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The one-run wonders do it again

Jul 6, 2011, 4:27 AM EST

US Presswire photo
Ross Detwiler earned his first win of 2011 with 5 1/3 solid innings.

Drew Storen doesn't really remember what it's like to take the mound with anything greater than a one-run lead. Not that the Nationals closer is complaining about the minuscule margin for error he usually has when he gets the ball.

"I love it," he said. "I kind of don't want it any other way. It makes my job a little harder, and I kind of enjoy the pressure."

Storen might as well be speaking for the entire Nationals roster, which has become so comfortable playing tight games that victories like Tuesday 3-2 triumph over the Cubs just feel like any other night at the ballpark.

Incredibly, the Nationals have gone 12-3 in one-run games since June 1. Their last nine victories have all come by either one run or in extra innings.

It's enough to make a 68-year-old manager's already thinning, gray hair find its way to the shower drain.

"I love one-run games, believe me," Davey Johnson said. "But every decision you make in a one-run ballgame is kind of critical. Once in aRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    On Wednesday, July 6th, the offense of the Nationals, led by Morse, Zimm, and Werth, is going to break out.This surge will last through September, aided by the reinstatement of Strasburg.The Nats will shock the baseball world and win the NL Wild Card.

  2. Section 222 - Jul 6, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Aack! New posted again. Should have known that MarkZ (our Z-man) was hard at work on a gamer. Apologies, but I wanted to make sure folks saw the program note at the end of my comment. So here it is: I was there as well. It was a nice win with a simply outstanding final play by Espinosa. That guy is truly clutch in the field. Detwiler was sharp, for awhile. I was impressed by Nix at 1B too, particularly when he had to feed the pitcher covering first. That's not easy and he handled those plays perfectly. Very disappointing to see the two ex-Phillies fail once again in key situations. I fear that having won one game last week, Stairs will be around to torment us for a very long time. Finally, a program note. If you're going to game on Friday night vs. the Rockies, make sure to get there in time for the National Anthem if you can. I'll be singing it with a barbershop quartet once again. We've received pretty good reviews in the past.

  3. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    One of the things missing when talking about their 1-run wins now is that they were incredibly bad in 1-run games early in the season. The team's total record in 1-run games is 16-15, so all that's happening is they've caught up.

  4. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 6, 2011 at 5:21 AM

    I believe that Detwiler will stay and become a lefty in the bullpen early as he does well the first two times through the line up, and will spend the rest of the season in the bullpen here, and start when needed.

  5. Grandstander - Jul 6, 2011 at 5:39 AM

    Another great gamer from the best on the beat.I too think that Detweiler could be the swingman Davey is looking for in the pen. He wasn't too sharp through those first 2 frames, but he was effective. But we all know what happens third time through. As soon as Reed Johnson hit that ball his fate was sealed.On the one hand, I just don't feel this success can be sustained. This club screams regression to the mean in terms of pitching. On the other hand, the offensive has been so putrid, so underwhelming, that the opposite must be true with regards to run creation.Or perhaps sometimes, there's just a statistical anomaly. Something that shouldn't be right, that is. Not to jinx him, but for years, Lannan has enjoyed a WAY low BABIP. This led to many saying he was due to regress. But it never really happened over the long haul.Now, he had that relapse last year, but recovered, and career-wise (and BABIP is only reliable when dealing with large sample sizes), he's remained at this low BABIP and has sustained success, coming into prime form recently. This team could be one big exception to the rule, or it could be a house of cards waiting to collapse. No one can possibly know right now. But Holy F, this sure is a fun team to watch play, and that's all that matters right now.VOTE MORSE.

  6. JaneB - Jul 6, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    Section 222, looking forward to you singing on Friday! Sec3, enjoyed meeting you tonight (or, I guess, last night, technically).I know the law of averages prevails. But someone here figured out the Nats have been, on average, UNlucky and due for better luck. I'm sorry I forget who it was, or what the numbers were. But I am hanging my hat on that. If we can get Zimmerman some good rest on this break, maybe he can come back hitting. I liked the idea of an anonymous poster to kidnap Jayson and make him relax, except form the potential jail part. So I hope some rest will help them. The 2005 Nats felt less solid than these guys. I know they fell apart after the AS break. But these guys feel more cohesive and less accidental than Robinson's team. I hope I'm right. Looking forward to our win Wednesday, and seeing the prediction by Anon at 12:43 start to come true.

  7. Drew8 - Jul 6, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Unless Ryan Zimmerman and Jason Werth are significantly injured, they're going to hit eventually. The beauty of the long season is that the truth will out.One last point on the Detwiler-Marquis discussion from the previous thread. If anyone is truly concerned about dealing Jason and promoting Detwiler (or Milone or Peacock) consider this: Marquis has won 7 games this year because he has the second-highest run support of all the pitchers in baseball.It's a pretty amazing stat for such an anemic offense, but Marquis has received an average of 9.21 runs per start! Compare that with other Nats' starters: Lannan ranks 53rd with 5.72 runs per start; Jordan Znn ranks 94th with 4.80 runs per start; Livan is 102nd at 4.44 runs per start.Jason might be a perfectly pleasant guy when he's not smashing bats and cursing Riggs in the tunnel. But his wins are inflated by an anomaly.He does not qualify as even a class B free agent, which means the Nats get no picks if he walks.All of the above is why I'd trade him by July 31 and let Detwiler (or Milone, or Peacock) take his spot.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Per AK on NJ, last 11 games won by 11 different pitchers. Now there's a rare stat for you.

  9. MicheleS - Jul 6, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Mark, as always, excellent gamer…This team has some intestinal fortitude! I saw the 1 laugher game this year the 10-0 drubbing of the Cards. I will savor that memory and use it to get through these nail biters!I will also reserve judgement on Detwiler until we see him pitch against some better teams. Sorry to say, but the Cubs just stink.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    MicheleS…. the Cubs are the #2 hitting team in the NL.

  11. MicheleS - Jul 6, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Nats Jack: Really? I am shocked by that one. They just seem so horrible. Must be the pitching and fielding that is cursing them this year.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Good Article on ESPN by Crasnick on Beast Mode!

  13. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Grandstander said… On the one hand, I just don't feel this success can be sustained. This club screams regression Drew8 said… Unless Ryan Zimmerman and Jason Werth are significantly injured, they're going to hit eventually. The beauty of the long season is that the truth will out.Werth's hand eye coordination affects his ability to hit. I think he is done as a player.Phil Wood was discussing the 2005 team after the game last night, which was 50-31 at the time, and Frank Robinson saying whether the team could keep the winning going without hitting. Frank thought it couldn't be sustained. I agree with Frank.I had the Nationals winning 79 games after the the preseason, thinking that with Werth, LaRoache, Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, etc that along with the showing of the starting pitching in spring training would show enough offense. I have no reason to believe this anymore. The law of averages will catch up to them at some point and if they win 73, 74 games this would be successful with what they have. I can't see them being .500 at the end. Consequently, the Nationals should sell, sell, sell: Livo, Marquis, Desmond, Ankiel, Nix, Coffey, Cora, Hairston, (I would sell Werth if I could; he was a big mistake), even Morse, Pudge, Detwiler. I would consider Clippard too. It's time to clean house. Let the bashing pursue…

  14. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    7:27, thanks for the heads up. Here's a link: they could have included video of one of his postgame, Beast Mode, appearances instead of footage of last night's game.

  15. Big Cat - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    I am having crow for breakfast. Good going Mr Detwiler

  16. Sunderland - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    UNTERP, so you think the Nats will play at 15 games under .500 the rest of the way? They have played 1 game over the first 77 and you think they will play 15 under the last 75?They have 41 home dates out of those 75, and only 34 road games. I have a hard time seeing them go 30 – 45 the rest of the way.

  17. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Sunderland said… I hope you're right and I am wrong. Please let me be wrong…

  18. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Also, and fwiw, I believe their home record is 26-15 (18-28 on the road although I think they've played at a better pace the last few road series – Anaheim notwithstanding).

  19. Gonat - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    "It's kind of hard to describe," Detwiler said of the changes he made. "I've just kind of had more of an attitude, for lack of a better phrase. I really feel like I've been attacking hitters lately. I've been getting ahead and that's huge with me."The defense was stellar behind Detwiler except for his own faux pas on that bunt.Even that HR that was hit off of him wasn't too bad of a pitch. He did a good job of keeping them off balance but my only observation was too many hard it balls that were caught and that BABIP can also work against you. Zim on the hot corner had 3 bullets hit his way. Hairston wouldn't have caught any of them I fear.Detwiler did a great job of neutralizing the lefty Carlos Pena and getting the rightie Soriano to chase. Also did a good job against Marlon Byrd. Outside of Aramis Ramirez, the rest of the order isn't great and Detwiler flew through the 1st 3 innings which is why he will be great in the 'pen to take pressure off of Clippard. This team needs someone else who can be shutdown in more than an inning of work. Then HenRod and Coffey can be used more for short inning stopper appearances.The other thing you saw last night was Detwiler touching 94mph. How would you like him facing the Phillies lefties where he comes in for the 7th in key relief and throwing 95 to 96 when he can ramp it up for a 1 inning appearance.

  20. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Gonat said… Detwiler is perfectly okay throwing 92-93. Can't see 95-96 even for 1 inning…

  21. masnstinks - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    I think a lot of what happens the rest of the way has nothing to do with the All Star break and everything to do with July 31st. Later in the season we will have to run the NL East gauntlet yet again. If the Mets have traded away a lot , if the Marlins have continued to fold, if the Phillies and Braves beef up with trades — all of those things will have a tremendous effect on the rest of our season. What we do in trades will have an effect also. Will Strassie or Wang return when JZinn exits? that could give this team a huge boost. For me, the big question is this: is this our real offense and do we just need to continue to scrape and claw every night? Or is there some great offensive explosion just waiting to start? Lot of factors to consider right now and it will be fun to see what happens ( I think?)!GYFNG!

  22. Mark'd - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Unterp, he was pitching 95 in relief last year.

  23. Cwj - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Unterp- Sorry but I gotta disagree with you.What, or which, law of averages are you referring to?No doubt some of the pitching will regress. The defense certainly will not…And the offense will likely get better.I'd say they are about right where they should be, around the .500 mark.They are -3 in run differential, much like most teams at or slightly below .500.Scrapping this team would be a big mistake. Marquis can be traded for something (preferably a person), but the core must remain intact if they want to compete in the next couple of years.Those are just my thoughts, but I don't think I'm being too optimistic.

  24. Sunderland - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    As Anon 7:15 noted, AK reports that our last 11 wins have come from 11 different pitchers. Tom Gorzelanny is not one of the 11, so he's gonna be extending that bizzare streak to 12 tonight.

  25. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    masnstinks said… I like what you say. They might continue to win despite the offense. See San Francisco Giants circa 2010 (and 2011). I just don't like what I see or trust what I see. They've been winning way too many games on flops from other teams. The Nationals remind of tightrope walkers without the net. Maybe this is who they are…

  26. Sam - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    The "Law of Averages" does not exist. Statistics exists, and it is a discipline by which we live our everyday lives. Records in one-run games are random, meaning there is a possibility that the Nationals will be terrible henceforth. There is also the possibility that they will be great moving forward in one-run games. No, it's not a predictor of success. Yes, everyone would agree that the Nationals should score more runs (and continue giving up few).

  27. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Cwj said… I can't go back and recall all the details of most of the games in regard to law of averages. I'll just take last night's game and many other like this, the 2nd baseman throwing away a double play and the Nationals scoring two runs…

  28. LoveDaNats - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    I totally blame my newly formed ulcer on this team. I remember thinking last night that wouldn't it be nice to watch ONE game where I wasn't sweating bullets during the last inning. SO fun to watch, though.

  29. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Sam said…I agree. That's why I am not as optimistic as previously. The mean in statistics cannot address every human factor. The mean is the expectation of the outcome of something based on statistical history. The Nationals mode has been high on one run games, but how those one run games have been won, I don't or cannot continue to count on. Two last wins: wild pitch; 2nd baseman in first inning tripping throwing wild throw to second, two runs scoring, then scoring no runs the rest of the way. I don't see them continuing to win this way without more run support, but I'm wrong much more than I am right and continue to hope that I am…

  30. Sam - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Physical errors (e.g. bad throw, missed catch, etc.) are part of the game (note the different between mental errors, which are unacceptable). We got lucky last night, and we have been unlucky in the past. One lesson to be taken from this is: you never know what happens when you put the ball in play.Winning a game because the second baseman makes a bad throw is not any more lucky than Zimmerman missing most of the year with an injury is unlucky. Luck is random, right? It's something we cannot control. So, you never know whether it will be good or bad for you. Maybe tonight we'll try a squeeze, and the pitcher will trip on a divot of grass and the runner will score.

  31. sjm308 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Sunderland – thanks for waking me up to the fact that we really can be decent the rest of the way. I do not think we will even play 10 games under .500 the rest of the way. I think most of us felt more then 75 wins would be a nice improvement and I think they are on there way to that.Unterp – I am not a big seller at this point. I can see Marquis being offered but other GMs also see him gettting 9+ runs a game in support and we will honestly not get much for him. We will get nothing for Stairs (although an AL team might take a stab after we dfa him). I like what I see and we can make changes in the off-season but let this team finish what it has started.This is the first time I can remember going to two straight games and getting two wins!Red Carpet is super, asked for 300 section and got 310 and absolutely loved them. Will start lobbying my group to move more toward home plate.On an usher note, I had my step-daughter and niece with me and they really wanted to see Michelle Obama. Usher in the lower bowl let us in to get a closer look at the opening ceremony after I showed him we were sitting upstairs. Really appreciated that. Girls got some nice photos.Go Nats!!

  32. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Sam said..Okay, LOL…

  33. HHover - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    GrandstanderMany of Lannan's #s this season (BABIP, K/9, BB/9, etc) are tracking very closely his career averages. His BABIP, for example, is .284 this year, and .283 career–over 110+ starts. It's not a fluke–it's who he is.The first half of the season has been a surprise to me. Werth and Zimm have been worse than I expected; the starting rotation has been better. I didn't see them being a game over .500 at this point.We'll be surprised in the second half too–we just don't know by what. That's what will make it a surprise.

  34. Unkyd - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Drew8 6:40- ?!?!?! Kindly source your run-support numbers… I would be surprised to learn that JM had received 9+ runs on support of even ONE start, let alone as a season avg…..Unterp 7:40- new leader in the clubhouse, for most pessimistic comment of the season….

  35. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Unkyd said…I'm weak, what can I say :~(

  36. masnstinks - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    LoveDaNats – I hear ya! I was thinking last night that it would be nice to have a comfortable lead for just one game. Of course, how much of a lead is comfortable? As far as the lucky/unlucky part — when you put balls in play, anything can happen. Being opportunistic is just as much of a baseball asset as anything else. Every team makes mistakes – but being able to capitalize on them will get you some wins. It's not enough to get you to the top levels, but if you stay close, it can push you over sometimes. No team plays perfect baseball or gets to every ball put in play. That's one reason why I would like to see Bernie messing with the infielders and pitcher a little more, ala vintage Nyger. Pressure creates mistakes. I would not mind seeing the other kind of pressure that is created by OFFENSE, though.

  37. Drew8 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Unkyd: ESPN's expanded pitching stats have the run support figures. the right-hand side, click on RS (for run support) at the top of the column and it will give you the list in order — top to bottom, or bottom to top.

  38. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    masnstinks said… good points. Speed kills…

  39. Bowdenball - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Not sure what stat NatsJack was looking at when he said they were second in the NL, but the Cubs are pretty much the embodiment of mediocrity. They're tied for third in the NL in batting average, but they're 9th in the NL in OBP. And they're 8th in runs scored, which ultimately is the only statistic that counts. Detwiler's start was OK, but there were a lot of hard hit balls that went straight to outfielders. He only got one strikeout in 6+. That won't get it done, because eventually those hard-hit balls will start missing the outfielders.Th

  40. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Bowdenball said… What's the stat when players hit the ball hard but not for hits? The Nationals for weeks have hit the ball hard but at somebody. Also, a lot of hits in many, many games have been stolen away from Nats bats with outstanding defense at times…

  41. Feel Wood - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Those run support numbers have to be averaged over a nine-inning game, like ERA is. There is no way that the Nats have averaged 9.21 runs per game over Marquis's starts. He's started 17 games, so that would be 157 runs in those games. They've only scored 333 runs this season. No way they've scored almost half of those runs in only 17 games.

  42. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Bowdenball… they came into town with the 2nd highest BA. I concur on the other #'s but to denigrate Detwiler because of the Cubbies hitters is unfair.

  43. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    It is sad that if Ramon Ortiz pitched for the Nats currently he would be the second best pitcher on the team, he completely out pitched Detweiler last night. ross once again showed he is a once through the batting order type of guy where he fool the hitter once but never a second or third time…he should be sent to extended ST and be converted into Clippard 2.0

  44. Drew8 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Feel Wood: That's correct — run support average is the average number of runs the pitcher's team scores over nine innings that he pitches.The point remains. The team has scored a boatload of runs in Marquis' starts, many more than for anyone else. It makes his 4.11 ERA look a whole lot better than it is.

  45. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Wouldn't Marquis' stats include the 17-5 game against the Orioles, which would somewhat inflate his run support numbers?

  46. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    I was surprised, and impressed, when Johnson took out Burnett and put in Clip with 2 out and 2 on. I don't believe that move would have happened earlier this year and it saved the game. Props to the manager for this one, too.

  47. Anonymous8 - Jul 6, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Bowdenball… they came into town with the 2nd highest BA. I concur on the other #'s but to denigrate Detwiler because of the Cubbies hitters is unfair. July 6, 2011 9:45 AM __________________________________I saw the game. Great defensive placement just like the Cubbies had on the Nats. Still, Detwiler executed. The downer for me was Davey Johnson's comments. First base runner after the 5th they wanted to pull Detwiler. That doesn't spell to me a quality starter.I really want to see Detwiler in a Clippard role dominating in short work. That is where I think he can help the team the most and occassionally take up 2 to 3 innings when needed.

  48. Sunderland - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    In the 17 – 5 victory, Marquis only went 4 innings, and the Nats plated 6 runs for him, so that's what would count towards his Run Support Average. And while that's not 17 runs, it's still a big number, 13.5 per 9 innings.He has definitely been given way more run support than other Nat's pitchers.

  49. HHover - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Harper_ROYThe bit re Ortiz is sad til you realize that his 6IP against the Nats last night are his total for 2011. His "season" #s don't really mean squat. His career ERA of 4.92 is better than none of the Nats' starters, unless you want to count Maya.As for Detwiler … yeah. His inability to go deep into the game has always been the knock on him. I don't know about sending him to XST, but yes, if he's going to make in in the big leagues, it won't be as a starter.

  50. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    I've figured out who I am and it's not good. I'm the round head kid, Charlie Brown. No wonder I love Charles Schultz…

  51. HHover - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    SunderlandThe way ESPN calculates those figures, all the runs scored in the game are "credited" to the SP. (You can confirm this by look for the Nats relievers, all of whom 0.00 run support).

  52. Bowdenball - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Bowdenball… they came into town with the 2nd highest BA. I concur on the other #'s but to denigrate Detwiler because of the Cubbies hitters is unfair.Being second in BA but below league average in OBP doesn't tell me you're a good hitting team. It tells me you love to swing at balls out of the strike zone. But I agree with your underlying premise. They're not a terrible offensive team, certainly not bad enough that a pitching performance against them should be downgraded because of it.

  53. SCNatsFan - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I look at it this way, if you are a Nats fan and don't see more good then bad happening on the field especially after what we have seen for years on the field then you will be the same people complaining that the parade thrown after we win the WS was too short, too long, too expensive, too crowded etc.. Some people get joy out of seeing the negative and I guess it is their right.For the law of averages to play out you need a huge subset… and while I agree with FRobby, no reason it can't continue all year and bite you in the tookas in years to come. After all, its not like the Yankees win the WS on average as often as other teams do, that logic just works with coin flips and set events.

  54. Bowdenball - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Unterp-There's a couple statistics you can look at to measure a team's "luck" at the plate. One is Batting Average on Balls in Play, which is surprisingly steady over time. The Nats are near the bottom of the league for 2011 at .277. The league average is .290.That suggests they've been pretty unlucky. However, they're also pretty far down the rankings of percentage of hits that were "line drives," at 17.1%. That's sixth from the bottom of the league. That's not great. I know it seems like they hit the ball hard a lot but right at outfielders, especially lately, but I don't think they've been all that unlucky over the course of the season. A little bit, sure, but not a lot.

  55. SCNetsFen - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    more good *than* bad

  56. Sam - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Does that mean that if the Nationals score 1 run in the top of the first and Marquis makes it through 1 out, that RS for the game is 27? That's kind of silly, isn't it? I guess, over the long run, it settles down. But the number itself doesn't really mean much, right?

  57. Dave - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    From Twitter, Bill Ladson posts:@washingnats: A year ago today, the #Nats were 37-47. #Progress #MLBWhat SCNatsFan said…

  58. SCNatsFan - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    SCNetsFen just glad someone is reading…You can tell I was a science major.

  59. Gonat - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    HHover said… As for Detwiler … yeah. His inability to go deep into the game has always been the knock on him. I don't know about sending him to XST, but yes, if he's going to make in in the big leagues, it won't be as a starter. July 6, 2011 10:09 AM___________________________________I agree sort of. I think you need to use the word "successful". He could be a starter in the Majors but not a successful starter in the long term.Look at him in Spring Training, he was excellent in 3 inning stints and struck out more batters and also faced a bunch of Minor League types so it was tough to evalutate.In 5 innings yesterday, he did well with a high BABIP and got a lot of ground balls in innings 1 and 2. Then in the 3rd, he almost gave up a HR ball to Reed Johnson which was played well by Bernadina.In the 4th, Ramirez hit that sharp liner to Zim and the next batter Soto singled. That could have been his undoing if Zim didn't make that nifty play at 3rd. Credit to Detwiler on getting Soriano to popup and Byrd to groundout to end the inning.I see a reliever in Detwiler right now. I think he needs another pitch for more swing and miss stuff to be a successful starter in the future. I just don't see anything right now to convince me that he could be a successful starter and I don't think he has the arm stamina. I know he is a popular guy but so was Tyler Clippard when he was with the Yankees as a projected starter. Now look at Clip! An All Star and a very very big part of the Nats success.

  60. Does this make the Nats Progressives? - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Another way of putting it: if they win only 1/3 of the games remaining on the schedule, they match last year's W-L record.

  61. Nats Outsider - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Dave said… A year ago today, the #Nats were 37-47. Very interesting. It represents a year-to-year difference of just 4 wins out of 87 games (less than 5 percent). Five percent shouldn't *feel* so different, but it does, and it feels very, very good.

  62. Nats Outsider - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Ouch–typo. Not 4 wins, but 7 wins. Still seems far greater than the numbers themselves.

  63. Mark'd - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Gonat, I think you said it. Successful. I think we are all in agreement he will help this team in relief and spot starts. Wish he was here early on when Slaten and Burnett were blowing games.As Mark's title suggests One Run Wonders, there is very little marhin for error. Davey is a smart man and will get his way. He needs Detwiler. I am sure Riggleman wanted him and got a standard Rizzo – Request Denied.

  64. HHover - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    SamNo, the runs support doesn't mean much over small #s of IP.Fangraphs, by the way, counts differently than ESPN – they count only the runs scored while that pitcher was the pitcher of record. So in that Os game, Marquis pitched only 4 innings but still got credited with the runs scored by the Nats in the top of the 5th, because he hadn't officially been yanked til HRod came in in the bottom of the 5th.The way fangraphs counts, Marquis is still far and away the leader among Nats SP in run support, with 3.9 run support per start. Even ignoring that Os game, he's at 3.4.Most of the Nats other SPs are in the range of 2.1 to 2.6 run support per start. Gorzo is the worst, with only 1.8.Which, of course, is why W-L record isn't a very good wy to judge a SP.

  65. Richard - Jul 6, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Speaking of reversion to the mean, I join Davey J. in anxiously looking forward to the time when Werth's hitting returns to what it's been the last 4-5 years (even substracting a bit from last year when his BA was above his career average) — and Zim gets going, as he always does. Hairston going down hurt, too, since he added a lot to a weak hitting team with his BA of .260. Anyway, when Werth and Zim get going and with Morse and Nix and Espinoza and Lombardozzi (oops, getting ahead of myself), the Nats should be putting on an even better show soon.

  66. Dave - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    @Outsider, I wasn't a math major, so I am probably missing something, but…37-47 is a win percentage of .440.44-43 is a win percentage of .506.A season of .440 results in a record of 71-91. A season of .506 is a record of 82-80.Is that not 11 games better for the season? Or are you talking about games out of first place or something? I would be happy to be educated on this point.

  67. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Backing up slightly, but on the double play at third, it was hard to tell from the 310 seats, but based on the TV angle, was it a good call?

  68. Dave - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    @Sec 3, looking at the game replay on MASN last night, it looked like the umpire gave the Nats a gift. The ball definitely beat Zim's hand back to third base.

  69. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Nix was out at 3rd. Ump didn't have a good line of sight.

  70. Dave - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Nix, that's right. Not Zim. But yes, he was definitely out.

  71. A DC Wonk - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Sam said… The "Law of Averages" does not exist. Well, yes and no — depending on what one thinks it is and how it gets applied.As for the Nats and one-run games, there's nothing in the "law of averages" — or anything else for that matter — that says that "because the team has won a lot of one run games, now they are going to lose a bunch."What _is_ correct to say: it's more likely that the Nats will win approximately 50% of their future one-run games than they will lose or win a great majority of them.

  72. Sunderland - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Regarding Run Support Average.ESPN's definition is "Run support. Team's runs scored (average, per 9 innings pitched) while the pitcher of record"I could not find FanGraphs definition.But it's interesting / odd that they show very different numbers.

  73. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Thanks, that's what I thought at the time. I'll trust my eyes from Sec. 310 over a major league umpire 10 feet from the play any day. : )

  74. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Dave…. as for Outsider, I'm with you. I have no idea what he was saying there. And we did get two gifts from the 3rd base umpire last night. But heck, it's about time we caught some breaks like that.

  75. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. Doc - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    @ Sec 3, My Sofa:Looked like it was good call too, from my camera angle. Nix's hand just beat Ramirez's glove. Cubbies bench needs to drink more Gator Aid!Vis-a-vis 1-run game probabilities: Let's hope the Law of Probabilities in the Nats' batters' box catches up to them before the Law of Probabilities of winning 1-run games overtakes them!

  77. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Dave, I think what outsider meant by "7 games" (and O/s, please correct me if I'm wrong) is:they are 44-43; this time last year they were 37-47. 37 + 7 = 44, hence a 7-game improvement, so far.Or, you could say they were 10 games under .500, and now they are 1 over, so that's 11 games.

  78. A DC Wonk - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Re: Nats being 7 games better at this point.That's a huge improvement, if you think about it, however. If I recall, the Nats improvement of 10+ games was the most (or second most) in the NL last year (or the year before?)

  79. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    I remember Harry Caray talking to Steve Stone about bad calls evening out eventually. "Not in my career, they didn't!" Stone said.

  80. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Of course, that's not the same number of games, so it's not really "this point" in the season, anyway, but whatever._______________________________________Sec 3, My Sofa said… they are 44-43; this time last year they were 37-47. 37 + 7 = 44, hence a 7-game improvement, so far. Or, you could say they were 10 games under .500, and now they are 1 over, so that's 11 games.

  81. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Yeah, I guess an 11-game improvement would be 7 more wins and 4 fewer losses.

  82. Anonymous - Jul 6, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    I hope you're right and I am wrong. Please let me be wrong… That now appears to depend on injuries and hitting with RISP. Bixler and Morse lead in that category both hitting over .300. Followed closely by Espinosa and Pudge around .295. Mr. Clutch Zim is .265. Zim, Werth, Nix, Ramos and Desmond have to improve in this area. Needless to say Stairs? What does he bring to this team? As for injuries Davey has been playing Stairs a lot more and in the field and he looks to be a multiple injury about to happen and then on to the 60-day DL. Hmmmm, wonder if that's intentional? Zimmerman's injury will it heal enough or is it tee it up for the next season after an off season of conditioning. Pitching injuries. The Nats have been lucky their starters really haven't been touched yet. When that happens its about how good the boys in AAA are. Stammen, Milone, and Meyers. Have to assume Detwiler is a reliever and spot starter here on out. He barely made it to 5.

  83. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Same number of games comparable would be July 9, 2010, when they were 39-48.Sec 3, My Sofa said… Of course, that's not the same number of games, so it's not really "this point" in the season, anyway, but whatever.





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