Nationals Searching for Excuses

Following the Orioles come from behind 9-6 victory over the Washington Nationals last night at Camden Yards, some members of the Nationals are looking for something - anything - to place the blame on.  There are some candidates.  There is Jordan Zimmerman who allowed a season high 7 runs to the O's and was clearly battling his fastball command all evening.  Or maybe you'd prefer to castigate Tyler Clippard who allowed the go-ahead inherited runner to score before serving up two runs of his own?  Or maybe there is really no blame to pass around as much as there is credit to be distributed to the Birds' hitters for doing more damage to Zimmerman than any team has been able to this season.

Nah, let's blame the ballpark instead.

“Well, that one hurt. This ballpark will eat you alive.
— Davey Johnson

Camden Yards multi-year Park Factors:  Batting – 103, Pitching – 103

Nationals Park multi-year Park Factors:  Batting – 99, Pitching – 99

Other Stadiums in the NL East:  Turner Field (B – 103, P – 101); Citizens Bank Park (B – 104, P – 103)

Does Davey complain about Turner Field or Citizens Bank Park “eating you alive” when the Nationals play in Atlanta and Philadelphia or does he save that excuse for games in Baltimore?

I am no managerial genius – I would never have the brilliant foresight  to tell a young and potentially anxious team coming off of a career year that it is “World Series or Bust” for them – but I would go out on a limb and state that what really “ate them alive” was Jordan Zimmerman’s 35% groundball rate (11 GB, 14 FB, 6 LD) and the 10 hits allowed last night.  But no, it is not the fact that your pitcher who relies on getting ground ball outs and strikeouts in order to be successful allowed 20 out of 31 balls in play to be put in the air while only striking out three batters.

No, it was the ballpark that did the Nationals in.

“I think some of their numbers a little bit escalated because of the ballpark, but they’re a good hitting ballclub.”
— Jordan Zimmerman

Ummm . . .

You might want to try again, Jordan.

Stuff like this really makes me appreciate having a manager and team that never gets too high or low and generally steers clear of the excuse game.