The Good with the Bad: COL Series Takeaways

The Good With the Bad is a segment in which contributor Luigi (Ouij) de Guzman (@ouij) and Citizens of Natstown's Alyssa Wolice break down the negatives and positives for each series, respectively. You, the reader, can then decide to see the glass half empty - or full - with each series wrap.

The Washington Nationals took two of three games from the Rockies in Colorado. It marked Washington's first series win since the team took two of three in Miami, July 28—30.

OUIJ'S TAKE:

Update. The Nats end the series gaining only a measly half game against the Mets. They are 4 games behind. Playoff odds not improving appreciably, stand at 32.6%.

In Flande's Field
In Flande's field the popups go
And strikeouts pile up, row on row:
The park, still halfway full abides
Scarce heard amid the whiffs below


Yohan Flande is the kind of marginal, quad-A, not-quite-fit-for-the-big-leagues pitcher that a good playoff team should utterly demolish, leaving him to weep uncontrollably when he realizes his dream is over. He has a FIP of 5.02 and a HR/FB rate of about 24%. He should have been throwing batting practice. Instead, he dominated Nats lineup, holding them hitless through 5 2/3 innings. Flande's comedically bad at-bats were no comic relief at all, as he had two hits off Max Scherzer. It's a good thing the Nats get issued new hats every so often. They've had to tip their caps to so many of these miserable pitchers that the brims would be as filthy as Craig Kimbrel's cap-brim.

The Pause that Distresses. In the bottom of the 7th of last night's game, with a one-run lead, Matt Williams let Scherzer go out and pitch to Reyes. Reyes promptly singled, bringing up the fearsome Carlos Gonzalez. Williams opted to go for Felipe Rivero to match up with the lefty CarGo.

Rivero had one job: to retire Gonzalez. Matt Williams gave him another: to pick off Reyes. Rivero threw over several times, and at least once nearly picked the speedy Reyes off. This prompted Matt WIliams to hold up play while the video guys reviewed it, and then prompted a further delay as the replay umpires in New York looked at the blurry replays. All of this was for nought, and Reyes was safe. Rivero, perhaps thrown out of rhythm by the throw-overs and the replay delay, gave up a hit to CarGo.

You can criticize Matty for everything that followed in that seventh inning (Allowing Blake Treinen to face a lefty should be a firing offense). But this is really a problem with the instant-replay system. We have abolished the absurd "turn the umpire" dance we saw in 2014 and replaced it with a meaningless delay.

Matt Williams needs to be able to weigh the rewards of going for the review against the risk--here, getting a rookie pitcher out of his rhythm. He brought in the lefty specifically to retire CarGo, and managed to arrange matters in such a way as to make it far more difficult to do that than necessary.

ALYSSA'S TAKE:

Two out of three ain’t bad. The Nationals couldn’t pull off the sweep of the Colorado Rockies but, the air from a mile high provided the long-awaited remedy for their offense. The Nats pounded the Rockies with 15 runs Tuesday night – nine of which came in the final three innings of the game. Michael Taylor—who had an absolute day Wednesday night—provided the Nats’ go-ahead run Tuesday night. That, however, may have slipped from memory as Yunel Escobar, Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond went on a tear. Each of the three tallied three hits on the night, and together, they combined for 10 RBIs. The Nats cooled down a bit Wednesday night but, at long last, Jayson Werth emerged the hero in the batter’s box. His two-out, two-run triple helped seal the deal for Washington on a night where Stephen Strasburg very much deserved the win.

Strasburg loves facing the Rockies. On Aug. 8, Stephen Strasburg held the Rockies to just one earned run on three hits through seven innings pitch, and struck out 12. While his strikeout count dropped quite a bit Wednesday, for all intents and purposes, Strasburg’s performance was even better. Through seven innings pitched, he allowed one run on just two hits, and struck out five in the most extreme of hitters’ ballparks.

493. In the midst of the Nationals’ would-be loss Thursday night, Michael Taylor absolutely crushed a pitch from Yohan Flande to tie the game. The ball landed in the “way out” of left center, reaching a distance of 493 feet—which, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast, represents the longest home run in the majors this season. According to a Washington Post report, ESPN’s home run tracker tagged it at 474 feet—which would mark it 10 feet shy of a Giancarlo Stanton shot this year—but, even still, it was a tremendous show of power for the 24-year-old.


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