Game 97 WPA: Countdown to 100 losses at 51. Nats 1, LA 3

Here's your offense, Nats. HERE'S YOUR OFFENSE! - Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Yeah, the umps seem to be either incompetent or corrupt and may have cost the Nats the game, but the Nats had other chances that they missed all on their own.

Chart_31__medium

Via Fangraphs (click to embiggen)

  • Beautiful and wasted, like Lord Byron: Gio Gonzalez (+34.2%) throws six scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and 2 walks. Too bad the Nats' bats have the consumption. Enjoy your no-decision, Gio!
  • This is your champion? Chad Tracy (+11.7%) is second tonight in hitting WPA on the strength of a 3-5 night with a double. See what happens when the Chadster is the face of the offense?
  • New Moon: Jayson Werth (-27.0%) is 0-5 with 7 LOB. He should have to run laps or shave or something.
  • [CHOMP]: Roger Bernadina is briefly the hero after his pinch-hit, RBI, bloop single in the 6th (+14.4%).
  • BABIP'd: Drew Storen (-12.3%) gives up the tying run on a bloop hit in the 7th after getting two outs to get a meltdown.
  • Steeeaddyyyyyy: Tyler Clippard (+10.1%) and Rafael Soriano (+12.8%) each allow a runner but each records a shutdown, keeping the game tied in the aeyth and ninth, respectively.
  • Not. Good. Craig Stammen (-39.1%) gives up a pair of doubles to put the Nats behind in the 10th for a meltdown of his own.
  • Miscellaneous infamy: Denard Span (-13.5%) is 1-5 with 3 LOB. Anthony Rendon (-13.8%) is 0-4 with a walk. Scott Hairston gets a pinch-hit strike out with a runner on third and one out in the aeyth (-14.1%).
  • Meh: Ryan Zimmerman (+5.7%) is 3-5.

So, Doghouse, what umpires were terrible tonight?

Am I really that predictable? I suppose so. Eric Cooper was incompetent at 2B, probably costing a go-ahead chance when he called Span out in the aeyth. As for HP ump Chad Fairchild:

Fastmap_php_medium

via www.brooksbaseball.net (click to embiggen)

Squares are the Nats, and triangles are LA. Lefty strike zone looks okay, albeit a bit low. For LA.

Fastmap_php_medium

via www.brooksbaseball.net (again, click to embiggen)

So. LA got jobbed once in the middle of the zone, but they got a lot of low calls, lower than the Nats did.

Why was Werth so mad?

Well, both he and Desmond got called out on the pitches right on the edge of the zone, but they were strikes. They were even on the edge of the rulebook zone, not the dashed "as typically called" on the plots above. I'm assuming the frustration just boiled over for him and Desi, but the beef with the ump wasn't a bad call, at least not in the tenth. Feel free to call Fairchild a bum next time you see him at a game, though. And especially call that no-good bum Cooper a no-good bum!

A random note on lineup optimization

Someone asked in the comments last night about optimizing lineups. The chapter in the seminal sabre treatise The Book (by Tango, Lichtman, and Dolphin) dealing with that subject pegs the value of optimizing a realistic lineup of 9 players at 10-15 runs per season, or about a win to one-and-a-half wins. Any errors Davey has made in constructing the lineup (since it's probably not that far off from optimum, even if it isn't optimal), are likely to have cost the Nats a quarter of a win or less so far this season.

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