Let’s not bury the lead. There will be lots and lots of Hot Sprotz Taeks about the Nationals this week because they lost a few baseball games. In fact, there have already been a few, and James O’Hara did a great job of taking them down. Read that. It’s really, really well written.
Still, even the might O’Hara cannot turn back the tide. He’s just one man cursing at an ocean that will eventually crash a wave of nonsense right on his head. All of our heads, actually. So rather than do that, here is a handful of Nats Columnist Bingo Cards I made on the Internet. Read a columnist, listen to a radio host, and play along. Mark your card and report back when you get a hit 🙂
The Nationals didn’t fare as well as hoped against the New York Mets this week. The reason for losing is simple enough: The Nats in two of the three games gave up more runs than they scored. The Mets benefited from a surprisingly good performance from Bartolo Colon, and a much less surprisingly excellent performance from Matt Harvey. The Nationals had two great performances of their own from Scherzer and Zimmermann, but without their top three hitters in the lineup, the Nats offense sputtered. Much will be made of their 3 total hits with runners in scoring position (both came after being down 6 runs late on Thursday). I’m a thinking that the team’s meager 180/232/315 doesn’t exactly speak to an offense that stalled but barely got going.
So with a weak offense and good pitching you can understand why three errors over the two losses was the likely difference in at least one of the games. Much will be made of Ian Desmond’s 3 errors, two of which came on Opening Day in the most winnable of the two losses. And in the context of why they lost, that’s absolutely fair. He probably cost them the first game this year.
But I’m not overreacting. I absolutely think that Ian Desmond is overall an excellent shortstop, both as a hitter and a good defender. We’ll be able to point to games later this year that Desmond wins for the Nats.
Ultimately, the Nats will play a lot of tight baseball until some of their better hitters get back. I suspect the defense will tighten up and, with a semi-weak early schedule, they can probably tread water until Span, Rendon, and Werth all get back. Nothing has really changed from last week when the Nats were the heavy favorites. David Justice agrees. Until then, many a columnist will get their shots in while they can, making mountains out of molehills like they do. So, to pass the time, make Xs on little boxes and hopefully have a laugh.