June 1, 2011 by Stephen
The Nationals have just recently completed the first third of their season (actually the first third plus one with today’s day game against the Phillies). After 54 games, the Nationals’ record stood at 23-31 (with today’s game, it now stands at 24-31). This time last year, the Nationals were at 26-28. The drop-off is understandable when you consider that the Nats have played most of the season without Ryan Zimmerman or a healthy Adam LaRoche. They also let two of their big bats from last year go to other teams (Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham). And Jayson Werth, the big off-season pick-up, has had a slow start to the season. As a result, the batting has been terrible so far (in the bottom five of team statistics in most of the major categories). Of course, in the recent three-game series against the Phillies the Nats became the first team to score 4 or more runs off of the vaunted Philly aces, Halladay and Lee, in consecutive games. Maybe things are picking up some. They should once Zimmerman returns. The pitching has been a pleasant surprise. Who would have thought that the Nats would be the last team to need to use a sixth starter this season? The defense has been better this year as well. The Nats are in most games this year. They have lost twelve 1-run games and five 2-run games. Conversely, they have only lost six games by 5+ runs. If the pitching and defense continue to stay good, the hitting should get better, and the Nats should start winning some of those close ballgames. I’m also happy about some of the attitude created by Werth recently. Although he’s taken some criticism from some in the media for his comments, I like what he did and said. Werth isn’t used to losing and you can tell he doesn’t want to get used to losing. The Nats need that kind of attitude. I’m looking forward to the 17th of this month when we go on our annual church outing to the ballpark. We’ll be seeing the Nats take on the Orioles this year. I’ll be wearing my Werth jersey. Go Nats!