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Nats who’s hot/who’s not-5/29

May 29, 2013, 4:17 PM EST

Photo by USA Today

By Michael Huberman

Record: 4-3
Runs per game: 4.1
Opponent runs per game: 3.1
Batting average: .272
Batting average against: .232
Team ERA: 3.08


Stephen Strasburg, SP – 1-0/1.13 ERA/8 IP/5 H/9 SO
Hot/Not looks at performances over seven days, but sometimes it’s worth looking at things in the larger picture. After losing April 24 against the Cardinals, Stephen Strasburg was 1-4 with a 3.16 ERA. But with his dominant outing Sunday against the Phillies, Strasburg is now 3-5 with a 2.49 ERA and he’s given up just three runs in his last 28 innings.

Jordan Zimmermann, SP – 1-0/2.57 ERA/7 IP/6 H/1 SO
Zimmermann earned his eighth win of the year Friday against the Phillies, putting him atop the leaderboard with Arizona’s Patrick Corbin and Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore for the league lead in wins. Zimmermann has now thrown 26 2/3 innings without giving up a walk, and has six consecutive quality starts.

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  1. Nats 128 - May 29, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    on the Not Hot with Gio. I think if his curveball is working he will do well and if its not working it will be a long night with high pitch count and lots of walks. Kind of like what we saw in the playoffs.

  2. A DC Wonk - May 29, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    FWIW, baseball-reference has Morse's WAR as -0.5; and a +0.7 for LaRoche.

  3. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I'm starting to worry about Gio. His K rate is down a full strikeout a game even though strikeouts league-wide are trending up. He's getting fewer ground balls, and his control issues have returned. His BABIP is .254, so he's actually been pretty lucky on balls in play. If the Nats have any chance of catching the Braves, they need him to pitch like 2012 Gio, not 2010 Gio.

  4. Nats 128 - May 29, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    bowdenball I was worried about Gio in the playoffs. Gio just isnt good in stressful situations.

  5. Nats 128 - May 29, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Chris Young to the AAA disabled list.

  6. CN - May 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    In his first start this yr, Purke goes 4 innings on 62 pitches, allowing 7 hits on 2 runs (both runs in the 1st inning), striking out 6 for Hagerstown…

  7. JD - May 29, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    bowdenball, I think we need to come out of these next 5 games no worse than 5.5 games out and It'l be a challenge. I would be pleasantly surprised if Toronto wins 1 of 2 in Atlanta and I would take 1 of 2 in Baltimore in a heart beat. I don't feel that Atlanta is invincible; I don't love their rotation and I think we can take off a bit once we get our regulars back but we can't let them increase the spread too much.

  8. JD - May 29, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    CN, Really good news to see Purke on the mound again and actually pitching effectively for the 1st time out.

  9. CN - May 29, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. CN - May 29, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    The encouraging part of Purke's start was after getting roughed up in the first inning, where he allowed a few hard hit balls, including a HR blast, he struck out the side in the second. He was able to scatter hits allowed in the 3rd & 4th innings to come out unscathed. At that point, it was the Suns were up 8-2. I listened to the game via the Asheville Tourists audio. They apparently have a hitter's park, so there is another plus about Purke's start.

  11. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    JD, I would take 1 of 2 from Baltimore and 1 of 3 in Atlanta. That would leave us no worse than 6.5 out, hopefully 5.5 or better. of the ten playoff teams last year, Atlanta, Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis and San Francisco were all 3 games over .500 or worse on June 2. I think with our schedule over the last half of the season we could be in that group in 2013. I don't know about the division, but I did notice that Atlanta has only been a .500 team since April 16.

  12. JD - May 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    CN, At the end of the day this level is too low for Purke and he should move up quickly if he's healthy. I expect both him and Sammy Solis to end the year at Harriburg.

  13. CN - May 29, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    JD, agreed that Purke is the elder statesman in low-A. However, this is only his 4th professional game, so it's not as if he's developing slowly, just had that pesky shoulder injury.I don't know if Purke can elevate to Harrisburg by season's end, but it would be great if he was.

  14. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    bowdenball, I agree 100% about sitting just above .500 and 5.5 – 6.5 back being a reasonable position. Someone — I think Boz — recently said that the 105 games after our series in Atlanta is far easier than everything up through that series.If that's true, than a few games above .500 actually isn't too bad. Especially since we've been playing hobbled almost since day 1.

  15. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Nice thanks…I actually missed that article…I think I just saw some comment he made in his recent chat.

  16. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    I don't agree with the Gio in the Not-Hot, at least if you are talking about May. Gio's been "average" on the rotation. Here is our rotation in May. 1 JZ, 2 SS, 3 GG, 4 DH 5 RDNats Rotation in May,7448,4505,1757,2859

  17. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    I believe Hot/Not-Hot covers only the last week (with Stras being the acknowledged exception this week).

  18. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Morse day-to-day with a strained quad.Morse suffered the injury while rounding third base during the fourth inning. He was thrown out at the plate and was clearly grimacing as he finished his unsuccessful journey home.Morse is day-to-day, and is unlikely to join the Mariners in San Diego,Morse

  19. JD - May 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    NatsLady, I think it's a weekly analysis but all in all I have to agree with Bowdenball that Gio is worrisome.Specifically because the K's are down the HR's are up and the control is really spotty. Gio has pitched some really nice games and he does have some bulldog in him where he refuses to melt down when things are tough such as the nice recovery in Pittsburgh but he's not pitching consistently as well as he did last year.

  20. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Eric, OK. so he had one very good start (SFG) and one below average start in the last 7 days, and that's enough for him to be NOT-HOT? I need some criteria here. That's some harsh grading.

  21. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    NatsLady said…"I don't agree with the Gio in the Not-Hot, at least if you are talking about May. Gio's been "average" on the rotation.Here is our rotation in May. 1 JZ, 2 SS, 3 GG, 4 DH 5 RD"I doubt he defines these by month since a new one is posted every week. But even so, Gio doesn't look very good over the month. His xFIP is fourth among starters, and his K/BB ratio is a hair under 2.0. That definitely qualifies as "not hot" for any #2 starter, let alone a guy who finished third in the Cy Young race last season.

  22. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Pittsburgh is one reason why I'm not overly worried…I think he'll get there.

  23. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Gio was amazingly consistent last year, with only three below average games (if you use game-score). It would be great if he could do that again, agree. He's had four below average games this spring. I think that with the warm weather he will get in his groove. (BTW, is he in the clear, do you think, on the Biogenesis thing? Haven't heard many rumblings recently after all that noise in Spring Training).

  24. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    NatsLady, it looks like the Giant's start isn't included?"Gio Gonzalez, SP – 0-1/6.35 ERA/5.2 IP"Kind of odd since you'd have to count today to exclude that start…so, I'm with ya 😉.

  25. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Eric–sorry, I missed something. Pittsburgh?

  26. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    The Biogenesis thing does nag at me given his rocky start…and the inconsistencies between his statements and the evidence.Not sure about the status of the inquiry…

  27. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Eric, I just use Fangraphs, which has a "last 7 days" feature, along with a "last 14 days" "last 30 days" and month by month, etc. Last 7 days is not the best because some starters have 2 games and some only 1.

  28. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    >Eric–sorry, I missed something. Pittsburgh?JD referenced his recovery in the first inning in Pittsburgh. That recovery is a big part of why I think he'll be OK overall this season.

  29. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    He wasn't even that good in San Francisco. The result was good, but he got very lucky on balls in play and with his strand rate. He only had five strikeouts, and two of them were the opposing pitcher.

  30. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    BTW, I went back and looked at the best deburs. Juan Marichal had the best debut since 1916. Those guys pitched 300 innings some years. Marichal had a sixteen year career (though tailed off at the end). Really different philosophy nowadays.

  31. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Sorry, debut.. On fangraphs you can do that. Interesting to see who had a great debut and then was never heard of again. Strasburg's is like No. 5 overall (depending on the criteria you select). It was pretty good.

  32. Theophilus T. S. - May 29, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    When he starts putting baserunners on, Gio's head spins like Chuckie's. I think the "pink cream" was probably adderall in a gel.

  33. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    "I think the "pink cream" was probably adderall in a gel."If a) he was involved in something shady and b) it involves some form of speed and nothing else, that might explain why this hasn't utterly blown up in his face.

  34. NatsLady - May 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Bottom line is, I think one week is too small a sample size for the starters–even though I do it myself every week 😉. It's probably ok for the hitters and relievers, especially the regulars, because even a week-long slump has impact on the team.

  35. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    I agree that a week isn't really a fair measure of a starter. I think it's safe to say, though, that Gio has not been hot compared with what we know he can do…whether he should be on a "not-hot" list, though, is definitely debatable.

  36. sjm308 - May 29, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    If nothing else, it gives us a chance to talk more baseball. Can't argue with that. Lineups should be coming up soon!!Go Nats!

  37. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said…"When he starts putting baserunners on, Gio's head spins like Chuckie's. I think the "pink cream" was probably adderall in a gel."Gio' strand rate is within 2% of what it was last year- for all intents and purposes it's the same. His current 72% better than Strasburg's and Haren's this season, and is acceptable for a major league starter. He does give up more walks, but also gives up fewer extra base hits, which is exactly what you'd expect a pitcher to do when they're being extra-careful with men on base. Basically there is NO indication that he struggles with men on base either this season or generally.Is it really that hard to take 30 seconds to look up statistics to see if they back your claim?

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 29, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    I think the league has adjusted to Gio and Det as you saw in the Atlanta series and sat on their fastballs. Both pitchers have to adjust back with more off-speed. This game is about executing and making adjustments.

  39. Just wonderin' - May 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    How come "the league" adjusts to our pitchers, but our hitters can't seem to adjust to the league's pitchers? Last night excepted, of course.

  40. SonnyG10 - May 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Ghost, good point on the league adjustments.

  41. JD - May 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Bowdenball, 'Is it really that hard to take 30 seconds to look up statistics to see if they back your claim?' Well the danger in that is that the numbers will refute your claim. No fun in that; right?

  42. JD - May 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Ghost, Gio was not a rookie last year and he doesn't really have any trick pitches. Of course there are always adjustments and readjustments but I don't think that this is Gio's story this year. I think he's just not pitching as well. I don't know if it has anything to do with the Bio-genesis stuff or the WBC or whatever I just see that the results aren't as good.

  43. natsfan1a - May 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    I took the Gio adjustments point to refer to his switching from AL to NL, but maybe I missed something.

  44. NCNatsie - May 29, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I can't believe we're rehashing the biogenesis thing with Gio. His selection for the Baseball Classic completely put that to rest. He has been cleared and it's over.So what's the problem with his pitching this year. Remember, it started in the playoffs last year. I attributed that to cold weather. I simply think the Miami boy doesn't pitch as well when the mercury drops — and this year has been the coldest spring in recent memory. My prediction. He'll get better by mid-June, do well for the rest of the reg season. But if we make the playoffs, watch out.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 29, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Sonny, thanks! I agree with NCNatsie on the Biogenesis rehash. Turn that page people.

  46. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    The BioGenesis investigation is not over, NCNatsie."The lawsuit also seeks documents that MLB thinks can help it build cases against players who may have been supplied performance-enhancing drugs by the clinic."It's not being rehashed, the first round is still playing out. Gio passed a drug test, which is probably why he was invited to the WBC.

  47. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    PS – that story is from last week. If MLB gets those documents Gio very well may have to deal with this all over again…unless all references to Gio and/or "his dad" have already surfaced.

  49. EmDash - May 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    I tend to wonder if Gio's has some slight nagging injury that's not bad enough for the DL (especially given our other starter options) but that's throwing him off. He's not been bad in May (his ERA before the last start against Baltimore was under 2 for May and is still only 2.48 for the month), he's just been inconsistent and occasionally loses control. It's possible that's physical.(I tend to think the same with Haren – his back does not seem right, from watching him try to field, and that's probably leading to inconsistency. And Detwiler – who, we now know, was dealing with back tightness as well. But I suspect they're DLing Det rather than Haren because they have one for several more years and want to protect their resource and really only have to consider the short-term for the other.)It's also possible that's Gio's just regressed a bit this year, but will still be a very good pitcher. Just not quite finalist-for-a-Cy-Young good. It's the rare pitcher that can do that consistently every year; not everyone can be Kershaw.

  50. Theophilus T. S. - May 29, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Bowden, et al — I made no claim about statistics. I made a statement about his body language. If your statistics were worth a damn he wouldn't be 3-3 with a near-4 ERA. Something is pushing those runs across the plate and it ain't no XLS file.

  51. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    "I tend to think the same with Haren – his back does not seem right, from watching him try to field"Not to mention run! 😉





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