Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to go places and do things. The weather isn't stifling hot, you can get some great scenery in the mountains, the water at the beach is still warm, and places just aren't as crowded. For a weekend traveler like myself it is pretty much the perfect season.
So, it was yesterday sitting in the stands at the game not sweating and not getting sunburnt, and watching the Nationals take two of three from the Atlanta Braves to put their playoff hopes even more in doubt. --Dave Nichols from natsnewsnetwork.com
My friend got a baseball from the Nats bullpen catcher for cheering on Sean Burnett, and I was sitting in my seats texting him in the seventh inning the second I saw Livo on the mound to tell Burnett to get in the game. Well Burnett got in the game and shut the door. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
Drew Storen has struggled at times in the nineth inning making the closer's role possibly up for grabs in Spring Training. Should Sean Burnett be given a shot? With all these stories of him shining shoes and having a golden shoe trophy if he does become the closer that clip from Goodfellas where Joe Pesci is told to go home and get his shinebox has to be played before he enters. --Adam Kilgore from washingtonpost.com
This year has been a bit of a resurgance for Livo and he could be better post 35-40 than he was 30-35 (I love the fact that we have to talk about Cuban players' ages in range) as he once again reaches 200 innings for the 10th time in his career and first since 2007. --Adam Kilgore at washingtonpost.com
The biggest question, or non-question the Nationals face this off-season is whether or not to sign Adam Dunn. The fans put their vote in this weekend, and let's all hope management was listening. --Mark Zuckerman from natsinsider.com
More on Dunn the Nats and baseball after the jump.
Outsiders don't think the Nationals or any NL team should be that interested in Adam Dunn, which might cause one's sanity to be questioned. --Mike Harris at natslooser.com
I think it is time to ask Brad Garrett what people think of Adam Dunn. --Mike Henderson from nationalsdailynews.com
The Nationals have found a new level of chemistry this season. They now have the ability to yell at each other and still be friends. --Byron Kerr at masnsports.com
One of the holes the Nationals need to fill this off-season is second base, and they might be able to do that from within if Espinosa keeps playing like he has been. --Adam Kilgore at washingtonpost.com
Another possible hole is RF, and if Michael Morse this season has shown that he might be a late bloomer and could fill that hole if given a shot. --R.J. Anderson at fangraphs.com
The Nationals are going to need a few things this off-season and one of them is a lead-off hitter. I don't exactly agree that Corey Patterson is even an option as I seem to remember that the Nationals tried that one before and it didn't work out so well. --Zach Links from mlbtraderumors.com
Some speculate that Kasten left because he couldn't convince the Lerners to spend more money. It might be that they don't even have to spend more to add significant free agents this off-season. --Ben Goessling at masnsports.com
And where does Stan Kasten go now. Could it be the Mets? --Craig Calcaterra at nbcsports.com
Or the highest position in the baseball land? --Maury Brown from bizofbaseball.com
Wherever he ends up he will be a prankster and he will be remembered by those that knew him and worked with him for his gentle ribbings. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
Around the NL East
Remember when Chase Utley broke Jesus Flores' leg with a hard play at the plate, and some questioned the cleanness of the play. Well Utley barrel-rolled through Ruben Tejeda this weekend and David Wright questioned the cleanness of that play. --Anthony DiComo from mets.com
I have said many times baseball can be compared to anything. One writer takes it upon himself to compare baseball statistics to Apple's rating system on iTunes in order to give advise to the stathead crowd. This is one of my favorite articles I have read this year.* --Will Carroll at presscoverage.us
*Maybe because it is so post-modern. I actually read the music review section in the voice that Christian Bale used when playing Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, and it made the article that much better. Connecting with the mainstream and still being artistic or in the case of statistics getting your point across is one of the hardest things to do. Those of us that do like stats and do like the new metrics need to not view baseball fans that don't like them or use them as a sub-class, but instead as people that just think differently, and through conversation and friendly debate we can move the disscussion forward and bring them into it. Some people will never be convinced of your position, but there or those out there that can be included in the conversation and want to learn. When they make a statement like, "I believe RBI and Runs have become underrated stats mainly because of people's focus on individual acheivements and things that don't contribute as much to winning." Don't scoff at them, question their intelligence, or any number of degrading things. Pretty much understand that you also aren't the smartest man in the room. Be smart enough to know you aren't smart enough to understand everything. Nicely explain your position to the person and explain why things like getting on base, working the count, taking walks, and any other number of advanced stats for measuring individual performance are better than the older stats. Will Carroll makes this point better than I ever could, and it is fun to read.
Doc Halladay vs. John Lannan tonight. Why do I get the feeling that this isn't a fair match-up and the Phillies are going to clinch the division once again against the Nats. All I want the Nats to do is to win three of their last six games to get to 70 wins. It won't be easy, but I have faith they can do it.