Game #132 Scherzer has tough cleats to follow: Game Thread

Tonight, Max Scherzer will have tough shoes to follow after that gem pitched by Tanner Roark last night in Philadelphia. The 11th best pitcher in ERA is now Tanner Roark who leadfrogged over Jacob DeGrom, Drew Pomeranz, and Max Scherzer last night in ERA. Roark came into last night’s game at a 2.99 ERA and tied with Aaron Sanchez and lowered his ERA to 2.87 to nestle in at the #11 spot in the Majors and #8 in the NL. Max Scherzer is 0.05 behind Roark and if Scherzer can throw up zeros, he could overtake Roark and leapfrog some players himself.

NL ERA Leaders

NL ERA Leaders

Campaigning has already begun for Tanner Roark as his teammates are sporting t-shirts for his Gold Glove candidacy, but what about his Cy Young candidacy? Roark most likely has little shot of winning it, but he deserves some top votes as he now leads the Majors with eight shutouts through inning number 7. That is impressive.

Tonight Scherzer will be pitching against righty Jerad Eickhoff of the Phillies. Both pitchers are familiar with the line-ups they will face tonight although there are some players who expect to change their luck tonight like Bryce Harper who was struck out 3 times in 3 at-bats by Eickhoff. Lefties overall (.276 vs. .244) have hit Eickhoff better than right-handed batters, but no Nats lefty hitter has been able to get on-base on him yet although the sample sizes are very small.

Here is the Nats stats against Eickhoff:

Here are Max Scherzer’s stats against the Phillies:

In other news, Tim Tebow rated as a 50 runner (on the 80/20 scouting scale) in the 60 yard drill which is the distance to run from home to 2nd base. We were told Mike Rizzo had an area scout there to watch this session which goes against Svrluga’s report that said the Nationals were not participating. Mike Rizzo was not personally attending.


Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies
Stadium: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
1st Pitch:  7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, CSN-Philadelphia, MLB.tv

Line-ups  (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner CF
  2. Jayson Werth LF
  3. Daniel Murphy 2B
  4. Bryce Harper RF
  5. Anthony Rendon 3B
  6. Wilson Ramos C
  7. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  8. Danny Espinosa SS
  9. Max Scherzer RHP
Posted in InGame | Leave a comment

Weekend Reflections:  Parents, Prodigies and Meltdowns

This is my first piece for Talk Nats, and I do not have the baseball IQ or acumen of Ghost, Don, 222 and countless others, so, if you are looking for a stats recap or analysis, you might as well just wait for the next post.

First, some brief personal background:  I am a psychologist and divorced (yes, even Sigmund Freud had his issues) father of two young adult children; a twenty-one year old daughter and a seventeen year old son.  My son and I have spent the last ten or so years bonding over this game, and I will always be a glass half full guy regarding this team, no matter HOW good or bad they are.

This team has allowed me to become closer to my son in many ways.  So, this post will be a bit about human nature and a bit about parent/child relationships as it relates to Bryce’s Saturday afternoon antics.   I was a bit disturbed about this latest meltdown by Bryce this past weekend, and I opined on one earlier post that Dusty should have benched Bryce for the Sunday game.  No one player is above the team, and Bryce did just that in my opinion.   There were comments regarding his age, his brain not being fully developed etc.  So, I decided to look a bit deeper into some of these comments.  Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, Harper | Leave a comment

Tanner Roark is now 14-7 and plays the role of the stopper: Postgame

For the eighth time this season, Tanner Roark has finished the 7th inning giving up 0 earned runs which leads the Major Leagues. Roark started off shaky as his fastball wasn’t dotting the spots, but then Roark worked into a groove. He also got two well-designed doubleplays to help him out, and he exited the game with a 2-0 lead in a game that finished at 4-0. Roark lowered his ERA to 2.87 and that ranks him 11th in the entire Major Leagues!

The Nationals got all the offense they needed in a 1st inning home run by Jayson Werth. Anthony Rendon, Clint Robinson, and Trea Turner collected the other 3 RBIs. Jake Thompson on paper looked like a pitcher who was going to be easy pickings tonight as he had an ERA to start the game just under 10.00, and Thompson never made it past the 5th inning. Maybe it was a combination of good defense, and the wind blowing in that assisted Thompson, but he also made some great pitches tonight. Credit to him, but also credit to the Nats for getting enough offense for Tanner Roark.

Every starter for the Nats tonight either got on base via a hit or walk tonight including Tanner Roark. Daniel Murphy and Clint Robinson had 2 hits each.

 

Posted in Recap | Leave a comment

Game #131 Roark takes the Nats into the city of Brotherly Love: Game Thread

The Nationals made the short-trip up to Philadelphia for their last series in this grueling 20 day schedule without a day off. The Nationals play 3 games in Philadelphia then will travel to New York City on Wednesday night where they will get a rare off-day on the road.

Tonight the Phillies will start Jake Thompson against the Nationals’ Tanner Roark. It is a good match-up for Tanner Roark as he knows these Phillies’ hitters, and the Nationals have never faced Thompson before.  Thompson has a 9.78 ERA in his 4 career starts, and Thompson has never gone past 5 innings. Thompson is a finesse pitcher who will throw both a four-seam and two-seam fastballs, and mix in change-ups and sliders and a few curveballs.  The two-seamers and sliders are the balls to beat Thompson on. Also don’t be surprised if a Nats player smashes a curveball. Thompson’s slider is his best pitch but also his pitch that he hangs often.

Trea Turner could be the hottest rookie in baseball, and last night Jayson Werth spoke highly of his teammate.  “Don’t tell anybody, but I think he’s our secret weapon,” Jayson Werth said.

Next Thursday September 8th, Captain Morgan will be at Nationals Park for their push for a constitutional amendment to allow a President of the United States to be younger than 35 years old. Bryce Harper for President anyone? Sign the petition here. It might also be a good night for TalkNat’rs to meet after the game for some Captain Morgan rum!

CAMB5383


Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies
Stadium: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
1st Pitch:  7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, CSN-Philadelphia, MLB.tv

Line-ups  (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner CF
  2. Jayson Werth LF
  3. Daniel Murphy 2B
  4. Bryce Harper RF
  5. Anthony Rendon 3B
  6. Wilson Ramos C
  7. Clint Robinson 1B
  8. Danny Espinosa SS
  9. Tanner Roark RHP
Posted in InGame | Leave a comment

32 Games Left and Counting Down to the #Nats in the Post-Season

Clint Robinson

Clint Robinson
Magic Number is 25

Time to update our post from last week, 39 Games Left and Counting Down to the #Nats in the Post-Season.

The Nationals have 32 games left and their Magic Number to win the division is 25 after today’s games; thanks to the Marlins and the Mets both losing.

The Nats have lost ground to the Cubs for the best record and home field in the NLCS – it is time to just acknowledge that the only likely chance to have home field in the NLCS is if the Cubs lose to the WC team. Perhaps a reason to root for the Cardinals to get to and win the WC????? Continue reading

Posted in Analysis | Leave a comment

One Bad Inning: Postgame

“…That one bad inning,” said Dusty Baker regarding the 3rd inning where Lucas Giolito had 2 outs and had Nolan Arenado in an 0-2 count before giving up a home run on a missed location fastball hit for a 2-run home run which made the Colorado lead 3-1. David Dahl followed it up with a home run to make it a 3-run inning. One bad inning. One bad pitch when you think if Giolito got Arenado he would have completed the 3rd inning at a 1-1 tie.

“They didn’t miss his fastball,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “That was the key. His fastball is relatively straight, so you’ve gotta locate it well. Hopefully it will get better.”

Where is the “reach-back” 97mph fastball? Nobody on the Nationals does it better than Max Scherzer who will reach back for extra velo when he needs it. Giolito on his outing today only reached a maximum velocity of 95.2mph with an average velo of 93.1mph.
Continue reading

Posted in Recap | Leave a comment

Game #130 Lucas Giolito gets start #4: Game Thread

Lucas Giolito’s promising 1st start in the Major Leagues was interrupted by a lengthy rain delay as he only gave up 1 hit and no runs in that game, but Mother Nature cut his outing short at 4.0 innings. Now it is exactly 2 months to the day of his MLB debut, and Mike Rizzo and Dusty Baker want to get Giolito back on the mound.

There are complications here as Giolito did not go deep in the games in his next two starts, and we can only hope that the third time is the charm as this bullpen is taxed. It is quite possible that the Nationals will be forced to bring up a long-man today as Yusmeiro Petit will not be available as well as others. Continue reading

Posted in InGame | Leave a comment

7th 18-gamer: Up and Down, but Reason for Hope

For previous 18-gamers, click here.

After the Nats’ third straight loss to the O’s on Wednesday night, if you asked just about any fan about how the last 18 games have gone, the answer would likely have been “not very well.” And that certainly would be correct: 9-9 is the very definition of mediocre.  But looking on the bright side, once again the Nats managed to avoid losing more than they won.  And this was only the second time out of seven sets that they were not over .500. Continue reading

Posted in 18GameRecap, Analysis, DL, Harper, Murphy, Papelbon, Ramos, Roark, Scherzer, Strasburg, Turner | Leave a comment

At one time this game was tied by a Werth single in the bottom of the 9th: Postgame

The game started with a nice pitcher’s dual by the starters who both left the game giving up 3 runs each. A.J. Cole had 2 outs with 2 runners on and was asked to issue an intentional walks. Unfortunately, Cole threw a wild pitch which scored a run making the score 2-0 and a single made it 3-0. The Nationals clawed back into the game and scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning to tie the game.

The Rockies scored a run in the 7th inning off of  Marc Rzepczynski, and the score stayed tied until the bottom of the 9th inning as Ben Revere walked and stole 2nd base. Jayson Werth in a 2 strike count served a single into leftfield to tie the game. It was a blown save for Adam Ottavino who had been on a long 0.00 ERA streak.

In extra inning Mark Melancon threw a scoreless 10th inning and in the bottom of the 10th inning Bryce Harper got ejected from the game after a borderline strikeout call as he tossed his helmet in front of home plate umpire Mike Winters. It was unfortunate as the Nationals had the momentum going and only one bench player remaining.

In the top of the 11th inning, the first batter hit a grounder that Anthony Rendon made a great diving stop on but he threw the ball wide for a two-base error. The Rockies took advantage in quick-strike fashion as Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run home run off of Yusmeiro Petit. The Rockies would add on three more runs in the inning including another two-run home run by Carlos Gonzalez.

One of those games -if- only. Nats lose in 11 innings 9-4.

Here is the chart on the Harper 10th inning strikeout:

mcgee on harper

 

Posted in Recap | Leave a comment

Game #129 A.J. Cole earns another start: Game Thread

The Nationals have a rare early afternoon start today, and A.J. Cole gets the mound today in Nationals Park.

Bryce Harper in the 2 weeks since coming back from neck (not shoulder) injury: .400/.492/.660/1.152, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 8 XBH, 9 BB, 8 K. The prodigious long-ball power is not there like it was in April, but the overall results are impressive.

Here is Trea Turner‘s hot August night’s splits. The most impressive number might be his RBI and Runs Scoring figures which is incredible that Turner is averaging 1.14 per game. Yes, Turner leads the Majors in Runs Scored in August.

trea run scored for August 26

Bryce Harper on Trea Turner’s contributions to the team, “I was thinking tonight, imagine if he was up in May, June, or July…We might’ve already ran away with this thing.”

Many people probably agree with Bryce as Trea Turner is the hottest leadoff man certainly East of the Mississippi and probably East of the Pacific Ocean if not for a debate about Charlie Blackmon.

Continue reading

Posted in InGame | Leave a comment