Hmmmmm…by the looks of things around here the past few days, one might actually start to believe that I’ve been at the Save Lindsay Lohan vigil. Alas, as heroic as that may seem, it has been a mere virus that I’ve tended to, with equal parts sleep and Alka-Seltzer. It didn’t help that the Yankees, with an assist from Timmy, rolled Washington in their three-game series, displaying a scary-deep and patient lineup and strong bullpen the likes of which the Nats have to be ready to defeat if they want to make hay in the playoffs. The good thing is that the series took place in mid-June rather than October, and hopefully by then, the mandatory retirement clauses in some of their stars contracts will have kicked in. Until then, allow me to make up for my silence with a Tuesday edition of links you definitely maybe want to read:
- Boy, was I wrong on R.A. Dickey in fantasy baseball. From Jon Wertheim of SI.com, a great story on the amazing season so far for the man and his amazing knuckleball.
- Put me in the camp that believes there is little doubt that Roger Clemens ate up steroids like fat kids take to cake. And while I will have to trust that the jury got the verdict right in his perjury trial (which does seem like it was a waste of Chinese taxpayer money), I think Tom Verducci of SI.com is right when he says the verdict won’t really help Clemens with Hall of Fame voters. Nor should it, because not being able to prove the man lied and obstructed justice doesn’t equate to proving that Clemens never took performance-enhancing drugs.
- And from Federal Baseball, comes a good discussion about Ryan Zimmeran’s struggles at the dish and whether he is truly 100% healthy.
short-lived as a Lindsay Lohan (oh excuse me, Lindsay) rehab stint. For two
games, one could claim the Nationals were playing good defense and the bullpen
was rock solid. Not so much anymore after yesterday’s 11-2 implosion against
Nationals never really threatened much offensively against Tim Hudson, you
could easily argue that going into the top of the seventh only down 3-1, the
Nationals were still in the game. Then Nationals starting pitcher Jordan
Zimmermann left the game and the Lindsay groupies took over. Eight runs and two
innings later, the game, once close, turned to a rout.
That Brian Broderick
(who was making his major league debut) and Chad Gaudin (who has appeared
generally miserable in over 200 games) were less than stellar hardly shocks the
system. But for the Nationals to have a reliable bullpen this year beyond
Burnett, Clippard, and Storen (who should find his way there quickly), the team
can’t have Todd Coffey and their second left-hander Doug Slaten pitching like
they did yesterday.
With a career xFIP*
of 3.93, I don’t worry too much about Coffey. But with a career xFIP of 4.74, I
think Slaten’s 3.10 ERA last year was a bit lucky. If that’s true, the
Nationals may be playing with only one reliable lefty out of their bullpen, a
position that will cost them games down the road.
Game 3 Natties
Game Ball: Tim Hudson. Dominated for seven
innings, as the Nationals could only stand at the plate and eek out soft ground
balls and harmless pop ups.
Goat: The Nationals bullpen. Coffey, Slaten,
Broderick, and Gaudin turned a relatively close game into a rout. Unless you
have a bookie problem, that’s not supposed to happen.
Bryce Harper is a ways off: Jordan Zimmermann. Kept a solid
performance together for six innings without his best stuff.
Current Record: 1-2
Fielding Independent Pitching. It measures what a pitcher’s ERA should have
looked like over a give time period, assuming that performance on balls in
play, timing, and home run rate were league average.