Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Big Difference

My experiment in quantum baseball physics was a failure. I didn't watch one single pitch of that series, but nevertheless the Nationals are 3.5 games behind the Mets. I feel like it's below my station even to look at the Wild Card standings, but the Nats are 6.5 games away from baseball's very worst kinda-sorta playoff spot.

I'm just going to copy and paste myself, because it sure sounds like that series turned out the same as the last time the Nats faced the Dodgers.
The narrative seems to be that the Nats ran into a "gauntlet of aces," so who can blame them for losing? The Dodgers threw reigning MVP Clayton Kershaw, unpleasant weirdo Zack Greinke, and even Mike Bolsinger at us - we should be happy we won one of them! 
Which, I mean, yeah, it's tough to hit Kershaw and Greinke, just as it's tough to watch Kershaw's Subway commercial or (I'm guessing) have a conversation with Greinke. 
But what do we think is going to happen when we get to the playoffs? Hitting tough pitchers is how you win a World Series, dammit. The opposition isn't going to be running Jerome Williams out there in October.  
If you can't score runs off good pitchers, you lose. My evidence for this is the 2014 postseason, in which the Nationals couldn't even score runs off the remains of Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy, and they lost.
So this series loss is not something to brush off as bad starting rotation timing. The playoffs are nothing but bad timing. They don't let the Bolsingers pitch in October; you have to hit the good ones.
Change "Mike" to "Brett" and "Bolsinger" to "Anderson," and everything I wrote back in July is still true.

The big difference between then and now is that on July 21, I more or less assumed that the Nats were going to have a chance to play badly in the postseason.

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