The Nats offense has mostly been MIA for the month of May. Last night’s (May 28) gift to the Marlins in 10 innings was especially ugly (and typical of this whole month). They loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th inning and failed to push even one run across the plate with the game tied at 4. I can remember 4-5 other times this year when that happened. Then in the bottom of the 9th, the leadoff batter, Wilson Ramos, was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single. He would have scored the winning run if he had played it safe, as Frandsen and McLouth both got base hits after that. Then in the 10th inning the Marlins rallied to win the game.
The Nats batting average for May is the worst in the major leagues. They have a bushel basket of losses by one or two runs. Clutch hitting with runners on base is exceedingly rare. OK, Ramos, LaRoche, Zimmerman and Harper (four of their bast hitters) have been out with injuries. The way Ramos was tearing up spring-training pitching, it appeared he would come out of the gate on opening day leading the offense. But he went on the DL after the very first game and though he’s back in the lineup now, he has yet to regain his hot bat. And the best one can say about the bench hitting is that it is better than last year’s.
LaRoche is the only starter who has steadily maintained an average over .300. Rendon and Espinosa both started very hot in April, but Danny is now reminding us of 2013 when he couldn’t even hit at Syracuse! Rendon is in the first slump of his pro career and one can only hope he turns it around soon. His approach appears to be the same as always, a good sign. And that makes me think his numbers will begin to improve.
When they score 4 or more runs the Nats win 90% of the time, so that is a good goal to shoot for.
There is an excellent Tom Boswell article in today’s Post on all this