Jun 16, 2010, 2:55 PM EST
DETROIT — In the wake of the Nationals' 7-4 loss to the Tigers last night — their 19th loss in 30 games, by the way — I started thinking about what currently plagues this team.
My first thought was that the rotation (aside from Stephen Strasburg and Livan Hernandez) has taken a step backward and isn't giving this club a chance to win as much as it did earlier in the year. But the starting staff still owns a collective 4.53 ERA. Not spectacular, but not awful by any means.
So then I thought a lack of clutch hitting has been the Nats' biggest Achilles' heel. But as a team, they're hitting .267 with runners in scoring position. That's better than their overall team average of .262.
So then I thought about the black hole in right field that has plagued the club all season and figured that was its most-pressing issue. But Roger Bernadina is hitting .378 this month, with a 1.002 OPS. And Michael Morse, since returning from the DL, is hitting .458 with a 1.302 OPS. So right field can't be the problem.
So then I figured it must be poor defense. But then I realized the Nationals rank 11th in the NL both in runs allowed and earned runs allowed. So it's not like the defense is costing them more than anything else.
At this point, I was developing a pretty intense headache, so I decided this might not be worth agonizing over. The answer might actually be simple: The Nats simply are an average team, in just about every facet of the game. They get good pitching sometimes,Read more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nats recall NLDS, watching Giants win World Series
- 'Baseball in the District' - Kurkjian, Zuckerman & Corcoran talk Nats
- How the Nats' trade impacts Desmond's future
- Nats trade Souza in 3-team deal, get Turner from Padres
- Report: Mets may not pitch Harvey vs. Nats on Opening Day
- Souza's name crops up in complex trade talks
- Clippard: 'I hope we all stay together for at least one more shot'
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo explains trading Detwiler; talks prospects
- Nats announce date pitchers and catchers will report to Viera
- Nationals react to Detwiler and LaRoche leaving this offseason