21 games to play. Nats need to finish strong for self-respect.

The Nats are now 1 game over .500 with a 71-70 record as they are mired in a 5 game losing streak.  The team is in a funk statistically scoring just 2 runs in the last 23 innings.

Who will step up for this Washington Nationals team?   The starting pitchers in the last 4 games have done well.  The Nats have only scored 1 run off of relief pitchers in the last 5 games and that came on a HR by Bryce Harper off of Tyler Clippard, but Nats relievers have been responsible in that same timeframe in giving up 15 runs of which 2 were runs scored on inherited runners. That’s a -14 run differential.  It’s been a problem for the Nats all season in the late inning differential.

If things couldn’t get any more bizarre, word broke this afternoon that Drew Storen has a broken bone in his thumb caused by an incident with his locker.  We don’t have all the details, but we refer to this as Ryan Mattheus logic, and pitching hands shouldn’t be used in anger.


Matt Williams defended his guys on what appeared to be a “flat” effort.  Our discussion in the comments section in-game had many different assessments of the effort on the field, and the following is what Matt Williams told the media tonight,

“I don’t think the effort has slacked at all.  Tonight’s an example of a really good pitcher and we just couldn’t get anything going. But the bench is lively, guys are loose and they’re excited before the game to go play. Results haven’t been there, but I think the effort and the attitude is good.”


There’s 21 games remaining in the schedule and self-respect and pride are values that Bryce Harper wanted to address to the media.

Bryce had this angle on it, “If you’re going to be out there, you might as well play as hard as you can.  You’re out there anyway.  So we just gotta play the game.”

Bryce should have some extra motivation as he is close to Triple Crown numbers in Batting Average and Home Runs.  Bryce is playing for baseball history at 22 years of age.

The Nats are also very banged up.  Not sure who is 100% healthy, but you have Ryan Zimmerman nursing his foot and oblique, Michael A. Taylor with the knee, Espinosa with the thumb, Escobar running fevers and stomach aches, Ramos has played in exactly 80% of the Nats games at 112 of 141 games and is covered in bumps and bruises, and Bryce Harper has had the nagging pain in his upper leg and glute, and on and on and on.  The only healthy starting players are perhaps Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth.

An almost daily discussion on Trea Turner was taken up by beat reporter Bill Ladson who weighed in with his thoughts on TT:

It’s a marathon, and there’s 3.39 miles remaining in the race, and we’re in 2nd place and the leader is way ahead of us.  How we end the race nobody knows, but we’re looking for respectability if nothing else.

This entry was posted in Analysis. Bookmark the permalink.