Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nats All The Rage...

...For the wrong reason.

While the entire baseball world has caught Nationals fever, many of them have caught for the wrong reason. Instead of caring about how the team has the best record in baseball, the deepest farm system in baseball, or just the best all around big league roster in baseball, they are all focused on one thing: Stephen Strasburg's innings limit.

And boy does EVERYBODY have an opinion! I'm not going to state mine here, though, because I've already done that here and here. Restating it would just be redundant.

But, I am very saddened that when the Nationals segment comes on Baseball Tonight on ESPN all they talk about his Stephen Strasburg. We get it, he's the Nationals ace pitcher and the best player on the team. Every time he takes the mound he's almost a guaranteed win and yes, you're right, he would be wonderful to have in the playoffs,



What about their depth? Did you know that since the Nationals lost ALL-STAR shortstop Ian Desmond, they've played some of their best baseball? That's right! They've gone 19-6 without thanks in great part to the play of Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi. Those two have pick up their play not just in the field, but in the batters box as well. They have both been productive hitters and have knocked in numerous RBI.

What about the return of Jayson Werth and Michael Morse? Those guys returned TO FORM. They didn't waste anytime trying to "get back in the groove of things". They came off the DL and played like they had never left.

What about the dominance of Jordan Zimmermann? His ERA this season is 2.38. What's Strasburg's ERA? 2.91. Zimmermann has a WHIP of 1.09. Strasburg has a WHIP of 1.13. What about Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, and Ross Detwiler? While they may not have as good of numbers as Strasburg, they have been superb on the mound and all of them are pitching well enough to the ACE on a few other teams in the MLB. Instead, the Nationals have 5 ace's on their rotation.

What about Tyler Clippard? The All-Star reliever turned shutdown closer. He's sixth in the National League with 25 saves and tenth in the MLB. And guess what...he has been the closer all season long! He picked up that job about a month into the season.

What about how the Nationals are nearing the completion of one of the greatest single season turn-around's in MLB history? A team that struggled to a near .500 record last season now holds the best record in baseball just one year later. There's something you can talk about on your radio and TV shows.

My point being, there is so much more to talk about that what people are saying. I understand that Stephen Strasburg's innings limit is a big deal, but that's only due to the incredible play from the rest of the team. Without their winning ways, Strasburg being shutdown wouldn't even be a storyline because they wouldn't be headed to the playoffs.

So while everyone is talking about the innings limit and what the Nats should do with Stephen Strasburg, just keep this one thing in mind....

Baseball is a team sport...and Stephen Strasburg is not the only reason why him being shutdown is a big deal.

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