Filtering by Tag: Opening Day

Game #1 Recap: Strasburg & Harper Shine Opening Day

After what seemed like an extremely long Spring Training, the Nationals finally opened the season against the Miami Marlins.  ​The Nationals played excellent defense, pitched well, and got a few big hits from Bryce Harper to lock down the 0-2 win.

Stephen Strasburg was solid on the hill, giving up no runs, collecting 3 K's and pitching 7 strong innings. Strasburg's 7 strong innings set the tone for the game, one the Nationals would show their pitching dominance throughout.​ Strasburg was very efficient with his pitches on opening day, he threw 80 pitches,  52 of which were strikes. Through the 7 innings Strasburg pitched, he averaged 11.4 pitches per inning.

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2013 Washington Nationals Story Lines

IT IS OPENING DAY!!! ​ Sorry for my excitement therebut in all my boredom of Spring Training I forgot that when it ends the baseball season begins. For the Nationals the 2013 season looks to be the Dark Knight to 2012's Batman Begins, or Godfather II to Godfather. In other words, not just a worthy sequel but one that surpasses the brilliance of the original. And here is where my danger lies. To delve deep into the tangent I have begun or get back on track? Without any further introduction, here are a few story lines to watch for in 2013.

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Are the Nats Set for Opening Day

Early this week Davey Johnson made the announcement that Henry Rodriguezwould be in the Nats bullpen and that Zach Duke would be the only lefty in the Nats bullpen. The reason that Johnson gave was that you don't want to give up on a talent like Henry Rodriguez. Anyone that has seen him pitch on one of his good days can attest to just how talented he is. Henry Rodriguez is second only to Stephen Strasburg when it comes to pure stuff. The issue hasn't been with the 100 MPH fastball, the hard biting quick diving curve, or the drop off the table 91 MPH change-up. The issue with Henry Rodriguez is that no one, including himself, is ever quite certain of where his pitches are going. ​

In 2011 Henry Rodriguez was inconsistent but his final numbers were good with a 3.56 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 9.59 K/9, and 0.14 HR/9. In 2012 the number that really changed was the HR/9 as it rose from 0.14 in 2011 to 1.23 in 2012. Overall for his career Henry Rodriguez has a 0.50 HR/9 so 2011 was a bit low and 2012 a bit high. If Henry Rodriguez can get that under control then he is a useful reliever even without lowering his walk totals, but his career 5.83 BB/9 is bad. It is very bad. As are his 34 career wild pitches in 126 games. If Henry Rodriguez can ever harness his stuff he will be one of the best relievers in baseball, and if he can be healthy and back to 2011 that is still more than acceptable for the seventh man in the bullpen. ​

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