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 »
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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
- Nationals sign veteran infielder to minor league deal
- 2016 Nats roster outlook: Can Gio Gonzalez be more consistent?
- 2016 Nats roster outlook: Stephen Strasburg's contract year
- 2016 MLB roster outlook: Detroit Tigers
- 2016 MLB roster outlook: Colorado Rockies
- 2016 MLB roster outlook: Cleveland Indians
- Report: All-Star catcher Lucroy has Nats on no-trade list
- 2016 Nats roster outlook: Max Scherzer more important in Year 2
- 2016 Nats roster outlook: An important year for Wilson Ramos
- NL East: Phillies add new alternate uniform for 2016 (PHOTOS)