Find Lots of Great Coverage Here


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What, us worry?

It may be too early for Matt Capps to worry, as the Nationals Journal noted last night.

It's not too early for me to worry. Of course, it's never too early for me to worry. It's kind of my nature. In this case, I think I have a case.

Oh-and-whatever (is it 11 now?) is no way to go through the early part of spring, son. We know it doesn't matter. We know these games don't count. We know it's only spring training and the goal is to be ready for the season.

Just humor us and win one of these games that don't mean anything.

A bad spring start is one thing. A winless spring start is another. Particularly for this team, which you may remember has lost 205 games the past two seasons. The team that has been the butt of so many jokes needs to stop giving reason for those jokes, even in the spring. If I had a dollar for every e-mail I've received that said, "The Natinals can't even win a fake game!!" I'd have enough money for four season tickets in the President's Club.

It isn't important to be 11-0 or even 9-2 or 7-4. Something like 2-9 or even 4-7 would do. You'd think they could win one of these games by accident.

More reason for worry is a number of these losses have been caused by bullpen implosions. We've seen way too much of that before. A text from last night: Capps is starting to worry me. Me, too. They're all starting to worry me.

Calm me down. Go out in one of these games and when it's over, have more runs than they do. I know you start the "real" season with an intact seven-game winning streak from last season and that hasn't changed. But, again, humor me. Win one of these babies.

A few other thoughts:

*I really hope I'm way wrong, honest. But I just don't see the coronation of Garrett Mock as one of the starters. Yes, he looked good after the first last night. Really good in fact. The first counts, too, though, and he looked like Garrett Mock there. They flashed his stats from last season: 3-10, 5.something ERA, opponents BA over .300 - somehow they left out his BAPIP, VAPIP and GORP.

Those numbers are about what Mock is in my mind and I think we'll see something similar over another season. Yes, I've written the back end starters are only plugs for a while. I still think the Nats can find better plugs. Maybe not and that's really scary.

*Stolen from Federal Baseball, this quote from a Peter Gammons Postcard from the Road: "The Nationals have been looking for another veteran starting pitcher, but privately, they're hoping that come midseason, their rotation will be John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Chien-Ming Wang. "'We're having trouble holding Wang back,' said GM Mike Rizzo."

I'm quite OK with that rotation, unless it's rushing Zimmermann. Do NOT take the slightest chance there. Put Detwiler in that spot if there's any question.

*The recent poll ended up shy of 100 votes again but overwhemling (72-13) in favor of making Ian Desmond the everyday shortstop even if it means eating Cristian Guzman's contract. Craig Heist "tweeted" at some point last night that he had sources who say the Nats plan to talk to Guzman about a move to second to platoon with Kennedy. We'll see how that goes over. I hope they remember it's their call, not his.

*I like the Dunn and Zimmerman commercials. I'm curious why they didn't show the Zimmerman home run from Opening Day of 2008. My guess is because it was on ESPN? That's a pretty big home run to the Red Porch and it never gets old. Still the high point at the stadium (until Strasburg throws a no-hitter in his first appearance).


sec314 said...

I'm with you on Mock. I still think he's AAAA at best.

I just asked this same question on Nats Insider- Why is Stammen being relegated to the pen if not Syracuse so quickly? He missed his last start due to rain and his first start was no worse than Mock's first or third outing.

Seems kind of strange to give up on the guy so quickly. He certainly pitched better than Mock last year. And Olsen.

traderkirk said...

Mock has shown some ability to be a big league pitcher. 7.1 k/9 is not elite but it's respectable. He walks a few too many. The 114 hits in 91.1 IP would be worrysome until you see his .360 BABIP. Given a normal BABIP of .300 he would have given up only 92 hits facing 422 batters with equal k/BB numbers. Now that's something we can build on.

bdrube said...

Worry? Absolutely. When was the last time a team lost 100 games three years in a row (I need to look that one up)? Bet it's been awhile.

Last night was my first chance to watch the team in action this year other than for Strasburg's two innings. I swear I was watching a replay from a June game last year. Crappy first inning to get behind immediately, bullpen throws gasoline on the fire and absolutlely no timely hitting even though the game was still within reach. The biggest disappointment for me was actually Maxwell and Desmond striking out to effective kill a potentialy 8th inning rally.

I also have to call out Dibble for excusing the home run Capps allowed (which is just coming down out of orbit as I type). He said, "oh, that's a young guy (the batter) whose not going to make the team just swinging as hard as he can," or words to that effect. On a night full of him, Carpenter and everyone Debbi Taylor talked to on the sidelines making excuses and speaking "Bull Durham" speak, that was the worst.

MikeHarris said...

I think the Royals did the triple-100 earlier this decade. I'll get unlazy and look eventually.

My son and I got a huge chuckle out of Dibble's remarks, too. Shouldn't the fact that some no-name just hit one 1,284 feet off the projected closer be MORE of a cause for concern, my son asked?

Bright kid, even for a Braves fan.

Agree on Maxwell and Desmond, two of my picks to make the team. Weak swing by Max on strike three and Desmond has to swing at that third strike.

MikeHarris said...

Yes, Royals lost 100 or more in 2004-06.

Kirk, you are killing me with those numbers, killing me. I don't do BAPIP.