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Nats offense continues to stall; Storen stumbles again

Aug 13, 2015, 9:46 AM EDT

USA Today

For the second time in a month, the Nationals were dominated in consecutive days by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ duo of aces, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. But this time the Nationals fielded a mostly healthy lineup, as their offense continues to lose its footing in the month of August.

Greinke and Kershaw could be the two best pitchers in today’s game, but the Nationals were not able to score a single run off either of them. They looked like an offensive powerhouse in Monday night’s 8-3 win in the series opener, only to wilt once the big boys took the mound.

In Wednesday night’s 3-0 loss, only Anthony Rendon and Michael Taylor got hits off Kershaw. Taylor somehow registered two, including a double. The rest of the lineup went 0-for-21 against the three-time Cy Young-winner. He tossed eight scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and zero walks.

Kershaw also shut the Nats down for eight innings with three hits allowed and now walks on July 18. Except that day he struck out 14. The Nats vs. Kershaw this season are scoreless through 16 innings with 22 strikeouts and no walks drawn.

Kershaw is, of course, the best pitcher of his generation. He dominates everybody at some point. But this was a Nats lineup on Wednesday that for the most part does not have the excuse of injury. They had a banged up Bryce Harper and were missing Denard Span, but the rest of their lineup was as Mike Rizzo intended it to be before this season. Seven of their eight best offensive players were on the field, yet Kershaw took a perfect game into the sixth inning.

It has become a troubling trend that the Nats’ offense hasn’t followed with the expected production since it got mostly healthy. Ryan Zimmerman has done his part, and Harper has continued to get on base, but the lineup collectively has not found it’s groove. It is a big reason the Nats are now 3 1/2 games back from the Mets for the first time since May 10.

Anthony Rendon returned from the disabled list on July 25 and both Zimmerman and Jayson Werth came back July 28. That was over two weeks ago, yet the Nats are 18th in runs scored in the month of August. Rendon has shown flashes at times, but holds a .238 average and .662 OPS in the 17 games since he was activated. Werth has been the weakest link in the Nats’ lineup with a .151 average and .440 OPS in the 15 games since leaving the DL. Those were two of the Nats’ most dependable and productive players when they won 96 games in 2014.

The continued problems the Nats are finding at the plate, coupled with the uncertainty of Denard Span’s injury, makes you wonder if the Nats should do something creative through the waiver wire. We’ve seen them acquire significant pieces in August before and the need for an offensive boost is being highlighted on a nightly basis. The Nationals face the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night, the defending world champions. The Giants seem intent on bringing in a veteran bat, perhaps Chase Utley whom they have been tied to in trade rumors. Maybe the Nats should take note and do something similar for their own sake.

Drew Storen stumbles again

For how good Drew Storen looked in the first four outings he pitched after the trade for Jonathan Papelbon, he has been an unmitigated disaster in his last three games. Storen’s struggles continued on Wednesday night as he allowed two earned runs in 2/3 of an inning against the Dodgers.

Storen now sports the unfortunate line of eight earned runs in 6 2/3 innings since he became the setup man. Contrast that with the seven earned runs he gave up in 37 1/3 innings as closer this year and, well, you have a pretty interesting statistic.

Storen, in fact, has given up more earned runs in his last three outings than he did all of last season in 65 appearances. He has also allowed as many earned runs in his last three games than he did in his previous 67 combined.

Here, take a look:

Storen’s last three games: 2.2 IP, 8 ER, 6 H, BB, 3 SO
Storen’s previous 67 games: 62.1 IP, 8 ER, 44 H, 13 BB, 67 SO

Whether this has anything to do with Papelbon’s acquisition is difficult to tell, Storen certainly wouldn’t admit it. But if it doesn’t, that sure is a major coincidence.

124 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Miamidad38 - Aug 13, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    Time is the NATS enemy. The schedule has not been kind to them this week and players returning from injuries are still in their spring training phase (save for Zimmerman). Unless they can get it together quickly resignation will be on order for the remainder of the year. It is what it is.

  2. generalcornrowwallace2 - Aug 13, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    Season over, seriously. I am no LOB member, one of this team’s biggest fans. But, since day 1 these guys for whatever reason choke under pressure. As the pressure mounts for them to climb in the standings they will continue to get shut out, make poor decisions, commit errors and blow games.

    Hopefully a change in some of the talent base next year will help. We were truly snakebit this year with all the injuries and guys like Rendon and Werth are not “done” but they are essentially in spring training right now. By the time they get their timing down it will be too late.

    Sad about Drew, but sorry, the pressure gets to him. Better to find out now during a lost season, then during the playoffs.

    2015 was fun, hopefully 2016 will be better.

    • veejh - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:08 AM

      Giving up with so many games left is foolish. This is baseball.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:19 AM

        He isn’t LOB but every post is LOD.

        There have been 8 game leads in September that have been blown. All it takes is a losing streak and the Mets will go through one.

    • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:10 AM

      LOB? Left on Base?

  3. someguyinva - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    I know the scoring rules say that Storen’s runs have to be charged as earned given the way the inning played out, with Thornton giving up the bases empty hit to Crawford, but Rendon’s throw had a lot to do with those runs scoring.

    In fact, Storen’s last three results have all been influenced to some extent by misfortune…

    – Friday night, two on and two out, and he gets Arenado to make weak contact, but it’s so weak it’s basically a swinging bunt and no play is made; Gonzalez then hits a grand slam.

    – Sunday, McKenry gets awarded an HBP on a pitch that could’ve been called a foul ball; does the inning play out differently if it’s called an HBP?

    – Last night, Rendon throws the ball to nowhere.

    Yes, he’s been wild during this stretch, and yes he’s been hit, but these last three appearances have been marked by an overarching theme of anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

    • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:15 AM

      I haven’t had time to look up the stats, but I feel that the idea of bringing in Thornton/Rivero to pitch against Gonzalez is a not a percentage move. First of all, you are putting in an inferior pitcher, so right there you have to ask, is the platoon advantage worth putting in an inferior pitcher? As we see, Thornton came in and gave up a hit to a lefty, who’s to say he wouldn’t have done the same for Gonzalez.

      Second, let’s say Rivero/Thornton doesn’t get Gonzalez out. LeMahieu, a righty is up next. Thornton can get righties out (sometimes), but Rivero is TERRIBLE against righties. What then? Bring in yet another pitcher, another pitcher inferior to Storen? Or, if the game is not tied (IOW, it’s 4-2 or 4-3) bring Papelbon in with the bases loaded for a four-out save?

      My feeling is IF, IF Williams were going to take Storen out, forget the platoon split. Put Papelbon in for the four-out save.

      • someguyinva - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:22 AM

        According to Baseball Reference, Gonzalez has an OPS of 1.007 this year against righties, and .458 against lefties. There’s a case to be made for lifting Storen in favor of a lefty Friday night, but then again, the way F.P. reacted last night when Storen got lifted in mid-inning, it would’ve been tantamount to questioning the morals of Storen’s mother, casting aspersions on his entire family, and killing Storen’s dog and peeing on its corpse.

        I was at the game Friday night, so I didn’t hear what Bob or FP might’ve said about what the right move was when Storen had to face Gonzalez.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:31 AM

        People are so revisionist in history as Storen was nails before the August 7th game and Storen was the best one to Save his own hide in that situation as he had a 3 run lead on Friday when Carlos Gonzalez stepped in.

        Storen’s problem was walking DeScalso. It’s Storen’s achilles heel that the walks seem to be the start of his problems. BABIP bit him not once, but twice with the Reyes single by RZim and that swinging bunt by Arenado. Storen had 2 outs when Gonzalez stepped in and pitch #1 was supposed to be in followed by another to be in and it missed it’s spot by about 6 inches.

        The one thing Storen couldn’t do was throw anything fat. A single doesn’t beat you. There was 2 outs. A double could tie the game but only the HR can beat you.

      • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:37 AM

        The problem is, Gonzalez didn’t need to hit a Grand Slam, all it takes was a single or a walk to bring up the next hitter, a righty. I’m in favor of mixing and matching the splits if you are talking about Barrett, Treinen or even Roark coming out in favor of Thornton/Rivero.

        But I think you tread more carefully when removing a top reliever like Storen, especially with the bases loaded. The absolute worst happened and still Storen left with only a one-run deficit. If Thornton/Rivero can’t get Gonzalez out, the inning could go just as badly (or worse), and you have used up more pitchers.

        The question is, was Storen pitching poorly or was he the victim of bad luck and BaBiP? That is the question I expect the manager to decide and act upon quickly. And if he thinks it’s “not Storen’s night,” AND he thinks it’s a crucial game, bring in Papelbon.

        I must say, however, it took me a week to come to this conclusion (prodded by a guy on Twitter). Matt Williams has to think a LOT faster than that! I’m hoping he will in future.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:38 AM

        Imagine how that inning might have played out differently if MW had pulled a Showalter and put up four fingers there instead of having Drew pitch to CarGo there with the bases loaded. 4-2 with two outs, bases loaded and LeMahieu up looks a lot better, doesn’t. As Jim Palmer, a HoF pitcher who never gave up a grand slam, says “There’s always a base open. Sometimes it’s home.”

    • senators69 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:26 AM

      Agree with Someguy. I’m much more worried about the hitting than Storen.

    • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:14 AM

      Ghost and NatsLady,

      I respectfully disagree with you both. CarGo’s splits vs. right or left are so stark that the probability of a lefty getting him out is very good and the probability of even a good lefty getting him out is less good. Once CarGo came to bat the game was on the line so the inference of a 3 run lead is pointless and furthermore this was a game the Nats could hardly afford to lose.

      This idea that Storen would be destroyed if taken out is ridiculous, he is an intelligent player and if you make moves based on probabilities he is smart enough to understand that, it’s not kindergarden.

      NL, the concept of worrying about the hitter after CarGo is also not logical to me because if you don’t retire CarGo you bring in Paplebon to face LeMaheu. Of course it’s possible that that both CarGo and DJ get hits but the odds say this is very unlikely. Now if you make all the right moves and you still lose as they say, tip your cap and move on but to defy the odds and lose is just plain stubborn.

      • natsdial8 - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:46 AM

        It does appear that Drew may be inclined to let some things get into his head . Not sure he has the mindset needed by a high leverage bullpen pitcher . He is young and I wish him the best but we need him now !

      • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:22 PM

        All right, that would be a reasonable, let one of the lefties have one chance, then bring in Papelbon if they don’t get the out.

        You still have to make the decision to take Storen out, and I’m not convinced that the platoon split is enough. I’d have to have evidence that Storen was pitching poorly, and I’m getting mixed messages on that.

  4. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Re-posting this so people reading this blog can recall what optimism looks like.

    It took less than two weeks for Toronto to erase a seven-game deficit against the Yankees.

    From our point of view, let’s say we take 3/4 from the Giants, who are struggling mucho, who also got shut out last night (and NOT by Clayton Kershaw), and who are putting up Vogelsong, Cain and Peavy before it’s Mad-Bum’s turn.

    Let’s say the Mets win today, because Butler is a terrible pitcher and how interested will the Rox be on getaway day? But then they face the Pirates who are both good and desperate, having just gotten swept by the Cards. So let’s say they lose 2/3 to the Buccos.

    Right there we pick up a game (-2.5) and I haven’t proposed anything terribly unlikely. Our boys get a day off to get acclimatized to the altitude, and then we just have to make sure that when 15 runs are scored in a game, at least 8 of them are ours. Let’s take 2/3 from the Rox.

    The Mets proceed to Camden Yards. Much as it pains me, I’ll have to root for the O’s, who are as good at home (32-20) as the Mets are bad on the road (21-34). Let’s give the O’s 2/3.

    I don’t think it’s wildly optimistic to hope that by the time the Nats get home they will be 1.5 games back. And going against the mighty Brewers…

    There is one note of caution I wish to sound to those who are projecting the Mets’ three studs will butt up against innings in September: Stephen Matz (due back around Labor Day).

    • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:13 AM


      Lots of baseball left to play.

    • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:20 AM

      Good points, and I feel compelled to respond.

      First, I will never, ever root for the Orioles. I just can’t.

      Second, and more importantly, I don’t think it’s the time left in the season and the ability to make up games. Teams make up deficits throughout a season WHEN THEY PLAY GOOD BASEBALL! (CAPS for emphasis) It’s also not losing to the Dodgers with ace #1 and ace #2. It’s more about the way they have lost games and the losing to teams that should be beaten. I think the Nationals have won 2 series since the All Star break. They can’t beat the Cubs, Reds, Cardinals, Dodgers in a series. But they also can’t win a series with the Rockies or the Diamondbacks right now. That is bad baseball, no matter how you slice it.

      I know your comment about the “mighty” Brewers was tongue in cheek, but let’s face it-we just lost a series to the Mighty Rockies.

      But I agree with you in that if a ship gets righted, then 3.5 games is nothing. I still believe this pitching staff lines up nicely against the Mets. But these guys need to look deep inside themselves and pull it together quickly.

      • senators69 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:29 AM


    • Another_Sam - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      Thank you. Reading your post prevented my posting a very down monologue.

    • nelliefox - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:33 AM

      I guess this is why FP is in the booth – Nat fans do not want to hear bad things about their boys.

      I understand Bob Carpenter is just being Bob Carpenter, but FP is a formal baseball player who almost never provides any real analysis of the game. Instead I think his role is to provide excuses for any Nat misplay or poor performance.

      At least when you watch the Orioles, Jim Palmer provides viewers with some insights on what is going on and not afraid to be honest about some Oriole’s poor perfomance.

      Am I the only one, but isn’t getting harder and harder to stomach a Nats’ broadcast? I do not mind announcers being for the home team (certainly Palmer roots for the Orioles) but that doesn'[t mean they also must provide excuses for each and everytime an home team player does bad.

      • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:40 AM

        I’ve never liked Carpenter much. He doesn’t add anything and he makes a lot of mistakes. I used to like FP (and he’s still good on national broadcasts), but he talks WAY too much, too long, and yes, too many excuses–some of which defy common sense.

      • natsdial8 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:43 AM

        Win or lose FP ruins the broadcast for me on many levels . You are accurate in your assessment of him , and then some. Carp ok with me – it’s like he is saddled with FP.

      • hokiepokster92 - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        Gotta disagree with you re: FP. I’ve heard him give analysis on defensive fielding techniques on several occasions. He was a middle infielder for the bulk of his career and played some OF. And yes, he is a cheerleader. Name me one regional broadcasting crew that doesn’t root for the team they cover? #youcan’t

      • NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:23 PM

        Yes, FP has taught me things (which Carp has certainly never done). It’s only this season that I’ve felt the bad (yammer, yammer, yammer) outweighs the good.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:10 PM

        I also appreciate the insights that FP provides. And the fact that he also praises the other team when they make a great play. And he does point out mistakes by the Nats. And yes, he makes mistakes. Everyone does.

        And permit to also point out that we are a biased sample. We are all baseball fanatics/geeks to the point where we regularly comment here on games. The TV audience is much larger and does not have the same level of interest or knowledge about the game. It is FP’s job to enlighten those folks, not us. And IMO he does a decent job of that.

      • natsdial8 - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM

        When he enlightens the audience with nonsense I guess you approve.

      • JamesFan - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:27 PM

        I turn off the sound because I cannot stand the constant childish blather from FP. Most of the time he is wrong when he makes a projection–which he can’t seem to resist. Other teams have serious people giving commentary. FP is just “seeing it big” again and again, issuing constant shallow lectures and shamelessly giving excuses for the Nats.

        I don’t want a critic, but I would hope that Carpenter had a more serious partner.

      • natsdial8 - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:05 PM

        Well stated James Fan.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:37 AM

      A voice of reason. Like I responded to a LOD up above, teams have made up 8 game deficits in September. The Mets are primed for a losing streak.

      The Nats pitching is better than what they’ve shown and finally getting some gems albeit the defense let Ross down and Storen turned a 1 run deficit into 3.

      Nats still have to score against Aces and I’m sorry get 1 run before you get 2 and I think Bryce had an opportunity to bunt down 3rd base for a single and instinctively also had that 74mph curve come way inside that he could have worn. I would have like to have seen in the 7th what RZim and Werth could do with 2 men on and no outs.

      • natsdial8 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:46 AM

        Ghost of course you are right we have a long way to go can very well come back .

        My opinion on MW continues to slide down . All those early games playing Ian etc thinking we have a lot of time come into question now .

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:56 AM

        I was disappointed with MW last night as these Ace games to me needs single digit runs before crooked numbers. The best opportunity was getting Rendon in scoring position in the 7th and I know people hate the bunt but I love bunting for singles.

        If you get Rendon on 2nd and Bryce on 1st with RZim up he has to hit to RF which is tough against Kershaw but what you like is with a man on 2nd and no outs that Kershaw thinks twice about that slider in the dirt that could be a Wild Pitch.

        Never got to that point as Rendon never made it past 1st base.

    • Section 222 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:38 AM

      Reposting my response, which got WordPressed into oblivion as well as new posted:

      Excellent point on Matz. Last night on MLB Network, Verducci predicted that the Mets would go back to a six man rotation when he returns from the DL, which will limit the innings of the big 3. At some point, they’ll have to shut Syndegaard down I would think. But they seem ready to ride Harvey and DeGrom. That may work for them this year. What happens in the future is the $64,000 (or is it now $64 million) question.

      On your rosy scenario, I’d say it may not be wildly optimistic, but it sure is optimistic. And perhaps overly optimistic. The lynchpin is taking 3/4 from the Giants and 2/3 from the Rockies. I’m afraid that doesn’t seem very likely given how we’ve played for the past two weeks. I’m going to hope for 4/7 overall. And the Mets are on a roll. I’ll be very happy if they lose 2/3 to the O’s, Would I bet on it? No.

      • JamesFan - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        I do respect Rizzo for what he did with Stras after TJ. I think the Mets with pitch these three young guys into dust to get to the playoffs this year. They may pay a price on the long haul.

    • dryw4nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:46 AM

      Thanks NL! I think I may have to put this post up on my fridge or something, just to keep it around.

  5. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Got new posted on the last thread so I will re-post here:

    I tuned out before Da Bums scored. Couldn’t handled staying up until 1:30 a.m. again. From the box score, obviously Zimmermann was every bit as good as Kershaw. Storen notwithstanding, any game where they get three hits and don’t score is all on the offense. Kershaw gives up 6.6 hits per game, on average. A good hitting team gets at least 6.6 hits against him. The Nats have good-enough hitters who crapped out; just three more hits at the right time and who knows how the game turns out? Didn’t happen, of course.

    Giants bottom of the rotation plus Rockies in the ether could be exactly what they need. The Nats aren’t hitting with HR power right now so the size of AT&T Park should work in favor of their gap hitters more than it affects their home run hitters (if they have any). Who knows, Ramos might even be able to reach 2B on a ball that makes it to the right-CF wall.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      (I acknowledge that Kershaw’s no. is 6.6 hits/nine innings. But he went eight last night, so he was still more parsimonious/lucky than his average performance.)

  6. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    Turned the game off after the 8th inning… I was real angry. Idk what is going on with Drew. Seems that now that the 7th inning is fixed, issues arrive with 8th. Idk what it is but this team isn’t playing well. Thought MW should have played small ball last night. Yeah I knew it was a bunch of righties in the line up but still, its Kershaw.

    I hope that the Giants don’t find their resurgence against us. I hope the Nats find someway to win 3/4 games… Their play right now doesn’t inspire that they will but my fingers are crossed.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      Can’t play small ball w/out runners on base.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:40 AM

        7th inning leadoff single by Rendon was the time. Bryce had the bunt single there for him down 3rd base. Put pressure on the Dodgers. Maybe Callaspo throws the ball away. There was little pressure put on the Dodgers other than that great play by Hernandez on the grounder by Esco with MAT on 3rd.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:13 AM

        I was also thinking about when MAT hit the double… either way…

    • Another_Sam - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:30 AM

      The pitching is more or less adequate. But the greatest armchair pitcher and manager of all time – me – can’t over one another three hit attack.

  7. philipd763 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    I can’t remember a Nationals team that was ever able to hit good pitching. This is nothing new.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:45 AM

      Hit the snooze button. That’s just plain false. The Nats starters gave up less hits than the Dodgers starters the last 2 nights and the difference was defense, walks, and of course Storen.

      Storen on Ethier. Just lucky that wasn’t a HR.

    • bowdenball - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:12 AM

      I ran through the long list of good to great pitchers we’ve beaten yesterday. The names included Bumgarner, Harvey, DeGrom and a host of others. This narrative is pure garbage.

      Do we struggle against good pitchers? Of course we do. You know who else struggles against good pitchers? EVERYONE. That’s what makes them good pitchers. If people didn’t struggle against them they wouldn’t be good pitchers. It ‘s a silly argument.

      • adcwonk - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:30 AM

        BB — many of us were thinking what you were thinking, but you put it into words terrifically. Well done!

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:53 AM

        The better a team is, the less they struggle against good pitchers. Face it, the Nats have just not been a very good team for much of this season, as is reflected by their record. If not for that incredibly hot month of May, they’d be under .500 now.

  8. zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Somewhat off-topic. I have mentioned that I am downloading and looking at the PitchFx data. Specifically called strikes that are balls according the pitch fx. I want to share two observations.

    – During the Tuesday game FP commented that he was sorry that we would not see Harper vs. Grienke given what Harper had said about the generous strike zone Grienke gets. So I looked at the data. And Harper is spot-on. Among the 151 pitchers who have at least 1000 pitches this year, Grienke ranks 5th in all of MLB in terms of the percentage of his called strikes that pitchfx classifies as balls.

    – And during last night’s game FP commented about first pitch strikes. So I looked at the data for last nights game. For the first six Nats batters last night, Kershaw had 5 first pitches that resulted in strikes (or fouls). Of those 6 pitches four of them were balls (and only one was called a ball). Kind of sets the tenor for the rest of the game if the umpire is calling things that way.

    I am not a fan of automated calling of balls and strikes. I want the umpires calling them. But MLB has to make them accountable when they play favorites.

    • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:36 AM

      One followup. I am also looking that the data for all of 2015. It is not simple to come up with algorithms that include all the factors that are needed. I need to give that a lot more thought. But I (again), have a few thoughts I want to share:

      – The majority of the umpires are consistent in terms of the percentages of called strikes that are balls and are at or near the overall average. That is a good thing.

      – Some umpires seem to show a bias based on home vs. away (not many, but a few). And a number of them also show a bias based on the team at bat. This is somewhat complicated to draw a conclusion from as it may be due to the pitcher and/or the batter.

      – By and large the umpires we all know are bad (e.g., Angel Hernandez) are bad!

      And no, I am not saying the Nats lost the last two games because of this!

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:59 AM

        I look forward to these. zmunchkin. Thanks for your efforts.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:48 AM

      Credit to Kershaw for being so good at getting swings on balls out of the zone. You have to sit fastball and these batters say they could swear it was a fastball coming off of his hand.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:05 AM

        I agree that pitchers who get batters to swing at balls are doing a good job. But to clarify, None of his first pitch strikes that were balls (in the first two innings) were swinging strikes. One was a foul – Harper in the first. Perhaps because he saw Rendon get a called first strike on a ball.

        The context of when things happen is important. Which is why it is incredibly difficult to come up with a small set of metrics or numbers to describe it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:10 AM

        OK, I see what you’re saying but they weren’t egregious like we saw with Greinke in DC in July. Personally I thought JZim got the gifts last night as I showed on the Pitch Track. (must have been great framing LOL). JZim had balls over 3 inches out of the zone called strikes.

        Kershaw relies on movement.

        Here’s JZim’s chart:

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:11 AM

        Here is Kershaw’s chart. I only see the 2 gift strikes that were low in the zone

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:25 AM

        This is why I said context is important.

        You are correct that JZ got some gifts too. In fact, based on my preliminary analyss Iassonga ranks 5th among all umpires in terms of the percent of his called strikes that are balls.

        Kershaw benefitted because most of his called strikes that were actually balls happened early in the game – he had two in the 6th inning (and one of them was JZ). The rest were in the first two innings – players were induced to swing during the rest of the game because they learned early on that Iassonga was giving strikes to Kershaw.

        In contrast, the gifts that JZ got were the 6th, 10th, 14th and 16th batters.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        Just glad the Nats won’t face the Dodgers again until the NLDS

  9. philipd763 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Rizzo needs to procure a left fielder who can field the position and provide some offense. Jayson Werth is way beyond being over the hill offensively and defensively. There’s nobody in the farm system to fill the void.

  10. scnatsfan - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    I love the optimism, call me hopeful but not optimistic. This team plays flat, this team plays without urgency. Show me a team of good losers and I’ll show you a loser.

    For all who say just wait, the Mets will have a bad streak… they will. But look at us; since the AS break we have won 2 of 8 series…2. Right before the break we were 50/50 in the 4 leading up. What, besides hope in your heart, leads you to believe better days are ahead for the team? We blamed it on injuries… well, those guys are back and the ship continues to founder. Its 2013 all over again… the team will get hot, just in time to break our hearts with worthless end of the season victories. Maybe MW doesn’t look back but I do and you can’t just ignore our recent history.

    Can we win the division? Absolutely. Lord knows I hope we do. But trotting the same guys out expecting different result – with the same guy leading the club, preaching just wait, we’ll be ok – why would the results be different? And why does it not seem to bother anyone on the team that the team plays this way? This team should be playing like its season is on the line every night, every out – because IT IS. This is a mediocre team that got hot, not a good team that has hit a slump. We have to stop thinking this team is good enough to win the way it is.

    • Guapo - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:38 AM

      OK. So what’s your lineup solution?

      • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:51 AM

        For one I’d get Espinosa back in the line up. We were winning when he was playing regularly. God, I can’t believe I’m saying that, but the fact is, they were. This losing coincides with his lack of regular playing time.

        I’m sure someone will pull out stats that refute what I’ve just said, and I’m glad because I’d like to see them and I am too lazy to look them up.

      • Guapo - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:11 AM

        Espinosa hitting .189 since July 1. Correlation does not imply causation. 🙂

      • scnatsfan - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:55 AM

        Somehow Espi has to get in the lineup… but where?

        My solution has been the same… the talent is here. The wrong guy is running the show. Bring someone in who has passion. We tried friendly (Johnson), we tried stoic (Williams) why not try someone who isn’t here to make friends.

      • Guapo - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:10 AM

        100% agree with you on the leadership. MW isn’t the guy this team needs. With this type of talent you just need someone to keep the team loose. Williams isn’t the right person for this team and it needs to change

        RE: Espinosa. Not sure I agree with you there. He’s had a year that exceeded all expectations. Quite possibly the most valuable player in the first half. Without Espinosa’s versatility in the field, this team may not even be in the hunt.


        He’s still Danny Espinosa, a career .231 hitter who’s hitting .188 since July 1. He has a role on this team, and an important one. But DE is not the answer for the Nats.

        Leadership and getting healthy is key. Rizzo won’t can MW at this point in the season. Let’s just hope that the talent wins out over the next 50 games.

      • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        Espinosa in OF, or move Zimmermann to LF, Werth to right if you have to and have Espi at 1st.

  11. Guapo - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    This team has had a very tough year. Injuries, down years for a few players, and some bad bounces. When they finally get close to health, they face a long stretch against tough pitching and playoff teams.

    Yet they are still in the mix.

    The schedule will get better. They’ve acquired a proven closer. Harper doesn’t have to carry the offense on his back. Strasburg looks great. They only have to be 4 games better than the Mets over the next 50.

    That’s very possible, and given this team’s talent, very probable.

    I think this one goes down to the wire, and the season’s final series, three games in NYC. It’s going to be interesting. Hang on for the ride.

  12. richardp6 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Silver Lining Alert-
    At least it will be an interesting stretch run through September. Instead of a 15 game lead and lethargy going into the playoffs, they will be battling and fully engaged. A lot of people said that their failure in the first round last year was because of the lag in starting the playoffs and their coasting into them.

  13. natsjackinfl - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    This past Saturday afternoon, I had a great discussion with my local sports bar manage who happens to be as big a baseball fan as me.

    I told him that it wouldn’t surprise me if the Nats found themselves 6 games or so behind the Mets after their West Coast swing but I wouldn’t panic.

    I felt that it would take that much time to shake off all the rust and cobwebs from the previous 4 1/2 months of injuries and sub standard play.

    But once the trip was over, I fully expect them to band together and put on a push to pressure the Mets about the time both Harvey and Syndegard start to feel the fatigue that is most likely to hit them.

    Now if by September 12th when I am in Miami for the Nats games and they are more than 3 games back, I’ll still be excited to see how it all turns out.

    That’s what pennant races are supposed to be all about. Excitement.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:18 AM

      I made 3 predictions about the Mets in the off-season. 1. They would end up in 3rd place 2. Terry Collins will push his starters too hard and burn them out by September 3. deGrom is a great pitcher who is under-rated

      OK, I got #3 right, #1 wrong, and #2 is still a work-in-retrogression

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:22 AM

        Who did you have in 1st?

        I only predicted the NLE Standings – (Nats, Fish, Mets, Braves and Phils)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:38 AM

        Same as you MrsB

      • jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:33 AM

        For whatever it’s worth I identified the Mets as our closest contender based on their pitching. I never understood the love for the fish with their starting pitching.

        You are right about deGrom and again Harvey is also a stud and Syndergaard is a stud in the making along with Matz they have both the quality and quantity unmatched in baseball, not to mention that Niese is a very good bottom of the rotation starter and they also have Montero and Wheeler around the corner – scary.

        The Mets Achilles heel is still their lineup. They made very good fill in moves at the deadline but they are all rentals and the team still shows no inclination to spend on FA’s. I think there could still be a race but I really don’t want the Nats to fall much further behind.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:37 AM

        I was “in” on the Fish for 2nd place but at least I didn’t pick them to win the division like some talking heads.

      • adcwonk - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:36 AM

        FWIW, I had Nats, Mets, Fish. I’d been saying that since last year — purely based on their pitching, and knowing that Matt Harvey would be back

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:40 AM

        Thought the Fish offense was better. I was weary of the Mets becuz of their line up, still am honestly.

        well, what my twin said.. hahaha

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:05 PM

        Dee Gordon , Stanton, Morse (healthy), Ozuna, Yelich, yah, they looked great on paper

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Reed Johnson will start his rehab starting tonight in Hagerstown. Expect him to have a 2 week rehab and get activated on Sept 1.

    • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      Yes! I smell a winning streak! He’s a game changer, that’s for sure!

      On another positive note, I picked up Ryan Vogelsong in my fantasy league, thereby guaranteeing the Nationals will put runs on the board. I’m willing to sacrifice by baseball league championship for the good of the Nationals’ bats.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        We appreciate your sacrifice!

      • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 10:57 AM


      • scnatsfan - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:57 AM

        You are a good man Charlie Brown

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      Well, won’t Reed Johnson be in spring training mode until….spring? Which is kind of sad because he’s already in the autumn of his career.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:07 PM

      Change all that to starting today in Potomac and the game started this afternoon and Reed is 0-2 and playing LF.

  15. rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    Drew should never had pitched to Cargo.Rivero for Cargo and if he singled we would be still up one and now MW which he never would have done thought outside the box a worse case Pap for a 4 out save that Familia does all the time.Robotic inept manager.Last night must keep the game 1-0 .If Drew wants to keep hitting or walking a batter in that situation ,Rivero for Eithier.Rivero should be saved for that one batter.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:22 AM

      You’re wrong. Storen had been nails up until August 7th unless you want to rewrite history and this wasn’t a playoff game or a game where MW thought he would implode. He had 2 outs and he missed his spot. I put up a chart above.

      Now Storen has blown 3 in a row and MW did the right thing and pulled him. Last night it wasn’t a walk but rather the HBP.

      What has happened to all the people who say Drew got screwed and should still be the closer? He has singlehandedly put the Nats behind the 8 ball and changed the mindset after his failures in the Rockies series.

      • adcwonk - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:37 AM

        What has happened to all the people who say Drew got screwed and should still be the closer?

        Easy answer:

        The situation’s now changed, so they’ve moved on to blaming something else!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:41 AM

        Exactly!!!! Papelbon was a necessary move and my biggest concern is LF

      • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:40 AM

        Are you saying Drew should have pitched to Cargo and Eithier?The splits on Cargo are unbelievable.Even Max let Cargo beat him when Max had Arenado a righty behind him.As you know Max is tough on righties not as much on lefties.MW can not continue to mange the BP with set roles.Pap is the closing and we will see game to game,situation to situation,quality of the pitcher at the time.You have to MANAGE.otherwise get a computer.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:03 PM

        Drew at that point needed to throw “Chase” sliders. He missed with a fastball. He screwed up. End of story. Right choice pulling him last night.

  16. rabbit433 - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Actually, the Nationals are doing pretty well! They are fielding a lineup that should be around .500. With the luck that any baseball team needs, they can finish above .500. It is what it is. Wishing for more won’t make it happen. Next year we’ll go get ’em!

  17. jd - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    I am not surprised we were beaten by Greinke and Kershaw, I almost expected it. My frustration is with the fact that we lost games to mediocre Arizona and Colorado teams especially the latter and we lost games we should not have which really leads me to the question: ‘are we as good as we thought?’

    I am very far from giving up, as I said previously, if we are out by 5 games with 6 to play I will still believe there is a chance, that’s what fans of contending teams do. The people that come on here daily to crap all over the Nats are not fans of the team regardless how many times they use ‘we’.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:34 AM

      Said something similar in the game post before this one. Really disappointed that we went 3-4 in the last homestead. And if the Nats don’t make the post-season, which I think they will, the sweep at the hands of the Mets and the homestead will be talked about ad nauseam…

      • scnatsfan - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:47 AM

        100%. No one faults a team for losing to Grienke and Kershaw but the DBack and Rockies losses… they hurt. Same with the Reds.

    • natsdial8 - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      Interesting that you buy into automatic losses against aces . Does scoring zero runs in two straight games bother you at all ?

      Our Aces get scored on and beat on more than the odd occasion .

      Our Nats need to execute a different hitting approach against top pitching or forget World Series .

      • rabbit433 - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:38 PM

        And Kershaw has six losses this season.

  18. therealjohnc - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Storen, in fact, has given up more earned runs in his last three outings than he did all of last season in 65 appearances. He has also allowed as many earned runs in his last three games than he did in his previous 67 combined.

    Here, take a look:

    Storen’s last three games: 2.2 IP, 8 ER, 6 H, BB, 3 SO
    Storen’s previous 67 games: 62.1 IP, 8 ER, 44 H, 13 BB, 67 SO

    Whether this has anything to do with Papelbon’s acquisition is difficult to tell, Storen certainly wouldn’t admit it. But if it doesn’t, that sure is a major coincidence.

    OK, I’m throwing the flag for major narrative convenience BS here. This “oooh, look!” completely ignores the fact that for the first week after the move Storen was overpowering, lights out, threw the best that he had all season. But that doesn’t fit the “B followed A, therefore A caused B” narrative, so we’ll redraw the sample size to just look at the last three crappy games. Chase, you’re better than that.

    • adcwonk - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:39 AM

      OK, I’m throwing the flag for major narrative convenience BS here.

      That needed to be called out, and I’m glad you did. Well done!

      As you noted, the “previous 67 games” included something like, what, 4 or 5 games that were *after* Paps joined us.

      But makes a nice cheap journalistic hook,eh?

      Sigh . . .

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:43 AM

      I think he tried to save face a little bit with his first paragraph which does say that Drew was lights out right after the trade…

  19. edbrinkman - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    There really is no leader on the Nats roster. JW is NOT a leader, sorry. Ryan Z. a great guy, but not a leader because he won’t say boo. Harper is too young to be a legitimate clubhouse leader at this point in his career. Scherzer is still the ‘new guy’ and hasn’t been pitching well lately. Desmond, well, maybe. Hard to lead when you’ve had the season he’s had to date. MW is, well, I am not sure what MW is. I am sure he’s different behind closed doors, but we don’t get much from his pressers other than, ‘we’ll get ’em tomorrow’. Lack of leadership is a big problem on this club and always has been.

    • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:53 AM

      10-16 since the AS break.That is the only stat that matters.

  20. rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 11:54 AM

    10-16 since the AS break.That is all you need to know.

  21. rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    Hold on guys.Your OF problems are solved.Reed Johnson should be back in a couple ofwees.Json just a couple of more weeks please hang in there.Bryce play on that bad knee we have help coming soon.any day now.What a joke.

    • nats106 - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:23 PM

      woohoo!!!! see my post from earlier (at 10:56 or so)

  22. Just. Dave - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    I am upset about the roster. Last year Roark was one of the best starters in the game and was exiled to the bullpen. Stores was maybe the best closer in the game and lost his job. The philosophy of strengthening a strength is a good one, but the human aspect is ignored. These guys, with their huge egos, are very sensitive, and the team has ruined them.

  23. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    Good start for the Rox. Thor gave up two solos in the first inning.

  24. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    And— Butler gives it right back. He really is a bad pitcher.

  25. TimDz - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    I know Natlady said it earlier (and most likely better than I could say it), but the Mets will not keep this pace up indefinitely. Their three big pitchers are coming up on innings limits and, if the front office doesn’t shut them down, they’re morons. I remember seeing SS on his last game before his shutdown (against the Marlins). He was GASSED. Pitching him any more would have probably resulted in more of the same and could have impacted the teams playoff picture.
    Once the shutdown occurs, the Mets will need to get buy with a relative unproven commodity on the mound in Matz, and other pitchers that are not the same ilk of who is tossing now. Their offense is not that good, even with the reinforcements. When they made the deadline trades, I kind of expected a burst of energy (I likened it to a sugar buzz) that will be due for a crash. If the Nats can plug along and get their swings back (It will happen), there is PLENTY of baseball to play (about 50 games) and some head to head games.

    • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:19 PM

      I also was at that game. I actually brought an out-of-town client who was a baseball fan to that game. He was pumped about the prospect of seeing Storen and I warned him that it was hit of miss because Storen was showing signs of fatigue.

      That will happen to the Mets.

      And on top of that is the fact that the baseball season is a series of runs where you win a bunch of games and other runs where you lose a bunch. Right now the Mets are on a winning run and the Nats are on a losing one. Those runs will end and new ones can, and likely will, start. Lots of games left. Lets all enjoy the ride.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:19 PM

        Freudian slip – pumped about seeing Stras!

    • scnatsfan - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:34 PM

      At this point it doesn’t matter if the Mets play .500 ball – the Nats are playing no better then a .500 team. They keep playing baseball like it isn’t urgent if they win then they deserve to miss the playoffs.

      • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:42 PM

        Dreamers.The Mets are playing text book baseball,win at home,beat the bad teams,Rockies 4 straight,we lose 2of3 home.Now they are hitting.What is there not to like.Oh they can not win forever.They do not have to win forever..500 ball the rest of the way will do it and they will be better than that.Tip your cap to them,they are much better.

  26. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Wish to address the “complaint” that we didn’t put up our best pitcher, Scherzer, in any of the six most recent games against the Mets.

    (1) We took the first series 2-1. Mets press tore into Collins for lining up his best pitchers only to lose the series, saying it put undo pressure on the team. Meanwhile, Boz and other local commentators here praised Williams for managing Scherzer’s innings and treating the series as just a series, wins are wins, etc. It was only when the Nats got swept in the second series, THEN Williams was second-guessed for not using Scherzer.

    (2) Scherzer ain’t pitching so great recently.

    • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 1:55 PM

      Why did the Mets line up there top 3?they did win 4of6.At that rate you win 100 games and this was against us the team that was favorite to win the WS.Now Max the 300 million dollar man is not one of our top 3.You guys are dreamers.

  27. adcwonk - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    Why did the Mets line up there top 3?

    We won’t know if that was a good move until the end of the season, will we?

    Oh, but wait — you said the season was history — and yet not all of it has happened yet.

    I’m totally confused.

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

      The did not pitch anybody on short rest.They just aligned there rotation after the AS break,We know the answer already.It was a good move and we thought just show up and we are the Nats.We do not have to do anything special.We have plenty of time.Let the guys get better.We are 4 back looking up at them.Watch when we play them how MW always a step slow will make sure Max will pitch.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:05 PM

        The way the rotation is lined up right now, if Scherzer continues to pitch every fifth game he will miss the Mets series in early September. With a couple off days on the schedule, they could line him up to face the Mets by pitching him every fifth DAY and skipping someone else’s turn. Will MW do that? I wouldn’t count on it. After all, they could have pitched him on the Friday coming out of the ASB and he would have lined up to pitch in both Mets series and both Dodgers series. That was readily apparent just from looking at the schedule. But they didn’t do it, and they have paid the price for that.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:34 PM

        I think he is also lined up to pitch the first game in NY. followed by Gio and whoever replaces Ross.

        And that alignment also means that should they make they playoffs, they would have Stras, Scherzer and Gio for the first three games.

        Rain-outs, injuries, off-days can all impact this.

        We are all making projections based on lots of assumptions. And the folks complaining about how they are lined up are thinking one-dimensionally and are guilty of the same thing you accuse MW of.

        How about we just let the season play out and see what happens instead of predicting gloom and doom. If they don’t make the playoffs, we can deal with that pain then. Why anticipate now – when they are only 3 games down in the loss column with 49 games to go.

  28. rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Right choice pulling him last night Ghost.After the horse is out of the barn.Should never had pitched to Eithier and you said so.

    • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:26 PM

      You do not know MW .If we are still in the race he will change up and make sure Max pitches against the Mets.He eventually learns but slowly.

  29. Drew - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    There’s no shame in getting blanked by Greinke and Kershaw.

    The shame is the milquetoast homestand against the DBacks and the Rocks.

    • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 3:47 PM

      There is a shame in getting blanked twice against both of them.They are not God on the mound but we make them look that way.

      • rlndtln - Aug 13, 2015 at 4:33 PM

        Chase Utley in high demand.The Giants seem to be the front runner in the Chase Utley pursuit.The Cubs,Yankees and Angels are also in the running.Not bad for a guy the Nats could not use over Dan Uggla.

  30. idus1926 - Aug 13, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    The Mets swept the Rockies, feasting on their mediocre pitching and the Nats lost three of four. This is the difference and it will not change during the remaining games.

  31. natslive - Aug 13, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    While there still is time for the Nats to turn around they need to start now. Couple of comments.

    Ref the offense – very inconsistent. People like to point out that we are 6th or whatever in runs scored but it seems to be feast or famine. Since 1 July we have played 36 games with 17 of them we have scored 2 or less runs, 11 we have scored 5 or more, 3 we scored 3 runs and 5 games we scored 4. So in about a 1/2 of our games very little offense which means no room for error. I think the expectation was that when Zim, Rendon and Werth came back we would be able to turn things on quickly – hasn’t really happened. Sadly I am now in the Werth is done camp, I believe Zim does have some left in the tank and Rendon may be coming around. What we really miss is Span – he is who makes this offense go. Bryce has continued to play well but definitely getting pitched around or seems to be missing his pitches in terms of power.

    Starting Pitching while inconsistent hasn’t been bad. Last night we weren’t going to win as if you don’t score you don’t win an Kershaw is an elite pitcher but it’s a shame to see JZim (and others) pitch well and lose. I know some on here expect our pitchers to not give up any runs, at least until we score first but the reality is if you tell me we can have a starter pitch 7 innings and give up 2 runs or less I will take that eveytime.

    The BP is a different story – seems to implode frequently. I don’t know what has gotten into Storen these last few appearances but not good and the others are not reliable either. I think we really miss Stammen.

    Defensively this is not a good team particularly in the OF with Werth and CRob or TyMo. Also Escobar is not a good 3B. I know the we don’t want him to have to learn another position argument but I think it weakens the defense as Rendon is an excellent 3B and while TTB played some 2B before I believe since it’s not his natural position and he was used to playing 3B since he had limited games at 2B in his career now playing there coming back from his injury he’s having to learn that again. It’s not like he had played there for years. I think switching him and Escobar would help the defense.

    Finally this team does not play fundamental baseball – hurts defensive not just errors but plays that aren’t made in OF, 3B and catcher in particular. On offense the lack of moving runners over and making productive outs really hurts, particularly when you aren’t scoring runs. While I don’t dis like MW I believe he’s not in the top tier of managers as he frequently seems to be one move behind and doesn’t seem to be a tactician.





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