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Rookie becoming invaluable to Nats lineup

Jun 27, 2013, 4:16 AM EDT

Associated Press

Anthony Rendon has had the uncanny ability to hit a baseball where they ain’t since the moment he first picked up a bat as a child in Houston. So why would the fact he’s now trying to perform that same task in a slightly larger venue faze the Nationals rookie one iota?

“The game hasn’t changed since I was a little kid,” Rendon said. “The strike zone, the plate’s the same size. The bases probably got a little longer, but that’s pretty much it.”

Calm, cool and collected, Rendon couldn’t appear to be any more comfortable than he is these days in the big leagues. Since he returned from the minors three weeks ago, he’s done nothing but notch hits. And more hits. And even more hits.

He was back at it again Wednesday night, recording hits in each of his first three at-bats and then nearly homering in his final plate appearance, pacing the Nationals’ lineup during a 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.
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  1. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    "Throw strikes. Home plate don't move."–Satchel PaigeI'm really liking this new kid.

  2. Drew - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    Let me get this straight: Rendon has a .354 batting average and a .400 on base percentage.He is the on base machine that would turn all of those solo Harper homers (remember?) into crooked numbers.Harper would protect Rendon, which means the kid would feast on more fastballs.Yet Davey prefers to hit Werth second. What the heck?

  3. SonnyG10 - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:49 AM

    Nice things Zimmerman is saying about Rendon. Ryan is probably happy that Rendon is at second base instead of trying to push him out of 3rd. :)

  4. SonnyG10 - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    I think Davey would be quite foolish to put Werth in the 2 hole in place of Rendon. I want to see Rendon and Harper hitting back-to-back. Jayson would do well batting later in the order. We need some pop in the lower half of the batting order as well. Need to always be able to keep the line moving.

  5. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    Rendon should bat second. Is Davey blind? The kid is perfect in the 2-hole ahead of Harper and Zim. If Span can't get on, ahead of the big bats, Rendon can.I always thought the kid would win a batting title, just not in his first year. It could happen, if he gets the requisite number of ABs to qualify. Thanks to Davey and Rizzo, he may not.Kaline did it, and Anthony is a fundamentally better hitter than Al was.

  6. NCNatsie - Jun 27, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Two Nats Haiku, by NCNatsie1. The LineupLet's goTwo in a row.Rendon and Harper hit back to back daily.2. The Post-season honorsLet's goTwo in a row.Rendon will be voted Rookie of the Year!

  7. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2013 at 6:39 AM

    Rendon is very, very good.Some people like Mick, have mentioned this:Here is a link for the 1971 Washington Senators' final home gome. It isn't unknown, but it isn't easy to find because these sites come and go: They don't make it easy to download the stream here but that is never hard to do if you really want it. There are other sites that allow this to be downloaded and I have it on MP3, but streaming is often easier these days. There are even commercials for Fleiscmann's Jewelers. I always thought they made margarineMaybe 13,000 attended:http://www.myoldradio.com/old-radio-episodes/baseball-washington-senators-s-last-game-1/8

  8. baseballswami - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Wow- catching up on overnight posts that got more than a bit strange. I would like to address the eternal" how loud was it" issue. People like to judge the crowd or the quality of fandom by their own unwritten rules. When Sori is doing what he did the last two nights, I can barely breathe, let alone yell. I am on the edge of my seat, not standing, because my knees are shaking. I am probably not yelling because I am praying. Believe me, I am just as much into every pitch as anyone else. Sometimes I actually want to hide under my seat . We need to stop being so preachy about how a true fan acts at the game. You buy your ticket , sit in your seat, watch quietly, keep score, yell, sleep, whatever is your style. Baseball fans can be a little smug.

  9. MicheleS - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    I love this kid. I think I can be okay with the defense at 2B as long as he hits.. I am sure he will improve in that area as well.

  10. Muddy - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I love how the Nats we able to draft Anthony with the 6th pick. All spring that year he was supposed to be going #1 in the draft. Then I guess questions about his health and/or lust for pitchers moved dropped him to #6. As was said at the time, that was like the Nats having the #1 pick for the third straight year! Nice.

  11. mick - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler from last night's bloglove your posts…very good! interesting stuff on Virginia (disturbing) which I knew about. loved your Moonlight Graham info

  12. mick - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    remember, Rendon was projected overall number one pick untl his inury…thank God teams passed him up and Rizzo took a shot on him

  13. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    man I miss danny's defense but rendon's bat is so much better than danny's.I feel sorry for danny. I really hope he works out his hitting and he can be a very good MI.

  14. mick - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    William O. Douglas Loefflerthanks for the Senators last game link

  15. sjm308 - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Why is there not thought of leading Rendon off and hitting Harper second? Harper thrived hitting 2nd last year behind Werth and Rendon looks to be able to get on base at an even better clip. Span thrills me with his play in the outfield but his baseruning and poor obp lead me to think he would be better in the 8th spot.RendonHarperZimmLarocheDesmondWerthRamos/SuzukiSpanPitcherOne more obvious positive about Rendon. He turned a nice double play last night (with a perfect throw from Zimm by the way). He also made two other plays on ground balls that were not that easy and he had no problem with two high popups and even called LaRoche off. He is grasping the position like a pro and like MicheleS, I think he will get better every day. What a treat to have kids like this in our system.Go Nats!!

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Sjm, disagree about Span. yes, span is struggling a bit this year but he is your leadoff hitter. that's the only purpose he serves in that lineup.

  17. UnkyD - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    The Kid obviously has the tools, defensively… Repitition will leave him as good as anyone out there. At the plate…watching him wait on the ball, and whip the fat part of the bat around, so clean and precise, reminds me of Molitor…

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    sjm308 said… Why is there not thought of leading Rendon off and hitting Harper second? I think they will consider it against LHPs. The problem with tinkering too much with him is that some batters get out of sync batting leadoff and ruin themselves.

  19. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    "Why is there not thought of leading Rendon off and hitting Harper second?"I don't know, but there could be several reasons:Rendon is not a base stealer, and Span is, or is supposed to be;Rendon is the best contact hitter the Nats have (can protect Nats from strike-out throw-out DP);Rendon goes to RF better than anyone else on the team (hit and run);Harper will sometimes come up with 2 on, nobody out, instead of 2 out, nobody on;I'd prefer that Rendon continue to hit 2nd. He fits there better than anywhere else in the lineup, given his skill set and the needs of the team.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    mick said… remember, Rendon was projected overall number one pick untl his inury…thank God teams passed him up and Rizzo took a shot on himYou better believe it. He was still my #1 in the Draft if the 'injury' was deemed non-structural.I've said every bit along the way that he was the best batter in the entire Minors and it went beyond his MiLB stats. Guys like Harp and Rendon sometimes get better pitches at the MLB level since they can't get the pitch around.

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Laddie, good analysis. Desi is hoping Rendon bats 7 ;)

  22. natsfan1a - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Busy day here but just took a quick look at comments in previous thread. sjm, I'd like to meet you at some point but it doesn't look like our game dates are in sync, except for maybe the fan appreciation game in September. That said, I don't know the "routines" of others, but I tend to head to my seat at least 20 minutes before first pitch, even when I'm sitting on the same side of the ballpark as sec 312, other times I'm sitting clear on the other side of the ballpark. As always, your (collective) mileage may vary. Now to catch up with some work before I host a couple of my non-virtual friends for lunch.sjm308 said… One last post before heading off to bed. I walk by the picnic tables up around 313 and 312 each game I atend. I usually get to my seats about 10/15 min. before game time as I have either spent time at Justin's or the Scoreboard Bar. If there are NI people present, I really would like to stop and say hi but I am not going to just blurt something out. I guess it sounds silly but a small sign or something would help. I know 222 and have also met MicheleS and Wonk but I am old and already have kinda forgotten what the latter two look like. It truly is a shame what age and alcohol can do to brain cells (but I do stay hydrated). Go Nats!! June 26, 2013 11:50 PM

  23. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Thanks, Ghost. I feel highly complimented. I think I will take the rest of the day off..;o)

  24. alexva - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Rendon would be invaluable to any teams lineup.Rendon is the real deal.

  25. A DC Wonk - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    mick said… remember, Rendon was projected overall number one pick untl his inury…thank God teams passed him up and Rizzo took a shot on himYes — so all those Rizzo-critics out there that blast him for taking a chance on Haren (who was a very solid pitcher until his injuries) ought to remember that taking gambles on injury-plagued players don't work out all the time.That's why they call it a gamble.So — here's hypothetical — would you rather have:a) a world where Rizzo takes some gambles on players with injuries and drafts Rendon and signs Haren; orb) a world where Rizzo is more conservative, and doesn't draft Rendon or sign Haren?

  26. NationalsFanatic - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    And if Matt Purke turns out to be the pitching version of Rendon (highly touted top 3 prospect who fell in the draft because of injury concerns)….then Rizzo absolutely stole that draft class.

  27. phil dunton - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Bye, bye Danny!!

  28. Eric - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    I'm with you @7:40, Faraz.

  29. Ishmael - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    How about Werth leading off, Rendon second, and Harper third?

  30. karlkolchak - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    WARNING FOR NATS FANSI was at the game last night with my dad, and on the way back to our car he had his wallet lifted by a pickpocket as we were crossing M Street by the Navy Yard Metro Station. It was a classic setup, a middle aged black male started staggering around in the crosswalk as if he was drunk, deliberately blocking people from passing and someone then bumped into my dad from behind. He noticed that the wallet was gone a few minutes later. The thieves only got about $80 and only managed to charge about $80 more on my dad's credit card before we were able to call and get it cancelled, but now he has to go through the hassel of replacing his various ID documents. Just thought everyone should know to be on alert when going to and from the stadium. I know I will be from now on.

  31. m - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Mr. DC Wonk:You can thank Grienkie that he turned Rizzo on that bonehead trade proposal with KC. If that trade had gone through it would have rivaled the Colon for Sizemore, Phillips and Lee trade. Rizzo scares me with his trade proposals. There is a difference between a well reasoned gamble and plain foolishness.

  32. bowdenball - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I warned posters here not to get too excited about Rendon and to lower their expectations. I pointed out that most guys, even the most hyped prospect bats, take a while to adjust to minor league pitching. I said he would at best be a decent piece and that he wouldn't be a big part of saving this offense. I even said fans should cool on him for his sake because it could be bad to put so much on his shoulders.I was 100% wrong about him. Everything about him, from talent to approach to makeup, has been better than advertised.

  33. Amr Khani - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Rendon should be closer to the top of the lineup simply because he will get more at-bats that way. The "traditional" 2-hole, 3-hole, cleanup hitter is not really important. You should be putting your best OBP guys up top. Since Werth is historically a very good OBP guy, I don't see why you wouldn't go Span, Rendon, Werth, Harper, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Desmond, Suzuki/Ramos, P.Also, keep in mind that Rendon's BABIP is .420 which is not sustainable. Inevitably, he is going to start hitting more ground balls and line drives at people, but I'd also expect him to start to walk more since he's historically had a high BB%. Should be fun to watch.

  34. Doc - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    It's starting to get fun again!As I suggested the first time up in the spring, after watching his swing in the AFL last fall, ARen could/should become the Nats' first 3,000 hit guy.We're on our way back to 1st place!!!!!!Goooooooooooo Aren!!!! GooooooooooooNats!!!!!

  35. bowdenball - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Amr Khani said…"I don't see why you wouldn't go Span, Rendon, Werth, Harper, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Desmond, Suzuki/Ramos, P."This is what I would do too.

  36. Eric - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    "Just thought everyone should know to be on alert when going to and from the stadium. I know I will be from now on."Sorry to hear that :(. Out of curiosity, does your dad keep his wallet in his back or front pocket?When I traveled in Europe in 2000 I developed very cautious habits when it comes how I carry money, cards, etc. In Europe I kept everything in a pouch that I hung around my neck and kept under my shirt. In the States, I always keep my wallet in my front pocket.

  37. Eric - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Re: the line up, the more I think about it, the more I like Werth behind Desi. Werth's patience would loom large in that slot, particularly if/when the catcher slot becomes somewhat reliably productive again.

  38. Eric - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    SpanRendonHarperZimLaRocheDesiWerthSuzamosI mean, that has the potential to be end-of-2012 scary right there.

  39. karlkolchak - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Eric–back pocket, and he was a prime target being in his 70s. The situation was perfect for the pickpockets as there were cars partially blocking the crosswalk and already creating bottlenecks for the pedestrians when the guy in front started staggering around.

  40. d'grviii 8 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    "I was at the game last night with my dad, and on the way back to our car he had his wallet lifted by a pickpocket as we were crossing M Street by the Navy Yard Metro Station."I was told this kind of thing only happened outside Camden Yards in Baltimore.

  41. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Eric, disagree about Werth. His OBP skills deserve to be top of lineup also. I like Amr Khani's proposal. it is also in sync with harper, rz, and alr's RISP numbers for the season. only problem would be not alternating L-R hitters.

  42. karlkolchak - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    d'grviii 8 – interestingly enough, my brother-in-law's truck was broken into a few years ago while parked in a Camden Yards parking lot–in broad daylight as it was a Sunday game. That was also the last O's game I've attended.

  43. Eric - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Bummer, karl. At least the financial damage wasn't too severe, even if the overall inconvenience might be.

  44. Eric - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    I like Amr's line up, too, I just think Werth's greatest strength as a hitter is his adaptability to a given role. I think the threat of a high OBP guy late in the line up would wreak havoc with pitchers working through the heart of the order…But, again, I'd be more than happy with Amr's line up.

  45. A DC Wonk - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I was told this kind of thing only happened outside Camden Yards in Baltimore. Only? Really? Nobody pick-pocketed anywhere else in the world?Strawman, much?

  46. Joe Seamhead - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Rendon has certainly exceeded most expectations. Folks, Werth is partially back, Zimmerman is closer to the Zimmerman from 2 years ago, Harper is just about back, Ramos right behind him. Tyler Moore may prove me wrong and make more serious contributions. Abad and Krol are killing opponent's rallies. Meanwhile Atlanta is playing mediocre .500 ball since their 12-1 start. BJ Upton and Dan Uggla are both drowning at the plate and neither one is going to win a gold glove this year. Gattis is hurt, Justin Upton has been very inconsistent for 2 months and no gold glove for him, either. C. Johnson is hitting, but his fielding at 3rd is terrible and his late inning defensive replacement [Pena] has just been lost for the season, Kimbrel has blown a couple of saves, the starting pitching isn't quite up to last year's excellence, and Fredi Gonzalez managed them out of a comeback win last night. The Nats are getting ready to start gelling while the Braves are getting more bad news by the day. The dog fight has begun and the Nats are going to win it.

  47. Joe Seamhead - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Our dog will eat their dog's face!

  48. A DC Wonk - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Rizzo scares me with his trade proposals. There is a difference between a well reasoned gamble and plain foolishness. I wasn't talking about trades at all.But if you want to, and if you want to criticize Rizzo for a trade *not* made, and to which negotiations we were not privy to — you ought to take into consideration trades he actually did make: i.e, getting Gio; getting Ian Krol & AJ Cole for Morse in his walk year, etc.(have I mentioned lately that Morse still has a negative WAR, and hasn't hit a HR in the month of June?)

  49. d'grviii 8 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    "A DC Wonk said… I was told this kind of thing only happened outside Camden Yards in Baltimore. Only? Really? Nobody pick-pocketed anywhere else in the world? Strawman, much?"Read last night's thread.

  50. JD - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Joe, I love your optimism but in fairness your Braves analysis is a bit overly negative. Uggla has still been a decent contributor with his 13 HR's and BJ is actually really coming around + they do have a 5 game edge to play with. I think we have a shot particularly if the lineup clicks if/when everyone returns and especially since our big 3 pitchers are at least one level better than their top 3. I am very worried about our 4th and 5th starters and our bench. When everyone is back the bench again will be: Moore,Lombo,Tracy,Bernie and the backup catcher. I wouldn't mind finding a couple of veteran professional hitters if we could acquire them on the cheap.

  51. NatsLady - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    JD, I'm worried about Detwiler and I don't even know who our fifth starter is!

  52. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Re: Rizzo's recruiting in the M.A.S.H. units, add Mattheus (although he does seem to have had an undisclosed brain injury) and Garcia. Purke has been tantalizing in limited appearances at Hagerstown. I'm hoping he gets at least a sniff at Hagerstown this year as they are burning an option on him every season.

  53. Pete - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    We really lucked out with Rendon… We could have just as easily drafted a Dustin Ackley type player who batted 400 + through college at an elite program only to struggle in MLB (though I played against Ackley and highly doubt he doesn't figure it out). If either Purke or Giolitto pan out as hoped… The nationals could only be so lucky.

  54. Pete - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    (This is in the hypothetical – best college bat gets injured and drops in draft rankings theme)

  55. Joe Seamhead - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    JD, BJ Upton is hitting: .138 with runners on base.105 with RISP.032 RISP w/2 outsYes, he has hit .233 over his last 10 games, which is "coming around" in comparison to what he's done before then.

  56. m - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    DC Wonk:You forgot Willingham for HRod and Brown (who he won't give a chance to)or the Maya signing. My point is he is not the second coming and can be scary.I still think we are better team with Morse than without.The Span trade has not really improved the team. I could go on but you get my point – Rizzo is not infallible.

  57. hiramhover - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    WonkI like the Rendon pick, but it doesn't mean he gets a pass on Haren–if both were gambles, they weren't equivalent ones. Rendon was a young player with a strong skill set and an odd series of what looked like non-structural injuries. Haren was an aging player with a declining skill set and structural concerns about major joints.One other thing on Rendon–I love the offense, but everyone should recognize that his average is going to come down. He's gotten pretty lucky on BABIP–.420–and that's going to come down.

  58. Joe Seamhead - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. bowdenball - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    BJ Upton has a .777 OPS over the last four weeks. The Braves would absolutely take that sort of production from him on the year. He's not just coming around in comparison to his start- he's coming around period.The good news for Nats fans is that apparently there's a cap on the amount of production the Braves can get from the Upton family. Whenever one is hitting, the other is not.

  60. JD - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Hiramhover, Absolutely right about the average going down but at least some of that should be mitigated by more walks and Rendon has shown a strong tendency to take walks as he works the count. You have to love Rendon and what he brings to the table even if he's not yet quite Ty Cobb as Laddie would have you believe.

  61. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… Sjm, disagree about Span. yes, span is struggling a bit this year but he is your leadoff hitter. that's the only purpose he serves in that lineup.What does that even mean? Most simulations of different batting orders play out evening. What does seem evident is that you want to minimize the at bats of your players who have the lowest on base percentage. This isn't like move a running back to tight end. There is no position in baseball called lead-off, and to the extent that lead-off guys perform intangibles that annoy pitchers, like taking leads or stealing bases, or going first to third or home on hits to the outfield, they have to get on base first.The lead-off hitter will end up every season with 15 or so more at bats than the next guy behind him. Maybe a quarter of these will have men on base begging to be brought in. Who do you want in those situations at the plate, which are gravy in a sense, but which can result in a couple of extra wins a year? You best, i.e., most productive hitter and Span ain't it.Read SI a couple of weeks ago arguing that Joey Votto should lead off and Cincy has Choo, not the not-so-productive Span.

  62. Joe Seamhead - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    NL, "worry" may hopefully be too strong a word regarding Detwiler..JD, thanks for appreciating my optimism, but I don't see it as blind faith. I really think we have a better team then Atlanta does. And a better manager, in spite of Davey's shortcomings and his doubters.

  63. JD - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Bowdenball and Joe, The Braves are clearly not a perfect team. Their starters are all 'B' starters while we have 3 'A' starters and that's quite an advantage. If Det can go back to being a 'B' starter and if the 5th spot can be a 'C' we should be ok. But the Braves do have a 5 game lead which while not insurmountable is also not insignificant.

  64. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    BABIP is usually higher for LD hitters. if he was a qualified hitter, he would lead leagues by significant margin. now whether his LD% will come down or not, I don't know about that.

  65. karlkolchak - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Anyone notice how our three phenoms–Strasburg, Harper and Rendon, all had their numbers get BETTER after they were promoted to MLB than they were while they were still in the minors? The Nats are lucky to have three such players at the same time–if they do rebound and win the division this year it is going to be largely on those guys' shoulders.

  66. JD - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Faraz, BABIP can be higher but it usually can't be .420.

  67. bowdenball - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    JD-I don't think I said differently. I was just saying that BJ Upton has been pretty good. I think the Braves will be tough to catch. Nats fans should wait a few days before getting too excited about this run- we face Corbin and Harvey back to back and then send a AA callup to the mound on Saturday. In a few days we could be right back where we started. Emphasis on "could."One positive- the National are also 5 games out of the wild card. So they have multiple paths to the playoffs right now. Even if the Braves catch fire again like they did in April, the Nats can make the postseason if they play the rest of their schedule somewhere around 15 games over .500.

  68. bowdenball - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    karlkolchak-Not sure where you're looking. Strasburg's numbers aren't as good as they were in the minors prior to his callup. Rendon also had better numbers in the minors. Not a slight on either player, they were just posting incredible numbers prior to their callups.

  69. Joe Seamhead - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Meanwhile down on the farm, everybody knows about Harper last night, but in Harrisburg Taylor Hill had a terrific first game since moving up in going 7 inning, 1 ER, 4 hits. Also, Brian Goodwin had one his best games of the year going 3-4, with a HR, 3 RBI's, and a steal.

  70. JD - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Bowdenball, I agree completely. I am really hoping that we win the pitching matchup today because I think tomorrow may be tough. The way Harvey is pitching and the way Det has pitched lately looks scary. Gee has also been very effective lately so Saturday is no picnic and then on Sunday the Mets are pitching their new phenom Wheeler so yes these are a tough 4 days to get through.

  71. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    One thing about babip is that not all babips is a babip.Babip for players works a bit differently than it does from pitchers. Players who are what we might call good-contact hitters routinely have above league average babips. Players who a lot of line drives routinely do. We all know this instinctively but we let advanced metrics lead us down a false path. Babip helps explain the effects of bloop hits and seeing eye grounders on a pitcher's results or a hitter's results, especially when they diverge from our expectations. For me, this was one of the more interesting ideas explored by Michael Lewis in Moneyball. Tom Seaver went 25-7 with the Mets in 1969, which was a great record, but he had several other even better years with Mets teams that were roughly as good–the Mets have very similar Pythags from '69 through '73, and in Seaver's "best" years, he "only" went 19-10. The Mets of those years themselves are an interesting study in how roughly comparable teams can win anywhere from 83 to 100 games depending on how things play out during the season. I am too young to remember, but maybe Mets fans were excoriating Gil Hodges in 1970 for a terrible season when in actually, the Mets had about the same run differential as in 1969, when the Cubs slightly out-did them in that department.Babip also is useful analyzing homer productionMany predicted a return to earth for Justin Upton winch he was having an unusual number of fly balls go for homers and boy did he come back down.When I first started listening to baseball, the Braves were the team of the South and every area had a local affiliate. Davey Johnson hit 40+ homers oneyear without ever hitting more than twenty-plus homers in any other season. I don't think Davey used steroids, so how did he do it? It is hard to say exactly. He also had Darrell Evans and Hank Aaron in the line-up hitting 40 or more, but I bet he had something like Upton going on that year. Regardless, the Braves finished next to last somehow, but had fun doing it.Back to Rendon. The kid smacks the ball. Guys who smack the ball get on base a lot more than guys who make decent or poor contact regardless of where the balls go. We all know this instinctively. Don't let babip tell you something different from what you know to be true. Having said that, Rendon might be due for a correction as people said Trout was last year, but who knows? That is why you watch.

  72. hiramhover - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    FarazI expect that both the LD% and esp. the BABIP will come down. As JD points out,.420 is crazy high–of ~150 qualifying hitters last year, no one had a BABIP over .400, and only 13 were over .350. Rendon's LD% is also very high, over 35%. No qualifying hitter is over 30% this year.I'm not saying this to knock Rendon–he's the batter I'm most excited to watch right now. I'm saying it to temper expectations. There will be some regression.

  73. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Ah, regression to the mean. Remember Guido Sarducci and the 5 minute Univesity? Guido only taught you what you would still remember 20 years later.His stats course went like this:Mean, medium, mode, expected value, variance, confidence level, regression to the mean. That's it, because 20 years later, that is all you remember. At least it is more useful than Como Esta Ud? Muy Bien–which was what you learned in the 5 minute University Spanish Course.

  74. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I agree that there will be some regression but I think his batting profile will support higher BABIP than normal. that's all I mean.

  75. Amr Khani - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    No player in MLB over the past 10 years (with qualified minimum PA) has had a BABIP of over .400. A total of 3 players in the last 10 years have had a LD% of 30% over a full season and their BABIPs ranged from .299 to .339. Its fantastic what Rendon is doing, but even if he sustains himself as a high LD% hitter, its very very improbable that he would keep this level of production up. As others have pointed out previously, the one place where you could argue Rendon is somewhat doing worse than expected is his BB%. Assuming that increases, he'll still be extremely productive – an all star level. But I'd caution against assuming that Rendon, or any other player, has some innate ability to have balls put in play drop for hits more 20 points higher than anyone has in the last decade.

  76. sjm308 - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Glad to read the rebuttal to my thoughts on Span but you can't convince me that he has been a good lead off hitter so far this year. Again, I like him and I like what he brings to the defense and I think it will help Harper in the long run not to be playing CF but I just have not been impressed with his skills batting first. Lately, he has been swinging at pitches early in the count as well. I had been told that one of his strengths was getting into deep pitch counts and I did not see that last night. Davey will not change because of what I am seeing and I did like the lineup with Rendon 2nd and Werth-Harper-Zimm to follow.I think I mentioned this earlier but everyone is raving about Rendon's offense. I am impressed for sure but do you realize he is getting better each and every day at basically a new position and he is doing that at the major league level. That has to be as impressive as what he is doing with the bat.Karlk – I am truly sorry for what happened to your dad. When we started traveling overseas I was warned about pickpockets and do just what Eric does. I have the packet around the neck and always put my wallet in my front pocket and my hand in that pocket as well when there are crowds. On the Paris Metro these two very cute very young ladies tried the same thing as happened to your dad, one jostling in front the other behind me. I felt this hand on top of mine and the guy next to me starting screaming in French (hell if I knew what he said). The young lady smiled and they both just moved on thru the crowded car looking for their next victim. Hope the D'Backs are in shock over our pitching and will be completly confused this afternoon.Go Nats!!

  77. Doc - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Now you're talkin' Seams!After we eat their faces, let's scalp 'em!We owe them a series, maybe 2!

  78. sjm308 - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    One more game story from last night. Cuddyer fouled a ball off his foot last night and was down for a considerable amount of time. Who comes walking slowly out of the dugout but Kirk Gibson. I can only imagine what Kirk said – something like "I hit a damn homerun on one leg, get your a** back up and get in the box" At least that is what we felt was happening up in 308.

  79. UnkyD - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    "I still think we are better team with Morse than without."———————–Repeat after me: "Morse in '13=negative WAR"

  80. Scooter - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    sjm, that's fantastic. (The Gibson thing.) Well done, my friend!

  81. DJB - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Assuming Rendon continues on this trajectory, he will be an amazing table-setter. Davey would be insane not to put him in front of Harper. He doesn't have 8+ power like Harper, but he does have extremely quick hands and gap power. The league will adjust by trying to take away the gap. I'm not sure with his hands that he is vulnerable to "stuff" in the zone, at least as much as Harper. You will try to pitch Harper to the inside as he's not biting the outside. You need a power hitter behind him that would force the pitcher to go to both sides of the plate. My vote would be Stanton, if you could swing a trade with Zimm (eat his contract) and some other pieces. That is my dream lineup.

  82. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    My vote would be Stanton, if you could swing a trade with ZimmJordan Zimmermann for Stanton, straight up? Intriguing, but I don't think the Marlins would go for it.

  83. Scooter - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    lulz

  84. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I am highly dubious of these elevated defensive Wars that we are seeing. A player has to prevent a boatload of runs in the field to even partially account for poor hitting on his own part. Let's say Rendon commits ten more errors the rest of the way over what Espinosa would have committed. It seems pretty obvious that Rendon is still more productive. The same goes for Center fielders. Basically, we need to see ZERO balls fall in Span's territory for this acquisition to be an upgrade over what we had last year.For some reason, people on here have a very low regard for Bryce Harper's defensive skills and his defensive abilities looking forward. I think there are reasons for this that have little to do with what happens out on the field but are similar to what I felt about Larry Bird. The stats seem to indicate that Harper did a superior job in Center field. Moving him to a different position did nothing to help him but seemed based on the misguided notion that guys like Harper are not suited for center field somehow and that playing Harper there is too taxing somehow. It is garbage.

  85. Eric - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Am I crazy or did we get more than just Span in the Morse deal? To be accurate, wouldn't you have to compare with Morse the contributions of everyone we got in the trade?

  86. hiramhover - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Span came over from the Twins, in a separate deal from the 3-way Oakland-Seattle-Nats trade for Morse.By the way, for those dubious of defensive metrics: Morse's 2013 WAR is negative because of his abominable stats in the OF, where Seattle primarily plays him on defense. Had he stayed in DC, the Nats likely wouldn't have re-signed ALR, and would have played Morse primarily at 1B.

  87. DJB - Jun 27, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Jordan Zimmermann no, Ryan Zimmerman yes, but you would have to buy out the rest of his contract so he is free to the Marlins.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles 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

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.

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