Skip to content

Nats who’s hot, who’s not – 9/11

Sep 11, 2013, 1:17 PM EDT

Zim throwing, Lidge has surgery

The Nationals’ past week, at a glance:

Record: 5-1
Team slash: .264/.335/.529
Team ERA: 3.06
Runs per game: 5.5
Opponent runs per game: 3.0
Opponent slash: .235/.281/.286

HOT

Ryan Zimmerman, 3B: 5-25/5 HR/6 RBI/.286 OBP/1.086 OPS

What an odd line — just five hits and three walks, but all three hits left the park, giving Zimmerman an eye-popping .800 slugging percentage. It has been a trying season for the $100 million man, but his recent burst has brought his home run total to within four of last season’s mark, and his batting average is just eight points behind what he put up last year. The big difference is in RBI — he currently has 69, and there’s no way for him to approximate the 95 from a year ago. If he keeps mashing like this, though, he could do a lot to make things interesting for the Nats over the next couple weeks.

Jayson Werth, OF: 11-25/2 HR/5 RBI/.481 OBP/1.361 OPS/1 SB

Maybe Werth isn’t even really hot anymore — maybe this is just what we get from him now. Nats fans rejoice at the thought of Werth paying the team back for their overpayment of the past two seasons, but given his advancing age and injury history, it’s more likely that this is a tantalizing glimpse into what the outfielder can do when conditions are perfect. Like Zimmerman, the veritable tree trunk that Werth is swinging is adding some drama to the wild card chase, and with six games to make up in an 18-game span, the Nats are still alive. Crazier things have indeed happened.

Gio Gonzalez, SP: 1-0/0.00 ERA/0.33 WHIP/9 IP/8 K

Gio came within a seventh-inning Zach Lutz pinch-hit single of recording the majors’ third no-hitter of the 2013 season. Instead, he had to settle for the big leagues’ fourth one-hitter, and the satisfaction that when he’s on his game, he’s one of the most unhittable pitchers in baseball. Though his season totals are nowhere near those of his 2012 career season, a strong finish can set the tone for a return to dominance in 2014.

**Hat tip to Denard Span, who last night ran his career-best hitting streak to 21 games, and to Tanner Roark, who won his first major league start, has done absolutely everything asked of him, and who now sports a 5-0 record and an ‘is-this-thing-broken?’ 405 ERA+.

NOT

Anthony Rendon, 2B: 4-12/2 XBH/1 RBI/.385 OBP/.968 OPS

Rendon, who ceded some playing time to Steve Lombardozzi this past week, may be wearing down at the end of his first full professional season. The heralded prospect played in just 43 games across four minor league levels in 2012, and has blown way past that this season by appearing in 121 total contests (36 in the minors, 85 with the big club). Though he was a shot in the arm during the time of his call-up, Rendon has been one of the least productive regulars in the Nats lineup for some time now.

Dan Haren, SP: 0-1/15.00 ERA/2.67 WHIP/3 IP/5 K

The Nats have now dropped Haren’s last three starts, with the starter taking the loss in the most recent two — each time failing to progress past the third inning. Though it feels as though he’s been around forever, Haren is just 32; the sad reality of the (so-called, at least) post-steroid era, though, is that pitchers are aging extremely fast. Though not as bad as NFL running backs just yet, many major league starters are often struggling to maintain even a modicum of consistency much past their 30th birthday. If Haren continues pitching as he currently is, he no longer belongs in a first-division rotation.

Bryce Harper, OF: 0-3/0 XBH/0 RBI/.333 OBP/.333 OPS

This isn’t just about Harper’s lack of production over the past week — he mustered a walk in three plate appearances in his only game — nor should he be blamed for sitting out with injury. In fact, sitting out is what he should be doing. Harper recently admitted that his hip is bothering him, despite him playing through it for weeks. This season could serve as an important lesson in self-maintenance as his health is too important for the Nationals.

  1. bowdenball - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    “NOT

    Anthony Rendon, 2B: 4-12/2 XBH/1 RBI/.385 OBP/.968 OPS”

    Huh? That line looks pretty good to me.

    I guess you know your team is playing well when the only way someone can come up with three guys who are “not hot” is to include a middle infielder carrying a .968 OPS over the relevant time frame. Still, wouldn’t Lombardozzi’s 0 for 7 with no walks and 2 Ks have been a better choice?

    • letswin3 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Bowdenball, you beat me to it. The guy hits .333, with half his hits for extra bases and carrys a .968 OPS……all while “Hoovering” stuff near second base (and one memorable one in short right field), and he’s a “NOT”? Looks like our Mr. Roney is cranky today.

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Agreed. Rendon’s recent numbers don’t look great, except in comparison to the alternatives at 2B. And he’s “not hot,” only in comparison to the rest of the lineup.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Yah, huh what? Plus a few great defensive plays.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    I wish I could get excited about today’s game, but the knowledge that the Reds won and Dan Haren is pitching leaves me unenthused.

  3. Steady Eddie - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    And as long as he’s listing Bryce as “not hot” when it would be far more accurate to say “mostly not playing”, why not put in Det as “not hot”? His ERA is still as bad as it was in June.

  4. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    So, STEVE RONEY: care to comment on the Rendon “not”? Maybe explain what you had in mind?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 67 10.0
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter