Posts Tagged ‘pirates’

May 16, 2012: Nationals vs Pirates

May 21, 2012

We’ll start off this post with an apology: there are posts to be posted, and we haven’t posted them.  Life gets in the way.  In this case, I have been the one who should have been posting, and I’m currently out of town (and yet, writing this), but the hope is that being out of town may also give you some interesting stuff to read.  Curious?  Look for a post later in the week that will explain things.  For now, we’ll go back 5 days to the Nats’ first game against the Pirates on Wednesday.  As a note – I was at the game with my brother and due to a decision to keep score – all photos are taken by him (using my camera).

And there’s nothing like watching the offense work together when things are going well.  We got to witness Bryce Harper hustle out his first MLB triple, and then watch as Ryan Zimmerman sacrificed to bring him home and give the Nats the early lead (spoiler alert: they never lost it).  It’s good to see the Face of the Franchise working with the Young Gun to make big things happen.

We got to see home runs.  LOTS of home runs.  There was Ian Desmond leading off the third with a solo shot.  And then in the sixth, we got to watch Adam LaRoche and Xavier Nady hit back-to-back bombs.

Later in the game, with the bases loaded, LaRoche would hit a 3-RBI double to earn his 1000th major league hit.  Great stuff.

And while the Pirates kept up and were within 1 run for most of the game, everyone on the team played their part to close things out for a curly-W.

On a personal note – the fact that it was Military Appreciation night was special for me.  In addition to my brother, my younger sister joined us for the game.  She’s been in the Navy for 5 years now, and loved being able to come see her hometown Nats for free (and having an excuse to wear the camo Nats cap)!  Spending a perfect night for baseball with my siblings is about as nice a thing as anyone could ask for.

Full photo set from this game can be found here.
And thanks to my bro for playing Jimmy Olsen to my Lois Lane.  🙂


Joint May Prediction Post: First Ladies of Baseball and Crunching Through My Day

April 30, 2012

The Nats have been off to an awesome start in the month of April.  To end the month at 14-8 is somewhat unexpected.  Fans were optimistic before opening day, but I’m not sure that anyone would have predicted how many ways our boys on the field would find ways to win (despite the frustrating road trip to California).

And now we leave the first month, and we start to have some real data to work with instead of merely making guesses based on limited opportunities.  But because I’m not REALLY a baseball math person, I called up someone who is – Drew, husband of First Lady Ashley, who also writes a stats blog called Crunching Through My Day.  We’re going to try something new this month, and depending on how things go…this could be a semi-regular thing.  Let us know what you think, and we’ll see what happens.

The next month is going to be the Nats first real challenge.  Everyone said that their opening schedule was one where they had a chance to dominate, and clearly they did since they sit tied for first at the top of the NL leaderboard.  What we’re going to do is go series-by-series and using Maggie’s guts and Drew’s computer programs, try to predict how things will look by the end of the month.  We’ll address the first four teams the Nats will face in today’s post on FLoB, and the back half’s opponents tomorrow on Crunching Through My Day.

Arizona Diamondbacks – 5/1-3

Currently, the DBacks sit in the middle of the NL West with a record of #-#.  After this series, the next time they’ll see the Nats is the middle of August, once things get interesting.  Last year the Nats were 2-5 against the D-backs who finished 1st in the NL West with a record of 94-68.  With that history and the back end of our rotation facing Arizona, Maggie predicts: 1-2.

The Dbacks are an enigma to me since I hear so little about them.  Looking at the #s this will be an interesting series for the Nats. Arizona’s pitching looks awful, allowing 1.09 HR/9 and a 4.01 FIP. 290 BABIP. The Pirates aren’t that bad.  However, their offense seems better than most.  This should be a real series with the Nats pitching strength pitted against their offense and their poor pitching against our abysmal offense.  After the series with the Dodgers, I’m going to say that our offense won’t get it done here.  One upping Maggie and saying a sweep.

Philadelphia Phillies – 5/4-6, 21-23

The Nationals will take on the Phillies twice in the month of May – during the first weekend of May for the highly touted “Our Park” initiative, followed by a trip to Citizens Bank Park towards the end of the month.  They’ll face the fury of Strasburg during the first series, and will see the middle of the rotation up in Philly.  Maggie predicts 2-1 for the first meeting, and 1-2 for the second (we’ll blame the Philthies for that) for an even 3-3 for the month of May.Drew:
The Philthies suffered a huge set back this spring with Howard and Utley going on the DL.  While questions swirled about whether or not their pitching would be enough to carry them through the NL.  Through April, the results aren’t pretty.  The Phillies pitching staff has pitched pretty middling, with middle of the NL stats in K/9, BB/9 and BABIP (oddly enough, their FIP is 2nd in the NL behind the Nats).  Their offense has been fairly nondescript which probably explains their record.  While April results don’t have much bearing on post season outcomes, particularly for the Philthies, I’m not counting them out yet. Playing the Nats brings out the best in both teams (and the worst in Philthies fans).  For the two series, I’m going to say that there’s a split, with the Philthies taking 2 of the first 3 and the Nats taking the 2 of the last 3.

Pittsburgh Pirates – 5/8-10, 16-17Maggie:
The Pirates are a team that I always feel bad for.  They haven’t had a winning season since 1992, and they’ve been dumped on for so long in a way that the Nationals only had to endure for a few seasons.  They’ll face off for a three game series in Pittsburgh, followed by a 2 game series a week later in DC.  Maggie says 2-1 for the first series, and 1-1 for the second, leaving a prediction of 3-2 for the month.

I agree with you Maggie. Despite the fact that Sid Bream sliding into home is still the most exciting baseball moment of my life (Braves win! Braves win!), I feel bad for the Pirates.  Even for a bad team, they’re underperforming.  The Pirates pitching is ok but their offense atrocious, falling near the bottom in BABP, H, HR, and K%. Pair that against the Nationals pitching and  I’m calling for a sweep in the first series and a split in the second.   Assuming the Nats actually hit, that is.

Cincinnati Reds – 5/11-13

The Nats played the Reds as their first home stand of the year and took 3 of 4.  If the Nats stay on top of their game, I bet we’ll see another win…even if they are playing this series in Ohio.  Maggie predicts: 2-1.

While the Nats took 3 of 4 from the Reds at home, they got lucky.  Going into the 8th  inning of each game, the Nats’ win probability was 94.8, 21.6,  94.2, and 50.0.   Games 1, 2, and 4 went into extra innings and the Nats lost the last one. The Nats could have easily lost the first two of those games and we’d be looking at a very different season right now.  While the Reds haven’t been outstanding, they’ve got a core that’s as good as the Nats. I’m afraid the ball is going to bounce their way in the series. I’m going to be a downer here and say the baseball gods will smile on the Reds with a sweep.

We’ll finish up the rest of our thoughts tomorrow on Crunching Through My Day.  Be sure to check back for the thrilling finale (haha) where we reveal how we think the Nats will finish out the month.

June 8, 2010: Washington Nationals vs Pittsburgh Pirates (Strasburg’s Debut)

June 9, 2010

Strasburg's first pitch

Game: #059 – Nationals vs. Pirates
Starting Pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (#37, 1-0, 2.57) vs. Jeff Karstens (#27, 1-2, 5.20)
Final Score: Nationals: 5, Pirates: 2
Nats New Record: 28-31
Plays of the Game: The Home-run derby that this game became.  Yes, Strasburg made his debut, but Zimmerman, Dunn and Willingham all proved that they will not be forgotten.
Player of the Game: Stephen Strasburg – who else?  Dominated this game from beginning to the end of the 7th inning.  Gave up a home-run but didn’t get flustered.  14 strikeouts and 0 walks.  As Maggie tweeted last night, it’s like asking for a pony for Christmas, and getting a baby unicorn.
Favorite Non-baseball Moment: Strassy gets two shaving cream pies to the face in quick succession, followed by a crowning with the silver Elvis wig.
Who was there: Ashley, Maggie, Maggie’s Dad, and 40,000+ of their closest friends.
Our Records: Ashley – 5-5; Maggie – 4-7, Maggie’s Dad – 3-3
Where did we sit: Ashley was quick on the draw at ticket time and got us three seats in Section 108, Row X (closer to the field than you would think).  A good view, good access to concessions and restrooms, and a couple of balls came to our general area (a few fouls, and the Hammer homer), which could prove interesting in the future.
What did we eat: Maggie and her dad started off with hot dogs that were so ordinary (but good!), that they forgot to photograph them.  Ashley had a much more photogenic and value-oriented meal – the Shrimp Po Boy from the Triple Play Grill.  This was definitely $9 worth of food, but like many of the other sandwiches at Nats park, the bun fell apart rather quickly (like many of the other buns with Nats park sandwiches).  She ended up eating the (heavily battered) shrimp by themselves without the bread.  During the bottom of the sixth inning (yes – we missed Dunn’s homer, we’re still sad about that), Ashley and Maggie ventured to the Nutty Bavarian to get cinnamon roasted nuts and a churro for Maggie’s Dad.  Unfortunately Ashley got the last bag of pecans (she’s very sorry!) and Maggie had to settle for the cashews, which were still delicious.
President’s Race: It was like the 3rd field gate exploded with the Racing Presidents, Racing Pierogies, Non-racing Sausages, and the two random guys on Segways (who were they, anyway?). Quite the event. Still sad that Teddy didn’t win (Tom took the checkered flag just ahead of our beloved Rough Rider), but we honestly think we would have exploded from Nats awesomeness if that had happened.

Other Observations:

– Tuesday, June 8 will probably go down as the most perfect night of baseball that Ashley or Maggie (or Maggie’s Dad) will ever see.  It was so perfect, and in ways we didn’t expect. The metro was crowded, but not unreasonably so, and the traffic driving into the city was heavy, but again – not unreasonably so. There weren’t huge lines at Will Call or the Ticket lines. There weren’t huge lines to get food/beer (and what lines there were seemed to move quickly… which we chalk up to having better trained servers and more places open). The weather was beautiful – not too hot, not too cold, low humidity, and no bugs. The stands were full of people cheering for our team. People were actually enjoying the game, and paying attention – yelling at each other to stand when the count got to two strikes. There 100mph fastballs, double plays, and homeruns! It was everything that was good about baseball distilled into 2.5 hours.
– Ashley met Ken Burns (who threw the first pitch), and thought that was pretty neat. She didn’t get a chance to really talk to him because they were moving the line along, but he was really nice and friendly.  Ken also told Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog that Strasburg’s start was “unbelievable”.

Ken Burns ceremonial pitch

President's Race

Spotlight on Strasburg

Pie and Wig

(a VERY full album from this game can be seen here)
(LOTS more videos from other games can be seen here)