Nobody can GIDP when there are already 2 outs, or nobody on base.)

        Per bbref, Ramos’ 10 GIDP came in 56 ABs where that was possible, for a rate of 18%. Among regulars this year, only Esco and Zim are higher, at 19%. Nats as a team are at 10%. MLB average is 11%.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:49 PM

        Another reason why RZim and Ramos should be batting in the back of the order due to the lack of speed.

        Tyler Moore is a flyball guy and if MW took the chance he could have pinch hit for Ramos but then he burns a bench player in a tight game.

      • micksback1 - Jul 27, 2015 at 3:46 PM


        great graph
        Anthony Rendon 74 5 6.76%
        Reed Johnson 18 1 5.56%
        Ryan Zimmerman 211 10 4.74%
        Yunel Escobar 332 13 3.92%
        Wilson Ramos 292 10 3.42%

        the only thing to consider is there are fewer AB for Rendon, Reed and Ryan than Ramos to really have a fair comparison

        But, I never would have thought Escobar was up there in DP, very interesting

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:19 PM

      I think MAT can be an above average everyday player—a “star” is probably claiming too much, at least based on what we’ve seen so far.

      I see him as more of a poor man’s Andrelton Simmons: a defense first kind of player, tho neither his defense nor his offense is as good for his position.

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:57 PM

        Right now, Michael A is 3rd in the NL on defense (according to FanGraphs). I don’t know how accurate it is given small sample size (though the sample size is getting larger). You see Span way down on the list.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:27 PM

        With the defensive metrics, I am a little leery of making too much of less than half a season worth of data. The people who designed UZR caution that it’s not solid for samples of less than a year (preferably more). I also note that DRS doesn’t love Taylor’s defense so much as UZR, even when you take into account his playing time.

        So … small sample sizes, disparities between the metrics–best to take it with a pretty big grain of salt, in my book.

        Still, MAT is definitely a plus-defender and I expect him to get better. By the comparison to Simmons, I meant someone who towers over others at his position, as Simmons did pretty much from the get-go. MAT is good, but not that good.

        And Simmons’ offense, for his position, has been about middle of the pack over the last 3+ years. Among NL CFers, MAT’s offense would place him 3rd from last this season. I expect that to get better too, but I don’t see him getting to middle of the pack.

  3. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    As far as trade deadlines go, I think FP may have hit the nail on the head when he said yesterday 2 interesting points:

    1) look what happen to the A’s last year when they made their deals, they went fron 1st in the west to a team who fell apart due to chemistry.

    2) Historically with a 1-2 exceptions, when has a team won a championship by a blockbuster deal at the deadline, Ricky Henderson, Toronto, maybe?

    Rizzo will be cautious I believe

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:30 PM

      Agree. I don’t see a blockbuster move. I’m concerned about first base (Zim’s return, and what his offense will be if he does return) and the bullpen maybe could use another piece–although if Roark can be Stammen I think we might be OK. Thornton and Rivera are fine lefties, Janssen seems determined to prove himself as the 8th inning guy, Storen is Storen. Barrett is problematic because of his inconsistency and Solis is just holding down the minor-league “audition spot” at the moment.

      • jd - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:35 PM

        I,m in. Sign me up.I miss Clip anyhow.

        If we trade A.J. Cole for Clip he will have been with the Nats twice and the A’s twice. How cool would that be?

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:32 PM

      If we got Clipp back, we would be set for the 7th, 8th, 9th (Janssen, Clip, Storen), have two lefties (Rivero, Thornton), a long man (Roark)–and Aaron Barrett, whatever he is.

      • jfmii - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:52 PM

        I am not so fired up to bring Clip back. He blew most of his save chances last year, and he has had his share of bad outings with the A’s so far this year. I can giggle at his quirkiness, but I can also get frustrated at his slow pace and tendency to nibble.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:53 PM

      The Giants acquiring Hunter Pence at the trade deadline in 2012 seems to have worked out pretty well for them.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:07 PM

      I never saw the chemistry line in the box scores. Why do you think the A’s problems were due to chemistry?

  4. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    From Ken Rosenthal: #Mets making progress on trade for #Athletics’ Clippard, sources tell me and @jonmorosi. Other teams still in play. Deal expected soon.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:29 PM

      Please not the Mets.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:37 PM

        Could force Rizzo to get him.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:40 PM

        Maybe. Though if Rizzo doesn’t already see Clip as the solution to his BP, I doubt this changes his mind.

      • jd - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:53 PM

        It’s crazy. Everyone is looking to emulate the Royals model of building a bullpen of closers. I don’t necessarily think that it’s the only way to go but that is definitely the flavor of the month.

    • rayvil01 - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:30 PM

      Why would the Mets do that? Parnell had one bad outing and they would go get Clip? The Bullpen isn’t their issue.

      Could Alderson just be tweaking Rizzo with that?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:38 PM

        Great mind ray vil

      • virginiascopist - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:50 PM

        They’re looking ahead. If (big “if”) they make the playoffs, they know Mejia will be ineligible.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:31 PM

        Reminds me of the scene in Moneyball where Beane is upping the bidding by making two competitors think the other team is also interested.

      • virginiascopist - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:36 PM

        True. Still waiting to hear who the “other team” competing with the Nats for Scherzer was.

  5. adcwonk - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    Just a reminder about Werth:

    He started the season terribly. In hist first 13 games he was hitting .146

    But after that (which means the other 14 games), he hit .264 with a .355 OBA.

    When he was hit by that pitch, he had been on base in 11 straight games, slashing .275/.375/.425/.800 00 and over his last nine games he was at .313 /.410/.500/.910

    So, if he can simply regain the form he was in when he got hit — it’d be a huge addition to the team.

    • jd - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:56 PM


      There’s no doubt. It’s one more professional hitter in the lineup and it pits the likes of Matt Den Deker on the bench. Werth has been very good for us when healthy. Having him back is definitely a good thing.

      • sec112 - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:37 PM

        I wouldn’t expect much power from Werth, but he should get on base at a higher rate than who he’ll replace, and he’ll see a lot of pitches. He’ll also enable others in the order to bat in places more consistent with their abilities. His range on defense is likely to be limited, but no more so than any of the non-Den Dekker alternatives. Hard to see it as anything other than a plus – and maybe a big one.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      Good compilation!

      • adcwonk - Jul 27, 2015 at 3:01 PM

        Thanks. I think many just remember that at the time of his injury he was at .208 — I just want to remind us all that he was definitely on the way up!

      • zmunchkin - Jul 27, 2015 at 3:03 PM

        Agreed. This is a classic example of how focusing exclusively on numbers is not a good idea. You need context. And as you pointed out wonk, the context here is that he was improving!

      • senators5 - Jul 27, 2015 at 3:41 PM

        Ok, Werth comes back followed by Span. Where does MAT play? Certainly not on the bench or AAA, as he continues to be the Nats best run producer.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 3:46 PM

        I wish MW was into rotating players to keep them fresh. He’s not which puts MW on the bench when JDub and Span are both back.

        I’d honestly think of Werth at 1st in order that MAT plays every day.

  6. jd - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    Good news. I expect 2 – 3 starts in Syracuse bringing Stras back in about 15 days.

  7. manassasnatsfan - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    The LOD will be in arms if Clippard ends up on the Mets. We could use him too, so letting the nearest competitor get him would come across as a double loss.

    I do want to see Rizzo get bullpen help. If not by July 31, then the waiver times like when he got Thorton last year.

    • adcwonk - Jul 27, 2015 at 3:04 PM

      It’s worth remembering that Clip would be a two month rental for whoever gets him. I.e., it would certainly behoove us not to pay a whole lot for that. (OTOH, perhaps, then, his price for a trade will not be terribly high)

  8. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    Don’t look now but the SF Giants are back in the playoff race and ahead of the Cubs.

    If the playoffs start s today, the NL playoff teams would be the same as last year.

    • rayvil01 - Jul 27, 2015 at 3:19 PM

      Cue the “Jaws” movie theme: Hunter Pence is back. “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

  9. rlndtln - Jul 27, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    15 days for Stras and we should be happy.We maybe in deep trouble by then.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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