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The Washington Nationals Brand Of Baseball Is Hard To Watch Right Now

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Saturday, Aug.10/2013

Surely a team with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper can at least be in the Wild Card Race being stocked with so much talent.  After an atrocious stretch, the Nats are 55 - 60 - buried 15.5 Games behind the Braves in the NL East.  They are even 9 Games behind the 2nd Wild Card team (Reds)

Surely a team with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper can at least be in the Wild Card Race being stocked with so much talent right? After an atrocious stretch, the Nats are 55 – 60 – buried 15.5 Games behind the Braves in the NL East. They are even 9 Games behind the 2nd Wild Card team (Reds).  This team was supposed to challenge for a World Series, and now it will take a small miracle now to make the playoffs.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Digging through numbers and searching through the rubble of the Nats season to find answers to what went so horribly wrong can numb the mind.

The reasons are right there spelled out in bold and painful numbers, but many of them raise more questions than they do answers. The Nats are awful in high leverage situations.

More than .040 points of OPS worse than the next worst team.

This could simply be a sample size issue or it could be an issue of the players internalizing all the pressure or it could be that the manager makes the moments feel more tense.

The main issue with trying to find the reason behind the numbers is that some of the possible explanations are beyond our ability to know.

The Nats Mindset 6 months ago

As much of a problem as the offense appears to be consider for a second that the Pittsburgh Pirates have scored 26 more runs than the Washington Nationals but have won 16 more games. The reason for that is that the Pirates pitching has performed in a manner that the Washington Nationals was supposed to. The Pirates are the best team in the NL at preventing runs while the Washington Nationals are basically league average.

As much of a problem as the offense appears to be, consider for a second that the Pittsburgh Pirates have scored 26 more runs than the Washington Nationals but have won 16 more games. The reason for that is that the Pirates pitching has performed in a manner that the Washington Nationals was supposed to. The Bucs are the best team in the NL at preventing runs while the Washington Nationals are basically league average.

The last 26 games have been some of the worst baseball the Washington Nationals have played since moving to DC. That wasn’t supposed to happen this season.

The Washington Nationals worst case scenarios were all still over .500 and none of them predicted the team would play .300 baseball for an extended stretch of time.

In the 27 games the Nationals have played since sweeping San Diego and being four games over .500 and four games back in the division they’ve gone 9 -18 scoring 3.43 runs a game and allowing 4.1.

NL East Division Standings GBL

July.07/2013

Atlanta  50 – 38                        –

Washington 46 – 42                4

Philadelphia 43 – 46              7.5

New York Mets 37 – 48        11.5

Miami 32 – 55                       17.5

NL East Division Standings GBL

Before Aug.10/2013

Atlanta 71 – 45                         –

Washington 55 – 60              15.5

NY Mets 52 – 61                    17.5

Philadelphia 52 – 63              18.5

Miami 43 – 71                        27.0

Records since July.10/2013

Atlanta 21 – 7

Washington 9 – 18  (Washington has lost 11.5 Games in the Standings)

NY Mets 15 – 13

Philadelphia 9 – 17

Miami 11 – 16 

Well below average offense and below average pitching is a quick recipe to play .500 baseball.

A rotation headed by Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jordan Zimmermann shouldn’t lead a mediocre pitching staff especially when the back of the bullpen has a closer with a 2.91 ERA and a set-up man with a 1.99 ERA.

The players the team wants to be performing have for the most part performed, and yet everything around the fringes has gone wrong.

It is hard at times to fathom how important those fringes are. How the bottom of the roster can doom a team, but that is exactly what has happened to the Washington Nationals this season.

Watching this team play. Seeing them struggle and fight to score one, two, or three runs and even end up with the lead at times and then to watch the pitching collapse in the end or middle of the game is tough.

It is a bad brand of baseball. It isn’t fun to watch and it makes it hard to remember that we like this sport.

That we survived the second half of 2005 all the way until now with mostly really bad baseball.

Expectations and the excitement for something different have made this year even worse, but it is time to get back to basics.

It is time to go to the park and admire the players that are performing even if those players happen to not be on the team. Enjoy a walk on a warm summer evening around the park.

All that exists is baseball. Clear away the veil of perceptions and that is all that exists at a major league park as well. Pretend that the Nationals are some other team.

A random team that draws no emotional attachment and the suffering will be easier to endure and end sooner. Really the best suggestion may simply be to relax.

Take in the sounds and smells of the game. We go to the ballpark to forget our daytime lives. Do that still and try hard to find some enjoyment in baseball for the sake of baseball. It is tough to say that. I haven't been able to do it at Nationals Park this season, but I've done it plenty of times at the Pfitz. At minor league games the results don't matter. All that exists is baseball. Clear away the veil of perceptions and that is all that exists at a major league park as well. Pretend that the Nationals are some other team. A random team that draws no emotional attachment and the suffering will be easier to endure and end sooner. Really the best suggestion may simply be to relax.

Take in the sounds and smells of the game. We go to the ballpark to forget our daytime lives. Do that still and try hard to find some enjoyment in baseball for the sake of baseball. It is tough to say that. I haven’t been able to do it at Nationals Park this season, but I’ve done it plenty of times at the Pfitz. At minor league games – the results don’t matter.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Nationals Correspondent’ David Huzzard for preparing today’s featured article.  David  is a Pro bono sports writer for Citizens of Natstown, We Love DC, and Blown Save Win.

He is also the Co-host of The Citizens of Natstown Podcast.  David is from Fairfax, Va. 

You can follow him on Twitter and talk about the game of baseball.  

a    david huzzard

Don’t forget to also follow the Citizens of Natstown on Twitter too.  

MLB Reports has teamed up with Citizens of Natstown – to deliver the best Nats coverage we can to as many readers possible.  Check out their dedicated page we have for them at the Reports here

They will have one additional article placed there per week, so bookmark it – and also check them out at their website for all of the Natstown archived articles here.

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Visit the links for their 1st annual Citizens of Natstown Book:

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For just $3 – you will receive all the information to go ahead on the 2013 season to your favorite reading device -plus reflect on a 98 Win year in 2012. 

Don’t forget to bring your #Natitude! – #LetTeddyWinin2013 and rock #Natstown!

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on August 10, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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