Nationals Arm Race

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

Nats Rotation Cycle #10: good/bad/soso

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Zimmermann keeps looking better and better post TJ surgery. Photo Manuel Balce-Ceneta/AP

The Nats are in the midst of quite a struggle right now, both offensively and defensively.   3 really “bad” pitching performances to go with two good ones (both of which ended in losses).


  • Livan Hernandez became the latest pitcher to suffer through the Nats offensive woes, giving up just 1 run in 7 innings but taking the 1-0 loss during 5/19’s day game (gamer/box).  His team was completely shut down by the Mets backup #5 pitcher, who had a no-hitter through 5.
  • Jordan Zimmerman pitched well enough to win on 5/22 (box/gamer), going through the first 6 innings scoreless and relatively unscathed, but made a mistake to Vladimir Guerrero in the 7th that ended up in the seats and gave his offensively challenged team another loss.


  • Jason Marquis struggled badly, and was hurt by a Bernadina dropped flyball that was scored as a double, and was lifted after 4 in Baltimore on friday 5/20 (box/gamer).  Luckily the Nationals did a week’s worth of scoring and got the win.  His line: 4ip, 8hits, 5 runs (all earned with the badly scored Bernadina play), 3 walks and 2ks.  Upon learning that he was getting the hook prior to qualifying for the win, Marquis was highly upset.  My take?  You cannot give up 5 runs in 4 innings and expect to continue in a game.  I’m sorry; if you wanted to get that win, you needed to pitch better.
  • John Lannan had a game of ups and downs on 5/21 (box/gamer); he had several clean innings, but also had a couple of bad innings.  He gave up 4 straight hits in an inning in which he’d already given up a 2-run homer to give Baltimore all they’d need to take the game.  The “meltdown” start pushes Lannan’s ERA over 5.00 and will increase calls for his demotion/replacement.
  • Tom Gorzelanny got hit hard, often and deep in the 5/23 Milwaukee game (box/gamer).   5ip, 8 hits (3 of which were homers), good for 6 earned runs and the loss.  His 6ks were incidental and the damage was done early.

Starter Trends (last 5 starts only)

Lhernandez    good,soso,bad,good,good
Marquis    great,bad,good,soso,bad
Lannan    really bad,good,soso,bad,bad
Zimmermann     bad,good,good,great,good
Gorzelanny    great,good,bad,soso,bad

Relievers of Note

  • Riggleman took advantage of the ridiculous 17-5 Baltimore win to get “Mr Low Leverage Reliever” Henry Rodriguez some work.  He went three innings (three!), gave up a couple of hits but had 3Ks and zero walks, a very good sign.
  • Cole Kimball had his first mediocre outing on 5/21, allowing both his inherited runners to score and giving up 4 straight hits to the heart of Baltimore’s order.
  • Brian Broderick‘s DFA was dated 5/14, and teams have 10 days to finalize that assignment.  We’ve heard no word on possible negotiations with St. Louis to keep Broderick up to this point, and odds are that no other team would claim him at this point (any claim would mean the claiming team would ALSO have to keep the Rule5 draftee on their active roster for the duration of the season).  I wonder if he’s about to be returned outright to St. Louis.  Update: Broderick was re-claimed by St. Louis on 5/24, ending the rule5 draftee’s Washington experiment.

Thoughts on the offense

I’m not sure what the answer is (since there’s basically nothing at AAA or AA that we could call up to augment the offense), but the downturn of the offense is getting to be ridiculous.  There’s a guy in my fantasy baseball league whose strategy is to just pick up whatever pitcher is going against the Nats, because he knows he’ll get a great outing.  Sure enough, Dillon Gee, who is probably owned in 0% of fantasy leagues, threw up this line on 5/19: 7 2/3s innings, 3 hits, 2 bbs, 3 Ks and zero runs.  Those are the kind of lines that win fantasy championships.

Written by Todd Boss

May 25th, 2011 at 9:35 am

One Response to 'Nats Rotation Cycle #10: good/bad/soso'

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  1. The question being with Dillon Gee is, what is the gain or loss of bringing him up.

    Pat Premier

    25 May 11 at 9:51 am

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