On the heels of another pathetic series sweep by a less than a juggernaut opponent, the Nationals are facing the impending half way mark in a few days.
It’s fair to ask: ‘what’s wrong with the Nats?’ The fan dynamic is always to assign blame for poor performance on somebody or many somebodies, and often the answer ‘bad luck’ is just not very satisfying. It also doesn’t give one the opportunity to demonstrate one’s expert knowledge. To be fair there is blame to go around and there are some things to question as long as one remembers that the ‘blame’ and the ‘things’ are one’s opinion not necessarily facts in stone so as I present these ideas. I do so with the provision that everything here is just my opinion, not gospel.
The biggest ‘thing’ in the what’s wrong category by a factor of at least 10 to 1 vs. the next biggest ‘thing’ is injuries, and I know some of you are already typing things like ‘everyone has injuries’, ‘injuries are not an excuse’ (yes they are) etc but to demonstrate my point let’s do a little exercise.
The Nats have been without arguably their 2nd best hitter and their leadoff hitter for more than 2 months and I think we can all agree that they are nowhere near 100% yet. So who is the 2nd best hitter on Atlanta? Let’s agree on Nick Markakis. The Braves leadoff hitter is Ender Inciarte. Now the Nats 1st baseman has been out for 2 months and his backup will be out over a month before he returns. I won’t equate them to Freddie Freeman to maintain fairness but let’s say Camargo? Our no. 1 catcher will be out about 3 months and I know Flowers was out for a while so let’s call it a draw (it’s really not) and I know Acuna has been out for around 6 weeks but I think it’s fair to equate that to us missing Robles who would more than likely have been our center fielder by now. I won’t even do a pitcher injury comparison even though I don’t think the Braves are missing anyone of Strasburg’s stature.
Where would Atlanta be without Markakis, Inciarte, Camargo ? How about Philly? Say Hoskins, Hernandez and Santana? It’s not a woe is us point it’s just pure indisputable fact that we have been crippled with injuries all year and to critical personnel. Itys not always possible to overcome.
In my next piece I will discuss Dave Martinez and the coaches and give everyone a chance to bring out their pitch forks.