Nationals Baseball: Me v You

Friday, June 15, 2012

Me v You

It's time. 

Well actually it's time #3. The Nats have played the Yankees in the past (winning both series 2 games to 1) but this time it's different. Sure, that could be said about most every series the Nats play this year, seeing as they are finally a good team, but there is something more special about climbing up the ladder and taking on the teams that have been the measuring stick for recent success. Unfortunately, some of those teams (see: Sox, Red; or Lies, Phil) are flailing making us look for secondary stories focusing on the ballpark, or the fans in the stands, or the opposite trajectories of the teams. But this isn't one of those series. The Nats are among the best teams in the majors. The Yankees are among the best teams in the majors. The Nats are red hot, sweeping their last two series and winning 9 of their last 11. The Yankees are red hot, sweeping their last two series and winning 15 of their last 19. This is the series of the weekend for everyone who follows baseball*

Can the Nats take the series, or even sweep the Yankees? Sure. Anything can happen. I don't mean that in the a derogatory sense. I mean that in the - Hey the Cubs could roll into DC and sweep the Nats - kind of way.  It's just 3 games. Just look at one of those previous Yanks/Nats series. In 2009 the two teams couldn't have been any more different. The Nats would go 59-103 and have the worst record in baseball.  The Yanks would go 103-59 and win the World Series. The Yankees played the Nationals in the Bronx. Who there is thinking the Nats take 2 of 3?  It could have been a Nats sweep too.  Shairon Martis had held the Yankees down for 6 innings, but the bullpen blew it.  Then John Lannan beat Wang, and the Yanks were shut out by the deadly combination of SP Stammen, Villone, Tavarez, Beimel, and MacDougal.  Anything can happen.

Who do I pick? Well I'm gonna stick to my guns and say 2-1 Yanks.  Honestly if you look at the pitching match-ups 2-1 Nats makes more sense (2012 Gio is better than the enigma of Hughes - in fact 2012 Gio is better than almost everyone and Jackson is better than Nova. Pettitte and ZNN are close to a toss-up but ZNN's problems lately have to do with the long ball and the Yanks are best in the majors at hitting those), but 2-1 is just a couple bounces from 1-2 and since I picked that to start, why change? If you don't like that just remember I had it 2-1 Blue Jays and you saw how that turned out.  

I'll be assuming the role of hated enemy on Twitter and possibly doing some live blogging- not sure yet, depends on how I'm watching the game at the time.

*(though there are a lot of good series going on White Sox v Dodgers, Orioles v Braves, Reds v Mets, hell I'm interested in Pirates v Indians) 


Kenny B. said...

Wow, there really are a lot of interesting interleaguers this weekend. Still, I think Nats-Yankees is the most interesting. Though I have the distinct feeling that Nats fans are putting more stock in these games than Yankees fans are.

Yanks fans start from the proposition that they WILL go to the playoffs, and anything less than a WS win is a disappointment. Our fans would consider a WC bid a massive success. As far as we Nats fans are concerned, every game the rest of this season is a playoff.

Run Yeti Run said...

Harper, any chance you could give the back of the baseball card explanation for how you're a Yankees fan but a Nationals blogger/fan?

Harper said...

Kenny B - You're right (talk on WFAN not exactly focused on this) but they do matter, especially considering The Angels and Rays success. If they don't take the division that means a WC vs either TX or Anaheim? That's tough. No one wants that WC spot now.

RYR - man that phrasing makes me want to draw a cutesy picture like 84 Topps football cards

BoTBBC - Yankee fan : Born and Raised in NY.
Nats Blogger/well-wisher : started blogging about the Expos (the NL team I was most interested in at the time) to spite a friend who annoyed me by being unable to keep his blog going daily, liked it, never stopped.

Run Yeti Run said...

Much obliged man, and that makes a ton of sense. You've definitely got my favorite Nats blog going- glad you stuck around.

Apologies in advance for the thrashing the Yanks are due to receive!

Mythical Monkey said...

I'm going to the game tonight and the Rays on Wednesday. I'm thinking a 3-3 homestand would be a good one, all things considered, but I'm picking the Nats, 4-2, with Gio winning twice and Strasburg and Jackson picking up the others.

I've been a rabid fan since the day the Nats arrived, abandoning the Braves of my youth without a second thought. But this is the first time I've drunk the Nats Kool-Aid. The pitching is for real, on a par (knock on wood) with the Braves of the '90s, the Orioles of the '70s and the Dodgers of the '60s. They won't win every day, but they'll be in it every day, and with the team (presumably) getting healthier (I shudder to think they could get even less healthy), the hitting will continue to improve.

I see great things for this team in the next few years.

Kenny B. said...

Speaking of the Expos, I really think the Nats should design a throwback uni that's basically an Expos uni with the M turned upside down. I would buy that hat so fast...

Jeff Hayes said...

I appreciate that Harper isn't a Nats fan. It gives me more faith that his analysis isn't unduly influenced by hope.

This is my favorite blog for in-depth analysis on the Nats; I follow other blogs for hour by hour details and to enjoy the (virtual) company of other Nats loyalists.

Harper - keep up the good work.

Harper said...

RYR - thanks for the kind words and save your apologies for another team. Yanks bats are hot.

MM - "I've been a rabid fan since the day the Nats arrived, abandoning the Braves of my youth without a second thought." I said before that not being in a different baseball town when I got out of college helped me stick as a Yankee fan. That an easy time to start anew, especially when one team is on TV all the time. Now makes it all moot.

The question about the pitching going foward (both this year and beyond) is how much of this is a fluke. ZNN,Gio,and EJax are all good pitchers but they are all having their best years now. If it's a real change then lookout this is a dominant staff for the foreseeable future (If it is a fluke they are still a really good staff but won't be able to carry the team like they have)

Kenny B - almost had your chance - thye put out some upside down NBA hats a few years ago. How about a snazzy red-white expos hat instead

Jeff - thanks for the kind words.

Shane said...

How about a red/white/blue cap with a curly W on it? I've still got my Expo gear and wear it with a Nat's hat. I believe them to be two styles or versions of the same attire. E-L-B!

Anonymous said...

To be the best, you gotta beat the best. That's what this series is all about. Sorry Harper, but the pitching will beat the hitting. I'll be there for the sweep Sunday!


Anonymous said...

Oh hell. Now I gotta go to the park tomorrow to maybe see the reverse sweep I was hoping to witness. My feeling is it's going to be a weird one, somehow. Harper, that's still a scary hitting lineup your team has, like FP said in the broadcast, "you look for the outs and you've got what, Pettite?" where are the notes about a 19 year old who K's 5? Let's set ALL the records.

Ollie said...

There's something ironic about the Nationals, in their first sustainable year of success, getting swept by the home team of the blogger who writes about them on a semi-daily basis. Screw you Harper. (We'll just forget about this after tomorrow's weekend wrap-up)

Kenny B. said...

You hate to see missed opportunity to make a statement, but the rest of the NL East helped out, so the Nats come out of a sweep with a 4 game lead in first. There's your silver lining.