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: Matt Wieters
I have very distressing news: Matt Wieters has gone missing. I know his name has been in the lineup; I know it looks like he has been crouching behind the plate. But can you really be sure behind all that catcher’s gear it’s actually him? Because, for the last two months, there has been very little evidence in the box score to prove the presence of Wieters.
The struggles of the Nationals’ bullpen has understandably garnered most of the negative headlines around DC lately. The bullpen isn’t the only facet of the Nationals performing at near league worst levels, though. The combo of Matt Wieters and Jose Lobaton has quietly been undercutting Nationals’ pitchers this season, one pitch at a time.
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.
Mike Rizzo might have a new strategy when marketing to potential free agents. “Have you been treated poorly by your current, team? Well, you might want to consider joining the Washington Nationals!” This week, Matt Wieters walked off his former club. Through the first three games of the contrived “MASN Cup,” which carries about as much weight as the Mystics Attendance Banners, Wieters has put together a sparkling .385/.429/.462 slash-line. He is carrying on what has become a fine Washington Nationals Tradition: beating your former club in fun and torturous ways.
Now that the Nationals are healthy and Trea Turner is back and cycling around the bases, Dusty Baker is burdened with the best of problems: how does he build his lineup? Earlier this week, Court Swift discussed his optimal lineup with everyone healthy, but here we’re going to look at the options I think Dusty will be seriously considering for the long-term. Normally I would say that with a team this talented and deep, they can go the route of playing matchups and the hot hand. But Dusty is far too traditional for that, so my thinking is that within the next week or so he’s going to really decide on a lineup to stick with (until the next injury changes everything). I see three likely options.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I did the thing Nats fans aren’t supposed to do. Maybe it’s just a gag reflex from being a DC sports fan too long. I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, I need to apologize because during the offseason I doubted Mike Rizzo. I mean I genuinely thought he was off his rocker. Continue Reading Rizzo Proves His Worth Again
Hearts of Nationals fans everywhere were broken when it was made clear that Wilson Ramos would not be returning to the Nationals for the 2017 season. The catcher lovingly nicknamed “The Buffalo” was in the last year of his contract, suffered a torn ACL near the end of the season, and ended up signing with the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason. So the question remained: who could replace the fan-favorite coming off the best season of his career?
Debate over who should lead off for the Nationals began as soon as Mike Rizzo dealt three top pitchers (they may leave our farm system, but never our hearts) for Adam Eaton. Eaton’s calling card was his ability to lead off and play great outfield defense – two things Trea Turner did for the 2016 version of the Nats. But Eaton took Turner’s centerfield spot, so Turner took Danny Espinosa‘s shortstop job, and Danny was sent home to California to grow his beard. Turner managed to keep his leadoff job coming out of spring training, but not coming off the DL as Dusty Baker used the return of Turner to switch a few things up. I wouldn’t stop there — I’d go a step further. Here would be my lineup:
Welcome to the first 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.