The Nationals are back to .500 and 5½ games out of 1st place. It’s not where they wanted to be, but the alternatives could have been worse for a team that was struck by multiple key injuries along with a slumping Bryce Harper and a month and a half of poor starting pitching from Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzlalez. In addition, rookie manager Dave Martinez had come under fire for his managerial style.
The way to shut-up the critics is to win, and it will take a minimum of a .623 winning percentage the rest of the way to win 90 games and hopefully get the Nationals to the postseason. Forget the hump, this team hasn’t even made it to a division title this year to get over the proverbial hump.
Bryce Harper sat out today and the Nats did just fine without him. Through the All-Star break Harper out up good power number with a decent OBP but a poor batting average.
There’s just no way to sugar-coat it on Harper. Add the lack of hustle and poor clutch numbers and you got a player who has not been carrying this team like you would expect from the team’s highest paid position player of near $22 million this season.
The win today was orchestrated well Hy Dave Martinez who made some key substitutions to blow open a 1-1 tie to a 6-1 winner.