The Nationals kick off the second half of the 2017 season tonight on the road against the Reds sitting 9.5 games up in the NL East. While the squad has sat in first place for practically the entire season, it hasn’t been an easy road getting there. Some players have outplayed their expectations while others have been disappointing so far this season.
Tag Archives: Anthony Rendon
Once again, Anthony Rendon does not get the recognition he deserves. He is arguably the best third baseman in the league. He does everything well — hitting, fielding, throwing, baserunning. Part of the problem is there is no player less likely to self-promote than Two Bags. In the epic 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, he went 6-for-6 with three homers and 10 RBI, but in the post-game interview, he praised the pitching, flat out denying Dan Kolko any self-praise whatsoever. Joe Ross failed to complete 5 innings that day, giving up 5 ER on 7 hits and two home runs. His interviews have become him dodging any questions from MASN Dan that have anything to do with patting himself on the back. Getting snubbed from the All-Star Game probably matters less to Rendon than any other player. He simply is not the baseball rat that Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Daniel Murphy, Stephen Strasburg, or Ryan Zimmerman is. Since Anthony in unwilling to do it, this space at The Nats Blog will do it for him.
With 5 All-Stars so far (#VoteRendon), this year’s version of the Nats is Dolly-Parton-like top heavy. The top 6 Nats all have 2 WAR or higher. There are 2 Nats in the top 10 in baseball in both hitting (Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper) and pitching (Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg). Injuries and the craptastic bullpen have sucked a lot of joy out of this season. Yet the calamities that have befallen the team have allowed a few of scrubs to show their worth.
Ah, the 2017 All-Star weekend: when you’ll watch the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge try to destroy the Marlins’ hideous statue in left center with homers before baseball fans everywhere can finally enjoy watching the game’s best players without the exhibition deciding home field advantage.
But you, wise and curious Nationals fan, want to know exactly who will be suiting up to play in front of the league’s most consistent fan base. Herein lies this week’s looming question: Which curly-w-clad gentlemen will head to Miami for the Midsummer Classic? The starters will be revealed on the evening of 2 June, with the following all but guaranteed, and thus, not altogether interesting to discuss.
Today is the NHL’s expansion draft. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick primer of the NHL expansion rules: each team is allowed to select a certain number of its players to protect. Any others are eligible to be selected by the expansion team, which must select exactly one player from each team.
So, in the spirit of keeping things topical, I decided to take a crack at seeing who the Nationals would protect in an expansion draft. MLB had its own expansion draft 20 years ago when the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined, and therefore has its own set of rules.
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.
Anthony Rendon hates talking about himself. You don’t have to ask him, or even watch him play: Just watch this interview after his three-homer, 10-RBI afternoon on April 30th. Hear him credit his team’s pitching for the reason why he helped beat the Mets into oblivion, which was, of course, completely unrelated to him getting six hits in six trips. That performance was the talk of the league for, oh, five hours or so. Then the Mets revealed Noah Syndergaard had torn his lat in that game, and Rendon’s name headed to the sidebar. That is exactly how Rendon wants it to be: let him play his game, not talk about how well he’s doing it, and smile the entire time. Unfortunately for Anthony Rendon, it is time to start talking about Anthony Rendon. Many will argue for Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, or Joe Blanton (just making sure you’re still reading) as being the Nats’ best player. Here, I’ll make the case for Anthony Rendon in that argument, and, if nothing else, the team’s most complete and underrated player.
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 unscientific 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.
It’s a drizzly night in DC, and Anthony Rendon, mellow as ever, is sitting in the dugout, waiting for his turn to hit. Trea Turner approaches his favorite player and asks him what his approach is going to be in his at-bat. Rendon shrugs and answers, “I’m going to drive in all the runs tonight.”
The Nationals are extremely dramatic, and their performance swings are exhausting, but they are lovable anyway, and this is a run-on sentence to designed to communicate that and that they did some things this week.