POLL: What is the Nationals greatest need? Hints from Dusty Baker.

The post-game news conference got off to a rocky start last night when MLB.com beat writer Bill Ladson asked Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker, “Was [the Padres starting pitcher] Perdomo that good, or were the Nationals that bad?”

Dusty Baker then went on a ‘roll’ about the lack of clutch 2-out hits with RISP (runners in scoring position).

It may surprise you to find out that Ben Revere is one of the Nats best hitters in RISP with 2-outs, and we focus many times on 1 particular at-bat. The problem is Revere is one of the Nats worst hitters with bases empty.

Most would say that they would want  Wilson Ramos and Daniel Murphy as the batters you would want up with the game on the line, but it also depends if the pitcher is right-handed or left-handed. Jayson Werth historically has been a hitter who will come through in the game-on-the-line situations.

Sample sizes are usually small and skewed by a few good at-bats or a few poor at-bats in these stats.

Since Dusty specifically spoke to the 2-out RISP situation, here is the current chart, but keep in mind the samples sizes:

RISP 2 OUT TEAM 7 22 16

Here was an old poll we ran in the off-season: “Should Rizzo get the lefty leadoff CF or the big Outfield bat”. The results might surprise you as you see Charlie Blackmon on there as well as Dexter Fowler, and the lefty lead-off centerfielder which Blackmon, Span, and Fowler (SH) are:


Now let’s do a new poll as to who is the one key player the Nationals need overall at the trade deadline:

Here are some more stats for you to ponder. Here is the list of top leadoff hitters in the Majors sorted by OBP:

Top Leadoff Hitters 7 22 16

Since Dusty brought it up, here is the list of 1st baseman in 2-out RISP situations:


Since Dusty brought it up, here is the list of centerfielders in 2-out RISP situations:

RISP 2 OUT Centerfield

Here is the full transcript from Dusty Baker’s post-game media Q&A:

Q. Was Perdomo  that good, or the Nationals that bad?

A. Well, I can’t answer either one of those questions.  You know, I don’t know if he was that good. I haven’t seen him.  You know, we weren’t that bad.  We hit some balls hard that they made some great plays on.

And…. That’s not a very good question to ask me, is my team that bad.

No…I don’t think that’s a good question ever really.  I mean, that’s kind of a loaded question and kind of a negative question. I’m not going to down talk my guys, you know, because they’re struggling.  You know, you don’t kick dirt on people when they are down.

And you know, we’re not getting the big hits and we are making untimely mistakes to some big hitters.   I mean, this is similar to the Dodgers where their 3rd baseman drove in 5 runs, Turner.  And then today, the same guy, Kemp – who you know can hit, he’s been hitting for years – he drove in 4 runs.  And so, it’s a mirror image of yesterday’s game.

Q. (inaudible about Tanner Roark)

A.  He wasn’t sharp tonight.  That’s why we got him so early, because usually he goes deeper in the game.  And he had 95 pitches or something in 5, and that’s not Tanner.  And you know he made a couple of mistakes, threw the ball up and in the middle to Kemp that really hurt, that 3 run homer.   And had some untimely walks.  And you know, it happens sometimes.  It happens to the best of them.  And Tanner has been, other than this game tonight, Tanner has been lights out.

Q. (inaudible)

A.  Well, usually he keeps the ball down and away, and that prevents you from hitting the ball out of the ballpark.  But those balls were up and over the plate today, so similar to the balls that Turner hit yesterday. You know, they are up and out on the plate. So we have to make better pitches and we have to be better on the offensive side.

I mean, I never thought I’d be rooting for the Mets, but I’m rooting for the Mets tonight so we don’t lose ground to who is directly behind us.   So you know, we’ll be better.  We’ll be much better.  So I urge everybody to …don’t panic, just let us play and we’ll come out of this.

Q.  This is a stretch where you aren’t getting the big 2 out hits or are having trouble getting them.  [or something like that]

A. Well, you know, you can’t guide the ball and you can’t hit for other guys. We just have to keep working and have a theory and philosophy on how to hit with 2 outs, and that’s been avoiding us all year long.  And that’s been our nemesis.  People ask me what do we need, and we need some timely 2 out base hits.  Not home runs, we’ve relied on home runs, which is fine. But like I said yesterday, you need some timely 2 out hits or 2 or 3 consecutive hits which we aren’t getting.  You know, first and third, first and third, first and third, and its not happening.

Q. In your experience, does changing things get those hits eventually or is it just kind of waiting out…

A. Well, at this stage of the game, almost 2/3 of the season gone, and we’ve got to make some changes. Because we’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, and its been getting frustrating on the guys and frustrating on the fans and frustrating on us, too.  And so you have to be patient, and you hope that we make some changes to some..um.. theories and philosophies about getting a good pitch to hit, and only thing you can do is hit it hard.  You know, a lot of times you’re not getting a good pitch to hit.

Q.Ben Revere tonight was 0 for 5 but he did fly out a couple of times, did you see ..[only caught part of this]

A.  But that’s not his game.  I mean, you know, they want him up in the air.  And you know, they don’t want him on the ground.  They don’t want him opposite field.  They want him in the air.  You know, the same with Trea Turner.  They want him up in the air or they want him to not make contact at all.  And so that’s what the opposition’s doing to them and its up to them to combat it.

A HUGE thanks to Kec2866 for always helping out with transcription!

Some humor put to Dusty’s quote that is making the rounds:

How did Bryce Harper respond to what Dusty Baker had to say?

“I don’t think we need to change much at all. I think we’re a great team,” Harper said. “I think we’re swinging the bats well.”

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