Nationals Baseball: Charmed Year

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Charmed Year

A week ago I brought up 8 points to watch in this second half.  You could argue that 5 1/2 have been trending negative in the past week.

What kind of production will the Nats get from the catcher position?

Can Ian keep it up?
No (not his fault - he can't play)

Bryce Harper, good rookie or immediate impact player?
Still slumping.

Will Mike Morse ever get back to Beast Mode?
Unless "Singly Joe Morse" is considered a beast, we're still waiting.

Can the Nats elite pitchers keep up the homer gap?
Gio didn't give up a homer in his start but Clip has made up for that hasn't he?

Can the "other guys" in the pen keep stranding runners?
Burnett and Mattheus have been good. Stammen's been lucky.  Rest of pen has struggled, hence the half-point

Not that any of these are at all "answered".  It's been a week for god's sake. But in one week a lot hasn't gone right and it hasn't mattered at all.  The Nats are still 4-2 over this time. The starting pitching is that good. 4 of the Nats start have resulted in 0 ER given up by the starters.  If I just throw out Edwin's start the totals over 5 starts are as follows.

31IP, 24H, 30 Ks, 2 BBs

2 WALKS! In 31 innings! When your starting pitching is that good it can make up for a lot of other stuff.


Todd L said...

Great starting pitching covers a multitude of sins. I just looked at Accuscore's pitching projections for the remainder of the season; they have JZimm and Strasburg with 8 projected wins each (and have accounted for Strasburg's innings limit in that projection), Detwiler with 7, and Jackson and Gonzalez with 6 each.

Kenny B. said...

Jordan Zimmermann may be one of the least-hyped great pitchers in the Majors right now. The guy has been incredible all season, and yet he gets next to no love from the baseball press. Meanwhile, slumpy Bryce gets an live look in every time he comes up to bat.

Nothing against Bryce, I love watching him play as much as anyone, I just think Jordan Zimmermann doesn't get the love he deserves.

Anonymous said...

Can starting pitching make up for poor writing?

Harper said...

Todd - Five 10+ game winners - gotta like that. I do think that's a little bullish on Detwiler (and a little sheepish on Gio - then again...)

Kenny B - Bryce Harper is a black hole of attention. You want to apply it somewhere near him then he ends up on 3rd after a routine triple. Zimm has simply had two months of very good to great games, but not in a flashy way. No k's maybe 2 runs in 6, 3 in 7, 1 in 6. Now that he's got two shutout outings under his belt I think he'll have more attention on him next go round

Anon - Don't know. This site has terrible starting pitching

Jeff Hayes said...

So the question in my mind is whether any of those 5.5 negative trends will reverse themselves (Harper maybe) or whether our starting pitching will fall back to Earth.

Harper said...

If I were to put it in order of most likely to reverse to least I'd guess
Morse, Bryce, Ian, Relievers, HRs, and catcher.

Morse may not have beast mode in him for the rest of the year, but we should see some nice stretches that don't involve Coors.

blovy8 said...

Absolutely agree with the Zimmermann love. In addition to the run support issue, he's still being babied a little, since he rarely goes more than 6 innings. I think next year, he has a chance to develop into a 230 inning type of pitcher who can get more decisions/wins and start showing up on the national radar. With the fastball, curve, and slider he already has, if the guy ever developed a good change up, he could be Pedro. How's that for hype? Well, we can dream.

blovy8 said...

Is there any data about hitters who are 6'5" and over regarding consistency? I remember Winfield being really streaky, for instance. Of course, he had a big hitch in his swing. I wonder if a guy Morse's size gets used to swinging a bit too much since there's a big strike zone to cover. The recent example of Frank Thomas would of course belie this.

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