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.
1. The Offense. By far the most compelling story surrounding the Nationals this week was a historic offensive surge. We will get into the nitty-gritty of the team’s video game numbers — of records set and heroic performances — throughout this week’s power rankings. We raise a glass to toast an incredible week of hitting, and we will need to savor these libations. Because we also need to pour some out for our fallen leadoff man’s ACL, and we need to drink to dull the pain of one of the worst bullpens in the sport. But for now, a toast: To runs!
2. Ryan Zimmerman. Any time spent this offseason worrying about how much a washed-up Ryan Zimmerman would drag down this lineup now feels like a hilarious waste of time. Zim is still scorching the ball, except now he is scorching it up instead of scorching it down. It really might be that simple. The Face just submitted one of the best opening months in the history of the sport, and until a few days ago had the second-best stat line on the team. Over the last week, Zimmerman went 13 for 28 with 5 home runs, 13 RBI, and one WAR accumulated. Is that good? I think that’s good.
3. Trea Turner. Everyone’s favorite baby-faced speedster got off to a slow start, hit the 10-day DL, warmed up with a decent series in the Big Apple, and then killed the baseball non-stop for a week. Eight extra base hits and 12 runs (and a cycle) in one week means you can look however dumb you want in whatever weirdo cold gear you have. You do you, Trea.
Trea Turner looks like a Nerds candy character pic.twitter.com/YsBpQ48CNn
— Mina (@maddc8) April 26, 2017
4. Hacky Baseball As Football Scores Jokes. “Good defensive effort by Washington, holding the Giants to just a field goal and a safety!” “Defensive struggle against the Broncos, good to get a win and hold them to just four field goals.” Stop doing this. Don’t be that guy.
5. Anthony Rendon on Sunday. Tony Four Bags became the first player in the storied history of Major League Baseball to go 6 for 6 with 3 dingers and 10 steaks in a single game. As usual, he did it with the nonchalance of someone running Saturday morning errands. His first hit — a two-out, two-run single in the first inning — was vintage Rendon, the kind of hit that drives baseball nerds wild; he got those lightning-quick hands through the zone and pulled 100 on the inner-half. Have a day, Tony.
6. Bryce Harper. Bryce only hit two home runs this week, and one of them was off a catcher, and the other was in Colorado. That’s like, zero home runs. What a bum.
Oh, he did set the MLB record for runs in the month of April, and has returned to stake his claim as one of the most feared hitters in the sport.
7. Daniel Murphy. It’s easy to be overlooked when two of your teammates rush off to historic starts, but Murphy just keeps plugging along doing Daniel Murphy things. Kevin Long, thank you so, so much for fixing him for us. Murphy cleaned up his stubble and then smacked this picture-perfect opposite field double. This stroke needs to be in the Smithsonian.
8. Joe Ross’ Run Support. Something gets into this guy’s teammates whenever he takes the mound: 14 runs, 15 runs, 23 runs. 52 runs in three games is bonkers, and it would be nice to see Ross go deeper into games to give the overworked, underperforming bullpen a day off when the offense puts up pinball scores. Stephen Strasburg might be getting jealous: it seems like 52 runs was a whole season worth of run support for young Strasburg.
9. Ballerina’s first pitch. I enjoyed this ceremonial first pitch, especially how it ended with her spiking the ball into Koda Glover’s mug from about five feet away. I feel like Koda has been in bar fights that started over less. She has a good delivery but the windup is complicated — lots of moving parts, not sure how repeatable her mechanics will be. Maybe she should work exclusively from the stretch.
10. Matt Albers. No, he is not getting many high-leverage opportunities, but in a week like this not many Nats relievers did. What he is doing is getting guys out: Albers faced 18 batters this week and retired 16 of them and did not allow a single fly ball to go over the fence. That seems like a pretty cool trick and maybe he could teach his teammates how to do it.
Missed The Cut: Stephen Strasburg, Jayson Werth, playing in Coors Field, Michael A. Taylor, Leave My Team Alone, Trea Turner’s cold gear, Gio Gonzalez, giving up home runs, Jacob Turner, actually getting MRIs, Matt Wieters, that Simpsons “Stop stop he’s already dead” punchline, Joe Ross, paternity leaveTags: Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Joe Ross, Matt Albers, Nationals, Nats, Power Rankings, Ryan Zimmerman, Trea Turner, Washington Nationals