I watched a lot of this one on the side last night, and it was a wild one. You look at the final score of 13-12, and you can venture to guess that some odd things happened.
Washington came in to this game having lost six straight contests (Matt Williams is so terrible), and found themselves in a 9-1 hole in the third inning.
In this game:
The Nationals got home runs from Denard Span, Jose Lobaton, and Dan Uggla. The Uggla bomb was the kill shot. I bet Jason Grilli feels like he slept with a Sasquatch woman last evening.
Julio Teheran started for the Braves, and highly-regarded Nationals prospect A.J. Cole made his big league debut for the Nats.
Luis Avilan and Jason Grilli blew this lead allowing six runs; they were collectively worse than Blake Treinen and Tanner Roark who did everything they could to keep the Nationals on their losing streak.
Freddie Freeman and A.J. Pierzynski had four hits each.
Look at what Lobaton, Span and freaking Uggla did as far as damage! Thirteen hits, three homers, nine batted in.
So the Nationals are off the schneid. We actually aren’t going to say that this is the win that turns their season around. They’re still in deep shit, and Matt Williams is still their skipper.
But it’s a wild game with an ending that was obviously destined to be ‘Uggla’. I bet Uggla felt good doing that to the team that cast him aside without concern.
Bryce Harper: .279/.363/.523, 28 HR, with 15 steals. I’ll take the OVER on the long balls and the UNDER on the steals. He’s bulking up for a reason. Harper comes complete with a 4.9 WAR and his #1 comp is Kal Daniels. Before you snicker or grimace like I first did, remember that Kal Daniels had nice seasons in 1987, 1988, and 1990. Albeit, Bryce Harper’s expectations are just much higher and he’ll need to be better than Daniels ever was.
Ian Desmond checks in as the second best hitter: .269/.315/.439, 20 HR, 23 steals, and a 3.5 WAR. Desmond is a nice little player all around.
Anthony Rendon got the Jeff Blauser comp. Blauser was a pretty damn good hitter, all things considered.
Another comp worth noting is that of Stephen Strasburg. They say he will be Mark Prior, making 26 starts, striking out 164 in 149 innings of work. He is projected for a 2.83 ERA and 3.8 WAR. Also with the same WAR projection is Jordan Zimmerman.
A.J. Cole earned a Zach Greinke comp.
Switch-hitting 24 year old Zach Walters: 20 HR, .247/.276/.443, we don’t see Walters having that kind of impact in the upcoming year.
Ryan Zimmerman is compared to Pinky Higgins (his first season came in 1930). Zimmerman is projected for his steady Eddie 3.4 WAR. Pinky Higgins probably has the biggest boner right now.
As pointed out by this comment, the Nationals are projected for a 43 WAR; or 91 overall wins. This is the highest projected amount so far. I’m bullish on the Nats again this year, though I think Matt Williams is a real wildcard as manager.
The new addition Doug Fister is projected to lead the team in innings at 192, worth a 4.0 WAR and earns the John Burkett comp. John Burkett was an RBI Baseball legend.
We’ll try to do a few more of these as the weeks go onward. Obviously with the month of February being here we have nothing better to do than tally a few notes on interesting (albeit conservative) projection systems like ZiPS.
We had a feeling that this would be the last Take on Me ever heard at Nationals Park.
Today was another day that the Nationals were in the thick of things, highlighting a three-team trade that sent Micheal Morse to Seattle and A.J. Cole to Washington. The trade also involved the Oakland Athletics picking up catcher John Jaso.
The Nationals will receive right-handed pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen along with a player to be named later from the A’s, according to CBSSports.com baseball insider Danny Knobler.
As part of the deal, the A’s will receive catcher John Jaso from the Mariners. The A’s also announced that catcher George Kottaras has been designated for assignment.
Cole was rated the A’s third best prospect and performed well at class-A before struggling in high-A ball. This trade was a return home of sorts, as the Nationals originally drafted Cole in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Morse originally broke into the big leagues with the Mariners in 2005 and was in Seattle until 2009.
We always liked Morse. Later on it was for the A-ha batter walk-up song. Any guy who digs 80’s music that much and flaunts it is okay in our book. But our mind always shifts back to a night in Cincinnati in 2010 when we saw him take batting practice before the game. He was just a reserve then. We noticed how big he was. We noticed how he seemed to lace balls and there was a different sound off the bat compared to other guys. We thought the guy could play if given the chance as a full-time regular. The rest is history, and when it happened we always had a soft spot for Morse.