Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lazy Writing about the Nats

In an article "The Woeful Case of the Washington Nationals: an opposing fan's view," the author believes he has finally "figured out" why the Nats haven't been able to contend in the past three years. He then gives analysis based off of one game, which took place about ten days ago. Unfortunately for the author, the game was an anomaly.

The author paradoxically argues that John Lannan epitomizes the Nats, but if you take away his record against the Phillies, then he actually performs better than his team has. This "analysis" is based totally on winning percentage, a flawed stat for pitchers.

Worse still, the author says that "Washington is a team doomed by their mediocre pitchers and horrible defense." This is completely inaccurate. The game he watched was a terrible defensive game for the Nats, who have improved greatly on that side of the ball. Last year, the Nats were very bad defensively, but not this year. If the author had watched more than one game, he would know that.

He describes a misplay by "Danny Espinoza" (SIC, easy mistake when you've only seen one Nats game and have done no research for the article) and derides the rookie for poor defense. Espinosa has been a really athletic and smart defender at second; he simply had a bad game.

The author's of analysis of Nats pitching isn't as comically off base, but it's still wrong. The Nats pitchers aren't mediocre, they're wildly inconsistent. Jason Marquis is a better representative. When his sinker was on... wow. When it wasn't... yeesh.

The real problem for the 2011 Nats has been (what the author touts as their best quality) their offense. Save for a couple of stretches, it just hasn't been there. The author writes, "[They have] three hitters in their lineup who should hit about .300 or drive in about 100 runs (Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Morse and Jayson Werth)." They should (I guess), but they haven't.

The problem for the Nats the past three years has been a dearth of talent and inconsistency. Last season, the offense was good, the pitching was eh, and the defense was awful. It was a completely different formula in 2009.

I beg writers to know what they're talking about before making assertions.

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