Word to your collective mothers! Been out for a bit but I'm back in this humpty bumpty. And so are the Nats.
After what seemed like a losing streak of immense proportions, our boys somehow tricked the Braves into letting them win a game. It wasn't without its moments though. Chad Cordero looked like...Chad Cordero. Rauch came in though, and saved his ass once again. I'd like to see a count of the number of saves Rauch has had after Cordero has already pitched in the game. I would bet the number would be surprisingly high. Or maybe not so surprisingly high. Hopefully now that they've got the taste of winning back in their mouths, this will spur us on to a little streak of the opposite variety.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention...WMP is back baby! Seriously I think he's the only reason we won the game yesterday. He really had nothing to do with the win at all, in fact his main function in the game was to cool off the opposing pitchers by fanning them with bat. But, I chalk this win up to the awesomeness that is Wily Mo and the good vibes which he puts out. I don't have the skills to look up weird stats like this, but I'd really like to see what the franchise's record has been since they acquired Wily. (EDIT: 22-32. You're welcome - Jon) (Random question: Is Mo part of his first name, last name, or somewhere inbetween? I can't imagine that's his real middle name)
Now that I've got the recap out of the way, lets look at a recap of the first 2 weeks (approx.) of the season. I know its a small sample size but there are plenty of good things and bad things.
First up, the offense! I'll give you a hint, it's awful
- The Nationals do have a league leader in one stat. Guz leads the league in AB's. GUUUUUUUUUUUZ
- We're last in batting average. WAH WAH WAHHHHHHHH!
- Bottom 5 in slugging percentage. WAH WAH WAHHHHHHHH!
- Bottom 4 in on base percentage. WA...
- 10th in strikeouts. So we're making contact at least!
- 19th in walks. Perhaps we're making contact when we shouldn't...
- Chicks don't dig our team (8 HRs)
- Bottom 4 in ERA
- Next to last in giving up the long ball
- Top 5 in walks given
- 19th in strikeouts...Even a jugs machine can fan a batter or two
- 3rd in the league in fielding %
- 3 least team stole on in the bigs (lord knows why though, LoDuca has a pea shooter for an arm)
- 3rd fewest errors
So there ya go, we can't hit for beans, our pitchers are manufactured somewhere in Oregon, and our defense is actually good!
I like that the defense is actually doing their job when they can. So pretty much it all comes down to the fact that we need to hit better and pitch better. Wow, it's all so simple! Again, this is a small sample size and looking at these stats after an 9 game losing streak is probably a little disingenuous, but they are what they are. Following Nostradamus' predictions for the 2008 MLB season, our offense will get better, so will our pitching (not much I'm afraid), and our defense will fall off a bit. Pretty much meaning we're about the same place we were last year, maybe a little better. This big difference this year is I don't expect lightning to strike twice with our pitching staff. I mean as many times as we trotted out Mike Bacsick last year, we really should've lost more of his starts than we did. Tim Redding looks like he's going to be the only guy from last year who still has some left in his tank. I'm still holding out for Bergmann but things don't look so good on that front. There are arms in the minors tho so at least there's light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope we don't contend enough that Bowden gets crazy and trades away some of those arms to try and get in the playoffs. Let's get real though, that's not going to happen. The contending part that is, I really do believe trader Jim is that crazy.
I'm promise it won't be so long until the next post. Unless the Nats go on another 9 game streak of teh suk, then I'm going to electronically defecate on this blog and not return until we win back to back games.