Nationals Report Card: April 15-21

After getting swept by the Braves at home, the Nationals went on a six-game road trip against the Miami Marlins and New York Mets, two teams that most of the NL East hopes to beat up on throughout the course of the season. What the Nats did over the last week wouldn't be considered beating up on anyone, unfortunately. They split the roadtrip 3-3 and lost the weekend series to the Mets. It's too early to be worried about the overall arc of the season, but there are question marks.

Grade: D+

- The Nats defense has allowed six errors in the last six games and has averaged an error per game already this season. They lead the major leagues with 18 errors, which is alarming considering the expectations of both the infield and outfield.

- Ryan Zimmerman has taken yet another early season trip to the disabled list, this time with hamstring issue. If this time off allows him to get focused on defense and healthy in general, it'll be worth the 15-days without their franchise player.

- Outside of Ross Detwiler and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nats starters, another of their numerous strengths, have been inconsistent all season. Stephen Strasburg hasn't had a bad year, but he hasn't been as good as people expect of him. Gio Gonzalez has been blown up in two games and has started walking guys with regularity once again. Dan Haren is nowhere near locked into his good stuff yet.

- Ian Desmond looks lost at shortstop at times. He's already committed seven errors, which is almost half as many as he committed in all of 2012, when he was an NL Gold Glove Award finalist.

Player Of The Week: Bryce Harper

Harper is still scorching hot. Even in a week where he battled the flu and missed a game, he posted a .421/.500/.842 slash line, hit two monster home runs, and had a four-hit game when he was still battling the flu. He gets a pass on Sunday's fielding error with a performance like this at the plate.

Honorable Mention: Steve Lombardozzi

Lombardozzi spelled Danny Espinosa while he was out nursing that hand injury, and he was a more than acceptable replacement at second base. He accumulated 20 plate appearances this week in four starts and a few pinch hitting opportunities, and he hit .350 and drove in three runs. He's not going to wow you with power or walk a lot, but Lombardozzi may be one of the best contact hitters the Nats have on their roster, and he had a great week.

Joe Drugan

About Joe Drugan

Joe is the Managing Editor of The Nats Blog and host of the Nats Talk On The Go podcast. He's been blogging about the Nationals since 2010 and with The Nats Blog since 2011.

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