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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nats Talk: Nats’ confidence waning after blowout loss

Swagger gone…no longer money in the bank.

The Nationals took the field two weeks ago for the start of the most-anticipated season in club history brimming with confidence. They had a potent and balanced lineup, they had one of baseball’s most-dominant rotations, they had a ridiculously deep bullpen and they had a talented bench more than capable of plugging any holes that developed along the way.

They also had a swagger, starting with their manager, that suggested a ballclub with no fear and every reason to believe it could live up to the lofty expectations placed upon it.

That may still all prove true in the end, and the Nationals are by no means in shambles at the moment, still sitting two games above .500 with as talented a roster as there is in the sport. But there’s no question that swagger has diminished some during the season’s first two weeks, especially in the case of a couple of veteran players with strong track records who suddenly find themselves struggling unlike either ever has before.

The Nationals’ 8-2 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday night—their fourth loss in five days—became reality after a mid-game meltdown precipitated by mistakes made by Ryan Zimmerman and Dan Haren.

...Thus concluded Haren’s latest laborious start as a member of the Nationals. He has now made three starts, and he’s yet to reach the sixth inning. He’s allowed 23 hits (five of them homers) in only 13 1/3 innings, and he’s taking full responsibility for all of it.

“Something’s got to change on my part,” the 32-year-old right-hander said. “I’ve got to start getting guys out. It’s not this hard. I’ve done it for 10, 11 years. You know, I feel good enough to get guys out. I just made a few mistakes. I’m just giving up way too many hits and letting way too many runners on base.”

Repoz Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:32 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nats

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   1. boteman Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:47 AM (#4416555)
“Something’s got to change on my part,” the 32-year-old right-hander said.

I think Haren should seek this change by donning a red flannel shirt, putting some chew in his mouth, and taking a walk through a nice little section of Miami named Overtown. It was nice knowin ya (not really).

#bust
   2. bunyon Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:07 AM (#4416561)
Zimmerman must be hurt right? He looks awful at third base. I am quite confident I could throw better than him right now and that must mean injury.

Or does he have the yips? It's a new disaster throw every morning when I turn on MLB.
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:17 AM (#4416563)
Zimmerman must be hurt right? He looks awful at third base. I am quite confident I could throw better than him right now and that must mean injury.

OTOH, Zimmerman's throwing motion looked just as awkward last year.
   4. bunyon Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:35 AM (#4416567)
I wasn't really talking about his motion but about the ball as it limps across the infield, toward first base, plus or minus 30 feet.
   5. boteman Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:42 AM (#4416569)
plus or minus 30 feet

...in ANY direction.
   6. JE (Jason) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:43 AM (#4416570)
I wasn't really talking about his motion but about the ball as it limps across the infield, toward first base, plus or minus 30 feet.

No offense to Adam LaRoche, but 2015 cannot come soon enough.
   7. TomH Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:53 AM (#4416575)
newsflash; the '84 Tigers confidence waned after dropping 3 in a row in May to a non-contender, reducing their record from 35-5 to 35-8.

Maybe the Nats will play BETTER after losing their so-called 'swagger'??
   8. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:56 AM (#4416577)
rebuilding year
   9. OsunaSakata Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:34 AM (#4416585)
Stick a fork in them.
   10. Belfry Bob Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:42 AM (#4416591)
The Baseball Gods undertake their revenge for The Shutdown.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4416614)
Deleted because I read it wrong. I'm an idiot.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4416622)
Anthony Rendon is hitting .311/.467/.533 and even more impressively, is healthy.
   13. Eric Ferguson Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4416625)
The Royals would probably trade Getz for Harper if the Nats want to start looking toward the future.

Who am I kidding? Moore would never trade Getz for Harper.
   14. Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4416627)
Its early.
   15. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4416630)
Mike Morse- 184 OPS+ and 6 home runs
   16. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4416633)
Does Haren look as terrible as his numbers? Is he still injured? If he can't hack it they might need to trade for a pitcher. Cliff Lee? Matt Garza? AJ Burnett?
   17. boteman Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4416645)
Does Haren look as terrible as his numbers?

I was non-plussed by the Haren signing, but the Nats are stuck with him (or on him) for the time being. His pitches that I've seen that have gone for dingers have been pretty flat and not fooling those hitters.

Compared to the rest of the Nats' staff his fastball looks like a change up so if he can't locate better and keep the hitters off balance, and apparently recover mentally from yet another error behind him, then he won't succeed in his role. The Nationals haven't done Haren a lot of favors with their defensive play, either.
   18. jmurph Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4416663)
The plus side of the Haren signing is that they got him cheaply and have a club option for next year which they can activate if he pitches well.

What's that? They're paying full market rate on a one year deal after he failed a physical and pitched like #### last year? Huh.
   19. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4416677)
My confidence is waning, I'll tell you that much.

Meanwhile I'm beginning to suspect the Braves will never lose a baseball game ever again.
   20. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4416721)
I could've sworn the Carlos Marmol/Danny Haren trade was called off because that's how little confidence the Cubs of all teams had in Haren's health, but going back it looks like Marmol never provided written consent to waive his no-trade.
   21. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4416738)
I could've sworn the Carlos Marmol/Danny Haren trade was called off because that's how little confidence the Cubs of all teams had in Haren's health, but going back it looks like Marmol never provided written consent to waive his no-trade.

Right. If it had happened, it would have been fun to try to declare a "winner".
   22. Chris Needham Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4417112)
On Zimmerman...

He had the yips a few years ago. Basically, he can make the difficult play, but any play where he has time to think, he tends to get sloppy with his footwork, and gets a bit off balance when he throws.

Then he started having injury problems -- first his side, then the shoulder. While working through that, he basically started side-arming all his throws, which caused the ball to sail one way or the other.

So after rehabbing, it seemed like he was sort of back. He had that cortisone shot last year, and although the throws sometimes looked awkward and gingerly, he was making them.

Now, it seems like it's a bit back in his head. He's still making those tough off-balance throws. But the yips on the easier plays are back. He's dropping down a bit more, and the question is whether that's because he's still hurting, or because he's all messed up in his head?

Bright side? Only six or so more years to figure it out. :-/
   23. Chris Needham Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4417127)
This is actually a pretty good breakdown of his throwing problems.
   24. Joey B. Posted: April 17, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4417140)
The plus side of the Haren signing is that they got him cheaply and have a club option for next year which they can activate if he pitches well.

What's that? They're paying full market rate on a one year deal after he failed a physical and pitched like #### last year? Huh.


If only the Nats had a cheap but usually effective fifth starter type lurking around in the organization for the last few years...
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4417156)
Early. Too early. Way too early. Check back on Memorial Day.
   26. JE (Jason) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4417200)
Bright side? Only six or so more years to figure it out. :-/

As I implied above, isn't there a belief that Zim will move to 1B after LaRoche's contract is up?
   27. Chris Needham Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4417205)
Yep. There's been a contingent trying to move him for the last four seasons.

If it really is just the yips, there's no need to move him at all. Maybe.
   28. Publius Publicola Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4417241)
Or does he have the yips? It's a new disaster throw every morning when I turn on MLB.


It's not the yips. It's obvious he'd dealing with a chronic shoulder problem. Instead of a short, compact whip throw like most infielders use, he extends his arm way out and sweeps it horizontally. His throws are both weak and inaccurate. If it was the yips, his throws would at least be strong but they aren't.
   29. Joey B. Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4417503)
Early. Too early. Way too early. Check back on Memorial Day.

Agree totally. There are some concerns to be sure, but the glass-half-full perspective is the Nats haven't played that great and are still .600, almost identical to their record last season.

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