Sep 30, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
You may recall way back on April 1 when I posted this annual article of predictions for the 2013 Nationals made by me and my fellow reporters on the beat. Well, it’s time for another annual tradition: Revisiting those predictions and proving to the world just how wrong we all were in almost every case.
We had a particularly rough 2013, though I suppose the same could be said for everybody out there who predicted great things for the Nationals, only to watch this club slog its way through the season’s first four months before finally get hot late (but too late).
We strive for accountability around here, though, so it’s only fair that we go through this exercise. I appreciate all my friends on the beat for participating in the first place, and for the embarrassment they’re now experiencing as they read the following…
WHICH NATS WILL BE SELECTED FOR THE ALL-STAR GAME?
Amanda Comak (Washington Times) — Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann
Craig Heist (WTOP) — Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg
Chase Hughes (CSNwashington.com) — Bryce Harper, Rafael Soriano, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann
Pete Kerzel (MASNsports.com) — Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg
Adam Kilgore (Washington Post) — Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg
Dan Kolko (MASNsports.com) — Gio Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman
Bill Ladson (MLB.com) — Ian Desmond, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman
Brian McNally (Washington Examiner) — Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman
Joey Nowak (MLB.com) — Tyler Clippard, Bryce Harper, Rafael Soriano, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman
James Wagner (Washington Post) — Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg
Mark Zuckerman (CSNwashington.com) — Ian Desmond, Ross Detwiler, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman
CORRECT ANSWERS: Bryce Harper and Jordan Zimmermann were the Nationals’ lone All-Stars, and Zimmermann didn’t even participate in the game due to a neck injury. Ian Desmond did make the “Final Man” ballot but didn’t come close to winning it.
WINNER: Amanda Comak and Chase Hughes were the only ones to have both Harper and Zimmermann, though each had multiple incorrect answers, so it’s kind of a win by default for them.
WHAT WILL TOTAL HOME ATTENDANCE BE?
Bill Ladson — 3,000,000
Chase Hughes — 2,900,000
James Wagner — 2,900,000
Amanda Comak — 2,835,000
Joey Nowak — 2,830,000
Brian McNally — 2,800,000
Mark Zuckerman — 2,754,913
Craig Heist — 2,700,000
Adam Kilgore — 2,580,000
Dan Kolko — 2,580,000
Pete Kerzel — 2,567,795
CORRECT ANSWER: 2,652,422
WINNER: This proved a close contest, but Craig Heist barely beat Adam Kilgore, missing the attendance total by only 47,578.
HOW MANY HOMERS WILL BRYCE HARPER HIT?
Bill Ladson — 40
Mark Zuckerman — 39
Chase Hughes — 34
Craig Heist — 34
Adam Kilgore — 33
Amanda Comak — 33
Dan Kolko — 31
James Wagner — 31
Brian McNally — 28
Joey Nowak — 28
Pete Kerzel — 27
CORRECT ANSWER: Harper finished with 20 home runs.
WINNER: Pete Kerzel came closest, but he didn’t come particularly close. Winner by default.
WHERE WILL HARPER FINISH IN NL MVP VOTING?
Amanda Comak — 1st
Adam Kilgore — 1st
Bill Ladson — 1st
Mark Zuckerman — 1st
Craig Heist — 2nd
Joey Nowak — 2nd
Dan Kolko — 3rd
James Wagner — 3rd
Chase Hughes — 4th
Brian McNally — 5th
Pete Kerzel — 18th
CORRECT ANSWER: The MVP voting results won’t be announced until mid-November, but it’s safe to say Harper won’t receive a single vote.
HOW MANY INNINGS WILL STEPHEN STRASBURG PITCH?
Bill Ladson — 210
Craig Heist — 210
Amanda Comak — 203
Chase Hughes — 202
Adam Kilgore — 201
Brian McNally — 198
Joey Nowak — 198
Dan Kolko — 196
James Wagner — 195 2/3
Pete Kerzel — 195
Mark Zuckerman — 192 2/3
CORRECT ANSWER: A brief DL stint due to a lat strain and a couple of early exits due to rain and an ejection left Strasburg with 183 innings pitched for the season.
WINNER: I was only off by 9 2/3 innings. That’s good enough, right?
WHERE WILL STRASBURG FINISH IN NL CY YOUNG VOTING?
Dan Kolko — 1st
Bill Ladson — 1st
Joey Nowak — 1st
Craig Heist — 2nd
Pete Kerzel — 2nd
Adam Kilgore — 2nd
James Wagner — 2nd
Amanda Comak — 3rd
Chase Hughes — 3rd
Brian McNally — 3rd
Mark Zuckerman — 3rd
CORRECT ANSWER: Like MVP, the Cy Young results won’t be announced for another six weeks. But as was the case with Harper, Strasburg won’t be receiving any votes.
WHO WILL LEAD THE PITCHING STAFF IN WINS? HOW MANY?
Bill Ladson — Stephen Strasburg, 25
Amanda Comak — Stephen Strasburg, 21
Pete Kerzel — Stephen Strasburg, 21
Adam Kilgore — Stephen Strasburg, 21
Joey Nowak — Stephen Strasburg, 21
Chase Hughes — Gio Gonzalez, 20
Mark Zuckerman — Stephen Strasburg, 19
Craig Heist — Gio Gonzalez, 19
Dan Kolko — Jordan Zimmermann, 19
James Wagner — Stephen Strasburg, 18
Brian McNally — Stephen Strasburg, 17
CORRECT ANSWER: Jordan Zimmermann led the staff with a 19-9 record.
WINNER: Congrats to Dan Kolko, who nailed this one.
WHO WILL BE THE 6TH PITCHER TO START A GAME? WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN?
Bill Ladson — Chris Young, May 1 at Braves
Craig Heist — Chris Young, May 5 at Pirates
Brian McNally — Zach Duke, May 15 at Dodgers
Chase Hughes — Zach Duke, May 16 at Padres
Mark Zuckerman — Zach Duke, May 19 at Padres
Adam Kilgore — Zach Duke, May 22 at Giants
Pete Kerzel — Yunesky Maya, May 25 vs. Phillies
Amanda Comak — Zach Duke, June 2 at Braves
James Wagner — Zach Duke, June 9 vs. Twins
Dan Kolko — Zach Duke, June 15 at Indians
Joey Nowak — Ryan Perry, June 21 vs. Rockies
CORRECT ANSWER: Zach Duke filled in for an injured Ross Detwiler on May 20 against the Giants.
WINNER: Wow, this one was incredibly close. I had Duke starting one day too early, Adam Kilgore had him starting two days too late. I was closer, so I win.
HOW MANY GAMES WILL WILSON RAMOS START?
Joey Nowak — 106
Chase Hughes — 105
Bill Ladson — 100
Mark Zuckerman — 94
James Wagner — 92
Pete Kerzel — 88
Amanda Comak — 83
Craig Heist — 80
Adam Kilgore — 75
Brian McNally — 70
Dan Kolko — 68
CORRECT ANSWER: Ramos missed considerable time with hamstring injuries, but he became an Iron Man down the stretch and finished with 77 games started.
WINNER: Another close one, with Kilgore narrowly claiming the victory over Heist.
HOW MANY ERRORS WILL RYAN ZIMMERMAN COMMIT?
Chase Hughes — 18
Brian McNally — 16
Joey Nowak — 16
Mark Zuckerman — 16
Craig Heist — 15
James Wagner — 15
Dan Kolko — 14
Pete Kerzel — 13
Amanda Comak — 12
Adam Kilgore — 12
Bill Ladson — 10
CORRECT ANSWER: Zim’s early season throwing woes became a national story. Though he battled through them and finished strong, he still wound up with 21 errors.
WINNER: We all expected better a better performance from Zimmerman, but Hughes came closest with his prediction of 18 errors.
HOW MANY SAVES WILL RAFAEL SORIANO RECORD?
Chase Hughes — 47
Adam Kilgore — 40
Joey Nowak — 39
Mark Zuckerman — 38
Brian McNally — 36
Craig Heist — 35
Dan Kolko — 35
Amanda Comak — 34
Pete Kerzel — 32
James Wagner — 31
Bill Ladson — 15
CORRECT ANSWER: Soriano recorded 43 saves, exactly one-half of the Nationals’ victories.
WINNER: One more save by Soriano would’ve given the title to Hughes, but instead Kilgore takes this one by a nose.
HOW MANY SAVES WILL DREW STOREN RECORD?
Amanda Comak — 16
Brian McNally — 16
James Wagner — 16
Joey Nowak — 14
Craig Heist — 12
Adam Kilgore — 10
Bill Ladson — 10
Dan Kolko — 9
Mark Zuckerman — 8
Chase Hughes — 5
Pete Kerzel — 3
CORRECT ANSWER: Storen recorded 3 saves this season.
WINNER: Kerzel nails this one.
HOW MANY BIG-LEAGUE GAMES WILL ANTHONY RENDON PLAY THIS YEAR?
Chase Hughes — 65
Craig Heist — 40
Brian McNally — 35
James Wagner — 35
Adam Kilgore — 30
Joey Nowak — 29
Amanda Comak — 27
Bill Ladson — 20
Dan Kolko — 12
Mark Zuckerman — 12
Pete Kerzel — 6
CORRECT ANSWER: To the surprise of many, Rendon was promoted early in the season and became a fixture in the starting lineup, appearing in a total of 98 big-league games.
WINNER: None of us expected Rendon to spend so much time with the Nats this year, but Hughes came closest to getting it right.
HOW MANY GAMES WILL THE NATIONALS WIN?
Bill Ladson — 108
Dan Kolko — 102
Craig Heist — 99
Joey Nowak — 98
James Wagner — 97
Amanda Comak — 96
Chase Hughes — 96
Pete Kerzel — 96
Adam Kilgore — 96
Brian McNally — 95
Mark Zuckerman — 95
CORRECT ANSWER: The Nationals finished 86-76.
WINNER: Nobody. I wouldn’t even dare try to claim victory here, even if Brian McNally and I technically were closest.
HOW WILL THE NATIONALS’ SEASON END?
Craig Heist — Win World Series
Adam Kilgore — Win World Series
Dan Kolko — Win World Series
Bill Ladson — Win World Series
Amanda Comak — Lose World Series
Pete Kerzel — Lose World Series
Joey Nowak — Lose World Seres
James Wagner — Lose World Series
Mark Zuckerman — Lose World Series
Chase Hughes — Lose NLCS
Brian McNally — Lose NLCS
CORRECT ANSWER: The Nationals finished in second place in the NL East, 10 games behind the Braves, 4 games behind the Reds for a postseason berth.
WINNER: Most definitely none of us overly optimistic schlubs.
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2013 schedule (subject to change)...
TUE: 12:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
WED: 2:30 p.m.
THU: 4:30 p.m.
FRI: 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
SAT: 9:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
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