Is the hype to be believed? Could the Nationals actually contend this year?
Could they actually contend? Hmm… does watching a pitcher’s duel strike me with uncontainable bonerjamz? HELL to the YES, my friend! There are 159 games left in the season, and the Nats could win ’em all!
Or not. Still, this is not your embarrassing Expo leftover Natinal squad of old; rather, this is a team with bona fide pitching, timely bats and a revered sage at the helm! Do you think Davey Johnson thinks they can contend? I’d bet my 1986 eight-ball wrapper collection he does.
And why not? Without Howard and Utley for a good stretch, the Phillies find themselves offensively challenged. The Braves, still salty from their epic fail of 2011, certainly don’t have all the answers. I’m not convinced the Marlins are really any better than they were before they decided to blind us with ugly and the Mets are the Mets (though don’t sleep on them either, as a .500 season is not entirely out of the question).
The truth is, the NL East isn’t as predictable as it used to be. And the addition of another wild card team makes it possible to hope a little longer.
But the number one reason why the Natinals have a legitimate shot at competing for a playoff spot this year is… The ONE.
Okay, wrong ONE. But believe me, to Stephen Strasburg, there is no spoon. Also taking the red pill this year are Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiler and (presumably) John Lannan. That’s one helluva starting rotation+.
When Bryce Harper eventually finds his way into the rabbit hole, there will be even MORE reason to respect the potential of the Washington Nationals (not to mention a tomfoolery fodder spike for Deadspin).
Would I put big money on the Nats now? Maybe not. Would I put money on them to be a cellar dweller? Absolutely not. This team could find its identity and they could do it as soon as now. They could be the ’11 D’backs or the ’08 Rays.
Better yet, they could be the 2012 Nationals. (see what I did there?)
Hate me ‘cuz I love Stephen Strasburg as if he were one of my own, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
After a rough night of Pirate inspired debauchery, Jeff and Johanna clear the cobwebs (and police reports) to make room for special guest, Paul Lebowitz. It doesn’t take long for them to get riled up as they touch on the evil FOX chimera Joe McCarver, Clint Hurdle’s Pirates, the White Sox’s diamond impotence and much, much more!
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Recorded Saturday, July 16, 2011
Looks like the Tigers made a deal. Will Washburn be our savior now or is Jake Peavy the nail in the coffin for the White Sox?
Farmington Hills, MI
question Mandy. And it’s pretty amusing that Peavy ended up on the
White Sox after all those rumors about him going to the Cubs. Man,
Piniella must be spittin’ mad right about now. But I digress. You asked
about Washburn and to Washburn we will go. And the simple answer is, I
See, starting pitching really hasn’t been the
Tigers’ problem this year. They have Verlander and Jackson in the
rotation and both of them are All-Stars.
Washburn does improve the rotation but that isn’t going to matter much
if the Tigers’ hitters continue coming up short and if the bullpen
can’t hold a lead. Zumaya is out for the rest of the season, Lyon has
been a bust and Rodney may be converting most of his save opportunities but
he’s shaky enough that you almost wish Todd Jones was still there.
The main problem with your question, Mandy, is that it’s
irrelevant. I don’t say that to be mean, it’s just that the American League central, and, by extension, your question, is
irrelevant. Whether the Twins, Tigers or White Sox take the crown, they
can’t possibly measure up against a loaded Angels club or the Red Sox and
Yankees. The talent, like the rivers, flows from the continental divide to the coasts and,
despite occasional flukes, there’s a reason that the same teams from
the same cities tend to be in the hunt every year.
make the White Sox better? Sure. Does Washburn make Detroit better? Of course.
But does it matter when the Red Sox already have a stacked pitching
staff and then added Victor Martinez behind the plate? Or how about
the Phillies with the addition of Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez?
Now Mandy, don’t get me wrong. I think the rest of the season in the AL Central should be a dogfight and it will probably go right down to the wire. The couple of wins that a Peavy or a Washburn can get you might make all the difference. But that difference doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when you get to the playoffs and face these other teams.
There is good news, though. Although it sometimes seems like everything is going wrong and the Tigers’ chances are as barren as nonagenarian cloistered sister, I always have someplace I can turn. And that, Mandy, is worth it’s weight in gold.