This past week was a rough one for the Washington Nationals in terms of results, despite a few exciting offensive outbursts at Coors Field in Colorado. I’m not one to think that this is a prophecy of things to come, but the job of this feature is to grade the past week for the Nats.
It’s hard to be terribly mad about the series in Baltimore by the results alone. The Nats only won one of three games, but each of them were one-run losses. The problem? The Nats offense scored just one run in both of those losses. If the offense was able to provide any reasonable run support, especially facing Jake Arrieta on Sunday, who had an ERA close to 6.00 entering that game, the result may have been much different. Ross Detwiler pitched a remarkable game in his return to the rotation, which went for naught. Ultimately, the Nats lost the season series with the Orioles 2-4.
The Colorado Rockies series is a bit weirder. The Rockies entered the series with by far the worst pitching staff in all of baseball, compounded by manager Jim Tracy moving to a four-man rotation. The move was likely the cause of pitching coach Bob Apodaca’s resignation. Really the only thing preventing this week from getting a “D” was the massive offensive outburst. While it is Coors Field, the Nats scored 33 runs in three games, and that nothing to scoff at. They also hit double-digit runs in the final three games of the series, despite one being a lost. The Nats haven’t done that in their history, and a DC baseball team hasn’t done that since 1951, according to Mark Zuckerman.
The Nats should have taken three of four from the Rockies with their four best pitchers going against four of the worst starters in baseball, but they weren’t able to get a series win. The Nats are now below .500 on this trip as they head to Atlanta to finish up a 10-game road swing. This isn’t a harbinger of what’s to come, but it was just a below average week for the Nats, despite a huge offensive series.
Player of the Week: Ian Desmond
For the second week in a row, Desmond wins the Player of the Week honors, and he did it at a great time. All-Star voting ended yesterday, and you better believe that NL All-Star manager Tony LaRussa will take a close look at Desmond for the game. Desmond has the second-highest NL WAR for shortstops at 2.4, and he put up a .379 batting average and a 1.247 OPS in the past week.