Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Things to Watch in the Final Weeks

As always this time of year, we Scats fans tend to focus on the young players and not care so much about the scoreboard. The Bryce Harper watch is long finished. Everyone's watching Dunn lumber towards 40. But here are some other subplots you might not be aware of in these final few laps on this death march:
  • Cristian Guzman v. Bengie Molina: currently, they are tied for last among qualified hitters with 16 walks each. The tiebreaker goes to Molina, since three of his are intentional, but Guzman still has a shot to be the least patient hitter in baseball.
  • John Lannan v. Jordan Zimmermann: Will Lannan catch Jordan Zimmermann in strikeouts? Young Hova finished his year at 92 Ks in 91.2 innings. Lannan is second on the team with 79 in 192.3.
  • Nationals offense v. average: The Scats' bats are the strength of the team, by far, but they're not quite good as good as average. Through Tuesday, the average National League offense 4.44 runs a game, and the Nationals are at 4.41.
  • John Lannan v. Trevor Cahill: Who will end the season with the worst K:BB ratio among qualified MLB starting pitchers? Right now, Lannan is the caboose at 1.25, with Cahill just ahead at 1.27.
  • All-time 9.50+ ERA champs: The Nationals currently have five pitchers (Ledezma, Estrada, Garate, Segovia, Kensing) who have or finished their time in DC with ERAs over 9.50. That ties them for ninth for the most ever since 1901. (Four of them pitched last night. Have four pitchers with an ERA over 9.50 ever appeared in the same game?) If someone else blows up (Saul?), we would join just five teams with six. (What's the significance of 9.50? It's a little below Wil Ledezma's final ERA. Yeah, I'm cherry-picking, but Boz does it constantly, and he has a Pulitzer or something.)
  • Riggleman/Acta v. Frank Robinson: This year, the Nationals have a 65% success rate stealing. In 2006, Frank's Scats were successful stealing just 66% of the time (though that team was caught a stunning 62 times... but Soriano was a 40/40 man!!). Can the Scats of 2009 beat Frank's abysmal success rate in '06? Maybe. They'll never catch Frank's unbelievable 50% success rate from 2005 though. Ah, those were the days...

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