The Panic Button: Historically Bad Losses By Historically Good Teams

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Finding it too hard to take our advice about taking the long view of things when it comes to baseball? Recent Nationals games have you on edge?  Don’t worry-you’ve hit The Panic Button – and we’ve got you covered.

Credit:  Thanks to @CBJinDC for helping me find most of these.

Let’s face it; there wasn’t anything good about the Nationals 15-0 loss Friday night to the Cincinnati Reds.  Despite the Nationals official twitter trying to polish said turd:

This was still the most lopsided loss in modern Nats history.

Despite multiple renditions of “don’t panic” and “it’s one game” from a healthy portion of Nats fans, much of Natstown just couldn’t get over how ugly it was last night.  Many seemed to be ready to pack in the season (and quite a few more are ready to send Dan Haren packing after just one start).

Still, there is every reason to expect that the Nationals can “overcome” their first loss of the season despite it hitting every branch (and Reds bat) on the ugly tree.  Why?  We turn to the only thing we have in baseball-History.  Let’s look at some really great teams and some really awful losses:

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A Collection of Unscientific Nationals Prediction Like Things

We Kid Because We...Love?

We Kid Because We…Love?

All week we’ve been talking about how predictions work and how you can, pretty accurately, take a stab at just how well a team might do (if, of course, you can figure out how many runs they’ll score/give up).

What follows flies completely in the face of al of that.  While I don’t think I can get away with talking about predictions all week and not stick my own neck out there, I can forewarn you that this is a totally unscientific, gut-checking style of prediction.  There are no stone-cold lead pipe locks, bold predictions when we get back from commercial.  These really are just a bunch of thoughts I have for the season this year.

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Get To Know A Nat: Rafael Soriano

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Welcome to “Get To Know a Nat.” There are currently 39 men on the 40 man roster, and we’re going to give you the straight scoop on all of them!  Not sure where to start with player and season previews?  Not ready to jump into heavy metrics?  Just want to get to know the players, what they do, and what to expect from them in 2013?  Then you’ve come to the right place!

Name: Rafael Soriano
Nickname(s): El Silencioso, MFIKY (Note, the MF stands for something not very nice)
DOB: December 19, 1979 (Age 33)
Twitter?: Nope.
From: San Jose De Ocoa, Dominican Republic
Position: Relief Pitcher BullPen Role:  Closer
Hand: Righty
With the Nats Since: Signed as Free Agent in 2013

It’s comparing apples and oranges, I know, but when the Nationals gave Jayson Werth  17ish Million dollars a year there was a lot of complaining that he got overpaid.  When the Nationals signed Rafael Soriano to $14M a year to basically pitch in one inning for about 70 games, the narrative seemed to be the Nationals were wisely adding a proven commodity as the last piece to a championship puzzle.  I begrudge neither man the money he earns, but can’t think of a better place to point this out so I put it here as a way to introduce our last new National.

It’s a strange world when prominent players from the New York Yankees leave to join the Washington Nationals-but this is the brave new world we live in.  Soriano is a proven closer, something the Nationals didn’t (strictly speaking) need, but was certainly on the “would be nice” list.  Soriano has played for good teams in Atlanta, Tampa and of course New York.  To the extent that playoff experience means anything, it is an added reason the Nationals will be happy to have him in the bullpen this year-to go with his ability to get batters out., of course. Continue reading