As the Washington Nationals’ bullpen is no longer the baseball equivalent of the RMS Titanic, now seems like a fine time to look at the bullpen roles moving forward and if there are any glaring holes that Mike Rizzo needs to address. In today’s advanced statistics era, I would rather not have to discuss set roles for the reliever. With a highly traditional manager at the helm, however, it is unavoidable that that is how this pen will be designed. Starting with the highest leverage situations, let us begin.
The Nationals are on a mean streak, and that doesn’t even refer to their 7-1 roadtrip. All it took was Bryce Harper’s retaliation to Hunter Strickland being a giant baby for the Nationals to revv up their fire.
On Monday, June 5th, the most recent update for the All-Star Game ballot was released, and the results were more than pleasant. Though he trailed Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo after the first ballot update, Ryan Zimmerman surged past Rizzo to take the lead in voting. Nats fans rejoice with the knowledge that Cubs Nation can’t compete with the facts.
With the season a third of the way over and summer fast approaching, things couldn’t be going much better in the nation’s capital, at least as far as baseball is concerned. The Nationals are currently 36-20, good for a 11.5 game lead over the second place… (double-checks standings) Braves? The season is barely a third of the way over, and it looks like the Nats are well on their way to claiming the division title, their fourth in six years.
Despite all of their success, the Nationals still have a potential problem on the horizon, and that is their depth — or lack thereof. Although the Nationals have a commanding lead in their division, injuries happen, and the reserves will have to play well if the Nats hope to continue their hot start for the remainder of the season. Injuries and a lack of performance have already put the organizations depth to the test, and have produced varying results. With Jayson Werth on the DL, I thought it would be prudent to look at the Nationals current depth options, starting with the hitters, and see what they could bring to the team if called upon.
Bryce Harper sometimes punches people. Sometimes, he yells obscenities at people. And sometimes, my dear reader, he is choked for it. So, what other way is there to honor him than by fighting with your brother in public donning his jersey? I sure don’t know, and the Ryan brothers don’t seem to have an idea either.
Rob and Rex Ryan were seen at Margaritaville in Nashville in an altercation that looks exactly how you would think a fight between two white guys past 50 would look. As a mormon, a bar fight is the kind of fight Harper is least likely to get in, so Rex did him a solid and checked it off his bucket list for him.
— Cooper Stefaniak (@CooperStef) June 4, 2017
The twins coached for the Buffalo Bills until late December 2016 when they were fired before the team’s final game of the season for failing to make the playoff . Rex didn’t throw his hands on someone’s neck then, though, for some reason (@ Jonathan Papelbon).
In all, decent week for dudes in No. 34 Nationals jerseys who fought people.
Welcome back to the latest in a series, in which we review the previous week in Nationals baseball and power rank the players according to their performance. This is an extremely unserious exercise; at no point should it ever be confused with actual baseball analysis. Don’t worry, I will do my best to make sure that is obvious. Without further ado: your Washington Nationals, ranked according to power. Continue Reading Nats Power Rankings: June 5
It’s no secret that the bullpen has been a course of chaos all season. The bullpen was blowing leads even if the starters had pitched a great game, and if the starters didn’t do well and didn’t go far, the bullpen didn’t do anything to help them out. But lately, the starters have eliminated the need to go the bullpen by declaring, “We’ll just do all the work ourselves.” And oh my, have the starters been outstanding.
Right now, the Nationals are running away with the NL East. They are in the enviable position of not having a real competitor, currently sitting a comfortable 11 games up. The Mets are the closest thing but cannot stay healthy and cannot get out of their own way. In fairness, they won that game, but wow, that was bad. Since Max Scherzer lost to the Braves on May 20, lasting just 5 IP on 106 pitches, the Nats have won nine of 11. Max has pitched 17.2 IP in his last two starts — one out away from consecutive complete games. In fact, just twice has a starter failed to pitch into the seventh inning — Joe Ross, who lasted less than five against the lowly Padres, and Gio Gonzalez, who posted 5 1/3 IP against the Mariners.