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DonRocks

The Washington Nationals (2005-), 2016 and 2017 National League East Division Champions

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On 5/6/2018 at 5:26 PM, DaveO said:

Saw this on twitter today and got a kick out of it:

Braves lose

Phillies lose

Mets lose

Nats win

Productive Day

Fresh off a 13-2 tear, but now only sitting 3rd (!) in the division behind the best-record-in-the-NL Braves (!!) and still-hanging-in-there Phillies (!!!)

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On 5/6/2018 at 5:26 PM, DaveO said:

Saw this on twitter today and got a kick out of it:

Braves lose

Phillies lose

Mets lose

Nats win

Productive Day

And then there are days like yesterday:

Nats lose 2

Caps lose

I like the Celtics:  losers yesterday 

Orioles lose. (norm this year)

(Oh but there was a lovely fairy tale/the world is changing wedding)

Its for days like yesterday that beer was invented 

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On 6/10/2018 at 12:24 PM, DaveO said:

Lastly I read that over the last decade The Caps have had the cumulative Best regular season record of all teams— with NO Stanley Cups, while the two teams with the closest 10 year record including Pittsburgh  each had 3.

Damn.  I didn’t know that.  It magnified the long term frustration of players coaches owner and ardent fans.

And the Nats have the best record in baseball over the past 6 (7?) years 🤔

It's DC's time!

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NL East pecking order is surprisingly still holding true with the Nats clinging to 3rd place.  "All Star Break" is a mere mental line in the sand, but it would be nice for them to be at or nearer to the top of the division by then.  With the exception of Soto, he of the time-traveling MLB debut, bats have gone pretty cold.

Herrera was an important pick up, but a lock down pen does little for you without a lead to protect.  A team with this sort of firepower potential is on the wrong side of too many low-scoring games. Perhaps then, unsurprisingly, a stat that was flashed on the (*gag*) ESPN broadcast last night: last year Bryce hit something like .330 in the 7th inning and later.  So far this year: .097, dead last in that particular ad hoc category.  He's the worst hitter in the major leagues after the 6th inning!!!

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No, that simply means Bryce Harper has a bad BA this year in a low-sample size statistic.  He's not the worst hitter in MLB after the 6th inning right now, just like he wasn't a great hitter after the 6th inning last year.  The great variance in these numbers, which you'll find to be true for most players from year-to-year, refutes any notion that there's somehow an inherent skill to late-inning hitting.  Good hitters are good hitters, bad hitters are bad hitters.  Timing is almost always coincidental.

Same is true for one-run games.  The Braves (12-5) and Phillies (14-7) have run hot while the Nats have run cold (8-12).  With regression to the mean, I think the standings will turn around.

I also wouldn't be too worried about the Nats offense.  Runs will start flowing once the weather gets warmer.  And even if they don't, the Diamondbacks (with a team BA of .226, worst in the NL and tied with the Orioles for worst in MLB) have shown that you can be a first-place team anyway with decent pitching and stellar fielding.

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On 6/27/2018 at 11:03 AM, silentbob said:

He's not the worst hitter in MLB after the 6th inning right now,

The sarcasm didn't come through well enough on that one 🙂

But, seriously, they need to score lots more runs against teams that didn't tank their seasons before Spring Training opened.  That or get more than 4 innings out of the non-3x Cy Young winning starters.

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

Oh my!   A season to forget:  Now it’s Bye bye Gio

Inevitable.  The season was all but done a couple of weeks ago and they weren’t going to re-sign Gio.  He was a great addition during the early part of the 201x playoff run, but ....

The Madson deal surprised me more.  The bullpen continues to be a Rubik’s cube for this franchise, one that never seems to get solved.  Hopefully they stick with Doolittle at least. 

2019’s team is going to be new and interesting!

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As the season is wrapping up, I went digging for this article I remembered reading earlier in the year [sorry, WaPo paywall]. It was pretty easy to find because I recalled the distinctive phrasing of the headline. Re-reading it at this stage was surreal. I had forgotten the piece was published before spring training even began. So much has changed and/or happened much more rapidly than was expected. Even the author has gone to another team. :unsure: The article feels like it belongs in a time capsule.

ETA: Reading the comments on the article adds a whole 'nother level of surreality.

 

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I'm trying to look at the bright side. I don't have to shell out hundreds of bucks on a Game 5 Division Championship game only to see them lose two years in a row.

Perhaps I'll spend the money on dinner at Rose's Luxury or somewhere with similar chops.

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3 hours ago, Pat said:

As the season is wrapping up, I went digging for this article I remembered reading earlier in the year [sorry, WaPo paywall]. It was pretty easy to find because I recalled the distinctive phrasing of the headline.

They may still have this deal:   WashPo offers a one year subscription for about $50/year at its steepest discount. 

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Maybe it's fitting, given the year the Nats had, that they got the runners-up in both ROY and Cy Young and that they only got three first place votes between them. The promise was so much greater than this, but here we are. I had thought both would lose but the voting would be closer.

Given how great Soto's and Scherzer's years were, the outcome seems harsh, but they were up against strong competition. It struck me when the MLB guys asked Scherzer last night if this was the best season of his career, and he said that it was. Think about it: He got 3 Cy Youngs in seasons that were not his best season. Soto. Wow. I saw an article about how the media in Japan were calling him Ceiling Man (I'd have to look up the Japanese for that) because he hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome twice. I'm kind of jealous that the Japanese fans got to see extra Soto once he'd had a little rest after our season ended. Hopeful for 2019.

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22 hours ago, MC Horoscope said:

There's also Arenado getting the Gold Glove for third base over Rendon. Was the voting even close?

I haven't been able to find any place that lists the vote breakdown, just that Rendon was second. He had only 6 errors this year, but maybe errors now join pitching wins as being outmoded as indicators of quality.😐.

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Rendon did get 11th place for NL MYP. I meant to write that in the last message, but now that I'm thinking of it, that deserves its own post.

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Let's get the 2019 Nats going!  Bryce is still in the wilderness, the starting rotation could be really exciting (or a couple injuries away from meh), catcher doesn't seem to be a liability position any longer, and there are more puzzle pieces that don't seem to have places yet.  They are still the consensus pick for the NL East, but for the first time in a few seasons that doesn't feel right in the gut (but we saw how they fared when they've been runaway favorites, so maybe that's a good thing!).

Opening Day falls during our Spring Break this year, so for the first time our whole family will be able to attend together.  First Spring Training game is tomorrow and will air on MASN.

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2 hours ago, Al Dente said:

Is there still hope after Harper?

Bryce Who? The Nationals Are a Prime Ewing Theory Candidate. by Zach Kram of The Ringer

What is the Ewing Theory? by Bill Simmons from ESPN

I happened to attend a home game for Georgetown this year--against St Johns.  Ewing, Georgetown's greatest player ever coaching against St John's, coached by its greatest player ever, Chris Mullins, (who played against Ewing in college and with Ewing on the Olympic Dream Team in '92).

Here is my version of the "Ewing theory"

Better to watch him play than coach!!!!

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The Nats seem to keep ping-ponging between having a glut of outfielders and not having enough. For most of his major league career, MAT has been the one to get playing time when other center fielders get hurt (Span/Revere/Eaton), but now he's the one who's out and, oh my. Things are looking shaky. Robles isn't quite ready for full-time work. Stevenson is the only other real option, and he's already on the 40-man roster. He's been ok or better than ok when he's played, and the Nats think he's promising. He's still only 24, and has room for improvement but also time on his side. (I'll stop the cliches now.) Hunter Jones seems to be the only other serviceable  center fielder, but it's unlikely he'll get a spot on the 25-man roster. (The only plausible way he will make the big league team out of camp is if there's a further crisis, so that's not a rosy scenario.)

Wilmer Difo played in center yesterday. He couldn't get the first ball hit out his way but did okay overall. I'm unsure of Davey's idea that Difo will make a good super-utility player, but I hope the notion pans out. Given the rise of Kieboom the Younger and Luis Garcia, expanding Difo's range further (OF/C) could work out for both him and the team.  I'm starting this season with an open mind about Davey, so I'm rooting for this idea to work.

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