The Nationals are staring at yet another season of 90 loses. They would have to go 11-5 in the 16 remaining games to avoid it, and with a ten game homestand and only one road series, after the one in Philly this weekend, against the Mets avoiding 90 loses isn't impossible, but highly unlikely.
Maxwell belted a grand slam and John Lannan continued to strike batters out (what happenned to him in AA) as the Nationals took the game and series from Atlanta. --Dave Nichols from natsnewsnetwork.com
More on the resurgance of John Lannan. This should have been titled Crouching Delivery, Hidden Sinker. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
A lot of people don't like it when managers give the politically correct answer to the media. --Chris Needham from dc.sbnation.com
I do have to say I don't think Riggleman is the best manager out there from his overuse of Willie Harris and Miguel Batista to his weird unwillingness to sit Nyjer Morgan ever and his undying love of the double switch he has frustrated more often than not, but the biggest problem with the team right now is talent level.
Is Team Riggleman vs. Team Other Guy going to become as popular as Team Felix vs. Team C.C.? I doubt it, but Bos joins in the fray while pointing out how awesome Showalter is and how blah Riggleman is. --Thomas Boswell in The Washington Post
Sign Adam Dunn. --Ryan Korby from washingtonpost.com
Side note on this blog entry. Everytime I see a first baseman's UZR posted it seems to be negative, and first base is the least important defensive position. Is it possible that a negative UZR is actually average for a position?
When Wang was signed everyone was expecting him to be a contender for comeback player of the year, and when Livan was signed no one was expecting him to make the team. Things just haven't worked out that way. --Thom Loverro in The Washington Examiner
Mike Rizzo's blog and other links after the jump.
Tyler Moore did an OK job this past season and might have raised his stock a little bit, and it might be enough for him to skip a level. If Dunn doesn't return and whoever is signed is struggling and Moore has a great Spring Training and is tearing up AAA we could see him sometime in May or June next season, but it will take a lot of stars aligning. --Mike Rizzo via Ben Goessling at masnsports.com
Sean Burnett is good. --Adam Kilgore at washingtonpost.com
Who will be at the instructional league besides you know who? A lot of people. I will let our friendly neighborhood minors expert take care of the real breakdown of this list. --Mark Zuckerman from natsinsider.com
Byrce Harper's professional career is set to begin, and the AFL could still be on the table. --Adam Kilgore from washingtonpost.com
MLB could be waiting to suspend Nyjer Morgan until his suspension mirrors the exact number of games the Nationals have left. Just a theory from one online source, but his thinking makes since as Nyjer would just suddenly disapear. --Craig Calcaterra from nbcsports.com
The Nationals have a chance to have a say in who wins the NL East, but are they really trying to be a spoiler or just playing out the rest of their season. --Adam Kilgore from washingtonpost.com
Around the NL East
Bobby Cox as a corn maze. --'Duk from yahoosports.com
The Philles are once again the team to beat in the NL. --Jon Heyman from si.com
Braves in trouble after losing to the lowly Nationals (seriously after 3 years of this they should just put it on the jersey). --Joe Lemire from si.com
At the beginning of this month the Braves looked like a lock fro the playoffs. Now they have lost the NL East lead and have the Rockies and Giants breathing down their necks for the wild card lead. Should they now be concerned that they might miss the playoffs entirely? --Joe Pawlikowski
Billy Beane or John Daniels could really help the Mets and be scary news for the rest of the NL East, but I doubt either would want to go there. --William Yoder at thenatsblog.com
Not all positions are created equally, and WAR adjusts for this*. An explanation of Ryan Howard's WAR when compared to Mark Reynolds. --Bill Baer at crashburnalley.com
*People are always setting up this tradionalist vs. sabr type of argument like old timers never realized that different positions were more or less defensively important. I don't really think this is the case. We hear all the time old baseball sayings of power at the corners defense up the middle, but even among the power positions there was an understanding of defensive hierarchy. Sometimes the new stats just confirm the old way of thinking. Sometimes it seems to me the people that argue against certain stats would argue against anything if it went against what they believed.
The great baseball book Ball Four is forty years old. --Jay Jaffe from pinestripedbible.com
A vote for Bella to choose Team C.C. --Paul Hoynes at cleveland.com
Stat minded people get critized for paying more attention to numbers than to the games themselves, but should writers be critized for wanting to choose players because it makes for a more interesting story? --Craig Calcaterra from nbcsports.com
Everyone wants you to believe home field advantage is real and meaningful, but it might not matter one bit in the playoffs. --Joe Sheehan from si.com
In the war of traditional media vs. blogger one columnist would like bloggers to pay $10,000.00 to be credentialed. Personally I like it how the Nationals did it and picked blogs based on merit. Who's to say that someone with $10,000.00 is any less crazy than someone without? --Barry Petchesky at deadspin.com
It seems like the Nationals have more off days now than they did towards the beginning of the season. Anyway enjoy your night tonight, and see you tomorrow with more daily links and news.