… is to do the same things over and again, and to expect different results.
Two nights in a row, the Nats held leads that should have been protected while playing at their most difficult opponent. And twice in a row. the same reliever Casey Janssen was completely ineffective and the team lost a game that they could not afford to lose.
At least in the 9/1/15 debacle Janssen had help; deposed closer Drew Storen had yet another awful outing, blowing the save and putting Janssen in the position to give up the walk-off homer. Storen now has a 7.98 ERA in the 15 games (14 2/3rds innings) in which he has pitched since getting demoted for Jonathan Papelbon. You want to quibble about causation versus correlation? How about *cause and effect?* The Nats man management of this ball-club has been inept at best and horrific at worse (you know where I stand on the idiotic callup of Trea Turner just so he can shine the bench with his ass).
You remember Papelbon right? He’s the high-priced closer that this team figured it needed to get to the post-season, disrupting the chemistry of the bullpen in the process? Yeah Papelbon; the highest paid reliever, who finished YET ANOTHER game sitting his surly ass in the bullpen while lesser relievers blew multiple run leads. That’s because our “color by numbers” manager Matt Williams can’t quite get it through his thick skull that you need to be flexible with relievers, that you can’t just write up the roles ahead of time and wait for it, that the “Save” stat is utterly meaningless to anyone except the idiots who apparently decide all arbitration cases and conclude that 1.5 WAR “closers” are worth 10 times as much as the guys who hand them their cushy 3-run leads night after night.
I ask this question again: where is the sense of urgency on this team? The offense is certainly doing its part, finally hitting the ball and putting runners on base. 12 hits last night, 8 hits to go along with 7 walks the previous night. In fact you might wonder how they didn’t score more than five runs each night with that many guys on the basepaths … not that it would have mattered, given the ineptitude of the bullpen lately.
Janssen now has nearly a 5.00 ERA on the season. Storen is giving up nearly a run an inning. Maybe, I dunno, maybe its time to try someone else to protect leads?? Blake Treinen has been great since coming back: he has *NOT GIVEN UP A RUN* since his return from AAA, a span of 13 innings over 12 appearances. I dunno; maybe he’s the guy to get the ball in the 8th right now instead of the sh*t-show that is Storen and Janssen.
We miss Stammen. We miss Barrett. We really miss Clippard; why again didn’t we try to acquire him or some other middle reliever instead of disrupting the whole bullpen by acquiring the arrogant headcase Papelbon? I dunno. I just watch the games and try not to throw things at the TV screen when our soon-to-be-ex-manager makes his latest idiot move. Instead of getting a proven middle reliever at the trade deadline, we continue to get by with retreads (Janssen, Thornton) and rookies (Rivero) and demoted starters (Fister, Roark). Hell, instead of getting someone like Clippard, or Soria, or Johnson, or Broxton, or Jepson or Dyson, or any of the 8th/9th inning types that were moved at this trade deadline, our team KEPT TWO LONG-MEN instead, letting Fister and Roark it in the bullpen to await blow-out situations to throw a couple of useless innings. You remember Roark right? Yeah, he was our 5-win starter who the team deemed unnecessary who is now riding buses in AA to “remember” how to be a starter again, since clearly Joe Ross is about 2 more walks from getting shut-down for the season.
Hmm; I see a parallel between Roark and Storen. Home grown guys, both worked their asses off to get where they got, both had great 2014 seasons … and both were supplanted by FA acquisitions from other teams and were demoted from positions that they not only had earned with blood and sweat but had no business being demoted from. Is it any surprise either guy has struggled this year? Will it be any surprise when either or both guys demand trades in the off-season as a result? Nope, not to me.
This season’s done. 6.5 games out and the team has a losing record in the second half and can’t string together 3 straight wins when they really need about 10 straight wins to get back in this race. Don’t be surprised when the Mets come to town in a week’s time and the team scores 4 runs in 3 games. The Mets have better starters, actually MADE ACQUISITIONS at the trade deadline to improve, and apparently want it more. Get me to the off-season; i’ve had it with 2015.