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October 1, 2011 / Nat Anacostia

Nats’ September in review

The Nats began September in the doldrums, going 2–5 and losing series to the Braves, Mets, and Dodgers in succession. They reached their low point on September 8 after Drew Storen entered a tie game against the Dodgers in the top of the ninth and giving up three runs for the loss. As a rainstorm forced the cancellation of the second game of the doubleheader, the Nats’ record stood at 65–76 (.461).

Then the Nats’ bats woke up and their young pitchers turned in several outstanding performances. They went 15—5 down the stretch, taking five of their last six series—including four-game sweeps of both the Mets and the Phillies. They ended the season with a victory over the Marlins on a 10-strikeout, one-hit masterpiece from Stephen Strasburg.

Except where noted, all statistics are for the month of September only.

Record:

17–10 (.630) for September, ending the season at 80–81 (.497).

Pythagorean Record:

15–12 (4.07 R/G – 3.52 RA/G).

MVP for September:

Ian Desmond (.302/.331/.448, 27 G, 122 PA, 4 HR, 16 R, 12 RBI, 120 wRC+, 0.9 fWAR, .64 WPA, 5.56 RE24).  His playing time and clutch performance allowed him to edge out an excellent performance by Wilson Ramos (.358/.434/.582).

Most valuable starting pitcher:

Stephen Strasburg (1–1, 1.88 R/9, 5 G, 24 IP, 9.0 K/9, 0.8 BB/9), with honorable mention going to Brad Peacock (2–0, 0.75 R/9, 12 IP).

Most valuable reliever:

Craig Stammen (1-0, 0.00 R/9, 5 G, 8-1/3 IP, 10.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.0 HR/9, 0.48 WHIP, 1 of 6 inherited runners scored, 4 shutdowns, 0 meltdown).

Best start this month:

Stephen Strasburg (September 28, 3–1 win over the Marlins in Miami, 6 innings, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 SO, Game score of 78).

Worst start:

John Lannan (September 10, 9–3 loss to Houston at home, 2-1/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, Game score of 21).

Best shutdown:

Tyler Clippard (September 9, 4–3 win over Houston at home). Clip pitched the 10th and 11th innings of a 3–3 tie, allowing only one batter to reach on a two-out single in the 11th, and striking out two.  When the Nats scored the winning run on a throwing error in the bottom of the 11th, Clippard was credited with the win.  (Win probability added .246)

Worst meltdown:

Drew Storen (September 8, 7–4 loss to Los Angeles at home). Entering in the top of the ninth of a 4–4 tie, Storen allowed three runs to score on two singles, a double, a walk, a hit batter, and a stolen base, before Collin Balester was called in to get the final out. (WPA –.472)

Clutch hit:

Michael Morse (September 26,  6–4 win over the Marlins in Miami). The Nats were behind 4–3 and down to their final out in the top of the ninth, with runners on second and third.  Morse got hold of a 1–1 splitter and Bob Carpenter got to say, “see you later.” (WPA .731).

Choke:

Michael Morse (September 17, 4–1 loss to the Marlins at home). The bottom of the 11th, the score was tied 1–1, one out, and there were runners on first and third. Morse grounded into a double play to end the inning. (WPA –.317). The Marlins scored three in the top of the 13th to win it.

 

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