Today’s District Daily features stories on Shawn Kelley’s success out of the ‘pen and how difficult it is for Bryce Harper to hit when pitchers aren’t throwing him many strikes.
Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.
In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Mike Petriello discusses Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley’s under-the-radar success out of the ‘pen. As Petriello writes, Kelley has struggled with injuries over the last few years but has recently been very good on the mound — in fact, he’s been one of the best relievers in baseball.
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Not only has Kelley dominated this season with the Nationals — he hasn’t allowed a run in 19 innings — but he’s also been the most effective run preventer in the game over the last year, as Petriello writes in his article.
For the Nationals, Kelley has been a crucial part of what has been a very stable bullpen. The Nationals struggled mightily out of the bullpen in 2015 and that was one of the main reasons the team missed the postseason. But if Kelley (and the ‘pen as a whole) can stay consistent throughout the summer, the Nationals should be able to compete with the best teams in the National League this season.
Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell discusses how difficult it is for Bryce Harper to succeed at the plate when pitchers aren’t throwing him many strikes.
Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.
Kelley quietly dominating in relief for Nats
Over the past calendar year, who has been the best reliever in baseball? For the sake of entertainment, let’s pretend you didn’t already read the title to this article. Your first thoughts probably go to Wade Davis or Aroldis Chapman, or maybe Craig Kimbrel or Dellin Betances, or maybe Andrew Miller or Kenley Jansen.
Valid choices, each and every one, and yet none are the right answer. Over the past 365 days, baseball’s most effective run-prevention reliever has been an oft-injured righty who was traded for Abraham Almonte in 2013 and Johnny Barbato in ’14. Welcome to the spotlight, Shawn Kelley. Read full article.
For Bryce Harper, getting nothing to hit is no walk in the park
Bryce Harper may have to spend the next several years enduring an annoyance, and trying to learn to exploit an opportunity, that has been experienced by perhaps just three other ballplayers: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Barry Bonds. Their common experience? Being walked — out of fear, but in hopes that they would be flummoxed — at a rate of about once a game, for year after year.
Ruth, Williams and Bonds all overcame the Walk Strategy to become, perhaps, the three most feared hitters ever. Their greatest seasons often came when they were walking the most. They solved maybe the hardest problem a batter can face: a league-wide decision to “not give him anything to hit.” Read full article here.