The Nats won last night. Henderson Alvarez did pitch well enough to make it a fight but was done in by some non-pitching mistakes (some his own) and the Marlins bullpen indeed wasn't perfect. None of that really mattered though as Gio and the pen dominated the Marlins lineup with relative ease. This sets up nicely for a sweep given the pitching match-ups upcoming. The only question being if this aggressive plate approach (nats averaged 3 1/3 pitches per plate appearance vs Alvarez) will work against a guy who's had trouble hitting the zone. Probably well enough given that he misses high too.
One of the things from last night is how well Rendon is hitting right now. It reminds me a lot of when he first was called up. A lot of line drives. Now of course I told people that couldn't last and that he would likely end up hitting in the .280 range, and could drop to .260 with some bad luck. I proceeded to get yelled at by at least one commentor to which I now say I WAS RIGHT! YOU WERE WRONG! IN YOUR FACE! to whoever that was that I'm too lazy to look up now. Same thing holds true this year as his .476 BABIP isn't going to hold up. Not that he'll hit .260, just don't take a .300+ average as a given because of a hot 7 games.
As hot as he is, Bryce is that cold. He did manage a hit last night, but also struck out again and we wait patiently for him to warm up. The reason I bring Rendon up is to highlight how young Bryce still is. You like Rendon. Think he's got a great future right? Bryce will be the age Rendon currently is sometime during the early stretch run in 2016. (around August 18th or so). If you like what you see of Rendon for his future and for the Nats, you've got a good long leash to give Bryce before he fails to provide something similar. Are you really going to hold it against Bryce that he's not already set on a Hall of Fame career track (even though he kind of is?) That he's not Mike Trout? You are?
Meanwhile Strasburg struggles as well. "Generational talent" you scoff. Would you be happier with Strasburg if he went the way of the last consensus "oh this is the next Hall of Famer" pitching talent? That guy, Mark Prior, at Strasburg's current age was 2 months from throwing his last pitch ever. Where's your beloved Kershaw? Harvey? Oh you've moved on to Jose Fernandez? How convenient. When he goes down in 2016 will you move on to "Why can't Strasburg be like Carlos Martinez?" Strasburg has to get better this season, obviously, but he's been arguably as good as ZNN or Gio the past two seasons. He's younger that either of those two neither of who put together complete seasons before 25. (Gio would get wins, but pitch only good until his first Nats year at age 26. ZNN would pitch great at 25 but not get the wins until last season at 27. Remember that?) Let him have a couple bad starts.
Consider this an early season intervention if these guys keep struggling. Other people set the bars for Strasburg and Bryce, and while both these guys would love to jump over it and made that a goal, they still didn't set them. Don't be too harsh on them if they don't make it over, especially because they are likely to still be moving the Nats toward the ultimate prize while making their attempts.