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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Washington Nationals players left wondering where they’d be if they still had Stephen Strasburg - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

Despite what Mike Rizzo thinks, chances to win a World Series just don’t happen very often.

While some old-school types rankle at any arbitrary innings limit, it stands to reason that allowing Strasburg to take a massive jump would have jeopardized the long-term health of his arm.

My beef with the Nats — and the beef shared by many rival executives and some of the team’s own players — is that the club designed a plan for Strasburg and refused to deviate from it, insisting that there was No Other Way.

That was simply not the case.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2012 at 09:40 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals

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   1. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: October 11, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4263329)
Let the back-biting begin!
   2. JJ1986 Posted: October 11, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4263335)
They'd probably still be down 2-1.
   3. DCA Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4263342)
Unless making Zimmerman and Jackson pitch better is among Strasburg's many talents, I'm not sure he could help much.

Now if Detwiler bombs today (who Stras would have replaced) there might be cause for second-guessing.
   4. JE (Jason) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4263396)
They'd probably still be down 2-1.

How so? Strasburg might have started game one, followed by Gio, and Zimmermann.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4263407)
How so? Strasburg might have started game one, followed by Gio, and Zimmermann.


I was thinking that they got shutout once (loss) and one of their top bullpen guys imploded once (loss).
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4263429)
Despite what Mike Rizzo thinks, chances to win a World Series just don’t happen very often.


Cmon, they're in a division series with 2 losses, this isn't flyball-heading-towards-Nelson-Cruz proximity to a championship...
   7. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4263487)
The big question mark is whether or not Jordan Zimmerman gives up 5 runs in 3 innings if he starts game 3 instead of game 2 but at the same time even if he does the Nationals' offense was blanked so it wouldn't matter as much.

It's possible the Nats could be down 1-2 but it also could very much be possible that they would be up 2-1 with Edwin/Ross for game 4 going against Lohse
   8. Spectral Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4263488)
Unless making Zimmerman and Jackson pitch better is among Strasburg's many talents, I'm not sure he could help much.

Now if Detwiler bombs today (who Stras would have replaced) there might be cause for second-guessing.


I think this is the correct point to make. Zimmermann and Jackson were going to be making starts in the LDS regardless of Stasburg's presence. The absence of Strasburg is also not what caused yesterday's shutout or Monday's shelling of the bullpen.
   9. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4263521)
The absence of Strasburg is also not what caused yesterday's shutout or Monday's shelling of the bullpen.

You're forgetting that Strasburg would have hit 4 HR yesterday and thrown a no-hitter.
   10. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4263540)
You're forgetting that Strasburg would have hit 4 HR yesterday and thrown a no-hitter


At least. you are shortchanging him.

I think it comes down to today. They have to start hitting with RISP and to get five good innings out of somebody for a change. Jackson always seems to be a "if he gets out of the first couple innings" type guy, and he lived up to that yesterday. Leaving like 10 men on base in the first five innings didn't help. Is Jayson Werth ever going to do anything other than dribble a single up the middle and then strike out three times a game?

Sorry, rant needed.
   11. Bug Selig Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4263590)
You're forgetting that Strasburg would have hit 4 HR yesterday and thrown a no-hitter.


Which is only slightly less supportable than Rizzo's dead certainty that his arm would fall off after another 2/3 inning.
   12. spycake Posted: October 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4263620)
So if the Nats win today to force a game 5, and then start Lannan because Gio/Zimm are signed long-term and looked pretty fatigued in their previous outings, you'd be totally OK with that decision assuming they went on to suffer a shutout loss in said game 5?

Shouldn't decisions be judged on the information available at the time? Isn't that what's regularly argued in trade threads?
   13. bjhanke Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4263788)
I'm from STL, and even I have sympathy for what the Nats are going through. If you look at the cumulative stats, you find that the Nats have three pitchers who have ERAs of zero, but they are all relievers who have pitched a total of 3.1 innings among them. And then they have everyone else. The Cards have seven guys with ERAs of zero. Six of them are relievers, who have 8.2 IP among them (and Boggs did give up 2 unearned runs). But the list also includes Carpenter's 5.2 shutout IP. And then there's Adam Wainwright, who has given up only one run in his 5.2 IP. This is the Chris Carpenter who got something like 3 games with the Cards in the regular season because he spent all of it recovering from surgery. He just barely managed to make the postseason roster. And that's the Adam Wainwright who was, in the regular season, basically a .500 pitcher, because his 2010 surgery hadn't completely healed when April came around this year.

But right now, both Wainwright and Carpenter are in full healthy form, which makes them two veteran staff aces with postseason ace starter experience. The Nats are finding out what veteran staff aces are like in the postseason if they haven't been worked hard in the regular campaign. But really, what is this except raw bad luck? The Cards have no real business in the postseason (thank you, Bud Selig -words I never thought I'd write), but now that they are here, they've got two aces and the Nats, a much better team in the regular season, just don't have matches for them. This doesn't mean that the Nats are guaranteed to lose the series to the Cards. They could easily win the next two games. But the Cards, right now, are the team no one wants to see in October. They are just plain better than they were in the regular season. And then, to make matters even worse, Rafael Furcal gets hurt, leaving the Cards with no real shortstop, and some first-round pick from 4 or 5 years ago (Kozma) suddenly finds a big-league bat just in the nick of time.

I mean, Jeez. The Cards got ridiculously lucky last year, and here it is again. They slid past the Braves' Medlin in a one-game playoff and here they are, basically as dangerous as they can possibly be, given what their injury record this year looks like. Here in STL, it's like every time you look up, another mana player from Heaven descends and says, "Yeah. Right. It's the postseason. I'm healthy, underworked, and ready to go." There is no excuse for the Cards' luck this year, so, as I said at the beginning, even I, a Cardinals fan from 1954, have sympathy for the Nats. What did they do to deserve this? - Brock Hanke
   14. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4263807)
The Nats are basically playing the way they've played all september. Inconsisentent ball. Everybody's tired. They can still snap out of it and win the next two but I'm not all that optimistic.

OTHO I still think setting a plan for Strasburg and sticking to it was the right thing to do, and can't imagine he'd have made all that much difference.
   15. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4263818)
Then what's the point of babying Strasburg? If he doesn't mean much then he doesn't mean much.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4263824)
Then what's the point of babying Strasburg? If he doesn't mean much then he doesn't mean much.


cmon, you know the answer to this.
   17. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4263844)
If Strasburg can't mean much to the Nationals' World Series hopes this year when will he?
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4263848)
If Strasburg can't mean much to the Nationals' World Series hopes this year when will he?


I don't necessarily agree with the 'he can't mean much now' line of thinking, but I think it is based on the idea that he is fatigued now in a way that he won't be in future years at this time of year.
   19. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4263856)
I don't necessarily agree with the 'he can't mean much now' line of thinking, but I think it is based on the idea that he is fatigued now in a way that he won't be in future years at this time of year.

Okay, but the Nationals could have handled his usage in a way that he wouldn't have been fatigued at this point in time.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4263880)

Okay, but the Nationals could have handled his usage in a way that he wouldn't have been fatigued at this point in time.


True
   21. valuearbitrageur Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4264023)
Okay, but the Nationals could have handled his usage in a way that he wouldn't have been fatigued at this point in time.


Only in your world of omniscient GMs.
   22. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4264058)
mean, Jeez. The Cards got ridiculously lucky last year, and here it is again. They slid past the Braves' Medlin in a one-game playoff and here they are, basically as dangerous as they can possibly be, given what their injury record this year looks like. Here in STL, it's like every time you look up, another mana player from Heaven descends and says, "Yeah. Right. It's the postseason. I'm healthy, underworked, and ready to go." There is no excuse for the Cards' luck this year, so, as I said at the beginning, even I, a Cardinals fan from 1954, have sympathy for the Nats. What did they do to deserve this? - Brock Hanke


Thanks, Brock..I needed that.

Still not over. C'mon, Ross.
   23. Spectral Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4264084)
Okay, but the Nationals could have handled his usage in a way that he wouldn't have been fatigued at this point in time.


Don't you suppose if there was a way for them to know this with certainty, that's the plan they would have implemented?

But right now, both Wainwright and Carpenter are in full healthy form, which makes them two veteran staff aces with postseason ace starter experience. The Nats are finding out what veteran staff aces are like in the postseason if they haven't been worked hard in the regular campaign.


I don't think this is exactly wrong, but the Nats got 9 baserunners off Carpenter and only struck out twice. He looked good, but not dominant at all, and benefited a lot from sequence of events. I'm not sold on how repeatable or not repeatable such sequences are, and what they mean about true level of play. I do know that loading the bases for Morse isn't something a pitcher would want to do very often.

They got 9 baserunners off of Wainwright as well, although his K total was quite impressive and his curveball looked to have crazy bite on it.

Tons of credit to the Cardinals, they're simply beating on the Nats right now, but there's a nagging part of me (maybe it's a pure homer part) that says that when a team strands 30 runners in 3 games that the problem isn't what they're doing so much as it is just the breaks of a game that involves a lot of semi-random events.
   24. wealz Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4264633)
When you get down to it there is no defense for shutting Strassburg down. Dumbest team decision in at least the last 40 years.
   25. valuearbitrageur Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4264871)
When you get down to it there is no defense for shutting Strassburg down. Dumbest team decision in at least the last 40 years.


LOL.

Not sure about who Strassburg is Mr. Super Fan, but the Nats shut down Stephen Strasburg when they had the East won. So it didn't cost them anything during the regular season and was a small, but significant positive for the future health of his arm.

If your argument is that giving up a small amount of win expectancy in this series by shutting down their 3rd best starter (who was barely better than their 4th best starter during the regular season) in exchange for a small amount of increase in his future health expectancy was the "dumbest team decision in at least the last 40 years", you lose the argument by forfeit due to lack of intellectual capacity.

And of course, had the Nats failed to win the World Series while still keeping Strasburg in the rotation to pitch another 30 innings and he blew his arm out next year, at that point you certainly would have proclaimed their decision to pitch Strasburg "the dumbest decision in at least the last 40 years", probably while also likely mispelling several names and/or words.
   26. Sweatpants Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4264876)
probably while also likely mispelling several names and/or words
   27. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4264904)
Is Jayson Werth ever going to do anything other than dribble a single up the middle and then strike out three times a game?

Yeah.
   28. valuearbitrageur Posted: October 11, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4264926)
If Strasburg can't mean much to the Nationals' World Series hopes this year when will he?


Obviously you are trolling, but I'll bite. Because you know that his future seasons will not be the first year after TJ surgery, and as ZImmerman showed this year, he'll very likely to be stronger and able to pitch significantly more innings at a higher level of performance, all the way through the playoffs.
   29. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4265078)
If your argument is that giving up a small amount of win expectancy in this series by shutting down their 3rd best starter
This is a troll-esque argument. It implies that Gonzalez and Zimmerman are significantly better than Strasburg; they weren't.

So it didn't cost them anything during the regular season and was a small, but significant positive for the future health of his arm.
This assumes Strasburg stays with the Nationals. If he doesn't, then the future health of his arm doesn't do the Nats much good. Series or no, Strasburg can't be happy about getting stiffed from the post-season. If Washington doesn't make October a habit for the next few seasons, I can't imagine Strasburg will look back on this experience as a reason to stick around.
   30. Srul Itza Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4265119)
"Washington Nationals players left wondering where they’d be if they still had Stephen Strasburg"

I'm guessing they'd still be in Washington.
   31. PerroX Posted: October 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4265190)
I think they should subtitle this site, "For the fan who likes beating a dead horse."
   32. wealz Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4266078)
Not sure about who Strassburg is Mr. Super Fan, but the Nats shut down Stephen Strasburg when they had the East won. So it didn't cost them anything during the regular season and was a small, but significant positive for the future health of his arm.


By pitching Strassburg this season the Nationals exposed his arm to future injury just to win the NL East. Not a World Series, just a division title.
   33. bunyon Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4266083)
I'm on record as saying (a lot) that they shouldn've have shut him down and/or handled him in such a way as he could still be pitching.


But, it's a long way from the dumbest decision in the last 40 years. I mean, how much is Vernon Wells being paid? Where does Mike Napoli play? What was the last thing the Marlins did?
   34. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4266084)
ZImmerman


Is he a teammate of Strassburg?
   35. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4266089)
Only in your world of omniscient GMs.

Huh? So the only way to handle this whole thing was the way Rizzo did?
   36. BDC Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4266091)
By pitching Strassburg this season the Nationals exposed his arm to future injury just to win the NL East. Not a World Series, just a division title

Comments like this might get me defending the Nats :) I mean, I expose myself to burnout by getting up in the morning and going to work. I shut myself down at 5pm and have a glass of wine, to prevent same. The argument is basically akin to whether I should leave at 3:30, or risk staying till 7:00 to get that set of papers graded. Reasonable people may differ on that call.
   37. BDC Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4266096)
I must say, I'm getting no advice here. I think I'll leave at 3:30.
   38. bunyon Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4266102)
We're all confused, Bob; why are you still at work at noon on a Friday?
   39. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4266105)
I can understand shutting him down in the regular season. I can even kinda sorta understand not wanting to have him start in the playoffs. But why not make him available as a reliever? What seems really arbitrary is the view that he can never, ever pitch again this season, no matter what the circumstances.
   40. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4266114)
I must say, I'm getting no advice here. I think I'll leave at 3:30.


That sounds awfully risky to me. You better leave now, under the logic that you're preserving your strength to grade future final exams.
   41. DL from MN Posted: October 12, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4266153)
He's been rested for a month solid now. What's the difference between one month's rest and five month's rest? At some point this winter he's going to throw a baseball again. Why not now?
   42. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 12, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4266182)
I can understand shutting him down in the regular season. I can even kinda sorta understand not wanting to have him start in the playoffs. But why not make him available as a reliever? What seems really arbitrary is the view that he can never, ever pitch again this season, no matter what the circumstances.


Not using him as a reliever makes more sense to me than not using him at all. Relief pitching is a different animal with a different warm up routine and then immediate insertion into a high leverage situation without an opportunity to ease yourself into a game getting the feel for all your pitches etc... I think not using him out of the bullpen makes some sense.
   43. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 12, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4266194)
I must say, I'm getting no advice here. I think I'll leave at 3:30.


I'm a firm believer in the idea of setting a precise goal for what time I want to leave work each day then leave 20 minutes before that to beat the rush.

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