Washington took 2 out of 3 from the Marlins, technically playing a bit of a spoiler role. The Marlins were a bit back from either race coming in to the weekend, but losing 2 of 3 has them sitting 6 1/2 out of the NL East lead, 5 1/2 out of the wild card. Winning all 3 this weekend would have been a big boost for them, losing 2 is pretty deflating. Of course, Zimmerman hit his 29th HR of the season on Friday night, thus putting himself one HR away from the arbitrary mark of 30. So here you go, in keeping with this year’s tradition, in tribute to his #29, the Zimmerman March to 30 HRs uniform number gallery:
There were other things of note this weekend as well. For example, the pitching looked pretty good this weekend, other than the game they lost. But Marco Estrada started that game, and the relief core that gave up runs consisted of Logan Kensing, Victor Garate, and Zack Segovia. This isn’t the cream of their prospect crop. Meanwhile, in games 1 and 3, they saw good starts from J.D. Martin and John Lannan, respectively. Good relief by Clippard and MacDougal, and they ended up looking pretty good in 2 of the 3 games.
After an atrocious run from early August to early September (6 starts, 1-5, 7.67 ERA, 31 2/3 IP, 17 BB, 9 K, 7 HR) Lannan recovered nicely on Sunday, going only 5 innings, but allowing 1 ER, with 1 BB and 3 K. Actually, if you were paying attention, the last start on that bad run looked good after 5 innings, too (1 ER), but then he gave up 3 straight dingers in the 6th. No need to see if that happens again, so Riggleman took him out after 5.
Desmond continues to Impress
3 starts, 3 games with 2 or more hits. A HR in his debut and a 4 for 4 performance in his second game. Not bad for a guy who looked completely lost at the plate in AA 2 years ago. Desmond has hit and hit well, and while he hasn’t had a ton of chances, he’s looked good in the field. I’m a little worried about starting him at 2B, which happened on Sunday. For a guy who’s got all the talent to field but gets the yips sometimes, shifting him around the infield may not be the best idea. But at least the manager wants him to play, which is the most important thing. People like to compare him to Jeter, although I think that may have something to do with the way he looks as opposed to the way he plays. But one thing that is comparable is how they both had lots of errors on the “easy” plays when they were in the minors – perhaps Desmond could call up the Captain and get some tips on improving, which Jeter definitely did. Then again, Jeter’s oft-cited 56 errors the year before he made the majors happened when he was 19 years old, so the comparison may fall apart.
Also, he was interviewed by Baseball Prospectus. I believe it’s free for all readers here. He seems like a normal enough guy – he said the biggest component of his improvement was that he learned to relax and not take things too seriously. The interview was from right before he got called up, so no thought on the debut dinger.
Justin Maxwell Looks More Comfortable
The Maryland alum, with his big game on Saturday, boosted his numbers by an incredible amount. 2 HRs when you’ve only played in 10 games tend to do that. But really, out of the .280/.333/.560 that he’s hit since being called up on Sept 1, the slugging is the only thing that owes it’s life to those 2 HRs. He’s actually been getting hits since he’s been recalled. He’s got alot of strikeouts, but those were expected. The comparison you always hear for him is Mike Cameron – fast and powerful, but a low AVG and lots of Ks. If you can get him to hit .250/.350/.500, you’d be thrilled, especially with that speedy D. I don’t know if he’ll ever hit that, and I am not sure he’s anything but a CFer. That is to say, at his best his bat may put him there, but he probably can’t carry a corner outfield position. Not to worry though, he may still be good enough to be a viable 4th outfielder, and that has real value. With Morgan out he’ll have a chance to play some CF in the next few weeks, hopefully he’ll show us more of those 2 HR games.