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MLB Power Rankings: AL West, NL Central races heating up

Aug 14, 2015, 12:04 PM EDT

USA Today

Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:

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30. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Jose Fernandez’s latest injury just the latest dagger in a season full of them.

29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) End of an era with Doug Melvin out as GM in Milwaukee.

28. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 28) At least Carlos Gonzalez is on a tear.

27. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 26) See Nats fans, it can always be worse. Just look at the A’s, who also had high expectations for this season.

26. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Give them credit for playing well under interim manager Pete Mackanin.

25. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 25) Eduardo Rodriguez was looking like a really nice building block earlier this season, but now he sports a 4.83 ERA in 14 starts.

24. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Playing a role in deciding NL Central race: 9-4 vs. Pirates, 4-8 vs. Cardinals.

23. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) Not sure what they were thinking with the odd Bourn/Swisher acquisition.

22. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 24) The Indians are last place in the AL Central, but they have the best record of any last-place team. Hey, just trying to be positive here.

21. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 21) Robinson Cano is having his worst season since 2008. No wonder the Mariners have been a disappointment this year.

20. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) Put so many chips into this season. Now where do they go from here?

19. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 17) It’s too bad Miguel Cabrera has been so injured this season. When healthy, he’s put up some special numbers.

18. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 18) Much like Doug Fister, Jeff Samardzija has significantly hurt his free agent stock in the final year of his contract.

17. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) David Peralta might be the best player you’ve never heard of.

16. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 14) After breaking out in the first half as a surprise contender, the Twins are just 8-17 since the All-Star break.

15. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 15) Cole Hamels has given up nine earned runs in 13 2/3 innings. Panic!

14. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 13) Manny Machado has 24 homers, 57 RBI, 15 steals and an .879 OPS. He turned 23 last month.

13. Rays – Hughes: (LW: 16) Toronto isn’t the only red-hot team in the AL East, Tampa Bay has won seven of nine.

12. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 12) It’s put-up or shut-up time. Prove to everyone you are what you say you are.

11. Angels – Hughes: (LW: 11) Despite losing 14 of their last 19, the Angels still hold a playoff spot. Can they keep it that way?

10. Giants – Zuckerman: (LW: 8) Might have a better chance of winning NL West than Wild Card right now.

9. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 5) The Yankees still look like a playoff team, but it will be very hard for them to beat Toronto for the AL East title.

8. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 6) The Astros have lost seven of their last nine, but the Angels – second in their division – aren’t taking advantage.

7. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) Might never lose another game. Not just in 2015, but in 2016 and beyond. Sheesh.

6. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) “Kershaw and Greinke, everyone else is stinky.” Who likes it?

5. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) Fifth-best team in MLB but only third-best team in NL Central.

4. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) Getting to that point where they might as well start lining up Cole to pitch Wild Card Game.

3. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 9) Count me as one who is excited to see the Jays possibly make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Even R.A. Dickey is pitching well!

2. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) The AL Central looked like a deep division before this season, but the Royals are so far ahead they can coast to the finish line.

1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Did what they needed to vs. Pirates and didn’t let them gain any ground.

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  1. jd - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    So finally the Mets will play a good team tonight. I anxiously checked the pitching matchup and lo and behold the Pirates are starting J.A.Happ.

    What could go wrong?

    • Met fan - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:13 PM

      Nothing since we’re starting bartolo colon…. haha

      • jd - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:15 PM

        Well the Bucs should knock Bartolo around pretty well but it might not be enough to repair the damage done by Happ.

    • Met fan - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:27 PM

      I certainly hope so

  2. jd - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    BTW,

    Mrsb. was dead right about the top of the 1st inning. You have a pitcher who has already given up a Home Run and then 3 walks, you are Wilson Ramos and the 1st pitch to you is a ball. You swing at the next pitch and bail the pitcher out? how stupid.

    • nats106 - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      Gotta move on from yesterday. Plenty of other games to lose this weekend.

    • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      Buster Posey swung at the first pitch after Stras walked Belt. The difference: Posey hit a single.

      Other than guys like Votto and Werth, hitters always think they can hit. They’re not up there to walk, even when, as in this case, a walk brings in a run.

      • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:40 PM

        I mean, they think they SHOULD hit (and that they can, as a matter of course).

      • jd - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:51 PM

        NL,

        Sorry,

        Apples and oranges. Stras was not struggling with his control with Belt, Belt had a good at bat and drew a walk. Voglesong walked Werth and Desmond and fell behind Ramos on the 1st pitch. I am not saying you try for a walk but what I am saying is you make the pitcher prove he can throw strikes. I really believe that this is the type of situation where the starter is on the ropes having thrown close to 30 pitches and you are this close to getting their pen going in the 1st inning.

        I am 100% in favor of swinging at the 1st pitch if the pitcher is throwing strikes and you get a good pitch to hit. Batting averages all around are higher on 1st ball hitting than on other counts because the pitcher is trying to get ahead in the count. I think too many of our hitters don’t have a plan when they come to bat, they just hack.

      • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:58 PM

        I think you missed the fact that I was agreeing with you. Ramos showed no awareness of the game situation, how the pitcher was doing, etc. He had his hitters’ blinders on.

      • jd - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:03 PM

        NL,

        No I get it and unfortunately I think this is very symptomatic. Other than Werth and Harper and perhaps Rendon and Zim who are the cerebral players on our team? Shouldn’t a coach say something like” make him throw strikes” to Ramos before he went up?

  3. laddieblahblah - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    From the prior thread – to all those with differing opinions from my own (too many of them to address individually) – that’s what makes the blog interesting. Even I realize I could be wrong, and have proved it many times, right here.

    We’ll all find out who was right about what. And Joe is really, really good at catching me calling Hagerstown “Harrisburg,” over and over again. At least someone is reading my stuff very closely. Thanks, Joe.

    And no, adaptability is not MW’s strong point. I expect him to improve on that aspect of his managerial style. But I also think he and Rizzo are right about which direction to take the team.

    Two words – Cardinals and Giants, and you may be able to add Kansas City to that list by the end of this year. They scratch, they claw, they take advantage of almost every mistake (or so it seems), and they win.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      When Desi walks twice in a game you think the Nats win by 5.

      The lack of moving runners is astounding and it took a Bryce steal late in the game to push the pedal.

      This team needs 1 run before 2. The problem is LF defense and offense and a lack of productive outs. The starting pitching other than Scherzer has been GREAT!

      Rendon has to get back to form. I’d probably go with a new lineup with Esco to Harp to RZim to Rendon to Desi to MAT to Werth to Ramos for the batting order.

      • bowdenball - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:37 PM

        That’s just not true, GoSM. The Nats actually do a very good job of moving runners/productive outs. They are third in the NL in sacrifice flies and 7th in sacrifice hits. In both cases they rank higher than the do in baserunners overall, because they’re just 9th in OBP.

        Every fan base thinks their team sucks at moving runners because that’s how fans are and also because TV guys harp on it constantly. But the Nats actually do it very well. Their problem is that they don’t put runners on base to move over nearly enough. When you fancy yourself a contender and you have a guy like Harper getting on base almost half the time you should rank a lot higher than 9th of 15 teams in OBP.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:42 PM

        Oh they’re good on Sac Flies as we saw with RZim and Werth but where are we hitting behind runners and doing the little things and I should have prefaced it since the All Star break.

      • bowdenball - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:54 PM

        The Nats are 10th in sacrifice hits (moving runners) since the ASB but 14th in OBP. So yes, they’ve been better than expected with productive outs given the limited opportunities since the ASB too.

        The Nats’ outperform their ranking among NL teams in OBP in pretty much every category- runs scored, sacrifice flies, sacrifice hits, those categories since the ASB, etc, etc. I don’t know how to make this any clearer. The problem isn’t what they do when they get runners on base, it’s that they don’t get enough runners on base to begin with.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:07 PM

        When was the last one a runner was moved from 2nd to 3rd with no outs?

        HRs help outperform OBP in runs scored

      • bowdenball - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:16 PM

        I don’t know when the last time they moved a runner from second to third with no outs was, GoSM. I just know that they do it well. The numbers really could not possibly be any clearer. Whether you’re talking about the season or just recent weeks, the Nats have excelled at productive outs. The problem is that they don’t give themselves enough opportunities to do so. At some point you have to accept that the notion that they don’t have enough productive outs is a product of fan bias and that the numbers tell a very clear story.

      • bowdenball - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:24 PM

        Let me try to put it another way, GoSM:

        The Nats aren’t getting men on base enough, yes? I hope we can all agree that their OBP numbers leave something to be desired for a team that wants to contend.

        So what’s happening is that when they do get a runner on with zero or one outs, we as fans are all thinking “better make this count!” And because we’re thinking that, every single failure to advance a runner sticks in our craw, no matter how percentage of failures compares to the average team.

        If they were getting runners on base with zero or one out all the time, it wouldn’t stand out as much because we wouldn’t be so stressed out about converting every scoring chance into at least one run. We’d be celebrating the times they did it, or the times that they were more aggressive and ended up posting a crooked number for the inning as result, instead of harping on the failures.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:46 PM

        Let’s see how they do tonight. Have to get it going.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM

        Every time I read an exchange like this now, my first question is whether I could use the game day data to answer that question. And, the answer is almost always yes. There is an incredibly amount of detail in the data and my challenge right now is to figure out what a reasonable subset is (given my other planned uses of the data).

        For this particular question, here is an example from the game day data for the Nats vs. the Mets on August 1:

        http://gd2.mlb.com/components/game/mlb/year_2015/month_08/day_01/gid_2015_08_01_wasmlb_nynmlb_1/inning/inning_all.xml

        This file contains the details for every AB and every pitch in that game. So for example I can see the following:

        and tracing back I can identify that this was in the third inning and Yunel took 3rd on a flyball by Jayson.

        Of course, I have a fair amount of work to do to get this information into a format that is easier to analyze.

        So for now, thank you for all these great questions!

      • zmunchkin - Aug 14, 2015 at 7:01 PM

        Oops, here is the snippet from that file that tells me that:

        <runner event=”Flyout” event_num=”182″ id=”488862″ end=”3B” start=”2B”/>

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 7:17 PM

        Thanks so if I’m reading correctly that was 13 games ago. Am I right?

      • zmunchkin - Aug 14, 2015 at 7:30 PM

        No. This was just a random example that I found by looking at one of the files. My point was that the data to answer this question is available. I still have to figure out how to capture it and put it in a usable form. I just picked that game at random and happened to find an example where a runner advanced from second to third.

        It is not the last time that this happened.

  4. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    Cain owns a .421 wOBA against lefties this season.

    You think we’ll see any lefties beside Harper in the lineup tonight? Do we HAVE any lefties besides Robinson (and Espinosa)? I guess Lobaton, but he’ll be going tomorrow night.

    • jd - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM

      NL,

      That’s a very good litmus test because Espinosa, Robinson and Lobaton should all play tonight if anyone is paying attention to the numbers. I suspect Robinson will play but I don’t think it will be because of any analytical study.

      • rlndtln - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:41 PM

        I said that last night at 117am.MW will see that in 3 days.

  5. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    One of the facets of the Cardinals organization is the stability in their organization. That’s what Rizzo was going for in selecting a young manager, even if inexperienced. He hoped Williams would be the Nats manager for ten years, or more, and yes, learn on the job and develop into a Bruce Bochy. (By the way, you need to hear Cards fans on Matheny–they rip his in-game management like nothing you ever saw.) It’s possible he could fire Williams but I highly doubt it.

    • natsdial8 - Aug 14, 2015 at 6:23 PM

      Agree N-Lady on importance of continuity. However things go better if the Skipper is above average. Jury out on Matt. Also Zero chance IMO that Matt is fired any time soon .

  6. Nats Fan Zee - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/david-lennon/chain-reaction-fueling-mets-runaway-locomotive-1.10737645

    Reading this showcased for me how a ballclub could be energized … too bad it’s not our ballclub!

    • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:40 PM

      We had that last year. Remember the 10-game win streak with all the walk-offs? That was a lot of fun.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 14, 2015 at 5:42 PM

        Yeah. And then Matt Williams sucked all the fun out of that by refusing to do the promised Babe Ruth impersonation after they won 10 straight. He’s wound too tight to have any fun even when there’s fun to be had. Now times are tough, he’s still wound tight and he’s got the whole team playing too tight. You can debate whether his failure to keep his Babe Ruth promise has jinxed the team or not, but there’s no denying that nothing good has happened to them and they haven’t caught a single break since then.

  7. stoatva - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    This team is KILLIN ME!!!!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 2:41 PM

      Last night officially got me down. Jayson Werth on defense has no range and the Belt bloop for run #3 was because he has to play so deep and not sure why he was deep in the night where the ball wasn’t carrying especially Belt went oppo.

      Then there is the lack of continued clutch from many players.

      I’ve said it for months, touch decisions must be made and JDub still isn’t right. JimBo on the radio today says it’s the wrist. Sure, wrist now, shoulder before and add in age regression.

      Nats had a chance in the 4th inning and forward and besides the Desi walk and Ramos single with 1 out and the 1st inning opportunities, the Nats couldn’t do a thing.

      • rlndtln - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:29 PM

        How about MAT laying down a bunt that he is good at.The chances of him driving in the run is his RISP .that is 371 and he is hitting 240 so somewhere in between.With a bunt the odds of scoring go up and there is little chance of a Dp.FP was saying if he just hit a grounder with his speed.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:52 PM

        Giants already thought of that which is why they were pitching MAT at the top of the zone. They were hoping for a K or popup and he fell into the trap they set.

        Giants are great at defending against bunts by pitch selection. Ramos in Game 3 surprised them.

        Vogelsong was sitting 91 and MAT had to get his hands up and hit it far or layoff of it if it was above the letters.

      • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:31 PM

        Yes, last night’s game got me down too. Vogelsong is not a good pitcher, the Giants were missing two pieces of their regular lineup, their offense had been terrible, there shouldn’t have been any jet-lag or time-zone adjustments, Strasburg pitched well. All the factors were in our favor–Vegas agreed–yet the only run was Escobar’s ambush, and the Nats struck out 14 times! Sergio Romo was laughing when Bryce singled because he knew he would get the righties. It’s as if they never saw Romo’s slider in their lives.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:38 PM

        Voglesong made 3 poor mistake locations on fastballs and 1 was to Bryce and 1 to Werth and one to Rendon. Time to shake up the line-up. Have to DL on Fister and get a new LF here.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:39 PM

        You’re right on Romo. These were veterans he schooled.

  8. stoatva - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    I was interested in Boswell’s observation that, to paraphrase, what modern GMs are looking for in a manager is not a genius strategist but a corporate functionary who’ll play the cards the GM has dealt in an orderly, predictable fashion.

    I always felt like that grated on Davey, who seemed to almost relish putting underperforming players in roles they had been failing in, as if to say: This is the guy you gave me for this situation. If you want better results get me a better player.

    YMMV, of course.

    • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:36 PM

      Davey out-stayed his welcome, as I see it. After coming to the rescue in 2012 he should have retired.

      • jfmii - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:47 PM

        Agreed

      • micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:50 PM

        you are correct, but, at least Davey kept the team in the race going into the last 6 games. This team will be eliminated by mid September and will struggle to 80 games making aonce promising season with sellout crowds, into one of the worst debacle’s in DC sports history

      • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 5:16 PM

        That wasn’t Davey, that was Jayson. Unfortunately, this season Jayson has all he can do to get himself on track.

  9. stoatva - Aug 14, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    Lunchtime’s over.

    Hey, I thought the Marlins were our big threat this year so feel free to disregard everything I say.

  10. tcostant - Aug 14, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    “I’m melting, I’m melting”

    ———> The wicked witch of the west to the Nats

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    EJax signed to the Barves.

    • stoatva - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:24 PM

      He and Detwiler can be the Gasoline Twins out of the bullpen.

  12. rlndtln - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:06 PM

    The biggest problem we have is we are too right handed.Bryce is the only lefty.We need to trade Jason which will be difficult for a Cargo like player with power and is lefty and can play defense.He can bat behind ZIm.We would have to eat some of Jasons salary and give them prospects.We are losing salaries Denard,Desi,JZIM and Fister.The numbers should work.Reed Johnson,denDeker can be spare outfielders that are cheap.Lobaton,DannyAnd whoever can fill out the bench.The BP can be built around Rivero,Storen,Pap,treinen and Stamen.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 14, 2015 at 5:45 PM

      Werth has a no-trade clause, standard issue for all Boras clients.

      • natsdial8 - Aug 14, 2015 at 6:09 PM

        I would no trade him to the end of the bench.

  13. joemktg - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    Good argument that Nats can split the series with SF, especially considering the next two pitching match-ups. Taking 2 of 3 from CO is feasible. Do that, and you’re coming home with a .500 road trip record to an easy homestand.

    Short of that, they’re going to need the Mets’ help.

    • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:33 PM

      Well, you still have to make a stop in Denver. It’s a long road trip.

  14. rlndtln - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    EASY HOMESTAND.WE NEED TO GET REAL.WE JUST HAD AN EASY ONE 4-5.

    • micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:37 PM

      1 run in the last 27 innings. I get Kershaw and Grienke…last night, I do not get?

  15. micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    broke even at casino.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2015/08/12/chris-cooley-compares-matt-williams-to-jim-zorn-hip-hip-hooray/

    Chris Cooley nails it on Matt “Jim Zorn” Wiliiams” The only difference is MW has a roster with some talent, which makes this far worse

  16. micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    I think Chase is far to genrous rating this team 12th.

    Both Rays and Angels are far better than the Nats and the O’s have a good manager that will get them to the post season or take them to the last weekend of the season. Nats will be eliminated by 9/20 and I will bet anything on that as well as not finishing 500 or better.

    Mark’s last post was excellent and he taps into what the vast majority of fans are pissed about:

    1) Up 3 games with 4 starters returning going into NY

    2) mishandling his BP and his pitching.

    3) Not using Clint or Danny in situtaions that they have proven themselves thsi season over the past 2 weeks.

    4) the BIZARRE loyalty to Ian Desmond!!! especially when Danny Espi is having a hell of a year!!!

    • micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:38 PM

      oops, i meant Rays and O’s

    • bowdenball - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:40 PM

      Ummm, you know Desmond has an .866 OPS since the all-star break, right?

      Loyalty to Desmond and faith in Zimmerman are two of the only things Williams has gotten right in the last month!

      • micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:42 PM

        that 866 was sure missing verse Rockies, bases loaded 1 out and Desi looks at strike three.
        I agree on RZim

      • bowdenball - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:49 PM

        Really? Judging a player on one AB? That’s silly. Ted Williams and Babe Ruth struck out looking with the bases loaded and one out at some point in their careers too.

        Desmond has been great since the break. The team was right to have faith in him to turn it around. You can admit that they got some things right even as they’ve failed in the larger picture.

  17. micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 3:57 PM

    so let me see, if I follow you correctly, since you point out that Desi has 866 ops since the break, therefore it is a referendum on EVERY other point I posted? you can defend MW, which is what I think your doing and that is fine. The bottom line is the damage Desi did from April to the all star break has a lot to do with this team’s problems. If Espi had been the every day SS, maybe the team is up 5-6 games going into NY. Maybe that one at bat just reminded me as well as many fans as to the damage Desi has done, not just to the team prior to the break but to the morale in the clubhouse and the clear double standard MW has towards his players. Yes, maybe pointing at that one at bat is silly on my part, just as silly as one trying to grasp at any straw they can to defend the worst manager this team has had since it came to DC. Acta and Rigglemen are Casey Stengel compared to this disaster we have now!

    • therealjohnc - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      One doesn’t have to like MW much to be of the opinion that he’s better than Acta and Riggleman. Riggleman was the worst. No, he didn’t have the horses that MW has – but he routinely made less out of more even with what he had. With his reflexive L/R matchup thinking, fascination with the double switch and the ever “popular” Sunday lineup (all the reserves play! And in those days that mean five guys in the lineup hitting under the Mendoza line).

      It hurt less when Riggleman managed because we didn’t have the same expectations. But boy howdy, he was awful. And that was before he quit on his team.

      • NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 5:19 PM

        I detested Riggleman. Just not a very smarl man or manager. With Acta, he was in over his head, pure and simple. I liked him personally, but he couldn’t connect with many of the players and just wasn’t a fit for this team.

    • bowdenball - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      You did not follow me correctly, because I did not say that it was a referendum on every other point you posted. Or on any other point you posted. You were wrong about their faith in Desmond being ill-placed, so I corrected you.

      In fact if anything I agreed with your main points, and I was certainly NOT defending Williams. That’s why I also said he and the front office have failed in the larger picture this season, and that Williams’ recent faith in Desi and Zim were two of the only things he’s gotten right.

      Maybe instead of being so defensive you could just read a little more carefully?

      • micksback1 - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:15 PM

        OK, that is fair enough.

        I agree with you on Zim but I believe his sticking with Desi has done damage beyond the wins and losses in the club house.

      • therealjohnc - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:38 PM

        If anything, sticking with Desi until he (seemingly, knock on wood) turned it around is more likely to have helped MW with the clubhouse than to have hurt him.

        I know that Desmond has been the #1 whipping boy in certain corners of the fan community, but by all accounts he’s very popular in the Nats clubhouse. Several players have gone out of their way to praise Desmond; remember when Harper singled Desmond out as a rock and a positive influence? He wasn’t asked about Desmond, he brought Desmond into that conversation. There have been others as well.

        Don’t project the anger and confusion many fans feel towards MW for sticking by Desmond with the way that the players feel. The two viewpoints are completely unrelated.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:53 PM

        Mick, I will tell you that I got a vote of confidence from a pitcher on the Nats when Desi was struggling will tell you that everyone was behind him and they were all waiting for him to go on a run. Sure, he sucked in the 1st half but also remember with Rendon on the DL the only replacement was Espinosa at SS and Uggla at 2nd.

        Jayson on the other hand is physically unable to rise to the level we need. That’s a problem and CRob is not the answer.

  18. veejh - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    It all makes sense now. MW never did the Babe Ruth HR trot. JUST DO THE TROT!

    • rlndtln - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:46 PM

      Ramos is not the problem.No Denard,no Werth,no Zim and no Rendon and a pathetic Desi.Atleast Ramos was there for the whole season.If all our guys were there he should bat 8th.not bad for an 8th hitter.not his fault Desi stinks,the others were hurt and except for Zim return doing nothing.Ramos is a guy getting killed back there and doing an average job with no other alternative around.

  19. IsawTeddywin - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    We’re 4 games behind where we were last year, won 34 of 48.
    4 games ahead of 2013, won 32 of 48.
    So there’s still hope, but if Met’s stay hot, it’ll be tough . I’m thinking given their schedule, they’re likely to be at least 90-72. If we’re still 4-5 games back or more at end of next week, it’ll be very unlikely.But As long as elimination # is less than half the remaining games, don’t give up the ship!

    • rlndtln - Aug 14, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      This is not last year.

    • IsawTeddywin - Aug 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      Just to be clear, the 90-72 is prediction for the Mets, lord knows what our boys will do, hoping better than that, somehow.
      Maybe the bearded man’s got some swings left.

    • zmunchkin - Aug 14, 2015 at 6:30 PM

      Regardless of how easy their schedule is, the Mets winning 90 means they would have to play .575 for their remaining games. Only four teams in MLB have that rate of wins: Cardinals, Pittsburgh, Cubs, Royals. And the Mets, even with their moves, are not as good as those four 4 teams over a stretch of 47 games.

      So let me play a little what if. Suppose in our 4 head to head games we beat them 4 out of 6 times. They have 65 wins and 41 other games. The Nats have 64 wins with 42 games left. Lets suppose the Mets play .550 in those other games. That is 22.55 wins. So lets say 23. That gives them 88 wins. Now lets say the Nats also play .550. That means 23.31 wins which lets round down to 23. That gives the Nats 87 wins. We play a little better or the Mets play a little worse, and the Nats win the East.

      All pure speculation of course. But looking at the numbers certainly casts a different light on things.

      Bottom line however is that the Nats have to get things in gear! And being at home for the majority of their games after this road trip certainly helps.

      • IsawTeddywin - Aug 14, 2015 at 7:10 PM

        Unfortunately, if you check their last 47 games, .575 is exactly what they’ve done. Take away the 4 in a row losses (part of an 8 in a row set) at the beginning of that, and they’re well over .600 for the last 43.
        Last 10 games, 8-2, 10 before that, 7-3, 10 before that, 6-4.
        I don’t expect them to stay at those levels, but I doubt they’ll be sub .500 rest of the year, either. Nats will have to win 6 out of ten to even have a chance.
        Here’s hoping they pull it off, starting tonight!

      • zmunchkin - Aug 14, 2015 at 7:34 PM

        The idea that any team will win at the same rate for their next X games as they did for their last X games is pure speculation. It is a fact that every team goes on runs of winning and losing.

        That is why we just have to let them play the games.

      • zmunchkin - Aug 14, 2015 at 8:41 PM

        If you look at the winning rate for 18 game chunks (something suggested by sofa, 222 or candide – my apologies as I can recall which of them does this), the issue of runs really stands out:

        Mets  Nats
        .778  .389
        .333  .667
        .500  .556
        .389  .556
        .667  .611
        .556  .389
        .714  .333 - this row represents 6 games for the Mets and 7 for the Nats.
        

        This makes the issue runs pretty clear. To think that any future sequence of X games will result in the same percentage as the last sequence is possible, but not likely.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 14, 2015 at 9:46 PM

        That’s Deuces’s handiwork.

  20. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    Uh-oh. Syracuse Chiefs put Taylor Jordan on the DL with “forearm soreness.” He was pitching really well there.

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