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VIDEO: Previewing Nats-Giants

Aug 13, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

Mark joined Geico SportsNet Central last night to discuss this week’s Nationals-Giants series, which features a match-up of elite pitching staffs. Could it also be a preview of an October series?

  1. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Mark – I know that the Stras shutdown mania is driving us crazy. Are the out of town media people just hounding you about it? There are just so many good things to talk about regarding the Nats, I think it's a shame they all seem to have a one track mind.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    I think the Strasburg talk is good as they got everyone talking about the Nats and the competition won't know what Rizzo is going to do until he does it.I do think skipping a start or 2 would be good for Stras and there are some days to insert Lannan to push Stras and the other starters back.The biggest series will be the head-to-head matchups with the Braves. They are a very LH team. I wouldn't pitch EJax against the Braves if it can be set up that way.

  3. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    The Strasburg talk is giving me a bunker mentality, but from another aspect it's good in that it keeps the focus off Bryce Harper and the other young 'uns. Just keep playing the games.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    This is how I would align the rest of the season and hope for no rainouts. Stras innings counter as projectedSFG Gio SFG Jzim SFG Stras 139.33NYM Ejax NYM Det NYM Gio ATL Jzim ATL Stras 145.33ATL Ejax PHI Det PHI Gio PHI Jzim MIA Stras 150.33MIA Ejax STL Det STL Gio STL Jzim STL Stras 156.33CHC Ejax CHC Det CHC Gio CHC Jzim MIA LANN Skip StartMIA Ejax MIA Det NYM Gio NYM Jzim NYM LANN Realign StartersATL Stras 162.33ATL Det ATL Gio LAD Jzim LAD Ejax LAD Stras 167.33MIL Det MIL Gio MIL Jzim MIL LANN Skip startPHI Ejax PHI Det PHI Gio STL Jzim STL Stras 172.33STL Ejax PHI Det PHI Gio PHI LANN Skip JZim

  5. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Mark, does this mean you are in San Fran? I HOPE SO!!!!

  6. Section 222 - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Apologies if someone already posted it (I did a quick scan of the previous thread and didn't see the link), but here's Jayson Stark's rational and pretty comprehensive take on the Strasburg debate. I've completely drunk the Rizzo Kool-Aid on this, but it's good to know that there are some alternatives coming from reasonable people. I agree with Ghost that the debate has an up side for the team. We've debated and thought about the issue all year, and ad nauseum. But most of the baseball world is just waking up to the sensational story which is Washington Nationals. I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more discussion of the Strasburg Shutdown in the national media from now until it happens. I sure hope it isn't too much of a distraction and annoyance for Strasburg. Here's a kind of scary related question that I thought of when I read about what happened to Hersheiser and Carpenter after being the iron man ace in their teams' World Series runs: JZnn has pitched 145.1 innings so far. If he pitches every fifth game from here on out, he'd have 10 more starts. That includes the last game of the season, and I truly hope it's possible to rest him that day in order to line him up to start our first playoff game. So at 6 innings per start that puts him at 205 after the last game of the season or the first playoff game. Do folks think that Rizzo is ok with him going another 25-40 innings on top of that in the playoffs? I assume they work Gio and E-Jax that hard. But do they need to limit JZnn at all?

  7. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    This is how I would align the rest of the season and hope for no rainouts.10-11 days between starts does not usually translate to a good next outing for a pitcher. You have that twice for Stras and twice for Lannan in your schedule. That's four potential bad starts. Those games count just as much as any other ones. Having Strasburg pitch on schedule every fifth day until he's shut down and then having Lannan pitch every fifth day in his spot through the rest of the season is likely to make those four starts much better ones than in your schedule.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Section222, they are limiting JZim to 6 innings per start lately. The last series of the regular season sets up for a way to rest JZim an extra day or 2 going into the playoffs.

  9. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    But do they need to limit JZnn at all?Davey has already been limiting him, taking him out after six in games where he could clearly have gone longer. That will surely continue up to and maybe even into the playoffs.

  10. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    I remember an interview with JZimmermann where he mentioned that he's really close to Stras–they live in the same apartment building–and he had discussed it with him. Of course, it's not the identical situation, given the standings. But if anyone can keep Stras calm, it has to be JZ.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    pRAA, It just worked great for Sale and the Yankees are skipping 2 starts for Sabathia and using the DL to do that. You are right, some pitchers don't react well to skipping starts.The great thing about expanded rosters in September is you don't have to use the DL and Davey will have extra arms.

  12. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Me, too. Oh, and a belated happy birthday to Mark (after having noticed felicitations in the game thread).MicheleS said… Mark, does this mean you are in San Fran? I HOPE SO!!!! August 13, 2012 3:29 PM

  13. Section 222 - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    That's a very interesting proposal, Ghost. Two things — Does Davey consider trying to re-reverse JZnn and Gio at some point to break up the lefties (i.e., Gio and Det) and righties (JZnn, Stras, E-Jax), or does Lannan's eventual return make that less necessary? Going R-L-R-L has advantages for lining up the long men in the bullpen. I sure hope you weren't one of the folks earlier in the season who insisted that limiting Stras to 5 innings per start or skipping a start here or there would ruin his development. Because I think your proposal is worth considering.On JZnn, I realize they have been limiting him to 6 innings per start, and my calculations continue to do that. That still has him jumping from 161.1 to over 230 innings if we go deep into the playoffs. Are you concerned about that? Or more importantly, do you think Rizzo is concerned about that? JZnn is nearly as central to the team's future success as Strasburg, right? By comparison, Detwiler pitched a total of 153 innings in the minors and majors last year. He's pitched 116 innings so far, another 9 starts at 6 innings per puts him at 170 before the playoffs. But he doesn't seem likely to get more than 2 more starts in the playoffs and some relief work, so that's not nearly as big a jump.

  14. UnkyD - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Jordan is 26 years old. The innings limit/20% increase is as much about under 25 year old physiques as about recovery time. As long as he feels good ang throws string, I recon they'll send him out for 6-7 innings, every 5th-5th day, in til were done…

  15. UnkyD - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    As long as he feels good ang throws string, I recon they'll send him out for 6-7 innings, every 5th-5th day, in til were done…———–Sorry, pretty tired….. Feels good and throws strong, I reckon……(sheesh!)

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    The Nats also have off-days scheduled for this Thursday, August 23, Aug 27, Sept 13th and Sept 17th.There will be days naturally in the schedule giving Stras and JZim extra days of rest.

  17. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    You are right, some pitchers don't react well to skipping starts.Lannan is one who doesn't. Look at how badly he pitched in SYR when they made him wait over a week after his start in the ATL DH to pitch again so he'd be lined up for the MIA DH. Your plan has two 10 day layoffs for Lannan built in, when there's no minors for him to pitch in between to stay fresh. Those would not be good starts for him. Also, while it makes sense to give JZim some rest here and there to keep him fresh for the playoffs, I don't see the point of resting Stras between starts just to delay his eventual shutdown by a week or two. He's still pitching the same number of innings and games either way, and as I already said they all count the same. You're not getting anything extra from him by skipping starts.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Section222, agreed, the 2 lefties together isn't optimal. It would be nice using an off-day to flip Gio and JZim back again.Det seems to benefit most with 1 extra day of rest.

  19. JD - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Ghost, I wondered myself all year why they didn't maneuver Stra's starts in a way to leave him some innings at the end especially during the summer heat wave when he was struggling anyway. From what Rizzo has been saying it's clear that he is not interested in any tricks and maneuvers in this area; he thinks it's best to keep it normal until you run out of innings and then shut it down (I think it'l be closer to 160 than 180). You have to at least admire Rizzo's consistency and firmness in this area and his unwillingness to step away from his plan given the noise coming from every corner.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    pRAA, they may permanently add Lannan once he arrives to pitch every 5 to 6 days but I agree with you it would be nice to keep Lannan in the Atlanta series and not in the Phillies series if Davey/Rizzo can be creative enough.

  21. JD - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Unkyd, I think in JZim's case it's more about the post TJ as well.

  22. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I am not in favor of any scheme that jerks around all of the other pitchers on the staff. How is that fair to them or good for the team? For goodness sake, even though people call him jesus, he is obviously not the savior of the team. He is one of 25 – or in this case more if you count Lannan. I am also not in favor of anything that takes SS out of his routines. We have seen that he does not react well to any kind of change at all. By the way, I also would like to see the lefties and righties split up the way they used to be. Worried about Jordan? – a little, but he seems to be getting stronger and stronger and seems to always have gas left in the tank. Most of his innings have not been stressful ones as there is usually not many people on base the entire game :)

  23. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    If they bring Lannan up on Sept 1 when rosters expand and go with a six man rotation for the week or two until Stras gets shut down, that would push a couple of JZimm/Det starts off the end of the regular season table without really upsetting any pitcher's routine.

  24. NCNatsie - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    If it's going to be close to 160, I don't see any way you can finagle (sp?)the rotation to give SS an opportunity in the playoffs. But at 180, it seems to me the adjustments would amount to little more than the normal inconsistencies brought about by off days, rainouts, etc. My feeling all along has been that IF we make the playoffs, and IF he is still pitching strong, then the psychological damage of sitting out while his teammates experience the thrill of victory, or not being able to help if they suffer the agony of defeat, represents a non-zero problem for a) his future development, and b) his attitude toward the organization.Therefore I hope he has at least one chance to pitch in the post-season, if any, not so much for us or the team, but for him.

  25. Gonat - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    The Sports Reporters segment on 980AM at 4:30 started the whole segment with a group discussion on Strasburg. No new ideas although 6 man rotation and skipping starts were on the table.

  26. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    So.. anyone have a comment on this?William Ladson‏@washingnats#Nats RHP Stephen Starsburg is expected to miss two to three regular season starts. #MLB

  27. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Gonat.. Johah Keri at ESPN has us at #1 as well.http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8263948/the-nationals-their-balanced-attack-continue-tear-league

  28. Gonat - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/power_rankings/results.jspNATS are #1 in the Experts Rankings and Fan Rankings.This is truly unbelievable. All the press from the 8 game winning streak, Bernadina's Web Gem, and the Strasburg shutdown is getting all the media talking!

  29. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    MicheleS said… So.. anyone have a comment on this? William Ladson‏@washingnats #Nats RHP Stephen Starsburg is expected to miss two to three regular season starts. #MLBWell, duuuuuuh. That's what happens when you get shut down. You miss a few starts.

  30. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    pRAA.. maybe I interpreted it differently. but from Ladson's blog there is a lot of ambiguity."The same source went so far as to say Strasburg will not pitch in the postseason once he is shut down. Strasburg, who is expected to pitch against the Giants on Wednesday, is the ace of the Nationals’ pitching staff, going 13-5 with a 2.90 ERA and is tied for National League lead in strikeouts with 166. He also has a 2.12 ERA during day games, which is third in the National League. He already has pitched 133 1/3 innings. If Strasburg doesn’t pitch in the postseason, the Nationals could go with four starters in a short series. That fifth starter could work out of the bullpen."

  31. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Gonat - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    One thing we all know in the past with Ladson is they give him a lot of false information but this time maybe they are wanting to give him a scoop since he is getting over his recent medical condition.

  33. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    and yea.. I know it's Ladson, but still find it it that he is putting this out there. "If Strasburg doesn't pitch in the postseason". I always thought it was Stras is NOT pitching in the Postseason no matter what.

  34. Gonat - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Ladson being discussed on MLB Network nowhttp://therocket.mlblogs.com/I just read it and this is interesting but also contradicts what he wrote earlier. "If Strasburg doesn’t pitch in the postseason, the Nationals could go with four starters in a short series. That fifth starter could work out of the bullpen."

  35. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Wow, Billy Ripken is drinking the Koolaid.. and even saying that he likes our rotation EVEN when Stras get's shut down

  36. JamesFan - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Tired of the whole Stras shutdown discussion and am herewith tuning it out. I would have thought there was a creative way to extend him into the post-season without upsetting the whole rotation. Maybe not. I do believe in limiting him to about 160 innings regardless of the outcome. Rizzo is a smart guy, if he says there is no practical way to do it, I'll accept that.

  37. Gonat - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    The producers at MLB Network probably told Billy boy to get on it as he just looked stupid the entire season dissing the Nats. It took him 90 games to jump on the bandwagon and now he's all over it as if he was saying it all along.

  38. Section 222 - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    prAA makes a really good point. It's not messing with a pitcher's routine to give him an extra day's rest. That happens all the time because of an off day, and is usually welcome. So if Lannan is going to be our backup starter in the playoffs, if needed because of an injury or other unexpected development, it might make sense to go with a six man rotation once he comes up until Stras is shut down. That gives JZnn more rest, and fewer starts, it delays Stras's shutdown until mid-September (for what that's worth), and it gets Lannan into a routine for the final weeks. I suppose a downside is one fewer start for Gio and E-Jax, but they could probably use a little more rest at this stage of the season too. I took the liberty of playing with Ghost's rotation proposal — adding in the off days, the start of the playoffs, and a few key dates and working Lannan into the rotation between Stras and E-Jax initially. I also used the off day we have after the Giants series to re-switch JZnn and Gio, moving JZnn back to the front of the rotation. This schedule lines up Gio and Stras to pitch against the Braves (good thing to have a leftie face them if we can, right?), and Gio, Stras (if Rizzo is willing to take him to 169 1/3 innings) and Lannan for the September Braves series. It lines up JZnn to pitch the wild card game on Oct. 5 with 4 days rest, or the first playoff game on Oct. 6 with an extra day. He could be followed by Gio, with E-Jax ready to slot into in the third NLDS game (or the second if we have to play a Wild Card game) on regular rest. Feel free to pass this on to Davey. Hi Davey! :-)SFG Gio SFG Jzim SFG Stras 139.33Off DayNYM Ejax NYM Det NYM Jzim ATL Gio ATL Stras 145.33ATL Ejax Off DayPHI Det PHI JZim PHI Gio Off DayMIA Stras 151.33MIA Ejax STL Det STL JZim 9/1 STL Gio STL Stras 157.33CHC LannanCHC E-Jax CHC Det CHC Jzim MIA GioMIA Stras 163.33MIA Lannan NYM EJax NYM Det NYM JZnnOff DayATL Gio9/14 ATL Stras 169.33 ATL Lannan Off Day LAD EjaxLAD Det LAD JZnnMIL GioMIL Lannan MIL E-JaxMIL Det PHI JZnnPHI GioPHI LannanSTL E-Jax STL Det STL JZnn 10/1 PHI GioPHI Lannan PHI E-Jax Off Day10/5 Wild Card Day10/6 NLDS Game 1

  39. Section 222 - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Ladson seems to be just stating the obvious. Whether Strasburg pitches or not, we're going with a 4 man rotation. With the off days, you don't need a 5th starter. And yes, if Strasburg is shut down, he won't pitch in the post season. Duh.

  40. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    222 just commenting on the "IF" portion of Ladson posts. I would have thought the "IF" should be eliminated from the conversation period. By putting the "IF" that gives the talking heads something to feast on.

  41. peric - Aug 14, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Sorry Ghost but if I were you I'd reserve at least a couple of starts for a guy who looks like another Rizzo diamond in the rough discovery like Michael Morse and that is Ryan Perry. There's another power pitcher starter for you from out of nowhere. And he's young and hasn't started games as a pro until recently so his innings count is low … just what the doctor ordered in these Strasgate times. Bad enough that the Lerners are now skittish about International talent thanks to Smileygate. Now we get strasgate?The BIG news, perhaps, isn't double TJ surgery recovery 27.11 year old prospect Christian Garcia converting from starting to relief. What might be more important was allowing 25.5 year old Ryan Perry to convert from relief to starting. He's still mastering it but so far so good.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 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

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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