Checking in on the Natspos (by bledsoe)

From our roving reporter, Chad N. Freud:

On July 30, moments after the NY Mets lost a bizarre, rain delayed, unloseable game in the ninth inning 4-8, the Washington Post’€™s Tom Boswell tweeted this bit of fun:

Oh, hubris: thy name is Nats.

The ‘€œain’€™t gonna happen’€ Mets have won 11 of 13 since, while the ersatz WS Champion Nationals have gone 4-9. Well, Tom Boswell has also predicted World Series parades for the Nats for years now.

The best thing in the world would be for the Braves to win the division and send the Nats golfing. Second best would be somebody else winning the division and sending the Nats golfing. Could it happen?

Sure. Max Scherzer has looked human, going 2-3 since the AS break with a near 4 ERA. (But Stephen Strasburg looked fantastic in his first start back from his third? fourth? DL stint, and Gio Gonzalez has also pitched very well in his last ten starts. ) Ryan Zimmerman is back and is, to my surprise, hitting well. Jayson Werth is back and, not to my surprise, not hitting well. He’€™s basically a more expensive Dan Uggla at this point. (The Nats have two starters who have an OPS+ above 100 —€“ Bryce Harper and Yunel Escobar. Werth’s is 47. And they simply won’™t sit him down.) The bullpen is still a mess —€“ inexplicably, the Nats went out and got Jonathan Papelbon, a known clubhouse cancer, and moved Drew Storen, who frickin’€™ led MLB in ERA over the last two years, from closer to setup man. Storen has since gone in the tank. I can’€™t imagine why.

On the other hand, the Mets are now staring at a real pickle. Their three studs are all rapidly approaching innings limitations imposed by youth (Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard) or recent surgery (Matt Harvey). What happens when those limits are realized and they’€™re still in the hunt?

I think the Nats are done — 4.5 back with less than 50 to play. The Nats have 3-4 automatic outs in their lineups, and there’€™s no help on the way (Span continues to rehab slowly, and their AAA phenom SS Trea Turner, who is a clear improvement over Ian Desmond, will get some spot starts after callups, but won’€™t be leapfrogged over Desi).

I just don’€™t see this entitled, arrogant Nats team as having any real backbone or fight, and if the Metropolitans go .500 here on out, the Nats would have to go 30-18 to win it. Not happening. There’€™s no sense of urgency —€“ quotes from the clubhouse continue to predict playoffs.

I feel somewhat disloyal to America’€™s Team to be more invested in the Nats’€™ debacle than in our season. But hey, it’€™s pretty fun. Get the popcorn.

28 thoughts on “Checking in on the Natspos (by bledsoe)”

  1. I approve of the term “ersatz”. All that conversation about bad players in the last thread and the recent mention of Joe Carter as a -0.5 WAR all-star got me wondering who was the worst all-star of all time.

    I found this article pretty useful to quickly peruse:

    From the players mentioned here, it doesn’t appear anyone can hold a candle to Derrick Turnbow who had a -2.4 WAR in his lone all-star appearance in 2006. Holy cow!

  2. If the Mets shut down any or all of their pitchers because of innings limits, they will richly deserve any ill that befalls them, just like the Nats before them. The fact that teams in playoff races still consider doing that despite the absolute calamity that was the Nats’ decision to do that with Strasburg truly boggles the mind. There’s no evidence the innings limitations work anyway! There’s evidence that not severely overworking a pitcher might help, but there’s no evidence for these incredibly arbitrary innings limits. For God’s sake, it’s just about the stupidest thing ever! If the Mets do that, the pendulum of baseball karma (if there is such a thing…which there isn’t) is sure to swing back in the Nats’ direction.

  3. the miracle in sixty nine
    regarded once as asinine
    repeatable this current year
    with their pitching undoubtedly a source of fear.

  4. The innings limit situation with t he Mets is a very interesting topic. I agree that the pitchers should not be shut down with the possibility of winning the pennant. I do think they should be looking at giving these guys some rest. Skipping some starts, limiting innings where possible. The problem is they have so many young, talented pitchers. Can Colon pitch e very three days?

  5. From lower in the story:

    ‘When asked about the looming increase in innings by a national reporter, “Does the team medical staff really mean it?” Colon quipped, “Anybody want a peanut?”‘

  6. From the players mentioned here, it doesn’t appear anyone can hold a candle to Derrick Turnbow who had a -2.4 WAR in his lone all-star appearance in 2006. Holy cow!

    I’m sure I’ve still got a couple Derrick Turnbow bobbleheads around here somewhere. Used one as our fantasy league trophy for a while.

  7. @13, lol. Last year it would’ve cost us BJ and cash. And this year we get him for nothing. We slow played this one to perfection!

  8. Geez, this is a toss up. Hating the Nats is so easy, but rooting for the Mets? Sigh. Can’t they both collapse? So what’s going on in the other league that I might be able to hope for without vomiting in my own mouth?

  9. @25 Gattis is now alone in 2nd for triples in MLB with 9. Personally I don’t mind rooting for a nice playoff run for the Astros for his sake.

  10. This Nats update is wonderful. I am enjoying watching them self-distruct from afar. If the Mets can complete the upset, I will also enjoy rooting for them to be swept in the division series.

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