May 29, 2011, 11:08 PM EST
In a lot of ways, the Nationals are close. Really close, in fact, to playing .500 ball. Just about every game they play seems to be tight, usually decided by one clutch at-bat or one important pitch. Sometimes, it comes down to a break, good or bad.
There is, however, another way to look at this club right now. After an excruciating, 5-4 loss to the Padres on Sunday, the Nationals fell to 5-11 in one-run games this season. Good teams simply don’t lose so many close games. Good teams do the little things it takes to turn one-run losses into one-run victories.
So, which is it? Are the Nationals simply unlucky and poised to enjoy a breakthrough at some point? Or are they simply not a good enough team to deserve breaks?
“It’s not about breaks, it’s about playing baseball the right way,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “I honestly don’t know. It’s not luck. We’re not unlucky. We have runners in scoring position, and we can’t score them. It starts with me. I left runners in scoring position out there. I’ve been leaving runners out there. I’ve got to do something different. We’ve all got to do something different.”
All these agonizing losses are wearing on a clubhouse full of players that has run out of ways to describe their frustration. Some have tried to remain positive all along, insisting good things are bound to happen
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2013 schedule (subject to change)...
TUE: 12:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
WED: 2:30 p.m.
THU: 4:30 p.m.
FRI: 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
SAT: 9:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Wilson, Blevins among Nationals trade targets
- Rizzo: Nats aren't trading Clippard, Storen, Span
- 6 weeks into MLB offseason and free agents are going fast
- Williams on Harper, Strasburg and more
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo on lefty reliever market (VIDEO)
- Nationals' asking price high on Storen, Clippard
- Phillies willing to trade Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee
- Nats expect McLouth to get significant playing time
- Nats believe Ramos can catch 125 games
- Nationals in no rush to acquire left-hander