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Sorry Nats fans, but history is not written by the losers

Oct 13, 2012, 8:53 AM EDT

Stephen Strasburg

Yeah, it’s totally crazy to think that the team is better with one of the best pitchers in baseball.  In a postseason where anything can happen, and where nine of the ten teams who enter will not leave alive, it’s always the case that the best on-paper team wins it. The ones who lose never ever wish that they had an extra ace pitcher at their disposal. It’s ludicrous to suggest otherwise.

Craig Calcaterra, quite sarcastically, on September 3, 2012.

Cheap shot? Sorry, get used to it Nats fans. And not from me (well, not just from me).  Because after last night’s stunning loss, you don’t get to write the history of the 2012 Washington Nationals. Everyone else does. That history is going to always mention Stephen Strasburg, and your arguments to the contrary won’t matter. That’s just how it goes.

At the outset, yes, there were so, so many non-Strasburg reasons the Nats lost that lead and then the series last night.  Drew Storen not throwing strikes in the ninth. Davey Johnson sticking with him (and pitching him the previous couple of days too). Ian Desmond not getting to that Descalso single. Any number of things that happened while the Cards chip, chip chipped away at the 6-0 lead throughout the game.

And as I said on Wednesday after the loss that put Washington down 2-1 in the series: the failures were many. The offense in games 2-3 (and 1 and 4 too, though that didn’t matter). Jordan Zimmermann and Edwin Jackson pitching poorly. The Cards, you know, being good. In light of that, it is overly simplistic to say that having Stephen Strasburg available would have given the series to Washington. Any number of other things could have given the series to Washington. The Nats could have and almost did advance without him.

But people are certainly saying it this morning and they’re going to say it all winter.  And frankly, I don’t have a problem with that, even if it doesn’t represent the best and sharpest analysis in the world. For the simple reason that when you lose and lose big like Washington did, you no longer get to author your own narrative. The Nationals, their fans, and a great number of the team’s surrogates in the media set the terms of debate in the middle of the season and those terms were uncompromising: “this team was good enough to win the World Series without Stephen Strasburg!” they said. And woe be to anyone who suggested that wasn’t the case. We could kiss their press pass if we disagreed.

That is now undeniably not the case, and it would be beyond hubris to say “but we were good enough, we were!” The losers never get to set the narrative. Just ask the Buffalo Bills fans who want their great early 90s run recognized as a success rather than a failure. Just ask Atlanta Braves fans (cough, cough) who have tried for years to say that their team was better than any other one-time World Series champ. Ask anyone else who roots for a team that, however good, doesn’t follow through on its promise. You can say you were good enough among friends and you can all make yourself feel better about things by doing so, but you’re never going to convince anyone else of it. Sports don’t work that way. Winners are the winners and losers are the losers, and when you conspicuously tempt fate and conventional wisdom the way the Nationals did with Strasburg, the voices calling you losers will be even louder.

Nats fans can look at Zimmermann and Jackson’s bad starts and say “hey, they would have started anyway, so it’s not the fault of the shutdown.”  They can look at Ross Detwiler‘s great start on Thursday and say Stephen Strasburg’s playoff rotation replacement did just as good a job as Strasburg would have done, if not better.  They can also say that they twice came within one strike of advancing last night, and Stephen Strasburg would not have been throwing those pitches.  But guess what: it’s futile.

Because everyone else will note that the Nationals (a) willingly chose to enter the playoffs with their best pitcher on the bench; (b) lost a series in which they gave up 32 runs and had only one quality start in five games; and (c) used a starting pitcher in relief in Game 5 on short rest, so all hands — except for their best hand — were obviously on deck.

And no matter what holes you can poke in that argument, Nats fans, the fact is that your team did not advance. They lost, and losers do not get to write the history when it comes to such matters. Believe me. I know from experience.

148 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. hushbrother - Oct 13, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    It’s funny, isn’t it, how we all feel so much antipathy towards fans of the other teams in our divisions. How many weeks ago did you write the first draft of this post, Craig? Back in August?

    As an incidental note, according to the Chicago Cubs, the Nats would have been totally out of line and bush league if they had tried to steal bases when they were up 6-0.

    • deep64blue - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      That’s a hell of a point re the Cubs, really yesterday should silence that nonsense forever (it won’t but it should).

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      As far as your last statement goes, until the other team goes up to the plate and just rests the bat on their shoulders because they’ve given up you can steal as many bases as you want. I’m not trying to run up the score but if the other team, playoff or not, is still swinging the bat it means they are trying to score runs. If they’re still trying to score than so is my team.

    • seeyoulater11 - Oct 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Craig you are a horrible biased writer. It truly is amazing you are allowed to keep your job.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        This is a blog and he readily admits he writes opinion.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        What’s amazing is that anyone who believes this would voluntarily come to this blog. I’m not just talking about SeeYouLater11, but anyone who gave him a thumbs-up.

      • blacksables - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        That’s actually some pretty damn good writing, and not just posting to a blog. Good work, Craig. Less fluff pieces and more of this, please.

      • randiego62234 - Oct 13, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        @18thstreet: And yet, HERE U ARE !!!

      • 18thstreet - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        RandieGo — I’ve said it many times: I love this bar.

  2. psunick - Oct 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    And just how many years have Yankee fans boasted that their team was the best (about 100, I believe), and didn’t win the World Series?

    Translated: big deal. Washington thought they’d win, and they didn’t.

    Who cares.

    • 4cornersfan - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Actually, 27 times out of the 100. And 40 times in those 100 years they won the American League pennant. It ain’t bragging if you can do it. No other team is even close, especially, the Nats, Senators, or whatever else a Washington team has been called. What marked Washington this year was their hubris. They thought that they were going to win everything and told everybody about it. They decided that they were so good that they didn’t need their best pitcher in the post-season and that decision probably cost them the ALDS. A little humility might have served them well.

      • robnan27 - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        To some, the truth hurts!

      • atworkident - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        So you are saying they lost 73 out of 100 years. Not shabby but that is still being wrong more often than right. At least Pirates fans have had a better grasp on reality.

  3. dcfan4life - Oct 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    1 strike not going our way and we Nats fans are losers? Really? I cant disagree with you more. The Braves had a dynasty. And in my mind its still going. I mean if every year you got a chance to win it all, every year your there and it may work out, i mean thats something. Some of you fans dont even understand. Go at least 20 years without winning anything, like most of the league. The Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals, Giants, Phillies, and Braves have dominated the last 15 years. Thats 6/8 usual playoff teams being virtually the same every year. And your complaining cuz the Braves won just once. Well thats one more than the Cubs in 106 years, any Washington baseball team in 79 years, the Indians in 64 years, or the Pirates in 33 years. Oh and the Padres, Astros, Rockies, Rays, Brewers, Rangers, and Mariners have never won. The Cubs, Pirates, Dodgers, Orioles, Nationals, Brewers, Mariners, Athletics and Twins have had over 20 years since even being in a World series, with the Nats and Mariners never going. The Cubs havent been since 1945. Dont take for granted getting to the playoffs, especially in baseball which in my mind has the fewest surprises in sports.

    • florida76 - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      The Atlanta Braves never had a dynasty, one world title in 1995 simply doesn’t qualify.

    • shzastl - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Loser mentality.

      He didn’t say the fans were “losers”, but the Nats are the “loser” of that series, it’s a fact.

    • dino1730 - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      The Phillies were awful until about 2005. They had some ok seasons, but for the most part had some pretty bad teams prior to it. Even the Giants ad several below .500 seasons after their 2002 World Series appearance. Not sure that can be considered dominating the last 15 years.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:25 PM

        I guess those great late 70′s Phillies teams and the world Championship in 1980 are just a figment of my imagination.

    • dino1730 - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      The Phillies were awful until about 2005. They had some ok seasons, but for the most part had some pretty bad teams prior to it. Even the Giants ad several below .500 seasons after their 2002 World Series appearance. Not sure that can be considered dominating the last 15 years

  4. bmacdbad - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    My question is this. Who is Craig Calcaterra? Is he some guy who thinks he knows everything about how an organization is run? How about this Craig. Jordan Zimmermann after suffering an arm injury and getting Tommy John surgery was limited to the amount of innings he pitched the following season. The Nationals organization did the same this year with Stephen Strasburg. As a Nationals fan and watching the minor league affiliate in Harrisburg, PA, the organization has been consistent with the way they have handled injuries and the players management in coming back from them. For you to criticize not utilizing Strasburg in the playoffs and the shutting down of him at the end of the season, proves that you know absolutely nothing about this organization. I would rather have a strong and healthy Strasburg for next season and the years to come, then to have him ruined for his career. Also, if you watched the Nationals as religiously as I did, you would also have noticed that Strasburg really struggled the last two months of the season. He was not the same pitcher he was earlier in the season. The entire Strasburg debate is a moot point. Let’s face it, Gio pitched average, was not at his best. Zimmermann and Jackson were just not very good. And, yes, Storen was overused. Maybe Johnson should have gone to Mattheus or Garcia and then maybe Clippard. But, what it comes down to is this. You are just an average reporter trying to stir the pot with your measly headline. I bet if the Nationals had pitched Strasburg and won the series, you would have been screaming from your rooftop about what a smart move it was. Or, conversely, if they used him and he got bombed, it would have been the fact that he should have never been used. You can paint whatever picture you want, but until you watch this team consistently and know your facts do us all a favor and just write about something you do know something about, whatever that may be.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      I’d like to comment on BMacDBad’s observation that Strasburg really struggled for the last two months of the season. Here is his game log: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8562/gamelog

      I was at the Braves game on August 21 (which includes the last two months of the season). He was unbelievable that day. And you can see that outing was not an exception. He had a bunch of great outings in August and September. Two of his last three starts were quite poor, sandwiched around six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and one walk against, let’s see, St. Louis. Nothing to see there.

      I’m willing to argue about a lot of stuff. I’m not willing to accept this statement that I’ve seen elsewhere that Strasburg was wearing out. He has bad numbers in September because of one good start and one bad start. And the good start was against St. Louis.

    • 4cornersfan - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      In other words, Washington needed one more strong pitching performance by a starter. I doubt that Craig or any other knowledgeable observer would have criticized the team for starting Strasburg no matter what the outcome. Note that at 33 years old Tommy John himself pitched over 200 innings a year for the next 5 years after his surgery. Do you really think that Strasburg’s younger arm would have fallen off if he pitched into the post-season?

      • woodenulykteneau - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        Let’s ask Mark Prior, shall we?

      • bleedgreen - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        Exactly. Why wouldn’t you, knowing in July or so that you’re most likely going to make the playoffs, maybe skip him two or three times in the rotation so that if you need him in October, he’s available? When you have a 10+ game division lead, you can rest your number 1 that you’re already committed to shutting down NO MATTER WHAT. Shit happens, and maybe next year they don’t even sniff the playoffs. Then what? What was it all for?

  5. kvanhorn87 - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Natitude!!! Their fans were so obnoxious and arrogant. This was an epic collapse and great theatre. Jubilation to disaster in half an inning. Remember how great their bullpen was supposed to be beginning of this year. Hahahahahhaha. Next year gio
    or Strasburg get hurt. Guaranteed. Braves will win the East next yr. Let’s go Cards. The “Genius” retires and the Angels spent all that money on Pujols. Cards make playoff run again beating the “best” team in NL two years in a row and Angels miss playoffs. Great for the Cards fans. Always there and always supportive. They deserved it more.

  6. Mark - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Just an interesting thought experiment – which game would they have won if Stras pitched?

    If you leave Gonzalez in game 1 (because he won), that limits Strasburg to games 2-4. Probably don’t want to pitch him in game 4 either, since they won that game too. And since Stras didn’t pitch game 1, he won’t pitch game 5 either.

    So if he pitches game 2 – he goes 6 innings, maybe 7. He never went more than 7 in the regular season and I don’t think they’d push him more than that here. Guess what? That was the game one of their top relievers gave up 4 runs in the 8th. Maybe that doesn’t happen again, but it’s important to keep in mind.

    If Stras only goes 6, it’s likely Stammen comes into the game. AKA, the guy who went 1/3 of an inning and gave up 2 runs. Or Burnett. The guy who gave up 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning in game 2.

    So it’s not clear Stras would have saved the day here either. Fair to say he would have done better than Zimmermann did, but we saw the Cards destroy the Nats bullpen in game 2 (hell, pretty much every game) and they likely would have been asked to pitch 2-3 innings. Considering that only two of their relievers (Clippard and Garcia) had an ERA under 6, it’s pretty likely that the pen would have given up a run or two. Especially when you consider that Garcia/Clippard likely wouldn’t have been the guys coming into the game in the 7th, if Stras only goes 6. And Stras could have allowed a run or two in 6-7 innings. So it might have only been 4-1 or 4-2 when he left. As we saw last night, 2 run leads aren’t the safest thing for the Nats bullpen.

    If he pitches game 3 – they still lose, cause the Nats got shut out.

    They won game 4 -so we’re not going to remove Detwiler here.

    And Stras ain’t pitching game 5 cause we let Gonzalez pitch game one.

    So if Stras pitches in game 3 they still lose. Really the only chance they had was game 2. So unless he threw a 7 inning shutout here, they probably lose game 3 too.

    Still a terrible decision to leave him off the roster, but I don’t think him not pitching cost them the series.

    • shzastl - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      You obviously missed the point of the post–your analysis may be spot on, but the fact is you’re never going to convince anyone that Stras would not have made a difference.

      • Mark - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        I understood the point of the post quite well, thank you very much. I understand what you and Craig are saying. And I agree. At the same time, I just thought it was something that was interesting to look at.

    • bleedgreen - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      If Stras goes 7 in game 1 and they win, then maybe Gio wins game 2. Its all guesses, but you can’t say your team is better with your #1 starter on the bench. Ever.

  7. natsattack - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Jackson should not have pitched in game 5. And he only gave up 1 run, we lost by 2. Anything can happen in 5 games, the teams statistically are those that do the best out of 162. That does not mean that anyone remembers the best, but now we have to move on. It is over. Nothing more can be done, time to get ready for next season. Depressing, yes, but it is over.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Again, how is this Jackson’s fault? The team gave up 9 runs: 3 by Gonzalez (100 pitches over 5, really?), 1 by Jackson, 1 by Clippard and 4 by Storen. And it’s Jackson’s fault? Does….not….compute

      • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

        Don’t think he’s saying that it was all Jackson’s fault.

        The alternatives were Ryan Mattheus and Christian Garcia. Davey said he just thought Jackson was the right choice at thr moment. My guess is that Davey, having seen Jordan Zimmermann dominate one inning, thought Jackson could do the same. This time, it didn’t work.

  8. teamo68 - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Thanks Craig, for admitting you are a loser. As everyone keeps saying, there are no guarantees. So, why is it that everyone thinks the Nats advance with Strasburg in the rotation. Kind of does a disservice to the Cards, no? Nats got to where they needed to be, up 6 in Game 5 with their best pitcher this year on the hill. From there, obviously, the wheels fell off. The offense, instead of trying to work the count, started swinging for the fences. Gio and subsequent relievers couldn’t find the strike zone. Something you cannot do to a team that is as good as the Cards. They play no one seems to talk about is how Storen allows Molina to walk to second base in the 9th. They had him, out #3 and game over. They’re a lot of things you can look to in Game 5. Strasburg not pitching in the post season is not one of them.

    As for us Nats fans, excuse us for getting excited about our team doing well. If that’s arrogance, then fans of every team that does well are arrogant I guess. DC is a front running town. Do I like it? No. But, they do show up when the teams do well. And, as long as this team performs well, they will show up in the regular season as well (See Capitals). I’ll be back again next Opening Day with the expectation the Nats will once again compete for the NL East Title and a longer run in the playoffs. Will it happen? Who knows. But then again, that why they play the games.

    • shzastl - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      I believe it was Ball 4 when Yadi walked to second.

    • bleedgreen - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      See, no one faults you for getting excited about your team, but the Nats fans were talking how much shit last year and the year before? Complaining about the hubris of Philly fans and then laughing when they didn’t win it all? There were a LOT. The same ones that complained about Philly filling up your park to the point you had to have a marketing promotion “NATITUDE!” and “Take back our park!” to get your own fans to come.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

        Bull. I was here, and there were very few other Nats fans around. Much less hordes laughing at the Phillies. No doubt, I committed the occasional bit of humor about (some) Phillies’ fans’ arrogance and sense of entitlement. One of the truly pathetic (and hypocritical) things about today is some Phillies fans crawling fron their holes, whining about Nats fans.

        BTW, Nats attendance was up by 5K a game, to about 30K a game. Plus, they had standing room only crowds for playoff games. There is room for improvement, but the trend line is upward.

      • gsrider911 - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        So Nat’s fans are bragging that they are now relevant. But for how long? baseball is a fickle mistress.
        How hard can it be to sell 30k tickets per game when you are in a city of over 5 million? It’s pathetic that it took DC area residents so long to care in the first place. I live in Denver and we average over 30k per game. And the Rockies SUCK, and Denver is only 3M in population.
        Now it seems like Nat’s fans are all high on Nattitude (albeit a crappy Marketing ploy to fill seats with anything other than Philly fans) and have forgotten what it takes to win.
        Good luck spiting the Baseball gods. You won’t win anytime soon, Nats fans! PS – Rizzo is an idiot blowhard.

  9. thebadguyswon - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Strasburg is counting down the days until he can sign with a team committed to winning; like the Yankees.

    LOSERS! LOL

    • hatethinkingupusernames - Oct 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Or the Cards. :)

  10. cur68 - Oct 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Know how I know all these Anti-Calcaterra Tirades are based on people reading the first few sentences, bunching their little underpants up, and setting their keyboards ablaze with vitriol? Well, Craig has 2 typos in this piece, towards the end. Have any of the “You Don’t Know What You’re talking About” Sect mentioned his errors? Not that I can find. Given the level of invective being hurled his way, its not unreasonable to think they’d pounce on the mistakes with glee, pointing out with hard facts that The Olde Earthe Trampler doesn’t quite have a handle on this Affair d’Nattitude.

    Actually, as someone with no dog in this fight, I think he’s just pointing out a universal truth: history will be written by those seeking to prove a point post facto. When that happens then any convenience will be used to justify the point, game time logic be dammed. And Lo! The Stras-Down Series Narrative, that rough, rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born…

  11. rhett16 - Oct 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Rizzo and Johnson needed to limit the team’s post-season innings, to preserve their health for next year.

  12. mungman69 - Oct 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Hey, let’s give credit to the Cards. They didn’t give up when down, they just knew they would strike. They started Wainwright and still won. Their relievers looked much more rested: They just didn’t give up and they certainly didn’t choke.

    • blacksables - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Exactly. Everyone says the Nationals lost it. I prefer to think the Cardinals won it.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Spot on Mung! This Cardinals team is the epitome of a team that plays a full 27 outs.
      Down 6-0 in the 3rd and proceed to out score em’ 9-1 the rest of the way.
      Relentless. Should be a great series with the Giants. GO CARDINALS!

  13. DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Welcome to the Big Leagues, Nat’s fans.Welcome to our world – the world of second guessing.

    I have said before and will say again, winning when no expects anything of you, when everyone writes glowing articles, when everyone says “awwww, look at how cute there rookie is”, it is one thing. As Craig correctly points out, the Nats will hear about many, many things all winter and spring training about what they “shold” have done. Teams will gun for them next year. Bryce Harper will not be as cute. Every 1 for 15 any player has means “They just don’t have it anymore”. Disagree all you want on the faitness of it all, but that is what they are facing, and none of these guys (with the excpetion of Werth) has ever faced it before, so who knows how it will affect them

    I don’t have a crystal ball, and I do not know what will happen next year. But Nats fans will very, very quickly realize how hard it is to do what the Phillies did.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Well said. Being second-guessed means you’re relevant. The 2012 season has done that for the Nats.

  14. steviep23 - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Faitness? All those commas won’t hide your stupidity. Typical Philly fan.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      So what part do you disgaree with? Or do you have nothing beyond typo checks and simpleton comments like “typical Philly fan”

    • 4cornersfan - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      According to my English graduate student friend there are 33 uses for the comma. Unfortunately, this information came after the second pitcher and he could only remember a few of them.

    • bleedgreen - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      It was a typo, jackass. FAIRNESS. Or are you too much of a simpleton to be able to figure out what the word should have been based on the two around it?

  15. cintiphil - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    OK all of you doubters in this discussion. You have to believe in the Cardinals. I have watched for a long time in Cinti. I too thought they were done in the bottom of the 8th when the Nat’s tagged on an insurance run. But these guys have done this before and some day it will end, but for now, it is hard to beat them. We have tried for a long time here. Give credit where it is due.the Nat’s were out played, just as the Phills and the Brewers and the Rangers were last year. I could not believe my eyes when the 7 & 8 hitters won the game for the redbirds, but this has happened before. Last year it was Freese, and now someone else. Do not discount the contribution of Beltran. Maybe the Giants will be Cardinal killers, however, it will not be easy. I really thought the Reds were going to the NLCS when we beat the Giants two in a row in San Fran, but our team does not have the class the Cardinals do. Get over it, and really,
    wait for next year.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 13, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      Thanks Phil. Well stated.
      Personally, I was really, really, really rooting for a Cardinals/Redlegs NLCS.
      But alas…it’s the Giants. Should be a very competitive series nonetheless.
      Go Cardinals!

  16. sgtr0c - Oct 13, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Cole Hamels pitched 227 innings the year he was 24 yrs old…. 2008….. You all know how that ended….

    Love baseball!

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Hadn’t thought of that…..I guess more innings pitched is what Rizzo meant by “fake tough”.

      And before all the Nats fans get worked into a tizzy, 2008 was Hamels first year without an injury, so it is comparable

      • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2012 at 8:41 PM

        No, “fake tough” was about a veteran pitcher throwing at a rookie, then bragging about it. Had nothing to do with how many innings he pitched at what age.

        Hamels’ innings:
        2003 — 101 minor league
        2004 — 16 minor league (elbow)
        2005 — 35 minor league (broken hand from bar fight, back)
        2006 — 180.1 (49 minor league)
        2007 — 183.1
        2008 — 227.1
        2009 — 193.2
        2010 — 208.2
        2011 — 216.0
        2012 — 215.1

        Hamels was able to make the jump to regular MLB duty without sustaining a major injury. Many pitchers, including Stephen Strasburg, were not. I strongly suspect that it’s a function of Hamels’ mechanics. One thing we’ve learned about Strasburg is that his mechanics create an above-average risk of elbow injuries.

        This is the problem with trying to compare pitchers. And yes, that includes comparing Strasburg with Jordan Zimmermann. Don’t need to be in a tizzy to see that.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        I am aware of what he meant – I am mocking him. Not defending that move, thoguh it is ironic that the only picther ever demonized is the ones with the guts to tell the truth.

        Hamels is a tough guy, btw

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        P.S. – the injury that hit Hamles in 04 and ’05 struck again in August ’07 when he missed a month, so 2008 was very much akin to Strasburg this year. Not trying to debate the shutdown point, just talking about the parallels

  17. jdillydawg - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    You’re absolutely wrong. History is written by the losers just as much as it’s written by the winners. Sure, we remember the walk off hits, but we also remember the guys who threw the pitches. You don’t think Bill Buckner wrote a bit of history? We remember the losing streaks and the curses (think Cubs, Red Sox). We remember pain, because when victory comes around, it makes it all the sweeter.

    No city is a true baseball city until it understands what it means to suffer like they did last night. The measure of that team will be defined by what it does next year, and what it learned from this series. This is a tough chapter to write, but don’t think for a moment that it ain’t history.

    Strasburg or not, the Cards still would have won. They are the freaking Cardinals for pete’s sake!

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      Bill Buckner made history, he did not write it. He is remembered for costing his team the World Series. Do you think that is the history he would have written? The Mets were down 2 runs, 2 outs and no one on base. The Mets then tied game and had a runner on 2nd when he made his error. And yet he is the one who is remembered…..because…… the losers dont get to write history!

      As for your comment abotu Strasburg or not the Cards wold have won……well, we will never know for sure, will we? And that is Craigs point

      • jdillydawg - Oct 13, 2012 at 9:00 PM

        And if Strasburg had played, would we be saying, “Of course this happened because he played.” Or would we be saying, “You know, if they had shut him down back in August, no way this would have happened?” The real point here is that it’s a stupid argument to make because you can second guess anything until the cows come home. And if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle.

        I stand by my point that losers write history just as much. While Buckner is blamed for the Sox losing the World Series, people forget that they got to play another game after that. And THEN they lost. What this became was another awesome chapter in the Curse of the Bambino, 86 years of failure! Now that’s history.

        Sometimes we don’t get to choose the history we write, but it gets written anyway.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM

        Craigs point was that losers don’t control the narrative, and hence, the Nats aren’t going to be able to control the narrative here. I don’t see how you can argue that Bill Buckner has controled the narrative around that play – or frankly, how he is remebered in a larger sense

      • raysfan1 - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:30 AM

        The Red Sox did not lose that WS because of one error by Bill Buckner. The Sox did not go 86 years without a ring because of anything involving Babe Ruth. The Cubs have not gone 104 years without a WS championship because of a billy goat nor Bartman. Those are popular baseball lore and are repeated again and again as if they were true. Legends, both for winners and losers, may have a kernel of history in them but are largely fiction. The Strasburg shutdown will become legend too, if the Nats do not win a WS in the next few years.

  18. materialman80 - Oct 13, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    That’s Cardinal Baseball!!! Go Cards!

  19. goodellisruiningtheleague - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    What team will Craig write, i’m sorry, bash about now that the Nationals are out?

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