Apr 17, 2013, 3:52 AM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Dan Haren watches as Adeiny Hechavarria circles the bases in the fourth.
MIAMI — The Nationals took the field two weeks ago for the start of the most-anticipated season in club history brimming with confidence. They had a potent and balanced lineup, they had one of baseball’s most-dominant rotations, they had a ridiculously deep bullpen and they had a talented bench more than capable of plugging any holes that developed along the way.
They also had a swagger, starting with their manager, that suggested a ballclub with no fear and every reason to believe it could live up to the lofty expectations placed upon it.
That may still all prove true in the end, and the Nationals are by no means in shambles at the moment, still sitting two games above .500 with as talented a roster as there is in the sport. But there’s no question that swagger has diminished some during the season’s first two weeks, especially in the case of a couple of veteran players with strong track records who suddenly find themselves struggling unlike either ever has before.
The Nationals’ 8-2 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday night — their fourth loss in five days — became reality after a mid-game meltdown precipitated by mistakes made by Ryan Zimmerman and Dan Haren.
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
- Report: Nats to interview former manager of year for open job
- Report: Former Nats player to interview for open manager job
- Mets, Cubs aim to clinch NLCS berths as playoffs continue
- Report: Nats interviewed former All-Star for manager position
- Nationals roster review: Michael Taylor
- Trio of Nats coaches will remain in organization
- MLB Playoffs continue with 4 Division Series games
- Roster review: Bryce Harper
- Important offseason dates to consider for the Nationals
- Ripken on Nats manager job: 'I'd answer the phone'