NLDS Game Thread

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Spacemans Bong said:
Matt may as well have been wearing his old Giants jersey underneath his Nats one by how he managed this series. There's been an enormous gap between the managers who know how to manage in the playoffs and the managers who don't know this year.
 
Bochy, Matheny, Showalter ... Yost
 
It's like an SAT question
 

Spacemans Bong

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To be fair to Yost, at least he's trying to manage his way into success, he's just usually wrong.
 
Ausmus, Williams, Mattingly... I mean, they are the derp school of managers. Can't use closer except in save situation. Must use closer, it's a save situation. Must use reliever in assigned role. Derp. I sort of get that during the regular season - it's a long year, you can't manage like your hair's on fire in every game. It'll kill your team and probably you too.
 
But it's the playoffs, this is the time to manage like your hair's on fire for every at-bat. To ask things of your starters and relievers you don't ask in May, to mix and match bench players to get the desired matchup. It's just embarrassing to see the old hands manage circles around the newbies. Bochy and Showalter embarrassed their counterparts. Matheny is no great shakes himself, but Mattingly was committing hara-kiri out there (let's not even get into the Puig fiasco).
 
Ron Washington derping his way throughout Game 6, 2011 cost his team a Series. I never bought the LaRussa as a swami narrative, but my word did he embarrass Washington in that series. 2010 wasn't close but Bochy handily outmanaged him too.
 
If the Tigers make the playoffs next year and get the Indians, will Tito rip Ausmus a new one? Will the next Walgreen's playoff series make Nats fans wish Davey Johnson was still in the dugout again as Clint Hurdle gets the desired matchup every time? Both answers are likely yes.
 

Wingack

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Remagellan said:
 
And he should have been in the game before Barrett.  Was he being saved for Game 1?  Williams had Fister on full rest for that.  If you don't use your strength to cover your weakness you won't survive, and you don't deserve to.   
 
Strasburg should have been in and JZimm should have been the guy for Game 5.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Wingack said:
 
Strasburg should have been in and JZimm should have been the guy for Game 5.
 
Exactly. Zimmermann was being saved for Game 5. Instead of bringing in Thornton, he should've brought in Strasburg. Or he should've brought in Thornton, and instead of going to the rook with 2 on, and 1 out, he should have gone to Clippard. Could use Strasburg in the 8th in Clippard's place.
 
Instead, Williams shit the bed. I don't even really care about the Nationals, but I want him fired because he was such an idiot this series.
 

Lowrielicious

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I hope the cardinals batting practice pitcher throws at Adams next time he is hitting for those celebrations up the first base line after hitting his bomb. That's Mickey Mouse stuff and not respecting the game.
 

loshjott

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Spacemans Bong said:
Matt may as well have been wearing his old Giants jersey underneath his Nats one by how he managed this series. There's been an enormous gap between the managers who know how to manage in the playoffs and the managers who don't know this year.
 
I think Williams was out managed by the moment more so than by Bochy.  Allowing Strickland to face Harper in the 7th wasn't exactly a Connie Mack moment for the Giants skipper, either.
 
I follow the Nats avidly and I thought Williams did a really good job this year as a regular season manager but boy oh boy did he botch that bottom of the 7th about as badly as possible.  First, not having anyone warming in the pen to start the inning and leaving lefty specialist Thornton in to face Posey after Panik's 1 out single. Posey singles.  Then, bringing in rookie Barrett with Stammen, Clippard, Storen, Soriano, and Strasburg all available.  Barrett predictably implodes.
 
Maybe there's a reason rookie managers never win the Series. Williams had almost no managerial experience outside the Arizona Fall League and I hope he'll learn from this because I think he has a bright future.
 
P.S. The utter and complete suckitude of all the Nats bats outside Harper and Rendon had a lot to do with the loss also.
 

dcmissle

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It did. But that happens in the postseason. It's not as if the Giants lit it up at the plate either

The bottom line is that the pen has cost the Nats mightily in 2012 and 2014. It was decent this season until Soriano started failing post ASB as closer, then that screwed the rest of late innings rotation up. They lacked depth, an issue they could and should have addressed at the deadline.

Failing that, Strasburg has to come into that game in the 7th to start the inning. Then you ride him as long as you can. Go down with your best if at all.
 

semsox

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dcmissle said:
It did. But that happens in the postseason. It's not as if the Giants lit it up at the plate either

The bottom line is that the pen has cost the Nats mightily in 2012 and 2014. It was decent this season until Soriano started failing post ASB as closer, then that screwed the rest of late innings rotation up. They lacked depth, an issue they could and should have addressed at the deadline.
 
I don't think I agree with this. The Nats have a great bullpen foundation with Storen/Soriano/Clippard. Even with Soriano's late season struggles, that's a top 3 that can finish off games. Yet somehow, a rookie reliever is pitching the most high leverage situation of your entire season? It's the manager's job to put the team in the best position to succeed, and not only did Williams not do that, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to think of a reasonable way in which he could have put them in a worse position to succeed.
 

Harry Hooper

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If there were a flashing font available, this would merit its use:
 
semsox said:
 
I don't think I agree with this. The Nats have a great bullpen foundation with Storen/Soriano/Clippard. Even with Soriano's late season struggles, that's a top 3 that can finish off games. Yet somehow, a rookie reliever is pitching the most high leverage situation of your entire season? It's the manager's job to put the team in the best position to succeed, and not only did Williams not do that, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to think of a reasonable way in which he could have put them in a worse position to succeed.
 

MakMan44

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Dave Cameron had a post on Fox where he ripped Williams. I hadn't remembered that he left Thornton in to face Posey. Awful, awful managing. 
 

Al Zarilla

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I really knew nothing about Matt Williams as a manager but figured, OK, big turnaround for the Nats from no postseason in 2013 to best NL record in 2014, he's probably good. He seemed like a smart enough guy as a player, baseball gym rat type, probably the type to have a sleeping bag in his office or something.  Duane Kuiper summed it up best in postgame. He said when Thornton was being relieved, he wrote Clippard in his scorecard, instead was astounded it was Barrett.
 

loshjott

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MakMan44 said:
Dave Cameron had a post on Fox where he ripped Williams. I hadn't remembered that he left Thornton in to face Posey. Awful, awful managing. 
 
The correct move would have been having some combo of Soriano/Stammen/Clippard (EDIT: and Storen and Strasburg, for that matter...) warming to start the 7th then, depending on the situation, put one in to face Posey and Pence.  I can see saving Clippard for the 8th if Thornton got 2 clean outs and then bringing in one of the others to finish the 7th. 
 
And some back story is good perspective - early in the season the relievers thought Williams was getting them up to warm too often during games and it was messing up their rhythm. The manager adjusted; everyone's happy. So maybe he was leery to do that last night - another example of not budging from regular season orthodoxy.
 
And regarding this statement: Yet somehow, a rookie reliever is pitching the most high leverage situation of your entire season? - in the top of the inning Bochy did the exact same thing with Strickland vs. Harper in an extremely high leverage situation.
 

semsox

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loshjott said:
 
And regarding this statement: Yet somehow, a rookie reliever is pitching the most high leverage situation of your entire season? - in the top of the inning Bochy did the exact same thing with Strickland vs. Harper in an extremely high leverage situation.
 
Yea, how did that one pan out for Bochy? The point is it's stupid in both situations.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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Plus [Mattingly's] falling into the almost-always-bad-idea of Ace on Short Rest in the Playoffs. They all must have Beckett in '03 in the back of their head when they go with it. I can't seem to find info on it--anyone know how often Kershaw's done it and how he's fared?
 
VORP Speed said:
Kershaw has done it once, last year against Atlanta, and he was very good.
 
Edit: 6IP, 2R, 0ER, 3H, 1BB, 6K, 91 pitches
 
Boy was that prophetic.  Yeah, you can get 6 good innings out of a short-rested starter, but don't try to get greedy!
 
D-Lowe gave us 5.1 innings in ALCS Game 4 (quick hook at 88 pitches after Matsui's one-out triple), but 6 innings in ALCS game 7 (only 69 pitches, and a solid lead at that point) on 2 days' rest.  The previous year, Lowe had started 2003 ALDS Game 3 (7 IP, 100 pitches, 1 unearned run) after being the losing pitcher in relief in Game 1, two days prior, then logged the save in Game 5 on 1 day rest, then came back and started ALCS game 2 on two days' rest again (6.2 IP, 98 pitches, knocked around for 6 ER).  In 2008, for the Dodgers in ALCS game 4 vs Atlanta, he started on 3 days rest after losing game 1.  5 IP on 74 pitches, 2 ER, and a N/D in an eventual team loss.
 
Anecdotal Lesson: You can get away with it, but don't push it.  Especially not with pitchers who, unlike D-Lowe, don't have a history of closing to give them the confidence of taking the mound with something other than their usual physical and mental preparation routine.  Mattingly pushed it way farther than he should have.  La Russa and Playoff Tito would both pull Kershaw after the first single.  Possibly Playoff Farrell does too, but certainly after the 2nd single.  Leaving Kershaw in on short rest at 100 pitches (after saying you were hoping for "90 pitches or so"!), with 2 on and 0 out, to face Matt Adams, was straight-up managerial malpractice.
 

dcmissle

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semsox said:
 
I don't think I agree with this. The Nats have a great bullpen foundation with Storen/Soriano/Clippard. Even with Soriano's late season struggles, that's a top 3 that can finish off games. Yet somehow, a rookie reliever is pitching the most high leverage situation of your entire season? It's the manager's job to put the team in the best position to succeed, and not only did Williams not do that, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to think of a reasonable way in which he could have put them in a worse position to succeed.
Soriano was a train wreck from July on and will not be with the Nats next season. The shot on last night was called weeks ago in SoSH. Check the Nats thread
 
M

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InsideTheParker said:
I wonder if Puig wasn't a very odd choice as base-runner. He as just been punished by being taken out of the line-up. Isn't he going to be scared to make a mistake on the basepaths? Is he actually a good base-runner?
 
patinorange said:
He may be the worst base runner in the history of baseball. Fast but dumb dumb. He did cut down on the outrageous stuff this year, but I thought that was an odd choice.
 
That was the other nail in the Mattingly coffin for me.  Pitcher's spot coming up, your slow catcher just drew a walk with 1 out... if you're going to pinch-run someone, which is a fair choice, don't you pinch-run the best base-stealer substitute you have off the bench (Turner)?  Instead, he pinch-HITS Justin Turner, and pinch-RUNS the best hitter on his team and best-hitting option on his bench by a mile (Puig's splits favor him against righties, even).  Put your next pitcher in for Ethier if you manage to tie the game up - all that matters is scoring that run.  They had a guy capable of a Dave Roberts moment, they even got the single two batters later... but they had nobody on 2nd base.  What on earth was Mattingly thinking?
 

MakMan44

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Exactly. I don't know if the single would have tied the game, but come on, why was Puig not on second then?
 

InsideTheParker

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The bad calls in the two games against Desmond of the Nats (Casilla pitching) and (I think) Justin Turner of the Dodgers (Rosenthal pitching) were so egregious that they made me hate baseball. Again.
 

geoduck no quahog

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After watching all of these games (it helped not having an emotional stake) I'm convinced that electronic calls need to be developed and worked into the sport. It's just too frustrating to watch home plate umpires change the strike zone around from batter to batter, or pitch to pitch. I can't remember when, but one of the pitch tracking graphics had a ball thrown in exactly the same down and away spot on two consecutive throws - one for a ball, the next for a strike.
 
I understand umps having different strike zones and establishing that during the game. It's something the pitcher and hitter should adjust to. It's the inconsistency that leads to an unfair advantage that drives me nuts - and it's really apparent in critical playoff games.
 
Baseball will suffer unless they (1) Get rid of the pitch tracking graphics completely, or (2) Incorporate robot calls. It's getting stupid.
 

jimc

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geoduck no quahog said:
After watching all of these games (it helped not having an emotional stake) I'm convinced that electronic calls need to be developed and worked into the sport. It's just too frustrating to watch home plate umpires change the strike zone around from batter to batter, or pitch to pitch. I can't remember when, but one of the pitch tracking graphics had a ball thrown in exactly the same down and away spot on two consecutive throws - one for a ball, the next for a strike.
 
I understand umps having different strike zones and establishing that during the game. It's something the pitcher and hitter should adjust to. It's the inconsistency that leads to an unfair advantage that drives me nuts - and it's really apparent in critical playoff games.
 
Baseball will suffer unless they (1) Get rid of the pitch tracking graphics completely, or (2) Incorporate robot calls. It's getting stupid.
 
The two consecutive pitches was to Matt Kemp, game 3, top 9. Fangraphs covered it here. Just a horrible, horrible call.
 

jimc

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Also can we take a moment to appreciate the trainwreck that was Tom Hallion's strikezone in SF-WAS game 3?
 

Pulled from here. Robot strikezone please.
 
Edit: circles are balls of course. The cluster of crappy calls at the top right are mostly strikes up and in on lefties that weren't called.
 

geoduck no quahog

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Wow. Look at Paul Nauert and then Paul Schreiber.
 
Nauert was great.
 
There are two ball-calls for Schreiber that make so little sense that I think something must be wrong with the charts.