"Wasted a decent Dan Haren start" Those are words I wasn't expecting to type. But there you go, the Nats were shut down again, as they have been much of the past 10 games. They are 3-7 in that time frame and that matches the worst 10 game stretch they had all last year. (Don't worry 2-8 isn't around the corner they'd need to lose 4 more in a row to get there, because this stretch started with 3 straight losses)
In the past 7 days this is how the Nats are hitting.
Adam LaRoche .235 / .350 / .412
This will look good in comparison to what you see below. This is also a more patient last year's Danny Espinosa.
Kurt Suzuki .133 / .222 / .467
Showing that he needs his platoon buddy. He's 0 for his last 12.
Ian Desmond .211 /.250 / .421
Again in comparison to below this is Brycian but it shows how Ian needs to hit for average to really be useful. He has 2 walks in 76 PAs this year. That's a less than 20 walk season pace.
Steve Lomardozzi .273 / .273 / .273
This is Lombo. He can hit singles. He has 3 XBH this year, which is actually a show of power. Including those 3 he has 4 XBH in his last 83 PAs going back to mid August last year.
Jayson Werth .167 / .286 / .222
His wrist is fine! Yet only 1 XBH (a double) since April 9th.
Danny Espinosa .182 /.182 /.273
After easily leading the team in K's last year with 189, Danny only has 8 this year (in contrast with say Desmond's 18 or Werth's 17). But he also has only 2 walks this year. He's actually "hot" recently hitting .214 with a double and a homer in the last 5 games.
Chad Tracy .125 / .300 / .125
Chad has 1 hit as a PH so far this year. Of course he has 2 hits as a starter so it's not like that's an option either.
Denard Span .133 / .235 / .133
Remember when he was getting on base nearly half the time? In the last 8 games he's hitting .219 with 2 walks for a .265 OBP. He's not this bad but he wasn't that good either. Also he's in the same XBH funk Werth is in. 0 XBH since April 9th.
Roger Bernadina . 000 / .000 / .000
His last hit was on October 2nd, 2012. He has 3 hits since Labor Day 2012.
This won't last. All these guys are not this bad. This is just the (bad) luck of the draw with all these cold streaks happening at the same time and the breaks in the games not going the Nats way. Think of it as karmic retribution for last year when they started out cold with the bats but went 6-2 in one-run games and 2-0 in 2 run games. How do you get to 14-4 when you can't hit? You win games 2-1, 3-2, 2-1, 1-0, 3-2, 2-0, 3-2, and 3-1 that's how.
Are there deeper problems? Was Kurt Suzuki's play not sustainable? Were Werth's HRs a fluke and the power is still not there? Did pitchers finally realize there's no reason to throw strikes to Desmond? Is Danny ever going to turn that corner? Is Span's lack of pop going to reach new lows in a tougher offensive league? Is the bench really mediocre as we thought going into last year? We'll just have to see. Just keep telling yourself that. You can't make decisions off 3 weeks of play. Or better said, you can't make smart decisions off 3 weeks of play. The Nats have to ride this out and see where they stand in a few more weeks before potentially dealing with any issues.