Sunday, July 19, 2009

Murder Death Kill

Well, it is safe to say that the Nats are not going to make a second half run under Jim Riggleman. As noted before, Riggleman inherited talented teams in San Diego and Chicago and produced mediocre results. He inherited a mediocre Mariners team last year and failed to improve. And actually, judging by their 2007 record followed by their record this season, the Mariners may actually be a decent team that made all the wrong moves in 2008.

Judging by the listless play the first four games of this homestand, the Nats are not going to change their ways. Six errors, four caught stealing, 34 left on base, 19 in scoring position... there has been absolutely no change. Now with Scott Olsen heading back to the disabled list, the Rizzo has decided to kick the tires on JD Martin, Garrett Mock, and Logan Kensing. Mock looked rattled with runners on base, and the defense really seemed to be going out of their way to make things as difficult as possible.

The troubling thing with this series is that the bar is set very low, and the Nats continue to limbo against flawed teams. They turned Rich Harden and Carlos Zambrano back into their former Cy Young candidate selves, then let two very green and very average rookies shut their "vaunted" offense down. It is time to dispel the myth that the Nats are an offensive juggernaut, as they are not. They are average, some days above average. Offense is about more than batting average and OPS; it is about situational play, especially in the NL. The Nats do not bunt well, do not run the bases well, do not hit well with runners on base. They are actually surviving off a fairly high BABiP (.315), so their offense is likely to further slump.

It is hard to say how much worse they can play at this point. With the potential for a trade or two in the near future, expect a strong run at 115 losses.

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