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Rough start to 2nd half, but Nats weathering storm

Jul 25, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

AP

The Nationals have come out of the All-Star break and gone 3-5, scoring an average of 3.5 runs per game but giving up an average of 4.75 during that same stretch.

Not exactly the kind of baseball you want to be playing at this stage of the season.

Even so, the Nats have actually gained a game on the Mets along the way, thanks to New York’s 2-6 record since the All-Star break. And so they aren’t in nearly as tough a predicament as might otherwise be expected.

If anything, the Nationals have been able to weather the storm and stay afloat during the latest slump in a season that seemingly has featured nothing but extreme highs and lows. But they can’t keep moving along this path forever and expect to emerge where they ultimately want to be.

The good news is, they’re about to get a whole lot healthier. Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth all are within days of returning from injury. Yunel Escobar, too, should work his way back into the lineup, perhaps as soon as Saturday, after missing the first two games of this weekend’s series in Pittsburgh with an injured left wrist.

So, help is on the way, especially at the plate. But that won’t cure everything that ails the Nationals right now.

It’s no secret this team is seeking bullpen help in advance of next week’s trade deadline. It has been the club’s No. 1 area of concern since Opening Day, and it remains a concern due to injuries and inconsistent performances. What that help may look like remains very much uncertain. Rumors have begun flying around the last 36 hours connecting the Nationals to Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Papelbon, but there is legitimate question about what general manager Mike Rizzo is willing to give up, and how much more salary owner Ted Lerner is willing to take on.

A more plausible move might be for a pure setup man or middle reliever, the area of the Nationals’ biggest need. They already have one of the most-effective closers in the game in Drew Storen. They just don’t have enough experienced, reliable arms to bridge the gap and get the ball to Storen in the ninth inning.

Of course, reliable relievers would be less in demand if the Nationals’ vaunted rotation pitched up to expectations instead of falling into the same inconsistent trap that has befallen most of the roster this season. That group was on an utterly dominant roll not long ago, posting a collective 1.84 ERA in 16 starts from mid-June through early-July. But since then, things have taken a turn for the worse, with Nats starters’ ERA rising to 4.59 over the last 12 games.

Even Max Scherzer fell victim to the slump Friday night in Pittsburgh, matching a season-high with five earned runs allowed while failing to complete six innings for only the second time all year. And those three towering home runs he served up to Pedro Alvarez, Gregory Polanco and Neil Walker? That’s the first time Scherzer has allowed three homers in one start since Sept. 15, 2011.

The Nationals did rally to tie the game and get Scherzer off the hook, but Sammy Solis allowed the go-ahead (and eventual winning) runs to score in the bottom of the sixth, taking the loss in the process. Make no mistake, Scherzer was more to blame for this loss than Solis or anybody else out of the bullpen. Give your ace a 2-run lead in the fifth, you expect your ace to hold it.

Scherzer couldn’t do that Friday night, and so the Nats have dropped the first two games of this four-game series. And they’ve now dropped 5-of-8 game to begin the second half.

At 51-44, they own the worst record of any of MLB’s six division leaders, on pace to win a mere 87 games by season’s end.

Thankfully, from the Nationals’ standpoint, the Mets are a bigger mess right now, unable to score enough runs to take advantage of their electric young rotation. But they can’t count on that remaining the case forever.

New York made a couple of significant moves on Friday. First, they called up top prospect Michael Conforto and threw him right to the wolves, batting him seventh and starting him in left field against the Dodgers. Then they pulled off a trade for a pair of veteran infielders: Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, both upgrades over what they currently have.

When healthy, there’s still no comparison between the Nationals’ lineup and the Mets’ lineup. We should see evidence of that in the next few days as the Nats finally start getting players back from injury instead of losing them.

But in the meantime, this team is going to have to try to keep treading water as best it can.

  1. scmargenau - Jul 25, 2015 at 6:09 AM

    I’ll be watching to see how Fister and Roark rebound. Not willing to give up on those two yet. Maybe Rendon and esco today???

  2. wmlsays - Jul 25, 2015 at 6:20 AM

    It’s a good thing the Nets can’t hit, or the Nats would be looking up and wondering who stepped on them. Scherzer is good, but when can we stop the talk of Cy Young? He’s 10-9. Vaunted pitching staff? Dodgers, yes. Mets, yes. Nats, no. And the bullpen?

    Still, they have done fairly well under the circumstances. They’re nowhere near good enough to go far in the playoffs, but hey, they’re not bad.

    • veejh - Jul 25, 2015 at 7:41 AM

      Using a pitcher’s record to down their effectiveness/quality. Shame on you.

      • npb99 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:50 PM

        King Felix won the Cy Young with a W-L just barely over .500. It can be done. That said, Scherzer’s increasing ERA and Greinke’s hot spell means Max is no longer the frontrunner.
        But who cares anyway? Post-season wins is all that matters to me.

  3. nattygoats - Jul 25, 2015 at 6:43 AM

    Good article Mark. The starting pitching is not as advertised. Not even close to what we were promised. BP a mess. Let’s be realistic, if this team isn’t in the NL east nobody here is even watching baseball anymore.

    • coop202 - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:50 AM

      I watched the team when it was far worse than this… Thanks for joining the wagon though

      • natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:59 AM

        Likewise. I like to think that it built character. What?

        “I watched the team when it was far worse than this…”

  4. nattygoats - Jul 25, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    The Nats will stuff one NL east champ flag after another in the park. But that’s it

  5. JayB - Jul 25, 2015 at 7:02 AM

    Does anyone really feel Werth or Zimm at this point would be an upgrade? Harsh to say but they both may well be on the step down side trend to end their careers. Especially Zim…remember all the rah rah glass all full types from the winter talking about his injury problem not being a real thing…just unlucky? Come on, he is like a cheap moving van in a cross country move….it is going to break down again and again.

    RIzzo is not able to make the tough calls on “his guys”, “his decisions”….Rizzo is often great moves but when they are not he can not cut his loses…he still must prove himself right even at the expense of the team and a playoff run…..Ted Lerner is not the guy who has that type of time.

    Chapman should have been a Nat when he came out of Cuba…what?…..Rizzo did not have the money to sign him? No Rizzo has said to a group of fans at the time he did not think he was worth the money….Wrong….Still closer is not use in a 0-1 loss……what this team needs is a full rebuild of the lineup.

    No Werth, no Zim, no Ian, no Span…..it is here now and window closed so will Rizzo deal with it or put his head in the sand again…HROD and Uggla Style?

    • nattygoats - Jul 25, 2015 at 7:11 AM

      Rizzos loyalty to Zimm is admirable. But it’s time to cut bait with this guy.

      • veejh - Jul 25, 2015 at 7:50 AM

        You don’t just cut bait with a guy who’s been the face of the franchise since the beginning. Especially when he’s owed $10M/season for around 64727646 more years.

      • 3on2out - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:07 AM

        As usual, Nasty, your are a joy after a loss.

        In order to improve your limited understanding of the English language, “fish or cut bait” (which I assume is what you are referring to in “it’s time to cut bait with guy) is a common English language colloquial expression, dating back to the 19th-century United States, that advises for teamwork.

        Somehow, I don’t think that’s what you were advising re: Mr. Zimmerman. More like off the team, right, Nasty?

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 25, 2015 at 7:36 AM

      Does anyone really feel Werth or Zimm at this point would be an upgrade? Harsh to say but they both may well be on the step down side trend to end their careers

      It’s time to expand your mind to the world’s possibilities, JayB, and hold two ideas at the same time: they can be on the down side of the careers AND better than the guys they would replace.

      TyMo is slashing 216/.267/.374 with a wRC+ of 71. den Dekker is slashing .195/.283/.390.

      Jayson Werth could put up #s far below 2013-14 production and still exceed those easily.

    • 3on2out - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      Isn’t it nice to have the nabob of negativity back? Before everyone gets all wrapped around the axle about Chapman, let’s compare 2015 stats:

      Chapman W-L 3-4, ERA 1.74, saves 19, WHIP 1.26
      Storen: W-L 0-1, ERA 1.73, saves 29, WHIP 1.02

      He would be a nice addition to the bullpen but he is really hasn’t been more effective that Storen this year and we should not trade away our future for him. Cuban players have been hit and miss (e.g., Maya) and the price for Chapman at the time was exorbitant for some one who had never thrown in pitch in the big leagues. 20/20 hindsight is lovely but I thought Rizzo made the right call to pass on Chapman when he did.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:23 AM

      JayB? Your big call for this team earlier in the year was for the Nats to get Chase Utley. LOL!!! That would have been a real choice move.

    • rabbit433 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:08 AM

      Have to agree about Werth and Zimmerman not really being a big upgrade. Plus, the returning players will be in spring-training mode for about a month. Well, our 2005 team was in first place for a half season. The team we fielded last night resembles that team, but the current one is a little better. We should make the playoffs, being in this division.

  6. masterfishkeeper - Jul 25, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    LOD folks are out in force this morning.

    The Nats are in good shape, 3 games up and 5 frontline players coming back soon. Gonna be a fun stretch run.

    • veejh - Jul 25, 2015 at 7:43 AM

      Agree. Things will come together.

  7. JayB - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    HH…you are right but that does not fix anything……529 Winning rate wins NL east which is a joke in itself but another one and one Playoffs for this group closes the door on one of the most epic underachievers in the last 10 years in sports. Rizzo must make the hard decisions and admit by action he was wrong about many of ‘his guys and character guys”.

  8. edshelton2013 - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:17 AM

    Five of the eight position players in yesterday’s line-up are hitting .229, .218, .216, .194 and .195.
    Pretty pathetic.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:19 AM

      Shocking, eh? If you look closely, you can see they are almost all bench players. They’ve been doing a pretty good job for bench players too. You can’t expect a team to be the same with the loss of 4 starters and a SP. That doesn’t excuse Max stumbling yesterday, but that happens too. That’s baseball. Nats will be fine; Chapman or no Chapman. They really just need a reliable setup RP.

  9. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    To call this team underachievers is pretty silly. In fact, I won’t even address it further other than to say that no bench in baseball can fill in for this many starters going down, but these guys have dove pretty good. And they are still in the middle of a brutal streak of facing a string of the best pitchers in the NL, one after the other, without more than half of there starting position players.

    Don’t think one player returning from the DL can make a big difference? Giants are 10-2 since Hunter Pence returned to the lineup. He is killing the ball since his return. 4 hits last night against the woeful A’s. Billy Burns left the game with an injury. Let’s just say he got a ball on balls in an AB and had to leave the game with a testicular contusion.

    GYFNG…

    and a pox on the houses of the neg-anons and trolls that have permeated this blog lately.

    • realdealnats - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:26 AM

      “a pox on the houses”

      Wow, Joe’s goin’ all Shakespeare on JB!

      I, for one, have grown to appreciate most of the backups who are enabling this team to tread water even more than I did before everyone started going down…again and again.

      I’m surprised when anyone comes back from injury like Pence is doing. But I think Pence will come back to earth; and I do fear there will be a couple weeks of rust we see at the plate with Jayson, and even longer with Zim. Rendon, not so much. Hope I’m wrong and they all light out of the gate.

      But as I said early and mid-season, I’d much rather be playing a season like we are now–in a division like we are in–what it is–what it is–staying sharp cobbling together a team that gets healthy right about now and has just enough time to really come together and hopefully be a juggernaut by late September.

      I would hate to be inside the LODers’ heads anytime, but especially in October to hear them worrying about winning the East in runaway fashion only to run into teams like the Giants who excel when it counts in the post season upsetting those teams who’ve developed false feelings of WS Crown entitlement–when the marathon becomes a sprint and the terms of the game seem to change a bit. Best way to build clutch, if possible, is to stay tough all season long by facing adversity, imho.

      • unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:29 AM

        What you said… Perfect!

      • 3on2out - Jul 25, 2015 at 11:55 AM

        +59

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:33 PM

        Actually, and honestly, JayB’s house is low on the list of where my pox remark was directed. I rarely, if ever, agree with him, but he’s entitled to his opinion. And I have never called him a troll.But these days too many come on here just to snipe and run with asinine, derogatory comments. It has driven a lot of long time, astute baseball fans, and Nats fans specifically, away from this blog. I miss some of the more intelligent life forms that used to frequent this site.

      • philipd763 - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:52 PM

        Trolls don’t waste their time on this blog. Some people are disgusted with way the Nats are performing compared to their potential and they voice their frustrations right here. When they are happy, they are quiet. That doesn’t mean they aren’t loyal fans, it is just their style, me and perhaps Jay included. Everyone doesn’t wear rose colored glasses.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:32 PM

        But it’s a pretty crappy, low form of fandom to only share the negative. It doesn’t show much consideration for fellow fans in the community to pour bile and frustration out on their heads. I’ll take your word that you’re happy when things are going well, Phil. I don’t think that it would kill you or any of the Nega-nons to share a positive thought now and then.

        And no, “I’m positive that this will end badly” doesn’t count! 😉

      • unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:51 PM

        So… I called JayB a troll, more or less just to see if he could possibly admit that he was wrong about the bench. Just pulling on his cape, y’know? I’ll never “get” the neganon attitude, but I enjoy their commentary as much as anybody. It’d be nice though, for him to man up and say “I’m still not a Rizzo fan, but the bench has held its own”… It just amounts to enjoying the fact that we’ve won some games, right?

        I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve been reported… I feel like such a bad boy! Should I get a tattoo? Lol 😜

    • coop202 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:53 AM

      To be fair it’s not like the whole year we’ve been down to the bone like we have the last few weeks and we still underachieved (would be in really rough shape of Harper didn’t go on a historic bender). We’re a team when healthy built for consistency and division titles at the moment too… Somewhat like the Braves of the 90s.

  10. wmlsays - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    I wonder why people keep saying that Rizzo is such a great GM. His high priced players have not been as advertised. Really, Scherzer has had some outstanding games, but he’s 10-9. Zimmerman is always injured. Werth is always injured. Span was probably the best deal, but he’s been injured as well. Strasburg has been inconsistent and has been injured. The supposedly great pitching rotation is nothing close to that. Lots of injuries, leading to lots of excuses, but the bottom line is that they are not competitive with the top tier teams. Who actually thinks this team can beat the Cardinals, the Dodgers, the Giants or the Pirates when it is playoff time?

    Not a bad team, but the Lerners have overspent for the results they have gotten. Yeah, you can say bad luck and all that. Other teams, with other scouts and GMs, don’t seem to suffer the same injury bug as the Nats. Perhaps the conditioning team isn’t up to par? The pitching coaches don’t seem to maximize the talent that they have.

    I would not be surprised to see Bryce Harper leave if the Nats don’t win a WS before he becomes a free agent. Rizzo can’t seem to get the combination right.

    • Section 222 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:12 AM

      I stopped reading wml’s comment when I read that Scherzer isn’t that great because he’s 10-9. That’s absurd. He’s having a career year in virtually every category.

      As for the other sky is falling comments, why not see how Zim and Werth do when they return before writing them off? You’re going to look pretty silly if they are an upgrade over the bench players currently occupying their positions, which, as HH points out, won’t be hard.

      • wmlsays - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:24 AM

        Didn’t say he wasn’t great. I am saying that 10-9 isn’t really doing much for the team. He’s good, with some great performances. Ultimately, though, you still need to win games.

        I am not Zim and Werth off. I am just saying they get injured a lot. And that for the price paid, they have been under performers. If you can’t go out and play, you’re not doing the team any good. Not their fault, just saying that you’re paying a lot for not a lot of playing time.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:12 PM

        You have it backwards– a 10-9 record says the team isn’t doing much for him.

      • wmlsays - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:07 PM

        Scherzer has been rocked a few times lately. He’s still good, but something is off.

  11. unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    JayB: Repeat after me;

    “Rizzo did an unbelievably great job, putting this bench together. I have to give him his props, because I’ve never seen any team play out an entire 1/2 season with half of their starting lineup on the DL, and still lead their division, even if it is a lousy division… Kudos and a doff of my cap to you, Mike Rizzo”….

    If you can’t make that admission, stfu… Because you can claim no objectivity at all, and you simply out yourself as nothing more than a miserable troll.

    That is all.

    • rabbit433 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      So, JayB gave his opinion, that makes him a troll?!! He is just a frustrated Nats fan as I am, and it sounds as if you are too.

      • unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:26 AM

        What makes him a troll, Rabbit, is the inability to ever find anything positive to comment on, or more importantly, to admit that the drum that he beat, ad infinitum, during the offseason and ST, was mistaken. He said over and over, what seemed like several times a day , that the bench would be our downfall, that Rizzo would rue the day that he failed to bring in JayB’s choices… This shows that the only joy he seems to take from this team (publicly, anyway) is in being correct in his prognostications of doom, refusing to concede an irrefutable point.

      • unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:55 AM

        … And, to be clear, I’m not frustrated, at all. I have high hopes for Rendon coming back and playing at or above last year’s level, the rest of the way. Jayson prolly will not hit for power at all, this year, but he’s a smart ball player… Once he gets his to ring back, I see him high in the order, seeing lots of pitches, and spraying base hits every which way, with a shorter, quicker swing. Fingers crossed, on Span… Hard to know what’s up with his back, but we all know what it means to have him leading off, right? It’s Zim I have the most concern about, as fasciitis doesn’t go away overnight. But to the small contingent worried that he’s done and done, they’ll sort this out in the offseason. One thing I know they can do, as a last resort if it doesn’t respond to treatment , is a procedure to split the fascia surgically, enough to relieve the tightness. My 1st wife had it in her calf, and we were able to do a stretching procedure a couple of times a day, as the muscle in question was much longer than the ones under the foot… I believe in Stras, too…

        So no frustration, at all, in this quarter… I see no reason this team can’t gather enough steam to finish near the top of this league, and go on to sweep the playoffs. That’s not a prediction, I’m just allowing for the possibility…

        It could happen… 😜

    • unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      Yep…. That’s what I thought…

  12. Doc - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    The good news is that the walking wounded are on their way back. The bad news is that it will probably take them some ABs to get it going again!

  13. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Obviously it would have been nice to up 4 or 5 games over the Mets as the opportunity has been squandered. I have no problem with Max, it happens, he really did not seem himself.

    Desi was the positive last night as maybe, just maybe he is coming around.

    Now, lets talk BP, I am very concerned. I still do not understand why MW did not come in with Thornton or Rivero before Solis. I know very little about Solis, maybe he will be good one day, but not now. Bad move by MW and this why I really think in any series he will get out coached in October.

    Also, at times Ramos approach at bat is poor and predictable. You can sense he is going to wiff on a slider or an inside fast ball.

    Bottom line, this BP as it stands will be the down fall for the Nats no matter how good the offense is. Five runs is more than enough to win a game. I still am not a Barrett fan,

  14. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    The more I think about it, why Solis and not Thornton or Rivero…did MW offer an explanation or is his smug arrogance too much to admit maybe he made a mistake?

  15. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    And Mark is right about the Mets being a mess right now. Yes, Nats should win the East, if they do not and there are no further injuries to the team, then there is no justification for MW returning in 2016, it would be obvious he ain’t the guy. I think Nats will win East but if this BP is not fixed and MW continues to make stupid moves, the team will be one and out, AGAIN!

  16. coop202 - Jul 25, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Mlbtraderumors picking up links between us and papelbon. If they’d eat the salary and he’d take the eight I assume the asking price is much lower than chapman

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:12 PM

      Yes, but even if it is do you want Papelbon?

      • coop202 - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:17 PM

        depending on the price- he’s rocking a 1.59 era and sub 1 whip. I know he’s a vocal but he’s also experienced and good.

  17. zmunchkin - Jul 25, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    A couple of comments. We now have a 3 game lead on Mets (stating the obvious). On July 25, of 2014, the Nats had a 2.5 game lead on the Braves. How’d that work out??????

    Bottom line: every year is different, but there’s lots of baseball left to play. And I plan to enjoy every day of it (after going 34 years without a home town team).

    I am also one of those folks who simultaneously thinks that there are multiple ways to solve a problem, and there are multiple causes and sometimes the most obvious cause is not the true cause.

    It seems to me that one of the major issues this year with the BP could be reasonably traced to missing Craig Stammen. The replacements for Stammen (Roark, Solis, Cole, others) have not worked out. So I wonder:

    – if Rizzo is looking for a trade for a guy to replace Stammen?
    – if not, should he be?
    – any thoughts on who such a candidate might be

    A Stammen replacement would likely not cost nearly as much as Chapmen or Papelbon. And might even be an August waiver trade.

    Thoughts/opinions?

    • wmlsays - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:02 PM

      They could trade Roark, since Ross seems to be a keeper. Though with JZimm and Fister probably gone by next year, you may want to keep them. One thing about the Nats starting pitching being less than anticipated. Keeping JZimm and Fister may be possible, since their value is probably not as high now as at the season’s start.

  18. edshelton2013 - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    zmunch:
    Papelbon may not be that costly, especially if the Phillies eat a big chunk of his contract.
    Would he be happy as a set-up man? With the year he’s having, I can’t imagine Storen losing his closer’s job.
    (of course, that didn’t stop Rizzo from bringing in Soriano a couple of years ago).

    • zmunchkin - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:15 PM

      If the Nats are willing to eat his salary, Papelbon could likely be gotten with a low cost in prospects. I agree that with you edshelton that he may be available at a reasonable cost.

    • jfmii - Jul 25, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      Storen was not as good when they brought in Soriano as his now. By a lot.

  19. garyfromcville - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    To many negative comments here. With the injuries to the Nats we’re very lucky to be above .500 in my opinion. Let’s get some of these guys back and see what happens. If I remember right, we won 21 out of 24 sometime earlier this season when we were mostly healthy. Save the bitching until after we get healthy. Then you’ll have more reason to complain. Or maybe you’d like the Nats of 4 or 5 years ago. Then you’d have reason to bitch.

  20. tony - Jul 25, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    Here is a hunch. I think that the Nats will be trading Escobar before the deadline for pitching. Teams are looking for a bat and he is controllable for two more years. That allows Rendon to go back to 3B and Espinosa to stay at 2B. With the season that he is having, Escobar is at the top of his value.

    • wmlsays - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:10 PM

      Rendon seems to be injury prone. The Nats would be nowhere without Escobar. He has been better than advertised. If Rizzo trades Escobar, he may be admitting that the team is doomed.

    • jfmii - Jul 25, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      I have been thinking the same thing about Escobar. Love what he has done, but it is a career year type of thing. That is also why you might want to deal him now–his trade value may never be higher. Desi will be the shortstop for the rest of the year, and Turner will be there next year. Rendon needs to play third when he returns and you should not move Danny off second.

  21. homeparkdc - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    Of course, you could look at game 95 in 2014: the Nats were 52-43 with no one on the DL, and a win vs Brewers.
    Various NI comments followed:

    How much longer do we need to endure the Hairston show. He forgot how to hit.
    McLouth killed the ball unfortunately right at the CF.
    LaRoche 0 for his last 18.
    I am also ready to see some changes in the Nats bench, but let’s be realistic.
    You have to get proven bench pinch-hitting personnel not players who require regular playing time. It takes a special player.

    Moral of the story: Help is on the way from a new and improved bench – Span, Rendon, Werth. Escobar. 🙂

  22. jfmii - Jul 25, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    To all the gloom and doomers: I will wait until the end of the season. Too many teams have won the WS with less than 90 wins in the regular season. The only goal now is to make the post-season. If they do and they lose early in October, then all you nasty folks can come out screaming. As for me, if that happens, I will mourn then will be happy to have been watching one of the better teams in major league baseball since 2012, and will be lamenting the crap-shoot nature of playoff baseball.

    Even in the woeful NL East if for some unfathomable set of facts they do not make the postseason, then I will be sad and start counting down the days until the first pitch is thrown in April 2016

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