Morning Wood: Bae Comes Back

bryce harper back

What a bunch of losers.

Your fan base is so bad that it doesn’t know right from wrong, basic good vs. evil.

The decision to boo Bryce Harper was so laughably uninformed and wrong-headed that not only did it have the exact opposite effect, spurring him on to a 3-5 performance with a double, home run and 3 RBIs, but it also showed what a classless bunch of sad sacks Nats fans are, all 8 of them and the 2 who remained after the Phillies rained down a hailstorm of extra base hits into their cavernous baseball diorama.

Maybe if the handful of congressional aides who root for the Nationals had looked up from Politico and stopped pining for Mike Allen’s Playbook long enough yesterday to see the big, hulking article in Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post detailing the pair of offers whose structure resembled something more akin to a life insurance annuity than a contract befitting one of the best athletes on the planet they would have known to direct their boos to the owner’s box and not onto the field.

That’s the difference between Phillies fans and singular Nats fan, lone Wolf Blitzer– we would have been clued in to that subtle dynamic and channeled our vitriol according. Dopey Nats fans just brought their weeny little signs and half-assed attempts to feign something even resembling a real fan base.

Hey, losers, boo this:

Let’s Wood!

Blastoff

Bob tackled the home run already, but let’s see that in an instant replay:

 

The bat flip

Gimme:

 

The bow

The funny thing is, Harper had already used up his bow for the evening after his RBI base hit earlier. When he returned to the field after the home run, a simple nod and hat tip was all he could offer. It’s like even he didn’t want to fully bury Nationals fans after just one round. Though had he taken a curtain call after the home run, it somehow wouldn’t have felt out-of-place. In fact, it would have been just right.

 

Numbers

Bryce Harper is batting .429 with a 1.770 OPS, two doubles, three home runs, and five RBIs. He has reached base on more than half of his plate appearances and he’s hitting the ball farther than he ever has before. His 458-foot home run last night came on the heels of his 465-foot blast the other day, giving him two of the three longest home runs in baseball this year. He only had two 450+ foot home runs all of last season.

 

Who wore it better?

Who do you think spent more time practicing their dig in the mirror last night, Tom McCarthy or the Nats’ Twitter person?

I’m gonna give the edge to T-Mac here. I like feisty T-Mac, when it’s obvious the Nationals are building their entire branding campaign and identity this year around hating Bryce Harper. Oppo research that turns up nothing.

McCarthy after Harper’s first strike out: “These Nats fans have never won a championship since coming back to DC, but they’re celebrating as if they’ve won something.”

Nats Twitter person after both strike outs:

The best part is, the Nats’ account didn’t Tweet until 100 minutes later, when they cut it to 8-2. They never mentioned Harper again. Weird.

 

The Latin Quarter came up strong

Cesar Hernandez-Odubel Herrera-Maikel Franco were a combined 6-9 with four runs scored.

 

Tom McCarthy reads Crossing Broad

Last night, T-Mac noted why it made sense to sit Aaron Nola, citing his stats after five days rest.

Sounded familiar:

And here are his career rest splits:

Four Days: 41 games, 17-18, 4.73 ERA, .256 BA, 30 HR allowed, .426 SLG% .735 OPS, 1.281 WHIP
Five Days: 43 games, 23-7, 2.29 ERA, .210 BA, 21 HR allowed .309 SLG%, .580 OPS, 1.036 WHIP

I see you, Tommy. Give me some code on the broadcast today.

 

Dopey little Nats fans

 

Wave

The wave is quickly becoming the best thing about the 2019 Phillies. I mean:

More of this, please.

 

Betting

From yesterday:

I don’t know why you’d read any other site!

 

Hardballs

Actual analysis from Bob

Gabe Kapler once again rolled with the same eight position players in last night’s game. That streak will continue this afternoon as the same lineup will take the field again and it speaks volumes about the manager’s confidence in what he’s working with. Unfairly criticized for his lack of lineup continuity last season, because the lineup was, um, trash, Kapler didn’t start the same eight position players in four straight games until early June. Amazing how we’re seeing some consistency from him after receiving upgrades from what was just slightly better than a JV offense. Now he has one that is currently posting MLB’s second-best OPS (.965) and top-ranked slugging percentage (.577). Yeah, it’s early, but these guys can rake.

Some other way-too-early rankings from the Phillies’ offense: BB% (2nd), OBP (3rd), ISO (1st). Nerd shit, I know, but let’s put it like this—the Phillies have the third-lowest O-Swing% (out of zone swing percentage) thus far, meaning they’re being selective at the plate and capitalizing on opposing pitchers’ mistakes. That’s the name of the game, and while this level of production isn’t entirely sustainable, some of the deeper numbers suggest that what we’re seeing isn’t exactly a fluke.

If you want a practical application of those pitch selection numbers, take a look at what the lineup did last night against Max Scherzer. Indeed, Scherzer had nine strikeouts and only allowed one earned run, but the Phillies had him out of the game after only five innings because he threw 96 pitches. They won’t just rely on the long ball, they’ll continuously grind away at opposing starters. Pair that with their considerable power potential, and, well, good luck, National League.

Finally, Aaron Nola goes today. I wrote yesterday about why it was smart of Kapler to hold his ace back another day. Take a look at Nola’s rest splits from last season:

Four Days: 13 games, 7-4, 2.71 ERA, .201 BA, 11 HR allowed, .359 SLG% .611 OPS

Five Days: 17 games, 10-1, 1.83 ERA, .186 BA, 4 HR allowed, .261 SLG% .521 OPS

And here are his career rest splits:

Four Days: 41 games, 17-18, 4.73 ERA, .256 BA, 30 HR allowed, .426 SLG% .735 OPS, 1.281 WHIP

Five Days: 43 games, 23-7, 2.29 ERA, .210 BA, 21 HR allowed .309 SLG%, .580 OPS, 1.036 WHIP

That’s what using your data to maximize player output looks like. Nola faces Anibal Sanchez, with extra rest, and a scorching-hot team behind him. I didn’t know it was possible to feel this level of serenity so early in the season.

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7 Comments

  • Kate Devlin April 3, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I would love to handle Bryces morning wood but it’s only 4 erect inches, unfortunately

    Reply
  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ April 3, 2019 at 9:58 am

    To be fair, we boo’d the shit out of Werth for leaving despite the phils barely even giving him an offer. Pretty much the same thing that we’re blasting the nats fans for.

    Reply
    • Jay D April 3, 2019 at 11:01 am

      was just gonna say this. Werth won a world series too, then left. Nevvvvver understood the booing for him.
      lot of dumb sports fans

      Reply
    • Not apples to apples April 3, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      What you are forgetting is that Werth said some disparaging things about the Phillies after he signed with the Nats.

      Reply
  • SO Taguchi - Phillies Legend April 3, 2019 at 10:44 am

    The line changes as of 10:30 am in Vegas are trending back down with recent money coming in on the Nats after initial bets overnight favored the Phils. I say this is a stayaway after an emotional win, Nola or not. But I’m not your dad, its your money.

    Reply
    • Jimmy The Greek April 3, 2019 at 11:13 am

      The line exists to make the casino money.
      It is not a clear indicator of the expected outcome of the game.
      Anyone who uses it as such is a fucking idiot.

      Reply
  • I said Boo-urns April 3, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I actually gained a lot of respect from that fan-base, those were some passionate boos!

    Reply
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