The 4 R’s of the Washington Nationals. Each are a key.

In school, they said the 4 R’s were reading, writing, aRithmetic and recreation. Science doesn’t start with an “R” or have an “r” in the spelling, and like baseball, it is not an exact science. We started writing this piece yesterday morning, and it was going to be an upbeat piece about Ryan and Rendon. A slightly different story today.

We have our 4 R’s for the Nationals as these 4 are keys to the remainder of the season.

  1. Ross (rotation)
  2. Ryan
  3. Rendon
  4. Ramos

Ross. Joe Ross. Before yesterday, Joe Ross was just going to be a footnote, and today he might have to step back into the starting rotation. Joe Ross is working his way back from the disabled list, and figured to be part of the Nationals’ bullpen. Today he looks like he could be a key part of the Nationals starting rotation.

Ryan Zimmerman. What else can be said. He had what we thought was a turning point in his season on Tuesday night. He hit a home run and took a walk. After the game, he came clean about his 2016 struggles with swinging at balls out of the zone, and all of the movement in his batting mechanics. Tuesday’s success was short-lived. Last night, Zimmerman struck out 4 times and left 6 runners on base. Last night was Zim’s worst game since his Mother’s Day game in Chicago when Zimmerman set the record with 14 runners left on base. Zimmerman’s batting average dropped to .217 and keep in mind Strasburg is batting .208. Zimmerman is not the only struggling batter on the Nationals team, but he occupies 1st base which is typically where you want one of your strongest offensive players. Zimmerman has to rework and re-engineer his mechanics just like Daniel Murphy did last year. It can be done. It has to be done. Something has to change quickly. Time is running out on this 2016 season.

Rendon 1st and 2nd half

Rendon. Anthony Rendon. What more can be said about Tony Two Bags. Rendon continues on his blistering hot 2nd half this season and his OPS for the full-season is at .815 which puts him about .008 points away from his great 2014 MVP-type season. Rendon’s defense has improved, and he is quietly one of the best players on this 2016 Nationals’ team. Rendon’s best month of his 2014 season was Sept/Oct .337/.429/.507/.935. Rendon is a strong finisher, and the Nats need it. Rendon didn’t exactly get a full day-off last night either, and he is another player who needs to get some rest.

Ramos. Wilson Ramos. He dug deep last night after his friend Stephen Strasburg walked off the mound in the 3rd inning last night. Ramos would get 2 hits including the game winning walk-off single, but the “r” for rest is a much needed component for the Buffalo. As we discussed many times lately, Wilson Ramos has been in a slump which could possibly be tied back to his workload of playing day games after night games and both games of doubleheaders, etc. On August 7th, Ramos hit the home run that beat Bumgarner 1-0, and Ramos was batting .338 with a .943 OPS. Since then, batting average dropped to .307 and an .853 OPS. That is a 90 point drop in OPS. At some point, Ramos needs to sit for several games and get his legs back under him because the post-season push is what the Nationals must concentrate on now.

These are four players who will be a key to the Nationals post-season.

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