Scoring 26 runs in two games is just what the Nats needed to regain a bit of confidence with a bat in their hands. And the 6,7,8, and 9 hitters in the order have been producing a big chunk of those runs. Jordan Zimmermann’s three-run hit was the biggest blast last night. And it was sweet to see Dan Uggla win the Tuesday game with his 9th inning three-run four-bagger:)
Hopefully these two games will help the team put their April funk behind them for good.
Note: After I published the above short article I saw Tom Boswell’s excellent piece in the Post. He makes the connection between Freudian theories on depression and the old sports adage “don’t wake up teams in a funk!” This is a reference to the dirty slide into Yunel Escober in Tuesday night’s game by Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons that injured the Nats third-baseman. This appeared to light a spark in the Nats dugout that might have been what got their offense charging back from a 9-1 deficit!
Before 2012, when the Nats first got to the post-season, i had been watching more hockey than baseball. Tonight, after the Nats fourth error, I switched to the Capitals game seven showdown with the Islanders. Just after that the caps scored the winning goal, so they are going to the next round of playoffs.
The Nationals are now playing their worst baseball since 2011. And something is not right with Doug Fister, and apparently this goes all the way back to the start of Spring Training. His normal fastball used to be at 88-91 mph. Now it is around 85 mph. The offense, defense and bull-pen are mediocre this year.
All the Nats weakpoints were on display in this poor effort yesterday. Hitting with runners in scoring position: one for eleven. The team is ranked 20th I think on this important stat. Bull-pen sucks! Running in one rookie from AAA after another for his first ever MLB game, for a supposed WS contender—-simply pathetic. Blame this one on Rizzo. Defense? Good enough maybe for AAA.
All of the above has been commented on here since early spring training.
Let’s hear it again: Why did the team go after Sherzer when their biggest need was clutch hitting? Good hitters were available during the winter.
When I first heard the Nats had traded for Yunel Escobar I did a little research and was not very impressed with what I found. But after the first two weeks of the season, I can see what a tough out he is in the batter’s box:). He is what we call a “contact hitter, ” or someone who rarely swings and misses. Manager Matt had Yunel batting leadoff for about the first 10 games for exactly that reason. It is possible that watching Escober hit is rubbing off on his team-mates, like Bryce Harper. Thus far Harper is working pitchers for more walks than usual (for him). Last night Escobar pounced on a fastball in the 10th inning and stroked a home-run to win the game!
Over the most recent 8 games the Nats are hitting over .300 with runners in scoring position.
The Nats are close to having Anthony Rendon play in some minor-league games. That means he might be back in the Nats lineup within a coule of weeks.
As I previously predicted the Nats are hurting on offense, and this has been a problem since the start of 2013. So far they have hit 5 for 30 with runners in scoring position, one of the lowest marks in baseball thus far. We all know injuries to key hitters (and the trade of LaRoach) have not helped. But teams that hope to get into the post-season have to produce runs when opportunity knocks. The fact that this has been a glaring problem for the Nats since early 2013 makes me wonder about the team’s hitting philosophy as well as their choices of hitting coaches.
They are averaging just over 2 runs per game, and that includes un-earned runs. That is pathetic.
Uggla starts at 2B, T-Mo in LF, Taylor in CF. I’m really holding my nose on Taylor since he can’t hit ML pitching.
The bench on opening day is: Lobaton, Espi, Dekker, Johnson, Robinson.
The above are just my guesses; the team has not announced these.
I am very disappointed about this, but it’s just the opening day lineup. Werth could be in the lineup very soon after that. Rendon and Span will take weeks if not months. I am almost shocked that Ian Stewart has apparently not made the cut, judging by his name not having been mentioned in print for at least 2 weeks:)
So both the offense and defense will be weak, and the bull-pen will be close to a total F_______-up.
You saw it HERE!!!