GM Mike Rizzo has been on the phone looking for a new lefty for the bull-pen, and there are several out there available. I would think that means Blevin’s days are numbered, but I’m not hearing anything definite on that.
Other than that it looks like the Nats will stick with who they have, coming up on the July 31 trade deadline. No surprise there.
The Nats are in pretty good shape for the stretch run, and have won a lot of series in July. The 2 losses to the Marlins in the past two days were especially ugly, however. It was a shame to waste two excellent starts by Strass and Zimmermann. The injury to Ryan Zimmerman is really hurting the offensive production. Zimm is a very good clutch-hitter. Looking at the good news, both Spann and Werth are prime contenders for “Player of the Month.” They have been hitting the cover off the ball in July. Spann even had 2 consecutive 4-hit games! We all know Harper has been struggling with the bat, but he looked more comfortable last night (July 29) and had two key hits.
My prime concern is the apparent lack of a team “killer instinct.” Monday night they had the Marlins 6-0 going into the 7th, but they let the game slip away. Teams that really want to get to the World Series DON’T DO THAT! Two of the veterans made key late-inning mistakes; Werth trying to take an extra base on Stanton’s outstanding arm, and McLouth going all-out for a low line-drive that he let skip past him for a triple.
My other comment coming from that game is about Matt Williams. He, more than anyone else, was responsible for the Nats’ loss. Soriano was tired from having pitched the night before as well as other recent games. Storen however looked REALLY GREAT that night; I would have had him close out the game. Also, I would have replaced Blevins after he struck out lefty Yellich. The next batter, Jeff Baker, hits lefties very well so the situation called for Williams to bring in a righty such as Aaron Barrett for example. Unfortunately Tyler Clippard was not available for this game.