May 13, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Chad Tracy is 8-for-44 as a pinch-hitter over the last calendar year.
The critical decision in yesterday's demoralizing loss to the Cubs — Davey Johnson pinch-hitting for Gio Gonzalez in the bottom of the seventh with his team ahead 1-0 — was a produce of the manager seeking an insurance run and trying to give his bullpen some breathing room.
In principle, that notion makes some sense. But it requires some consistent production from those bench players who would be asked to pinch-hit in that situation. And right now, the Nationals aren't getting much production at all from their reserves.
When Chad Tracy struck out to lead off the bottom of the seventh yesterday, Nationals pinch-hitters fell to 7-for-48 on the season, a .146 batting average. Even more alarming, Nats pinch-hitter have yet to drive in a single run so far in 2013.
That comes in stark contrast to the numbers the Nationals produced off the bench last season. Pinch-hitters batted a collective .288 with four homers and 26 RBI in 2012, one of the most-productive unitsRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
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
- Still no answer for Strasburg's woes
- Strasburg rocked again during ugly 8-1 loss to Phillies
- Roark ready for Monday start in Chicago
- Strasburg tries to keep Nats rolling vs. Phillies
- Pitch, hit and run: Scherzer does it all in win
- Nats 2, Phillies 1: Harper homers, Scherzer dominates
- Roark will return to Nats' rotation with Fister out
- Scherzer tries to beat Phillies again
- Nats activate Janssen to make 2015 debut, send Solis to DL
- MLB Power Rankings: Marlins falling, Phillies rising