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Soriano blows it in Nats’ loss to Giants

Aug 15, 2013, 9:33 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today
A night after being bailed out by his center fielder on a miraculous catch to end the game, Nationals closer Rafael Soriano once again made matters interesting in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants.  
But this time he wasn’t so lucky, as a pinch-hitting Hector Sanchez launched a towering three run homer to the upper deck in right field, putting the Giants up for good and ruining the Nats’ chances of a sixth consecutive win.
The final blow came in a 3-2 count with two outs, on a pitch Soriano didn’t think he would have to make. The previous pitch, at 2-2, Soriano fired a fastball that was up in the zone, just high enough to earn a ball from home plate umpire Jim Joyce. 
Soriano thought it was a strike and couldn’t recover after thinking the game was over.
“I don’t think it be a bad pitch at all. I think it be a strike. But I don’t make that decision,” he said. “I think the game [should have been] over. That pitch, to me, I think it be a strike. I think that was when the game changed.”
Sanchez even thought he was done.
“It was close you know, I thought he got me,” he said.
Soriano’s next delivery was slightly higher, but right where Sanchez was hoping it would be.
“I was looking high and I got that pitch,” he said.
The Nats had nursed a lead since the third inning, only to see it ripped away at the end in the 4-3 loss on Thursday. They struck early with three runs in the third and knocked Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong out of the game after just 3 2/3 innings. 
  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Davey looked ashen after thie one. Well, he always looks ashen. This was whiter than ashen. Poor guy. We're making 70 the new 90 for him.Let's just take out all our frustration on the Barves.

  2. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Soriano idea of pitching higher on a ball alled high before is illogical.

  3. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Suzuki wanted the ball up, but he wanted it in. If that ball is inside, Sanchez swings through it. Soriano left it over the plate and he hit it.

  4. Secret wasian man - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    time to let Clipp close. Glad Mark mentioned last night was basically a blown save as well. Soriano brings nothing to the table. He strikes fear into nobody.

  5. SonnyG10 - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Soriano just doesn't have an effective out pitch he can count on anymore. He just doesn't have the stuff to be a closer imo.

  6. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Clippard has been good this year. But let's not forget that he went through a terrible patch last July. From what I can see, very few relievers have the stuff to be consistently good. That is why you have Mariano Rivera and essentially no one else who has been a great closer for 15 years, while any of us could come up with many starting pitchers who have been supremely effective for 15 years and even 20 year stretches.

  7. Nats 128 - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Back from the game and dinner and lots of drinks.If you all think Soriano sucks than its like saying everything Rizzo did in the offseason was bad.Soriano, Haren, Laroche, Span, Tracy, Henry, Duke.I think Ohlendorf was the only pleasant suprize. Then you have the gamble on Espinosa knowing his shoulder was bad.

  8. JaneB - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    I say let Clip close, too. I trust in Clip.

  9. NatsLady - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    I don't see how letting Clip close helps. Then he doesn't come in to strike out two batters in the 8th inning yesterday? You need more than one dependable reliever in the bullpen, no matter what order you use them in. Well, tomorrow neither Clip nor Soriano will be available. We'll get to see everyone else. no choice.

  10. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Closer by committee makes too much sense to try….

  11. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    We'll get a look at Drew tomorrow for sure. I hope good Drew is back.

  12. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Closer by committee has been tried many times by many different teams. When has it ever worked?

  13. SCNatsFan - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    I don't think unless his team is in the race – and we aren't – I don't think soriano cares

  14. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    For thise at tge game how was the boometer on Soriano. Sounded reasonable on TV

  15. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    I havent given up go on a run like the Dodgers 35 of 47 and we can make the playoffs.Until mathmatically impossible it is still possible.

  16. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Giants 5.1 innings of bullpen 2 hits 0 runs. Soriano 2 hits 3 runs 1 inning.

  17. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Lopez the winning pitcher graduated from Robinson and played at UVa

  18. Steamer - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    I just ask why did Rizzo ever change the s__t what work last season it was fun and enjoyable yes The big Burnett was hurt this season but should have kept him and had Clip be the 8th inn setup cause Sean was The 7th or maybe the 8th and Storen was the closer but my thing is why mess with chemistry can I ever figure this out LOVE D.C.

  19. Steamer - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I wondered that from day 1, however, if you are going to make the changes, the players have to understand the team is suppose to be better and do the job.

  21. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    I had a great, butagain I have enjoyed a lot of this year, just not the results I expected.Bad baseball is still better than most any other hobby.

  22. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Closer by committee worked for the 75-76 Reds and pretty much every team in baseball until at least the late 70's and it worked far better than the incredibly stupid system currently employed by most teams. The Washington Senators used it in 1924, when they brought in Walter Johnson in relief in game 7, although maybe that is pitcher by committee.It is difficult to find anyone with any knowledge of baseball and advanced statistics who believes that the current system of using a "closer" makes any sense at all, and for that matter, nor do saves, but Davey still tries to get his guys saves and wins, to the detriment of the team's over-arching goals.Joe Posnanski writes about this quite often and it has been a theme of much of the stats literature, including Moneyball, as I recall.The only reasons that I can find for this whole system of a closer is because it adds a wrestling-like atmosphere when the teams bring the closer in, which the casual fan seems to enjoy, along with his walk-up music and syncopated patriotism every 3 innings.I am unable to find a single knowledgeable writer who believes that it makes sense to only use a team's best reliever in a purported save situation. Neither the mathematics nor common sense commend it. Furthermore, as you go back, even teams that usually used a certain guy as their late pitcher, would bring the guy in as early as the 6th or 7th inning, if the situation called for it. If a certain guy is only good in save situations, then I would call into question that person's character because pitching is pitching for the most part.

  23. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Sorry Oh No! That is pretty fun.

  24. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    "and syncopated patriotism every 3 innings."Yeah, WODL, that's the problem, all right. You nailed it, sir.Uh, what?

  25. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    The vitriol against Soriano in the Instant Analysis thread was way over the top. I'm not defending what happened today, but the guy now has 31 saves and 5 blown saves. Before last night, he hadn't allowed a baserunner in his 4 saves. Clippard last year had 32 saves and 5 blown saves. Guess how many blown saves Drew Storen had in his great 2011 season. Yup. 5 blown saves. Even the great Craig Kimbrel has 3 blown saves this year. (Yes, his last blown save was on May 7, but he's the consensus best closer in baseball.) I'm long on record as opposing the "cult of the closer," which leads managers to leave their closers in too long. Bringing in Krol to face Sanchez might have been the right move in retrospect, but we all know that's never going to happen. Davey is way too stuck in his ways for that. But to just tee off on Soriano when he's had a very good season seems wrong. He doesn't suck, he's not terrible, he isn't washed up, he isn't through, and no, he shouldn't be replaced. He just got beat today. It happens to the best of them. Even Craig Kimbrel.

  26. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    You make your good point about relievers, which I agree with, but Soriano actually hasn't been very good, which I think we all know, but this is obfuscated by the meaningless save statistic, not to mention that Soriano has hit 5 blown saves on Aug. 15, not September 30. Maybe he will not blow any more, but at this point, he could end up with 7 or 8 before it is all over. Not good.Looking at the advanced stats, Soriano is mediocre this year. His E.R.A. is pedestrian for a reliever. His Babip is about par, so he can't fall back on that. What appears to be his real problem is that he has a poor strike-out rate in which he trails most of the other relievers on the team. I just haven't seen him show the kind of stuff that you need to be an excellent closer. The other thing is that context is important. This is at least the second and maybe third time that Soriano has simply seemed to lose his focus out on the mound at a critical juncture. This was Giancarlo Stanton all over again, except worse because of his pathetic walk to the preceding batter.If you are going to be the closer and arrogantly yank off your clothes at the end of the game, then you better be able to carry that off. Soriano seemed impressive to me with the Yankees, so maybe he will be better next year, but he just doesn't appear to have the stuff to be considered along with the top guys who last several years at the top like Rivera and Fingers, and he seems nowhere near Kimbrel. He might be better than Papelbon, however.

  27. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    People probably don't want to hear this, but according to fangraphs, Soriano and Clippard have been about equal in performance in terms of looking forward. Drew Storen should be better than both, and he seemed completely awful.Now all of this gets down to the luck element in baseball which is substantial and even more so for relievers who pitch not all that many innings compared to starters. Clippard's babip is .169 which cannot be sustained, it would seem. Clippard's left on base percentage is 91%. By way of reference, Strasburg's numbers for these stats are .264 and 74%.

  28. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    This would have hurt a lot more if the Nats were in reasonable contention. As it is, they will have to win something like 30 of their last 40 to have a realistic shot at the WC.I like the way they are playing now, regardless, especially the more disciplined approach at the plate, and I like Werth's leadership on the field. And Dan Haren is the living advertisement for never giving up. Lots of character on that team.Next year, the country club atmosphere and the "What, me worry?" leadership should be gone as early as day one in ST. Too bad Haren won't be back.What is it with the Nats and closers? Last year it was Brad Lidge, and this year it is Soriano. And when Rizzo drafted for a closer, he picked Drew Storen, who has been worse this year than Lidge was, last year, and Soriano has been this year. And for that he blames Rizzo, or Davey, or anyone else he can think of, except himself. Whenever Storen's name comes up, the first 2 words that come to mind are "Mike" and "Trout."Rizzo has got some work to do in the off-season. The bull pen has hurt the Nats all year long. That is why Duke is gone, and why Davis, Mattheus, and Storen have been sent down.Soriano does not have closer stuff, especially for a guy being paid $13 mn to close out the bad guys. Bringing in Soriano to close out the game is like the Romans bringing in the Christians when the lions got hungry. Munch time!

  29. raymitten - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    So does Soriano always blame someone else for his own failures?

  30. Amr Khani - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    Nice posts WODL. I think you hit the nail on the head. Over the past few years, Soriano's stats have looked better than his performance because of the the ridiculous "Save" statistic. In fact, he was somewhat average with Yankees (when looking at FIP and xFIP) and not really good since his time with Atlanta and a little with Tampa Bay. He can't strike anyone out – in fact, he has the worst K/9 rate for any reliever on the Nationals! If you're objectively looking at the statistics, he's a middle relief to setup kind of guy (if you believe in those type of positions).Not that I ever comment on things like attitude, grit, chemistry, etc. because I generally don't believe in any of that, BUT…. the shirt thing does bother me because he only does it when he "earns" a "save". If he did it everytime the team won, whether it was technically a save or not, I could be okay with it because its at least a team win. But he does it only when he gets some individual accomplishment which we all know is really not that much of an accomplishment. Same thing with Davey, at times, managing for a pitcher to get a "win", another meaningless individual statistic.

  31. TimDz - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    The winning streak MUST have ended yeaterday….WODL, our resident pessimist, has returned….

  32. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    What, no vitriol for that belly-slapping guy? :-)Section 222 said… The vitriol against Soriano in the Instant Analysis thread was way over the top.

  33. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    I don't like the way he said " the game changed"- like he had absolutely nothing to do with it. Man up. Everyone else does.

  34. 95southNatsFan - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Remember a few weeks ago when Soriano was pulled by Knorr when he came in with a 4 or 6 run lead(I don't remember where the score was at the time) and started giving up runs? I realize he's never been as intense when a "save" opportunity isn't available to him, but now he never seems to pitch with much intensity. Someone said it earlier in this thread, he seems to have given up on the season since we're so far back in the standings.Our other relievers have been inconsistent (other than Clip), but they at least seem like they care about their performance. We need Soriano down the stretch, because we have a boatload of games we need to win. Hopefully, Drew can become an option again if needed.

  35. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Soriano said, "I lost the game." Then he explained the thought process that led to his failure. I don't know what else you expect as far as "taking responsibility."

  36. David Proctor - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Soriano NEVER "looked" like he cared. And at the start of the season people here said it was a positive. He doesn't get rattled, he's stoic, etc. etc. etc. It has nothing to do with where we are in the standings or his performance, that's just how he always looks for better or worse. I think sometimes we focus too much on what we see and assume that's how players feel. We don't see RZim getting fired up, so some say he doesn't care. Things like that.As a guy who is generally very reserved, I can promise you that there's often more than meets the eye. It's silly to pretend we know everything going on. The bottom line is Soriano has to perform better though. How he looks, his facial expressions or him untucking his shirt is irrelevant.

  37. Nats 128 - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    I will say it again Rizzos only decent acquisitions looked like Soriano and Olendorf and now Olendorf may be his only decent pickup.Even tho Haren has performed admirably of late the $13 million man with his 4.82 ERA is still a bust overall.Soriano was an extreme overpay and is a head case.

  38. David Proctor - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Agreed NL. Reporters ASK him to explain it. And then we he explains it people say he's making excuses. He admitted fault and said he felt bad for Dan Haren, whose great performance was wasted. Not sure what else you want from the guy. Reporters specifically asked about the 2-2 pitch to Sanchez and he said he thought it was a strike (and Pitch FX confirmed it was a strike). I thought he took responsibility for it.

  39. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Soriano was pumped when Span caught that ball, and another time when LaRoche made a great play. He "looked" pretty dejected yesterday. Other than that, I don't think we as fans are entitled to his emotions, or his interactions with teammates, etc. etc. I find this psycho-babble very distasteful. Soriano is a man with a family doing his job.We pay for his performance. It's fine to question that, with his diminished strikeout rate, etc.

  40. bowdenball - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Nats 128 said…"Soriano was an extreme overpay and is a head case."Soriano is a 33 year old veteran with 163 career saves, a 2,84 career ERA, a 1.06 career WHIP and a 3.00 ERA with a 0.583 career WHIP in the postseason. He is the exact opposite of a head case. His head is not the problem.The problem is that he's getting older and he's lost his strikeout stuff. You can fault Rizzo for not anticipating that if you want, but it's almost comical to call him a head case. That would be like calling Bryce Harper passionless.

  41. Nats 128 - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    bowdenball Sorianos behavior at blaming Bryce Harper earlier in the year was a bad move. I call it a head case. You call it something else. May be I just say hes a classless arse.

  42. Rabbit34 - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    I was at the game and had a great time. The game was very enjoyable, until…..As I said to my friend, these days, with all the specialty pitchers used, you are giving each one a chance to blow the game. I still say stay with a pitcher that is doing well, like in the "old" days. Yesterday, with Soriano, you could see disaster coming. He was having no problem getting the first two strikes, but he can't put the hitters away. All-in-all, a fun day. Good food, good beer, nice people and great weather. Next year we rip up the division!

  43. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    You call it head case. I call it Soriano was right, Harper was at fault. Maybe he shouldn't have said so in such terms to a reporter, thinking he was "off the record." A guy who spent time in NY should know better, but that's PR problem, not a head case.I've been burned, too, said something like that once to an adult student when I was tired and frustrated ("I have six year olds who can do that", were my exact words). She was absolutely crushed. It was true, though. Harper seems to have weathered the storm, Soriano apologized (as did I).

  44. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Agree with NL and DP. Criticism of his demeanor, his post game answers, and his untucking are way off the mark. Criticism of his performance yesterday is not. But don't forget he had four straight no baserunner saves leading up to Wed. night. Using him three days in a row was unavoidable (because once again the bats were impotent with RISP), and he's done it four times this year without a bad performance in the third game. The odds caught up to him this time, and I just think that pronouncing him a failure is wrong. No way is he this year's Brad Lidge. Come on.And imagine the alternative…

  45. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    And I agree completely with NL on the Harper/Soriano incident. Give it a rest.

  46. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Also agree with David's post regarding Soriano's stoic demeanor as not being anything new.

  47. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    222, agree. Also, Soriano wouldn't have had to go on Wednesday if the middle relievers could have held a 6-1 lead. FOR TWO INNINGS.

  48. fast eddie - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Prediction:Storen will win the closer job back and Soriano will get traded this winter.

  49. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Two things Sanchez is a switch hitter so bring Krol in was an option, but so was bringing Storen if ypu were just changing pitchers.My problem was Sanchez had 0 homers, and Soriano didnt just go after him, he nibbled. Sabchez in his career only hsd 3 homers.Soriano was not pitching to Babe Ruth there was no need to nibble.Final thought Soriano lost focus because he was mad at Jim Joyce. Ever ball player is paid way to much to ever lose focus. They can make mistakes, but not lose focus.

  50. bowdenball - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    fast eddie said…"Prediction: Storen will win the closer job back and Soriano will get traded this winter."I hope you're right, fast eddie, but Soriano's not getting traded unless the Nats agree to eat most of his salary. I see him coming back as overpaid bullpen depth- Rizzo would rather have that than whatever non-prospect and the million or two of salary relief we'd get from another team.

  51. Joe Seamhead - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    OK, Soriano blew it yesterday. The ump also blew it, as even the guy that hit the home run thought he was toast on the pitch before. Regardless, Soriano hasn't been awful, nor is he the primary goat of this year's bullpen. Think back to May when neither Duke or H-Rod was worth a squat. Davey's choices were really limited because those guys were useless, but he tried to get by with who was available. He was counting heavily on not just Clip, Storen, Stammen and Soriano, but also on Ryan Mattheus big time. Then that knucklehead goes and breaks his hand while having the temper tantrum of a spoiled child. Ryan Mattheus is more responsible for this season's bullpen woes then anybody else. Johnson was counting on his contributions and the effects of his stupidity are still taking a toll on this team. Over the course of the season I have been frustrated by different guys on the field failures, but they are trying, but Ryan Mattheus is the only one I feel angry with.

  52. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Before he talked to the press, Soriano, in a gray suit with white shirt and black tie, asked to be allowed a minute to find a mirror. “Let me get my tie up, please,” he said, just asking for a bit of dignity to remain.One wonders if he then ritually un-tied once the interview was over.

  53. Tcostant - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    He tried to blow it the night before and Span saved his bacon. Just when we started…I'm ready to trade Haren for a prospect, because this team is not making the payoffs.

  54. Joe Seamhead - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    And in my opinion, the whole Harper thing was a muckraking pile of poppycock by the press. The guy's statement wasn't repeated the way it was stated. And whether it was Harper's doing, or the bench's, he was positioned stupidly on the play. Ask any of the SF Giants players, or coaches. That was a classic situation to be in a "no doubles" defense if there ever was one.

  55. Doc - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    The Giants players were wondering why Clip isn't the closer—me too!

  56. 3on2out - Aug 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Nats Lady:Please contact me at 3on2out@gmail.com with your snail mail address and I will mail you your cap from yesterday's fun fest. 3 hours and 10 minutes of fun. 13 minutes of fester.

  57. sjm308 - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Just didn't want you guys to think I was a front runner.Disappointed for sure.Really enjoyed wodl's closer analysis. Might have the first post I have read without Span's name being mentioned but it was well written and informative.Expecting poor to no wifi starting tomorrow morning so the next two weeks will be hit or mis

  58. sjm308 - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    As much as I like how Haren has rebounded and his attitude, if we are out of this race in the next few weeks and can get younger prospects, I think it's the right move. He has talked about missing his kids & I can't see him back.Go Nats!

  59. Nats106 - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Nats 128 said… bowdenball Sorianos behavior at blaming Bryce Harper earlier in the year was a bad move. I call it a head case. You call it something else. May be I just say hes a classless arseRumor has it that Soriano blamed Werth for being out of position on the Sanchez hit. He was supposed to be positioned in Section 237.

  60. Joe Seamhead - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    That's funny, Nats106. I don't agree with you, but I appreciate the humor.

  61. Nats106 - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Joe S, I agree with your thought that it was just so much muckraking. Just trying to bring some levity to a trying season.I know-don't quit the day job…..

  62. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Evaluating relievers is much harder than evaluating starters. If FIP stats have value for starters because of year to year fluctuations in luck, then this applies even more so for relievers, and particularly these days with the paltry number of innings that relievers throw, it is very difficult to get a representative sample of the reliever's effectiveness. By way of reference, NL relievers from the 70's such as Clay Carroll and Mike Marshall used to pitch over 150 innings a year some seasons. Marshall went over 200 innings in 1974.Both Gio and Strasburg got annihilated in separate outings this year, but performances like that can be washed out with a couple of good starts. Long story short: it is very difficult to comment on a reliever's effectiveness using things like ERA+ and Whip alone, although that seems to work pretty well for analyzing starters. Relievers stats are much more susceptible to random variation, either up or down, and we see that most years where the top relievers have ERA+'s that are far better than virtually all the best starters in the league. If one looked at Soriano's stats on baseball reference, including ERA, ERA + and Whip, he doesn't look all that bad. He is basically equal to Stammen and Gio, and behind Clippard, Strasburg and Zimmermann.However, if you go to fangraphs and check their advanced pitching stats under relievers, Soriano comes in at number 62, 2 slots behind that great Marlins' reliever, Mike Dunn and one ahead of Tanner Scheppers, which is roughly the fortieth percentile, with 142 relievers rated. This is according to w.a.r.If you go by XFIP, things get even worse. Soriano falls to 82 out of 142, and trails Stammen, Storen and Clippard. Soriano's FIP stats fall in between the first two in terms of ranking.That is obviously not good value for $14 million and a 1st round pick, but even apart from the sunk cost of signing him, there just isn't that much difference among these guys, once you get past the first ten or so, most of whom don't have the stuff to be a number 5 starter. I was in favor of the Soriano signing. I thought it was a good decision at the time. However, using advanced metrics, it seems all but impossible to justify, not just for Soriano, but probably for any reliever, unless money and draft choices are no object.Jayson Werth had a poor year here in year one, so maybe Soriano can recover, but regardless as to whether or not Soriano has been "good" this year, the Nats sure didn't bring him in to be the 4th or 5th best reliever on the team.Maybe the whole FIP stats thing is completely off base. I would be interested in hearing anyone else's thoughts on this.

  63. RC - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    FWIW, Gameday on iPad showed the 2-2 pitch as a ball, high.

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