Baseball

#32 Harper’s injury

After Bryce Harper fell to the ground clutching his knee late Saturday night, I’ve been thinking about the whole situation since so I figured I would write about it today. Yes, I am a Nats so you can call me biased it doesn’t bother me any. With this injury there are implications to the MVP race and that’s mainly what I’ve been thinking about, because the Nats are far enough ahead in the division they can withstand losing their 3-hole hitter for a couple weeks while he heals up.

Bryce Harper was trying to beat out a ground ball and he got to the base and his foot slipped off and his knee buckled, buckled the wrong way. The base was probably slippery because of the 2 hour rain delay before the game, and not to mention the base is pretty hard and doesn’t give much. From what I saw it looked like he just hyper extended it, and after that happens you can’t really put any pressure on that leg, so he had to be pretty much carried off the field. To no surprise people were assuming the worst “he tore his ACL” “Harper out for the rest of the year” but I personally didn’t believe that. Was it possible he tore his ACL and everything else? Yes very possible. To me it looked like just a hyper extension especially when it was reported that he came to park the next day with an ace bandage UNDER the knee and not even a real limp. So it looks like Harper will miss a couple weeks with a severe bone bruise, not as bad as it could’ve been. Now to the MVP implications, I wrote about the MVP race just last week and I said I think Harper will win it in the NL. I’m not completely flipping I still think Harper can do it but because of this injury he might miss some time and it would take a lot more now to win it. He doesn’t want to, and the Nats wouldn’t even let him, hurry back and risk further injury and potentially miss a good playoff/world series run. With Giancarlo Stanton absolutely on fire, probably going to end up with 50+ homers this year, he’s making this MVP race tighter than it already was. The person I think benefits most with Harper having to miss some time is Nolan Arenado, the dude already has 100 rbis. The Rockies are actually good this year and will probably be a playoff team, that’s why I think Arenado is getting some real consideration for MVP. I’m not sure he can continue hitting .311 down the stretch, he’s been around .280 the last couple years, but the homers and the rbis will be there for sure. 26 homers and 100 rbis right now and has a little over a month left.

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Baseball

#23 Cubs v Nats

Today I feel like talking about the 4 game series going on in D.C., mainly because I’m glued to my tv. Call me a homer or biased or whatever you want but I’m not denying that I’m a Nationals fan. I think the Nats are playing some of the best baseball in the majors this year, I’m glued to the tv because I know a lot of Cub fans and I don’t think the Cubs are slouches. I didn’t think this was ever going to be an easy sweep for the Nats. Before I get started I just have to say I’m not feeling 100 percent today so this might be kind of short.

First I just have to mention how well Javy Baez played on defense last night, seriously wow. He absolutely robbed Bryce Harper on a line drive that actually made my jaw drop, he was at shortstop last night. Because Harper is left handed Baez was slightly shifted towards second base Harper hit a liner, not softly either, right to where the shortstop usually would be and somehow Baez dove to his left (and a little towards the outfield too) and caught it. Obviously a little bummed because it should of been a hit but whatever I was impressed. Tonight will be Scherzer for the Nats and Strasburg tomorrow, the Cubs could be in trouble no doubt. I said this last week and I seriously mean it, sending Schwarber down to AAA could be the start of the turn around for the Cubs. Schwarber is a career .204 hitter, let me say that again .204 CAREER HITTER. And he was the leadoff hitter? Yes, he had a good World Series but that was a very small sample size and he was DHing. He’s not as good as some seem to think, he never overly impressed me when he was a prospect. Now is your chance Cubs if a turn around is coming nows the time, more playing time for Baez and Almora.

Just realized I started this post planning on writing about the Nats too but it turned into a Cubs only. Oh well.

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Baseball

#22 no hitter Wednesdays

First there actually were no no hitters yesterday/last night but there were two “close” ones that I’d like to talk about. The two I would like to write about today is Max Scherzer’s game against the Marlins and Justin Verlander against the Mariners. I might get into a little rant about Verlander’s start just a fair warning. Just a funny tidbit, I’m sure Tiger fans will love this, just a few years ago the Tigers had both Scherzer and Verlander.

Before I get into that I read earlier today that the Cubs are sending Kyle Schwarber down to AAA. Jason Heyward is heading to the DL also, means more playing time for Almora and Baez. This might be the chance the Cubs need to start turning it around.

I’ll start with Max Scherzer because there’s less of a chance of me going full rant mode. So Scherzer and the Nats were facing the Miami Marlins for the last game of the series yesterday afternoon in Miami. And I knew in the second inning Max had his A+ stuff, I knew something special could easily happen today. 6 batters 6 strikeouts in the first two innings, the fastball was coming out his hand easy at 96 mph he slider looked unhitable. He didn’t allow a hit through 7.1 innings, and a come backer that was a little too high and knicks off of Max’s glove and there goes the no hitter. It’s too bad he had no hit stuff but that’s baseball.

Now about Verlander, I’ll try to keep this short I promise. Verlander has his good stuff working as well, had a perfect game as a matter of fact, gets to the 6th inning and Jarrod Dyson bunts for a base hit. YOU DO NOT BUNT FOR A BASE HIT WHEN THE PITCHER HAS A NO HITTER. Baseball players get that. I get why he did it that’s part of his game and I’m not mad at Dyson what so ever but it doesn’t go down too easy, don’t really like it. If it was the ninth inning I’d be seriously mad but it was only the 6th inning so I can let it slide. But current and former baseball players will get it.

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Baseball

#16 Harper vs Strickland

Before I get into this post, let’s be honest it’ll probably be a rant, I feel like I should apologize for skipping Tuesday. I had some family in town and my brother had a baseball game so I took a vacation day. And besides this will be a short post, I HATE RELIEVERS COMING IN JUST TO THROW AT GUYS, there done. Just kidding I’ll get into the specifics of this situation.

First, a little backstory back in the 2014 NLDS Bryce Harper hit two mammoth blasts off of Hunter Strickland. That’s it seriously. That’s the reason he hit him 3 years later. I’m sorry that is seriously sad, Strickland gave up 5 homers that postseason when the giants won the World Series. So in other words he sucked, got beat twice by Harper, both of the homers Strickland stared down Harper as he rounded the bases, the second homer gave the Nats the lead and when Harp got back to the dugout he was giving high fives to everyone and being real animated nothing new you know. And apparently that set off Strickland and he can stay mad for three years. Yes, I’m a Nats fan you can call me biased I don’t care personally I like that it went down. I think Strickland is just a sad guy with a hurt ego, but nobody charges the mound anymore you don’t see Nolan Ryan getting Robin Ventura in a headlock while knocking his teeth out in today’s game. If you want to point fingers though point them at Buster Posey, the Giants catcher didn’t move an inch after he hit him, Harper started walking down the first base line jawing at Strickland like most players do after they get hit but he realized Posey wasn’t holding him back so he ran out there and threw a couple punches. You can tell by Posey’s, and the entire Giants bench, reaction that it was 2-0 game in the 8th inning Strickland was just being a selfish little man with a bruised ego. I know Posey is getting a lot of attention for this but honestly he didn’t agree so he didn’t want to clean up his mess “you want to hit him with 98? You deserve to get punched a couple times.” I would not be surprised at all if Strickland is traded soon. The helmet throw was great there were ex players on twitter like “you throw helmets by the ear flap not the brim, Bryce you should know better.”

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Baseball

#5 it’s about Nat time

Minutes ago Starling Marte got suspended 80 games for testing positive for PED’s. I already committed to writing about the Nationals today so that will have to wait until Thursday. I try really hard not to talk about the Nats much because I don’t want to sound like I’m just a homer, I try to spread it out so you know that I know everything about baseball and not just about the Washington.

After Bryce Harper hit 2 homers on Sunday, including a walk off, I knew I had to write about the Nats today. I already made my case for Harper being back to his MVP form so I don’t think there’s much more to say about his hot start. Instead I’ll talk about the team in general. Through two weeks they’re at 7-5, which is nothing too glamorous but it’s good enough for 1st place in the NL east. Adding Adam Eaton looks like it helps this lineup greatly but I still don’t entirely like the trade. I don’t like giving up Giolito, Lopez I understand trading him while his value was high, but Dane Dunning was just the “other” guy in the trade but guess what? He has 21 strikeouts in only two starts in the minors. They could’ve traded Joe Ross instead of giving up Lucas Giolito but no, let’s trade the top pitching prospect in baseball after we completely miss use him by calling him up, sending him back down, calling him up, sending him back down, never really giving him a chance to prove himself in the majors. Sorry I’m ranting I’ll get back on track. My point is this lineup is incredibly deep, Trea Turner will he back very soon who will be the leadoff hitter, then you have Eaton hitting second taking walks and having his good on base percentage, then you have the MVP version of Bryce Harper batting third, then it’s Daniel Murphy who’s also off to a scorching start. That’s only 1-4 and then there’s Zim, Werth, and Wieters who are all off to hot starts as well. Who cares that there’s 3 lefties in a row at 2-4? It works no matter who’s pitching. Wait, I didn’t even talk about the good pitching? Oh well there’s always next time.

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Baseball

#45 game 5 tonight

There’s basically only one thing to write about today so obviously I’m going to write about game 5 of the NLDS in Washington. I knew the Dodgers could be potential spoilers for the Nationals going into the postseason so I can’t say I’m surprised it went all the way to game 5 but I was hoping the Nats could pull it off on Tuesday. But unfortunately they did not.

Granted the Dodgers had Kershaw on the mound Tuesday but I was still pretty confident the Nats could pull it out. The Dodgers bullpen is extremely taxed Dave Roberts has not been letting his starters go too deep into games so far in the series. And during the first inning I thought that trend would continue, Kershaw didn’t have his A+ stuff and he was forced to throw 27 pitches. I thought ok the Nats will either get to him early or work the count and force him out early. Either way I’ll be good for the Nats. But after the first inning it was vintage Kershaw and he completely dominated the Nats until the 7th that is. He let the first two batters reach then it was Bryce Harper as the tying run in a 5-2 game. The last 2 MVP’s, Kershaw in 2014 and Harper in 2015, if you like baseball then this postseason matchup with the game on the line should really excite you. Well Kershaw walked Harper to load the bases and then before you know it the game was tied at 5. So then it was the Nats bullpen, been very good all year, vs the Dodgers bullpen, been over used this series. But then the old guy Chase Utley drives in the game winning run in the bottom of the 8th for the Dodgers so they won by 1. Tonight it’ll be Max Scherzer for the Nats against Rich Hill of the Dodgers on 3 days rest. I know Scherzer gave up 4 runs early in game 1 but after that he really settled down so I hope he’ll settle down earlier this go around. Rich Hill isn’t Clayton Kershaw I don’t think he can throw as good as Kersh on 3 days rest. Pitching Hill is a risky move if you ask me. But if that’s what gives the Nats the advantage I’ll take it.

His name is Javier Baez. The hero for the Cubs and the reason they’re advancing to the NLCS.

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