Welcome back to the latest in a series, in which we review the previous week in Nationals baseball and power rank the players according to their performance. This is an extremely unserious exercise; at no point should it ever be confused with actual baseball analysis. Don’t worry, I will do my best to make sure that is obvious. Without further ado: your Washington Nationals, ranked according to power.
- Bryce Harper. Could it be anyone else? Bryce followed up on last week’s monster week with a Godzilla week: 11 hits in 20 at-bats, 4 doubles, 3 dongs, 7 RBI, and 10 runs. The whispers of a 2015 encore are now shouts. You can find Bryce hanging out at the top of all the relevant offensive leaderboards, alongside the usual suspects such as Trout, Freeman, Arenado, Lindor, Eric Thames, Steve Souza Jr, etc.
- Max Scherzer. The only National pitcher to make two starts this week, Max thrilled in Atlanta, fanning seven Braves in seven shutout innings. He followed that up with a vintage Scherzer performance on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN: keeping the traffic on the bases light, working around a few longballs by lefties, and stalking the mound in the 8th in a 6-3 win.
- Ryan Zimmerman. Remember April when Zimmerman is slumping or on the shelf. The Face is running massively unsustainable numbers in two of the biggest Luck Dragon categories, BABIP (.436) and HR/FB (29.4%). Three homers and ten steaks in one week is a bona-fide heater though, and would usually be good enough for the #1 spot on this list.
- Shawn Kelley. I praised Kelley last week for beginning to turn around his season and stabilizing his stat line. This week he took over the closer’s role from Blake Treinen and steadied the bullpen. Kelley slammed the door twice in Atlanta and once in New York, striking out three of his ten batters faced and keeping the ball in the yard (0 home runs).
- Thursday’s Defense in Atlanta. Nats outfielders made a handful of sparkling grabs behind Stephen Strasburg on Thursday, and in a 3-2 victory every out matters. None was bigger than Anthony Rendon’s diving stop with two outs and a man on in the 7th inning; Strasburg was over 100 pitches and working through the Braves lineup for a fourth time. On MASN, Bob Carpenter prefaced the at-bat by saying “this is the out Stephen Strasburg has to get,” and Tony got it for him.
- Welcome Back, Joe Ross. After beginning the season in the balmy, tropical climes of Syracuse, New York, Ross joined the team in Atlanta to make the first of many major league starts in 2017. He got off to a tough start, giving up a pair of runs in a long first inning, but was staked to a big lead thanks to some big flies off the big bat of Bryce Harper. Ross settled in, and cruised through seven innings with seven K’s and three runs allowed.
- Welcome Back, Trea Turner. Trea Bae slumped to start the season before hitting the 10-day DL. His first at-bat back? An 11th-inning pinch hit at-bat Friday night, with one out, the bases loaded, and hulking Mets closer Jeurys Familia stalking the mound. Trea calmly earned his first RBI of the season by drawing a run-scoring, game-winning walk.
- Gio Gonzalez. Alright, what’s going on here? How much do Nationals fans trust this? Gonzalez looks born again hard, submitting another quality start this week. This time out he carried a no-hitter into the sixth at Citi Field, pitched into the seventh, and earned his second win of the year. Gio is keeping the ball on the ground, in the yard. Knock extremely hard on all of the biggest pieces of wood around you.
- Double Division Sweeps On The Road. Six games in six days against divisional foes, without so much as a Thursday day game to break it up? With a dinged-up offense and a reeling bullpen? No big deal. The Nats showed the NL East who the big swinging brooms of the division belong to.
- Enny Romero. What, you say? Him, you say? The guy Mike Rizzo got for a ham sandwich and at times has looked like a left-handed Henry Rodriguez? The guy who allowed 12 of his first 27 batters faced as a National to reach base? Yes, I say! That guy! Well, no, not that guy, but the guy who allowed zero of his eight Mets faced to reach safely, who submitted two clean sheets in two tight wins on the road against the biggest division challenger. THAT guy.
- Double Grand Slams. What does it mean?!
Missed the cut: Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, complaining about road trips, then dominating them anyway, Matt Wieters, Insurance Person, Blake Treinen as setup man, Adam Lind, C.B. Bucknor doing C.B. Bucknor things, Koda Glover, christening SunTrust Park with a sweep, Jayson WerthTags: Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Enny Romero, Gio Gonzalez, Joe Ross, Max Scherzer, Nationals, Nats, Power Rankings, Ryan Zimmerman, Shawn Kelley, Trea Turner, Washington Nationals