After a deflating, frustrating loss in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals, the Nationals packed their bags for the off season while the Cardinals went on to the NLCS. After such a memorable season, the way the season ended for the Nationals seemed incomprehensible to many and brought many questions in attempts to answer what happened after coming so close.
Now, the baseball season is officially over and there’s other matters to take care of: a rotation spot to fill, manager to re-sign, as well as determining the lineup for next season. Also now, baseball’s form of the ‘best of’ awards is finally here.
Today Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond, and Stephen Strasburg each won Silver Slugger awards in the National League for first base, shortstop, and pitcher respectively. LaRoche hit 33 home runs with 100 RBI and had a .510 slugging percentage while Desmond hit 25 home runs with 73 RBIs and a .511 slugging percentage. For a pitcher, Strasburg had impressive numbers at the plate: he hit .277 with 7 RBIs. He composed one of the best seasons at the plate for a pitcher in the past 30 years according to the Washington Post.
Adam LaRoche also won his first career Gold Glove for first base in the National League. LaRoche had a .995 fielding average and didn’t make an error all season. He is the only National to win the award since Ryan Zimmerman won in 2009. Ian Desmond, was also a finalist for the award for his position at shortstop, but was beat out by the Phillies Jimmy Rollins.
Other Nationals are also finalists for awards. Leading the team’s nominations from the Baseball Writers Association of America is Davey Johnson as a candidate for National League Manager of the Year. Also nominated is Gio Gonzalez for the NL Cy Young Award who led the majors with 21 wins and Bryce Harper for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Johnson already won Sporting New’s NL Manager of the Year several weeks a go.
Each of the Nationals’ award finalists and winners played a intricate role in the Nationals’ historic season. In games that Gio Gonzalez started, the Nationals were 24-8. For Harper, he finished second in home runs among rookies with 22 and fourth in RBIs. Both players have stiff competition in candidates such as R.A. Dickey for the Cy Young and Todd Frazier for Rookie of the Year. Not to be forgotten is Davey Johnson who more than aptly managed a young team that was burdened by injuries at times and led the Nationals to their first division title and first-ever trip to the playoffs. Johnson’s competition is Bruce Bochy (San Francisco Giants) and Dusty Baker (Cincinnati Reds).
Other off season links:
- Davey Johnson seems to be close to returning to the Nationals as manager for 2013. Of the official agreement on the contract, General manager Mike Rizzo says, “I’m thinking anytime now.”
- The Nationals made a qualifying offer to Adam LaRoche but not Edwin Jackson. LaRoche has a week to accept or reject the offer.
- In less baseball related news, Davey Johnson won a fishing tournament. Also, some other Nationals are on a boat.
- Check out who’s making what with the Nationals’ 2013 payroll.