Tag Archives: nats

The Morning Edition (April 22, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

From Last Night:

  • Zito carves up the Padres enroute to a 5-0 win
  • Five Mets combine to shut out the Nats 2-0
  • The Rays offense wakes up to punish the A’s in an 8-1 win

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Shelby Miller faces Dan Haren in a battle of pitchers going in opposite directions (7p Eastern)
  • Sabathia and the Yankees travel to Tampa to face Matt Moore in the Rays in a battle of lefties (7p Eastern)
  • Felix Hernandez gets his first crack at the Astros in 2013 (8p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • How long can the Rockies exceed expectations?

The Tigers pitchers comfortably lead the entire league in FIP and WAR at 2.79 and 4.2, respectively, which is mostly due to their 2nd best K/9 and league best HR/9. But as you can also notice, their team ERA (3.81) is in the middle of the pack and they have allowed the highest BABIP (.326). All of this points to a pretty filthy pitching staff that could benefit from some better defense. They went a long time before they made their first error, but we’ve seen in recent games that they have a tendency not to make 50/50 plays. What’s remarkable about this? The bullpen isn’t actually a weakness. 

Tigers Starters   : 108 IP, 8.58 K/9, 2.42 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9, .327 BABIP, 3.42 ERA, 2.84 FIP

Tigers Relievers: 59.2 IP, 11.46 K/9, 4.68 BB/9, 0.45 HR/9, .324 BABIP, 4.53 ERA, 2.69 FIP

Both groups lead their counterparts in WAR and FIP. The ‘pen walks more, but they make up for it by striking out more too. They allow homeruns at the same rate and allow the same batting average on balls in play. Their FIP are essentially the same. Their ERA is elevated, but that’s mostly outside of their control. Funny how that works out, we don’t need to panic.

The Morning Edition (April 8, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

From Last Night:

  • R.A. Dickey, David Price, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, and Stephen Strasburg all get hit hard in losing efforts
  • Will Middlebrooks hits 3 HR in 13-0 thumping of the Jays
  • Dayan Viciedo walks off on Kameron Loe in the 10 inning as the White Sox beat the Mariners
  • Marlon Byrd wins it for the Mets in the bottom of the 9th against the Marlins
  • The Twins silence Chris Davis and beat the O’s
  • Rockies beat the Friars 9-1, improve to 5-1 on the season
  • Darvish and Weaver surrender runs early in Arlington

What I’m Watching Today:

  • The Reds and Cards square off in an early NL Central showdown (4p Eastern)
  • Matt Harvey faces Roy Halladay in a battle of pitchers going in opposite directions (7p Eastern)
  • The Marlins play their first home game after the winter firesale against Paul Maholm and the Braves (7p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Was Halladay’s weird outing last week a sign of things to come or blip on the road back to dominance?

Sunday was not a good day for the College of Aces as Dickey, Price, Hamels, Cain, and Straburg all gave up 6 or more earned runs in relatively short outings. As I’m writing this, Darvish and Weaver have given up five runs between them in just two innings, so either one of them could join the party. Sabathia shut down the Tigers and Verlander was good against the Yankees save for one bad pitch. It’s hard to imagine that on a day in which so many of baseball’s best starters took to the hill that so few good pitching performances occurred. I toyed around with the idea of developing an AceStart% statistic that measured what percentage of aces pitched on a given day, and I would guess that Sunday would be the highest non-Opening Day of the season as far as that goes, but it sure didn’t look like it. 148 runs were scored in the 14 games that are final at this point. It was not the day of great pitching I hoped for, but hey, that’s what makes baseball great. On any given day, any team can make a great pitcher look silly.

In a shocking turn of events, however, it was not Chris Davis who won New English D’s “Race to 1.0 WAR,” but rather the A’s shortstop, Jed Lowrie. Mr. Lowrie has 30 plate appearances in his team’s first 7 games and has 3 HR and a .500/.567/1.000 line to go with his .645 wOBA and 326 wRC+. If you had Jed Lowrie in the first to 1.0 WAR pool, come claim your prize. It’s a unicorn. Lowrie, at this moment, is on pace for 23.1 WAR. That would be a record, if you’re curious, topping Babe Ruth‘s 1923 season (.393/.545/.764) by a full 8 wins. Lowrie is a good player, but I’m willing to take the under on that one.

The Morning Edition (April 5, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

From Last Night:

  • The Rays fall to the Orioles after Evan Longoria was called out in the middle of a rally for passing Ben Zobrist on the bases. Replay didn’t show conclusive evidence, but he appear to remain behind the runner
  • Choo powers the Reds past the Angels as Chapman gets Pujols and Hamilton to the end the game with the tying run on second
  • The Nats complete a three-game sweep of the Marlins to start the year
  • Cliff Lee dominates the Braves in a 2-0 win

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Josh Hamilton returns to Arlington for the first time as an Angel (2p Eastern)
  • Wade Davis makes his Royals debut against the Phillies (4p Eastern)
  • The Cardinals visit San Francisco in an NLCS rematch (435p Eastern)
  • Josh Johnson makes his first AL start at home against the Red Sox (7p Eastern)
  • Matt Moore begins what I expect to be a great sophomore season against the Indians in St. Pete (7p Eastern)
  • Zach Greinke wears the Dodger blue for the first time (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Will early season bullpen blowups continue?

One of the things I was thinking about yesterday was a topic I’m sure we’ll be talking about for years. Harper or Trout? I’ve been on the Trout side of that debate for a while and I’m not ready to change my mind, but Bryce Harper just keeps doing things that make me like him. He’s fun to watch run the bases and he’s mashing early. Those two will be a lot of fun to watch this season. We’re just three or four games into the season, but it’s already been a fun year. Lots of games are going down to the wire and we’ve seen a lot of great starting pitching and late inning heroics. The Mets and Nats are leading the way on the hill and we’ll turn the league over and get another shot to see the aces again Saturday and Sunday.

Ballpark Review: Nationals’ Park

Home of the Washington Nationals

Location: Washington, D.C.

While SABR Toothed Tigers is a Tigers website first and a baseball analysis site second, it is, third, a place for insight into the more relaxed side of the game; enjoying baseball. In that domain, from time to time I like to write about things that could help you enjoy the sport I love more. This is one of those things. This is a Ballpark Review.

I’ve been to seven living and two deceased major league baseball stadiums and a nice chuck of minor league and college venues as well (Editor’s Note: The author can also provide detailed analysis of NW Ohio’s NLL high school stadiums). One of my more serious lifelong goals is to see a game in every major league park. With that in mind, here are my thoughts on one of the seven MLB stadiums still standing to which I’ve been.

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nats

Nationals’ Park is out in the Navy Yard district of DC which is a ways away from most of the tourist type destinations associated with that city. That said, it is just a short walk from the Metro which you can pick up conveniently in most parts of town. DC locals complain a great deal about their city’s subway, but in four trips to DC, I’ve never found it to be much of a problem. It probably helped that I was visiting rather than depending on it for daily transportation, but this is a review for people going to DC for baseball, not for people deciding where to buy a house.

From a visual perspective, the park is solid. There’s a pleasing mixture of red, white, and blue to go along with an open view from left field and a higher seating and scoreboard area to right. The scoreboard is one of the larger ones I’ve seen and the park is devoid of any serious viewing obstructions unless your seat is next to the foul pole.

On both trips, I sat in the lower deck and the view of the baseball itself was great. I didn’t feel crammed in my seat and the aisles were large and accommodating. The food selection is diverse and above average in my book. The park features a number of exhibit type areas to learn about the history of baseball in Washington, but well, it’s hard to make that look impressive.

The pricing is bit on the high side, but DC is a fairly expensive area and the park was publically financed, so it’s not that surprising given that the team is finally becoming a force on the field.

Nationals’ Park is a doubles hitter as a stadium. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just nothing special. Seeing a game there is a pleasant and fun experience, but I never leave wanting to talk about the park. There is no breathtaking view or superb food or excellent quirk. The only remarkable thing about the park is the President’s race, which is funny, but just as good on television and has little bearing on the park itself.

The Nationals are an exciting club to watch and their stadium is plenty nice, it’s just nothing special. It lacks the charm of Wrigley, the presence of Comerica, or the majesty of PNC. It’s a good place to watch a baseball game, but is there really a bad place to watch baseball?

If you’re going to DC, I recommend a game there, but don’t go out of your way just to catch a game in DC. If you’re planning a baseball specific trip, there are better places to go.

Stadium Rater (scale 1-10): 7

 

Nationals Add Haren, Improve on Team that Won Many Games

Updated 5:20pm: Great move for the Nationals who now have Haren behind Strasburg, Zimmerman, and Gonzalez. That’s a pretty good rotation and they were top five last year with Edwin Jackson instead of Haren. All one year deals are good risks and even if Haren’s medicals are in question, this deal should pay off.

 

1:48pm:The Nationals have signed Dan Haren to a 1 year, $13 million deal pending a physical. More to come.

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