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Around the NL East: How will Mets manage rotation’s workload?

Aug 13, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

Aug 11, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA BRAVES  

With all their wheeling and dealing complete, the Braves will play out the string and try to find bright spots to carry into 2016. For the next month and a half, that means seeing how their young pitching develops as well as getting their first glimpse of the recently acquired Hector Olivera. The 30-year-old Cuban defector is close to starting his rehab assignment and is expected to join the Braves by the end of the month. Considering what Atlanta gave up to get him, they have to hope he shows signs early that he could be the real deal.

MIAMI MARLINS 

Just when you thought things couldn’t get tougher for the Marlins following a bizarre trade deadline period, starter Jose Fernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right biceps strain. For a pitcher that has already undergone Tommy John surgery and rehab, this is the last thing that Miami wanted to hear. In his short stint since his return, he showed exactly why he’s considered one of the best young right handers in the game: In seven starts, he went 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 53 strikeouts, looking very much like the pitcher he was before surgery. While this latest setback appears to be a minor one, you’d hate to think that Fernandez could be an injury-riddled arm who never gets to realize his potential.

NEW YORK METS  

Unfortunately for Nationals fans, the Mets just keep on rolling. They’ve won eight out of their last 10 and now have a 3.5 game lead in the division, and they don’t look like they’re slowing down any time soon.

Of course, not all is lost for the Nats. If there’s one thing D.C. fans should pay attention to, it’s how Mets manager Terry Collins will deal with his starting rotation down the stretch. With the young trio of Matt Harvey (who’s a year removed from of Tommy John surgery), Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, their workload will likely be closely monitored as September approaches to preserve their arms for a postseason run. Will that mean limiting the amount of innings pitched? Shutting down a pitcher or two if they’ve reached their max for the season? Who knows right now, but Collins has hinted that once rookie left hander Steven Matz comes back from injury in September, there could be a possibility of a six-man rotation.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 

Don’t laugh, but teams might not want to play the Phillies these days. That’s right, the team with the worst record in the majors has gone 17-7 since the All-Star break, suddenly playing inspired ball — though it’s far too late for them to salvage the season. But even if they can’t change the outlook on what’s been a down season, they’re certainly playing well enough right now to make life harder on pennant contenders. They have 19 games left against teams that are currently in vying for a postseason berth, so if they continue to play this way, they’ll could have a say on who gets to play in October and who doesn’t.

  1. deepthroat815 - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    I think the Mets will just need to figure out how to extend their Big 3 out a couple of more weeks. They’ve already said they’ll pitch in the postseason if the Mets are in, which was not surprising considering they made some moves at the trade deadline.

  2. jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    How did we manage to lose 2 out of 3 to this team at home?

    • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:05 PM

      Same way we managed to lose 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies at home…. and 2 of 4 to the D-Backs.

  3. unterp - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    looking forward to next season…The Mets will not fold like some hope and the Nats will not improve. 83-79 it their best hope…

    • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:12 PM

      bye bye !!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:13 PM

      The positive thinking is amazing. Tell your BS to Anthony Rendon’s face.

      The Sprint to the finish is on.

    • bowdenball - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:15 PM

      Care to place a wager on it, unterp? I’ll take over 82.5 wins, you take under. If 83 wins is their best hope it should be easy money for you.

      • unterp - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:47 PM

        You need to make it 83.5 and I take the under and you take the over; anyway, I want to, but I don’t have the ovaries… 🙂

  4. jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    It’s amazing how many pitchers with an ERA of 5+ play for the Rockies. It’s no surprise the Mets are pounding them as we should have.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:16 PM

      I was disgusted after the Rockies series. Really, I still am…

      • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:17 PM

        Yep. That wasn’t any fun.

    • bowdenball - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:21 PM

      We scored about the same # of runs per game vs the Rockies as the Mets. We put up 12 runs in three games, they put up 11 in their first three games before putting up 7+ today.

      The difference was on the other side of the ball. Storen and Scherzer just didn’t get it done. Some bad managing and some bad luck. As an example of bad luck- Drew induced a grounder from Arenado that would have gotten the Nats out of the 8th inning with a 4-1 lead just before CarGo’s grand slam, but it ended up being a well-placed swinging bunt down the 3rd base line, all the runners were safe, and you know what happened next.

      Sometimes it’s just not your day/week/month/season.

      • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:25 PM

        Yeah but after the swinging bunt by Arenado you can still look at the stat sheet and figure out that CarGo just does not hit well against lefties whereas he eats righties for lunch. Oh, we weren’t warming any lefties up? silly me.

      • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:26 PM

        bowdenvall,

        You allude to bad managing. Perhaps it wasn’t a great idea to bring in a rookie manager to skip a win now team with a major payroll budget?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:41 PM

      Nats did pound the Rockies but Storen gave it up. The Nats were ready to go on a run.

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    Lets right the ship… starting tonight… Beat Vogelsong…

    • natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:02 PM

      I’m on board with righting the ship. Let’s go, NATS!!

  6. jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    We need to find a way to win tonight. We have to stop the bleeding somewhere. I don’t think the Mets will co-operate too much when they are at home playing lousy teams. I hope Pittsburgh gives them more of a fight but as I said we need to start taking care of our business real soon.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:38 PM

      Exactly MrsB and jd. It all starts with the Nats winning games.

      • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:18 PM

        I have a hard time remembering when we last “found a way to win” a game we should have lost. I can think of a number of recent games we should have won that we found a way to lose. That’s the troublesome thing.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:21 PM

        April 21

      • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:26 PM

        Shirley there must have been once since then!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:34 PM

        I would say late comebacks have been few.

  7. stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    Sadly the Pirates have their bottom rung starters lined up for the Mets series. The Mets are leading a charmed existence since that supposedly back breaking rain delay loss a few weeks ago. I don’t see how the magic can continue for two months or more… I don’t believe it will… but increasingly it looks as if their demise will come too late to benefit the Nats.

    The pitchers the Giants have lined up to face us represent a wide open door, but someone has to rear up on their hind legs and give us a jolt of energy.

    I don’t know when I’ve been more disappointed in my team than when they imploded on the eighth last night.

  8. raleighnat - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:32 PM

    I don’t know what is wrong with the Nats. Zimmerman comes on, Harper fades. Strasburg comes on, Scherzer fades. Why did Fister suddenly just start to suck? Sign Papelbon, Storen fades. Rendon comes back and is eh. Escobar surprises up, Desmond surprises down. Offense shows life, scores zero in 2 straight games. This team just can’t fire on all cylinders. And the Mets don’t look built for losing streaks. I think we have a very steep hill to climb and my confidence is at a low ebb. I do not understand how a team with this much talent is basically average.

  9. hokiepokster92 - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    The Mets have made a pact with the Devil.

    It will be interesting to see how all out the Mets go with their young arms and recovering TJ ace. If nothing else, those guys will be pushing past previous innings thresholds. Will they show fatigue down the stretch?

    • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      You can make a case that Syndergaard already is.

      • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:34 PM

        I was thinking that, but Terry Collins said the problem today was too many fastballs and he was better when he “diversified.” Even considering the source, that sounds reasonable.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:06 PM

        In his last game before this one he gave up 5 earned runs in 4 innings. So is it a trend?

  10. rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    The reason is we stink

    • natsjackinfl - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:51 PM

      Glad you include yourself in that comment.

      • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:05 PM

        +1000. This board is basically unusable since that poster joined.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:04 PM

      Gee, Officer flndtln …

      • natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:01 PM

        …we’re very upset;
        We never had the love that ev’ry child oughta get.
        We ain’t no delinquents,
        We’re misunderstood.
        Deep down inside us there is good!

    • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:13 PM

      We????

  11. everendp - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    I am sick and f’ing tired of you rlndtln and you constant negativism. Of course that is your intent. Sad but still annoying and disruptive.

    What ever it is that you’re getting out of the experience of posting here, I implore you to stop and gradify yourself elsewhere.

    • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:16 PM

      What’s most annoying is that he never sticks around to eat his share of crow when things are going decently. If that isn’t the textbook definition of a troll then I’m the three billy goats gruff.

      • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:19 PM

        The bigger problem is that lately things haven’t been going decently, allowing him to spew his toxic BS on a regular basis.

        I much prefer my toxic BS.

      • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:30 PM

        I hope you don’t leave, stoatva. You have the funniest posts ever! Enjoy them so much.

      • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:34 PM

        Aw! That means a lot coming from you.

        Nah, I’m pretty troll-resistant. Although my wife does sometimes ask “what the heck has you so riled up?”

        Nothing, I answer truthfully. Nothing of the slightest importance.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    Brought over from the last thread:
    Steve, I can’t deal with the WordPress Shuffle that is going on every game thread. Some of it happens because of the “report comment” location is in a place where it gets hit inadvertently, especially by tablet and smart phone users. But between the jumble and the one poster that keeps putting anther quarter in the jukebox and playing the same song over and over I have gotten burnt out with the game thread.I also think that at least one person is maliciously trying to shuffle the WordPress thread.

    This is the worst format, by far, of any pro baseball blog that I view.Too bad, because there is some great, informed, commentary on here, even when we disagree.

    GYFNG!!!

    In spite of all I that said above? I think that Mark Zuckerman’s Nats Insider is one of the best things that has come around for me as a Nats fan, but Word Press is the worst thing that ever happened to Nats Insider.

    GYFNG!!!

    • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:29 PM

      I love this blog and many participants. But it’s getting more and more difficult to post thoughtful analysis and engage in discussion. It used to be that only game threads were unreadable, but now almost every thread is hijacked.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      FWIW, it wasn’t the trolling and stupid comments that drove me off the WaPo NJ, it was the problems with the user interface.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:21 PM

        I still follow the WaPo NJ. It was the trolling and stupid comments that made me check and comment here far more often.

        And FWIW and IMO, the user-interface there is much more functional than what we have here:

        – you can mark specific commenters to be ignored (but it is device dependent so you have to specify on each device)

        – no need to hit refresh to see new comments. And you can turn the automatic refresh on/off

        – if you walk away and come back to your device, new comments are highlighted

        – there is a page that you can go to that lists all of your comments regardless of what article they were posted to along with every response to that post.

        – and more.

        I have to say however that the clueless and obnoxious comments here are getting close to what the WaPo NJ was when I started here.

  13. Nats Fan Zee - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:38 PM

    And now the hole is 4 games …..

    http://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/809445

    • therealjohnc - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:48 PM

      Still 3 in the loss column – that’s the important marker. You can’t get a loss back.

  14. zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    I decided (surprise, surprise) to check on some of the data regarding the innings limits for the Mets. So here goes:

                 Prior Year*   2015 To Date** Target***  Innings Left   Games Left
    Harvey          178             148         212          64         10 or 11
    deGrom          140             146         182          36          5 or 6
    Syndergaard     133             129         173          44          6 or 7
    

    * Harvey is 2013, others two are 2014.
    ** Include MILB innings for Syndergaard
    *** A 30% increase over prior year, 20% for Harvey

    A 5-man rotation implies they need 10 start from each of these guys; a 6-man rotation (once/when/if Matz returns) means 9 starts.

    So if they honor the limits, deGrom and Syndergaard miss their last 3-4 starts. And Harvey just makes it to the end of the season.

    And if they don’t, as we have seen (and there are already signs of this for Syndergaard), young pitchers tail off when they get close to their limit, let alone pass it.

    So, while I am concerned, there is reason to be optimistic that the Mets will hit a wall.

    • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:01 PM

      Do Not worry about the Mets until we win 2 games in a row.

      • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:03 PM

        I actually agree with that.

        😵

    • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      I am pretty sure you have deGrom and Harvey backwards.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:10 PM

        I just double checked and my numbers jive with what baseball reference has.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      I remember in mid August 2012 when Strasburg started to show some struggles.

      • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:17 PM

        Perzactly.

    • ArVAFan - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:08 PM

      Thank you for crunching the numbers. (so sez the accountant, who admires these things).

      Would it be too much to ask SF to let Hunter Strickland pitch to Bryce? (one of my favorite Twitter sequences from 2014 was “scary stories in five words.” Someone posted “Bryce Harper vs. Hunter Strickland”). Bryce: if you recall, the water is thataway, and if you hit the ball real hard, it goes in the water. We wouldn’t mind if you did it again (hint, hint).

    • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:20 PM

      zmuchkin,

      You didn’t include deGrom’s minor league number in 2014. He actually pitched 178 innings combined last year, he is also 27 years old and further removed from TJ. I’m pretty sure that his target was 215 which may well mean that he can make to the end of the year if managed a bit. I think they definitly were hoping to stop at 180’ish with Harvey and 160’ish with Syndergaard.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:24 PM

        I did miss his minor league numbers. Thanks for pointing that out. For some reason I thought he was on the MLB roster at the beginning of the season. So that does get him close to the end of the season.

  15. rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Chase Utley close to a deal with the Giants.The Cubs,Yanks,Angels also in the pursuit.4teams in playoff contention want this worthless piece of s.That is how you guys were describing him when I suggested him for the NATS only as a replacement for the useless Dan Uggla.The fact he was a left handed guy at the time seemed a better alternative to Uggla.

    • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      rindtin,

      What’s the objective to all of your negative posts? We all know where you stand and don’t really give a s*it.

      As a matter of fact. What’s the point to you at all?

      • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:14 PM

        JD.Go f yourself.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:12 PM

        I told you not to feed him.

        But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight.

  16. rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    I was ridiculed by many including you that getting Utley over Uggla was insane.I guess the Yanks,Giants,Cubs and Angels are insane.Hope he does not get here this weekend.

    • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      Oh I hope he does. But Jeebus does not love me enough for him to play against us this weekend.

    • nattydc - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      Your man crush on Chase reminds me of Mac from alway’s sunny

      • Section 222 - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:33 PM

        That’s just awesome.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:05 PM

        I don’t know. I kinda prefer Mark. I like that old, prestigious school of journalism and…oh, er, never mind. Carry on.

    • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      Except Utley over Uggla is not an option. Utley is insisting on playing time assurances before he will waive his no-trade rights:

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/08/chase-utley-seeks-playing-time-assurance-to-waive-no-trade.html

      So do we really want to sit Rendon or Escobar so that Utley can play? And if we sit one of those two guys we already have a better option in Danny.

  17. fpa4356 - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    First, I’d like to say that this community of commenters is, in my view, the most knowledgeable and entertaining among baseball blogs. I have learned alot about the Nationals and about baseball generally from all of you, from having followed the blog and reading virtually every comment since Game 1 this season, and I thank you all for that.

    Second, I just wanted to remind you just how lucky you are to have a team like the Washington Nationals as your own. I live in New Orleans, which just is not a very good baseball town – we have an AAA team, the Zephyrs, which is part of the Marlins system; it’s just not easy to get excited about the Marlins even as we have a chance to see players who fairly readily become a part of the big league club (Justin Bour, Derek Dietrich, Justin Nicolino, and last year as well as now, Marcel Ozuna). The Nationals, on the other hand, are a very good team with exciting players and almost limitless potential, notwithstanding their troubles this year. I travel a few times each year to see some MLB games, but I’ve yet to see the Nationals play at home (saw them last year in Chicago). I know many of you go to lots of games there in DC – please remember how lucky you are to have not only your own team, but a very good one with top-notch (albeit sometimes disappointing) players.

    One of the beneficial aspects of experience is being able to perform successfully when the pressure is on. Zimmerman and Rendon, J Zimmermann and Strasburg, are all proving that to us now. Once they fully mesh with Harper, Scherzer, Escobar and MAT who have been doing it all year, and Ramos and Desmond rise to the level of which they are capable, the nationals will leave the Mets well behind them as they power into the Division Series with intent and focus !

    • ArVAFan - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:33 PM

      And hello from a long-time (former) resident of New Orleans. Hope you do get to visit DC: let us know when you’re coming, and we’ll try to meet at the Park–I haven’t forgotten my Southern manners.

    • scmargenau - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:41 PM

      +4.5

      • fpa4356 - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:53 PM

        thank you for your hospitality !

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 7:02 PM

        No. Thank you for your optimistic perspective.

        And I for one recognize how lucky we are to have the Nationals. I grew up as a fan of the Senators. And the 34 year drought was painful.

        Just curious if you started following the Nationals because the Zephyrs used to be one of their minor league affiliates?

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:20 PM

      Post of the Day!!!

  18. fpa4356 - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    And I want to add : one of the funniest things I’ve read all year was after Tyler Moore pitched the top of the 9th inning, and someone (I do not recall whom) wrote, “Moore even hit like a pitcher.” No disrespect of Moore intended, as it can’t be easy coming onto the big stage and trying to throw strikes, and then trying to hit despite the inevitable distraction of thinking about his pitching performance, but that was truly funny !

  19. chaz11963 - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    You guys are really entertaining. I rarely post, but read all of your stuff multiple times a day. Most of you have really good insights. This is an awesome blog despite the depressing negative nellies.

    • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:03 PM

      All the talk for weeks how the Mets will never hold up continues.Based on what.They have gotten healthy,added 3 guys that can play better than what they had and an experienced reliever in Clipp.The others guys are all starting to hit.To win 4 straight in a series is rare to say the least.A team that beat us 2of 3 with our best pitchers.Face facts this season is over.By the way my prediction when asked for the 7 games giants,dodgers was 3-4.

      • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:08 PM

        You seem to be under the impression that the contempt in which you are held has something to do with the rightness or wrongness of your opinions.

        Guess again.

    • deftndumb - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:03 PM

      Me too, Chaz.

  20. Everendp - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:53 PM

    +1

    • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:22 PM

      Utley over Uggla is not an option how about denDeker over Fister.

  21. Candide - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    For all the complaining about the trolls here – and I find it pretty easy to scroll right pat them – NI has NEVER had anyone remotely as obnoxious as WaPo’s Poopy McPoop. He’s the reason I left NJ.

    • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:32 PM

      ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY on how obnoxious he was – by all of his/her various names/ids.

      I am not sure but I think the ignore user button was not available or widely used when he/she appeared on the scene.

      • scmargenau - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:46 PM

        i dunno. like everything else you have 2 sides. we have rosy goggles fp like posters, and swm and rin. i think the balance and diff oppinions is a goid thing, much like free speech. rin actually makes valid points from time to time. and with Sto to anihilate him textually is entertainment id pay for.

        half full guy.

  22. Candide - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    With all of Comcast’s money – don’t they own everything in the world that isn’t in China? – you’d think they’d spend a couple of dollars for half-decent blog software.

    Cripes, I’ll bet you could get a half-dozen NI’ers to chip in $0.50 a month to pay for it if that’s what it would take…

  23. zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    Some potentially good news on Denard posted late yesterday on the WaPo NJ:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nationals-journal/wp/2015/08/12/injury-updates-bryce-harpers-left-knee-better-denard-span-takes-a-step-forward/

    • scmargenau - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:48 PM

      thats indeed good news.

      id like to move mat up meanwhile and jw down. mat risp hitting is great and 8 hole gets him bad at bats with zero protection. i bet hed thrive at 5 or 6

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 6:59 PM

        I wonder if having him bat 9, with the pitcher at 8, makes sense? A number of teams doing that with their second speed guy.

        But moving Ramos to 8 works. He has done well there in the past.

      • Candide - Aug 13, 2015 at 7:06 PM

        Has MAT’s insane BA with RISP gotten past the point of being written off to simply being a small sample size?

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 7:15 PM

        This mindset will no go away quietly or quickly.

        And this might be another reason to at least consider batting him 9th. If the 6/7 guys get on base, and the pitcher successfully bunts, more opportunities with RISP.

        And this reminds me of one thing I hope the Nats do next spring training. They have one of the best bunting pitchers on staff – Livan. Get him to teach these guys (all of them, not just the pitchers) how to bunt!

      • stoatva - Aug 13, 2015 at 7:24 PM

        I’m not sold on the “position players batting ninth” stratagem but MAT seems to have the right skills if we were going to try that experiment.

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