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Old 09-18-2017, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,536 posts, read 4,488,527 times
Reputation: 2462

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So, the top 3 sets are now practically set in the NL. Dodgers are 5.5 up on the Nats (splitting the season series 3-3 and forgot what the second tiebreak is since most series end up in an odd numbered of games), while the Nats are 7 up on the Cubs (winning the season series 4-3, so its pretty much 8 games up). Dodgers have 12 games left while the Nats & Cubs each have 13 remaining and both will be playing the final 13 days of the regular season barring any rain outs. Dodgers have 3 games in Coors Field to end the season, so if the Nats can get to within 2 or 3 games they'll have a chance to tie/pass the Dodgers for home field, but they have all but locked up no worse then the 2 seed. Dodgers need 1 win OR 1 Cubs loss to officially finish no lower than #2 in the NL.

Friday: Dodgers 7 @ Nats 0. Alex Wood and 2 Dodgers pitchers held the Nats to only 4 hits on the day, while Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, and Corey Seager each had home runs for the Dodgers.
Saturday: Dodgers 3 @ Nats 2. Rendon hit his 24th home run, but it wasn't enough as Chase Utley finished with 2 hits and 2 runs and Cody Bellinger had his 38th home run.
Sunday: Dodgers 1 @ Nats 7. Zimmerman finished 4-5 with 4 RBI's and 2 home runs as the Nats scored all 7 runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings to avoid the sweep.

Nats had Monday off before starting a 9 game road trip....their final road trip of the regular season. It starts with 3 in Atlanta against the Braves on Tuesday, continues with 3 in Queens against the Mets over the weekend, and concludes with 3 in Philadelphia next Monday-Wednesday. Luiz Gohara (1-1, 6.30) starts for the Braves against Max Scherzer (14-6, 2.59) on Tuesday, Lucas Sims (2-5, 5.52) starts for Atlanta against Gio Gonzalez (14-7, 2.68) on Wednesday, and Tanner Roark (13-9, 4.43) faces R.A. Dickey (9-10, 4.41) on Thursday in the season finale between the 2 teams. All games begin at 7:35. Dodgers played Monday in Philadelphia where they started with a 4-3 loss in the first game of the 4 game series.
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,536 posts, read 4,488,527 times
Reputation: 2462
Default 92-60

Tuesday: Nats 4 @ Braves 2. Zimmerman finished 3-5 with 2 RBI's.
Wednesday: Nats 7 @ Braves 3. Michael Taylor finished 3-4 with an RBI and Adam Lind had 2 RBI's. Nats were down 1-2 heading into the 8th before a 6 run inning turned that 1-2 deficit into a 7-2 lead.
Thursday: Nats 2 @ Braves 3. Zimmerman had his 34th home run while Anthony Rendon set a career high with his 40th double. R.A. Dickey allowed only 4 hits in 8 innings of work.

The last road trip of the 2017 regular season continues up to Queens with 3 games against the Mets. Robert Gsellman (7-7, 5.22) starts against Edwin Jackson (5-6, 4.96) on Friday, Stephen Strasburg (14-4, 2.60) starts against Noah Syndergaard (1-2, 3.29) who will be activated off the DL prior to that start, and Max Scherzer (15-6, 2.59) starts against Jacob deGrom (15-9, 3.55) on Sunday. Friday & Saturday game times are 7:10, while Sunday's game starts at 1:10. Braves play their final 3 games of the season at Sun trust Park on Friday against the Phillies.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,536 posts, read 4,488,527 times
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Default 94-61

They "officially" clinched home field in the opening round.

Friday: Nats 6 @ Mets 7. Lind had a 3 run homer, and Victor Robles had a 2 run triple to put the Nats up 6-1 after the top of the 5th. Mets tied it in the bottom half on Travis d'Arnaud's 2nd homer of the game, and Nori Aoki had the game-winning RBI on a ground-rule double in the 6th.
Saturday: Nats 4 @ Mets 3 (10 innings). Lind had 2 RBI's in his 2nd straight start, and a Murphy home run in the 10th was the game winner.
Sunday: Nats 3 @ Mets 2. Turner had a 2 run homer in the 3rd which put the Nats up for good, after a Brandon Nimmo homer in the 1st got the Mets out to an early lead.

The final road series of the season begins on Monday in Philadelphia. A.J. Cole (2-5, 4.43) starts for the Nats against Aaron Nola (12-10, 3.56) Monday, Gio Gonzalez (15-7, 2.68) starts on Tuesday against the Phils Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.14) and Mark Leiter (3-6, 4.69) starts for the Phils Wednesday against Tanner Roark (13-12, 4.41) Wednesday. All 3 games begin at 7:05. Mets stay at home and play their final 4 home games of the year a 3 day home stand against the Braves which includes a double header on Monday.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:10 AM
 
11,979 posts, read 17,491,614 times
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Tonight it begins.

Go Nats!
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,536 posts, read 4,488,527 times
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And of course they lose game 1 because they NEVER win a game 1. Actually that's a bit of a lie as I believe they won game 1 of the 2012 NLDS in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

But really this was a game they HAD to have: Kendricks, Hendricks, whatever his name is against Strasburg. Have to get out to that quick 1-0 lead, especially in a best of 5 where you only have to win 2 of the next 4 instead of 3 of the next 4. With our best pitcher (Scherzer) only pitching once this series, when you have a Strasburg/Hendricks matchup you have to win that game, and went down incredibly meekly: After the 2nd inning they went 0-25 and only had 3 baserunners (all on walks). They'll have to face Lester, Quintana, Arrieta and likely Lester again the final 4 games of this series, and I have a really hard time seeing how they'll manage 3 wins in this stretch since we'll be throwing Gio, a hurt Scherzer, Roark & Strasburg opposite in those respective series. On the bright side I had us heading to Chicago 1-1 anyways as I didn't think they had a prayer to win the Gio/Lester matchup, so if they can manage to win that, we are still square at 1 right where I thought we would be, with the exception being the 2 games being completely different outcomes then I expected. Hopefully they can manage some offense against Lester!
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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Never under-estimate the power of lightning bolts. I think Charlie Slowes will have to go on the DL after calling the bottom of the 8th last night.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:07 AM
 
11,979 posts, read 17,491,614 times
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Yes, Friday and Saturday were night and day differences.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:07 PM
 
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10/10/17 Tonight's game postponed until tomorrow .... 4 p.m. I believe.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,536 posts, read 4,488,527 times
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Baker screwed the pooch in game 3, first taking out Scherzer and then pitching to Rizzo with first base open.
Strasburg had a career defying performance in game 4 but once again as usual they choked in game 5 at home. Seriously, why do I watch this $#!t?? We all make fun of the Braves for winning 14 straight division titles but only one championship. But guess what: The Braves actually won playoff series in that stretch. How much I'd pay to actually care about the NLCS series. And for those that are wondering yes this is 500 times worse than 2012 which I'll explain why in the next paragraph.
In 2012 I was just happy to have them in the playoffs after watching 10+ years of bad to terrible Expos and than Nats baseball. Sure, the 9th inning sucked and I STILL, 5 years later, want to punch anyone that mentions Pete Kozma, but I knew in 2012 they were a year or 2 ahead of schedule, so in that regard it wasn't as painful as it might have been otherwise.
In 2014 they got a bad matchup with the Giants, and we didn't know it at the time, but it turns out we were managed by an imbelice.
In 2016 the Dodgers were the better team, especially with the late season injuries to Strasburg & Ramos, so I'm not really disappointed there either.
However 2017 this was supposed to be the year. They won the season series against the Cubs. The Cubs were not a good team, their bullpen, outside of their closer was terrible, this was our best & most deepest team to date. We had that legend worthy performance from Strasburg the day before and what happens?? The same old Nats show up . Gio much like he did in game 5 of that fateful 2012 series (coincidently 5 years to the day exactly) couldn't hit the broadside of a barn. First batter doubles, wild pitch, ground out, 3 batters in it's 1-0. After a 4 spot in the 2nd he procedes to lose the strike zone again, gives up 2 runs, 1 on another wild pitch and departs after 3. And THAT'S why I can never take Gio seriously in a playoff game. He had a great regular season, but in the playoffs he gets completely flustered and just collapses. Matt Weiters, in what is hopefully his final game as a Nat (player option for next year) had an atrocious game commiting an error which directly resulted in a run, and than the next batter was called for catcher's interference which resulted in another run scoring. Werth, almost definitely playing his final game as a Nat lost a ball in the lights which resulted in a run. Terrible, bad baseball. I just don't think this group of guys can win a series. They should legitimately have 1 more shot at it next year in 2018 before Harper & Murphy hit free agency, but I think they should get a head start and do the reboot this winter. What's the point of winning divisions if you are only going to lose at home in game 5's with them?? if they do decide to go the reboot route which I wouldn't totally be mad with the 3 logical choices to go are: Zimmerman (who even in mid 30's and not likely to repeat 2017 performance) is still a quality 1b/DH, Rendon would be a nice fit for almost anyone, and of course Harper. Murphy would probably get decent offers as well along with Gio & probably Roark as well.
Now if they decide to go for 1 last run let's go through the roster & see what the main holes are. They will definitely need a SP since Joe Ross will be out most if not all of the season. However with Scherzer & Strasburg at the top of the rotation you don't need an ice like Darvish or Arrieta, an innings eater guy like Lance Lynn would be a perfect #3 or #4 starter. Of the main bullpen guys only Albers & Kintzler are free agents after the year, Madson is a FA in that 2018 class, and Doolittle is signed up through 2020. The infield of Zim, Murph, Turner & Rendon are all under contract along with Weiter's player option behind the plate. In the OF Werth is gone but Harper still has 1 year and they'll get Eaton back from injury to add to a surplus of OF's that will either be major league ready or close to major league ready by the start of next season (Taylor, Eaton, Brian Goodwin, Victor Robles, Andrew Stevenson, Raphael Bautista) so they are fine in the OF even with Werth's impeding departure/retirement. I've got 2 path's the Nats should do for next year, and the 3 moves they should make on each path, but regardless what they should do is change managers. Dusty a great manager in May, a terrible manager in October.

Path #1: Rebuild. The controversial path, but this team, which has been mostly the same for all 4 years, the main core players at least, have been given 4 years to show they can advance out of the first round, and all 4 years they have failed to do so, resulting in some of the most excruating losses in franchise history, so why not try a new path with different players??
Move #1: Trade Harper. If you are going to be a rebuilding club he's not going to resign anyways, so may as well reap some benefits from trading him.
Move #2: Trade Rendon. He's got an extra year of team control, but obviously not as good as Harper but did play very well in the regular season. Would probably get back some key pieces for him if we put him on the block.
Move #3: Dangle Scherzer to see if anyone is willing to take on that money. Note I didn't use "trade" there I just said dangle. Unlike Harper & Rendon who would both EASILY be dealt if they were available Scherzer isn't with over $100 million still left on that contract. I vaguely remember 3 years ago saying that Scherzer better win the title by the 2019 season or else it is probably going to be a bad investment with the money and all the pitches he is throwing. With a rebuilding club you don't want all that money going towards 1 pitcher on the wrong side of 30, you could use it throughout the club.

Path #2: Build your team around a dominant bullpen. Yes, the offense outside of Taylor and a couple swings from Harper, Murphy & Zimmerman was terrible, but they already have a dominant 1-2, imagine having a dominant 7-8-9 in the back end of the pen as well?? You could dramatically improve your chances of winning.
Move #1: Sign Wade Davis. Since I see the Nats chances of rebuilding less than 1%, signing Davis should be THE number 1 move the team makes in the off season. Madson 7th, Doolittle 8th, Davis 9th. That could be game 5 proof
Move #2: Trade Taylor to Kansas City for Kelvim Herrera (and possibly spare parts but KC made this exact same trade a year ago an OF for a star reliever in a 1-1 swap). Of course this assuming Lorenzo Cain leaves KC which I think he does which creates an opening for Taylor. Taylor really broke out in the playoffs, so the Nats should sell high on him because I don't think he is as good as he showed in games 4 & 5 as he still strikes out way to much. Royals, depending on how many/who of their FA's they end up resigning may want to actually rebuild and Taylor is a nice player to put in Cain's spot: has power & speed. If he can cut down on the strikeouts he'd be a great player. Herrera, a FA after 2018 is in a similar boat as Wade Davis last year: a closer 1 year from free agency. And let's mention that 1-1 trade above: The Royals last winter traded Davis for an OF with a ton of power, but also the propensity to strike out a ton in Jorge Soler, so the Royals have been known to make a move like that.
Move #3. Trade Gio Gonzalez. Gio has had a nice season, but everyone that knows the Nats knows what Gio's history is....especially in the playoffs. I hate to bring up 2012 game 5 again, but it bears repeating: The Nats had a 6-0 lead on Adam Wainwright after 3 innings and Gio couldn't throw a strike afterwards. He (Gio) started game 4 in 2014 and didn't make it out of the 3rd inning, and started game 3 of the Dodgers series where they got out to a big early lead once again (I think it was 4 or 5 to 1) and couldn't qualify for the win. Last night his team gives him a 4-1 lead after he put them in an early hole (and probably should have been more than 1-0) and he walks the entire ballpark! If this team wants to win next year for Harper & Murphy & Zimmerman as who knows how many more productive years he has left, Gio has to be pitching somewhere else, as he'll probably show up in a decisive game 5 and if he does everyone knows how it will turn out.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,848 posts, read 3,968,588 times
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Careful you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you think the Nats need to rebuild, 80% of sports teams should do it as well.

The Nats lost this series by the slimmest of margins to last year's champs who seem to be peaking at the perfect time.

Gio and Schwarzer are wonderful regular season pitchers who get shelled in the playoffs. That's the hardest part to take for me. It's common for good hitters to fizzle in the playoffs but not pitchers.

And remember, Bryce was not ready to be back (he even looked and played fat and slow), his homer was his only moment. Turner, hopefully a future superstar, was still feeling his way in the newness of the playoffs.

Disappointing but common for MLB. Your better off pacing yourself thru the semi-meaningless regular season and just finding a way to get hot and focused in October.
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