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turtle28

Off-Topic: The Washington Nationals Thread

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So, I got to see some "rookie manager malpractice" up close and personal yesterday.

 

Incident #1 - Not Knowing When to Pull A Pitcher

Through four innings, Erick Fedde (a guy they had called up from AAA for just this game) was looking pretty solid: allowed only one hit (two base runners, Manuel Margot reached on an error by Turner) and had six strikeouts on just 65 pitches. However, in the top of the fifth, he started to wear down and Freddy Galvis got a double, and was later scored by Margot's single two batters later. Damage was done, but limited to just one run, two hits, on 85 pitches.

Because of the way it worked out (and because the Nats like their pitchers batting eighth so Wilmer Difo takes the 9 spot), Fedde was up to bat at the bottom of the fifth first. I thought to myself "obviously, they're going to pinch hit for ... they're sending him out??" Fedde strikes out on three pitches, two of which were hacks that looked more appropriate for me to see at my son's little league games. I mean, these were atrocious swings. I'm watching from the Red Porch(*) and even I can see he's gassed.

Two batters later (Difo struck out, Trea Turner grounded out to third), the top of the sixth comes up ... and they send Fedde back to the mound.

On one hand, maybe the idea is they want to push Fedde a bit, see what happens when he's tired. On the other, he's thrown 85 pitches so he's probably near his limit and it's the top of the order, the third time through. In a one run game.

Fedde gets Travis Jankowski to ground out to Turner at short, allows a single to Eric Hosmer, and then gets a check swing ground out Jose Pirela back to himself (Hosmer advances on the play). All of that happened in five pitches. So, two outs, a guy on second, 90 pitches ... pushing it but let's see what happens.

Franchy Cordero gets up, and Fedde gets him on an 0-2 count before throwing four straight balls.

 

Now, at this point, it's a one run game. Two outs. Two men on. Pitcher has thrown 96 pitches.

Martinez leaves him out there.

Next pitch, Christian Villanueva hits a ball deep to right. Harper tracks it, but it clips off the top of his glove. Originally, they scored it as an error, but later reversed it to a double. Regardless, two runs score.

Martinez then immediately pulls him for Tim Collins (no @Doc Draper, not the drink, that's the guy's name).

So, you're telling me that Collins was warmed up and ready to go one pitch too late? Or that you didn't think it was a good idea going to your bullpen in a high leverage situation instead of leaving your tiring pitcher in a jam?

Horrible. No, this isn't 20/20 hindsight. This is me screaming when it's happening, wondering why you aren't pulling the guy.

 

Incident #2 - Not Understanding the Strengths & Weaknesses of Your Hitter

Context: going into the ninth, the Nationals had managed just five hits (four singles (two of which belonged to Matt Adams), and a home run (also Adams'). The offense was dead, but they were still down just two runs. Downside is that Brad Hand, the Padres' closer, came in the eighth for a five out save (got Juan Soto to ground out to him and Bryce Harper struck out in the eighth on ten pitches).

But then Anthony Rendon hits a "just missed a home run" (was maybe a foot short) double off the right center field wall. Next up is Adams. Again, this guy has been half of the offense all day, going 3-3 with a home run.

Martinez pulls him for Mark Reynolds.

A bit later into Reynolds' at bat they show that Reynolds is 4-10 against Hand, with two home runs. My buddy also reminds me that Adams is much worse against lefties (like Hand). So, I grumble a bit, but Reynolds gets a single.

No outs, runners on first and third. Michael A. Taylor comes up to bat.

Now, Taylor has had a bit of a redemption series against the Padres: the home run on Monday, and the gun down plus walk off double on Tuesday. So, there's an idea of giving him the go-ahead to further his confidence. There's also the fact that he's hitting 0.190. Unfortunately, they don't have much on the bench (Stevenson had pinched hit in the seventh, and was due in two hitters) at this point: Pedro Severino and Adrian Sanchez (I think Matt Wieters and Ryan Zimmerman might have been available, but I think it was also their rest days).

But Taylor's got wheels, so why not bunt here with a safety squeeze (Rendon can go or not go, based on his call)? If nothing else, it would prevent a double play between first and second.

Nope, Taylor is given the order to swing away and three pitches later, he's heading back to the dug out.

Oh, and then Spencer Kieboom grounds into a double play the next at bat to end the game.

 

 

(*) I refuse to call it the branded name, in no small part because that brand is an insult to beer everywhere.

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I’m telling you, Dusty should’ve been re-signed. I understand that Dusty made his mistakes also, but not re-signing him after he had the team going in the right direction after the Matt Williams debacle was a breath of fresh air.

I still think it was a mistake to not re-sign Dusty last off-season. I also think that it may cost them a few wins here or there not having an experienced manager.

I’m tired of this organization having a different manager every few years. There just was no reason to not retain Dusty and in think not keeping him will go down a mistake. The man knows baseball as well as anyone, that knowledge will be missed.

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55 minutes ago, turtle28 said:

I still think it was a mistake to not re-sign Dusty last off-season. I also think that it may cost them a few wins here or there not having an experienced manager.

Problem is I saw "Dusty Baker manager malfeasance" last year in the playoffs as well.

While it was irritating, it was a rookie mistake. Baker had no excuse for his lineup and decisions.

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39 minutes ago, Woz said:

Problem is I saw "Dusty Baker manager malfeasance" last year in the playoffs as well.

While it was irritating, it was a rookie mistake. Baker had no excuse for his lineup and decisions.

It’s pretty much been all year.

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4 hours ago, Woz said:

So, I got to see some "rookie manager malpractice" up close and personal yesterday.

 

Incident #1 - Not Knowing When to Pull A Pitcher

Through four innings, Erick Fedde (a guy they had called up from AAA for just this game) was looking pretty solid: allowed only one hit (two base runners, Manuel Margot reached on an error by Turner) and had six strikeouts on just 65 pitches. However, in the top of the fifth, he started to wear down and Freddy Galvis got a double, and was later scored by Margot's single two batters later. Damage was done, but limited to just one run, two hits, on 85 pitches.

Because of the way it worked out (and because the Nats like their pitchers batting eighth so Wilmer Difo takes the 9 spot), Fedde was up to bat at the bottom of the fifth first. I thought to myself "obviously, they're going to pinch hit for ... they're sending him out??" Fedde strikes out on three pitches, two of which were hacks that looked more appropriate for me to see at my son's little league games. I mean, these were atrocious swings. I'm watching from the Red Porch(*) and even I can see he's gassed.

Two batters later (Difo struck out, Trea Turner grounded out to third), the top of the sixth comes up ... and they send Fedde back to the mound.

On one hand, maybe the idea is they want to push Fedde a bit, see what happens when he's tired. On the other, he's thrown 85 pitches so he's probably near his limit and it's the top of the order, the third time through. In a one run game.

Fedde gets Travis Jankowski to ground out to Turner at short, allows a single to Eric Hosmer, and then gets a check swing ground out Jose Pirela back to himself (Hosmer advances on the play). All of that happened in five pitches. So, two outs, a guy on second, 90 pitches ... pushing it but let's see what happens.

Franchy Cordero gets up, and Fedde gets him on an 0-2 count before throwing four straight balls.

 

Now, at this point, it's a one run game. Two outs. Two men on. Pitcher has thrown 96 pitches.

Martinez leaves him out there.

Next pitch, Christian Villanueva hits a ball deep to right. Harper tracks it, but it clips off the top of his glove. Originally, they scored it as an error, but later reversed it to a double. Regardless, two runs score.

Martinez then immediately pulls him for Tim Collins (no @Doc Draper, not the drink, that's the guy's name).

So, you're telling me that Collins was warmed up and ready to go one pitch too late? Or that you didn't think it was a good idea going to your bullpen in a high leverage situation instead of leaving your tiring pitcher in a jam?

Horrible. No, this isn't 20/20 hindsight. This is me screaming when it's happening, wondering why you aren't pulling the guy.

 

Incident #2 - Not Understanding the Strengths & Weaknesses of Your Hitter

Context: going into the ninth, the Nationals had managed just five hits (four singles (two of which belonged to Matt Adams), and a home run (also Adams'). The offense was dead, but they were still down just two runs. Downside is that Brad Hand, the Padres' closer, came in the eighth for a five out save (got Juan Soto to ground out to him and Bryce Harper struck out in the eighth on ten pitches).

But then Anthony Rendon hits a "just missed a home run" (was maybe a foot short) double off the right center field wall. Next up is Adams. Again, this guy has been half of the offense all day, going 3-3 with a home run.

Martinez pulls him for Mark Reynolds.

A bit later into Reynolds' at bat they show that Reynolds is 4-10 against Hand, with two home runs. My buddy also reminds me that Adams is much worse against lefties (like Hand). So, I grumble a bit, but Reynolds gets a single.

No outs, runners on first and third. Michael A. Taylor comes up to bat.

Now, Taylor has had a bit of a redemption series against the Padres: the home run on Monday, and the gun down plus walk off double on Tuesday. So, there's an idea of giving him the go-ahead to further his confidence. There's also the fact that he's hitting 0.190. Unfortunately, they don't have much on the bench (Stevenson had pinched hit in the seventh, and was due in two hitters) at this point: Pedro Severino and Adrian Sanchez (I think Matt Wieters and Ryan Zimmerman might have been available, but I think it was also their rest days).

But Taylor's got wheels, so why not bunt here with a safety squeeze (Rendon can go or not go, based on his call)? If nothing else, it would prevent a double play between first and second.

Nope, Taylor is given the order to swing away and three pitches later, he's heading back to the dug out.

Oh, and then Spencer Kieboom grounds into a double play the next at bat to end the game.

 

 

(*) I refuse to call it the branded name, in no small part because that brand is an insult to beer everywhere.

You MIGHT be Monday-morning QBings a bit... hear me out:

Fedde coming back out at 85 pitches makes sense. He's sitting pretty 0-2, 2 outs, and a man on second. 4 straight balls is on him. Next batter doubles... I mean Harper error... then later changed. He shouldn't be gassed at 90 pitches at this point in the season. And you're essentially criticizing Martinez for leaving him in there one pitch too long. Sure, he could have taken him out after the walk. But that's a pretty tough criticism.

Strangely enough, the sub for Adams worked out. Nice move, right?

So now you have Reynolds on first and Taylor up. Not many teams are sac bunting these days. But if he does, you have a slow turd in scoring position. You're not pinch running because you're down 3-1 and that run isn't as important as a tying/winning run. So Reynolds is on second. But a single might not score him because he's a bit of a slug. So swing away down 2. My guess is that may have played a role in his thinking. He did end up paying for it with the DP though. No one likes an uninvited DP.

A lot of the younger managers are playing percentages these days. That can be frustrating if you're a traditionalist... the shifts can be downright maddening.

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1 hour ago, Woz said:

Problem is I saw "Dusty Baker manager malfeasance" last year in the playoffs as well.

While it was irritating, it was a rookie mistake. Baker had no excuse for his lineup and decisions.

Agreed. The lineups were unexplainable sometimes... as was the allegiance to Werth.

I think Martinez has already learned a thing or two about how many consecutive days RPs should pitch. I also like his Hellickson plan.

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1 minute ago, Skinsin2013 said:

You MIGHT be Monday-morning QBings a bit... hear me out:

I'm also giving this to you as my thought process as the game is going on live. It wasn't a retrospective except from the fact that I didn't get on until today to write about it.

Just now, Skinsin2013 said:

Fedde coming back out at 85 pitches makes sense. He's sitting pretty 0-2, 2 outs, and a man on second. 4 straight balls is on him. Next batter doubles... I mean Harper error... then later changed. He shouldn't be gassed at 90 pitches at this point in the season. And you're essentially criticizing Martinez for leaving him in there one pitch too long. Sure, he could have taken him out after the walk. But that's a pretty tough criticism.

As I said, he was looking bad in the 5th when the Padres got to him (at the bottom of their order, second time through), looked absolutely pathetic swinging the bat when he was up to bat, and was due to the face the top of their order the third time through.

I wasn't happy when they brought him out in the 6th, but I made peace with it since, he had done okay.

However, once he issued that walk, with two men on and two out? That was absolutely the right time to give him the hook. Keep in mind the error/double went to the warning track and Harper had to roam quite a distance to even get the "just missed" catch (hence why the scorekeeper probably changed the ruling).

This is only Fedde's 4th major league start and his first this year after getting called up from AAA. He gave you four great innings, a so-so fifth inning, and was now in trouble. Help the kid out.

My biggest problem is that from the cheap seats I could tell Fedde was in trouble well before that point, but Martinez left him out there and potentially cost the team a win in doing so.

6 minutes ago, Skinsin2013 said:

Strangely enough, the sub for Adams worked out. Nice move, right?

Sort of. When my buddy pointed out the stat of Reynolds' work against Hand, I completely reversed field. It made sense because the manager had more information than I did (why not go with the guy who's gotten to Hand over the guy who isn't very good against lefties?).

The reason I say sort of is that by taking Adams out for Reynolds, you had to leave Taylor in place because there wasn't much left on the bench. I will admit that is Monday morning quarterbacking, but I was calling for the safety squeeze bunt at the time.

9 minutes ago, Skinsin2013 said:

So now you have Reynolds on first and Taylor up. Not many teams are sac bunting these days. But if he does, you have a slow turd in scoring position. You're not pinch running because you're down 3-1 and that run isn't as important as a tying/winning run. So Reynolds is on second. But a single might not score him because he's a bit of a slug. So swing away down 2. My guess is that may have played a role in his thinking. He did end up paying for it with the DP though. No one likes an uninvited DP.

If you've got a guy hitting below the Mendoza line, you kind of have to assume that he's going to be an out when he comes up to bat. So, why not make it a useful out?

As for the pinch running thing, I hadn't even thought of that until just now because they did have Bautista on the bench. While he's not a great hitter, the kid has wheels. Man on second and third with one out and both have some speed?

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9 minutes ago, Skinsin2013 said:

Agreed. The lineups were unexplainable sometimes... as was the allegiance to Werth.

I think Martinez has already learned a thing or two about how many consecutive days RPs should pitch. I also like his Hellickson plan.

I'm certainly willing to give him a chance to learn these things, but when he makes the obvious mistake (i.e. with Fedde) it hurts. Badly.

The Taylor not bunting thing may be to taste. One thing I failed to mention with regards to Taylor: the third baseman was off the grass, kind of holding Rendon. A bunt would have been a long charge for him, and going up the third base side would have forced the left handed Hand to make a tough throw(*).

 

 


(*) Hand got Soto to ground out back to him in the 8th for a 1-3, but the throw forced Hosmer to stretch to his limit to make the out because he was off target. And that wasn't even a bunt attempt.

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2 hours ago, Skinsin2013 said:

Agreed. The lineups were unexplainable sometimes... as was the allegiance to Werth.

I think Martinez has already learned a thing or two about how many consecutive days RPs should pitch. I also like his Hellickson plan.

And all it cost us was Madson. Yay for learning something he should've known already. I hope it works out, I really do but Martinez looks way in over his head as a manager. 

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4 hours ago, Woz said:

I'm also giving this to you as my thought process as the game is going on live. It wasn't a retrospective except from the fact that I didn't get on until today to write about it.

As I said, he was looking bad in the 5th when the Padres got to him (at the bottom of their order, second time through), looked absolutely pathetic swinging the bat when he was up to bat, and was due to the face the top of their order the third time through.

I wasn't happy when they brought him out in the 6th, but I made peace with it since, he had done okay.

However, once he issued that walk, with two men on and two out? That was absolutely the right time to give him the hook. Keep in mind the error/double went to the warning track and Harper had to roam quite a distance to even get the "just missed" catch (hence why the scorekeeper probably changed the ruling).

This is only Fedde's 4th major league start and his first this year after getting called up from AAA. He gave you four great innings, a so-so fifth inning, and was now in trouble. Help the kid out.

My biggest problem is that from the cheap seats I could tell Fedde was in trouble well before that point, but Martinez left him out there and potentially cost the team a win in doing so.

Sort of. When my buddy pointed out the stat of Reynolds' work against Hand, I completely reversed field. It made sense because the manager had more information than I did (why not go with the guy who's gotten to Hand over the guy who isn't very good against lefties?).

The reason I say sort of is that by taking Adams out for Reynolds, you had to leave Taylor in place because there wasn't much left on the bench. I will admit that is Monday morning quarterbacking, but I was calling for the safety squeeze bunt at the time.

If you've got a guy hitting below the Mendoza line, you kind of have to assume that he's going to be an out when he comes up to bat. So, why not make it a useful out?

As for the pinch running thing, I hadn't even thought of that until just now because they did have Bautista on the bench. While he's not a great hitter, the kid has wheels. Man on second and third with one out and both have some speed?

I still think you're being a tad bit critical. But I dig the thought process. I love thinking about in-game strategic decisions. Fun stuff.

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