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Game 134: Nats at Braves

Aug 31, 2011, 8:04 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to make it two in a row tonight at Turner Field.

Fresh off a 9-2 thumping of the Braves last night, the Nationals are back in Atlanta tonight in search of their second straight win. John Lannan gets the nod against Derek Lowe.

Jayson Werth is in center field again, with Laynce Nix in right field and Rick Ankiel on the bench. Chris Marrero starts at first base, and Jesus Flores makes his second straight start behind the plate in place of ailing catcher Wilson Ramos.

Enjoy the game…

NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (63-70)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

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212 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Stayed up to watch Manny's team win in 16 (well, I had one eye open). They are going for the 4-game sweep, but getting nowhere fast because Detroit keeps winning. Go Tribe!

  2. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    NatsLady – I don't think the shutdown for JZ was too late but I do think there was some kind of idea that he had to be pushed in August. For some reason, after a great season, when he was close to being shut down, it was deemed necessary that he go into the 7th inning. If you remember some of those August games, he was doing well, but left in too long. It was like we just HAD to know right then that he could go deep into games instead of waiting until next season. Terrible timing and just silly. This year should have been only about coming back from the surgery and making it through the season healthy. The rest of the stuff can wait until next season. I am relieved that he didn't really break down at the end.

  3. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    NatsLady said… Yeah, Z'nn didn't have a lot of bad games, but they came mostly in August. He had an incredible June (42 IP, 0.85 ERA). So, for next year, for Z'nn, is the issue he didn't go long enough in games, or he didn't go long enough in the season? It makes sense he was shut down in September– should he have been shut down earlier? On what basis was the 160-inning limit set? And should it be reviewed/revised? This is also a key question for me in terms of Stras next year. September 1, 2011 12:24 PM The issue with TJ guys is building up the endurance, the confidence, and the ability to get your feel for your pitches again.The Manager and pitching coach have to read it. On the earthquake game, why put him in for the 7th in a 0-0 game? He was tired. Comes back and gave up a 2 run homer. Against the Cubs, same thing.I don't think Davey did JZim any favors. Sure, the offense never helped him but the Manager needs to have a better hook.For next year, I think you treat him like any other pitcher. BTW, I truly believe given Jordan's "stuff", he is a Top 10 pitcher in the NL. The biggest factor is getting the umps to respect you, getting the defense to play well behind you, and leaving the games with a lead.How do you leave the game with a lead when your offense doesn't score for you? Well, that is something Rizzo will have to figure out.

  4. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    NatsLady, I think Matteus is still a work in progress. He wasn't consistent enough to be my 7th inning guy. He had a few really bad outings. Now with the injury, who knows.

  5. Feel Wood - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Losing Adam LaRoche was a big loss considering he was a big Runs Created player.You would be right except for two big things:(1) Adam LaRoche was a big second-half Runs Created player, so even if he hadn't been hurt he wouldn't have created many runs in the first half.(2) Adam LaRoche being in the lineup was keeping Michael Morse out of the lineup, and Morse has to be a bigger run creator than LaRoche – especially first-half LaRoche. Had LaRoche not gotten hurt and removed himself from the lineup, it's doubtful that Riggleman ever would have figured out that he needed to have both LaRoche and Morse in there every day.With LaRoche presumably healthy and back to form and with a more enlightened manager filling out the lineup card it looks like this will not be a problem in 2012.

  6. Feel Wood - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Sorted from worst to best:Name WPA Sean Burnett -1.59Collin Balester -0.88Doug Slaten -0.88Henry Rodriguez -0.67Craig Stammen -0.37Brian Broderick -0.35Chad Gaudin -0.28Tom Gorzelanny -0.06Ryan Mattheus 0.06Cole Kimball 0.27Todd Coffey 0.32Ross Detwiler 0.44Drew Storen 2.32Tyler Clippard 4.84Unless this data is normalized over a per-appearance or per-inning basis it tells you nothing. And it appears not to be normalized since Slaten and Gaudin (for example) have less than half the appearances of Burnett and they performed much worse than Burnett in most of them.And even if you did normalize the data it would still be useless due to the large variance in sample sizes. Balester, Stammen, Gorzelanny, Kimball, Detwiler, etc have too few appaearances to reach any valid conclusion using this data.

  7. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Re: JZ and the 160 IP limit.My understanding is that by mid-season everybody knew that he was totally recovered, and only needed to build stamina. That's what the "try to go 7 innings" bit was.As for the 160 limit, my vague recollection is that there is somewhat compelling data about how many innings a young pitcher should pitch in relation to prior years and slowly building up season-long endurance.In other words — and this is key to answering both questions: it's quite possible that he could have gone 190-200 innings this year, and be fine — for this year. But that the stress of 200 innings this year would show up next year.This is a key, but somewhat subtle point. If I remember correctly, the year the Marlins made it to the Series, they had a number of young pitchers in their starting rotation, and kept riding them all the way to the playoffs. The pitchers for the most part did fine. That year. But the next year (or two?) I think three (possibly two) of the pitcher had bum arms.So — again, if I remember all this correctly — the current theory is that pushing JZ into 7 or 8 innings was OK, it's that pushing him much past 160 would be harmful to him in the long run.

  8. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Oh, and to answer NatsLady's other question about how this bodes for SS — same deal. I think there will be a 160 IP limit on him, just like JZ this year.

  9. N. Cognito - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Away from the board less than a day and it's gone into full blown over-analysis mode.

  10. jd - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    To piggy back on DC's point; maturing young pitchers particularly stud pitchers like Znn is the trickiest business. The innings limit has less to do with the TJ surgery and more to do with the fact that he has never pitched that many innings. It is very prudent to err on the side of caution and it is advisable not to have Dusty (butcher) Baker as your manager. I cringe every time I see 23 year old Mike Leake throw 120 pitches. If my son was a top flight pitcher and he was drafted by the Reds I'd decline to sign and I'd have him take his chances the following year.

  11. N. Cognito - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    "If my son was a top flight pitcher and he was drafted by the Reds I'd decline to sign and I'd have him take his chances the following year."It's obvious that you love your son.

  12. Mark'd - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    JD, good point on Leake, he burned out before the season was over last year.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 54 43 --
ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
NEW YORK 46 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 56 12.0
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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