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Bullpen quietly dominating

Mar 27, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Sean Burnett hasn't surrendered a run in six appearances this spring.

VIERA, Fla. — It's easy to overlook relief pitchers in spring training. They appear late in games, often facing minor-league batters. Everyone tends to tune out the final innings of exhibition games.

It should be noted, however, that the Nationals' bullpen has quietly dominated this spring.

Combine the Grapefruit League stats of their top five relievers (Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett, Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez) and you get a 1.45 ERA, a sparkling 1.03 WHIP and a 32-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio that gives manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty plenty of reason to smile.

And it's not only those five stalwarts who have pitched well. Total up the numbers for six relievers who likely won't make the Opening Day roster (Craig Stammen, Chad Durbin, Ryan Mattheus, Ryan Perry, AtahualpaRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Isn't it nice to have something positive to write/talk about today. MPHRod has looked really good this spring. I am still kind of hoping he hits Screech at some point (not to injure, just for the hilarity of it all).

  2. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Hit Screech, win a serving of chicken tenders. Or something like that…

  3. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Technically, I suppose it would be: Hit Screech, win chicken tenders.

  4. NationalsProspects.com - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    What about hitting Screech in the tenders?(Sorry, kids watching Kung Fun Panda in the next room).

  5. LoveDaNats - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Agree, MicheleS.We've gone from the-sky-is-falling to everyone just stop and take a deep breath. At least I have. The Nats have a lot of positives. I lost sight of them to have a mini-panic over lack of hitting and starting pitcher meltdown. I have to remember that spring training is for working stuff out and not a harbinger of things to come. I would have never thought it would be Werth to give me some perspective with the shot heard round Space Coast Stadium. :)

  6. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    I really think that Gorz can be a surprise performer for the Nats this suumer. He's got swing and miss stuff and he started getting it together in a big way last summer. We'll see.I am happy to hit Screech. Part of being the mascot is subjecting yourself to slapstick antics, so he's kinda got it coming. In fact, I will pick up Clint and use him as a Screech bat! Though, I should be careful as Clint's hair is dangerously sharp with the 7 ounces of sculpting product he's toting up there every day.dfh21

  7. Positively Half St. - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Hard to imagine that the regular season starts tomorrow at 6:10 am. Just one of the 4 baby Nats sent to the A's (Tommy Milone) made the 25-man roster (28-man in Japan this week). Milone won't pitch in the first two games, so no great reason to get up early to see it.I am curious to see how Cespedes does for them.+1/2St.

  8. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    The Nationals are [not] particularly worried about losing Storen for a couple of weeks in April, nor should they be. Just for the record. Doesn't seem to have bothered anybody else.

  9. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    I am just soooo ready for the real season to begin. I hope the team is ready! Go Nats!!!

  10. fpcsteve - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    How do you keep a reliever (Detwiler) on a starter's throwing schedule? Don't you call on relievers when you need them?

  11. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    It's kind of artificial, fpcsteve, but since there are two long-man lefties, they'll basically have to have "on call" days, and not be available otherwise. Less than ideal, but it beats losing them to waivers.

  12. new era hat - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    And more than this shock?

  13. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Karabell on Baseball Today yesterday FINALLY admitted Clip's awesomeness!!! Really. (It was a Marc Simon day, so Klaw wasn't there.)He analyzed things pretty much the way Mark and everyone else who looks at the bullpen does, except he doesn't know that MPHRod has control this spring (2 walks, NO HBP). The only flaw in his analysis is he thought Lidge was being given a chance to close to "show his stuff" and that when it develops that he doesn't have closer stuff, his ego will settle down.Well, Lidge was signed knowing he might close on occasion–so this is the occasion. I haven't seen any "ego" on Lidge's part at all, I've been very impressed with his public remarks. Not only that, who says Lidge doesn't have closer stuff? If Mo can do it with one pitch, his cutter, why can't Lidge do it with one pitch, his slider?I'm going to watch the Japan game tomorrow even though we might not see any ex-Nats because it's real baseball.

  14. alexva - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Bottom line is Detwiler is in the bullpen because they have no place else to put him less they expose him to waivers and a certain claim. It's not the best situation for the make up of the relievers or his personal situation but it's what must be done.Hopefully he gets meaningful work so next year when Jackson and Wang are elsewhere he is ready to go as a 4/5 starter.

  15. Steady Eddie - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Fpcsteve –Good question. I assume it means something like, once through the starting rotation, you can expect either a starter will have a bad start or at least will reach a high pitch count after a relatively few innings (3-4-5). So you put in a long reliever to avoid wearing out the bullpen and keeping the team in the game into the 8th inning or so where you can hand it over to Clip/Store/Lidge/HRod, or even have Det finish it out if that works. Hopefully with this rotation it'll be more high pitch count than early meltdown, but the latter do happen occasionally even with the best of staffs.

  16. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    I would expect the bullpen to dominate in Spring Training. They are generally facing "no names" in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings early in Spring training, and bench and AAAA players in the 6th to 9th innings the last 15 days of Spring Training.

  17. BethesdaFan - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Is there some way to watch tonight's MLB Nats program without subscribing to MLB. We have basic cable and MLB says that we are not subscribers.

  18. MicheleS - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Morning Kookaid.Bethesda, supposedly, it will be on mlbnetwork.com tomorrow if not the next day

  19. MicheleS - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Kool aid.. Not Kookaid (although Mitch Williams is definitely a kook)

  20. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I use "no names" for the guys the other team's broadcasters can't come up with. In yesterday's game Blanco #13 came up to bat, and one of the Houston radio guys was thinking his name was Polanco. They scoured their notes to find who it was "OK, we think its Andres Blanco". Funny part was he got his 2nd hit of Spring Training now batting .067 (2 for 30) and almost doubled his batting average from the .034 he was at. Can we say he is possibly headed to a hot streak?

  21. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Bethesda, if you don't have MLB Network in your cable subscription, you might be able to find the video somewhere after the fact. If not on the MLB Network site, I'm pretty sure NatsLady had found network videos online somewhere in the past, but I can't recall where.

  22. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    What *really* throws broadcasters for a loop is when they bring a guy from the minor league side into a game and he's wearing the same uni number as a guy on the major league side. :-)

  23. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    I was working so missed Andres Blanco's hit. May never get to hear of another. So we use #13 for the "whoever we have around that's under some kind of contract so insurance will cover us" guys?

  24. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Okay, after checking. The 30/30 videos will be posted to the MLB Network site the day after the episode in question airs.

  25. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    If you look at the link to Federal Baseball, they have a lot of choice quotes from the show (audio only).

  26. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Are they at Jupiter (tcntp) today vs. the Marlins? Gio's turn?

  27. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    #13b could be the New Guy In A Red Shirt, like Star Trek. You know he's not going to be around long.

  28. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    MicheleS said… Morning Kookaid.Bethesda, supposedly, it will be on mlbnetwork.com tomorrow if not the next day March 27, 2012 9:51 AMSorry, Kilgore is months behind on this. Bowa and gang have been squarely behind the Nats since early Februrary when they first put up their predictions and haven't waivered.The "kookaid" got me to spit out my morning coffee. By the way, this team isn't perfect and not 100% healthy but there aren't many teams that are.Only -if- the Phillies had held on to Madson, they would started to have resembled a MASH unit.

  29. MicheleS - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Sec3,Yes at Jupiter/Gio. No Radio or TV

  30. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Okay, but 1b is taken (as are 1a and 1c). :-)Section 3, My Sofa said… #13b could be the New Guy In A Red Shirt, like Star Trek. You know he's not going to be around long. March 27, 2012 10:05 AM

  31. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    True, that (except for Ripken, maybe). He must not get MLB Network in his cable subscription. :-)Sorry, Kilgore is months behind on this. Bowa and gang have been squarely behind the Nats since early Februrary when they first put up their predictions and haven't waivered.

  32. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    He being Kilgore, of course.

  33. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Maybe Kilgore was just pacing himself, holding onto this story for a slow spot. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Worked that one in there for you, 1a.

  34. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    1b is taken (as are 1a and 1c).but never for granted.

  35. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Yay, bon-bons! (Thanks, sec3.)

  36. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    awww, thanks.Section 3, My Sofa said… 1b is taken (as are 1a and 1c). but never for granted. March 27, 2012 10:13 AM

  37. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Bowa and gang have been squarely behind the Nats since early Februrary when they first put up their predictions and haven't waivered.So what happens if they waivered and, say, Jason Stark claims the prediction? Can they pull it back, or work out a trade? More importantly, can we do that in here? If someone wants to move predictions, or rants, from one post to another, have options, and once they get used up, you have to expose them to waivers, and anyone can claim them for the waiver price (a cola-flavored beverage, by convention). Once the option is used up, then if one wants to once again rant about Desmond or LannEn, they have to first clear waivers. That could work!

  38. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Will have to rely on Gameday (if it can keep up) and MarkZ's posts to follow the game.

  39. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Here's some of my random thoughts on the season and puh.. puh… pa… "playoffs".The Nats finished with 80 wins last year with a seriously deficient offense. To win 10 more games this year they will have to dominate the under .500 teams and sweep more series. For instance, the Nats were: 3-3 vs. the Orioles 4-4 vs. the Cubs 3-3 vs. the Astros10-8 vs. the Mets 4-4 vs. the Pirates 4-3 vs. the PadresThese are not dominating numbers. These are the series they have to pick up 1 to 2 additional wins in each series.The one thing Davey has to instill in this team is the "killer instinct" where they have to pour it on. This team needs more big innings with crooked numbers and blowout wins. Remember, Big leads keep your starters in games longer. The Nats only had 12 Blowout(5+ Runs)wins in 2011. Compare that to the St. Louis Cardinals who had 24 Blowout wins in 2011.

  40. Mark'd - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    SteveM @ 10:34, my takeaway is that if the Nats dominated the under .500 teams in 2011 they would have come close to the playoffs last year. They seem to get 'up' for the Phoolies and are often beaten by 'unheralded' starters on these under .500 teams.

  41. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    SteveM, thanks, and agreed. I remember last year the Nats went on a road trip (Astros and some other dinky teams) and they figured to whoop some a–, but they came back with a bunch of losses. That can't happen.Here is choice Davey (from Federal Baseball):• Davey Johnson on saying that Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa would form a "platoon" at first: "Well, part of it was to scare the heck out of Adam LaRoche. But a lot of it is, [Adam's] coming off a shoulder injury and Mark DeRosa is a guy that has had a wrist injury the last couple of years, but he's looked unbelievably good in camp. I had [DeRosa] in the World Baseball Classic, I know what kind of player he is…"

  42. Off-Topic Tom - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Great post Steve M. Thanks.Way off topic question: what exactly happened to Debbie Taylor? I know some on this board didn't like her, but my family and I liked her a lot.Did they officially fire her? Was there an announcement made online anyplace? Was there a statement from her of any kind?Thanks everyone,Nats and Debbie Taylor Fan

  43. Doc - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Thanks for the analysis Steve M.!Blowouts save the BP, and let you play another day. The Cards knew how to score runs. More functioning vets in their lineup. Maybe not so functioning with AP gone. Maybe the Nats, with Davey's support, can do something similar. He knows more about offense than his predecessor(s).

  44. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Tom, MASN just didn't extend Debbi's contract. There never seemed to be any official statement just the word kind of leaked out. From someone I know who has talked to her, she is taking the summer off to be a full-time Mom.Meanwhile, MASN still has Amber hanging on the Orioles dugout.I personally think MASN didn't do Debbi any favors. The same dumb questions were asked. If you are a quality "show", how's about the producer sees there is a problem and gets better content introduced. I just don't think it is all Debbi's fault, but it sure looked that way!

  45. Mick - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I'm not feeling good so far, I think my worst nightmare abut the Nats is unfolding, too many injuries in Spring Training gang, We will be the Twins of 2011 and the Senators of 1970. Both teams were over hyped and were a bust.

  46. jd - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    When we use last year's 80 wins as a measuring stick it might be useful to keep in mind that the Nats pounded the Phills and Mets when neither club cared about wins and loses any more. I don't think that the Nats were really a .500 club last year; not with Livo and Marquis and Lannan at the top of the rotation. I think that the revamped rotation and the return of SS coupled with a healthy RZ puts us at around 85 wins in 2012 with the caveat that Morse does not miss large chunks of playing time. I don't think the Nats lose that much with DeRosa vs. LaRoche except for the fact that it brings in someone like Chad Tracy who would otherwise not make the team. IMO an 85 win team can over achieve some and if we are close we can make a trade deadline deal to add a couple more wins. Additionally every team in our division has some serious issues so all in all I think there is room for cautious optimism.

  47. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Doc, exactly my point. I just would like to see some more blowouts to keep the bullpen fresh and maybe pull some position players early in the game. 1 run games do keep you on the edge of your seat and they sure earned the nickname the Kardiac Kids. Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard need some more 3 run leads when they enter the game.

  48. Doc - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Interesting comments on Debbi and MASN. She was part of the Nats' family, and then she wasn't.I always have looked at TV interviews and questions as driven by producers. Debbi was also always rushed, even before the shaving cream pies arrived.Sounds like she had greater professional opportunities with her career in Boston than with MASN.

  49. Feel Wood - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Based on the couple of Orioles ST broadcasts I've seen, it appears that MASN has eliminated the sideline reporter role on both the Orioles and Nationals sides. The difference is that Debbi Taylor had no other role at MASN so she was not renewed, whereas Amber Theoharis still works for the network in other capacities – pregame show, Mid Atlantic Sports Report, Orioles blogger, etc. This is yet another example of how MASN treats the Nationals as second class citizens. Is there anyone among the Nationals broadcasters who has any role with that network if a game is not being aired? My brother Phil is the only one I can think of. Every other person who covers the Nats for MASN is basically a mercenary, someone they bring in to fill an immediate need rather than to be a real part of the organization. Sort of like universities that hire adjunct professors to teach their classes on the cheap rather than hiring tenure-track professors. Is there any wonder that seven years after its creation MASN is still nothing more than Mister Angelos's Sports Network?

  50. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    jd, you are probably thinking realistically about 85 wins right now which is good and puts the Nats a few games from that Wild Card. If the Nats are buyers at the trade deadline to plug the weak spots, they can pick up some needed wins in August and September for the playoff push.My question marks are more around will the Nats leadoff get above a .330 OBP this year and will Gio Gonzalez prove to be a true #2 on this team.I think the Bryce Harper situation will be interesting. I fully expect when Harper gets red hot in a nice steak he will earn a call-up and be a nice infusion into this team.This team will need their X-factor to push the team in 2012. Could Mark DeRosa be this team's X-factor?

  51. FS - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    nice article on Acta at mlb.com

  52. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Talking about analyzing this season based on last years result comes to this as far as I am concerned. Last season no Ryan Zimmerman, Roche, or Werth. About 15 shutouts, and a squirrely manager who quit on them.About teams not caring about wins and loses anymore. That's like saying the sun didn't rise for a cloudy day.Prediction: lose in 6 games to the Yankees in the 2012 WS…

  53. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    NatsLady, I can't get enough of the Davey'isms. I often wonder if he rehearses his best quotes before the game.I hope to see Davey with at least 90 of those Davey'isms during the season because he only seems to say them when the Nats are winning. Watching his big toothy smile as he is holding back his laughter while giving a quote. That's a fun part of the post-game for me.

  54. jd - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Steve M. I agree with your points. If Desmond is not the answer at lead off we have a real problem and equally of concern is the fact that Espinosa is not guaranteed to have a good OBP either. Harper is the real difference maker because once he makes it up here he can be a 6 or 7 WAR player and this makes us a legitimate 90+ win team and that's without accounting for the Rendon value.

  55. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Cease the Opportunity said… Talking about analyzing this season based on last years result comes to this as far as I am concerned. Last season no Ryan Zimmerman, Roche, or Werth. About 15 shutouts, and a squirrely manager who quit on them.About teams not caring about wins and loses anymore. That's like saying the sun didn't rise for a cloudy day.Prediction: lose in 6 games to the Yankees in the 2012 WS… March 27, 2012 11:21 AMNice prediction. I will take it. Remember, the Cardinals were not in the playoff hunt until after they made some moves at the trade deadline.The positive mental attitude that Davey has with his players is much like LaRussa. Leaders that lead by example and will have each others back.Maybe Jayson Werth will be last years Lance Berkman!Uh, pass the Kool Aid or Kookaid, either is good!

  56. Doc - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Steve M., me three on Davey's comments. The s.o.b. has studied the game like few other managers. Shoot, I think that his masters in mathematics was dissertated on the batting order and OBP. He's also not afraid of expressing himself. The man flat out understands BB!!

  57. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    jd, glad you mentioned Mr. Anthony Rendon. This kid should mop up on A and AA pitching quickly. We only got to see him going through the equivalent of a few rehab games. Wait till NatsTown sees this kid really start playing.Purke is the other one. That kid without his injury could have been a Top 10 pick. He is that good. You don't want to rush him but he should dominate once they get his mechanics working perfectly.

  58. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    MLBTR reporting Nats are interested in Marlon Byrd. So are the Braves.

  59. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    About an hour from game time. I am sure Mark will be new posting here soon.Lombo back in LF. LaRoche playing/running on the Minor League side. Storen back to throwing today. Huge news if this happens, Michael Morse scheduled to throw tomorrow.

  60. A DC Wonk - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Harper is the real difference maker because once he makes it up here he can be a 6 or 7 WAR player and this makes us a legitimate 90+ win team and that's without accounting for the Rendon value.I think that's an exaggeration in three different ways:1. A 6-7 WAR is all-star material. I find it difficult that Harper would be on that high a level at age 192. WAR is cumulative. Even if you assume he's all star material, that means he's a 3-to-3.5 for half a season.3. A 3-3.5 WAR means he'll add three wins to the Nats. (Presuming the player he replaces is 0.0 WAR, which is not the case)I don't see how you get to 90+ wins by adding just three wins (unless you already think the Nats can get to 88+ wins without him).

  61. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Gorzelanny asked to be used like Slaten and Burnett not Miss Iowa. Davey plans to accommodate him. As reported.Gorzelanny won't be a long man but a jack of all trades and a better Slaten for starters. The only long men will beLannan and Derwiler when Wang gets back.

  62. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Looks like Desi, Espi and the bench are playing for Gio Gonzalez today.SS Ian Desmond2B Danny EspinosaCF Rick Ankiel3B Mark DeRosa1B Chad TracyC Jesus FloresRF Roger BernadinaLF Steve LombardozziP Gio Gonzalez

  63. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Actually, what MLBTR says is "The Cubs offered Byrd to the Nationals for pitching"; note it does not say the Nationals offered pitching for Byrd, or that they were interested in the Cubs' offer. They might be for all I know, but anyone can offer. I can offer my services as Marketing Vice-President (and hereby do, just in case), but that doesn't mean much in and of itself. The original article goes on to say the Cubs aren't shopping him hard, just offering.

  64. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Wonk/JD, since WAR is cumulative, a 3.5 for Harper would be a tremendous accomplishment.

  65. jd - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Wonk, I am talking about 2013.

  66. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Not sure, but I *think* there was something about projectiles and Pythagorean theory? Uh, gotta run, kaythxbai. :-)Shoot, I think that his masters in mathematics was dissertated on the batting order and OBP.

  67. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Good, 'cause I don't particular want to see him in a swimsuit competition.Anonymous said… Gorzelanny asked to be used like Slaten and Burnett not Miss Iowa. Davey plans to accommodate him. As reported. Gorzelanny won't be a long man but a jack of all trades and a better Slaten for starters. The only long men will be Lannan and Derwiler when Wang gets back. March 27, 2012 11:52 AM

  68. jd - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    If Morse is out for more than a couple of weeks I think I would rather see Nady than any of Michaels, Carrol or Tracy.

  69. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    WAR is a composite stat based mostly on defense and park neutral subcomponents I prefer the distinct and more precise bRAA which could be increased dramatically and could have an effect in the runs column. Thattypically leads to wins.However, I too do not believe it likely at this time.

  70. fast eddie - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Steve M.:I share your concern re: leadoff OBP, but I think your .330 is optimistic. (MLB average is .340) Last year our leadoff hitters had the worst career OBP of anyone leading off more than 20 times: Desi–.298 Bernie–.301Anyone expect improvement from those two?

  71. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Wonk, you have been on a mathematical roll since yesterday! Keep it up! Stats are formulated by mathematical equations!I agree with you and JD was probably giving us a full season's domination of young Bryce! I'm drinking Kool-Aid today with rose colored glasses so its all good!

  72. natsfan1a - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I can has "what is it good for" joke?(Oh, and I meant to type "theorem.")

  73. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    That's interesting on Gorzy. If he doesn't want to be a long man/spot starter (Miss Iowa), that means he's reconciled to not being stretched out as a starter; although his salary is high for a middle-reliever not named Clip or D-Rob, I like that he is adjusting to the bullpen for the forseeable future.

  74. FS - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Is it true that he has masters in Mathematics?

  75. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    fast eddie said… Steve M.:I share your concern re: leadoff OBP, but I think your .330 is optimistic. (MLB average is .340) Last year our leadoff hitters had the worst career OBP of anyone leading off more than 20 times: Desi–.298 Bernie–.301Anyone expect improvement from those two? March 27, 2012 12:01 PMI am well aware and the Nats offensive success will be greatly dependent on the leadoff. A .330 threshold isn't asking for greatness or even league average, its just asking for where Desi was much of the end of last season which was doable.

  76. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    fast eddie, Bernie can not lead-off. He's either a 2nd hitter or 7th or 8th guy in the order as I see it. Definitely can't go back to Bernadina leading off.

  77. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    FS, according to Wikipedia, Davey has a bachelors in math."He attended Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio,TX and the Johns Hopkins University in addition to Texas A&M, and graduated from Trinity University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. [1] He is known for taking a statistical approach to baseball."

  78. Steve M. - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Fast Eddie – Desmond was a .328 OBP in August and .331 OBP in September and almost all of his ABs in September were in leadoff.This is what we all have to hope for. Can he do it? Again, not asking for .340. Asking for .330

  79. FS - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    he could not have done masters. he was in majors at 22 and finished bachelors in '64. thanks for the link sec 3. I checked his wiki page first, but must have missed that about bachelors.

  80. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    OK, Math Persons, here's one for you. Is there an established correlation between OBP of the leadoff hitter, and team runs scored, over a season?

  81. NatinBeantown - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Fast Eddie (and Sec 3 and anyone else), Regarding the Bernadina swing adjustments and "staying inside the ball," I'd recommend the Sports Illustrated article on Pujols in last week's baseball preview issue. Extended discussion of swing mechanics and Pujol's legendary ability to stay inside balls on the inner half.

  82. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    NiBT, thank you! I'll go to the cages tomorrow!

  83. FS - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    sec 3, nice question. I would like to answer that but don't have time right now. later for sure, unless someone answers before me.

  84. fast eddie - Mar 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Section 3:Your comment re: OBP and runs scored made me curious. Here's what I found on sportsstatsanalysis.com: (using all games from 2004-09)Correlation to Runs Scored:BA: .697OBP: .827Slugging: .863OPS: .927My eyes glazed over as I got deeper into r-squared and multiple linear regression. (I'm late for my nap)

  85. FS - Mar 27, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    correct me if I am wrong fast eddie, but that correlation you have is runs against OBP of a team. that's to be expected.I ran two correlations: runs against game's leadoff hitter's OBP and runs against inning's leadoff hitter's OBP. First correlation was 0.207256 and second was .68006what I did was pulled team runs scored from baseball-reference and then from individual team's BF site, I pulled leadoff hitter's splits. Only concern would be that for each team, game's leadoff hitter's OBP comes from just 162 plate appearances, no matter which team you are looking at. But inning's leadoff hitter's OBP comes from about 1400 or more plate appearances.Is that what you had in mind sec 3?

  86. fast eddie - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    FS and Section 3:It doesn't seem plausible that the leadoff OBP would correlate to runs scored at .207 and inning leadoff would be .680. I don't have a PhD in math, but can you explain why the spread is so large?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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