What’s wrong with the Washington Nationals? The team is as healthy as they’ve been all season, but still struggling to score runs on a consistent basis. All we heard earlier this season was the lineup was sputtering with Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Wilson Ramos missing time because of injuries and everything would be fine once they returned. Well they’re back and the offense is still sputtering with the losses mounting. What’s the excuse now?
I wasn’t buying into the injury theory that was being floated around by the team because this group dealt with just as many injuries on their way to winning 98 games last season. Something’s missing with this year’s team. There’s way too much talent for them to struggle scoring runs. I’m not sure what the answer is, but something has to give.
To be fair, the bullpen along with some very shoddy defense allowed several winnable early season games slip away, but those things have been corrected for the most part. The inconsistent offense is slowly killing this season and must improve over the remaining 69 games or they can kiss a return trip to the N.L. Playoffs goodbye. The offensive production must improve, period! They are currently 27th in MLB with a .240 team batting average and 26th in runs scored with 351 which is only three more than the awful Houston Astros.
They finished 9th in hitting last season with a solid.261 team batting average and 10th in runs scored with 731. So the talent is there,but it needs to start showing up on the field. The pitching staff has really came together after some rough patches at the start of the season and is 5th in MLB with a 3.63 earned run average. That’s slightly above last season when they finished 2nd with a 3.33 earned run average. The problem is obvious.
When you look at all the numbers this team is very fortunate to be a game over .500 at 47-46 in my opinion.
Another troubling thing is the schedule has been in the Nats favor recently, but they still can’t get things going. They look like a team that needs to hurry up and get into the All-Star break which is only a couple of days away. The bad thing is they must play two more games before getting that much-needed breather.
Sometimes a small break can do wonders for a team because guys can step away and clear their heads a bit. I’ve seen it happen many times over the years. Look at the Washington Redskins from last season when they stumbled and bumbled their way into the bye-week at 3-6, but returned to reel off seven straight wins to finish 10-6 and won the NFC East division for the first time in 13 years.
The Redskins were in a lot worse of a predicament than this year’s Nats find themselves in at the moment. The NFL regular season has only 16 games compared to MLB’s 162 game marathon. The Nats will come off the All-Star break with 67 games remaining.
Going into tonight’s action the Nats trail the Atlanta Braves by six games in the N.L. East and the Cincinnati Reds by five games for the second N.L. Wildcard spot.