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# Boswell: With 'Average' Pitching, Nats Would Be 24-15

Here's an abbreviated and edited version of an e-mail exchange between a fan, Walt Petersen and myself. Walt points out that Bill James did a study -- based on every N.L. game in '85 -- of what winning percentage a team has in games in which it scores one run, two runs, three runs, etc.

If you apply James work to the Nats this season, they "should" have a fraction more than 24 wins. In other words, a 24-15 record, a .615 winning percentage, the fourth best mark in baseball and they'd would lead the NL East by two games. (This includes the 10 runs the Nats scored in the first nine innings of their 10-10 suspended game with Houston.)

However, there's one caveat. The NL is scoring 4.71 runs per game this season. In '85, it was 4.07. So a run was "worth more" in '85 than it is now. I assume Sabermatricians could "normalize" this. As a working assumption, that would probably mean that, with an "average" pitching staff in '09, the current Nats would be 23-16 or 22-17.

In any case, radically different than 11-27-1!
____

Hi Boz

In the 1986 Baseball Abstract, Bill James wrote an essay on the winning percentage for a team when it scores one run in a game, two runs in a game, and so on. His data was based on all NL teams during the 1985 season. Here are the results:

Runs Scored, W-L Record, Winning Percentage
0 = .000
1 = .140
2 = .286
3 = .409
4 = .556
5 = .695
6 = .788
7 = .836
8 = .943
9 = .883
10 = .921
11 = .950
12 = .946

We are now almost a quarter of the way through the 2009 season, and we have enough info to compare the Nats record versus the standard uncovered in the 1985 NL season. (No...this is not gonna be pretty.)

Nats Runs Scored, W-L Record, Winning Pecentage
0, 0-1, .000
1, 0-1, .000
2, 1-3, .250
3, 1-4, .200
4, 2-3, .400
5, 1-5, .167 (!)
6, 2-4, .333 (!)
7, 0-2, .000 (!)
8, 2-2, .500 (!)
9, 1-0, 1.000
10, 0-0-1 .000
11, 1-1, .500 (!)
12+ No Games

It is stunning how Nats pitchers, especially the bullpen, have been wasting the vastly improved scoring production. In 1985, NL teams scoring five or more runs a game had a winning percentage of .806 (565-136). The Nats percentage is an incredible . 333 (7-14).

Ugh!

Best Regards
Walt

-------

Walt,

Thanks a million. I used the James numbers to figure out how many wins the Nats "should" have right now if they had an "average" pitching staff.

If a team that scores 5 runs should win 69.5% of the time (per James), then the Nats should have 4.17 wins in the six games when they've scored five runs. (Six games X .695 = 4.17 wins). In reality, they're 1-5. I won't bore you with the arithmatic, but, if you include the 10-10 suspended game, the Nats should have a 24-15 record now with a "normal" pitching staff.

HOWEVER, the NL scored less in '85, so a run was worth less then. So, we'd probably need to adjust that "24 wins" down to 23 or 22. Still, it makes the same dramatic point.

The first thought that comes to mind is that if the rotation is Martis, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Lannan, and Detwiler (in whatever order) by mid-to-late '10, and they sign a FA reliever this winter, will they have "average" pitching by then? Those pitchers won't be fully developed yet and some may not pan out at all. But...

I don't think the Nats' offense is as good as it looks now, just as I'm certain that these pitchers couldn't stay THIS bad if they tried. (If they STOPPED trying so hard -- pressing and thus choking -- they'd be better.) Right now, the Nats project to 847 runs. I suspect they are a 775-to-800 run team, if fairly healthy. Before the season, I thought 750 to 775, but Zimmerman is a different hitter now that he's holding his hands high to cut down his swing a notch and has Eckstein to coach him and Dunn to protect him.

Anyway, thanks very much, and if I do a blog, I'll credit you. Cheers.

Boz

By Thomas Boswell  |  May 20, 2009; 2:24 PM ET

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I'll take it! Pass the kool-aid!

Posted by: ihatewalks | May 20, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Good grief.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 20, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Walt points out that Bill James did a study -- based on every N.L. game in '85 -- of what winning percentage a team has in games in which it scores one run, two runs, three runs, etc."

Looking at only one side of the batting-pitching equation and ignoring the other one totally, then trying to reach some conclusion from that makes absolutely no sense. It's like looking at all the paychecks I've collected in my career and concluding that I should be a millionaire - conveniently ignoring the fact that I've spent most of that money. In the computer world, they have a saying about studies like this one. Garbage in, garbage out. That either Boswell or his correspondent seriously thinks this isn't garbage just amazes me. That Boswell is apparently getting paid to write drivel like this amazes me even more.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I thought we would be 16-22, after winning 5 of 6 on our way to winning 9 of 11 on this home stand. We would be leaving town 20-24, and gearing up for a shot at respectability.

This home stand has essentially crapped all over the season. And my enthusiasm.

Posted by: kevinx | May 20, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

--Stammen
Checked a couple places including MLB and don't see him listed anywhere.
BTW you can't have a rotation made up of only first-year guys. You need a couple of saavy vets in there to teach and steady the ship. Just sayin.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

And if my grandmother wore a tie she'd be my grandfather.....

All this sabremetrics is interesting but the bottom line is our pitching isn't "normal" so we suck.

Posted by: ramgut | May 20, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If we lose today we will be guaranteed at being 0-8 on this homestand because of Cabrera hurling tomorrow. When is the last time a team went 0-11 on one homestand?

Posted by: RickFelt | May 20, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

No mention of Stammen. He's supposedly starting tomorrow night.
http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/university-of-dayton-flyers/former-ud-versailles-baseball-star-to-make-major-league-debut-127041.html

Posted by: NatsJunkie | May 20, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

So the trick seems to be that we just have to score nine runs a game (not ten or eleven). I guess getting to nine is the hard part because we could bring Tolman back as third base coach once we had reached nine . . . that should take of any concerns about scoring again.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 20, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I'll take it, too, IHW.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I think Washburn, Cliff Lee will both be free agents next season and Bedard may become available. Something to think about.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Glug, glug. Tastes great!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

To those who say that the Nats took a chance on Cabrera, Willingham and Olsen, which demonstrates the Nats' willingness to spend at the MLB level:

I agree these are huge money guys by the standards of the Nats. However, these are minor additions by the standards of most of the clubs. These are guys you take chances on and hope they work out, but are not centerpieces of your team-building strategies.

Posted by: EdDC | May 20, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I've always found Bill James fascinating, and appreciate this bit of analysis. This doesn't mean he's always right, but he gives me a different perspective on the game that is often refreshing.

(Oh to live in an alternate universe where the Nats had veteran aces Patterson and Hill to bolster other young starters, Zimmermann, Martis and Lannan. And a health Cordero was lights out after being set up by Rauch and Ayala.)

Posted by: twinbrook | May 20, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Craig Stammen dialed up his father, Jeff, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, with the good news.

“He said, ‘Dad, I got called up,’ ” Jeff said, his voice crackling with emotion. “He’s happy. He can’t believe it. It’s what he’s been waiting for. This is his chance.”

Stammen, the former University of Dayton pitcher from Versailles High School, will make his Major League debut when he starts for the Washington Nationals on Thursday night, May 21, against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander — who turned 25 on March 9 — will deliver the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Stammen, who was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 12th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft after his junior year at UD, paid his dues for four-plus seasons in the minor leagues with the Vermont Expos, Savannah Sand Gnats, Potomac Nationals, Harrisburg Senators and Columbus Clippers — the Nationals’ former AAA affiliate.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Proving that it's better to be good than lucky...

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 20, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Lackey, Lannan, Zimmermann, Martis, Strasburg.

now who do we get to play 1b?

Posted by: longterm | May 20, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW my above post was taken from an article by Chick Ludwig, the staff writer for the Dayton Daily News.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

This isn't sabermetrics, this is junk-statting and then tossing out guesswork. Boz is almost certainly understating the difference between offensive levels now and in the 1985 NL.

Posted by: JhonnyBheGhood | May 20, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

You can throw out all the would've, should've, could've predictions, situations, and scenarios throughout the rest of the season, but you cannot alter their current and abysmal record that the Nats have registered without overhauling their pitching, fielding, coaching and management. Other than their hitting, the Nats stink!

Posted by: thisismydcsportsopinion | May 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Couple of notes on MLBTR if someone hasn't already noted them: Rizzo trying to get permissin to draft Crow again; Bill Bray out for the year with TJ surgery ...

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 20, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

If we DON'T win one game on this homestand (which I highly doubt but it's a possibility with our Bullpen) I think Acta gone. I hate saying that but something has to happen.....

Posted by: timb67 | May 20, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Nun, how is that garbage? Looking at both sides of the equation would give you something like this:
Historically, when teams score five runs in a game, AND allow four runs the winning percentage is 1.000.
Needless to say, that's not news.
Rundowns like this aren't ignoring the pitching side, they're assuming the average, which is all the whole exercise is meant to point out -- just how far below average the Nats have been on the pitching side this season.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | May 20, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

>>And a healthy Cordero was lights out after being set up by Rauch and Ayala.

Selective memory. Cordero was never lights out. It was always a tightwire act with him as he normally put 2 or 3 on before retiring the side.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

BA's prospect handbook has this on Stammen, who is rated as the Nat's #20 prospect:

"Stammen finished his three-year college career as the all-time strikeout leader at Dayton, where he excelled as a closer during his sophomore year and as a starter during his junior campaign. He pitched through a knee injury down the stretch in 2007 and had minor surgery to clean it up after the season. The Nationals started him in the bullpen at Potomac in 2008 until a spot opened up in the rotation. After dominating in high Class A and Double-A, he finished the season in Triple-A, where he took his lumps but still showed good stuff. Stammen pitches at 90-94 mph with his four-seam fastball, but the pitch is rather straight, so he began throwing more 89-92 mph two-seamers in 2008. He commands his fastball well and it plays up out of the bullpen. His short, tight curveball is an average pitch that flashes plus at times, and his changeup is another average offering. He sometimes drifts in his delivery, causing his fastball to lose power. Despite his physical, workhorse frame, Stammen needs to incorporate his lower half more into his delivery to make better use of his leverage. He also needs to finish his delivery better. His solid three-pitch mix gives him a chance to be a No. 4 or No. 5 starter, but some Nats officials see him as a strike-throwing bulldog out of the pen. He'll likely start 2009 in Triple-A but could see significant action in the majors."

Posted by: BobLHead | May 20, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

No way Crow falls to the 10th pick, especially after his great start today. Most mock drafts have him at a 3-5 pick.

Posted by: Section138 | May 20, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@timb67,

I like Manny too but it may be time for a change. The bullpen is what it is and even if you don't hold Acta accountable for that at all you have to hold him accountable for the defensive and mental lapses. Something's got to give.

Posted by: ouvan59 | May 20, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Funny that he excelled at K's in college. At AAA Syracuse this year, he has more K's at the plate than from the mound. His M.O. is definitely to throw strikes, walk very few, and induce ground balls.
Lets hope the defense is up to the task.

Posted by: NatsJunkie | May 20, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

our pitching is on pace to be good after our offense has left. what a mess.

Posted by: longterm | May 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine,

It is my alternate universe. I can make him lights out if I want to.

Posted by: twinbrook | May 20, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

He had 47 saves (tops in baseball) in 54 attempts in 2005. He had a 1.82 ERA. He held hitters to a .198 BA, striking out 61 and walking just 17.

When it comes to closers, lights out is measured in the end, not the means. And a successful tightrope walker makes it to the other side, no matter how much he wobbles.

-----

Selective memory. Cordero was never lights out. It was always a tightwire act with him as he normally put 2 or 3 on before retiring the side.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 20, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Selective memory. Cordero was never lights out. It was always a tightwire act with him as he normally put 2 or 3 on before retiring the side."

Who's got the selective memory? In Cordero's first two seasons in DC he had a WHIP of 1.036 which means he averaged 1 runner an inning which is darn good.

Posted by: ouvan59 | May 20, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

In our bullpen, we have what I'd consider two "league average" starters that have been typical 4/5 guys in the past - Villone and Wells. Both are vets and both could probably keep us in games for 5 or 6 innings. What about dropping them in the last 2 rotation spots? Now, this is assuming that Detwiler goes right back down, and would further confuse the bullpen situation, but Wells isn't exactly excelling in relief anyway and I'm willing to try anything.

Posted by: macman3 | May 20, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

if marrero keeps hitting, i think there is a good chance he will be our 1b next year.

Posted by: longterm | May 20, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The rumors of Stammen starting and Cabrera sitting in the bullpen last night combine to make me quite nervous...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 20, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

From the WashTimes:

Rookie right-hander Craig Stammen will make his big league debut tomorrow night, getting the nod to start for the Nationals against the Pirates.

Baseball sources confirmed the Nationals will purchase Stammen's contract from Class AAA Syracuse and give him the ball for their series finale against Pittsburgh, bumping struggling Daniel Cabrera from the rotation.

Posted by: twinbrook | May 20, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Cordero = Don Stanhouse.

My thoughts on Cordero are that he was successful early, but once teams learned to lay off his out pitch - the low slider that would dive into the dirt - and make him come over the plate, then he couldn't get guys out. He would either walk them or get hit hard most of the time at the end of his time here.

Posted by: macman3 | May 20, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Is that average pitching with average defense??? Sounds like it should be above average pitching with terrible defense.

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 20, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Couple of notes on MLBTR if someone hasn't already noted them: Rizzo trying to get permissin to draft Crow again"

Maybe Crow and agents will wait to the last minute to respond.

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 20, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at only one side of the batting-pitching equation and ignoring the other one totally, then trying to reach some conclusion from that makes absolutely no sense." - nunof1

It makes perfect sense, if you take it for what it's worth.

It is purely a measure of the team's offense - specifically where this team should be, given its current level of offense, were it to be paired with a strictly average pitching staff. Regardless of how out-of-date the statistics used are, the results of this thought exercise are no surprise.

Now, let's try the flip side of this equation.

Given the same statistics on winning percentage vs. runs scored, and the fact that our pitching staff is giving up an average of 6.28 runs per game, our opponents should have a winning percentage (given 1986 runs) of about .800, meaning that if you paired an average hitting team with our current pitching staff, we could reasonably expect to have a winning percentage of about .200, or a record of about 8-31. Bump that a couple of games to compensate for the run differential between 1985 and 2009, and you get 10-29. Hmm, not that different from where we are now. Obviously, not even our great hitting can do much to overcome the terrible pitching.

No doubt, the actual numbers are of dubious value, since it is based on 1985 statistics, but it does serve to quantify what we all already knew -- our pitching stinks.

Posted by: PetworthDC | May 20, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Historically, when teams score five runs in a game, AND allow four runs the winning percentage is 1.000. Needless to say, that's not news. Rundowns like this aren't ignoring the pitching side, they're assuming the average, which is all the whole exercise is meant to point out -- just how far below average the Nats have been on the pitching side this season.Posted by: mjhoya12"

Right. It's not garbage, but it's not lobster bisque out, either. It's just another observation based on a single stat.

It's true that if the Nats had performed near average in overall pitching, they'd have a lot better record. That's because they're hitting is exceeding expectations.

But the '09 Nats have been a lousy defensive club, too.

They're farther along than last year. But that's not saying all that much.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at only one side of the batting-pitching equation and ignoring the other one totally, then trying to reach some conclusion from that makes absolutely no sense."

That is only true in carrying over the same winning percentage from year to year, which is what Boz was getting at when he noted that a run was "worth less." Within the population of 1985 you would be able to predict the outcome of the game with increasing accuracy as the number of runs for one team rose.

Part of the normalization would have to be adjusting for pitching. With the complications of the different ways the game has been played and steroids, it would be very hard to come up with a truly predictive statistic, but while you can't make the claim with any sort of confidence, you can certainly say it's an interesting claim.

Thanks for this interesting thought, Boz.

Posted by: Section506 | May 20, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

>>Cordero = Don Stanhouse

Wow a Don Stanhouse reference. What's next...Bernie Daniels and Camilo Pasqual?
That's the ticket...dump Acta and hire Gil Hodges.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Garbage numbers or not, I'll grasp at any straw available! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | May 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Heck, why not bring back Ted Williams? Or his head, anyway.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Let's also not forget that a significant number of Cordero's very long, very loud (and very scary) outs in RFK would leave Nats Park.

Posted by: bryc3 | May 20, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Even dead, I think Gil Hodges can outmanage Manny InActa...

Posted by: comish4lif | May 20, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

boz,

there is a fallacy to your well-reasoned projection that the nats would be 24-16 with major league average pitching. you haven't taken into account the effect of the high number of errors committed behind that "major league average" staff. all runs surrendered by a pitching staff aren't equal. sometimes depending on when and how a run is given up is more important that the actual run differential. 24-16 is probably the absolute best-case scenario. but if you factor in the errors, you may be talking 19-21 at best.

Posted by: surly_w | May 20, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

>>Cordero

Of all the great Cordero meltdowns, anyone remember that game in Colorado a couple year's ago. That was the mother of em all. I think we were leading 5-0 going into the 9th and lost as the Rockies nailed Chad for 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th. That loss really sent the Nats into a tailspin and I think we lost the next 6 or 7. Ah good times.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Boz when are you gonna quit playing with your 1985 TI-30 calculator and tell Manny to go eat his hat? It's so enjoyable to listen the the postgame conferences where the writers are all talking like little mice when they set the emperor with no clothes up to blame his bullpen? 'Oh Manny you've had a rough time with the bullpen'. 'Of course, there's nothing we can do.' And no follow up. Hey Boz why don't you go tell Acta to eat his hat

Posted by: Brue | May 20, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

>Even dead, I think Gil Hodges can outmanage Manny InActa...

They could hire a professional actor to imitate a manager and he'd do a better job than Acta.

Posted by: Brue | May 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Brue -- we get it. You don't like Manny. But there really is no reason to post stuff like "tell Acta to eat his hat" or by calling him names like stupid and idiot like you have been lately.

Posted by: erocks33 | May 20, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Acta confirmed Stammen's start tomorrow and Cabrera's move to the pen on his MASN blog this afternoon.

Posted by: mojo6 | May 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"there is a fallacy to your well-reasoned projection..."

Not really. The stats are strictly a measure of how often a team won in relation to the number of runs they scored, thus making it strictly a measure of offense and making all other things equal.

Granted, to be more correct, it should be phrased that we would be 24-16 with average pitching and average fielding.

Posted by: PetworthDC | May 20, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

so if Cabrera goes to the pen when Stammen comes up tomorrow, who will be removed from the 25-man? I'm guessing Mock gets sent down to Syracuse.

Posted by: erocks33 | May 20, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey erocks33 why don't you go eat your hat. 11-27 suck on it and like it. I was talking to Boz anyway. Unless you can ask Manny to eat his hat. Then that would be alright.

Posted by: Brue | May 20, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@PetworthDC

if we're conjecturing, how much better would this staff be if more fielding chances resulted in outs? i can think of at least three games the nats have lost directly attributed to sloppy fielding. we don't live in grandpa boz fantasy land. what we have is what we've got.

Posted by: surly_w | May 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wow: D-Cab to the bullpen! Can you imagine any circumstance, other than a 12-0 garbage time mop-up, where this guy's stuff and mentality could actually be effective in relief? I certainly cannot.

Are the Lerners too cheap to just eat this guy's \$2 million and DFA him?

Oh, wait, I forgot...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 20, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Brue --

to quote one of my favorite lines from a Steve Martin movie ... "Your name wouldn't happen to be 'Dick', would it?"

Posted by: erocks33 | May 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Trade D-Cab for some draft picks!!!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 20, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@surly_w

I agree with your point, but once again, you have to take this analysis for what its worth.

It attempts to measure a team's offense in isolation of all other factors, which means, if you use it as a basis for analysis, the offense is one side of the equation, and everything else (including the pitching, fielding, managing, training staff, etc.) is expected to be, as a whole, average.

Posted by: PetworthDC | May 20, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Trade Belliard, D-Cab and Mock for Danny Bard, Bucholtz, Pedroia and Papelbon. We need to do something and a desperate move like this might be just what we need!!!

Posted by: RickFelt | May 20, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

You can't trade [for] draft picks in baseball.

Neither could I ;)

Posted by: Section506 | May 20, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

D-Cab bullpen? Only if no ones on. Once he has to go to the stretch, well we know how that movie ends.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

If you fed all these numbers into a computer it would probably blow up. Actually it might want to play a game, like chess or "thermonuclear war." Then the only way to stop it from starting nuclear war would be to get it to play tic-tac-toe, and then the computer would realize that the game is futile and shouldn't play at all. Like the Nationals. they shouldn't play at all.

Posted by: trezmartin | May 20, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Mock or Colome gets sent down tomorrow. Probably Mock even though Colome's numbers are abhorrent.

You keep Cabrera as the absolute last guy off the bench; the mop up long relief guy who weathers the storm during blowouts. Is that role worth \$2.6M? Nope, but might as well use him for it. Its hard to say who holds that job now; it seems to be Tavarez.

Posted by: tboss | May 20, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

does the new stadium come with automatic sprinklers for the bullpen area? (I guess if it did, we would certainly know by now!)

PS - The Chief would fit in well with this bullpen. He might be at the head of the class, but he would fit right in. No save was easy for him (or us!)

Posted by: 1of9000 | May 20, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

>>Is that role worth \$2.6M?

Wow. Daniel Cabrera is actually earning 2.6 million dollars this year. That's million. In today's world. That is truly amazing.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Boz, that is an interesting stab at quantifying how bad the pitching is. Would be better if unearned runs were factored in, but doing so would prove the point even more strongly. Our pitching - and defense - are terrible.
Geezer

Posted by: utec | May 20, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

>>Cabrera \$2.6 million

I'm still blown away by this. The absolute worst player on the worst team in baseball with zero wins, who may not even be on the team in a couple weeks he is so bad is earning more than just about everyone who is in the stands or is watching at home.
Daniel Cabrera 2.6 million dollars????

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The Danny Cabrera's of the world will continue to get \$2.6/year - as long as they can throw a baseball in the mid-90s.

If he actually knew where it was going and had any consistency, he'd make \$12M/year.

On Manny's Blog, deos he answer questions - do you think he'd answer if someone asked him to eat his hat?

Posted by: comish4lif | May 20, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

In classic baseball fan fashion, I've started to think about next year and what we can expect from the Nats. I'm not one to think that better pitching next year transforms this team into one that's radically different in terms competing for a playoff spot.

There are too many variables on the offensive and defensive side to start thinking that adequate pitching will change this team.

Isn't Nick Johnson's contract up after this year? What happens if you subtract his usual offense? What if you don't get silver slugger years from Zimmerman and Dunn?

Posted by: rnkorby | May 20, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

if the orioles were in the NL west all of this time, they would have made a few playoffs in the past 10 years. Boz, you have become such a clown it's hilarious dc baseball morons follow your stuff. All of this stat garbage is so ridiculous its funny. You are like bob carpenter saying the "if" word 45 times a game. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE.....TELL THE SHORTSTOPS TO MAKE A DAMN PLAY FOR THE PITCHERS AND THEY GET A LITTLE BETTER...IT;'S HARD TO PITCH WHEN YOU KNOW YOUR FIELDERS CAN'T FIELD SH*T

Posted by: nattylite88 | May 20, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

...and if I was 7 feet tall with athletic ability and twenty years younger I'd be in the NBA

Posted by: nativedc | May 20, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Stats are nice, confirm just what everyone can see and feel about this team. Average pitching we are at least a .500 team. Some fielding would help also.

Posted by: gatsu | May 20, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Good work on turning up the Stammen item, dovelevine.

Also, somebody should set up a function key for this one: "You can't trade [for] draft picks in baseball."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight:

If Stammen gets in trouble early, Cabrera will come in to put the fire out?

hahahahahahahahahahahaha

BTW, I do remember Cordero's meltdown against the Rockies -- I stomped out of a bar when it was over -- and I frequently likened him to Don "Full Pack" Stanhouse, so named because Earl Weaver would go through a full pack of cigarettes when he pitched.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 20, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Causation and correlation are different things. James's model does not work -- in short, if it did, then it would, but it doesn't. The simple average of runs a team scores per game over the course of a season is one of very many factors (pitching, defense, the weather, team speed, injuries, bad calls, managerial moves, plain old luck, etc). Sure, it makes imperical sense that if you score more than the other team you will win, but if you score more than the average of other teams, it means little. Nats fans know that not to be the case. The Rangers would be perennial playoff contenders by James's way of thinking, no?

Posted by: dfh21 | May 20, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Also, new posts up, for those who would care to read them or to carry over their diatribes and ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 20, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

This team is a joke. I took my family to opening day and they ran out of hotdogs at one stand in the second inning. They are last in pitching and fielding. This team is an embarrassment to the area. I will not waste my money on this AAA team at best.

Posted by: trentb | May 20, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Is there a way to penalize people by taking away their posting privileges for misusing the Kool-aid reference? Quite possibly the most overused and absurdly misused phrase in the English language.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 20, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

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