Mid-Season Review: “Apparently we have a thing for pitchers”


Back in late February, the First Ladies (as members of the DC-IBWA) were asked their thoughts on the upcoming Nationals season and to make some predictions .  Since we’re past the halfway mark of the season (that was the end of the Angels series), and at the end of the All-Star Break, now is as good a time as any to revisit our predictions, and to think about how things will go for the rest of the season.

Morse goes back in the dugout
1)  Who will lead the Nats in home runs in 2011?

First Ladies Answer: Jayson Werth
Current Answer: Danny Espinosa

Well, that wasn’t quite right was it?  Jayson Werth has proved to be less than productive at the plate (which is an understatement), but looking at the stats, Beardface himself is in fourth on the team with 10 homers this season.  He’ll have some work to do to catch up, but if baseball players really do revert to their means…this pick still has a chance.Revised Prediction: Michael Morse

Danny on the basepath
2)  Who will lead the Nats in RBI?

First Ladies Answer:
Adam LaRoche
Current Answer:Danny Espinosa

Ouch – literally.  Adam LaRoche was sent to the DL back in June due to a season-ending shoulder surgery.  But even before that, his shoulder must have been bothering him, because despite being a known slow-starter, he performed abysmally at the plate.  Currently sitting in 10th place in team RBI standings…he won’t be there for long.

Revised Prediction: Danny Espinosa

Bernie steals a base
3)  Who will lead the Nats in stolen bases?

First Ladies Answer:
Nyjer Morgan
Current Answer: Ian Desmond.

When we’re wrong, we’re wrong.  Although in our defense with this answer, Morgan hadn’t been traded to the Brewers yet when we wrote this prediction back in February.

Revised Prediction: Roger Bernadina?

Jordan Zimmermann
4)  Who will lead the staff in wins?

First Ladies Answer:
Jordan Zimmermann
Current Answer: Jason Marquis

This is one we’re not too far of with.  Jordan Zimmerman has been having a stellar season, and if he’d had some run support in a few games, we would currently be correct (though that’s true for a lot of the Nats pitchers).  In any case – it’s very possible that Z’nn gets the most wins.  He’ll just have to be extra-efficient in the remaining starts he’ll have this year due to recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Storen on the mound
5)  Who will lead the staff in saves?

First Ladies Answer:
Drew Storen
Current Answer:Drew Storen

This is one we feel pretty confident in saying we’ll be correct with.  Drew currently has 23 saves, and the only other Nationals reliever with ANY saves is Sean Burnett.  We would be just fine if Burnett found his way back and racked up a couple dozen saves, but the chances of that happening (or anyone taking over the closer role for real) are slim.  The only limiting factor?  If the team decides to use Storen less in order to preserve his arm.

Lannan pitches
6)  Which starter will lead the team in starts?

First Ladies Answer:
John Lannan
Current Answer:Livian Hernandez and John Lannan (19)

This is another answer we feel pretty good about.  John has been consistent all season, and as such, will likely take him through a full season of regular starts, barring injury.

7)  Who will pitch more innings for the Nats this season: Chien-Ming Wang, Yunesky Maya, Ross Detwiler?

First Ladies Answer:
Chien-Ming Wang
Current Answer:Yunesky Maya

This was a very hopeful pick on our part.  And considering the fact that Wang has been making rehab starts with Nats affiliates up and down the east coast, it’s possible that he’ll get to the bigs at some point this year.  But with Yunesky Maya building up a 25 IP lead (replacing Gorzelanny in the rotation when he was injured), and Detweiler already having made ANY appearance with the Nats…this pick may be a little harder to justify come late August.

Revised Prediction: Ross Detweiler

Hairston argues
8)  Who will get more at bats for the Nats this season:  Rick Ankiel, Jerry Hairston, Alberto Gonzalez?

First Ladies Answer: Rick Ankiel
Current Answer:Jerry Hairston

Well, it wasn’t going to be Gonzalez (traded to the Padres before the season started), so the Ladies have a 50/50 shot on this one.  Hairston currently leads by less than 20 at-bats, but since he’s on the DL with a fractured wrist, and Ankiel is back in the OF…this one could go either way, so we’ll stick with our first answer.

Ramos catching
9)  Who will get more at bats for the Nats this season:  Ivan Rodriguez, Jesus Flores, Wilson Ramos?

First Ladies Answer:
Jesus Flores
Current Answer: Wilson Ramos

Back when we made these predictions, the talk around Natstown was, “Who will be the Nats catchers this season?” Everyone was back and forth about whether it would be Pudge and Ramos, Pudge and Flores, or if the Nats would trade Pudge to a team looking for a veteran presence behind the plate and hand catching duties to two youngsters.  Well, the Nats didn’t get rid of Pudge (with 117 appearances), and have decided on Ramos as their future-full-time catcher.  We chose poorly.

Revised Prediction: Wilson RamosClippard
10)  How many all-stars will the Nats have?  Who?

First Ladies Answer:
2 – Ryan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.
Real Answer: 1 – Tyler Clippard.

So we get half-credit on this one, but what credit it was!  We were the only writers to correctly pick Clippard before the start of the season as a Nats All-Star representative (and game-winning pitcher).  The Nats should definitely had a second representative too…we just didn’t pick the one it should have been.

High fives
11)  Total wins and what place in the division?
First Ladies Answer: 78 Wins, 3rd Place
Current Answer:46 wins so far, currently 4th place (but only .5 game back from the Mets/3rd place)

This one is an answer we’ll just have to wait and see, but considering the Nats have played .500 ball for the first half of the season, and that they would “only” have to go 32-38 to meet our prediction, I think it’s very possible.  Especially if the Mets collapse like they have done in the past.

Livo on the mound
12)  Single most important thing for the Nats this season?

First Ladies Answer: “Consistent starting pitchers – if the pitchers can hold out longer in the games, then we won’t have to worry so much about the batters dropping the ball at the end of the game!”
Current Answer: How do you explain the Nats successes?  Consistent starting pitching is usually part of that answer.  So is improved defense, and an offense that occasionally wakes up.

(Like our pics? See all our Nats albums here)



One Response to “Mid-Season Review: “Apparently we have a thing for pitchers””

  1. 2011 End of Year Prediction Round-Up « First Ladies of Baseball Says:

    […] in February, Ashley and I made some predictions about how this year would turn out.  We did a mid-season re-evaluation of those predictions, and now present our final scores. Here’s how the scoring works: 1 point […]

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