Us 5, Them 2

How the mighty have fallen, etc.

There may be some in America who can name the Nationals’ starting lineup without line coaching, but I daresay they could fit comfortably into one of the men’s bathrooms at Nats Park.

Sure, if you squint you can see signs of the future – I have shortstop C.J. Abrams, centerpiece of the Soto trade, on my dynasty team, and maybe you do too – but this is a sad, sorry excuse for a major league squad, perfectly crafted during the tanking era to leave no shred of doubt that the front office does not think major league wins are worth pursuing at this particular juncture.

To lose such a game would be disgraceful; to win such a game leaves little savor. Nonetheless, thankfully, win we did. Kyle Wright got his 19th win, which is cool, and Olson got two hits, which was gratifying. The Iglesias-Jansen tag team looked like something we’ll rely on a lot over the coming weeks.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of the regular season;
And all our yesterdays have left our team
Yet one game back.
Out, out, brief deficit!
This division race is but a tale
Recapped by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying home-field advantage. 

This <del>afternoon</del> evening, Patrick Corbin goes for his 19th loss. Let’s oblige him.

43 thoughts on “Us 5, Them 2”

  1. Great job AAR.

    Patrick Corbin signed a 6 year/$140 in 2018 – he’ll make 35 mil in 2024. This year he is 6-18 with a 6.11 era and a 1.66 WHIP. The previous 2 years were not much different. Wow, what a contract!

  2. Yikes, I didn’t realise he still had that much money owed. For Nats fans it’s sadly debatable whether his or Strasburg’s contract is worse. I’m glad we’re not them.

    Us and Them was the song that got me into Pink Floyd. I still like listening to it all these years later

  3. Td, there is a difference of scale, but Ozuna’s contract ain’t a bargain.

    Alex, you do tell a tale. Thank you.

  4. Giving longterm to contracts to position players and only hefty short term contracts to pitchers is the right play. (except Austin Riley of course). AA knows what he’s doing.

  5. I mean, flags fly forever. I would have a tough time saying the Corbin deal wasn’t worth it. But he’s certainly turned into quite a mess.

  6. He’s a sad case. He was a REALLY good pitcher. They rode him hard in the regular season and postseason, and ever since then he’s been “healthy” and basically the worst full-time pitcher in baseball, like a $100 million southpaw Kyle Davies.

    At this point, I don’t see the percentage in running him out there every fifth day – either put him in the bullpen or send him to the minors to learn a new pitch, but don’t keep letting him post a 6.00 ERA.

  7. Well let’s hope this pathetic team does not beat the Braves. What an embarrassment that would be.
    Kinda like the Cubs taking three from who?

  8. Sweep these bums & hope the Brew Crew shows up today or tomorrow. The pitching matchups in Flushing aren’t exactly promising, but… y’never know. Would love to be at least tied by the time the Mets visit Cobb County.

    Small Rant Here: Went to the game Sunday afternoon. Had to buy a parking pass at a corporate industrial park, nearly 30-minutes’ walk thru hill & dale to get to the ballpark (and back). Folks, there’s this thing called public transportation that the rest of the civilized world uses…

    Where in Europe?

  9. Italia! Any tips? We’re in Sorrento right now, capped by a couple days in Rome at the weekend. Last week, we were in Florence and Naples.

  10. I wish… sounds like fun.

    I’ve only been to the north/northeast: Milan (not so thrilling), Venice (ultra-touristy, but fun), San Marino (an odd, mountainous microstate) and Rimini (beach on the Adriatic with lotsa German tourists, plus discos with helipads & swimming pools).

    If you find yourself overstuffed from one of those endless Italian dinners, see if you can develop a taste for grappa. It’s this powerful pomace brandy that’ll burn a hole thru anything. And if you don’t like the taste of it, you can probably use it to start your car.


  11. @9

    I actually have not been to a game since 2019 (a state of affairs which I need to rectify), so I haven’t tried to brave the situation since the championship bump in attendance. Back then you were certainly going to get your exercise, but I remember thinking the situation (where they used parking lots from nearby office parks and hotels and whatever else) worked better than it had any right to…and certainly better than I would have predicted. Of course now with every game a sellout, you probably have to park in lots two miles from the ballpark if you don’t get your parking super early, so I’m not surprised that it doesn’t work as well now.

    You’re, of course, right about public transit, but as you well know, the chances of that getting rectified anytime soon are, um…not high.

  12. @16 When I first read that, I thought that that was maybe a way to keep Strider’s innings down.

  13. @15, RIP. Wills was at the tail end of his career when I was first becoming a fan, and I remember him being described as a great player because of all the steals. He did accumulate almost 40 bWAR, so he certainly had value even by modern methods, but I was surprised to see that he never led his league in runs scored. Even the year he hit .299, stole a then-record 104 bases while only being caught 13 times, led the league in triples, and won the MVP, he only tied for second in runs. I’m sure Dodger Stadium held down his runs; he didn’t seem to be hurt by the park, but it probably reduced his teammates’ ability to drive him in.

  14. 104 steals, it really was a different era. According to B-ref, he was worth +19 runs due to base-running in 1962, although his next best was +9. Rickey Henderson best seasons were +17, while Tim Raines topped out at +13. I haven’t looked at anyone else. Very impressive.

  15. I used to love to play the ’62 Dodgers & the ’63 Dodgers in APBA (a table baseball game similar to Strat-o-matic). When you managed that bunch, you stole bases, employed the hit-&-run, etc., just to get a couple runs for Koufax & Drysdale, who didn’t need many.

    On the ’62 team, Wills ran wild, of course, but Willie & Tommy Davis, Junior Gilliam and even the catcher Roseboro could run. They were a little like the ’80s Cardinals with a much better top of the rotation — and they played on grass, of course.

    The ’62 team (which lost to SF in a pennant playoff) had a better lineup — Frank Howard & Tommy Davis had big years. But on the ’63 team, which swept the Yanks in the WS, Koufax was almost completely unhittable. Every time he pitched, you thought he might throw a no-hitter.

    A very different kinda baseball back then…

  16. @22, my reaction was that the 1991 postseason had some games like that. Then I realized that 1991 was closer to 1962 than to today.

  17. Hate that Corbin got hurt…not as much for him as the fact that we usually hit him good and suck at bullpen games.

  18. Yes, when Corbin got hurt, Chip said “That’s the last thing Davy Martinez needs.” My immediate reaction was the opposite. Whoever they put in to replace Corbin would be tougher to hit than Corbin. (I do understand that burning through their bullpen is a good thing for us; even so, Corbin is really bad.)

  19. Such a fun team. When we’re hot, we run hot.

    And as Moylan notes, now the Nationals are warming up the bad end of their bullpen.

  20. Maury Wills was an exciting player and a terrific baserunner. He never led the league in runs scored because he didn’t get on base enough. He averaged fewer than 50 bases on balls per year and had a career OBP of .330. Not terrible, but you can’t score a lot of runs unless you’re on base more than that. In fact, he was only top ten in the league 3 times. For example, when he was 7th in the league in runs scored in 1967, a real plodder like Jim Ray Hart (who averaged 2 stolen bases a year) scored more than Wills.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love the kind of baseball the 60’s Dodgers and 80’s Cardinals played. Stolen bases are fun! I suspect the new rules next year will lead to a lot more of that. But whatever the run environment, you’ve got to minimize the number of outs you make.

  21. Charlie looked great in the 5th. That’s how it’s supposed to work: pitcher slips, but prevents runs from scoring, offense goes out and gets a couple for the good guys, then pitcher goes back out and is demoralizingly overpowering.

  22. On Maury Wills, I seem to remember the baseball historical communities I follow taking a more generous turn toward him recently, saying he probably deserved to be in the majors a few years earlier than he in fact was, and that would’ve likely made him a borderline deserving Hall of Fame candidate.

    Edit: mmmm. But maybe I misremember; his minor league stats don’t show evidence of MLB level play before the year he was actually promoted.

  23. Morton didn’t deserve that K, but the Nats are getting a big zone too, so until the robot umps come, I’ll take it.

  24. Has Minter been spinning/dancing(?) at the end of his followthrough like Strider all year? I’ve noticed it for a while, and I don’t remember him doing it in previous years. Can’t tell whether he’s doing it only on some kinds of pitches.

  25. Mets just put up a four-spot on a Lindor grand slam and now lead Milwaukee 7-4 late.

    I wish I had something insightful to say, but . . .


  26. I thought Jansen did a great job. He only gave up 1 clean hit. Can’t fault him for the bunts, and one of those should’ve produced an out. Seems like the cutter is cutting, and he’s not walking everybody like he was a week or 2 ago.

  27. 2,5,7,9, very happy for you. A win is a win.
    Brewers are unable. Toronto and Philadelphia having a pitchers duel.
    Houston looks very good.
    Poor Pirates.
    Great Lacrosse match between Chad’s and Waterdogs. Waterdogs win 11-9
    Lacrosse and Wrestling are the purest sports. All sizes can play. Plus the substitution on the fly allows many to play the beautiful game of Lacrosse
    Chess is also very cool. Is it a sport? Bowling is. Must admit I live table tennis.
    Sweep please.

  28. We better turn-up for a get-away day game tomorrow.

    Oh, and the Pirates, yeah, ouch. Not even an out in the 9th.

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