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Overanalysis of underperformance

More to remove the narrative stick from the raw horse hide of the Nationals offense, I used the game story to look at the critical eighth inning yesterday.

But I suppose the NJ is for all things excess, so if you don't mind, I'll provide a few examples of just how pathetic things are on the offensive side of late. The series that begins today at Arizona might be even uglier. The D'backs are throwing Micah Owings, Brandon Webb and Dan Haren.

(By the way, in response to this entry, feel free to drum up your own statistical nuggets. I anticipate some opportunities to write about the O, and if you guys provide the gold, I'll take it.)

Here are a few.

* The Nats offense is last in the majors in average (.233), last in slugging percentage (.354), 28th in OBP (.310), and tied for 23rd in home runs (39).

* They've hit just four triples all year.

* Yesterday, they scored one run and struck out seven times against Wil Ledezma, who hadn't won a game all season.

* In their previous 16 games, the Nationals have had averages (compiled just from that given game) of .121, .156, .195, .107, .143, .138, and .194.

* Since May 13, the Nats OBP is .290.

* Also since May 13, they are striking out once every 5.09 plate appearances.

* In 111 at bats, Wily Mo Pena has five extra base hits.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 30, 2008; 11:41 AM ET
 
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Next: The lineup, a little shaken and stirred

Comments

Surprisingly, we have 3 guys on pace to hit 40+ doubles this year (Guzzie, Mills, & Zim)

Posted by: CN | May 30, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Last in the majors! UGH!

And with an OBP that bad, they're not drawing any walks, either.

This is serious. This isn't a batting slump, this is suckage.

But what do teams in a situation like this do? Fire the hitting coach? Take extra BP? Watch more film of the opposing pitchers?

All these "pieces" need help, and fast. Ugh.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 30, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Step 1 is easy: Fire Lenny.

From there, it gets harder. The Nats need someone who can school them in how to take good at-bats, and someone who will discipline them (hello, Manny?) when they don't.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | May 30, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

This is thoroughly bad-bad-bad pain right here.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 30, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

at least they haven't lost 11 in a row (I'm looking at you KC Royals) ...

Posted by: e | May 30, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if we had actual hitters in our lineup instead of a bunch of projects, Lenny would have something to work with. The Nats have never had a clean-up hitter, and our GM and ownership group aren't pursuing one. That makes it hard when you compare the options the Nats have for the 4th, 5th and 6th place hitters to any other team in the division. The difference in talent is startling.

Posted by: Easy on Lenny | May 30, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

To my mind, the key stat (apart from games won) is runs scored. Regardless of how a team manufactures runs (and there are a number of different ways to build a run-scoring team), runs are what the offensive game is all about. And the Nats are next to last in the NL in runs scored, with 210 runs in 55 games, nearly a hundred less than the league-leading Cubs. In averaging just 3.81 runs per game, the Nats are dooming themselves to a sub-.500 season.

Posted by: Section 133 | May 30, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the obsession with Wily Mo Pena. He has been in the major leagues since 2002, and with three prior organizations, and has never put together even a respectable major league season. Any Reds or Red Sox fan will tell you that he can't hit the breaking ball and can't field. He was basically given away by the Red Sox. I'm not exactly sure why he's supposed to 'come around' now. I don't see how you blame Manny Acta or Lenny Harris for Pena's lousy performance -- you can't get blood from a turnip. Get a decent left fielder, please!

Posted by: Ray | May 30, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Fire Harris; if that change things by the All-Star break, fire Acta; if things don't turn around by the trade deadline, fire Bowden; if the Nats still aren't hitting, hope for an off-season change in ownership.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you need to change your moniker (at least when we're at bat)
_________________
Last in the majors! UGH!
And with an OBP that bad, they're not drawing any walks, either.
This is serious. This isn't a batting slump, this is suckage.
But what do teams in a situation like this do? Fire the hitting coach? Take extra BP? Watch more film of the opposing pitchers?
All these "pieces" need help, and fast. Ugh.
Posted by: i hate walks | May 30, 2008 11:54 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | May 30, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh good, at least we have the Royals to look down on. That's just awesome.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | May 30, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The lack of a clean up hitter or one player's struggles has not caused the entire team's batting average to dip towards the Mendoza line. More and more the lack of quality at bats seems systemic to the team. I hate to jump on the Fire [fill in the blank] bandwagon in the middle of the season, but the problem with Lenny Harris is that he's learning on the job. He is clearly not helping the batters get out of the almost team-wide slump. If the plan is to develop young players into major league talent we'd probably be better suited with a veteran hitting coach.

Posted by: NoVA Nat | May 30, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Now Chico (the writer, not the pitcher), I still don't feel I know you well enough to know if your comment - "I anticpate I'll have some opportunities to write about the O" - is a tease or not.

Is there some locker room/front office gossip that you are not sharing with us? (the subject of which would be obvious, I think)

Posted by: lowcountry | May 30, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Slight silver linings:

Since 5/19, Dukes OBP is .394, his BA is .240 (improvement but not good), and he has 3 SBs. He is coming around, but the absence of power is curious. Last year he averaged a homer every <20 ABs, even with a horrible average.

Since 5/19, Milledge is has 2 HRs, 5 steals, and slugged .538.

Guz has an OPS of .904 over the same period.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 30, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday's 4-7 hitters: Young (in 42 AB .190, 1 HR, 4 RBI), Milledge (197 AB, .244, 3 HR, 20 RBI), Pena (111 AB, .207, 1 HR, 8 RBI), Dukes (49 AB, .143, 0 HR, 2 RBI). All of these guys to some extent are projects. In comparison, the rest of division consists of proven players or rising young stars--C. Jones, Teixeira, McCann, Francouer, Wright, Beltran, Ramirez, Jacobs, Uggla, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell. The Nats are designed (by GM and ownership) to lose, at least until the minors are producing quality players.

Posted by: Middle of order | May 30, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

At least Jose Guillen isn't in the locker room. Read his quote on the AL score page...

Posted by: N@sfan | May 30, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

No defense of WMP (and WMP has no defense), but let's also not exagerate his prior stinkiness. He had 45 home runs over 700 plate appearances in 2004 - 05, when he was 22 and 23. At 24, over about 300 plate appearances, he had another 11 home runs and improved his OBP to .349. Then there was the tease last year here when he finally had a regular spot in the line up. Yes, his glove is like Michael Jackson's (serves no puprose), and he seems like he's playing his way out of the majors finally, but it was not an unreasonable idea to see what a guy with his track record from '04 - '07 could do with regular playing time. The only question is do we now know enough to say the idea was wrong.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 30, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This is just getting painful to watch. Pretty soon, I may stop doing that. I mean really, this just isn't even entertaining anymore.

Posted by: NatsFly | May 30, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Got newposted by a lot

I'm going to try to make time soon to check out the exhibit called "Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in DC" that's here for the summer. It chronicles the history of one of the city's greatest traditions. While the Senators muddled in mediocrity, the Grays and a handful of semi-professional teams established a winning tradition here. The enthusiasm, talent, and rabid fan base made the District an unequaled baseball town. Since it's this tradition we want to resurrect here in DC, I think it wouldn't hurt to go check it out.

http://app.calendar.rrc.dc.gov/eventDetail.aspx?thisDate=6.4.2008&eventId=9151&eo=16215

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 12:54 PM

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

i was lollygagging back in the last post too. carrying over, a good story on josh gibson here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=neyer_rob&id=3403111

where's the ghost of josh gibson when you need him?

Posted by: bob l. head | May 30, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

More about that exhibit, and the associated traveling exhibit from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum:

http://www.historydc.org/location/exhibits.asp

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 30, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

good call 506. i'm coaching t-ball on saturday morning, but it's supposed to rain in the afternoon, i might bring my girls down and check that out.

Posted by: bob l. head | May 30, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

also loved these two, thanks for bringing the good cheer:


This is thoroughly bad-bad-bad pain right here.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 30, 2008 12:02 PM


Yes, his glove is like Michael Jackson's (serves no puprose)

Posted by: PTBNL | May 30, 2008 12:54 PM

Posted by: bob l. head | May 30, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I suggest a moustache, glasses and a wig for one Pete Rose (ex-red) to be brought in as hitting instructor under a cloak of cia type secrecy, are you listening (reading)JB.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 30, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

making it easy for you...

*********
At least Jose Guillen isn't in the locker room. Read his quote on the AL score page...
Posted by: N@sfan | May 30, 2008 12:54 PM
__________________________
"Too many babies in here. They don't know how to play the game and how to win games. Now I know why this organization has been losing for a while. Now I know."
The Royals' José Guillén, minus the profanities, blasting his teammates after they squandered a five-run lead and lost their 10th in a row Wednesday.

Posted by: Sec. 3 | May 30, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I seriously think THE Peanut Johnson would be an improvement both in the pen and at the plate, but she was right-handed.
---
"Mamie 'Peanut,' Johnson played professional baseball for three seasons, from 1953 to 1955, with the Indianapolis Clowns. During her tenure, she won 33 games and lost 8 games. Her batting average ranged from .262 to .284."
www.nlbpa.com/johnson_mamie.html
************
(from the previous post)

SHID - With our desperate need for an effective LOOGY, I can't believe that we are going to draft "Peanut Johnson" - geesh, what was Bowden thinking?
Posted by: lowcountry | May 30, 2008 11:56 AM

Posted by: CE | May 30, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Lenny has to go. This isn't working and if something isn't done, we are going to be 20 games under .500 before you know it. It would be one thing if one or two players were struggling, but it's the entire lineup. And who's responsible for hitting? And the thing that really gets me is while the guy was a good hitter in his day, he was never a hitting coach to begin with. Fire Lenny.

Posted by: Bruce | May 30, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, his glove is like Michael Jackson's (serves no purpose)"

Nicely done, PTBNL.


In line with what the others are saying, I'm unconvinced about if the problem is you-get-what-you-pay-for players, or inadequate coaching.

However, I'm still hopeful for the "longterm" that the sum of a good team is more than all its parts. I mean, look at R. Church: he is batting over 300 and has 9 HR already. I think things just gelled for him when he got into the right environment. I think that can happen here, I don't think we're that far away, just two or three fielders from the farm, three or four pitchers from the farm, a couple of free agents (i.e., a lights-out pitcher and a true lead-off or clean-up batter) and we've got a real team. But count that up: 3 fielders, 4 pitchers, 2 agents = 9, that is more than 1/3 of a 25-man roster. That much change *should* make it feel like a completely different team (if it doesn't we've got bigger problems), let's just hope that it all fits together.

I'm optimistic that we're well on the way, but we're far enough away from being done that I'm not surprised that we suck. That we suck as badly as is outlined above, well, that is surprising. I can explain part of that away due to injury (of course, a solid team would have a second line of guys that maintain the winning ways when some of the starting line goes down).

I'm not ready to fire anybody just yet, I'm also not ready to spend a bunch of money to hire anybody just yet. But I am disappointed at this season's performance. I wish I had a better indication that the guys we do have are working hard (not pressing, but working hard) to not be losers. I was glad to read the other day that Milledge takes fielding practice every game day for a little while.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 30, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how you blame Manny Acta or Lenny Harris for Pena's lousy performance--you can't get blood from a turnip.
Posted by: Ray | May 30, 2008 12:29 PM

You make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

You can't make bricks without straw.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it hit. (OK, I changed that one.)

Posted by: four proverbs in search of coach | May 30, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

CAN'T make a silk purse from a sow's ear ...

Posted by: whoopsie | May 30, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Offensive indeed! Only Zimmerman, Flores, Milledge, and Dukes are likely to still be on this team in 2010. There are some who believe that if you were committed to Pena for 500 at-bats you should give him 500 at-bats, but the circumstances just aren't working out. The world has seen enough of WMP to know that he is never going to be a legitimate starting OF. Right now he can't hit for average, throw, run, field, or hit for power. That's a five tool failure. At best he's a platoon hitter (.148 vs RH; .280 vs LH).


Not that Dukes is knocking them dead either, but he's younger, has been fielding, throwing, and running well. Milledge is showing enough to keep him in the lineup, but I'd like to see them go back to the Guzman-Milledge at the top of the order lineup and see if Lastings responds.

The Nats may need to platoon the entire team. Only Guzman and Flores seems to hit both LH and RH at the moment. Problem is, the entire offense is soooo bad that you can't even stich together a platoon lineup. Right now if LodDuca comes back healthy you might have to put him at 1B or LF just to get his bat in the lineup.

Right now harsh language would provide more offense than the Nats bats.

The Nats bats have been dead longer than Dracula.

Posted by: NatBisquit | May 30, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

CAN'T make a silk purse from a sow's ear ...

Posted by: whoopsie | May 30, 2008 1:37 PM

******************

...and if you can, I'd like to talk to you about a job as a hitting coach...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

but it's the second line that's working, where anything is: Flores and Nieves, A.F. Boone, Rauch as the closer. The only regular position player doing squat is Guzman. And Zimm is coming around to mediocre. Lopez hasn't totally sucked, but Belliard was the starter.

***************
I can explain part of that away due to injury (of course, a solid team would have a second line of guys that maintain the winning ways when some of the starting line goes down).

Posted by: i hate walks | May 30, 2008 1:32 PM

Posted by: CE | May 30, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I second, i hate walks. Count me in his ilk. Though I don't think I was as optimistic about this season as a lot of other folks, so I'm not as disappointed. I'm still just going for over 75 wins and positive minor league development and that's still very possible (probable, in the case of minor leaguers).

Lenny's day may be coming. Whoever it was above who mentioned that the problem isn't that he's necessarily bad at his job, the problem is that he's having to learn it at the major league level was spot on, I think. What did we decide was hitting coach firing season based on history? Mid-June?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Pena experiment will come to an end when Austin Kearns is healed. It's in the cards!

Posted by: Miss Cleo | May 30, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Manny at least consider a lineup shuffle?
Doesn't seem like Lopez is working well as a leadoff hitter. Move him down to the bottom of the order, put Guzy back at #1, Millidge at #2 (the most successs he's had this year) and move WMP and Dukes up out of the very bottom of the lineup. Two young players who K quite a bit aren't good fits for the part of the order that pitchers usually throw junk to...you have to throw better pitches to a guy at #6 than a guy at #8. Lopez would also add some speed to the bottom of the lineup, which we lack right now (unless you count Dukes - more baserunning ability than pure speed).
Thoughts?

Posted by: AJ | May 30, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm usually not big on firing someone just to shake it up but, I have to say, I think it's time for Lenny to hit the bricks.

The lack of HR's by Pena and Dukes is baffling to me.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | May 30, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit...

Posted by: Matt | May 30, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Bringing it all home, the current staff of Nationals starters average 5 2/3 innings per game and have a staff ERA of 3.87. The current Nationals relief squad has pen ERA of 4.33. That means, in an average game, the starter will give up 2.44 runs and the pen will give up 1.59 runs. That's about four runs a night.

As Section 133 pointed out, the Nationals offense has scored 210 runs (14th in NL) over 55 games. That's about 3.82 runs per game.

In your average game, the Nationals offense does not support Nationals pitching. Meaning, of course, in your average game, the Nationals lose. So while we may be used to the outcome, we're not exactly used to the culprit.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Quite possibly, CE. In any event, I'd love to see a picture of her taken standing next "Big John" Rauch!
_____________________
I seriously think THE Peanut Johnson would be an improvement both in the pen and at the plate, but she was right-handed.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 30, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

It's a little knee-jerk, but I think I like it...

-----

The Nats may need to platoon the entire team.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Seems as if the Nationals are bringing back the dead-ball era on offense. As I said a few weeks ago, this team reminds me of the '67 Senators, who hit .223 as a team with a .285 (yes, .285) team OBP. But that team still managed to win 76 games, which seems to be the course the current squad is on.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 30, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

You see, we need more fans like "i hate walks". The sky isn't falling. Our GM is one best in baseball , he shrewdly put together what has to be the best "what if" and "could be" roster in all of baseball. Our hitting coach is second to none in watching film in the whole league. Mechanical adjustments and philosophy are just simple overrated. Winning isn't the only thing in life. As fans you shouldn't expect anything more than our best even if we're really not that good. You should be happy just to have a team. I mean, we're only 9!!! players from turning this thing around. Don't worry, don't get upset because we're full of "toolsy potential". Until we get it going stick with us and keep coming to your new ballpark and enjoy the gleefull bliss of .418 baseball and when the losing and lack of runs become too much, our advice is to whisper one special name to yourself that will surely get you though the year. Say it with me.....


Stephen Strasburg


Thanks for your support,
Nats FO w/snark on the side

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | May 30, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see WMP go 7 for 10 this weekend just so we might be able to ship him to the A's - who suddenly find themselves in need of a DH.
________________________
The Pena experiment will come to an end when Austin Kearns is healed. It's in the cards!
Posted by: Miss Cleo | May 30, 2008 1:47 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | May 30, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I've got the made-up "Criminally Unsupported Starts" stat over on the ESPN site - (Starting Pitcher goes 6+ innings, his team over that time gives him no more than 1 run of support). Nats are second in the NL - happened 10 times this year. Methinks the factor holding the Nats back from a comfortable lead is not the 1 run of support, but rather, that the starters don't usually make six full.

Posted by: Jayson Stark | May 30, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are near the bottom of the NL in almost every offensive category:

At Bats: 1829 (12th in NL)
Runs: 210 (14th)
Hits: 426 (last)
Triples: 4 (15th)
HR: 39 (13th)
Average: .233 (last)
OBP: .310 (15th)
SLG: .354 (last)

We are, however, near the top of the league in the following categories:

Strikouts: 368 (6th)
Hit by Pitch: 25 (2nd)

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh SS...you had me at...you see

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 30, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

(That would be strikeouts, not strikouts.)

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The Pena experiment will come to an end when Austin Kearns is healed. It's in the cards!

Posted by: Miss Cleo | May 30, 2008 1:47 PM
-------------------

No, that's just called The Great Outfield Experiment (Part 2)

Posted by: Edison | May 30, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls, we must be last in SBs too?

Posted by: CapPeterson | May 30, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | May 30, 2008 2:08 PM

-----

Here we go, draw up the battle lines. Yes, I'm with, i hate walks, much to his horror.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

how's this: the worse the offense gets now, the better it's going to be later in the year. all together now: regression to the mean. regression to the mean.

oh yeah. and stephen strasburg. then we'd only need two runs a game. we could almost do that on walks and steals alone.

Posted by: bob l. head | May 30, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Bob L. Head, your lowercase lamenting has earned you post of the week status on the Crowd Noise blog.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Things to get excited about:

1.Mamie "Penut" Johnson, thanks Mr. Winfield

2.Attendance for the four game series against the Beer Makers.

3.Next weeks draft.

Thing that are not cool at all:
1. Maple bats, get 'em out of baseball. Any trend the Barry Bonds started can't be good.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AtqRYI9EgNya6LFCmzPt98M5nYcB?slug=jp-bats052908&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Posted by: Toosly McClutch | May 30, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

actually, the As don't have an opening at DH, they're just down from 3 DHs to 2 (from howard/sweeney/cust to just sweeney/cust).

Posted by: 231 | May 30, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

21 steals is good for 11th in the NL.

11 times caught stealing is good for 10th in the NL, conversely.

-----

John in Mpls, we must be last in SBs too?

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

i have to say, bobL, i'm not so sure i like you stealing my lazy, lower-case style... i may have to charge you royalties on that...

Posted by: 231 | May 30, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Two things I find amazing (and not in a good way): 1. how a team with so little power can strike out so much; and 2. how a team with so few baserunners can ground into so many doubleplays (4th most in the NL). Unfortunately, it's tough to run with so little team speed and so many Ks.

Posted by: Section 112 | May 30, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

That's good news. Perhaps they will be more inclined to embrace WMP if they only need a 1/3 of the production from him. (I wasn't really liking the chances of him going 7 for 10 this weekend anyway).
______
actually, the As don't have an opening at DH, they're just down from 3 DHs to 2 (from howard/sweeney/cust to just sweeney/cust).
Posted by: 231 | May 30, 2008 2:45 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | May 30, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

-Zero plate discipline usually equals loads of strikeouts or poorly hit balls right at someone.

-Zero imagination in the dugout usually leads to multiple runners left on base inning after inning.

-Just happy to have a team, we'll be good in 20XX, look at all of the prospects, and retreads leads to many empty seats.

Posted by: tippy canoe | May 30, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Chances (rounded) of seeing the following during a Nationals at-bat:

Hit: 23%
Extra-Base Hit: 7.7%
- HR: 2%
- 2B: 5%
- 3B: 0.2%
Strikeout: 20%
GIDP: 2.6%

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the heads-up, jmpls. wow, there is a dc sports blog about dc sports blogs, who knew?

231, i stole the lower case thing from longterm (as well as you); i adopted the device after the loss yesterday and threatened to use it until the team did something positive in the short term.

hey i hate walks, would you say that there is a "slight" risk that this team will finish in last place, or a "real and significant" risk?

Posted by: bob l. head | May 30, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought Lo Duca did a respectable job in the broadcast booth. Perhaps our hitters are just endeavoring in the wrong line of work.

Posted by: joebleux | May 30, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Re: Crowd Noise

Is this Anne Applebaum's daughter? She's kinda cute.

Did that get me in crowd noise?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Lo Duca was ever really one of our "hitters".

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that he did a respectable job in the booth (re: Duke's SF)

Posted by: lowcountry | May 30, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Just happy to have a team, we'll be good in 20XX, look at all of the prospects, and retreads leads to many empty seats."

Which of course explains why attendance this year is so bad. Oh, wait - it's not. Consider these numbers:

2005: 2,692,123 (33,651 per game)
2006: 2,153,150 (26,582 per game)
2007: 1,961,579 (24,217 per game)

2008, through 28 home dates: 815,962 (29,141 per game). On pace for 2,380,421 for the season, higher than all but the 2005 inaugural year. But the attendance-bumping summer heat is only now arriving. That total may end up higher.

Alfonso who?

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 30, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Lenny's day may be coming. Whoever it was above who mentioned that the problem isn't that he's necessarily bad at his job, the problem is that he's having to learn it at the major league level was spot on, I think. What did we decide was hitting coach firing season based on history? Mid-June?"

--------------

That's what drives me nuts, too. I say don't fire Lenny, just demote him back to the minor league coaching ranks until he learns how to teach hitting.

In the meantime, San Diego State's not in the CWS this year, so maybe Tony Gwinn might be up for some consulting work...?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 30, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Juan-John, I meant to leave open the possibility of a new assignment. Though I worry about the politics of declaring him inadequate and then asking minor leaguers to listen to him.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I hereby nominate Juan-John for the position of NJ GM.

-----

In the meantime, San Diego State's not in the CWS this year, so maybe Tony Gwinn might be up for some consulting work...?

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

We are, however, near the top of the league in the following categories:

Strikouts: 368 (6th)
Hit by Pitch: 25 (2nd)

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 2:21 PM

----------------------------

Maybe Lenny should spend more time teaching them how to lean into one and take one for the team. Since that seems to be our greatest offensive skill, makes sense to hone it to perfection.

Posted by: LA Nats | May 30, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

LOL!

--------

"I hereby nominate Juan-John for the position of NJ GM."

Posted by: Juan-John | May 30, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Lenny should spend more time teaching them how to lean into one and take one for the team. Since that seems to be our greatest offensive skill, makes sense to hone it to perfection.

Posted by: LA Nats | May 30, 2008 3:53 PM

__________________________________________


I say bring in Rudi Stein as a consultant for this, he did a good job for Buttermaker in the Championship game.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | May 30, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Or Austin Kearns, he has a good record for HBP.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Bob L. -- I think there's a "slight" chance of a "severe" -ly bad season.

And now, it is quittin' time on Friday. Happy weekend everybody.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 30, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think I held the record for HBP in the head, but I can't remember.

Posted by: Coach | May 30, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

iN ORDER TO BREAK THE BAD KARMA, WE SHOULD POST IN CAPS LOCK. sTILL USE THE SHIFT FOR NEW SENTENCES.

fUNNY THING ABOUT THE sbS - 8 OF THE 21 ARE FROM mILLEDGE AND dUKES THE PAST 9 GAMES.

fOR FUN - WHY NOT FLIP-FLOP dUKES AND fLIPPIE? fLIPPIE IS COLD AS ICE, AND dUKES HAS BEEN GETTING ON LATELY (SINCE THE START OF THE LAST HOMESTAND) AND RUNS.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 30, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

wHATEVER IT TAKES, MAN.

Posted by: nATSnUT | May 30, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

the nats and dbacks for some reason have the exact same uni. maybe some1 will get confused.
can only hope.

Posted by: dk | May 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

i THINK IT'S MORE THAN A "SLIGHT" CHANCE OF HAVING A SEVERELY BAD SEASON.

Posted by: sAMANTHA7 | May 30, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know there was such a blog. It would seem that Jenn-X also received recognition last month:

JennX: I'm not sure I'd ever seen Felipe smile before tonight. It was nice to see. Also, he looked hot. (But he also looks hot pouting, brooding, spacing out...) :)

"JennX Lopez Mrs. Jennx Lopez Mrs. Felipe Lopez JennX <3 Felipe Lopez"

Felipe's fillies: Hubba hubba!

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 30, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Put me in the Flores/Nieves' Fillies camp.

Posted by: samantha7 | May 30, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

All of those caps offend my grammatical sensibilities. Oh, the editorial humanity...

Posted by: NR Grammar Lady | May 30, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the more games the Nats lose and the more pathetic the offense gets, the sooner we get rid of Lenny Harris, Manny Acta and Jim Bowden. So there is a silver lining to this mess.

Posted by: mike hunt | May 30, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

From the "Shameless Plug Department":

I've started a new Nats Blog... feel free to visit and comment...

www.planetnj.net/nats

Posted by: Wigi | May 30, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to get rid of Manny Acta

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 30, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Seriously. 25 HBP, 39 HR. It's hard to imagine there's another team with numbers that close.

-----

Maybe Lenny should spend more time teaching them how to lean into one and take one for the team. Since that seems to be our greatest offensive skill, makes sense to hone it to perfection.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

hey wigi, i just left a comment on your blog under "about this planet" which may lead to something interesting.

Posted by: bob l. head | May 30, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Guzman leads the nationals in the following offensive statistics:

BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
Games (tied with Millege)
At-Bats
Plate Appearances
Runs
Hits
TB
1B
2B
3B
Extra-Base Hits
Runs Created
Times on Base
At-Bats per Strikeout
Offensive Win Percentage

For the record, Milledge leads the team in HBP with 6. He also leads the team in outs (166!) and GIDP (8).

Situationally speaking, Redding leads the team in sac hits with six.

Personally, I lead my office in CRBRdc)(Caught Reading Baseball-Reference dot com) today.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 30, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

From Grandpa Boz' chat today....

Gainesville, VA: If you had to pick between the two to manage your baseball team, who do you choose, Dave Trembley or Manny Acta?

Tom Boswell: Trembley for the present. He's more polished "in game" and will get in people's faces. Acta for the long term because he's so patient and such a good re(a)d of people.

BUT if you had to name the strongest suits for both teams you would NOT name their current major-league roster players. Kasten and MacPhail would probably top the list for each team __proven builders of winners__ with Acta and Trembley quite strong. Acta doesn't surprise me. He was a "hot prospect" manager when the nats got him. The Mets wish they still had him. But Trembely is a real heart-warming story and more impressive all the time.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 30, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

hey chico, do you think perhaps the nats are trying to overcompensate for their underachievement so far?

Posted by: bob l. head | May 30, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Regarding hiring an unproven hitting coach - does all the money invested in scouting and coaching only bubble up to AAA?

Posted by: expo_ram | May 30, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

For all you impatient Dan Snyder-like types, why aren't you calling for the Nats to sign the one guy who would immediately add at least an extra win share to the lineup on Day One?

Barry Lamar Bonds.

C'mon. You all want to win now. Barry would do that.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | May 30, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The solution is simple. We already have a guy on the 25 man roster that has a career OPS of .857 and Slg .571 but only one AB this year.

Posted by: The Answer | May 30, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Manny is teflon, as he should be. i love his attitude and demeanor. He's perfect for this team right now and imo will grow to be a really good manager along with this franchise.

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | May 31, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

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