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Flawed, but still winning

May 24, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

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Danny Espinosa has struggled all season, but Ian Desmond has come up big.

Look up and down the Nationals' team stats page — ignoring their 26-18 record — and try to come away convinced this is a first-place club. It's not easy.

Yes, the starting rotation continues to excel, with a 2.71 ERA and ridiculously good 3.68-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. But that pitching dominance has overshadowed some other obvious flaws on this roster.

The starting second baseman has an embarrassingly low .649 OPS, and the starting center fielder isn't much better at .673. Yet the numbers at those positions look All-Star worthy when compared to the stats Nationals left fielders have collectively put up this season: a .153 batting average, .240 on-base percentage and .245 slugging percentage that adds up to a .485 OPS.

Meanwhile, the Face of the Franchise and star third baseman has only eight extra-base hits while hitting .167 with runners in scoring position. The shortstop has a .299 on-base percentage. And the new startingRead more ยป

206 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 25, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    I hate to wade into the Peric vs. MicheleS debate, but I shall:CMW is in SYR on a "Rehab" assignment. I believe getting himself into MLB pitching shape takes precedence over wins and losses. Now, I'm not taking sides in this monumental debate. I'm just pointing out that maybe he was trying some stuff, not trying to overpower anyone quite yet, and is maybe not quite 100 percent yet.My two cents…

  2. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 25, 2012 at 4:12 AM

    OK, I'm past the 200 mark, so I'm confident nobody is likely to read this.Don't you find arguing about what the GM "should" do about whatever is a little like arguing about whether it should rain, because the grass needs the water?

  3. A DC Wonk - May 25, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Eddie, Wonk,Sofa,ghost, 1a,222 NatsLady, JaneB, lovedanats and many good others are my heroes as well.Awww . . . how kind. Add yourself, MicheleS, to the list, for being informative and keeping it real.

  4. A DC Wonk - May 25, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    One of the things I love about baseball . . . I'm always seeing, learning, or reading about things that I'd never seen or knew before.So, the following isn't strictly about baseball, per se, but, it goes in the "never heard of such a thing before"Fan in catches homers from two straight battershttp://www.csnwashington.com/05/22/12/Reds-fan-catches-homers-from-2-straight-/landing.html?blockID=712024&feedID=9973

  5. Drew - May 25, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    On an unrelated note for an off day: I'm anything but a Yankees fan, but Derek Jeter is putting up remarkable numbers. He already has more than 60 base hits.He has a chance to become only the fifth player in history, aged 38 or older, to amass 200 hits in a season.The others were Nats Hall of Fame OF Sam Rice — who did it at 38 AND at 40 — Pete Rose, Paul Molitor and a Cincy first baseman named Jake Daubert. He did it in 1922 and died two years later, at the age of 40.Jeter has 3,152 hits and is about to pass George Brett for 15th all-time. In two years he could well join the Rushmore 5 of Speaker, Musial, Aaron, Cobb and Rose.Jeter also is just six runs shy of 1,800. He's about to pass Ted Williams. Dude's in serious company.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I always cheer for Jeter to get a single, and the number 2 batter to knock into a double play.

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