Monday, April 21, 2014

Thoughts on the Nationals

They were able to split the four game series with the Cardinals which was a very good thing. But the Nats record against the two teams that are their presumed major obstacles to the post season (the Braves and Cardinals) is a dismal 3-7 this year.

They won’t play the Cardinals again in the regular season. The Braves are another matter entirely. The Nats will play the Braves 13 more times this season. The next time won’t be for a little while, June. June 19 to be exact. It will be at home. It will be a four game series. And the Nats are going to have to take at least three of those games. The reason is that so far against the Braves the Nats are an anemic 1-5. That follows last year’s dismal record of 6-13. If there is going to be any sort of run at winning the division, the Nats are going to have to solve the problem of the Braves. The one good thing is there is two months for the Nats to try and figure out how to do that.

Next thing that needs to get better is the team’s ERA. Through Sunday the Nat’s ERA average is 3.66. That puts them 14th in the league. Essentially right in the middle. The average for the National League is 3.64. So the Nats are just a hair above that. The team at number 1 just so happens to be the Braves (ugh can we ever get away from these guys) at 2.40. There have been way too many games lately where by the third inning three, four, five or sometimes as many as 6 runs have been scored by the other team. Way to get in a big whole in a big hurry really early in the game. This has got to get better.

Hitting is in better shape. The Nats are seventh overall in the league with a .255 average. The main thing is not to get behind early. And please, please, please when you have bases loaded get at least one run in. This happened on Sunday with bases loaded and one out and the result no runs. They had better luck in the bottom of the 9th when Denard Span came up and a sacrifice fly into left field winning the game.

So what to take from just about 20 games into the season. The Nats pitching needs to get better. Hopefully when Doug Fister has recovered from his injury the Nats will have their full rotation in and things will get better. Just a little improvement could make a big difference by not getting behind early. The flip side of that is the Nats need to start scoring runs earlier in the game. How about loading the bases in the third or fourth inning and scoring a couple of runs.

It is early in the season. But last year there was too much of wait they will get on track. Just wait until May or June or July or August. The problem was they ran out of time. At the end of the season they were the hottest team in baseball. But they just started a little too late to make the playoffs.

My suggestion start getting red hot as soon as possible and start the momentum for a 100 win season or as close to it as possible.

Whatever the results, I’ll be out there tomorrow night saying: Let’s go Nats.

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