Tagged: Chad Gaudin

Quantitative Losing

Quantitative Losing.jpg
I guess on a day in which Helicopter Ben Bernanke dropped by Nationals Park, it was only fitting that bad news dropped for the Nationals like the US dollar.

The Nationals day started off with, if you will pardon the terrible expression, a real kick to the stomach with news that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will miss six weeks after undergoing abdominal surgery to repair a tear.  Out since April 10th with what was first diagnosed as an abdominal strain, without Zimmerman, the anemic Nats lineup figures to post many more punchless nights like last night’s two hit, one run breakout against a wild Jonathan Sanchez and the Giants.

To illustrate the bareness of the Nationals lineup, despite a total of nine walks, three hit batters, and a wild pitch, the Giants held the Nationals to just one run. Heck, the Giants pitching staff was so generous that they allowed the Nationals to load the bases three times, but still the Nats scored only once and stranded a total of 12 runners on base. According to the AP article I read this morning, STATS LLC reports that the Giants are the first team since 1955 to put 12 or more runners on base via the walk or hit batter yet yield two or fewer runs. Awesome.

Still, the Nationals had a chance to win the game. Tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh, manager Jim Riggleman made the self-admitted inexplicable decision to have starter John Lannan to first walk righty Eli Whiteside to load the bases and then allowed Lannan to face pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff, who he promptly walked to allow the winning run to score. All the while, Tyler Clippard stood waiting and ready in the bullpen. After the game, Riggleman acknowledged what every sentient Nationals fan was thinking: should have brought in Clippard to face Whiteside.

Alas, he didn’t and the Nationals coughed away a game the Giants were trying in every which way to give them.

Game 26 Natties:

Game ball(s): Ben Bernanke. Nice to see him reinvest some of the Fed’s printed money into the local economy.

Goat(s): There were plenty of worthy candidates but Adam LaRoche takes it home. 0-4, stranding eight runners on base, including with a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the game. I know he is traditionally a slow starter, but I have a hunch his shoulder is bothering his bat a lot more than anyone is letting on.

Bryce Harper is a long ways off: Henry Rodriguez. Finally, the young fireballer made his Nationals debut and what a debut it was. A perfect top of the ninth with two punch outs, while hitting a 100mph on the radar gun. He may not always know where it is going to go, but neither does Chad Gaudin and at least Rodriguez has upside.

Current Record: 12-14

Sue Me, Sue You, Sue Everybody

Hey, since when did this blog turn into a weekly? Next thing you know, you are going to start charging for this worthless commie-pinko rag like The New York Times.

Fair question. And I probably deserve that one. And now is probably not the time to claim that I’ve been in seclusion dealing with Chad Gaudin being placed on the disabled list. So back to more regular Nationals blogging it is.

Last night was a double-win around these parts, with the Nationals getting back on the winning track with a 4-3 victory over the Mets and my beloved Washington Redskins actually making a potentially savvy move in the draft, trading down six spots with the Jaguars, landing their second round pick and Ryan Kerrigan in the process. What’s next? Dan Snyder will fully turn the team over to football people? Please don’t sue!

Game 24 Natties

Game ball(s): Ian Desmond. The new dad homered and tripled, powering the Nationals to victory.

Goat(s):
Mike Morse. You could live with the sub-par defense if he hit. He isn’t hitting.

Bryce Harper is a long ways off: Can I say again Mr. Snyder how much I loved the Mark Carrier signing?

Current record: 11-13

Double your pleasure, double your fun

Mmmmmm…Doublemint. Great gum for at least 30 seconds. Anyhoos. Yesterday was a banner day for the Nationals, sweeping their doubleheader against the Brewers in dare I say, easy fashion. In the process, the Nationals also swept the series and pushed their record above .500 for the first time all season. Double your pleasure, double your fun.

Game 14 & 15 Natties

Game ball(s): Danny Espinosa who drove in 6 of the Nationals 13 runs. He only had two hits, but made them count, tripling in three and homering in another three. And Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez both deserve kudos as well, both posting seven quality innings. Too often a doubleheader spells taxing trouble for a team’s bullpen but not so yesterday.

Goat(s): Yovani Gallardo. Every step he takes towards becoming an ace is matched by an almost equal step backwards. The zero walks, though, is a good sign that he should still be great one day. Oh, and what the hay. Chad Gaudin. Another two-thirds of an inning, two runs allowed showing. He’s the Ron Popeil of bad relievers.

Bryce Harper is a ways off: Drew Storen. The good doppelganger of Gaudin, who went two clean innings for the save in game two.

Current record: 8-7

Clipped in the bud

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Hey, it must be a
Friday night special around here: One post for the price of 3 games. Erm…how
about those Nationals? Two wins in a row. Break them up.

Poor humor masking
for laziness aside, you have to hand it to the Nats today. Day game in New York
after a late night extra innings win down in Miami and the Nationals come
through with a nice 6-2 win. Aside from Chad Gaudin, the bullpen was strong,
sustaining a slender 3-2 lead long enough for the Nationals to tack on three
insurance runs in the top of the eight to put the game out of reach.

Sure, there were
warts like Ian Desmond failing to get on base in five attempts from the
lead-off spot. But given it’s already Friday night laundry night, I’ll settle
for the satisfaction of the Nats putting us all out of our misery and pulling
the plug on the Chad Gaudin walk this way era. Viva Henry Rodriguez!

Game 7 Natties

Game Ball(s): Tyler Clippard. Bottom of the seventh.
Clinging to a 3-2 lead, runners on second and third with just one out. And nary
a Met cross the plate after Clippard toes the rubber. Never said bailing out
Chad Gaudin was easy.

Goat(s): Bernie Madoff. It’s a shame the Mets
have so much less money to waste on stars like a 40 year old Moises Alou. I
heard things are so bad for Fred Wilpon that the Mets tried to convert Luis
Castillo into the team’s official panhandler during Spring Training. He
couldn’t hack that either.

Bryce Harper is a ways off: Wilson Ramos. Today comes word that
Ramos will get the lion’s share of playing time beyond home plate going
forward. The right move for a franchise building towards the future. Pudge
might want to think about how much he likes Boston.

Current Record: 3-4

Hail, Hail Victory

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It may have taken
over five hours. And yeah, they had to endure two rain delays, including one
that dropped hail (yes, hail) on the field at Nationals Park. But it was all
worth it, as the Washington Nationals found their way into the victory column
for the first time this season, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-3 this afternoon.

Watching the
Nationals today, it is refreshing to see a team that is much sounder on defense
(and capable of making more plays), and able to gut out tough innings with the
bullpen. After tying the Pirates (argh, we’re terrible) with the most errors in
baseball last season (an absurd 127), two consecutive error-free games to start
the season is a relative treat to watch.

One thing I’m
interested in going forward is how the Nationals will handle the ninth inning.
Today, manager Jim Riggleman went with the left-hander, Sean Burnett, to get
the last out in the bottom of the 8th (lefty Freddie Freeman was up) and to
close out the ninth. Drew Storen, the once, and still presumed future closer,
was used to get two outs in the eight, and in the process, managed to cough up
a home run to Alex Gonzalez. As I said in my season preview, it is critical for
the franchise’s future that the Nationals get Storen right and back to nailing
down games at the end. For now, it remains a work in progress.

So, first things
first: The Nationals go for the series win tomorrow!

Game 2 Natties

Game Ball: Rick Ankiel. We got the better of the 2
true outcomes today. And a tip of the cap to Jim Riggleman for calling a
suicide squeeze with Ankiel the at-bat after he hits a home run. Crafty call
leading to a nice insurance run.

Goat: Tommy Hanson, Braves. The young ace
didn’t locate his pitches well and the results showed. And yes, Chad Gaudin, I
took note that you somehow continue to be employed based on illusory stuff that
never translates to quality results (career ERA of 4.61/career xFIP of 4.64).
Nice first pitch home run surrendered to Dan Uggla.

Bryce Harper is a ways off: Tyler Clippard, throwing gas, getting 5
big outs in the middle innings. 

Current Record: 1-1