Baseball is a funny game. It seems you can’t actually win a game without scoring much in the way of runs, a notion the excellent-pitching, horrible-hitting Nationals have bumped their heads up against during their now five-game losing streak.
Tonight saw this tiring scene play out again, with Jordan Zimmermann delivering a solid start, only to be outpitched by Trevor Cahill. And well, his team scored for him, resulting in Washington falling to the Diamondbacks 5-1. Alas, the notion survives another night.
Goat(s): You could probably nominate any Nats hitter, but I’m going to single out Rick Ankiel for a particularly poor night at the dish, which included grounding into a double-play with two on and no one out in the bottom of the sixth with Washington only down 2-0. Maybe Davey will take a GIDP as a sign of the hitting yips and act accordingly???
Bryce Harper is still only 19: I hope I can post the video tomorrow, but Harper gunned down John McDonald at home trying to score on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh with a laser from deep left field. Impressive. Unfortunately, the ump blew the call and called McDonald safe, pushing the Snakes lead to 4-0.
Current Record: 14-9
With the Nationals series opener against the Diamondbacks scheduled to start in less than a half hour, I figured for kicks and giggles that I would take a look back at the April that was in MLB and hand out totally hollow and meaningless awards, all for the entertainment of the masses. I think I will call them the MESPY (Matt’s Excellence in Self-Promotion Yada Yada) Awards.
AL MVP: Josh Hamilton. The only caveat with Hamilton is whether he can hold up for close to 162 games. His current back injury is a small red flag but his April was monster nevertheless. He led the AL in RBIs, home runs, and was second in average and runs scored. No wonder his 1.8 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) according to FanGraphs was second in baseball.
AL CY Young: Jake Peavy. He paces all pitchers with a 1.5 WAR and has posted a quality start in each of his five outings. Oh, and he belongs to the same caveat club as Hamilton. It’s a party inside!!!
AL Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish. I’m not too keen in handing out a ROY to a player who has already played seven professional seasons, but hey, these awards are fake anyways. After two shaky outings to start his Ranger career, Darvish has been quite filthy.
NL MVP: Matt Kemp. That is all.
NL CY Young: Stephen Strasburg. Oh, that is like Beethoven to the ears. Five quality starts in five appearances, second in the NL in strikeouts, and he leads all NL pitchers with a 1.3 WAR.
NL Rookie of the Year: Kirk Niewenhuis. I don’t know what was more shocking. That it only took me two attempts to spell his name correctly or that Kirk Niewenhuis! is the early leader. He edges out Lance Lynn of the Cardinals but the yada yada in me could see it going either way.
Nationals’ MVP & CY Young: Strasburg. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best pitcher on a team that has been led to its good start by its pitching should take home both awards. However, Adam LaRoche does deserve a Reserve MESPY for being by far and away the Nationals best positional player.
Nationals’ ROY: Bryce Harper. Lombardozzi has perhaps done a bit more, but I’m hoping Harper hears about his MESPY and in a moment of tearful gratefulness, hires me as his CPA.
And that’s all folks!