Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nats Drop Opening Series to Braves

So, in a span of 3 games we have seen exactly what the Nationals plan to offer this year; good and bad. Starting the season last Thursday, the Home team put forth an anemic effort against Derek Lowe, scoring 0 runs and managing just 5 hits. Saturday we saw glimpses of what this team is capable of, winning a 6-3 decision that saw the Nats lead almost the whole game. And on Sunday, we saw a last years Nats (errors, bullpen implosions, random balks, etc.) en route to an 11-2 thrashing despite a solid outing by Jordan Zimmermann. To recap such a weekend's events, we have the Zuckablog taking on the Starting Pitchers role, while Kilgore takes on the progress of last years Nats that have moved on. Time to pick up the pieces.

The Good:
- Danny Espinosa is 4 for 9 with 2 doubles.
- Jayson Werth has shown why we are paying him the big bucks, going 4 for 10 with 2 doubles and 3 walks. Though he has had a few misplays in the outfield.
- Nats have just 1 error in their first 3 games (and its not Ian Desmond!). There have been several displays of improved defense by our infielders/new arrivals (Zim, Espi, LaRoche, and Werth), which have saved extra bases countless times.
- Wilson Ramos is 3 for 5.
- Starting pitching has been spectacular, just a 2.60 ERA (5 ER in 17.1 IP) with a 0.981 WHIP (13 H + 4 BB in 17.1 IP).
- Nats have been very aggressive on the basepaths, often going from 1st to 3rd on singles = The Bo Porter Effect.
- Sean Burnett is has still yet to allow a run in 2011.
- Tyler Clippard has stranded all 4 inherited runners.
- Riggleman managed his butt off on Saturday, putting on a suicide squeeze in the perfect situation (which Ankiel and Zimmerman pulled off to a T). His "smart ball" system is "working" for him, as the Nats have 4 sacrifice hits/flys in 3 games.

The Bad:
- Ian Desmond is 0 for 13 on the season, with 3 strikeouts. 8 of those 13 have come leading off an inning, all of his strikeouts are in those situations.
- The Nats, as a team, are just 3 for 26 with Runners in Scoring Position (RISP), knocking in just 6.
- Adam LaRoche is 1 for 7 with RISP.
- Pitchers throwing first pitch strikes is nice, but twice so far they have been tattooed into the stands.
- Pudge is now 0 for 6 with a GIDP.
- Brian Broderick with his memorable first career MLB appearance...
- Chad Gaudin with 3 ER in just 0.2 IP.
- Doug Slaten = highly ineffective. 3 appearances, just 0.1 IP - 2 BB, 2 H. Thursday - walked only batter faced. Saturday - gave up a double to only batter faced. Sunday - faced 3 batters; BB, RBI single, groundout.

What's Next:
Tuesday - Marquis vs. Sanchez
Wednesday - Hernandez vs. Volstad
Thursday - Lannan vs. Johnson

What, if anything, did you take from our first 3 games of the season? Tell us in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Better than I expected - Rick Ankiel - he just seems to have a competitiveness that goes beyond his stats.
    Worse than I expected - relief pitching (not of the closer variety ie - Burnett, Storen), and pinch hitting -- which does not bode well for late innings.
    Saw Nyger strike out to end a game yesterday,Nieves started a game - FLop finally got picked up.
    What's up with Orioles 4-0 and Brewers 0-4? Small sample size, I guess.