But something "fun", someone asked if the Nats had ever hit this bad. Using the baselines of 9 runs in 5 games (since that is essentially what the Nats played) and a .480 OPS, my perusing of the batting gamelogs for this season found that the answer is no. The Nats never hit that poorly.
However they did come really close. These things are shifty (you can usually move a game or few in either direction and it still doesn't look great) but here are some bad 5 game streaks they did go though.
- April 17th-21st : 11 runs, .533 OPS
- May 6th-11th : 10 runs, .539 OPS
- May 21st-26th (6G) : 14 runs, .588 OPS
- June 11th-15th : 10 runs, .469 OPS
- No Zimm or Ramos and Span was out a couple games.
- Zimm still out, Bryce out, Ramos comes back but not everyday yet, LaRoche goes out
- Zimm still out, Bryce still out, LaRoche comes back a few games in
- Zimm back!, Bryce still out, Ramos out again,
Ok but you titled this "We were warned" - what the hell does that mean? A little schedule look please
- CIN(1), @PIT, MIA(1)
I don't want you to take away "THE NATS CAN'T HIT GOOD TEAMS!!!" because we run into a problem if you try to do that. The Nats played 37 games against playoff teams but only 10 after the All-Star game and only 13 after the 15th of June. It's a chicken and the egg type of argument. Did the Nats hit poorly versus these teams because they were good or because they happened to play them when they hurt? Did they hit better in the 2nd half of the year because they were healthy or because they started to play more bad teams? It's hard to tease out. They didn't hit badly versus these teams in the 2nd half, which would tend to suggest injuries mattered more.
I can tell you this :
WAS: .736 .660 .076
STL: .695 .682 .013
PIT: .737 .730 .007
LAD: .758 .704 .054
SFG: .715 .670 .045
The first number is the team OPS versus teams under .500. The second number is the team OPS versus teams over .500. The third number is the difference. As expected every team's production drops, but no team had a great a drop in production as the Nats did. Of course to add the usual shaker of salt - the only teams this adds to the analysis is MIL and SEA.
Was it bad luck? Or was it something else? Regardless of what we think and what can be proven, at the very least this was a warning sign that the offensive outage of the playoffs was a possibility.