* August 12th 2018 marked the Nationals most excruciating regular season loss in the team’s history. A loss was actually snatched from the jaws of victory.
* With the team’s top closer, Sean Doolittle, attempting to return from a bizarre foot injury and the teams 2nd closer, Kelvin Herrera, attempting to return from shoulder inflammation having himself contributed recently to a brutal loss the teams 3rd closer somehow managed to turn one botched play into a full-scale catastrophe. Now we learn that Ryan Madson was pitching hurt himself. It would have been nice to have learned all this before he gave up 2 HBP and a gut-wrenching grand slam.
* With every loss we have renewed cries for GM Mike Rizzo to turn into Monty Hall and sell everything that’s not tied down. A couple of points here:
1. Firstly, when Rizzo decided to stay the course he wasn’t going to change his approach every 5 minutes; my hunch is that the Philly series next week is probably the drop-dead date.
2. Secondly the idea of getting under the tax threshold is very likely a pipe dream and it was probably so even at the trade deadline. Teams aren’t anxious to take on your problems when it comes to salaries.
* Manager Dave Martinez must figure out a way to give Juan Soto a mental and physical break. It’s not reasonable that he had to start the Saturday and Sunday games against a couple of veteran lefties (Lester/Hamels) this past weekend.
* Daniel Murphy is a professional hitter. There has been a fair bit of angst about his defense but I for one will miss his at bats against top competition in the key situations.
* Ryan Zimmerman had a terrific at-bat in the 9th inning last night after Joe Maddon walked the bases loaded to get to him for what seemed like the 50th time. Zim is finally the 2017 Zim and one can only hope that in 2019 we see a healthy Zim.
* The bullpen is a disaster. With unreliable arms like Solis, Suero, Holland and Madson and semi reliable arms like Grace and Miller, it’s not a surprise that all of our blood pressures begin to rise when our starters get tired.
* On a blue Monday there were some mixed results on the farm last week. Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom are both in the midst of deep slumps on the other hand Jefry Rodriguez followed up his strong start against the Braves with a terrific start at Syracuse and young Mr. Luis Garcia continues to handle A+ pitching.
* Finally, Koda Glover looks very good in his long-awaited return. If he can be a part of the solution in 2019 this would be a big shot in the arm.