Nationals Baseball: Behind the Strasburg

Monday, June 14, 2010

Behind the Strasburg

Game 2 of the Strasburg era wasn't the same level of awesomeness of game 1 but it shouldn't have done anything to Nats' fans wild exuberance. He was still unhittable (just 2). He still kept them down in runs (just 1). He still struck out a ton of guys (8). So he got a little wild. His control is better than this. Look at college. 1.9 BB/9 Look at the minors. 2.1 BB/9. Not to mention Game 1 (0 walks) This is not one of those kids that have all the talent in the world and just need to harness it. He can harness it. This was just one of those days.

Strasburg has 22 Ks now bringing him into a tie with John Lannan. Livan leads all Nats starters with 33. Clippard all Nats with 48. He'll certainly lead all Nats starters in K's by the All-Star break. He should pass Livan if not in 10 days, then in 15. Catching Clippard by then will be a bit tougher, but I think he can do it.

Other notes

It's now mid-June and Pudge is almost batting .340. It's been 6 years since Pudge has had an offensive year anything like this. I assume this is karmic returns for LoDuca being a complete nothing last year.

Still Pudge needs to hit .340 because his power is gone and he doesn't take a walk. When the options for you are "hit a single" or "get an out" you need to get a lot of singles to make it worthwhile for you to be in the lineup. Take a look at Guzman. A .304 average looks pretty good, but because he doesn't walk (.327 OBP) and doesn't get XBH (.379), he's not a positive offensively.

Speaking of someone that can take a walk, in 100 less PAs, Roger Bernandina already has 4 more walks than Guzman (and only 2 less XBHs) I don't think he's as good as he's been hitting the past week or so, but if he can keep getting on base and hitting for a little pop he might just be enough above average to fill the RF hole (for the rest of this year).


Bryan said...

If Sunday was "just one of those days" that pitchers have, the Nats will be golden; I'll be estatic; and Strasburg will be Nolan Ryan.

If Pudge is payback for Lo Duca, when do we get paybacks for Kearns?

I thought the Nats might be buyers at the trade deadline, but I'm starting to like the idea of trading Pudge while he's hot. Its not likely to continue for too long, and last I heard, we were deep in the catching department.

Harper said...

But it really does feel like that doesn't it? I can't imagine Strasburg walking a man an inning. It just doesn't fit. Cleveland isn't the best linup he could face but it is a step up from Pittsburgh and they didn't look any better. Seriously I think the only thing standing between Strasburg and a multiple All-Star career is health.

For Kearns (and hell Nick Johnson) the Nats need to find a good but always injured OF to bring in and have him magically be healthy.

The Nats at the trading deadline will be very intersting. Fans are just starting to get back behind the team with Strasburg here. They are close to .500. They have 2 old guys playing way over their heads (Pudge, Livan) and 2 guys who they also might be better off dealing (Dunn likely... maybe Willingham), but could also likely be fine with next year and it's not like filling an 1B or OF hole in the future should be that hard if the Nats are willing to commit $ to it.

Hoo said...

If Roger B. keeps this up or even improves a bit, he has an excellent chance of starting at CF for the Nats next year and getting more starts this year.

He has stopped the massive bleeding in right but isn't the long-term answer there. But I don't see why he couldn't be ok in center like a slightly slower but more pop Angel Pagan.

If everyone agrees that we have a new RF next year, then doesn't Bernadina look more appetizing at center than a guy who turns 30 in 2 weeks. I think the progression of the much younger Bernandina is a sleeper story right now.

Stats say Roger should regress a hair and Nyjer improve a bit. But the kid has more development upside than Nyjer and Bernadina isn't an idiot on the basepaths right now.

I can't believer Morgan is still suffering from minor foot ding.

Hoo said...

Keep the Hammer! Filling 1 OF is easy. Filling 2 corner OF spots for a team building to the playoffs? Why trade a cheap, proven commodity at this pt? Aren't we past the rebuilding stage?

Harper said...

Hoo - somehow I don't think you have much faith in Nyjer rounding into better form

Hoo said...

Harper: When you're a powerless hitter who's already sub .260 before you hit your latest hitting slump, I get a little testy. And don't forget to throw in a 1/3 steal success rate.

I never expected Morgan to repeat his career month. But I didn't expect him to be this bad. When you're nominal table setter has an OBP well below .300 combined with anemic slugging for 2 straight months, you're really crippling the offense from the get-go.

I think Morgan needs to have an OBP over .300 at a minimum to be useful. Especially when he has a higher negative fielding rate than Dunn.

I really don't think Morgan is this bad, but I'd much rather see what Bernandina can do given his comparative age and upside.

Sec314 said...

I have even less faith than Hoo.

Bernadina hits like a productive CF that fields his position. At this point Morgan does neither.

Whether Morse could keep up his numbers playing every day is an unanswered question, but I'd rather see them try that than ever see a line up with Willie Harris or Cristian Guzman in RF.

Bryan said...

I'd be sad to see Dunn and Willingham go, though both are older than you'd like them to be on a team in this position. Still, Hoo is correct: why would this team want to have to fill 2 OF spots when they could fill 1 and possibility fight for the playoffs? That isn't this team anymore, if that makes sense.

Wanna make some money betting baseball? Bet on Halladay and Strasburg every start. Maybe Jimenez.

Not having guys with good OBP really irks me. Guys hitting #1 should know how to take a walk. For god's sake - stop swinging at pitches. As good as Jimmy Rollins is, and yes, he scores 100 runs a year, and as much as he keys their offense, if he took a walk now and again rather than swinging first pitch how much better would he be? 200 runs a season? How many more games would this Nats team win if their 1/2 guys could get on base occasionally? It seems like every one of Zimmerman's HRs are solo.