Thomas Boswell thinks so. In today’s Washington Post, Boswell argues that the Nats have to keep up with the rest of the division by signing free agents this offseason, mentioning Orlando Hudson, Rafael Furcal, C.C. Sabathia, and Ben Sheets as possible targets.
Well first of all, scratch Sabathia right off that list, because there’s no way the Nats are getting anywhere close to C.C.
The article brings up a good point (even if Boswell is a bit delusional). The Nationals are at somewhat of a crossroads here. There is talent on this current team, but Jim Bowden’s “dream” lineup of players like Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez is more of a nightmare at this point. Sure, the Nationals are winning games right now, but if you told NL Beast that it was the starting pitching, not the core offense of Ryan Zimmerman, Nick Johnson, and Lastings Milledge that was most responsible, we’d be shocked.
It’s clear at this point that Stan Kasten‘s philosophy is to wait for the farm system to develop and then compete. There some great players coming up in the future, including Ross Detweiler, Chris Marrero, and Colin Balester, but there is no way this team is going to compete in the near future without signing free agents.
NL Beast is sick of the excuse that the Nationals don’t have the money to compete in the free agent market (Forbes ranked the Nationals as the 13th most profitable team in baseball).
With Felipe Lopez, Cristian Guzman, Wily Mo Peña, and Odalis Perez all becoming free agents after this year, it’s very possible that the starting nine will look very different next year. Or, if history has told us anything, maybe not.
Posted in Nationals
Tagged Austin Kearns, Ben Sheets, CC Sabathia, Chris Marrero, Colin Balester, Cristian Guzman, Felipe Lopez, Lastings Milledge, Nationals, Nick Johnson, Odalis Perez, Orlando Hudson, Rafael Furcal, Ross Detweiler, Ryan Zimmerman, Wily Mo Peña
Diamondbacks 10-Mets 4
Mike Pelfrey did not pitch well for the Mets, throwing more than 100 pitches in 5 innings, allowing 5 earned runs, walking 4 and striking out 1. He was charged with the loss, and is 2-2 on the year Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb pitched well enough, but was not dominant, giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 7 full innings of work with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Augie Ojeda, replacing the injured Orlando Hudson, terrorized the Mets, driving in 6 runs. For the Mets, Carlos Delgado hit a 3-run shot, but was one of the only Mets whose bat showed up. Combined, Jose Reyes and David Wright were 0-7 with a walk on the day. Duaner Sanchez‘s line on the day: (0.1 innings, 4 H, 5 ER) Ouch.
Nationals 9-Pirates 8
The Nats barely squeaked one out against the Bucs, as mediocre pitching gave way to clutch offense from the Nats. Cristian Guzman was a triple away from hitting for the cycle, and totaled 6 RBIs on the day. Guzman and Felipe Lopez jumpstarted the Nats offense, combining to go 6-9 on the day in the 1 and 2 spots. Matt Chico might have bought himself some more time to try and fix his pitching woes, but was not all that good, going 4.1 and letting up 5 runs, 4 earned, with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Jesus Colome picked up the win and Jon Rauch notched his 7th save of the year.
Giants 3-Phillies 2
The Phillies lost a heartbreaker as Bengie Molina hit a go-ahead RBI double off of Rudy Seanez in the 10th. Brett Myers pitched very well, going 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 earned runs, walking 3 and striking out 10. But he received almost no run support other than home runs by Chase Utley (again) and Geoff Jenkins and an RBI from Pat Burrell. Giants starter Matt Cain was very effective, shutting the Phils down on 7 innings of 3-hit ball, striking out 8 and walking 1.
Braves 9-Reds 1
Yunel Escobar led the Braves to a hit parade Saturday as he went 3-4 with 2 runs and an RBI. The Braves had 15 hits on the day compared to 4 for the Reds. Jo-Jo Reyes pitched well for Atlanta, allowing just 1 earned run on 5.1 innings, striking out 5 and walking 3. Brian McCann had 2 RBIs for the Braves, who now sit just a game below .500.
Padres 7-Marlins 2
Young Ricky Nolasco continues to struggle for the Marlins, giving up 10 hits over 4.2 innings of work yesterday as Padres ace Jake Peavy cruised. Peavy went 5.2 and struck out 8, allowing just 2 earned runs. Mike Jacobs‘ 2 run blast in the bottom of the first was all the offense the Marlins could muster. After a hot start, the Marlins are just 4-6 in their last 10.
Posted in Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies
Tagged Augie Ojeda, Bengie Molina, Brandon Webb, Braves, Brett Myers, Brian McCann, Carlos Delgado, Chase Utley, Cristian Guzman, David Wright, Diamondbacks, Duaner Sanchez, Felipe Lopez, Geoff Jenkins, Giants, Jake Peavy, Jesus Colome, Jo-Jo Reyes, Jon Rauch, Jose Reyes, Marlins, Matt Cain, Matt Chico, Mets, Mike Jacobs, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Orlando Hudson, Padres, Pat Burrell, Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Ricky Nolasco, Rudy Seanez, Yunel Escobar
What a way to open the roadtrip, as the New York Mets defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on the backs of their superstars, David Wright and Jose Reyes, and on their most valuable player so far, Ryan Church. David and Jose each fell one hit shy of the cycle–Wright needed a triple, Reyes a home run. Church hit his fourth home run of the year and drove in three on the night, bringing his RBI total to 19.
It doesn’t get much better than this. Reyes gets on base, Church advances him, David drives in runs, and the rest of the team follows the lead. These 3 guys are key to winning, as is John Maine, who looked shaky at times, but got the job done, going 6 full innings to pick up his 3rd win of the year (surprising after his pitch count got way up there–he even had 12 pitches on just one Micah Owings at bat), and surrendering 2 earned on 6 hits, striking out 6 and walking 2. Joe Smith, Pedro Feliciano, and Duaner Sanchez combined for 3 scoreless innings in relief.
The Diamondbacks were a shadow of their usual self tonight. Owings took the loss, going 5.2 giving up 7 earned runs on 11 hits, striking out 2 and walking 3. He’s obviously banged up, as anyone watching the game could tell based on his motion. 2B Orlando Hudson had to come out of the game with a minor leg injury (he’s day to day). Here’s my observation of the D-Backs. They have a ridiculous amount of talent (especially in Justin Upton who is a phenom to say the least), but they are very, very young. Their pitching needs to be solid to carry them, and tonight it obviously was not. But this is a team that is going places.
A happy note for the Mets, LF Moises Alou made his return to the lineup, batting in the 5 spot behind Carlos Beltran. Alou went 1-4 with an RBI on a hard hit ball up the middle that could have easily been a double play ball. Weird to see the bottom of the lineup consisting of Carlos Delgado, Raul Casanova, and Luis Castillo. Those 3 combined to go 2-11 on the night, by the way.
Great win tonight for the Amazins, it’s going to be a tough one tomorrow as Mike Pelfrey takes on Snakes ace Brandon Webb.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Brandon Webb, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Diamondbacks, Duaner Sanchez, Joe Smith, John Maine, Jose Reyes, Justin Upton, Luis Castillo, Mets, Micah Owings, Mike Pelfrey, Moises Alou, Orlando Hudson, Pedro Feliciano, Raul Casanova, Ryan Church
The Game: New York Mets (14-12) at Arizona Diamondbacks (20-8 )
The Matchup: John Maine (2-2, 3.58 ) vs. Micah Owings (4-0, 3.48 )
The Story: After an embarrassing 13-1 loss against the Pirates, the Mets took a day off and flew across the country, and look to bounce back against the red-hot D-Backs. The big story is Moises Alou, who is expected to play very soon, possibly even tonight. That should hopefully put some fire back into the Mets lineup, which has been disappointing to say the least in recent days. My guess is that Willie will bat Alou sixth, moving the struggling Carlos Delgado down to seventh (can you believe it?) in the order. The Mets will be facing some of the league’s best pitching over the next three days, and the key to winning this series is in Jose Reyes‘s ability to get on base.
Tonight’s pitching matchup features two of the premier young pitchers in baseball. John Maine has looked shaky on the mound at times, but has still managed to pitch pretty well so far, holding opponents to 2 runs or less in his last four starts. Micah Owings has been a nice surprise this year for the Snakes, posting an incredible 28:9 K/BB ratio. He’s the weakest of the three opposing pitchers in this series, and will be followed up by Brandon Webb (against Mike Pelfrey tomorrow) and Dan Haren (against Johan Santana on Sunday).
The D-Backs are the hottest team in baseball, riding on their young bats, including Justin Upton, Chris Young, Stephen Drew, Orlando Hudson, and Eric Byrnes. It goes without saying that a series win here for the Mets would be a huge statement.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Brandon Webb, Carlos Delgado, Chris Young, Dan Haren, Diamondbacks, Eric Byrnes, Johan Santana, John Maine, Jose Reyes, Justin Upton, Mets, Micah Owings, Mike Pelfrey, Moises Alou, Orlando Hudson, Stephen Drew