Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Olsen’s $250K start ends oddly…

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Scott Olsen‘s 12th start of the season eventually ended in a 10-2 nats loss last night, though that scoreline wasn’t totally his fault.  Strange start for Olsen, who absolutely cruised through the first 5 innings (one hit and one HBP through five, lots of groundball outs, very few hard-hit balls).  He was sitting at around 60 pitches and looked like he might put up a solid 8 inning start.  Suddenly the top of the 6ths starts pinch-hit homer, then a triple, then a walk of Heyward (hardly someone you can blame pitching carefully to with a guy on third and none down).  And he gets the hook!?

Why?  Why give him the hook after two guys hit good balls in a row.  So that a guy we signed on a minor league contract earlier this year (Peralta) can come in, let both inherited runners score on back to back doubles, and ruin the game for Olsen?  That was unproductive.  Sometimes I think Riggleman over-manages and over thinks his situations.

Olsen now sits at 3-5 an ugly 5.14 era and 1.44 whip.  But his advanced stats look better.  FIP=3.51 and xFIP=4.07, which is actually 2nd best of any starter we’ve used more than once the rotation (behind Strasburg).  His BABIP is .320, meaning he’s slightly unlucky on balls in play.   He’s had three horribly games on the year that have destroyed his era/whip numbers.  But he also had a string of 4 games and 25+ innings with 2 earned runs allowed.

I think Olsen’s spot in the rotation is safe for now, but either he or Lannan probably gets the hook when we bring up Maya for a few spot starts.  But at least he’s earning a contract tender in arbitration proceedings in the off season.

Written by Todd Boss

August 18th, 2010 at 9:05 am

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