The 2017 season has been one of many surprises, both good and bad. The Nationals have been absolutely decimated by injuries, but a few not-so-big names have stepped ably into their place. At 73-47, the Nationals are on a 99-win pace and hold a comfortable 14-game division lead. But if they hadn’t had their major injuries, would they be on a 106-win pace? Or if their bench hadn’t stepped up, would they be on their way to 87 wins? Let’s break down all these surprises and see if we can’t figure out the impact they’ve had on this team.
Tag Archives: Adam Eaton
The Nationals kick off the second half of the 2017 season tonight on the road against the Reds sitting 9.5 games up in the NL East. While the squad has sat in first place for practically the entire season, it hasn’t been an easy road getting there. Some players have outplayed their expectations while others have been disappointing so far this season.
Today is the NHL’s expansion draft. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick primer of the NHL expansion rules: each team is allowed to select a certain number of its players to protect. Any others are eligible to be selected by the expansion team, which must select exactly one player from each team.
So, in the spirit of keeping things topical, I decided to take a crack at seeing who the Nationals would protect in an expansion draft. MLB had its own expansion draft 20 years ago when the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined, and therefore has its own set of rules.
There are two major takeaways from the Nationals this week: 1. They are very good at playing baseball on the western half of the United States. And 2. They are very good at keeping things interesting off the field.
Pain. As we reach the quarter point of the season, the Nationals have hit their first real rough patch, losing four of six to teams that are a combined 12 games under .500. The Pirates, who have the second-worst offense in MLB, scored 20 runs over the three-game series. The Braves were one of the most power deficient offenses in the league—especially so without Nat-killer extraordinaire Freddie Freeman. Atlanta hit six home runs in their two victories before Strasburg dealt them the Ace of Spades and shut them down over 7.2 IP. For all the good the Nationals have, there are some cracks in the foundation. For the starting pitching, the bullpen, lineup, and bench, we will look at the areas of concern, and how significant they are.
The Nationals are extremely dramatic, and their performance swings are exhausting, but they are lovable anyway, and this is a run-on sentence to designed to communicate that and that they did some things this week.
It was a week like any other week. Max Scherzer took another no-hitter into the sixth inning, the Nationals played sub-par games against the Orioles, the Washington Capitals were eliminated in the second round… But from beyond the DL, Adam Eaton led the charge to break up the monotony that led to off-field highlights of the week.
Like good Washington sports fans, Nationals faithful are panicking. This week, like most weeks this season, the hot takes, angry tweets, and general unrest centers around the much-maligned bullpen. But take heart, folks! I’m here to tell you that the bullpen is not actually the Nationals biggest hindrance in making a playoff, but in fact, there’s something else to lose sleep over: Centerfield!
At the finish line of the race for the first team to 20 wins, Nationals pitchers had quite a wild Friday night, and none of it involved beer or cocaine. I’m looking at you, David Wells. Stephen Strasburg hit the first Nationals starting pitcher home run since 2014, and Matt Albers, everyone’s one true kid brother, recorded his first save after closing out 102 games without one. Injuries weren’t going to keep Sammy Solis and Adam Eaton from being a part of it.