In what I can only imagine was a tense atmosphere in the clubhouse after a loss in the first game of a split day-night doubleheader with the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals players had one thing on which they could hang their hats: strong starting pitching. Continue reading
Fans of the Washington Nationals, along with the rest of the baseball community, seem to be enamored with Nationals’ starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann after a stellar performance in Friday night’s matchup with the Miami Marlins. Zimmermann, who began the night with a 5-6 record, tossed six scoreless innings surrendering only four hits and one walk while striking out six to lead the Nationals to a 5-1 victory over their divisional opponents. One more strong start was all it took for Zimmermann to garner this well-deserved attention, which is odd considering the fantastic job he has done all season.
But because wins and losses are still used to measure both a pitcher’s success and effectiveness, Zimmermann has been largely underrated for a majority of the season thus far. As noted, Zimmermann came into the game with a very misleading record of 5-6. Like many statistics, those numbers do not even begin to paint an accurate portrait of the man that would surely top the rotation on any number of teams in the league. Having said that, let us take a closer look at Zimmermann’s numbers and why he just might be the team’s best pitcher. Continue reading
Today marks the beginning of the second half of the Washington Nationals’ breakout season. But the big story took place last night as Xavier Nady made his first rehab appearance with the Potomac Nationals, Washington’s Class A affiliate. Nady, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list (tendonitis) on June 25 to make room on the roster for the returning Mark DeRosa, has posted an abysmal .157/.211/.275 line in 109 plate appearances over 40 games this season. Unfortunately, last night was just more of the same. Nady went 0-for-4, striking out once and grounding into two double plays.
On a lesser note, Drew Storen made his fourth rehab appearance with Potomac as he makes his way back from an elbow surgery that has kept him on the shelf since spring training. In two innings of work, Storen surrendered a solo home run and two hits, striking out five and walking none, which seems to suggest that his slider is still more than capable of making batters look silly. Storen, originally slated for return after four scheduled rehab appearances with Potomac, will have to wait just a bit longer for his season debut. Many believed that he would be activated prior to tonight’s game in Miami, but Nationals’ pitching coach Steve McCatty has other plans in mind, wishing instead for Storen to continue working at building up his arm strength. Besides, why would they rush to get Storen back with Clippard pitching so effectively out of the closer’s spot? Continue reading
Let me begin today by welcoming you all to Bizarro World. Here in Bizarro World, up is down, left is right, Superman is grotesque and speaks in opposites and the Washington Nationals sit atop the National League East on the final day of the All-Star break with a record of 49-34, the best mark in the NL and the third best in all of baseball. Unsurprisingly, the team is creating quite a buzz in media outlets everywhere. What is surprising, however, is how little attention the Pittsburgh Pirates seem to be garnering. The Pirates lead the NL Central with a record of 48-37, good for second place in the NL and number four overall. The last time the Pirates held first place this late in the year was 1992, which also happens to be the last time they reached the postseason. So what gives? Continue reading
The Baltimore Orioles’ All-Star center fielder is a liar. Sometimes when he opens his mouth, lies spew forth. Naturally, that is expected of most people at least some of the time, but in an interview on ESPN Radio at the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby? That is just in poor taste and warrants a few words, does it not? Continue reading
Before I get to the bulk of what I want to say, there is something that I have to clear up. Now, I am not sure if you are aware of this or not, but it is a scientifically proven fact that fans can have a direct impact on the outcome of a baseball game. Okay, maybe it has not been scientifically proven, but that that will not stop me from upholding my belief that the many superstitions surrounding the game lead to momentum changes, bloop hits and walk-off wins. The words a fan speaks, the clothes we wear, the positions we sit in, the foods we eat – all of that and more sways the game in different directions. And do not forget that a negative attitude is the best way to propel your favorite ballclub to victory. That said it is with great trepidation that I formulated the thoughts that follow and made the decision to publish them on the Internet. I beg of you, baseball gods, please do not strike down the Nationals because of this lowly fan’s terrible decision-making. Anyway… Continue reading
It is July 9, 2012 – sort of midsummer, which can mean a few different things. Perhaps most importantly, it means miserable weather. If you are in the Washington Metropolitan Area, rejoice, for Satan has finally packed up and left town, taking with him his record-high 105 degree temperatures. Inevitably, he will return because apparently karma exists, knows that I have a hate-hate relationship with scorching summer heat and believes that I did something worthy of suffering. If you are a baseball fan, and I have to assume that you are because I am sure you didn’t come just to hear me complain about a tired topic, then today means something else entirely. It means it’s almost time for the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Continue reading