Jun 19, 2013, 5:21 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — They need to get healthy. They need to start getting on base at a rate that doesn’t rank among the dregs of the league. They need to make plays at crucial moments in ballgames. They need to find an identity. Maybe they need to do as Jayson Werth suggests and “eat somebody’s face.”
Whatever the case, the Nationals recognize they’ve nearly reached the midpoint of a frustrating year and they’ve yet to come close to living up to their lofty preseason expectations. Perhaps that’s been the problem all along. As Werth and Ian Desmond put it following Tuesday night’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies, this team might still be living in the past.
“It’s so hard when you have such success last year,” Desmond said. “It’s so hard to let go of the things that you did last year. This is a new team. We have probably a better team, a better squad roster-wise. But we’re … trying to force the things on ourselves that we did last year, instead of going out and playing the game that we know how to play this year. We’re not giving ourselves a chance to become the 2013 Nats. We’re playing as 2012.”
Put another way, these Nationals have yet to establish their own identity, even though they’ve already played 70 games, winning only 34 of them.
“Maybe we’ve kind of lacked an identity as a team,” Werth said. “But you know, I think as you start winning games and you start playing and you go on a roll or you rally or whatever it is you do, you kind of create an identity. We just haven’t hit stride as far as that goes. How many times have we rallied this year? How many winning streaks have we gone on? We just haven’t hit stride yet. Hopefully soon.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
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
- Nats ride strong pitching to shutout win
- Scherzer on mound as Nats try to take series
- Papelbon aiming for saves record, hopes to co-exist with Storen
- On Harper's blasts and Nats' new-look pen
- Report: Phillies trade Cole Hamels to AL West team
- Mets SS cries on field after learning of trade that didn't happen
- Harper homers twice into upper deck, Nats beat Marlins 7-2
- Report: Mets' trade for All-Star falls through
- Marlins get payback, play fart noises during Nats batting practice
- Nats hope to bounce back in Miami with Fister starting