Now comes probably the biggest hurdle that sits between the last Mets series and the next one. The Mets host a three game set versus the still terrible Phillies while the Nats travel to St. Louis for three against the best in baseball Cardinals. Nothing has changed. Win the series. Hope the Mets don't. Pick up a game. However, this three day set is probably the best chance for things to go quickly south for the Nats besides the H2H match-up. If the Nats can come find themselves Thursday morning no worse for wear I'll consider that a moral victory. But I do hate moral victories, so win the series.
Boz blames the starters. Have the starters underperformed? Absolutely. Do they share part of the blame? Of course. Are they the "biggest problem of 2015"? HA! Imagine you're driving a car on four bald donuts, out of steering fluid, with a windshield you can't see through but you do have brand-new brakes. Now you see at the last minute you need to avoid an accident, you can't steer out of the way so you hit the brakes... and they don't work perfectly. SMASH! Do you blame the brakes?
Despite Strasburg battling injuries and Fister collapsing in a heap of "we knew this would happen, we were just hoping it would be next season" The Nats starters have an above average ERA of 3.84. I'm going to go ahead and list the teams ahead of the Nats in ERA. Cardinals, Dodgers, Mets, Pirates, Cubs. Notice a pattern? And right behind the Nats? The Giants. The Nats have a playoff caliber rotation, the fact that it's not near the best in the NL is disappointing but it can't be singled out as THE issue.
The rotation was supposed to be so good it would help overcome other issues. Guess what? THAT'S A TERRIBLE PLAN. Maybe try not to have other issues instead. It's baseball. Any aspect can be completely undermined by a couple injuries and a surprise bad performance. Any aspect.
- I told you I'd hold off on Jayson Werth to see if the thin mountain air helped him get back on track or not. Since the Colorado series (not counting it) he's hitting .294 / .415 / .559. Will he keep it up? Will he hit for power in September? Don't know. What I feel safe in saying is that he's as healthy as he's going to be for 2015 and therefore needs to be playing nearly everyday. I still want Robinson playing but the Span injury makes it easier to find time for him in a Taylor/Robinson quasi-platoon (Bryce takes over CF when Robinson plays).
- Strasburg is hurt. That's not good. I think he needs the whole offseason to rest, but he's not going to get it. Since it's not his arm, I say shoot him up, get him out there, and go for it. At least until the season is decided.
- One of Boz's points is that the offense is fine because the Nats are going to score about the same number as runs as last year. Yeah except offense is slightly up this year. The offense is actually down in comparison to the league. Slightly true but he's insinuating it might be slightly better. It's not. Context matters.
- You know if Ian hits in September like he did in August, turning down that 7/107 extension may turn out to be a wash. That would almost certainly put him Top 5 in the NL, maybe Top 10 overall in offense for a SS. And that's just overall, if you want power Ian looks even better. If you need a SS next year either him or Asdrubal will be the top target. If Asdrubal fails down the stretch and Ian keeps it up, 7/107 might be a stretch but 5/80, with some team options on the back end?
- Weekly reminder how awesome Bryce is. Trea Turner hasn't got a hit yet. That's ok. He's still a top prospect and will have a couple years to show what he can do. He's is also only 9 months younger than Bryce who is currently hitting .331 / .457 / .629. And we aren't being too kind to Trea.