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Feast-or-famine, rotation help, derby talk

Jul 12, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

The Nationals' feast-or-famine lineup was left starving once again last night, held to one run by Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies in a disheartening loss. This, of course, merely continues the theme of the last two weeks, which has seen the Nats either score a ton of runs on any given night or struggle just to score one or two runs.

Rob Carlin and I delved into that subject last night on "The Baseball Show," and raised one of the big dilemmas facing Mike Rizzo this month: Even if he wanted to acquire another bat, where would Rizzo put that player and who would get bumped from the current lineup?

Rizzo also faces a decision about the back end of his rotation, trying to determine whether he can count on Ross Detwiler and Dan Haren over the rest of the season or whether another acquisition isRead more ยป

  1. jeeves - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Lately, the Nats have had their best offensive output. Yet five of the last ten games, they have not produced more than two runs. Of course four of their higher scores were against the Padres.I noticed LaRoche was on the hot list and when Mark showed his stats lately, they seemed impressive. Yet, I can barely remember him doing anything of significance in the last while. Stats can sometimes be misleading.

  2. Rabbit34 - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    The Nationals are a very, uninteresting team. If they could put a few, even a couple of hits together, they would be a little more exciting. But, even then, you would expect the next batter or two to strike out or screw up somehow. So, what do you do? Flip the channel.

  3. Don - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    They need a sacrifice. An old school Mayan temple be-heading is a must. Appease the baseball gods. A thunderclap of scapegoaing to get the club's attention is what they need. Eckstein needs to be fired. I don't think that he deserves it, but it needs to be done.

  4. Jimmy - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Don raises a good point: "Eckstein needs to be fired. I don't think that he deserves it, but it needs to be done." It's the first I've heard of it in this more level-headed framing. I don't think it's his fault either, but if you can't find anyone to replace throughout the lineup, you might need to find it elsewhere, and Davey isn't an option (nor should he be). So Eck might need to be the sacrifice at this point. It's apples to oranges, of course, but the change in offensive output when the Ravens fired their Offensive Coordinator near the end of last season (Cam Cameron, who was perfectly competent and capable in my view), seemed to really spark that eventual Super Bowl run. I don't think he deserved to be fired, but the sacrifice needed to be made if they wanted to make a serious run. Like others, I've preached patience since day one. If the mantra really is World Series or Bust, mid-July is the time to start making changes. We're finally healthy on offense. Time for a spark.

  5. Jimmy - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    On August 26, 2007 the Mets were 6.0 games ahead of the Fillies. The NY Post published this story, with this headline. Ooooops. It's Not Official, But the NL East Race is OverAnd yet it's July 12 and people are giving up? People gave up in April. Very strange.http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/item_QIBlTY56YbKSaqSTNbFY1I;jsessionid=B0A62887D8A15AF1086301B15F433906

  7. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Lets beat the Fish tonight….

  8. Mr. Doggett - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    NatsLady, pay no mind to the Give-Uppers. They arent real fans because they don't know the struggle. Of course there's still time. The best is yet to come.

  9. baseballswami - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    When you go through this lineup player by player, it is astounding that it has gone so poorly. That's why I don't blame Rizzo. I mean- look at this roster and rotation! They should be good. But if you follow closely, you can tell that something isn't right, something is missing. Most games there does not seem to be energy or enthusiasm. No wonder everyone is puzzled. I will be interested to see what new leadership does with this roster.

  10. 3on2out - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Rabbit34: I find the Nats much more interesting than your posts. You only post after a loss and you have one theme: the team is horrible. Since clearly the sky has fallen and the remainder of the season is pointless why don't you take your own advice and flip the channel? You won't be missed.

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    NL, talk about over-confidence. 'NL East race is over' haha. The guy must have got fired after Phillies won.Btw anyone knows Morse's account on twitter? His @sea_beast38 isn't active anymore, right?

  12. baseballswami - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I am still angry and bitter about that blown call at home in the first last night. Seems like we are more mad at our players than the ump, but that changed the course of the whole game!! I know I am being paranoid, but it just feels like the strike zone, blown calls, bounces and near misses on home runs are killing us. Surely some of those things have to start bouncing the other way?

  13. bowdenball - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Rabbit34 said…"The Nationals are a very, uninteresting team. If they could put a few, even a couple of hits together, they would be a little more exciting. But, even then, you would expect the next batter or two to strike out or screw up somehow. So, what do you do? Flip the channel."Or stop posting a weak trolling effort at a Nationals blog every single day. That's also something you should do. Do the internet equivalent of flipping the channel and just move on to the next website. Let's see if you can take your own advice. I doubt it.

  14. baseballswami - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Can't tell you how many times I have read- I am so done with this team. But let's face it, that is not going to happen for most of us. We get frustrated and then come right back the next game. Or we take a short break, with one eye or ear on the score. There is always the next game, next series, next home stand, next season. It's an addiction. Oh, Nats. Feed my winning habit tonight. Please don't lose to the Marlins( who, by the way, are not as bad as you think they are).

  15. mick - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Let's begin on a positive, J Zim did well..Davey was right to keep him in as his pitch count was at 70 in the 7th. I really have no problem with Kroll and Storen's effort. Pitchers did their job. Even if the 3rd run does not come in, the Nats at bats in the 9th would not have changed.I said yesterday that it is more beneficial to critique after a win instead of a loss…I mentioned that though the 4 homers were fantastic that it should still be a concern when both Zim and Bryce strikeout with bases loaded. This led to a great conversation on the Nats hitting small ball, being patience at the plate, etc.. After last night an now after a week of the full line up back, this 1 run effort is concerning. The Nats need to soul search as a team over the break and decide who and what the want to be as team offensively. There really is no defense for their efforts, if there is, then as I have said before, it I could be a talent issue which brings me to this… are the Phillies simply a better team than Nats? Phils are 6-4 in series and have a slightly better record than Nats and Braves over the past 60 games…they also won the series verse Braves and their East division record is 10 over 500, where the Nats are under 500 verse East. Are the Nats a third place team in the end? Time will tell.

  16. mick - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    swami that's just it, your right, Marlins are not as bad as many think and is it possible the Nats are not as good as we think? fair question

  17. ExposedinDC - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I have been a fan of this franchise for the better part of 40 years and will continue to be a fan until the end , but I am curious to hear what this team has shown that makes people believe that they have a run in them that gets them even close to the Braves, sure the potential is there, but it's been there all year. The Braves will make a couple moves at the deadline and we really don't have the pieces to do anything of significance ( nor should we ).2012 was a great year, but this is 2013, different team different attitude…..I hope there is a run in them but I certainly don't expect it.

  18. djinFl. - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    What we need is a "chip on the shoulder" attitude. The calls that seem to go the other way are not doing it. Maybe a reporter shoving a mic in Jasons face can get an attitude started.

  19. Joe Seamhead - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I missed most of the game last night due to personal issues, but I did see the awful call at the plate.I really am to the point of questioning the integrity of MLB umpires. I know some of them just suck at what they do, but, really, there is just no excuse for the call last night. Remember the NBA ref on the take that got caught? I doubt that he was the only one, and the more I watch some particular umps, the more I wonder about them.

  20. mick - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    ExposedinDCI know you are die hard fan like myself and most of us. I am trying to be upbeat and for the most part, Rendon, Bryce, Gio, J Zim and Stras are reasons to stay positive for the future. These young men are fun to watch and will be champions one day, I just hope it is here when they are.Overall, i am really perplexed at the 2013 Nats, I really felt with the lineup back at full throttle that there would be very few games where the team would score less than 3 runs, let alone 1 run. Kendrick is not Verlander and it seems that Nats are facing a lot of Verlanders of late. I really do not know what to think. I hope the soul searching is going on as we blog

  21. mick - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Joe Seamhead good post and dj's post as well…I would like too see Davey imitate Earl Weaver a few times…the MLB umpiring is the worst of all professional sports and it deteriorates each season. Too many of these umpires have been around too long, they look out of shape and tired. What I have a hard time with is the umpire who calls 3-4 balks per series. who is the commissioner of umpires? Does he not have any pride in his job? The fact that a renegade umpire is the only one calling balks when the other 50 do not means there is a problem with this guy. Why is that umpire allowed to work still? That is just one of many reasons why the MLB umpires really take this great game down a notch at times

  22. ExposedinDC - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Mick. You are correct the future is extremely bright and shows a ton of potential but baseball is a funny game not always won by the team with the most potential. The 2013 version of the nationals is missing something…not sure what, in 2012 I never felt like we were out of a game no matter what the score was, this year I wonder what could go wrong next, should be an interesting Summer….I hope we are still playing meaningful games in September.

  23. bowdenball - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Last night was a 1 run effort entirely because of a blown call. If the ump gets the call right it's at least a two run effort. Maybe more- remember we still would have had runners on first and second, with LaRoche up facing a righty who had already thrown 20+ pitches in the inning. At a minimum we would have made Kendrick work harder and probably had better success against him later for it too, or gotten to the bullpen. Or maybe LaRoche gets another hit off the frustrated Kendrick there and the floodgates open.This is why you can't evaluate a team based on one game. A single baseball game can completely turn on a random event like a blown call. Or a grounder that deflects off the pitcher's leg into no man's land, which is how the Phils scored their first run.If you want to critique the 2013 Nationals and their lack of firepower, so be it. There's plenty to talk about. But 9 innings tell you pretty much nothing, especially nine innings that turn on a couple bizarre plays and blown calls. Whatever you thought of the 2013 Nationals yesterday, you should think the exact same thing today.

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    The hitters need to stop talking and start hitting the ball squarely.Quit pulling outside pitches. Quit swinging at ones not in the strike zobe. Regardless of how good our pitching is, with the hiters being to erratic, we will have a hard time catching the Braces. If we would hit every night we woyld already have cayggt them.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Here's today's rant about this bias by umps against Bryce Harper and how technology can fix this.MLB already has video replay of HR calls BUT it's not a good system. They need to do what the NCAA does and communicate on the field remotely. This saves valuable time. MLB can have a 5th official with a headset to expand replay to all calls at homeplate and further give each Manager 2 challenges per game on anything they deem necessary including a ball/strike challenge.All the technology is there. Use it so the next time an ump blows a check swing against Harper or a call at the plate or a ridiculous ball/strike, they can go to the videotape.Take the bias out of the game. It will lengthen the game by 4 minutes but get it right!

  26. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    40 games appx 44% we have score 2 or less runs. Not sure what league average is, but that seems high. We are 35-5.We have given up 2 or less runs 34 times 25-9 record.

  27. alexva - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    2012 the Nats played over their ability level2013 they're not playing up to ita simplistic way of looking at it and some exceptions exist throughout the roster. still time for things to improve but it better be soon

  28. bowdenball - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Manassas-I looked a few other teams yesterday, I'm guessing the league average for games with 2 or fewer runs scored (NL only, for obvious reasons) is around 30. But this team wasn't built as an offensive juggernaut. It was built to be an average offense with outstanding pitching and defense. The offense has been below average, for sure. But almost all of those 40 games where the team scored 2 runs or less were played without some combination of Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos.And the team's record in games where they dont score 2+ vs/ when they do is kind of is irrelevant. Of course they lose a lot when they don't score very much and win a lot when they score more. The same is true of every team in the history of baseball.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I'm also going to rant about Davey putting his head in the sand. Span should've been pulled in the 8th for the pinch hitter even though Hairston was 0-5 lifetime vs. Bastardo and Span was 0-1 but this is why you just traded for this guy.Span is playing like he's lost his way some games and last night was evident of that. If he is hurt, sit him. If he's not, coach him up.Even NatsJack on his birthday sent Span a message via the Tweeter:@NatsJackinFl: @thisisdspan I love you but you are rapidly becoming a pariah in DC. PLEASE start hitting!!!!! PLEASE!!!I'd add to that, start hitting but also screw your head on. You were brought here for your leadoff abilities to see many pitches, take the walks, steal some bases and play great defense. Only your defense has made you worth playing. You are quickly sinking below acceptable and the team really can't afford to platoon you. A .311 OBP isn't going to cut it in leadoff but worse than that you have taken yourself off the bases 8 times and 5 of those times were baserunning mistakes which brings your stay on base percentage even lower. Worse than all that is on Davey, Span is batting .091 against LHP relievers. Last night's 0-1 against the lefty reliever is on Davey.

  30. SCNatsFan - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    And those outs Span makes are just so weak. It isn't like he has bad luck or is just hitting the ball at people.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Bowdenball, good points on the formation of the team on pitching and defense but on paper this team looked good offensively except 2nd base. What they weren't prepared for was the complete flop on the bench and negative production from Espinosa and LaRoche in April.The current formation looks great and again the momentum killer in the 1st inning blown call changes the total complexion of the game. The Nats really never overcame it and we will never know how many pitches Kendrick would have thrown in that 1st inning.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    SCNatsFan said… And those outs Span makes are just so weak. It isn't like he has bad luck or is just hitting the ball at people. You have almost no chance to get a hit when you are hitting Little League fielding practice type grounders to your infielders. They really are that weak. It's almost embarrassing. He has 1 flyball hit this year and that was off the wall in RF.He can't even lay down a good bunt and not sure how that is possible for someone who had the reputation as a player who could lay down bunt hits.Again I ask the question, is he hurt?

  33. John H - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Trade Span. Cut your losses. He is absolutely the reason the Nats suck right now. The biggest hole in the lineup last year was the leadoff position. Then they acquired Span… And nothing happened offensively. Complete disappointment. No bat, no stick, can't even get on base. Bust. Even worse yet, the Nats had SEVERAL back-end of the rotation pitchers (Gorzellany, Milone, Lannon, E. Jackson) all of them given up for what?? Suzuki? Span? Haren? I hate to say it, but Rizzo hosed this up. Bad. We gave up decent players for Garbage.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    To add fuel to the fire of the discontent on the management of Span, for qualified lead-off men, Span is 3rd to last of all lead-off men in OBP and the other 2 have at least been moved to other places in the lineup.http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/split/109/sort/onBasePct/minpa/200

  35. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Good Morning All!Still hard to believe we dropped 3 of 4 to the Phillies who are definitely not my favorite team.Earlier post talked about people not knowing about the struggle. Since I have been going to Senator/National games from 1950 on, I am pretty sure I understand the "struggle". I will continue to root for us to win but will also vent when we lose and just don't understand how a team this up and down will turn that around. We don't hit, we are one of the worst defensive teams in the league and while we pitch pretty damn well, it is now obvious that JZimm, SS and Gio will not go undefeated in the last few months. Again, maybe we will catch fire and that will be exciting but who is going to be that player that lights the fire? I do understand that our future looks bright. Harper/Rendon/ the 3 stud pitchers/Ramos/ all give me hope but again, I had such high expectations and bought into the hype so yes, I am disappointed. Not giving up – just disappointed.OK – back to hoping we can at least win 2 of 3 from the Marlins.Go Nats!!

  36. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Sec3, Sofa, if you are around. I went back and read your post about HTML tagging three times and I still don't understand it. Is this code I should put at the top of each blog post? Or when I am putting out the link on Twitter?

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    John, I don't think the answer is trading Span. It goes back to his lefty/righty splits and he makes a more than acceptable lead-off vs RHPs.I wrote about this 2 weeks ago about players the Nats could target as a platoon RH CF to compliment Span; however Rizzo's answer was going for Scott Hairston.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    sjm308 said… Good Morning All!Still hard to believe we dropped 3 of 4 to the Phillies who are definitely not my favorite team.You and Jayson Werth have something in common.

  39. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    This will upset several posters who I dearly love reading but I am just tired of hearing how the umpires are the villains in this disappointing season. Mick is correct, the umpiring is horrible at times but it has been a part of this game forever and I honestly don't think this is the first year our lads have had bad calls work against them. Bowdenball makes a good point about the Harper run and how we could have easily had a big inning, but we had 8 more innings to produce and we did not. I just think you are bashing your head needlessly against a wall by complaining about the umpires. I actually like that Davey does not go ballistic, I just don't see what that would do? I do remember Earl going crazy and that was kinda fun to watch but not sure it helped his team. Just my opinion.

  40. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    from mlb trade rumorsSoriano has been on the block for years, but the weight of his contract has made him untradeable. Now, with just one year left and solid power numbers, the Cubs may be able to move him to a team in need of right-handed pop. Soriano has been particularly lethal against lefties, batting .294/.328/.514.

  41. bowdenball - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    John H said…"Even worse yet, the Nats had SEVERAL back-end of the rotation pitchers (Gorzellany, Milone, Lannon, E. Jackson) all of them given up for what?"Gorzelanny isn't even good enough to crack the rotation of the 37-54 Brewers, wbo have the worst starter ERA in the National League.Milone has a mediocre 4.21 ERA in perhaps the most pitcher-friendly park in the AL. He is EASILY the best of the four pitchers you listed in 2013.Lannan has a 4.23 ERA in the weak-hitting NL East and has only made 8 starts, missing the majority of the season due to injury.Edwin Jackson is sporting a healthy 5.11 ERA for the Cubs.So tell me again about all the mistakes Rizzo made in jettisoning these guys, John H?

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    sjm, you of course are right but the umpires have been the villains on Harper calls. I think there is a bias against him. Be it the check swing in Pittsburgh, horrible strike calls, or this play at the plate he leads the team in bad calls and he missed 1/3 of the season!Also, what someone get Harper a bleeping batting helmet that fits. I still believe that slowed him for a split second when he put his left-hand to his helmet to keep it on which took him off stride.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    bowdenball said… Gorzelanny isn't even good enough to crack the rotation of the 37-54 Brewers, wbo have the worst starter ERA in the National League.Actually Gorzo has another start tonight ;)

  44. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Thanks Ghost – I do understand that there is probably a bias against our wonderboy and as he grows into the game it will change. I just hate excuses generally. Bottom line is we need to start playing well enough that these calls don't matter

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    jeffwx said… from mlb trade rumorsSoriano has been on the block for years, but the weight of his contract has made him untradeable. Now, with just one year left and solid power numbers, the Cubs may be able to move him to a team in need of right-handed pop. Soriano has been particularly lethal against lefties, batting .294/.328/.514. July 12, 2013 11:08 AM On paper it makes sense but Soriano wants to play every day which makes it a moot point. The Nats could squeeze him into 3 games a week and some PH duty but they just acquired Hairston which further makes it a no go.

  46. bowdenball - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Really? Good for Gorzo. I was wondering why he was coming out of the pen. I mean it makes sense for most teams, but the Brewers rotation is terrible.

  47. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    yes, hopefully the team will use Hairston more against leftys

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    sjm308 said… Thanks Ghost – I do understand that there is probably a bias against our wonderboy and as he grows into the game it will change. I just hate excuses generally. Bottom line is we need to start playing well enough that these calls don't matter It sucks that the umps have this problem with Harper. The kid plays the game right and with other star players they get the benefit of the close calls but with Harper it works against him.How many times will he dust himself off and walk away without a complaint after being called out on a steal when he knows he was safe or punched out on a K when he knows it was a ball?Cliff Lee threw him a ball that was 6 inches outside and called a strike. It gets to a point where the only way to change it is to hope a replay system can remove the bias.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Bowdenball, in fact this will be Gorzo's 3rd start tonight and he's given up 1 earned run for a 0.90 ERA in those 2 starts. He pitches against the D'Backs and Corbin tonight so I don't expect he can go Aces again, or can he…

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Jeff, speaking of Fonzi, interesting on how questionable the UZR stat is that Alfonso Soriano has a higher UZR than Denard Span this year. I'm not buying it.

  51. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Denard must get to a lot more balls than soriano.Defensive value can mainly be rated with the eyes

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    jeffwx, agreed although last night wasn't one of his better nights. I think the All Star break is a needed few days off for Denard.

  53. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    yes, you and NL brought up good points about Denard looking tired.ASG good for everyone.Let's win the series in Miami and don't look back in the 2nd half.

  54. Joe Seamhead - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    308, I do agree about using the umpire excuses is weak, but guys like Angel Hernadez are not just bad, they are vindictive, and yes, I do think he, and his ilk, play way too much of a part in the outcomes of games. And I agree with mick regarding the balk calls. There should be consistency throughout the league in how it's called.

  55. Joe Seamhead - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Ghost, I have had no use for UZR since it was stated that Adam Dunn had a higher UZR at first base than Michael Morse. Soriano has a better arm than Span, but that's it. Also, be careful what you wish for with Scott Hairston. I'm in agreement that it's to the point where Span is killing us against LFers, but I seriously doubt an OF of Hairston, Harper and Werth is worth the tradeoff, though it is better than Moore or Lombo out there.

  56. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Seamhead – agreed on Hernandez and there are so many other poor umpires out there, I honestly wonder how they get to keep their jobs? I am well aware of how poor the umpiring is, I just hate reading every night how so & so was squeezed, or so & so had this or that call go against him. There are probably 5 bad calls a night in every single major league game. Most are balls and strikes but the play on Harper could have been corrected with replay. Waiting for that to happen but until then, human error by umpires will just be a part of the game and again, I hate excuses to begin with. Just score more runs than the other team and things will be OK.

  57. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    NatsLady, not in the tweets or your blog–in your post IN HERE, in the comments section, as part of the link. But seriously, it's not worth fussing over. It was just a minor tip I thought might help. It won't help enough to make it worth spending your time on it.

  58. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    interesting on how questionable the UZR stat is that Alfonso Soriano has a higher UZR than Denard Span this yearI thought UZR wasn't considered reliable on single-season samples, it had to be on the order of 3 seasons worth? Am I thinking of something else?

  59. baseballswami - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    This team is perplexing for sure. There does not seem to be a common sense of urgency and purpose. This is Davey's lame duck session and it very much resembles the ones that happen in our actual government. Nothing seems to be going anywhere. Does it surprise anyone that there has been no" Davey's farewell tour" like here was for Atlanta's coach a couple of years ago? Crickets.

  60. Scooter - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    You've got the right one, Sec3. Me, I like to think of UZR as a little bit like batting average: a) it tells you something, but not everything, esp. over small samples; and b) in a few years we'll have much better metrics and wonder why we used to rely on it so much.

  61. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    When Span was on tge Twins he eould hit where the ball was pitched, but seems he turns over on way too many resulting on a grounder to second or first.Needs to spray again.

  62. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    It would be intersting to know how the games went, when Earl went ballistic. What was the score at the time and what was final. Thete is probably a listing some where for that.

  63. hiramhover - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    I have had no use for UZR since it was stated that Adam Dunn had a higher UZR at first base than Michael Morse.In this case, at least, the problem isn't with UZR but with the person quoting it to you. That claim simply isn't true.

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    The hemet needs the eqipment managers attention.Of course keeping the same hairdo would help.

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I was thinking last night as I could not sleep (which happens often when the team doesn't hit), that the team was playing like lame ducks.Thanks for retriggering my brain.

  66. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    I was thinking last night as I could not sleepDon't think, meat. It only hurts the team.

  67. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Like I said in the other thread, the good news is we face the Fish. Win 2/3 (tomorrow it's Haren vs. Fernandez and Fernandez is good). Go into the ASB with some confidence and press the reset button. Still a lot of baseball left to be played.

  68. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Plenty of time, but a game loss no matter when, can never erased from the book because of that, I hate every loss.

  69. Joe Seamhead - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    hiramhover said…I have had no use for UZR since it was stated that Adam Dunn had a higher UZR at first base than Michael Morse.In this case, at least, the problem isn't with UZR but with the person quoting it to you. That claim simply isn't true.July 12, 2013 1:59 PM———///——-Actually, according to FanGraphs:Dunn's 2010 UZR at first base was -3.4Morse's 2011 UZR at first base was -4.9I believe that's how it was presented on here by the poster that I quoted, because Morse didn't play much first here except in 2011.

  70. Scooter - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    I'm inclined to agree with hiramhover here, Seamhead; someone tried to use numbers to prove something that wasn't true. I mean …In 1986, Alfredo Griffin batted .285In 1987, Cal Ripken batted .252If I tried to tell you Alfredo Griffin was a better hitter, would you condemn batting average or tell me to take a hike?I mean, you should feel free to ignore UZR. That's fine. You watch enough games, and you're smart enough, that your own impressions are probably pretty reliable, at least of the Nats' players.Here's where we differ, I suspect: if Dunn consistently put up better UZR numbers than Mikey Morse [SPOILER ALERT: he hasn't], over a few years, then I'd start to wonder what I wasn't seeing.

  71. hiramhover - Jul 12, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Scooter – Well said.Joe – I stand corrected. If you (or in this case, the person who was quoting you the #s) cherrypicks small sample sizes, then yes, it's possible to find marginally better figures for Dunn. Nobody can stop him from using UZR that way, but that's not how it was intended to be used–the folks who developed it don't claim that it makes fine distinctions over sample sizes of less than a season. In other words – if you use a cannon to kill a fly and don't like the results, don't blame the cannon.

  72. Joe Seamhead - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    In fairness, I don't put much stock in UZR because when I read up on how it was "computed" it was a rather ambiguous formula.The poster that originally did the Morse/Dunn comparison was not out of line as in Scooter's Ripken BA example though. Morse only played first base extensively in 2011 because ALR was hurt.It was the only season that he played more then a small sample size at 1B. The comparison to Dunn's 2010 year was done because Dunn didn't play much at first in 2011 because he was primarily a DH with the White Sox. Regardless, it's one advanced metric that I question the validity of its true value. If somebody else puts a lot of stock in it, that's their prerogative.

Archives

NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS

FRI: Game 1 at Washington, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
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MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
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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)...

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