Suuuuuuper busy so this is what you get today.
The weekend was a bust. This team is close to being a bust. It's time to stop looking at this team as an underacheiving 95 win squad and start looking at it like a high 80s win team that may or may not make it to (past?) that point.
And you could argue it isn't even that - the record says the Nats are a .500 team. The run differential says the Nats are worse than that. They are 5th in runs allowed, which is good but not team-carrying. They are 13th in runs scored which is terrible. Injured Espinosa (5% of the Nats PAs) was an absolute hole for 2-plus months. Span (11%) is bad. Suzuki (7%) is worse. The main bench of Lombo, Bernie, Moore, and Tracy (15.6%) has been cringe worthy. Leave Span out and toss in a couple stragglers like Marrero and Solano, and add the pitchers and you have around 30% of all plate appearances for the Nats being TERRIBLE. Add Span back in and that's probably over 40% that have been well below average at best. That's how they got here. Closing in on half their at bats have not been major league worthy.
A few weeks ago the Nats finished up the first part of a stretch some were saying was easy. The Nats went 11-10, but I noted that calling that stretch easy was a bit unfair. I also noted that the Nats were truly going to hit an easy stretch coming up and they needed to make some headway and catch the Braves
At that point the Braves were up 5.5 games. They went 9-7 from that point on. The Nats could have caught up to 4 games by going 11-6. They went 9-8.
There is one more easy stretch but is it even going to matter?
The hope is that with Ramos, Rendon here now and rest of the team healthy they can score. Right now their stats suggest that Bryce, Werth, Zimm, Desmond, Ramos, Rendon all could finish among the Top 5 offensive players at their positions. Maybe this will work out. But is Werth really back to being this good? Can Ramos and Rendon sustain what they've done in admittedly few at bats? Is there something wrong with Bryce? Can Zimm stay healthy? We thought that it was going to turn around a week or so before now and we're staring at ice-cold LaRoche, Zimm and Bryce to add to Span and the pitcher meaning over half the lineup is doing nothing.
Maybe this will work out. Maybe it won't.