May 9, 2011, 2:34 PM EDT
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Michael Morse has struck out in a whopping 28.6 percent of his plate appearances.
There is perhaps nothing more frustrating in baseball than the act of striking out. Or, specifically, watching someone from your team strike out. Which may explain in part why the Nationals have been particularly frustrating to watch so far this season.
The Nationals have turned the strikeout into a rite of passage. Through 34 games, they've totaled 270 strikeouts, an average of 7.94 per game. Amazingly, they don't rank dead-last in the NL in this category. Both the Pirates and Padres have whiffed more, though not in the last week, when things have really taken a downward turn.
Over their last five games, the Nats have struck out 61 times, a stunning average of 12.2 per game. Three of the last four opposing starters they've faced (Roy Halladay, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez) have reached double digits in K's.
Why have the Nationals struggled so much this season to produce runs? More than anything, it's been their inability to put the ball in play.
As a team, the Nats are striking out in 21.6 percent of their plate appearances. That's the second-worst rate in baseball (ahead of onlyRead 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.
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