Aug 20, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance:
Adam LaRoche, 1B: 3 HR/ 7 RBI/.419 OBP
When the Nationals are rolling like this, you could probably make a case for any number of guys being in this spot. During their current eight-game win streak, there’s seemingly been a different hero every night. That being said, LaRoche is responsible for the game-tying or game-winning runs in three of the last seven Nats victories. Not too shabby. He’s continuing to build on what’s been an huge August for him, as he already has six home runs this month — the most he’s had in any month this season.
Ian Desmond, SS: .360 AVG/ .448 OBP/ 5 RBI
Wilson Ramos, C: .381/.619 SLG/ 4 RBI
Stephen Strasburg, SP: 2-0/ 15.0 IP/ 0.60 ERA
Rafael Soriano, RP: 3 GP/ 1 BS/13.50 ERA
Not to quash any of the enthusiasm after an undefeated week, but now it might be time to start worrying about the closer. Whether it’s because of inconsistent use, too much use, or whatever the case may be, the bottom line is that Soriano’s been pretty shaky lately. He only blew one save in the last week (which was later negated thanks to a ninth inning rally), but he’s routinely walked the tightrope even when he closes out victories. He’s allowed baserunners in four out of his last five outings, and has allowed runs to score in three out of his last four. Matt Williams sent out Tyler Clippard in the ninth to close out the game Monday night, but Clippard, ironically, blew the save when he allowed a solo homer. So if you’re the manager, now what? The bullpen is clearly fatigued, but there has to be a way to sort out the back end come playoff time.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 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: 1:30 p.m., 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.
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