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Roster review: Ross Detwiler

Oct 18, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

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Age on Opening Day 2014: 28

How acquired: 1st round pick, 2007 draft

MLB service time: 4 years, 2 days

2013 salary+bonuses: $2.3375 million

Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2014 and 2015, free agent in 2016

2013 Stats: 13 GS, 71.1 IP, 92 H, 37 R, 32 ER, 5 HR, 14 BB, 39 K, 1.486 WHIP, 2-7, 4.04 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 0.9 WAR

Quotable: “We need to see if this injury is going to resurface. As many starts as he can get, appearances, is I think important. He needs to be reliable next year.” — Davey Johnson on Ross Detwiler

2013 analysis: The Nationals had sky-high hopes for Detwiler entering the season, believing the left-hander could build off his strong finish to 2012 that included a fantastic outing in Game 4 of the NLDS. And through his first seven starts, Detwiler was living up to the billing, posting a 2.53 ERA while issuing only eight total walks.

But then came a May 15 start at Dodger Stadium, during which Detwiler tweaked his back trying to cover first base. He wound up spending a month on the DL, and though he returned in mid-June, he wasn’t the same pitcher. Over his next five starts, he went 0-3 with a 6.31 ERA, the back injury again becoming a factor.

The Nationals put Detwiler back on the DL in July, and despite his best attempts, he couldn’t get back on the mound by season’s end, done in by a herniated disc that ultimately turned his 2013 into a lost cause.

2014 outlook: Though Detwiler did make a couple of rehab appearances in Viera at season’s end and reported no back issues, he will be something of a question mark entering spring training. The Nationals are counting on him to be a part of their Opening Day rotation, but they’ll need to see some solid evidence of 100 percent health from him in camp, just to be sure.

Even if healthy, Detwiler may need to make some adjustments on the mound. He became almost exclusively a fastball pitcher this season, throwing it an MLB-high 88 percent of the time. True, Detwiler does throw both a four-seamer and a two-seamer, two different types of pitches. But opponents hit .310 off him this year, perhaps a sign they knew to sit on the fastball.

This will be an important season for Detwiler, who is eligible for free agency after 2015. He needs to prove his breakthrough 2012 campaign was for real, and that his injury-plagued earlier seasons and 2013 were not the norm.

  1. David Proctor - Oct 18, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Detwiler is probably the single biggest question mark for next year. There are questions elsewhere of course, particularly at 1B with LaRoche, but I think Detwiler is a HUGE unknown as far as what we can expect. I still think we need to sign a veteran starter. While Roark and Jordan both looked good, they each pitched about 50 innings. What if it turns out those 50 innings were a fluke? Could easily be the case, especially as the league sees them a second time around.

    Combine that with not knowing if Detwiler can be counted upon for 180 innings and you have two huge question marks at the back end of the rotation. Maybe a few years ago we can take those risks, but if we truly want to compete, we can’t pin our hopes on an injury prone 4th starter and 2 rookies who have proven nothing.

    I’m not saying go out and spend a ton of money, but at least get a guy with a decent track record and someone who, unlike Haren, has proven to be HEALTHY.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      exactly on fourth and fifth starter. I think we should look into Ubaldo on a 2-3 year deal. he started off pretty bad in 2013 but improved a lot by bringing his ERA down from 5 to 3.3 over last 3 and half months. Just in case, we develop an arm or two (which is a must I think) with UJ on payroll, we can look to trade him for prospects.

    • unterp - Oct 18, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      John Lannan is available and a FA…

      • NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        If we are giving up a draft pick, go for Ervin Santana. The Royals will make him a QO and he will decline.

        But, giving up a 1st round draft pick might not be the strategy this year.

  2. David Proctor - Oct 18, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    Also, Bill Ladson is reporting that Brad Ausmus interviewed for the job on Tuesday and it “went well.” He also named Rays bench coach Dave Martinez as someone that Rizzo is high on and may interview, although none has taken place yet.

  3. Whack-A-Mule - Oct 18, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Mule Managerial Notes:

    It is intriguing that none of the candidates for the Nats’ helm has major-league managerial experience; some have no managerial experience whatsoever. (Former major league manager Dusty Baker cannot be considered as a serious candidate to manage, other than perhaps in the Mexican League).

    Brad Ausmus is an interesting addition to Rizzo’s shopping list. He had a long MLB career as a catcher in the Moe Berg mold (“good glove; no hit”) and resembles (the late) Mr. Berg in one other important way -
    he is quite brilliant, heavily blessed with intellectual horse(mule?)-power. He is reminiscent of Tony LaRussa
    in this regard (albeit without a managerial track record aside from a side-bar cameo in the World Baseball Classic).

    It remains true (however cliched) that catchers make good managers. A superb defensive catcher with a long professional career coupled with a brilliant mind makes for a formidable prospect.

    • Doc - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Brad Asmus is an intriguing candidate.

      Looks like he, as with many other managers and prospective managerial candidates, wants to bring in his own coaches. I kinda like the guys that we have, and so do the players.

      Wonder what Rizzo’s disposition is on such matters??

      • NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Are you sure he would change coaches? He hasn’t been a manager before, does he have an entourage? Seems to me he might stick with Schu and McCatty, though not necessarily Trent and Knorr.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Mark, can you please hyperlink a player’s wiki/bbref/FG page? thank you.

  5. Theophilus T.S. - Oct 18, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Anybody can fill out a line-up card.. In that sense, prior managerial experience isn’t required. Two abilities possessed by successful managers are (1) handling not only the immediate tactical situation but also anticipating the progression of the game over the next several innings; (2) managing today’s game with an eye to optimizing the rest of the series if not the rest of the week. These skills are gifts polished by years of observation, not necessarily managerial experience. That may in part explain why catchers, who manage the game between the mound and home plate, become successful managers. But managers also need leadership and, well, people management skills. These aren’t so much forged by experience as a manager as they are proved by a track record as a successful manager. E.g., Johnson had them, Riggleman didn’t (and why the Reds are thinking of hiring Riggleman is beyond me but that’s their problem).

    In the light of the foregoing the question of prior managerial experience is much less important to me than the skill set. If Rizzo et al can get the skill set by taking a flyer on a rookie manager, that’s fine with me. My only specific requirement is they must pick someone who will demand accountability from a team with too many recidivist boneheads.

  6. jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    The Red Sox interviewed Ausmus last year and were reportedly very impressed. He brought a complete work plan to the interview including a list of coaches he wanted to work with. The Red Sox were really determined to bring back John Farrell (and obviously it was the right move) and it was Ausmus 1st interview for a major managerial job. Another interesting point is that Ausmus declined to interview for the Houston job which in my opinion was also an intelligent career decision; these kind of jobs are so daunting that they can doom a young candidate’s career because it’s impossible to win without any talent and in the end they fire you because someone has to be the scapegoat. Just ask Manny Acta.

  7. jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    If Detwiler is healthy he is plenty good enough relative to other team’s 4th starters. I don’t understand why he has all of the sudden become such a huge question mark. Lots of pitchers have injuries and his, fortunately is not an elbow or shoulder injury so again I don’t get why he is considered a higher risk than anyone else.

    • Jw - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      He’s a risk because he’s been in this organization since 2007 and except for a couple of relatively short stretches that showed some promise he has delivered absolutely nothing. And he doesn’t seem willing to do the obvious things that he should be doing to become the kind of pitcher his brief stints of promise hint that he might be. He’s been a beanpole since the day he was drafted and has done nothing to bulk up. He should be pitching winter ball right now to make up for time he lost last summer, and he’s not. He’s like the Delicate Flower John Patterson, but not as good a pitcher. If he’s not careful, he could find himself being Pattersoned next spring.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      it compounds because of uncertainty with #5. We are basically going in with 3 options for 2 starters, RD, Roark, and TJ for #4 and #5. RD has back issues (so did Haren in 2012 I believe) and Roark and TJ are rookies who will be seeing lots of teams for second time. If RD is not completely healthy (as Mark noted, he did not come back this season despite trying), basically we are relying on Roark and TJ then. Now add to the fact that RD (going to 28 age season) has yet to pitch a full season and 180+ innings. Yes, injuries are part of game but RD has injuries lot more than others. I think signing another pitcher makes most sense.

      injury history which does not include him switching between relief and start duties in 2012.

  8. sjm308 - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    First question – why do I have to continually log on to make a comment? Am I doing something wrong or is this normal for all of you?

    Detwiler – I think I read this in earlier posts on here but what would be wrong with putting him in the bullpen to start the season? It takes care of a definite need. Allows him to show that he has recovered and he would not be the first young pitcher to work his way into the starting lineup this way (see Price, David & several young Cardinal starters as well). If for some amazing reason, the Nats follow through with this strategy then I definitely support going out and getting another veteran starter although I will admit that Rizzo has not done well with this chore the last two years.

    Manager – Definitely NO to Dusty even interviewing. Interesting that Cal has not surfaced as being interviewed. I listened to Richard Justice talk about how great a job Cal would do and I respect his knowledge but I would not think it is the way to go. Knorr fits the exact same mold that Mule puts out for Ausmus. He might not have had as long a major league career but he did catch, and he has actually managed at pretty much all the minor league levels.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      no, it is not normal. Last I logged in to NI was at least a week ago.

      you may be using another site that uses wordpress and have a different login for that site. I had the same problem since FG uses wordpress and unknowingly, I made another account for it. But I realized it a while back and now I use two different browsers (chrome and mozilla) to avoid logging in to either site again and again.

    • Jw - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Cal is working on TBS right now, which makes him pretty much unavailable for manager interviews.

    • Sonny G 10 - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      I have to log in each time also.

      • natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        I also log in each time but it’s a personal preference for me, as I don’t tend to check off “remember me/password” boxes.

    • Section 222 - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Make sure to check the box under your log in that says “Remember Me.” If you miss that, you have to keep logging in, but if you check it you shouldn’t have to, at least for awhile.

  9. jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    JW,

    I disagree with your assessment pretty much across the board. Det had a solid year in 2012 and was off to a good start in 2013 before his injuries. I don’t think you are in position to know whether or not he should be pitching in the winter leagues, I think there are people a lot closer to the organization and the player who can make a much more informed decision in that regard.

    Faraz,

    I hear what you say about the injuries but to me if a pitcher does not have arm issues then he has as good a chance as anyone to bounce back healthy. Again, let’s stop comparing him to top of the rotation pitchers, for a 4th or 5th starter he’s clearly in the top echelon compared to other team’s 4th starters.

    • Jw - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      Detwiler is 28 years old and has never pitched 180 innings. He’s never had a solid season, especially considering he was a #6 overall pick. He needs to be doing something about that. He’s not, and never has. Case closed.

      • jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Jw,

        This is your opinion but it’s not supported by facts. In 2012 he had a 10- 8 record and a 3.40 ERA plus a 1.6 WAR. That’s a solid season especially for a no. 4 starter. The fact that Bowden selected him higher than he should have has nothing to do with the current discussion.

        I also don’t know where you are coming from when you say he hasn’t done something about it.

  10. jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    sjm308,

    Your points about Knorr are very reasonable. My only concern is that he was a part of the staff last year in a season which was a colossal failure. It may be that his input was minor and that he is really a very good candidate but I don’t know that I believe that completely.

    I think that the fact that Rizzo is looking at Williams and Ausmus and perhaps Dave Martinez tells me that he’s not completely sold on Knorr either.

    I also don’t love Mc.Catty and I think that Knorr taking over increases the odds that he returns (I could be wrong here too).

    • therealjohnc - Oct 18, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      Last season was not a “colossal failure.” They finished with the 6th best record of 15 NL teams, and #12 of 30 MLB teams. At 86-76, they tied for the best season of DC baseball since WWII. They fell short of their goals and were disappointing, yes; winning 98 games with a young team will do that. But if you call that a colossal failure, that tells me that you haven’t been a Nats fan for very long. Believe me, we know colossal failure. It wasn’t long ago that the Nats’ seasons really were colossal failures. 205 losses in two years, 298 losses over three years colossal.

      And being a part of the current staff shouldn’t disqualify Knorr. Firing coaches is a temptation when a team takes a step back. But the Rays didn’t fire Joe Maddon when the team stumbled to 84 wins after winning 97 games in 2008. Since then the Rays have averaged about 93 wins per season and made the playoffs three of four years despite playing with comically low resources in a very tough division. It’s tempting to act out of frustration, but often patience is the right way to go.

      • NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        ++++++

        I agree so much with this. The Nats were projected to win 85 games in 2012 and maybe compete for a WC. That they won 98 stirred the Stras controversy and created unreasonable expectations for 2013.

        They are a solid team. Rizzo needs to go for a 90-win team on talent and coaching–and then hope that BASEBALL and HEALTH take them over the top.

      • jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        1st off all for the record I’ve been a Nats/Expos fan since 1969. Sorry guys, relative to the talent level on this team 86 wins was a colossal failure, that’s not just my opinion. If I am not mistaken the Nats were the overwhelming choice of most pundits in and around baseball. The Nats under performed the same way the Red Sox under performed under Valentine and that ship was righted pretty quickly when they put together the appropriate coaching stuff.

        Not giving the job to Knorr is not a firing, last I checked he didn’t have the job to begin with.Being on last year’s staff shouldn’t disqualify him but it certainly shouldn’t put him ahead of potentially better candidates.

      • jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        NatsLady,

        Yes 98 wins may have been an over reach but there is no way you take 86 wins ( and a lot- of that was accomplished when the cows left the barn) and consider that acceptable. This is a much better team than that IMO, much better than SOLID.

        Therealjohnc

        The comparison to Maddon is outrageous. Maddon is a manager with a long track record whose teams are always budget challenged but always out perform their talent level. Knorr has zero track record and should be evaluated on an equal footing with the other potential candidates..

      • Section 222 - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        I am so with jd on this. I’ve been a Nats fan and STH since 2005. After what happened in 2012 and in the offseason, and being picked by a majority of the experts and talking heads to go all the way (not to mention “World Series or bust”), not making the playoffs this year was a colossal failure. Go ahead and be a glass half full type if it makes you feel better, but the fact that they had a good last six weeks against the dregs of the NL East does not make up for a very disappointing year. And I’ll bet most of the players feel that way too.

        As for “best season of DC baseball since WWII,” that’s just an embarrassing argument.

      • NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        Well, I don’t agree. Any pundit who looked at a 98-win team and projected they would only get better hasn’t looked at history. The Nats were an 85 win team in 2012, according to Rizzo’s plan. Plus or minus 5 wins. So 90 wins was within the margin of error. The other 8 wins were luck and the health of the rotation, not talent-level.

        Rizzo added some pieces, make the Nats, IMO, a 90-win team (on talent) in 2013, plus or minus 5 wins. They performed within that range. They absolutely had the talent to win 95 game–or 85 games. That’s the range they were. Rizzo has to make sure that he keeps the talent level at 90 wins. Without BOTH Cano and Price, I don’t think you can bring this team to a 95 Win talent level, and I don’t think we can afford that. Because a 95-Win team might only win 90 games, and that might not be enough, plus you have impacted your long-term future.

        Rizzo has the right idea. Get the talent for a 90 win team and let baseball take over.

      • NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        PS, if I recall before the season PECOTA predicted the Nats at 88 Wins for 2013. Not that PECOTA is always right, but it isn’t influenced by wishful thinking.

      • therealjohnc - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        Meh. I won’t try to dissuade anyone who views an 86 win season as a humiliating setback, or someone who can’t understand that “disappointment” =/= “colossal failure.” To each their own.

        As for “The Nats under performed the same way the Red Sox under performed under Valentine and that ship was righted pretty quickly when they put together the appropriate coaching stuff.” First of all, that’s factually incorrect. The Bobby V. Red Sox finished 69-93, 17 games worse than the 86-76 Nationals. Again, confusing the two is failing to understand the distinction between “disappointment” and “colossal failure.” Secondly, it ignores what actually happened with the Red Sox. The Red Sox hired Bobby V. to try to shake up a team, the 2011 Red Sox, a 90-72 team that was viewed as having fallen apart and underperformed, just missing the playoffs. Much like the 2013 Nats. So instead the Red Sox cashiered the “player’s manager” Terry Francona and hired the fiery, hard charging Bobby Valentine. The result? The underachieving team completely imploded. “That ship was righted” … the second time around. The first time they tried to right the ship, all they did was capsize a llsting ship.

        I don’t assume that Knorr is the best man for the job. But I don’t assume that hiring a fiery, hard charging Matt Williams is the antidote to disappointment in 2013. If he tries to chew out players or stuff them into lockers (literally or figuratively) then the Nats and their fans may well do what the Red Sox did and demonstrate the true difference between disappointment and colossal failure.

      • Section 222 - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:03 PM

        NL, this stuff about the Nats being an 85 win team last year and a 90 win team this year is just bunk. They were a 98 win division winning team last year and an 86 win team this year that missed the playoffs by four games. That’s a failure.

        Furthermore, this was the year all along that, according to The Plan, according to Rizzo’s handling of Stras, according to everything that anyone associated with the team did and said, was the year we would go all the way. It’s just post hoc rationalization to pretend that this year was anything but a disappointment. The pundits weren’t predicting that we’d do better than 98 wins, they predicted that we’d win the division and go all the way to and through the World Series.

        Admit it, you thought that would happen too, even though you aren’t the predicting type, other than that Espi would be an All Star. Sorry, cheap shot, but you can look it up. :-)

  11. Drew - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Meanwhile, the Nats in the AFL are thriving. The Mesa Solar Sox are 7-0-1.

    Solis and Purke are both 2-0. Goodwin and Souza are hitting .364.

    Skole is hitting .286 with two homers, a double and four RBIs.

    The Kids Are All Right.

    • Doc - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Thanks for the update on the Kids, Drew!

      I checked earlier in the week to see how things were going. I didn’t realize how old Solis will be next year—like 26.

      Guess he’s getting beyond Kid status. Time to get to the Bigs, Sammy!

      One thing we learned from last season with Jordan and Roark, you never know who’s going to pop up from the minors.

      Hoping that Goodwin is ready soon. Still think that Skole could do the deal at 1B.

    • TimDz - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      7-0 and 1?????

      But, but…

      There’s no tying in baseball…..

      (Apologies to Tom Hanks)

  12. jd - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Drew,

    I haven’t followed the AFL but I read a not so great report about Purke. Keith Law saw him in person and reported that his fastball was sitting at 89 – 91 and his secondary pitches were just so so. Purke was apparently worked to death in college at TCU which is famous for wrecking young arms and has struggled to regain his potential. He might be a candidate for a career in the pen.

  13. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Here is the article about Purke from yesterday’s start.

    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20131018&content_id=63090162&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb

    Seems like I have to log in again if I use a different computer (i.e., from work), even though I check the “remember me” box.

    • Doc - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Thanks for the link, NL!

      Hmmmm, I guess that 4 no-hit innings, and 7 K’s for our guy Purke isn’t enough for Law.

      Funny, nobody in MLB has hired Law for his ‘exceptional expertise’. A legend in his own mind! LOL

      • NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        I’m not a big Keith Law fan but I’ll say this, (1) He didn’t see Purke make this start, he only saw him make the first one. (2) Law did work for the Blue Jays before, and said it was his personal preference not to return to a front office job–you can take that or leave it, of course.

    • Section 222 - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Um yes, you have to check “remember me” on each different computer you use. How is the computer supposed to know who is sitting in front of it? As they say in the GEICO commercial — “it doesn’t know how to read.”

    • Section 222 - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Thanks for the Amanda news NL. Awesome!

  14. Sam - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    I’ve come to the realization – about five minutes ago – that Ross Detwiler is essentially John Lannan with a harder fastball. Seriously, go check out their career performance. K/BB rates, BABIP, ERA, FIP, xFIP…they’re all the same. The one difference are their batted ball profiles; Lanna gets more groundballs (versus flyballs) but gives up more home runs per fly ball. So, it’s a wash.

    That’s not a bad thing. It just means that Detwiler’s ceiling is a 4th starter. It also means – in my opinion – that he should be in competition with Jordan, Roark, and whichever other candidates the Nationals bring in next year. He has a similar profile to the one Craig Stammen had as a starter, and Stammen has been very successful as a reliever. I wouldn’t mind seeing Detwiler coming out of the pen, throwing 94-95 from the left side for 1-2 innings.

    • NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      I’ve said that for a while. Having a hard-throwing lefty out of the pen with an occasional spot start is NOT the worst thing in the world.

      Nats had very little depth this year in terms of starting rotation. Last year, with Lannan stashed, the Nats had incredible luck with the rotation (other than Wang). Can’t expect that, as this year showed. Need to assume that the team will use 10-12 SPs during the season (some only a few times). Where are they coming from?

  15. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Allow us to make an introduction: Meet @acomak, the newest member of the #Nats staff & contributor to our content: http://wp.me/p1t48f-8Xsz

    Whatever happened to Amanda? She is NOT lost to us!

    • natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Thanks for the update, NL. I always enjoyed reading her stuff.

      • sjm308 - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        thanks NL – I also should have given you credit for the Det to the pen idea & I knew I had read it here. Its still my first choice for him as everyone is talking about the need for a strong lefty in the bullpen. I am not opposed to keeping one of the 3 they ended with last year but each of those has flaws that I don’t see in Ross. If he knows he is going one or two innings he certainly can bring it just a little stronger.

        Also, thanks to all the advice and next time I have to sign in I will look for that little box.

        Go Nats!

  16. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Another thought—seems to me that, even though the LCS games have been great, there is one level too many in the playoffs. Should go WC, Qualifying Level, World Series. There is only so much you can write (or read) about these four teams and you’ll have to read even more about the two that are in the WS.

    • Section 222 - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      With the current division alignment, how can you have a WC game and then only two series after that? Now if they go to a balanced schedule and just let the top four teams in each league duke it out — 1st round, LCS, World Series, that would give you just three levels.

      If the WS ends up LAD vs. DET, I’ll be happy to read more about the two teams. If it’s BOS vs. STL, not so much.

  17. sjm308 - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    It would be considered outside the box and also take away the huge profits that are made by all these teams in the playoffs but as an Old Guy, I really hate seeing games played this late in the year. I don’t have the expertise to figure out how to shorten it up but I have no problem with just 3 rounds, and make the first two rounds, best of 5.

    • Candide - Oct 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      …I really hate seeing games played this late in the year.

      I really hate seeing games played this late at night.

      The Sox and Tigers are both on eastern time. What with these games routinely running three hours and more, that means east coast people who have to get up at 5:00 am aren’t going to be around at the end of the game, while the Dodger fans (who notoriously leave the park after the 6th inning) are still there at the 9:00-or-earlier end of the game.

      Okay, starting at 7:00 eastern like normal people do means the west coast people might miss an inning or two early in the game. But leaving it at 8:00 means lots of east coast people will miss a couple of innings at the end of the game.

      And when do the dramatic walk-off home runs or last-minute come-from-behind victories happen? At the end of the game.

      So, from the point of view of pleasing as many fans as possible, it would make the most sense to start games at 7:00. Certainly when both teams involved are eastern time zone teams.

      Yeah, I know: there’s more money to be made with the 8:00 starts. It still sucks.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 43 --
ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 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.

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