With the last three games not proving to be too kind to Washington’s offense, I’ve decided to declare today “Comeback Sunday.” What? Did you really think I was going to go with Women’s Equality Day? The law was the only thing we had on our side and we threw it all away.
I kid. I kid.
Anyhoo, hopefully later today the Nats can get back on track and avoid the sweep at the hands of the Phillies, though it will hurt not to have both Michael Morse and Ian Desmond in the lineup. Until game time rolls around, for kicks and giggles, here’s a Sunday morning edition of quick hits:
- I thought this was supposed to work the other way around? Dodgers bail out BoSox, acquire Gonzalez, Beckett, and Crawford. While it is heartening to see something in Brokefornia come into money, methinks long-term this won’t end well for the Dodgers. However, in the short-run, the addition of Gonzalez and if he is rejuvenated, Beckett, could propel Los Angeles into the playoffs. And if they make it in, you would have to think they would be a formidable opponent. So while the Nats continue to barrel towards unilateral disarmament, their foes stock up. Sigh. I wish I wasn’t such a brooding auditor.
- Thankfully, the Nationals joined the frequent Tommy John surgery club. This one’s free! Lucas Giolito, the Nationals’ top draft pick, will undergo Tommy John surgery.
- This is probably going to come as a shock to everyone, but I have a thing for numbers. So this fascinating column from Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports allowed me to slip into nirvana without coming out smelling like teen spirit. 25 things you didn’t know about baseball. My favorite: Fernando Rodney and his 0. 77 ERA. Who says God doesn’t interfere in the affairs of men?
- And finally, I guess the 50-game suspension of Fatolo Colon earlier this week only goes to show that you can lead an athlete to steroids but you still can’t make him work out.
And that’s all folks!
Playing in Colorado is always wacky. For all the wonderful things it can do for a struggling offense, it can do just as much harm to a team’s pitching staff. So, after 4 games, 33 runs scored, 25 runs allowed, 15 pitchers used, and a series split, I’m sure the Nationals were looking forward to getting to Atlanta to resume the battle for the NL East crown. Thankfully, the team’s equipment managers did take one memento from the Mile High City to play the Braves, the hot bats which churned out another 15 hits in route to a 5-4 victory.
Game ball(s): Michael Morse. Dot, dot, win. While I’ve been singing the praises of the warming bat of Ryan Zimmerman, just as importantly, Morse’s bat has been coming around, his game-winning solo home run in the eighth inning being his second in as many days. We all saw what a healthy Morse can do last year, and that’s just what Washington needs to sustain the offensive gains made in Colorado, because, alas, MLB simply won’t take to the idea of turning the Rockies pitching staff into the Nats’ Washington Generals.
Goat(s): Davey Johnson. Sounds strange saying this about Davey, but he kept Ross Detwiler in too long, which nearly cost the Nats the win. I’m sure Davey was thinking that Ross had been outstanding for six innings, and after burning through the bullpen in Colorado, he was hoping to squeeze another inning out of him. Unfortunately, when Hotlanta caught up to Detwiler, Davey was too slow to summon the bullpen to the rescue.
Bryce Harper is still only 19: Stephen Strasburg. I know I’m looking forward to later today, but with a 4pm start and temperatures expected to rise above triple-digits, I will be watching to see how Strasburg manages his tempo, pitch count, and overall stamina on what will certainly be a very tough day to pitch.
Current Record: 44-31
Even though the National’s offense has been on a bit* of an upswing lately, this is more than welcome news from Amanda Comak on Twitter:
*As I watch James McDonald completely throttle Washington’s bats so far this evening. Oh, and the great Nats-killer Rod Barajas take Jordan Zimmermann deep. Oy vey.
I’m going to presume that the Nationals’ Assistant to the Traveling Secretary pulled a George and booked the team on a very early flight back to DC; hence, their putrid effort today on get away day. However, while that assumption is comforting for the moment, the reality is that the Nationals offense is not very good right now. Gone are the late rallies, the hot start of Ian Desmond, and what has sunk in is that without Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse, the Nats sorely lack offensive punch.
Today, despite holding the Dodgers to just three hits, a bout of untimely wildness from Gio Gonzalez was the hiccup that a struggling Washington offense could not overcome, as they fell 2-0. As the Nationals head back east for a six-game home stand, they now find themselves tied atop the NL East with the surging Atlanta Braves and in desperate need to find their bats in order to return to their winning ways.
Game ball(s): Chris Capuano, who took full advantage of an awful display of hitting by the Nationals, whiffing nine in 6 2/3 shutout innings.
Goat(s): Nats’ hitters. Each and every one of them. Washington has pushed across six runs in the last four games, including laying an egg today. Not surprisingly, the Nationals have lost four straight.
Bryce Harper is still only 19: So, after several long and intense discussions with Cooley the dog, we settled on a new name for the award formerly known as the Bryce Harper is not as far off award. Our logic: While we are on bended knees hoping that Harper is the real deal from the get go, the reality is that he is 19, so for the Nats to have success this season, and in the near future, the team will have to get meaningful contributions from players that can legally drink. And well, this isn’t a public school report card where everyone gets a game ball. With that out of the way, Cooley the dog humbly suggests we give out today’s award. And today it goes to Craig Stammen, who has been fantastic in April, and delivered again with another two scoreless innings of relief today.
Current Record: 14-8
Guess I’m going to have to re-name the third award category because just a short while ago, the Nationals announced that Bryce Harper will be called up tomorrow and make his Major League debut. Didn’t see that one coming.
I didn’t think my heart would re-start after seeing this beautiful scene last night:
It seems all I had to do was wait a day for a jolt from the Nationals. It is funny that just yesterday, I took a look at how Harper was doing down in Triple-A. And while I’m excited to see what he can do, what I wrote yesterday I still probably foresee being the case. Harper will most likely represent an upgrade in left field (hard not to when Nats’ left fielders are a combined 7-72, or half a Mendoza), but his numbers in Syracuse don’t scream out “Impending Rookie of the Year.” It seems that with the Nationals already struggling to score runs, and now down two of their best bats (Ryan Zimmerman will join Michael Morse on the DL tomorrow), GM Mike Rizzo is looking to a catch lightning in a bottle. While every Nats fan hopes that happens, let’s also hope that the Nationals remember that Harper is just 19 and act accordingly if he is not a mega-hit right away.